20190902

Packing for a trip reveals how artist equipment categories are aligned and indicate changes in praxis. I have music instruments in one pouch, mineral water making tools in an other and electronics in the third. Some items are difficult to place.. Where do the capacitors I’ve build using mineral water belong to?

Kim Modig & Marina Valle Noronha‘s Art Off The Air (AOTA) (2019) is an audio piece about art and energy (or lack of it). I like the style of the work, the glitchy audio gaps and the boldly disruptive techniques they use to create an inspirational space for the listener. The work asks an important question: “What kind of lifestyles does our art produce” and calls for de-growth (or de-acceleration) within the arts. Their proposal is that artists should do less to combat consumerism. I agree with their proposal wholeheartedly. But I do think de-growth should not be demanded equally from all artists or arts, because this would hinder the constant reconfiguration and circulation of economical / social classes. Processes in structural change should take into account the demands different artworks place on their surroundings: Material artworks reserve more stuff then skill sharing. This argument is an adaptation of the critique of extreme taxation of flights and meat industries: Extreme taxation would reserve these “pleasures” only for the mega-rich (which is a dystopian reality by all accounts). I think a great model for change is the way value added taxes are designed. For prints and paintings the tax is 9% and 0% for performing arts! Perhaps in addition arts should be taxed using a progressive scale?

Mira Kautto has shared a collection of art grant applications and proposals online. I think this is a great gesture!

Onyx Ashanti is an afrofuturist working to reprogram himself. His video entries give me weird-sad-hope: Perhaps I’ll survive not getting a grant (applied for 108 000€ from Kone to finish the Trans-Horse project and didn’t get it). I’m seriously looking for work thou.

I’m not flossing, I’m just not cold. That’s cool and I’m cool with that. That’s a kind of freshness in itself. That’s dope. Not being cold during a polar vortex is very dope but being dope in a polar vortex is the mothershit. I’d love to explore it.

20190323

Visited Performance and Feminism seminar at TeaK. I went particularly for Marina Valle Noronhas and Kim Modigs Performing professionalism: Why do we travel for art and what does it do to us? talk but stayed for Lim Paik Yins movie and Minna Harris presentation about time. The three presentations formed a loose arch, which dealt with ecology and challenges caused by development. The Performing professionalism… was a performance. The stylish duo played a prerecorded sound piece while sitting confidently in front of the crowd. I interpreted the presentation as an attempt to problematize the image of the contemporary creative (art) professional, whose relevance is measured by the amount their international flights and prestige appetites, which attempt to transcendent the limits of bourgeoisie taste (and end up being mega-bourgeoisie).

Yins movie IN[formal] INTERchange (2018) offered a good contrast to the critique. She had conducted interviews (video-voip) with various amateur(?) practitioners of performance art in the Southeast Asian region. The performers talked candidly about their relationship to performance art while engaging in various joined performances (or performance exercises) with each other and the Yin. The film was appealing because it used low-key/accessible esthetics and utilized consumer services (such as Skype) for artistic research. It reminded me that there are global alternatives and strategies that work against the performance of professionalism.

Made a short teaching gig to Hyvinkää for middle to high-school aged kids who take art classes at Willa Arttu. I continued with the “Poststructuralism for Kids” program. We talked about strikes and how the act of “striking” halts movement (which offers a good time to contemplate what to do next) and practiced halting trough contact improvisation. After this we played with doors. We explored what doors are (the kids had some really smart ideas: gates to new dimension etc.) and then we experimented with different ways of opening a doors and discussed about the experience. Used this door opening tutorial (1979) as reference. I’ll do a full write up after the last gig.

Also dabbled with electronics during the week. Scavenged smd components from a failed project and used them to make a voltage regulator for a headlight (9v-to-5v) and a assembled solder smoke removal fan.

I’m making electronics to energize my grant application process. I’ve prepared 16 pages for a five year plan. Five years is not enough. The application consists of an array of loosely linked projects and ideas, some of which are framed as development motifs for work that will be executed around 2038. I’m currently most excited about the idea to organize Smithing in Public Spaces forging workshops. I’ve written the texts so that Jesse can use them in his personal grant applications too. If everything goes as planned we’d host public forging workshops in open city spaces, during which participants would learn how to mend and make metal things. The workshops will also serve as a vessel for collecting stories partisipants tell of metal objects they hold dear.

Catching up on Critical Making. Design and the Construction of Publics (2009) Carl DiSalvo.

[…] the notion that publics are “constructed” is perhaps most salient to contemporary design because it prompts a consideration of the means by which publics are assembled; begging the question: “How does, or might, design contribute to the construction of publics?” [John Dewey]

[…] inquiry into design and the construction of publics begins with a more thorough understanding of the Deweyan public. The assertion that publics are not a priori existing masses is central to the notion of the construction of publics. The public is not something that has been and always will be. It is neither universal nor an abstraction. […] for Dewey, the public is an entity brought into being through issues for the purpose of contending with these issues in their current state and in anticipation of the future consequences of these issues.

As designers and educators, [Anthony] Dunne and [Fiona] Raby are well known for their development of “Critical Design,” which they regard as an alternative to mainstream design in that the goal is the use of design to expose and explore the conditions and trajectories of contemporary design rather than the utilitarian problem-solving or surface-styling that has historically characterized design (particularly industrial design).

By the contributions of design, will publics inherit problematic qualities of being “engineered” or “commodities”? Such concerns are legitimate and substantial. The subject of design ethics should go hand-in-hand with the construction of publics, and have a significant place in future discourse.