Aarni Korpela

(Ehkä / Maybe)

Aarni Korpela has been involved in theatre and other performing arts projects at Höyhentämö since 2003 in various capacities. His own directions tend to be participatory, “lived in” pieces – the participant steps inside the piece and lives there for a while. For example, Walkabout was a game played by living tarot cards, The Lovers’ Matchmaking Agency was a dating agency that popped up in different cities for a week (both directed with James McDonald), and Hermiitti was a dark labyrinth that was also a conscious being. This way of working owes a lot to Nordic larp, a tradition of experimental, artistically ambitious live action role playing games. Aarni is also an illustrator and cartoonist. He has been interested in prehistory all his life and always wanted to try living as a hunter-gatherer, so now he’s doing that.

Aarni’s portfolio (in Finnish)

Akseli Aittomäki

(Kauko / Faraway)

Akseli Aittomäki is a dance artist, experimental-theatre maker and activist. Akseli is a long-time member of Höyhentämö, while since 2015 he is based in Berlin. Currently he spends his time dancing in a shared studio space, loitering in half-abandoned outskirts of the city, working as bicycle courier, and contributing to radical climate protest. Akseli was one of the founders of Hunter-gatherers.

Akseli’s portfolio

Riikka Vuorenmaa

(Räpylä / Webbed Foot)

Riikka Vuorenmaa is a versatile performing arts freelancer with a background in lighting design and media culture. As a scenographer and performing arts conceptualiser her specialties are site-specificness, spatial design and interventions. Riikka’s artistic curiosity is focused on inhabited landscapes, communities’ relationships to their environments and how sources of livelihood manifest in them. She has experience with performing arts from contemporary circus to drama and dance theatre to concerts. Riikka has coordinated several applied arts projects.
She is a member of the Piste Collective in Rovaniemi.

Riikka’s webpage (in Finnish)

Emma Aleksa Virta
(Reppu / Backpack)

Emma Aleksa Virta is a dancer and theatre instructor by training. She works in mime, circus and applied dance and theatre arts. Emma’s artwork is motivated by a deep interest in humanity and a concern about growing inequality and the lack of equal access to making and experiencing art. Emma has chosen to work in environments such as remote villages in Lapland, children’s cancer wards, assisted living facilities and rural villages in Romania. In Hunter-gatherers, Emma was an organiser in 2021-2022 and has been the organiser in charge of children’s participation.

Minja Mertanen
(Vastavarjo / Anti-shadow)

Minja Mertanen is a butoh artist, dance teacher and dance-movement therapist woring with the groups Höyhentämö, Reality Research Center (Todellisuuden tutkimuskeskus) and Other Spaces (Toisissa tiloissa). She works as a butoh artist and teacher in Finland and abroad, in recent years mainly in Spain and France. Minja joined Hunter-gatherers in 2023.

Oliver Vierkens
(Lautturi / Ferryman)

Oliver Vierkens has a passion for video, music and performing arts, and is inspired by stories, songwriting, science and linguistic experimentation and creation as tools for both personal and communal growth. Oliver has photographed and filmed the Hunter-gatherers as well as participated from the very beginning. His day job is in software.


Höyhentämö – Pluckhouse is an artist community based in Helsinki that produces contemporary theatre, dance and other performances. Höyhentämö’s history as a developer of experimental theatre has been long and diverse. The association has been operating for 25 years.

In the last years Höyhentämö’s operations have been based on the joint research work of member artists. Hunter-gatherers also began as part of Höyhentämö’s research work.

Höyhentämö’s partner in producing Hunter-gatherers in 2021 was the performing arts house Mad House Helsinki.

As we started designing Hunter-gatherers, we were consulted in 2021 by archaeologist Eero Muurimäki.