Esitystaiteen perusteet -kurssikooste

Kooste sisältää tehtävänantoja, suorituksia, opiskelijoiden kirjoittamia muistiinpanoja ja keskustelun rippeitä. Aineistoa käytettiin Kankaanpään taidekoulun Esitystaiteen perusteet -kurssin opetuksessa, johon osallistui kaksi perättäistä vajaan 15 opiskelijan ryhmää ja etäopiskelijoita. Kolmiviikkoinen kurssi on pakollinen ensimmäisen vuosikurssin opiskelijoille. Ohjelma pyrki kehittämään osallistujien kykyä purkaa ja lukea erilaisia yhteiskunnassa toistuvia esityksiä sekä kehittämään taiteilija-ammatin vaatimia esiintymistaitoja. Esiintymistaidoista on hyötyä kun tekee taiteellista työskentelyään ymmärrettäväksi kollegoille, perheenjäsenille ja muulle yleisöille. Esiintymistä käsiteltiin laaja-alaisesti puimalla historiallisia poliittisia puheenvuoroja, performanssitaideteoksia ja osallistujien kurssin aikana toistamia arkirutiineja.

Ohjelmaa rytmittivät liikunnalliset harjoitukset, joilla pyrittiin vahvistamaan osallistujien kehotietoisuutta. Aamut alkoivat joko yhteisillä tansseilla tai venyttelyillä ja ryhmät suorittivat päivittäin kontakti-improvisaatioharjoitteita. Koulussa toteutetun opetuksen lisäksi ryhmät toimivat Kankaanpään liikuntakeskuksessa ja työskentelivät muutamaan otteeseen kaupunkitilassa. Liikepohjaista työskentelyä ohjasi pyrkimys harjaantua tunnistamaan kuinka keho vaikuttuu ympäristöstä, säistä ja toisista ihmisistä. Tätä kautta yritettiin hahmottaa miten ympäristö vaikuttaa sosiaaliseen kanssakäymiseen. Menettelyllä pyrittiin kehittämään valmiuksia ymmärtää kuinka taideteokset, kuten veistokset, maalaukset, valokuvat ja arkkitehtuuri ohjaavat havaintoja, ajattelua ja käytöstä. Ohjelmaan kuulunut luento tarkasteli performatiivisuuden käsitettä eri nykytaiteen suuntausten ja merkkiteosten kautta.

Koosteessa on mukana esitystaiteen perusteet etäkurssin kurssitehtävät, joita myös osa kontaktiopetukseen osallistuneista on tehnyt korvatakseen poissaoloja. Laatikkoihin kootut tekstit ovat viikottaisia tehtävänantoja, joita ryhmille jaettiin. Näiden alla on opiskelijoiden suorittamat tehtävät sekä linkkejä teoksiin, joihin viitattiin keskusteluissa. Harjoitteita ja niiden purkuja ei ole esitelty tässä asiakirjassa, koska tämä on tarkoitettu ensisijaisesti muistiinpanoksi ja arkistoksi. Koosteen avulla voi toivottavasti palauttaa mieleen opetuksessa viitattuja taideteoksia, kirjallisuutta ja harjoitusten kulkua. Kurssi päättyi molempien ryhmien osalta ryhmissä suunniteltuihin yhteisharjoituksiin, joiden kehittelyn rippeitä on tallennettu asiakirjaan. Osallistujat arvioivat omaa oppimistaan ja antoivat työskentelylleen kurssiarvosanat opetuksen päättäneissä henkilökohtaisissa palautekeskusteluissa.

Osa performanssiharjoitteista on napattu suoraan Pilvi Porkolan toimittamasta Performance Artist’s Workbook (2017) kirjasta. Performatiivisuutta käsittelevä luento-osuus pohjasi teoriasisällöiltään Richard Schechnerin Performance studies an Introduction – Chapter 5: Performativity (2002-2013) oppikirjaan. Suomennettu nimellä Johdatus esitystutkimukseen (2016). Kurssi käytti opetusaineistona kahta suomalaista performanssitaidekokoelmaa; T.E.H.D.A.S ryn luomaa D-Ark arkistoa, jossa teoksia yli 30 vuoden ajalta sekä New Performance Turku -festivaalin videokanavaa. Arkistoista löytyviä taideteoksia sovellettiin myös opetuksessa toistamalla esityksissä käytettyjä koreografioita ja perehtymällä taideteoksiin liikkeen kautta. Edellisistä kursseista saa otteen blogin aikaisemmista. Kurssin vastuuopettajana oli Tuomas Laitinen, joka sijaisti Aapo Korkeaojaa.

20211230

I don’t know much about leadership but I do know about teaching and have worked in self governed groups. I assume that leadership and teaching are related and suspect both are about balancing listening to others and articulating personal desires. Both require accountability. I’m curious about leadership which would be structured by values.

Value based leadership sounds better in Finnish: Arvojohtaminen. In Finnish the term sounds like it’s not only about leaning on shared values of a work community for defining organizational goals but equally about defining values and imagining futures where the values would prevail. For me politics is about calling forth a public from the mass of folk we’ve been made into by history and deciding where to head next. Value-based leadership or rather leadership by values would then be a process of reaching to this public, to remind each other about shared ambitions and dreams. We are all worried about the future which is why being reminded why we are working together gives hope and comfort.

Leadership which is set by values is scary because one might fail in articulating the ambitions and dreams a community shares or even worse one might reveal that their values are not inline with the current mood of a group. This gives the public just cause to scrutinize the speakers role in the organization. I imagine this is why hierarchical organizations are seldom led with values, the democratic processes of constant reevaluation would strain them. Hence the group is steered by a “mission” which does not require individuals working to achieve it to share (or commit to work on) values. It’s enough that members are managed, that the time and budget they spend gets measured. The aim is to work in a fluidity where no one needs to think or say what they believe in. Work is viewed as something not political.

Just as the terrorists wanted, everyone else was left feeling unsafe.

The Kankaanpää terrorist group was caught during the same time I was teaching a performance art course for first semester students at the Kankaanpää Art School. News of the arrest came to light on a Sunday, halfway through our intensive course. The far-right group, consisting of five young men, was defined as an accelerationist cell and it was broadly speculated that they had been planning an attack. Any potential target they might have had has not been revealed by the police. I continued with classes the following week and referred to the arrest in anecdotes but didn’t engage with the news systematically. Not a lot was (or is) known of the group’s intentions. There were rumours circulating that the school could have been a potential target because members of the terrorist cell had attacked students a few years back.

Students were stressed and very critical to how the school and I were addressing the situation. It must have appeared that we, the staff were intentionally silent about the affair. We had a crisis talk with the student group on Wednesday and on Thursday the executive director, rector of the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) Jari Multisilta held a meeting for all the Art School students and staff. Students voiced their criticism and desires bravely. They wanted the school to respond to the news and to take their concerns seriously. The meeting was followed by a session next Monday facilitated by art department team leader Matti Velhonoja, where students and the staff could further discuss and share their feelings. Both events worked well for voicing concerns and coming to terms with news. But discussions in both forums focused on technical matters: What kind of security measures or protocols should be implemented, how frequent should emergency evacuation drills be held and should student privileges, such as having access to school woodworking facilities after hours, be revised.

I think the focus on technical matters is a symptom of a deep issue: When leadership is not rooted in values, concerns over safety get handled by discussing technical matters. In short, instead of using the public forums we had for strengthening our sense of solidarity and confronting terror, we discussed whether more security cameras should be installed on the art school campus roof. Retrospectively, we were petrified by the potential of violence and resolved our unease by dabbling with optics. Discussing right wing terror, the threat students feel in Kankaanpää or in the becoming Finland and how should we organize to combat fear would have required work. The outspoken students who provided the strongest criticism of the school institutions response, detailed that their views were rooted in prior experience with right wing extremism. I believe that if the terror threat and the experiences students have had would have been discussed in an unhierarchical manner —leaning to their expertise— we could have reached something immensely more constructive.

This would have required us all to commit to the school from a different, perhaps deeply personal stance. It felt like none of us in the staff had a mandate to fully address the needs of the students. Even so, instead of retreating back to a numbing fluidity where differences are pushed aside with managerial apparatuses, we should use the momentum for reframing our ambitions and dreams: What do we want from art and art education when faced with terror? Where do we want to head from here? The only sign of a fighting spirit in the sessions was a cry “No Nazis at Kankaanpää, No Nazis at all” by Antti Ahonen. It felt energizing but did anyone believe it? Who amongst us was committed in confronting terror and how would our efforts be most effective?

Its not a coincidence that the terrorist cell was formed in Kankaanpää, the region most supportive of the far right Finns party and it is horrible that locals who have been interviewed by nationwide media outlets have downplayed the severity of the case. When the terrorists were released from pre-trial detention, a local Finns representative Teuvo Roskala published a post in which he celebrated their return to Kankaanpää as if they where national treasures. In this landscape the art school is a beacon of hope for young artists. Discussions with SAMK department heads framed the art school as a “bubble” which is dislodged from its surroundings. This was offered as a partial explanation for the sense of alienation students expressed. This should not be a mindset for reading students reactions.

Security devices will not resolve the problem, because the problem isn’t security, the problem is the prevailing managerial ethos which enables organisations to function without articulating values they are working for. The city of Kankaanpää and SAMK should layout measures they are planning to deploy in-order to countermeasure the increasing far right threat. The Finns party’s reactions to the terrorist case should be publicly scrutinized by people who lead public institutions, in areas where they have been voted into power. What does SAMK dream of in the wake of these events?

On a broader scale I want to investigate how art education should respond to rising right wing extremism. What does it mean to be an art student in a hostile environment? If fear is not confronted and the sense of security strengthened, the process will cause immeasurable harm. Can or should we work towards establishing pedagogical guidelines for confronting violent political movements? Education is nothing but political. It is an expression of a humanitarian belief that personal and societal change is possible. Every teaching event is a sincere attempt to become better, more just, more grounded and that we will achieve a brighter future by becoming more compassionate.

I also remembered writing about Kankaanpää and the Finns Party a few years back. There is a definite trajectory between Finns-party and far right extremists, which should be taken seriously. The following week I draw an angry Moomin character and attached it to to the window of the staff flat overseeing the market square from where it condemns violence. It’s not much but it’s what I could do.

20211114

Daily teaching at Kankaanpää Art School is progressing well. The group is acceptive to the activities I’m proposing and we are speeding along. The days are long and the weekly 6hx2 buss travels are rough but I’m feeling reinvigorated. Joined a local gym and got to perform kettlebell routines in a group. Planning to use the school facilities to build a new two row 104hp case. Sourcing wood from leftover bins.

Succeeded in swapping a busted usb-c port and changing the battery on my phone. I’ve serviced the usb port on this device twice.

The Eco-Politics of the Sublime (2021) Enis Yucekoralp attempts to reintroduce the sublime, so that we may gain a new political horizon. Yucekoralp argues that a division between humans and nature is beneficial for political decision making (citing Andreas Malm). They are calling for eco-socialist approaches instead of techno-fixes and define “climate apartheid” a political reality where the rich can keep distance from the destruction. Some parts are complicated but I think they are providing a critique of a virtuoso-male-survivalist-figure (built trough a critique of Kant: “[Who] exalts human reason to the extent that rationality is elevated to the level of transcendence”).

An eco-political sublime takes umbrage with the Kantian supremacy of reason and concludes that Nature can never be mastered. Instead, it represents a figuration of Nature that will never be totally knowable and that holds a mirror up to our own limitations of conceptualisation.

The Covid-19 pandemic represents a ‘sublime’ event insofar as its seismic calamity — by the force of its tragedy — also represents a naked revelation of societal immiserations and the possibilities for alternative socio-political formations.

20211107

Reconnected (2021) Paris Marx is an expose of core values at the heart of the internet. The text offers a useful listing of past alternatives too. This source led me to techwontsave.us podcast series by the author. Some episodes are light leftist rants (stating the obvious) but other episodes like How Race Was Central to Prop 22 w/ Veena Dubal are great for learning specifics on how workers in California have organized against the gig economy giants and what the historical framework of the gig economy is. #☭

Feeling restless and frustrated. Assembled a Pulses expander 1u for the Turing Machine (a no-brainer to have and relatively easy to assemble). Took it on as a meditative exercise. Repeating the resistor alignment 11 times, routing the same jumper-wires 11 times, powering the IC and reading the schematics like a holy book (tracing the signal paths over and over). Worked without a plan for the build but it turned out better then my previous expanders/1u thingamajiggies. Inspired by gnsk style approaches. This style for electronics is an acquired taste and I’m growing into it. I like the potential of errors and fear when plugging it in to the system. The mess which is not a mess.

Sent three Fairchild transistors to grm to be used in a RYO Paths build and was gifted two forestcaver / Benjolin PCBs and a voucher to their bandcamp in exchange. A nice realisation of the electronics as a social network approach and a sonic expansion for the initiative. Got in touch with the Benjolin PCB layout designer who consulted me on the VCA chip and acquired two Forrest Baer faceplates. Looking forwards to building a Rob Hordijk design and in preparation digging their text from 2009 The Blippoo Box: A Chaotic Electronic Music Instrument (The more I study the Benjolin, the closer it feels to SoftPop).

The digital heritage aspect of the Fairchild initiative led me to the inspiring compudanzas project: “explorations of computing at a human scale / explorando computación a escala humana”. I’m hoping to learn more about how computer logic could be performed as dance. This approach would work well for internalizing the transistor functions. Korsnäs wool coat patterns also look beautiful. Particularly live the weaving pattern which is performed in groups of three. Perhaps there is a base, collector, emitter logic at play there?

Preparing for a six week long gig at Kankaanpää Art School, I’ll be teaching first semester art-students “The Basics of Performance & Live Art”. Instead of infusing participants with texts, I’m trying to build their awareness of performance art praxis by using mostly other artworks as references. We’ll be analysing documented performances from the T.E.H.D.A.S ry D-Ark archive and the movement based exercises I’ve planned are linked artworks I’ve seen recently. The references and history of the art are introduced trough movement! The travel from Helsinki to Kankaanpää takes six hours. This is going to be an exhausting gig (leaving on Sundays, returning for Thursday nights and repeating the cycle for six weeks).

[Fi] Esiintyminen ja solidaarisuus -kurssipäiväkirjat

Esiintyminen ja solidaarisuus -kurssi toteutui Kankaanpään taidekoulussa. Ohjelman kesto oli 90 tuntia ja toimintaan osallistui viisi opiskelijaa. Kurssi kuului esitystaide- ja tila opintokokonaisuuteen, jonka vastuuopettaja toimii Aapo Korkeaoja. Ohjelma koostui erilaisista yhteistä päätöksentekoa tukevista performanssiharjoitteista, joiden avulla pohdittiin miten voidaan tuottaa toisia huomioivaa ja tukevaa taidetta. Luento-osuuksissa käytiin läpi performatiivisuuden teoriaa ja toiminta päättyi harjoite-kavalkaadiin, jossa jokainen osallistuja ohjasi oman harjoitteen koko ryhmälle.

Kollektiivisesti kirjoitettu kurssipäiväkirja on ladattavissa: 2019_esiintyminen-ja-solidaarisuus-kurssipaivakirjat_kankaanpaan-taidekoulu.pdf (9,4mb)

Toiminnalla oli kolme kulmakiveä

  1. Keholliset harjoitteet
    • Kahvakuula voimistelu Kankaanpään liikuntakeskuksessa. Tavoitteena oppia suorittamaan vieraalta tuntuvia koreografioita yhdessä, oppia muilta seuraamalla ja totuttautua tekemään jotain vieraalta tuntuvaa. (Vähän vahvistua kanssa!)
    • Grid-työskentely. Hitusen kontakti-improvisaatioon kallellaan olevaa yhdessä liikkumisen malli, joka tavoitteena on kehotietoisuus ja tietoisuus oman kehon suhteesta sekä vaikutuksesta muihin/tilaan. Erikoisuutena harjoittelu kännyköiden ja näyttöjen rajaamassa tilassa.
  2. Lukeminen ja kirjoittaminen (katselu & kuuntelu)
    • Luimme kurssin aikana yhden valikoiman artikkeleita Pontus Purokurun Täysin automatisoitu avaruushomoluksuskommunismi (2018) kirjasta sekä Peggy Pierrotin keskustelupiiri ohjeistuksen (2017).
    • Kirjoitimme päivittäin kollektiivista kurssipäiväkirjaa (verkon yli Google docs).
    • Katsoimme videotaidetta ja tanssia, joka komppasi viikko ohjelmaa.
  3. Näkymätön käsi (lautasen rikkominen) ja äänestyskävely -harjoitteet (esitelty tarkemmin kurssipäiväkirjassa).