I support art price regulation. No artwork of mine should cost more then it costed produce. Labor costs are depend on national avarages (In Finland ~2800€/month). The resale price must be the same as the original. In response to Art + Taxes = The Dirty Truth by The Art Assignment and other similar raports.
Marvin Gaye sings I Heard it Through the Grapevine in an isolated vocal track.
We send an application for the Sculpture Expanded call organized by The Association of Finnish Sculptors with the Neighborizome crew. The proposal has a bodybuilding vibe to it.
The Finnish Performance Art Bank has announced a call for new artwork entries to their sales/promotion/archive site. They’ve joined forces with the Artsi museum: Artist who join the bank (or update their old entries) can also apply as performers for the Performance Days -event (7.6.) held in Artsi. The selected artist will receive a 600€ fee (the jury consists of museum staff and Muu ry members). I think it’s great that there is an open call for a exhibition opening performance (the exhibition will show works by Erkki Pirtola) but I think using the call to lure artists to join the bank is tacky.
My article for Mustekala.org concerning Environmental- / Land Art Conservation is being edited! I got the first edited draft for review on Thursday and promised to send them notes and fixes by Monday.
I became a sole trader in 2011 when I was working regularly for Outi Heiskanen. She didn’t want to be defined as “an employer” in her tax reports (which is very costly in Finland) and at the time becoming an entrepreneur felt like fun idea… I was active in building exhibitions for various parties and involved in serious art transportation ventures. We even talked about buying a van with a friend. Becoming an entrepreneur was a serious joke. The status has enabled me to discuss economics more convincingly. As an entrepreneur I’m a subject in economics and my critique of capitalism is more founded and more personal. Becoming an entrepreneur was an accelerationist effort, which culminated my involvement with Ore.e Refineries.
Sending bills is still fun but every year I regret not setting up a co-operative instead. Today my grief is related to sole trader taxation regulations when billing cities and municipalities.
As a sole trader I’m responsible for organizing my own pension. If earn more than 8000€ a year as an entrepreneur, I’m legally obligated to join a pension trust and to pay around 100€ a month in pension insurance premiums. The minimum “YEL-insurance” I’d have to pay a year is 1200€, which is too much for me (and many other sole traders working in the culture sector). This is why I don’t send more than 8000€ worth of bills a year. There are various very simple and legal tricks to do this. During the fall I negotiate that I can send my bill the next year and for bigger gigs I setup an temporary employer statuses with the organizations that hire me. For the past four years I’ve only send out bills for small 200-400€ odd jobs.
As a result I haven’t payed any pension fees. This is not because I wouldn’t want to… It’s just too expensive and as a part of my income comes from artist grants I dream that I’ll personally get an artist pension for myself (If I manage to survive as an artist for the next 33 years).
The government needs new forms of income, so that it can afford for the baby boom generation’s pensions. There are various aggressive schemes at work which skim funds for pensions from every possible monetary transaction. Legislation for small scale business is quite unfair. “By law, entrepreneurs under the age of 53 are required to pay 23.7 percent of their earnings in pension insurance, while salaried workers contribute just over five percent.” YLE explains in a 2015 article.
I wrote about the Record Singers group for an Artsi-museum related book. The writing fee was decent but as the museum is run by the municipality there is a cunning scheme in legislation, which the government will use to deduct a “pension” from my writer’s fee (More on the scheme in Finnish). This is saddening. I made the text almost for free. I don’t regret making it. I did a good job.
I’m not bitter about anything but I think that the baby boomers generation should have spend their salaries more smartly. Additional funds for pensions should be harvested by disallowing (and re-distributing) pensions that are over 2 300€/month (Statistics on pensions in Finland found here). I hate the feeling that a petitioner makes more money than I do and that young forced-entrepreneurs are paying for their second cars, their trips to Thailand and the renovation of their summer houses (which remain empty most of the year and none from my generation will be able to visit as we can’t afford the gas money).
Visited the ARTSI museum in Vantaa for the COVER ART – LONG LIVE VINYL exhibition opening. The mood of the opening was nice and the audience was a positive mix of musicians who were involved with the cover art and ordinary citizens from the Vantaa suburbs. By chance I also met the insect cook Topi Kairenius. I got a copy of the exhibition book in which I wrote a short text about the Record Singers group (txt in Fi).
I browsed through the exhibition and hasted to the Suomenlinna ferry to join the Helsinki art organizations joined grand party at the HIAP residency. Met with Paula Lehtonen and Jenni Pystynen and recapped my trouble with the police at last years Mänttä Art festival. Pekka Toivonen was playing techno but I had to leave for the 22:00 ferry.
Got the Artsi museum writing gig. I’ll make a 5 500 character text about Record Singers -group (1973– ) for an upcoming vinyl exhibition catalogue. The museum is planning to show the “Record Singers: ¾ – Johdanto ryhmän esitystaiteelliseen toimintaan.” documentary I made 2012. The writing fee is moderate but there is a fee for writing.
Making c-cassettes for the Ihme-days demo, preparing a 20min speak, baking and having a band rehearsal with Pietari.
Browsed through a video explaining the Teenage Engineering crews design thinking. In the video Thomas Howard talked about what happens when we move from interfaces being metaphors for real life to interfaces being something else. I guess this is same change in tone is evident in art too. We’re moving from art being a representation of something to art being something else.
Getting prepared for the Ihme-days events on 1.4. We talked on Radio Helsinki about the “Hear and There+” project with Hassan Maikal (aka. Bizzyiam). The show is also available as a podcast which they are marketing with provoking catchphrase.
Went for lunch outdoors with Heini, Topi and Helena. We warmed sausages. Got news that I’m not among the group of invitees to continue the application process for the post of part-time Lecturer of the MA Degree Programme in Ecology and Contemporary Performance. I’m not as disappointed as I’d expect… I guess I was prepared for the rejection. Here is a link to the letter of interest I send them.
Pietari Kylmälä, Aleksis Salusjärvi, Maaria Ylikangas published a clever article Länsimaiden perikato ja uusfossiilisen aikakauden estetiikka (in Finnish) looking at how poorly art museums are equipped to counteract neo-liberal policies.
Got a nice email from Artsi museum about a potential writing gig for their upcoming exhibition. Last week I send them a relaxed inquiry about summer jobs.