The city skyline revisited

As part of re-examining the series of video works or performances for camera made on Harakka Island called Animal Years, I have revisited the same sites and recorded some sort of action reminiscent of the actions I repeated weekly during one year in that place. I have actually made a compilation of Animal Years I (2003-2009) and Animal Years II (2010-2014) including one video for each year. After visiting the shore of Year of the Goat, the ledge of Year of the Monkey, the shore with birches of Year of the Rooster as well as the pine tree of Year of the Dog, it was time to revisit the city skyline on the northwestern cliffs for Year of the Pig. My plan was to do it before the geese had occupied the area with their nests, but arriving to the island with the ferry-boat for the first time in quite a while on Friday afternoon, I quickly realized my mistake. The geese were everywhere, not all of them but most of them with nests. Some of the guys are extremely aggressive nowadays, because their territories are shrinking and they are combating fiercely with each other. Some of them tolerate humans reasonably well, if one does not go too close, but others are really mean, and run towards you from afar with their tongues out. One of these angry ones was blocking the path with such ardour, that I had to walk around the house and choose another path to the cliff, disturbing three or four other geese couples, which luckily took my passing by relatively easy. Fortunately there was no nest close to the spot where I would place my camera, nor on the cliff where I would enter the image. Further up on the slope one proud wanna-be head of family kept a strict eye on me and my camera, but relaxed after a while when he noticed I would not come closer.

Negotiating with the geese and the wind on the sunny island, looking at the city across the small strait was quite a contrast to the experience of participating in the Finnish Urban Studies conference and presenting my work from last year, the Tree Calendar, there. ALthough a lot of urban studies seems to be centred on city planning issues, there were some nice discussions, and interdisciplinary contexts are always good for you, despite being frustrating and exhausting. Letting the wind empty my brain to end the day was not such a bad idea after all.



This exercise in clumsy swirling against the city skyline took place in order to create a contemporary context and background for the old videos created ten years ago. But at that time I was using a large grey scarf, which caught the wind, while performing as a weird weather vane, as you can see on a still from Year of the Pig (2008),23 min., performed approximately once a week between 6 January 2007 and 3 January 2008:

Another video I will try to insert into the image I recorded is Day and Night of the Pig (2008) 8 min 20 sec., performed during the autumnal equinox between 22 September 4 pm and 23 September 2 pm with two-hour intervals:

A compilation of these videos, augmented by some academic reflection, will be presented at
PSi #24 in Daegu, South Korea this summer. What to do with the other works made in the year of the pig 2008, like Year of the Pig – Sitting on a Cliff 1&2 and Under the Spruce 1-3, which would be nice to compile into one Frame, too, I have time to think about later in the summer, when the geese have moved on…

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