Floating Platforms

As part of Floating Platforms, Joshua Sofaer is working with neuroscientist Mikko Sams to explore ‘suspension of disbelief’ in an attempt to better understand what is happening in the brain when we encounter art, theatre, and literature.


Wednesday 30th of September
TEHDAS Theatre
Manilla, Itäinen Rantakatu 64
20810 Turku

In this presentation they will share some of their early experiments and discoveries.

The key purpose of the Floating Platforms project is to create a platform for new kind of encounters between performance art, science and humanities. The project, organized by Aboagora Symposium and New Performance Turku Festival, provides means and perspectives for an equal dialogue between performance artists, scientists and researchers. The starting point is to encourage the pairs to work from their own perspectives as well as encourage into new and unexpected encounters.

Floating Platforms will result in six separate performances, of which three will be presented during the Aboagora symposium August 11-13 and other three at the New Performance Turku Festival from September 29 until 1st of October. The project organizes a closing seminar on November 3rd 2015 and publishes an e-publication during 2016.

Mikko Sams (b. 1953) is a professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in Aalto University. His current interests include neural and cognitive mechanisms of emotions and mutual understanding. In his research, he prefers to use naturalistic stimuli such as films and pieces of music.


Leena Kela, artistic director, New Performance Turku Festival
Christopher Hewitt, artistic director, New Performance Turku Festival
Hannu Salmi, professor, University of Turku / Cultural History
Ruth Illman, director, Donner Institute (Åbo Akademi Foundation)
Asko Nivala, researcher, University of Turku / Cultural History
Anna Haapalainen, researcher, University of Turku / Comparative Religion

Anni Välimäki, coordinator, producer, University of Turku / Cultural History
Virpi Vairinen, publicist, New Performance Turku Festival

The Floating Platforms project is organized by two Turku-based organizations interested in counterpoints between arts and sciences.

The Aboagora Symposium is organized by the Department of Cultural History in University of Turku, the Donner Institute of Åbo Akademi University Foundation and Turku Music Festival. The Symposium is a three-day event including workshops, lectures and performances with varying topics and covering both scientific and artistic aspects to each year’s theme.

New Performance Turku Festival is an annual international performance and live art festival. The festival takes place on local theaters, museums, contemporary art spaces and the city space introducing the most prominent Finnish and international performance artists to the audience. The festival also organizes discussions and lectures on performance art and has a strong emphasis on collaboration both locally and internationally.

The Floating Platforms project is funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.