SIGN AND COMMUNICATION
Sign and communication is the theme of one the networks the Finnish Institute wants to promote in order to increase mutual understanding between British, Irish and Finnish societies. The aim of the network is to advance the understanding of cultural, political and social aspects of communication, especially with respect to the new information technology. The project is organised jointly by the Institute and the other participants. Participants in the network are engaged in both academic and non- academic projects.
Even if the Institute is not an academic research centre, it can be used as a forum in which collaboration between projects can be advanced. In particular, the Institute can work as a background institution in organising public seminars and lectures at the Institute and elsewhere. It can also host scholars who are visiting London by offering study and library facilities. The Institute emphasis is on long-term co-operation within the network, rather than on simply organising individual events. Communication between network participants will be supported by the Institute.
The network projects include one on "Knowledge, Power and Information Democracy", led by Professor Timo Airaksinen (Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki).
The Institute has also had discussions with the London Borough of Camden on a project entitled "Social Service and New Information Technology". This project aims to investigate the citizens access to information at a municipal level. A project entitled "Media and Cultural Diversity" is being run from Bradford University.
Professor Jeff Taylor, currently at the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, is working on "New Media and Representation". He chaired a meeting at the Institute in September 1996 with multimedia presentations from Finland, Britain and Ireland (see te report on the presentation of Hyperkalevala).
Among other participants are Terhi Rantanen, Associate Professor at the Department of Communication, University of Helsinki, Perttu Rastas, Curator of New Media at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, and Tapio Mäkelä, director of MUU, an organisation run by artists in Helsinki.
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