Once upon a time, in 2000 Mia Makela saw an AV-concert from the Viennese group Farmers Manual, and got highly inspired by what she felt was a new visual language for video. Soon after she started working in the same field with the same tool. Max/Msp/Nato was provocative art software, which managed to build a loyal community of users. She was already connected to Nato by being part of fiftyfifty.org, the distributor of the software and the link grew stronger when she joined DADATA, an experimental AV-group with ONCE11, Didac P. Lagarrica and Pedro Soler. The group dissolved during Sonic Acts 2001 in Amsterdam, after which she continued as SOLU. During the early years she collaborated with various experimental musicians including Heidi Mortenson, Alex Bordanova and Dj Rupture (Jace Clayton).
She created a synthetic, though poetic style of imagery, with wide arrange of styles from video noise to multilayered compositions, and used variety of image sources, from newspaper clips to material shot with a camera from the computer screen. She created performances based for example only on still images and QTVRs, as a reference to the concept of “moving images” with audio input.
During endless sessions of video processing and working with video effects she encountered “magical” unpredicted occurrences, which turned into fascinating patterns, the basics of human life according to chaos theory. She then performed her findings similarly to a scientist, who tells about discoveries in the lab.
She has always seen herself more as a visual composer than filmmaker, as her compositions resembled more journeys than montage.
Her works include School of the Hidden Door, which dealt with the idea of a kamikaze lost in the clouds, and lost in ideologies. Remscapes was a research on the possibilities of live cinema environment, using silhuettes of dream animals in an interactive installation. Naturology was a study of our schizophrenic relationship with nature. Nine was a performance with Kate Pendry and Hildur Guddnadottir, presenting 9 oracles following the tradition of female role as the foreseer in the ancient Greece.
Around 2006 she started to get more and more interested in the narrative possibilities in a live cinema performance. Kaamos Trilogy, a performance that took shape during 2007-09, shot in her childhood village during the dark days of winter, is a fairytale about illumination and the figure of a guru, shaped by the balance between darkness and light. Kaamos Trilogy is an obvious homage to Tarkovsky, and his writings about the poetic design of being. She collaborated with Barcelona based musician Miguel Marin (Arbol) with whom she performed Kaamos around Europe.
Makela published Kaamos Trilogy on DVD in 2010, and it is distributed by HAMACA and AV-ARKKI.
She has also worked with the concept of Remix and remade works in collaboration with directors Pedro Almodovar and Leslie Thornton. Her latest remix was Geheimnisse einer Seele, a psychoanalytic silent movie from G.W.Pabst, with Mia Zabelka and Zahra Mani as collaborators.
Another of her interests has been narration of abstraction and micro visuals. In her collaboration with Rebekah Wilson, the starting point for the performance A History of Mapmaking was a single dot, which grew to resemble the whole universe, projected onto Wilson and her cello.
Some of the highlights of her performing experiences have been Sonar in Barcelona and Exit festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, for their massive scale, although some of the most rewarding performances have been more intimate; one example being 320x240 event on the Island of Vis, at the former military camp of Tito, and the first edition of Mapping festival in Geneva for the spatial set-up of screens.
During 2005 growing activity as a workshop leader led her to investigate and write a thesis on live cinema, which would also function as workshop material. “Live cinema – Elements and Language” thesis was published in 2006 from the Helsinki University of Arts and Design, and was widely distributed around the world. After the publication she edited a special issue on live cinema for a:minima magazine and curated DVD-collection and live cinema event for Mediateca of Caixforum in Barcelona. During the following year she also curated an AV-selection for Sonar festival.
Her first workshop – VJ-workshop for girls- took place in 2003 in a remote village in Catalunya, although the gender division didn’t stay strict. After that she has given workshops for hundreds of participants and given lectures around the world including Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, Gent, Helsinki, Mexico City, Galgary, Vancouver, Bremen, Ljubljana, Banff, Perth, Sao Paolo, Berlin, Bucharest, Rotterdam, Porto, Montreal, Brussels and Los Angeles.