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?
Continue reading “Performance Art as a Craft of Dissidence (2022)”
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.
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)
Wavelings was recorded at Wäinö Aaltosen museum as a part of the New Performance Turku festival 2017. The band consisted of 18 artists who were taught to use synthesisers during a two hour workshop. Members were divided into two group and trained to recognise the sounds different synths produce. Songs Hear – Redo, Ou-Ou, How can you eat juice? (my personal favorite) were recorded during these small group sessions. Songs Mister Noa Moa, Play echo and One for the parents were recorded during a 30min gig were all of the musicians played together for the first time. The audience consisted of art lovers and the parents of the band members. Special thanks to Ida Martikainen, Leena Kela & Christopher Hewitt, Anni Välimäki (NPTurku) and Susanna Hujala (WAM).