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.
I’m working on a Trans-Siberian Rails and Stations 2019 sound pack for Freesound.org. Currently adding descriptions and meta-data (locations & tags) to the files. I have some three hours of raw material to work trough (excluding a 40 min interview with our train steward, which I wont release unedited). Majority of the clips are 5 min long and they focus on complete work cycles (eg. break check at a station, bathing in a toilet) and ambiences from different locations (eg. restaurant wagon, cabin by night). Majority of the sounds were captured during our 180 hour return trip Vladivostok-Helsinki.
There are a some Trans-Siberian train related clips and a lot of train sounds on Freesound. Martin Sadoux has released a nice collection Russia Trans-Siberian Train in 2018. He has a good recording from the open third class wagons (which I don’t have). The collection I’m prepping will compliment previous releases well. I’m particularly proud of my recording of a break check at a station and I also collected a lot of interesting announcements. I also have some special sounds like the rattling of a samovar (using contact mics).
Miina made an interesting remark about my collection. Finnish explores of the early 20tieth century collected geological samples in hopes of tapping to natural resources and items made by other cultures or groups to develop ethnic narratives. Bringing stuff back home and displaying it for the public was an important gesture in the process of producing cultural capital for the developing Finnish state. Displaying stuff others had made here, illustrated our distance. The act of displaying stuff and material, validated the work of the explorers. Many ethnographic museums got started this way and the contemporary souvenir business echoes this.
My delight over a break-check sound, is a delight over a conquest of a rare resource. Field recordings can be identified as a geologic-like-wealth! Controlled distribution of this material makes it possible for me to harvests cultural capital. Could this process be put to good use? I don’t see hope in returning to esrek-like lisencing models. How could I share the material in a non-exploitative manner? Emphasizing movement to location: Playing the sounds in a Finnish train as the train is moving?
I’ve sometimes explained performances as condensed behavior which is informed by a site: A particular performance is only possible in a particular situation. This idea works better in Finnish: “esiintyminen” means acting, exhibiting or performing and is very close to the word “esiintymä” which means a geological deposit of ore. My condensed behavior on the Trans-Siberian railway trip made it possible to harvest documentations of events, where the train and people of the train performed in interesting ways. I was mining these event using my recorder.
Spotted interesting eurorack projects on the Freesound blog. CTAG Strämpler is a module which connects to the Freesound API and allow users to download sounds directly from the service. BeagleBoom works the same. Really interesting and specific devices. I’m tempted to make an eurorack module which would only play sounds of particular event. A module dedicated to playing news reels and interview covering a specific public protests or animal? YLE should make something similar for their archive.
Saw Earth (2019) Nikolaus Geyrhalter at DocPoint festival. It was a really dull film which failed in its attempt to hide the fetishization of mining equipment and wastelands. There is nothing wrong in exploring toxicities. The directors attempt to disguise their interest into a moralistic sermon was perverse.
Multimetal smelting and welding spillage blobs accumulated to the proximity of furnaces, pouring channels, storage units and waste disposal facilities, over the lifespan of a foundry, casting facility or smithy.
Metal objects that are only worth the materials that are made from. Repurposing of such objects is “post-ore refining”, meaning the extraction of metals from wasteful objects. E.g. Gold extraction from discarded computer circuit boards or repurposing of a decorative steel things. Also unsalvable metal crafts projects, sacrificial metal brace/support used in the construction of other items.
Metals which have been bonded with nonmetallic substances. Salvaging or repurposing such materials is labor intensive and deemed unwise under contemporary economical terms. Post-ore can be found in composite objects assembled from an array of materials (lesser metals, plastics, wood etc.) and hence not accepted by contemporary scrapyard entrepreneurs: “Nah.. We’re not a dump, that thing is only good for post-ore”.
Post-ore age: A future human time when people resort exclusively to ground metals (and occasional meteorites) as their supply. Enough metals have been pulled from the depths of the planet to supply people for any currently imaginable human future. The amount of metals on the the top of earths crust, serves as an insurance that humans will never return to pre-metal ages. No culture or human group can ever be “bombed back to the stone age”.
* Term coined by Jesse when visiting an old foundry and discovering multimetal ingots (iron, copper, aluminum etc.) which had been produced by decades of spillage. He also spotted a fireplace-base-cake containing lumps of aluminum, copper etc. developed from someones efforts in clearing metals from their plastic housing by burning them on open fire. Finnish translation: Jälkimalmi or jälki-malmi.
Wrote a summer text for Mustekala.info Puu kaatuu metsässä – Tunnelmia Kiilan äänipäiviltä Kemiönsaarelta [Tree Falling in the Woods – Vibes from the Kiila International Sound-Days at Kemiönsaari]. An easygoing review which includes a short history of the event and an overview of all of the works presented this year. Includes some fancy casually post-humanistic sentences: “[their piece] explored constructions, which enable the production of sound in bodies, animals and other wind instruments” (concerning a performance by Ragnhild May and Kristoffer Raasted). Also summarized Yan Jun‘s from last year performance which I wrote shortly about. Got to interview Tolvi, Juho Laitinen (got a micro-lecture on art!) and Teemu Lehmusruusu for the text too.
Jesse introduced me to the concept of post-ore (jälki-malmi). He came up with the concept after spotting scum with aluminum and copper traces in the lot of an old foundry. Its a very useful concept for Ore.e Refineries. Post-Timber works too (see this crafty palindrome as a performance). We build a sauna (using post-timbre) with him in two days. Needs insulation but gives a good löyly.
Breadboarded a Microphonie (Music Thing Modular) and made a unit on perfboard too. Turns out my DC 5-24v to Dual Power 12v -12v 5v -5v 3.3v is incredibly noisy. Works ok, not as loud as I hoped and a bit noisy (most likely because of my building skills). Using a battery works cleaner. Tested it with my μZEUS too and begun to build a (water)capacitor (will be dry tomorrow).
Visited ecoartspace: Mary Mattingly and Jean Shin interviewed by Amy Lipton event at the 8th Floor on Wednesday. It was fun to learn about Lipton’s career as a curator specialising in ecologically steered arts. We didn’t get deep into her work or investigate it conceptually. Audiences were presented with a list of her most celebrated projects and exhibitions. Learning about Mattingly’s “public floating food forest” Swale was cool too. I’m pessimistic… I fear these kinds of initiatives fail in making the impact they seek. Not-doing would be more eco-friendly. But I don’t know how to “not do” in a sustainable way. No-Chair-Design campaign is the closest I’ve gotten.