Each one of these texts have been written in an hour. I haven't edited them after writing. This is how I express myself in 2014.

12th June 2014: poems

i wrote these like in 30 mins, while lying on the bed feeling hyper aroused. i'm not saying the time limit makes them better or am not trying to apologize it is what it is, although it never is what it seems like.

What if dot dot dot
What if all, I mean aaaall, like, historical periods, their names, are code words for the kinds of sex people were having during that time?
Yeah I hear you before u even say it, yes, baroque people didn't call their epoche baroque, some historian christened them, ooo, later on.

anyway dot dot dot
What if
Like think of rock 'n' roll
think of the lyrics of hit songs from 30's 40's on and on and on
backdoor men, whipping it, good rockin' tonight, mambo...feel it pls
do people ever talk about anything else
or when they do, they feel sad
when i talk about art i don't wanna feel sad

are you feeling it, close your eyes but not all the way, like drunk vision, high vision
imagine gothic sex, cubist sex, the enlightened sex, a postmodern sex.

wake up in some other time
touch your hair
and try to think 
if this is the way hair is being touched
right now, right here
your touch is a culture i never get

calcium made those nails for you
now use them
draw your nail down your cheek
or fast
try both
you're fast in this time
but you would've been slow in early 1600's

instead of writing, give those letters petting
let your fingertips wander around
the o's and g's
the numeric the arabic
think of how the x came in existence
go back in time to the creation of 6
of 4
of 1
look for sexual positions -are there any other kinds?-
in the letters and numbers
numbers are obvious, and h
H too kinda
oh my god how good it feels to type that letter i mean press it
i'm not gonna repeat it tho
it's yr turn

the good of history
is sex

bad, too


how u gonna make yourself fit in here

lines lines
calls calls

ok screw the first two lines but look at, i mean 
feel those two: calls calls

calls calls
not one call, not calls in general
but calls calls
not a wordplay either, no third person is doing all the calls
but calls calls
the endlessness of all those calls
saying it twice gives it yeah what?
like it's a way of saying something that you should know by now
the latest word on the street
lingo lingo bingo bango 
yeah it's nothing silly like that
it's calls calls

i'm listening to Kevin Saunderson's Good Life, remixed by Matt Smallwood, and I realize I probably should include this track with these words
like tell you that while reading please listen to Good Life here's the link
but what if you don't, like what if you wanna see if it works without it 
or your speakers are broken and headphones are in the other room,
worn by your lover, it's the only thing he's wearing and they're not covering his ears. Then i realized, oh my god, that's what a radio play is. It's something someone wanted to say but in a particular space. Me in the Saunderson space. Jennifer told me no one knows what a radio play is, so what should I call it, radio drama? There's no radio here, no third person is doing all the announcing. I'm doing it. But yeah yeah so let's call it a recording?

so anyway
calls calls
you get them
i might get one
ralph lauren got them
sophie lauren got them
laurie anderson got them
lou reed didn't take them
laurie didn't answer, either
others did that for Laurie & Lou
jesus, how many calls someone like
hans ulrich obrist is getting and how
few of them get answered, or called back
The callback. That's the worst power play.

:D lol this was so :d


Björk: Hyperballad

Singing a lot 
few breaks
silence is not her strong side

this is a remix
this is 90's
this beautiul view
from the top of the mountain

when i was 16
I was sure she 
would get me 100%
she was my soulmate

someone has added delay to her voice, nice
we need remixes to be safe again with you

i barely stay awake
having björk as my partner
no, she would party all nite
and wake up early before me
and listen to the sounds I make
on my way down
i'm sure she's like that in relationships
imaginng how my body would sound like
slamming against that personality cult

my decades so far:

1980's = madonna
1990's = björk
2000's = beyonce
2010's = marina


10th June 2014: Lunch Bytes discussion

I attended (and co-curated) a Lunch Bytes discussion in Helsinki, part 1 of 3. This first one featured Diedrich Diederichsen, DJ Orkidea (Tapio Hakanen), Ilja Karilampi, and myself. The talk was held in Sinne, with a crowd of ca. 70 people. Here's the text/notes I read there. Lunch Bytes is a series of discussions curated by Melanie Bühler. More info here.


LBytes 10 june 2014 

It's hard to believe in progress. And, when you think of art, it seems even inconceivable. Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a film by Werner Herzog, ruminates on the meaning of 30 000 -year old cave paintings in what is now modern France. In the director's view, the people who created the horses and buffalos to the wall of a sacred cave had true knowledge about animation, story-telling through images, and spatial design. One might end up thinking, upon seeing the film, like i did, that what our ancestors were doing is what we still do, too. 

The idea of progress is close to heart for software companies such as Adobe, whose programs, such as Photoshop and Premiere, form the gold standard for desktop tools in the creative industry and for artists, as well. They say, everything is easier with the latest update, anyone can do stunning creative works with the suitable software, everything is so much more possible than ever before. But how does this suit to art, which seem not to be about progress and advancement, but rather extropy and variation?

It is indeed easier now than than it was in the era of tape to cut a recording of my voice into millions of pieces, each only milliseconds long and place these snippets in random order, but being able to do that doesn't make digital sound art of today somehow better than 1950's analogue electronic music. It's just different. 

This idea of, "making art is so much easier today because of tools x and y" as catered by businesses and frequented in our everyday discussions, is a problematic way of looking at art-making in an ontological sense. Sure, the internet and mobile technologies have had a substantial effect on distributing and sharing art, connecting with your peers and audience, and on finding alternative and, at best, empowering social realities for those of us marginalized offline.

But since making art doesn't really require anything specific, it feels weird to think that it could be harder or easier because of a set of tools. Because if you think like that, then you have presupposed that art is only something you do with certain tools.

- Art is not about technical expertise, as we've known for or almost a hundred years now. To be an artist one does not have to have any specific skills. We all should know this by heart now, after Duchamp, de-skilling, punk, and whatnot. Still, only yesterday I started to wonder if there is something very positivist in the way technology is being issued, however subtly, in the Lunch Bytes event here today. 

So, have our digital tools changed the way we work with sound? Basically every artist I know, myself included, who give at least some emphasis to sound on their videos or other works, we use sound in a very stripped down, straightforward manner. It's basically a bunch of fx sounds,  speech tracks recorded semi-ok in a bedroom , some music ripped from youtube, maybe some atmosphere from a piratebay sound effects torrent. The result is a mesh of uneven things, like having the sound of a duck when someone opens the door, then the sound of a macbook starting up, and then Wagner and then fast dance music pitched up. This way of working resembles 60's & 70's sound poetry scene like Fylkingen in its rawness, or early electronic music, like Pierre Schafer, with its combination of uncanny and concrete materials.

The stuff we're doing could've technically been done in earlier decades as well, and it would have not been that hard, either. Of course, this is not meant as critique, but just as an observation. We are not trying out our tools to any extreme, but maybe that's the just hangover from 90's media art, where pushing technology to its limits was very much in fashion. For sure, this is something for a longer and more researched talk.
Anyway, I'm not sure if current digital technologies have changed anything fundamentally in terms of sound. In terms of music, for sure, and in terms of availability, as well. The latter is actually an important change, because for example still in the 80's, the chance to really work on audio was mostly reserved for people who had access to universities or national radio studios, or could afford buying these very expensive equipment, not to mention the cultural capital one needed to have in order to find herself working in such environments. And I guess that's still the case in some parts of the world. Nothing ever changes for everyone at the same time. 

Technological determinism and the need to write linear history is a basic problem in the relationship of human sciences and technology, claims the Finnish scholar Karl-Erik Michelsen who has written extensively on technology and its meaning. Human sciences tend to look at technology as a black box that's outside of society and hence having its own, separate, trajectory. This is evident, in Michelsen's view, in how there are no engineers acting as public intellectuals. The work of engineers have tremendous influence over the shape and direction of our society, just think of, i don't know, railroads, but we don't hear engineers take part in the public discourse on ethics, for example.

I wanted to give you an example of how artists use technology in a way that changes our understanding of what went down before, and thus breaking the linear narrative of advancement.

The Steve Reich story about tape machines and the piano, ie how technology affects art in way that's expansive, but not linear. 
- it's gonna rain 1965
- he tried to have two tape player machines playing a recording of a preacher in sync, and looping,  but the players fell out of sync, and thus the other player started to gradually be more and more behind from the other tape player after every loop round. Thus, phase shifting was born. He then utilized this same method for piano, as well, resulting in the composition Piano Phase in 1967 (which can also be played with marimbas). So, Reich brought foreground a feature of the piano that could've been figured out before tape players. No one just happened to think that you could a piano, or any instrument, like that. But nothing in acoustic instruments suggests to this way of using them. At the same time, using piano for phase shifting combined two things: the to play melodic lines, which is prominent with the piano keyboard, and phase shifting, which is more-or-less prominent in tape players. So what happened was that through tape players, Reich (or maybe it was Terry Riley, who has accused Reich of stealing his idea) showed a new way of using a previous technology, in his case the piano. 
- the tape player is an interface with a foreground, aka playing a tape in orderly fashion, and with a background, aka using two tape machines to create phase shifting. This is why a lot of the ideas around misuse are somewhat flawed: if you do something with unintended with a machine, it does not mean you're revealing dark secrets or taking a critical stance toward consumer hardware, but you're rather doing what engineers do: you look behind the surface.
We can all think of possible similar examples from current art practices, of ways of understanding a given technology in a new, even unintended way, and then combining that with a more established technology. (?)

(- if there's time, talk about instruments, and the way interfaces affect you as a user)

tomorrow, I'll be back in the 1-hour writing mode.

5th July 2014

In case you wondered: 

Although my time in Tallinn is over, I'll continue writing here, starting next week.


30th May 2014: draft for Kiasma

I have a performance in Kiasma theatre on 6th of May 2014. Here's a draft of my script (part of it).

Why am I writing a play? I haven't presented this question to anyone but myself. My previous works have been —not plays. I haven't done "big work" before. And I won't do it tonight, either.

I urge you, go do that thing you wanna do. Don't be here, not that you can't, but don't, if you want something else, something for yourself. God, that's short-sighted of me. Of course you're here for yourself. This is you getting off on me trying to get it on.

I believe in this no-form, no-content thing I do. Content is missing because I love someone else.

It's like I'm tagging Kiasma theatre. They'll remove the tag soon, unless I get famous. Preserving is funny like that. Imagine if I'd actually spray-paint something on Kiasma, say on the back wall outside? Like, "this is 2000 years old, do not remove".

But it doesn't work like that. Instead, I'm writing "I will be valuable, please love me".

My brother asked me If I consider my artistic practice to be stand-up. Well, no, this is performance art, but I'm safe to have it both ways. I speak of dicks = comedy, I cut one off = performance. You guys laugh = comedy, you don't mind = definitely performance.

28th May 2014: what happened?


What happened? Did something change? Was it more of the same? The month and my time in Tallinn is over soon, and it's time for another city, another show. Light observations follow.

There were four events, or five actually, or maybe six, no seven. I had four Sundays, and an Improv concert with John. Then I also took active part in two other activities at Ptarmigan: Triinu Aron’s talk about art organizing & money (which turned into a lively discussion about so many other things), and another Improv open jam (which was 15 minutes playing and 45 minutes talking). 

What else? I went to some parties, danced at a club three times, went to an after-party but was too tired to do anything, talked with strangers, listened to the nitty gritty stories from Tallinn, sometimes feeling like an idiot the next day, sometimes not, bought two books from Paranoia publishing party, went to a beach twice, ate maybe ten times at vegan restaurant, didn't have one cup of coffee outside of Ptarmigan (it's so good in there), witnessed a choreographer figuring it out in a cellar, listened to the rain on my sleep, went to only one museum/institution party, used the terms "aspiring middle-class", "landlording", "neoliberalism", and "conceptual" more than I should've, received two business cards, went jogging around Kalamaja maybe 8 times, gave tourists directions to a bar in the middle of the night in Old Town, had Georgian food once, looked for food after 11pm at least four times, tried to meet people but didn't, and mostly stayed at Ptarmigan writing and cooking. Tags: Introvert cultural tourism, cocooing, artisan socializing, valued loneliness. 

Things I remember: a discussion about Finnish and Estonian qualities and why Finns seem to never find anything good to say about Estonia, a local rapper giving it up for the late DJ Rashad, having me almost in tears (crying now when I think about it: music connects us), the one conversation where we talked about philosophy and truth, looking at the sea again and again, someone describing Robert Wilson sad and alone in a European city where everyone is too afraid to talk to him, reading a feminist magazine and thinking how can a city be this white and straight, someone leaving the bar and saying in Estonian how it's time go home since talking all this English makes one tired (heart-warming, witty, and the most funniest thing I've witnessed), someone on stage making sense of noise, high-fiving strangers in a bar named after my home town while Finland scores against Russia in hockey, walking through an exhibition thinking this is the world soon behind me and then being surprised of my own thoughts, someone telling me how to understand brain's behaviour through sexual metaphors, various banal details and everyday occurances, countless smiles and funny things, people taking people serious.

About the Sundays, then. The concept was ok, or sufficient. I like regularity and being around people. Making food for guests was pretty fun, although it would've been much more meaningful to cook together. The first one was somewhat awkward, I guess, since there wasn't really anything happening. We just sit at a table & ate and talked this and that, and then I got nervous and decided I should show some of my works. Next Sunday it was a concert with Juhani Liimatainen (who should've been on my teachers list, but I didn't want to include anyone I know as it felt pretentious). It was so vital for me personally, I enjoyed it immensely & I hope the audience liked it too. Juhani walked around the two rooms with mechanical birds like a surreal Alvin Lucier afterthought. Before and after that, he created effective, dynamic, short sounds with some simple electronic and digital devices. I was recording myself speaking, made small noises with my laptop's keyboard, played around with some samples, tried to be there as a performer, someone with a body, who has lost his way but is crawling back on all fronts. We had four parts to our gig: slow, fast, quiet, loud, 10 minutes each. 

The third Sunday was a workshop. There were very few people there, just five of us. I asked people to work in pairs, with the other person telling what once had happened to him or her. We elaborated these stories into semi-theatrical scenes. And so on. I was afraid this would make no sense to anyone, but at the same time felt there were some beautiful moments. But it should've been longer, and slower, and with a more specific theme. I usually do workshops with a group of people who share something to begin with (ie. they go to school together, they're all designers, etc.), so this was new and evidently more harder, too. It was a hot summer day, and everyone I knew had gone to Kalamaja days, an event filling the streets of Kalamaja district with flea markets, music, food, and so on. Again, it's amazing when people choose your thing over every other form of entertainment in the world. Anyway, I don't think I did that good of a job. My ideas were shaky at best, and the whole day was lacking in direction. I can do better, and I should. 
Then, on the last Sunday, I gave a non-artist talk. The idea was simple: I couldn't talk about myself or use such words as "I". If I would, then John and Hannah from Ptarmigan would punish me with these sort of dadaist tasks, such as inserting a slice of lemon in my mouth, wearing my shoes on my hands, putting more clothes on, letting someone cut my hair, singing Sunday-related karaoke songs, and so on. I showed works by Jenna Sutela, Henna Hyvärinen, echo+seashell, Georges Jacotey, Maanalainen seurakunta laulaa, and Elina Minn. They are all connected to Antagon, a biennale I founded last year (2013) in Turku, and to which most of these artists created new works. I enjoyed this session so much, as painful it was sometimes to stop and do the punishments, like a 6-minute workout (it was a hot day). People seemed to get the works very well, especially Elina Minn's film Maledetta Primavera gathered praise for its directional vision and its universal, albeit art-related themes (small town scenes, career pressure, love+work). You can see it here.
My residency continues in September when I go to Mooste, for Moks' residence. It's the other part of this two-month residency called Axis of Praxis. In there, I guess I'll do something similar.

What's the point of a residency? This was my first one, and it felt like a reasonable thing to do. I could be happy just doing residencies: staying in a place, possibly with other people, for months at a time, doing my own work and communicating with human beings, ideally being able to bring something to the local context and struggles and whatnot. I imagine it to be much more sensible than doing a performance, exhibition or the like, where you go somewhere for a day or two, maybe a week if you can afford it and you're not too busy, and then it's over. 
But also the idea of having a house which is not only -or at all- about productions and premieres is what I like about residencies. That there is this space that opens its doors frequently, usually with the idea that it's easy to participate to its events. But I think the house itself (#landlording) is very important. I used to run an artists' association  that hosted a gallery and a residency. One artist at a time came there and stayed in a nearby university dormitory. We, the people working at the gallery, were busy keeping the artists' association up and running. Then in the end of their residency period, there'd be a public event, such as an artist talk. Personally, I prefer the model with a house, where ideally the people running the residency live as well, and that the space is not all the time in use for exhibitions or other stuff. This is the beauty and luxury of Ptarmigan: the days were open, there was time.

Here's a monologue to sum up my vibes from Tallinn and life right now:

27th May 2014: Teachers (bonus post)

I was listening to Daft Punk and started to think who are my teachers. In a few minutes, I came up with list. I also recorded myself singing this list to the Daft Punk song, but you don't wanna hear that.

Carl Andre
Lee Lozano
DJ Rashad
Kaffe Matthews 
Hans Haacke
David Hammons 
Eva Hesse
Michael Asher
Pussy Riot
Lee Kit
Eliane Radigue
Christina Kubisch    
Louis CK
Bruce Nauman
Homo Dollar
Roi Vaara

Andrea Fraser’s in the house yeah
Stockhausen’s in the house
Mattin is in the house
Kim Gordon in the house

Top Billin'
Sachiko M
Kanye West
Artists post-studio
Axl Rose
Nine Inch Nails
Disco Ensemble
Liisa Akimof
Ari Peltonen
Pekka Niskanen
Yoko Ono
Jérôme Bel is in the house yeah
Pan Sonic’s in the house
Jack the Rapper’s in the house
Kippenberger’s in the house

Mierle Ukeles
Dara Birnbaum
Lily Greenham

Richard Pryor’s in the house 
Art & Language in the house
Tove Jansson in the house
K Foundation in the house yeah

ok here's me singing it: 

27th May 2014: Around The Worlds


What would happen if we would spend as much time and effort on choosing which art events we'll attend to than we spend on looking for love?

Relational aesthetics happened because it's more satisfying to be with other people than see art.

Little by little we've learned that since art can be anything, we can do something fun instead of sitting alone in a studio, and just call these fun activities art. 

This is why Andy Warhol's "Art is what you can get away with" holds such power in my mind. It's not that art is a joke, or that it's even really that interesting to try sell your piss as art to people, but that we're really free to do whatever. To get away, to escape, to be in another place for a change. Great parties are usually the thing we remember from biennials and other art events. Since that's why we came: we wanted to feel something intensive, and usually it's in the dance floor or during late-night drug fuelled discussions, or in the bed of a lover, that we experience such intensities. 

Although art can also do that, or do it even better. Have you ever cried in front of a painting, felt your legs go soft from the beauty of an installation, had your worldview perplexed by a talk, got immensely inspired by a theatre play, gain new-found energies to continue your political battles after a public meeting, or felt serene after walking out of a movie theatre? Yes, I have. 

Usually this is not the case. Most of the times we just do the rounds like the local police force cruising down the high street, scanning events with a tired gaze. Another day, another show. 

The other day, my friend was wondering why artists have such a bad taste in music (he's not into Drake or Rihanna). With this he meant the blasting of pop hits during parties. Well, they are simple and they work. The pop songs, not artists. Never work.
I wouldn't want to strip pop songs out of their profound cultural and personal meanings, but I think pop music's powerful straightforwardness and clarity of its vision is what makes it alluring to artists.
Artists are not any different from anyone else, but the situation of an art event is: people have gathered to deal with meanings, and when they realize there's nothing exciting in the art works on display, hearing a 3-minutes pop song in full volume gives you -it gives me- life and direction. Pop saves the day, since it brings the night.

Here's a gut feeling: The same might just go for so-called relational activities, that have taken over art events during the past 20 years or so. Cooking together, building stuff with your hands, working and dealing with people who aren't exclusively your peers, going to places that are not the museum nor the gallery, and so on...That kind of stuff makes you feel you've done something instead of merely attending.

After posting this text I'll do a cover of Daft Punk's "Teachers". On it, they list their favorite DJs. I could list my favorite artists (some of them might be DJs too). My list would be quite mainstream compared to Daft Punk's underground heroes. 

They are my heroes, actually. Daft Punk's debut album "Homework" means so much to me. I'm listening to it right now. "Around the world", a robot sings into my ear. Such a meaningful, effective line in a time of cheap flights, pointless work trips, endless craving for seeing yet another place. And after all the travels you're back where you started although you don't know where since your head is spinning. 
The structure of "Around The World" reflects the endlessness and interchangeability of our journeys: the song consists of about 10 loops, all one to four bars in length, which come back and drop out again and again in varying combinations. The process sounds monotonic, yet the result is beautiful and alive (which is the title of the opening track on the album). 
I've always been astonished by dance music's capability to address profound concepts and philosophies with the simplest of words and truncated lines. This is why dance music rules the night. During the day, we look for more complicated thought patterns, to prove that we've evolved, that we're going somewhere. But as the night sets in, we’re back in the loop eternal, around the world, and we hope the morning never comes. It's staggering how frequently we hear the vocalist singing a prayer on a dance music track, hoping this moment and this night to be forever. It's not for romantic love —it's the fear of daylight. 
The 4/4 beat echoes through the planet, acting as the spine for the body of human race. We wait for the next drop so we could head for the next build-up. The unbridled force of primary affects: the aforementioned drop and build-up, but also ascend & descend, fade in & out, release, explosion, implosion. The very basic forms that music utilizes will keep us grounded into nature, from which these affects originate. 
Maybe letting go of music will be last thing we need to do in our scientific quest towards a humanity without bodies, towards singularity. 
Music is what keeps us mortal, addicted to our bodies and to the rhythm of the circular flow. We look for infinity in speed: Around the world as fast as we can until we've lost our way and are free of looking for meaning by measuring distances. 
The paradox of a loop: it's never and always perfect. You can always add something to it or take something away, but you may as well not do anything to it. Listen to "Around The World" by Daft Punk, my friends, and you will truly understand this.


edit: this text has some similarities with an interview I conducted with the artist Dxxxa D for a show in Madrid. You can read it here.