Sunshine, snow and ARS 17


The magic purple light pillar (above) was not a UFO descending on the alder stump but a reflection of the bright early morning sun in backlight and dissolved fairly quickly. This effect on Wednesday morning is an apt beginning to the week, which featured the opening of ARS17 at Kiasma museum of Contemporary Art, focused on much stronger effects of artifice.
Changeable weather used to be the hallmark of April, and now also the end of March. On Wednesday morning the sun was shining warmly, the slopes in the park looked almost green and the buds looked like bursting any moment.
 



On Thursday morning the sunny weather continued, I went out early, so the chill of the night lingered in the air, but the sun was warmer every moment and the sea was almost perfectly still.
 

On Friday morning all that was gone; a thick layer of snow covered the ground, and the trees; winter had returned. I went out early, but the Snow was already crisscrossed by footprints of dogs. I sat by the tree, freezing, and wondered at the sudden change.
 

While returning from the park I amused myself with the thought that this total change would make a nice contrast and surprise in the video; good weather can be visually rather uninteresting…
On Thursday night I visited the opening event of ARS17 (see here) and tried to get a glimpse of the exhibition amongst the crowd. There was something familiar in the atmosphere of all these game worlds, internet hype and futuristic dystopias, and unfamiliar, too, of course. From the perspective of somebody beginning their artistic engagements in the eighties this world did not seem that odd, after all, although the technologies were not there yet. So why did I not feel at home? It occurred to me that I was actually beginning my intellectual and artistic life, in a modest sense, in the seventies; my sensibilities are based on the world of the seventies, rather than the eighties, to some extent; I am an old hippie at heart. Of course the real hippies were of the previous generation, but those were the ideas I admired at that time, I suppose. No wonder then that my favorite work in ARS was Julia Varela’s Luddite smashed black screens, which shined like huge slices of obsidian in my eyes. No wonder that I find myself sitting with trees and recording serial images in a minimalistic way, in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get manner year after year. Uh. Perhaps I should go and see the exhibition again, in order to update my sensibilities, or at least understand what is going on…