In the contemporary milieu, the idea of being negative is either regarded as a destructive mentality or else defeatist fatalism. But, at least in passing shades, negative emotions can hold great power. There resides in negativity the seed of critical thought and a beneficial duty to engage with one’s internal feelings.
The Art of Negativity – On Rejecting Positive Thinking (2021) Enis Yucekoralp. The text draws a link between capitalism, positivity and the “Likes” which social media devices employ. There is a determinism at play in positivity… As if things would “get to” or need to “go towards” to exist or feel good to be meaningful! I’m reminded of a previous claim that bitterness is in fact an emotional response of class awareness #ॐ. This is framed in a sentence: “Judgmental bourgeois attitudes towards revolt and protest necessarily represent hegemonic support for the status quo”. The text brings forth a useful concept: “toxic positivity”, which is deployed to against the stagnative argument that “negative emotions are inherently ‘bad'”. The author identifies trades of “cultist optimism”, which approaches critical world-views as a sin. Also loving the critique of “wellness capitalism” (Yucekoralp is citing Audre Lorde).
… the English Romantic poet John Keats formulated a concept, one which he termed ‘negative capability’. At root, it describes a propensity for living in the midst of mystery; or, more accurately, the power to accept enigmas and uncertainties with an open mind free from the imposition to hunt down order and clarity. His very use of ‘negative’ is not meant derogatively, but to represent absence in a more abstract sense – the positive potential of ‘being without’ something. In this case: knowledge or certainty.
Wellness capitalism is the symptom of a much more corrosive condition; as if more consumption were the answer to healing the wounds of capitalism. In reality, the promises of ‘mindfulness’, ‘positive mental attitude’ and ‘healthy living’ pledged by the industrial wellness complex are exposed as just one more arrow in the quiver of exploitation.
We should work to destroy ourselves nicely, not only to maintain the current but to destroy it! Authentic movement and authentic drunken slumber can possibly be equally healing. Authentic Drinking (or getting fucked up in other ways) was recently discussed with Leena and Heini.
Upholstered a Håg kneeling chair which I bought for cheep. Might have to replace the gas spring and wheels too but it works for now. Found a good supplier for strong plastic foam (LIMI P80) in Kerava and sourced leftover canvas from an upcycling bin. The foam is sturdy but soft, intended for upholstery of industrial machine seats. Felt weird to buy new plastic foam to this world but SURREAL SALAD (2020) by Heini Aho comforted me. Her video is perfect for coping with toxic-futures. I think I used too much glue. There is a faint intoxicating smell in the room I work but I’m using it for my benefit (working on grant-applications and preparing a teaching gig for Aalto).
Spotted a small clip about the expo2001∞ fanzine/exhibition by Daniel Kupferberg online. We contributed an angry Trans-Horse text to it. The zine-format is inspirational. We will be hopefully produce a zine during the upcomming Horse & Build Environment course too.
Dreaming of a Ginko Synthese Sampleslicer II. Their LFOv2 is a part of nearly every patch I make. Still experiencing inconsistencies with the Norns Orca ! cc outputs.
Pori Art Museum has published a report on the Creative Commons and Art seminar which I participated in with Kaino and Kalle Kuisma. My talk is recapped on pages 10-12 and I’m very pleased with my contribution. I claimed that “Artists do not contribute to the commons – They claim phenomenons from the commons” (artists taint phenomena and mark it as their own). I also claim that skills are production tool (for artists) and shed light on the ideological origins of Ore.e Refineries (and the COOL 1.0 license).
Working on our Ihme-days presentation with Heini and Leena, packing stuff in preparation of my New York visit, preparing next weeks Horse & Performance course with Pietari and writing a lecture/presentation for expo2001∞ (organised by Daniel Kupferberg) events at Kunstraum Argh15 (I’ll give “An Introduction to Horselogical thinking” over skype or wire). Aaand.. Learning how to make cheesecake.
Flashed Face Distortion Effect is interesting. Wonder if could be reversed: Images of faces would be distorted so that the faces that flash would appear normal.
Performed with the Neighborizome group at the Koneen säätiö Lauttasaari mansion renovation topping out party last Thursday. We prepared a timecapsule/ritual kit for the future and buried into the yard. Builders and guests could vote on its content. Builders voted on an Anonymous Mask and a Koskenkorva vodka flask (Fitting symbols for struggle). They threw coins into the kit for good luck.
Learning Ableton Live in preparation of a gig at the Viestejä Vuosaaresta (KOM-theater / Helsinki Model) event. The gig is on 2.11 and I’m scared. Vili will recite a marine weather report using his flamenco/gypsy-style singing skills. The tone of the singing is similar to an Adhan. Lauri Wuolio is also performing at the event.
Preparing a teaching gig for Janakkala (for kids, 12-18 years) next weekend. There will be 21 students. I’ll be teaching them how to “walk”.
Preparing a 1,5h lecture next Friday on my artistic practice (in the framework of posthumanism/ecology) for dance and pedagogy students of Uniarts Helsinki and Aalto Uni. I’ll start of by explaining that my mother was a Marxist, recap how my shared interests with the Helsinki communist youth association evolved into (very) slim involvement with anti-globalization and anti-war movements and how celebration over the 9/11 (2001) attacks resulted into a restlessness which lead me into crafts (In short before 9/11 dirty clothes were cool – Post 9/11 dirty clothes were scary).
Wax-treated my jeans coat. 1 part boiled linseed oil, 1 part beeswax mixture. It will take 6 months for the linseed oil to dry.
- Nude Photo (1987) Derrick May
- Model 500 – Night Drive (1985) Juan Atkins
- Crack Down (1990) Carl Craig
- The Final Frontier (1991) Underground Resistance
- Alleys Of Your Mind (1981) Cybotron (Juan Atkins & Richard Davis)
Co-hosted a talk-shop at the Lauttasaari library on Thursday with Leena Kela and Heini Aho (Neighborizome crew). The event investigated the processes of “Forgetting & Decaying” in relation to an upcoming public artwork “The Garden of Decay”(?) by Maria Teeri and Janne Nabb. The piece will installed at the Lauttasaari Mansion which Kone foundation will launch as a residency/office/community/art space (Expected to open summer 2018).
Neurologist and emeritus professor of geriatrics Raimo Sulkava saved the event by giving a relaxed and easygoing description on how memories are formed (through repetition). We discussed bronze statues in our cities as cultural memories, which Sulkava replied to by presenting “The Garden of Decay” as a positive response: The shape of the artwork is constantly changing and it’s rotting away but it can still be considered valuable and artistic – Such as we should approach the elderly.
Visited HAM yesterday for the Eero Nelimarkka exhibition opening. The house was full of people! There were some distant relatives present too but I felt too lazy to introduce myself. The exhibition was boring and the catalogue texts celebrated Nelimarkka as a genius. Some statements were fatally incorrect: “Nelimarkka was a chauvinist, which was normal in his time”. He was definitely a chauvinist but there has never been anything “normal” about it. The text was written by Riitta Nelimarkka.
Two critiques on the exhibition Helsingin Sanomat and Yle – Kulttuuri.