This text was published in the Aquatic Encounters – a glossary of hydrofeminisms (2024) edited by Elina Suoyrjö & Anastasia A Khodyreva. The story is founded on previous work with Tea Andreoletti and our submissions for the book were presented next to sculpturesque injections by Monika Czyżyk & Elina Vainio. It was written at Örö Islands Öres Residency during our stay there with the Institute of Coping with Destruction. In part it ushered the development of Wypij Morze!

As a young sailor I ventured to the guest harbour of Örö and took a drink from the bistro by the peer. I caught a glimpse of a fellow, who looked as if they had ventured to the sea before they could walk. As they gazed back at me, a slice of pickled herring slipped from their fork landing on the muddy peer. Without hesitation they picked it up, swirled the fish in their beer and ate it. They took note of my concerned expression and signaled me to step closer.

I see you are concerned of what you witnessed. I assure you there is a lot to be learned from dirt. Sit down, share a beer with me and I’ll tell you a thing I’ve learned living by these waters.

The wind stood still and I felt a fleeing concern. I pulled a chair to their table and listened. As I was not yet seaworthy, I had trouble following the names of the islets and bearings of ports they spoke of. Noticing my waning concentration, they leaned forwards and began their story. Whispering, they told me of the alarming events that took place at the remote Bodö island guest harbour, deep in the archipelago sea.

A young entrepreneur took a risk and opened a guest harbour with a dock bistro in Bodö. They renovated its only building, an old border station and built all the infrastructure themselves. They devised a kitchen, modest living quarters for a staff of five and a warm dining hall for visitors passing the barren sea. The guest dock had previously been a cold service station for fueling vessels and offering shelter when the weather took a turn. But they had seen potential in the place and put in effort inviting mariners to dine and spend nights docked by the shore. Their first summer had been a success and their menu was celebrated. For the safety of their clients, they had to advise a contingency plan for every scenario and condition the sea would throw at them. The weather demanded that they secured everything to bedrock, kept emergency supplies to last two weeks and instead of keeping a generator and fuel in reserve for an emergency, they maintained two. In bad weather it would take a day to reach them from the mainland. The bistro had been opened on an exceptionally hot summer but now the fresh autumn winds had arrived and the entrepreneur only had a staff of three for the rest of the season.

Oddly, on the morning of their final week, everyone in the crew began to feel weak. The cook reported that their tongue tasted faulty, the cashier and the waiter complained of sudden piercing headaches and feverish tremors. The entrepreneur felt these too and sensed a strange odour when they relieved themselves but did not bother the staff with this detail. They had only each other to consult and as a new crew they experienced the strange symptoms escalating over the morning. Suspecting food poisoning they closed the kitchen and had to send their only clients of the day sailing forwards hungry. There can be no lying at the seas, so apologetically they turned to their remaining guest anchored at the dock, asking if they experienced strange symptoms: Difficulty to concentrate, drowsiness or dry sparks in their tongues. They were relieved to learn that the lone sailor had not experienced such. The guest thanked the staff for their honesty and headed towards Marienhamm. The crew and the entrepreneur were left by themselves and decided to retreat to their quarters until they could figure out what was the root of the cause. The chef took to their bunk and opened a beer. The cashier tried to sleep but they felt as if the world was spinning and had to lay on the wooden floor to keep grounded. The entrepreneur, desperate to find the cause, searched medical databases for clues, while planning their evacuation to the mainland.

But the waiter sensed an urge and went to the east shore of the island for a swim. Despite their nausea and the fatigue of their limbs, they swam far into the horizon. Floating on their back they felt cold by their feet and savoured the warmth of the surface. The blue-green algae reported on mainland shores was of concern. Yet, despite their best knowledge and everything they had been taught of the archipelago, they suddenly felt they had to drink the sea. They halted, turned towards the shore to see the roofs of the kitchen and the hall and opened their mouths allowing the water in. The water passed their throat with ease and as it did, they felt an ecstatic rush. All fatigueness and aches evaporated from their body. Their confidence grew and they took a long dive. Under the water the taste of the sea revealed itself and returning to the shore they knew exactly how to heal the crew. With insight to the remedy, they rushed to the quarters but were surprised by loud music and opening the door, they were met by a very happy chef cheering the rest of the lot to drink more beer with them. Everyone was smiling and laughing. Their nausea had passed, health restored and they welcomed the waiter back with cheers. During their swim the crew had experienced a revelation.

The fellow paused, took a sip of their beer. They retreated back, leaning to their chair, savouring the moment and investigating my reactions with pleasure. I nodded and cleared my throat a bit, as I was anxious to know what had caused the strange symptoms and bizarre behaviour. Before I could ask it out loud, the fellow winked their eye and continued.

The beers the chef drank had relieved their nausea. This and other signs lead the entrepreneur to suspect that there had been something wrong with their water supply and rest assured… The reverse osmosis system which they used to turn the brackish water of the sea drinkable was to blame. In their efforts to make everything served on the island safe and clean, the entrepreneur had set the device to remove everything but the molecule of H₂O from the sea water supply. The device had worked as instructed and produced purified water, which didn’t provide them with electrolytes nor minerals their bodies needed. Instead, the purified water extracted minerals from them, causing —what the chef recognized from firm experience— symptoms of morbid hangover. The relieved entrepreneur then set the machine to include salts and minerals of the sea in its product, which removed their symptoms at a glance.

Revealing their gold teeth with a grin the fellow concluded.

And since then I’ve always trusted my tastebuds over my eyes and am not shy to add mud to my fish nor grit to my drink.


Returning from an intensive tour with waters. Between 22.-24. September we complied a project with Tea Andreoletti commissioned by the Instytut Kultury Miejskiej organisation for the opening of their new facilities at Kunszt Wodny in Gdańsk. For the opening event, we prepared and bottled 300 flasks of “Wypij Morze!” (Drink Sea!) carbonated mineral water which was served for guests from a “Bar (Słono)Wodny” meaning (Sea)Water bar. In all we produced 250 litres of the bespoken drink and supplied the audience with tap waters from around the city. There were a lot of performances, architectural light shows and sound/music at the opening event… Most of which referred to the sea and waters in different ways. The building is at the site of a historic watermill.

We prepared the project during the summer and we visited the city in August for research. The recipe of Wypij Morze! was drafted on the first trip in a meeting with Institute of Oceanology PAN scientists (Tymon Zielinski, Tomasz Kijewski & Aleksandra Koroza) and the Gdańska Infrastruktura Wodociągowo-Kanalizacyjna (GIWK) staff, who are responsible for the city drinking water affairs. The project was curated by Anna Mitus and produced by Anna Kwiatkowska (IKM) who handled both the production and the intensive field excursions, which took us all around the city between the strange shoreside of Rewa (where we collected seawater for consumption) and suburbs of Urunia. Natalia Cyrzan (IKM) worked on the back end of the project establishing and facilitating exchange with GIWK, the Institute of Oceanology and a tip:tap, a Berlin based NGO also working on a (tap)waterbar initiative. In addition to the performance we also took part in a breakfast seminar discussing sea & drinking water affairs and hosted a workshop for children where they could design bottle labels.

Ingredients for Wypij Morze!

1l/g Instytut Kultury Miejskiej Tap Water
NaCl (Table salt) 2,4
MgSO₄ (Epsom salt) 2
NaHCO₃ (Baking soda) 1,1
CaSO4 (Gypsum) 0,4
Mg(OH)2 (Magnesium hydroxide) 0,4
Ca (Calcium) 0,2
KC₄H₅O₆ (Cream of Tartar) 0,1

Our project explored the diversity of tap waters, water as commons, infrastructures’ relationship with domestic spaces and how changes brought about by rising sea levels will affect the latter. Gdańsk has a complex history with water (featuring sewage innovations), wells, mills and canals which were introduced to by GIWK.

For me and Tea this project was a continuation of the previous Waterbar/Spring -excursions but the scale of what we prepared for Gdańsk was grandiose and depended on a close exchange with local artists. This facet of the project was elegantly planned and organised by Mitus. The Bar (Słono)Wodny, which served as a main stage of our performance was built to the main hall of the Kunszt Wodny building. It was a geology inspired bastion-bar-counter built for the project by artists Krzysztof Surmacz and Daniel Sobański. Wypij Morze! was served to people in three different fancy glass bottles which prints were designed by artists Alina Mielnik, Kamil Kak and Karol Polak. Each produced their own design but they all contained the same drink.

Mielnik’s illustration offers hope for a submerged city, Kak’s bottle design performs the sinking of Gdanśk on every gulp and Polak produced a semiotic atomisation which broke the heavy content of the drink into a digestible mess.

At the Bar (Słono)Wodny, Tea shared their skills in tasting and we presented the raw minerals of Wypij Morze! explaining it to be “the taste of the future”. In exchanges with guests we explained that the drink had “magnesium for stamina so that we can hold your breath under water” and that it had extra calcium to “make your bones into beautiful fossils”. These macabre sales speeches worked as a segue to imagine the current state of the Baltic, contamination and future of coastline cities. The Institute of Oceanology predicts that Gdańsk may be swallowed by the sea as continental ice sheets melt. Inviting people to drink sea, as a responce to climate change gave me gothic-horror-thrills and the narrative was backed by an installation with various mineral and high pressure gas equipment placed on the bar counters. During our August trip we carried the carbonisation tools with us when exploring the city, appearing as scuba divers.

At the bar we also handed out tap-water drinks, the most popular of which was “Domowa od Ani z lodem” (Anna Kwiatkowska’s home tap) and “Jaskinia Batmana (Orunia)”, which was inspired by our visit to the Stara Orunia Reservoir, which currently serves as a bat dormitory. Our August visit to the reservoir was facilitated by GIWK who provided us with a detailed history of the city’s drinking water infrastructure. “Domowa od Ani z lodem” drink was the centrepiece of our bar-installation, illuminated by a led lamp and luring people like a lighthouse. A simple and effective flopping of public and private spheres, the added tension of all the waters being prepared by the same public infrastructure company.

The bar also included a soundscape which consisted of processed sounds of carbonisation (benjolin&twinpeaks&delaynomore!) and wave-drinking sounds. Tomek the light/sound designer is also to thank for the look of the bar. Anna M. also published a text on the project later on which is available in Polish.

Returned from Gdańsk on a bus (26h) and prepared an installation for Drifts -festival which was led by artist directors Giovanna Esposito Yussif & Soko Hwang. On the opening day on Saturday I presented the “Our Grand Water Treatment Plant” installation composed of ceramics, minerals and pumps. A centre piece was a makeshift water filter system which circulated tap water through natural stones collected from the Kurängen spring, altering its composition. I also prepared pebbles for people to taste. The modular installation was exhibited on old water pumps found at the “Filterhall” room of the Museum of Technology in Vanhakaupunki. The filterhall is the site where the drinking water of Helsinki was supplied from before the Päijännetunneli was opened. I guess the theme of the festival called for our own water infrastructure initiative.

Our Grand Water Treatment Plant was built from the same building blocks as the installation at the The Surface Holds Depths -exhibition at Lappeenranta Art Museum (curated by Miina Hujala) and wooden frames first used as props for the “The Forest Spring Affair” performance in Sipoonkorpi late 2022 . One frame showed ceramics made from wild clay collected with the Nomadic Kiln Group (Monika Czyżyk & Elina Vainio) and I also included a ceramic whisk which housed a bacterial cellulose membrane (which removes oil traces from the water) that was prepared under the supervision of artist Alexey Buldakov.

On Sunday I gave a lecture performance discussing drinking waters using the same notes as during the Kiilan äänipäivä performance in 2022 (I think I’ve now performed everything I can imagine with this piece) and I also supplied the audience with 22 liters of Wypij Morze! during the festival.

Drifts succeeded in inviting a lot of great artists and managing large crowds. My absolute favourite was bela from Berlin who hardcore screamed through a theatrical act. The sound system of the space (or perhaps the curatorial plan) favoured descant tones and most concerts utilized some kind of whipping clash-crashes. This served bela well and Kaino Wennerstrand’s phaser effected acoustic guitar riffs too! Most of the sets were didactic and deployed aestheticized glitches for the spoken word bits. Most performers used automated computer processes. There was no rage in analog form. The bass was good too but most complex and interesting events took place in high registers.

An Tul was a touching new act for me. They performed outdoors with intensive charisma establishing a stage by their mere stances. They showed humour with out joke and offered intuitive nature interactions (a flock took their set as a cue for starting their winter migration). I had very high expectations for Nkisi on Sunday because I just learned about their work from a Techno at the End of the Future, Episode 1: London podcast. The set had a positive-gabber vibe but I didn’t get on a rhythm high.

There was a screening too. The Otolith Group’s “Hydra Decapita” (2010) was great to see and served as a perfect finale for my water-tour-vibes because they utilized short wave radio tones in their artistic documentary detailing Drexciya (Our Bar (Słono)Wodny soundscape also had a SW segment!).


A Day of Artificial Spring Water Tasting in a Museum preparations for Lappeenranta Art Museum The Surface Holds Depths -exhibition progressing steadily.

Sinne gallery Regel 62 exhibition with Moa Cederberg, Mikko Kuorinki and Nomadic Kiln Group (Monika Czyżyk, Elina Vainio & Eero Yli-Vakkuri) is building up high expectations for next week. The title of our piece is epic 💨 Planetary Consciousness Massage Behind the Ears of the Thousand Winds and Statues of Fire 🌋. We’ll start preparing the work at the gallery on Monday.

As You May Sen­se -exhibition at the Uniarts Helsinki’s Research Pavilion is set to open 12th of June. We are preparing an monumentally vain bore-well with the Institute for Coping With Destruction. Drilling is set start next week. Enjoying In­gest­ing Bod­ies of Wa­ter (2022) Saara Hannula, which is written for the same Research Pavilion framework (a quote below). Reminds me of a fashion district window exhibition by Jesse and Emmi, where they made a dress out of plastic trash to illustrate a eco-mental cycle where antidepressants, pass trough bodies to the sea escalating environmental degradation, which causes more depression.

Through [waters] involvement in intimate encounters and bodily events such as drinking, washing, and peeing, the water incorporates new ingredients: hormones, chemicals, microplastics, microbes, and bacteria. Some of the active pharmaceutical ingredients and other contaminants are filtered out in Viikinmäki, which is the main wastewater treatment plant in the Helsinki region, but many of them remain in the water even after it is “purified” […] Especially hormones, endocrine disruptors, and antidepressants are known to have major effects on the development and behavior of organisms, even in low doses: as such, they play a key role in the evolution and extinction of aquatic life.

Later during the summer a gig at Mitäsmitäsmitä and a reseach-like piece in two phases for Institute of Urban Culture‘s new spaces at the Gdańsk Wasserkunst building with Tea. Fun stuff but a lot of it.

Returning to blogging feels good. Updated an old text on Finnish statue removals (should make it into an article too) and hoping to complete some prolonged writing commissions later in the month.

Experimental Clay Workshop 2 (16.-17th Sep.)

You are warmly welcome to join the Experimental Clay Workshop at the Vartiosaari Artist House. This workshop, the second in the series of clay-related gatherings, will be organised on the 17th of September from 10 until 22:00. On the first day we will restore the kiln which we built during the spring workshop, discuss ceramics and, as the night darkens, fire the kiln. The fired items can be collected the next day from 12 until 15:00.

The workshops will start at the Vartiosaari Artist House with an informal seminar where we will explore ceramics, kilns and the island habitat. Participants are invited to craft small objects and to form lecture notes using clay, which we can fire later on the same day. There will be outdoor excursions, tea and coffee. A pop-up food kiosk will open around lunch time selling Thai soup and refreshments, prepared by Jakub Bobrowski.

If you have made clay things during the summer please bring them with you for the firing. If you have done something fun with clay or built a kiln yourself, please let us know and we will reserve time for you to present your findings to the group! Please sign up by the 11th of September.

Due to a high volume of interest we kindly ask participants to provide a short introduction text, which would offer insight to your approach on clay and other earthly matters. You can also suggest songs, games and performances for the nightly firing ritual.

The long nightly firing ritual will celebrate energy sourced from our surroundings.

Participation in the workshop costs 25€ and we can host 15 attendees. The fee will be used to cover the fuel and material costs. Any surplus gained from the donations will be shared equally with participants who have prepared presentations for the group. Event organisers are motivated to support the Vartiosaari Artist House.

  • Sign-up by the 11th of September (midnight)
  • 17th of September 10-22:00. Talking clay, firing the kiln and celebrating energy.
  • 18th starting at 12:00. Picking up ceramic objects.
  • Location: Vartiosaari Artist House across the shore from Reposalmentie 1
  • See https://www.aurinkolautta.fi/ for ferry schedules and fares. Transportation by night will be organised with a row boat.

Sign up by email to nomadickilngroup //äät gmail.com with a short introduction on why you would want to take part in the workshop. If you have questions regarding the Vartiosaari Artist House refer to Monika Czyżyk. If you want to reserve a spot for sharing your clay or kiln discoveries contact me at eero //äät storijapan.net or 0505729743

About the Nomadic Kiln Group: We started playing with clay last year and early this spring we organised the first Experimental Clay Workshop. During the two day session we collected clay from the forest, learned how to clean it, built a wood fuelled kiln from upcycled bricks and fired ceramics together. Now as the autumn arrives, we invite the old and new participants around the kiln for a second burning and for the sharing of any knowledge on clay.

Photos from the first workshop and a kiln building guide: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/10fJQoHA0MzMqTojnaF_FcyIbI0G5Ddvq


Our experimental clay workshop was a hit and we succeeded in most of the goals we had assigned ourselves. On the first day there were 21 attendees and around 15 members took part in the burning the following day. Some came only for the kiln building and clay collecting, while others were more interested in the burning and the surplus-metal-work. Some members had assigned themselves as mere observers. We developed the workshop program very fast and were fortunate that our open call appealed to a very skilled set attendees. Some were knowledgeable of ceramics and experienced in construction work. The flow of events mirrored our previous trips to Kurängen spring and our efforts to work with the clay we collected from there. The burning process replicated the events of our first kiln building session but this kiln was built with more precision using mud cement to secure the bricks. The chamber where clay objects were placed was bigger then previously.

The program structure was easy to decide on, as the labour chores we needed to perform in order to built the kiln and process the clay, were well defined and simple. Preparing materials such as the mud cement and reclaiming the bricks, was demanding but the actual work did not require intricate or specialized skills. Mud is an educative technology #ॐ. The materials afforded improvisation and the development of makeshift tools. The attendees were divided into sub-groups based on their interests (kiln building, clay collecting & cleaning and Vartiosaari island strolls) which occasionally self organized to complete chores. I served mostly as a supervisor of the kiln building process, overseeing the hive of attendees assembling it.

The layout of the kiln was based on the affordances of the bricks. I think the geometry of the bricks had a stronger impact on the design then our desires. The kiln was made by the bricks. I think we all wanted to work with mud, bricks and heat and this guided our work. Before building we disassembled the previous kiln, which gave the group a good idea on how the new unit could be constructed.

The burning took place the following day. The temperatures inside the kiln chamber were uneven. A corner of it was overheated which lead to to clay melting and the opposing side was cold. None of our ash glazing experiments succeeded, which indicates that we did not reach a temperature above 1170°C. I think we were close because some objects with ash glazing had almost a glazing like surface. Sadly none of the object I made from the Kurängen clay showed any persistent glazing effects. A vase I made, which I intend to place inside the Kurängen spring for visitors to use, feels solid and looks great. I now prefer that the spring water will penetrate the earthenware object and that it comes a part of the spring ecology. Perhaps in time it will better document the taste of the water it will be submerged in. I will continue working with it as a part of the Nomadhouse-program.

I’m not a teacher by trade but I have strong ambitions regarding collective work and how collective labour efforts should be organized. I prefer to know how materials behave and what to expect from them before engaging. When working with wood (which I know a bit), this affords me the opportunity to guide attendees out of their comfort zone and to engage with tools or processes which they fear. I count a child using a power-tool as a success. I particularly remember a workshop where I showed a shy member how to use a dozuki saw. In the process I guided their hand and I remember that this physical contact activated something in our relationship. I knew how to touch them in a manner by which they could saw a block of wood with at ease, while maintaining and even expanding their personal agency. It was a gentle touch.

Laying bricks and preparing clay cement, required the adaptation of new skill sets and material knowledges. Because I was personally out of my comfort zone, I couldn’t reach out to the attendees as sensitively as I would have liked. The burning ended up being a show rather then a collective achievement. Similarly some processes of the kiln building felt deceitful. I was physically exhausted from the work, internally second guessing the design while attempting to assist people with masonry work. The stress resulted in situations were I presented my gut feeling as authoritative knowledge.

At times, this authoritative tone was needed to steer the processes, so that we could meet the schedules and facilitate the work cycles other sub-groups. But the tone does not emancipate the attendees. Rather it enforces pre-existing biases and hinders the attendees eagerness to engage with crafts & materials. Hence, material engagement with the environment, remains a matter of specialization and it does not emerge as a process which benefits from personal grounded stances and motivations. Personal, grounded stances should be the foundation of new mineral sciences.

This is sort of what Joreen writes in The Tyranny of Stuctureless (1970), mentioned earlier: The work was personified and the flow of events depended on our charisma. Our skills became embodied as the infrastructure of the kiln but we failed to include the skill sets of the group in it.

Fortunately my crafty blabbers, nervous laughters and the contradictory guidelines revealed the de-stability of my masonry & ceramic skills. I think the attendees mostly called my bluff and will build much better kilns in the future. Still, it would have been more fun and more rewarding to work from a more based position, to facilitate and not only to perform. Also, I don’t know what Elina and Monika were doing or how they felt during the two intensive days (and the four intensive days of preparation). We were all exited and happy with the results but it will require an intricate debriefing to set a trajectory to usher the experimental clay initiative forwards.

Towards new sciences!