A Promise to Aspen (2018) Mari Keski-Korsu. A text from BODY OF US exhibition publication. Keski-Korsu exposes the industrial undertone of contemporary Finnish forestry and calls its global expansion efforts to shame. The text offers an interesting reading of harvesters by comparing the distance they provide their operators to the distance “war machines” have given to battle. The text celebrates trees, but I’m not sure if “trees” even exist. I find it hard to empathize with them. They live in a different timeframe, continue living as logs and I have no idea what they enjoy. Aspens for one are not individuals, they are closer to ecologies. I don’t know what trees are. I agree with Keski-Korsu that anthropomorphisation is not a problem, it’s a solution because it exposes the power dynamics of our relations with non-humans (this idea comes from Jason Hribal).
The forests can be considered as an oppressed group because they simply have no say over how humans manage them or use the wood. Patricia Hill Collins defines in her book Black Feminist Thought (1990) the matrix of domination and how intersections of oppression are structurally organized. I believe these domains of power can be analyzed and used as an empathy exercise with any group – human or non-human.
Anthropomorphisation doesn’t mean that we shut out species’ specific needs. On the contrary, it helps humans to understand. It should be in the toolbox of new empathy. The kind of new empathy could bring human species to some kind of other level, to make more balanced narrative for this species. After all, empathy has been a building block for the flourishing of this species as it can be considered a basis for collaboration.
Today is our second tree-sound session with Johannes. Build a monstera leaf shaped wooden contact mic frame (I’ll glue four piezos to it). My dremel broke (attempted to grind trough 9mm birch plywood) and it’s not the same issue as last time (got a new one used for 35€). Bought an oscilloscope for 35€ (some potentiometer contacts need cleaning).
Listening to There Existed an Addiction to Blood (2019) Clipping. Hits a nerve while cycling in the gloomy darkness of Helsinki. The beats, broken as they are, feel warm. The lyrics are incredible hip-hop/noise-noir. I identify heavily with the Death Stranding main character Sam Bridges. I haul everything on my back. I particularly remember taking all my tools to Pyhäjoki in the spring using three banana-fruit boxes (pulling them on a cart) and two backpacks. Barely fit trough the train doors and I think I damaged my shoulder on the trip. Not having a driver’s license is starting feel like a burden. Carrying materials, instruments and tools to job-sites and gigs doesn’t feel fun and I feel the trauma of past efforts weighing in on me. Like reversed bodybuilding. My feet get sore from excess walking, my back aches when I lift shit (still feel a CNC machine I pulled inside a van 2002) and shoulders hurt from the tremors of my crappy power-tools.
My income is based on my able-bodiedness and recovering takes longer then it used to. I fear I’m loosing gigs because I can’t bounce back to working condition as fast. I need some kind of transportation to carry my gear around. Or change the way I work. I want to evolve into middle management.
(The Earth Demands) The Necropolitics of Art (2019) Rick Dolphijn for Sonic Acts. He starts of with a solid summary on what Michel Serres understands as “quasi objects”. Objects are made to prevent the passage of time, to keep things from changing and to prevent revolutions. Dolphijn argues that art is something different, is not limited by any finitude (a quality it shares with philosophy). It proposes an other history and tells us that political realities can be (must be) deterritorialized. I think he’s idealistic but it’s cool.
Art refuses to be embedded in the present. […] Art is a Necropolitics. […] Trough it we can explore what other realities are possible.
Bought boots from Töysän kenkätehdas (for Russia). Due to the trip I’ll miss the Rehearsing Hospitalities events (There is a talk on the 10th of Sept. called Rehearsing Dialogues where Dolphijn will be in dialogue with Marjolijn Dijkman and Mari Keski-Korsu). I’ll also miss the Publics Today is Our Tomorrow club.
Found an interview in Elavä arkisto about my grandfather’s Göstä Lindholm’s PhD dissertation (He also has a Wikipedia page which I didn’t know about). Apparently he studied how personal preferences and the formal layouts of questionnaires affect surveys results. He used telepathy experiments as his material and proved that some symbols in Zener cards are more liked then others.
He also suggest that there are some biological rules in play when we make decisions. Judging from the interview he comes of as a semi-postmodern thinker who is confused about the result of his study and turns to biology to patch his world views. My mother disliked his thinking and believed him to be a nazi.
I always thought my belief that technological structures define the limits of our imagination (and responses) echoed my mother’s Marxist worldviews. But it seems that some of her favorite arguments on “how capitalist have rigged the game” are rooted on her father’s research.
I chopped the interview into samples I can play with my mG2. It would be poetic to get the Bastl GRANDPA (the pimped up eurorack version of mG2, available as a DIY kit) and have it play the samples through some sort of self generating modular patch (Krell?). A simple fake artificial intelligence of sorts.. An artificial idiot (vähä-äly kone) as specified by Otto Karvonen. Perhaps I can test the idea using Automatonism/pd. Found a promising article on Granular synthesis on audio file with Pure data.
Cute short on the state of affairs between Art & Politics: Best Friends Forever (2017) by Liu Shiyuan and Kristian Mondrup.
Revisiting Greener Grass (2010) by Mari Keski-Korsu. Today the work is even more relevant.
Visited Arttu Merimaas’ Grandfather’s Leather Club exhibition at Sinne gallery. It is great. Thanks to the Cruel Radiance… course we hosted I got an updated view to his art and with this insight the exhibition felt like a warm handshake. The pieces were critically materialistic but optimistic. Instead of making crude suggestions (as seen in the Autochthonic Fantasy) he displayed queer fearytail aesthetics with faint references to public monuments in Helsinki. There were horse pictures too! After Sinne I visited Hippolyte for Pekka Niskanen & Robert Aeberhard Sounds That Shouldn’t Be There. I read it as a sacrifice on the grave of modernism.