20200716

Build a floating passive low pass gate with tone control (followed tips from here) but added 1k resistors to all inputs/outputs. Assembled my own vactrols, following a Animodule guide (I think I used a VT935G LDR and a Kingbright L-424IDT). Made a few passive floating attenuverters and passive gate to trigger plugs, following a partial schematic by Ken Stone. Might go for a Voltage combiner next. Yan Proefrock has published collection of passives. I wish I had learned of The Klangorium by Elliot Williams five years ago, build it and resolved my curiosity with electronics. It’s a Lunetta style system which seems to fit my desires.

Minua ei kiinnosta valkoinen etuoikeutesi [I don’t care about your white privileges] (2020) Sean Ricks. A great responce to the wave of reactive announcements of solidarity Finnish culture organizations published during the first waves of the Black Lives Matter movement. As Ricks points out many of the announcements are hollow because people working for these organizations are not actually willing to denounce their privileges. I would take Ricks critique even further and argue that many of the announcements are preemptive manoeuvres aimed to deflect further enquiries.

20200715

NYC Horse Carriages vs. Carriage Horses (2014) Jason Hribal. A short and acute response to Liam Neeson’s speech, which he made to support the “Save NYC Horse Carriages” campaign. Approaching horses primarily as members of the working class, Hribal argues that they should be seen as an unpaid and exploited labor force, which is forced to serve capital. A detail of our relationship with animals he address is that animals are working also when they are made into glue. Historically, working horses have seldom been seen as companions. I agree but remain optimistic that currently we have a good chance in developing horse-human working relationships which are founded on companionship.

The [horse cart] drivers were middle management and their job was to get the horses to work harder, longer, and faster. In fact, the drivers’ wages were dependent upon this arrangement.

20200713

Kukonmäen lähde (Rooster Hill Spring) an ancient site with a natural spring, cup-stones (Kuppikivi) in the proximity and the spring water is deemed undrinkable (which makes it all the more exiting). The spring has a concrete support (possibly build in the 30ties as it does not have a steel support) and willow in it’s proximity. The spring was renovated in 2009 by the self-organized Maarian Allas Association. In the renovation they removed a staircase which lead to the water and build a fence around the spring (to keep animals out of the water). Members of the association have organized Saint Lawrence day (10.8) harvest-celebration events at the site. Turku Museum Center has designated the spring as ancient and dated the site over 5000 year old. Planning a mineral water excursion with New Performance Turku.

A short history on sparking waters in Helsinki: Vadelmalimonaadia ja seltterivettä [Raspberry lemonade and Seltzer water] (2014) Kati Selänniemi. Pharmacists Edward Forsberg established the first sparkling water factory at Erottajankatu 4 in 1854. His venture expanded in 1865 as he was joined by seven pharmacists, who established the Apteekkarien Kivennäisvesitehdas Oy [Pharmasists Mineral Water Factory]. Around that time they started working with a some sort of carbonation technology which allowed them to produce artificial mineral waters. Here is a cute advert for their products and services. They also produced sparking wines, lemon sodas and offered sparkling water bathing treatments. According to this source (a collector of porcelain bottle caps) Apteekkarien Kivennäisvesitehdas was operation until 1959.

According to a 2020 article in Helsingin Sanomat (Pauli Jokinen), mineral waters were sold in kiosks as the water of the city wells was a health hazard. Most of the kiosks mentioned in the text are located around the city center boulevard and aimed for city bourgeoisie (I think this is why drinking bottled water is still considered fancy). If I understand it correctly, mineral waters were imported from abroad because they were safer to drink then local waters. When pharmacists learned how to manufacture them artificially they begun producing them from distilled water locally. Some of the waters in an old menu (provided by the Helsinki City Museum archives ) refer (or are from?) geological springs around Europe (Aachener, Emser, Pyrmonter, Selters, Vichy).

Apparently there was a sparking water boom. They were associated with bath-houses, bathing culture and sold as remedies for different heath concerns. Myths of fountains with healing properties were commercialized early on. Fredrik Berndtson’s 1845 book Helsingfors för Resande, i synnerhet Bad- och Brunnsgäster (available in a library in Sweden) offers guidelines and recipes on how to treat oneself with water.

Mineral waters in Tampere share a similar history.

20200707

My gig at the Malmi cemetery has ended. I got an opportunity to leave the job thanks to a Art Promotion Center covid grant. The grant enables me to complete a writing job on Performance Pedagogy, start developing the Horse & Performance course for TEAK and prepare mineral water performances for the fall (which is going to be hella busy). I got the grant for making an interesting critique of the response creative culture in Finland had on the pandemic.

I miss the work a bit, it felt honest and the crew was fun. It was exhausting to work outdoors in +30C° weather / rain and doing artsy stuff as a sidejob took its toll on family life. The pay was pretty low too, so the grant feels like winning the lottery. I’ve slept and wept for two days. Artists in Finland often complain that government artists grants are too low. Sure, they are but considering the hours and physical exhaustion of the gardening job I’d take the grant life for life.

I completed two electronics kits over the last weekends. I assembled a Dannysound Cali (California) oscillator, which is a replica of the Buchla Model 258. Wavefolding is inspiring: Instead of removing content to develop a sound, an aspect of it gets exaggerated. The unit allows wavefolding to be used to cut the volume, which works for neat lowpass filter type effects. Last weekend I assembled a Befaco Rampage, which is an “approach to an old invention: the Serge/Buchla ramp generator”. It processes sound, triggers and gates to spurt out an array of control voltages. It feels like an intelligence of sorts. I can use it as an envelope follower (Planning to process sparkling water. Edit: My preamps are not strong enough!). My current Waterlab eurorack system runs on a USB power bank.

20200627

The Coloniality of the Algorithm (2019) Flavia Dzodan. Dzodan asks us to use the word coloniality instead of colonialism because coloniality is an active process which still affects us. They argue that post-colonialism is a bluff indented to make us believe that it is a thing of the past (I share a similar believe in post-humanism). Dzodan defines the data-collection performed by bigdata corporations as being rooted on a a colonial mentality which sees payed labor as a privilege (of the white ruling class).

I’ve been following the llllllll.co forum as a covid pastime and recently read trough the Let’s dump master-slave terms! tread (only open for registered users). In short a lot of music related technical jargon echo foul attitudes and removing problematic terms such as Slave and Master (from the MIDI documentation and implementation etc.) can be though of as a step towards more inclusive creative & technical cultures. The thread is hard and provoking to read, which I think is a good thing. A lot of folk feel offended by the idea of change.

I was unaware of the connotations these terms bring with. For me these terms have been a part of a technical vocabulary which I don’t translate to my own language. For me learning English has been challenging and as an example, I remember being penalized for not learning to use gender pronouns correctly (which our native language does not have). Now that I’ve read how these terms affect folk, participating in a campaign which seeks to change these terms or help in developing awareness of them, feels like the right thing to do.

But I would like that the process where these terms are discussed would not assume that every culture shares the same understanding of these terms or shares a similar belief on the significance of words. Changing these terms is a good starting point and the discussions which follow are good. I think the root of the problem is in a culture which assumes hierarchies and binary opposition. I fear that the language these cultures use reproduces harmful relationships regardless of the words that are used.