20220516

We build a kiln with Elina and Monika. The construction was simple. Old bricks formed a square base for the fire (~40x40x20) with a half-a-brick size vent on the side opposing the opening. Bricks were laid to form a ~60cm shaft and a steel grill built in the middle. We used ceramic tiles on top of the grill to support the ten(ish) items we burned. The shaft was covered with a steel plate to keep the temperature. The opening had a partial brick door and holes in the kiln walls were filled using a clay/sand mixture for insulation. I had small bellow for building up temperature and a electric fan for building high heats (from Jesse).

The firing had three phases. 2 hours low heat using only wood as the fuel (this failed as the temperature rise too fast breaking an item), 2 hours of medium heat with more wood and energy form the bellow pumping up the temperature and 2 hours extreme heat with charcoal and the electric fan for extreme temperatures. We suspect we reached temperatures above 1100°C because a store bought glazing designated for 1050°C we used was burned. Some pieces which were closest to the heat also burned and showed charred glazed like surfaces, indicating the clay turned into lava.

While heating we practised forging using scrap metal bits and rail track for an anvil.

It took a day to build the kiln and prepare the firewood and a day for the firing. The items were left cooling over night. We used various clays and mixtures for the objects but clay from Kurängen spring worked best. We suspect it has sand particles in it which prevent extreme shrinkage, helping the items to not break in the heating. A thick jug I made from clay (partially found from the basin of the spring and three meters north east from it) is thick enough that contains water even without glazing.

We will do a new firing next month for glazing and making new things. For the glazing we’ll use a 1:2 ash and 1:2 clay mixture. The ash is from wood produced by the first burning and the clay from Kurängen. I’m in the process of washing the ash. The recipe and science comes from Phil Berneburg. We’ll build a bigger kiln and aim for a steadier pre-heating phase.

Using clay from a spring, to drink its water completes and begins a ritual a geoartistic-cycle. It feels powerful and I love that the process of preparing clay objects is thoroughly holistic: Using ashes from the first burning for the second burning glazing feels like a gaiaistic design. We also prepared small cups, which I’ll built a wooden tray for. The long term plan is deposit the items submerged into the Kurängen spring water, were they can be used by visitors and forest dwellers. The design of the items is utilitarian. The cups which we made don’t have any straight edges, which works well for the forest as it does not have any straight edges either.

A visit to the spring in long due. I should groom the garden of peat I planted.

20220511

There are a few statues depicting Lenin in public spaces in Finland. I don’t care much for them, they look boring but I get a melancholic vibe in their presence. They feel like puzzles or glitches which echo desires from a past, in a language I don’t understand. They feel displaced and lonely.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, there has been an urgent push to remove all references to Lenin from public spaces. Turku is having their minuscule Lenin bust, situated at the corner of a silent street removed and Kotka is planning the same. Helsinki has a park called Lenin’s park which might get renamed. There might be others too.

Right-wing conservative politicians in Turku argue that their statue is due to removal because it “depicts an undemocratic and tragic phase in history, which does not manifest the developing cities strategy or the humane values of contemporary Turku city” (A loose translation of a statement by Turku major Minna Arve). Their critique does not extend to statues depicting different Russian tsars or Swedish kings. They want Lenin removed because it reminds them of communism.

Their argumentation is populistic and manifest the spite which past right-wing generations felt over the achievements of organized labour movement.  Moreover, the project is an attempt to evade discussing present day political relations and ties with Russia. Debating the removal of a statue is a convenient way to evade guilt over the fact that we –as the west we were– enabled Putin’s regime to emerge.

This evasion is useful for the present day Finnish politicians, who have leaned on Putin’s Russia and benefited economically from its exploitative and corrupted regime. For example Turku Energy was invested in the Fennovoima/Rosatom nuclear initiative and remained onboard in the project despite the Russian invasion of Crimea. Similarly National Coalition Party politicians have been acceptive to Russian oligarch investments (and a lot Finnish companies still operate in Russia), past Social Democratic Party leaders have worked for Nord Stream II lobbies and Centre Party leaders have taken positions in Russian banks and institutions.

The manner which the statues of a past communist figurehead is discussed, portrays them as been erected by an invading force. They were not. We did it because wanted to. It felt like a good idea at the time. Similarly, we have not been coerced into working with Putin – We took him as an opportunity and this backfired.

Removing a Lenin statue is much easier than removing the stench of failed business deals. The attention they are receiving is a symptom of diminishing political agency. People feel powerless, that they cannot change the current system. They are taking revenge on an image of past communist leader, because this is easier then figuring out why establishing liberal economical ties with the Russia state failed in developing a democratic society.  Lenin has a few theories as to why… #☭

20220429

The middle-class punishes the overachiever. #☭ Environmental anxiety was popularized at the same time as hygge became a thing. They are the same. Environmental anxiety is a form of class consciousness, its a simmering hunch of the costs of hygge.

Presented a performance at a Kritiikki näkyy [Visible Critique] seminar and was interviewed on stage by Aleksi Salusjärvi (before the event by Maaria Ylikangas). The seminar was nice and I enjoyed learning how different authors approach climate matters. Class was not referred during the panels and I ended up agitating the crowd towards a global eco-social revolution. In the heat of the moment I framed it as a responsibility shared by people living in the global north. This came off as an severe symptom of a white-saviour complex and spoiled my attempt to emerge as a recovering survivalist. But still, I think moving away from environmental anxiety towards joined political movement is needed. During the seminar I realized that environmental anxiety is a reactionary political expression and that it is inviting to ecofasism (discussed in a recent episode of  DEATH // SENTENCE).

Eco-socialistic strategies for organization (self-governed small organizations syndicating in an effort to establish a global constitution which would make all forms off oppression impossible) offer a different stance to previous saviour-complexes ridden attempts to address climate change.

A project I struggled with for the past two years Personal Decamerone was published as a essay in No-Niin Issue 10. Feels great and I’m honoured of the portrait Jani Ikonen drew of me. Elham worked hard to shape the text, so that it would better help expand the horizon of possible sexual expressions (in the cis male domain I occupy). Looking back the first drafts read like a hate-letter (to myself).

20220421

Finland recruits all adult males into national military service lasting 180-365 days. After completing service conscripts join the reserve and this arrangement makes the hypothetical war time strength of the Finnish Defence Forces 280 000 soldiers. If we were to join NATO, which I don’t think we should. We must make the national military service an optional choice. Mandatory service in a NATO country is a horrible idea. It would drive young conscripts to pursue military careers in NATO operations, most of which have disastrous.

Why not join NATO? Because NATO has not changed. Every reason ever spoken against joining is still valid. What has changed is how the Russian state behaves. But this does not make NATO any different, it’s the same world-policing military alliance it was designed to be when conceived. It’s acceptive to dictators, conservative extremist pushing against democratic development and succumbing to the imperial desires of the the United States. It is a post-modern crusade, which our right wing political leaders and generals, are eager to partake in as it would be beneficial for establish ties with the west. The west they desire to join is an unmanned drone craft floating above, observing and punishing.

If Finland joins it, I will actively campaign against mandatory national military service. We will have to change our constitution – Perhaps dismantle our “defence force” all together. By the looks of it, in NATO we wouldn’t need military forces at all. We’d have nuclear weapons at arms reach, which seems to be the only asset that counts. I’m a corporal in the marines (in a unit which no longer exists), it won’t make much difference but if we join I’ll resign from the reserve.

20220416

I finally assembled the Arradio revision I’ve been working on for a month. Its a great piece of gear and the revision adds a lot to the original. The reception using a SMA connector and telescope antenna is way better than with the RCA connector that the original used, the latch toggle works as expected and the tuning is very accurate. The module is skiff friendly and 4hp wide (2hp smaller then the original). I named the revision “Radio Kid” so that if the design has problems it will not be mixed with the original Arradio. I’ve had very positive exchange with the designer of the original and I hope they will approve of my revision.

It took while for the PCB to arrive and I had made mistakes which took some figuring out (pot-reversed, missing 100k transistor). I will rework the PCB design to fit some components better. The U.FL-R-SMT(10) connector is in the way of the RCA connector, which isn’t a problem if only the SMA/antenna is used but it is an easy fix. The panel holes need to be moved a millimetre to the left because the bottom-pcb solder-points are too close to the edge of the unit. The optional RCA connector space is too tight and I want to design a narrow (2hp) panel (also in 1u) which can be used as an alternative mount the antenna, so that it wont be in the way.

I’m really happy that the panel design works as well as it does. The SMA mount hole was made by milling a C shape that can be snapped off to fit the connector. I placed credits to Arradio (and Befaker) on PCB as silkscreen. For the next revision I will make silkscreen drawing of a kids hand toggling a radio tuner in the back of the PCBs. I credited the revision design to Ore.e Refineries.