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!”
No. 52 (Part One): How Globalization Changed China—and Its Art (2017) The Artsy Podcast concerning an exhibition Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World in Guggenheim.
Documentation of my favorite work from NPTurku 2016 by Sandrina Lindgren Olympic Shames is online.
Wavelings was recorded at Wäinö Aaltosen museum as a part of the New Performance Turku festival 2017. The band consisted of 18 artists who were taught to use synthesisers during a two hour workshop. Members were divided into two group and trained to recognise the sounds different synths produce. Songs Hear – Redo, Ou-Ou, How can you eat juice? (my personal favorite) were recorded during these small group sessions. Songs Mister Noa Moa, Play echo and One for the parents were recorded during a 30min gig were all of the musicians played together for the first time. The audience consisted of art lovers and the parents of the band members. Special thanks to Ida Martikainen, Leena Kela & Christopher Hewitt, Anni Välimäki (NPTurku) and Susanna Hujala (WAM).
Visiting Turku in preparation of the WAMbience/NPTurku Teknomuskari gig. Paid my respect at the site where the stabbings took place.
Read a speech written by Päivi as “a man with a moustache which looks like the moustache of Kyösti Kallio” at the RaivioBumann (Raivio & Daniel Bumann) Hiljainen vieras / Silent Guest event. The performance was a part of Patsastellaan: Parties for Public Sculpture series organized by James Prevett (Taideyliopisto). The role of being just an actor/speaker felt nice.. I wasn’t as nervous as when I perform my own material.
Bought a Bastl Dude mixer for the upcoming Childrens Techno workshop (Teknomuskari) in Turku (NPTurku covers the expenses!). The mixer can also be used in Brussels next month. Made a website for our upcoming show wheredoyouwanttogofromhere.com. The Brussel gig is causing a lot of stress.. The recent attacks in Barcelona and Turku are adding to the mix. Working with horses is stressful, working with people is stressful and working in public spaces is stressful. To top it off, we are drafting strong arguments concerning the changing nature of public space (in relation to recent attacks) and framing climate change as a weaponized method of colonial dominance.
The booklist we’ve selected as our framework requires intensive learning. We are studying classics like Foucault, new material from Butler, new materialism/anthropocene inspired texts, the history of horses in European cities, re-reading Hribal and Eyal Weizman’s theories concerning the Arab Spring (The Roundabout Revolutions, Critical Spatial Practice 6, 2015). Majority of the text deal with infrastructure and how urban structures serve as authors of the modern self-regulating subjectivity. The texts (even the history of the horses) are centered around the concept of public assembly and examining how the concept of “the people” is build and used.
I guess part of the stress is caused by the indoctrination of these texts. Changing is stressful.. And I guess developing as an artist requires constant change.
An extract of my kettlebell choreography contribution for Pilvi Porkola’s “Until We Come Together” (2016) at New Performance Turku is available online!
Wrote a short memo on the Trans-Horse presentations for Vårscenefest [Fi].
Listened to fffff.at/rip podcast. Surveillance state is upon us.
My talk for Hollo institute Utopia-seminar went reasonably well. I had some trouble framing the end of the talk.. I attempted to announce horselogical-pedagogy and engage in an open ended discussion but being surrounded by professors and emeritus professors the announcement came of as a joke. People laughed as I presented Adjunct Professor The Awaited Son. I laughed with them out of pity and tightened my fists.
“So.. All of you are ok with horses taking your jobs?” I asked as people chuckled.
Currently in Oslo on route to Tromsø on a Trans-Horse affair. I’ll meet a horse today at 15:00 and perfom with it tomorrow at 10:00. The festival is called Vårscenefest. I’ll have a day for seeing the city before I return to continue work on Trans-Horse events for Sea Change by Otto Karvonen. In Vuosaari I’ll be handling horses with Susanna Airaksinen. I’ll have to travel to Brussels late May to meet with the Signal organization staff and the cities mounted police force. In June we’ll host a sound-art exhibition at Akustamata in Helsinki.
Visited Kontula Electronic and had a brief encounter with Martta Tuomaala. I didn’t get to talk about her “bodybuilding” project. She seemed to be stressed about the show. Also saw a children’s techno workshop.. It wasn’t as techno as expected. Kids triggered grooves from a launch pad, which kept the event noise free. Pop songs and kid’s toons were also played periodically. Children were dancing. I’ve been invited to host a children’s techno-workshop for NPTurku in the fall.
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
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.
Saw the “Legend of the Small Bone 2” (Legenda pienestä luusta) at the Turku Cathedral yesterday, which was co-directed by Susanna Airaksinen. The play by Kolmas tila company used the church space fluidly and the play’s structure and dialogue succeeded in building a feel for how early cartographers and scientific thinkers saw the world. The play was focused on the story of Muhammad al-Idrisi. The act of acting was frustrating to witness and the piece didn’t discuss issues concerning non-human as it was marketed. The actors wore 80ties style hairpieces and glamrock style makeups but were extremely serious about their postures. The church setting stripped the play of it’s potential for critique and dialogue. As a result the mid show dance acts came off as faux-rituals.
After the play I attended a Chile themed performance night of the New Performance Turku festival. Saw Cristóbal Yáñez Lanzarini: “Back to the Tre” a sort of depiction of his (possibly struggling) love life and the universality of love. After that there was performance by Señoritaugarte: “El grito decolonial”, a cry for the inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seeker by Finland (A short search turned up an interesting New Maternalisms project she’s been involved with). The evening ended with Alexander del Re: “Phobia # 131/367” which was a slowly building self harming piece about his fear of crying (illustrated by melting ice). Currently preparing for my Pilvi Porkola kettlebell choreography intervention.
Dancer Matilda Aaltonen invited me to serve as her “mentor” in the Theater Academy Helsinki’s dance departments mentor program. The arrangement is intended to be a light and flexible relation between a student and an artist the student chooses. There is no official structure for the relationship, we can contact each other and invite each other to see shows or to talk about art. The arrangement was explained as a “mentor-light” version by one of the programs organizers. I met Matilda trough the “Horse and Performance” course we organized for the academy.
I attended a mentor-night yesterday and we had a nice chat about the differences in performance art and contemporary dance. To recap some drafty ideas we talked about:
- Dancers can find cues for their actions from within and validate their intuitions by practicing with a group. The performance artist is guided by the gazes of the audience and the structure of the site.
- Performance artists limit their exposure to what motivates them in order to approach it with out presumptions. Dancers practice and study the cues that motivate their actions rigorously before presenting artworks.
The mentor program offers me the possibility to learn more about contemporary dance and to further these enquiries. I asked Matilda to send me some articles which could help me understand dance.
I’m currently on a bus, returning from the New Performance Turku opening celebrations. I assisted Mark Harvey an artist from New Zealand with his “Playbook” book launch performance. Mark wanted people to smear his face with paint and invited them to hit him on the face with the books blank cover. He called the performance “Bookface”. The paint smudge served as the cover art. People got the book after the act.
Brought my kettlebells to Turku in preparation for the Saturday events which Pilvi Porkola is hosting. Carrying two of kettlebells from Caribia spa to the TEHDAS theater space was painful. There was alot of people at Kutomo and it was a pity to leave so soon. I chatted with Ray Langenbach and Antti Manninen for a while. There was alot of young people in the audience.
Finished my article “New Material Intercource” regarding contemporary sex-toys and their impact on the environment and our sexual expression. It’s currently being edited by Tuomas Laitinen and it’ll likely come out before Christmas in the Esitys-magazines Masturbation-edition. I draw nifty pictures to accompany the text. The illustrations are available on Openclipart: New Material Intercourse – Clipart collection and they are licensed for unlimited commercial use! The text echoes the “handicraft-ethical / future archeological” thinking we’ve developed over the years through various Ore.e Refineries activities. One slogan we’ve deployed with Jesse was: “The future is decided with hands” and the “New Material Intercource” text takes this statement literally.
Watched and appreciated “November” (2004) by Hito Steyerl. The movie convinced me that narratives are a thing of the past. At time artist were trained to produce counter-narratives in an effort to voice out opinions of the oppressed. I’ve now come to understand that the problem is with narrativity itself. Every narrative ground events in to mythological continuum.
Every story, tells the story that there is a founding myth. #ॐ
Met with Päivi Raivio and I agreed to join her “Rescue Museum” events in November. I’ll possibly be working to salvage personal digital heritages of unknown Facebook users.
Met with Pilvi Porkola and went through my participation in her upcoming show for New Performance Turku. I’ll be using a kettlebell and making techno on stage with her.