Concept Kiosk Kökar: An Introduction

During my recent residency on the island of Kökar, Finland, I built a kiosk. This was a response to a fascination with the local structures of exchange, both the social/cultural and physical structures that I discovered in my new surroundings.

The project that I completed during Autumn 2007 was an installation and engagement with the local community, entitled "Concept Kiosk Kökar." Around the island, simple wooden roadside "kiosk" structures are built by local residents, selling goods such as apples and flowers during the summer. These structures are unattended and the buyer simply leaves the money in exchange for goods taken.

This phenomenon of trust, as well as the physical object of the kiosk, greatly appealed to me. I sought to offer my own cultural and personal history to this unfamiliar community via my version of the kiosk. I cobbled together a spontaneous construction of found materials, and decided to offer a different baked item every day for the remainder of my stay.

My choice of public offerings had a wide range of variation, and was indicative of where I come from. My project was partly a test to see if the traditional islanders would be receptive to the idea, and partly an exercise in surveillance. During the process, the kiosk's daily results were exhaustively documented. The project ended successfully (in my assessment) and reaffirmed my impressions of the honest, curious people that I encountered on the island.