The graphic identity of Sounds Like Work plays with text and spoken word, visualizing the rhythm and tones of voice with a phonetic machine and sonificating writing with the squeaking of chalk on blackboard. Organic by nature, leaving room for minutes and diagrams, the identity evolves together with the documents produced for the event by Tommi Vasko.
Kasia Korczak is interested in design primarily as a vehicle for producing and distributing content. In 2005, she co-founded Slavs and Tatars, an artist collective that works across several media, disciplines and registers of culture (both high and low), exploring political and personal stories from Eurasia.
"Why do people work? If they are not insane, they do it for the money. And what do they need this money for? To buy freedom from work."*
A table for the deranged, that is, those who love work. Meaning, work not solely as a purpose-driven effort or a means to an end outside of the actual act of work – the common good, shareholder profit, money; you choose – but work as work, work in progress, work-in-itself. Fools that do not want, or are simply unaware of their latent need to be liberated.
A workplace that affords a new measure of social discipline: total immersion. A cube to sit on, a hole to work out of, a surface to share. Self-organization as voluntary imprisonment.
Martti Kalliala is an architect and the founder of the design and research practice Pro Toto.
*Federico Campagna: Squandering – The Case for Disrespectful Opportunism, 2012
Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and all music had disappeared. All musical instruments and all forms of recorded music, gone. A world without music. What is more, you cannot even remember what music sounded like or how it was made. You can only remember that it had existed and that it had been important to you and your civilisation. And you long to hear it once more.
The17 is a choir. Their music has no history, follows no traditions, recognises no contemporaries. The17 has many voices. They use no libretto, lyrics or words; no time signatures, rhythm or beats; and have no knowledge of melody, counterpoint or harmony. The17 struggle with the dark and respond to the light.
Questioning our ideas and attitude to music, the Scottish artist Bill Drummond brings his choir project The17 to Sounds Like Work. Score 368: The17 VERSUS GUITARS will be interpreted at the Kiasma Theatre by a group of singers who also form the audience of the performance.
Bill Drummond (1953) has used various media in his practice including actions, music and words. His actions too numerous to list, some more infamous than others; his music from the multi million selling KLF to the choral music of The17; the words have accumulated into a pile of books. His work of the last twelve years is catalogued at Penkiln Burn.
Madgermany is a movement that transcends nations and humanity. Every nation is a totalitarian regime of injustice, as it selects its citizens and limits the access to property. Madgermany possesses nothing and grants its members neither rights nor duties. Everyone can become a member, even plants, stones and gas, if they only want. They don’t have to say or write it, let alone in a human language. The name of the movement, Madgermany, refers to Germany in its different historical manifestations as the main target in the rage for justice. This is due to the accidential fact that Madgermany’s founder, the human being Ingo Niermann, is holder of a German passport and, during a trip to Maputo, bumped into a graffito on a public toilet saying “BASE CENTRAL MADGERMANY”. The Mozambican Madgermanes turned out to be former guest workers in socialist Eastern Germany which betrayed them of half of their loans. Adopting the term Madgermany from the Madgermanes means that our movement does not even possess its own name.
Madgermany is reinventing Germany at a scale bigger than ever, drilling and initiating its members by means of music and hypnosis. Madgermany is a nation without borders, it can be everywhere and nowhere. It’s at home rather not in houses, but in the woods and on the road. First, it conquers the night, to then suddenly appear on public squares, in offices and in schools and wave its flag.
BASE CENTRAL MADGERMANY offers lyrics, instrumentals, videos and manuals for DIY. Madgermany doesn’t tour as a band, it is staged by different locals. Everyone is free to take Madgermany over or to start another Madgermany. The movement will make its first appearance ever in Helsinki as part of Sounds Like Work, accompanied by the musicians Ville Haimala and Dan Bodan.
Ingo Niermann (1969) lives as a writer in Berlin. His debut novel Der Effekt was published in 2001. Recent Books include Choose Drill (2012) and The Future of Art: A Manual (with E. Niedling, 2011). Niermann is the editor of the book series Solution.
International Calling Frequency is a video and a sound piece composed by the Korean artist Minouk Lim in collaboration with musician Minwhee Lee. It first took place in 2011 in Seoul, where a group of people protested against their eviction from Café Mari in Myeong-dong due to a redevelopment plan.
For latent and sustainable solidarity, the musical performance has no lyrics, only a melody that speaks to those who have experienced a form of exclusion. Presenting an open call, the romantic humming – similar to an anthem or lullaby – resonates in one’s mind and brings people together through collective memory. It also serves as a niche for one’s hopes. Sounds Like Work presents a special screening of the International Calling Frequency that addresses the field of art as a place of work.
Minouk Lim (1968) is a visual artist based in Seoul. Merging performance, video, and documentary, she is motivated by the desire to respond to the everyday realities of her surroundings. Her work has been shown in increasingly wider circles, most recently in a solo exhibition at the Walker Art Center.
In a world of her own, Anneli Nygren mixes pop culture symbolism with DIY aesthetics and everyday surrealism to create video art. Her works include fiction films, documentaries, animation and music videos. She also makes drawings, takes photographs, produces music and works as a freelance journalist.
Sounds Like Work views Nygren’s practice as a total work of art and presents an illuminating biographical tapestry based on her various career paths, including rare material and live performance.
Anneli Nygren lives and works in Turku. She has been working with video and films since the beginning of 1980s. Her works have been shown in numerous international screenings and Finnish exhibitions.
Sounds Like Work sees the premiere of Jaakko Pallasvuo’s video Higher Education. It discusses the troubles of academic art education.
The video is accompanied by a screening. Curated by the artist, titled True Lies, the screening presents works by Jennifer Chan, Keren Cytter, Heidi Hemmilä, Henna Hyvärinen, Brenna Murphy, Oval Office, Laure Prouvost and Lior Shamriz. All featured videos have a critical relationship to their own narrative qualities. They reflect on their medium both formally and verbally.
Jaakko Pallasvuo (1987) is a video and new media artist working in Berlin and Helsinki. His art deals with internet culture and social hierarchies, their structured and unstructured forms. He has recently been exhibited in Higher Pictures (NYC) and Future Gallery (Berlin).
In her lecture, Miriam Katzeff discusses the self-empowerment of artists in two different trajectories:
1. What are the possibilities for the role of the artist in an art world dominated by commercial galleries? Artist writings, publishing and distribution through the internet do not require galleries. A brief history of Primary Information and the potential of artist’s books.
2. How can artists protect and protest their rights? A case study of the Art Workers Coalition protesting for their rights as well as the more recent examples such as W.A.G.E., artist trustees at MoCA LA and Christoph Büchel at Mass MOCA.
Miriam Katzeff is the Director of Team Gallery (New York) and co-founder of Primary Information, a non-profit organization devoted to printing artists books, artist writings, out of print publications and editions.