Minä, Marxilainen taiteilija [Me, a Marxist Artists] (2021) by Jyrki Siukonen is an elegant book, its written like a journal and assumes the reader to be well informed. The book reveals an absence of Marxist or Communist theories on aesthetics and depicts intricate political debates where Finnish artists and cultural workers of the 70ties attempted piece together a plan for a leftists artistic program. Marx was bad at art and their theories on production/commodities do not apply to cultural production. Similarly a Marxist depiction of historical progress fails in understanding the intricacies of style (that it does not “progress” but fluctuates). Siukonen reveals that artistic research in Finland is rooted on efforts to make sense of art production, by evaluating an artists responsibilities for society and the particularities of their praxis. Siukonen offers a striking analysis on the utopian function of socialist realism: In actuality communism in the Soviet Union existed only in art. I enjoy the banality which they depict the terrors of great purge… Nearly every artists or cultural theorist from the Soviet Union they cite, is revealed in the footnotes to be have imprisoned or executed by Stalin. By depicting an array of failed creative efforts to align artistry with Marx/communism, the book grinds an opening for imagining contemporary approaches to the question. Being a Marxist Artist is depicted as a learning process, which outcome we should not predict (just like communism!).

I got asked for a comment in a Hyperallergic article on Criticism in Finland Over Country’s Selection Process for the Venice Biennale (2023) Avedis Hadjian. The bit where I shyly hope for institutional change “Perhaps it [the curatorial process] also succeeds in having a lasting impact on the institutions involved in the process.” was cut in the editorial process.

Keho vaatii tunnetta [Body calls for emotion] (2023) Tiia From & Onni Oja. A nice to read, solid review of Crimes of the Future (2022) David Cronenberg. This text was written as an assignment for a course in Kankaanpää Art School and the authors very kindly credit me as a teacher! I also wrote shortly about the film.


My mothers petrifying religious practices.

Their beliefs built on a fusion of christian superstition, severe guilt or shame and a very specific know-how in psychology. The science bits of their beliefs were picked up from their father who did their PhD in the sixties on an analysis of parapsychological testing processes. The research revealed biases in seemingly neural test forms. For example how the layouts of questionnaires impact the data that they provide. Their research revealed biases in language: Red, hammer, apple.

Mother could cite Carl Jung to ground their intuitive decisions, use Freud to explain the fool proof logic of their whimsies and decorated the walls of our home with Buddhistic, Christian, Jewish and African ritual objects which they inherited or picked up from “Indian Bazaar”, a shop selling mass produced colonial goods form around the world. These curiosities were popular in the early nineties and succeeded in making our home appear bohemian.

Once when I caught a fly in my mouth while cycling, I asked them why a bug did not protect itself. They explained that the bug had mistaken my mouth for a birds mouth and flew in as an expression of its death drive which is inherent in all living beings. Mother talked with crows in the nearby forest, and translated the advice they gave. They had me talk kindly to hedgehogs and not jump on boulders as they were the knuckles of giants. Some of these approaches I’ve passed on.

Mother made bad life decisions, was unemployed and became severely depressed. We were poor and in the nineties recession we sold a lot of the inherited silverware and antiquities. They were on the phone endlessly arguing with distant relatives and waiting for calls from the bank, the unemployment or social welfare offices. Then they begun placing garlic bulbs next to windows and small Buddha statues on top of phone sockets.

I got angry, tore a garlic bulb from my window frame and tossed it out the fifth floor window. They got mad, explained the purpose of the vegetable but went silent soon after. Then they stationed by the phone waiting and continued chain smoking. In the night a staggering fear rose in me. I couldn’t stop thinking about going out to retrieve the garlic. But I feared that if I had moved the slightest the monsters my mother was shielding us with herbs would catch me. I didn’t sleep and kept still.

Around that time I learned that the bed I had been sleeping in for years was the same my grandfather had died in. I tried talking to them, asking for permission and advice. I felt comfort but began sleeping on the floor on a camping mattress just in case. Soon after I went for my conscript service on a remote island and took to study out of Helsinki. My brother left home for school soon after. Mother was alone and found work as a cleaner for SOL which preoccupied them. On the rare occasion we met they had only work gossip to share. They couldn’t stop talking about work gossip.

I don’t participate in any religious stuff and I don’t believe in god.

I can identify various lutheran traits in my praxis but I’m not sure if the values I express are christian or if they are the cultural particularities which lutheranism has appropriated in becoming local. I value the honesty of labour, commitment and duty. I enjoy it when a colleague emphasizes they are a “white Christian artist”. They do this to underline the mechanisms which dislodge non-white, non-christian artist experiences from the norm. But I indulge in the dynamic of their gesture from a distance. I don’t think my experience counts as being christian.

I know the stories but not the rites. Recently I suggested to barter with a priest to trade holy-water with them. I didn’t know that holy-water is not for consumption and that it cannot traded. In my teens this kind of ignorance was interpreted as rebellious.

I don’t know what I believe in but I’m expecting proper lutherian work ethic in horoscope and witchcraft affairs. I haven’t met many committed to magics and most ask about horoscopes for bohemian appeal. I guess people are scared about magic, so they tip their toes in star signs to assume rudimentary control of the domain. People develop bare minimum magic-know-how, so that magic won’t end up running their lives. At least that’s how I do it… Occasionally catching myself with a charm for good luck.

My first ritual service.

There is a city playground close to where we live called “India”. The district close by is called Arabia. It was inhabited by sailors and missionaries who named the streets according to the remote lands they had visited: Kongo-street, Damascus-street and Rome-street. Like other city playgrounds in Helsinki, in the summer India offers free daily lunches for children. The tradition is said to have started in 1942.

The food serving starts right after the schools close for the summer and takes place every weekday at noon. In 2021 over 5000 kids ate at playgrounds each day. When we were growing up in Malminkartano during the recession we ate daily at the Piianpuisto playground. I remember queuing for ages and that the meat and potato chunks went for the first in line. When I turned 15 and was no longer eligible for it, I stole the bread mother had rationed for my brother in revenge. Playground lunches hold significance to me.

At India Park food service starts with personnel, often a young trainee walking around ringing a brass bell. Children and families form a big circle around two huge soup containers at an opening next to the forest. There can be over a hundred kids. Everyone joining the circle is expected to sing. The songs are nursery rhymes and 20 year old children’s songs, that are selected based on the weather and sometimes according to what is being served. When there is stew we sing “… the crow brews the porridge…”

The playground staff member in charge stands in the middle, sings loud to set an example and leads simple choreographic movements. The choreographies include clapping hands in rhythm, simple hand gestures and jumping during the chorus parts. After the dance, a kid from the circle is selected to spin a fortune wheel, which lays horizontally at the centre. The wheel, a green square with a white dial, eventually points to the direction where the cue for the food starts.

This summer the fortune wheel had broken. Someone had stepped on it and after observing many iterations of different cardboard attachments being used for the missing arrow, I approached the staff and asked to repair it. Judging from the materials the wheel had been made in the 80ties. The base was a thin sheet of hardboard, with sides made from birch. The birch joints were complex locking rabbet joints. A lathed stud holds the arrow a tad offcenter middle of the square.

It had been repaired many times over the years and a lump of epoxy surrounded the arrow mount. I proceeded by making a new arrow from plywood, then added a strong new plywood base (from a fifties cabin I salvaged for a sound element) under the hardboard and reinforced all the joints with nails and glue. I made a bearing for the arrow and used brass screws in the assembly.

The fortune wheel has an important task: In the past food might have run out, so the device ensures everyone has a fair chance for nourishment. We handed it to the park staff with Helka, who was really proud for having painted the arrow with spray paint. As a reward they wanted to spin the wheel but I didn’t know how to ask for a favour from the staff.

The first time the new fortune wheel was spun, it pointed to a kid left of us and we ended up being the very last on the cue that day. The wheel showed us it is honest in performing its duties.

This is how I performed a belief with out knowing what it is.


YLE news is celebrating our  “1gen NATO recruits” and nothing critical is being published. I resigned from the Finnish army reserve in protest. The process in which our NATO application was decided on was an abomination. Decision making bodies in the government used mass hysteria, which the State of Russia’s attack on Ukraine caused, to usher the plans forwards. There were no debates, no critical discussions and Finland did not issue terms for the alliance. We are likely getting NATO bases in Finland, which will likely be armed with nuclear weapons. 80 years of work for peace down the drain!

In peak hysteria, news outlets explained that we cannot vote on joining because of possible Russian influence in public debates. We abandoned democracy: Through its actions our state revealed that it deems democracy too weak to be trusted, opted not to strengthen it and assumed an authoritarian position. It is well known that generals wanted Finland to join NATO for a long time. This is most likely because Finland’s population is ageing and there are not enough young men to protect the infra baby boomers built: There was not enough nation to protect the nation.

Our army was running out of flesh, which made bigger partners appealing. One of the horrors of our particular NATO alliance, which was not discussed during the process, is that our army is a conscription army where young men have to serve a minimum of 6 months. Kids are forced by law to serve and I’m sure they will be offered career possibilities in NATO. In the article linked above, kids express excitement for the opportunity to learn English with NATO! Finland is turning into a recruitment centre because our boomer zombie generals gave up. Are there any processes in place tasking some to explain to young conscripts what a “nuclear weapons deterrent” is?

After resigning the reserve I was tasked to join a five day civil service training camp. The dates didn’t work for me and I asked to reschedule it. The rescheduling process is bureaucratic and I got angry. They wanted me to provide an explanation, detailing valid personal reasons for rescheduling the camp and I had no intent in exposing my affairs. After a heated debate with a civil service officer yesterday, I woke up with a fresh idea and tasked an AI to write a 1000 word apology letter detailing made up “work reasons” for the rescheduling.

The letter was nonsensical jargon and it was accepted by the officer. A zombie who gave up. But I’m now more angry than before… Our society and its institutions are being demolished by cynicism and a lack of responsibility. Overworked civil servants are tasked to maintain an appearance of a democratic state with proper systems for evaluating decisions, but due to stress, instead of working officers copy&paste extracts of rules and regulations to fill the message fields. They do this to justify reasoning for affairs they don’t believe in. Then people, subjected to these whimsical raps respond to them with messages supplied by free to use AIs.

What is the endgame our state is working towards? I’m sort of digging the current cyberpunk phase where automated defence systems target each other while humans spend their days supplying corporate AIs with data. But my anger is growing and I have to think about something before I turn cynical too. We are turning into a nightmare in gray-literature. Our society produces text which is not meant to be read, only to be browsed trough and understood trough its volume and timing.


I’m 2 3/3 into The Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy (2008-2010) by Liu Cixin. I should have discovered this artwork earlier. It offers insight to many of the ideological challenges posthumanism faces as a political movement: Nature is beyond cruel, shadowed only by the ignorance of the universe… So, how can we built momentum to organize? I imagine the story (particularly the first book) is to a degree reimagining changes which European expansionism inflicted on the world. It could be read to imagine what went on in people’s drug numbed minds during the Opium Wars, when the destiny of China changed and people needed to break their minds to survive anew. Cixin is weirdly approaching this stress optimistically, celebrating bureaucracy and hierarchical governance (a sense of more-than-human-duty) as safe havens from the anxiety which individuals feel in troubled times. Perhaps the series is a reader for Confucius.

This defeatism is the horror in the story, it portrays individuals the weak links of collectives, or populations rather. The book portrays that for life, only populations matter and this perspective brings about challenges to human rationality. The manner humans have adapted and continue to adapt to change is non-rational, our survival is a non-rational process governed by a lifeforce beyond our grasp. This is why we can’t die. The best we can do is to document the passing of this cruel lifeforce in order to gain an understanding of its direction. This understanding is helpful only for preparing for the next horrors that await us. Kristiina Koskentolas Our Bodies Have Turned to Gold (2018) is a good reference for approaching this deathless death.

The people in the story are bone dry, caricatures of film-noir characters and there are hardly any women (and the few portrayed as saints or demons). There aren’t any animals either and the few plants which the story depicts are used for a thin backdrop landscape. Despite issues with character development, it suggests bold ideas on social order such as the weaponization of empathy, exhibited in scenes where people plot and execute ecogenocides. Communication takes place through gazes and decisions are affirmed in feedback loops. Perhaps all communication has this character.

The story also suggests that all cosmological questions may be resolved through philosophical enquiry. Having binged on acollierastro’s videos on string theory and dark matter, this rings true. The “sophon-barrier”, a talisman blocking scientific development on earth, featured in the first two books is real: We can only perceive what our nature affords us, so investigating the mind is the only route to discovery. This extends Timothy Morton’s ideas regarding algorithms (in Humankind, 2017) to flesh. Morton’s depicts that algorithms are locked to the past because their code replicates the ideology of the era they were written. The lifeforce is the only route for change yet if we surrender to it (which we must), humans become something else, which is gruesome and ugly. Surviving is a disgusting process as discussed earlier.

Edit: The third book didn’t provide more of “cosmic sociology” but it had entertaining horror & space opera bits. The idea that stories transmit technological information was of interest and syncs well with ideas on rhythm as technology which I was introduced in Assembling a Black Counter Culture (2022). In the third book earth is flattened in a multidimensional attack which converts the solar system into 2D. This got me thinking that representational political activity (for example artists producing illustrations of past political movements) possibly removes a dimension (perhaps intuition) from our understanding of day political activity.

Assembled a Delay No More and set it in a case with a Benjolin, a Twin Peak filter, a speaker and the FM radio I’ve been working on. It’s difficult to grasp as a system. The delay itself is a challenge.

Resigned from the army reserve and I’m set to undergo five days of Civil Service training in August. I resigned as a protest, because Finland’s NATO process was not discussed and organized democratically. Defending the authoritarian society Finland is emerging as, as a corporal was a saddening idea. Feels weirdly sad to resign.


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.