Playdate experiments with immersive art and artistic games.

These new bastards of art and pop culture cross-breed f.e. immersive theatre, installations, BDSM and new technologies in order to bring game worlds right under your skin. Playdate is a club and an interdisciplinary playground for the arts which gives you an opportunity to try out raw game, art and theatre concepts still in development. And even though all the concepts are still in process, they’ve all been developed far enough to enable play tests with the audience.

The event was organized for the first time in December 2015 in co-operation with Eskus – Performance Center. On the first time the artistic directors and producers in charge of the event were Sami Henrik Haapala and dance artist and producer Kaisa Kukkonen. In addition to them playtests were also led by dancer, choreographer and dj Antti Lahti, game designer and conceptual artist Pekko Koskinen, new media artist Aku Meriläinen, live art maker Julius Elo and a performing arts company Bombina Bombast (SWE). DJ sets were twiddled by Samba Klaus, A. Lahti and Lemppari.

Playdate returned in new form on in 2018. This time The Center for Everything tested their already finished concept ‘Sensory Cocktail Bar’ by expanding it to cover the whole evening. In its new form the evening also includes a discussion about a current issue in immersive, participatory or game art. In 2018 the subject was negotiating consent in participatory and immersive performances. The discussion with Outi Condit and Julius Elo was facilitated by Sami Henrik Haapala.

Playdate in 2019 consisted of a play test related to an artistic doctorate by Sami Henrik Haapala and two VR works which were presented with the generous help of Aalto Studios/VR Hub led by Eero Tiainen. The discussion was about performing in immersive and game performances. The performers from Haapala’s play test Laura Sorvari, Suvi Leppänen and Anna Valpuri discussed with Sami Henrik Haapala facilitating the conversation.

Playdate returned in 2020 as a remote event.

Photographer: Jukka Kiistala.