fugitive frequency, season 2, episode 6: ‘A Book Dream’ Under The Leaf Art Book Fair, Helsinki

A black and white image of ‘Under The Leaf’ window signage, a reflection of a housing block is in the background.


‘A Book Dream’ is an audio fanzine documenting Under The Leaf Art Book Fair at Monitoimitila O., Helsinki, 14–15 May. The event was organised by Hikari Nishida of The Temporary Bookshelf (Instagram), Sara Blosseville of Fetiche Editions (Instagram) and Kati Ruohomäki of Monitoimitila O. (Instagram). fugitive radio broadcast live on {openradio} from the Book Fair Party and this podcast collects conversations had with several stallholders including:
Tuukka Kaila from Rooftop Press
Laua from Artsos (Instagram)
Sadet Hirsimäki (Instagram)
Toivo Heinimaki from UTU Press (Instagram)
Caitlan and Joni from TUO TUO project space and residency
Sezgin Boynik from Rab-Rab Press
Heini Korhonen representing Rik Art Books
Dominik Fleishmann
and Camilo Cortes.
‘A Book Dream’ also includes excerpts of performances from laua rip and Victor Gogly (bandcamp) alongside music from Silvana Mammone and Ekheo released on True Aether (bandcamp) and Archie Schepp and the Bill Dixon Quintet recorded live in Helsinki 1962. See below:



Under The Leaf Book Fair, 14 May 2022

Under the Leaf Artist Bookfair poster

fugitive radio will be broadcasting live from Under The Leaf Book Fair [Insta] at Monitoimitila O., Kerttulinkuja 1, Helsinki. The fair opens at 12.00 EEST and fr will livestream the Book Fair Party! from 16.00 EEST on {openradio}. The event features readings and performances from Shia Conlon [@shiaconlon], Heta Bilaletdin [@hetabilaletdin], Victor Gogly [@victor_gogly] and laua rip [@lauarip].

Tune in at {openradio}

https://openradio.in/live/

Under the Leaf is hosted by: @the.temporary.bookshelf, @fetiche.editions and @monitoimitila_o
[Instas] and is part of Alakaupunki Festival

More details: http://monitoimitila.fi/

KARA-O-KLINIK

KARA-O-KLINIK written with tape across two windows

Live broadcast personal consultations with Sumugan Sivanesan introducing the benefits of Karaoke Therapy. Register here to secure your slot in the KARA-O-KLINIK or just walk-in!

Duration of each session: 30min
Language: Consultations are in English, although you can karaoke in the language of your choice.
Location: HIAP Studios

Following the ‘silent disco’ season finale of fugitive radio’s online club, RUB, in April, I’ve been thinking about ‘awkward’ as an aesthetic category; a subclass of ‘zany’ that cultural theorist Sianne Ngai describes as: “evok[ing] the performance of affective labor—the production of affects and social relationships—as it comes to increasingly trouble the distinction between work and play.” (Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting, 2012, p.7)

Ngai notes that the zany mode is “lighthearted but strikingly vehement”, in which injury is always imminent. Literature and media scholar Pansy Duncan associates awkward with ungainly actions that impede progress combined with feelings of embarrassment. In her article on ‘cringe comedy’, “Joke work: comic labor and the aesthetics of the awkward” (2017) she traces the emergence of cringe comedy with the reorganisation of labour during late capitalism—from mechanical conditions to flexible, ‘creative’ and affective practices. Noting its arhythmic timing and the labour and endurance required of audiences, she emphasises awkward’s “negative phenomenological effects” (p.2).

Arguably play, sociability and managing relationships are simply how we work in ‘creative industries’. So what aesthetic and affective modes do we habitually use as we negotiate expectations to perform our ‘authentic selves’—indeed the best version of ourselves—in these sectors overly concerned with representation? When we sing and dance for our supper what do our voices and bodies betray? What tricks do we turn to when we feel we are failing?

KARA–O–KLINIK sets up a broadcast situation, combining endurance performance-research with reality ‘comedy vérité’. It will broadcast live from HIAP Open Studios, Friday 6 May, 16.00–20.00 and Saturday 7 May, 14.00–18.00.

RUB8: ‘silent disco’ season finale, 1 April 2022

RUB logo

Over the Northern winter fugitive radio has hosted an online club RUB. Running on the night of the new moon, RUB modulates the ‘linear’ institutional rhythms of the Gregorian calendar and the ‘cyclical’ rhythms of lunar phases, with the ‘abstract’ rhythms of experimental dance music. RUB was inaugurated soon after the Autumn Equinox (22 September 2021) and its season will close on 1 April 2021 with the new moon following the Spring Equinox (20 March 2022).

‘April Fools’ and a new month — uusi kuu in Finnish — piles on the synchronicity and RUB8 promises to be a special affair! Dispensing with the club’s ‘no body policy’, for the finale we will gather online and also physically at HIAP studios in Suomenlinna, Helsinki. But there is a twist, clubbers will still only be able to enter RUB via audio. So, if you come to the island, bring headphones along with your smartphones and facemasks to join RUB8 ‘silent disco’.

RUB’s finale begins at sunset with somnambulant sounds from ½ asleep (Paola Jalili & Kush Badhwar), before we ride a genre fluid rollercoaster with DJ folk flore (Aliisa Talja) and dj fim do caminho (Sumugan Sivanesan) shrugs off winter with raw and tasty cuts of funk carioca and brega. As usual clubbers can join RUB on SonoBus, a free and open source multi-user audio platform, or listen to the livestream at fugitive-radio.net

RUB8 ‘silent disco’ season finale
19.00 – 22.00 EET

HIAP Studio Augustin, Suomenlinna
Building 34 on Suomenlinna Map [PDF]
Check the Spring ferry schedule here.

Online on SonoBus (public room ‘RUB’)
SonoBus is a free and open source multi-user audio streaming platform. Download here.

Streaming at fugitive-radio.net.

Karaoke Theory / Karaoke Therapy

Below are edited excerpts from a performative panel-presentation I delivered at X-disciplinary Congress on Artistic Research and Related Matters, Vilnius Academy of Arts & SODAS 2123, 14-17 October 2021. In preparing this presentation, I realised that the key issue I sought to address was a perceived inhibition about singing in public. Noting that many ‘non-literate’ cultures use song as a vehicle for knowledge and as a ‘memory code’, according to researcher and author Lynne Kelly, I wonder what we ‘Westernized Moderns’ are missing out on, especially with reference to the academic formatting of knowledge as it is occurring in the arts. The discussion at the conference honed in on notions of perfection, but the issue of a kind of ‘performance anxiety’ around singing in public remains compelling. 

‘Singing has been somehow colonised out of us!’
I approach song as a learning tool, as a means to convey knowledge and structure feeling. In particular, I would like to address a perceived inhibition about singing in public, which I propose is a kind of trauma. This was prompted by the Helsinki-based filmmaker and stand-up comedian, Roxana Sadvo, who recently told me that she suspects that ‘singing has been somehow colonised out of us’.

In his 2006 book This Is Your Brain on Music, Daniel J Levitin, a North American cognitive neuroscientist, author, musician and sound engineer, notes that it is only recently that a distinction was made between classes of music performers and music listeners in Western societies.

Only relatively recently in our own culture, five hundred years or so ago, did a distinction arise that cut society in two, forming separate classes of music performers and music listeners. Through out most of the world and for most of human history, music making was as natural an activity as breathing and walking, and everyone participated. (Levitin, 2006)

As a neuroscientist, Levitin has researched how music alters our moods and brain chemistry and cites studies that demonstrate how music stimulates all areas of the brain. Indeed, in his 2008 book The World in Six Songs, he argues that the human brain evolved with song:

Before there was language, our brains did not have the full capacity to learn language, to speak or to represent it. As our brains developed both the physiological and cognitive flexibility to manipulate symbols, language emerged gradually, and the use of rudimentary verbalizations—grunts, calls, shrieks, and groans—further stimulated the growth potential for the types of neural structures that would support language in the broadest sense. (Levitin, 2008)

Singing as ‘Soma Technique’
Recently I came across the work of the Finnish ethnomusicologist, musician and therapist Anne Tarvainen, who also claims that in the West, singing is split between those can sing — that is, those who are gifted, trained and professionalised — and those who cannot, who are cast as audiences, admirers and connoisseurs.

Tarvainen works with singers, both amateur and professional, who due to illness or injury, now experience difficulty vocalising. She expands on the work of the North American (pragmatist) philosopher Richard Shusterman who has been developing a concept of ‘Somaesthetics’ since the 1990s. As Tarvainen explains in a recent article for the Journal of Somaesthetics:

One of the main ideas of somaesthetics is that bodily experience can be cultivated. By practicing body consciousness, one can free oneself from harmful bodily manners and improve one’s overall quality of life. Shusterman suggests that a researcher working in the field of somaesthetics should not only approach things analytically but also critically examine the physical practices of our culture, suggest new forms of somatic conventions, and put them into practice. (Tarvainen 2019, p.8)

Tarvainen is developing a branch of this field that she names ‘vocal somaesthetics’ alongside a form of vocal therapy, ‘Voicefulness’, in which Tarvainen encourages her clients to approach singing according to what feels good in their body, rather than adhering to established music conventions. Such ‘unorthodox’ singing is a means of transforming the body — it is a way of doing the body. Singing as ‘soma technique’. So if singing makes us feel good and make us smarter, why aren’t we karaoking everyday?

fugitive frequency episode 07: La Cabaret

La Cabaret – Nail polish

‘Welcome to La Cabaret, an open invitation to mix politics and pleasure, with the energy of cabarets, queer bars and block parties to celebrate that despite all the struggles, we can make room for joy.’

‘La Cabaret’ was a post-porn salon of sorts, curated and hosted by Irina Muttin in her share apartment in Rastila, East Helsinki. First broadcast live on June five on {openradio}, it features Frau Diamanda, Elina Nissinen, lintulintu, Yes Escobar and Roxana Savdo amongst other guests.

Poethical De-Scriptings


‘Poethical De-Scriptings’ broadcast live from Pixelache Helsinki Festival #BURN____2021 outside Oodi central library, Helsinki, 7 June, featuring artist and finance activist Ana Fradique and artist-musician Suva Das.

‘Poethical De-scriptings’ is a term I use to describe a practice of live and improvised verbal narrations for radio broadcast.

In her essay, ‘Toward a Black Feminist Poethics’ (2014), Denise Ferriera da Silva proposes ‘poethics’ as a means of emancipating the ‘Category of Blackness’ from the scientific and historical ways of knowing that produced it, with ‘the ethical mandate of opening up other ways of knowing’ (p. 81). Releasing Blackness from objectification, commodification and the forms of domination that produced slavery, a Black Feminist Poethics elicits a range of possibilities that decolonization demands; not for the betterment of this world, but rather toward ‘the end of the world as we know it’.

‘Scriptings’ is a word coined by the artist Achim Lengerer who is concerned with the political questions of speech and language. It is a conflation of the words ‘script’ and ‘writings’, and is also the name of Lengerer’s publishing and production house in Berlin. ‘Scriptings’ also refers to ‘social scripts’, a term borrowed from behavioural psychology to describe knowledge of how to perform adequately in a given situation. One example is how one gets the attention of a waiter in a restaurant. In some circumstances this can be achieved by establishing eye contact, in others it might be acceptable to call, gesticulate and even whistle. While whistling might be inappropriate in the first scenario, attempting to make eye contact might be insufficient in the latter. So knowing the correct social script is crucial to achieving the desired result, as is performing roles correctly to enable social functioning.

My practice of poethical de-scriptings adopts poethics as an approach to being in the world that enables one to delink from the social scripts that one performs by default. It draws from the ‘alt text’ descriptions that often accompany images online to assist those who are visually impaired. Efforts to address issues of accessibility are inherently political. In this example from screen-based media, written and audio descriptions expose the epistemological violence of (hegemonic) visual cultures.

The term ‘access intimacy’ was conceived by writer and disability justice activist Mia Mingus to name the ‘hard to describe feeling’ and ‘eerie comfort’ that arises when someone ‘gets’ her access needs. Access intimacy is not exclusive to disabled people and Mingus (2011) confides:

There have been relationships that carried emotional, physical and political intimacy, but sorely lacked access intimacy. And there have been relationships where access intimacy has helped to create the conditions out of which emotional, familial and political intimacy could grow.

Mingus urges her readers to adopt ‘Access as a framework’ to address a spectrum of needs of those who are (differently) disadvantaged in an ableist world. Furthermore, she distinguishes access intimacy to ‘obligatory access’ that is ‘stoic’ or perfunctory. She writes:

Sometimes access intimacy doesn’t even mean that everything is 100% accessible. Sometimes it looks like both of you trying to create access as hard as you can with no avail in an ableist world. Sometimes it is someone just sitting and holding your hand while you both stare back at an inaccessible world.

My practice of poethical de-scriptings shifts from literal descriptions of my visible surroundings into self-reflection and speculation. While it might sometimes involve close looking and articulation of details, I work in the haze of representation; my poethical de-scriptings may not be visually accurate, but neither are they fiction. Rather, I seek to be personal and precise about what I am see-feeling-thinking.

I approach radio as a medium that is networked and as an event that can be collectively produced and distributed. Rather than the mass media notion of broadcasting to the world, I pursue radio as a social practice that connects peers, friends and enthusiasts. Rather than shouting out to an unknown audience, my technique is more akin to whispering into a lover’s ear.

Attempting audio descriptions made me acutely aware of the power dynamics inherent in language and that are reinforced in everyday speech acts. I discovered that my efforts to communicate clearly and sensitively were determined, and arguably undermined, by social scripts which inform reflexive speech. Foregrounding these codes emphasised that what is ‘normal’ is designed and that these designs condition, noticeably in the built environment and ‘public sphere’. Indeed, it reveals the prejudices of normativity and how one is positioned relative to authority.

As such, poethical de-scriptings attempts to deconstruct and dismantle these power dynamics through an improvised verbal practice. It makes one acutely aware of how ‘words shape worlds’; how ‘worlding’ is material-discursive and how language is privileged as knowledge. Towards the end of the live broadcast embedded above, the artist Suva demonstrates his hand percussion skills on the ‘Konch’ urban furniture in which I was seated. It is an example of how such a skilled musician can ‘talk with their hands’. This might be phonetic, as Suva mimics the sound of language with percussion. Suva also refers to pre-established cultural codes that might announce an event such as the birth of a child, a wedding or war, emphasising that drumming is not necessarily literal, but also emotive, making using of texture, pattern and abstraction.

Extending out towards non-verbal communication such as humming and drumming, poethical de-scriptings seeks to jailbreak language from the authority it is deployed to uphold and to accentuate other ways of relating in the world.

PIXELACHE HELSINKI FESTIVAL 2021: #BURN____

Pixelache Helsinki Burn 2021

Pixelache Helsinki Festival 2021 #Burn____, co-directed by artist-organiser Andrew Gryf Paterson and author Laura Gustafsson, takes place this year with limited access in selected spaces inside Oodi Central Library in Helsinki and outside the front canopy of Oodi, as well as online, from the 6th to the 13th of June 2021. The theme of the festival #Burn____, anticipated in late summer 2019, sets the context of the festival contributions, reflecting on mental health, social solidarity and struggle as well as on ecological crisis.

After a year of excessive screen-based meetings, the festival re-adopts one of the oldest media forms at physical distance from another – radio – seems to be the idea of making a festival event with local and international contributors in consideration of mobility and gathering restrictions. With the established experience of hybrid radio, Pixelache brings a localised listening mix of audio works from two open calls, a live radio stream of festival events especially made or adapted for radio, emerging sound artists, podcasts, and interviews with festival artists and contributors. During the festival, the public can interact with a local FM radio broadcasting around Oodi. Bring Your Own Radio (BYOR) to listen, and if you like a blanket or picnic!

fugitive radio is planning a series of live and collectively produced outside broadcasts for Pixelache #Burn. We will meet outside Oodi Central Library from 14.00 everyday of the festival. If you’re curious to make live experimental radio with us bring your smartphone and a pair of wired earbuds. These work as an antenna on your smartphone if it has an FM receiver (look for the app!) Also bring a bluetooth speaker if you have one. After a little warm up, we will begin streaming online between 15.00 and 16.00 each day, thanks to {openradio}. We will also be broadcasting to a limited range around Oodi on 91.4 FM. If you can’t make it to Oodi you could join us remotely — we’re working on a platform! Updates will be posted on fugitive-radio.net and our Telegram channel. Follow us on Insta: fugitive.radio.

fugitive schedule
Sun 06: Roaming Radiophonic Picnic — sites and sounds of the Oodi broadcast zone.
Mon 07: Poethical De-Scriptings
Tue 08: ‘Swings & Ropes’ with Irina Mutt
Wed 09: The Snow Globe Effect: post-vax mental health chit chat with Tania Nathan
Thu 10: Hum Klub
Fri 11: Karaoke
Sat 12: ‘Cacerolazo’ environmental percussion with Suva Das
Sun 13: ‘Democracy Day!’ What do you think?

To participate online please download SonoBus, a free and open source, multi-user audio streaming application. Check back here on Sunday 6 June for details about how to join our room.