20190528

Participated on my second Russian excursion with the Alkovi “Connecting Points” -group (2018-19): Elina Vainio, Matti Kunttu, Iona Rosin, Jussi Kivi and Katja Kalinainen. The project and the trip are organized by Arttu Merimaa & Miina Hujala. This is a raw list of events.

Wednesday (22.5)

  • We visited Lappeenranta South Karelia Museum and South Karelia Art Museum: Saw a really cool looking hoody by the Hanti-Mansia folk, a painting of a Saimaa canal fell off the wall
  • Jussi took us to chalk quarries, there was an emergency rescue personnel fire training facility on site
  • Swam in Saimaa and tasted the water of Huhtiniemi spring (no taste, cold)

Thursday

  • We headed to Vyborg with MS Carelia
  • Spotted underwater “putin-face-altars” on canal wall with Elina
  • We walked across a train-track bridge and identified semiotic-deconstruction: Some columns of and old bridge were dismantled and others left standing – To signify that work to dismantle the bridge is on its way
  • Vyborg suburbs are pretty and full of fences which guard vacant stripes of land. Some fences also guard fences
  • Visited Monrepos-park: Picturesque wooden faux-temple on a hill, endless reconstruction work, a caste on a hill (felt jealous about others discovering graves on a sea shore hill)
  • Our groups organization resembled fermented milk (viili): We stretched into a thin line, individuals swapped between lumps (also unintentionally, when a shoelace came undone etc.) and bounced back together
  • Stayed in Hotel Druzhba

Friday

  • We visited Vyborg castle, the tower renovation was complete and we got a tour to the top: Dropped a 1000 rubles bill between the tower ceiling structures, the group came to my aid and we build a variety of tools to retrieve the money (Elina: This is a team building exercise! Maybe art is)
  • We spotted a mineral water display in the castle exhibition
  • We roamed around the old fortifications around the Avangard-Stadion: Visited a toxic cave and a gunpowder storage
  • Jussi announced the concept of Non-View (designating views that are difficult to describe trough present aesthetic standards) and prompted us to make a publication around the concept (before leaving to Helsinki)
  • A chauffeur drove us to Kurkijoki: We stayed at the Lars Sonck House Museum (we got really good introduction to the place by Nikita), at sunset we headed to a hill in the town center (felt like 3000 bc)

Saturday

  • We identified semiotic-reconstruction: A plastered wall in the Lars Sonck house was spay painted with wild ornaments (asemic writing), so that it would align with the wall with the ornaments found in the rooms wallpapers and window curtains
  • Spotted Finnish travelers in town: “This is the place I feel most at home. Cuckoo sings”. They detailed.
  • We visited a local-culture museum in Kurkijoki: Some exhibition displays and cabinets were filled with objects from different eras (they were organized by their shapes and sizes), touched a mammoth bone
  • The museum guide gave us a tip to visit a local spring, she described the it as a “silver spring” and drew us a beautiful map
  • The spring is located on a hill behind the library, Arttu spotted a path which took us to a humble spring-well: Water tasted great, I carbonated a batch too
  • Flag of the Republic of Karelia next at a town monument was bigger in size then the Russian flag
  • We took a buss to Käkisalmi: Stayed at the Park Hotel Kapitan Morgan (sauna was not working properly), took a dip in Laatokka

Sunday

  • Made various electronic experiments with the water: 3,3v square wave signal was passed trough and a diy electroslush (LOM) used to listen to water, the returning signal was amplified with a lm386 and played trough a bone conduction speaker. The conductivity of different waters was similar.
  • A chauffeur drove us to spring close to Kluchevaya. I had spotted the site from the mineralwaters.geo.uu.nl service (link)
  • Finding the spring was challenging: We drove for three hours and then headed deep into the woods (saw a grave and house ruins), after a 20 min walk, a path was discovered which led us the spring origins, water tasted great. The chauffeur smiled for the first time when he was offered a taste.
  • We spotted Ludvig Nobels well and took a taste of it too: The terms “Wild Waters” and “Untapped Waters” were coined
  • We headed back to Vyborg (stayed at Hotel Vyborg): Iona showed a video she has been working on related to Monrepos-park, Karelia-nostalgia and geohistorical estrangement (my interpretation)
  • We had dinner close to the hotel. Castle tour guide Vital was in the bar with a friend Misha and we banded to watch sports. Vital provided a thorough lecture on the history of the castle

Monday

  • Elina took us to ruins close to the railroad bridge and installed a sentence she had been working on during the trip on tree branches
  • We left for Helsinki on the train. On route we had a blind-water tasting: Kurkijoki spring water was rated the best

Vyborg water-voyages, spring and well water tasting etiquette (draft): The person who has called for the quest of the spring will taste the water first, so that its quality and drinkability can be assessed. Group members should not be pressured to taste the water but everyone should be offered a sip from a clean cup.

20170808

Assisted in the video documentation of Mihail Kaluzhski’s Like it, Fake it play (or demo) at gallery Augusta. The event was a part of URB festival programme and produced by Alkovi gallery (Miina Hujala & Arttu Merimaa). The best part of the event was to see Henna Tanskanen perform.

Hmmm… Open-source virtual Eurorack DAW Vcvrack. Beta will launch September. There are ports of Mutable Instruments modules. Apparently Clouds is 70% ready.

20170427

Cute short on the state of affairs between Art & Politics: Best Friends Forever (2017) by Liu Shiyuan and Kristian Mondrup.

Revisiting Greener Grass (2010) by Mari Keski-Korsu. Today the work is even more relevant.

Visited Arttu Merimaas’ Grandfather’s Leather Club exhibition at Sinne gallery. It is great. Thanks to the Cruel Radiance… course we hosted I got an updated view to his art and with this insight the exhibition felt like a warm handshake. The pieces were critically materialistic but optimistic. Instead of making crude suggestions (as seen in the Autochthonic Fantasy) he displayed queer fearytail aesthetics with faint references to public monuments in Helsinki. There were horse pictures too! After Sinne I visited Hippolyte for Pekka Niskanen & Robert Aeberhard Sounds That Shouldn’t Be There. I read it as a sacrifice on the grave of modernism.

20170124

Autochthonic Fantasy (2016) Arttu Merimaa.

Kirjastoessee (2016) Pilvi Porkola.

Preparing for “Performance and Media” course which I’ll host next month in Kankaanpää Art School. Feeling stressed.. It’s taking a lot of time to sort out practicalities and the time would be better spend making fun art stuff (like preparing the SOW: Blacksmith ed.1).

I’ve planned that we’ll… Make six intensive workouts at the Kankaanpää gym (working with kettlebells), make 3d renderings of meditation stools (later construct them) and work with sketchup to design imaginary objects (later meditating on them). It’s a fun program to conjure but stressful to organize. At the same time I’m mentoring a group of five graduating students with their thesis related artworks. So far I’ve written 12 pages of emails and spend 63 hours on mentoring tasks and travels to Kpää (I’m using a nifty work scheduling application to measure the exact working time). I don’t think they are reading my emails and on my visit there last week I learned that half of the group hasn’t started working yet.

It takes six hours to travel to Kankaanpää by bus. It would be more practical to organize my course for an academy in Berlin etc. The travel time would be more reasonable. Still.. I enjoy the idea that somewhere there is a polytechnic university which offers free art education for people who live in the middle of nowhere. Globally it doesn’t make any sense to have an art university in Helsinki either. I should make a travel video about Kpää and show it friends visiting Helsinki. The site puts contemporary art into perspective. On a map the city is at the same level as Greenland.. It’s among the most northern universities of applied sciences offering education on performance art. I guess Tromsø is the most northern – But Norway doesn’t count because they have oil money, which makes space and time are manageable.