Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Request

I am working on some videos out here in the dark Finnish forest, and much of my music is not with me. So, I am asking pals to send me an mp3 in the internet mail.

My first request is for your favorite, most aggressive, sad, energetic, or whimpering pop scream. I am thinking rock and roll yells, but interpret it however you like. If you are equipped to record your own shouts, that would also be great. If you are sending me a blood curdling yell from someone else's song, would you include the title of the song and the artist? And if you cut the yell out of its context, will you leave a little of the lead in and lead out in there?

You can send it right here.
Oh, and if this request is just a pain in your butt, tell me.

Thank you for your audio support.
ct, phones home.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holiday

Finnish Christmas Traditions:
Christmas Eve- Go to the cemetery and put lit candles on the graves of family members and also on the graves of strangers if some of your dead family members are buried far away. Eat light dinner. Many snacks. Evening mass.
Christmas Day- Go to early morning mass (7am here!) and clean the house. FUN. Big dinner: carrot mash up, a whole pig, potatoes, pickled fish, ricey moist bread stuff, berry cheesecake, creamy chopped mushroom pudding, and other things that remain mysterious to me.
Christmas Day 2- I don't know about this, but people with families don't really want to hang out because it is a family day.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Timeline for the future uninc.

From Cabinet Magazine's Timeline of Timelines:
"Laurence Sterne's novel, Tristram Shandy, includes a set of sketches indicating the non-linear path of a well-told story; narrative digressions appear as deviations from a straight line.

I found this image when I was trying to find ideas for how to communicate ideas of chronology when I am speaking with Finnish people about the future. The idea I have had for a visualization is to use one of the many photos I have found of the local city of Mikkeli as it is reflected almost perfectly in a nearby lake.

The reason I like using this image as a visual metaphor is that I want to create a link between my interviewee's personal futures and the future of others outside of their direct contact. A visual to explain the Bell's Theorem that is inside their personal narrative.

The idea is that the individual is represented by the concrete buildings, the trees and the things that represent their material reality, and the reflection of these things in the water can represent the rippling effect of their actions.

So this is the first image I have used. The timeline will go through the center, horizontally. The top line is the personal story, the bottom is the story of everything else imaginable.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Miyuki Kido


She makes houses out of paper. Her works are universal symbols and they function where language stops in communication. Ever so gently they exist as a tiny powerline between her heart and everyone else’s. She has developed this language through her own craft of paper macheing, of which she is a professional expert. Her work is generally tiny. She also uses very simple but sensitive language to communicate about her work. She says that in Japan, there is the infatuation with tiny models based on the idea that the universe can fit in your hand. I see that she is creating tiny worlds, like warm microcosms. They are paper boxes that you can see into. Everyone can see into them and everyone can see everyone in them.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dog Garden Network

Here in Haukivuori, there is a network of Dog Gardens. The owners of the gardens don't want anyone to know. Instead of growing grass or having children play in their yards, they have mazes of chain link fences connecting little modules of dog groups, unclassified by size, shape or breed.

My local garden has a minimum of 27 dogs, but sometimes there seems to be a few more or less. It is about 300 meters from where I stay.

There is not much noise pollution in Haukivuori, so if a door should open, or if a person shifts positions in their sleep, it causes a wild caucophony of singing bored dogs. The many different sizes and shapes of dogs make all different types of barkings, woofs, or waachk-waachk (japanese translation). It sounds sometimes like a symphony. Nothing baroque or flowery but like a really angry (maybe a little inspired by Lord) version of 'The Rite of Spring' for the dark of winter. But these dogs wouldn't participate in a Russian song, they are Finnish. So it would be the Finnish version.

The anger inspired by the Dog Gardens in itself is an orchestra of frustration. There is nothing easier to bring up in a conversation with the nearby home dwellers than the dogs. As commonly happens, when someone is drawing a map for me of the area, all I must ask for orientation sake (and to create some excitement) is where the dog garden is. The fury invoked by the dog songs might be compounded to produce a sound much louder than all the actual 24 hour howlings do. The time spent plotting against the garden include: plans to move the dog part of the yard to the other side of the house where the sound would be absorbed by the forest, recording and replaying the dog sounds to the dogs and the owner at an extreme volume, creating a way for the dogs to escape and then catching one and torturing it in front of the others, and my own: hiring a someone to conduct the orchestra. A professional. Hiroshi, can you do it?

Ahh, and the network. Today I met Ana, the public school art and cooking teacher from Mikkeli- the nearest city. This renaissance woman also runs marathons, or she did before she broke her wrist in two places playing volleyball. During the last marathon, she passed the second dog garden of her time. She was so fearful (as she is of our local dog garden) of the dogs escaping and chasing her that she couldn’t pass near the yard. She made a detour and sacrificed her running score time. In a conversation some time after the run she learned that the Finnish government shut down this second dog garden. This is a confusing event because though the Finns require a contract, a license, a series of papers, a signature, and a formal dinner party with a special dance in order to say, get permission to use a new type of scanner, to have a dog garden is unquestionable. This is lucky for the neighbors of all dog gardens of Finland. The owner was arrested and the dogs taken away. One neighborhood is free from dog symphony, but not ours.

Mysterious as it may be, it is also clear that the clever and evil owners of the dogs know eachother, they are friends. They know all the other dog garden owners in South Savo, and they know what they are doing to these wonderful quiet neighborhoods. This much is clear. I am not allowed to say anything else about this.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Deep Winter Theory Folklore

Today I picked up a brochure for some sort of Suomi Cultural Institution. I know it is for a cultural institution because of the gloss of the brochure and the weight of the paper, the design of the booklet, and the building pictured on the cover, which screams when it was built and why.
The simple idea that occurred to me this evening is because of the picture of this universal late 1990's to early 2000's image of a museum- all romantically reflected in some overlit pond-- that I could identify everything but place in this photo. The museum's reflection in the water is superimposed so it is a perfect vertical mirror reflection, creating sideways symmetry. The gaussian blur used on the reflection part is ever so slight, just barely admitting to be a reflection at all- however it does represent itself as 'reflection in water' enough to read as such without too much squinting and straining. So I argued to myself that the reflection is timebased and the building is more representative of space. So I cut it out. The photo of the non-reflection is real space, its mirror changes with the time of day. Architecture=space, water=time.

This seems politically correct or something. But I am looking around at these places with the descriptions on the signs I cannot read. And I know the visual lingo, though it wants to be indistinct. Colors, shapes, window sizes, landscaping... they all know what they are doing to their visitors, and it has been agreed internationally that a white box with bluish tinted windows adjacent to a well lit puddle means museum. But who knows where the museum is by looking at it? The only thing I can read is what time period it was made, I can guess who made it or what or who the design was appropriated from, and in the photo I can see that it is nighttime when the photo was taken. So it was not taken in Finland in the summer.

So phew. Now that I have achieved status as MA of the Obvious, I get to the point. Time is winning in the scheme of things. Time is a bigger force that space, and it might even have space tied around its smallest appendage. In Finland, time is very slow, which makes space bigger. Buildings are shorter but they feel taller because time is so slow that a short walk becomes long. If you find a building and look up you are so tired and cold that the building is immense. Two floors, each 29 floors high.

And this leads me to proclaim that Finland is a bright black hole.
Ever since I got lost in the big forest last week, I have been much more sensitive to the details of this place. With so much wildlife and such complex relationships between all the wildlives (I found moss that was holding a foreign dead leaf onto a living but bald tree), the interchanges between all the little lives are so dense that they take up space. There is a lot of matter here, but there is an extra layer of interaction between mosses, trees, farmers, mushrooms, bears, and ivy that fills the air. Put your ear to the ground though, and everything shuts up. Quiet. Like nothing is going on. When you step on a bunch of frozen weeds it sounds like an earthquake. There is nothing here if you are tuned to urban energy, but the silence is so filled with action that it is stifling.

A black hole happens when there is so much matter in one minute little space that the gravitational force from all directions is so strong that it explodes all the light out. That's why it is dark here. So much matter made from so many layers of conversations between teeny mosses and old trees that the whole place got yanked in every direction (for only a few months a year) and so it is now dark. The light is all other places. Luckily the snow stores up what it can during the fall and slowly and methodically releases it around noon each day so that for a few minutes Fins can go outside to pick some potatoes.

Finland (FI) = bright black hole (BBH)
BBH = so much matter that the light explodes out (m(n)LEO)
architecture signifies time and evolution
water signifies space, depending on my mood.

Roni Horn in Iceland, CT in Haukivuori

Mirror, Desert And Mirror
Not Being Here

Here I am. Everywhere I look—north, south, close, and far—I see the same thing. An unusual position to be in, an unusual place too; but is it a place at all? Is it the place that doesn’t change or is it boredom—my mind busily extinguishing all difference out there? There’s a mirror in boredom and the reflection makes it impossible to distinguish between myself and the place I’m in. Somewhere along in time I started to look the other way. Maybe it was in the beginning. Maybe I started out looking the other way and that’s why I can’t recognize the place I’m in. Or maybe I just haven’t come to a place that draws me out. Maybe I’ve only been in a place that keeps me seeing in, not out, and as long as I’m in a place like this I may never arrive.
I was walking for some time. It felt like a circle, I was the center. The sameness of the place obsessed me. It was hard to believe that anything out there could be so uniform. I’d look out, out from between my partially opened lids, each view framed and ticked by my lashes. But the lashes made it clear, they were my lashes, they were a part of me. They moved when I moved. They distinguished me, assuring that I was not the place I was in.
Here I am, I’m thinking about something, I’m thinking around something not here, about looking slowly, almost staring. I’m sweating even though it’s cold out. My gaze lingers on things not here, my gaze mingles wonder at the nothing out here and the distance of what’s inside me. And even though I haven’t arrived yet I wonder what I’m doing here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The new homeless. We are establishing our own landmarks, naming places, finding poetry.

Everyone knows you in Haukivuori. That is what I have been told. Everyone knows I am here, they know where I live. Haukivuori was its own town but as it has been bereaved of its independent status. The end has been mourned in the blogs I have read, and by the last mayor (at the christmas fair in the public gym) who will preside over Haukivuori as an independent town, autonomous and proud, with its own town meetings. When I got into the Saksala Artradius minibus from the bus station in Mikkeli, the first topic of conversation was all about the new Haukivuori, which is now being taken as part of Mikkeli, the larger town on the block. The new buildings, oh the ugly new buildings. The bureaucracy, it is so much! The colorless powerpoints that go on for hours, the focus outward on tourism, the lack of funding for the arts! And then there are those barking dogs. Oh the dogs, they are so bored. No one is taking care of them. Listen to them barking all night. Why can’t they bark on the other side of the house. And the son of the woman who owns the dogs, he is so clever but once when he was late for school, it was unearthed that no one helped him wake up! A mother and a father who don’t wake their son up! And he doesn’t have any good winter boots!

“The ensuing exploitation soon demands airports, military, and paramilitary bases to defend what is being siphoned off, and collaboration with the local mafiosi. Tribal war, famine, and genocide may follow.

“People in such zones lose all sense of residence: children become orphans (even when they are not), women become slaves, men desperadoes. Once this has happened, to restore any sense of domesticity takes generations. Each year of such accumulation prolongs the Nowhere in time and space. -Ten Dispatches About Place by John Berger

Everything is changing. The story of Haukivuori sounds like the story of the everyplace, and everyplace is boring. It won’t be a village, it will be a zone. It’s ok! It will have wi-fi! This is the conemporary struggle. Don’t you want to go organic now that you read about what that is on your aunt’s wifi in Mikkeli? Then surrender your cute well built homes for shipping containers that can be easily stacked and floated in the many Finnish lakes after the forests are cleaned out and the earth is shipped elsewhere to build mountains for indoor waterparks in post-climate change tropical Canada. No one I have encountered has complained about the massive deforestation that is taking place on the edge of every forest. It seems to be a fact of life that is not worth talking about. What about the lakes? People are draining the lakes!?

“The Caribbean writer Edouard Glissant puts this very well: “the way to resist globalisation is not to deny globality, but to imagine what is the finite sum of all possible particularities and to get used to the idea that, as long as a single particularity is missing, globality will not be what it should be for us.” -big B

Another note of advice as given by two locals: Don’t read the news, because you can’t do anything about it. It is unrelated to your actual life here in Haukivuori. Sadness of other people will ruin your experience when you should be writing your own story unaffected by exterior affairs.
If you did read the news, you might celebrate the fact that there was only one piece of trash to be found on the street during 6 hours of wandering.

I will be establishing landmarks, naming places, finding poetry.
Give up on the way things were, Haukivuori: “We can foresee a whole new geography, a kind of pilgrimage-map in which holy sites are replaced by peak experiences” Hakim Bey, TAZ

Escaping Noplace and Notime

New ideas abound in no specific direction. There is no escape. Maybe I will have to complete something.

‘“Escape” is one of those words I cannot hear without abandoning myself to endless ruminations. The search for the anchor in which I am engaged seems to indicate for me an avenue for escape, perhaps a metamorphosis, a resurrection. With a shudder I dismiss the thought that the prison is my mortal body and the escape that awakes me the separation of the soul, the beginning of a life beyond this earth.’ –yeah yeah it is another stinking quote from If on a winter’s night… it is a really good one for universal quotes for a lonely girl in the winter.

A loss of imagination would leave me stuck in whatever situation I land in, mediocre and without a wandering wondering desire to imagine things outside and away. It is so easy to slip into survivial mode in easy or hard times, but hopefully one can always imagine another world where space and time aren’t so long. You can’t live in an imaginary world if you cannot imagine it. You can get stuck in bleak grey and white reality if you aren’t careful. So no escapism, just a contract with Finland that my body is here but my brain can and will escape into the netherlands of the neverlands.In a more logistical direction:
I think it is a good idea to use this solo time, especially this empty space before I fill it up with a project, with copious amounts of email exchange. This has been decided to be ok with my inner management. The human relations department in me likes to write and to read the notes of others. I would like to initiate contact with all the army of office workers, homeless people, and perpetual inbox checkers in NY who I have failed to involve in a serious conversation in the last year of ridiculous kinetic energy. I might have to make a format for it so that I feel a good excuse to take it seriously, and maybe one or two others will as well. I am clearly not getting enough attention from the homeland.

I also think it would behoove me to write a new artist statement and to spend the time I usually wouldn’t to work it out, refine it, and to let it show me who is boss.

I would like to work on a video I have been thinking about where I use still photos I have taken in sequence and to weave them together with drawings and blank frames to make tiny narratives that read a little like film, but are so quick that they barely read. I am so mystified and wooed by other people’s teeny products. Products is a bad description. I don’t have a better one. But within the well presented but never featured life clippings of art and non-art friends alike, the little curatorial decisions like one blue set of eyelashes, a mix cd, a pile of books or dvds, a podcast, an unpublished email, a sticker on the notebook, tiny written notes in the journal, a bedroom wall display of jewelry, a good date, or infinite other perfect nothings are my favorite art things. They are fearless and honest, and they have to do directly with a person.

Anyway, I feel an insane amount of fear in showing my identity in my own art. The idea of authorship is a slippery slope for me. When it is intentional and featured as art in a place that advertises it as such it is especially daunting. The cursed responsibility that accompanies the presentation of one’s self as one’s art means that failure weighs ever so heavily on the ego when your friends don’t respond. Avoidance is of the utmost importance for we the weak of knees and other joints and arteries.

This little tiny gesture of packaging little observations or moments that I treasure so that others can like them too is a conscious step towards a braver, more flexible and experimental maker of junk. My life is in fact far more interesting than my art these days, and if I think of this as a mode of communication and a way of keeping people around me close to my experience, this work can take on a new functionality that my other work has never known.

Communication is a missing tooth in my art mouth. Never tried it, never wanted to. Now I don’t have much else since I don’t see people. Not even dead ones or gnomes or fairies (yet). The footage I have is of cars passing, highway fires, bulldozers, wild dogs running, horses standing, walking on the street, walking in the snow, walking on a sidewalk, walking in a forest, riding the bike, riding in a car in North Carolina, and things like this. What I hope is to combine them to find that the aesthetic and my perspective creates a strong enough link between all of them. I hope they tell a story or at least smell like something. That would be so nice.

Shine on sister!

Come on in, it’s cold outside!
I can see the revolution now!

Miyuki is vital to my experience. She is the perfect company for me—we don’t have to talk but we know or I assume we have lots to say, lots of time to figure what those things are. We eat together and wake and sleep together. And I like to pour her the coffee she makes. It is not terribly different from the way I functioned with my mom as a child or with any close friend, roommate, Anne, or other close person. In fact, I think that the main criteria for relationships is if the other person can make the coffee. If they make the coffee I am so very happy to serve it to them and to keep their cup full. I even like to clean the coffee pot after. I will make them a compost pile if they don’t have one and I will put the grounds in it. I will make breakfast to go with the coffee. But if I should go to the bathroom and my coffee gets cold while I am gone, I think it is necessary that they fill up my mug or make sure the coffee is still warm. And if we are in the midst of a conversation, maybe they will make some more. Once, when I was staying with Paul in Berkeley, I missed my plane due to this type of situation. We were sitting in his yard, and the super black coffee kept coming. We were talking about shoelaces and freedom or some such thing, but it could not be stopped by some silly need to return home on time. It was a plane well missed.
Today is already better than other days for several reasons. For one, when I went to bed I was filled with anxiety and it had a lot to do with things I left in NY. Things I left in the fire. But I meant to leave them there and not to let them simmer in my pockets. The woodburner keeps me warm, I don’t need friction in my head and heart.

So I have taken to this midnight yoga, and instead of the normal routine of moving around and trying to empty out my brains, I just spilled them all out on the floor and almost passed out from doing a headstand for as long as I could stand it. Then it was easy to go to sleep. But I woke up at 630 or so with a start. The bad feelings returned. Bad is the wrong adjective. Unsettled. I feel unsettled. That is because I am unsettled, physically, in my routine, my relationships, my thoughts, my stomach. It is what I asked for.
So back to today. It is better. A look outside, a cup of coffee. A shower, and Miyuki making more coffee for me to pour.
She is reading my copy of Invisible Cities because she makes cities out of paper with holes for light to come in. She made dinner last night and after we spent a few hours sitting with our tea and reading our Calvino.
Today is also better because there is a plan. We will walk the long walk to the center of town. We have been warned against this but we are both walkers. To the bone. And if I am not allowed to discover new things I might die. And no one would know. So to whoever might read this, if I die in Finland, it will be in the process of discovering new things, the opposite of how they want it-- in a warm dry room with lots of soft wood things to sit on and drink coffee out of. Also, if anyone is reading this. What are you doing?!
What I mean is:
1. Why are you wasting your precious, well earned or selected free moments?!
2. Do you feel like you are reading my diary? Is that terrible? Maybe I am not so interesting.
3. Why aren’t you writing me a letter? If I told you all this banal stupid nothing, don’t you feel like you must reciprocate? I am such a good listener and all I have is eyes and time. Eyes and time.

4. If you read this, I want to tell you that:
Jesus is cool jesus is scared
Baby you are the only car I drive.
Foolin around fooling myself
Baby you are the only car I drive.
Easy to touch easy to find
Baby you are the only car I drive.
Melts in the mouth
Melts in the hand
Baby you are the only car I drive.
Out of my skin, out of my life
Baby you are the only car I drive.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How shaving ruins time and space

"There is no difference between time and any of the three dimensions of space except that our consciousness moves along it.” The Time Machine, H.G. Wells

And my consciousness is in the toilet much of the day. Freedom to think whatever all the time is not so glamorous at first before it gets comfortable. My thoughts are quite limited:

To shave or not to shave. Maybe I should save that for tomorrow when I am calmer, my hair is longer, I will make a better decision about how to deal with this. It could turn out that I don't shave my legs for the two months I am in Finland. Who would know? Besides, I don't have time to do it right now. There are so many other things I thought I would be working on this morning. How silly of my to sit and debate this.
Actually, I think I should just go ahead and do it. The shower and the whole nine yards. But I AM NOT going to wash my hair. Absolutely not. I have not done anything to cause excess oil or dander that needs to be washed out so soon. I am living and breathing purity, who am I to waste precious water and soap and electricity (I can't NOT dry my hair when it is cold) when I practically AM purity itself. And who knows what my hair will look like if I wash it and dry it in such a dry climate. It could be hideous. And then I would have to wear a hat more often, maybe inside the building, in the studio, in the library, the kitchen... even though I am usually by myself or with Miyuki, looking at my own afro is way more than I can handle. So I will shower. I will shave. I will absolutely not wash my hair.
I am so glad I shaved my legs. And a shower, it is so soothing, so warm, and now I feel as though I officially started the day. It is important to have some sort of signal to self: the day starts... do dee dooh... NOW. It is now clear what has to happen. The day. The formless, flowing, timeless, spaceless, dark day of Haukivuori, Finland.

One thing I get very caught up in in every new place I venture to that has some sort of extreme climate is the effect that the weather has on time and space. I cannot say if time here is longer or shorter, as the days have gone by very quickly with very little sleep. I think the best part of the day is precisely between the hours of 11:30 pm and 2:30 am. It couldn't be any darker or more silent than it is right then.

Back to my spacetime problem- a walk to the gas station/coffee shop/bar (pictured earlier) that takes less than ten minutes to get to is considered a trip. Taking into account the prep time for the walk, I suppose that there is a time commitment that is longer than 10 minutes, but the distance feels physically longer than it would in NY. Because of the bodily discomfort you necessarily experience in travel, you can't help but notice more of your physical experience of walking, and all these details drag time out into noticeable milliseconds; but the noticing takes longer, and soon one milli is three or four. That is one part of the extension. This sort of thorough physical involvement in the experience also effects distance, as every step is a little dance with death. Your right pinky toe is going numb, your sock has a rupture under your heal and a little drip of water got in and is frozen on the bottom of your foot. Where will you step so not to trip on a branch, sink into a secret stream, slip on some ice? And that is assuming you are alone. Mix it up with some slow talking, english as a third language locals where conversation is forced, slow, and broken, and soon your auditory sense is also consumed by the extension of time and space. Further, look up and wonder why you can't see the stars, wonder about the few sounds that survive the silence, notice every detail of the one car you see in your one hour/ten minute walk or that you remember seeing on your other walk--(and why aren't there any cars driving tonight? Is it some sort of holiday?) and then try to understand that this is probably the equivalent of walking two long blocks down Fulton St. in Bed-Stuy. The space time interval between Saksala Artradius and the gas station described on wikipedia timespace article: "Certain types of worldlines are the shortest paths between any two events, with distance being defined in terms of spacetime intervals. The concept... may be thought of as "pure motion" in spacetime, that is, free from any external influences."

so in addition to walking extreme distances, my first few days schedule looks like this:
7:30 am wake up. read articles on computer saved from previous night (no wi-fi in room)
8:00 coffee, continue reading on couch.
9:30 check email in library (down the hall)
10 forest investigation, walking in the vinter vunderlund
11 breakfast with Miyuki (we rotate cooking meals every day)
12 wonder/wander/errands/ try try try or give up and read a story or play with cats, have ideas at the kitchen table, listen to music, fiddle, whittle, mcdiddle.
2pm yoga, meditate
3:30 eat a snack, hang out with Miyuki, read stories
4 nap
7 dinner with Miyuki
9 email, write, look up articles to read in am
11 walk outside, record sounds or take pictures
12 yoga
1am read stories, draw, map ideas
2/2:30 sleep

The idea that I can do anything at anytime is amazing and overwhelming. I crave a structure so that I can take mini vacations. Everything seems really distant, and because it is seemingly impossible to leave my residence, I don't even consider the outside world. So there is my timespace problem for today.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another Flexible Personality

Today is maybe a little bit scary I that it is the beginning...

Geographical dispersal and global coordination, just-in-time production and containerized creativity kits, a generalized acceleration of adaptation, and a flight of barely accumulated capital into the lightning-fast international financial black hole:
International Artists Beware. and take a break from your laptop before it takes away your imaginary 401k.

The Flexible Personality by Brian Holmes was what I read when I woke up.

'... it can be said that the networked organization gives back to the employee—or better, to the "prosumer"—the property of him- or herself that the traditional firm had sought to purchase as the commodity of labor power. Rather than coercive discipline, it is a new form of internalized vocation, a "calling" to creative self-fulfillment in and through each work project, that will now shape and direct the employee's behavior. The strict division between production and consumption tends to disappear, and alienation appears to be overcome, as individuals aspire to mix their labor with their leisure.[26] Even the firm begins to conceive of work qualitatively, as a sphere of creative activity, of self-realization. "Connectionist man"—or in my term, the "networker"—is delivered from direct surveillance and paralyzing alienation to become the manager of his or her own self-gratifying activity, as long as that activity translates at some point into valuable economic exchange, the sine qua non for remaining within the network.

Ahemm. Fear wells up in my throat when I read this. You and me and everyone we know are getting closer to perfection. My perfection exists in a seamless relationship between my ideals and my life, my career and my imagination, my magazine subscriptions and my groceries. I desire intimacy with my boss that is the same as with my best friend, and my paid activities are blurred by my equal devotion for my job as for my personal practices. And no one can tell me that my time spent learning how to bake naan or tracing pictures of Jay-Z doesn't add to my professional practice? I don't even see the bounds between my shower and my job, and I can't see why I am not paid for all of it since one probably wouldn't exist without the other.

I taught an 'action' art course recently where the idea of the performance of every day and the horizontal sacredness of all rituals was a prominent thread. I was teaching what is closest to my heart and to my daily life. I would never deem my habits or practices as a 'calling' but it is possible that I talk about it like it is. My skin crawls to feel that I am part of a movement of 'networkers' working in a 'sphere' that ultimately creates its own models of surveillance, mistrust, and dirtiness that have been designed and serenely embedded by the perfect corporate model. Perhaps we are no longer mocking the corporate systems but sincerely recreating them for ourselves. Maybe I should get a well paying job designing at a company desk so I can afford the subscription to Adbusters and Harpers so I can be inspired to continue on with my seamless payed art dreams.

Fear two: being the 'networker'. By the way, you should really come over for dinner, I have this friend you should really meet. I think you two would have a lot to talk about and the potential to work together or make out or something.

'The computer and its attendant devices are at once industrial and cultural tools, embodying a compromise between control and creativity that has temporarily resolved the cultural crisis unleashed by artistic critique. Freedom of movement, which can be idealized in the figures of nomadism and roving desire, is one of the central features of this compromise. The laptop computer frees the skilled intellectual worker or the nomadic manager for forms of mobility both physical and fantasmatic, while at the same time serving as a portable instrument of control over the casualized laborer and the fragmented production process; it successfully miniaturizes one's access to the remaining bureaucratic functions, while also opening a private channel into the realms of virtual or "fictitious" capital, the financial markets where surplus value is produced as if by magic, despite the accumulating signs of environmental decay. In this way, the organizational paradigm of the network grants an autonomy which can be channeled into a new productive discipline, wherein the management of social relations over distance is a key factor, constantly open to a double interpretation. To recognize this profound ambivalence of the networked computer—that is, the way its communicative and creative potentials have been turned into the basis of an ideology masking its remote control functions—is to recognize the substance and the fragility of the hegemonic compromise on which the flexible accumulation regime of globalizing capital has been built.

First day is thinking day.

Today is the first day I have had time to think in Finland.
So far it has been a long day spent rotating between bed, desk, kitchen table, couch, other kitchen table inside the library, and back around again. I haven't gone outside since last night at 2am.

I officially met my roommate, Mayuki, who I have been thoughtfully paired with by THE MANAGEMENT. By thoughtful I mean that she is friendly and her art is very good. She makes houses out of paper mache that you can look into. There is a series of houses with secret lives happening inside, viewable through a peephole, which are titled something like 'Light comes from the outside' or 'the house of Jack' (I am becoming more sure by the moment that my attempts to remember the titles are only approximations)... Anyway, I hope to interview her in the next few days. We don't speak the same language exactly so it will be a face to face writing/speaking interview of sorts. A buffet of the senses for understanding of a person, all at our little ikea kitchen table in the woods.

Right now I think that we are both trying to figure out what we are doing here in Finland on the edge of many forests and lakes that the weather prohibits us from wandering to.

One thought I had this morning when I woke up with a start at 8am is that in NY I have been in the CHAOS-EFFICIENCY-ARMY, and it has prepared me for the trenches of the silent-order-forest. Like, maybe I can complete a thought or something here. Maybe I can finish a sentence and follow it with another completed sentence about the same idea. But I might not have been ready to do this ever before. Nor would I have known enough to want it. The good news to self is that all signs of schizophrenia melted off of me as I flew over NYC. It is not just me, it is me mixed with the kinetic humping thumping grinding big time city that makes it difficult to concentrate enough to remember that the water is on because I was going to take a bath.

Last night as I was too excited to sleep after a little wandering in the snow, I began to read If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino. How appropriate to come to this:

'It’s all very well for me to tell myself there are no provincial cities any more and perhaps there never were any: all places communicate instantly with all other places, a sense of isolation is felt only during the trip between one place and the other, that is, when you are in no place. I, in fact, find myself here without a here or an elsewhere, recognized as an outsider by the nonoutsiders at least as clearly as I recognize the nonoutsiders and envy them. Yes, envy. I am looking from the outside at the life of an ordinary evening in an ordinary little city, and I realize I am cut off from ordinary evenings for God knows how long, and I think of thousands of cities like this, of hundreds of thousands of lighted places where at this hour people allow the evenings for God knows how long, and I think of thousands of cities like this, of hundreds of thousands of lighted places where at this hour people allow the evening’s darkness to descend and have none of the thoughts in their head that I have in mine; maybe they have other thoughts that aren’t at all enviable, but at this moment I would be willing to trade with any one of them. For example, with one of these young men who are making the rounds of local shopkeepers collecting signatures on a petition to City Hall, concerning the tax on neon signs, and who are now reading it to the barman.

However, I don't actually feel much envy for the people I have seen yet as I usually do. I think that is because I have had very limited experience of people because I am in an extremely remote place. People really don't have nearly the effect on the environment that they have had everywhere else I have ever been. If they have had an impact, it is well covered by snow and trees.

Everyone that I have met has boasted about homemade breads and family recipes, home remedies, ice fishing, and singing, and their clear skin and rosy cheeks brag about their simple life and great skin care products. Ha, just kidding about the skincare products.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

rainbow for sadness

Defrost rainbow at Zurich Airport yesterday.
Harmony competition playground.
Big savings happen close to heaven.
Construction is a natural phenomenon like rainbow.
Forceful traffic patterns form natural wonders too.

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