It's been a lot of work. One month in Finland already passed. I haven't had chance to do any shopping except the groceries. I hope I'll have some time to get some souvenirs in the remaining month.
It started yesterday afternoon, the wind got stronger and stonger, then the snow started. It didn't stop, probably all night. We woke up this morning, everything was covered in white. I haven't gone out for two days, I don't know how cold it got. From the window I saw a mother carrying her child on a sled.
The website for the Muku & Coro in Rauma Finland is finally up. Phew, the first part is done! DONE! It's been so busy. But I still have the second part to do...
Our apartment is about 25 minutes walk to the city central. Having a baby in a stroller, we have to walk there, even just to get decent groceries and wines. We haven't figured how the bus runs, they say every half hour, but that's pretty much all the information we got. We have bikes that we could use, but I'm not too sure how much longer we can bike. It snowed yesterday morning already.
It's great that a lot of people speak English here, but I'm pretty lost especially at the grocery stores. I haven't had enough time to really study how things are and how to read labels. I feel like I'm always in a rush, bike downtown to do some errands between the baby feeds, like every 2 to 3 hours...I've been doing 2 roundtrips each day for the last few days and this is quite tiring. I'm getting a lot of exercise for sure.
Anyhow, finally I'm making decisions(materials and schedules) about the project. I'm getting some responses from the potential collaborators. I just have to start painting.
I finally took out my suitcase from the dark and dusty storage in the back of our apartment. Slowly I started to pick stuff I may need over there, but what do I need? I haven't traveled for some time now and I forgot the deal of going somewhere for more than a week! or taking an airplane! I feel like I need everything but at the same time, I may not need anything, except a camera (in fact two nights ago I had a nightmare where I forgot to bring my camera), project deta files, drawing materials, my mouthguard and maybe some clothes but the worst case I could be wearing the same outfit for 2 months...if I'm lack of something I could probably buy there too.
I'm excited to do Muku & Coro project in Rauma, Finland. It's a small city of 40,000 people, 4 hours west of the capital Helsinki by bus. Raumars hosts a residency program which I happened to be selected. I always wanted to visit scandinavia countries at least once in my life and I also have a friend in Helsinki to visit (to complete the Long distance version of Muku & Coro), I'm happy that this residency opportunity will allow me to achieve these goals.
There was another residency opportunity given to me through les Pépinières européennes pour jeunes artistes, in Liepaja, Latvia, in the spring of 2009. That could've been the first Muku & Coro project to try out outside of my social network. But after all this was canceled due to a political conflict that the host organization had to encounter, and I've been looking for other possible places for the project.
To realize the project in a new strange place will be challenging, I'm not sure what to expect. And especially that I've been taking some time-off since the birth of our baby, I'm not yet in a working mode. But I have a good feeling about this. As far as I understand, Rauma is a beautiful place, we'll be living in an apartment only a block away from water, the Gulf of Bothnia...this also satisfies one of my dreams that I always wanted to live by a sea.
It was the weekend March 28 and 29 when I had a studio shooting for P2P at the New Media Lab at Oboro. I had over a year to plan this project but I was starting to freak out that I didn't plan enough on the day of the performance! It was my first time using a real studio with a real technician (Thank you so much Aaron) and a few people working for me, the setup and the process seemed a real "professional" and was way too different from the way I usually work. I learned a lot over the weekend. I feel that if I ever have another chance working in a situation like this, I can probably prepare myself better.
We filmed our painting performance in the studio. The performance wasn't open to public but my after thought is that with the setting and everything the setup was very impressive, this could've have been a live performance, entertaining guaranteed. Maybe some other time in the future I can propose this as a live performance.
I ended up with about 7 hours of video footage. I intend to make a short film out of this, probably 20 minutes long or so. I also have 12 beautiful paintings made by four painters (including myself) during the performance. I hope to exhibit them somewhere, as well, in the near future. The fabulous painters who participated to P2P were Jeff Kulak, Jérôme Havre and Claudia Baltazar. Jenny and Dac were busy shooting video. Thanks so much for all your work!