Ice Hockey is many different things simultaneously: brutal and graceful, chaos and choreography. It is raw athleticism and sheer luck. It is a national pastime and a family tradition. Barely a living for many players, yet a multimillion-dollar global industry. Entertainment. Work. Art.
Questions about the nature and conditions of work in the hockey industry are central to this installation. It has been designed to engage you in contemplating the forms of evaluations, observations, calculation and speculation that are part of the everyday hockey work.
Art of Hockey installation displays hockey memorabilia for an imagined team named Ukkonen, which means thunder in Finnish. The objects on display are familiar and typical – trading cards, jerseys, patches. Yet they are also speculative in that they play with the memorabilia form to suggest alternate pasts and futures. They have been designed to illustrate the rhizome of aspirations and challenges, hopes and efforts, investments and wagers to all those who make their life in ice hockey.
The objects tell a story about hockey work of players but also that of managers and coaches, of therapists and administrators, and of fans and volunteers, all of whom are invested in their team every day of every season. At the same time, the objects provoke you to engage in your analysis of hockey as work and of the forms of speculation entailed in making a winning team.
The installation is the product of a collaboration between design, discourse, anthropology and sports as a multi-modal form of social analysis and knowledge production. Each object is developed in a response to particular insights evolving from a four-year ethnography in the Finnish professional hockey as a part of Cold Rush research project.