Wrote a detailed summary (in Finnish) of my art-camp contribution for 12-18 year old kids from Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna children’s art schools. Added links to Peggy Pierrots talkshop-guidelines and referred to Poste Restante. The title “Postructuralism for Kids -lecture” brings a smile to my face.
Neighborizome project development is in a mid development crisis. Nothing threatening but we need to find more sensible ways in to work together. We drafted a budget for next year.. If everything goes as planned we’ll publish a booklet and host a miniature performance art festival in the spring of 2018. Things will be confirmed next week.
Through this collaboration I’ve come to understand of my personal shortcomings as a project manager. Instead of engaging in negotiations which would be rooted on clearly articulated opinions, I tend to continue addressing questions I have issues with for as long as it takes for the group to address them the way I prefer – This way I inadvertently assume indirect control of the discussions, without clarifying and assuming responsibility for my intents. This style of management is rooted in collective low budget production culture (typical for performance art in Finland) where members have strong creative opinions and they don’t have the resources to challenge their beliefs. When issues are continually re-address the aims and shape of the artwork (or project) is address as a series of tasks which fit within milestones and deadlines (instead of creative intents and visions). As a result the project will be lead by the person who invest the most in task solving and this seldom makes for good art.
Vili Mustalampi performed well at the Kom-theater sound night at Vuotalo. I haven’t listened to the recording yet. I think the Mitä kuulu+ (for Ihme-days) & Kutsu projects which focused on the changes in city soundscapes are now complete. I’m not completely satisfied on how things went. The 48min documentary I made is a tad too long and unfocused and unfortunately I haven’t found anyone who would be interested in publishing it. I should share it more boldly to people I imagine would like it.
Visited Ihme-days cocktail party. Came late but managed to meet with Jonna. Had a fun chat about bread with Otto Karvonen.
Visited Hybrid Matter symposium at TeaK last Thursday. Jennifer Gabrys gave a talk concerning animals as sensors. She referenced projects that had embedded animals with sensory technologies to collect data on weather conditions, migration routes etc. The approach is of interest for our Trans-Horse project. We’ve investigated the possibility to set the horse’s views and environmental requirements as a premise of urban planning in hopes of crafting more environmentally engaged and versatile environments. Gabrys approach was critical and she argued the majority of animal aided data is used to confirm human perceptions. She is currently working in a project called citizensense.net. Her talk gave me the idea to use the horse care-journals of the Mounted police of Helsinki as data to study city development!
Steen Rasmussen gave an interesting talk about BINC economics (bio-, info-, nano- and cogno.). His talk was a useful reminder of the historical importance of the middle class: The empowered, wealthy and democratic middle class of the last century was a unique historical glitch and automation of labor is it’s biggest threat. He was optimistic about 3d printing and other “new” manufacturing technologies and urged the audience to engage with new technologies open mindedly. Unfortunately many new technologies categorically renunciate agency of the makers. This renunciation is embedded in modern worldviews – Factories and 3d printers are equally bad! There are no new technologies.. New tools fuel the same old colonization. After the symposiums I came across the concept of Critical Making which I’ll have to study more. Critical Making seems to fit many Ore.e Refineries projects neatly.
On Friday I joined a dinner organized by the Union for Rural Culture and Education. The dinner completed my involvement with the Grey Cube Gallery project. I was seated next to Päivi and sound artist Petri Kuljuntausta. Kuljuntausta was kind enough to share field recording techniques and motivated me to continue with sonic experimentations. We talked about the Ihme audio-guide project I completed last spring and he had some ideas on whom to contact concerning the future of the project. I had to leave the dinner early as I rushed to Turku. On the buss I read some of Kuljuntaustas texts on sound art. He has used a KaossPad in his live setup.
In Turku I met with Jesse and we made 232 separate machine/tool sounds and two binaural recording at his smithy (The binaural equipment is on loan from Circus Maximus). The recording went as planned and we worked on site for eight hours. The majority of the sounds are high pitched and we’ll possibly make additional recordings next year. Jesse had the idea of fitting the smithys floor with piezo microphones, so that we could hear the bottom end sounds. We’ll likely call this sample-pack “Sound of Work: Blacksmith vol.1”. I’ll demo the sounds for Jesse next weekend.
I’m meeting students from the Kankaanpää Art School online this week to discuss their upcoming graduate exhibition and art projects. Also met with Antoine Pickels concerning possible Trans-Horse engagements next year.
Found some text concerning on spiritualism and electricity. “The Spiritual Telegraph and the relation between body and electricity in Spiritualism” is an overview on how science of electricity was used foundations of a new spiritualistic movement. “Spiritualism and Electromagnetism” offers a detailed look on how scientific concepts and terminology was used by some spiritualistic practitioners.
Visited KOM-theaters “Sound Night” (Ääni-ilta) at Vuotalo. The event lasted for over 90 minutes and was structured around contributions by local art/culture actives and organizations. Some parts of the show felt superficial.
The Sound Night was build around interviews they’ve conducted through the year. It felt as if all of the informants they’ve talked to had portrayed Vuosaari in very emotional manner (both negative and positive). The theater crew had chosen the positive approach to investigate the sites history. The Sound Night was fixed on the idea of Vuosaari as a happy village which had been masked as an urban district. They tried to portray the sites mythological past and contemporary soul. The problem is that suburbs renounce the concept of a soul – Suburbs are about movement. The unifying character of suburbs like Vuosaari is that they are transitional and fluid areas. They are constantly being rebuild and populated by new groups – They are modern.
Towards the end we sung a Vuosaari song the crew had composed. The song feld similar to the horrible municipal songs nationalistic artists composed for their districts, around the time Finland gained its independence (Vuosaaren maakuntalaulu). The Helsinki-model cultural funding program is guiding the team’s focus specifically to the Vuosaari district. This is a very limiting frame for cultural production. I’m interested to learn how other Helsinki-model funded institutions have solved the issues.
Started messaging with Kira O’Reilly, Lecturer MA in Ecology and Contemporary Performance (MAECP) about a meeting concerning horses.
Approached KOM-theatre about their upcoming sound events in Vuotalo. They are starting a three year venture into Vuosaari together with Klockrike-theater and the The Finnish Museum of Photography. Their joint effort is a result of the Helsinki Model (Helsinki Malli) cultural funding, which forces (or guides) established art institutions into providing creative experiences for people living in the suburbs. We met with the organizations together with Jonna Kalliomäki after the IHME festival workshops. My experience is that these kinds of institutionally run art-to-the-fringe projects fail to support the creative culture locals are already engaged in. Let’s see how I can change this.. Perhaps I could get them hire Hassan Maikal as a performer.
Also.. Had a touching meeting with the Mounted Police force of Helsinki.
My talk for Ihme-days is now on youtube. I’m pretty proud of the relaxed tone of the talk. It was prepped during the Error Collectives Serious Inspections-“talkshow” with Nestori Syrjälä, Pekka & Teija Isorättyä which is on youtube too.
The only thing I miss about twitter is @SUCHHELSINKIs witty comments.
My first talk for Ihme-days is online (in Finnish). Audio is a tad low so here are the notes for the talk.
Accidentally met Mikko Kuorinki at a Cafe. We went on to talk about the Record Singers (group) vinyl cover designed by Jorma Puranen in 1974. Kuorinki was interested in getting a copy so I gathered my guts and called Mirja Airas to ask if she had any left. She has some copies stored and her friend Marjatta Hanhijoki will bring them to Helsinki later this week! I’ll give copies for Puranen and Kuorinki too. This is the same vinyl cover I’m tasked to write about for the Artsi-museum catalogue.
Post Ihme-days. Waiting for my talks to come online on their youtube and depressurising from the busy weekend by watching Tron Legacy and playing techno. The KP3 can only play 7s long samples which makes it limited as a sampler.
We got organized with Antti, Pietari ja Timo and formed a study circle where we’ll read “In the Flow” by Boris Groys. I’ve read the intro and first chapter (and build by talk for Ihme-days on that basis).
Called artist Jorma Puranen and interviewed him about a vinyl cover he made 1974. The cover shows the Record Singers group. He was excited to talk about his involvement and confirmed majority of details I had heard about the cover. The way he spoke was inspirational and I also learned how he got to study in Pentti Kaskipuros class. Kaskipuro is a key figure in the post-postmodern movement in Finland. Self-educated but traditional, crafty but spiritual. I had the pleasure to meet him a couple of times.
If everyone laughing in a room is being paid to laugh, is the one who payed for the laught truly laughing? Is he faking the laughs? #ॐ
Learning the KP3 ropes. As expected I’m pushing heavy with the effects. It’s such a thrill to use.
Visited the Ihme-days again. The Ihme-festival crew celebrated Kateřina Šedás “Tram-Buskers Tour” with a two hour long talk. She was interviewed by Hamza Walker who made a solid presentation. Unfortunately he was a big fan of Šedás work and his analysis wasn’t critical.
After hearing Šedá I had a revelation: The “Tram-Buskers Tour” is a passive aggressive artwork. It was portrayed as a positive and low-key experience but behind the smiles audiences and buskers were used as mere resource for a top-down artwork. She takes people through the ropes whether they want it or not. This sort of hostility to normativity is welcome but feels insulting when it’s served with a fake smile. I like my violence raw.
Šedá has compiled her post-soviet dissillusion and angst into an authoritarian artist practice, aiming crackdown hypocritical social structures. This approach works when her projects target western-capital-metropolitan areas, or when she works “to give a voice” to small villages she has worked in. But in the Helsinki context her work is colonial.
Instead of altering what we believe to be possible, she made us doubt our believes. She comes off as a bully.
Tested the Smart-Splitter today. It works but does not feel rewarding.
Negotiating a Kaoss Pad 3 purchase. I have a chance to get a used older model for 200€. This would be the biggest investment I’ve made to music.
Working on the Ihme-days demo presentations. It’s slow but made a neat drawing of a c-tape.