20170617

Manufactured something brilliant: Re-Teema (2017) a replacement ear for Teema model cups (the cups ear gets broken easily). I’m in doubt whether to make a CAD drawing of the design (with Topis help?) or to invest in a hand router and make them myself. I’ll make a longer ear for next iteration and possibly secure the joint with a brass rivet (found a perfect brass screw for riveting).

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Heard Belorukov & Zherbin, Filter Feeders and Pasha Rotts at Akusmata gallery last night. A warm and noisy evening. Saw a Make Noise 0-Coast and a SP-303 in use. Also a brilliant electronic music gig hat (by Pasha). Petri Kuljuntausta offered some guidelines for the upcoming Ore.e Ref./Storijapan: Sound of Work exhibition/gig. He wants us to prioritize on audio. We’ll possibly also present audio pieces from the Ore.e Ref.: Meta- Collection (Record Singers, Topi Äikäs 4’33, Wuolio usb stick?). Particullary Äikäs and RS serve as solid references. Came up with the idea of making a helmet xylophone (like the one Ewoks play in Star Wars) and using the same styles of exhibition display techniques we deployed for SIC (2014).

Ore.e Ref. on a winning streak. Washington Post writes that The hottest trend in Web design is making intentionally ugly, difficult sites. Apparently web brutalism is a thing.

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Visited Mikko Kuorinki’s “LEG SLEEPS DROP DEEP” exhibition at SIC last night with Topi. The presentation felt unfinished. Haven’t read the catalog texts yet. Olli Keränen presented works in the SIC main hall. His pieces felt hastily made. Their artworks appeared similar. Both artists evade simple solutions but as they presented​ works in the same space the combination felt like trickery. Their artworks require simple and pretty art around them – They exist in contrast. At the SIC event they couldn’t find their momentum. Had a pleasant chat with Josefiina Nelimarkka.

Visited Leena Kela’s Alphabet’s  of Performance Art at Mad-house. The piece was presented as a part of the Hurraa children’s culture festival. It has a perfect. Kids age 3-10 were taken by the performance. Kela presented a critical analysis of the history of performance art and studied how its aesthetics have been standardised. Kids were laughing and commenting the show. The event proofed that conceptual art works for kids. I was reminded warmly with my ÄLÄ OLE LAPSELLINEN article from 2013.

Nice video on BASTL instruments by Cuckoo.

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Can I Get An Amen? (2004) & Bassline Baseline (2005) by Nate Harrison (Note: Bassline Bassline circumvents youtube copyright protection algorithms by randomly gate-chopping samples!). Both pieces are fuelled with technological optimism (which in 2004-5 was already nostalgia). Contemporary discussion concerning cultural appropriation are distant and sampling is presented as a expression of an pancultural youth movement which seeks to discredit capitalism, corporate record labels and mainstream artists (The dismay mainstream artist felt over sampling is well captured in this delightful extract from 1988).

Jon Leidecker’s (aka. Wobbly) podcast series VARIATIONS #1-7 (2009-2012) investigates the history sampling in more detail. In all VARIATIONS is a great introduction to 20th century avantgarde music. He begins the series by illustrating how musical notation and sampling are related. These technologies have enabled artists to extract tunes and forms from localized cultural contexts and to distribute them globally, make remixes, to store tunes/forms indefinitely and to re-listen to tunes/forms without social context. Musical notations is as intrusive as sampling!

Leidecker argues that recorded music gave artists, who didn’t have training in notation the opportunity to document and share their culture. He presents jazz as an artform which developed largely through recordings. Early jazz musicians developed new styles to play old instruments and these styles were shared globally through 78RPM recording (Musical notation struggles to capture the style instruments can be played). Recorded music and samplers returned power to oral cultures and traditions. Charismatic performers who were overshadowed by literary traditions could re-emerge and seek out global audiences.

He presents sampling and remixing as fundamental human rights. As methods for organizing like-minded people. I think he argues that the best way to fight cultural stagnation and alienation (under capitalistic conditions) is to embrace sampling full heartedly. Corporate record labels and centralized regimes will always find ways to appropriate subcultures and minorities – The only way we can overturn such developments is by sampling, sharing and remixing. By using technology to disrupt. The sampler is like nuclear energy – We are all affected by it and it continues to define the world according to its logic (as discussed earlier).

I think many contemporary discussions concerning cultural appropriation are steered by a negative reaction to the technology of the sampler. It’s a convenient adversary. It is technology which is designed to extracts cultural signs away from their native context and to remix samples according to a fixed logic (wester time signatures and scales). But when we are discussing cultural appropriation, it is important to understand the difference between the global impact of the technology of the sampler and individual artists who use samplers. Herbie Hancock believes that samplers are tools which allow users to choose if they are used for good or bad. There is nothing intrinsically bad about technology or appropriation for that matter. Copying successful techniques from other could be considered is a human right and we can’t turn back the clock.

The arrival of samplers have changed our cultural ecology and artists who use them for remixes are trying to adapt to the change. Naïve users get blamed for what our sinister technology enables. It is the sampler in its self which subjugates and quantifies cultural signs accross classes and continents. Everyone touched by its logic has been tainted. #ॐ

We cannot stop sampling as a technological approach to culture – But we can use samplers to connect to each other. Acceleration is the best route for action. We should confront each others and not allow fear to hinder our efforts. Gianni Motti’s HIGGS, looking for the anti-Motti (2005) is a cynical artwork. He should have run together with someone, so that they would have collided and exploded into previously unseen particles.

Samplers are not against local cultures. They are against the world. In the wrong hands samplers are paving way for a granular future, where we cease to form relations to other cultures and only form relations to technology! As Topi discovered, people who use Tinder are actually in relationship with the application and the casual human encounter they engage in are irrelevant for the application developer and the emerging Tinder-culture. Sampler technologies are here: Embrace the possibilities they offer.  

I hope the SOW: Blacksmith will manage to build bridges between new and old professions and classes. Designers make techno on their free time… By using samples extracted from the sounds of work of the craftsperson, they can alling their (rhythmically moving) bodies to the the reality of the labor force. We are in this together.

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​An incredibly cynical video detailing the future of urban life and warfare made by the American military complex: Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity

A nifty text on cultural imperialism by Pilvi Porkola What is ‘esitys’ on the University of Arts “How to do things with performance?” project blog. She is critical about Richard Schechner’s “Performance Studies. Introduction” which I’ve been studying in preparation of our upcoming Art School Maa course. 

I should make a kettlebell out of Snellman’s head. 

Visited SIC 2 gallery spaces opening exhibition The movement that didn’t have a dog and a stick… The exhibition was curated by Mikko Kuorinki and Diego Bruno who have been working together on a project they call Ruler. My favorite work was “Joycean Society” (2013) by Dora García. In discussion with Topi Äikäs I came into the conclusion that the exhibition was fuelled with sincere trust for the arts. Topi and I had difficulty in participating in the feeling because we know that the production of such exhibitions is always messy. Messiness is the opposite of Accountability. I have trouble trusting mess (even if I know that art is at it’s best as mess). 

We chatted about the 9/11 events in USA. Topi gave an honest account on how he felt after hearing about the attacks. His honesty cleansed the air and I suddenly remembered feeling suppressed delight. At the time we had been both excited about seeing the imperialists twin towers collapse and celebrated the attacks against the high standing symbols of global capitalism.