The book was published in 2009 and printed by JK Ihalainen in Siuron paino. Edition is 500. Publishing of the book was supported by the Art Council of Finland.
If you are interested in purchasing this book, please contact me by email. The price of the book is 15 €, including shipping.
The book was reviewed by Olli-Pekka Tennilä in Tuli ja Savu. “Hybridiaskelia”, 15.8.2011.
Michel de Certeau defines the place as an environment, which one reads in a similar way as language. The place gets signified when it will be pronounced.
According to de Certeau, when one is walking in the environment, one is constantly out of place; in a process of enunciation, searching for meaning. Walking is similar to talking – but to a singular enunciations: dialect, patois, stuttering, mumbling or any other way of speaking without clear signification.
Between 1999 to 2005 I have finalized eight walking pieces in various forms and environments. My relationship to walking or environment has been quite different in each piece, also. To collect these pieces or the documentation of these projects, an artist book ”Käynti” (Gait) will be published in Anti-festival, 2009. This book will be based on textual documentations, memos and interpretations. Each of the project has its own character, context and conceptualization – nevertheless these might have appeared after the finalization of the projects. Some of the works were developed as art-projects, some not so much, but nevertheless this publication will define them as art works. Or, at least part of these events or eventuations had some character of art-works, but might be that larger part of the event does not appear in this representational form.
This project is part of my doctoral studies in the program of Performance Studies and Theory in The Theatre Academy in Helsinki. Title of my research is ”Schizoanalysis of performance art”, and is based on the new aesthetic paradigm articulated by Félix Guattari – among others. Obviously the title is rather a signpost than definite signification, since Guattari himself is propably the only single person every practicing schizoanalysis. Nevertheless, in my research the performance art is seen as a production, and part of a larger discourse of the production of subjectivity. I attempt to research the strategies of production of desires in the field of social environment. The production of subjectivization is a different than the process of general individualization, which in turn creates personalities, and is part of a post-fordist capitalist project. In contrast, the production of subjectivization is based on potentiality and general intellect, and is a transformative force. The production of the self or subject is the bone and marrow of capitalim, it is the basis of all othe production. The creative self has a increasing value on the speculative market.
The book is printed in Siuron paino, a one-man printer, that is run by a poet JK Ihalainen. He prints the book still in offset, and the printer is the only one in Finland that runs with its own electricity generated from the Siuro rapid.
Past Amsterdam, 1999
At 00:00, Monday, 21st of March I begun my 24 hour walking trip without a direction in Amsterdam, from my home address, Egelantierstraat 46. Each hour I turned around and took a polaroid-photograph from the “past” trip, which I had committed. In the next hour, I would staple, tape or otherwise attach this photograph on a tree, bench, wall, etc. Every sixth hour I had a break. I finished my walk on the building of Rijksakademie v.B.K., Sarphatistraat 470, where I was studying at the moment. On the bulletin-board of the academy I left this note, a map of my walk and the last polaroid-picture. During the trip I got mugged twice, thus I felt necessary to interrupt this performance after 18 hours of walking.
There are obvious connections to the practice of The Situationist International and their practice of dérive. I had done seveal walks like that in different cities and often the experiences was something of a paranoia. I was not sure why, exect that it felt obvious to think about it as a result of the city architecture, noise, traffic, etc. Aside from the Situationist I had get to know the works of dutch artist Stanley Brouwn, and his conceptual walks ending up as artists books. Therefore this project was a combination of free-flowing drifting and series of obstructions.
Swarm, Jakarta, 2001
Swarm is the abstract formation of a megalopolis city. I was in search of the traces of swarm in the megalopolis, Jakarta, with recordings and mappings. Traffic in the city was swarm-like and chaotic, but still flowing within it’s concrete channels. The flow of multitudes has a form of swarming in the mental and physical levels. This mapping of physical, mental and ecological space was done in collaboration with the Ruang Rupa artists’ organization in Jakarta.
Deleuze writes about the desire and swarm in the same manner as Guattari:
What is liberated desire? A desire that escapes the impasse of individual private fantasy: it’s not about adapting desire, socializing and disciplining it, but hooking it up in such a way that its process is uninterrupted in the social body, so its expression can be collective. The most important thing is not authoritarian unification, but a kind of infinite swarming: desires in the neighborhood, the schools, factories, prisons, nursery schools, etc. It’s not about a make-over, or totalization, but hooking up on the same plane at its tipping point. As long as we stick to the alternative between the impotent spontaneity of anarchy and the hierarchical and bureaucratic encoding of a party-organization, there can be no liberation of desire. 1
Kopronomia, Chicago, 2003
Love towards what is left, the economy of a waste. I made a walking piece in the city of Chicago, which photographic documentation I used to make a video-piece. During several months I went to explore spaces in my then hometown Chicago, which were “monuments that have forgotten the future”. One starting point was a famous environmental art piece by Robert Smithson called Passaic, New Jersey, from 1967. I wandered around the areas that got to know, at the same time expanding my territory, photographing sites, which had not utilitarian, clear function; sites which until now, or not any more had no meaning.
I paid attention to the lush nature in these sites; it seemed like that all the wild weeds seemed to burst over the boundaries of the signified spaces. The city-plan of Chicago is based on a grid-model. Opposing this utilitarian model, I found this rhizomatic network of a-signifying spaces. The video-work is based on a photographic animation of these sites. For the book I will select some photographs and text.
(SITES OF THE FORGOTTEN FUTURE OF CHICAGO)
Walking is an activitiy based on the human body, which relates directly to the environment. It is movement of a body in space, a way to explore the non-urban environment, nature or the built environment – built by the bodies – monuments, buildings and nonspaces.
Walking is a spiritual practice, political activity and anthro-social expedition, all at the same time. These aspects play a significant role in my work, but the composition of these factors may differ greatly, depending on the specific environment.
One defines the relationship with the environment through the actions. Thus, walking is a political action. The surrounding environment has an affect on us, walking creates an awareness of terrain, breathing, heart beating and eventually one starts to think differently – thinking in 4 mph. Walking is a spiritual practice.
For me the idea of walking in urban environment and as a social behaviour relates to the ideas conceived by the Situationist International in 1950’s and 60’s. Their concept of dérive, ”drifting” was an idea of walking as an effective and playful way to transform the perception of the world and in this way change the structure of the society itself. Walking is a way to define and deconstruct a city.
One reflects the environment, nature or city through oneself. Thus, there is no “nature” outside oneself. Depending on the way of perception, the world is conceptualized by the intellect or the opposite, one is fully immersed in the enthropy of nature.
Walking in an urban environment is a play between these two polarities: I might be fully convinced that everything around me has a rational, pragmatic function, everything in significant. Suddenly, I have to catch my breath, accidentally I lose my balance and then, for an instant the architecture looks different, I become aware of myself in the world. For a walker, the world is different from the world seen through the windshield.
My project for this exhibition is a survey of non-sites in Chicago, inspired by the famous project by Robert Smithson in Passaic, New Jersey in 1967. In my walks I’ve located and documented few hundred sites around my normal daily routes. These places I would define “monuments which have forgotten the future”. They are places, which for the pragmatic mind are “dysfunctional” waste, but through walking around the city, these places have become sites – no matter their physical size – which hold strong presence in their absence of utility. In fact, what constitutes a city and environment has lot to do with empty places and non-signified sites. Urban environment has much more to do with the multiplicity of swarm than with the organized machine, at least when the humans are concerned.
“What stands fast does so, not because it is intrinsically obvious or convincing; it is rather held fast by what lies around it. (Wittgenstein)
Kökar, Åland, 2003
I walked from end to the end of the Kökar island, about 15 kilometres to one direction. First I counted my exhales, and on my way back paces — the way how Romans used to measure the distance. After this, I printed a card with the text below and distributed to all members of the Kökar community. On the both ends of this main road of the island I left a street-sign with the texts: “Franciskuskapellet 6865 Steg” and “Hellsö Brygga 2012”. For the book there will be this text and two photographs:
In a similar way, I counted my exhales during a one-day walking trip from my home in Hyvinkää to a friend’s house in Saapaskylä, in the countryside in Häme. The length of the trip was 45 kilometres. I carried with me a dictaphone, where I recored my thougths. This text will be in the book, including the “exhale-numbers.”
Malmi, Helsinki, 2004
In a similar way, I counted my exhales during another one-day walking trip from Hyvinkää to a Helsinki, capital of Finland. The length of the trip was 60 kilometres. Again I had a dictaphone with me, for the recording of my speech. Aside from that I made some drawings of places and wrote down the street-names I was walking in or crossing over. The book will include the street-names, spoken text, drawings and the “exhale-numbers.”
A memo from a night-walk in the Christmas-time in the mountains, between Poland and Slovakia.
In Sudeten, there is one photograph presented. It is a photo of man lying down on snow, by the river and pines. This pose was originated in a practice that I did with Karolina Kucia in an old, vacant, bourgeoisie style apartment in Poznan in Christmas 2004. The pose appeared as a pose of combination of rapist/raped, a pose of humiliation and loss. In the walk in the mountains between Poland and Slovaki, some days after the practice, this pose reappeard – and in fact became a series of photographs with the same pose, but different landscape. Pose also appeared in a series of performances that Kucia and I did later that year. A concept of ”Sprezzatura” came to our minds; which means
”an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them.”
Sprezzatura has also been described “as a form of defensive irony the ability to disguise what one really desires, feels, thinks, and means or intends behind a mask of apparent reticence and nonchalance.”
So, that within a walk in the night and a next day some emotions that were rather hidden, and had a need to be defensed started to appear within the walk itself. This had been appearing before in previous works as well. A connection between the bodily memories or inhibition becoming released with the repetitive excersise of walking. An two-sided image of rapist/raped reappered.
Félix Guattari with Gilles Deleuze have developed a concept of Ritornello, or the refrain. As the refrain becomes sort of camouflage to ”keep the darkness at bay”. But Guattari does not want to reveal the origin of the trauma on any symbolic level. What matters is the kind of following, how I get here, what is the walking path that made the rapist appear? It has appered before in the walking-project of ”Saapaskylä”. Sexuality and perversities do connect with walking, especially with urban walks, as Rebecca Solnit has presented in her book ”Wanderlust:History of Walking”, as well.
A three day walk around the Åland archipelago. An interpretative and subjective text on walking during this trip. Korppoo, Föglö, Kumlinge, Brandö, Kustavi, Iniö, Houtskari, Korppoo.