Sten Saarits (born 1987 in Tallinn, Estonia) is an Estonian artist who works with various media, such as sound, video, installations, performance, and sculpture. His audio-visual work often incorporates a recurring pattern or have a looped nature, and even though in flux, his narratives resist progress over time and therefore embody a sculptural presence.

 

Saarits spent most of his early childhood in a forest house which fostered an interest in nature, and very often a contrast between natural and urban fenomenon are present in his work. Stagnation, indecisiveness, absence and non-knowledge are frequently present themes, which are mindstates that can be associated with the displacement of the self in our age. While his work has a poetic and aesthetically pleasing presence, themes of cultural idleness are often handled with a sense of drama and humour.

 

Saarits graduated masters at the New Media Arts department at the Estonian Academy of Arts, a department focused on sound art studies. Previously he has studied installation and sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts and sound art, performance and filmmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Sten has exhibited his work and been involved with group projects in Estonia, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Lithuania. He is also a member of the sound art duo SSSS.

 

CV

 

 

EDUCATION

 

2016 - 2018  Estonian Academy of Arts / New Media Arts MA

2011 - 2015   Estonian Academy of Arts / Installation and Sculpture BA

2013 - 2014  Academy of Fine Arts Vienna / Expanded Pictorial Space Action / Kunst mit erweiterter malerischer
                       Raum-Aktion, Skulptur, Installation im öffentlichen Raum / Erasmus exchange studies

 

 

PERSONAL EXHIBITIONS

 

2021 - Dark Finitude (Post-Gallery.online)

2020 - The Wait (ARS Showroom, Tallinn)

2020 - Conversing in Absentia (Vent Space, Tallinn)

2019 - Black Gold with Edgar Tedresaar, curated by Siim Preiman (Tallinn City Gallery)

2018 - Zero G Tonic with Kristel Saan (Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn)

2016 - Spotlights / V Artishok Biennale (Theatre NO99, Tallinn)
2015 - Stuff (Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn)

2015 - My Eyes Are Going Crazy, I Am Trying To See Something But There's Nothing Here (with Erika Stöckel (SE))

(Haapsalu City Gallery, Estonia)

2014 - Phototactic Night Life (Trailer Gallery, Umeå, Sweden)

 

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2019 - Art Museum of Estonia 100. Open Collections: The Artist Takes the Floor
(with Taavi Talve) (KUMU, Tallinn)

2018 - Tase ‘18 / Master diploma works’ exhibition (Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn)
2017 - SSSSIV: Coil
(with Sven Sosnitski) (Üle Heli Festival 2017, Loewenschede Tower, Tallinn)
2017 - 5x4 - Participatory sound installation (City Festival UIT 2017, Maarja church, Tartu)
2016 - SSSSIV: Coil (Supersonicum, Viljandi, Estonia)

2016 - Terra Incognita: Familiar Infinity (KUMU / Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn)
2015 - TL;DR (Art Hall Gallery / Kunstihoone galerii, Tallinn)

2015 - SSSSIII (with Sven Sosnitski) (Estonian Academy of Arts Gallery, Tallinn)

2015 - Tase '15 / Master diploma works' exhibition (Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn)

2014 - Open(ed) Borders / Ava(tud) piirid (Estonian Academy of Arts Gallery, Tallinn)

2014 - The Homunculus Collection (Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn)

2014 - Solipsism - No More (ISFAG, Tallinn)

2014 - Ladyland Biennale 2014 at Galerie Schloss Damtschach (Kärnter, Austria)

2014 - Side Effects II (Grenoble Ancient Museum and Library building, France)

2014 - Academy Season Finale / Rundgang (Semper Depot, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria)

2013 - Bite Vilnius (Sv.Jono Str. Gallery / Vilnius, Lithuania)

2013 - Young Sculptor´s Prize Show „Dimensions Variable” (Grand Prix winner) (Vaal Gallery, Tallinn)

2013 - Global Container XXVI (Polymer Culture Factory, Tallinn)

2012 - cUMULATION / kUMULATSIOON (KUMU / Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn)

2012 - New Objecthood / Uutmoodi asjastamatus (Tartu Art House / Tartu kunstimaja, Tartu)

2012 - Re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reinventing
(with Anna-Liisa Rajamart, Nora Särak, Aili-maarja Mäeniit, Ricardo Basbaum / Raja Gallery, Tallinn)

2012 - Young Sculptor´s Prize Show / Noore Skulptori preemianäitus (Raja Gallery, Tallinn)

2012 - Sculptones / Skulptoonid (Georg Ots named musical school, Tallinn)

2012 - Perfect Forest / Perfektne mets (EKKM, Tallinn)

2012 - Host Guest Ghost #4 (Dansens Hus, Copenhagen, Denmark)

 

 

SELECTED PERFORMANCES

 

2020 - SSSS: Confluence (Üle Heli Quadrophonic Sound Evening, Tartu New Theatre, Tartu, Estonia)

2020 - "Midrange" with Jaanika Arum (ARS Project Space, Tallinn)

2019 - SSSS: Genetic Material (Üle Heli festival, ERR 1. stuudio (F.R.Kreutzwaldi 14, Tallinn), broadcasted on Klassikaraadio)

2019 - "t1RjQjDbPQ9Syp97DHFyzvgZhcjgLTMwhaq" (Experimental Art Evening at the "Kaarel Kurismaa. Yellow Light Orchestra" exhibition finissage, KUMU, Tallinn)
2018 - "Rabbit Owners’ Meeting" with Kristel Saan, animations by Egle Ehtjen (TAVA – Tartu Light Art Festival, Tartu)

2016 - SSSS live at Noisy November vol.3 (Supersonicum, Viljandi)

 

 

SELECTED COMMISIONED WORK

 

2018 The first sound and light installation of the reconstructed Tartu arch bridge. Co-authors: Liisi Kula, Martin Rästa, Roman-Sten Tõnissoo, Aivar Tõnso. Technical concept: Tipriit Valgusdisain, Audio System Design, Elinvar.

2018 4-channel outdoor sound installation and dynamic sound composition for Metro Plaza building in central Tallinn for the Estonia 100 birthday period (extended for 2019).

 

 

AWARDS AND GRANTS

 

2018 Estonian Landscape Architects’ Union’s awards. Special prize for sound art and space synthesis: The first sound and light installation of the reconstructed Tartu arch bridge. Co-authors: Liisi Kula, Martin Rästa, Roman-Sten Tõnissoo, Aivar Tõnso. Technical concept: Tipriit Valgusdisain, Audio System Design, Elinvar.
2018 Young Artist’s Prize of Faculty of Fine Arts of Estonian Academy of Arts (MA)
2014 Eduard Wiiralt scholarship / Estonian Ministry of Culture

2013 Young Sculptor Prize / Estonian Academy of Arts Department for Installation and Sculpture

2012 Young Sculptor Prize / Estonian Academy of Arts Department for Installation and Sculpture

 

 

INTERNSHIP

 

2016 Production Assistant for "Michael Portnoy: Relational Stalinism – The Musical" at the Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam.

 

 

WORKSHOPS

 

2018 Arctitsch Bliss - University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland / DAMA Express Course (Tomi Knuutila, Joaquin Contreras)

2017 Listening Visions - Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå, Sweden / KUNO Express Course (Billy Davis)

2017 The Singing Body - Iceland Academy of the Arts / Nordplus/DAMA workshop (Melkorka Sigríður, Rúnar Hlöðversson)

2013 TOFONORCH Performance Training - Malmö Art Academy / KUNO Express Course (Michael Portnoy, Ieva Miseviciute)

2013 Nordic Baltic Art School in Venice / KUNO Summer School

2013 Electric Protesters - Gallery Školska 28, Prague, Czech Republic (Stefanie Wuschitz)

2013 Over the Fence Finse – A spatial laboratory in the snow - Bergen Academy of Art and Design / KUNO Course

2013 Time Machines - Estonian Academy of Arts (Jacob Jessen)

2012 Social Intervention - Estonian Academy of Arts / KUNO Express Course (Ólafur Gíslason)

2012 Art Lab - Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts / KUNO Express Course (Ricardo Basbaum)

2012 SPATIUM. Danish Contemporary Art / KUMU (Marie Kølbæk Iversen)

 

 

RESIDENCIES
2017 MoKS Residency (Mooste, Estonia)

2017 MIMstuudio (Tallinn, Estonia)

 

 

TEACHING

2017 – 2021 - Faculty of Design of the Estonian Academy of Arts
2018, 2019, 2021 - Faculty of Fine Arts of the Estonian Academy of Arts