I’m having trouble finding performance art venues which list their events online in a sensible fashion. Grace Exhibition Space has a newish site but the schedule of events they offer is messy (found the exhibition spacey on Broadway yesterday but it was closed). Panoply Performance Laboratory seems interesting but I can’t figure out if there are events in the space or is it primarily for projects. I’ve signed up to multiple email lists but they seem to be quiet (perhaps people are on vacations). Eyebeam is the most promising email list I’ve signed up for so far.
Having trouble communicating to Helsinki. Signal app is not 100% reliable in a non-roaming/wifi setting (this was the case during our trip to Brussels too) and I can’t send SMSs abroad from my US phone. I’m now getting regular SMS messages to my Finnish number (Signal messages come delayed) and using my US number with an alternative Signal installation. Also installed Wire on my US phone (which provides nice setup options for multiple devices).
Received my ISCP (International Studio & Curatorial Program) studio keys and got a short introduction to the facilities. The building has three floors and two gallery spaces. The room I was given is incredible. It’s a +20m² space with a 5m high ceiling. I found some basic tools (there is a soldering station for Synth DIY kits!) and a computer & scanner/printer. I’ll take my computer and other tech to the studio today. This is the first studio I’ve worked in. All of the art schools I’ve studied in have been poor or in the process of being shut down, so I learned to work in cafeterias or at home and to perform in public spaces. I don’t know what to do with all of the space I now have at my disposal. I’m thinking about making a mural.
Olli was at the ISCP before me and I brought a bike from him. He left it at my studio and I rode it home. I feel like a rock star – Driving around Brooklyn on my cool new bike!
What would a public park look like if it was built from the perspective of bees? (2018) by Regine. An overview of Erik Sjödin project with bees. He’s approach reminds me of the species-sensitive-design concept. The Political Beekeeper’s Library seems like an interesting archive. It “looks at books where parallels are drawn between how bees and humans are socially and politically organised”.
The shelter explores what a public park would look like if it was built from the perspective of the wildlife that use the park alongside the humans.
Increased biodiversity in parks in the form of flowering plants, buzzing bees and chirping birds etc can provide aesthetic pleasure to park residents and be relevant besides from the intrinsic value nonhuman life has. Biodiversity doesn’t have to conflict with human interests.
An artist in Helsinki who’s active on twitter has been writing a critical commentary of art-life, culture institutions and exhibitions for a half a year now. The blog is called Hampaat (teeth) and it’s an interesting albeit a tad cynical source for local art-news and art-thought. The most recent post is called YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE THE PROBLEM. The text feels like it’s very critical towards someone but that person is not identified… Which makes me paranoid (am I part of the problem? *laughs nervously*). The author identifies the figure of the “reputation avatar” (derived from the work of Gloria Origgi, a podcast about her book online) and tries to pinpoint moments were artists work primarily to maintain their reputation. I often engage with work to merely to maintain my reputation (but I don’t think it’s a bad thing).
The criticism of art mirroring our times (as a justification for the lack of critical thought and practice in art) is something I agree with. Elaborate media-artworks which I’ve seen recently (most of which are related to AIs) should be read as blatant celebration of media technology, innovation and capitalism (and not it’s critique). A hammer cannot be critical of a hammer #ॐ. The artist status should not be used as an excuse from ethical concerns: When artist use AIs they have the opportunity to be just as unethical as the übers and googles of the world.
The author is also critical of the recent trend of “melding art with science” and claims that “the situation of art as a site of knowledge is rotten at the core”. I agree to an extent. Artist are sometimes portrayed more pure hearted then they are. There seems to be consensus that artist would use science for the good of people if only given the chance. Which is not true – Artist are not healers. The text also makes me ask that why would anyone want to learn about Barad from an artist who reads Barad (if they can learn from Barad herself)? And to ask that in what circumstances is learning from an artist about Barad (instead of Barad herself) more efficient/better/smarter?
I’ve liked the THREE QUESTIONS TO PEOPLE DOING EXHIBITIONS UNDER CAPITALISM best so far.
Pietari shared a gruesome story from Amsterdam Dutch rewilding experiment sparks backlash as thousands of animals starve. A case-study for understanding the intersections of cross species solidarity and post-humanistic theory.
Read a speech written by Päivi as “a man with a moustache which looks like the moustache of Kyösti Kallio” at the RaivioBumann (Raivio & Daniel Bumann) Hiljainen vieras / Silent Guest event. The performance was a part of Patsastellaan: Parties for Public Sculpture series organized by James Prevett (Taideyliopisto). The role of being just an actor/speaker felt nice.. I wasn’t as nervous as when I perform my own material.
Bought a Bastl Dude mixer for the upcoming Childrens Techno workshop (Teknomuskari) in Turku (NPTurku covers the expenses!). The mixer can also be used in Brussels next month. Made a website for our upcoming show wheredoyouwanttogofromhere.com. The Brussel gig is causing a lot of stress.. The recent attacks in Barcelona and Turku are adding to the mix. Working with horses is stressful, working with people is stressful and working in public spaces is stressful. To top it off, we are drafting strong arguments concerning the changing nature of public space (in relation to recent attacks) and framing climate change as a weaponized method of colonial dominance.
The booklist we’ve selected as our framework requires intensive learning. We are studying classics like Foucault, new material from Butler, new materialism/anthropocene inspired texts, the history of horses in European cities, re-reading Hribal and Eyal Weizman’s theories concerning the Arab Spring (The Roundabout Revolutions, Critical Spatial Practice 6, 2015). Majority of the text deal with infrastructure and how urban structures serve as authors of the modern self-regulating subjectivity. The texts (even the history of the horses) are centered around the concept of public assembly and examining how the concept of “the people” is build and used.
I guess part of the stress is caused by the indoctrination of these texts. Changing is stressful.. And I guess developing as an artist requires constant change.
Float like an artists, sting like an institution. #ॐ
The SOW: Blacksmith ed1 metadata .cvs asks for intensive work but I’ll try to have it ready by tonight. Witness evidences of labor online.
Shot video at the Helsinki mounted police crowd control training session in the morning. Inhaled training mace spray and horse manure. Horses marched through smoke and flags were waved. A gun was shot at random. The sun was low and the officers backlit. The event looked like a buddhistic ritual. I was offered the opportunity to join their training sessions with the defence forces. Unfortunately the session will take place on the same day as our Kontula Electronic gig. Morning with the horses and evening with techno. Art, spring, stress.
Dance lessons were fun and intensive. Learned some Pilates movements but hurt my wrist (The pain comes from poorly executed kettlebell lifts and unergonomic phone handling). Mr. Pilates believed that modern work and lifestyles have weakend our bodies and to fix us into shape he develloped the practice of Contrology (know today as Pilates).
During the process of disemboweling charismatic authorities as political organizers – A mass of physical authorities telling us how to live in our bodies has a emerged.
Wonder if there is some sort of Anarcolates out there which would aspire break our bodies? Movement is always relational (to body parts, others and spaces) which makes autonomy as a body impossible. Anarcolatic exercises would attempt to replace current relations with new codependencies. Such new codependencies should be toxic and work to free us from the temporality (history) of the body. Perhaps technology could be used to mutate us! A dancer providing and controlling the oxygen flow of an other with a pump serves as an simplified illustration.
They want us to use our bodies as keys. Fingerprints and iris scanners open doors.
The Cruel Radiance of What Is course came to an end. My last teaching gig was on Monday but all of the students skipped class! Only 2-4 students attended the course in general so their absence didn’t feel like a protest. People who joined the kettlebell workout were really delighted of the style of teaching I’m currently into. We met with Mikko, Miina & Arttu and two students yesterday for our final joined meeting. We ended up talking chop but the event was fun.
Visited Perfo performance event in Tampere on Thursday. Saw performances by Asko Nivala (a “failed Hannibal Lecter” / meet-is-murder cabaret), Suvi Suvereeni (a very fluid collaboration with Siri the intelligent personal assistant. A low key, personal approach to the technology yielded revelations on how the technology perceives us!), Tuuli Tuikka (an anti-art & anti-capitalism manifest on how nature and creative experiences are commodified. She shredded and packaged a flower into plastic containers) and Joulumaa (a four member noise ensemble doing a faux-ritualistic, holistic noise show. The sounds were too orchestrated for my taste and their stage work came of as flamboyant. I did get to see a 16 channel mixer being used as a percussion instrument, which is a novel sight).
After the festival I chatted with Janne Rahkila about rejoining the Perfo crew for next year. I’d continue working with the streaming system.. I’m hesitant about the gig. I don’t believe in live-video streams anymore. Perhaps I should make interviews of the artists as text and brief synopses of their performances instead. Also met with Timo Bredenberg and we had the last meeting of our “In the Flow” (Groys 2016) reading circle (some ideas in the book are useful but the authors style is too tandy).
I’m now preparing for a grant award event at the Taidehalli. I got a “The Young Artist Grant” from the Finnish Art Society. Also got a techo gig (with a workout theme) for next years Kontula Electronic. I’ll likely be joined by Kristian Ekholm (and Pietari if he finds the time. I haven’t talked about this with him yet). Also got news from Antoine that our Trans-Horse proposal for Signal festival is being processed by the production crew.
Uplifting news all around.