I think we still have four night on the train. Some kids on their way to serve the army engaged with us. Most drunk, one sober and hungry for knowledge. He stayed a bit longer asking for advice on career paths. He wanted to learn how to organize studies abroad. We all hugged as he left. Socializing on the train reveals the density of our situation. During a gang-chat with the posse, I made a gesture indicating a flat surface. The person I was talking mistook it as a sign of me making fun of their height.
We engaged in a conversation with the train attendant. Each compartment has one, they maintain order, clean corridors and opened cabins on a daily basis, check tickets on stations and keep the samovars warm. They have numerous responsibilities behind the front. She worked hard to keep the posse constrained, coming inside the cabin, sitting close to them, making jokes, touching the lads on shoulders or calmly on their chests keeping them grounded. Perhaps she knew them forehand but at the time it felt like she was an emotional labor specialist, shifting focus, providing attention and keeping the situation just light enough. Once she laughed hysterically and crouched to wipe tears. I payed attention and noticed that while crouched her impression was numb. Her mother works the train too. Interviewing them on tape would be incredible. Today she’s been locked in her cabin. A cellphone alarm was heard at a station and her mother took the responsibility of opening the compartment doors to let us out.
I’ve been writing a travel-log-critique of the Ural Industrial Biennial and negotiating a synth trade trough a Finnish music gear forum (if it goes as planned I’ll be really happy!). We only get online on stations, for two to five minute on stops and a daily 20-30 minute break. Occasionally the train slows down and I pick up an email. Luckily there is a restaurant cart. I’m developing a habit of sitting there in the mornings for coffee and writing. I’ve been reading Yuk Hui in an effort to grasp “techodiversity” and “cosmotechics”, which are referred in the biennial catalogue.
Listening to Soviet Nostalgia In The South Caucasus (2016) SRB podcast with Maxim Edwards made me think of Donald Trump as a weaponized politician for a hybrid war, a spectacle designed to overshadow Putin.
Later in the night, after Ulan-Ude our train hit a person. The cabin attendant informed us he was taken inside the train to be transported to the closest town. Later we were informed the man had died and he was carried out at a stop. I went to the restaurant wagon in hopes of meeting people effected by the event and met Pavel. I believe we chatted about his career as a fire and rescue officer. He drew a map which showed a planet, much like earth and drew himself in the center of it. Then he performed a pantomime, showing himself carrying people to the surface and performing cpr. We smiled, he asked me to share drinks but I was too tired.
Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate campaign video sends a very similar message as the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
Work on viili continues! Made a sheet document to follow the progress: 20180115_a-history-of-a-viili. Collected Kombucha from Pasi Rauhala for the upcoming Neighborizome talk-shop.
Wrote a travel grant usage reports for the Arts Promotion Center of Finland. Tough work. I’ll have to make a document about last years artists grant too.
Send an email to New York Performa-organization in an effort to plan the residency period. Also learned that our flat in Brooklyn has a gym in the basement, it’s 15 min from the residency-atelier and that I need to get a B1 style working visa in order to make a film in the city.
Send my Novation Circuit to Thomann.de for service. The unit glitches occasionally. Thomann has a three year warranty! Included a summary of the issues and a short text: “Greetings from Helsinki and I hope you have a good week. I’ve been preparing viili lately, it is a fermented milk drink (similar to buttermilk) and going to the sauna by the cold sea. I’m thinking about getting a Drumbrute, it would compliment the Circuit well and make for a decent sequencer.”
Got a copy of Osculum Infame (2001) Gardar Eide Einarsson & Matias Faldbakken (published by Nifca). A guide for satanic ass-kissing.
There are various aspects of the Osculum Infame, the Black Mass and the description of Satan’s physical appearance that can be applied to the notion of modern-day networking rituals and their participants. As a manner of trading social behavior for personal gain, networking had become one of the most powerful vehicles for financial, political and cultural progress.
The moment when you ponder, is claiming a Google account in your childs name intrusive or a rite of passage which should not be interfeared by the parents.
If life is about money, businessmen are the best leaders. #ॐ
Donald Trump is a politician of the attention economy age. He is an attention politician much like Putin, Berlusconi and Stubb. Such politicians work to convert national stereotypes into political dogma. They are nouveau-nationalist. Putin uses stereotypes associated with street thugs in drafting Russian foreign policy, Berlusconi used Machiavellian macho-culture to keep Italy in the focus of EU and Stubb went for sports to pave way for fund cuts on education and universities (conducted by the Sipilä administration).
Every Finnish media outlet is packed with news about Trumps presidential journey. USAs political efforts of becoming the centre of the world are working out well. Everytime Trump is mentioned our attention to local politics, the politics we could imagine to affect are hindered. Our imaginations are captivated with contemporary North-American mythology. He is a tool selling the American dream.
Democracy is being blinded by nouveau-grand-narratives (best illustrated in the the MacGyver reboot). Every sentence spend on Trump is a sentence lost from the critique of the Sipilä administrations neo-liberal shenanigans.
I’m happy to see the world burn. In 2002 I made a watercolour for my friend Kalle Salonen in celebration of the end of his military service (and short career as army staff). I wrote a poem into the picture too. The poem speaks of a wall which is being build. It will cover the world and we’ll be caught inside. Towards the end people will gather around faint fires, which will warm us like wetting our pants. Donald Trump’s presidency will change what is understood as “a Trumpet”. Brassy music for our last post.
Met with “The Cruel Radiance of What Is” course teacher crew (Arttu&Miina and Mikko) to finalise our schedules and plans. The course is build in a poetic tone. The educational acts we’ll engage with the students resemble performance art pieces. Instead of pumping students with facts or developing specific creative skills, participants will be invited to think about “stuff” which inspires them and build artistic agency in relation and about “stuff”.
“As part of the modern capitalist society music is in danger of perishing in random samples, data, markets, instrumentation patterns, institutions and computer nets, or of suffocating in the gigantic tautological machinery of the media industry, that continuously sends back the opinions of the masses, that they, as media, formulated.We need music that is the differential, that neither compromises or thinks of surrender, but carries on even in the shadow and disguise like the guerrilla fighters and draws active disappearing lines in the fields of society. We need music that is a labyrinth, a rich ensemble of relations; diversity, heterogeneity, breaks, unexpected links and long monotonies. It is the vision of a life that opens the ways and allows the horizon of resistance to light up.”
Writes Dror Feiler in MUSIC, SOUNDS, GARBAGE, NOISE and POLITICS post from 2009.