20220106

Tunnel Vision (2021) Eyal Weizman. A good update to Weizmans writings on the Israeli Defence Forces utilization of critical theory, postcolonial and urban studies. The article offers a very revealing interview of Israeli chief of general staff Aviv Kochavi (from which the quote below).

This space that you look at, this room that you look at, is nothing but your interpretation. Now, you can stretch the boundaries of your interpretation, but not in an unlimited fashion – after all, it must be bound by physics, as it contains buildings and alleys. The question is, how do you interpret the alley? Do you interpret it as a place, like every architect and every town planner does, to walk through, or do you interpret it as a place forbidden to walk through? This depends only on interpretation. We interpreted the alley as a place forbidden to walk through, and the door as a place forbidden to pass through, and the window as a place forbidden to look through, because a weapon awaits us in the alley, and a booby trap awaits us behind the doors. […] I said to my troops: ‘Comrades! This is not a matter of your choice! There is no other way of moving! If until now you were used to moving along roads and sidewalks, forget it! From now on we all walk through walls!’

A Frame Finland post Reflecting on Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities offers two essays discussing the Rehearsing Hospitalities programme. So far I’ve only read the Mike Watson Staying in the Liminal Space Between Politics and Art (2021). They have selected important works from the recent Artsi museum Secured – Politics of Bodies and Space -exhibition for grounding their analysis. Particularly like how they read Sepideh Rahaa’s performance as an effort to motivate Finnish artists and art institutions to begin working with our involvement in conflicts in West Asia. The essay feels weirdly lodged between reading as a proper critique and being a commissioned review.

The long-touted and perpetually delayed invasion of Iran – discussed by multiple US administrations for decades – will likely also be discussed in art spaces should it ever happen, though we would perhaps do better to protest it in front of parliament for its duration. Is our problem as ‘political art professionals’ (a strange and contradictory category that by now surely exists) that we are trying too hard to do art specifically as a means of not doing protest? I think Rahaa intended very clearly to ask this – with the Artsi museum and Frame facilitating the question.

Trying to read Social Ecology and Democratic Confederalism (2020) which is “a reader from Make Rojava Green Again in cooperation with the association of the students from Kurdistan YXK and JXK “. The writings by Murray Bookchin feel less potent then how his work is discussed in the Social Ecology and the Critique of Hierarchy 2020 series by srsly wrong. I like the concept of nature he offers and particularly how it is deployed to prove false the assumption that being indoors and surrounded by technology would somehow separate habitants from nature. Perhaps Kochavi has been reading Bookchin too, because the room I’m in is only an interpretation, working to convince me that I’m civilized.

Human beings always remain rooted in their biological evolutionary history, which we may call “first nature,” but they produce a characteristically human social nature of their own, which we may call “second nature.” Far from being unnatural, human second nature is eminently a creation of organic evolution’s first nature. To write second nature out of nature as a whole, or indeed to minimize it, is to ignore the creativity of natural evolution itself and to view it one-sidedly.

The Tyranny of Stuctureless (1970) Joreen. A manifest urging people involved with working groups aiming for the women’s liberation movement to define clear articulated aims to work towards. The critique Joreen provides works well for maintaining focus in politically geared artist lead initiatives too. I’m reading it as a critique of managerialism: Working for well articulated goals, is more efficient (and can be more healing), then using energy for processes which assess the premisses that motivate people to come together.

When a group has no specific task (and consciousness raising is a task), the people in it turn their energies to controlling others in the group. This is not done so much out of a malicious desire to manipulate others (though sometimes it is) as out of a lack of anything better to do with their talents. […] When a group is involved in a task, people learn to get along with others as they are and to subsume personal dislikes for the sake of the larger goal. There are limits placed on the compulsion to remold every person in our image of what they should be.

20180406

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.

20160704

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).

20160617

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.

20160331

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.