To write, or better, to let the inscription happen without any delays after the praxis or in between the praxis is at the core of my method of writing. As if confirming first to myself that something did indeed happen and that this happening continues in the act of writing. Owing to the instant act of writing, there exists the possibility to ascertain perceived sensations that otherwise would be forgotten.


To dive into the reality of writing without the interference of speech pushes one to face one’s experiences and to contemplate them before they are shared with others in speaking. A spatiality is being created that encourages a particular rhythm of words and the fluency of the movement of the hand. Fragments of thoughts and sensations arrive without effort. And at times, after speaking about them aloud, words become meaningful since they are being listened to by others.


The shared silent moments in writing are appealing. Not to know what the writing will become, not to know the content of the writing by the others. Something is concealed and present. The common writing sessions that are separate from the silence sessions create a particular magnetic atmosphere that lasts for several hours. A withdrawal into writing takes place and still the connection to the others and to the theme is maintained. Talking in between, clarifying and questioning, brings patches of air into the room. The proximity of the others supports and encourages a writing without censorship (which will happen later) to appear. Separation and connectedness, support and surrender to the unfolding writing. Writing alone is different, anxiety and hesitation easily enter it. In writing the world is exposed to me as I am to the world – and silence makes that connection even more revealing.    


However, sharing privacy in writing is puzzling. Does my way of writing change? Do I write more in order to communicate a writing that might be understandable? What happens to the silence in corporeality, after all writing about it is impossible? As the lived silence of corporeality withdraws from words, is writing about it a betrayal? 


What is my posture in relation to words today? To hang on to them in order to know something, somehow? Perhaps, instead of searching for meanings, the turn should be toward nonsense where sense awakes. To leave empty spaces that might hinder the effort of possession? And to forget oneself, to forget what is being done and undone, to disappear, to discard, and to be lost in between the lines. Silence spills over, leaving nothing to express by the known I. And yet, nothing is sure, perhaps the more distant I become from silence, the better it can be what is. As Maurice Blanchot states, we desire silence because of its impossibility. As I write these lines now alone, if only I could trust language like I trust the unfolding happening during the sessions, there might be a possibility for silence to enter into the words, in between the words. If only I could leave effort aside, since silence is the underlying source that cannot be grasped or forced to appear. That might help in maintaining the ownmost nature of silence, but what about communication?


I am falling and falling without landing, since the gap between writing and the actions of moving or being still are insurmountable. The difference between experience and language does not fade away, one can only write around, about, things. Lived experience cannot be translated. Could it be possible to write like one breathes? Today this writing exhausts me, this act of arranging words in a row and trying to make sense with them in order to communicate feels like a betrayal of silence and the experienced moments in our sessions. Drowning in the quicksand of words. Being trapped in the need of communication, yet silence as the entirety of words no longer needs words.




The next step to follow, to discuss and write together, and particularly to use the pronoun 'we'. To move from the singular voice to the plural entailed a dramatic change. Before this was undertaken there were numerous discussions: who are 'we' and how are the agreements done. As Simone Weil has written, “It is necessary not to be ‘myself’, still less to be ‘ourselves’.” Thus, using the plural voice does not mean speaking with a unitary voice and using ‘I’ does not hopefully merely refer to personal matters since the notion of silence tears and questions the borders of the known ‘I’. However, the shift to the pronoun 'we' in our discussion was exhausting to me. Our different personalities, histories, and views on theory collided. In this sense, the notion of silence enabled and provoked noise to emerge – and I have become louder in order to defend my views. 







In our sessions, one important part in the four-part structure was the writing. We wrote notes, and this writing always happened together (not alone / after the sessions / at home). We also studied different ways to write collaboratively.

In one session Kirsi introduced a specific writing method, which produced material that was afterwards used for the video that Petri made. A more intensive part of the writing was writing this exposition, which also happened together: we spent several hours in the same room with our laptops.

In March 2017 after working together for a whole year, we started to plan a joint article. First we met in a couple of two-hour long meetings: we read our own notes (sometimes out loud to each other), chose a topic and again wrote for a couple of minutes. Then we read what we had just written to ourselves. This seemed to be efficient, writing together once more. To be able to further concentrate on writing the exposition, we booked a two-day retreat at Kallio-Kuninkalathe course centre of the Sibelius Academy in Järvenpää, Finland.

On 8-9 March in Kallio-Kuninkala, we worked intensively and took the first steps in collating this article. Petri created the platform in the Research Catalogue, whereas Kirsi and I sarted to go through our own notes from the sessions in 2016. We wrote for several hours in Kallio-Kuninkala. We sat together in my bedroom or in the small kitchen of Pehtooriand produced text. In between the moments of writing, we enjoyed the tasty, organic food of Kallio-Kuninkala and felt that we were in heaven. The silence (no other groups during the first day in Kallio-Kuninkala), the good food, the beautiful nature, the intensive work and good company felt luxurious. The collaboration multiplied our energy and results.  

It is noteworthy that Western art music education concentrates almost exclusively on the praxis, on understanding different styles of music and on achieving expertise in instrumentalism. These can not be ignored if one wants to become a professional musician. Apart from music history and theory lessons, reading and writing – the necessary tools to develop one's critical thinking – are marginal in a musician's education. To deal with the mental state of what it is like to be a musician is not an essential educational issue, though it should be. Musicians are on their own in relation to these dilemmas. In Between Silences once again showed me the power of writing when dealing with complex issues. Writing is an effective tool: it reveals to me what I am thinking.








I followed what Kirsi was doing and how she was moving. I listened to Anu playing the piano and it affected me somehow, for sure. When Anu played something really strong or dark, I was also drawing with a heavier hand. And when Kirsi moved from some place to another inside the room, I also moved to the other edge of the drawing paper.

Drawing was like a map of what was happening in the room. Sometimes my drawing proceeded like that, but usually I didn’t care about much of anything at all. I often took my eyeglasses off and just drew what I was able to see or experience. I don’t see anything, I don’t have any reasons, I don’t make sense… Drawing was simply something that helped me to deal with oblique strategies.

I find it interesting to compare drawing with writing. For me they include clear similarities, since drawings are like notations of what happened during our sessions. I could have been writing as well, but I decided to begin to draw as a part of my contribution to our silence-ensemble praxis. This time there isn’t any other reason to draw, only the communication with Kirsi and Anu. The drawings don’t have any other instrumental purpose, for example, to prove that I am a relevant artist or something even deeper. The drawings are just about the surface of our presentation – a kind of memory of what happened.

I am also displaying these drawings now. As I do so, I immediately suppose that I am doing violence to my drawings and my ideas. That is not the point. As there are no quality demands for these drawings – you can relate to them how you like: bad, good or just nothing. For me, these drawings are evidence of what happened in our shared workspace with Anu and Kirsi.

About disturbance & silence

I could say that I have been handling various kinds of disturbances in my artistic work since 1990. I have noticed that while working outside the art institution an artist is always exposed to disturbance caused by the environment. This kind of disturbance has to be taken as a given fact but also as a factor with its own and special research interest. This is the reason why disturbance and silence were the very core of the examination of my doctoral research in 2012.


What particular information does silence carry when it is deeply intertwined with disturbance? If there is no disturbance, there is only silence. You can’t perceive disturbance without its antithesis, silence. Silence itself is a form of disturbance and it is very much present at the moments when deeper understanding is still about to emerge or occur.

Today I am asking if we should determine how artistic research could produce a research practice that would not be dependent on the very same structures and expectations that should be re-evaluated? At the same time, we should take care that artistic research practice does not transform into something that can no longer be recognised as research.

Naturally this opens up a bunch of further questions – for example: what are the existing structures and expectations that should be re-evaluated? This is a generalizing and problematic argument – openly and rightly so. It will require deeper reflection about methodology: What is artistic research about? How does artistic research compare with other research traditions more generally? These questions have not yet been discussed properly although much has happened since artistic research was first implemented.

What if artistic research were based on questions about perceiving the environment and becoming aware of its causality? Something about our basic existence instead of progressive hierarchies and narrowing specializations. From this point of view, artistic research could be something that does not expect you to ascend from your everyday, mundane being into an esoteric know all research priest or guru.

Instead, this kind of artistic research would enable a research practice and interaction with the environment through perception and what is filtered through the relational processes.

This is why I wanted to be a part of our In Between Silences ensemble. Both as a visual artist and as a researcher I am interested in what kind of a grammar could be created through the theme of silence and disturbance in co-operation with such artist colleagues as Anu and Kirsi. 


The ensemble is part of my research practice, exactly the kind of co-operation I need for my own research. This ensemble allows me to articulate artistic interests without any obstacles between me and the others. This signifies exploring the condition of ‘acting as resistance’ for me in its concrete meaning. I consider In Between Silences an inspiration for creating greater variation in our presentation and discussion formats. Like now as I am writing my thesis in this RC exposition.

A quick note just after Silence & Praxis:

"I am a child of an emigrant family from the former Finnish city of Wyborg, Viipuri, which nowadays is a Russian city. I am living the same abstract experience of homelessness as my parents and grandparents. This is a fact that has strongly affected my life even though I never asked for it.

I haven’t had the possibility to believe in and adhere to a solid and stable monolithic system or artistic medium as some other of my colleagues seem to do. They have found their personal way to express themselves inside the long tradition of different mediums such as painting, sculpting or drawing. I don’t have any tradition, or perhaps I do have – and it is something which might only be my own invention and one which has sometimes changed rapidly against my own will and without any warning."