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.
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.
Saturday 21st of May under the pine in Nobelparken. Cold. This is the Nordic summer, plus 11 degrees Celsius. Everything looks like summer: green, lush, beautiful, but it's cold, really cold and windy. So, actually one would need gloves to wear. I just performed with the pine and everything was quiet. But now I can hear somebody speaking in a loudspeaker down on the other side of the hill by the shore. There might be some public event or something. I'm looking forward to a Saturday in Stockholm, without too much work to do because I did some of the things I have to do in the morning. But of course I'm sad that I'm leaving back to Helsinki already tomorrow. But I will visit here one more time tomorrow. And hopefully, there will be no rain, they have promised rain for today but later in the afternoon, so that's why I came early. It's not yet 11 in the morning, so no wonder it's cold but this is about the temperature they've promised or forecasted for the whole day. Well, what else can I say? I'm somehow surprised with how far summer has proceeded here. Because the maple trees that were in bloom one month ago, now have already their 'noses', their seeds. The oak tree that I'm looking at right in front of me is in bloom, but the bird cherries are almost gone. The apple trees are blooming and the lilacs are blooming. There is a saying in Swedish, "mellan hägg och syren", meaning between bird cherries and lilacs. And that's a very short period and that's approximately right now. But when you imagine that period, it's sort of warm, and the beginning of summer and everything is reborn and not this sort of cold chilly... striving to grow, although it's not that pleasant. The circumstances are not that pleasant. But on the other hand, I could wear more clothes, so let's not complain. Thanks for today. Bye bye.
Sunday 22nd of May in Nobelparken under the pine. Sitting on the rock this time, because it's more dry and it's also a little bit warmer, not so much wind and it's actually 14 degrees Celsius now so it feels almost like spring. The sun is behind the clouds but it's sort of maybe coming forth from there. This was my last performance with the pine this month. And it was good to come for a short visit, three days is nothing, actually only two nights, but three visits to the pine, because this is such a special time of the year. Maybe that in one month the environment is not that different because the leaves are sort of fully grown now in most trees, but anyway. In some sense these time-lapse works, I'm not sure if they're worth the effort. The practice is somehow addictive, in terms of practice, but the end result, the video that is sort of the result, then, of the practice is not really worth the whole trouble. Or, it's like once you've made a few time-lapse videos, the developments during the year are rather predictable. Alright, you never know what happens but like in a place like this, in a park, it's not very likely that some big changes would be made. And that's not the point either. Of course, I could stop here in a way or stop in June and instead of recording a full year, just record the development from winter to summer. But on the other hand, it's not that much trouble to visit the pine when I'm in Stockholm. I mean, it's a walk to come here of course and so on but it's not, it's a good exercise so, so I won't make any decisions so far. But of course I won't be able to spend so much time in Stockholm during the summer, only brief visits so the video will be rather lopsided already because of that. Perhaps I should do as I did with the hanging beach in Humlegården and with gingko that I insert a short black sequence always when there is a jump in the daily continuation, but that's also something to think of much later. So now I should prepare for leaving and yes dear pine, so I say goodbye to you here where I sit down under you. Take care. All right, bye bye.
The 25th of May under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. Nice to be here again. It was more than a week ago I was here last time. I could have come here yesterday and on Monday because I arrived from Stockholm on Monday morning. But I was so busy building the exhibition to the Telegraph in the Telegraph of Harakka Island or the Telegraph Gallery you could call it and that took all my energy. So, I decided not to rush here, but to start again in peace today, and that was a good decision. The weather is still beautiful. It feels like summer. No, not summer but spring. It's funny the spring is so much later here. I mean the leaves are smaller and the spring has proceeded much slower here than in Stockholm. But that makes everything very beautiful still, because you can still see through the trees with their very very small leaves. But now in the morning, the tall pine tree looks very big and dark, because it's somehow, the sun is coming from the east. So what else can I say? I received yesterday the like, enlarged photograph of the certificate of the Bodafors residency, which I'm so proud of. And I promised to take a photo and send them so Magdalene Zamorska who is now in Helsinki, took a photo yesterday and I could immediately use it also for some quick Internet interview, which I don't even know where it will land, but that was actually this morning. My plan was to go and get a new lock for the boat because it's now ready, the rowing boat, but I decided to take it easy and come and visit you properly instead of rushing around. You I mean, the pine. Usually I don't address these field notes to the pine but because I've been away so long I feel like saying hello. So now I'm touching the bark of the trunk. This is really... And that sound is from some sort of construction work nearby. So time to go to open the exhibition on Harakka. I'll be back tomorrow again. And let's hope the weather keeps good. Bye bye.
Thursday 26th of May under the pine in rain. Unfortunately the pine is not very good cover for rain. I have an umbrella that you might hear the drops falling on, but of course, while performing I got completely wet. This is not a heavy rain, but it's more than a drizzle. There were many beautiful days so it's more than expected that the rain would come back. And of course, all the plants and trees and all of the vegetation enjoys this because it gives humidity and nourishment to grow, right at the right moment. I've come fairly early to the pine today, because I try to get back, it's only 10.30 now so I'll hurry back and change dry clothes before I go to the island. Well, what else? It's going to rain tomorrow as well they say, so these quick visits of performances in rain will continue tomorrow. But of course it's only water so when you know that you can switch to dry clothes it's not that bad. Anyway, enough for today. So bye bye.
Friday 27th of May under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park and the rain continues. Actually the rain falls heavier now, when I walked into the park around 10 o'clock, it was more like a drizzle but now it's really heavy rain. There is also a mist and but not much wind, so in a strange way, sort of a small drizzle would be actually quite pleasant because it means that I can be in the park on my own, not so many other people are around. The sound that is audible now is from construction works nearby and they of course continue despite the rain. We discussed with Magdalena a few hours yesterday and we will continue today in the afternoon. And it's all related to ethics and she recommended a book, Plant Ethics, an anthology that seems really like a good collection. And I looked for it in the Helsinki University Library online but couldn't find it, only a few reviews of it, paradoxically. And I wonder if I it was because I was searching in the wrong way. But anyway. And of course plant ethics is not my main interest. It's funny because I try to work in a way that I wouldn't have to bother about ethics. I think people who are interested in ethics are always working in manners that are somehow ethically controversial. And I like to think that I'm not doing anything ethically problematic, which is an illusion, of course, because how can I know? And many people have brought up this idea that if I claim to perform with trees, how can they say no? How can I ask for their consent. And there are the problems of reciprocity and there are the problems of mutual benefit and, I should actually talk with reclining buying about these issues in the beginning of June. But now it's too wet and too cold. So I will return home quickly. Thanks for today. Bye bye.
Saturday 28th of May, quarter to 11 under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park between the rains. Right now it's not raining, it's very pleasant because the air is fresh after the rain, but the clouds look like there would be more rain any minute. The pine looks fresh, too. There is a woman running up and down the hill or she's running up the hill and then walking down the hill behind the pine and I started to think that there is something in my practice which is very comparable to hers, although my aim is not to to get in better shape or to prepare for some sort of competition or something like that. But this practice, this obsessive returning to executing some task, there is an element of that in in my performances with pines. Although especially today because the air is so fresh and good to breathe, I really felt some gratitude to you pine, which I'm looking up at right at the moment. Well, yes, more of that some other time. So, I have to hurry back to get to the island to take care of the exhibition. Fine. So see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Sunday 29th of May under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. It's misty, mysterious mist, the sound of ships from the sea. Their horns was audible just a few seconds ago. There are people walking in the park, the old lady with the orange rollator or whatever the machine is called that you or old people push in front of themselves to keep balance and lilac skirt is here again and all the people with dogs and then a few runners of course. Now somebody is playing the flute together with the birds and ship horns. It's barely three weeks to mid summer. So the light will increase only three weeks more and then the days will become shorter, although hopefully warmer. Not all the leaves are fully grown yet. The greenery in the park is partly yellowish brownish from the flowering but also from the small buds. I don't know what to say. It's really cold so it's so absurd to have this summer beauty and still feel cold. So, let's see, maybe tomorrow there will be some sunshine. But now I'm just listening to the sheep horns and bye bye for now.
30th of May, the next to last of May, under the pine or actually next to the pine because I want to stand in the sun. This is the first day when the sun feels really warm. The weather is strange. You can hear the ship horns because there is thick white mist or fog on the sea, but the sky is blue and here in the park you have no sense of mist. When I was standing under the pine or holding on to the pine as the third part of my performance I didn't notice there was a couple walking up and down the hill. And they stopped right in front of the camera between me and the camera. And the woman changed, took away one of her pullovers so something and then they walked down very slowly. So obviously they didn't notice the camera, or they placed themselves in front of the camera on purpose, or... Well, probably they didn't know this, but it's somehow strange because if you walk in a park you normally look around and are somehow aware of your surroundings. Anyway, it's very clear that the microclimate under the pine is very different from from where I stand now which is next to the pine so I'm not shaded by the pine, although I'm almost under it but I'm in the sun. And under the pine the air is more moist, it's cooler. And that's the whole idea of the importance of the shade of trees that they speak of in southern countries but here of course, it's more protection against the rain. And for the rain pine trees are not that good. But they do provide shade. Well, I should get back so I can get to the island. And well, I'll be back tomorrow again. So bye bye.
31 of May walking down from the hill in the park in rain. Here I can use my umbrella. When I walked up to the pine and I thought I might stand next to the camera under the umbrella and hold on to the tripod rather than try to practice because the sudden gusts of wind and the rather heavy rain. And it was the right decision except that I couldn't even use my umbrella because it was blowing, turning around and the first time I tried to record image the tripod toppled over one moment when I was trying to fix my umbrella. But the second time I managed to make an image of three minutes of the pine and raindrops. And now the rain seems to calm down a little bit. So, this was a stupid time to go and perform but anyway I have to be in time to open exhibition on the island. And of course, when I walked to the pine I thought about it that yes, I have this option that I don't have to get wet and risk breaking my camera and so on. I am not a slave to my obsessive practice. I can make variations. And I thought of that as an option. But when I was up on the hill, there was no alternatives. But of course, yeah, now the wind is coming again, but of course if I could have waited a few hours, the weather might change. But anyway, this was the last session in the month of May. So tomorrow again with better luck, I hope.
First of June by the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. The sun is shining, the sky is almost blue. It feels like the first day of summer, although it's only 13 degrees Celsius. And I realized I was very lucky in performing with the pine a while ago because now there is a large group of people passing by. There were of course a lot of airplanes or helicopters, as you can hear now as well. And something made the crows very nervous. They had a real concert but now they've calmed down. The image of the pine looked quite beautiful in sort of semi-backlight, because the sun is high, but it's still in the east or southeast. It's about 10. 30 now, so the dark green pine was almost like a silhouette. And so was I of course dressed in black. Wow, more airplanes. Strange. What is it about? Well, there's only a few days of these hurried morning visits or well Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And after that I have more flexibility because I don't have to be a gallery sitter on Harakka from 12 o'clock or 11.30. And at some point I of course should also go and visit the reclining pine. But now I'm just content with noticing that this is the beginning of summer and Finnish summaries are like this. And the pine looks good with big sprouts and new pinecones coming. So see you tomorrow.
Thursday the second of June under the pine in Kaivopuisto park, after the rain and before the rain, between the rains, but right now, although there is no sunshine, the clouds are moving and the sun is sometimes showing itself behind the clouds. I noticed a dead bird under the pine. It looks like it has been dead for a while or then it's just the rain that has made it seem half rotten. I wonder how it has ended up here. The wings look blueish but it's a small bird. Well, also there is a constant sound of a machine. they're mowing the lawn in the park which is stupid because I thought the geese would take care of that, but right now there are not that many geese visible. And for some reason they stick on the playing area which has very little grass in any case because there has been so many people partying and so on. But here on the slopes the grass grows fine. And it's a little bit sad that they they cut it because, yeah, a little bit of more herbs and flowers would help the pollinators and would make it look nicer. But of course the pollinators have a lot of work with with the flowering shrubs and bushes at the moment. And now the sun comes out, oh how beautiful. It is still chilly. And I'm still in this hurrying mode because I have to get to the island to open the exhibition. But back again here tomorrow. Bye bye.
Friday third of June in the sunshine next to the pin, after the rain because the ground is wet, the grass is wet, the parts of the bark of the pine that are towards the west are wet ,too. Obviously the wind comes from southwest and the rain has been hitting the trunk from that side. Also, that's the side where the branches don't reach that low so they're not protecting. But I mean, the point doesn't need protection from the rain on the contrary. There are lots of people in the park, small kids from the kindergarten having some sort of running competition with some plastic markers along the paths but a lot of youngsters, too. And of course the ordinary, normal people walking their dogs or jogging. There are moments on wind like now, which seems like changing direction or maybe I'm imagining. I thought about, while practicing today, especially when balancing with my arms raised, I thought about what Magdalena Zamorska asked me a few days ago, namely how I do relate to the pine, what role does the pine have? Or what is the relationship? And I immediately replied that the pine is my teacher. Yes, I remember already in Örö, I made a video called The Pine's Apprentice. But of course this idea of the pine as a teacher, then I should be able to explain what am I learning from the pine. So, of course, purely technically you could say that in the first part with the Tai Chi pose I learn grounding, or taking my power from the ground, be earth bound. And in the second practice, the becoming tree or the tree pose, the yoga pose, I'm learning to reach up towards the sky, to balance, to yeah, to stretch up and especially balance. And then the third practice which is actually not really a practice at all, holding on to the cold, damp branch of the pine and looking out from between its needles, I maybe learn appreciation or just contact with others unlike myself. But maybe, strictly speaking, the main thing I learn with the pine tree is of course the act of returning to the pine, the stamina or stubbornness or persistence needed in repeating the practice. But that is something that I somehow think I already know a little bit about already. So maybe I should think more of, instead of keeping learning what I already know, or practicing that, what new skills should I try to learn from the pine or from some other pine? What, yeah, what would I need a teacher for? That's something to think about. But enough for today. I'm hurrying to the island, still, three more days. So I'll see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Saturday fourth of June, gray day under the pine. No rain at the moment, but storm forecasted for the afternoon. It's chilly because the sun is not warming but there is not much wind, luckily. And the birds are perhaps better audible without so much wind. While having my breakfast I was reading the introduction to a book I got yesterday, Governing Bodies, an art-science collaboration about microbes and humans, and in the introduction was already inspiring. The idea of microbes as the villains that now have proved to be also collaborators and helpers and sort of an integral part of what it is to be human or any creature. But I'm also fascinated by this division into eukaryotes and was it prokaryotes or whatever the microbes are, sort of one-celled organisms without a nucleus like bacteria. Whereas humans and animals and plants and probably fungi, too, are eukaryotes, that is, we consist of cells with a nucleus. So we're relatives. Anyway, I have to read more of the book. But I also was sent a text by or a link on Facebook from Magdalena Zamorska, a text by Robin Wall Kimmerer about pines in a popular magazine of sorts, online magazine. And that sounds like something I absolutely need to read now. But maybe that is something I could also discuss with the reclining pine next week. But for now, this is enough, so see you again tomorrow. Or see you, who? See you, pine. But I continue these notes tomorrow. Bye bye.
Sunday fifth of June, Pentecost and sunny summer weather finally. I'm standing under the pine in the cool for fresh shadow of the pine but if I step just a few steps back into the sun it's really warm. It's like T shirt weather although I'm wearing a lot of clothes. This is the last hurried visit to the pine this time because the exhibition on Harakka Island will close today and I'll take it down in the evening. So tomorrow I am not so tightly scheduled to come here at a certain hour before the boat leaves 11.30 from the pier. When I walked up here I thought about how stupid it is actually that I call these field notes 'ponderings' because the pondering takes place actually, in the moments when I have conversations with the reclining pine or then the pine in Stockholm. So I wonder if I should either change the title of these notes to Field Notes properly. Or, if I should start pondering and maybe addressing myself to the pine, or. Well, of course I could be pondering next to the pine but somehow this double function of recording the facts and the weather and the details of the day and to do some pondering, they're not easily combined. But anyway, I'm hurrying away, back home first and then to the island. And back here tomorrow. Bye bye.
Monday sixth of June under the pine. It's almost noon and warmer. And it feels like summer. That's lovely. When I was standing next to the pine, I suddenly came to think of it, what if it's really true that the pine is sort of upside down, meaning that it's head, its' root tips are deep in the ground and actually the branches and the trunk are its' legs. And if so, there is even a belly button in the middle of the, in the lower parts of the trunk of the big pine tree and then it's two legs, it's two big branches or two big trunks are the legs, which are one of them is straight and one of them is bent. Well, I normally don't engage in this type of fantasising or, well what you can really call anthropomorphising really playing with a human form, which is somehow absurd, but that just that thought just came to my mind. My plan is to go and visit the reclining pine today, because I'm in no hurry. I have a few hours more before I'm meeting an old friend in the city centre. But anyway, the exhibition on Harakka Island is now finished so I don't have to go there. But I will try to speak more with a reclining pine. So bye bye, for tomorrow.
Tuesday seventh of June, warm and sunny, rare summer weather, very little wind and a lot of birds. Occasionally they really make noise. It doesn't feel like noise. I realized it when I listened to the recording of my conversation with the reclining pine yesterday and there was really really strong presence of all kinds of birds and geese and seagulls and singing birds and so on. And I didn't realise that while sitting with the pine, but was more worried about the wind. But anyway, today I'm enjoying the possibility to visit the pine because there is not many days left. I'll be leaving for Stockholm on Friday so a few days more. And let's hope the weather remains like this. So, enough for today, see you tomorrow.
Wednesday eight of June under the pine. Right now some airplane or helicopter or something is making a lot of noise. I was just about to say that the birds are more quiet today. The sky is blue although the weather forecast was for overcast skies. And now the wind returns although while I was performing with the pine, it was perfectly still. And because I'm here now, a little bit later in the day, it's soon three o'clock, the sun is in a different position so I can stand in the sun under the pine on the western side. My plan was to go to the island today but I guess it will, I will do that tomorrow, because I'm preparing work for the Helsinki day on the 12th. Something about the memory of the landscape, placing - as a pilot project of sorts - placing some QR codes out on the island into the spots or near the spots where I performed the video works Animal Years, a few years ago, or quite a few years ago actually. And then those QR codes will lead to those videos on my website. But, basically I'm looking forward to going to Stockholm and meeting the pine in Nobelparken there and maybe also the one in Lill-Jansskogen on the way, on my return. I had an idea to, inspired by our experiment with Magdalena, to create a discussion pine to pine between a pine tree in Helsinki and a pine tree in Stockholm. But let's see, that might be later. For today well, nothing more, so.. Continued tomorrow. Bye bye.
Thursday ninth of June, half past 11 under the pine, now in the shade. It's warm enough to be in the shade of the pine. Well, there is some wind, noise from birds and noise from children. They sound strange your light strangely a like from afar. I'm on my way to the island today and on my way to Turku and Stockholm tomorrow. There will be quite a break, or maybe only one week, depending on... I'm returning next Thursday but there will be a conference, Performance Philosophy conference in Helsinki and the program is rather tight so I don't know if I have the chance to come and visit the pine then. And then after that I'm going to Iceland, which is very exciting, for another conference. So the summer months will not be so regularly documented by the pine but that's fine. And also at some point I thought of whether I should actually finish this practice by mid summer but now it feels like why shouldn't I continue in the autumn as well. Well, nothing special for today. So more tomorrow. Bye bye.
Friday tenth of June, in Kaivopuisto Park under the pine, in the afternoon. It's almost three o'clock. The sun is partly hidden by clouds and partly shines through them. It's warm. Not much wind. Perfect summer weather. I came to the pine this late because I decided I wanted to get to the island and get the job done there first. That is fastening the last QR codes on site. Now in an hour or so I'm heading for the railway station. It's been quite a long period with a pine, three weeks or something like that. And during this time, the summer has come. I'm curious still to see how the pine cones or pine flowers, which are not flowers, how they develop because they really seem like buds still. Otherwise, the bird cherries are gone and the lilacs are blooming even the honey suckles are blooming now. This is the most beautiful part of the summer in some sense, but this is also the time when one sort of gets accustomed to the summer and it starts to feel normal. And somehow the idea that summer is the normal state for a human being and everything else like autumn and winter is like intermediate crisis of some sort, abnormal. Anyway, maybe I should address myself to you, pine, although these field notes are not supposed to be directed at you. But standing here beneath you, I have to say thank you for these moments with you and hope to see you soon again, if not next week, then why not next week, sometime at the end of the week. So take care. Thank you and bye bye.
Saturday 11th of June under the pine in Nobelparken and now it's full summer and warm. Cloudy suddenly but still so warm that it's amazing. It's been almost a month since I was here. And yeah, the Whitebeam has flowered, its flowers have withered already. Most of the hawthorns have flowered already. There is one hawthorn behind the camera tripod that is still in bloom, partly. And when I look at the pine flowers or pine whatever they are, I know they're not flowers, they look dry, too. So maybe they have sent away their pollen to the wind. And there are some new green cones coming up. I came to Stockholm this morning, and I will leave to Bodafors this afternoon. So I came to visit the pine. But I also had an idea of maybe going to Lill-Jansskogen. Let's see. Nice to be here anyway. And I hope to return here next week at least for one or two visits. So bye bye for now.
Monday 13th of June in Bodafors, south of Sweden and near the railway by some pine trunks piled next to the railway, waiting for transport. I've been looking for pines to collaborate with yesterday and today and not found anyone that I could approach. I thought there was one I saw last, yesterday along the activity trail or what it's called. But when I returned there today, I couldn't realise what was my fascination yesterday. Probably simply the light falling in a beautiful way on the stump next to the pine. So I didn't choose a pine tree to perform with. I also walked on the red forest path, which was absolutely lovely, to walk in a real forest. And there I came upon a hill with some pines, the woods are mainly or the forest is mainly spruce trees here. And then deciduous trees. And funny enough the tall pines had aprons on them. So it was some sort of art project that they had, the aprons had been there for a while. And I thought about the paradox that I sometimes feel that writing letters to pines or talking to pines, is like anthropomorphising and not respecting the otherness of pines and so on. Well, putting aprons on them, what is that then? But, maybe that's some kind of gesture of kindness or anyway. Maybe I'll try to do something later tonight. But if not, I am not going to push myself to choose a tree if I cannot find one. So enough for now. Thanks.
Tuesday 14th June in Nobelparken in Stockholm, under the pine. I arrived from Bodafors this afternoon. And as my first task, I decided to come and visit the pine, partly because I wanted to see the pine but partly to have the job done so to speak. The weather is changeable; rain showers alternate with bright sun that feels really electric with a lot of thunderstorm potential in the air. I hope I will be able to come here tomorrow one more time. But basically this is a brief visit because I'm going to return to Helsinki tomorrow. But it's good to see the pine in the midst of this greenery because now most of the flowering is gone. There are some roses and some things still in bloom, but basically it's now all about producing seeds and fruits slowly. And yeah, photosynthesis, to put it simply. And in the midst of this huge greenery, of course the pine is nothing special. It disappears into the surroundings. And that's fine. What else should I say? I'm hurrying back because we have the climate reading circle and for that we were supposed to read Limits to Growth. And I haven't even finished the fourth chapter yet. I won't be able to do that before our meeting but I'm going to complete the book anyway because it's a classic and it's really like basic knowledge in some manner. And I'm looking forward to the discussion. So, bye bye for now. See you tomorrow.
Wednesday 15th of June, under the pine in Nobelparken. Warm summer weather and this strange coincidence, some guys are from the park maintenance I suppose, are cutting down branches of trees nearby. A maple tree and a birch and something like that. I don't know if they're going to take down the whole trees and prepare by taking down some branches or if it's just maintenance that they cut down some of the older branches that might fall down in a storm or I don't know. But the sound of the chainsaw was a dramatic effect on the video, I suppose. Well, this is my last visit - here is some of the sound again, there's several of them. I'm leaving for Helsinki today and will be coming to Stockholm next time only on the fifth of June, fifth of July, I suppose, so it will take a while before I'm back and even then again for a very short visit. But anyway, I hope that nothing bad will happen to the pine but I don't think so. It looks healthy. So why would somebody want to cut it for maintenance? I was so surprised by the noise so I can't remember what I thought I was about to talk about. So more later in Helsinki. Thanks. And bye bye.
Friday evening, the 17th of June, back home in Helsinki under the pine in Kaivopuisto. I came already yesterday but had no time to visit the pine because of the performance philosophy conference, but today, the last session finished early enough for me to come here. And the sun is still high. Because it's Friday night you can hear some music and there is, there are people partying. Not that many yet. And the light looks very different in the evening light on the pine. It was quite quite an interesting experience to have our panel presentation today with a lot of pre-recorded stuff and two of the participants via zoom online and two of us in the room. But I also made a small performance extension with some pine cones on a table. And I'm still wondering if the audience could see what I did with the pine cones or not, but nevertheless, it was not the pine cones from here, from Kaivopuisto, from this pine. That was pine cones from Örö, which I brought with me much earlier. Anyway, now I have an assignment for the next conference, IFTR conference, and the performance as research working group there, to create a small manifesto and record that and I thought I will do it under this very same pine. Nevertheless, I will come back here tomorrow after the conference, I hope, before disappearing again. Yeah, so see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Saturday 18th of June around four o'clock in the afternoon, under the pine in rain. So end of the beautiful summer days. Rain, rain, rain. I'm not sure if it's more wet under the pine or next to the pine because all the raindrops are falling down from the pine's branches when there is a small gust of wind. I left the performance philosophy conference a little bit earlier or left the last session in order to be able to visit the pine. I wouldn't probably have done that in rain and like this if not because I'm going away for 10 days. So I wanted to visit the pine once more and of course standing here in rain is a very different experience but this is part of the life of the pine. I could talk a lot about the experience of the performance philosophy conference and the discussions there, but I won't do that now because I'm going to hurry and see a performance art performance by one of the participants who is now performing tonight in La-Bas. But anyway, it will take a while before I'll be pondering with pines again because I don't expect to find pines in Iceland but you never know. But bye bye for now.
Thursday 30th of June in Weimar, Germany, looking for pines in the world heritage site, Park on Ilm or something like that, which follows the little river. I arrived late last night. I had a map from the hotel and I thought I'd take a walk and and find the pine of the day. And that was easier said than done. I've been walking in the park, a beautiful classical park, for almost two hours, and only now, about to exit from the park, did I find some pine trees. First a few near the Franz Liszt monument. And then these cembra pines or Macedonian pines or whatever they are, right at one of the entrances further up. I'm standing actually in the middle of three pines growing on the lawn, and there is a fourth one on the other side of the path. So I probably will come back here later. Of course, pine trees are not really park trees except these cembra pines. There are some spruces but mainly huge, huge old linden trees and beech trees, and maples and poplars and sycamores, and even larches, some spruces, ash trees and all kinds of exotic trees, some of them really tall and big and old. And some of them strangled by ivy, so it's, one can really sense that the park is old. And of course pine trees need more light. They are good in competitive circumstances where life is harsh. And when they have a lot of lush greenery around them they can't compete. I wonder if I'm like that sometimes. Or if Finns are like that, in general, that they can survive when it's tough. But when it's easy, they don't really know how to expand and utilise the circumstances and enjoy the possibilities. Well, stupid to make too many stereotypical assumptions. But it's funny that moving quickly from Reykjavik in Iceland to Weimar in Germany I very soon realized that some of the national stereotypes do have some truth in them. But anyway, this was my first pondering in a while because I didn't record any 'ponderings' in in Reykjavik, although I did talk with some pines there. Four pines actually. But maybe if there is time, I'll come and talk with the pines here too. But enough for now. Bye.
Tuesday Fifth of July, two o'clock or seven past two, under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. Here I am again, it's warm and sunny but very very windy occasionally. I was surprised to get some resin on my hands when holding on to the brannch. I don't know if it's a sign that the pine somehow has had enough of people touching it, playing with it, because probably a lot of people have been here looking for shade and a little bit of fresh air when it's been really hot in Helsinki, as they've told me. I haven't been here. That's why I come to stand here under the pine only now and I'm leaving again. I was fetching a small swing from Harakka, taking some stuff there where I have my studio and on the way back I visited the reclining pine, because there was some sort of skateboard construction or construction for skateboards in front of it. And for a moment I thought they had placed it on top of the site where the pines grow and maybe even taking down the pines. And sort of affected by that moment of horror, which proved to be completely false, I decided to sit with the ine and say a few words. And then only after that, did I come here under the big pine. I'm going to leave for Stockholm tonight and then to Bodafors tomorrow morning. I stay there and travel to Basel from there and back. So I won't be in Helsinki again until the first of August, I think. So, yeah. It feels like I'm not really following up on the changes. What seems particular now under the pine is a lot of pine cones on the ground, which is probably a result of the dry and hot weather. So they've dried and fallen or then also of the wind. But otherwise the pine looks fine. And now when it's windy it's more pleasant because it's not too hot. Anyway, this was just a brief visit, a brief update enough for now. Bye.
Wednesday, sixth of July, nine o'clock in the morning under the pine in Nobelparken. A quick visit to the pine in Stockholm as well. I'm on my way to Bodafors, the train will leave at noon so I have time to come and see the pine. Now it's high summer and it's amazing what a difference it makes when the grass can grow high, up here on the hill. Everywhere in the sort of normal part of the park, of course the lawn is mowed, but here up on the hill it looks like in a wood. That's lovely. Although it's a very small area and in the very centre of the city. The pine looks good. There's plenty of pine cones beneath it. Otherwise, everything is super green and it's like production mode. Summar is high season for energy production, energy production. The white beams have small green berries that are slowly growing and ripening. And yeah, obviously there has been some rain here because everything looks fresh. I might be back before going to Basel in about 10 days or so, but for now this was just a small update. So bye bye.
20th of July under the pine in Nobelparken in Stockholm. I just read some or spoke some notes on a different app and I realised that app will transcribe the note to text immediately instead of saving it as a sound file, too, so then now I say a few words again. I came to the pine tonight in the evening, it's 7 o'clock because I arrive from Bodafors to Stockholm only after noon and had some stuff to organise, because I'm leaving for Basel in Switzerland via Zürich tomorrow. And that's why I came to Stockholm in the first place. And it's a pleasure to see the pine looking good, and I also had an impulse to pick one of the pinecones - there are plenty of pinecones under the pine - to replace my previous little pinecone, which is a little bit worn out actually already. But otherwise there is not much else to say. Is warm, a very warm day, one of the warmest days this summer they say, but luckily now towards the evening it starts to cool anyway. And the pine looks good, so no problem with that. I won't be able to come here tomorrow morning I suppose, but probably or hopefully on Monday in the afternoon when I return from Switzerland and before I leave for Bodafors again. Anyway enough for today so bye bye.
Just a quick note by the river Rhine in Basel next to a pine tree on the path. I'm on my way to the Tinguely museum where we were already today and where I will perform tomorrow and have a conversation the day after tomorrow. And we walked here with Denri, Derin, I forgot her name, Turkish artis. We walked here this morning talking about Stockholm and then I bumped into the pine, which is standing in the middle of the pathway. It's probably a cwmbran pine. And there's another one closer to the shore next to it. And I tried to take a photograph. But otherwise in the park itself, I mean in the park with the museum where we're supposed to perform there are no pine trees. There is a very beautiful yew, an old yew tree, a few of them and especially one that I'm going to perform with. Just a basic balancing exercise in two versions; first trying to perform as long as I can and asking people to document it by photographing or video filming or recording or what else they want to do, and then a second part where I ask them to try to do the same exercise with me. But let's see, that's tomorrow. So this was just to note, and yes I forgot to say what date it is, it is the 22nd of July in Basel, Switzerland.
It's now Saturday 23rd of July 2022 in Basel, Park Solitude or the park outside the Tinguely museum. There is an exhibition called "Bang Bang translocal histories of performance art" in the museum and related to that exhibition there is a large program with several types of events for a long time. And one of the themes of those events is social elegance and tonight there will be a performance related to that theme here in the park. And I'm going to perform with a yew tree that I'm standing under right at the moment. There are more and more people coming into the park so I just wanted to make a try out before this park is filled with people for lunch hours and so. And we're going to have a discussion soon. The sound of water in the background is from the sculpture by Tinguely which is also fountain, a machine, and yeah and then there is some traffic noise. But more later, so thank you.
Sunday 24th of July on the rooftop garden or in the rooftop garden of the House der Kultur, the bed and breakfast place where we are staying. I'm on my own here now. I don't know if the others are still in the museum park having dinner or something else but there was nothing agreed-upon definitely so I came back, mainly to upload some documentation online and here I have Internet. And then I remembered that I haven't recorded any pondering, not after the performance last night nor after the conversation today. And I must say the performance was quite a good experience, the conversation today was less so but not too bad. Overall it's been quite a fascinating weekend and full of experiences. Basel is a beautiful city, the museum and the Bang Bang exhibition is quite impressive and the idea of having such a non-stop garden party in the park with conversations and performances and food and conversations again, has been pleasant. But of course performance art is a hard context, because there is, how should I say many views on what it should be and about what it is and in different countries the legacies are different and there is this hero worship involved with it, too, and so on. Well, I'm happy that I accepted the challenge, although I thought to begin with that it would be more of a discussion and maybe a screening and now it was like most of all performances and a little bit of a conversation, where my sort of knowledge of or experience with performance as research in various contexts didn't count much, to be honest, or didn't help much, too, because it was more about performance art and what research could mean in that context, and so on. And then it easily returns to the old topics of what is the relationship between art and academia or theory and practice and so on, and so on, which is not always so interesting on a general level. It's very hot, I would feel like going to sit in an outside bar but on the other hand I've had so much wine the last evenings that I definitely shouldn't drink anything, so it should be something non-alcoholic I guess. And it's a strange feeling because on the one hand I'm very relieved to be on my own. But on the other hand I'm so accustomed to this extreme socialising that I'm, I feel almost handicapped, can I do something on my own. Anyway I'm leaving, returning to Stockholm early tomorrow morning or the flight from Zürich is around noon, but I have to leave here very early. So maybe this is enough, although I should add that I like very much the documentation that people have sent me, because I used, I recycled the idea from two summers ago at the SUSUKÄKE or the Sumatrantien suomalainen [suomalaisugrilainen] käsitekesä organised by Saarikivi and Riikonen, where I had this small performance with an apple tree. And it was like more of a lecture with a small performance afterwards. And this time I used the same idea of inviting people to document my small balancing act from various perspectives, but then I also tried a participatory version. So invited people to try the same action together with me. And that became quite a beautiful ritual actually. So I should maybe try that some other time as well. And I do hope there will be a few more documentations for the collage, too. Allright. Enough for today and enough for Basel I think, thank you.
25th of July 2022 ten to seven in the evening under the pine in Nobelparken, back to basics, back from Bang Bang in Basel. It's nice to be here. It was a great experience to spend a weekend at a continuous garden party in the museum of Tinguely in Basel as part of the theme of social elegance that was created as a program with several parts, created in the context of the exhibition Bang Bang or translocal histories of performance art in Switzerland but not only that. And now I returned this afternoon to Stockholm and I will continue to Bodafors tomorrow afternoon. The evening is rather calm, it's not raining but it could be raining any moment. The sky is cloudy, there are a lot of small mosquitoes or flies or some sort of bugs flying around here under the pine, but no humans in the park at the moment. It was quite an interesting experiment to try to perform with a yew tree in the park because there were no pine trees near the museum and although I've done that before, once, also for a live audience now I did an experiment in two parts. The first part I did "becoming tree" or the two-legged tree pose, yoga pose, myself and asked people to document it from there perspective. And the second part I invited people to do the same action together with me. And as a motivation I just suggested that we were not making a ritual we're just trying to connect heaven and earth. Well, that sounded a little pretentious, but before I started his two-part exercise I suggested that we would think of the theme social elegance in terms of expanding the notion of social. So what would happen if we would consider trees as part of the social as well. And people were very supportive and helpful and somehow willing to participate and so on, so it was a good experience. The conversation the following day was not that interesting but as I said, but not bad either. But regardless of this interesting experience in Basel I'm very happy now to be back to basics and to see that everything is fine. I'm still sort of a little bit in the middle, travelling, my mind is somewhere in the middle of the road, but I'm landing slowly. Alright, enough for today, thanks.
Tuesday 26th of July almost 11 in the morning. Here I am again under the pine in Nobelparken. This morning there was a heavy rain, one can see it under the pine, most of its trunk is now dark, dark and wet, but not all. And the ground is wet and the needles look fresh. Rain is good but this was a very heavy rain so it also washed away a lot of pinecones and a lot of insects and a lot of everything. So it was a heavy shower. Before I came here I was in Lill-Jansskogen visiting the pine that I'm talking to every now and then. And decided to come here only if I have time and I had that. I have a few more hours before the train leaves. And yes, not that much has changed since yesterday but of course the rain does quite a difference. So probably I'll come here again on Sunday morning, so less than a week. Have a nice week and see you soon, bye-bye.
Sunday 31st of July almost 11 o'clock under the pine in Nobelparken in Stockholm. Great to be here, it's warm. Under the pine its a little bit cooler and there is an occasional gust of wind but otherwise, although the temperature is supposed to be 21° only it feels really hot. Maybe that's because I'm wearing black. I'm leaving for Helsinki tonight or actually first to Turku and then by train to Helsinki tomorrow morning. And I came last night from Bodafors. So this is just a quick visit. The pine looks good and of course in the morning hours the direction of the light is different so there is shade also under the pine. I'm not sure what to tell except that during last week in Bodafors I made some experiments with a wig, a woodchip wig. I made a wig or actually three locks of wood chips left over by Klara and Klara when they made their Everyman's furniture. And the first chair they made, the remains of that were like good for making locks. So I created a wig by attaching the three locks on a headband and then I went into the pinewood to pose with that wig. And some of the images where I stand still are quite alright, whereas the ones where I walk are not that interesting. And I realise that kind of experiments are probably much more useful and interesting artistically than this slow, repeated practice with the pine in Stockholm and the pine in Helsinki, in terms of the end results, in terms of the videos, that is. Of course the actual practice, coming here and breathing together with the pine, stretching, that is somehow the rewarding part. The video might not look that interesting, we'll see. I also have applied for a grant for a project called Pine to Pine, or Among Pines. But Pine to Pine is better in English, meaning trying to strike up a conversation with a pine in Stockholm and a pine in Helsinki, serving as translator and postman between them. And this was actually inspired by the experiment we did with Magdalena Zamorska between Helsinki and Örö last spring. But anyway, I don't know if I get the grant or not, but of course nothing prevents me to try to do that thing in a miniature form. I also heard last week from Britta who is my landlady that I might be able to have the flat or the small studio here in Stockholm for one more year, but probably next fall her son will need it, so I have to start to look around for a new place to stay, or then a new city to stay. That's something to think of. But, alright, maybe this is enough for now. I will hurry back because I have the washing hour beginning at 12 o'clock, before I leave tonight. So enough for today and see you in two weeks or so. Bye.
First of August on Harakka Island in Helsinki under a pine on the Western shore. A strange helicopter or airplane passing right when I started. I came to visit this pine, which I used to perform with every week in the year 2006 lying as the shadow of the pine on the rock where I'm sitting now. The pine looks much the same, the smaller rowan next to it or nearby has grown. I couldn't visit the pine before because in the beginning of the summer this island is filled with nesting birds and these western cliffs are almost impossible to approach. I wonder how I managed to do it when I had to then. I remember there were nests of seagulls right by the place where I had to place my tripod in order to create the same image every week. Now there is peace and calm, no birds demanding their right to privacy. It's warm, sunny, hot, some sunbathers even on the island. I'm not going to lie down as the shadow of the pine this time, but it feels good to see that it's still here and doing fine. I spend much too little time on this island although I have my studio here so that's something to think of in the autumn. But for now enough, bye-bye.
Third of August 2022 under a pine in Saari residence near Jacob's barn where we're going to work; we, that is the group or the project called In Light of Plants. We will spend almost two weeks here in conversation and practices related to plants and some other things, probably. I'm sitting on a big rock placed under the pine here and the grass has been cut around it so it looks like a place meant for pondering. We arrived here yesterday and took a look around the place and made some food in the evening. Now there is some time in the morning before we meet again in the afternoon to encounter the staff here, and so on. I'm excited because I'm so unaccustomed to working in a group with different people and I noticed that I'm so impatient. Because when you work alone you just do what you want to do in the time you do it, strangely. Anyway I decided - I'm speaking this now in English but - I decided to try to make 'ponderings' in Finnish here, although we work together in English, but to make some sort of series of "Mietteitä männyn alla" that is 'Ponderings' under the pine on this very spot. Actually sitting on the huge boulder which is not a natural boulder but something placed here is very different than sitting on a tree trunk because the boulder cold. But the other hand the branches of the pine are touching my head when I sit here, so I'm really, if not embraced by the pine but under the pine. And although the trunk is behind my back I have a different type of contact with it. I don't know, maybe I should do sit facing the pine instead of what I do now, facing the road, because this is recorded 'ponderings' only I chose this position to avoid too much wind. Anyway, this was just to mark the beginning of the Saari residence, which I'm very much looking forward to. Yeah, that's all. Bye, bye.
Tuesday 16th of August in Nobelparken in Stockholm. The sky is partly cloudy but it's really hot, warm, hot. I arrived here this morning with the boat and will leave for Bodafors tomorrow.So I had time to come and visit the pine tree and I plan to go and see also the pine in Lill-Jansskogen. There is a group of kids in the park but they're not around the pine tree so I could do my performance as usual. You can feel here as well that there's been quite a drought, but perhaps not as bad as in Helsinki in Kaivopuisto Park. It's end of summer, well, not the end of summer, high summer but still the dry season when the crops are supposed to be gathered in and it's good that it's dry but now with all the talk of climate emergency this heat feels like a foreboding of something worse. Alright I have nothing more to comment right now and will be back in about two weeks time.
(in Swedish, by mistake)
Stockholm Nobelparken måndagen 29 augusti 2022. Jag kom till stan idag från Bodafors och ska åka tillbaka till Helsingfors imorgon men hinner antagligen en gång till hit och besöka tallen i Nobelparken. Det är en bra stund sedan jag var här senast, nästan två veckor eller åtminstone tio dagar tror jag, och nu är det höst i luften. Det är inte kallt även om det är mulet, det blåser ganska mycket men det finns en massa torra, gula eller bruna löv överallt även om träden ju i princip ännu är gröna, men en massa löv. Och så har gräset gulnat delvis. Ja, det är helt enkelt slut på sommaren, det är inget man kan göra åt det. Det kan vara vackra höstdagar ännu länge men till och med tallarna har gula barr. Det måste ha varit torrt även om det just nu känns som det kunde regna vilken minut som helst. Jag jobba ganska mycket i Bodafors nu också den här senare gången även om jag tänkte att jag egentligen inte skulle göra så mycket annat än några experiment med en GoPro kamera. Men så, och det gjorde jag, men dessutom så skrev jag två små brev till en tall på engelska. Och ja, men det får räcka. Jag undrar just vad det ska bli att de här besöken eller om det här är bara ett slags rutin. Det är lite som mina besök hos tallen på Örö ifjol. Det var mera ett svepskäl för att komma till Örö, och alla andra arbeten jag gjorde där var mer intressanta än den dagliga rutinen. Få se om det blir samma sak nu igen. Men hur som helst, nog för idag, tack.
Tuesday, the 30th of August 2022 in Nobelparken in Stockholm. I've just performed with the pine despite the park being filled with kids, but they're on the hill on the other side and I came to sit on the rock near the pine to not be too distracted by them. They're basically taking it easy but as small kids they can make a lot of noise. Yesterday I was here, too, after arriving from Bodafors and was so accustomed to speaking Swedish in Bodafors that I spoke my field notes in Swedish. But today I made an effort in remembering that these should be in English, for an international readership, ha! Who else but me would read or listen to these, I wonder, but at least I might use these notes as material or data at some point. Today in the evening I will leave for Helsinki and I don't know when I'm coming back. I hope to visit Stockholm again within September but I haven't decided any dates yet, because I'm tied to Helsinki due to the repetitions for Epidermis, the piece by Sanna Kekäläinen. Anyway, as I said yesterday there is autumn in the air, the grass is partly dry and yellow, there's a lot of yellow pine needles on the ground and also in the tree. There must have been drought. And yes, although the trees are mainly green there are yellow leaves everywhere, so, autumn is approaching, there is no avoiding that. Yesterday I also wondered about the meaningfulness of these regularly visits. As last year on Örö all the other works were much more interesting except my regular visits to the pine next door as I called it there, which was more of an excuse to get to Örö as often as possible. And I wonder if the pine in Nobelparken is such an excuse as well, but you never know. Anyway, I've been doing quite a lot of work with different pines in July and especially in August, first in Bodafors, then in Saari residency in Mynämäki and then now again in Bodafors. So it's time to take it easy and maybe look at what I've done and see how that could be developed into something. It's quite windy so maybe I stop here and hope that something of this has been recorded. But anyway, nice to see you fine again and thank you.
First of September 2022 in Kaivopuisto park under the pine. I realise it's so windy I probably have to try to record this another time or now I'm creeping really close to the trunk of the pine and trying to protect my phone with my hands. Anyway I was here yesterday, too, but forgot to record any field notes. And now it's evening, it's 7 o'clock and I'm late because I worked in the Cable factory with Sandra with the video series Animal Years and trying to sort it out, all the versions of that, for the media art catalogue. And then I came back to find some cables but they didn't have them in the Forum in the city centre so I had to walk back to Verkkokauppa and that took some time. But luckily I bumped into Eija-Liisa and Satu Kiljunen in a cafeteria on the way and had a nice chat with them. And now I am, after this windy moment, I'm going to go home and put some clothes on me and enjoying the garden party, end of season party downstairs in the yard. What a weather for that! But anyway the autumn has begun and this is what it's gonna be about. Worse weather is coming I assume, but thank you and nice to be with you again dear Pine, bye.
Second of September in Kaivopuisto Park under the pine. And now it's half past one, so more midday. There was a beautiful sunshine just while ago but now the clouds are gathering and the wind is rising, or what do you say about the wind, increasing. But anyway there is still some feeling of end of summer despite autumn coming. And I'm settling into the routine of visiting the pine daily. It will not be so easy in the coming days because I will be sitting on Harakka Island as part of Konstrundan having my studio open from 11 to 5 so I don't know if I can make a visit here either before or afterwards, probably afterwards. But anyway a few days break doesn't hurt. Now we are back in the ordinary routine so to speak. So nice to see you Pine and see you again tomorrow or if not tomorrow then next week. Bye bye.
Monday fifth of September under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. During the weekend I didn't come here because there was this Konstrundan event and I had to spend six hours on Harakka Island, having open studios there. I could have of course come here to visit the pine in the evening but I was too lazy. I thought I could do with a break and the pine could do with a break, too, but now we're back to basics. Today the weather is grey but there is not much wind and it's very quiet in the park because it's Monday, probably, I mean quiet in the sense of no people, but of course no birds either at this time of year. I have not much news actually, well and now there is a little bit of wind. It was quite interesting sitting and watching one's own videos from Örö together with the haphazard visitors, some old couples who always come to participate in Konstrundan, I guess. And then some new people, students and people who had never been on Harakka Island before that I could recommend to take a trip around the path around the island and so on. So it was quite okay but of course I started wondering how I could make the work more relevant, how could I make the work more sort of finished or polished or completed because everything is like rough sketches only. But it seems like the ones where I do include my voice and where there is some narrative of sorts that they are somehow more readily accessible. Some people liked also the ones which were like split-screen versions with different actions in different... at the same time, synchronised in a way, where I perform with myself besides the pine, like The Master Pine 1-3 or something like that. Well I don't know, anyway I am happy that I responded to the challenge and I really hope there will be possibilities of showing my work again. There will be actually quite soon, already this Friday, but that's an old word which will be part of the Muu gallery media market or whatever it would be, Mediataiteen tori, in Finnish. But okay, enough for today, see you tomorrow hopefully, bye-bye.
Wednesday seventh of September under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park, sunny, a little bit windy, some clouds, autumn feeling, lot of dry leaves on the ground, the air is fresh. A lot of dry needles in the pine as well. Today, for some reason in the second exercise, the two-legged tree pose, I couldn't make the 21 breaths but toppled over at around 11. But I didn't repeat it, so if I need to replace that section with an empty image, so be it. I wasn't here yesterday because I was in the rehearsal in Cable factory and then I wanted to go to Harakka to fetch my iPad, which I forgot there, and I could've come here in the evening but I was too lazy. Because then we also had the Tuesday Association, or 'Tisdagssällskapet' in the evening, so I wanted to have some time in between. And of course now when I'm going to be all autumn here in Helsinki I'm not coming here every day, there's no point. But I try to come a few times a week. I hope that's okay with you dear pine, but I guess so. And I also started to photograph some of the pines here in the park a second round for my daily pine because it takes too much energy and time to try to find pine trees out in the suburbs now that I've visited all the ones that are nearby. So why not return to some of the beauties that grow here nearby in the same park. But anyway thanks for today. See you tomorrow, or if not tomorrow then maybe the day after tomorrow.
On the 8th of September in the evening, quarter to seven, under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. The sun is going down or is very low, there's no wind, it's a cool, chilly but pleasant, autumn feeling as before. I came to the pine rather late today because after the editorial board meeting on zoom I started to go through my email and that will take some time if you respond and so on. And for a moment I thought well maybe I could leave the pine for today and come here tomorrow, but no I'm happy I came, because as always, I'm energised by you dear pine and your strong presence and your fresh air. Yeah, but what else can I say; this morning I went all the way to Jorvi hospital for a check up, which I was first afraid that might lead into some sort of operation but no, not for the time being and that's fine. But it was quite an experience to travel by trains and buses to - well it takes an hour to get there, so people are so used to travelling by car that they don't always realise that getting to places by public transport is not easy, not even here, where there is a lot of public transport. Anyway now I'm hungry, I want to go home and make myself some food, but thank you for this moment again. So bye-bye.
Friday ninth of September under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park, sunny weather, almost like summer except that there are sudden gusts of wind and all the yellow leaves reminding of autumn. Tomorrow is full moon and astrologically mercury is going to go retrograde or seem to go retrograde and that's traditionally interpreted as meaning that there will be problems with communication and misunderstandings are easy and so on. Well I wonder how I could misunderstand you, but when I was standing holding onto a branch I thought about this that if I think of you as my teacher, how stubborn am I, how much time do I need to understand what you're trying to communicate. So this sort of repeated practice it's really for dummies in a way. But anyway, thanks for this moment again and see you next time. Bye.
It's Wednesday 14th of September and I'm standing under a pine but under a cembra pine in Vuorimiehenpuistikko park which is the nearest pine tree, I think, from where I live. I went to visit the pine tree in Kaivopuisto Park this morning or shortly after noon, but I forgot to speak any notes. So, in order not to betray the idea of pondering with pines and just sit at my kitchen table and add some notes I came here to the cembra pine. I think it is as cembra pine rather than a Macedonian pine based on my experiences in the Saari Manor this summer. I'm on my way to Stockholm within an hour or so, and there will be a break in my visits to the Kaivopuisto pine, but of course I'm going to meet the pines in Nobelparken and in Lill-Jansskogen, so more about that later. Thanks.
The 15th September in Nobelparken in Stockholm under the pine. Today the park is filled with kids; a little girl was peeing on the other side of the pine just when I came, but I could perform as usual without any kids coming into the picture because they're mainly on the other side of the hill. I arrived in Stockholm this morning very early with the boat as usual and came here now already before noon because they have forecasted rain for the afternoon. I'm going to stay only a few days; I'm leaving already on Sunday but try to come and visit the pine every day if possible. I'm also going to talk with the pine in Lill-Jansskogen but probably not today but tomorrow when I have prepared something to talk about. Well, but it's nice to be here witnessing the coming autumn. Yeah, thanks for today, so bye.
16th of September under the pine in Nobelparken in between the rains. Right now there is only a drizzle or maybe the drops are actually just falling from the trees, but there was a heavy rainfall a while ago and there will be more. I'm happy that I was able to perform without getting completely wet but of course I got wet on the way here. What is more, it was a good choice to begin by visiting the pine in Lill-Jansskogen and having a conversation with the pine earlier today, because the rain started only on my way from there to here. And yes this is autumn. I'm looking at the trees turning yellow and thinking about the hard work that is going on when all the chlorophyll is going to be transported down to the roots for winter. And I wonder if they know when to start because of the temperature or because of the diminishing light or both. And it seems clear that they don't all make the same decisions. Some are clearly not bothered to start yet and others are almost completely red or yellow or orange. But the pine needles that are yellow, that's not because the chlorophyll is transported into the roots, I suppose, but because of the very serious drought, the dry period that has now been interrupted by these rains. But the needles are still yellow. Well I hope to come here tomorrow again, but we'll see. So thanks for today, bye.
17th of September, Saturday. It's soon one o'clock. I'm standing under the pine and under an umbrella because the rain just started. I was fortunate to be able to perform before the rain so I didn't really get wet. It started when I packed my things. This might be my last visit to the pine here in Nobelparken in September or then I come here again tomorrow depending on the weather, but I'm leaving to Helsinki tomorrow evening. I was considering today the task of thinking of composting methodologies for an event in the beginning of November and thought about composting as a way of mixing and juxtaposing and well, blending incompatible elements and how I could do that with images of pines. Because of course the work I've done so far, is like, you can have a close up of the bark or a close up of the pine cone and then a large shot of the whole tree but that's not incompatible elements in the same way as in a compost. So I have to think about it. But when I look at the ground now, which is covered with yellow pine needles, it would be lovely to use that as a starting point for something. But not now when it's raining. So thanks for today and bye-bye.
Sunday 18th of September under the pine in Nobelparken. An aeroplane is making some noise and an ambulance, too, and the wind. I just performed with the pine for the last time in awhile and had company of a small squirrel, which couldn't decide if it should climb up to the small pine tree in front of me or the ash tree and it chose the ash tree in the end. I don't know what it will find up in the ash tree, but anyway I haven't seen it come down. Of course I might not have noticed, so. But it's nice to have some company, anyway. Today before I came here I went to Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen to see if there would be a pine tree there. And the only fir tree was on Kastellholmen in the southern part, a spruce. But I found on Kastellholmen, which is the small island that somehow continues from Skeppsholmen, I found a beautiful old reclining maple tree, which was really like inviting people to sit on its trunk. There, obviously a lot of kids have been playing there, too. And it looked like a great partner to perform with in some manner. The only problem is it's a maple tree, not a pine, but maybe I have to allow myself to do something else, besides these 'ponderings' with pines. Anyway, I didn't do anything yet I just took a photo but I feel like I would like to maybe write a letter to the maple tree or just, well, sit with it, on it, but we'll see. I have to think about that before I come back next time in October. But now this doesn't mean that I would stop visiting the pine here of course, at least until the end of the year. And I still have this idea maybe starting a project called pine to pine between a pine tree in Stockholm and a pine tree in Helsinki. and I started to think would it be possible to have it instead like maple to maple. And hm. well, it's not that interesting maybe, but we'll see. Anyway thanks for today and thanks for this extended weekend and see you in a few weeks. Bye-bye.
Wednesday 21st of September in Kaivopuisto Park in Helsinki, under the pine. It's windy, not badly but or actually not; the wind gusts come and go. Cloudy, but it doesn't look like rain at the moment and the morning was quite blue. I came back to Helsinki already Monday morning but had no time to come to the pine on Monday or Tuesday so, I'm happy to see that all is well here. A lot of yellow needles everywhere, it almost looks like the pine would learn from its deciduous colleagues to shed its needles, but I guess it's the result of drought. What else can I say? I'm not, I'm mainly now occupied with the rehearsals for the piece Epidermis where I am of the dancers or performers. It is very exciting although my job is not that big but anyway. That means that I have to sort of stay here instead of going to Stockholm for instance. And this weekend it's the end of Documenta and I had some idea that I might go there but it seems now that I have to reconsider in five years. Yeah, that's about it for today, more tomorrow I hope. Bye-bye.
Thursday 22nd of September under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park approximately half past four. It's afternoon and it's getting chilly; the sun will not set in a few hours but it's clear that it's no longer the long warm nights of August. September is coming to a close and the autumn is proceeding. I came here this late because this morning I was listening to the presentation of the assessment report of the research at Uniarts and it was nice to see some colleagues after a while and hear the current situation. I remember the evaluation of artistic research in 2009 which was not so easy business. Probably this one was not too easy either, but at least everybody or most people seemed rather happy at the end. But there were not many people from the Fine Arts Academy and I met one colleague and I spurred her to send an invitation to the visiting researchers, so,to have a meeting and to somehow stimulate collaboration and try to get more activity going in the research environment. And then I came home and had a zoom meeting with Olga Cielemecka, if I pronounce her name correctly and Karoliina Lummaa, because we are planning a small environmental humanities research day or small meeting, planning meeting for later in the fall. And that was quite exciting because I'm not used to having so many people interested in plants to communicate with and I'm looking forward to that meeting. But yeah, that's all for today so, see you tomorrow probably. Bye.
Friday 23rd of September under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. It's a little past noon, soon half past twelve, and now the autumn equinox is here. Or it was exact tonight, so this evening the day will already be shorter than the night. Today is grey but calm, not much wind and there are lots of kids in the park engaged in some sort of activities and that's fine. I just completed an application for a grant or support to be able to join the SAR conference in Trondheim next April, and realised that it will be soon. Now, of course, what is between us is all winter months, and it will be around the time of the spring equinox, I think, when the conference takes place there, which I hope to participate in. I'm not so sure that they will accept my proposal because they can't have me every year. I was happy to be able to lead a workshop in Weimar this spring or summer, but let's see. I've never been to Trondheim while I've been to Bergen several times so it will be interesting I hope to be able to join anyway. But that's later, the application or the proposal for the conference itself is due on the 2nd of October, so not not much time for that either. But what I'm going to do now is to continue proofreading the last section of the book Performing and Thinking with Trees, and really looking forward to and hope to see in my hands soon. Okay, but thank you for today, bye-bye.
Saturday 24th of September under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. It's sunny but dark clouds are gathering so there might be rain later or then just simply cloudy, but now the sun is bright. It's not warm any longer but nevertheless pleasant. And because it's Saturday there's more people in the park. I managed to proofread the whole manuscript for the book Performing and Thinking with Trees yesterday so now I can relax. The only thing I have to do with a deadline on Monday, which I prefer to do today, hopefully, is an application for a grant, travel support to get to the SAR conference; another option if the Uniarts grant won't be lucky. Now there is some wind so I tried to turn to avoid the wind hitting the microphone. What else can I say? I started thinking this morning about the possibility of really creating an exchange between the maple tree on Kastellholmen in Stockholm and the maple tree on Harakka. I was actually reminded of it because I was walking in Töölö and when I came back I saw the old beautiful maple tree next to the Parliament house actually, with a large branch that would be perfect for a swing, but I don't think it's a suitable place. It probably wouldn't be very popular with the guards or the police or something and it's nothing to sit on, but that reminded me of the big maple in Stockholm. And so tomorrow I will go to Harakka probably and I have to check how the maple tree there is doing. Otherwise nothing much new, so. Have a nice weekend, dear pine. Bye-bye.
Wednesday 25th of September under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park and as you probably can hear them a lot of youngsters in the park. I don't know what kind of beginning of studies or some sort of sports endeavour so whatever, what's happening, some sort of combats and so on. But I managed to perform with the pine without problems and, yeah. Today it's a clearly autumn day; in the morning there was rain and it's cold. The trees are yellow, many of them. It's end of September and not only the beginning of fall but really the fall so, yeah. Warm clothes are necessary and right now it's lovely and beautiful but when it was raining that was a reminder of what is to come for several months now. The pine is shredding a lot of its needles but from a distance it looks beautiful and green. And now the kids are shouting so much so I can't even hear my own thoughts. Well, I could say that this morning I went twice to the Market Square and got some lingonberries to put in the freezer but also in water just in the fridge, because they stay quite well like that. And today I also worked for several hours on an application for a residency to France. And only when I was... and I thought the deadline was end of September but only when I was almost about to send it I noticed that the deadline was 12th of October. So now I decided to wait and check next week if there, well, just give it a little bit more time so I can edit the plan or whatever. But okay, so enough for today. Hopefully I'll be back here tomorrow or if not, because I'm going to go and work with the warp, then at least on Friday. Alright, bye-bye.
30th of September, the last day of September under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. And right now the Sun is looking out from under the clouds. After all day raining yesterday and this morning's rain the air is fresh; everything is wet, but it looks beautiful and fresh. Some drops are falling from the pine and from trees when I walk under them, but the water is also glittering in the sun. There are really dark clouds of course but yeah, I'm happy I came out now because there might be more rain in the afternoon. I'm working on the text about my work with the Örö pines for a book on site-specific performance and I've written the introduction, the introductory part with some reflections on theory, and then presented the project Meetings with Remarkable and Unremarkable Trees. That's all old stuff, so I've just compiled old materials, and now I should write something new and that's - especially about the double perspectives on some of the pine trees - and that's not so easy. But better to go home and do that now. So, perhaps see you tomorrow again, bye bye.
First of October under the pine in Kaivopuisto Park. Beautiful autumn weather, clear sky or almost clear sky, plenty of people in the park. I came here and I feel energised because I just had a meeting with a circus artist who is organising a small festival on Seurasaari or Fölisö island next summer and we discussed the possibility of my making some kind of sound or video work there, because at the time of the festival I will be in Mazzano near Rome or possibly in Accra in Ghana at the IFTR conference so I can't participate in person. And for me that's in a way better because I'm not a good performer in a live situation. Or, well, why couldn't I be good at some point but that's not what I'm sort of happy with or confident doing, so recording something in advance might be a better bet. Although it would be more interesting to join of course the festival and the symposium that is linked to it and so on. But anyway, this means that I'm going to hurry now to the Seurasaari island to see if I can find some interesting pines there or some other trees, but I'll be back here tomorrow again so, see you then. Bye-bye.