20180107

Увидеть огород Вадима и бросить троеборье… Weird and powerful movements with kettlebells and chained weights.

Learning to make viili in preparation of the Neighborizome events.

Updates (8-14.1). Note: Moved the history of a viili here.

Gen 1#

1l fatty milk, 2dl fatty viili (Valio brand) in warm room temperature (22.5°C). Mixed using a blender and poured in six closed jars (jar lids have three small holes for air). Simple and fun.

  • Batch A 12 hours in 22.5°C, 12h in cold. Results: Consistency identical to original viili and taste is great but mild.
  • Batch B 23h in 22.5°C, 7h in cold. Results: Consistency identical to original viili and taste is great, slightly more acidic.
  • Batch C 33h in 22.5°C, 12h in cold. Results: Consistency identical to original viili and taste is great, similar acidity as batch B.

Gen 2#

1l non-homogenic, non-heat-treated and organic fatty milk, poured on top of 2dl of Gen 1# A batch in a large glass container (cleaned with boiling water). Room temperature 22.5°C.

  • Batch 2A 23h in 22.5°C, 4h in cold. Results: Consistency identical to original viili and taste is great, similar acidity as Gen 1# Batch B. (Same taste and condition after ~20h in refrigerator).

Gen 3#

Batch 3A[P]: 1l regular low fat milk, poured on top of 2/3 Batch 2A mixed with cultured buttermilk (Which includes Asidofilus & Bifidus bacteria). Batch 3A: 1l regular low fat milk. Room (also milk and viili) temperature 22.5°C. Batches prepared in heat-treated jars (two lids emit a faint vinegar odor).

  • Batch 3A[P] 23h in 22.5°C, 18h in cold. Results: Consistency identical to original viili and taste is great, nicely acidic but not strong. No trace of buttermilk.
  • Batch 3A 23h in 22.5°C, 18h in cold. Results: Consistency identical to original viili and taste is mild but good. No vinegar odors or taste.

20171227

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.

20170406

Visited Sound Share Night at Temporary.fi on Tuesday. Had a brief and fun chat with Kimmo Modig. Apparently he’s working out with kettlebells too! We plotted a workout date. The event was fun. We listened to and talked about field recording a group member had prepared. I had to leave early so I couldn’t presented SOW: Blacksmith but I’ll possibly go there next week too.

Visited Kontula in preparation of the Kontula Electronic gig. Met with Safia Abdulkarim from the Lähiöasema (Sub-Urb Station). Got a permission to use power for ty Lähiöasema grid. It seems we’ll have to perform on the street.

20160306

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.

20170302

Thanks to aesthetic relativism it’s considered pointless to make formal evaluations of artworks. This is great! As a result artists are considered more important than artworks (unfortunately art institutions prefer their artists dead).

Contemporary artworks are cynical puns, which an artist is employed to present for audiences. Audiences are invited to enjoy the style the pun is presented. This condition serves craftspeople who maintain myths about the integrity of artistic work (and performance artists).

People who are serious about arts compare contemporary presentation to presentations the artist made in the past. This is why it’s important to make a lot of artworks.

When there is an exciting body of work it is easy to imagine how new pieces fit to the collection. It’s more convenient to discuss (and appreciate) artworks made by artists with long careers. Careers and collections are less risky to manage then living artists.

Interestingly many of my artist peers are working out extensively. Fitness is the new black (See article on Vogue for hints). Is fitness.art an effort to bypass cynicism which aesthetic relativism enforces upon artistic practice?

Bodybuilding and fitness appear as efforts to assume control of the cultural dynamics aesthetic relativism has shoved us into. Fit bodies are absolute and their presentation serves as evidence of labor: Fit bodies can stand to oppose capital by becoming capital in themselves! Hints for this thought are found in an article by Jon Stratton (mentioned earlier).

I’m recovering from a teaching gig at the Kankaanpää Art School, where I conducted intensive Kettlebell exercises for the students. I think the primary reason for fitness as a part of the art education was to build bodies which can resist. See “Media & Performance” study journal for details.

I believe this is also why working class communities emphasised sports back in the day. As the automation of labor and ideologies of optimization and efficiency rejects our human bodies – The value of a body is the style it is presented in.

20170126

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.

20170124

Autochthonic Fantasy (2016) Arttu Merimaa.

Kirjastoessee (2016) Pilvi Porkola.

Preparing for “Performance and Media” course which I’ll host next month in Kankaanpää Art School. Feeling stressed.. It’s taking a lot of time to sort out practicalities and the time would be better spend making fun art stuff (like preparing the SOW: Blacksmith ed.1).

I’ve planned that we’ll… Make six intensive workouts at the Kankaanpää gym (working with kettlebells), make 3d renderings of meditation stools (later construct them) and work with sketchup to design imaginary objects (later meditating on them). It’s a fun program to conjure but stressful to organize. At the same time I’m mentoring a group of five graduating students with their thesis related artworks. So far I’ve written 12 pages of emails and spend 63 hours on mentoring tasks and travels to Kpää (I’m using a nifty work scheduling application to measure the exact working time). I don’t think they are reading my emails and on my visit there last week I learned that half of the group hasn’t started working yet.

It takes six hours to travel to Kankaanpää by bus. It would be more practical to organize my course for an academy in Berlin etc. The travel time would be more reasonable. Still.. I enjoy the idea that somewhere there is a polytechnic university which offers free art education for people who live in the middle of nowhere. Globally it doesn’t make any sense to have an art university in Helsinki either. I should make a travel video about Kpää and show it friends visiting Helsinki. The site puts contemporary art into perspective. On a map the city is at the same level as Greenland.. It’s among the most northern universities of applied sciences offering education on performance art. I guess Tromsø is the most northern – But Norway doesn’t count because they have oil money, which makes space and time are manageable.

20161215

They want us to use our bodies as keys. Fingerprints and iris scanners open doors.

The Cruel Radiance of What Is course came to an end. My last teaching gig was on Monday but all of the students skipped class! Only 2-4 students attended the course in general so their absence didn’t feel like a protest. People who joined the kettlebell workout were really delighted of the style of teaching I’m currently into. We met with Mikko, Miina & Arttu and two students yesterday for our final joined meeting. We ended up talking chop but the event was fun.

Visited Perfo performance event in Tampere on Thursday. Saw performances by Asko Nivala (a “failed Hannibal Lecter” / meet-is-murder cabaret), Suvi Suvereeni (a very fluid collaboration with Siri the intelligent personal assistant. A low key, personal approach to the technology yielded revelations on how the technology perceives us!), Tuuli Tuikka (an anti-art & anti-capitalism manifest on how nature and creative experiences are commodified. She shredded and packaged a flower into plastic containers) and Joulumaa (a four member noise ensemble doing a faux-ritualistic, holistic noise show. The sounds were too orchestrated for my taste and their stage work came of as flamboyant. I did get to see a 16 channel mixer being used as a percussion instrument, which is a novel sight).

After the festival I chatted with Janne Rahkila about rejoining the Perfo crew for next year. I’d continue working with the streaming system.. I’m hesitant about the gig. I don’t believe in live-video streams anymore. Perhaps I should make interviews of the artists as text and brief synopses of their performances instead. Also met with Timo Bredenberg and we had the last meeting of our “In the Flow” (Groys 2016) reading circle (some ideas in the book are useful but the authors style is too tandy).

I’m now preparing for a grant award event at the Taidehalli. I got a “The Young Artist Grant” from the Finnish Art Society. Also got a techo gig (with a workout theme) for next years Kontula Electronic. I’ll likely be joined by Kristian Ekholm (and Pietari if he finds the time. I haven’t talked about this with him yet). Also got news from Antoine that our Trans-Horse proposal for Signal festival is being processed by the production crew.

Uplifting news all around.

20161205

Visited TeaK Bunch performances today by invitation of Matilda Aaltonen. I’ve been watching more dance this autumn then ever before. It inspires me. There is more potential for change in dance than in performance art!

There is something unceasing in witnessing dancers illustrate internal drives with their public bodies (they become everybodies and make the audience nobodies). Dance is magnificent acts and on stage, which the artist present in an unhesitant/pro-hesistant, inhumane manner. They have no stutter – Stutter is their art. This makes them too perfect to approach. They are shielded from penetrating gazes on all fronts. There were three breaks during the two hour post-humanism inspired dance potpourri. During the breaks the movements the performers echoed in the audiences posture. Everyone ended up putting on a show, walking more steadily and concentrated then before arriving. Everyone was afraid to show their imbalances, everyone was afraid to show “they didn’t get it”. This is how institutions terrorise us and this is how we can use empathy to change the world.

I’ve started to develop dance for my kettlebell. “Workout in four parts”:

  1. Warm-up, kettlebell and techno making (as demoed at NPTurku for Pilvi)
  2. Protein-shake and kettlebell worship (for this I’ll use the stutter/poses techniques presented by Philipp Gehmacher and I’ll ask Pilvi to design a protein drink for me)
  3. 16kg of meat to counterbalance the 16kg kettlebell on a swing (a short transitional act between workout and cooldown phase)
  4. Attaching a six pack of beer on my belly with duct tape and serve the audience with alkohol
  5. […]
  6. Profit

20161023

Mr. T speaking truth.

Participated in a Circus Maximus Association meeting last night. I recently joined the association and last night I got to meet with the board and to learn about next year’s projects.

I’ve been taking care of my mother’s dog every now and then for a year. Last night I learned that the game where we pull a rope between each other is not about who wins the pull.. The intent of the game is to break the rope. Viki the dog was really satisfied as the sock we used for the game got torn. As it broke I remembered seeing wolves pull the ligaments and joints of a deers leg in a similar playful manner. The pulling game is an exercise for collaboration.

Marble Kettlebell on Etsy

20161018

Learning about choreographer Jérôme Bel after Pilvi’s recommendation (The Kettlebell Choreography I guided for her at NPTurku entitled me to call myself a choreographer, so I have to learn the ropes). “Step-by-step guide to dance: JB” on the Guardian gives an overview of his practice and in a lecture “About ‘The Last Performance’ (1998) 1-4” the artist discusses the development of his “The Last Performance” piece from 1998 in detail. The themes of sampling and recycling as a basis of artistic production (or un-production) are appealing and I comply with his thinking. In an other short video were he talks about his practice “Rehearsal Matters interview with JB” he comes off as a rigid and flamboyant artist persona. I don’t agree with his definition of improvisation being “an attempt to free oneself”. I’ve always seen improvisation as a tool to illustrate the confinements we forced to comply with: Improvisation is about articulating confinements and vocalising the ideological positions sites/situations encapsulate us into. Trough improvisation we can see the boundaries of the working body. His rigid view on improvisation is in alignment with conservative and craft orientated mindsets of orthodox-artist, who search for a canonised and mystical order trough styles and beats (I’ve come to understand that Hip-Hop is a conservative cultural movement. Sampling is a form of prayer).

Copying what others have done can be the most effective way to make something new. #ॐ