The world is a tea: The taste of water is the taste of the world. #ॐ
Digging Onyx Ashanti’s 2019 presentation for Eyeo festival. He wants to turn computerizing into a spatial and temporal activity. As an interface he focuses on hands, because “they do stuff before asking the brain”. He echoes a believe that humans can be programmed trough the hand-interface: The tools we use shape the way we think. I believe there is truth to this. I feel rejuvenated after working with crafts projects or construction. I think writing is a development of our desire to do thinking with our hands. Ashanti’s interest on hands has a solid connection to Tetsuo Kogawa/mini-FM transmitter stuff (mentioned earlier) as both artists are using gesture-based wireless systems.
LOW←TECH MAGAZINE is operated from a solar powered server. Access to the site is depended on weather! The design of site is perfect: Brutal and bandwidth efficient. The premise of the design is the same as with our Ore.e Ref. website (notes on the design here) but the LOW←TECH implementation of image dithering and coding optimization is way more advanced. Their design premise: “Default typeface / No logo” is elegant and they also offer “print-on-demand copies of the blog.”
The Internet is not an autonomous being. Its growing energy use is the consequence of actual decisions made by software developers, web designers, marketing departments, publishers and internet users. With a lightweight, off-the-grid solar-powered website, we want to show that other decisions can be made.
Installed an alternative firmware (Beta3) by Ralim to my ts80p soldering iron. Sending bug/testing notes to the [Long] TS80P Thread development channel. Soldering iron with an alternative firmware and a development community feels like the pinnacle of modernity.
Visited the Makamik squat for the Makamik-fest. The artist lineup was great and there were gigs and performances for three consecutive days. I heard a few gigs on Saturday and visited Salla Valle’s performance on Sunday. Valle worked outdoors and focused on smoke. She hid in the grass and send smoke signals by vaping, then she attempted to store smoke in jars (critique on live-art archivism?) and played a ringtone/mating call mixtape.
We had our final Achille Mbembe reading group session last week. The process was well organized and I enjoyed meeting new people. As a side quest, we met with the Helsinki based group, at the Malmi cemetery for a necro-touristic tour. I escorted folk to the pear-tree garden, a concrete-fence-stage and a relocated mass grave. The visit ended at the discarded gravestone disposal facility, where we saw old gravestones which had been grinded into rubble. Some fragments of letters and numbers could still be identified. The rubble pile felt like a monument and a very fitting summary for the Mbembe reading group sessions: Rubble mesh of identity signs which is used for construction and the underpayment of roads.
Work on diy orthopedics continues. I’ve made six custom insoles and arch supports using different types of silicones and agitated the solidifying processes using cornstarch (50g silicone / 15g starch). I’ve also added acrylic paint to the wet silicone to match the casts with my shoe colors for a professional look. The moulding process is relatively simple: I place wet silicone on a insole, wrap it in clingfilm and step on it. I started with cheap chemicals for testing and accustoming my feet to the change. The latest versions have been made using silicone intended for aquariums (which doesn’t have anti-mold agents that might cause allergies) and they feel fit for permanent use.
Using self-made insoles feels weird. I can notice my posture changing. I’m not sure if they help with my plantar fasciitis aches but it’s too early to tell. My feet need to adapt, my tendons and joints need to change their shape. This is a slow bodybuilding exercise and I’m a little bit spooked by the process. Artificial limbs, cybernetics and prosthetics were a popular theme in contemporary dance a while back… I think that this cultural interest and aesthetic has prompted my experiments with diy orthopedics. My aim is to restore my ability to work with crafts (as intensively as I used to) but once I’ve accomplished this I might attempt to develop my body to achieve more interesting effects.
Don’t get me wrong, not aching while working is dope but enabling a non-human style walk using custom prosthetics is the mothershit (My take a proposition by Onyx Ashanti). Diy orthopedics give me weird-sad-hope #☭
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?
Kaino Wennerstrand’s & 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.