20181029

Visited Lau Nau: Wild/Captive at Blank Forms last weekend. Modular synth beats from multiple directions, blended with field recordings from the woods and organ-toned melodies. Many of the nature-sound-trips I’ve heard in the city (Bánh Mì Verlag/Control gigs) have been based on field recording too. They have underlined the differences of technological and natural soundscapes, moving from nature-like-sound towards machine-like-sounds (the narrative contrasts them and makes technological sounds feel disrupting). In Naukkarises’ piece the organ-toned melodies (from an accordion?) blended into nature sounds seamlessly. It was a tad romantic, but welcome. It felt hopeful.

Visited Storm King Art Center last Monday with the ISCP-crew. There were also people from other residents such as Eye Beam at the trip but unfortunately we didn’t have time to mingle (it was so cold outside). The endless display of gigantic rusty metal sculptures was depressing but there were some pretty vistas, fresh air and decent artworks on display too.

Mary Mattingly’s Along the Lines of Displacement: A Tropical Food Forest (2018) is a series of tropical trees planted to the cold New York terrain. The palm trees were intentionally displaced, as an absurd and uplifting response to global warming. They are destined to die during the winter, which makes the piece into a memento mori plant-life arrangement. Being non-native to New York I didn’t understand that the trees were unsuited to the climate (palm trees in New York pass my radar).

There was  a really nice video Wolf Nation (2018) by Alan Michelson on display inside the exhibition center. Michelson had found a remarkable stretch of footage from a disregarded wildlife film, which showed a pack of wolves observing their territory on top of a small hill for 10 minutes. They choreographed different kinds of collective arrangements, reacting to other inhabitants of the site and moved in an out the frame periodically. The wildlife film was found footage and Michelson had connected it with a soundtrack. The work referred to the New York Lenape people (Wolf Tribe).

Visited Remy Jungerman’s Based In exhibition at robert henry contemporary on Friday. I had no prior knowledge of his work and decoding its visual language took a while. Luckily Jungerman gave visitors short introduction to the works. As I understood the pieces were tools for identifying blind-spots that modern art and modernistic thinking has in relation to spirituality and otherness. The sculptures in the gallery felt like miniature models of modern cities or container ships. Each had a few iron-nails hammered into it. At first I thought that this was reference to the absence of materiality (in modern design) but the nails were possibly referring to religious practices in which nails are hammered into figurative sculptures as a sacrifice.

Participated in a Lorre-Mill uTone build workshop at Control yesterday. The uTone “uses CMOS logic, a resistor ladder, and a few other simple pieces to create audio forms. The scale inherent in this instrument is the undertone series, giving divisions of the main clock frequency”. Here is more about the design. We build our uTone units in four hours, hooked them together for a jam and chatted briefly about the topography of the circuit. I learned how to read resistor values from color codes a little better. Unfortunately the workshop was too short, we didn’t learn more about Will Schorre’s views on design and sounds (here is an interesting post on his website on prototyping). I would have also liked to learn more what the uTone is capable of. It has two inputs. I’m in the process of adding an 3,5mm TS Jack -> Banana Jack port/adapter to the device to integrate it with other gear.

We drafted a proposal with Ilari to have a publication on land- and environmental art conservation (Working title: Notes on Land and Environmental Art Conservation – Critical Approaches to Denes, Holt and Smithson) co-published by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New Yorks and the Fine Art Academy of Helsinki.

Synths and eurorack modules we proposed through the Oodi-modular initiative are currently being acquired by the library staff! We are on our way to a people’s-public-modular of Helsinki.

20181023

Put a pretty plate in a big box. Place the box in the center of the room. Set a hammer on the box. Participants have the obligation to break the plate but they have to break it secretly, so that nobody will know who is responsible. The box is checked periodically (by the entire group). The exercise continues for as long as the plate is intact. When it is discovered that the plate is broken participants use a ouija board to consult each other who broke the plate. #ॐ

20181019

WWC: Carlos Colón vs. Hercules Ayala (1987). Frenchie from Frenchie’s Gym serves as the referee in the match. Interestingly after the match the winners family gets on stage to celebrate with him.

Visited ecoartspace: Mary Mattingly and Jean Shin interviewed by Amy Lipton event at the 8th Floor on Wednesday. It was fun to learn about Lipton’s career as a curator specialising in ecologically steered arts. We didn’t get deep into her work or investigate it conceptually. Audiences were presented with a list of her most celebrated projects and exhibitions. Learning about Mattingly’s “public floating food forest” Swale was cool too. I’m pessimistic… I fear these kinds of initiatives fail in making the impact they seek. Not-doing would be more eco-friendly. But I don’t know how to “not do” in a sustainable way. No-Chair-Design campaign is the closest I’ve gotten.

20181016

Sonic Etiquette: Domestication of Acoustic Neighbourhood Relations in Istanbul (2018) Meri Kytö. A sonic ethnography of a middle-class housing cooperative. I get a strong sense of site from this text. It has a nice introduction to concepts such as “acoustic orderliness” (the “endless task on empirical research” trough which people try to fit their habitat acoustically), “spatial segregation” (Kytö argues that “acoustic orderliness” is key in maintaining the segregation of particular groups) and “strategic intimacy” (“a tool with which we can cover, process and utilize status and class distinctions in everyday encounters”).

My interest in the interface between private and communal sonic space is connected to the idea that the domestic sonic spaces of homes in densely built areas of big cities such as Istanbul are intertwined and overlapping. The acoustic space in apartments is porous and flowing: both the city as a public sonic space and neighbours’ private lives penetrate the home, regardless of the walls. “Private” is not a separate part of culture but an area of life that is strongly dependent on values and the concept of the individual. As a historical concept, privacy has been strongly linked to the formation of the Western bourgeois nuclear family civic society. Privacy can also mean information management and hence an individual’s right to self-determination, the formation of an autonomous and considerate citizen as a precondition for a democratic social order.

Taiteen metsittymisestä – Harjoitteita jälkifossiilisiin oloihin” [On the becoming-a-forest of Art – Exercises for postfossil conditions] (2018) ed. Henna Laininen. A book with texts from Saara Hannula, Markus Tuormaa, Isla Peura, Timo P. Vartiainen and Henna Laininen. I’ve only read the “Esitys metsän rajalla” [Performance on the edge of the forest] by Hannula. It’s good, she’s investigating how the forest is performed (in an example she deep-reads the visitor guide of the Paljakka Strict Nature Reserve). Hannula points to Contingency and Complicity (2011?) an essay by Reza Negarestani, to argue that artistic processes which boast their openesess and promote un-authoritarianism, are often dependent on the artist ego, infrastructure and conventions, which sorts out unwanted audience behaviour and risks. Instead of fake-openness – Artists should turn to complicity and closure.

The Crisis of Intimacy in the Age of Digital Connectivity (2018) Stephen Marche. A well written essay on internet’s effect on intimacy. Apparently Bill Clinton introduced the phrase “I feel your pain” in the ’90s. The author believes that people are returning to a believe that words have magical effects – Which is why political correctness is over exemplified, while empathy is diminishing.

The incipient political catastrophe in the United States can be summed up in a phrase: nobody believes the other’s pain is real. Nobody believes the other’s pain is meaningful; nobody recognizes anybody else’s pain. It is the central problem of internet-provoked outrage and loathing, the hyper-partisanship that turns on so many hinges. Nobody is willing to accept the other’s description of their feelings.