17.7.2014 -Keep calm and build a festival “Eek! It could fall any time…” I thought but a roadie group got the huge tent standing in windy weather. Yesterday I got the chance to peek behind the scenes of the festivals. Tammerfest is our citizens´ sweetie-music festival and one of the biggest festivals in Finland. I´m lucky when I got this summer job just this year. Tammerfest has its 20 year birthday-party and I can wander around behind the scenes. How cool is that?
16-19.7 Tampere is full of voices, party people and happenings. You can experience music in many places, like cruises on Näsijärvi Lake, clubs and traditional festival stages. And remember – it´s easy to go anywhere with your city bike. It’s going to be a “hard” weekend; every day and every hour is something going on. Sometimes you have to choose. This might be my first world problem…
Joining a crowd of happy people will be quite easy, but before all the party could begin, it was hard work. I interviewed Pinkku from Ace Production –festival infrastructure company. In the middle of a busy day he gave me a tour around the hectic festival park. “There are nine workers from our company” Pinkku said “That´s really enough because there are over hundred other producers taking care of their own spots, like the restaurant entrepreneurs” he added, when he noticed my face expression. “Our job is just building tents, electrify the area, do the routine matters and take care of everything of that sort during whole festival. And yes, the real work starts when it´s time to dismantle all this .” He pointed. Phew! Just nine workers and working from morning to late evening. “It´s like a little summer job in projects. During the winters we work for our daily bread.” Pinkku told me. His job sounds interesting: he can meet all the stars back stage. “I’ve done this quite long time; it´s not that special anymore – still nice ;)”
Festivals must be built no matter the weather. Pinkku told me that the variable summer in Finland hasn´t really been a problem in Tampere. “But happenings by the sea are a completely different thing” Organizing the festival is started already during the previous winter by main organizer and soon Ace producton and other festival producers get the plan what to do. “We get a map of the area and then we´ll start to build. The whole project takes over five days more than the party days themselves. It´s much bigger job to make everything look shining than I thought and it have to do regardless of conditions.
Let´s go and party hard but responsibly. Now we know what kind of work it have been and now it´s our time to do our part of work. Enjoy everything and create an atmosphere. I think it will be a best thank you for a great job.
14.8.2014 The Night of the Events Tampere Theatre Summer organized the Night of the events this year on the 7th of August. And as usual there was quite a large audience present in the various events. The day started early in the morning when many museums opened their doors, most with lowered entrance fees. Since our blog has visited many of the museums already, I decided to get to know the other events, mostly the free ones, since those probably are not available so often. There were many events around the entire city, especially at Laikunlava and Tullikamari square. The Central Square got its fair share of the events, since there was a gathering of old vehicles and the feminist speakers arranged by Tampereen Vihreät. There was also an information spot available from the Open University of Tampere University. I got some very usable information about the studies there.
The next stop was Laikunlava in which there was performing a charming old couple. They were telling love stories in the form of singing. Because of the rain, I parked myself under a large horse-chestnut, which actually worked quite effectively as a natural umbrella. The performance was absolutely adorable, and the combination of singing alongside an acoustic guitar was perfect in all its simplicity. At times the old couple seemed to be singing about their own feelings.
As the rain started pouring down so hard that the horse-chestnut umbrella was not able to hold it anymore, I moved to the old library. There were various events as well, but I decided to see the opening of the textile art gallery of Anu Raud. The Estonian spirit of the works was quite obvious, since the colours of the Estonian flag, blue, black and white, were present in many pieces. Also close to her heart was the nature, countryside, home and ancestors. The simple works of art seemed to tell stories that could not be translated into words at all.
Next up was art gallery TR1 at Finlayson premises. I collected my friend along the way, since we don’t see each other too often and it was nice to share the exhibition with someone. We went to see the exhibition of Marja Pirilä’s photographs called Carried By Light. Some of the pictures were simple pictures of natural phenomenons, but most were works that combine the indoors and outdoors with the method called camera obscura. The pictures were beautiful, but it started to look like most people in the pictures were somewhat distressed or depressed, since no one was smiling. The artist says that the method for her is a way of exploring the deeper, subconscious parts of human mind. I started to wonder if the subconscious mind is a darker place than the real world. Whatever the case, when any work of art leads to wondering about things, it has filled its purpose. Then it was time to have a snack, since the day was long. We headed to Kaffila on Aleksis Kiven Katu, since they have a wide variety of gluten-free pastries. I ended up having a smoked salmon pastry with a Feel Good -lemonade. The pastry was served warm with a side of a salad, it was delicious and the salad was refreshing as well. The lemonade was as its name suggested, something to feel really good about, and made from all natural ingredients. With this energy it was nice to continue the exploring of the Events. I grabbed along another friend to come with me to come back to the Finlayson area in which was starting an event called Color Spot / Spot Color. The event gathered a few artists to create a work of art in just three hours. One of the artists was again a friend of mine. And since I like her style, I wanted to see the way she actually works. It was very interesting to see how the picture started to take form. I visited her a couple of times during the evening to see the development. Truth is, three hours is painstakingly short time to create a painting. Not all artists were using paint though, there were a couple that used recycled materials and there was even a sculptor. The pieces will be arranged into an exhibition later in the autumn. I recommend visiting if in any way possible.
Alongside the Color Spot / Spot Color at Väinö Linnan aukio was a capoeira show by Roda de Capoeira-crew and a performance by Tampere Chamber Orchestra that played songs about women in the 60s. So the artists making their pieces were able to enjoy some performances as well. And in case they got hungry there was a booth that was selling sausages from Tampereen lihajaloste.
Since the rain started again we went to visit the media museum Rupriikki, in which was a show about making sound effects for a computer game. The game, Nuclear Throne, was available to anyone to play. Nuclear throne was a simple, post-apocalyptic shooter and I found it pretty entertaining. I decided to just watch, since I’m better at that than playing myself. My playing would probably have ended up in such a language that the exhibition would have to have an age limit of 15-years.
Joonas Turner explained the method of making sound effects and then it was time to see it in action. The sound effects were made as the game was played with almost anything available. The footsteps were made by walking in a sandbox and other sounds came from handcuffs, deodorant cans, cymbals, video cassettes and you name it. Only the shooting was made digitally on an iPad. The game itself seemed to be a bit difficult but making the sounds looked like fun.
I ventured forth to the main library Metso. There were poets reading their own works in an event called The Poem’s Night. As Satu Lepistö was reading her pieces I felt like I can’t understand poetry at all, even though I write it myself. Her poems were about talking in different languages and not understanding each other. Probably that was the problem in my understanding, or the lack of it. We didn’t have the same language. Tuija Välipakka on the other hand considered the connection of creativity and madness and combined the works of Sylvia Blath and Timo K. Mukka into her own poems and thus created a text that had hidden meanings between hidden meanings. This was so much closer to my own musings that it mostly dissolved my doubts of not understanding poetry. I wonder, does madness make you creative or is it the other way around.
The last event of the day for me was the fire show Mechanik by Flamma in Näsinpuisto. The show was quite steampunkish and even without words one could find from it a struggle over power and even a love story. I’m sure that if the performance would have been later, it would have been even more pretentious. It was quite astounding as it was, visual and acrobatic, but a darker environment would have enhanced the feel of the fire even more. There would have been a “bat walk” after the fire show, but I decided to head for home. And as I got there, I got my own bat walk, since there were a few bats flying around the yard. A good days work, I’d say. It was good to head for bed then. -Nina
15.8.2014 Fair of the Craftsmen During the Night of The Events on 7.8. I also visited the Fair of the Craftsmen in Verkaranta. There were exhibitioners from all over the Southern Finland, but mostly from the Pirkanmaa region. I’m quite sure that I could’ve spent the whole day just exploring Verkaranta. It was Heaven for an artistic person such as myself, I felt the kick of inspiration on my backside pretty hard. There were so much different material from which people created the most intriguing things. I started my tour from Hopeapajun Korut. The jewellery was not totally conventional, since the most used material was leather in addition to silver and natural jewel stones. In addition to jewellery, there were keychains, masks and bags. All of them were decorated by natural looking figures and stained with shoemaker’s colours. This made the products look incredibly alive. The silver and natural jewel stones made a fascinating twist to the leather products.
More jewellery were available from Mariel Design, Samotti-pottery and Tulimetsä, all from very different materials. Mariel Design used dried plants and other recycled materials to create fun looking earrings and pendants. The things Mariel Design creates depends on the mood of the artist in addition to the time of the year and inspiration nature gives. It indeed is dull to do the same thing all year round.
Samotti-pottery makes their jewellery from clay. In addition they make decorative products and pottery in the actual meaning of the word. Especially the pendants were on the show in Verkaranta. Samotti also offers courses in which you can learn to do your own decorations and pendants from clay. Samotti is a family business that has passed on in the family for several decades. They use no moulds, everything is handmade with love and this shows in the products as well.
Tulimetsä uses metal, mostly wrought iron, in his work. So once again were at totally different methods and materials. The pendants and artworks made from the iron are spectacular! Jewellery is also made from silver and bronze by casting it to moulds. So, fire is present, if mister Tulimetsä is creating art from wrought iron or casting pendants or rings form silver. (This translates into Fire forest, yes. that is his real name.) In addition he also makes some goldsmiths work, but by order only. Art and pendants are not the most conventional use of wrought iron, but mister Tulimetsä wishes to show the world that it is actually as usable in art as in utensils.
There were two different kinds of potteries present aside from Samotti. The Vehmainen Pottery creates more utensils than Samotti, but there are also statues made from clay. The artist Jari Salminen has also written a book about ceramics and how to use it in utensils or artwork. They also arrange pottery courses to any group interested.
A completely different sort of method is used by Rakutar, who produces only decorations. The clay is especially made for raku-method, which has more and different steps than ordinary pottery. The roots of the technique are in 1400th century Japan, where they wanted to create old-looking dishes for tea ceremony. The clay is first moulded into the desired shape and then burned at 900 degrees Celsius. Then the piece is glazed with coloured raku-glaze, which requires 900-1000 degrees Celsius to melt. Most raku-artists have a self made oven outdoors to perform the burning. After this the pieces are smoked with sawdust under a barrel. It is important to notice that the pieces are extremely hot and the sawdust can easily burst into flames, so it is safer to use natural fibres to wear when you are using the raku-method. The pieces are then cooled with water by pouring it on them, not immersing them into the water. The temperature changes so rapidly that immersing the pieces into water may actually shatter them. Basically at this state the statues are finished, but require still a washing and polishing. The greatest aspect of raku-technique is the close cooperation with natural elements. All of the pieces are unique and have a spirit of their own. The feelings of the artist seem to be moulded into the pieces as well.
Then, again a completely different material. Ziefox creates small decorations and pendants out of Fimo-clay. Fimo is a wax made out of polymers and can be moulded in the same way that ordinary clay. Once it is in shape it is hardened in an oven. Once hardened though, Fimo can’t be used again. Ziefox makes mostly, as you can predict from the name, foxes. Very simple and simply adorable. The thing that actually caught my eye was this tiny Cthulhu-figure, which was so special and adorable, I just had to take him home. Now he’s sitting in my living room, planning the world domination.
Mirva Soinio was one of the painters in Verkaranta. She makes pictures that represent the innocent mind and fairy-tales. She uses silk painting, which as a method of painting is quite different from the conventional. First you need to draw the outlines to the pictures to prevent the paint form spreading uncontrollably into the silk. She makes the paintings one at a time and 100% handmade. And due to the nature of the materials, every painting is an individual. Soinio says that her aim is to bring goodness in to this world and tries to do that by painting and writing. She has a book coming this autumn, which will be written and illustrated by her.
Textiles were available in many forms, but my favourites were handiworks of Milla Laitinen, who uses recycled materials to create mostly bags and other usable things. But then there was Måns. Totally unfunctional adorable piece of rag, as the artist herself called it. Horribly adorable monster. (Pun intended).
This is the sort of an adventure to make your own creativity flow. I think I’ll get some canvas to paint on…
21.8.2014 Team City Challenge 16.8.2014 The most effective way of distorting your understanding of the arrangement of the week is to go to work on weekends. This time I went to the Uittoyhdistys building in Pispala. There I attended the Team City Challenge checkpoint as a photographer while the boys acted as judges and advisers for the course. There were checkpoints all over Tampere, in over 30 different locations. All with different challenges as well. The challenges were published just as the race started to keep it fair. There were four different categories in the race: Competition series in general and for women and also the not-so-serious series for other groups and firms. In the competition series the team was two people, in other series 2-4 people. The competition series, as the name hints, is for more serious athletes and they’re required to travel from checkpoint to checkpoint by running or by bike. The other groups could perform the transfer in any way available. Tampere mass transport offered to the teams a free ride on the local buses if wearing the official shirt of the challenge. The aim of TCC is to encourage people to try new kind of sports and learn new ways to build a team. It seems to be working, since the event has been steadily growing during the five years of its existence. The entering fee of the challenge included, in addition to the race itself, an official shirt of the challenge, snacks between the checkpoints and the after party at restaurant Hullu Poro. The facilities in Pyynikin palloiluhalli were also available for all contestants during the challenge if they needed some refreshing. Our checkpoint was a simple bicycle course, with a twist. That was indicated in the name “Stevie Wonder Trick Bike”. So the contestants had to drive through the course with darkened glasses as another member of the team gives instructions. And not sunglasses in that sense, but glasses that were actually painted black. The other twist on the course was that they weren’t allowed to use their own bikes. The only allowed bike was borrowed to the checkpoint from Tampere City Bike. This was to ensure similar conditions to all contestants. We opened at 10 am as the race started from Pyynikin Palloiluhalli, where the race also ended 6 hours later. There were about 20 teams visiting our checkpoint during the day that means about 80 people. This was a slight disappointment and probably due to our distant location. We need to remember this next year and pick a better location. The course was a simple one on purpose: there was only bicycle slalom and balancing between two bars before the end in which the contestant had to catch a flag of Näsijärvireitti from a pole. The performances, as well as the given instructions, varied from excellent and smooth to confusing and not-so-smooth. Nobody was left with 0 points, because the minimum was 2 points even if the team refused to do the course. The top score of the day was 10 points, which was the maximum and it was achieved by only one team. It apparently isn’t too easy to ride a bike while blindfolded. Most of the comments were about the bike not having a hand-break, but the good runner-up was “Do you remember which one is left?!” This made the even judges a bit amused. Most of the teams that came for a run, had a good time with us, but there were some crises bubbling under because of misunderstandings in some teams. -Nina