20190808

Participated on my second Performing the Fringe walk/un-conference last weekend in Vilnius. The project is organized by curators Inga Lace & Jussi Koitela. On site we were also hosted by Ula Tornau from the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC). Hooked up with old friends I met in Stockholm (Andrej Polukord, Flo Kasearu, Jon Benjamin Tallerås) and I was introduced to new friends Lara Almarcegui and Michele Matyn. The visit was eventful and tightly scheduled. Upon arrival we gave short introductions to our work and sociologist Siarhei Liubimou presented his research. He had identified that soviet nuclear power-plant workers form tightly related groups and resemble an ethnicity. The workers are highly specialized and under the states protection. They can carry out their entire working careers in relation to different power-plants, live in semi-closed communities and their offspring often continue the work.

Liubimous talk on how people moving daily between European cities for work, can be understood as the core of the emerging pan-European population, offered an interesting framework for viewing how the temporary Performing the Fringe artist-network is organized: Our group was brought together trough synchronous movement, which was steered by abstract spatial targets (instead of articulated aims). Example. In Vilnius we attempted to reach a TV tower by foot and in the process the entire landscape we passed, merely facilitated our joined movement. Our movement made the city into an abstract surface, which I believe we read primarily in relation to our joined movement. Relationships in the group were informed by the landscape but not defined by it.

The next day Lina Albrikiene took us on an emotional walk in her childhood surroundings. Later she took us on a walk in Lazdynai, a district supposedly modeled after Tapiola (I made a video about their relationship 2012). Kipras Dubauskas took our group under the city, we walked a kilometer in old rainwater tunnels. Some parts of the tunnels were build using bricks and others were made from newer materials. It was a time-trip of sorts – The city felt like an organism. We visited Delta Mityba in the evening for the exhibition and eating. We were kindly hosted by Robertas Narkus who gave us a tour of the space and shared his experiences in combating gentrification. The next day Vitalij Cerviakov took us on a toxic-walk to the “most polluted” parts of the city. As we walked the landscape revealed itself like a narration. A notable vista opened when we approached new grave yards, which were situated between a barren wasteland and an Ikea, our movement felt like a movie. I think that the banks, national internet server facilities and parliaments are more toxic then the route we took. Our group talked non-stop during the trip (expect on the latter walk which was a silent) and we spend the nights visiting art events around the city.

Through Cerviakov’s toxic-walk, I arrived to the understanding that the contemporary art we saw in the city was trying to develop a narrative or some other reasoning, to explain the current state of affairs. Experiences of city habitats and creatives are not commonly known and people we met exhibited a strong desire to share their story or present how they had come to terms with the post-state of affairs. I could feel the weigh-of-the-west forcing people to articulate their desires (even though most desires are best left unarticulated, this does not mean unexposed). It felt like artists were defined by this forced-reasoning-process, either trough their protest against it or skills in aligning with it. Nostalgia that looks to a future, which failed to arrive is a viable form of protest: Some future communists want only wool shirts, yogurt and to share the faint heat of their shelters.

Watched Rocky VI (1986) by Aki Kaurismäki after the trip and understood better: Beating the referee and the audience is the only way to win and winning is nothing. I was very inspired by the event and I’ve scribbling notes frantically since my return. The project will continue 2020.

Performed at Lal Lal Lal: Neptunalia 2019 at Tenho two weeks ago. Got on stage with Regular Dog, Pauliina Haasjoki, Reijo Pami, Sara Milazzo, Arttu Partinen & DJ Paukku. I presented a mineral water lecture which I brightened up using live fizzy water sounds (used an amp I build earlier). Ended my talk by preparing a batch of faux s.pellegrino using chalkstone from an ammonite fossil (talk notes in Finnish). My talk resonated particularly well with Haasjokis geological-poetry. Pami used a bucked of water as a sequencer, Partinen played moody ambient using cassettes, Milazzo had an array of tech on stage which she used to probe the dynamics of space and deep water exploration. Regular Dog was cute – Bought their cassette.

20190724

Shopping districts in Helsinki are named after 80ties action series heroes. Redi is always wearing a red bandana, he prefers a shotgun and has a black belt. Tripla drives a three-wheeler and uses a bazooka in a pinch. Their HQ is at the Prisma dojo and their nemesis organization is named The Amazonians of Banggood.

I’ve been doing so much crafts and construction work this summer that the fingerprint ID of my phone doesn’t recognize me. Got new scars too. Currently working on building a dance floor for Mad house, it should be a two person job. Bought a table saw-table and a new circular saw. 1200w!

20190709

I have a bad habit of planning my performances using lists. I often maintain two. One for the score and one for stuff I need for it. The score-list resembles a schedule and shows the order of different conceptual ideas I plan to bombard the audience with. More on score-lists in a previous post.

The lists attempt to represent a structure of the artwork. They are useful for assessing how things flow during the show and for spotting how different ideas and materials align. But I now think that lists do more harm then good. They advocate hierarchical, linear and deterministic (causal) views of time. Performances that are planned using lists for chores and materials, are rituals which advocate the passing of time and the (seemingly) inevitable changes the passing of time causes. Performance artists often set the pace and become temporal dictators of sorts.

I’m starting to like exhibitions because audiences can piece them together in their own pace. I bet contemporary art is very much in dept to geology in this regard. Every exhibition visitor is a psycho-geologist of sorts. Workshops are cool too because attendants most often try match their work rhythm with the group.

Listening to Ways of Hearing (2017) Damon Krukowski. A podcast on how listening has been affected by the emergence of digital media. It is been very sentimental and nostalgic but easy and inspirational listening when cycling thou. Finnish HC scene is mentioned in episode 5!

20190707

Helka was still in her pyjamas when Frida came to collect her. They ate bilberry pie for breakfast and decided to head for the Pimpelipom-hills. Frida sprinted upstairs to fetch her stuff and Helka begun the meticulous process of testing which of her caps would best match the band-aids in corner of her eye. She settled on the pink one, which showed the band-aid just enough to spark curiosity.

I was drying a piece of timber in the microwave. A slice of birch from Tammisaari which I cut the day before. While cooking it first smells like a damp forest, then like a sauna and towards the end like bread (I guess it’s the sugars in the wood). The bilberries were from the same site as the birch.

Frida returned with a purse and wore brand new white sneakers. She was proud to tell me that they were for her camping trip. Helka got a purse too, a leather one, with a gold magnet to secure the lid. The excess shoulder strap was held in a loop using an hair tie.  They packed phones, cookies and asked to knifes. Helka found the smaller one from Okkos backpack and Frida was happy to get the longer and sharper one, which I keep in the kitchen drawer.

They went outside and I waved at them from the window. Frida strolled around the housing hold company parking lot a few times, showing her new shoes and then they dashed into the woods. There was no conflict, no struggle or grand narrative to refer to. They were just a couple of kids in the woods with knifes in their purses. Detached from history.