It’s a big topic to tackle because heeeeeaaaaps of stuff happened in Finland – hundreds of writing seeds were sown each day that if watched could grow off into a botanical garden of episodes. But I reminded myself to consider my reader and rope it in so here’s what I wrote, an initial scratch and there will be more.

Assorted observations:

  1. The air outside is swarming with ice glitter like tiny magical bees.
  1. As we enter our space it’s like the room itself is a nose smelling us in and we are fresh toast but it doesn’t need to eat us it’s just happy with the unconsummated fragrance of potential and we can get busy. We simultaneously breathe up its sweet aroma.
  1. Being expands to fill the space and SPACE is wealth. And in this case the space is a space with the view of more space – snowy fields and forests and a lake.

Arteles is kind of my first proper residency and I’m really relaxing into the legitimacy it’s framing around hanging out with the ideas and suspending disbelief in possibility time. I will definitely start applying for more – designing a theme park called emotional rollercoasters is a good framework to hang activity and research on. I get it now. Since the epic burn-out/spiritual death of 2010/11 I have been floating and re-forming and struggling sometimes and building strength and trying out lots of things, reminding myself to embrace the void and I feel a luxurious calmness about just being in this context. And ready to settle into a more regular practice rather than incubating big ideas past the point of meaning. But at once like something bigger and stronger might be surreptitiously incubating behind the apparent void. Getting emotionalrollercoasters.org out n about will set that one free in a way. You’ve really got to set ideas free regularly as a way to maintain the flow.

Caroline has been a strong feature in the landscape of my time here at Arteles. She was already among the prominent characters in my imagination, given that when I first read her writing a few years ago I recognised it as deeply potent, familiar, bright, funny, compelling. We share a very strong unifying thread which is that we were both strongly influenced in tender and formative times by Palmerston North’s musician/artist cave woman luminary Bek Coogan, and a potent scene involving multiple individuals in that era. Without having to use many words there’s a full and mutual understanding about the cosmic inspiration this auspicious proximity gifted us.

We quickly established a comedy routine as an old married couple for whom the passion has faded yet a solid fondness holds. We were the main audience for the comedy routine altho our co-residents have been abetting the situation willingly and maybe sometimes finding it funny too.

One day we invented a new game of pretending to be animals. Started with attempts at yoga and mutated into cat moves and then cat-scared-by-dog/sprinkler/hedgehog and moved thru many mammals birds and insects and the really imaginative one was being humans. Caroline did some exaggerated computing and I unfolded and refolded some of my clothes. I felt like a Kevin Hooyman drawing.

We have been unofficially penning an anthology called ‘Letters 2 a young sound artist’. Because we both have a soft spot for this cutie-pie who has some freak-outs that we’ve already experienced or witnessed. He’s 22 and me and Caroline are 30 and 33 – sixty three collective years of processing the complexities of being and being artists. He’s very intelligent, ponderous and caring and comes from a nice family even though they probably don’t really get what he’s into. He’s found himself making obscure sound and noise music and I really like the feel of the stuff he makes and listens to. Subjects have included: Worrying your art is irrelevant, worrying other ppl are doing it better, worrying that you’re too cynical and worrying about your privilege.

I’m also hoping we’ll follow through with an idea for a zine called AMBIGUOUS BASES which was initiated when Carolines nude bottom accidentally grazed my also nude knee in the sauna and we couldn’t figure out exactly what base that was up to in the context of our platonic fixed term marriage.

Whats also been sweet about this set-up is hanging with a babe who ain’t afraid to snack. There’s nothing worse than competitive non-eating between grown women. We’ve been having a lot of freestyle dance parties. Our room is a perfect set up for such events, heaps of afore mentioned space to do your thing with different zones and attention paid to lighting design. Getting extremely comfortable in your body and letting it do what ever it wants in response to music is definitely one of the top experiences in life amirite? Also being comfortable in your body is really sexy. I’ve been enjoying the journey from prude to nude in the sauna with the Finns and watching the coverings disappear off the other residents in a naked domino event. Although I kind of went prude again when a vaguely possible love interest appeared on the scene. That’s kind of uncool but hey gotta let yourself off the hook like, all the time. I’ve traditionally been not very good at getting down off the hook. But that’s all gently changing.

Another thing I did in Finland was make some of my own fonts. Just on a free and kind of shit looking website but I was super impressed with what it spat out at me.

Exhibit A:

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 12.34.33 pm

And exhibit B:

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 12.34.29 pm

Wigglywings has pictures instead of lower case letters! The ‘g’ is a shoulder pad! I’m thinking about expanding this pad to it’s whole own series starring a shoulder pad. It will be called g-expanded. Let me know if you want me to e-mail u a copy of the .ttf files of these great new fonts.

Stay tuned for future instalments with more about Finland, what I was actually working on there and some juicy thoughts on some dense topics.

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