Ptarmigan is now closed.

Ptarmigan operated in Tallinn from 2011-2014. We no longer maintain any presence in Tallinn, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced at Ptarmigan during these years.


We call Ptarmigan a 'project space' and we like recurring events that can build on existing experiences. Many of our events fall under one or more of these projects. We're always open to proposals for new projects as well as new events under existing themes.

Avatud Toimingud / Opening Operations is a monthly series during summer 2014, organised as part of Migrating Art Academies, that seeks to peel back the curtains over cultural organisation and share new perspectives on the topic. Each month, a representative from an Estonian cultural organisation will present an overview of their activities -- not just their public programmes, but the raw numbers and materials of their day-to-day operations, financially and logistically. We will investigate a specific challenge or problem that they must regularly address, and have a group discussion about alternative methodologies.

Avatud Toimingud aims to explore not only financial sustainability, but to reimagine concepts relating to art and culture production such as work/labour, identity, and collaboration.

Avatud Toimingud and Migrating Art Academies are supported by the Eesti Kultuuriministeerium.

Axis of Praxis is a joint residency programme shared between MoKS (Mooste) and Ptarmigan (Tallinn).

The programme will offer the possibility to research and develop work in and between two distinctly different contexts within Estonia. MoKS is located in a village in rural south Estonia and Ptarmigan in the capital city of Tallinn. MoKS is an organisation run by artists and researchers, with experience in organising a diverse program of residencies, art symposia, projects, workshops and more. Ptarmigan is an event-driven organisation that focuses on trans-disciplinary projects, building participatory culture and social practices.

We are currently seeking applications for 2014; please apply through the MoKS website. The programme is only possibly for residents of Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and the Faroe Islands so do not both applying if you are not a legal resident of one of these countries.

Liminal Images is a monthly film and video night that looks at the transformative movements in film culture in the 20th century, specifically in the realm of experimental cinema.  Each month, we will screen selections from a time before the moving image was all-pervasive (ie: nothing from the YouTube era, and only early, experimental video work). These films will range from classics of early 20th century surrealism to 1960’s agit-prop, structuralist and material cinema, and other such (anti-) classics.  

The book Film as a Subversive Art by Amos Vogel will be the bible of Liminal Images, though it’s not an exclusive guide.  Though the majority of the work we will show was created for the celluloid format, practical limitations mean that we will be screening video transfers of films, often sourced from bootleg or other illegitimate means.  Liminal Images is intended to explore the underground history of cinema and shine a light onto the language of contemporary moving image techniques.

During Liminal Images events you may see work by filmmakers such as Hollis Frampton, Maya Deren, Carmelo Bene, Philippe Garrel, Dusan Makavejev, Peter Gidal, Yvonne Rainer, John Whitney, Stan Brakhage, Shûji Terayama, Christopher Maclaine, Ken Jacobs, Jonas Mekas, Joris Ivens, and George Landow (among others).

Migrating Art Academies (MigAA) is a platform for innovation and exchange in arts teaching and research. It is a network of universities and associated partners across Europe (including Finland, France, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, UK, Russia and other countries). The model uses the concept of migration – of resources, people, competencies, disciplines – as a method of producing knowledge which aspires to expand traditional educational systems. Since 2008 MigAA has developed a distributed model for networking and communication based on creative laboratories, including workshops, conferences and public presentations. The MigAA network is forming a strong international expert and tutor board.

Ptarmigan has participated in MigAA laboratories since January 2013.

Strange Meetings Club celebrates the diversity of the urban landscape, the will of participants, and shifts in perspectives due to place and space. At each strange meeting we will have a gathering, discussion or other form of interaction led by a guest host. We will hold these meetings in times and places that are not "normal" for people to gather for group interaction. We might meet on top of Linnahall at 3:31 AM on a Tuesday to improvise music together; we might assemble in the center of Viru Keskus on a Thursday morning to have a discussion about post-modern literary theory. We might gather in the parking lot of a Rimi to play board games, or we might go to a gas station in Mustamäe to share stories from our childhoods while the sun rises.

Strange Meetings Club attempts to recontextualise the urban environment explicitly around the choice to meet with (semi-) strangers for no apparent reason besides the novelty of it. Bonus points are awarded for when the location can be relevant to the topic, of course. And we'll do this only while the weather is good. If you have an idea for a strange meeting, please fill out our proposals form and choose 'Strange Meetings Club' as the project.

Residencies have been central to Ptarmigan's activities since day one, back in Helsinki when we started in 2009. Our residency programme has attempted to be both flexible and stable, to reflect the chaotic nature of culture production in the current age while simultaneously being hopefully more than a quotidian CV-building 'art hotel' experience.

Ptarmigan Tallinn offered a funded residency platform for Nordic/Baltic artists in 2012 and 2013, which was sponsored by Kulturkontakt Nord's Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme. This programme ended in 2013 though our Axis of Praxis shared residency programme with MoKS continues into 2014. The application period for Axis of Praxis is now closed.

Fo other residencies we cannot offer any funds or support beyond our enthusiasm and what we can scrape together of our non-monetary resources, but we are enthusiastic about mobility and having an international presence. If you have an idea for a short-term project that would work in a residency setting, please feel free to contact us.

Undo Lab is the inverse current to Done Lab, a fluid umbrella around processes that resist conclusions, definitions or results. Undo Lab activities seek to open, not close; these activities may involve collaboration, deconstruction, or disassembling in group situations. This is not the bizarro ugly sibling of Done Lab, but rather the necessary parallel process; a place for experimentation, where the emphasis is on experiments and attempts, rather than a cohesive output.

Clip Kino' events are self-organised screening events of short video clips & documentaries found online. It aims to drag aspects of normalised 'private' activity - of viewing downloaded content on one's own computer - into public space for screening, appreciation and debate. 'Media-environmental awareness' applies to include the social ecology of one's interests, desires, and attentions in one's peer-group and community.

Done Lab is a temporary space focused on making undone things "done".

A series of activities will comprise Done Lab, for anyone who struggles with unfinished letters, art, relationships, projects, writings, crafts, academic work, or other not suitably implemented ideas. Everyone (individuals and groups) is invited to come along, and in a supportive environment, find encouragement to make a new sense out of the unfinished past, in the reflective context of the present. Done Lab doesn't maintain ideas which are insensitive to current influences, not will matters be strictly implemented in already known, presumed, trite manner. Done Lab can deliver a working space (most likely in the Ptarmigan area), mental support, crew members, advice, and whatever else is needed and available to make things done. All processes will be carefully reflected upon and pushed until the very end.

The activities of Done Lab are spread among:

  • UNFINISHED SCREENINGS : screenings of film and video work which has been never finished, often in conjunction with Clip Kino. A detailed schedule is announced on a regular basis. Already screened programes are: Film Icons, Bad Movies, Documentaries and Open Screen.
  • DONE KINO : Done Kino is the first Kino Kabaret event in Tallinn, Estonia. It takes place between 10-16 August 2013 (with a warm up event on 9 August). Done Kino, unlike other Kino events, asks its participants to use existing raw film/video material as an inherent part of the projects and to mix, reshape, and reinterpret it with other participating Kinoites. The philosophy is not about finishing already existing projects, but more about treating outdated or 'excess' footage as an tool for collaborative movie-making. Done Kino also allows raw footage to be submitted without one's personal participation in the event. Read more here
  • DONE MEETINGS : Done Lab itself is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Since there is no schedule when the things should be done, you can pop-up anytime by sending a short email notice in advance. We can dream then about making ideas happen, share the stories about our progress towards 'done', become encouraged or discouraged, try to find solutions for fighting procrastination, or just simply work on things separately (or together) in the motivating silence of other delayed projects-in-process.
  • DONE VISITS : Done Lab invites people living both in Tallinn and remote locations for short term visits to the Ptarmigan space during which they can fully focus on doing their undone, simultaneously feeling free to be influenced by and to influence this temporary environment. These visitors will be announced on a pop-up, as-neeed basis.

Fake It Til You Make It is a workshop/working group for those curious individuals looking to broaden their experience and skill-set. Each session of FITYMI will be on a different subject which could fall under areas of expertise such as construction, making, baking, electronics, mechanics, cooking, jewelry, physics, plants, and whatever else can be imagined. It is the purpose of the workshop to learn new things for the sake of learning and it is for this reason that participants will only discover the subject of each session upon arriving to the workshop. During each meeting there is a short talk about the subject and how to accomplish the objective of the FITYMI session followed by participants choosing how to proceed (experimenting with materials, accomplishing a project, discussion and/or playing) with food available at some point during the workshop.


To cover the expenses of materials and food for the workshop participants are asked to ‘pay what you can’.  We'll have food to share at the end while we reflect on what we made.

Running/organizing the workshop is Justin Tyler Tate who instructs other workshops such as 'Fast and Raw' - Intermediate sushi and Under Your Skin (Tattooing Workshop). Tate has a Bachelors degree in Fine Art, a Doctorate in electronics and has an insatiable curiosity for new materials, techniques and ways of making.

GFYP is a free, monthly variety show at Ptarmigan Tallinn.  GFYP celebrates diversity, ecleticism, obscurity, and obfuscation.  Roughly each month we will bring together three or four acts from different disciplines.  At a GFYP you are likely to encounter music, performance art, presentations, video, discussions, and interventions.  

Each monthly manifestation of GFYP will take on a different form, the name divined via a mystical process that is one part Oulipo, one part I Ching.  The July 2011 event Germ Free Youth Party was the genesis, from which all subsequent titles will be generated.  Our hope is that as the title of the event evolves, the cultural cloud surrounding it will similarly develop.

Hobielektroonikaring "Elektron" is a regular working group for DIY hardware enthusiasts.  Everyone is welcome to participate if you are interested in physical computing, open-source hardware hacking and related topics.  The Arduino technology is particularly focused on.

Elektron will meet at least once a month, in a format that is a working group, workshop, and learning environment.  Everyone is welcome; lack of previous experience is not an obstacle. However, if you have any prior experience, then please share it with the others!

Bring your laptop and anything else you might want to work on.  We will get some Arduino hardware, breadboards, and other items and have them available for sale to participants.

Hobilabor on tehnoloogia, disaini ja kunsti blogi, mis tutvustab Eestis ja mujal maailmas tehtud projekte ning ideid. Ühtlasi on Hobilabor mobiilne hackerspace, kus korraldatakse töötubasid robotite ja süntesaatorite ehitamisest kuni interaktiivsete keskkondade ja tarkade rõivaste arendamiseni välja.

Labyrinths and Rings is an ongoing series at Ptarmigan that features artists, musicians, filmmakers, cultural producers, or any other creative practitioner presenting their work to our audience. The guests will make short presentations of their work and practice, which is followed by a moderated question and answer session/discussion. 

All L&R events will feature either a DJ or live background music, and food will be served according to a different theme for each night. 

If you are passing through Tallinn and would be interested in presenting your work at a Labyrinths and Rings night, please contact us and propose your ideas.

Sketch Night is based on a simple idea: we get together and draw! Anyone (any skill level) who wants to come and do some drawing in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere is welcome to join us. (Don't forget to bring your own drawing materials, and feel free to bring snacks to share.)

As Paul Klee said, "A drawing is simply a line going for a walk." It's time to walk the line.

Svamp is a regularly-scheduled workshop for music improvisation. It does not involve money, careers or obligations -- only interpersonal and sound relationships. Svamp sessions may range from collective improvisation to directed exercises or game-playing. You do NOT have to be a professional or trained musician -- just something with an interest in sound, an open mind, and the ability to listen. If you would like to join Svamp, please contact Ptarmigan via email with a brief description of your musical background/interests.

John Cage turns 100 in 2012, and all manner of events are underway for a worldwide celebration. At Ptarmigan, we'll be hosting ongoing meetings that will investigate his numerous writings, theories, and compositions. The Tallinn Cage group is organised around the model that Cage's ideas are openings and portals into creative practice; we will begin as a reading group, but hopefully delve into interpretations and performances as the year progresses.

The group is open to all!  For more information, see The Cage Centennial.