Had the pleasure to participate in Forest Dreams – A critical conversation around the work of artist Agnes Denes -event at Melbourne Design Week. The talk was initiated by Jock Gilbert and Sarah Hicks whose approaches to land art and land conservation, I learned trough their 2015 article Forest for Australia: Challenging Loyalties. Our talk was fast but I appreciated the event. I prepared a pre-recoded intro to my bit on the topic. Hoping to continue exploring ruins-as-beauty.

Helped in streaming/managing the Frame Knowing with(in) Limits -event. Had the pleasure to be introduced to Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen and her praxis.

Performed in the How To Do Things With Per­for­mance Grande Fi­nale. Got on stage right after Jamie MacDonald, so I inadvertently visited my first stand-up gig. MacDonald was great, well planned and smart. It was embarrassing to perform after him. I had planned a co-authoring performance in which the audience and I would have written an artistic review of the event for Mustekala (the performance was titled “This is the Great Review We Write for Mustekala”). But being inspired by Tan Lin earlier that week, I started off with a vote were I presented two options: The first option was framed as being a potentially stressful bit, which would have lead us towards a burnout (writing an article in an hour). The other option was described as ambient, boring and inverted (Titled “OISAC”, with an inhale). The audience voted for the latter so I ended up reading the Casio watch module qw2271 manual and followed the different choreographies it suggested for operating the compass, barometer and altimeter settings. Both options mirror some kind of post-covid-post-burnout mode of creativity but OISAC worked better in sparing joy in exhaustion.

Prepared two wooden benches for an installation which will be shown in the Helsinki Biennale. It was nice to visit Vallisaari. There were a lot of interesting folk at the local lunch bar. Heard a few murmurs about the miniature ecological catastrophe the biennale brings to the island.

Sourced a spare part for my Kaosspad 3 and managed to replace the broken fader. The fader reads b5kx2 and the part number is 510374524026 (Effects Level Fader). There is a service manual online too. Easy fix, not a lot of components to worry about. I could go for touchpad led mods with the unit. The other pots feel worn too. Not using it much for anything.


I’m into manuals right now. It’s a new thing for me. I’m reading long technical manuals which guide how to use a tool or technology. I recently bought a Casio ProTrek PRG-40 watch from the year 2000. I bought it for cheep, a corner of the watch face has chipped of but it works. It’s a survivalist watch with a compass and an altimeter. Exactly something I wanted in my teens – It’s currently affordable and looks like a grotesque sculpture. The manual for the watch module qw2271 is incomprehensible. Being stressed by work I’ve spend my nights studying it.

I imagine reading a manual is like reading a bible. There are meta-narratives (altimeter operation guide is a promise of future adventures), key combos which I have to recite to remember and the entire manual opus, echoes a deterministic world-view: Read this and you will learn it, then you will know it – There is an order to life, sleep easy. This particular watch is so complicated to use that operating it makes me feel like an indoctrinated member of a clergy. I’m of the manual readers -clan.

Bibliographic Sound Track by Tan Lin speaks to me trough the manual and data management aesthetics. I relax when stuff is listed and written not to be read. Reading becomes a “syncopated or rhythmic process of absorbing information” and I really need to absorb information which I don’t need to use (in any fashion) to soothe the hurt timetabling and personal management causes.

… reading as in not reading one word after an other but as in navigating an architectural space … 15 years ago we would have never mistaken a owners manual with literature, but today. It’s easy …

I pre-ordered a M8 tracker/sampler/synth and was one of the lucky 300 800, who managed to source a unit from the first production batch. A large part of the appeal of the device is nostalgia (like with this 80ties dream watch) but also the complicated manual (draft). The operations look esoteric. Numbers are counted in hexadecimal and the sequencer commands resemble code. Navigation is based on key-combos. The developer also hosts meet-ups were beta-users share tricks on how to use it and everyone (developer included) seem surprised by the features of the device. There are behavioural patterns lurking in the design, which users are revealing trough meticulous study. The meet-ups are super long and I’ve watched a few… It’s like a manual as an audiobook and following them helps me to forget work.

Link talks about grey literature, stuff which is not intended to be read indefinitely. It is situated, temporal and in the case of the old Casio watch, reading is a process of engaging with something which is obsolete (necro-literature?). In the case of m8 the reading is speculative, the thing which the manuals describe is still in development. It does not exist. Reading it feels liberating or unburdening. In 2018 I discovered instrument demo-videos and that they feel liberating to listen. Here is a playlist of instrument tutorials I listen to as music.

I want a tool for sequencing songs. I’m stuck because I can only produce riffs. Orca/Norns has been great for this and jams even, but using it for songs would require an epiphany on how to work it (for me). The sampler Orca uses is feature rich but the synth implementation is not as advanced as with m8 (I don’t have much midi gear and the midi CC implementation of Orca is still weird too). I’ve never made songs in software… I’ve made riffs and sang over them but I feel stuck (and I can’t even sing out loud at ease in my cellar studio). The Little Sound DJ workflow (which m8 is an iteration of) supports Ableton Live style track-playback, which I think might be helpful. It also has a good midi support and I might be able to program a setup with automated KP3 effects for vocals. Also thinking about midi-to-cv stuff for future prosperity. Okko has been working with trackers and perhaps the m8 will find use!