Monday, February 28, 2005

Disinformation Chameleon

Disinformation is the name of the game, the ultimate artistic strategy. To confuse and to deceive. To mess up people's preconceptions. To reveal media's games as what they are: shallow and fey. To turn derision into your own advantage. If the territory is hostile, to survive in it as a chameleon.

The Great Laughter

Unless we see as the meaning of life life itself, it is not hard to see all our existence and toils ultimately meaningless. Let's face it: life is tragic; personal fullfilment and social justice often hard to be found. In the end, there are only two ways to resolve life's existential meaninglessness: to let one be usurped by it, and choose self-destruction, OR, learn to laugh about it. To see life as a game it is. Every comedy of holds its portion of tragedy, and vice versa.

Mikhail Bakhtin wrote that laughter "overcomes fear, for it knows no inhibitions, no limitations. Its idiom is never used by violence and authority". Steven W. Gilbert: "Divine laughter is helpless laughter. The recognition that all social constructions are but frail, weak, and finally ineffectual in face of the inevitable regenerative force and movement of the material life force, located ridiculously (ridiculous only when you think about it) in the lower bodily stratum, calls forth an irrepressible belly laugh".

Harry Haller of Hesse's Steppenwolf was redeemed when he learned to laugh at himself. "When you laugh, they can't kill you", stated Perry Farrell on one of Porno For Pyros records.

This Great Laughter will release us, it is our ultimate salvation.

Harry Egipt Remix Contest

It seems Harry Egipt's surreal TV commercials from 1980s Soviet-Estonia I wrote about some time ago have by now reached an international cult reputation. Steven Frank has even announced a Hakkliha Remix Competition on his Website blog.

Additionally, runs Hungarian TV commercials from the years of socialism.

Harry Egipt @ BoingBoing.Net


Saturday, February 26, 2005

Apadana Opening Night

Last night at Apadana (ex-Green Grass) again. It was the "official" opening night, with DJs Sane, Sterling (Sami of Cessna) and Kuuro Kädetön Paisti. They had gotten finally their new dance floor running. Sane said, though, that the look of the venue was a bit like "a suburban pub". It wasn't too crowded, so I suggested Sane that they should spend more efforts in advertising. Imatran Voima's Jaska a.k.a. Fresh O Lexx was there too, visiting Tampere, and hanging with Rikos guys. Anyway, actually I was there just to get from Sane my fee for Thursday's Eclectro Lounge. This month I've got less money to spend than usually, so anything extra I can get is really needed now. "We live in a material world..." Piss off, Madonna. So, I didn't spend a long time at Apadana; I hit the road and was soon home again to check BBC's interesting reggae documentary on TV1.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Eclectro Lounge 3

Last night, Eclectro Lounge #3. DJ Lasso of Tampere's Slavic Walkmen was guesting with his IDM set. A girl contributing to the goth magazine Schatten came to interview me and Mike Not, who was fighting a case of flu.

Any way, Thursday was a bit like I had been afraid of: like with many club nights I have seen, after the successful opening evening people's interest just will wane, and lesser punters will frequent. I don't know if I should have advertised more aggressively, but it's hard to do that in this town without pissing some people off, it seems (meaning so called authorities and other club organisers).

Well, I have to get some new ideas about how to get new people in. After all, it's not easy to maintain a weekly club in a smallish town (pop. ca. 200.000) like this, and on a Thursday night too.

Anyway, it was still great to see the small group of devoted there, and a lot of people from Rikos Records posse too. By the way, Rikos' other head honcho Heikki Halme a.k.a. DJ Kuuro Kädetön Paisti ("Deaf Handless Roast Beef") now lives in Tampere too, so you might expect some weird 70s Finnhits nights here! (I DJed with him at Entropy's 10 years party in Helsinki, November 2003, and his set there was just hilarious.)

Next time we will have as the guest DJ art barf-uncle a.k.a. Arttu Partinen of Tampere's Mental Alaska club and the world-renowned psy-improv-free-New Weird of Finland group Avarus. Expect a lot of weirdness à la Hawkwind, Krautrock, drone and Finnhits disco of 70s and 80s!

Eclectro Lounge #3 playlist
Eclectro Lounge #3 images by Sakke Karipuro

Thursday, February 24, 2005 no more - please use!

So, once more to everyone who may not have noticed yet: my old domain,, is not updated any more, so if you want to link the site, please use the URL

This is a frustrating situation for me, since many times search engines still get sites under as their search results, and those ones contain information I haven't been able to update since April 2004.

More info and even more.

Harri Teikka's Unfinished Stories, Pt. 1

According to Schopenhauer, humour is man's only divine quality. What does that have to do with the following? I don't know, but here you can find some unfinished stories by Mr. Harri Teikka. Finnish only, sorry.

DJ pHinn beatmatching

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Jahsonic Is Amazing!

Jan, the Dutch guy who maintains the amazing Jahsonic site, has expressed on some occasions that he's keen on pHinnWeb, so I think it's time for me to return the compliment, and tell everyone to check this mind-blowing site on "art | book | culture | erotica | film | history | music | people". It's a pity I have to rely on these public access computers with so limited time to browse daily, since I could just spend hours and hours on Jahsonic site. Tons of cultural history info and loads of... hmm... juicy pictures, too! If you think I'm obsessed with pHinnWeb, you haven't seen Jahsonic.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Standards of Living

I watch you as you load in your groceries at supermarket, pay with your credit card. Your standards of living will kill you in a couple of decades. All that greasy, fattening, salty food and evening snacks you worked so hard to earn. Beer to sip while watching TV, to chase down potato chips. Arteries jammed, all those bypass surgeries can't save your ailing heart, a time bomb quietly ticking in your heaving chest.

I made a decision to stay out of your world, your career and your kids and your rat race, but I don't know if that will save me in the end, or will that only cause me to die lonely. You live in your own bubble, I live in mine.

Still, hope remains in my heart.

Solitude is something you (more or less) learn to live with; a hermit in urban landscape. Sharing other people's coexistence can be so hard. My basic inner conflict is, whether to seek solitude or other people's companionship. It is obvious that my life is the recovering from deep wounds inflicted a long time ago, and like a hurt animal I retreat until I feel better again, but how long will the healing take? The whole of my lifetime?

I am stronger than I was, and the vastness of uncharted territories is awaiting me. To embark on this journey, but I will I be travelling alone? Is that my karma, kismet, my role in the play of life? Or maybe the playwright is just mad -- or at least a wicked absurdist -- or as some people think, there is no playwright at all? A world devoid of meaning -- would that be so incomprehensible? As we see in nature, there does exist self-organization in all systems; "fearful symmetry" as Blake put it, so it makes one wonder. If there is a pattern, where does one fit in there?

I think I'm a selfish person, used to play alone with my toys. Will there be a way to break out of my narcissism, or will it be a closed circle of personal navelgazing? I envy people who can think in the "we" form, instead of "me me me".

Monday, February 21, 2005

Orgy At Abu Ghraib (Let Freedom Ring)

Hello To All You Who Came Here Through Pinseri

I just added this blog to Pinseri, the list of Finnish blogs. Hello to all of you who came here through that.

Basically, this blog is an extension of pHinnWeb and its mailing list; dedicated to Finnish (but also international) electronic, experimental and avantgarde music, underground culture and some other interests of mine concerning pop culture in general, cinema, literature, visual arts in general, esoteric arts, and so on and so on. As you see, I'm interested in all things between heaven and earth (and below).

Here you can also read about some things that would be too off-topic and personal for the site and mailing list mentioned above. One part of this blog is my personal net diary, where I tell about my every-day life in my hometown Tampere, my dealings with underground music culture and other related things, and also a bit of personal, existential (though hopefully not too exhibitionist) soul searching... my world is not always nice and cute but not totally dark, bleak and hopeless, either. Anyway, proceed only at your own responsibility... [a biiiiig grin of a smiley here]

Hunter S. Thompson R.I.P.

This is a great blow to me, Thompson being a great personal influence.

Journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, who unleashed the concept of "gonzo journalism" in books like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself in the head Sunday 20 February 2005 at his home near Aspen, Colorado, police and his family said.

"On Feb. 20, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson took his life with a gunshot to the head at his fortified compound in Woody Creek, Colo.," said a statement issued by Thompson's son, Juan Thompson, to the Aspen Daily News as reported by the Denver Police., a Website dedicated to all things Hunter S. Thompson


BBC News

Photos from Eclectro Lounge 2

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Difficulties of Independent Club Promoting

Yesterday, when I was again sticking to bulletin boards posters of our next Eclectro Lounge, and thought I had done a good work of covering again the entire one side of a four-cornered poster stand with our ads, I noticed they had added a sign on the top of stand, saying that it is allowed to put there only one poster per one side of the stand -- for one event.

Probably someone working for the City of Tampere had been so much "inspired" by my tireless efforts to cover the whole side with Electro Lounge's posters, that they had to add this sign. Wankers!

Well, big-money corporations like Nokia can afford to get all the visibility they want, but if you're a small-time club promoter and want to endorse your own events you're treated almost like a criminal, just like graffiti painters. The "zero tolerance" policy in this town sometimes gets so ridiculous. In Helsinki they recently arrested some people putting their own street art stickers around the town.
Fascism is alive and well in Finland 2005.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Eclectro Lounge 2

Some time ago I fussed over our first Eclectro Lounge club night at the bar Apadana (ex-Green Grass) here in Tampere (Apadana is a family business run by an Iranian guy). As it turned out, the opening night went fine, and we had a plenty of people attending and even dancing. Even though we received some complaints at times about the volume being too loud, but it was up to certain technical problems with speakers (I think); furthermore, it's often quite hard to monitor the level of floor volume when you're in the DJ booth. But all in all, everyone seemed to be satisfied with this night, so it was a good starter.

So, last night we had Eclectro Lounge 2, with DJ Sakke as a guest, playing the best of 80s Detroit techno/electro sound. Sakke is an old acquaintance of both Mika and me; last time I DJed with Sakke at July's Lavatanssit party in Nokia. I was again anxious about if people would show up or not -- I've had my share of clubs where no one came -- but gladly this was eventually another night turned out fine. Well, should be, since I worked like a slave sticking up -- or should I say "carpetbombing" -- the event ads to bulletin boards: basically, you have to add new posters there at least once a day, as I told before.

Someone either adds their own posters over your own, or then tears all your posters off, it seems. Makes you a bit paranoid, doesn't it? Like, "gee, someone must have something against me". I think I'm going to add to all future posters a small print: "This is not promotion, this is war". Since club promotion really feels like a war; a fight for the eyeballs, as they say in the marketing circles.

10 February 2005 playlist
17 February 2005 playlist

Saturday, February 12, 2005


There is a form of sexual bondage that involves making furniture designed to incorporate a bound person. It is sometimes known as forniphilia (or human furniture).

The best-known example of forniphilia in art is by British artist Allen Jones who has a very famous series of sculptures called "Hat Stand and Table", made in 1969, which show semi-naked women in the roles of furniture. It's a very striking and provocative work bound to create strong reactions. According to viewer, those works can been seen in a very ambivalent way: either, as a fantasy of sexual objectification, or, a critical and ironic comment on that objectification and woman's role in society -- even though this interpretation is very problematic, as we can see.

Feminists have criticized Jones' painted and sculptured women images. In 1973 Laura Mulvey discussed in the feminist magazine Spare Rib Jones' images in relation to fetishism in the Freudian sense. Mulvey argued that Jones repeated typical fetishistic female imagery familiar from media and pop culture. She suggested that his work is not about women at all, but illustrates Jones' male fears. These images are related to fetishism in the strictly Freudian sense, and reproduce the woman as spectacle, as primarily sexual being, and as the object of a specifically masculine gaze/desire. The notion of the woman bound and restricted through shoes and clothing is addressed in Mulvey's critique of the art of Allen Jones. Mulvey writes, "The most effective fetish both constricts, and up-lifts, binds and raises, particularly high-heeled shoes, corsets and bras" (Mulvey, Laura: "You Don't Know What's Happening, Do You Mr. Jones?" in Framing Feminism, p. 128). High-heels represent heightened sexuality, yet a lack of agency in their inhibition of movement. Shackles of a sort, they place the female wearer in a position of greater vulnerability than that of the male.

In the article "Allen Jones in Retrospect: A Serpentine Review" of Block magazine (1979) Lisa Tickner discussed the imagery of women and sexuality as a reflection of social phenomena. Allen Jones represents women through sexual images and he rarely includes heads in his representations. According to Tickner, Jones associates women with "passivity, availability, narcissism, exhibitionism, physicality, and mindlessness."

Tickner discusses Jones' images in the context of the politics of representation, an understanding of how imagery operates in society. She is anxious to point to their deeper social and ideological implications rather than to reject Jones' images. She regards the artist as a "social barometer" and insists that the images are already loaded with social significance. No longer could Jones' images be treated as real women, but rather the representation of women, coded/ideologized images by cultural and social systems. The systems are negotiated in terms of the struggle between the dominant and the dominated, the exploiting and the exploited in classes, races and genders.

Tickner cannot agree with Jones' idea that his women are morally neutral and a simple matter of formal innovation and variation. Tickner is against Jones' emphasis on formal qualities of the work in the formalist tradition and she cannot accept the distinction between form and content. Tickner argues that 'sexism' cannot be distilled from the image itself -- it lies in the relation between that image and external social relations and ideologies. She states that "the exploitation of already exploitative material cannot be seen as politically neutral, whatever the artist's intentions and the use of a particular kind of sexual imagery contributes to the 'objectification', even degradation of women". (Block 1, p. 39) Therefore, Tickner argues that images cannot be ineffective, or socially neutral but they are inevitably compromised by ideological assumptions. She wants to make clear that all images, whatever the intention of the maker, enter into a public domain and are read in relation to external social relations and ideologies. Thus, Tickner's approach is meant to displace a pure formalistic treatment of art works.

No can deny these aren't very well-argumented views. However, I find both Mulvey's and Tickner's approaches somehow one-sided, since I think another possible layer of interpretation is still missing there. I'd call that an "difficulty of interpretation caused by the ambivalence or irony" where the viewer of works cannot strictly and unambiguously decide here which cultural codes these works actually bear, since they are too multi-faceted for simple and straightforward interpretations.

To add another possible layer of interpretation here, the Japanese sound artist Merzbow once said: "Most people think female bondage is a realisation of a sexist rape and violence obsession. Violence and rape -- if we consider the police, military, schools and other forms of establishment power -- are 'normal' human activities. Bondage is not a 'normal' human activity. It must be 'abnormal'. Bondage is parody and an anti-form of authority. People don't understand this point."

Therefore, the S/M-type of roleplaying games of bondage and fetishism could be seen as a carnevalistic turning upside down of the conventional power games in our hierarchy-obsessed society. It is known that in the psycho-sexual role plays of the dominatrix and the slave, "alpha male" men, those holding precious places in society, often voluntarily revert into the latter's role, to be voluntarily humiliated by their "mistresses". A man used to dominate and give orders in his every-day life receiving pleasure from the situation of being crudely embarrassed, both mentally and physically, and even losing face, something that he wouldn't be ever willing to do under normal circumstances. (See also: "The Right Man".)

Personally, I'd like to see Allen Jones' works as a comment on sexism, consumerism and fetishism; all three of them interconnected in capitalist society. The problem here is with the individual interpretation, of which sort of comment: are they actually pro or con sexism/bondage fetishism? What to make out of that? What is the artist trying to tell us? Women depicted as furniture and objects in this society: as pure pornography, which purpose is to titillate and arouse, I find this imagery far too revolting and even disturbing. It won't arouse me, and if it does, it makes me ask what the hell is wrong with me? And for being called feminist works they are far too "slick" and "sexy" (meaning here the typical commercial media imagery -- of fashion, ads and so on -- intended to please a typical masculine eye), since there can be clearly found the fetishistic imagery criticized by Mulvey and Tickner.

If we follow Merzbow's line of thinking here, we should then see Jones' work as parody or an ironic comment on woman's role in society, not as sexism, but as we have already noticed, it is not at all as simple as that, and the artist's "message" ultimately remains ambiguous. Anyway, isn't that what a work of art is supposed to: to create questions and new trains of thought in a viewer rather than to answer them in a clear-cut way. Allen Jones' work provokes and leaves a viewer enraged or puzzled, but it doesn't give answers.

Also film-maker Stanley Kubrick's controversial Clockwork Orange (1971) features a scene with Korova Milkbar and its female-shaped furniture -- inspired by Allen Jones -- which give emphasis on film's alienated worldview. In front of Alex and his "droogs" we see forming a corridor and on either side of the camera grotesque forms of artwork in a mood of futuristic nihilism -- sculpted, sleek, hygienic white-fiber glass nude furniture and statues of submissive women either kneeling or in a back-bending position on all fours as tables. Colours are absent except for the artificial orlon wigs and pubic hair.

Human Furniture @ Jahsonic

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Piirka rules!

My latest comedy favourite is a Norwegian TV show called Borettslaget, depicting the lives of tenants in an Oslo high-rise; shown on Tuesday nights here in Finland on the Swedish language channel FST as Piirka och hans grannar ("Piirka and his neighbours").

Piirka Kellivoite (a misspelling of Finnish name Pirkka, and his family name is not that typical in Finland, either...) is a rogueish and asocial foul-mouthed Finnish immigrant whose unfortunate efforts as a pirate taxi driver, alcohol smuggler, hotel bellboy and grocery store clerk are followed in every episode. (Furthermore, Piirka does not actually speak Finnish but Swedish in Finnish accent, though some "perkeles" are heard every now and then, also Piirka's favourite swearword "helvata".) In "Pekka and Toivonen" jokes popular in Norway Finns are always depicted as hard-drinking, macho forest dwellers, and the Piirka character seems to follow exactly this same stereotype.

Nevertheless, I like the non-conformist Piirka very much: maybe these Norwegians have after all managed to capture some essence of being Finnish... the series has also a lot of great satirical characters (all played by Robert Stoltenberg, the same actor as with Piirka): a near-fascistic janitor Roy Narvestad guarding his apartment house with military-like discipline (we all must know the type), living with her shabby sister and being secretly sex-starved for a young female tenant Trude who goes to bible school; a father of Pakistani Silmandar family (who wants desperately to get their daughter married) and their happy-go-lucky son Ali; Linda Johansen, a spinster/widow character who never leaves her apartment, nurses her dog like it was her baby, obsessively observes every movement of her neighbours (we all must know the type, pt. 2), keeps watching soap operas and is not too fond of any non-Norwegians; Yngve Freiholt, a cissy-like (possibly gay?) hipster who works on fashion business and keeps re-decorating his apartment.

The tenants of the high-rise are followed in a pseudo-documentary way;
the type of humour here is very understated and deadpan, far from any canned laughter type of Anglo-American sitcoms and their predictable puns.

Eclectro Lounge

Some time ago DJ Sane a.k.a. Santeri Vuosara (yes, the same guy who has recorded and performed with M.A. Numminen) asked me if I was interested to launch a new club night at a bar called Green Grass here in Tampere. Since I always feel I get too little DJ gigs, you bet I didn't hesitate to say yes. We agreed on that the event would be called Eclectro Lounge, starting on 10 Thursday, 10 February 2005. The "grand" opening night will be tomorrow, with guest DJs Mike Not (my producer partner in Kompleksi) and 5€Schwag (a.k.a. Joonas, Tampere's IDM maestro recording as Toiminto) who also runs local Swäg nights where I have guest DJed.

I guess I'll be mostly playing old and new electro, some synthpop and IDM, and, eh, the obligatory Italo/disco material; perhaps also a little bit of old 60s-70s Moog classics. I'm interested to play some more experimental stuff, perhaps also a little non-electronic material, such as Krautrock, 60s garage rock and psychedelia and, hell, just whatever; it's an eclectic night after all. You never really know; a lot of it will depend on audience's reactions; always very unpredictable. I always get quite neurotic about DJing, in fact; the ensuing symptoms I call Discophrenia. Wish me luck.

Now I've been spending the last days spreading out flyers and sticking posters to bulletin boards all over Tampere; which can be a hellish task with your bare fingers in freezing winter weather; with your fucked-up staple gun which doesn't agree to function properly half the time, and other people sticking their own event posters over your own -- meaning you have to add new posters there at least once a day. You really have to love what you're doing to see all this trouble.