'Ponderings' or spoken notes (recorded and transcribed) 

 

Today it's 21st of March and I'm sitting in Nobelparken next to the pine that I usually perform with. I have actually just performed with it, but packed away my camera and I'm sitting on the rock next to it. So, usually I would be standing right next to where I'm sitting now in the image, or I just did that. It's a little bit windy and it's afternoon four o'clock so the light is low. This is my second attempt at speaking field notes or doing my ponderings with pines. There is no nobody else in the park. So no problem, although the traffic from below this hill is rather loud, the noise from it. There are funny cars colourful decorations made out of milk packages painted and decorated hanging from the branches and they're swirling in the wind. They resemble things that you use for bird feeding but I guess these are made by the children who sometimes visit the park. The pine I'm sitting under here is not that old. Yes, it's not a youngster but but it .. Yeah, it's an adult, adult fine, but but not ancient. And its trunk it is divided into two, not that high up from the ground. Also its branches are reaching down. So I can almost touch them where I sit here. Now I realise I'm looking up so the sound of my voice might be not so good, because I hold my phone, which is the recorder in my hand. It's quite long break since I visited this pine last time, not last time because I was here yesterday too, but before that, almost a month, three weeks or more. And of course all the snow is gone, but the pine tree looks the same and I cannot see any small sprouts or buds or any change whatsoever, even though the spring is coming and all the other trees you can you can feel the production starting; they produce new leaves. But the pine looks like before. I'm posing in three positions with the pine: one where I do the tree pose from Tai Chi, looking at the trunk. Then the second one I'm reaching up in the two-legged tree pose. The difference is that I hold the branches of the pine for balance, which makes the pose much easier, but I also have a contact with the tree. And then the third pose is just leaning on the trunk or if not leaning on it, then holding my right arm around the more slender part of the trunk, the part that is towards this rock and standing looking at the surroundings. And each of these three positions I keep for approximately 21 breaths. So maybe they become a three-channel video installation, or three separate videos, I don't know. In this case, it's more of the practice, I'm not so eager to record the changes in the environment, although I like that too, but I've done that so much. So now I'm sort of eager to record the changes in the pine tree or maybe in my relationship to the pine tree. Although I know the video can't record that. That's why I started to do this ponderings. But anyway, enough for today. I'll be back tomorrow. Bye bye.

22nd of March in Lill-Jansskogen or Little Jan's Wood in Stockholm. I just performed with a pine tree not far from here, growing on the same hill, for the second time trying to start a conversation and my plan is to try to talk with that pine about once a month or at least once every time I'm here in Stockholm. It's a beautiful pine tree growing on the hill with some of its branches very low and with a rock suitably next to it that I can sit on. Originally I was very sad that I couldn't find any pine tree with branches so thick and low that I could sit in them in the same manner I've been sitting in pine trees in Örö for instance, where there is a lot of these pines that in Swedish are called 'martallar', which are bent by the wind. But here even on the on the rocks and hills the pines are tall and straight. Here up on the rocky ground they're not that tall, but they're still straight, only smaller. Well, there is no point in my repeating what we were talking about or what I spoke about to the to the pine, as part of the project Pondering with pines. But maybe I should add that it was not so easy to find the tree again, because the landscape has changed so significantly when the snow is gone. But I remember already last time, which was the second time I came here, I didn't believe that it was so far away from the main path. So this time again I should remember it's just, I just keep walking and there it will be. Well, in terms of 'ponderings' I could perhaps add that I spoke about Michael martyrs idea of it thinks, the vegetal pre-subjective or non-subjective dimension of thought, which is fascinating, I think. And a little bit about personhood and plants, referring to Matthew Hall, but that was perhaps covered by the wind, which came in small attacks of sorts. Well, maybe this is enough for field notes for today. So thanks and bye bye.

23rd of March 2022 In Nobelparken, and I'm leaning against another pine, not the pine friend I'm performing with, to try to avoid the wind. And now there is a noisy airplane passing over us, but maybe it's not disturbing this note. I ran here to make my daily image,video footage, in the middle of a conference called phytogenesis II or something like that, organised by University of Plymouth about plants and photography and art in general. And the last presentation was about photography and climate change overall. But the first presentation was by Prudence Gibson and her colleague from Australia, and there was a little bit of discussion about her use of the word colonising, because a lot of her work is really trying to decolonise or analyse the colonial effects and the colonial basis of the whole herbarium project. But then she ended by provokingly saying maybe the plants have colonised us after all. And that was taken up by a British colleague who questioned her use of 'colonised' in this sense, because there's - although somebody in the chat said the fungi rule, they are the bosses of us all - although plants would be ruling over us and we are dependent on plants, the name 'colonising', the verb 'colonising' is creating associations not to support or dependence but on violence and subjugation and invasion. And yes, it's possible to see some plants being colonising in there monocultures, but they're often introduced by humans. So actually, I thought of, I can't remember what term he uses, but Michael Pollan wrote about sort of plants gardening us or cultivating us and not the opposite, and maybe that's what she hinted at because, using 'colonising' in the sense of ruling in general is misguided, I think and somehow normalises colonisation. Well, anyway. Here I am, again, with the pines and I'm rushing back to listen to the next presentation. I heard about the conference actually, which is online and free from Facebook, a note by by Giovanni Aloi who is giving a keynote this afternoon, and that I surely want to hear. Okay, so thanks for now. Bye bye.

24th of March in Nobelparken in Stockholm. The sun is shining, there is less wind than yesterday. The weather has been fine all week. I'm sitting on a wooden bench not far from the pine that I usually perform with and want to add only a few notes before hurrying back home for zoom class on preparing an artistic research project, a research preparatory course that we're having, leading, the leader is actually Camilla Damkjaer. And the topic of today's is contextualising your research and of course, that's always my problem as well. It's often difficult to contextualise your work if it's really interdisciplinary in some sense, as I think this practice is, because it's clearly related to performance art and even to somatic practices in some sense, although it's lens based practice creating videos and to be presented in the visual art context. So, I usually call it the in-between zone between performance art, media art and environmental art. But those contexts are not the right context for it. I tried to place it in the context of critical plant studies, but there it doesn't fit so well because I'm not so critical, I guess, or because it's there is not that type of cultural, critical, historical dimension in my work. Or then is just not enough technologically and how should I say aesthetically interesting. But anyway, so I'm hurrying back for that, but I just want to add that there was a nice moment when I began my practice today, because after a few breaths, I felt something fall on my head. And I didn't know if it was a needle or well, it would not have been a pine cone because it was something small, but it didn't feel wet. And then there was a Great Tit flying away from from the branch. And yes, when I tried after the first part of the practice, it was pure bird shit. Luckily, not very wet, and luckily, not very much but bird shit anyway, so what I hoped for to be a communication from the pine tree was actually maybe a rebellious gesture from the bird. Or then simply a coincidence. Anyway, I'm hurrying back for the Zoom meeting. So bye bye for now.

25th of March in Nobelparken. And this time I'm leaning against a big rock and facing towards Berwaldhallen, I guess it's something like northeast, just to avoid the wind. Today is quite windy and there will be even more wind tomorrow, they say. My week in Stockholm is coming to its end. I hope to come to the pine tree one more time tomorrow. This morning I filled in the form for new members of the Bioart Society in Finland and had to say something about my special interests or competencies and that was not so easy. The competencies are like the traditional ones that I always add, like artistic research, performance as research, but interests... And funnily I wrote there critical plant studies and then something else that I don't remember what it was right now. But anyway, it's funny that I wrote that I'm interested in critical plant studies, because that's not really true. But I am interested in the discussions about art and the vegetal in various forms. And of course, that's only a small part of critical plant studies, which is more like cultural studies and history and so on. But I guess I wrote that I'm interested in critical plant studies because I so clearly feel that I don't have a competency in that area. Or at least it seems so, because I'm not so easily accepted in those contexts. But other interests, yeah, that's really, that's something to think about. I should try to develop some new interests. I'm really repeating my traditional ways of working and not coming up with anything new by way of methods, or insights or concepts or so. This whole idea of pondering with pines should be sharpened somewhat. But okay. That's for the coming weeks. So thanks for today. Bye bye.

The 26th of March in Rosendal in Djurgården Park in a cluster of pine trees up on the hill. It's a very windy day but right now, there is not much wind, at least not in this place. I visited the pine I usually visit a Nobelparken, but it was so windy that I couldn't leave the camera alone on the tripod and perform with the pine, but stood with the camera on the tripod to protect it if it would topple over. During the three and a half minutes that I recorded there was not a very strong wind. But right afterwards, when I was packing my camera away, the wind toppled the tripod over and caught the bag and started to run away with it. Luckily there was a guy who stopped it on the other side of the of the hill so I could get it back. And I thought that I had lost the lid of the objective but I found that too on the ground. And then I walked across Nobelparken and along the Bernadotte shore across the new bridge over here to Djurgården and climbed up to Rosendal where I remember there were some pines [inaudible] There are mainly oak trees and other deciduous trees but these pines are really beautiful. So I took some images of the bark. This is the end of my week in Stockholm. I'm leaving tonight. And I hope that it will not be too stormy. But somehow this week [inaubidle] it's been lovely to experience a little bit of spring and also good to realise that these spoken notes are a useful tool, so I'll return to them in Helsinki too. Bye bye for now.

Sunday the 27th of March in Helsinki, under the pine tree in Kaivopuisto Park. I just performed my usual session with it, although the session was shortened by accident, because the memory card was full, but luckily there was, it wasn't to cut too short, I hope. Anyway, it's funny, I returned from Stockholm to Helsinki this morning or from, via the boat from Turku or Åbo by train and it's like returning back to winter. There is a lot of snow still. And here in the park, it has turned into ice so it's really hard to walk on it. I should have had my woollen cap on me but I didn't think it would be so cold. Before I came here, I also visited the Bioart Society SOLU space, because there was an event called Lingua Plantae  today. Two women who made experiments with plants and sound, the usual system of registering electricity or electric signals from plants I suppose and then leading that into your computer and into a program that transforms the signal into sounds, various sounds. And it was interesting but of course problematic. And I suggested that we try to put the same sensors on human skin and after a little bit of discussion we did that. And of course the sound was almost the same. But of course the, although it's like dubious this idea of how, if you can think of electric signals as communication, but of course, the change in the electric signals signifies something. So, if you touch the leaves of the plant the sound changes because the electric signals change. And the same would probably be true, or is true, they've made experiments with humans. When humans watch for instance, exciting movies they react, and that can be discerned by recording the electric signals they emit or whatever. Weird, strange, well. But I'm happy to be back with the pine tree although it really is cold. So enough for today.

Monday 28th of March in Helsinki on Myllytie in Kaivopuisto villa area. The weather is horrible, it's windy and some snow fall. Soon, the sun is soon going to set. And I'm standing here next to a building with two small cembra pines, which I've found on my way to some pines on the shore that I remember were planted around the sculpture there. And these were closer. I was visiting my ordinary pine in Brunnsparken or Kaivopuisto Park  but forgot to speak to anything. And now the wind is increasing. What could I add? Except that this is a place where I've not walked many times before because it's right in the embassy area and not a thoroughfare. The two pines are not so old, and clearly not ordinary pines. The one that stretches over the road so I could reach it is a little bit older. Well, what can I say? I'm happy I had time to come and visit the pines tonight, after all, but more tomorrow. Bye.

Tuesday the 29th of March in Kaivopuisto Park below the big pine tree that I usually perform with. It's cold, minus four degrees, chilly. Not that much wind, but too cold for my fingers and as usual in the spring I left my cap home too early. The Finnish spring consists of several episodes of the winter returning again and again. Not only in March but in April as well. And sometimes there can be snow in May as we all know, so I should learn. Anyway, somebody has started to build some sort of children's cabin or well, what could you ... a hut next to the pine with a few branches and things like that, sticks. Not a real hut, but like a make-believe hut. I'm going to continue to walk along the shore to see if I can find the small planted pine trees next to the sculpture today. And yes, then I hope to be back tomorrow and I sure hope the weather will get warmer soon. Bye bye.

30th of March at home. Only when I sat down to upload the images for today did I realise that I didn't speak any notes after visiting the pine tree in the park today, nor visiting a small shrub-like pine, below the Johannes' church for my daily pine notes. So now I'm sitting at home at my computer, but the sound of the traffic is from the window, which is open. What can I say? The pine looked fine. But the slope is still covered with ice so it's increasingly difficult to get up to the pine, although much of the snow and ice has melted. But nearby it's still very icy. But yeah, they have... The forecasts suggest that the cold weather will remain for a few weeks more, even maybe a month. But I would imagine that well, sooner or later the spring will come, but there was like some hail today. Not when I was out but I could see the hail on the ground. Well, enough for today. Thanks.

31st of March in Kaivopuisto Park not under the pine tree but next to where I usually put my camera tripod. A huge metal of rubbish bin, you could hear that probably. I've packed away my camera but I wanted to say a few notes now. Maybe you can hear the birds flying; are they already spring birds arriving, maybe. Geese, no it can't be, the geese are coming already. It sounds like that. Alright, I can see the Harakka pier from here, where the boat starts to go away later in April I think, but not yet. The thing I wanted to note was that the sort of beginning of a hut that is leaning against the pine is still there. So, I think it's a little bit irritating because it's clearly like, looks like a heap of rubbish. But obviously it's made by some children so, I don't want to destroy them but I just hoped that they would come in and finish their play, so to speak. Tomorrow it's new moon, so it would be a good time to start something new. I will continue to visit this pine, sure, for a few months more. Originally, I thought I would continue through the year always when I'm in Helsinki, but it might be better to restrict it to the spring and choose something else for the autumn. We'll see. Alright, enough for now. Bye.

First of April, Fool's Day. I'm sitting under the big pine up on the hill and the ground is, the rock is bare. There is a lot of snow and ice but not under the tree. This some sort of want-to-be hut has been enlarged a little bit to one side in a weird manner, unfortunately. Otherwise everything seems fine. And spring is proceeding slowly, slowly but it is proceeding. I realized I actually like better the practice I have with a small pine in Nobelparken in Stockholm, because there I have three phases of my exercise. First, I do the same grounding tree pose from Tai Chi as I do with the pine here. And then I go and stretch up, a sort of assisted two-legged tree pose, holding on to the, reaching up and holding on to the branches for balance. And as a third phase I go and lean against the trunk of the tree. And that is somehow a better exercise for the body crazily enough with the counter movements. So here when I only do the grounding, Tai Chi pose, and then I move to stand and hold on to the branch of this ancient pine without stretching in between, it's not as satisfactory in an embodied sense. But of course I started here in Kaivopuisto  and this pine trees so, well it is so grounded and thick and somehow particular that the exercise was somehow a reaction to that. But now, today, I tried between the two, I tried a short moment of stretching at the same site where I normally just stand and hold on to the pine. And that felt super good. I won't probably do that, now, because it would mess up my material, but with I could think of commencing some sort of new practice with a third pine here in Kaivopuisto Park. Because it is first of April and new moon and Fool's Day. Somehow, I should do something foolish to celebrate that. But alright, enough for today. Anyway, bye bye.

 

Saturday second of April in Kaivopuisto Park. I'm standing next to another pine tree not far from the one I performed with. I returned here to say a few observations because I forgot to do that after performing. This has been a crazy day because in the morning I met an artist couple who are working with creating pedagogical tools for children involving trees and other critters and showed them my pine - my pine, it was funny to say like that, but the pine I befriended, and also the Spruce of Independence for contrast. And then I went to perform as usual, returned home and then came to meet a young artist who's making a film about silence and meditative practices and, who wanted to record me talking to a pine. And well, mostly I was sitting under a pine not far from here and explaining my practice. So, these notes are actually spoken now on my way back home and I'm freezing cold because despite the sunny weather, it is really cold. But so, this has been a day when I have sort of exposed my practice to two different colleagues. Strange feeling, more about that later. Bye for now.

 

Third of April under the pine tree up in Kaivopuisto Park. I'm leaning against the trunk of the pine to avoid the wind from Southwest. The birds are singing. The sun is shining, but it's cold. There's still a lot of snow in the park although the streets are dry. And for next week they've promised more snowfall, actually it might come down as rain here though. Today I did again a third exercise, or actually the second exercise. So, after doing the Tai Chi pose on the right side of the pine tree, I went to the left side which is like a straight trunk and unlike the branch on the right, and did the two-legged tree pose as best as I could. And then continued with the ending, that is holding onto the branch of the pine. I'm not sure if it will work visually but as a practice this exercise in three stages feels much better. The horse sledge is here again. It was hear yesterday, on Saturday and Sunday obviously. It's amazing that they still find enough snow to get around the park. I'm planning to take a walk to the Sibelius Park today to see if there are some interesting pines over there. Otherwise, and yes, next week will be more busy than last week. Oh well, I don't know there were a lot of JAR meetings last week but they were on zoom so I didn't have to run back and forth. And next week I'm going to weave a carpet, it's my my turn to to weave. So I have to complete the carpet for the whole week. Well, why do I speak about this? It has nothing to do with the pines, except that I'm not sure I will be able to come here every day. But we'll see. Enough for now. Bye bye.

 

Fourth of April in the Kaivopuisto Park down on the slope. After performing with the pine, I came down to avoid most of the wind. The weather is horrible, rain or something between rain and snow. The winter is back. Well, there is a saying 'April weather' and this is exactly so. Just when it was almost spring now the winter is almost back. Anyway, I managed to perform without the tripod toppling over, although the camera is completely damp now. And yes, somehow there is something strange in this sort of endurance thing when it's really cold and unpleasant. Somehow in the moment of standing there by the pine there is a kind of peace in this unpleasantness. It's not masochistic because I'm not suffering, it is just... I don't know, maybe reminiscent of some childhood trauma, but it's fascinating to think that the pine tree is standing there, rain or shine. And it just stands there and goes on living. Well, I'm very happy that I can now get away from here and get indoors and get something warm on my hands because they are now so wet so I can't get my gloves on and so on. So, enough for today. Bye bye.

Fifth of April. Snowfall. The wind is not as bad as yesterday but it's increasing. I'm  standing below the hill in the Kaivopuisto Park looking at the pine a bit further up after performing with it, trying to avoid the wind. Listening to the birds who still hope for spring. Sure the snow is wet so it helps the ice to melt but it's.. there's a lot of it and it's very wet. What else can I say? I planned, because this morning the wind was bad, I planned that I would just come up here and just record the pine without leaving the tripod alone for fear of it toppling over. But then the rain stopped and the wind stopped and when I walked here, it was quite calm. But then, suddenly, the snow fall started again. And the wind. This is April weather. What else can I say? There was the seminar at the Academy of Fine Arts today, the last seminar with the doctoral candidates for this spring, a seminar we have together with Mika Elo on concepts and conversations on artistic research and it was quite an interesting session because now during this last session, everybody could choose one book that they would present to the others, related to artistic research and related to their own research. And yeah, that made the work more concrete, less of an exercise and more related to their research. So it was quite interesting. And I already realized that I'm going to miss those seminars, now when I'm teaching so little, because seminars are a way of thinking together and getting to know about new thoughts and so on. Well, I'll look at some of the books mentioned, of course. So, enough for now. Bye bye.

Sixth of April under the pine. The sun is shining, although dark clouds cover part of the sky. Today the weather is really changeable; right now it's warm and sunny and half an hour ago there was snowfall and heavy wind. There might be wind again. But the moment would sunshine makes everything look beautiful and hopeful. More snow, the amount of light is astonishing because the fresh snow really glitters and reflects the sun. This morning I was sitting two hours at the computer in a meeting about a media art project where I'm just sort of participating as some sort of expert or voice from the field or whatever. But I realized how exhausting it is to sit for two hours, it's really important to have short breaks in between, but also how lovely it is to come and be with trees and be outdoors and breathe some fresh air and move. So, I can only congratulate myself for choosing this beautiful pine tree as my performing partner rather than something online for instance. Today in the afternoon I try to prefer, prepare, not prefer but prepare, for the teaching tomorrow, online, but I'm also going to continue weaving the carpet that I started weaving two days ago. So yeah, that's all for today I guess. Bye.

 

The seventh of April in Kaivopuisto Park. Now, down on the western side of the hill, under a spruce tree actually. After performing with my usual pine friend I came here because now the wind is from the east, and it's even colder than yesterday, but... and it will continue for a while this horrible weather. I have been suffering from very dry skin on my hands. And I thought why is this, am I washing them more than usual but probably not, because in Corona times we've all been washing our hands all the time. And now today I realized it is because they freeze, when I perform with the pine. They really get cold, the wind burns them and somehow the skin suffers from that and the absurd thing is that why do I, why am I not wearing gloves? Because there was this 'spring spell' a week ago or two weeks ago and I took off my cap and I left away my gloves and so I felt like oh, I will survive these few cold days because I don't want to go back to the outfit I had during the winter. Which is absurd in a way but alright, so now I have to suffer with freezing hands and try to put more oil on them. Anyway, I don't have so many days with the pine now here in Helsinki left this time, because I'm leaving on Monday evening for Stockholm for almost two weeks. But there is still Friday, Saturday, Sunday and probably even Monday, so  many chances to freeze. But alright, it's my own fault, so I shouldn't complain. So thanks for today, and bye for now.

The eighth of April, Kaivopuisto Park. I just performed with the pine tree up on the hill as usual, but also then performed with reclining pine near the shore, talking about liveness with the pine. My idea was to maybe use that video or that podcast actually, if it will become a podcast, or the beginning of it in the conversation or demonstration with Johanna Householder and Michelle de Man that we're making for the performance philosophy conference later this spring. We try to demonstrate the way we have been working in the working group by creating this sort of chain reaction amongst us and I'm supposed to send material to Johanna and then Michelle will... She will send material to Michelle and Michelle will send material to me and then we respond to that and so on. But I don't know if the recording was successful or not, but anyway, I'm happy I now have done the April talk, if you wish. But, I'll make another one in Stockholm next week, probably, or the day after that. So if this one wasn't alright then that might be one. It's still cold and wet, and now I'm walking slowly out from the park and there is a construction site with a lot of noise. So maybe enough for now. Bye.

On April 9th, in Kaivopuisto Park under the pine. The wind is quite harsh. It comes in sudden gusts, but I've managed to perform quite alright, or the camera managed to stay on the tripod. I put my handbag as a weight to keep the weight low, or lower, to make it more 'stabile' or 'stabile', that's probably not how you pronounce it, more static [stable]. In Swedish you would say "stabil", but anyway. I'm also standing below the pine because I want to record the sound of this bird which is always here. You hear, it's sitting somewhere up in the pine and it's been there for several days and always when I stand with the pine or next to it, it keeps on singing. So obviously, I don't know if it's trying to attract a mate or to keep competitors away, or just signalling that we're here, we're building our nest and so on. The sun is shining. But because the wind is so cold, it feels very much like winter. But now after the rain yesterday, there is not that much ice and snow left. What else can I say? My hands are freezing. It's become like the main part of the exercise is to endure the pain in my hands. And I realized that it helps if you put some fat on them in advance. So I should do that again. In the same manner as a child you had this Vitalis cream on your cheeks and nose when it was freezing cold outdoors. A better solution would be to put on gloves of course, but since I'm stubborn and well, it's idiotic, but hopefully when I return after Easter - well I return here tomorrow as well - but when I return then from Stockholm after Easter, then at least it would be warm. Alright, enough for now. Bye bye.

Sunday 10th of April, and the first day when there was a moment when the sun felt really warm while I was performing with the pine. I'm standing under the pine now and the sun has disappeared behind the cloud cover. But for a moment ago, it was really warm, when I was doing the Tai Chi tree pose on the southern side of the pine. The two-legged tree pose on the northern side, there I couldn't feel the sun even though it was still shining, because I'm in the shadow of the pine. And the bird that was chirping away, up in the crown of the pine was not there today. Instead, the geese have arrived, as you might hear. It's amazing that they can start eating the grass before it's even, I mean, most of the grass is still covered by snow and ice and what is visible is brown and dead from last year so it's not much for them to eat. They are more and more early every year. Well, this was my last visit to the pine for almost two weeks, because I'm leaving for Stockholm tomorrow to meet with the pines there. So, I've been enjoying coming up to this beautiful, tall and somehow ancient pine that I'm standing under right now. I wonder what it will look like when I come back; probably then the snow is gone. Hopefully also the wannabe hut, which is now constructed under the pine is also gone. But you never know. Thanks anyway for these days and bye bye.

 

Stockholm 12th of April. On my way back from Nobelparken, along Storgatan, next to the church. I forgot to make any notes after performing with the pine. Partly I was distracted by a guy walking his dog behind me and I could see the dog moving in my peripheral vision  while performing without knowing what it really was. But that's just an excuse. I just packed my things and luckily I did because all the children from the neighbouring..., or a large group of children from a neighbouring kindergarten came up to the park when I was leaving. It was very nice to meet the pine tree again. For some reason it feels much easier to perform with this younger pine tree in Nobelparken, partly of course because the weather is more benign, but also the ground is softer and it's leaning in a different manner. So, the exercise feels less heavy for some reason. But of course now today the weather is beautiful. That helped a lot, too. I'll be in Stockholm now for almost two weeks, so there will be plenty of occasions to meet the pine again. Enough for today. Bye bye.

 

The 13th of April in Nobelparken. I'm sitting next to the pine on a tree stub next to small, rowan or whitebeam, but this tree stump might be something else, a birch, perhaps or, well, I don't know, but it's big enough so that it's comfortable to sit on. Today it's chilly, gray, the feeling of spring from yesterday is gone. But... something about April is nice when everything is still bare. You can see the the grass coming up and there are signs of life but it's not the greenery of May yet, so everything is not exploding; it's just beginning. So it's, everything is very graphic. The trees are bare, although they get this pale haze around them of the buds and their colouring. Of course the pine looks the same as always, at least superficially but probably inside, right behind it stuffed bark there is a lot of activity going on up and down, a lot of fluids running and so on. But because there is no sun today the light is not so strong, so maybe they are more relaxed today as well. I'm thinking of what I should experiment with, something else. I don't mean that I should stop with these practices, I'm continuing them of course, and I also continue with some talking to pines. I have to visit the pine in Lill-Jansskogen, too, but still I have a sense that I should experiment with some new technique. I just don't know what it is. Yet. But we'll see. So enough for now. Thanks for today. Bye bye.

The 14th of April under the pine in Nobelparken. It's a gray day with a soft drizzle. Right now there are no drops falling but everything is wet, damp. It's a soft spring rain of course. But gray, it's too damp to sit on the tree stub, stub or stump that I was sitting on yesterday so I'm standing here under the pine. The traffic from down the hill is quite strongly audible. This morning I sent away your proposal to the Öres22 Summer exhibition on Örö, where I spent a lot of time last year. And I realized, instead of visiting the pines on Örö repeatedly, I'm now visiting the much scarcer pines in Stockholm repeatedly. My pine friend in Nobelparken up on the hill resembles actually the pine which I called the pine next door in the middle of Örö, which was right outside the porch of the first place that I rented there in January more than a year ago. But there I wasn't practicing. Or well, that was a practice too; I was standing next to the pine holding on to its branch with my right arm. Quite a different feeling, actually. I should of course, feel quite befriended with this pine that I'm standing next to because I end all my practices by standing next to it, leaning on it, even hugging it with one arm, but it's still quite impersonal. Like all trees, it keeps its distance in some sense, although at the same time being completely open, completely available, completely there. That's a magic way of being actually, being open and distanced at the same time. Something to think about, but, enough for now. Bye bye.

15th of April, Good Friday, windy, chilly but Sunny. Now the stump or stub that I was sitting on is dry again. The wind is from a strange direction so I'm not facing the pine but rather having the pine behind my back, just to avoid the wind covering all my speech. It's surprisingly cold but the fact that the sun is shining changes the atmosphere of course. I'm planning to go to Lill-Jansskogen today and maybe talk with the pine there to have it over, to have it done. Otherwise I'm taking it easy as it is Good Friday. I have one Zoom meeting with colleagues from the Artistic Research Working Group tonight or early afternoon. And then I tried to follow a symposium organised somewhere in the States about communication with trees or storytelling and trees I think or, I'm not sure but I'm curious to know. So that will be my Good Friday evening. For now I'm leaving the pine and all the small birds here in the Nobelparken and yeah, thanks for today.

 

On Saturday 16th of April, Easter Saturday or Easter Eve maybe you could say and full moon  tonight. I'm sitting on a wooden bench on the hill in Nobelparken and looking at the pine from a little bit of distance, and it looks very different. I tried to sit down on the tree stump that I used to sit on before, but there was fresh bird shit, so I barely avoided getting smeared by that and chose this bench. The sun is shining behind clouds that come and go, sort of semi-cloudy but basically it feels warmer today and clearly the spring is coming. Some leaves are already big, and there's plenty of birds everywhere. There's plenty of people, too. It seems like a lot of tourists have arrived in Stockholm for the Easter. So although Swedish people might get to the countryside or stay at home the city is full of visitors. There is probably mist by the sea because the sound was like from a ship, tooting ... The pine looks really different from this side, because it is not symmetrical; the trunk to the right in the ordinary image is much much higher although you can't see it in the video. So from here, from that side, the pine looks slender and quite tall actually. Well, I wonder how this park will be in summertime because already now there was a family of some sorts, having a picnic or something on the cliff not far from the pine. Well, right now there is nobody but me around. On weekdays there are the kindergarten children and then plenty of people with dogs of course. Well, enough for today. So bye bye.

Easter Sunday, April the 17th. Last night it was full moon. Today the weather is beautiful, sunny, perfect spring Sunday. I'm sitting on a tree stump near the pine that I've just performed with, and enjoy the relative calm. I've been editing my practices with trees in 2020 and 2021 when I was mainly doing the two-legged tree pose next to various trees, usually for a month or longer when I was in a residency. And yesterday I managed to edit one version or actually two, a longer and a shorter version of the video I called Practicing with Pines that will be for the Myymälä 2 Gallery event and that was... consists of four videos where I practice with pines as the title indicates. But the work that is rendering now and which consists of many more, is a collection of all the trees. And I had some difficulty in finding the right basis for it so I chose not the first one as I planned because it's not the longest, but the Corona Diary with the maple tree in Tehtaankatu yard and then inserted 9 small images of the other videos, images of the other trees beginning with the oak on Galway road and and then ending with the ginkgo tree in Stockholm. And all of them then the brief versions of course so the whole thing is about 35 minutes. And they begin and end a little bit like not everyone at the same time. But I'm quite happy with the result so far. Let's see what it looks like when it's really rendered. But that's happening at home while I'm sitting here and enjoying the sun. So my task now for the rest of the day is to find a new pine tree just to take a snapshot of. And I'll try to see if I can find one in Djurgården. I remember in there were a few near Rosendal which I didn't record yet. My original plan was to go and see Mona Hatoum at Magasin III, but the exhibition is closed for Easter, so next weekend. Okay. Thank you for this glorious spring weather. And enough for today, bye bye.

18th of April Easter Monday, second day of Easter. It's warmer than yesterday and sunny, lovely weather, really spring. I've changed my woollen sweater for a cotton one. There's a lot of traffic sounds right now, but the family who was here with two kids making a lot of noise, they have disappeared. I'm not sure if I was occupying their preferred picnic site or something, but maybe they were just playing some game. This morning, I managed to edit a video with a compilation of five of the letters I've written to pine trees on Örö, and I used the first one, the Writing with a Pine that I've made an essay of as the basis but without sound, and because it has no subtitles, but the four other ones, two of them without sound only with subtitles and two of them with sound and subtitles where I took away the sound, were sort of forming the inserts. Two of them were longer, almost, well close to 20 minutes. The bases is 20 minutes or something like that. And maybe 15 minutes so the base is 20 minutes. And the two ones where I muted the sound, they were brief, like five minutes each, made earlier. But anyway, I'm happy with that compilation as well. So now I have two compilation videos for the performance event. And then I have to consider whether I would add a swinging image or a hanging image or what else, except the small sort of real-time projection of my writing, which I still hope to realise in some manner. But that is planning for the future instead of enjoying the moment right now. It's amazing how lovely the spring feels when it finally, finally comes. I know in Helsinki, there is probably still snow but this is like May; there is like flowers coming up. Just lovely. And funny to see the pine look the same. I know pines should also make new needles and some sort flowers. I read that the ordinary pine, the Pinus sylvestris, it has both male and female flowers on the same individual but they should be distinguishable, I remember the drawing. But this one, my pine friend is still asleep, or maybe preparing, just not ready to bloom yet. I'm actually not sure at what time of year it is... Is it like very early, like some trees like the Aspen and the Hazel has almost finished blooming already. And the Alder are blooming now but and the willow of course. But would the pine trees then start much later. I have to check that. Anyway, thanks for this gorgeous Easter holiday in the middle of the working city. So bye bye for now.

It's Tuesday, April the 19th, the first normal day after Easter. The spring sun continues. The birds are chirping. The helicopters or airplanes are flying across, not at this very moment but there were several of them recently. It's a little chillier than yesterday. Otherwise spring proceeds. Yesterday I made an excursion to something called Årstaskogen , which you can reach from Gullmarsplan. It's right on the other side of Söder, or Söder is actually an island. So on the other side of the sea, the other side from the center of the city considered, And that steep, hilly slope of beautiful pine trees, so I will go back there, sure. And last night I listened to a pod or actually a recorded conversation on Zoom between a photographer and artist called Sarah Lynch and Prudence Gibson and a few others. This was from Australia. I think Melbourne or some other big city there except Sydney because Gibson was from Sydney. But in the discussion there was maybe not so much anything new, nothing much new. But the images she showed by sharing her screen were quite remarkable. It's like a combination of photography and painting with two images, juxtaposed, one photograph of some weed or some part of a wood or greenery, like natural vegetation. And then on the right, a field of a specific colour or maybe just a monochrome or maybe a few stripes like looking like a modernist painting. And this oscillation between these two images was very effective, even on a zoom screen, I must say. And that immediately made me want to somehow, not copy her idea but to use it as a starting point for something, and I thought about the all the photographs I have of pine bark, and how I could paint something to combine with the images of pine bark. Well, I have to explore that but this is a tricky issue when you get inspired by somebody else's work. How can you do something that is sufficiently different? Or that feels as an idea sufficiently different because of course, everything I would do would be completely different, so probably nobody else would recognise the connection. But this idea of juxtaposing a colour field and the photograph is so strong, so to not to sort of plagiarise that idea I would need to think further. But anyway, very inspiring, I must say. But yeah, maybe that's enough for today. So, bye bye.

The 20th of April, sunny day again in Nobelparken, on the tree stump. Today it's more windy though, and sudden gusts of wind that are quite strong. And when I stood by the pine and especially in the pose when I'm reaching up and supported by the thin branch of the pine that I'm holding on to, I realized that the wind is really a dangerous moment for trees. Also for pine trees although they are less prone to falling or tumbling over than spruces because they have, pines have a root that goes deep instead of spreading wide as spruces. But nevertheless, if the climate crisis will result in more storms and more heavy winds, that's maybe even worse for the pine trees than drought or rain because they can handle too much or too little water quite well. I guess, because they can live on hills like this but also on swamps or low land that is really sour and too damp for most trees. Well, I'm not sure but anyway, the wind is clearly a threat. And it's difficult to imagine how it feels if you have like branches that reach quite high, and then the wind catches them and the power of the wind is quite strong. What else can I say? I'm considering where to go to meet some new pines because I have this impossible task, which is not totally obligatory, but I try to keep up with it, to take a photo of a new pine every day. Yesterday, I went to Lill-Jansskogen because there, it's nearby and there are lots of pines, but maybe today I will return to Rosendal which is not that far from here and take a photo of some of the pines there at the entrance, because I only recorded two of them so far. All right, but enough for today. So bye again.

 

The 21st of April, Thursday, in Nobelparken and on the tree stump next to the pine. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, it's windy again. And the wind is quite chilly, although the leaves are growing. One could, one can almost watch them grow. Speaking of growth I've been reading or am actually now trying to finish a book called The Doughnut Economy by Kate Raworth or however you spell her name or pronounce her name, I mean, but the doughnut economy, which tries to figure out how we could develop an economy that would guarantee some sort of welfare and equality to all humans on Earth. But at the same time to be able to, that the economy would be able to function within the limits of the resources of the planet Earth. So the doughnut, that's why the doughnut, it's limited from the inside and from the outside. Of course, there was, there are some metaphors relating to trees and one was the idea that when a tree reaches maturity it stops growing in the sense of growing in height and width, or if it does, it does so very slowly, but instead it bears fruit. So she suggests that we would, we should equally start to think of alternatives to growth at any cost, so not growth but thriving. And that makes sense to me. I mean, nothing can grow eternally. There must be a counter force. And of course, in nature growth and decay go hand in hand. But this idea of thriving, of finding a balance, where you're somehow growing in the sense of living, because living involves growth, but not growing exponentially. Yeah, that's fascinating. And that's something that the trees could teach us as well, because they're not, even though they can become very big and very old, they're not growing sort of in a limitless manner. Although on the other hand, they are not regulated within a very strict form so they can grow in various shapes and directions and manners. As this my pine friend, which is divided in two very low in its trunk, and then one of the trunks is much higher. So it's not a symmetrical one. But anyway, when I stand next to it and look up holding on to the branch I don't see so many pine cones, so it doesn't look like it would be really thriving. But from here, I can look up at the crown and it's crowded with pine cones, so no problems there. Well, I should continue reading the last chapter of The Doughnut Economy and leave the pine here to enjoy the sun. So bye bye for today.

 

In Nobelparken again on 22nd of April. My time in Stockholm this month is soon coming to an end. I count on two more visits to the pine tree here. The weather is great still, blue skies, sunshine, chilly wind, though, a lot of birds and today a lot of kids. They were running around so the soundtrack for my practices was lively, I suppose. I lost my gloves either here or on my way to Rosendal in Djurgården yesterday, but I can't find them. They're not here. And last night I walked to Rosendal and I couldn't see them there either. As a consolation, I somehow thought that the magpie might have taken them for its nest but they're probably too big for that. Perhaps somebody found them and found them useful. Because they were, yeah, quite new. So now I have to get new ones which is stupid, but anyway. What else could I tell you? The park is very busy today, strangely, not only with kids, but also with people with dogs and so on. Or maybe it's just that I'm earlier than usual, because I'm going to participate in a seminar at DOC or SKH this afternoon, a 50% seminar by Marie-Andrée Robitaille, which is very interesting. The title is Circus as a practice of hope. I wonder if I could speak of practicing with pines as a practice of hope. Why not? But that's another matter. I'm quite excited already about a performance event next Tuesday. In the very tiny Myymälä2 gallery with two small rooms, sort of below basement or not, in the basement. And I'm trying to fit in five projections. Alright, two main projections and then two smaller ones from the sides and then one tiny one for my GoPro camera. So let's see how it works and to practice not with pines but with images of pines. So compared to that, this session with my pine friend is sheer pleasure. So, enough for today, thanks. Bye bye.

Saturday the 23rd of April, Nobelparken. Windy, half cloudy; the birds are chirping and the leaves are growing, growing, growing. The maple trees in bloom. There were some people walking their dogs. Otherwise all quiet. I plan to come here tomorrow one more time but then it's over for April. And I return in the middle of May hopefully. Now when I'm sitting here on the tree stub the sun is looking through the clouds nicely. I started slowly reading a book called "Energian aika" or the time of energy by two Finnish authors for our climate change reading circle. And I realized I should read some new books on critical plant studies as well and post humanist studies. I know there is an anthology that just came out and there are many of the classics that I haven't read. I'm reading slowly nowadays, or lazily. There were times when I was sort of reading very quickly, and I had even a plan to read like one article at least or one chapter of a book every day, but I'm nowhere near that now. Well, the older I get, the slower I get. Hopefully I will be more in tune with the pines, although it's a human fantasy that they're slow, probably. Why would they be slow? No, they're not slow. They just move in different registers, I guess. Anyway, enough for today. So bye bye.

Sunday 24th of April. Chilly wind, bright sun, a little bit of clouds, but otherwise blue sky. The park is empty of humans today for some reason. But the more birds, they're really having a concert. I don't recognise them by their sound, just a few of them like crows and pigeons and a few others, but these are not familiar. And right when I said that there are no humans then some people are walking around. I'm leaving today and I hope that I hope the wind will be more still, or let's say I really wish that the night will not be stormy. A little bit of wind and a storm is not the same but although the time that the boat, ferry boat to Turku, Åbo, crosses open sea is very short, it's not so nice if it's very windy. I don't know what to, how to summarise this 10 days or 12 days or almost two weeks,  almost a fortnight with the pine now. Maybe I've sort of accustomed myself to coming here. And maybe the pine has adjusted to me, leaning against its trunk and stretching on its lowest branch trying to keep balancing when reaching up. I've thought about the new practices but this is not something I plan to do with this same pine but some other pines. I think maybe I could try the idea of hanging again. Or then leave it to the summer residency where I could do that for a day or a day and night. But something else would be interesting to experiment with. I have to think about that. But these days were, they were routine, so to speak, nothing spectacular. But that's the idea of a practice. It goes on and on. But sometimes there are changes that you recognise only afterwards and I don't recognise any real changes right now. Not in myself but not in the pine tree either. Not in the same way as in the neighbouring deciduous trees which are now, some of them are already almost having leaves and some of them have buds that are growing. Let's see how it looks when I come back on the 16th of May, as I hope I will. But until then, bye bye.

Twenty sixth of April, in my kitchen at home in Helsinki. I was just visiting the pine in Kaivopuisto Park, but I forgot my phone at home. So I say a few notes now. It was great to see the park cleaned. I mean, not only without snow but they had been taking away old leaves and branches and so on. So everything was neat and open and great. And the pine looked thriving. The only problem was there was quite a lot of wind, but my camera tripod managed to stay upright without problems. What else can I say? When you look visually, it looks like spring and it's beautiful, not as much leaves yet as in Stockholm, but still. But when you feel it's rather cold because of the wind and it feels quite strong. I walked a different route into the park because I wanted to check the streetlights, because tomorrow or day after tomorrow in the evening in the night I try to record a response to Michelle Man's work with ghost light, dancing with the light. And I realized I could perform with the street light in the same manner as I perform with a tree, and ideally of course a street light next to a tree. I found two streetlights that are quite close to pine trees but the one that looks most promising is actually very close to an old alder tree. So let's see. But it's funny that I plan that because tonight is The night, so today I'm going to perform "Practicing with Pines", well literally practicing with images of pines in Myymälä2 gallery. And yeah, right now in half an hour I'm leaving to try to create the space and many things can still change. Let's see what happens but I have a lot of material so I'm hoping for the best. All right, enough for now.

The 27th of April under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. Chilly wind, cloudy, the sun is coming out sometimes for a short while. There are lots of kids playing in the playground and the whole park has been cleaned. It's sad to think that within one week after the first of May carnival this will be completely soiled with rubbish, human rubbish, not tree or grass rubbish. But anyway, maybe it's easier to clean that stuff when the ground is clean. The pine looks the same as before. I'm still quite sort of overwhelmed or, not really exhausted but excited, or maybe exhausted is the right word, of the experience yesterday, because all day I was building slowly together with Timo Tuhkanen who was doing most of the job, the space in Myymälä 2 gallery. And then I had the performance in the evening. And funny, because the time was from five to eight. So I could have done a really long durational performance, but somehow because we started already right after five and I started almost immediately instead of waiting for more audience to come, so I was finished like in half an hour and then invited the participants to join in, which they did at first but so we were hanging around drinking wine, the two remaining hours. So strangely enough, it's clear somehow that I don't enjoy performing for a live audience that much. That's strange, because somehow I do, but maybe it was even more important for me to somehow create the space, which looked quite good actually. The only thing that really didn't work was the small GoPro camera and the small projector that I planned to use for sort of showing my writing, which was the fourth station so to speak. But, or it did work partly but it was hard to distinguish anything. So I quickly decided to read aloud what I was writing although I was writing in that very moment, ex tempore. And luckily Timo had put a  microphone, so when I spoke, they could hear me, because they couldn't read, and that was actually a quite interesting experiment. To sort of amplify by one's own speaking, the writing that takes place, there and then. So that's something I could think of in the future. And also the hanging part, which I haven't done. I mean, swinging, that's been done in many contexts and in different ways, but the hanging from the branch part was new. And that was possible too. But more of that some other time, now it's too cold. I have to get indoors. So bye bye for today.

Today it's 28th of April. And the wind is, if possible, even more cold than yesterday. Not as strong though, but colder. And the cleaning continues in the park. Most of the heaps of dry leaves and broken branches have disappeared. But the big containers for rubbish are still there. They're obviously not for the branches but for the First of May carnival that will be here in a few days. I got an invitation to write an article to a book or a book proposal about the sea and the shore and the editor, who I don't know, suggested that my work was suitable for that because it was focused on the seashore, and I was surprised. But then I realized, yes, of course, my earlier work on Harakka Island and what I've been publishing about that, for instance, in the first issue of JER, Journal of Embodied Research, or then self-diffraction text in Global Performance Studies and so on. They are really about water and shores. It's only that it's quite a few years ago. But then, I thought, well I'm interested in trees and pines, so that's not relevant for me anymore. But then I realized that I could of course, take this as an opportunity to look up a pine by the shore. And by the way, the small pine on Harakka, of course, is growing by the shore, that I performed within July 2020. But to find a find a new pine very near the waterfront or the shoreline, so hopefully even leaning over the shore or somehow, I don't know. It's not that easy to find. Because the shores in Helsinki are so very cleaned up. But, so there wouldn't be any branches that near the water and so on. But, I might try. And that's of course, not an alternative to the pines, the two pines in the Kaivopuisto Park that I'm now working with, but an extra addition, maybe something to write one letter to or to visit one day or something like that. We'll see. But for now, enough for today.

 

Well, Friday 29th of April, the last day before the May Eve tomorrow. Now there's not only these huge rubbish bins but also the portable toilet rows. In the park everything is prepared for total carnival invasion tomorrow and especially day after tomorrow morning. The wind is chilly. Now an airplane crosses the sky very low, strange looking. I'm planning to come and record the pine tonight when it's darker, and maybe try to use headlights to direct some extra light up to the overstory, to the crown, because I'm not going to make my ordinary image but try to do something from below the pine as a response to Michelle's idea of ghostlight. My main idea was to perform 'becoming tree' next to a streetlight and I will try to do that, but I'm also interested in looking at these strange branches at nighttime. If I have to come here at night then I could just as well do that. If it's going to be really windy, it will be difficult but hopefully not. What else can I say? I have still not uploaded the material from the Practicing with Pines performance on the Research Catalogue. I should do that. I have other stuff I want to get done by the end of the month. But, it's funny because actually all the material that I used in those compilations, and in the performance was created during the previous project Meetings with Remarkable and Unremarkable Trees. So I should actually add the documentation on that website. But on the other hand, I chose to perform exactly or practice exactly only with pines because I wanted it to be part of the Pondering with Pines project. So maybe, I don't know if it works, but the same page could may be linked to both projects or Well, we'll see. But if all goes well, I'll be back here tonight. So bye bye till then.

 

The 13th of April May Eve, although it's still morning, cold, really cold wind, half cloudy. The weather can change but not very pleasant for a picnic tomorrow. I was afraid that the tripod would topple over but no, it survived well with my hand back as weight. Last night, half past nine or well maybe it was 10 o'clock already, after sunset I performed a brief 'becoming tree' exercise next to a pine and a streetlight in the other part of the park towards the west. And I edited it this morning, just a fade out and fade in, title and that's all so no post production, but I'm very happy  with a small work. I made three attempts. This was the last, the third. It's two and a half minutes only but it's in response to some videos by Michelle Man where she is dancing with a lamp on stage and playing with darkness and coming into light. And in this video what you can see under the streetlight is mainly my bare hands because I'm wearing black and then at the end I shake them a little as a reference to something that Michelle did on her video. But otherwise, it's just the same exercise that I've always done with trees but now with a streetlight, but in the foreground there is a pine tree and some branches that are sort of half visible in the glow of the light. Well anyway, now it's really cold so I'm heading back and I've sort of accepted the fact that I might take a break tomorrow and not try to come here. Not even in the evening because it's probably going to be a mess. But on Monday again, so bye bye.

The second of May, back to basics. Under the pine in the park that is almost cleaned up, amazingly. There are young people scratching on the hills but on the low lawns, I guess machines do the job. Some of the containers are still here, but amazingly efficiently the traces of the Carnival yesterday have disappeared or are in the process of disappearing. It's not as cold because there is less wind. The birds, the seagulls especially are agitated because they can find a lot of treats still on the ground. This morning I looked at the recording on the GoPro camera from the Myymälä 2 performance last Tuesday. Only now did I realise that probably the camera did record some of my writing and not only mediated it to the projector. And yes some of the some of the stuff has been recorded. The sound quality is very bad because it's echoing in the space but of course I have the trace of the text written too, so I could write it from there instead of trying to transcribe it with this app. Anyway, now I'm hurrying back because there will be a rehearsal this afternoon. The sound is about rubbish that is carried from different corners of the park in plastic sacks. Well, anyway, today there will be the first rehearsals in a while of Sanna Kekäläinen's piece Epidermis. I think that's what it's going to be called. So I'm hurrying to the Cable Factory now. But see you tomorrow. Bye bye.

 

Third of April. Springtime. No, not third of April, third of May. But it feels like third of April almost, because there's hail coming up, not heavy, quite small drops or hails, but still, and the wind is cold. I've just performed with the pine and I'm standing under it now and I'm on my way to Harakka Island for the first time in a while. Well, I was there like last week or the week before yeah, the day before the performance in Myymälä 2 gallery and now I'm taking some of the stuff back. I'll take another bag on Thursday, probably. But the main reason I go there today, except that I have a free day, no meetings, is that I want to try to visit the pine in the southern part of the island related to the exhibition The pine Revisited that is coming up. I have made a revisit to the pine in 2018 because originally I performed with it in 2007 but I thought I might try to make one more revisit that would be more current and maybe see if I could talk a little bit with the pine. But the problem is of course the birds, because now it's the nesting season. But I'll give it a try. But here I will come again tomorrow, so bye bye for now.

The fourth of May under the pine in Kaivopuisto park with some airplane or well, any machine up in the air passing by making some noise and a lot of different small birds around. It's less windy today and a little bit warmer because of the Sun. Yesterday I visited Harakka Island and went to see the pine that I used to visit regularly in 2007. And it was possible to reach it despite the nesting geese but now the sound quality was not so good. So now I'm considering whether I should write an essay text and add it completely as an artificial text on top of the small video instead of using the original sound even though I can help it with the subtitles. It's still..  let's be honest, it was more like a chat like this what I'm talking now like notes, not a real letter to the pine or talk to the pine. It was not the completed conversation in any way. So I feel I have to do something about it. But of course it's nice to have the so called authentic one too. Yes, what else? I'm, it's clear that I'm going to Örö, not next week, but the week after. On the 14th or 13th actually, maybe it's next week, next week already. And I will spend there five days so there will be a lot of pines to meet. That's great. But enough for today, and I'll be back here tomorrow again, hopefully. Bye bye.

The fifth of May under the pine, a gray day but less wind and clearly slightly warmer so the spring is proceeding. Today I'm going to go to Harakka Island again and trying to put the boat into the water, the rowing boat. Although the ferry boat now is trafficking normally in the summer season, but sometimes it's nice to use one's own boat and then in the fall, in the autumn it will be needed anyway. I also thought about how to respond or expand the response of Michelle to Johanna's work and how to combine the idea of the Zoom conversation between two people, a split screen work, and then the improvised dance in a yard or something like that with the very fascinating closeups of some potted plants, succulents or the like. And then I thought I might use this duality of two perspectives by combining close ups of the needles of the pine and close ups of the bark as I normally do, but this time with the camera and a moving camera, moving image, with the framing moving too, which is unusual for me, and maybe then at some sort of 'ponderings', some sort of verbal reaction to make it more of an expansion, but I don't know. And to choose which pine, I first thought it would be nice to use the same pine as I used for Pine with Light. But now when I look at it in daytime, the branches are not that flourishing or maybe some of them have been cut off now or. So I might use some other neighbouring pine instead. But we'll see. Now I'm heading back and then slowly returning to go to the island. Bye bye for now.

Friday sixth of May, up on the hill with the camera tripod, looking at the pine instead of standing under the pine. The reason for these changes, that I'm not packing away my camera I'm going to record some images with another pine as a response or expansion of Michelle's response to Johanna's work as I mentioned earlier. Today I'm I'm visiting the pine quite late in the afternoon, it's half past five, although at this time of year in May, the sun is still high but, the reason is I was participating in a photographing session in Lapinlahti, promotion photographs for a piece called Epidermis by Sanna Kekäläinen. And funny enough we were posing on top of slices of pine bark, something that is called 'karike' in Finnish and which is like, well bark and parts of branches and I think the residue from forest industry, but but it's used for instance in outdoor toilets to create material to dry up a human urine and then to help them to become part of humus or whatever. But not only these slices of pine bark, but also some rocks and some small branches of pine needles. So it was a nice coincidence, having a more physical contact with pine as a material instead of sort of standing next to and relating to a pine as an entity, as an individual, as a separate something, rather than material in the same way like human skin or whatever. Well, let's see what the photographs look like but the experience was fine. And I have to add that this is a special day because it's really very warm compared to the previous days. Now it's getting cooler because the evening is approaching, but at daytime it was really warm. So now it's like May here and that's nice. All right, but more tomorrow so bye bye for now.

 

Saturday, seventh of May, rainy day under the pine. Not many other creatures in the park besides the geese, and some seagulls, well, some people walking their dogs. The rain is soft and there is not that much wind so it's in. Well, right when I said there's not so many people, there are some chatting folks passing by. But anyway, I came to the pine in the afternoon around five o'clock again because I had an appointment in the morning so I couldn't come here before, which was sad because in the morning there was no rain. And now it will be raining all night probably. But besides my usual image from the hill with the three poses, I also took three minutes, a close up of the trunk of the pine, just one frame of the bark. And then I turned the camera or the tripod over from the same spot and recorded three minutes of foliage, or you can't say foliage because it's needles, but the branches that bend very low near to the ground on the other side of the pine. So you can really be under the pine and somewhat protected from the rain. Of course the rain comes through but not as heavily as otherwise. And these two images I might use maybe for the response that I'm planning about the dual perspectives or something like that. But yeah, otherwise, not much to say today. I'm eager to get indoors to get something dry on but tomorrow they have promised sunshine. So see you again tomorrow. Bye bye.

On Sunday eighth of May there is a helicopter circling above the park. I wonder, could it be because of the demonstrations that are planned for the center of the city, but why is it then circling here above the park in the south, I don't know. But it makes a horrible noise. Also the wind is quite bad. I'm now standing here by the shore near the reclining pine and I had the plan to have a conversation with it or them. But yeah, maybe the helicopter is slowly disappearing. I hope it won't be coming back or then it's circling and will be back again. Anyway, the wind is quite strong so it might be difficult to have a decent recording of the conversation but... Maybe I'll try anyway. Otherwise I have to do that tomorrow. And because the weather is otherwise good now. You never know. So better to take the chance and at least make an effort. So bye bye for now.

Monday, ninth of May. On the sunny side of the pine. It's half cloudy but the sun feels warm and the wind is benign. There are some sudden gusts of wind, but as a whole it's, the weather is pleasant and mild compared to the well, hail and other nice surprises yesterday. This morning, I sent in an application for a residency in Tokyo and that made me rewrite the sketch for a plan, not the real research plan but more like the first draft of an artistic project plan, funny enough, and to consider what I would do with pines in Tokyo. There's a lot of kids playing on the slope now. So that was a small interruption. But yes, so what could I do with the pines in Tokyo and and I of course, know that the pine trees in Japan are not the same species as the Pinus sylvestris here. I never accept to call it Scots Pine because I think it's completely absurd that it would be Scots Pine here. Here it comes from the taiga, from the Siberia, from the east. But anyway, so encounter new species of pine trees for sure. But the other thing that I came to think of, again, was the importance of the pine tree on the noh stage, because I think the backdrop is always a pine, a depiction of a pine. I'm not sure but I have to check that. And when looking for references, which I then didn't use, I looked up the book by Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World, which discusses the Matsutake pickers in Japan, in Oregon, in Finland and also partly in China. And I remember she mentions a book about ecology and biogeography of pines so I'll try to find that in a library because it's out of print. It seems to me at least, in bookstores or then just available as a hardcopy, which is very expensive. But I really, although it's not that likely, I really would love to spend the darkest winter November-December in Tokyo, learning about the pine trees there. Well enough for today. And now we're moving in the opposite direction. The light is amazing; it's increasing every day. And now it's already almost too much light in the evening. So probably pine trees enjoy that, I guess or then it's just busy times. But bye bye for now.

Tuesday 10th of May under the pine, windy, sunny but windy. It feels like spring and then comes a sudden gust of wind that cools you and it feels like it will never get warm. As they say the summer is short and with very little snow, but it's a long way to summer, although the leaves of the trees are becoming larger. The pine looks the same. The wind has made it or them drop a lot of the pine cones though. They're lying on the ground. Or maybe it's because it's dry. I should read more about pines there is a book by David Richardson, which Anna Tsing refers to in her book about matsutake mushrooms, which is about pines, Ecology and Biogeography of pines. And I should get that in the library. I thought I would get it yesterday already, but yesterday I was weaving. But I finished my weaving so now, time to study the pine trees. Tomorrow I will meet Magdalene Zamorska or however you pronounce her name, who is coming to Helsinki from Poland to study the ethics of performing with plants. And we will also talk about the ethics of my engagement with the pine trees. And recently I've come to think that I'm somehow, how should I say... not behaving maybe in an unethical manner but not very empathically, at least because I'm really ignoring the pine and its wishes to a large extent. I'm just enjoying it, enjoying its appearance and the microclimate it creates and the beauty of the pine. So very egotistical in some sense, no real collaboration, and not even any real communication. I have to think about that. But bye bye for now.

 

Okay, and it's the 11th of May. And I'm standing under the pine, and together with me is Magdalena Zamorska, if I pronounce the name correctly, who is visiting from Poland. And the weather is strange. It was raining in the morning and now it's like some sort of mist, a cool mist coming from the sea. And yes, we're planning to come here again tomorrow. How to... We were discussing if this pine is like, in my mental imagery, if it's he or she, and I tried to say that it's them, but I read that pine trees are both male and female or they're, they have both male and female cones. But yeah, it's hard to imagine, this could be a real matriarch, but on the other hand, it also could be like an the old man fine. I've never thought about it, something to think about. But see you tomorrow. Bye bye.

Okay, so wait a minute. It's the 12th of May today. Yes. And I am standing here with Magdalena Zamorska, in Kaivopuisto, and we have just performed with the pine. So first I did my normal practice, but then Magdalena, you can explain what you did actually.


Magdalena: So it started with this fact that I don't have a tripod and I cannot do this the same way. So I have a mobile so I decided to use the mobile, but it's supposed, it has to be in my hands. So I took the photos, the videos of my perspective when I'm doing the exercises which are not so easy in the beginning, so this quite probably will be shorter way than Annette doing. And I think the effect is quite nice and we like it, just to work a little bit on this, it's different perspective. And I think that the coming days when Annette is not in Helsinki, I will come and practice with the tree every day a little bit.

 

Annette:

Right. And of course, I think it's a good idea this of sort of showing the view from the practitioner's point of view. What it also does, is of course, it's a close up of the bark of the tree, which is beautiful. But this was also now this pondering was a trial because we're planning to make maybe have some conversations. So this was a tryout for that, but this was my last visit to the pine now for a week about. So I will be here next time probably not next Monday but Monday after that. So yeah, I hope you enjoy the pine while I'm away. So bye bye.

 

In Nobelparken 20th of May, between the rains, well after the rain but probably there will be more rain this afternoon. It's almost one month I was here last time and the transformation is total. Now the trees are all green and up here on the hill we're surrounded by in a green cover. The small tree between the camera tripod and the pine has turned out to be white beam in Swedish 'oxel', which is not yet in bloom, but the buds are large. The maple tree on the left has full grown leaves and the pine itself seems to be blooming. The new, the pine cones to be look fresh and yellowish green. And I have to check that but it looks like they would be male flowers, but as I understand it, pine trees have both male and female flowers or cones - well, they're not cones before they're dry, I guess - on the same tree. The reason it took me so long to come back to the pine, almost a month, was because I had the opportunity to go and visit Örö Island in the southern archipelago of Finland for a few days. And I decided to use some of my Stockholm time and spend it there, which was a good decision. But I couldn't imagine that the summer was so fully developed here because during my days in Örö the leaves were coming out. And further inland there was like, well, the spring is not that far there. So here I feel like it's not spring anymore. This is summer. But of course when it's raining, it's good for the growth but the air is chilly, so in that sense, it's not such a summer feeling. This will be a short stay in Stockholm, so I hope to come and visit the pine tomorrow and then on Sunday as well before I return to Helsinki. And the next time I come is probably again in June but a little bit earlier in June this time. Yeah, what else? Maybe this is enough for now but in a way it's nice to see that the pine is doing fine. But of course, surrounded by all this lush vegetation and all these green leaves it doesn't feel so special any longer. But rather, it's like a reminder from the winter but the flowers are nice. So enough for today. Bye bye.