20200323

Performing the Fringe exhibition at Konsthall C was rewarding to setup. Most of the artists in our group came to Stockholm, where we were warmly welcomed by Erik Annerborn & staff. On site we had the pleasure to work with Kaisa Sööt who had designed the exhibition architecture. She had build wavy-benches based on a park seating design spotted in Hökarängen. A localized furniture architecture development effort (reminded me of NCD-C swingers club designs).

I arrived a day before my performance to extract samples from stone architecture using kitchenware from Ikea. A meat-hammer served as a mallet and a regular table knife as a chisel. I pulverized the rocks using a Ikea stone mortar & pestle. The powder was gray and dissolved (seemingly) well into the water (0,3 mg per liter). Polukord noted that granite ore contains metals which caused some concerns (I wonder if it’s possible to separate metals from ore using a magnet?).

My portable CO2 regulator worked well and produced ~5,5 bars of pressure inside standard 1,5 liter plastic bottles, which I used for water-to-gas agitation and serving. The gas was from a local shop which stocks consumer grade 475g CO2 tanks (CGA320 treads). Interestingly the plastic bottles stretched when I added pressure and when shaked the plastics retraction would add to the pressure, causing the content to retreat back towards the regulator. In my first rehearsals this counter pressure caused the valves to come loose.

The next day I performed for a private family which lives in the district. The family connection was facilitated by Annerborn, who introduced me to them in person before the show. I executed my performance in the family’s kitchen. I had some trouble with my sound system, the shape of the space caused a feedback loop, which was hard to resolve. I attempted to do the talk bits in Swedish (my Swedish language skills are fringy, which works well with the project theme) but turned to English midway and the kids lost interest soon after. My statuesque warm-up dance moves were constantly commented by kids, which made pacing difficult. The performance was a delightful mess.

The family was very concentrated on the presentation. I had some minor problems maintaining cohesion, the event challenged the artistic integrity of the piece in a good way. A beneficial learning opportunity and I think the family enjoyed the chamber performance too. We chatted a bit after the performance and they showed their backyard. I was donated a piece of rock from their garden and prompted to make mineral water from it.

The coronavirus didn’t change the performance much. At the time there was no social distancing etiquette guidelines in place in Stockholm (a week an a half ago). We did maintain a little more distance then normally and I executed extra caution in the water preparation. If the family would have wanted I could have made the performance outdoors, in which case it would have been a typical lecture-performance.

Our exhibition opening was cancelled, even so there were some 10 visitors at the space for the opening. This was just enough for setting the mood and actually made the social situation more dense than normal openings. The fewer people there are the more focus they demand. Performances for big audiences are more relaxed because the crowd behavior is more easy to react to than individual gazes. I prepared different waters for the guests and people were exited to drink them (particularly the gravestone water).

Katarina Frifarare had a parallel opening in the Konsthall C Centrifug space. The Centrifug can be booked for exhibitions by anyone and the dates of the show are set randomly. We should have something like this in Helsinki too, in the Taidehalli space? Frifarare’ exhibition was a leftist analysis of women’s textile work and made a good match with our exhibition.

20200320

All Finnish art funding organizations should combine their funds to provide a support package for artists (just learned there is a plan in motion). I think they should support artists with a tax-free fee which would cover living costs for three months, after which we could reevaluate the situation. I think this could be given unconditionally to artists who have received support from the foundations or the state with the last three years. I also think that art organizations should temporarily lower their grants to support a larger mass of artists.

Art funding by the state has been stuck in a model which values quantity over quality. I think this situation offers a great opportunity to focus on content.  The amount of visitors or the volume artworks an event hosts is not important anymore – This should make everyone happy! I believe that art spaces / organizations that show willingness to emphasis on content should be supported during this transitional period. Their efforts will provide a solid basis for “changing gears” of the art field.

Experiments with social distancing etiquette:

  • I just arrived from Stockholm.
  • I’m planning to come over for a few beers.
  • If you are concerned with my arrival, please PM me and I’ll invent a discrete excuse for not comming.
  • You can PM me during our meeting, I’ll makeup an excuse on the fly and leave.

Kissing is yet again a sign of a lovers dedication and victory over death.

I have full confidence in our government: If they would have seen a quarantine as a better option then social distancing, they would have called for it.

20200316

This virus is more about coping with the terror of a corporation controlled mediascape and the totalitarism of nation states then health. There is no post-truth, only noise paranoid businessmen utter trough the voice of precariat journalists, there is no quarantine only a performance amplifying bourgeois monocultural family values. The message this noise amplifies is their fear that Okboomer virus is a call to action. They fear people will see their fear for what it is and feel alive for the first time. #☭

20200308

Labour of the Artist, Feminist Practices and Troubles with the Infrastructure (2019) Bojana Kunst. Citing Isabell Lorey, Kunst argues that people are governed by precarity and that a constant state of self-organizing is drawing resources from our potential to organize collectively. In other words: Precarity hinders possibilities to imagine political continuity. She argues that precarity is structured or enforced by the infrastructure of our cities and states that the activities of urban feminist artists and collectives in the 70ties were a response to a collapse of welfare infrastructure (in her view infrastructure becomes visible only when it is in crisis). Kunst builds a case that many leftist artistic movements which desire to repair infrastructure end-up reproducing its problems. It’s not beneficial to cling on to good feelings which responding to symptoms of infrastructural collapse provide. More effort should be put in problematizing conditions cause its hindrance. Unfortunately struggle for a future has been replaced by a struggle of maintaining life in contemporary cities.

Visited Makamik squat but came too late for the support gigs. Felt like a warm community and I hope to visit it again. The last set had a lot of modular synth gear on stage. Feels weird to see modular synths at a squat: There is a mismatch between the affordability of the gear and the accessibility of the site. But modular synths in a squat make complete sense on a conceptually! Also I think gaining skills in diy electronics could easily be scaled to skills in working with the house electricity systems.

The state of economics can be measured from the temperature of elderly world leaders. #☭

20200306

The racist and fear mongering Finns Party is normalizing a process were people in power use linguistic loopholes to embed racial slurs and toxic opinions into public statements. Its an infantile method for seeking attention. Like when a parent says “Don’t walk indoors with your muddy shoes” and a rebellious child responds by jumping around while shouting “But dad I’m not walking!”. Instead of saying what they mean, they say imply what they mean and if they are called out, they engage in pedantic shenanigans to normalize slurs. This toxic jargon is now used by the UROS company as a response over critique of the naming process of a controversial sports arena in Tampere.

The company name UROS stands for MALE in Finnish and its staff consists of 26 males and two women. They are the main sponsor of the arena and have decided to name it UROS LIVE. As a response to critique over naming a gigantic urban development project as MALE, the company representative claims that the name “does not have anything to do with gender”. The spokeperson-manchild insists the name is a mere abbreviation of their English name “Universal ROaming Solutions” (which they chose for the company). This process is a good example of what happens when rich people extend their economical dominance to infrastructure.

If I keep drinking mineral water made from Finlandia Hall marble I’ll replace the calcium in my bones with the building and effectively become a building myself. If I read wikipedia correctly it’ll take 10 years for my bone minerals to be swapped. Currently my weight is ~2mg Finlandia Hall. Not all of the calcium I’ve drank will absorb to my bones but still… An interesting side-effect worth exploring. Eventually I might start hosting seminars in my body.

Preparing for Konsthall C gig and exhibition. Using kitchenware bought from Ikea for rock & mineral sample extraction tools, modified a speaker to play rock extraction sounds periodically. Made the speaker interface pretty using a novel silicone-molding technique. Worked with it like plaster and dyed it green (diy orthopedic skills were deployed). Had a pleasant chat with Moa Tunström who gave us a really thorough introduction to the Hökarängen district during our visit there. I’m still processing the interview material. Her input feels valuable for a performance architectural analysis of the district.

Saw Grâce by Anna Torkkel at Kiasma. The piece was a celebration of the diversity of movement and worked well for inspiration. I laughed trough the show and the sound design was great. But driving back home I felt puzzled. The contemporary dance I see in Helsinki feels a praxis were people take turns in watching each others move in freely.