Received this box today, from Germany, released by a tape label called Darkness Shall Rise. The box contains all survived recordings by my first ‘serious’ band, Thergothon, from 1991-1992. Recording-wise, there’s no surprises to those who’ve followed the vinyl reissues of the recent years, except for the fact they’ve been remastered for the tape format and sound as good they can on this magnetic media.
Of more interest to completists is the included 80-page booklet featuring lots of photos and press clips from my archive – old interviews published in zines at the time and such.
And the most meaningful to me personally is the lengthy piece of text I wrote for the box set, collecting all my memories related to Thergothon from the period of 1990–1993. It includes quite a bit of trivia previously unsaid as well as some awkward things I’d rather have forgotten… but it’s all there for the sake completion. Everything I can say about the subject matter is in that box. So in the future if someone still has some questions I’ll just refer to this text. Mission accomplished on that front!
The Unfolding – Themes & Variations, the first new album of new music/sound from me in six years (since Khôra of 2013). As the title indicates, it is based on recordings made for the installation The Unfolding (2018), developed further to work as five individual sound pieces (sans the installation’s projected imagery) that together form a 71 minutes whole.
Recommended mode of digestion: alone, in a darkened space, with good soundsystem or headphones.
Additionally, there’s a ‘Special Research Edition‘ limited to only 20 copies (!), including the CD, download and an exclusive 24-page research document featuring artwork, articles, and related things. As of writing this, a few copies remain unreserved, secure yours now.
I’m happy to announce that two short films I made a few years ago will be screened at the Iiriksen AaVeet event in Kino Iiris, Lahti, Friday November 22. Only a handful of people have seen either of them so far*, so we could call it a rare opportunity.
Through My Dreams Like a Knife (2014) a dialogueless black & white short film about self-reflection, wandering and transformation. Shot in the summer of 2013 in Perniö, Teisko and Venäjänkangas.
3rd Mind (for Bill & Brion) (2013) was inspired by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, especially their cinematic experiments with Antony Balch, as well as – obviously – their idea about the third mind that is present in every fruitful collaboration.
Both flicks feature Ovro aka Satu K and myself, both behind and in front of the camera. Both are true zero-budget DIY works made for the the love of making them, and as such quite personal and introspective.
( * I know. I should put more emphasis on promoting things, but it seems somewhat against my process-oriented nature. When I’m done with something I’m eager to move on to a new project…)
About 21 years ago, in August 1998, my debut album was released. In order to celebrate a little bit, in an almost private matter (I’m not a party person), a small edition called Grey Bloom XXI Anniversary Set was made, containing the original 12″LP from 1998 (my last copies), plus the tracks restored & remastered from original tapes on CDR + download, with booklet, plus an art print to go.
GREY BLOOM [xero vol zero] 12″LP, my debut solo album, was released in August 1998 on Some Place Else in an edition of 210 copies. The last 20 copies were archived years ago, they have been unearthed for this set.
GREY BLOOM [XXI Engram Recall] CDR presents the album material restored from the original 4-track source tapes. Remastered faithfully to the originals and the artist’s intent. Includes download code. Comes with 8-page info/art booklet.
“Grey Bloom 93” art print is a photograph selected from the series shot on film back in 1993, used on the original album art. Dimensions: 30cm x 30cm (image 23cm x 18cm).
My latest solo exhibition opened on Tuesday at Galleria Uusi Kipinä in Lahti. The audiovisual installation The Unfolding (in finite space) will be there to be experienced up to July 14. Despite the usual difficulties with funding and the like, the installation turned out pretty awesome.
On a whim I decided to make a small edition CDR album that collects various soundscapes produced for (or otherwise related to) The Unfolding. However, due to sudden problems with the printer, I got only 6 copies made! That’s a future rarity, if something. A few of these are for sale on the PARAFERAL shop, grab yours now!
The album, called The Unfolding – Themes & Variations, is also available as a download via a bunch of codes that can be found at the gallery, while the exhibition is on.
I made a small edition of my thesis book Uneasy Ride – Chasing Freedom, Facing Devastation available for ‘public consumption’. Published by PARAFERAL, the edition is 20 copies only. As of writing this a few copies are up for grabs via the renewed PARAFERAL website.
Written in English, rich in photographic illustrations. Pro-printed, softcover, 80 pages. Size 20 cm x 25 cm.
This thesis examines the essential themes of the road movie film genre and their relation to certain contemporary issues and my own artistic practice. The point of view is that of a visual artist who works with moving image and sound and who reveres sovereignty and equality, suffers from climate anxiety and drives an automobile. In addition to the written part, the thesis consists of an artistic production which is a video installation.
The research material consists of a selection of films, beginning with classic American road movies. The thesis also examines a number of films that are not road movies per se, but they serve as a continuation of the themes, illustrating a vision of a near future that is undesirable but at worst inevitable. Additionally the text examines selected experimental films that are either relevant to the subject matter or influential to the author’s working methods and aesthetic practices. The literary research material includes books and articles that elaborate on the themes brought forth in the films from various points of view.
The research begins with various phenomena influential to the emergence of the road movie genre, from the developments in cinema and technology to the counterculture movements of the 1960s. The themes selected for further study are the pursuit of freedom, the rebellion, and the transformation of the passenger enabled by the journey. The themes are entwined with the Western notions of freedom and the human condition, the long history of consciousness expansion, and environmental disasters.
Additionally the text describes the two-channel video installation also called Uneasy Ride. The artistic process at the crossroads of image, sound and the selected themes is discussed. Most of the material for the work was filmed on the road. The filming trips and the writing overlapped and influenced each other, in particular the experiences of being on the road sustained the written part.
The written part of the thesis uses the films as a metaphor of the human condition and the current global problems surrounding us. The artistic part attempts to communicate on an emotional level and by audiovisual means something unattainable by words alone.
Printed Sources Alanen, Antti and Ilppo Pohjola. Sähköiset unet. Musiikkivideot: Miten taiteesta tuli pop. Helsinki: VAPK-kustannus, 1992. Allen, Stewart Lee. Paholaisen juoma. Translated from English by Seppo Hyrkäs. Helsinki: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö, 2000. Archer, Neil. The Road Movie: In Search of Meaning. New York: Wallflower Press, 2016. Atkinson, Michael. ‘‘Crossing The Frontiers.’’ Sight and Sound 4, no. 1, January 1994. Berlin, Isaiah. “Two Concepts of Liberty.” Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969. Brakhage, Stan. Metaphors on Vision. N.p.: Film Culture Inc., 1963. Burroughs, William S. Last Words: The Final Journals of Willliam S. Burroughs. New York: Grove Press, 2000. Burroughs, William S. and Brion Gysin. The Third Mind. New York: The Viking Press, 1978. Charters, Ann, ed. Beat Down to Your Soul: What Was the Beat Generation? London: Penguin Books, 2001. Grant, Barry Keith, ed. Film Genre: Theory and Criticism. Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1977. Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell. London: Random House, 2004. Joseph, Branden W. Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts After Cage. New York: Zone Books, 2008. Kerouac, Jack. Matkalla. (Finnish translation, translated by Lauri Lehtinen.) Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Tammi, 1998. Kuri, José Férez, ed. Brion Gysin: Tuning in to the Multimedia Age. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003. Laderman, David. Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002. Lebel, Robert. Marcel Duchamp. New York: Grove Press, 1959. Lee, Martin A. & Bruce Shlain. Acid Dreams. The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, The Sixties, and Beyond. New York: Grove Press, 1985. McKenna, Terence. Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge. London: Rider & Company, 1992. Möller, Olaf. “To Die Without God.” Filmihullu, June 2012. Pinchbeck, Daniel. How Soon is Now? From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation. London: Watkins Publishing, 2017. Rees, A.L. A History of Experimental Film and Video. London: BFI Publishing, 1999. Rodley, Chris. Lynch on Lynch. (Finnish translation, translated by Lauri Lehtinen.) Helsinki: Like, 1998. Rubin, David S., ed. Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2010. Rudgley, Richard. The Alchemy of Culture: Intoxicants in Society. London: British Museum Press, 1993. Stouffer, Hannah, ed. Juxtapoz Psychedelic. Berkeley: Gingko Press, 2014. Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture. London: The University of Chicago Press, 2006. Youngblood, Gene. Expanded Cinema. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co Inc., 1970.
Online Sources Banks, Hanly. “Monte Hellman on Two Lane Blacktop and the Road Movie.” Fader, May 02, 2011. Accessed April 1, 2018. http://www.thefader.com/2011/05/02/interview-monte-hellman-on-two-lane-blacktop-and-the-road-movie Bick, Andreas. “The Concept of ‘Sound Object’ (objet sonore) by Pierre Schaeffer.” Silent Listening. Accessed February 1, 2018. https://silentlistening.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/the-concept-of-„sound-object“-objet-sonore-by-pierre-schaeffer/ Briggs, Helen. “Plastic from tyres ‘major source’ of ocean pollution.” BBC News, February 22, 2017. Accessed April 6, 2018. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39042655 Davis, Matthew. “Drive-in Theatres refuse to fade away.” BBC News, October 13, 2005. Accessed April 1, 2018. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4332896.stm Hartlaub, Peter. “Nicolas Cage tries, but too bad – the Ghost Rider can’t save his own movie.” SF Gate, February 17, 2007. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/REVIEW-Nicolas-Cage-tries-but-too-bad-the-2648304.php Haslem, Wendy. “Great Directors: Maya Deren.” Senses of Cinema, December 2002. Accessed April 8, 2018. http://sensesofcinema.com/2002/great-directors/deren-2/ Hojnicki, Carrie. “Cracked Tales of Cocaine on Wall Street.” Business Insider, July 13, 2012. Accessed April 6, 2018. http://www.businessinsider.com/wall-street-cocaine-stories-2012-7?r=US&IR=T Hurault-Paupe, Anne. “The paradoxes of cinematic movement: is the road movie a static genre?” Miranda [Online], 10/2014. Accessed March 7, 2018. http://miranda.revues.org/6257 King, Tracy. “No, Max Mad Max: Fury Road is not a feminist masterpiece (but that’s OK).” The New Statesman, May 20, 2015. Accessed March 23, 2018. https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/05/no-mad-max-fury-road-not-feminist-masterpiece-s-ok Liu, Marian. “Great Pacific Garbage Patch now three times the size of France.” CNN International Edition, March 23, 2018. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/23/world/plastic-great-pacific-garbage-patch-intl/index.html Long, Tony. “Sept. 26, 1983: The Men Who Saved the World by Doing… Nothing” Wired, Sept. 26, 2009. Accessed March 4, 2018. https://www.wired.com/2007/09/dayintech-0926-2/ Mondello, Bob. “Remembering Hollywood’s Hays Code, 40 Years On.” National Public Radio. Accessed April 8, 2018. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93301189 Ojibwa. “Vision Quest Among the Southern Plains Tribes.” Native American Netroots. Accessed April 1, 2018. http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/578 Rowin, Michael J. “Movies To Take Drugs To: Jordan Belson’s Trippy Shorts.” LA Weekly, March 24, 2011. Accessed April 7, 2018. http://www.laweekly.com/film/movies-to-take-drugs-to-jordan-belsons-trippy-shorts-2169707 Shea, Andrea. “Jack Kerouac’s Famous Scroll, ‘On the Road’ Again.” National Public Radio. Accessed March 30, 2018. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11709924 Siff, Stephen. “The Illegalization of Marijuana: A Brief History.” Origins vol. 7, issue 8, May 2014. Accessed April 8, 2018. http://origins.osu.edu/article/illegalization-marijuana-brief-history/ 78 / Simner, Julia. “Why are there different types of synesthete?” Frontiers of Psychology, September 2, 2013. Accessed April 10, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3759026/ Singer, Leigh. “Blue Velvet: five films that influenced David Lynch’s shocking masterpiece.” BFI, updated June 16, 2017. Accessed April 8, 2018. http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/features/blue-velvet-five-films-influenced-david-lynch-s-shocking-masterpiece Smith, Kyle. “Why ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is the feminist picture of the year.” New York Post, May 14, 2015. Accessed March 23, 2018. https://nypost.com/2015/05/14/why-mad-max-fury-road-is-the-feminist-picture-of-the-year/ Sragow, Michael. “Steven Spielberg: Force Behind the Box Office, From ‘Jaws’ to ‘E.T.’” Rolling Stone. Accessed April 2, 2018. https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/features/a-conversation-with-steven-spielberg-19820722 Sugrue, Thomas J. “Driving While Black: The Car and Race Relations in Modern America”. Automobile in American Life and Society. Accessed April 1, 2018. http://www.autolife.umd.umich.edu/Race/R_Casestudy/R_Casestudy.htm Wallace, David Foster. “David Lynch Keeps His Head.” Premiere, September 1996. Published online at http://www.lynchnet.com/lh/lhpremiere.html – accessed August 8, 2018. Zazarine, Paul. “Kowalski’s Last Ride.” Muscle Car Review, March 1986. Published online at http://www.angelfire.com/id/newssection/VP.html – accessed May 23, 2018. Zizek, Slavoj. “On David Lynch.” Zizek.uk, March 1, 2012. Accessed 23 July, 2018. http://zizek.uk/on-david-lynch/ “Drowning in plastic: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of France.” The Telegraph, April 24, 2009. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/5208645/Drowning-in-plastic-The-Great-Pacific-Garbage-Patch-is-twice-the-size-of-France.html “Ghost Rider.” Rotten Tomatoes. Accessed January 31, 2018. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ghost_rider/ “Sea Level Rise & Global Warming.” Union of Concerned Scientists. Accessed July 30, 2018. https://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/infographic-sea-level-rise-global-warming.html “Vanishing Point (1971).” Elonet Kansallisfilmografia. Accessed April 9, 2018. https://www.elonet.fi/fi/elokuva/115119
Film & Video Belson, Jordan, dir. Mandala. 1953. YouTube video, 00:40, excerpt. Posted by “Cvm Programs”, June 11, 2017. Accessed July 30, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH60wa2TuSk Belson, Jordan, dir. Allures. 1961. YouTube video, 07:17. Posted by “Denial”, October 30, 2017. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlcB5psKz5Y Brakhage, Stan, dir. Cat’s Cradle. 1959. YouTube video, 06:20. Posted by “Sergio Mota”, November 22, 2008. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cur2P5Ym3Yw Brakhage, Stan, dir. Mothlight. 1963. YouTube video, 03:25. Posted by “phospheneca”, June 4, 2009. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt3nDgnC7M8 Brakhage, Stan, dir. Dog Star Man. 1961-64. YouTube video, 1:14:33. Posted by “Andrew Balauger”, November 21, 2016. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb5Ko_sTwlc Conrad, Tony, dir. The Flicker. 1966. YouTube video, 01:39, excerpt. Posted by “REVOIRVIDEO”, July 20, 2012. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY5VryfCRig Hellman, Monte, dir. Two-Lane Blacktop. 1971. Vimeo video, in two parts, 53:25 and 49:35. Posted by “Car Chase Wonderland”. Accessed January 14, 2018. Part 1: https://vimeo.com/196953402 Part 2: https://vimeo.com/197761616 Hopper, Dennis, dir. Easy Rider. 1969. Netflix, 95:00. Accessed December 6, 2017. Lynch, David, dir. Lost Highway. 1997. N.p.: Sandrew Metronome, 2002. DVD. Lynch, David, dir. Wild at Heart. 1990. N.p.: Universal, 2010. Blu-ray. Lynch, David, dir. The Straight Story. 1990. N.p.: Channel 4, 2008. DVD. Miller, George, dir. Mad Max. 1979. Solna: Warner Bros, 2013. Blu-ray. Miller, George, dir. Mad Max II: The Road Warrior. 1981. Solna: Warner Bros, 2013. Blu-ray. Miller, George, dir. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. 1985. Solna: Warner Bros, 2013. Blu-ray. Miller, George, dir. Mad Max: Fury Road. 2015. Solna: Warner Bros, 2015. Blu-ray. Nguyen, Jon, dir. David Lynch: The Art Life. 2016. Yle Teema, March 21, 2018. Pohjola, Ilppo, dir. Asphalto. 1998; Helsinki: Crystal Eye, 2004. DVD. Pohjola, Ilppo, dir. Routemaster. 1999; Helsinki: Crystal Eye, 2004. DVD. Pohjola, Ilppo, dir. 1 Plus 1 Plus 1 – Sympathy for the Decay. 2012. Helsinki: Crystal Eye, 2012. DVD (screening preview disc). Salles, Walter, dir. On the Road. 2012. Yle Teema, March 9, 2016. Sarafian, Richard C., dir. Vanishing Point. 1971. N.p.: Twentieth Century Fox, 2006. DVD. Snow, Michael dir. Seated Figures. 1988. Vimeo video, 22:15, excerpt. Posted by “Images Festival”. Accessed January 31, 2018. https://vimeo.com/40316663 Spielberg, Steven, dir. Duel. 1971. YouTube video, 1:29:14. Posted by “Jill Shirley Dini”, February 23, 2017. Accessed March 23, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc9kpbxufRA Starr, Jason, dir. Reflecting Thought: Stan Brakhage. 1985. YouTube video, 27:27. Posted by “CircuitoNomadica”, February 28, 2015. Accessed July 27, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tVu_AT_zk8 Whitney, John, dir. Permutations. 1968. YouTube video, 7:53. Posted by “jordotech”, December 14, 2015. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdYxJ85RSds Whitney, John, dir. Matrix. 1971. YouTube video, 6:20. Posted by “jordotech”, December 14, 2015. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryKT1uIPIaI
Music Judas Priest. Defenders of the Faith. N.p: Columbia, 1984. LP. Various Artists. Easy Rider (Music from the Soundtrack). N.p.: Universal, 2000. CD. Various Artists. Lost Highway. N.p.: Nothing Records, 1996. CD.
Installing the exhibition at GalleriaKONE. Photo by Satu Karhumaa.
For the last few months I’ve been mostly absent from all social contacts (virtual and otherwise) apart from what’s absolutely necessary. It’s a common side effect when I focus all my thoughts and energy to something I’m working on. It is an internal process to which social chatter is distractive and disruptive, even. (Having said that, my sincere apology to all friends & associates I’ve unintentionally neglected recently… I miss you and wish to have a chat over coffee/beer/etc asap!)
The last few months I worked intensively to finalize the work that is now out there as BLACKTOP/DISSECTION. The whole process was rather lengthy, beginning some two and half years ago as my MA thesis. After completing the thesis the work continued and expanded to new levels of depth.
I feel like I’ve been held captive by this work for the last few months (and more). It has made me drive the highways, trawl the forest paths and dig through my archives in search for material. It has woken me up in the early hours with ideas for editing, composing and fear of failure. Now that it’s out there in the world I finally feel free. It turned out right and the current gallery presentation is fine.
It is likely, though, there will be other works related to this one. It’s been a long process and many aspects researched and developed are not yet present in the current incarnation. For instance, a lot of sound and music was made, out of which only a small portion is currently audible in the installation. Having worked in the context of album-length music for many years, I automatically think about making an album out of these sounds… but let’s see how things turn out.
The feelings I’m currently having make me think about the fluctuation of energy related to the creative process. (Note to science buffs: I’m writing about ‘vital energy’ which is somewhat mysterious and esoteric and may not follow the known laws of physics, so bear with me.) After investing a great deal of vital energy to a process, the energy is released in the form of a completed artwork (or something else, depending on the process of course). A period marked by exhaustion often follows. The shortage of energy feels like a vacuum within. The vacuum’s tendency towards implosion has some similarities to feelings of burnout, depression and the like, and it may lead to those if not handled with care and proper attention to what’s going on.
The void will eventually be filled with new energy. Sometimes, the void draws in unhealty energy that may manifest as depression, mania or other ‘malfunctions’ of the mind. I’m sure every creative person intuitively knows this, but not everyone is consciously aware or capable of dealing with it. I’ve had my share of depression and other woes in the past and, although having learnt a thing or two about myself and these processes over the years, will probably have some more in the future.
As of right now, though, I’m acutely observing this fine balance of an attractive void to be saturated by various kinds of energies circling around it. Imagine a spiral of stars around a massive black hole…
I don’t remember having observed this ‘background process’ this consciously before. Obviously my interest lies in the direction of energies, inviting positives and banishing negatives. Now that there’s time for rest and recreation and no pressure (internal or otherwise) to initiate a new project (even though there are plenty waiting on the drawing board… they can wait), the odds should be on my side.
I may post more about this shortly. Or perhaps, this self-research could form the basis for an altogether new work. Remains to be seen.
To briefly break the silence, my next solo show opens on Friday the 29th March at GalleriaKONE, Hämeenlinna. It’s the premiere of my new work called BLACKTOP/DISSECTION, a two-part two-channel video installation.
Posted a selection of lithographic art prints I made a couple of years back on Instagram, willing to part with these, if you’re interested in obtaining one or more please get in touch. The pics posted are cropped & optimized for Instagram, full images of the prints available on request.
As of writing this there are reservations on a couple but don’t hesitate to inquire. Thanks!
All of the above are xerox lithographies, my favourite printmaking technique. Every plate is unique, edition here means how many plates with a similar motif and design were made in the session.