Erika Weiste is an artist who was born in Helsinki in 1981. She works in a Helsinki based cooperative called Animaatiokopla, with different kinds of commissions related to animation. Her artistic work includes short films, moving image installations, paintings and illustrations. Erika studied animation in Edinburgh College of Art, from where she graduated in 2008. She is currently completing her masters in Aalto University, Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art -program.
Erika’s recent works include for example an animated documentary film Reminiscences (2017), which has been presented in the Finnish national TV and also in various film festivals around the world. In 2020 she created animated videos for the historical exhibition Finlayson 200 by Vapriikki, Tampere. 2014 Erika participated in a group show Amusement Park with an animated installation Random Image Generator. The show was exhibited in the Erarta Museum of contemporary Art, Pietari, Flatback Festival, Birmingham, PÖFF Festival, Tallinn and Galleria Huuto, Helsinki. Currently Erika is curating co-operative Animaatiokopla’s upcoming group exhibition Animism, Animated and Animation. She also works on an animated installation to this show and with her upcoming short film Riesa.
2013-2017 Erika acted as the chairman of the Finnish Animation Guild and she is currently the delegate of the Finnish chapter of ASIFA, the International Animated Film Association.
As an animation artist I am interested in bending and stretching the methods of animation and also the rules of traditional cinematic storytelling. Through my works I wish to study how the narrative can be transmitted in a three dimensional space and finding ways of making and representing animation in a way, which would create something unexpected and intuitional to my work and to the medium, which from its core is a discipline of control and time manipulation. The unconscious and intuitive way of working is also reflected in the contents of my work. I am interested, how intuition and unconscious thoughts connect to magical thinking. For example, the way our memories and sentiments are attached to objects and the way external circumstances can pervade our identities. I am interested in the ways our thinking always proves to be more animistic and magical than we admit, and the world so often surprises us by being more animated and enchanted than we were prepared for.
In my recent practice I have been visiting abandoned houses in order to study how the architecture becomes animated in these places, either via our emotional connections, or by the way the grumbling structure invites other inhabitants to the house. I am looking at the abandoned house as a border, which was built to separate the humans from the other humans, from the nature, living and dead things, but which by the state of decay is now creating a space where all these separate domains are converging and merging together.