5


Knödel Love

Our kitchen this morning

The last and final event of the project ‘5 The dish’ took place last night at my home on Iso Roba. Starting at 5 pm, last guests left around 1:30 am – that would be 8,5 hrs of Knödel party! This morning, I woke up with a hangover of sorts (which was not caused by too much glögi) – was this really the last event? I feel sad, but also relieved; now, the writing can start, and tomorrow, I will take off to Austria and Germany afterwards for holidays (if the snow storm doesn’t wreck my travel plans).

‘Waste’ bread from the supermarket

Preparations started with a supermarket tour on Thursday morning, when I picked up a bag full of the bread that would have officially expired the next day (supermarkets usually sort out products one day before expiration date), and which would have gone to the bin. I felt a bit like Santa Clause with that huge heavy black plastic bag full of goodies on my back, tramping back home through the snow. I unpacked the bread to prevent it from becoming mouldy – my flat smelled like some sort of bakery for three days.

The plan was to make so-called ‘Knödel’ from the waste bread, a typical German dish that recycles stale bread. I am sure none of my guests would have expected those hot steaming round bread balls to be as tasty as they were – not even me! I have to admit, the first Knödel in my mouth just truly made my night – so hearty, warming, and comforting! (talking about food arousing memories) The kitchen was packed with people, and nevertheless we managed to cook together. People just started chopping up bread and following the recipe that hung next to the stove. I didn’t even count how many different doughs were made last night, but there were quite a few, ranging from rye-beetroot- over normal white-bread-parsley-onion- to mixed-bread-with-carrots-Knödels.

All photos but first two by Marina Ekroos

The night went on with our ‘analogue Facebook’ wall – visualizing the social network of people at the party and those who had participated in former events and workshops of this project. It only stopped when we ran out of stickers! When people left, ‘Knödel doggy bags’ with the recipe printed on them were handed out to be filled with leftover bread from the table. Long live the Knödel!

Check out more pictures taken by Marina of the night on Facebook or/and Picasa! Thanks to her again for the great support. :)

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Open invitation to the big final 5th event!

The art and food event series ‘5 – The dish’ comes to an end with this big final event: an open invitation to the artist’s house! Welcome to bring as many friends as you want. The only thing I ask from everybody is to bring old bread – either from your own kitchen, salvaged from the supermarket waste bin, hunted for in a bakery, or from elsewhere – be creative! We will pile up the ‘waste bread’ and turn them into delicious ‘Knödels’.

This event is a chance to meet new and known faces, build up new networks, think of new projects, and reflect upon past, present, and things to come…

Date: December 5th 2010 (this week’s Sunday)

Location: at my home, on Big Mama’s 5th floor (where I share a flat with two girls). Iso Roobertinkatu 26 A 14, 00120 Helsinki

Time: starting from 5 pm onwards. Open end.

Looking forward to seeing you!




ÄOM
November 6, 2010, 11:49 am
Filed under: 4/5, Art, Design, Projects for inspiration | Tags: , , , ,

ÄOM? What? Ah, Älä Osta Mitään, that’s what it stands for! Yes, Finland also has it, the infamous ‘Buy-Nothing-Day’. Introduced in 1992 by artist Ted Dave and promoted by the consume-critical Adbuster magazine, BND has been celebrated in by now 65 nations worldwide, typically on the Friday following North American Thanksgiving, and the following day internationally. This year, it will take place November 26th. Here a link to the Finnish website about the event, set up by Luonto-liitto ry. Public opinion about the event is divided, but I think it is a very fine occasion to reconsider shopping behaviours, not only for that one day, but in general and in a sustained way.

Which reminds me of a protest action done a few years ago in the busiest shopping street of Vienna, right before Christmas. :)



News: 4th event scheduled!

Last night, I finally had a meeting with Antto Melasniemi, co-owner of the two Helsinki restaurants Ateljé Finne in Töölö and Kuurna in Kruununhaka, to schedule and plan the 4th event of the 5-series, which deals with the consumption step (4/5:CONSUME). The day before, I bumped into Salla Kuuluvainen, who played an important role in the oven workshop and is generally active in urban gardening and food activism. I invited her along, and she immediately joined forces. So now, there is a team!

Since Antto is busy travelling the next week, we moved the event to the 29th of Nov., a Monday, which is the usual day of rest of the location (restaurant Ateljé Finne). The rough plan is to create an ephemeral dinner, meaning that literally nothing will be left after the meal, no tools, no crockery, no cutlery. We will organize an afternoon workshop for creating those ephemeral objects for 10 people, who will invite one avec to join us for the dinner following the workshop. Antto, Salla, and I will complete the edible objects with dishes that will be kept in secret. Stay tuned for updates!



Talkoot
November 1, 2010, 8:42 am
Filed under: Network, Theories | Tags: , , ,

Harvest talkoot//Source: http://www.erm.ee

Have you ever heard that word before? Me either! First time I encountered the term was in the context of the oven building workshop in the Summer, when the word was mentioned to describe the building process as an ‘urban talkoot’.  The word exists in different cultures with similar meaning, such as ‘bee’ or ‘barn raising’ in English, ‘imece’  in Turkish, ‘talgod’ in Estonian, ‘dugnad’ in Norwegian, ‘kaláka’ in Hungarian, ‘gadugi’ in Cherokee, and tłoka in Polish, or ‘Nachbarschaftshilfe’ in German.

In Finland, it is an old tradition to help our your neighbour or the community in a village with volunteer work to build e.g. a barn, a house, an oven, or to harvest the fields. This tradition is still alive in old neighbourhoods on the countryside and at Finn’s mökkis (cottages). Andrew Petterson, a researcher in media lab at Taik in Helsinki, has written the very interesting paper ‘A Buzz between Rural Cooperation and the Online Swarm’ about the word ‘talkoot’, analyzing its lingual origins and meaning, and comparing it to contemporary internet practices. According to him, internet communication and web activity enlarge the ‘social capital’ of a society, referring to the term defined by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. “Social capital is a sociological concept, which refers to connections within and between social networks. The core idea is “that social networks have value. Just as a screwdriver (physical capital) or a college education (human capital) can increase productivity (both individual and collective), so do social contacts affect the productivity of individuals and groups”.” (Wikipedia/Putnam, Robert)

With the expansion of big cities, social bonds between neighbours got lost. Whilst we may not know the people who live next door, we might talk online to strangers from the other side of the world, give advice and ask for help. Still, it seems that virtual social networks are indeed reviving real life social bonds, which is a very promising sign for the future. Comparing it again to the fine example of the oven workshop: instead of direct neighbours, it was mostly anonymous strangers who gathered via internet platforms, but real life social bonds were the result of it!

Social capital is a sociological concept, which refers to connections within and between social networks. Though there are a variety of related definitions, which have been described as “something of a cure-all[1] for the problems of modern society, they tend to share the core idea “that social networks have value. Just as a screwdriver (physical capital) or a college education (human capital) can increase productivity (both individual and collective), so do social contacts affect the productivity of individuals and groups”.


gentle actions & small worlds
October 26, 2010, 12:54 pm
Filed under: Art, Food, Network, Projects for inspiration | Tags: , , , ,

Interspecies collaborations/ David Rothenberg

A few weeks ago, I have been contacted by a Swedish artist named Jana Fröberg, who studied at the Art Academy of Oslo, where my good friend Tabea is studying now. Somehow, she had stumbled upon my blog, and told me about an art and ecology happening in Oslo she is participating in, Gentle Actions. Shortly after, I got to know Jan van Boeckl, who is a researcher and lecturer in Environmental Art Education, when he attended the 2/5:GROW-dinner at Taik, who tells me about participating in the Gentle Actions event. What a small world! A few days ago, I talked to Tabea on Skype, and she attended the event and got to know, without knowing about me knowing, Jana and Jan. The world is not only small, it is shrinking!

“Gentle Actions is an art & ecology happening with an experimental visual framework that will take place at the gallery Kunstnerenes Hus in Oslo/Norway from the 23rd of October till the 14th of November 2010. It will be an interactive meeting place which combines the transformatory power of art with interdisciplinary ecology. Gentle Actions will function as a social sculpture and gather people engaged in social transformation within the arts, culture, humanities, social and nature based academia together with cultural activists and an actively engaged public.  It will be an interactive and collaborative platform that includes dialogues and lectures, various presentations, workshops, discussions, and an extensive film program.

Quoting Jaques Rancière: “Art no longer wants to respond to the excess of commodities and signs, but to a lack of connections. The loss of the “social bond”, and the duty incumbent on artist to work to repair it, are the words on the agenda… It’s not only the forms of civility that we have lost, but the very sense of co-presence of beings and things that constitutes a world.”

As part of the program, Jana and the artists Sandor Ellix Katz and Rebecka Beinart will do something very inspiring and related to my topic:

“Porridge, cutting edge yoghurt, and sourdough bread” This space will provide food for thought in the form of workshops, space for conversation and the rituals of sharing meals, in addition to a variety of sensory experiences. There will be a rich array of tastes and smells from living cultured foods and sourdough bread, to traditional porridge and wild teas. The duration of the event will be marked through the slow fermentation and growth of living foods occupying the space.

Wish I could be there!



2/5:Dinner. About apples, potatoes, Aaltos, and life
September 27, 2010, 8:59 pm
Filed under: 2/5, Art, Bread, Design, Food | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tonight was the finalizing event of the 2/5 installation, an experimental harvest dinner. So, for first course: cress, second: cress, dessert: cress? Well, the food was simple, ingredients inspired by season, place, and roots, and very symbolic. Won’t loose too many words about it, just let your imagination go. It involved apples from the earth and from the sky.

I had asked people to bring their favourite bread and salt with them. The soup was unsalted, so those two ingredients made it enjoyable. We had rye bread and crisp bread from Avikainen bakery, Samsara rye bread, hole rye-bread from Leipä Aitta, and a Fazer Country Loaf. The crowd was mixed, with people even joining last minute, the atmosphere beautiful, the discussion inspiring. Everybody in the round of 12 people introduced oneself and talked about his growth, his background, his studies, his aspirations. 3 teachers from Environmental Art and Art Education, 9 students from Industrial Design, Ceramics, Textiles, Fine Arts, Applied Art & Design, Environmental Art, and Art Ed. 2 hrs of the talks are videotaped and ready to be edited for a final video. Looking forward to that! And: the idea to have more open dinners with discussions amongst students and teachers across departments in the exact same location came up… – me like!

Potato soup with… cress, homegrown!

Oven apple with lingonberries and vanilla sauce

Thanks to all you people who came, ate, thought, talked, and helped!