Kiasma-lehti | Kiasma Magazine
Kiasma-lehti 52 | Kiasma Magazine 52
No 52 Vol 15

Sounds Like Work

Sounds Like Work (SLW) event is a part of month-long performance installation Performance Compost.

Every space has a different acoustic signature that affects the characteristics of sounds emitted in that space. For example, think of where you work. The audio signals you emit at work sound different in an empty studio than in a teeming auditorium.

Now think of the Finnish art world as a space and local artists as signals. How are these signals sculpted by the space? How long is the reverberation time; does one need to count in seconds, days, or years? Who or what constitutes the walls, and where are they placed? If you stand outside, does it still resonate?

Our recent experiences suggest that the soundscape of the Finnish art world is mainly orchestrated by officials in institutions and public funding bodies who have a predilection for heavy notation. When artists tune in for their performance by adapting to the given notes, a feedback loop is often created.

If dynamics are lacking in work, and also in the arts, then new ways of playing are urgently needed. Furthermore, when practically everything is turning into work due to recent social and technological developments, could it be that only free sounds finally make a difference?

Organized at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, adjacent to an exhibition on the documentation of art, 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 an artistic sensibility. In the manner of musicians, or dilettantes, we will play work instead of working on it: ask for a CV and a protest song is what you will get. Our undertakings from administration to curating are made accessible and transparent in an open office at Kiasma.

The SLW programme ranges from solo performances to omnipotent ambiences, concerts and presentations. It expresses both local realities and universal concerns regarding artistic labour, using language, sound and video as its media.

Kimmo Modig & Jenna Sutela

SLV Open Office on the Kiasma foyer balcony on 2-21 October, Event at the Kiasma Theatre on 16–18 November.