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The Pine on Skifferholmen

On a morning walk I happened to cross the winter bridge to Uunisaari and to continue along the jetty to the nearby Liuskasaari or Skifferholmen. There I noticed two small pine trees standing by the path as if waiting to be performed with. Unlike Harakka Island, which is reachable only by boat, Uunisaari is connected with a bridge this time of year, so beginning a practice with these pines would not be hindered by storms or bad weather. So, why not? On New Years Day, first of January I dressed in black, took my camera and tripod and walked over – together with hundreds of other people. On my morning walk I did not realise that this was a favourite weekend walk for a large part of the population of the city. Well, I managed to perform with the smaller pine, trying to “hold hands” with it, with only a few people passing between the camera and the tree. I was so confused and embarrassed by all the people that I did not even check the image, and realized only afterwards that I should perhaps have placed the camera a little further away in order for the human figure not to be so big. But I decided to accept the image and go on from that, only changing the position of my left hand, and wearing gloves and a knit cap the following day. The same traffic continued even then. Obviously this will be a very public practice, but it is a public space, so there is not much I can do about it. Yesterday and today there was snowfall. If the snow stays for a while, I can forget the marks on the ground I carefully chose in order to find the right position for the tripod. Once again this will be an approximation, something only so-so… Anyway, the still images will be documented here

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Another day with a pine

On a frosty morning at the end of November on Örö I decided to spend one more day with a pine, and chose a peculiarly formed pine on the shore near the residency house to spend time with. This time I would sit and write with the pine, while visiting it once every hour from 9 am to 4 pm, a normal workday, but also the time there is sunlight here at this time of the year. I did not count on it suddenly being so cold, so my sessions with the pine were brief. That is ok, since my small notebook does not have many pages left. In any case I decided to try to listen more and write less, and conduct an interview of sorts. I began with a huge question: What is important? and soon came up with the obvious reply from my perspective at that moment: warmth. This was only the beginning, perhaps the day will get warmer and my sensitivity to the pine better.

Two days later, after editing the videos and recording the texts I wrote I have to admit that my sensitivity did not increase that much. Yes, I spent more time listening to the pine, simply sitting there after writing, but I did not really feel any answers or responses to my questions, at least not ones that I could register or understand. Perhaps I did not even expect any responses and therefore could not detect them. The video including all my sitting in the pine amounts to 50 minutes, while a short version, synchronised with a video of equal length with only the pine (the brief ”empty” images after each session) is only 5 minutes and 53 seconds. The ”real” version, the one with the texts that I wrote recorded as a voice-over is 14 minutes. And unlike my first question, the following ones were more mundane, about light and sound and the wind.

The good thing with this day, compared to my previous experiment with hanging in a pine nearby for a day, was the weather. This time the day was not so dark and gloomy, and there were more nuances in the shifts of light. And the day was shorter, too, I did not begin before sunrise and ended right after nightfall, so this was a short working day of eight hours, from nine to four. – All the videos (except the longest one) are available on the RC, here