20212010

Worked as an assistant for Simon Vincenzis FROM THE DEAD AIR ORGY: On The Nature of Things. An intensive gig. I helped in preparing the Roihupelto artist studios into a multichannel live-feed broadcast station. The daily broadcasts lasted only 20 minutes and performers were directed & their actions timed meticulous to execute partially synchronised movements and others gestures. The separate events built up slowly into a consistent mood. As a performance it felt like an ambient artwork. Not a lot of events but what ever it was it occurrent consistently and it didn’t demand an audience. It was made for algorithms and AIs too. There was partial nudity which youtube automatic sensors picked up. Imagine: Youtube has developed an algorithm which can identify penises. It was speculated that this is the most religiously motivated algorithm in existence, an algorithmic model of North-American puritanism and modesty etiquette.

Bought a la-radio (cb-radio to be specific: President Harry 2 Classic) for cheep and planning to build my own antenna for it. The model I got might be suitable for mods. The Slim Jim and J Pole calculator calculator site feels like a good resource for antennae and the cbharraste.info also offers a lot of tips (the site works better on wayback machine). My interest in radio is getting serious. Not sure what it is ultimately about. I’d like to perhaps build a digital radio relay station and I want to make sculptures which work as antennas! They would work well for tuho.org.

Received my M8 unit. Looks and feels lovely. A steep learning curve but making progress. Haven’t tested it with midi gear yet. Found a few useful resources of the M8 discord channel:

  • OctaChainer v1.3.1 Makes suitable slice files as an “Evenly spaced grid”
  • Chordmate3 by impbox. Transcribes chords to m8 FM synth hex. Short memo: Set ALGO to 0B (A+B+C+D) -> Set A, B, … MODs to 1>PIT, 2>PIT, … -> Set MOD1, MOD2, … according the heximal data Chordmate3 displays (example: D-4 00 03 0E 15)
  • m8.uvu.la for making themes.

Still expecting fairchild transistors for my PATHS. They’ve been stuck in Vantaa for two weeks. There was a clearance issue which I had to sort out. Assembled a working Aperture. Setting up a techno rig it seems (the track is pretty much based on Aperture, which supplies the kicks and the squeals). As a filter Aperture gives me the same brain tingles as MS-20. I feel the high resonances in the back of my scull.

Visited the Kurängen spring with Elina Vainio and Monika Czyżyk. We collected clay from the proximity of the spring opening and later prepared a few cups and sculptures from it. We don’t know much about the clay yet but are looking to burn in later this year. The water was clear! I visited the spring in August and removed a canvas from its base. This released mud and soil from under the canvas which contaminated the water. I visited the site later in the month and the water was still murky and undrinkable. I feared I had destroyed the water source (for human use anyway) but proceed planting a few m2 of peat, turf and moss I sourced from a swampy patch higher up in the forest valley (the entire affair reminded me of Land-Values).

I attached the patchwork quilt peat-slices using wooden anchors (tree branches), so that they could stick to the spring base (it floats) and establish roots which could contain the soil. While working on site I spotted two frogs (I drained the 200 litre spring to attach the peat). While visiting the spring early October the water appeared to be cleansed! I could see some parts of the turf in the middle of the spring had turned grey (possibly died) but as the water in the spring is clear, light can access the base and the plants can grow further. We spotted two tadpoles. The water tasted like a mild forest tea. Good and as cold as ever. The forest skin (peat, turf and moss) transfer method seems to work.

The placement of the canvas had formed caveats to the forest base and sledges to the west side of the spring opening. This side appear prone for erosion. I will continue investigating if the west ledge of the spring should be reworked. The north-east side looks equally troubling. The canvas placement has made the spring too deep, like a bathtub of sorts, from where the access water is released into a very muddy swamp opening. I think the spring base should be somehow lifted higher to prevent the water from swamp opening from keeping contact with the water in the spring.

20210519

Taiteilijana yhteiskunnassa – Kuution jälkeen, osa 6 [In the Society as an Artist – Post-Cube, part 6] discussing art practices in public spaces, artist-as-gig-workers and labour unions with Maija Kasvinen & Kaino Wennerstrand in a Taike podcast. I confessed that my mother forged recommendation letters for my high-school application.

Assembled a Befaco Instrument Interface i4. Mixed the R16 – 820 Ohm 1% and R115 – 820k 1% resistors. Figuring out the issue behind the problems was difficult (VU meter didn’t work and Envelope Follower didn’t trigger). The tight component placement made the swapping the resistors hard but I made it.

Reading manuals every night. Currently following casual M8 related chats on discord and watching three hour long M8 get-togethers.

20210504

I’m into manuals right now. It’s a new thing for me. I’m reading long technical manuals which guide how to use a tool or technology. I recently bought a Casio ProTrek PRG-40 watch from the year 2000. I bought it for cheep, a corner of the watch face has chipped of but it works. It’s a survivalist watch with a compass and an altimeter. Exactly something I wanted in my teens – It’s currently affordable and looks like a grotesque sculpture. The manual for the watch module qw2271 is incomprehensible. Being stressed by work I’ve spend my nights studying it.

I imagine reading a manual is like reading a bible. There are meta-narratives (altimeter operation guide is a promise of future adventures), key combos which I have to recite to remember and the entire manual opus, echoes a deterministic world-view: Read this and you will learn it, then you will know it – There is an order to life, sleep easy. This particular watch is so complicated to use that operating it makes me feel like an indoctrinated member of a clergy. I’m of the manual readers -clan.

Bibliographic Sound Track by Tan Lin speaks to me trough the manual and data management aesthetics. I relax when stuff is listed and written not to be read. Reading becomes a “syncopated or rhythmic process of absorbing information” and I really need to absorb information which I don’t need to use (in any fashion) to soothe the hurt timetabling and personal management causes.

… reading as in not reading one word after an other but as in navigating an architectural space … 15 years ago we would have never mistaken a owners manual with literature, but today. It’s easy …

I pre-ordered a M8 tracker/sampler/synth and was one of the lucky 300 800, who managed to source a unit from the first production batch. A large part of the appeal of the device is nostalgia (like with this 80ties dream watch) but also the complicated manual (draft). The operations look esoteric. Numbers are counted in hexadecimal and the sequencer commands resemble code. Navigation is based on key-combos. The developer also hosts meet-ups were beta-users share tricks on how to use it and everyone (developer included) seem surprised by the features of the device. There are behavioural patterns lurking in the design, which users are revealing trough meticulous study. The meet-ups are super long and I’ve watched a few… It’s like a manual as an audiobook and following them helps me to forget work.

Link talks about grey literature, stuff which is not intended to be read indefinitely. It is situated, temporal and in the case of the old Casio watch, reading is a process of engaging with something which is obsolete (necro-literature?). In the case of m8 the reading is speculative, the thing which the manuals describe is still in development. It does not exist. Reading it feels liberating or unburdening. In 2018 I discovered instrument demo-videos and that they feel liberating to listen. Here is a playlist of instrument tutorials I listen to as music.

I want a tool for sequencing songs. I’m stuck because I can only produce riffs. Orca/Norns has been great for this and jams even, but using it for songs would require an epiphany on how to work it (for me). The sampler Orca uses is feature rich but the synth implementation is not as advanced as with m8 (I don’t have much midi gear and the midi CC implementation of Orca is still weird too). I’ve never made songs in software… I’ve made riffs and sang over them but I feel stuck (and I can’t even sing out loud at ease in my cellar studio). The Little Sound DJ workflow (which m8 is an iteration of) supports Ableton Live style track-playback, which I think might be helpful. It also has a good midi support and I might be able to program a setup with automated KP3 effects for vocals. Also thinking about midi-to-cv stuff for future prosperity. Okko has been working with trackers and perhaps the m8 will find use!