Nearly finished with Assembling a Black Counter Culture (2022) DeForrest Brown. The book reads as a cross between a blog, a music review magazine and a Marxist analysis of Black American culture. It meets all the criteria of a proper winter holiday read: Nerdy details on synths, snippets of interviews and gossip of notable techno musicians bundled with leftist rants. Brown wants to make it clear that techno is Black which I’m fine with but their mission is so defined that some argumentations cut corners. For example they put a lot of effort in proving that originally acid (in music) had nothing to do with drugs and blame the emerging techno-scene in the UK for building the associative link between drugs and techno. They conveniently leave out that funk, which is framed as a partial foundation of Detroit techno, was a psychedelic movement. Their effort to sever the techno-is-for-drugs link is just in the sense that the US War on Drugs targeted the Black communities disproportionately. There is also a strong judgemental tone to the manner they present the goa-trance-scene, which pains my heart as I came to techno largely trough Texas Faggott and a like. Not for the drugs but for the fun (perhaps trance deployed humour as a substitute for soul? Silverio for the win!).

Brown uses Detroit as a lense for portraying the US from the perspective of Black cultural development. Post jim crow era folk moving from the South to work in Detroit assembly lines, emerging as consumerist middle classes and helping to make Motown to what it was and then being disregarded by industrial capital. The ruins of these developments were later reclaimed for techno, which is presented as soulful emancipation, a process of de-hierarchicalizing the record label industry and distributing production. This story was first passed to me by Jori Hulkkonen during a 2011 Kotimaan teknokatsaus vol. 3 interview (starting from 16:41). The exact bit was cut out from the final interview but Hulkkonen also built a globalist connection between post-industrial youth learning to program to employ themselves (and later to surpass the burden of their [working]class) in Kemi and the Detroit landscape where the Belleville Three developed their sound. The repurposing of abandoned factories as stages for raves was also discussed, which links to East-Berlin too.

Brown mentions Basic Channel (and Hard Wax) but does not explore for example Maurizio or Mark Ernestus’ involvement with Ngadda, which I’d love to have had their take on. Browns Marxist analysis of Black workers and Black cultural expressions is excellent and techno serves as a perfect route for exploring workers transformation from labourers to information-workers. I particularly enjoyed their critique of Kraftwerk’s robotique aesthetics, which celebrate the absence of soul in creative expression and how they contrast this to the Black experience, where artistic expressions cling to soul to combat the robotique reality of everyday and the past of slavery. My peer-group of the white christian punk, electronica, trance and self-educating diy mayham, where youth seeks to destroy patriarchal society by destroying themselves as workers doing drugs, general antagonism and/or criminal records is not celebrated by Brown.

Art is the infrastructure of the imagination #ॐ. It’s not categorically good but something to build thinking on.


Institutional critique has successfully problematized for whom are the spaces of art accessible and safe for and ultimately for whom is art. What is the class of people who enjoy stuff on display? Utilizing this approach to environmental matters and questionging what is nature, yields interesting result. For example: For whom is a spring for and is “drinking water” a desirable category?

Change is natural and as long as there is production, there will be new material. There are always new creatures which benefit from change and even participate in bringing it about. This approach is a branch of the ecosocialist concept of second nature by Bookchin (quoted below) which deems human activity natural by aligning it with other evolutionary processes. As an addition I insist that all manifestations of intellect (or rationales) are equal and maintain that animals form institutions (and that institutions are animals). A horse stable needs all intellects to become.

If one goes beyond that notion of nature as being more than just that which exists, we are talking about the biosphere. And when we talk about the biosphere we are talking about its evolution. Otherwise the word “nature” becomes so big, so promiscuous as it were, so “universal” as to become almost vacuous. It becomes the being that is nothing.

So we are talking, when we speak of a natural world, or when we speak of the biosphere, we’re talking about evolution. And it is always evolving.

When we no longer rank materials on the basis of how natural or man-made they are, it is revealed that human labour is the only constant which we can identify causing harm. Instead of evaluating the environmental impacts of what we define as “waste” (by analysing how materials we produce, such as plastics, change other than humans), we should approach labour itself as the waste. It extracts to sustain human values. All work is preservative, it seeks to halt change, to combats erosion. #ॐ

I now think that all environmental concerns are aesthetic: Nature will always find a way – But when they begin a process of adaptation, they change into something I cannot classify. The terror I feel facing climate change is revealed as a tremor at foundations of the ivory tower I’ve constructed: The position from where I’ve safely classified and framed my relations to others from.

Seems that non human life adapts to change and when it does it super exceeds my understanding of what is natural. It might be that survival is ugly. The (climate) change I’m involved with is a change in values, a change in what is deemed beauty. I can see desperation being normalized and crying emerging as art.

There is an odd bitter (or class-aware, which is which in this turmoil?) tone to the question “what is nature” and “for whom is nature”.  For example, there are currently numerous Safe the Baltic Sea -campaigns, with celebrity enforcements and support from business patrons. They want the people to keep the “sea clean”. When a business patron speaks of saving the sea… I’m left to ask for whom and what is sea.

I don’t have access to the sea they roam nor the clean they speak of. These are synthetized hyperobjects of sorts. The modesty etiquette these folk enforce, taints me like an oil spill. I’m not motivated by the cleanliness the patrons and their celebrity friends are calling – Particularly when their lifestyles and merchant ship are the root of the cause. Their campaigns are waste.

We can return to campaigns, after the fruits of all labour have been distributed fairly. I think this is a continuation of an Ore.e Ref. slogan from way back: “Let’s make de-growth fun!”


Participated in the SKP triennial party assembly in Kotka two weeks ago. The meeting was important because the party manifesto has been rewritten (and was approved by the assembly). In meetings organized by the Helsinki district organization during the spring I criticized early drafts for their tone regarding international relations and EU matters. The manifesto was built on an anti-globalization agenda and utilized binary rhetorics, which reflected mindsets of the late 1990s. In my opinion these tools didn’t offer a route forward. For example for establishing EU-wide collaborations between leftists (and others) working multilaterally for peace etc. Some changes regarding this were made, which I’m happy about. But there is more work to be done.

Most importantly for me, I successfully criticized the general humanistic agenda of the previous manifesto. The past manifesto presented general humanistic values as the end goal of communist progress. In my critique I emphasized that the humanistic values which the party is striving for were idealistic norms, drafted by a class of privileged folk with very utilitarian views of nature and others. I think Marx is a great companion for environmentalist thinking but their premises build on a distinction of human intellect from other natural processes. The way their thinking was used in the previous manifesto, portrayed humans surviving in nature but not necessarily collaborating with the intellects of materials and animals.

To better engage with current ecological development (which I see as a social crisis or a lack of imagination) I attempted to introduce a posthumanist undertone to the text. I think it would for example, enable the party to establish solidarian ties with kin of the other kind. To my delight some steps towards removing the generalist humanistic agenda were made. For now these changes remain rhetoric and I will need to introduce posthumanist solidarity work for the party to set a trajectory for the next three years. Eventually SKP could incorporate posthumanist and de-colonial critique to its agenda.

Thanks to the involvement of the Kommunistinuoret youth organization, the party is well aligned with the Extinction Rebellion movement and strong statements on environmental matters were published by the assembly. Unfortunately these statements hinge on an anthropocenic critique of current affairs. Posthumanist and decolonial (necropolitical) approaches could help to ground this analysis to other rationalities (rationalities which have been suppressed and which are emerging), which are not idealized like the western scientific mythos that the concept of the anthropocene manifests.

It seems I’m still exploring the potentiality of deep time marxism.

My interest in natural springs and the resources they afford, is leading me towards working with the politics of geology. But not from the perspective of human intent. I’d like to investigate how geology informs and guides political agencies. Some terrains afford the emergence of particular thought, which (if we escape universalism and past humanistic ideals) is hyper-local. A particular form of socialism might emerge from a particular landscape.

I submerged the clay cup made from Kurängen spring clay to the Kurängen spring and it made an interesting high pitch squeal, a song of sorts. It appears to me as a non-waste-object. The only waste in that object is my engagement with its materials. I am the waste in the object. It is one of the most energy dense art-objects I’ve been involved with. Making it has required three car trips, heated storage facilities, internet access (for learning to build a kiln etc.) and the firing was very unefficient. The process of firing the clay felt like a celebration of surplus energy.

Human labor is a waste, materials remain what they are. #ॐ #☭


Our experimental clay workshop was a hit and we succeeded in most of the goals we had assigned ourselves. On the first day there were 21 attendees and around 15 members took part in the burning the following day. Some came only for the kiln building and clay collecting, while others were more interested in the burning and the surplus-metal-work. Some members had assigned themselves as mere observers. We developed the workshop program very fast and were fortunate that our open call appealed to a very skilled set attendees. Some were knowledgeable of ceramics and experienced in construction work. The flow of events mirrored our previous trips to Kurängen spring and our efforts to work with the clay we collected from there. The burning process replicated the events of our first kiln building session but this kiln was built with more precision using mud cement to secure the bricks. The chamber where clay objects were placed was bigger then previously.

The program structure was easy to decide on, as the labour chores we needed to perform in order to built the kiln and process the clay, were well defined and simple. Preparing materials such as the mud cement and reclaiming the bricks, was demanding but the actual work did not require intricate or specialized skills. Mud is an educative technology #ॐ. The materials afforded improvisation and the development of makeshift tools. The attendees were divided into sub-groups based on their interests (kiln building, clay collecting & cleaning and Vartiosaari island strolls) which occasionally self organized to complete chores. I served mostly as a supervisor of the kiln building process, overseeing the hive of attendees assembling it.

The layout of the kiln was based on the affordances of the bricks. I think the geometry of the bricks had a stronger impact on the design then our desires. The kiln was made by the bricks. I think we all wanted to work with mud, bricks and heat and this guided our work. Before building we disassembled the previous kiln, which gave the group a good idea on how the new unit could be constructed.

The burning took place the following day. The temperatures inside the kiln chamber were uneven. A corner of it was overheated which lead to to clay melting and the opposing side was cold. None of our ash glazing experiments succeeded, which indicates that we did not reach a temperature above 1170°C. I think we were close because some objects with ash glazing had almost a glazing like surface. Sadly none of the object I made from the Kurängen clay showed any persistent glazing effects. A vase I made, which I intend to place inside the Kurängen spring for visitors to use, feels solid and looks great. I now prefer that the spring water will penetrate the earthenware object and that it comes a part of the spring ecology. Perhaps in time it will better document the taste of the water it will be submerged in. I will continue working with it as a part of the Nomadhouse-program.

I’m not a teacher by trade but I have strong ambitions regarding collective work and how collective labour efforts should be organized. I prefer to know how materials behave and what to expect from them before engaging. When working with wood (which I know a bit), this affords me the opportunity to guide attendees out of their comfort zone and to engage with tools or processes which they fear. I count a child using a power-tool as a success. I particularly remember a workshop where I showed a shy member how to use a dozuki saw. In the process I guided their hand and I remember that this physical contact activated something in our relationship. I knew how to touch them in a manner by which they could saw a block of wood with at ease, while maintaining and even expanding their personal agency. It was a gentle touch.

Laying bricks and preparing clay cement, required the adaptation of new skill sets and material knowledges. Because I was personally out of my comfort zone, I couldn’t reach out to the attendees as sensitively as I would have liked. The burning ended up being a show rather then a collective achievement. Similarly some processes of the kiln building felt deceitful. I was physically exhausted from the work, internally second guessing the design while attempting to assist people with masonry work. The stress resulted in situations were I presented my gut feeling as authoritative knowledge.

At times, this authoritative tone was needed to steer the processes, so that we could meet the schedules and facilitate the work cycles other sub-groups. But the tone does not emancipate the attendees. Rather it enforces pre-existing biases and hinders the attendees eagerness to engage with crafts & materials. Hence, material engagement with the environment, remains a matter of specialization and it does not emerge as a process which benefits from personal grounded stances and motivations. Personal, grounded stances should be the foundation of new mineral sciences.

This is sort of what Joreen writes in The Tyranny of Stuctureless (1970), mentioned earlier: The work was personified and the flow of events depended on our charisma. Our skills became embodied as the infrastructure of the kiln but we failed to include the skill sets of the group in it.

Fortunately my crafty blabbers, nervous laughters and the contradictory guidelines revealed the de-stability of my masonry & ceramic skills. I think the attendees mostly called my bluff and will build much better kilns in the future. Still, it would have been more fun and more rewarding to work from a more based position, to facilitate and not only to perform. Also, I don’t know what Elina and Monika were doing or how they felt during the two intensive days (and the four intensive days of preparation). We were all exited and happy with the results but it will require an intricate debriefing to set a trajectory to usher the experimental clay initiative forwards.

Towards new sciences!