Kettlebell History Goes Back Much Further Than Russia (2016) Nick English.

In 1981, The Official Kettlebell Commission was formed [USSR], which advocated (but didn’t enforce) mandatory kettlebell training for all workers.

Felkar more or less agrees that Pavel’s marketing was extremely influential in spreading kettlebells as a fitness tool. She likens him to Eugen Sandow: he wasn’t the first guy to excel at bodybuilding, but he was a marketing genius who lay a lot of the groundwork for today’s world.

A civil servant missing most of his brain challenges our most basic theories of consciousness (2016) Olivia Goldhill.

Darwin Grosse’s Art + Music + Technology feels like an interesting podcast series. Listened to the chat with Michael Hetrick. Fun and nerdy.

Guerrilla Public Service Redux (~ 2017) a happy story of artist Richard Ankrom’s infra-art activities from 2001. A positive narrative. The same strategies of using uniforms to disguise guerrilla actions are still actively used.

Deep Decay – Into Diachronic Polychromatic Material Fictions (2017) Andy Weir. A difficult but informative text. Deep time Marxism feels like a fresh and fun approach/addition to the discussion. I should continue making melancholic downbeat electro (I’m dreaming of a drum machine).

As philosopher Ben Woodard has pointed out, the radical futurity invoked by the eco-crisis remains largely wedded to an anthropocentric horizon—understood in terms of “our children” and future generations. The deep geological repository, however, embodies not only a call to future generations, captured as a narrative of protection in the film [Into Eternity (2010)], but also a more radical confrontation with the death of human thought, and so its contingency alongside nuclear timescales.

If the more radical futurity of the eco crisis, alluded to by Woodard, can be understood as the further and scientific removal of the human from the centre of the universe, then the deep geological repository registers and deepens this germ of trauma.

The deep geological repository, as site of activity and its operational conditions, presents a specific kind of problem, one that necessitates what Jussi Parikka has called for in a media archaeology that he aligns with art practice, “the investigation of the mineral and substrate materialities as well as the materialities of production, management of global labour processes, and various other materialities that are always entangled”.

Art can be an experimental platform for building multiple “diachronic material fictions” that think the deep geological repository as futurology, excavating its political stake. From one perspective, this is important as artists are stakeholders in an ongoing industry consultation process, demanding critical reflection on what this could mean beyond the instrumentalisation of making seductively stunning images. From another perspective, our understanding of the “contemporary” of contemporary art is subject to traumatic reconfiguration, amplified alongside inhuman scale, refracted through multiple interface methods. Finally, developing the ideas of thinkers such as Parikka, who proposes “concrete and long-term investment in geological times of media as crucial for processes of subjectivation”, we can consider what it means to think production and circulation of these fictions as constitutive of radical, processes of subjectification, opened and cut across by deep time.


Experimenting with Inoareader. I’m disappointed with Feedly‘s curatorial algorithms. Apparently the free version only fetched posts from 100 sites! Inoareader’s UI is buggy (adding new feeds work better online) but it has more features and fever limitations.

Working out with Kristian in preparation for Kontula Electronic gig. As a day job I’m busy with SOW: Blacksmith. Develloped a straightforward sample editing workflow on Logic X (trim, chop to bars/beats, [quantize], EQ, fix peaks, bounce in place, export as .wav, repeat). Also learning how to clean noise with RX 5.

Adam Szetela’s short on bodybuilding The Anticapitalist Bodybuilder.

For many men, the promise of a better life in the city was laden with the new problems of urban work: mental exhaustion, a feeling of separation from one’s body, boredom, and a lack of freedom in one’s work.
The once pervasive artisanal, craft, and agricultural forms of labor idealized by popular turn-of-the-century authors and orators like Walt Whitman and William James became nostalgic objects of the past for a new and predominantly male middle-class workforce.

In response to the changing nature of labor, men like America’s first physical educator, Harvard professor Dudley Sargent, created “mimetic exercises” for middle-class workers.

[…] the gym offered well-to-do men a cultural space where labor could again be rewarding and intrinsically valuable, instead of alienating and externally oppressive. […] This kind of work, Sandow explains in his 1894 training manual, has a “bracing effect on the mind and an enlivening influence on the spirits.”

Self-fulfillment, wholeness of mind and body, control over one’s body, and ownership of one’s labor and the products of one’s labor speak to the kinds of activities that all of us find meaningful.

Early supporters of the physical culture movement, like socialist and The Jungle author Upton Sinclair, not only built their bodies. They built movements to stop owners from turning work into what it is today. […] many bodybuilders fought to both tame capitalism and offer an alternative vision of social relations and labor. The struggle was, and is, not just about better wages and more benefits, but better jobs.


About to Dance: Swing of Politics (2008) Pia Lindy.

Alas there is hope. I’m planning to join the Miesten kurssi contemporary dance course at Zodiak.

Useful stuff for the “Performance and Media” course at Kankaanpää Art School and upcoming Kettlebell techno art: Building a Better Body: Male Bodybuilding, Spectacle and Consumption (1999) Jon Stratton.

The worker may spend her or his workweek laboring in a factory […] but when she or he goes to the shop to buy something the commodity being bought does not remind the workers of her or his labor and does not seem to have an origin outside the shop. The consequence is that social relations in capitalist society are mediated by commodities rather then thought of as a consequence of the organization of labor in capitalism. In short, the commodity is naturalized.

At the Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition [1893] two events took place that, retrospectively, may be understood as important moments […] of the spectacularization of the female and male bodies […] One was the first performance of belly dancing […] [which] marked an important step in the development of the striptease […]

It is at this historical moment that we find a new interest in the display of the male body. [Florenz] Ziegfeld promoted [Eugen] Sandow not as the world’s strongest, but as the world’s best-developed man’ […] Sandows’ act now hardly involved any feats of strength. Rather, it consisted of a series of poses. (More on Sandow)

The key to the spectacle of Sandow […], lies in the promotional description of Sandow as the world’s best-developed man. […] the male body was associated with productive labor, men being thought of ideologically as workers. The spectacle of the bodybuilding male body condensed and narrativized a story that involves labor, the natural, the manufactured and the commodity and that may be understood through Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism […] In modern Western thought, development has utopian ring to it. It connects with the ideas of progress, of modernization brought about by building or rebuilding and , ultimately with the idea of ‘developed countries’.

The commodified world is thought of as fundamentally unnatural […] satisfaction brought by these commodities is a consequence of their connection to a regime of fantasy […]. For the satisfaction to be realized, the desire must be naturalized, which means that the fantasy must, itself, take on a natural quality. […] In this context we can understand the bodybuilding body as mythically [Q: Mythically in regards to what? Walter Benjamin’s ‘mythical violence’?] attempting to combine the natural and the unnatural. […] the developed body, the bodybuilt body, is manufactured worked on by labor.

[…] the bodybuilt body seeks to resolve the unnatural, in the sense of the manufactured, into the natural. […] it asserts its production, offering itself, like a commodity, as a spectacle to be desired; not necessarily to be ‘acquired,’ by way of emulation […] but to be consumed as a spectacular creation of labor. Here, then, we have a narrative about labor. […] the body is transformed by its own labor into a manufacture body, which is at the same time, both natural and unnatural, simply a body but also a spectacle and a commodity.

[…] the myth of the bodybuilt body is premised on the idea that bodies can be (re)made. […]

Underlying the development of bodybuilding as a spectacle is the conceptual history of the body as a machine. […] During the nineteenth century the machinic understanding of the body was modified to that of a productive engine […] which produced, conserved and used up energy.

Toward the end of the nineteenth century the body began to be thought of as a machinic product rather than a machine of production. […] Anthony Synnott, noting that the first Model T Fords were produced in 1907, argues that ‘the automobile transformed thinking about the body’. However, this gets the relation the wrong way around. The car provided the ideal metaphor for the body, thought of as machine, but now being thought of also as a product/commodity.

[…] ‘the term ‘body maintenance’ indicates the popularity of the machine metaphor of the body. Like cars and other consumer goods, bodies, require servicing, regular care and attention to preserve maximum efficacy.

Cars are a means of transport, likewise bodies transport the person –that is, the mind, the privileged portion in the Cartesian dyad– through their lives.

[…] Arnold Schwarzenegger describes his attitude towards building his body: ‘You work your body the way a sculptor would work on a piece of clay or wood or steel. You rough it out –the more carefully and thoroughly, the better– then you start to cut and define. You work it down gradually until it’s  ready to be rubbed and polished’. Here Schwarzenegger thinks of his body as an artistic product rather than a commercial product […].

[…] the connection with art was not new. When Sandow appeared in ‘Adonis’ [musical], the New York newspapers described him as ‘having the beauty of a work of art’ […] The claim that the bodybuilt body is a work of art legitimates its development for the purpose of display. Unlike art, commodities are expected to be functional, to have a purpose beyond that of spectacular display.

[…] in 1898, Sandow started a magazine titled Physical Culture. In his first editorial Sandow described the ultimate aim of physical culture as ‘to raise the average standard of the race as a whole’.

Here [at the Gym] assembly-line practices are used to rebuild the body bit by bit. If the mirrored walls of the gym allow self-inspection, film enables others to inspect. Here it is the labor process itself that is inspected […].

The new understanding of the body –in particular the male body– as a product, rather than simply a producer of products, was fundamental to the development of bodybuilding. […] the male bodybuilt body started to be generalized, something exemplified in the popularity of films starring male bodybuilders from the mid-1970s.

The bodybuilt body is alienated from the self, a product that can be worked on and examined in a mirror […]. As [Alan] Klein sums it up: ‘Alienation is, in [bodybuilding], brought to new heights. The self is distinguished from the body, the body beaten into submission. Richard Dyer puts it like this: ‘The point is that muscles are biological, hence ‘natural’ and we persist in habits of thought, especially in the area of sexuality and gender, whereby what can be show to be natural must be accepted as given and inevitable… However developed muscularity –muscles that show– is not in truth natural at all, but is rather archived’.

The naturalization of the male bodybuilt body in the twentieth-century West operates in the context of the naturalization of consumerism and of the commodities that are consumed. In this process the labor power that manufactures the product is mustified. The traditional gendering of the bodybuilt body as male is, among other things, a function of the ideological claim that the commercial labor is a male domain. […] Like the consumer who hopes that the purchase of a commodity will improve her or his life, the bodybuilder hopes that his labor will improve his body as he develops it. Here, the distinction between production and consumption is elided as the bodybuilder acquires his rebuild body.