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Brown and gray colors schemes used by early 1900 Finnish artists served as tools for our nationalist agenda, argues Irmeli Hautamäki in Kansainvälisyys ja kansallisuus suomalaisessa taiteessa (In Finnish). I don’t agree.. Dull tones (best manifested by the November-group) protest against glamour and they taunt the bourgeois aesthetics of impressionism – Globally. Framing the brown-and-gray movement as nationalistic dissolves it’s critical agenda. November is the post-revolution month. Žižek asks what happens after the revolution.. Brown and grey happens.

Critics from Edit-media Rosa Kuosmanen & Tuomas Laulainen hit hard against the Ars17 exhibition in Hello World! – Goodbye kuratointi (Fi.). They blame the exhibitions awkward feel on curatorial decisions and argue that the fetishizion of art objects (performed by the museum through their exhibition architecture) detaches the artworks from the social and technological reality they are intended to touch and interact with. The critics state that the internet has changed the way we make art but Kiasma has failed to evolve and to change the way art is presented. I agree full heartedly but I think we should also criticize at the way the artist exhibited their works. Majority of pieces were presented carelessly (like at a hobbyfair), projected on walls without effort and they looked as they were installed by robots. Perhaps this attitude was a form of protest against Ars17.

We are backing down from Kontula Electronic gig. The schedules are too tight.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.