Beef & guns & other necessities
The information screens in the Helsinki metro stations display the estimated arrival of the next train, as well as the destination. Since there is only one metro line, the destination doesn't really change that much and the trains usually come within a couple of minutes anyway. The information displayed is of course important, but there is obviously plenty of time and space for some other kind of information as well.
In the work the normal texts in the information screens are now and then replaced with texts referring to different things that are being imported to Finland and exported from Finland. The texts are also indicating where the things are coming from and going to. A new pair of text appears every half minute and stays up for 10 seconds. The text collection consists of approximately 100 examples of imported and exported goods; the juxtapositions are constructed randomly by a computer program.
The work emphasizes Finland's part in the global trade. It draws attention to the complex global interdependencies and economic relations by presenting unexpected textual juxtapositions; the audience waiting for the train is confronted with some puzzling announcements in the middle of their daily routine.