Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 in pictures / part 2

Ghent, Belgium

September, "Etude" on Track festival. We performed two shows at Campo Victoria. Nice venue, except maybe for the fact that whole electricity for the theater, restaurant, gallery and ateliers was under one fuse. This I managed to blow three times with false movement with my mouse on GrandMAonPC. Boom, all is going out on full and the fuse is gone. Not such a big issue as such, but the they were not happy having to turn on the multimedia installation on the second floor all over again. Nine dvd-players and flat screens. Whoops, sorry about that =)

Ghent was very pretty, but maybe bit confusing to navigate at first. I really like the architecture there. See for yourselves:

I had little bit of free time, so I visited the local cathedral. The interior sure is different from what we know in Lutheranian Finland. Quite elaborate.

You can buy happiness in a store, maybe? Only in Ghent. -"Onni" being the word for happiness in Finnish.

Jicin, Czech

In September I also attended to a workshop for light designers. This took place in a very rural village of Jicin, some 100km north from Prag. We spent a week there working on the surroundings of what they call "Loggia". This was built some hundred something years ago by a local noble man, who wanted to make Jicin an important pit stop between Berlin and Vienna. didn't quite happen and the actual purpose of the Loggia is not perfectly clear. Our task was to create " a landscape of lighting" on the premises for the autumn equinox. Equinox is an important time of the year in Jicin, because the original idea of the noble man Waldstein integrated the geographical coordinates and the planetary movements into the positioning of his architecture.

Loggia of Jicin.

It was quite an amazing place, this Jicin. A very little village and the loggia situated somewhat outside the main throughfare. I haven't seen so many stars on the sky in years!! Unbelievable. No light pollution, wow. The urban rat wheel was very far away for a week. So great.


downtown Jicin

All in all it was a very nice week and I made some new friends. I should try to engage such things more often in the future. Even if my running shoes are still muddy because of this. Some findings and excersises we performed:



Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 in pictures / part 1

Basel is just one big construction site this year, but I have never ever seen nine such machines on a same project before.

Basel, Messe June 2012

dOKUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany, June

In June I went to Kassel in central Germany. We had been invited to perform at the opening of the big art exhibition dOKUMENTA 13 with "Etude" by Alexandra Bachzetsis. This exhibition is organised only every five years and extends over three months in duration.

Kassel was a funny, sort of sleepy town, which had been transformed into this posh art scene for the duration of the exhibition. Art was absolutely everywhere, and so was loads of people, even though the expo hadn't really even kicked in yet.


Photos look pretty gorgeous with all that sunshine and fresh greenery, but you have no idea how freezing cold it was there. The second week of June and I had go to C&A to buy an emergency pullover, so that I don't freeze my butt off.


Below is the interior of Brüderkirche, where we had the first one of our two shows at dOKUMENTA. We rehearsed there for two days in approximatel +10'C temperature. On the day of opening it was revealed to us, that there actually would have been heating system, but no one turned it on for us. Brrrh.


The amount of art was really overwhelming. After a certain point, one cannot take in anything anymore. It would make much sense to go visit the exhibition multiple times. I didn't have that luxury, so I had to choose. One of the things I went to check out, was M.A Numminen perofrmance. Just because he is a fellow Finn. I thought I knew his stuff, but he had prepared some totally new material for the occasion. Nice and very intellectual. He composes classical music on the themes of existence and philosophy. And also some funny stuff for kids, but this was not presented in dOKUMENTA =).

M.A Numminen

Some curious stuff stuck to my mind about the selesction at the exhibition. There were some very very nice kinetic oil paintings, where the surface seems to be three dimensional, but it's just optical illusion. Those I liked very much.

Optical illusion

From somewhere in central America, they had brought a room full of environmental awareness. It was about the industry poisoning the land and stealing the livelihood of locals - and also about them killing this very curious ulgy-sweet little fish, that lives in local waters. Here's the creature:

Ugly-sweet, am I?

The second of our venues was an old movie theater named Kaskade in the heart of the town. Everything was in the mids of construction, but I got the very-small-scale-version of the performance up and running okay.The theater must have been gorgeous somewhere in Sixtie's or so. It had these nice burgundy red velvet chairs and golden mosaic ceiling. Pretty, but totally run-down. Now they are going to built something brand new in it's place instead of renovating the elegant old interior. Happens in so many places, so sad.

Golden ceiling of Kaskade Kino

The exhibition was just on the starting line as we there. There fore they threw a humonguous opening party at the local train station. they had actually rented out the whole premises and turned it into a huge night club. On one end was live bands playing and the other people were clubbing.

Opening party at Bahnhof Kassel

My beautiful Finland

In July. Oh how I had missed those white nights! The weather was not very king to me, though. No sign of a record-breaking heatwave like the previous year, when I didn't have a chance to go there. But beautiful nonetheless. Here are some impressions:

Parola, July 5th, 04:00 in the morning

Parola, July 5th, 04:00 in the morning
Parola, July 5th, 04:00 in the morning

My friend Regine from Basel was visiting me while I was in Finland. This was her first time in the country, so I got the play the little turist guide. It was nice to have a chance to look at so familiar things through the eyes of a first-timer. Makes you see differently. There is lots of beauty in my country which escapes my accustomed eyes.

Helsinki, Kauppatori harbor

Teeny weeny freshly fried vendaces, yummy!

Helsinki as seen from the rooftop restaurant Torni

Vanajavesi lake system just near Parola

Countryside, night time

Countryside, night time

Wild strawberries, also yummy!

Countryside, night time

In the early autumn, the national champinoships of fireworks. Teams compete in choreography of fireworks composed to the music of their choice, duration 5 minutes. Helsinki. This year I went again to see this with my friends. Nice hang out.

Fireworks in Helsinki

The last, but definately not the least, Tallinn, the shopper's paradise. New shoes, yay!!

Done truckin'

Yup. I went to GB. For approximately 12 hours :-). Alltogether some 1800 kilometers in a truck within three days. Keep on movin'...

British isles seemed quite okay. I want to go back some day with bit more time in my schedule. But, these quick trips are something I do occasionally. Just to accompany my boyfriend to go somewhere and back again. Like true hobbits, hehe.

I've done recently something else too. I had touring performances in Ghent, Amsterdam, Geneva and Neuchâtel.

Ghent was very pretty and there we got to perform with Etude since a long time. I really like the team of that production and therefore it would be nice to be able to do that one more often. While in Ghent I also had a chance to visit the headquarters of ADB Lighting. Cool to be able to see the latest toys at their homebase.

Amsterdam was again one of my quickies. I was there for one show for almost 45 hours. No idea what's cooking in the city at this point, didn't see nything else but the venue and hotel. Sometimes it just is like that. True city-hopping. Next time I'll promise to finally get my ass to Paradiso. Been planning that since forever.

Geneva on the other hand was a situation I couldn't get fast enough away from. There literally everything was / went wrong because people don't listen or care. I personally don't care to say anything more about that one. Bygones. Fortunately.

Neuchâtel was a nice one. Which was good for ending the touring year. The venue ADN operates for most of the time as a quite ordinary dance studio. But in addition to this feature, they have a fully collapsible audience seating for approximately 200 people and the space can be transformed into a black box theater. We had two shows there and everything was pretty easy going. I had bit bad premonitions about all of it because the negotiations beforehand were bit tricky, but all went well while finally there. Except for the fact that I had to construct some scenic elements the previous night before going there. - Local contact in Basel didn't deliver what was promised, but that has nothing to do with ADN.

In December I had some time to concentrate to my personal projects having finished touring in the beginning of the month. So I've managed to achieve a monstrous neck spasm by putting my new website online. It took more or less a month of fiddling and learning new ropes, but now it's up and running. Only minor fine tuning is missing. Pheww. Check out the fruits of my labor:

And please, do tell me what you think! All comments are more than welcome. I know the site doesn't really work on IE9, but that I can't fix with my skills. Sorry about that. I hate imperfections.

So, now the major undertakings of this year are pretty much in the fold and I can set myself to the Yuletide mood. Today I fished my Christmas ham project out of the salt water, so everything is proceeding according plans :-)

I'll try to manage to post some photos from the adventures of this year shortly. Until then I wish everybody:

Relaxing Christmas and luminous 1213!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Summarizing Summer

Well, whooa. Time really flies. So many things have happened within past six months or so. I didn't really manage to blog about them, but maybe now it's finally time for some summarizing. I'm sitting in a truck in Aesch waiting for it to move. Destination London. The load is not quite ready yet, so I have some time to kill here :-).

I've really been on the move lately. I connected with this Swiss choreographer, Alexandra Bachzetsis and therefore I've toured quite a lot recently. Interesting places and few first ones.

I did a design for Alexandra's new project in May and the first touring destination with that was dOKUMENTA 13 in Kassel in the beginning of June. A huge event that lasts something like three or four months and fills the whole town with variety of art. We performed with "Etude" on the opening of the expo.

The main things that I remember about dOKUMENTA and Kassel is not art related in any way. The first thing tht comes to mind is the fact that it was cold like in freezer there. The second week of June and I had to buy a pullover from C&A in order to not to freeze myself to death! Brrrhh...

Another thing that is strongly in my memories about Kassel is this brilliant Asian restaurant just next to the Brüderkirche. Went there few times and got always very delicious food. Yummies!

I did some exploration on the art turf too. Met finally M.A. Numminen, famous Finnish musician, in person and fell in love with some South-East Asian kinetic paintings. But to be honest, I mostly felt a little bit disappointed about the selection. dOKUMENTA is supposed to be very prestiguos, but lot of stuff was just plain boring in my opinion.

I was all in all five weeks in Finland this summer. I was hoping to catch a phenomenal heatwave like the summer 2011 (when I was NOT in Finland), but rats ass, didn't happen. It was basically raining most of the time.

My friend Regine, from Basel, came visit me for a week. I got play the official tourist guide for her first time in Fin. Some real basic stuff like picking berries in the forest, cruise on a lake, smoke sauna etc. All first time ever experiences for her :-).

There was also a wedding of my longest time friend Leila. I was maid of honor and we put together really cool bachelorette party for her. Took her to this spa and entertainment center in Vantaa. Some nice and relaxing treatments, glow bowling for action, tasty Mexican dinner and finally some serious karaoke in the night club. She seemed to enjoy it and I suppose so did the rest of us too.

This year I also managed again to go see the national championships of fireworks. Me and few friends huddled on a cliff in Meilahti on a crisp September evening. This something like a tradition to me and I always try to go see this competition if only I am in the country. There is usually 4-5 teams and they all have composed a choreography of the effects to a four-minute piece of music.

I was twice in Moscow within two months. I've neer been anywhere in Russia before.

Moscow really blew me away. It was quite amazing to see for real all those places which one knows from the school history books and documentaries. Moscow was huge and spacious, 4-lane avenues leading into the heart of the city. The red Kreml streching over for hundreds of meters. The statues of Yuri Gagarin, Lenin and Marx. Everything is big there; the cars, jewels, botox and hairdos. Only the famous Red Square seemed insignificant towards all the expectations I had.

Moscow seems definitely socially to be all about status symbols and machoism. The penis extensions are present everywhere. Bigger and shinier cars, Rolexes, diamonds. The city also has everything. You name it, they for sure got it. The only question is if you can afford it. All the western labels and branches are there, only the price is approximately three times higher.

It all also seems to be important to an average higher class Russian. It's crucial to be able to show one's wealth and means. More over so than anywhere in western Europe. Everybody is better groomed in public than we in the west are. In the night-club all the ladies are wearing a dress with (insanely) high heels and 90 percent of them also have a proper hairdo with curls and works. It seems to be expected of you by the society, but it also seems to be something that the girls wanna carry on. They do seem more feminine and sublime. Which is not completely wrong. Sometimes it's good to remember that you actually are a female and dress up, ditching the rugged jeans to the bedroom floor when going clubbing.

All this is of course my personal assumption and you may have a different opinion. No offense meant to anybody. And I'm not saying that I wouldn't like Russia or the people there. Only that this first experiences really had an impact on me and that it was very different from what I was expecting.

And anyhow, the chow over there is brilliant!! Let alone, Beluga vodka :-).

Now the truck is finally moving and it's getting really wobbly. So catch you guys later.

Gone trucking. To be continued....

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Website on the move

I got royally pissed off because of the irrelevant ads and unbearable downtime on my current website location. Therefore I'm migrating to Blogger also with my online portfolio.

Now it is still very tiny and sketchy collection of stuff, but I keep on adding things as I have time. So please visit me in the future also here! Looking forward to hear your comments on the new looks!

This blog I will keep also in the future, but the portfolio at I will not update anymore. That domain I can't recommend to anyone. Broken promises about adfree pages, ftp not working and the whole site down every other day. Time to move on...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting the feel of Glasgow

Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2012 was the reason why and how I finally ended up in British Isles for the first time in my life. Better late than never, although I feel a bit bad about being so lame in the past. -The thing is that my friend was studying in Glasgow School of Art for five years and I always promised to visit her but never managed. She graduated couple of years ago, sigh.

Downtown Glasgow

Anyhow, last April I finally got my act together and flew over. And as it happened, she was there also at that time. So funny. I texted her from Heathrow Airport asking some hot tips for the city and she answered immediately that she can show me around, since she's there too. Heh.

Trendy and stylish
The whole city of Glasgow seemed to me to be a happy marriage of old and new. Traditional meets sleek design. Ultra modern glass complex sits right next to a Victorian brownstone and everything fits nonetheless. The accommodation was at Citizen M hotel, downtown. A cool and definitely designed place. Everywhere one could see these slogans and proverbs by the Citizen M, who ever he is. Check'em out:

My room @ Citizen M

By the entrance: note to all latecomers

Choices in shower

Citizen M, I presume?

Fun and cute
Jamie Kenyon, who was our contact from the festival was the dearest person ever, who invested so much energy in making us feel comfortable during our visit. This shouldn't have been so big a task, since all the things on the festival were pretty smoothly organized anyway. But he really invested his time on us. And took us to see the scaled model of Stonehenge, which turned out to be a bouncy castle. Loads of fun!!!

Bouncy Stonehenge

Among other places, Jamie took us also to visit the The Common Guild which exhibited contemporary photographs and graphics at the time. This guild have the cutest toilet sign ever. Seriously?!

Do you object??

Time machine
I did have little bit time to look around on my own in the city. I chose to go to the Hunterian Museum, which is located on the campus of Glasgow University. This museum claims so be one of Scotland's most important cultural assets.

Glasgow University campus

Collection includes bunch of cool gadgets and inventions by James Watt and Lord Kelvin among others. Fascinating. Many thingies and apparatuses that have to do with electromagnetism, sound waves and such. And one gets to touch them and try things out. All this sits happily right next to petrified dinosaur eggs and ancient Indian canoes.

Petrified dinosaur eggs at the collection

And the location is like walking into Harry Potter film set. I took the Glasgow subway to get there, which is also one thing not to miss while in the city. It was built, judging by the looks, sometime in the sixties and never touched after that.

Kelvin gadget

Totally incomprehensible
Scotland is a lovely place and the people are friendly. Teenies seemingly loud in the evenings, but nonetheless. People are very willing to chat with you, only most of the times I didn't understand one word of what they were saying. Takes some practise, I suspect.

River Clyde

On the very first evening I went to this pub recommended by the technicians of the contemporary art center and wanted to have a beer. I asked the bartender if he can recommend me some local lager-type of beer. He told me probably a big chunk of the history and qualities of several options he could offer me, only to realize that I didn't get absolutely any of it. Then he settled into offering me a sample. This one? This one. Big. thank you.

The Briggait, former fishmarket, nowadays art gallery

Funnily, the language seemed somewhat familiar to me, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. Until somebody pointed out some similarities between Swedish and Scottish. Yess. That's it!! There is undeniably recognizable words common in both languages. No wonder it sound familiar even though one doesn't understand anything.

But yeah, so much of my exhilaration of being able to go touring somewhere where they speak English and to avoid the language barrier. Understanding would take some time. But I would definitely go again. Aye.

very Scottish

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Efficiency on tour

I was working for the Steps 2012 festival at Theater Roxy in Birsfelden when Introdans company from Netherlands arrived. Company had for this particular show twentysomething young dancers from all around the world. All in all they have currently four fullsized ensembles on tour.

These people really have figured the touring out in a cool way. Their tech crew shows up with a humonguous truck which has "Introdans" written on the sides with two meter high block letters. No mistaking there... They pour out of the truck pretty much everything they need including most of the light fixtures and request mainly only electricity (and enough of it). One of the first items to arrive to the new venue is portable kitchen with everything necessary attached; microwave, espresso machine, fridge with cold beer in it etc.

Movable kitchen unit with all the necessities

I was fascinated about the level of efficiency that these people showed. Everything is organized and smooth and they really know what they are doing. They also seem to have realized that if you really wanna have something in certain way, then it's easier to bring it with you. Saves whole lotta time in the end, which I also figured out very fast when touring with an university production last year.

Such a pleasure to work with this kind of people. And it was also cool to observe how they handle things. For example, they drag the ballet bars around the world with them to be used during the warming up of the dancers (photo below). During the get-in these bars serve as aids for the focusing the sidelights =)

Ballet bar travelling the world

I heard that this group was heading next to Indonesia. Maybe they'll ship the container with lights, set and kitchen over? There it might really prove to be a good idea to bring our own stuff, since one never knows the circumstances so precisely =)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maxim's de Paris

In mid-April I visited Paris for the first time in 16 years. I had been told many times over that Paris is the most beautiful city of the world, but I didn't believe that. Just because last time I was there in February and it was all grey, rainy and dull. This time I saw the potential beauty better.

Tour de Eiffel

Pont Neuf

Tuileries with Louvre on the background

Lantern at Place de la Concorde

Near Hotel des Invalides

Street art at Rue de Rivoli

Palais de Tokyo
I was invited to sneak in to this sneak-preview of one of the museums in Paris. The actual exhibition was not officially open at that point, but it was not really the exhibition that blew me away. the building itself is quite mind-boggling. As you enter to the ground floor lobby, it looks like any other museum lobby. But the thing actually is that the building expands into a maze of multiple floors underground. Definitely something to check out if you're in Paris.

Three floors down

It was a posh party, but not everything was so high-tech. I was giggling at these rubberlight installations on the yard of the museum:

OMG! Those kebab cables!!!

I was in Paris to do lights for a midnight dance show on a private birthday party at Maxim's. Such a fancy restaurant!!! All the decor and details are from late 19th century and all still original. The main dining hall is on the ground floor but the premises extend to upper floors as well. All in same art and fashion what comes to the interior and furnishing. Such beautiful lanterns and decorations.

Setting up at Maxim's

It was actually somewhat tiring after couple of hours to deal with all the abundance of detail and colors when one has to work with visuals there. It's just a bit too much =). Lovely place to have a dinner if one can afford it, but not necessarily the most comfortable place to work maybe. Cool experience nonetheless.

Beautiful art nouveau details

Anyhow, the actual gig was great albeit extreme and the people I worked with very nice. And oh, that amount of champagne in the later hours compensated the long hours of setting it all up...

Spiraling staircase

Screens like any other?