AVARA – Art & Tech <3 Sustainability

AVARA – Art & Tech <3 Sustainability event brings together artists and creators interested in digitality and sustainability. AVARA is an annual event organized by the Centre for Arts Innovation (CAI) at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences, co-hosted this year with the Arts Promotion Centre Finland’s Creative Net project (ESF+).
Valoelementti ja taustalla haaleasti näkyvä kävelevä henkilö.
Photo: Jenina B. / Design Inspis

Event information

Event date

Thu 16.11 — Fri 17.11.2023 at All day


Radisson Blu (Hallituskatu 1, Oulu)

Event type


AVARA organizer logos: OAMK, S+T+ARTS, European Comission, Arts Promotion Centre Taike, Co-Founded by the European Union


AVARA – Art & Tech <3 Sustainability is a networking and co-creation event in the fields of art and technology. This international gathering focuses on various themes of digital and sustainable development within the creative industries.  

The event is specifically aimed at art and creative professionals, as well as students, who are interested in exploring digital possibilities in their creative work.  

During the event’s two days, there will be keynotes, discussions, workshops, co-design sessions, and performances related to new technologies and sustainability. Professionals from diverse countries will showcase projects, share best practices, and highlight the latest developments in the field of art and technology. 

The content of the event is primarily in English, unless stated otherwise in the program.


Thursday, 16th November 2023:   
”The Connection of Art and Digitality”  

Coffee and tea 

Opening the event 
Blair Stevenson (Oulu University of Applied Sciences),  
Sofia-Charlotta Kakko (Arts Promotion Centre Finland)

Keynote: Sustainably Digital? On the Future Existences of Art and Culture, Tanja Sihvonen (University of Vaasa)  

Emerging Technologies:  

Workshops featuring emerging technologies offer an opportunity to receive a hands-on introduction to how to utilize some of the latest technologies in creating artworks and productions. Choose one workshop to attend and explore the other technologies during the following speed dating session.

  • Panasonic (projections)
  • Xsens (motion capture)
  • Varjo (VR)  
  • Studio Moritz Simon Geist (sonic robots)

Finding Funding:

  • Creative Net: From idea to project  

    Do you have a project idea in mind that could strengthen expertise or increase employment within the creative industries? The Creative Net’s workshop focuses on clarifying project ideas and helping to make ideas suitable for ESF+ funding.   

  • EU Creative Europe programme project workshop    

    Are you planning a project dealing with digitalization, green transition, audience building, inclusion or other themes together with European partners? In this workshop you will get a short introduction into Creative Europe and can develop your project ideas together with other participants.


Panel Discussion: Emerging technologies: Art & Tech – Sustainable match? Nuno N. Correia (Tallinn University), Jari Kauppinen (Theatre Academy, Uniarts Helsinki), Mónica Rikić (ES)

Speed Dating with Technologies: Panasonic, Xsens, Varjo, Studio Moritz Simon Geist

Coffee and tea

Cases: Greener Creative Fields: Hans Antonsen/Theatre Green Book (NO/UK), Anne Puolanne/Ekosetti (FI)

Closing Day 1  

The Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC): Creative Residency for Sustainability (Cultural Centre Valve, Hallituskatu 7)

Reception and performance: Moritz Simon Geist: Tripods One (Cultural Centre Valve, Hallituskatu 7)


Friday, 17th November 2023:   
“The Foundations of Sustainable Development”  

Coffee and tea

Opening Day 2 
Orientation to Sustainability Sessions: Andrew Melchior (UK)

Cases: Scale of Sustainability: Sophia Alexandersson/ShareMusic (SE), Tunde Olatunji/Arts Arkade (UK)  

Sustainability Sessions: Small group discussions and co-design activity focusing on challenges with creating sustainable art and culture  


Panel Discussion: Funding talk – possibilities for sustainable digital future! Kai Huotari (EIT Culture and Creativity), Riikka Koivula (Creative Europe Desk Finland), Kaisa Rönkkö (Arts Promotion Centre Finland)

Coffee and tea

Wrapping up Sustainability Sessions  

Closing Day 2 

Lumo Light Festival Oulu opens

The event is organized as a parallel event to the Lumo Light Festival held in Oulu. The festival’s light installations and installation route will be published at the beginning of November. 



The maximum number of participants for the event is 140 people. Registration is binding, and any cancellations must be notified to [email protected].

Registration for the event is now closed. If you're interested in participating in the AVARA event, please send an email to [email protected]. There are still a few spots available!

Participation in the AVARA event is free of charge, but lunch at Radisson Blu's restaurant Toivo is at your own expense (14.60 €). Lunch vouchers should be reserved during registration and can be collected from Bistro Mesu (Radisson Blu) at the beginning of the event.

Coffee and tea will be provided for the seminar participants.

Please note that the AVARA event will be held in-person in Oulu and will not be streamed online.

The venue is accessible. Please contact us, if you have any access requirements you would like us to be aware of. 

Accommodation offer, 15th–17th Nov 2023

Hotel: Radisson Blu (Hallituskatu 1, Oulu)

Single room 130,38 € / night  
Twin or double room 151,24 € / night

The prices (incl. VAT) include a generous buffet breakfast, evening sauna, and use of the gym.  

Reservations with code AVARA can be made through the hotel's sales service at tel. +358 20 1234 730 or via email at [email protected]. This offer is valid until 7th Nov 2023, or as long as the allotment has availability. Changes and cancellations to bookings can be made free of charge up to 7 days before arrival.

Accepted payment methods are cash, bank card, or credit card on the spot. All bookings must be confirmed with credit card.


Further information  


  • Centre for Arts Innovation (CAI) at Oulu University of Applied Sciences (supported by S+T+ARTS Europe)
  • Arts Promotion Centre Finland’s Creative Net project (ESF+)

In collaboration with Creative Europe Desk Finland.

Contact information

Producer Pia Repo, Creative Net, Arts Promotion Centre Finland,   
+358 (0)295 330 857, [email protected] 

Project Manager Julia Heikkinen, Oulu University of Applied Sciences,   
+358 (0)50 5288 897, [email protected]  

Arts Promotion Centre Finland’s Creative Net is the coordination project for the Creative and Cultural Innovation Expertise ESF+ theme. Creative Net supports projects under the ESF+ theme and those applying for funding.  

The Centre for Arts Innovation (CAI) was established in 2022 at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences to undertake long-term, innovative, cross-sectoral testing and training with new technologies, with the aim of transforming practice and advancing new forms of artistic content creation.

The CAI organizes the AVARA Art & Tech festival & AVARA Testbeds to promote innovations raising from the experimentation and cooperation of art and technology professionals, thereby supporting new forms of art and new ways of experiencing art being born. AVARA is a part of the Oulu 2026 European Capital of Culture programme.


Parallel cultural events in Oulu