Visited Lau Nau: Wild/Captive at Blank Forms last weekend. Modular synth beats from multiple directions, blended with field recordings from the woods and organ-toned melodies. Many of the nature-sound-trips I’ve heard in the city (Bánh Mì Verlag/Control gigs) have been based on field recording too. They have underlined the differences of technological and natural soundscapes, moving from nature-like-sound towards machine-like-sounds (the narrative contrasts them and makes technological sounds feel disrupting). In Naukkarises’ piece the organ-toned melodies (from an accordion?) blended into nature sounds seamlessly. It was a tad romantic, but welcome. It felt hopeful.

Visited Storm King Art Center last Monday with the ISCP-crew. There were also people from other residents such as Eye Beam at the trip but unfortunately we didn’t have time to mingle (it was so cold outside). The endless display of gigantic rusty metal sculptures was depressing but there were some pretty vistas, fresh air and decent artworks on display too.

Mary Mattingly’s Along the Lines of Displacement: A Tropical Food Forest (2018) is a series of tropical trees planted to the cold New York terrain. The palm trees were intentionally displaced, as an absurd and uplifting response to global warming. They are destined to die during the winter, which makes the piece into a memento mori plant-life arrangement. Being non-native to New York I didn’t understand that the trees were unsuited to the climate (palm trees in New York pass my radar).

There was  a really nice video Wolf Nation (2018) by Alan Michelson on display inside the exhibition center. Michelson had found a remarkable stretch of footage from a disregarded wildlife film, which showed a pack of wolves observing their territory on top of a small hill for 10 minutes. They choreographed different kinds of collective arrangements, reacting to other inhabitants of the site and moved in an out the frame periodically. The wildlife film was found footage and Michelson had connected it with a soundtrack. The work referred to the New York Lenape people (Wolf Tribe).

Visited Remy Jungerman’s Based In exhibition at robert henry contemporary on Friday. I had no prior knowledge of his work and decoding its visual language took a while. Luckily Jungerman gave visitors short introduction to the works. As I understood the pieces were tools for identifying blind-spots that modern art and modernistic thinking has in relation to spirituality and otherness. The sculptures in the gallery felt like miniature models of modern cities or container ships. Each had a few iron-nails hammered into it. At first I thought that this was reference to the absence of materiality (in modern design) but the nails were possibly referring to religious practices in which nails are hammered into figurative sculptures as a sacrifice.

Participated in a Lorre-Mill uTone build workshop at Control yesterday. The uTone “uses CMOS logic, a resistor ladder, and a few other simple pieces to create audio forms. The scale inherent in this instrument is the undertone series, giving divisions of the main clock frequency”. Here is more about the design. We build our uTone units in four hours, hooked them together for a jam and chatted briefly about the topography of the circuit. I learned how to read resistor values from color codes a little better. Unfortunately the workshop was too short, we didn’t learn more about Will Schorre’s views on design and sounds (here is an interesting post on his website on prototyping). I would have also liked to learn more what the uTone is capable of. It has two inputs. I’m in the process of adding an 3,5mm TS Jack -> Banana Jack port/adapter to the device to integrate it with other gear.

We drafted a proposal with Ilari to have a publication on land- and environmental art conservation (Working title: Notes on Land and Environmental Art Conservation – Critical Approaches to Denes, Holt and Smithson) co-published by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New Yorks and the Fine Art Academy of Helsinki.

Synths and eurorack modules we proposed through the Oodi-modular initiative are currently being acquired by the library staff! We are on our way to a people’s-public-modular of Helsinki.


I’m having trouble finding performance art venues which list their events online in a sensible fashion. Grace Exhibition Space has a newish site but the schedule of events they offer is messy (found the exhibition spacey on Broadway yesterday but it was closed). Panoply Performance Laboratory seems interesting but I can’t figure out if there are events in the space or is it primarily for projects. I’ve signed up to multiple email lists but they seem to be quiet (perhaps people are on vacations). Eyebeam is the most promising email list I’ve signed up for so far.

Having trouble communicating to Helsinki. Signal app is not 100% reliable in a non-roaming/wifi setting (this was the case during our trip to Brussels too) and I can’t send SMSs abroad from my US phone. I’m now getting regular SMS messages to my Finnish number (Signal messages come delayed) and using my US number with an alternative Signal installation. Also installed Wire on my US phone (which provides nice setup options for multiple devices).

Received my ISCP (International Studio & Curatorial Program) studio keys and got a short introduction to the facilities. The building has three floors and two gallery spaces. The room I was given is incredible. It’s a +20m² space with a 5m high ceiling. I found some basic tools (there is a soldering station for Synth DIY kits!) and a computer & scanner/printer. I’ll take my computer and other tech to the studio today. This is the first studio I’ve worked in. All of the art schools I’ve studied in have been poor or in the process of being shut down, so I learned to work in cafeterias or at home and to perform in public spaces.  I don’t know what to do with all of the space I now have at my disposal. I’m thinking about making a mural.

Olli was at the ISCP before me and I brought a bike from him. He left it at my studio and I rode it home. I feel like a rock star – Driving around Brooklyn on my cool new bike!

What would a public park look like if it was built from the perspective of bees? (2018) by Regine. An overview of Erik Sjödin project with bees. He’s approach reminds me of the species-sensitive-design concept. The Political Beekeeper’s Library seems like an interesting archive. It “looks at books where parallels are drawn between how bees and humans are socially and politically organised”.

The shelter explores what a public park would look like if it was built from the perspective of the wildlife that use the park alongside the humans.

Increased biodiversity in parks in the form of flowering plants, buzzing bees and chirping birds etc can provide aesthetic pleasure to park residents and be relevant besides from the intrinsic value nonhuman life has. Biodiversity doesn’t have to conflict with human interests.