20200113

Had the pleasure to meet Kaisa Luukkonen by chance and got a rundown on the Göteborg performance art and independent gallery scene. One of the biggest differences is that in Göteborg artist run gallery boards are formed trough invitations, which makes it difficult for the newly arrived to enter the scene. The arrangement is said to forster commitment but by Kaisas account the board member activity level is the same as in Finland. The more secluded system produces exhibition-venues-as-scenes and their curatorial programs feel repetitive. Joined Kaisa for the Gathering of Fables exhibition opening by Marja Patrikainen at Oksasenkatu 11. After learning about Göteborg I appreciate Oksasenkatu even more. Kaisa had made a interesting observation, many of her dyslexic friends are fascinated by open reel-to-reel tape recorders. This makes sense for some reason.

Learning everything I can, as fast as I can about the Raspberry Pi. Got a nice script running Raspberry Pi – Auto WiFi Hotspot Switch Internet (2017-) which scans if there is a home-wlan available and if it fails to find one, starts the device as a wireless access point. Works well and makes me confident to imagine using the device in field conditions (leaning about sensors in hopes of building a wild water analysis kit). Also tested RaspAP but couldn’t get it to work.

Build an audio amplifier using a pre-assembled pam8403 unit. On start up it draws so much power from the Raspi that I get a throttled=0x500005 error message. I’ll attempt to use a regulator circuit to limit the temporary voltage drop. Used a 3Ω resistors as a “inrush current limiter” on the +5v rail which supplies power to the amp. I tested various values starting from 10Ω but 3Ω seemed to work well enough.

Got Conky working using these tips (made my own config for it) and build a PWM Regulated Fan Based on CPU Temperature to keep the device healthy while on for long durations. Also revived a 2012 tablet battery using these tips (and flashed a new rom to use it for VNC). Patchbox OS by Blokas.io should support Raspi 4 soon and I’m hoping to install it in a dualboot arrangement (using PINN). For now I’m satisfied with fiddling in Pure Data Sunvox (which feels responsive and fun to use).

Managed to grind Finlandia Hall marble or Chalk stone from Porvoo to a fine powder, to corrode it into tap water it my high pressure carbonator. Tastes chalky. Salvaged the stones from an environmental artwork on the Malminkartano hill called The Winds and The Points of the compass (1998) Hanna Vainio. I was under the impression that all of the white stones on the hill were marble leftovers from the previous Finlandia Hall outer shell conservation effort. But apparently the marbles have been mixed with chalk stone pebbles. I think the darker samples are marble as they should be more sensitive to the elements. I should get some confirmed Finlandia hall marble to run some experiments.

Experimenting with DIY orthopedics. Made arch support shoe insoils using 100% silicone and cornstarch (for fast curing). Not perfect yet, I’ll have to make new casts to confirm my findings. I’m trying to combat anti-bodybuilding effects of precarisation (mentioned earlier) by emerging as a plastic-bodyborg.

20191215

Buchla – Electronic Music as Performance Art (2019) Under the Big Tree. A near hour long lecture on the history of the Buchla (Bemi) design company. The talk isn’t analytical, it does not excavate what it meant for Buchla to interface with a synthesizer or what motivated Buchlas dissentient and anti-government attitudes. But it offers some interesting historical details and explains the heterogeneity of his layouts (Save a click: Users don’t need to see a module to recognize it, they can identify it by feeling the knobs!).

Designing the Make Noise Erbe-Verb (2019) Tom Erbe/Soundhack (a video by mylar melodies). A very detailed history of reverbs and a thorough look on Erbes design process. He shares his insights openly and offers concrete tools for reverb design.

Heading to Buchla and Serge territory myself. Swapped my Monotribe for a Variable Slope VCF by Random*Source. I’ll have to build an inverter to help it resonate. Also got a Sense module from Bastl, to develop my mineral water audio analysis toolkit.

Visited Mental Alaska back2baSICs PARTY in Kannelmäki yesterday. Heard Viktor Toikkanen, who played a live programming gig using Tidal. This was the first time I’ve seen live programming (other then our Masku Movement sessions in ~2008) and it was great. I could identify some terms in the score (it was projected on the wall) and anticipate changes, which made the performance feel analytical. Bought a cassette from him too. Actually… There weren’t that many live coding moments. Toikkanen mainly triggered events he had programmed for the record. Some triggers pushed his computer to the limits and we could hear soundcard buffer overload crashes and glitches. I think this digi-materiality was an important part of the presentation. Glitches felt like real grains pushing trough the code. It echoed hardcore rock moments when artists push their amps to max.

The Internet’s Mid-Life Crisis (2019) The Agenda. Cory Doctorow argues that the internet is not broken, everything bad we see happening to it, such as facebook etc., corporate control of the infra and espionage of citizen, is a result or symptom of capitalism. After some weighing all guests seem to agree that some kind of legislation of the internet is needed to move forward (I think this would make the internet a part of the democratic domain).

Our exhibition opening at Oksasenkatu 11 was nice. A lot more people then I expected and mainly new faces. I’ll be on site to meet visitors for some glögi, sound lounging and fun. Dates: 18.-20.12 (12-18:00), 27.12 (12-18:00). Crossroads launch & seminar at SOLU went well too. Had the pleasure to meet Leena Valkeapää, she felt like a wild thinker. There were around 20 people at the event, which was just enough the make the space to feel crowded (at times). I got a lot of nice compliments on my talk on Earth Art Conservation.

20191025

Visited Monstera by Essi Kausalainen at Mad House. I liked the performance and particularly enjoyed a minimalistic stepping dance the performers executed towards the end of the show. It felt like a simplified version of cicapo or some other court dance. Perhaps something enjoyed by Carl Linnaeus in the ballrooms of his era. Linnaeus’ work in starting the modern system of naming organisms had inspired the performance and he was heavily present in a séance-like segment before the dance. In a talk before the show Kausalainen pondered if the act of naming a thing could be read as an attempt to show affection towards it. The step-dance also reminded me of compulsory or involuntary movements people perform when idling (while waiting for a bus etc). The dance informed me of a vegetative movement or motion, which is possibly intrinsic to all living things. The practice of the performers felt like an amplification of this auto-movement and when performed collectively by the group, it felt like a method of building solidarity trough the lowest common nominator (which for me is idling).

Etched and build a Bastl Skis Expander 1u and assembled a Lite2Sound PX unit by Rare Waves. I want to send audio across space using leds and laser beams. Tested it yesterday sending audio form my Disting Mk4 using a bipolar led thing I build and it works well. I’m looking for a red laser which I can use to draw on material surfaces, so that the Lite2Sound converts the shapes of the surface to sound (much like a vinyl needle). I want to hear textures. I used a fee from a wedding gig (manufactured mineral waters, read poetry and served as a bartender) to acquire a spring tank (Accutronics 9EB2C1B) and I’m making made a 1u expanded for the Spring Reverb mkII.

What does sending audio in a laser beam trough parkling water, spatialized by a spring reverb (which feedback agitates the water) sound like? What will the surface of a slab of wood sound like when played like a vinyl? Do grooves of bark sound what they feel like?

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.

20190829

I’m preparing for a month lon trip to Russia. The Alkovi “In Various Stages of Ruins” -group includes (2018-19): Elina Vainio, Matti Kunttu, Iona Rosin and Katja Kalinainen. The project is organized by Arttu Merimaa & Miina Hujala. Other artists from Finland will also join in on different segments of the trip and their works will be presented in screenings / exhibitions on the way. The train from Helsinki leaves 2.9. I’ll give a presentation on mineral waters at Fabrika (Moscow) on 4.9 and later in Vladivostok. During the trip we’ll visit Ekaterinburg for the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art and Novosibirsk. I won’t have access to the internet on the train but I plan to write posts, which I’ll publish en masse once I get to a wifi.

The performances I’ll present illustrate how mineral waters are formed as rain passes through the soil and how different waters affect our bodies. The characteristics of different waters will be explored using electronic gadgets, anecdotes and by preparing a batch of mineral water for consumption. I’ve build a eurorack module for the occasion. It is a Simple EQ / Baxandall EQ module, which I’ve made as a trough hole unit and modified by adding switches and female pin headers, so that I can swap capacitors used in the original circuit.

I’ve build capacitors which use mineral water as the conductive material and plastic balloons as the non-conducting substance (dielectric). The capacitors have different architectures and shapes: A component which is made from a balloon (filled with 10ml water) inside a balloon (filled with 10ml water), shows as a ~3000pf capacitor. A component which is constructed from a balloon (filled with 10ml water and 10g copper) and a jar (with 20ml water), shows as a 12nf capacitor if its charged with a 9v battery for 10 sek. A component which has two spiraling compartments, shows as a 40pf cap. etc. Measurements vary and I guess the capacitance changes over time as the electrolytes in the salty water run out.

The EQ’s treble setting shows a notable difference when a capacitor is swapped. Unfortunately the change in the nature of audio passed trough the circuit is non-spectacular (my water capacitors behave as normal capacitors). But it is intriguing to use water as an electronic component! I’ve also build a nifty eurorack case for the trip (I’ll share the design later). The 84hp skiff has laser-engraved Byzantine ornaments and maps form our groups previous trips to Russia. The inside of the case lid shows module schematics (for debugging) and a manual for the Expert Sleepers Disting MK4 unit. The case also has pictures from different water based parasites a illustrations. I’ll laser cut the panels for the module tomorrow. The panels also have inserts for the 4,45mm jars I use for the water caps.