20180923

I really believe this city is teaching me something. It works on me, my views on independence, freedom and collaboration are being altered by this place. In New York freedom is the right to express yourself and move without interference, in Helsinki freedom is having an access to forums were futures are being envisioned.

A Feminist Counterapocalypse (2018) Joanna Zylinska. The text frames Judith Butler as a posthumanist (We suspected this with Pietari)! It gives a great overview to Anna Tsing’s thinking and provides a framework for further developing the happy degrowth movement or a #deathhack cult. More Anna Tsing on Landscapes (2016) Anthropod podcast.

I want to outline an alternative microvision: the prospect of a feminist counterapocalypse that takes seriously the geopolitical unfoldings on our planet while also rethinking our relations to and with it precisely as relations.

Recognizing that we are of the world, it also presents instances of differentiation between subjects and objects as ethico-political tasks for the human. These tasks involve having to account for asymmetries of relations, making “agential cuts” to the arrangements of the world, and trying to establish better—that is, fairer and more just—relations

The denial of precarity leads to the drawing of various lines of differentiation such as gender, race, class, or bodily ability. Levinas’s ethics, and Butler’s reworking of it, is no doubt humanist in that it adopts the human figure and voice as articulators of an ethical demand. Yet it also lends itself to a posthumanist opening because it poses a radical challenge to the self-sufficient and self-centered subject of moral theory. In the ethics of responsibility toward the alterity of the Other, the moral subject is always already exposed, invaded, or, to use Tsing’s phrase, contaminated. “Self-contained individuals,” argues Tsing, are in turn “not transformed by encounter. Maximizing their interests, they use encounters—but remain unchanged in them.”

Learning the lesson of “collaborative survival” in precarious times from the matsutake mushroom, she argues that “staying alive—for every species—requires livable collaborations. Collaboration means working across difference, which leads to contamination. Without collaborations, we all die.”

The feminist counterapocalyptic framework creates a space for an ethical opening onto the precarious lives and bodies of human and nonhuman others—including the male bodies and minds that have been discarded in the downsizing process of disruptive semiocapitalism.

20180917

The most important text written by a person of Finnish origins in years (possibly ever).  Linux 4.19-rc4 released, an apology, and a maintainership note (2018) Linus Torvalds.

My flippant attacks in emails have been both unprofessional and uncalled for. Especially at times when I made it personal. In my quest for a better patch, this made sense to me. I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry.

To tie this all back to the actual 4.19-rc4 release (no, really, this _is_ related!) I actually think that 4.19 is looking fairly good, things have gotten to the “calm” period of the release cycle, and I’ve talked to Greg to ask him if he’d mind finishing up 4.19 for me, so that I can take a break, and try to at least fix my own behavior.

I need to take a break to get help on how to behave differently and fix some issues in my tooling and workflow.

And yes, some of it might be “just” tooling. Maybe I can get an email filter in place so at when I send email with curse-words, they just won’t go out. Because hey, I’m a big believer in tools, and at least _some_ problems going forward might be improved with simple automation.

I know when I really look “myself in the mirror” it will be clear it’s not the only change that has to happen, but hey… You can send me suggestions in email.

We visited Magazzino and Dia: Beacon last week with the ISCP crew. Both sites were spectacular and the trip led to an observation.

At a glance the supermarkets in New York seem to have absolutely everything. The shelves are jampacked with cans, boxes and soft plastic bags – But when one investigates them closely it’s apparent that the shelves are empty. An entire isle can boast a spectacular variety of cans, dressed in different colors and ornamented with different brands but if inspected, they are all the same product. All of the cans have beans in them. Supermarkets house a phantom of variety.

Dia: Beacon exhibition felt the same. When I entered the space I was confronted with 20 meters of Dan Flavin’s fluorescent tubes. At first it felt spectacular. But I felt an eerie stab as I realized that they were all the same art piece. I tried to think of this as a form of critique, but after witnessing the same logic applied to nearly every other artist in the exhibition, it became clear that the function of the site was to celebrate abundances, masses and superstructures which facilitate the production of clones. Minimalist artworks in the Dia: Bacon setting came off as a clone army of proto-zombie formalistic stuff. This was not a disappointing experiences, on the contrary: It felt like strolling past colorful isles at Macy’s. It’s relaxing to see stuff.

Learned about David Hammons’ Pissed Off (1981). A bright sight, sabotage is the way forward. More on the performance Stop And Piss: David Hammons’ Pissed Off (2013).

I had an intensive week. I’m editing my PhD proposal, applying for additional funding for Trans-Horse and met with Lisa Le Feuvre from the Holt/Smithson foundation (concerning Land- and Environmental Art Conservation). Prepared a 4k video of our work on Up and Under (1998) from the still photos I shot in 2013.

 

20180905

For awhile I thought that sassy artists & web designers working for sassy festivals and galleries were into brutalist, hard to use web pages because they want to challenge their audiences (See: brutalistwebsites.com ). It seemed there was a design movement which opposed the production of passive audiences. But I’ve now understood that these styles are not rebellious, they are compliant: Artists and organizations have messy web pages only because they rely on social medias. They can afford complicated, even artistic sites – Because they reach their audiences primarily through facebook events.

I’ve been thinking about style and ecology during the past weeks. I’m shocked by the amount of usable stuff I can find from the streets (clothing, electronics, tools and furniture etc.) and the amount of plastic they use in shops (orange juice is sold in solid plastic cans, which are as sturdy as flower watering pots I use in Finland ). In Finland I can imagine having an ecological impact by recycling and wearing second hand clothes. In NYC I understand that my environmentally conscious decisions do not have any impact.

In this city, ecologically steered design and arts, are reduced into mere fashion statements. Ecological orientation serves as a class signifier.

How to formulate this critical observation into a style and a movement? I currently think the most equalitarian and ecological style is to have NO-STYLE. Pickup, wear and use anything you find from the streets. When you see a person who is wearing ecobrands: Inform them that they are misguided (possibly by vomiting, like one of my favorite artists Kristofer Paetau during the artforum incident in 2005). The only sustainable way forward is to have NO-STYLE. To go forward we need to consume toxic stuff, learn plastic crafts and listen to algorithmically generated playlists on youtube. Pietari suggested the hashtag #deathhack for these efforts. More reading on class, looks and hiding your class with looks: So You Think You’ve Got Class? (2017) Charlotte Shane (Also related: Sebago docksides rant).

I’ve made a functional and novel sound pedal. The circuit is based on the Dwarfcraft Great Destroyer but I made some mistakes in the assembly, which cause the circuit to behave oddly. It doesn’t work like a bitcrusher, which the DGD is supposed to be. It self-oscillates and creates tunes which are affected by the level of the volume input and potentiometers, it also plays the radio and works like a distortion. A very interesting device (powered with a 9v battery / pedal power supply). As I understand the CD4049 (Buffered) is not grounded and I think the weird behaviour is caused by the signal & voltage working their way to the ground, through the potentiometers. It works great with drums, and creates changing melodic synth and bass lines which follow the rhythm. I added a LM386 amplifier (as an integrated circuit) to the effect to make it louder (The LM386 can also be powered independently so that it acts as a “clean” boost).

The circuit is housed in a Civil Defense V 750 (Model No. 5B) Dosimeter Model No. 5 Charger (C2-2). Serial No. 0005296. Which has been manufactured by the Industrial Electronic Hardware Corp. in New York City (Brooklyn!). The device was intended to reset radiation dosimeter values. If I understand it correctly these kinds of devices were available in fallout shelters during the cold war era in the city. This particular device was manufactured ca. 1962. I repurposed the potentiometer (10k) of the V 750 and used it controls the LM386 output. I’m currently waiting for potentiometer knobs and I’ll make a video of the device after I receive them. I call it the Civil Defence Crusher. It goes well with the Berlin Wall Distortion. Together they form the Sound of Cold War Infra custom guitar pedal series (Ore.e Ref.).

20180830

Found a Amazon (Alexa) Dot from the trash bin. The box was unopened. I’ve set it up in my studio (I have no need for it). Also found various cases of screws/nails, a power drill and an very good-looking router (took screws/nails but left the rest). The other day there was a +60inch flatscreen tv and xbox 360 with wireless controllers and a bag full of games. Found an Alesis Micron synth too, it’s pretty banged up but I’ll try to get it working (Dorian Concept has a video on it). The trash in New York is filthy rich. Also.. Any environmentally conscious decision and act I can imagine is counteracted by living glory of present day mega-cities. The collapse is upon us – Being alive is out of fashion.

20180828

Got on a trail ride at the Bronx Equestrian Center, Inc. yesterday. I was guided by Susie, who rode her horse Storm. My white horse was called Mystic the Percheron, who has also starred in The Greatest Showman. The trail took us around the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary, following the border of a golf course. The forest felt like a jungle, vines covered the trees, the phragmites were sky hight  and we saw deer while passing a creek. Reaching the stables was the hardest part, the ride went smoothly and after the trip I got to wash a few sweaty horses.

How Should a Museum Be? (2018) Stefan Kalmár. An honest plea to make museums more vital. Unfortunately I don’t think that museums have ever been made with good intents.

[…] in the 21st century, ideology and power manifest themselves primarily in the realm of the visual, rather than the textual. Hence, the removal of arts education is tantamount to an institutionalized programme of (visual) illiteracy.

What would it look like if a major museum engaged in the development of self-sustainable, well-designed, social housing projects rather than lend its name to a tower of luxury penthouses – as with New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the lavish 53W53 building? Our economic set-up today is geared to look to where the money is, not to where it isn’t.