perjantai 28. marraskuuta 2008

I pulled it through.
The sign is there.

My interpretation in the front, the original in the back.

I'm exhausted but happy. My hands have stopped sweating, my heart is beating to a normal rythm. At 9 am this morning, with the best help from Elvira, I put the thing up. See it?
No more thoughts running trough my head, just the sweet relief of things gone well. I do hope that the sign will be up there at least over the weekend. I think I will go and get it down myself next week unless someone else has done it for me.
I'm worried about the authorities reactions, since I haven't asked for a permission to put this piece up. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to think that anyone would get too upset about a thing like this. After all, it's basicly just about fooling around, trying to bring a little grin on people's faces.
In the very near future (say tomorrow?) I would like to document the pass-byers reactions. Do people notice my work in the plenty of traffic signs? And if they do, how do they respond to it? Am I the only one to find it amusing? The taps-on-the-back from the people on this course gave me affirmation, that I am not - best thanks to our teacher Marco and all the people attending the Urban Acupuncture -course. Your feedback has been encouraging. Special thumb up for Elvira!

The sign and it's proud creator.

torstai 27. marraskuuta 2008

These last two days - all about working.


Luckily I got a piece of veneer plywood for free, printing went fine, gluing not so good. I can't recommend boat varnish on printed paper, unless a melted picture is your goal... I covered the piece with plastic. With a little help from my friends in the wood studio I drilled a hole in the middle, attached the metal pieces and Avot! The sign is ready to be installed.

The backside of the sign - this
amount of metal should do it!

To make it shiny and weatherproof I
covered the work with plastic.

During this project I learned again a little about myself and my ways of working during an art project: Trying to do a serious piece of work, the impish part of me takes over and I end up with something like a cockoo robot. In any case, I'm happy I do - the realization of these caprices gives me content, keeps my personal energy flows upbeat! Hopefully some of my positive flow will be transmitted to the people who come across my work.

The H-hour: tomorrow morning.

tiistai 25. marraskuuta 2008

My interpretation of the traffic sign I chose.

What happens when information graphics loses its information value and becomes something else? A wink of an eye? An intervention? At least I hope it rouses the question “Why?”. Why would anyone make an effort in doing something with such little sense? Making something irrational, I hope, will make people act more irrational. At least throw a snowball at it!

Street art in general interest me. There has been a lot of discussion on Nollatoleranssi, the zero-tolerance towards graffities and stickers in Helsinki.

Halfway from Sörnäinen to the railway station I stopped in Kaisaniemi. The road was roaring with cars, the street was at its widest (I could hardly see the people on the other side of the street!), pedestrians struggled in the snow. The traffic sounds were loud. I turned my head from where I was coming to the directions I was about to proceed in.

The man on this video came up to me with a question. He wanted to
know if I thouhgh Helsinki was a pretty enough place to shoot in.
Judge for yourself!

There, right there! The traffic sign caught my eye, I took a closer look. This particular one was new to me. Not having a driver’s license, I rarely pay attention to the signs around us. They’re everywhere, telling us where to cross, when to stop, how to act. I started to look around for the bright colours and the simple, basic shapes.

My favourite of them all - the weird sign
including an ancient camera.

maanantai 24. marraskuuta 2008

In my impression, acupuncture is about setting one’s energy flow straight, right and well. Flow runs in some parts strong, sprinkling, in other part slow - sometimes turning, sometimes straight. The flow has a direction, a starting point and an end.

What would these urban energy flows construct of? The city itself in my mind is mainly the frame for its user, the visitor, the inhabitant, their lives, actions, feelings and thoughts. The energy of the city is the energy of the people. The act of acupuncturing the city is an act of liberating their energy. A sting of a needle is a wake up call for the inhabitants to be present, to take part in their environment, in the moment. This action, the discharge of energy can be even as small as just taking a good, intense look at the place one is at that moment. It is about making people to be present, conscious, ready, focused and concentrated. My aim is to turn the potential energy to kinetic energy.

Acupuncture is needed when a person, a city in this case, is ill. Illnesses of the city are as diverse as those of human beings. The one I’m most interested in curing, is the lack of natural, spontaneous and kind interaction between people and the constant rush we all seem to have. Less hurry more smiles.

The needles are put in and taken out. The procedure is not too long, but a mark remains on the skin. Actually a net of marks since acupuncture is executed with several needles. In a city environment these could be just memory marks in the collective mind, the on-going stories of things happened in these specific places.