61°37'52.6"N 21°25'25.1"E

Figures of Meri-Pori

Matti Tainio

Description of work

My work is a set of 64 photographs presenting traffic signs pointing the route to Meri-Pori.
In the Pori-area, there are a vast number of signs indicating the way to Meri-Pori. First, I noticed the curiously rhythmical, poem-like pair of words, Meri-Pori, meriporimeriporimeriporimeripori in different places around central Pori. Later, the area itself become compelling. A group of distant neighborhoods that lived their own life separate from the center of the town. However, trying to figure out the whereabouts of Meri-Pori from the signs is confusing – they are pointing to all possible directions. When you finally find your way to Meri-Pori, you find out that it becomes fragmented. There is no Meri-Pori as such, just smaller neighborhoods, Pihlava, Yyteri, Mäntyluoto and finally, far away, separated by the sea, Reposaari.

Objective analysis concerning the location of Meri-Pori:

There are 64 standard blue-white signs showing the to Meri-Pori. Most of them are simple arrows pointing the direction and some just tell the distance to the destination, but the set includes also more complicated designs that instruct the correct way driving through a roundabout. Most signs are visible to the traffic, but some were hidden by dense vegetation.

According to the signs, the most secure method for finding the route is to turn right (37 signs), instead of left (15 signs), or continuing straight forward (12 signs). The data extracted from the close surroundings of the signs shows that Meri-Pori is most probably located somewhere between Mäntyluoto and Vaasa (22 and 19 mentions) rather than Helsinki or Turku (12 and 7 mentions). However, the data is not totally consistent, there is some evidence that Meri-Pori is located in the vicinity of Keskusta (city center), Ulasoori, Yyteri or Pori (8, 3, 2 and 2 mentions). While the analysis of the last segment of data is still in progress, some incongruity can be found at least on one occasion Meri-Pori seems to be located in an opposite direction from Pori. This calls for further fieldwork in order to ensure the correctness of the data.


Matti Tainio is a visual artist and researcher, currently working as a post doc researcher at Pori Urban Platform of Aalto University PUPA.
Tainio’s work as an artist takes place in an interdisciplinary setting where the themes of the work often intertwine with his research practice. His artistic work in connection with research takes a form of long repetitive processes that help to elaborate the subject of the research without the limitations of language. In addition to artistic work in the context of research, Tainio works with themes that find their content in his personal experiences.
In his artistic work, Tainio employs various mediums that arise from the requirements of the ongoing project. Currently he is exploring algorithm-based processing of photographic images and software-generated graphics combined with video.
Tainio’s research deals with the aesthetic experience in various settings. His approach to aesthetics can be described as applied aesthetics with a pragmatist perspective. Currently, his work deals with the significance of aesthetics in contemporary physical activities and the aesthetic experience of darkness. The aesthetic of Pori has been his special interest during past two years.