5th May 2014
I arrived here on a Friday. First thing I did was I cleaned up my working space, the studio, from top to bottom, behind the drawers, all of it. I removed some of the furniture out, re-arragned ones that were left. Afterwards I realised how much I needed to do that cleaning.
I came to Tallinn to figure my art out, really I did. On Saturday morning, as I was heading for a run, someone shouted at me, speaking Finnish: ARE YOU SOMEHOW FROM THE FINNISH ART WORLD? I was flaggerstabbered (etc), walked up to him and said Well yes, I guess I am, my name is Kimmo.
All the other days have been just nameless days with always something to do, someone to meet and food to cook. The real issues, the ones I'm really thinking about, these I won't even share here as they're private, and this is -I actually can't say what this is. I mean I'm writing a play, so this must have something to do with it. It's like Ptarmigan or Tallinn is becoming one of my main characters in this play titled Court of Helsinki which is about the kings and queens of 16th & 21st century Europes. For that, Tallinn is just perfect historically. I'm staying up on the hill in Old Town. It feels like the airport with no one speaking the local languages, pleasantly stucked in an indulgent space between two things.
One night, I went to see local DJs play. And I just wanted to dance, too. A rapper was doing his set in Estonian. It felt more like a house party with a living room forcibly elevated into a stage, racuous storytelling turned into a hastily structured performance. It was good, I did dance. The only thing I understood was when the rapper was paying respects to DJ Rashad, the Chicago-based Footwork innovator, and one of my all-time favourite producers. Before leaving for the club, I had been chatting with two fellow artists from the Chi.
Today, I went to see the Köler prize exhibition at EKKM, and another show they had running in adjacent building. Both shows were full of tricks. Most of the works were a mixed breed of coneptualism and crafting. To think and to build. It made total sense, so much so that I guess I'm somewhat jealous to those artists' practice. But I can't say that without creating a subtext that hints to the possibility that I see myself as a more advanced artist, since I don't do either one.
I went to a lecture earlier this week. It was by a performance artist & reseacher. I was referred to in the talk, since I've taken part in the research via a questoinnaire. I had labeled my practice "social games & grants", where other artists referred had categorized themselves as sculptors, media artists, and so on.
While doing the residency, I'm organizing events every Sunday. The series is called Sundays with Kimmo. It's the classic relational things: breakfasts, talks, workshops, concerts. I wanted a loose structure and to see where it takes me and the people I meet. At times I'm terrible embarrassed by the lack of depth in the things I do. That's why I'm writing a play, to save my reputation, to make something more real, tried & tested, and just recognizable. Isn't it ironic, don't you think: I'm trying to move away from social games as my practice, ending up doing something that is not about content but being a responsible artist. Today I thought: the play itself, as a text, doesn't matter. It's about me trying to sell it to places, and the contexts this hustling brings for the work. It's about ADSR, attack decay sustain release. The text is a placeholder for my endeavours. It's the ride that matters not the ticket.
But I'm not there yet. I'm still writing a play for its own sake. I'm using the attention-disorder cure for the writerly type, ie. the Freedom app, to cut off my internet connection for an hour every day so I may write without any breaks. While I type, I listen to instrumental dance music to keep the words flowing in. I'm seeing my own reflection on my Macbook Pro's (mid-2011 model) screen. I'm wearing a white T-shirt with a V-neck. As I write down these observations, I begin to roll my shoulders, my body getting consious of being looked at. I've written endless sheets of texts like this one. I run every other day, I do the New York Times-championed 7-minute workout on those other days. I read a page or two of someone else's writing. I write a letter to my friend & colleague every week. These are the things I see directly connected to writing a play.
Now I'm facing a dead end. I've told you few stories from Tallinn, described what I'm doing. Not that I'm even thinking about the blog as the context, oh well now I am. I didn't set myself up on a mission to share and not share certaing things with you. Am I just telling you whatever things in order to create scarcity towards the things I'm not telling? Are these mundane stories like the cheap painting on the wall, covering a secret vault?
I know how you read, because I'm the same. I think that I'm busy and I don't have time to read random things, so that's why I feel posting this text is pointless, as no one I know has time to read it. But I do read stuff like this, actually most of the stuff I read is links friends have liked or shared in Facebook (the more subtle the way I notice it, the better, re: Freud). Confessions, arguments, notes etc.
Sure, I'm thinking I've lost you so many times already. There was potentially intriguing info in the beginning. If you're living in Tallinn and do the art circles, you might've kept on reading to find yourself or someone you know mentioned or described. But now it's back to me, well you and me. I need to reach you, but I don't have anything particular to give but the things we have between us.
What do we now? Have I given up?, no, it's Have I given up. You can think of the things I have left alone here, like EU, Ukraine, flat tax rate, national self-esteem, the fear and lure of locality, you know. I like lists more than I like debriefs.
Right now I would like to know how much time I have left, I mean from the hour of writing I've assigned myself to do here. I can't, since I don't remember when I begun and Freedom App won't tell.
I'm listening music in shuffle mode so I can't just check how much of the album I've listened to so far. I rarely even listen to albums anymore. It's always a stream from Soundcloud, like Facebook stream but as audio (in case you're not familiar with SC).
Or then it's a mixtape, or some new release but consumed in a way (say, amongst other albums in shuffle mode) that denies it from its albumic nature.
Although I don't just listen to the latest music. I do fall for the hits of my teenage years, like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.
I just saved this file and named it as tallinn-1.txt, so I imagine there to be more of this.
If you're disappointed at how bad and basic this text is, don't worry. Put it in context. It's just the first one in the series. I might get better. There is a chance to see me, and I could assume you as well, grow.
lol why do we refer to sounds with such names, it's not that music producers use actual drums kits or parts to create the sounds. To really move forward, you need to come up with new concepts and interfaces. This is the bif truth in many things. Also in art of course. It's not that I'm against content, but I just happen to work like this. Maybe it's my priviledged status, the Nordic artist winking his male eye in the face of reality. I don't know, yet. It's just that this is where I am, now.
To write for writing's sake lol lol, which I guess what writing is.
I didn't want to isolate that sentence with line breaks in order to make it seem more poignant, I'm just trying to show you how my thinking is collapsing when getting more closer to the finish line. Like in the beginning I had some actual things on my mind, stuff I've been ruminating and waxing, but now we're here in the void, in my reality.
Just like heavy physical exercise (take spinning classes they're surprisingly hardcore), this has worn me down, sucked out all my energy. But does this uplift you like spinning or jogging does?