A Day of Artificial Spring Water Tasting in a Museum preparations for Lappeenranta Art Museum The Surface Holds Depths -exhibition progressing steadily.
Sinne gallery Regel 62 exhibition with Moa Cederberg, Mikko Kuorinki and Nomadic Kiln Group (Monika Czyżyk, Elina Vainio & Eero Yli-Vakkuri) is building up high expectations for next week. The title of our piece is epic 💨 Planetary Consciousness Massage Behind the Ears of the Thousand Winds and Statues of Fire 🌋. We’ll start preparing the work at the gallery on Monday.
As You May Sense -exhibition at the Uniarts Helsinki’s Research Pavilion is set to open 12th of June. We are preparing an monumentally vain bore-well with the Institute for Coping With Destruction. Drilling is set start next week. Enjoying Ingesting Bodies of Water (2022) Saara Hannula, which is written for the same Research Pavilion framework (a quote below). Reminds me of a fashion district window exhibition by Jesse and Emmi, where they made a dress out of plastic trash to illustrate a eco-mental cycle where antidepressants, pass trough bodies to the sea escalating environmental degradation, which causes more depression.
Through [waters] involvement in intimate encounters and bodily events such as drinking, washing, and peeing, the water incorporates new ingredients: hormones, chemicals, microplastics, microbes, and bacteria. Some of the active pharmaceutical ingredients and other contaminants are filtered out in Viikinmäki, which is the main wastewater treatment plant in the Helsinki region, but many of them remain in the water even after it is “purified” […] Especially hormones, endocrine disruptors, and antidepressants are known to have major effects on the development and behavior of organisms, even in low doses: as such, they play a key role in the evolution and extinction of aquatic life.
Later during the summer a gig at Mitäsmitäsmitä and a reseach-like piece in two phases for Institute of Urban Culture‘s new spaces at the Gdańsk Wasserkunst building with Tea. Fun stuff but a lot of it.
Returning to blogging feels good. Updated an old text on Finnish statue removals (should make it into an article too) and hoping to complete some prolonged writing commissions later in the month.
Information overload (2023) Claire Bishop criticises the aestheticization of research in the context of contemporary art. The article establishes a trajectory for how the artists research we are witnessing today has been defined and portrays its present impasse. I like how youtube searches and wikipedia browsing become defined as “search” and “research” is constituted as something which changes our understanding and perception. I agree with their critique but also question if artistic research displays, which the article dissects, have ever been produced to be made sense of to begin with.
When studying for my first artist degree at the TAMK polytechnic in Tampere, we were taught to fake research. Our teachers knew that we would be outmatched in resources, so they provided us skills in making appearances. Site-specific art was taught primarily as a search of site related historical nick-nacks, which were then casually referenced to establish a historical backdrop for contemporary actions. In Bishops terms it was done to make the art appear “serious”. In practice this was done, to convince funders (city officials) that art has a place in society. This is still a necessary strategy.
Because I approached research as a rhetoric technique for establishing a sense of certainty, it took me years to begin believing that artists honestly engage in it. I still believe that in the Finnish academic context research is deployed for appearances. But I know that these appearances matter for our economy. Growth in Finland depends on portraying Finns as designers not labourers, so that we can imagine a place in global markets. I’m very pleased to how Bishop ends the article.
The richest possibilities for research-based installation emerge when preexisting information is not simply cut and pasted, aggregated, and dropped in a vitrine but metabolized by an idiosyncratic thinker who feels their way through the world. Such artists show that interpretative syntheses need not be incompatible with a decentered subject and that an unforgettable story-image can also be a subversive counterhistory, packing all the more punch because imaginatively and artfully delivered.
Bishops article is contrasted by Pamela Paul’s A Paper That Says Science Should Be Impartial Was Rejected by Major Journals. You Can’t Make This Up (2023), which is cry for hard sciences to return with hard facts. Similarly When Does Artistic Research Become Fake News? Forensic Architecture Keeps Dodging The Question (2023) Emily Watlington works to re-establish an ethos of objectivity in research.
Both efforts miss the point about post-truth… Which is that there is no truth. This results into a lack of meaning in some but Clair Bishop offers validating comfort for both in one sentence: “The self becomes a glue that enables the debris of the past to stick together, at least temporarily.”
I’m not an advocate of genius artistry nor a spokesperson for the artist trade. Having worked in different roles with them, as an assistant, an art writer and a producer, I’ve grown allergic to much of what constitutes an artist. Last minute changes to exhibition layouts as power grabs, pettifogging material or textual decisions for asserting authorship in collaborative processes, claiming commons as a resource and whimsical scheduling & budgeting irritate me.
But through having been active in the Kiasma_strike campaign I’ve been introduced to an aspect of artist-rational, which yields unparalleled power: Collective desire. On the rare occasion when artists exercise will collectively they outmatch any state of affair. For example, I now understand artistry and capital as the only domains which can meet as equals at an intersection of power, will and curiosity. Having consulted many of the over 220 artists on strike in different roles, I’ve witnessed them joining forces out of sheer curiosity and a multifaceted desire to push boundaries.
In the strike artists have gone all in for their beliefs and this gesture granted them similar type of power, creative movability and reach which capital has. In practice the collective power of artists outmatches capital power, because it originates from nothing. It is an expression of will and cannot be traded, inherited and interestingly it cannot be relied upon. Nonreliability makes it a fiersom asset for negotiations. It does what it wants, it resists efforts to be led because it can choose not to exist on a whim. Artistry is inherently disloyal to the established and bites the hand which feeds it, because it remains curious to what happens if it does. It truly tests the reality which contains it.
Being involved with the strike has refreshed my belief in the transformative power of art. Demanding something ridiculous yields real life results. Most of what we should demand from ourselves and the world is ridiculous.
Send out six Fairchilds to Germany. I seem to have misplaced a transistor and the units are running out much faster then expected. The ones I’ve sent were planned to be used to built a Paths. Which reminded me that I originally got my Benjolin PCBs as a gift for three transistors. So, I tested a Paths and Benjolin combination (which is the Fairchild initiative sound as of now) by clocking Paths with the PWM output, splitting the same signal to I/0 1 (set to two steps), via 0/I 1 & & O/I 2 to a pair of VCA CV inputs, which were fed the A & B SQR outputs from the Benjolin. This yielded a massive stereo spread. I also send both TRI & SQR outs to Paths with one or two outputs straight to the system out put but the Paths channel swapping produced a audible pops which effected the sound considerably. Sounded fun.
220 artworkers are trying to convince the Finnish National Gallery to choose fairtrade bananas over the alternatives. The organisation refuses to believe that fairtrade bananas exist.
I’ve been making side dish electronic maintenance projects to keep myself working on texts. Finally committed a modification to my Befaco Rampage, which outputs A/B froze (or got stuck rather) when they sent voltages to passive LPGs and Epochmodular Twinpeak. The freezing issue was present in other modules too over the years.
I changed R125 and R123 to 20K (default 1k). In the new configuration the outputs produce 9.4v out. I got in contact with Befaco and was recommended to do “a latest version mod” by removing R90, R89, C23 and C24, and to make bridge in the place of the 2 capacitors. The PCB is version 1.3.2. This arrangement produces 9.44v output and works with Epochmodular Twinpeak but not with a passive LPG. I’m trying to figure out which modification is better over all. There is also an option to change R52 to 43k which makes the envelopes of 8v. The LPG behaviour is mentioned in a forum discussion. Also swapped a 3.2uF in place of a 1uF in my Kassutronic ASR.