Sounds Like Work, A Prelude
Every space has a different acoustic signature. It affects the characteristics of sounds emitted within that space. For example, think of working places. Your expressions come out differently in an empty studio than in a teeming auditorium.
Now think of the Finnish art world as a space and its local artists as signals. How does this space sculpt these signals? How long is the reverberation time; should it be counted in seconds, days, or years? What or who constitutes the walls, and where are they placed? If you stand outside, is it still possible to sense its resonance?
Officials in institutions and public funding orchestrate the soundscape of the Finnish art world, leaning on heavy notation. The more the artists learn how to play, the harder it gets for them to improvise. In a circle of writing and performing the notes between the officials and the artists, a feedback loop is often created.
If work, even in the arts, is lacking dynamics then new ways of playing are urgently needed. Furthermore, when more or less everything is turning into work, due to recent social and technological developments, could it be that only free sounds finally make a difference?
Organised at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, next to an exhibition on documents in the arts, the Sounds Like Work (SLW) event might be as exhausted by bureaucracy as any other cultural project. However, it is committed to turning the rustling of paperwork and the beat of ticking schedules into a subversive melody.
All work connected to the SLW will be executed with artistic sensibility. In the manner of musicians, or dilettantes, its organisers will play work instead of working on it: ask for a CV and a protest song is what you will get. Their undertakings from administration to curating are made accessible and transparent during an open office period at Kiasma.
The programme of the SLW varies from solo performances to omnipotent ambiences, concerts and presentations. It expresses both local realities and universal concerns regarding artistic labour through language, sound and video.