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Participated in the first Performing the Fringe -event or un-conference in Stockholm last weekend. The research project is organized by curators Inga Lace & Jussi Koitela and the process will continue till 2020. The project feels very similar to the Alkovi Gallery Russian-focus program and activities I’m participating in (which is convenient). We walked and talked for two days around the Hökarängen district. Our group was introduced to the area by researcher Moa Tunström and other activist/artists. We visited Kulturhuset Cyklopen, local allotment gardens which were introduced to us by Janna Holmstedt, an old (still active) graffitiwall which was introduced to us by Lina Eriksson and a horse stable where we met Svarten (horse). Activities were centered around Konsthall C, which managing director Erik Annerborn hosted us warmly. The group participating in Performing the Fringe consists of artists from the Baltic-Nordic region. I had the pleasure to meet Andrej Polukord (he also is the director of Galerie Uberall, we coined the term Easternational in a chat), Asbjørn Skou (we talked about kettlebells!), Flo Kasearu (who gave a great presentation of her house museum), Jon Benjamin Tallerås (we talked about carpentry. Tallerås shared his view that urban structures which are designed to guide our movements work because they have a “semiotic quality to them”. We could easily bypass a fence but it is intended to be read read as like a language. The fence speaks to us and says: “Don’t move from here.”) and Valentina Karga (whom I know from her work in Maunula). The group will head to Pori during the summer and my next engagement with the project will be in Vilnius.

Will Brexit break up the UK? (2019) An Other Europe Podcast. A very tight analysis of the ideological backgrounds of Brexit. Offers many useful concepts such as “structural emotion” which explains the process when politicians work to justify their feelings using rational arguments.

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Rasmus Hedlund Luminös Klang (2018). A good vibes summer techno track with a video by Paula. The track has a strong Maurizio vibe and the road trip music video is in baltic-style.

A Kulttuuri ykkönen episode on the power of curating. Jussi gives a good description on what culture institutions are: Factories which reproduce the past. This is why we should not expect museums, stages etc. to react to pressing political issues. They are specifically designed to keep art and life separate, which is why they cannot serve decolonial, radical identity politics (they can only create representations of these movements). He also offers an honest description of the work of curators: It’s only partly about curating.

Settling to New York City. The Fciny crew welcomed our four member family warmly. We sorted our two room apartment so that the kids have their own room. The apartment building has a gym in its basement and it’s located very close to the Grand Street in Brooklyn (Control is right next door!). Had to buy a new phone, my Oneplus3t LTE doesn’t work here. Got a Samsung 7J Prime (it’s scrappy). All of the food is coated with sugar, everyone I’ve seen has an iPhone and our apartment air-conditioner is leaking water (had to pry it open to drain it). And it’s all great! The city is more spacious then I expected.

I want a Rakit Analogue Drum Synthesizer kit.

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Autogynephilia (2018) ContraPoints.

KANYE WEST STYLE (2017) Mark Angel Comedy / Episode 133

Kanye West has killed me ooooh..

A very heavy text looking back at a curatorial project Jussi Koitela organized: Politics as Art against the Art of Economics; Reflections on the Skills of Economy Sessions (2018) Georgios Papadopoulos. It’s great that Jussi got a detailed conclusion for the project but the text feels like a monument. It says nice things in a very complicated way.

Art is not constrained by the limits of theory or language in its efforts to account for the unrepresented elements of reality through aesthetic interventions, so artistic critique can create frictions in the circulation of ideology and ruptures in the layer of meaning that is superimposed on the world by it.

Contrary to most mainstream curatorial activity, which, whether intentionally or not, tends to produce the artist as a commodity, the Skills of Economy Sessions attempted, and partly succeeded, in highlighting the grip of economic ideology on artistic practice, challenging the shared perception of the curator as a collaborator or even an apologist for the market.

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My text for Esitys mag. is out: Uusmaterialistista yhdyntää (2016). The online version of the mag also features an insightful text from Pilvi: Jumalattaria vai sarjamurhaajia?, which looks at how masturbation has been represented on stages.

Masha Gessen details how to survive autocracy in the USA. The same logic applies to today’s politics in Finland under the “True Finns” thumb.

  1. Believe the autocrat [If he says that he’s gonna – He will].
  2. Do not be taken in by small signs of normality [If things look like they are staying the same it doesn’t mean they are].
  3. Institutions will not save you [There are no neutral public institutions. They are managed by the government].
  4. Be outraged [If you stop resisting they will silence you).
  5. Don’t make compromises [If you negotiate you legitimise their reign].
  6. Remember the future [The outcome of events can be affected].

“… when Marx wondered about what would happen if commodities could speak, he might as well have asked slaves, or the Haitian revolutionaries.” writes María Iñigo Clavo in Modernity vs. Epistemodiversity on e-flux (as recommended by Jussi). The arrival of the text is well timed as we just finished a grant proposal together with Eleonora Lundell. We are seeking funds for a talk-shop, where people who have settled to Helsinki would talk about objects they hold dear.