2020020

A selection of the Trans-Siberian Railway -Sound Archive is now available on Freesound. There are 35 clips (1.7gb) and I think the gps data mapping of the recordings alone tells a nice story. I’ve included Helsinki as a part of the Trans-Siberian railway network… As it was intended when the Tsar had our rails build. The archive would work great as background noise for a train-story/documentary or for train themed games. I think some clips might work as chopped samples too. The indexing of the files is a bit messy but there are real gems in the mix. My favorite clips are:

I’m listening to them while writing and I can feel the sounds vibrating my phone, which makes the clips feel material, like thin peals of the trip. Miinas note that the archive is linked with geology (or the process of harvesting geological samples for profit) feels acute. I like that the samples have interference sounds and occasionally my hands can be heard touching the mic. The interference makes the surrounding medias physical, it shows the limits of the recording technology and adds to the appeal. There is a clip were the microphone passes an x-ray machine for example. The material disturbances make me think of Viktor Toikkanen when he pushed his laptop to memory overload glitch territory when live-coding.

Our In Various Stages of Ruins exhibition series continues at Alkovi. The current exhibition titled Toxicity will be build gradually through the end of the summer towards the fall. Currently there are photos from the Town of Asbest on display, my humble C-Cassette recording we made with Jesse titled Two Men Coughing in the Woods (2020) and a set of DIY orthopedic supports I made for my feet (mentioned earlier).

Post-ore* (noun)

/poʊst ɔːr/

  1. Multimetal smelting and welding spillage blobs accumulated to the proximity of furnaces, pouring channels, storage units and waste disposal facilities, over the lifespan of a foundry, casting facility or smithy.
  2. Metal objects that are only worth the materials that are made from. Repurposing of such objects is “post-ore refining”, meaning the extraction of metals from wasteful objects. E.g. Gold extraction from discarded computer circuit boards or repurposing of a decorative steel things. Also unsalvable metal crafts projects, sacrificial metal brace/support used in the construction of other items.
  3. Metals which have been bonded with nonmetallic substances. Salvaging or repurposing such materials is labor intensive and deemed unwise under contemporary economical terms. Post-ore can be found in composite objects assembled from an array of materials (lesser metals, plastics, wood etc.) and hence not accepted by contemporary scrapyard entrepreneurs: “Nah.. We’re not a dump, that thing is only good for post-ore”.
  4. Post-ore age: A future human time when people resort exclusively to ground metals (and occasional meteorites) as their supply. Enough metals have been pulled from the depths of the planet to supply people for any currently imaginable human future. The amount of metals on the the top of earths crust, serves as an insurance that humans will never return to pre-metal ages. No culture or human group can ever be “bombed back to the stone age”.

* Term coined by Jesse when visiting an old foundry and discovering multimetal ingots (iron, copper, aluminum etc.) which had been produced by decades of spillage. He also spotted a fireplace-base-cake containing lumps of aluminum, copper etc. developed from someones efforts in clearing metals from their plastic housing by burning them on open fire. Finnish translation: Jälkimalmi or jälki-malmi.

20190701

Wrote a summer text for Mustekala.info Puu kaatuu metsässä – Tunnelmia Kiilan äänipäiviltä Kemiönsaarelta [Tree Falling in the Woods – Vibes from the Kiila International Sound-Days at Kemiönsaari]. An easygoing review which includes a short history of the event and an overview of all of the works presented this year. Includes some fancy casually post-humanistic sentences: “[their piece] explored constructions, which enable the production of sound in bodies, animals and other wind instruments” (concerning a performance by Ragnhild May and Kristoffer Raasted). Also summarized Yan Jun‘s from last year performance which I wrote shortly about. Got to interview Tolvi, Juho Laitinen (got a micro-lecture on art!) and Teemu Lehmusruusu for the text too.

Jesse introduced me to the concept of post-ore (jälki-malmi). He came up with the concept after spotting scum with aluminum and copper traces in the lot of an old foundry. Its a very useful concept for Ore.e Refineries. Post-Timber works too (see this crafty palindrome as a performance). We build a sauna (using post-timbre) with him in two days. Needs insulation but gives a good löyly.

Breadboarded a Microphonie (Music Thing Modular) and made a unit on perfboard too. Turns out my DC 5-24v to Dual Power 12v -12v 5v -5v 3.3v is incredibly noisy. Works ok, not as loud as I hoped and a bit noisy (most likely because of my building skills). Using a battery works cleaner. Tested it with my μZEUS too and begun to build a (water)capacitor (will be dry tomorrow).

20190602

I hope the Oodi laser cutter is fixed cause I want to make a eurorack case for travel. Also interested in building a passive VCA/LPG (see szabomate on Muffwiggler) or a DIY vactrol poor man’s LPG or a Shoosh (for eurorack). Bought rails for the 1u row of my case. I should continue working on the mineral water electronic monitor (I need to make a strong amplifier to hear water better). After this I’ll experiment with running signals trough water using different capacitors. To make lower frequencies audible, I’ll have to play with the cap values of my Elektrosluch. Learning about water adjustment too.

AirPods Are a Tragedy (2019) Caroline Haskins. A pretty plain text. It’s a part of a interesting “Future Relics” column series. The concept reminds me of Archeology of the Future, which we coined with Jesse back in the days as an attempt to criticize present day consumerism by imagining ourselves as archeologist in the future.

Learning how to change bike wheel spokes. Saving money is hard work. #ॐ

20190323

Visited Performance and Feminism seminar at TeaK. I went particularly for Marina Valle Noronhas and Kim Modigs Performing professionalism: Why do we travel for art and what does it do to us? talk but stayed for Lim Paik Yins movie and Minna Harris presentation about time. The three presentations formed a loose arch, which dealt with ecology and challenges caused by development. The Performing professionalism… was a performance. The stylish duo played a prerecorded sound piece while sitting confidently in front of the crowd. I interpreted the presentation as an attempt to problematize the image of the contemporary creative (art) professional, whose relevance is measured by the amount their international flights and prestige appetites, which attempt to transcendent the limits of bourgeoisie taste (and end up being mega-bourgeoisie).

Yins movie IN[formal] INTERchange (2018) offered a good contrast to the critique. She had conducted interviews (video-voip) with various amateur(?) practitioners of performance art in the Southeast Asian region. The performers talked candidly about their relationship to performance art while engaging in various joined performances (or performance exercises) with each other and the Yin. The film was appealing because it used low-key/accessible esthetics and utilized consumer services (such as Skype) for artistic research. It reminded me that there are global alternatives and strategies that work against the performance of professionalism.

Made a short teaching gig to Hyvinkää for middle to high-school aged kids who take art classes at Willa Arttu. I continued with the “Poststructuralism for Kids” program. We talked about strikes and how the act of “striking” halts movement (which offers a good time to contemplate what to do next) and practiced halting trough contact improvisation. After this we played with doors. We explored what doors are (the kids had some really smart ideas: gates to new dimension etc.) and then we experimented with different ways of opening a doors and discussed about the experience. Used this door opening tutorial (1979) as reference. I’ll do a full write up after the last gig.

Also dabbled with electronics during the week. Scavenged smd components from a failed project and used them to make a voltage regulator for a headlight (9v-to-5v) and a assembled solder smoke removal fan.

I’m making electronics to energize my grant application process. I’ve prepared 16 pages for a five year plan. Five years is not enough. The application consists of an array of loosely linked projects and ideas, some of which are framed as development motifs for work that will be executed around 2038. I’m currently most excited about the idea to organize Smithing in Public Spaces forging workshops. I’ve written the texts so that Jesse can use them in his personal grant applications too. If everything goes as planned we’d host public forging workshops in open city spaces, during which participants would learn how to mend and make metal things. The workshops will also serve as a vessel for collecting stories partisipants tell of metal objects they hold dear.

Catching up on Critical Making. Design and the Construction of Publics (2009) Carl DiSalvo.

[…] the notion that publics are “constructed” is perhaps most salient to contemporary design because it prompts a consideration of the means by which publics are assembled; begging the question: “How does, or might, design contribute to the construction of publics?” [John Dewey]

[…] inquiry into design and the construction of publics begins with a more thorough understanding of the Deweyan public. The assertion that publics are not a priori existing masses is central to the notion of the construction of publics. The public is not something that has been and always will be. It is neither universal nor an abstraction. […] for Dewey, the public is an entity brought into being through issues for the purpose of contending with these issues in their current state and in anticipation of the future consequences of these issues.

As designers and educators, [Anthony] Dunne and [Fiona] Raby are well known for their development of “Critical Design,” which they regard as an alternative to mainstream design in that the goal is the use of design to expose and explore the conditions and trajectories of contemporary design rather than the utilitarian problem-solving or surface-styling that has historically characterized design (particularly industrial design).

By the contributions of design, will publics inherit problematic qualities of being “engineered” or “commodities”? Such concerns are legitimate and substantial. The subject of design ethics should go hand-in-hand with the construction of publics, and have a significant place in future discourse.