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.).
Launched the New York Sock Repair & Exchange service. I’ll send invitations to friends
tomorrow right now.
Collected a set of bike tires from Harlem yesterday. On the C train back to 14th st. – 8th Ave I accidentally touched a lady with my elbow when reaching for my phone. She responded immediately by pushing back. I didn’t sense any hostility in her act, she only wanted me to acknowledge her boundaries. I apologised but she didn’t acknowledge me.
People in the public (and free!) McCarren Park Pool changing area hide their nude bodies by arranging towels as wall high barricades. They crouch behind vertical towel towers just slip into their bathing suits. There are different changing ares for males and females, but nobody was nude! It’s weird to see grown men act so immaturely. Everyone is afraid to be though of as a pervert – Which is why they execute weird performances to show that they are not perverts (which is a perverse in itself).
Old Hippie Remembers His Commune Experiences (198?) David Hoffman. A man remembering how a hippy community collapsed.
Wrote the text “JOBINTERVIEW” on my studio wall (in cat size letters) to keep me grounded. It’s written in turquoise. If I could start over I’d write “THE DANCE COMPANY”. There is ample room in my studio so I still might.
I cycled to Manhattan today to meet other residents from Finland at the Fciny offices. Crossing the Williamsburg Bridge felt like entering a new world. The skyline was thick with smoke. Someone had written cynical words on the cycling lane pavement: “Self absorbed”, “Smothered”, “Rich”… etc. The words, written in faint white spray paint formed a welcome mat for entering Manhattan. A lot of cyclists sing while they ride and some play music from their boom boxes.. They sing to make themselves noticeable on the road – Being visible makes riders more safe (the same logic applies to working with horses). Americans speak and laugh loudly. I guess this habit could be read as a safety measure: When people hear each other perform they can locate each other and set their bearings straight. Are people who talk loudly afraid of something?
My time in New York feels like an investment. I now have 177 days to yield profits from this trip. I operate on a Day-Currency which is slipping trough my fingers when I make bad investments (like wait in traffic lights). Messaged Jesse and plotted new Ore.e Ref. services:
- “Product photos in New York service for Artisans”
- “The Temporary New York Sock Repair service”
In the first service artisans could send their craft items for me in New York to have them photographed against the Manhattan skyline. The second service is self explanatory: People could send their socks to me in NYC and I’d fix them (and take photos of them against the Manhattan skyline and wash them in the East River before sending them back).
This city is teaching me about scales. I have some ideas formulating on this matter but nothing clear yet (things felt clear for a second on the bridge but I forgot everything when I returned home).
Updated the Ore.e Ref. Trans-Horse page. The site is now over 10 years old (earliest Wayback machine save is from 2011)! Added new texts (on top of the old), new photos and new links. Particularly the Trans-Horse link list is convincing… Trans-Horse has produced new works annually for almost five years.
I also like that teaching has been a part of the project from the start. In 2014 we taught friends how to work with horses (from the ground) and we’ve managed to scale these sessions into a full-blown educational program, with lectures, horseface-to-humanface teaching methods and texts. We should write more. I’ve been in contact with IssueX about the possibility to write about the Horse and Performance III course. I wrote a summary of this years course on the Hevoslinja blog (in Finnish).
Listening to BRMRF on Soundcloud.
Getting prepared for my 6 month New York residency is ISCP (Which is supported by the Alfred Kordelin foundation). Leaving in 42 hours. Packing my synths, prepared computer transportation, prepped my Sebago docksiders and looked up a gym in Brooklyn. I’ll be in NY this Friday and have my first meetings next Monday. I’ll be writing about horses in NY on the Hevoslinja blog (in Finnish) and about general art/city-experiences on this site. On this site I’ll use the tag New York for all residency related texts and Trans-Horse for horse stuff. It might take me a week to get an internet connection working which means that posts might be uploaded in bundles.
I was informed that Riveting hammer – Ingersoll Rand – Start 4 (a sound from the SOW collection) is used in an episode of Stories of Yore and Yours podcast (the sound is heard at 16min 15sek). The episode is a reading of a short story called Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut (1961). The episode sound effect credit list is a fun read.
Pori Art Museum has published a report on the Creative Commons and Art seminar which I participated in with Kimmo and Kalle Kuisma. My talk is recapped on pages 10-12 and I’m very pleased with my contribution. I claimed that “Artists do not contribute to the commons – They claim phenomenons from the commons” (artists taint phenomena and mark it as their own). I also claim that skills are production tool (for artists) and shed light on the ideological origins of Ore.e Refineries (and the COOL 1.0 license).
Working on our Ihme-days presentation with Heini and Leena, packing stuff in preparation of my New York visit, preparing next weeks Horse & Performance course with Pietari and writing a lecture/presentation for expo2001∞ (organised by Daniel Kupferberg) events at Kunstraum Argh15 (I’ll give “An Introduction to Horselogical thinking” over skype or wire). Aaand.. Learning how to make cheesecake.
Flashed Face Distortion Effect is interesting. Wonder if could be reversed: Images of faces would be distorted so that the faces that flash would appear normal.