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Found an embarrassing text on live-art broadcasting I wrote 10 years ago: Stream? (2011). At the time we were attempting to build a collective channel for streaming culture events live. It was called CEL and we, the T.E.H.D.A.S organization, made broadcasts four to eight times a year. The regular events were PERFO performance nights from Tampere which managed to develop an audience and we also made annual multichannel streams from PERF festivals, Pori. All of the streams are archived in the Pori Art Museum in the D-ark archive (I don’t think they are accessible online currently). Our streaming system was advanced, we had multiple cameras and multiple parallel streams. In later phases we also worked with live-text.

I wrote it out of spite towards the national broadcasting company YLE which, at the time, was also experimenting with the late Bambuser streaming service (which we had adopted after Floobs closed in 2010). For us at T.E.H.D.A.S the live broadcasts felt like a lifeline trough which we could reach out to the unknown and to meet new people. For me it felt like the stream helped us to define ourselves and our craft and as YLE started using the same platform, I felt we were being pushed out and wanted to stand our ground.

In my part, live-art streaming culminated in the development of “Perfo-style” event documentations. This is a type of live-blogging which seeks to give an opinionated but sharp analysis of events trough text, which is written and shared live trough an online-writing platform. For me the most relevant experiment with this was a Perfo-event in 2012 which was documented simultaneously as text and a video-stream (using two feeds). The text part: perfo_raportti_29_5_2012_to_pdf.pdf is still available online (in Finnish) and the same text was later published in English in the T.E.H.D.A.S ry 10 year celebration book (my review on the book in Finnish).

The Stream? text is very coarse. It is arrogant at parts, even misinformed but feels sincere – Written before my MA degree. I think the best part of the text is the celebration of glitch esthetics in relation to live-streaming. I copied some relevant quotes below

… there are already so many cameras at live-art events that the illusion that things are live has been shattered. Performers work for the camera and this shapes the nature on performance art. It is only honest to admit that artist produce “images using their bodies” precisely because they want to look good in still photos which will later on to be posted on facebook, catalogues and portfolios. There is nothing wrong with this it is just that we have become so skilled in posing that our skills have turned against the nature of live-art. Artist are more concerned with the documentation then of the audience. …

With this in mind I think we should force ourselves to think critically on how to document performance art. Digital cameras have been capable to produce near same quality images for ten years now and it is impossible to determine from which era still photos are from. The gruesome reality is that they all look the same and the only way you may see time passing is when you recognize a particular artists aging. Try something different. There are bound to be art students with strong live drawing backgrounds in the audience, why not apply their skills for documenting the event or audio recordings, 3D animation etc etc.

Live streaming is a great tool to hinge performers out of their comfort zone. Every moment of the event is streamed so a performer has to consider all of their actions to be visible. The “money shot logic” of a still image showing the most dramatic sequence of a performance does not apply when the entire event with it’s preparations, audience reactions is also shown. The presence of “the internet audience” superimposes the artists a feeling that audiences which they are unable to control will evaluate their gestures critically. The stream embodies the idea of the other. An artist is pointed by a camera which streams events for unspecified and radically different audiences. A camera streaming online becomes a representative of audiences which you cannot seduce by editing your afterimage. This is a great challenge. If there is to be only one camera at a performance event this camera should be the one broadcasting.

When working with live streams it does not help if the broadcast is streamed trough a 100mb connection as people viewing it will anyways see it compressed and optimized for low bandwidth connections. But I don’t think image quality is a problem. Rough image gives events a sense that they are really live and differentiates us from mainstream medias. If we’d be working to produce HD-quality streams we’d be in the same category as all the other TV channels and if the image quality is close to standardized TV people begin to expect TV like structures from the stream. To replicate such quality is not necessary as we are not orchestrating an event into a studio setting, we are adapting into the site as it changes. The current robust system we have designed can handle changes, mood-swings of performers and surprises during a happening better then conventional TV-broadcasting tools do.

Glitch serves live online events well.

I feel that the liveliness of live events is in the element of danger, non-censuring mistakes made by the performer(s), pushing the camera operator outside her/his comfort zone and working with hazardous technical devices and beta-software. Such explorations inevitably results to glitches. Which is good. Pixelated image stresses the eyes and demands a different logic of viewing. Watching something aesthetically unpleasant forces the viewers to make sense of things them self’s. A “new media gaze” is being crafted. People on computers consume different sorts of media on the screen simultaneously. The textual elements of a performance (placed on the shout box or webpage) might be read during a pause in stream or the viewer might engage in a chat. There is currently no data on how or what people watch during a live stream. The viewer logic is being constructed based on what we offer.

[Fi] T.E.H.D.A.S ry:n juhlakirja on tärkeä julkaisu

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Kannattaa tutustua T.E.H.D.A.S ry:n 10 vuotis juhlakirjaan. Oman kappaleen saa tilattua Porin taidemuseon kautta. 200 sivuinen opus on hyödyllinen kaikille suomalaisen performanssitaiteen ystäville; erityisesti mikäli kiinnostus on Helsingin ulkopuolisessa taide- ja alakulttuurikentässä välillä 2000-2013. Kirja on tunnelmaltaan rento ja sitä voi lukea järjestön kasvukertomuksena.

200 sivua on nopeasti koluttu sillä kansien väliin on sommiteltu paljon kuvia. Kuvat on tosin taitettu oudosti, joskus ne kattavat koko sivun ja toisinaan ne jäävät tökköihin valkoisiin raameihin. Joillakin aukeamilla sommittelua on korostettu mustilla taustoilla mistä tulee mieleen Non Gratan juhlakirjat. Non Gratan Porin vierailuilta on myös paljon kuvia ja kuvat autojen romutuksesta ovat vetäviä. Hätkähdyttävää kun huomaa, että vaikkei ryhmän toiminta innoita luonnossa niin palavat autot näyttävät painettuina uskottavilta. Kuvitusten merkittävin sarja lienee Johnny Amoren toimittamat performanssitaiteilija muotokuvat. Niiden värit jäävät kuitenkin painotuotteessa ikävän tummiksi.

Kiinnostavin kirjallinen osuus on pitkä anonyymisti kirjoitettu “Mennyttä ja ollutta” muistelo, jossa yhdistyksen nimetön jäsen kelaa henkilökohtaista kokemustaan ryhmän toiminnasta. Kertomus alkaa siitä kuinka nuoret Satakuntalaiset taiteilijat tutustuivat toisiinsa, nykytaiteeseen ja miltä tuntui esittää performansseja sekä muita nykytaiteita näille tyypillisesti vieraissa ympäristöissä. Kirjoitus on tunteikas ja luo kuvan nuorten taiteilijoiden vimmasta. Ryhmän taidenäkemystä voidaan kirjan perusteella kuvailla parhaiten ‘vilpittömänä’.

Muistelo vie kulissien taakse ja kuvailee herkullisesti tunnelmia, kun ryhmä oli lunastamassa valtion taidepalkintoa 2011.

“Tavallaan absurdia ja hauskaa mennä sinne kätteleen kulttuuriministeriä ja jutteleen sen kans. Varmaankin ihan hyvästä päästä kulttuuriministeri, mutta kuiteki vittu poliitikko. Sitä ei oikeesti kiinnosta vittuakaan ja siksi se ei ollu oikeesti opetellu puhettakaan.”

Kirja kertaa järjestön merkittävimmät tempaukset perustamishetkestä tähän päivään. Kronologinen rakenne tekee alkuosasta hitusen luettelomaisen. Olisin mielelläni lukenut enemmän uraa-uurtaneista projekteista kuten “Taideslummista”, “Huippukokouksista” ja “Isäntä & orja” symposiumista. Tämä olisi vaatinut sen, että ihan kaikkia järjestön tekemiä taidetapahtumia ei olisi kirjassa kerrattu. Monet tapahtumat aukeavat hyvin kuvien kautta ja tekstit ovat miltei tarpeettomia.

Toisaalta tekstit ovat hyödyllisiä varsinkin kaltaiselleni T.E.H.D.A.S ry:n satelliitille. Nyt viimein tiedän mitä Taavin tulet edes ovat. Enkä tiennyt, että porukka on käynyt Ars kärsämäessä. Suomalaisen alakulttuuri kentän historian kannalta nämä on ollut hyvä mainita näin painettunakin.

Aavistuksen irralliselta tuntuvaan Artikkeleita osuuteen olisi kuitenkin voinut kerätä tekstejä, jotka avaisivat projektien taiteellisia ja poliittisia sisältöjä tarkemmin. Tämä saattaisi tuntua höntiltä, sillä projektit on kehitetty spontaanisti. Mutta jonkin sortin synteesiä ryhmän tavoitteista ja ennen kaikkea tulevaisuuden näkymistä olisin kaivannut. Tässä muodossaan kirjan kärkenä toimivat tunteisiin vetoavat nuorisokirjamaiset nostatukset. Vilpittömyys puree. Paikoin jutut valitettavasti kertaavat itseään.

Artikkeleita osuudessa löytyy aikaisemmin Mustekalassa julkaistuja Anni Venäläisen kirjoittamia juttuja ja Janne Saarakkalan Esitys-lehdessä painettuja artikkeli. Tekstejä on myös Aapo Korkeaojalta ja muilta tutuilta. Monet kirjoitukset löytyvät Englanniksi ja Suomeksi.. Mutta jotkut ovat vain yhdellä kielellä. Tämä ei suomalaista lukijaa haitta. Rakenne on tuttu myös Non Gratan julkaisuista.

Avainsanoina toistuvat Pori, performanssi ja spontaanisuus. Tämä ei ole sinänsä kaukana totuudesta. Paikallisuuden korostamisella lienee omia motiivejaan. Uuttakin tietoa syntyy. “High Fashion – Low Life” näyttely projektin esittelyssä tapaillaan ryhmän toimintaa motivoivaa eroottisuutta. Anonyymi toiminta, luova vimmaisuus ja eroottisuus olisi kiinnostava otsikko. 2008 Freak-Loungessa, ja sen peep-show henkisissä luonteessa erotiikka oli hyvinkin pinnassa.

Oma panostukseni julkaisuun on parisivuinen Perforaportti (Fi&En), joka kertaa 2012 nähdyn Perfo klubin tapahtumia. Kirjoitus on sähkeluontoinen. Kirjoitin sen aikanaan avoimeen verkkoalustaa. Tapahtumaa verkkolähetyksessämme seurannut yleisö sai seurata sen syntymistä merkki merkiltä. Perforaporttiin on dokumentti performanssitaidetapahtumasta (esityksineen). Se on kirjoitettu omaleimaisella live-bloggaamis tekniikalla, jota kutsumme menetelmää “Perfo-raportointi (dokumentaatio) menetelmäksi”.

Kirjoitus on tunnelmallisempi ja henkilökohtaisempi kuin sähkeluontoisissa uutisoinneissa mutta jää silti sävyltään neutraaliksi, sillä nopean kirjoittamisen myötä tulkintoja tilanteista ei oikeastaan ehdi syntyä. Menetelmä on aavistuksen tajunnan virtainen. Sen alkuperäinen teksti löytyy edelleen samasta verkkokirjoitus alustasta (tai siis se oli kadonnut mutta laitoin ton linkin osoittamaan Google Docsiin ja pistin jutun myös tähän blogiin viitaten alle).

http://ldezem.muistio.tieke.fi/PERFO-RAPORTTI-JULKAISU

https://eero.storijapan.net/docfolio/en-perfo-raport/

[En] I leaned on all the male guests of the Perf08.. (30.-31.May -08)

The text below was written 2008 some two weeks after the Perf08 festival, organised by Tehdas Ry.

I leaned on all the male guests of the Perf08 festival but the women carried me. I wanted to leave the festival guests physical impression of myself. This gesture provoked the audience and placed the male spectators in the focus. The piece lasted for two days. Day one was for leaning and day two for a indoor performance. The piece was also an attempt to pinpoint the moment where a performance takes place.

The piece was called “Artist Supported by Other Artist (and some Audience)” (Or “Supported” for short). Each leaning act involved two participants. I introduced myself to small groups and selected a person to lean on while instructing an other person to take a picture. The picture was to be taken “on the specific moment the cameraman felt that the act was completed”. This motivated the participants to look for a solution to end my interference. The person I was leaning on needed to use strength to support me and the photographer was was agonised by their ambitions to take “a good picture” of the act.

The pictures where taken with a fully automated retro-film-camera which only had a hole to look trough and a trigger to take the shot. There was no possibility to confirm if a picture was actually taken. In retrospect I think the camera should have been an professional model with a 6×6 frame. So that the importance of the picture would have been emphasised.

I also had the opportunity present the work as a part of the schedule. I worked in the attic. First I chased all the persons with cameras out of the room. With this I wanted to make a statement on the documentation of performance art works. In such events the act of documenting takes focus away from the uniqueness of the moment. Then I chased all the male participants out. This was done in a humorous way so that the opportunity to stay even if a male remained (none did).

I was left with the women in to an attic. I asked them if they felt comfortable with this sex based division and if any of them would like to excuse them self´s (none did). Then I asked if there was a skilled photographer present. One presented herself. I instructed her to document the act. I laid on a bench and asked if the women would raise me to the ceiling. I was lifted and pictures where taken. The women lowered me and gave them self´s spontaneous applauds. The mood was joyful.

I asked them not to tell the men what we had done. Then we returned to the rest of the group.

A girl with a camera (who was chased out in the beginning) told me that after the men were chased out they started acting oddly. The courtyard of the gallery was suddenly packed with bewilders men, boyfriends, husbands who where trying to solve the situation. I asked another girl, if she had been questioned on what happened in the attic. She told me that her boyfriend, (a producer of the event) had not done so.. Because “he is too proud”.

The men kept on asking me what had happened. They tried to be humorous about it. More then once the men stated that, as I made this devision based on gender: I am the generator of a chauvinistic processes. The women where not (to my understanding) feeling offended by the gender based separatism.

The separation of the audience based on gender was an experiment based on a friends encounters in cuban-religions. He had taken part in a ritual during which a man (in a state of trance) took the women (including his girlfriend) from the crowds to a nearby jungle. So that they would take part in a ritual. He and all the other spouses where left outside.. The only opportunity was to wait. This division created great tensions in the men. I wanted to see how this process would work in another cultural surrounding.