Photo Jaakko Ruuska


The walk alone in the street is a dialogical event between the wanderer and the environment. The wanderer “reads” the expressions, actions and gestures of the passers-by, significations of striations, and the muttering of hideouts… In the footsteps of the stroller, they are transformed into narrations. This spatial experience of the urbanity expresses itself as the silent dialogue between memories, imaginations, and weak sensations. In their polyphonic speech the expression of the urban space becomes poetic geography. The participatory performance transforms this intimate experience into a common experience, that evades the order of the daily life.

Disconnected space is a durational performance, that transforms the lonely walk in the urban space into a collective, playful exercise, that is based on the practices of walking, reading and writing. In this durational performance the paths of the lonely walks are tagged with the system of secret signs. Along their ways, participants will write messages, that are left for the others to be read. The exercise is then based on tracking these paths, reading the messages and writing the replies. This correspondence transforms the intimate experience of the lonely stroller into a collective experience, with its own, alternative spatiality, in which seemingly meaningless things may reach enormous proportions. The performance ends in the get-together and revisiting the network of trails constructed by the exercise, during which the written letters are re-read together.

Disconnected space has four phases:

SCHOOL OF HOBO VOCABULARY: In the school: “reading” the urban space is practiced, along with the “hobo vocabulary”, the system of secret signs, that is used in the exercise.

EXERCISE: The collective exercise takes place in the urban environment. In the exercise a private journey of discovery will be marked and a text will be written. Then, the participants will visit each other’s places, that are used for the correspondence between the participants.

JUNGLE: At the end of the exercise the participants will gather into a safe place, where there is time for rest and nourishing.

RE-READING: The network of trails will be revisited all together, and the texts are re-read collectively.

The artistic team of the performance consist of Timo Jokitalo, Kati Korosuo and Jaakko Ruuska.

This performance became part of Jaakko Ruuska’s doctoral thesis at the University of the Arts Helsinki, when it was experimented in the context of the Research Pavillion #4, that was held in Helsinki in 2021.


17.6.2021 Uniarts: Em­pa­thy, sur­prises and non-​verbal com­mu­ni­ca­tion – the re­la­tion­ship between the au­di­ence and the per­form­ers is an in­te­gral part of art.


6.11.2022 Disconnected Space
-performance in Itä-Pasila, Helsinki.

The system of signs called ”hobo signs” are a version of the cross generational practice, that has been used by vagrants, to protect one-another, to warn and to advice, when there is no common place to get together. Similar system of signs might be in used today by those in the need.

Photo Jaakko RuuskaPhoto Jaakko RuuskaPhoto Jaakko RuuskaPhoto Jaakko RuuskaPhoto Jaakko RuuskaPhoto Jaakko RuuskaPhoto Jaakko RuuskaPhoto Jaakko RuuskaPhoto Jaakko Ruuska


The Finnish Cultural Foundation, Uniarts, The Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the City of Helsinki.


20.6.2021 Disconnected Space -research event at Hietsu Pavilion, Helsinki

Photo Jaakko Ruuska