4/5 Photos online!

All photos by Marina Ekroos

This time, the event was documented by photographer Marina Ekroos, who also participated as a guest in the happening. Find more of her work from her website! Thanks to her for the beautiful pictures which can be now checked out on Picasa! Enjoy…


Thoughts about aura
October 26, 2010, 11:03 am
Filed under: Art, Theories | Tags: ,

In 1935, cultural critic Walter Benjamin wrote his famous essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit; originally published in Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung). Back in the days, it did not find too much attention, but in the 1960’s and 70’s, it has been rediscovered and since the 80’s, it is one of the documents modern theory of culture and media is founded on.

The essay speaks about the aura of an artwork; art in itself, has, according to Benjamin, been a tool to record history. Its uniqueness is bound to time and place. With the invention of different tools of reproduction, such as copperplate engraving, the printing press, photography, and many others, works could be reproduced and distributed widely. At the same time, the work of art would deprive its aura, its originality, the certain distant unseizable feeling that comes with an original art piece.

When it comes to photography, the digital age has overruled most analogic picture taking. Admittedly, I also mostly take pictures in digital form, due to easier handling and costs. The ‘aura’, that Benjamin is talking about, is lost though. The only camera that takes true originals is maybe the Polaroid camera, a technology, that has been lost, but it being revived by nostalgic fans, after Polaroid ceased the production of films in 2008. (The impossible project) The same thing occurs in nature, nothing that grows and is alive is alike (unless humans fiddle with it). This diversity is beautiful and should be kept alive at all times.

Why is it that people long to go backwards to old technologies and production methods? Why is it that people start to do things themselves again? I hate to call it a trend, because I don’t believe people do so because they think it is fashionable (for that, it is way to time-consuming and would demand a change of lifestyle), but most certainly, it is a growing movement present in most Western countries.

No garden, no balcony, no terrace? Start windowfarming!

Just came back from the Hub which is hosting a three-day-workshop about windowfarming, a vertical growing-system for growing greens in your own urban dwelling. The project was started by artists Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray in February, 2009 through an artist’s residency in New York. The idea came out of the simple will to grow own vegetables in Britta’s Brooklyn flat, which does not, like most urban housing, have access to dirt. Since then, it has found an incredible fast-growing worldwide acclaim. The internet and social media has allowed the project to be developped further by all sorts of people with different backgrounds around the globe, building the system themselves and sharing their experiences on the open source community blog of the project, http://our.windowfarms.org/. And here the link to the “official” website of the project.

Detail of a bottle with some beautiful greens

Windowfarms installation in New York

The system has also been installed in Finland in a bigger scale (81 bottles) during the Pixelache festival 2010 by Mikko Laajola, Andrew Paterson and Niko Punin with the help of many volunteers in Helsinki’s contemporary art museum Kiasma. One third of the materials went to the Hub Helsinki, so that the windowfarming could be continued in a semi-public location in the city.

Here is a link to the Facebook-event, taking place tomorrow and the day after (24./24.08.2010, starting from 6 pm-8 pm). It is not too late to participate yet! Tomorrow, the planning and material retrievement will be discussed and adjusted to Finnish conditions, and on Wednesday, we will build a windowfarm to the Hub! This project is a beautiful example of how open source, collaboration, participatory design, social media, and a simple and great idea can make the world a better place.

I am really thrilled about this, since I am famous for my rather black thumb, but still always wanted to grow something at home. Never really had the possibility because of the lack of a garden or a balcony. In Finnish conditions, this system even gives the possibility to grow food all year through, and, by adding a light system like the Kiasma-crew did, even throughout the dark Finnish winter. Anxious to learn more by trying it out!

free pdf
August 10, 2010, 10:38 am
Filed under: Design, Good to know, Making of, Recipes, Workshop | Tags: , , , ,

What would Simon say? With great inspiration from Simon’s free manual (which you can find from here: http://clayoven.wordpress.com/), I made this 2-page-pdf, easy to print out both-sided on one A4 to support your first oven-building-experience, to share with friends, to understand the basic construction and building steps of a cob oven.

Have fun and spread!!

Cob Oven Manual