Performance Art as a Craft of Dissidence (2022)

This text was published in the recently launched “Performance Art in Practice – Pedagogical Approaches” (2022, Worthwise) Aapo Korkeaoja (edit.). The book offers 9 approaches for teaching performance art by different authors. My text is built on experiences teaching at the Kankaanpää Art School. The publication offers insights to performance-teaching by Tuomas Laitinen, Aapo Korkeaoja, Annette Arlander, Pilvi Porkola, Pia Lindy, Jussi Matilainen, Leena Kela & Tero Nauha. I’m flattered to be included in this bunch and I particularly enjoy Pilvi’s writing! The book is illustrated by Katriina Sjöblom. I like that it includes both practical exercises and the philosophy behind the teaching. My submission was originally written in 2019 but it some acuteness to it. The intuitive teaching manner I present as a dream in the text is now fully employed as a praxis.

I have always had issues with authority. This family tradition was passed on to me by my mother. I get offended when people tell me what to do and for this reason studying has been and still is challenging. Luckily Finland is a welfare state, and in the nineties primary school teachers were idealistic. They believed that everyone is good at something and their trust convinced me that my dissident attitudes would find acceptance in the field of art.

I try to pass on similar hopefulness when I get the opportunity to teach. In the past I’ve attempted to assert control over creative processes and I’m learning to get more comfortable with uncertainty. I fear that open processes end up strengthening existing ideas and do not enforce change, which I think is mandatory for combating the hostility of present societies.

To identify subtle changes which manifest in creative sessions, I have called for the meticulous documentation of events and ideas which emerge during a course. I now fear that the detailed study journals we write with students, take on an authoritarian role and steer the course on their own. To counteract this, I have begun to rely on intuition. Can intuition serve as a benign, anti-authoritarian force?

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Martin Howse gives a thorough introduction (2022) to their line of eurorack modules. I like how simple the functions are: Noise is made from a laser passing smoke, picked up by a light sensitive sensor and amplified. Simplicity makes it easier to digest the conceptual frameworks the modules spring from. And the conceptual frameworks are made accessible using simple narrative hooks. But Howse’s narrative devices are whimsical. They offer anecdotal snippets to research, which spark curiosity – But simultaneously establish an authoritative tone. Loose references to research build up the appearance of an gray-intellectual-figure, a sense that there is deep and firm knowledge underlining the whims. I don’t like this tone because it feels authoritative and non-negotiable, like a ghost.

There was an interesting audience question (1:02:37) whether Howse’s modules make up a system, narrative or an ecosystem. The question is impossible to answer and nice to ponder. Touching and effecting code and electronics with naked birth-flesh sounds complicated and inspiring but thinking about it… It is what we are all doing all the time with our devices. They have also attempted to transcribe fiction into functional code, which feels like a great approach to teach coding! Orca could easily be made into a world building exercise or possibly even a simulation.

I came acquainted to the gray-intellectual-ghost trough the placement of an introduction text of the Skills of Economy exhibition at SIC in 2014. Jussi wanted to attach a curatorial statement text on a huge sheet of metal, left leaning casually against the gallery door. I don’t think anyone read the text because it was placed like a leftover – But the text was critical for establishing a sense of certainty and intent to the array of artistic nicnacs we as Ore.e Ref. supplied.

An easy to read summer horror story and the earth drank deep (2022) Ntsika Kota. I like the tone of the text. Easily written stuff enables imaginative reading.

I should built a Mixor Image by modular-maculata.



Morality is an application of sustainable law and governance practices. No stress on infra. #ॐ

A lady at a coffee shop asked me and Jussi to hangout with their puppy while we had tea so that dog would get familiarized with men. She was brave to ask and the dog was nice too. A nice exchange, we got to pet a dog in exange for manifesting a gender publicly.


Performing the Fringe exhibition at Konsthall C was rewarding to setup. Most of the artists in our group came to Stockholm, where we were warmly welcomed by Erik Annerborn & staff. On site we had the pleasure to work with Kaisa Sööt who had designed the exhibition architecture. She had build wavy-benches based on a park seating design spotted in Hökarängen. A localized furniture architecture development effort (reminded me of NCD-C swingers club designs).

I arrived a day before my performance to extract samples from stone architecture using kitchenware from Ikea. A meat-hammer served as a mallet and a regular table knife as a chisel. I pulverized the rocks using a Ikea stone mortar & pestle. The powder was gray and dissolved (seemingly) well into the water (0,3 mg per liter). Polukord noted that granite ore contains metals which caused some concerns (I wonder if it’s possible to separate metals from ore using a magnet?).

My portable CO2 regulator worked well and produced ~5,5 bars of pressure inside standard 1,5 liter plastic bottles, which I used for water-to-gas agitation and serving. The gas was from a local shop which stocks consumer grade 475g CO2 tanks (CGA320 treads). Interestingly the plastic bottles stretched when I added pressure and when shaked the plastics retraction would add to the pressure, causing the content to retreat back towards the regulator. In my first rehearsals this counter pressure caused the valves to come loose.

The next day I performed for a private family which lives in the district. The family connection was facilitated by Annerborn, who introduced me to them in person before the show. I executed my performance in the family’s kitchen. I had some trouble with my sound system, the shape of the space caused a feedback loop, which was hard to resolve. I attempted to do the talk bits in Swedish (my Swedish language skills are fringy, which works well with the project theme) but turned to English midway and the kids lost interest soon after. My statuesque warm-up dance moves were constantly commented by kids, which made pacing difficult. The performance was a delightful mess.

The family was very concentrated on the presentation. I had some minor problems maintaining cohesion, the event challenged the artistic integrity of the piece in a good way. A beneficial learning opportunity and I think the family enjoyed the chamber performance too. We chatted a bit after the performance and they showed their backyard. I was donated a piece of rock from their garden and prompted to make mineral water from it.

The coronavirus didn’t change the performance much. At the time there was no social distancing etiquette guidelines in place in Stockholm (a week an a half ago). We did maintain a little more distance then normally and I executed extra caution in the water preparation. If the family would have wanted I could have made the performance outdoors, in which case it would have been a typical lecture-performance.

Our exhibition opening was cancelled, even so there were some 10 visitors at the space for the opening. This was just enough for setting the mood and actually made the social situation more dense than normal openings. The fewer people there are the more focus they demand. Performances for big audiences are more relaxed because the crowd behavior is more easy to react to than individual gazes. I prepared different waters for the guests and people were exited to drink them (particularly the gravestone water). When walking back to the hotel we shared a pleasant chat with Alexey.

Katarina Frifarare had a parallel opening in the Konsthall C Centrifug space. The Centrifug can be booked for exhibitions by anyone and the dates of the show are set randomly. We should have something like this in Helsinki too, in the Taidehalli space? Frifarare’ exhibition was a leftist analysis of women’s textile work and made a good match with our exhibition.


Knowledge-speculation During Climate Crises ­- ”When You Say We Belong To The Light We Belong To The Thunder” at EKKM (2019) Jussi Koitela.

[A]ddressing the climate crisis and crises caused by human agency and western thought, there is a need for exhibition methodology which handles much more complex and intersectional approaches than the current representational and politically reductive modes of presenting artworks, research, or critical discourses. In many cases, these models reduce the meanings of artworks and artistic research (which contain complex processes of experimentation and exploration, references to multidisciplinary theoretical conversations, and multivocal political debates) to discourses which highlight the most straightforward, and populistic aspects of the works.

What becomes evident after experiencing the exhibition is that it’s crucial for contemporary art institutions to support and foster long-term projects of curators, institutions, artistic researchers, and practitioners which manage to create new forms of knowledges regarding complex urgencies such as contemporary colonialism, climate chaos, and nationalism.

He seems very impressed by the exhibition curated by Heidi Ballet and hopes that it will serve as a point-of-departure for future exhibition making processes. I wish I’d share his optimism. I fear the process of “exhibiting” is categorically self-affirming. Exhibition architecture, so very rarely, allows people to discover themselves forming disruptive assemblies. They emphasize professional-flâneuring, which echoes work or more accurately faking working (which is faking knowing whats what). Exhibitions allow people to discard disruptive inputs. With “disruptive” I don’t mean violent.. More like, disruptive as in discovering how to be a parent. Every learning experience is disruptive and I think learning by doing is most effective (workshops are key).

We had our first exhibition building and sound-session with Johannes yesterday. We also visited Oksasenkatu 11 for the MEMExhibition by HYPERREAALIYAH. The artist has written an intriguing paranoia-inducing text kuinka lakkasin olemasta ja opin rakastamaan meemejä* (2018). We discussed how (or if) browsing internet has taught us to desensitized ourselves. Shared an anecdote from Outi Heiskanen, who recalled playing with severed horse testicles in her youth (her father was a vet). The balls bounced like we presently know plastics to behave.

Visited Timo Bredenbergs Without Friction exhibition at Muu gallery. I enjoyed his video, it felt like a an archeological excavation of present day financial capitalism executed from the future. We were presented with broken 3d renderings of New York City landmarks, important for the recent history of global economics. The architectural views were followed with text snippets, which felt like a future archeologist field notes and glimpses of shaky virtual hands, which attempted to interface with the information. The hand gestures echoed signs stock traders used in the past to signify transactions. I think the archeology of hand gestures in itself would be a really interesting exploration.

Digital Frictions: Where Code Meets Concrete (2019) Shannon Mattern. The article uses a still of Bredenbergs video as an illustration and explores the frictionlessness nature of economic-cities. As a reply for the text we could argue that creating patterns and shapes which refuse to align with contemporary spaces (both digital and tangible) is important, because odd designs cause friction, which is need for developing energy.

Every engine needs friction. I guess an analogy for accelerationisms would be “to purposely oil a machine until it looses friction”.

As an exercise for exploring friction: The hands of partisipants could be oiled (with olive oil) and they would be guided to touch each others hands, so that the frictionlessness, would cause the participants to loose awareness of the other persons touch.