Beginning a Rainy Day


The fourth morning in May was supposed to be rainy, but luckily the rain subsided before sunrise and remained only as drops on the branches and my tripod, waiting by the shore. Today the sun was to rise at 5.08 or 5.09 depending on the forecast, and I was ready at five. There was enough of a gap between the horizon and the clouds to show some colour, but at first it seemed like the sun had moved towards north, since the gap was wider there. Although I have decided to capture the moment before sunrise, the actual sunrise is spectacular for the naked eye, but the camera sees it differently and the bright light burns away the colours. I waited for the sunrise to end my recording and wondered whether my watch and phone had the time right. And then, a few minutes later, the red sun burst forth from behind the clouds, a true spectacle to behold. Actually the moment before is even more fascinating, since all the hues are more subtle and there is a sense of expectation. This morning, however, probably because of the clouds, the image turned exceptionally blue.
 
The sounds are perhaps the most interesting part of the experience of standing at the shore by daybreak. All the various birds are communicating, and today there were some birds I did not recognize, with a strange howling sound, but softer, almost like owls, and several of them. The usual seagulls were screaming of course, and the barking sounds of the omnipresent geese filled the air every now and then. The main difference to my previous experiences is the lack of wind. On Harakka Island it is always windy, and very often it blows from south-west, hitting the camera microphone and cracking all other sounds. In the early mornings, now, at the northeastern shore, where i am sheltered by the slope, the wind does not disturb and all the sounds can be distinguished more clearly. Today there was no wind anywhere on the island, only soft rain in the air.
 
After seeing some exhibitions with works referring to landscape yesterday, like the video with a strange artificial looking and regularly repeated lightning by Liisa Lounila, the handwritten word ‘landscape’ framed in a small round golden frame by Aleksi Linnamaa or the five hundred thousand dead bees on the floor in a piece called Nemesis by Timo Wright, all impressive in their own way, I cannot but wonder whether I am somehow missing the point by trying to capture these small changes in the landscape without irony or distance. I know landscape is a cultural construction, I know depicting landscapes has a loaded legacy in colonial overviews of territories, I know the romantic attempts at capturing the sublime and the spectacular still linger with us. And so does everybody else. I see no point in telling people that landscape is part of nature-culture. Today advertising provides us with all the pretty pictures we could dream of needing. Why would I make more of them, with or without reflexivity. So what am I doing then? Maybe I want to see the small changes, not the one spectacular image that captures the essence of what everybody expects to see, but the small non-spectacular shifts that happen from day-to-day. Or perhaps I am simply playing for time, practicing receiving what is given to me…