Gave a lecture on myself as a post-humanistic/sustainability artist by request of Riku Saastamoinen for 40 art-pedagogy from Sibelius Academy, Aalto Uni. and Theater Academy (Dance department). The talk took 1,5h. Run out of time towards the end due to personal therapeutic blabbering about my Marxistic heritage. Also framed contemporary dance as movement steered by fossil fuels. My reasoning was that indoor heating, insulation and plastic soft materials used for flooring have made it possible to move “grounded” (on the floor). Horse videos (Jesse riding nude 2014 & Otto Karvonen collaboration from this spring) got a really good response.
Visited New Performance Turku, assisted Tomasz Szrama to walk on the ceiling, received rough critique of a performance/publication made seven years ago, attended a very boring “How To Do Things With Performance -seminar”, witnessed a shouting performance by Hiroko Tsuchimoto and finally a salad ingredients voting performance by Denis Romanovski.
And that’s were it happened.
Romanovski placed various ingredients on the table. He talked about soviet traumas after which each audience member was given a vote. We were granted the right to vote on the ingredients of the salad. Majority of the ingredients were vegan friendly with the exception of eggs and mayonnaise. I gave my vote for the potatoes. As it was time to select whether or not to include eggs in the salad a shouting contests erupted.
Jesse and a person sitting next to him were the only ones to vote for eggs. Vegans were protesting and people started laughing. Someone rushed on stage and stole the bowl of eggs. While there was a lot of commotion and laughing I thought it might be fun to portray myself as an egg-rights advocate.
“Hi, I’m Eero. From the Egg-party. Have you considered voting our candidate Mr. Egg?” I asked a girl sitting next to me. She casted a weird smile. I thought she didn’t hear me so I continued louder: “Many consider voting mr. Egg to be in bad taste but I can guarantee that our representative mr. Egg is fresh!”. She smiled awkwardly. Everyone else was enjoying the commotion. Eventually the eggs were returned to the table and added to the salad despite the protest.
Then it hit me.
Egg translates as “muna” in Finnish which has a double meaning – It also means “balls”. Which meant that my joke on the election processing was most likely understood as a glorification of my genitalia. By the time I realized my error she had disappeared and I was stuck drinking beer with Jesse and eating democratically crafted Russian Salad.
I saw the girl later during the festival and felt like apologising. She bought a salad at a museum canteen and was walking to her table. I thought it would be best to clarify that I didn’t mean to bother her with my jokes the other night. “Hi!” I started joyfully. She was looking happy and I suddenly thought that maybe I was being paranoid with my interpretation. To steer away from a weird conversation or to save face I continued “Let me know if you want egg with you salad!”
“‘Prism House Complete Percussion Vol. I‘ is a compilation of 320 found sound samples gathered from field recordings made exclusively in New York City”. It works well (The music the band makes is sentimental). Sounds of the Junk Yard (1964) Michael Siegel is a better reference for sound of work! My favorite is “Alligator Shear” (201). Siegel’s Sounds of the Office is a classic (Perhaps it inspired the PO-24?).
I’m not sure if SOW: Blacksmith ed1 is offering anything new to the continuum of groove oriented musique concrete. I guess the publications openness (direct availability through archive.org / freesound) is it’s best merit. But there are so many great free sample packs already out there that it’s impossible to stand out. I’ve been bragging that SOW is a True-Marxist sound publication: It is NOT a representation of labor or a glorification of the labor force – It is a tool (Which can be used to to make techno). The grooves of the machines can be yielded to move our semi-unemployed bodies struggling through post-industrial landscapes.
The idea that techno is the music of the working class was announced by Jori Hulkkonen in 2011. I got to interview him during Kotimaan teknokatsaus vol 3 (16:41). Similar views are present in Jeremy Deller’s Acid Brass project. In 2011 Hulkkonen described techno as a “Human soul with the frame of the machine”. He talked about Detroit and how the cities empty industrial spaces were appropriate for social gatherings. Abandoned factories filled with bodies moving to the rhythm of machine made music. He believed that Kemi’s development as a city forged him into the artist he is today. After factories were closed and parents were unemployed, their children occupied the factory facilities, filled them with mechanical sounds and developed new cultural expressions (and industries). Techno served as a gateway for learning how to work with computers, to organize gatherings and to work creatively. It was born from necessity.
The response for SOW has been ok. People have celebrated the release on Reddit. Apparently “Industrial sounds are so hot right now” and the Novation Circuit tailored .syx has is well received (52 likes). Also got in touch with Petri Kuljuntausta who invited me to host an exhibition at Akusmata sound art gallery in the summer. I’m moving steadily into towards sound arts. The transition of migrating from performance art to post-marxist sound art has taken two years and a little under 800€ in gear investment. I regret that we didn’t explore the sonic possibilities of Jesses forge in more detail. The sounds are pretty straightforward. I guess I should apply funding for ed.2? I could ask Hulkkonen etc. to produce songs from the sounds too.
Visited Ars17 at Kiasma. Not as scary as I thought. Simple stuff. It felt homemade and I was only scared by Ilja Karilampi.
Edits on the SOW: Blacksmith sample pack are progressing steadily and I’ll have all of the samples chopped by the end of the week. After this I’ll continue with mastering. EQ fixes are almost done but the dynamics of some loud machines and hammers pose a challenge. After the fixes I’ll export the samples and continue organizing them into folders and adding metadata. If everything goes as planned we can publish the pack by the end of the month. I plan to make a intro video for the collection at Jesses smithy.
Did some benchmarking and found a few companies and private artists offering blacksmith sounds and other industrial noises for sound designers and musicians. Some of these links have been collected by Paul Virostek who runs the Creative Field Recordings blog.
- Freesound offers 134 sound tagged “blacksmith” for Free!
- Bluezone Corporation offers the “Metal Impact Sound Effects” pack for 14,95€
- Eiravein works offers the “Ilmarinen” Blacksmith sample pack for 16€
- Echocollectivefx’s offers the “Lockdown” sample pack for 40€
- Hart FX offers a massive “Hart of Steel” collection for 99€
Minttu also recommend a Finnish musician who is working with junkyard sounds called Pentti Dassum. He works under the title Umpio and he’s currently engaged in a sounds of craft and labor project related to textiles.
I regret we didn’t use more professional mics for our recordings. The tonality of our samples is suitable for projects that are flirting with lo-fi field recording aesthetics. If we’d invested in more advanced mics we could could have reached out to the professional foley artist community too. Our efforts will provide a great addition to the Freesound community.
Assisted Ilkka Wahala (a graduate from the Kankaanpää Art School) with his real/simulation shooting documentation. He had organized a shooting range, an instructor and guns from Osuva a range located in the center of Helsinki. He shot with a Scorpion Assault Rifle and a pistol. I got to shoot too but only with a training gun. It was fun and the staff was very welcoming. Relatively cheap too.
Meeting Kristian at the gym in preparation of the Kontula Electronic gig.
We received sponsorship headwear from Atlas Copco! The Sound of Work: Blacksmith sample pack is turning into a weird side quest to corporate sound archeology. I contacted the companies marketing departments in Finland and Sweden and we received caps from both branches (Caps that were shipped for Jesse have a modern look and I got a more subtle grey version). Atlas Copco is a key company in the nordic mining and manufacturing culture. It’s a living fossil of an organization, which is rooted in pre-copyright manufacturing culture and it’s wealth is based accessibility to local raw ores. I always remove or hide branding from my clothing but this is a rare treat and I’ll keep the logo on. Unfortunately the shape of the cap is silly. The story is impressive though.
A list of filenames of the recordings we made with Jesse last weekend (excluding b,c,… versions of the same tools/work-phases). I’ve been mastering the samples using Logic Pro X. After a frustrating day with tutorials I found a decent workflow. We recorded two files on each take. A master and secondary-file in -6db (Tascam Dr-40 can simultaneously write two files from the same input). If the monitored master has peaked, I can repair it using the secondary-file. In Logic Pro X I have each file is on separate track. After tweaks I can select both as a “region” and then “bounce the region in place” on a new track, which can be exported. It will take me two weeks of daily work to master the entire collection (But I hope to have some test samples ready for the weekend).
I contacted Atlas Copco company in Helsinki and told them about our audio-archeological project (Majority of the hammer and drill tools we recorded were old Atlas Copco). They were pleased to hear about the project and promised to send a Atlas Copco branded cap for Jesse! It remains to be seen if something will develop from the engagement with the company.
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.
Jesse was excited about the idea of making field and sample recording at his smithy. We’ll make a sample-pack of pre-industrial (aka. true-post-industrial) sounds. Our aim is to sample pneumatic tools, anvils&hammers, steel forging at various temperatures, grinders, welding machines, power hammers and other tools Jesse uses as a blacksmith. We’ll possibly use binaural mics for ambient sounds and I’ll use the Tascam dr-40 with an external Sony ECM-NV1 mic for mono (and the device mics for stereo) sounds. The recordings will be a bit noisy but I don’t mind.
The pack will be called “Ore.e Refineries – Pre-industrial Sample-pack” (or something) and launched trough our website. Samples will possibly be hosted at archive.org (as a .zip) and on freesound.org. The pack will offer creatives who serve the post-scarcity economy, laboring on intangible projects at silent office sites and generic cafeterias an opportunity to manifest their moods and express their desires making music from sounds of pre-industrial labor, tools and technology.
I’ll also make an edition of 64 samples (totalling 60s of audio) which I can use with my Novation Circuit. The device received an update (v. 1.4) which makes it possible to make polyrhythmic sample patterns. Youtube user loopop also shared a way to play samples using chromatic etc. scales (using custom pattern templates) which offers fun possibilities. I’m still conflicted whether to expand my newfound interest in sounds towards analogue synths (in an effort to seek out new tones) or if I should focus on working more with samples and recordings (in an effort to understand and possibly deconstruct contemporary soundscapes).
Minimal-Modular (Like Erica synth Pico line) vs. Roland SX 404sx.
Videos of Antti Salminen investigating how art is going to change as we run out of oil, Eeva Anttila presenting dance as the ultimate post-fossil artform (she’s arguing in a modern fashion) and Jesse Sipola living the dream.
Learning “The Theory of Affordances” by James J. Gibson (The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, 1979) in an effort to understand how animals change the way we perceive our surroundings. As we learn to work with the animal we are granted new “affordances” to the environment and collaboration between horses and humans build habits which benefit both species. Jussi Parikka cites J.J Gibson in his “Mutating Media Ecologies” (2015) article. The controversial concept of Niche Construction also offers interesting routes for investigation!
When investigating affordances I found a funny fitness project by Anne-Marie Skriver Hansen “Bringing Performance Art into Everyday Life Situations“.
Stuck in Turku. Waiting for a technician to let me in the Tehdas-theater space so that I can fetch my kettlebells and synths. Went for lunch at a nearby restaurant. Asked the bartender for the menu. He begged me not to order food as the oven takes so long to warm up. He suggested that I buy a microwave meal from the nearby shop, so he could warm it for me in the micro. A novel way to eat out.
New Performance Turku events went well. The tone of the performances I saw was “uniform serious performance art”. Alejandra Herrera Silva presented “The Water” at Titanik Gallery. She stripped, broke vine glasses, bled and got drunk. John Court pushed enormous wooden cylinders around a school courtyard making a monument for dyslexia. Alexander del Re’s piece was about indirect gazes and indirect ways of approaching others (using mirrors) but I only saw the end of the piece. He had invited Salla Valle to collaborate in it (I remember her performing at an uplifting Là-bas event). Mark Harvey presented a humorous piece at the Turku Castle. He acted as the king and motivated the audience to rebuild the Kalmar Union.
The evening with Pilvi Porkola went reasonably well. I was nervous about my contribution and failed to follow the piece in full detail. She baked, dyed her hair, told short stories about her life and prepared the space. I was invited on stage midway the act and introduced myself as a choreographer. We made a series of kettlebell warm up exercises and after this she continued baking and chatting casually with the audience. When she went off stage to wash the dye of her hair Mark was invited to entertain people and I served as a sports commentator for his dance act (Ray Langenbach complement the blunt taunting commentary). As she returned, Antti Manninen was invited to talk with the audience and gradually the piece converted into a faux house party.
The artwork casted a critical view on the structures and conventions of performance art. Pilvi made the efforts of durational and endurance demanding performances vein by illustrating how difficult it is to perform everyday tasks like putting your socks on while standing on one feet or chatting casually while cooking. A highlight of the piece was when she made microwave popcorn. Jesse Sipola made a surprise appearance during the party phase as a DJ and we ended the night drink Ferned Branka at the Monk. I didn’t get the opportunity to chat with other performers at the festival. I missed some pieces I wanted to see.
The trade embargo on Russia has an impact. The quality and availability of fresh fruits and vegetables has deteriorated.
Build a handle for my dremel-tool with Jesse’s help. We attached a steel rod to a big nut, which fits the dremel’s front tip threads. Also shot a short movie about 3d-printers.
Thinking about the artists who hide their depression into poor art. #ॐ