20170404

Major updates at Ore.e Ref. main site (10 years of celebration!). The biggest structural updates are internal: Cleaned dead links, re-organized the folder structure (./media, ./praxis) and relinked files to corresponding .html pages. Also added company staff (Eleonoora Lundell, Päivi Raivio, Hanna Karppinen & Pietari Kylmälä) and reframed Ore.e Ref. as “a public utility company”. While working on the site I found a lot of cute stuff (like a copperplate sale announcement and an attempt to make an interpretation of the company logo from 2011). Also noticed that NO-CHAIR-DESIGN in featured on a top 100 design manifestos list. The site is still missing an announcement of the Meta- Collection. I’ll start working on it during the summer. I guess it will be hosted on the “projects” page.

Got a call from a random English speaking copper scavenger asking if I could buy his 100kg batch. Referred him to Niemen romukauppa and provided him with the addresses, contact details and bus schedules. This isn’t the first time Ore.e Ref. has caused strange enquiries. Once I got a call from Rick DuBois a Sea captain from Imperial Yachts. He wanted Ore.e Ref. to repair a ventilation ring while the boat was docked in Helsinki (Unfortunately Jesse was busy at the time so forwarded the commission to Kylmateras.fi). Ore.e Ref. website might look shady for creatives but it spells P-R-O-F-E-S-S-I-O-N-A-L for people who need of custom metalworks.

Visited Homage 1 at TeaK yesterday. The piece was choreographed by Janina Rajakangas, featured nine dancers and it dealt with emotions. Rajakangas explained that she was exploring dance as a stylized convention for movement which is primed by the dancers desire to portrays emotions/feelings on stage. The approach was analytical. Dancers working on stage presented themselves as emotional teflon by swapping their moods and gestures impulsively. In a dicussion after the piece Rajakangas talked about “tunteet” and “tunteiden esittäminen” but I’m not sure if she was talking about emotions, moods or feelings. The audience (consisting of dancers) talked about the piece using weird vocabulary. They asked Rajakangas if she was interested in “liikkeen laatuisuus”. This apparently meant “the formal structure of movement”. “Kehon laatuisuus” was also to describe specific muscular tensions. People were trying to sort out if the emotions the dancers portrayed were real of formal representations emotions. I don’t know.. Everything looked fake to me.

I read the piece as a critique of contemporary dance. It’s statement was: If artists can acquire​ emotional-teflon-skills and they truly can swap their emotions on cue or if the dancers can make the audience believe that their emotions are true by using specific gestures… Then it must mean that the emotions they perform on on stage categorically fake or that the audience is gaullable (or crazy).

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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. 

20161130

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.

Continue reading “20161130”

20161128

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.

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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.

20160929

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.

20160704

I became a sole trader in 2011 when I was working regularly for Outi Heiskanen. She didn’t want to be defined as “an employer” in her tax reports (which is very costly in Finland) and at the time becoming an entrepreneur felt like fun idea… I was active in building exhibitions for various parties and involved in serious art transportation ventures. We even talked about buying a van with a friend. Becoming an entrepreneur was a serious joke. The status has enabled me to discuss economics more convincingly. As an entrepreneur I’m a subject in economics and my critique of capitalism is more founded and more personal. Becoming an entrepreneur was an accelerationist effort, which culminated my involvement with Ore.e Refineries.

Sending bills is still fun but every year I regret not setting up a co-operative instead. Today my grief is related to sole trader taxation regulations when billing cities and municipalities.

As a sole trader I’m responsible for organizing my own pension. If earn more than 8000€ a year as an entrepreneur, I’m legally obligated to join a pension trust and to pay around 100€ a month in pension insurance premiums. The minimum “YEL-insurance” I’d have to pay a year is 1200€, which is too much for me (and many other sole traders working in the culture sector). This is why I don’t send more than 8000€ worth of bills a year. There are various very simple and legal tricks to do this. During the fall I negotiate that I can send my bill the next year and for bigger gigs I setup an temporary employer statuses with the organizations that hire me. For the past four years I’ve only send out bills for small 200-400€ odd jobs.

As a result I haven’t payed any pension fees. This is not because I wouldn’t want to… It’s just too expensive and as a part of my income comes from artist grants I dream that I’ll personally get an artist pension for myself (If I manage to survive as an artist for the next 33 years).

The government needs new forms of income, so that it can afford for the baby boom generation’s pensions. There are various aggressive schemes at work which skim funds for pensions from every possible monetary transaction. Legislation for small scale business is quite unfair. “By law, entrepreneurs under the age of 53 are required to pay 23.7 percent of their earnings in pension insurance, while salaried workers contribute just over five percent.” YLE explains in a 2015 article.

I wrote about the Record Singers group for an Artsi-museum related book. The writing fee was decent but as the museum is run by the municipality there is a cunning scheme in legislation, which the government will use to deduct a “pension” from my writer’s fee (More on the scheme in Finnish). This is saddening. I made the text almost for free. I don’t regret making it. I did a good job.

I’m not bitter about anything but I think that the baby boomers generation should have spend their salaries more smartly. Additional funds for pensions should be harvested by disallowing (and re-distributing) pensions that are over 2 300€/month (Statistics on pensions in Finland found here). I hate the feeling that a petitioner makes more money than I do and that young forced-entrepreneurs are paying for their second cars, their trips to Thailand and the renovation of their summer houses (which remain empty most of the year and none from my generation will be able to visit as we can’t afford the gas money).