We are working to get a modular synthesiser system for public use at the new Center Library Ode. The idea that the library should have a modular came about in an easygoing chat with Mikko. After the talk I wrote an email to the Ode staff and for the past four months I’ve worked with musicians and serious hobbyist in an effort to design a modular system which would suit needs of library audiences (the sound requirements of professionals, artists and hobbyist). The library was excited about our first draft and asked for a more developed proposal. Last night our working group made plans for a complex system and we will present this idea for the library next month. If everything goes as planned there will be synths to borrow too!
Successfully build a Kastle 1.5 and a dip switch controllable splitter/mixer of my own design.
Accidents happen. I met Mikko in a cafeteria a while back we ended up talking about a public modular synthesizer system which was made publicly available by the Lawrence Public Libary in Kansas City (US). I sent an email to the Helsinki Central Library (Oodi) studio/electronics-department asking if we could get a modular for our upcoming library too. Four months later they asked me to meeting. I invited Rasmus Hedlund to join me because he’s great with modulars. Rasmus recommend Tuukka Jääskeläinen, who joined me for a meeting last Tuesday.
After a cheerful chat with the library crew, they invited us to select modules for a novice-friendly system which fits a 5000€ (+24% VAT) budget! Tuukka is currently in contact with various electronic music associations in Helsinki and I’m in contact with all of my sound-art friends. If everything goes as planned well have a list of modules selected in two weeks which we’ll propose that the library for purchases. We’ll also collect a list of people who would be interested in running educational workshops at the library or act as modular-godparents whom the library staff could consult concerning audio synthesis.
A futuristic military choreography Guard Commander Inspection – Arlington National Cemetery (2014).
List collected with Mikko.
Peter Blasser makes nice synths, some of which are “psychogeographic maps” showing the relationship between the urban, suburban and wilderness. He calls himself Petroleum Bottle because we are just bottles of oil and he is irritated that his wooden synth parts have been cut with a chainsaw. Blasser’s synths were recommended by Mikko.
Visited Mikko Kuorinki’s “LEG SLEEPS DROP DEEP” exhibition at SIC last night with Topi. The presentation felt unfinished. Haven’t read the catalog texts yet. Olli Keränen presented works in the SIC main hall. His pieces felt hastily made. Their artworks appeared similar. Both artists evade simple solutions but as they presented works in the same space the combination felt like trickery. Their artworks require simple and pretty art around them – They exist in contrast. At the SIC event they couldn’t find their momentum. Had a pleasant chat with Josefiina Nelimarkka.
Visited Leena Kela’s Alphabet’s of Performance Art at Mad-house. The piece was presented as a part of the Hurraa children’s culture festival. It has a perfect. Kids age 3-10 were taken by the performance. Kela presented a critical analysis of the history of performance art and studied how its aesthetics have been standardised. Kids were laughing and commenting the show. The event proofed that conceptual art works for kids. I was reminded warmly with my ÄLÄ OLE LAPSELLINEN article from 2013.
Nice video on BASTL instruments by Cuckoo.
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.
I’m happy to see the world burn. In 2002 I made a watercolour for my friend Kalle Salonen in celebration of the end of his military service (and short career as army staff). I wrote a poem into the picture too. The poem speaks of a wall which is being build. It will cover the world and we’ll be caught inside. Towards the end people will gather around faint fires, which will warm us like wetting our pants. Donald Trump’s presidency will change what is understood as “a Trumpet”. Brassy music for our last post.
Met with “The Cruel Radiance of What Is” course teacher crew (Arttu&Miina and Mikko) to finalise our schedules and plans. The course is build in a poetic tone. The educational acts we’ll engage with the students resemble performance art pieces. Instead of pumping students with facts or developing specific creative skills, participants will be invited to think about “stuff” which inspires them and build artistic agency in relation and about “stuff”.
“As part of the modern capitalist society music is in danger of perishing in random samples, data, markets, instrumentation patterns, institutions and computer nets, or of suffocating in the gigantic tautological machinery of the media industry, that continuously sends back the opinions of the masses, that they, as media, formulated.We need music that is the differential, that neither compromises or thinks of surrender, but carries on even in the shadow and disguise like the guerrilla fighters and draws active disappearing lines in the fields of society. We need music that is a labyrinth, a rich ensemble of relations; diversity, heterogeneity, breaks, unexpected links and long monotonies. It is the vision of a life that opens the ways and allows the horizon of resistance to light up.”
Writes Dror Feiler in MUSIC, SOUNDS, GARBAGE, NOISE and POLITICS post from 2009.
An incredibly cynical video detailing the future of urban life and warfare made by the American military complex: Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity.
A nifty text on cultural imperialism by Pilvi Porkola What is ‘esitys’ on the University of Arts “How to do things with performance?” project blog. She is critical about Richard Schechner’s “Performance Studies. Introduction” which I’ve been studying in preparation of our upcoming Art School Maa course.
I should make a kettlebell out of Snellman’s head.
Visited SIC 2 gallery spaces opening exhibition The movement that didn’t have a dog and a stick… The exhibition was curated by Mikko Kuorinki and Diego Bruno who have been working together on a project they call Ruler. My favorite work was “Joycean Society” (2013) by Dora García. In discussion with Topi Äikäs I came into the conclusion that the exhibition was fuelled with sincere trust for the arts. Topi and I had difficulty in participating in the feeling because we know that the production of such exhibitions is always messy. Messiness is the opposite of Accountability. I have trouble trusting mess (even if I know that art is at it’s best as mess).
We chatted about the 9/11 events in USA. Topi gave an honest account on how he felt after hearing about the attacks. His honesty cleansed the air and I suddenly remembered feeling suppressed delight. At the time we had been both excited about seeing the imperialists twin towers collapse and celebrated the attacks against the high standing symbols of global capitalism.
Preparing for the Art School Maa: “The Cruel Radiance of What Is” course which we’ll host together with Miina Hujala, Arttu Merimaa and Mikko Kuorinki. Updating my approaches to performativity.
Performative acts against precarity!: “There is no freedom that is not it’s exercise. Freedom is not a potential that waits for its exercise. It comes into being through its exercise”. A brilliant talk by Judith Butler – From Performativity to Precarity. The talk also gives a glimpse on what kind of worker’s right issues will emerge in Europe as a result of the refugee situation: “How does the unspeakable population speak and make its claims?”.
Mikko accidentally recommended a really interesting lecture about plastics and petrocapitalism by Heather Davis The Queer Futurity of Plastic (2014).
I’ve been sick with flue for a week.
Felt better yesterday, worked together with Viivi Koljonen on a Grey Cube Gallery artist documentation we made in Italian during the spring. We made a raw cut together and now she’s working on the translations. On my way home I started feeling sick again on went to the supermarket to buy a treat. In my weak state I suddenly bought a a 16kg kettlebell. The kettlebell is a big surprise. It’s an incredible concentration of metal and cultural practices (My favorite move with it is The Turkish Get-Up).
I guess I’ll have to make an artwork out of it/with it. 2007 during my time in the Academy of Arts in Tallinn I felt guilty about buying coffee in take away cups daily. My friend Daniel Kupferberg urged me to “make art from the expendable cups so that the feeling would yield something productive”. This approach will serve well with the kettlebell.
Later surfed online and bought a Honu Cage v.2 camera cage (used for 86€). I can now replace my shaky and worn out Dörr stabilizer grip thingy.. It’s intended for shooting low-angle skateboarding glides and under the load my current system (Gh3/lens, Tascam dr-40, Røde VideoMic Pro, cheep wireless AudioTechnica units and a YongNuo YN-160 led lamp/battery) it wobbles in the wind. The Honu Cage v.2 will stabilize my kit and serve as a hub for a shoulder rig I plan to build.
Today I met with Arttu Merimaa, Miina Hujala and Mikko Kuorinki to plan our upcoming course “The Cruel Radiance of What Is” for Art School Maa. The educational collaboration had a shaky start last spring but this meeting restored my believe on the project.
I got issues with the Discogs database. I met Mikko Kuorinki, talked about the Record Singers empty record cover and learned about Discogs. I entered the artwork into the database over the weekend and celebrated that found a good company. The database enables users to create lists which help to build context for oddballs like the empty record cover. There are lists for “Freakshow: A museum of strangeness” etc. packed with similar inspirational titles. I found Christian Marclays “Record Without A Cover” in one these lists. Inspirational stuff (Now I want to make an LP too).
I entered the empty record cover to the database and contacted some of the list maintainers to suggest it as an entry for their virtual collections. Unfortunately this effort led to a user initiative to remove the empty record cover entry from the database. This was done based on the fact that it is “Not an audio format”. It was tagged “not eligible for this database” because it’s was seen as a piece of cardboard – not even a piece of vinyl or other audio carrier.
I complained about the decision. Record Singers group has presented the piece as a record and that has to count for something! It is a radical departure from the traditions of audible music and makes silent recordings (and compositions) of its time appear superficial. As it was removed it means that the record will remain in the same lonely fringe of music it was made for. I’m feel that the vote on the records validity was too quick but I understand the desire to keep discogs entries in the audible spectrum. I don’t think there would have been many entries like this, so it wouldn’t have threatened the integrity of the database.
It remains in a purgatory state inside the database as only people who have the direct link to the entry can access its: https://www.discogs.com/release/8389026. I felt sad and made a song about my experience with Discogs to cope with the tragedy.
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.