20191025

Visited Monstera by Essi Kausalainen at Mad House. I liked the performance and particularly enjoyed a minimalistic stepping dance the performers executed towards the end of the show. It felt like a simplified version of cicapo or some other court dance. Perhaps something enjoyed by Carl Linnaeus in the ballrooms of his era. Linnaeus’ work in starting the modern system of naming organisms had inspired the performance and he was heavily present in a séance-like segment before the dance. In a talk before the show Kausalainen pondered if the act of naming a thing could be read as an attempt to show affection towards it. The step-dance also reminded me of compulsory or involuntary movements people perform when idling (while waiting for a bus etc). The dance informed me of a vegetative movement or motion, which is possibly intrinsic to all living things. The practice of the performers felt like an amplification of this auto-movement and when performed collectively by the group, it felt like a method of building solidarity trough the lowest common nominator (which for me is idling).

Etched and build a Bastl Skis Expander 1u and assembled a Lite2Sound PX unit by Rare Waves. I want to send audio across space using leds and laser beams. Tested it yesterday sending audio form my Disting Mk4 using a bipolar led thing I build and it works well. I’m looking for a red laser which I can use to draw on material surfaces, so that the Lite2Sound converts the shapes of the surface to sound (much like a vinyl needle). I want to hear textures. I used a fee from a wedding gig (manufactured mineral waters, read poetry and served as a bartender) to acquire a spring tank (Accutronics 9EB2C1B) and I’m making made a 1u expanded for the Spring Reverb mkII.

What does sending audio in a laser beam trough parkling water, spatialized by a spring reverb (which feedback agitates the water) sound like? What will the surface of a slab of wood sound like when played like a vinyl? Do grooves of bark sound what they feel like?

20191018

I don’t like jazz but I enjoy that it exists. I like browsing Wikipedia entries which explain it and detail the artists involved. Browsing is faking research, which is faking working, which is faking there is work. And I couldn’t really concentrate on listening anyway because concentration would make me unavailable for work. Collecting reading lists is how I read… I don’t think I’m alone with this. We are heading towards a future were things don’t matter, because things are just copies of things once made. The remaining work is in building pretty constellations of things that once were and experiencing their temporal relations to the fullest. This experience does not propose transformation, it is only a browse trough a possible reality before the next. Browsing is self-affirming and performs a comforting fatigue: There is no work, there is nothing but work and I’m drowning in it. This is what browsing speaks to me. This is Industrial Loneliness. #ॐ

Communism Against Civilization or Eco-Fascism (2019) zoe4revolution.

As the climate disaster accelerates, the oppressed can build solidarity, increase their own chances of survival, and simultaneously become more experienced in the use of their autonomous power through the creation of networks of mutual aid. Collective networks for harm reduction, to address food insecurity, and provide medical assistance will hopefully be accompanied by the growth of autonomous organizations for the development and synthesization of revolutionary theory, for political mobilization, the dissemination of propaganda, and for collective self-defense.

20191014

My report Mitä jää käteen kun saa aivan liikaa ja vielä enemmän? [What do you get when you are offered too much and more] on the Ural Industrial Biennial 2019 is out on Mustekala.info. It starts with a short description of the organization and an overview of the biennial’s this years theme “Immortality”. I’ve based my examination on texts offered in the catalogue and a very light reading of philosopher Yuk Hui’s work (he’s cited in the texts, as mentioned and felt very influential for the show). I had a lot of time to study material on the train! I recap a funny Rostec representative who tried to appropriate the theme during a panel by calling their corporation immortal and ponder if the seminar talk about contemporary art conservation was a way to deal with Lenin’s corpse.

The text continues as an easygoing account of my session with a biennial “mediator” Dennis. We browsed artworks which he deemed important for the exhibition. This suited me well as the focus of the tour turned out to be on post-colonial thought (largely dealing with China and specifically Hong Kong). I try to assess how (or if) the presentation of works refers to contemporary Russia. I celebrate the biennials pedagogical program and ponder if the gigantic amount of art on display is an attempt to make the biennial more accessible for the diverse Russian art audiences (something for everybody) or to silence everybody with the volume of works. Depictions of my chats with Dennis exposes the various technical hassles shadowing the exhibition.. But I’m not judgemental of the hassle. I enjoy them and the affordances they offers.

I conclude my review by summarizing our visit to the Uralsbest mine and factory, which was organized by the biennial. (There is a photo by Elina!) I try to think what it means that media surfaces used for contemporary art exhibitions, are made from minerals hauled from similar mines and try to frame of the mine visit as an opportunity to radically question how toxicities should be addressed. The text ends with me regretting that I couldn’t take the people we met in Asbestos city “seriously”. I regret not having a register to hear what they said about asbestos, because they must have very specialized knowledge on how we (in the global west) could learn to cope with toxins in the future.

20191013

Saw Television by Niko Hallikainen at Mad House Helsinki. He appeared confident and included various stage tech maintenance maneuvers into the performance (toggling lights and the space heating). Seeing the performer crossing the stage, just to turn the heating off before starting their monologue made me feel I was in good hands. He shared an eventful and touching love story but I think an underlying motive of the piece was to explore how virtual spaces can be formed using spoken word. In the beginning Hallikainen confessed the performance was an attempt to build a a temple for a departed lover and described various interiors they had been in: A bar, his home, their home, a strangers home. The hints we were offered to visualize the spaces were subtle. He described things in them (DVD covers, coffee machines), mapped their relations spatially and prompted us to “use our imaginations” if we wanted to sort out how the spaces were configured. His words felt like projections. A magical portal, the TV or screen (emphasized by blue lights on stage) which links all interiors together, was identified using words and a dance. The mood of the performance and the tone of his voice reminded me of the Neuromancer 1994 audiobook.

Visited a Synthetic Youth -event at Cactus. Particularly liked Kanyon2000000 and 8 bits High was super, got me dancing too. They are having a tour in libraries (9.11 Ylöjärvi and Tampere) which is very fitting for music made with keyboards. Kanyon2000000 has a picture online where they are posing in front of the Oodi modular.

20191011

Subscribed to Kusksu a mailing list for sound-art and spotted “Radigue” at Space for Free Arts curated by MIF. The event was a part of Äänen Lumo and offered performances by Clara de Asís & Lauri Hyvarinen, Enrico Malatesta and Thomas Ankersmit. Maletesta played Occam XXVI a composition by Éliane Radigue, which uses two bowed cymbals and a frame drum. The bow agitated the cymbals, forming drones and their resonation transferred between the plates over air. Occasionally Malatesta hover a drum membrane over the cymbals to pickup and amplify low tones. He used sound to play sound over air!

Ankersmit performed “Perceptual Geography” (sample on soundcloud). It was really rewarding to see a serge modular live on stage. There were moments when it felt like he was playing every conceivable sound the same time. He was very loud and the performance was punctual. The execution of the piece felt like an academic study of noise. We were presented with tonal structures and spaces. They appeared abruptly, evolved and then suddenly crashed. It felt like the tones referred to nature. I couldn’t identify what I was listening but I could imagine hearing similar tones in a forest. I only recognize occasional square wave pulses in the beginning and the end of the set.

The piece is based on Ankersmits research on sound artist Maryanne Amacher. Particularly on her work concerning psychoacoustic phenomena and sound spatialization (recently popularized on youtube). During the gig I had the urge to tilt my head, so that I could avoid pain caused by a harsh drone tone. As I turned my head I felt a melody ringing inside my skull. I noticed other audience members bobbing their heads too. The experience was similar to the tingling which high resonance filter sweeps can cause. But this experience was more articulated, like an overtone melody which was forcefully positioned inside my head. The experience was a result of sound spatialization and this was the first time I hear it. I didn’t know it is possible to manipulate the spatial perception of the audience to this extent, let alone intentionally as a part of a performance!