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Datscha Radio’s ‘Air on Air’. Art Biennial in Ii, Finland

„I grew up in a mining city. And so, I found the air in Ii… very fresh, very clean. You notice this quickly when you know so well, how the mining dust is just everywhere and covering everything.”

The air this morning was indeed clear and fresh, sheep clouds were sailing across the blue, and our first guest, arriving speedily on a bicycle was Joana Cortez from Vitória, Brazil, a philosopher, curator, and artist.

Joana Cortez works with ferments. Her project in Ii involves among other research and its (re)presentation, the extraction of specifically ‚Iian‘ fermentation microbes from the immediate surroundings. Three mixtures evolved, and three loaves of bread were baked from the dough that was generated.
In her talk with Tina, Joana tells us about the beginnings of her career, when the act of creating bread dough formed a parallel expression of her urge to ‚ferment‘ her diversified approaches into something artistically whole(some).
Working with the tiniest beings, such as microbes, she says, can teach us many things. „Diversity is a natural thing, it is not something that is forced on us. Only by environments that provide a ground for numerous species of microbes, interaction and fermentation are enabled.“ In the course of her research with biologists, and chemists and in cooperation with numerous international scientific institutions Joana has formed a body of work that focuses on those processes which are just as minuscule as determinative for our life on earth.

Joana Cortes: Ferment: from the air around you (selection)

Our second set of guests arrived shortly after. Turku-based sound artists Simo Alitalo & Tuike Alitalo work together as a couple ever since… meaning, since they first met in their teens. They sit close, in unison, they listen to each other, exchange glances, gestures, knitting an airy net of stories they have both shared in their work as advocates for a culture of listening. Their project for Ii involved just that: Listening. Without recorders, without distractions, without Vorbehalt. Together they staged three to four audio walk through Ii. Along the river, around the town, through gardens, and across roads. A white ear made from porcelain marks the location where the walkers would be asked to stand still and listen. After those walks, the two of them invited their listening guests to share their experiences with the group.

In the course of the talk, many stories were told. Tuike and Simo are widely traveled… and one of their favorite cities seems to be Cologne in Germany… for many reasons and as many stories. As for listening, I think, my favorite story was about Tuike telling us about their stay in NY City, when they were stuck in some hotel, and she said that after days and days, she could not only tell, which direction ambulance cars were coming from but also the hospital they were heading to. Of course, Ii is less dramatic, yet…

Simo Alitalo & Tuike Alitalo: Ecouterias / Ekouteriat

Our final guest – before the break and the ‚narrow cast experience‘ as Jetta Huttunen labeled it – was Hanna Kaisa Vainio. Together with Saara-Maria Kariranta, Riikka Keränen she is part of the Suomaalaiset-working group.
While most artists’ works were only meant to be accessible during the Biennial, her’s is to stay. It is Installed in the nearby „Sculpture Park“, we all had visited the Environmental Art Park of Ii before our trip to „Merihelmi“ where Kotoaki Asano had created his artwork „Frame & Thread“. We found Hanna Kaisa extremely knowledgeable about birds. She knows many of their calls, helping us to identify a recording made earlier. Her sculpture „The Fisher“ is made from wood and bark and threads, a bird with a wing span of perhaps 1,5 meters hanging suspended between two trees. At the belly, a weight is fixed to a string, and when this is pulled, „The Fisher“ flaps its wings.

Hanna-Kaisa Vainio: „Osprey – The Fisher“.

The Picknick

The FM-transmitter was transmitting, the music was playing. We looked out onto the lawn which was still and empty: Did our guests forget to come? Will they bring radios to listen? Will they bring food… because, we were really hungry!

But they arrived and also brought a radio. Next to the curators, Jetta, Mark and Minna, and their daughter, there came also the biennial producer, Heli Paaso-Rantala and Joana too made herself comfortable on the grass. A bike-riding couple stopped and was offered refreshments and a small radio to listen to. Baskets were unpacked, bottles (non-alcoholic of course) were opened.
Radiowise we had hoped to meet some more of the actual inhabitants of Ii. Heli, who turned out to be one of them, had tipped us of on the beautiful bar in town, the Baari, as a place to meet the locals. Alas, when we visited, we found this Kaurismäkian movie-like refuge deserted from people except for its most charming bartender.
Our radio talk with her dwelled mainly on the theme of climate change and how it influences the daily life of the people in the region. The summers got colder and the winters warmer, she stated. And instead of snow, she said, there is more often black ice around Finnish Independence Day (6th Dec.). „We had either to walk like little babies or to use the kick-sled to have something to hold on to. We only had to cross the road over to my grandma’s house. But without the sled, you make tiny steps, but you still fall down…“

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Dear radio friends, please bear with us: We need a bit more time to fill you in on this eventful Friday morning/midday midsommer show.

Tomorrow will be our last day in Ii, so of course we’d be happy to share it with you!

Datscha Radio’s program is also broadcast by [open radio] on https://openradio.in. Many thanks to Sophea Lerner.
[open radio] supports independly produced open-content audio streams.

From 0:00 (Berlin time) radio artist Marold Langer-Philippsen will resume Datscha Radio’s stream and you can listen to his show Hörmaschine, live from Berlin.

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Since 2012, the Open Call is a constituent part of Datscha Radio’s programs. More than 200 artists have been since enriching and expanding our different radioscapes in different countries and for different themes.

Being on location and in communication with the locals of Ii provided us with the luxury to introduce sound and radio art to some people to whom this field was entirely new. Many of the listeners we spoke to were surprised, enchanted, bewildered. Some of them said: ‘I did not know, this was music‘. :) We confirmed it was… and more than that!

Relating to the recent “Air on Air” at the Art Ii Biennial, we are delighted to announce a rebroadcast of the artist’s ‘airy’ works. It will run from July 6 to July 9, 2022.

Here come four days to inhale the sound-filled breezes of “Air on Air”. The sequence of tracks is regular/irregular; chapters are kept together. Broadcasting time is 0:00 to 0:00 CET.

6th July:

  • Jussi Alaraasakka: Airborne Layers (played once at the beginning) 20:40
  • Miia Hiltunen (extra guest): Little Star: 1:12
  • Kazuya Ishigami: Gods rhyzm of Kehi-Jingu Shrine and Wakesa bay 5:50
  • Tzu Huan Lin & Campbell Watson: How’s the Weather ep1-4:
    Bad Weather in Puerto Rico 25:40
    Human Social Interaction 25:40
    Evolution 14:22
    Utopia 25:40
  • Elisabeth Shores: On The Inhale 0:33
  • Martin Virgili: Campana – Acantilado (10 Chapters) 1:20:00
  • Stuart Mellor: Turbine 4:44

7th July:

  • Castelló_Domínguez Rangel_Moreno Vera Somón Medina: Of Breath and Sound 1:28
  • Charlotte Law: hAir 2:30
  • Ian Joyce: Blow Out for Air on Air
  • Isto_Rahkila: Diffuser 5:34
  • Joan Schuman: Shimmer & Loop 12:46
  • Juho Rahikka: Soundscape (for Datscha Radio) 4:45
  • La Claud: Ondes 6:20
  • Lukas Noren: Orgelwind 3:41
  • Richard Zeiss: It’s a beautiful rain 7:36 
  • Sol Rezza, Franco Falistoco: Yeast DNA 30:00
  • Stephen Shiell: Vojak 16:54
  • The Square Root of Negative Two: Vapor I 15:24
  • Tiger Stangl: Oxygene / Sauerstoff 15:52

8th July:

  • Chelidon Frame: Flatline Voyages 1:02:52
  • Dirk Hülstrunk: Chennai Air Condition 4:42
  • Gabriele_de Seta: Air, Membranes 11:25
  • Joana Jardim & Filipe Miranda: WRP 2:28
  • Jaakko Autio: _Love_Is_In_The_Air 7:00
  • Eva Sjuve: MetopiaDeepSignal 4:38
  • George Ridgway: pedagogy of the knot 50:41

9th July:

  • Lauren Wong: (Don’t) take my breath away 4:03
  • Wilfried Hanrath: Something in the Air (and in-between)
  • NKvdK (Nieuwe Klanken van de Keizer – The Emperor’s New Sounds): Planktone (once played only, from 0:00) 5:00
  • Paint the Sky: Conceptual Artists 1:51
  • Hagai Itzenberg:  Involuntarily 7:10
  • Kate Donovan: The Dream will watch over it 10:29
  • Dirk Huelstrunk:  Chennai Aircondition Traffic Jam 6:07
  • Sebastian Pafundo: Gûlgaltâ = Calvariae = Calvario 8:00
  • Dirk Huelstrunk: Poem for Air 1:56
  • Peter Courtemanche + Anna Friz: Mechanical Velocities 37:06

Last but not least: Last but not least: on our request for this rebroadcast Datscha Radio received many positive echoes. We allow us to quote from two and insist: The honour is on you .  Thank you all!!!

Hello dear Gabi and Tina!
The idea of rebroadcasting the nightlopps is really cool! I would love to hear my play and the work of other colleagues! No objection.
Once again, congratulations for the beautiful project "Air on Air", in Ii -- I followed the posts during the Bienal with great interest (photos and texts). Long live Datscha Radio, a blue flower in the radiophonic garden. 

Many greetings! How's the Weather? Thank you for getting us back! We are thrilled to receive such feedback from your community. These are the best gifts for us to move forward on our creative path. It is our honor to be part of the program and looking forward to listen it on the air! 

Further: The actual shows and missing blog entries will be edited within the next weeks, please stay tuned.

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By Tina-Marie Friedrich

Early in the morning the sky was cloudy. At ten o’clock it cleared up and the sun came out. It is still shining.

Joana Cortes “from the air around you” talks about the community of microbes. She has been experimenting with making sourdough for six years: water, flour and microorganisms that are in the air, on our hands and everywhere. For them to thrive, they need to be fed and cared for. They also nourish each other with their excrements. The bread we tasted at the opening was made from dough that had been matured for ten days and was very tasty. Joana comes from philosophy, she has studied the microbes of her sourdough together with chemists, and one result is now shown here in an art context.

The Kilottaa Collective has hung large curtains in the trees to fish “transcendent messages” out of the air. Mia Mäkinen says that when they were setting up, the birch tree threw branches at them. She asked the tree if it didn’t like the art. Later, she realised that the tree had possibly warned her. Because the wind got so strong that they had to roll up the textiles to protect them. When Elsa Häkkinen works alone, she embroiders in cross-stitch “activity signs”. As an example, she shows us a pink vulva with yellow sun rays. She does not want gender to be thought of only in binary terms.

Filips Stanislavskis’ work is “Human Cloud Project”. Through his involvement with geoengineering, Filips came up with the idea of building his own machine that produces clouds from the liquids of people’s collected breath. Even thousands of his cloud machines would not influence the climate in any way, because our breath enters the atmosphere anyway. We are part of a very complex system.

Inari Virmakoski “Climate Nets” aka “Air Nets” She learned to appreciate the material for her work, gauze, in Tanzania. It protected her from mosquitoes and she saw how wonderfully light it moved in the wind. She lived there with a view of Mount Kilimanjaro, which showed her the weather every morning: sometimes it was clearly visible, sometimes it was covered in clouds. During her life in the desert, she washed herself with sand, grateful to her fellow human beings who, with their experience, made it possible for her to survive in the desert.

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8 degrees, rain, wind gusts at 37 km/h: A perfect day to make radio outside next to a river and a pine tree! The air… was… wet!

Scheduled for today at 12 was the “Air Nets” performance by the artist Inari Virmakoski at the Jakkukylä suspension bridge some 5 km away.  We decided to split up: Ms Schaffner would stay at the station, watching the weather and tending guests and sound art works; Ms Friedrich would go, see the performance and report via telephone into the radio mic.

Radio guest of the day was Kai, who punctually appeared at 11:30. Offering him a glass of cold water seemed somehow superfluous, and we started our talk with a pronunciation exercise of his surname: LATVALEHTO. (I remember him telling me a much much longer version of this one which I looked up from the internet.) Kai Latvalehto knows the region well, having moved  over from Sweden to the region of Ii at the age of 13.

We talked about the weather, climate change (“Black Christmas” even in the North in 7 out of 10 years) and his work as a project manager of the Kripa-project/Northern AiR.

The Kripa project aims to create permanent supporting structures for the field and to increase the international competence for the local cultural actors in Ostrobotnia. It is a part of the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Currently there exist six residency location, namely in Ii, Kuusamo, Hailuoto, Raahe, Oulu and Kärsämäki.

I asked for the website, and here it is: https://www.northernair.fi/en/

Shortly after he left, the phone rang. There was Tina reporting about the preparations of Inari’s performance: constant drizzle of rain, people with umbrellas is various colors, the curators shepherding the artloving crowd of ca. 30 people, a bridge spanning the river, a camera team on location… and amidth it, dressed in a shining yellow rain coat, the most wonderful looking artist, holding a mass of white material in her arms.

From the bridge itself “Air Nets” were dangling down and dancing in the rain gusts… just like giant “Jelly fish”, Tina reported.

The connection broke and kept on breaking during the telephone transmission. In between, the following works from the open call were presented:

  • Joan Schumann: Shimmer & Loop
  • The Square Root of Negative Two: Vapor
  • Sebastian Pafundo: Gûlgaltâ = Calvariae = Calvario.
  • Richard Zeiss: It’s a beautiful rain
    And the first episode of
  • TzuHuan_Lin_How’s the Weather ep1-4: Bad Weather in Puerto Rico

By the time Ms Friedrich reappeared from the expedition, I was thoroughly frozen over. And she too. The station was packed into the box, the ‘air of Ii’ microphones activated and off we went in search for some hot hot hot cups of tea at the Kulturikauppila.

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Due to cable rearrangements, the ‘air stream’ set-up in the birdhouse (masterly put together by Ii Art technical assistant Timo) now runs only on batteries. Depending on temperatures and weather these tend to die at some point during the night.

A great occasion to create a “Night Loop” consisting of a (re)broadcast of the ‘Air on Air’ sound art contributions and also a fit way to present longer works.

The NightLoops will start from approximately 1 pm (=death of batteries) and will play until 11 am.

We also have the pleasure to say that from the 17th on, our program will be by [Open Radio]: https://openradio.in

Nightloop I: 16th

  • Elisabeth Shores: On The Inhale 0:33
  • Stuart Mellor: Turbine 4:44
  • Kazuya Ishigami: Gods rhyzm of Kehi-Jingu Shrine and Wakesa bay 5:50
  • Martin Virgili: Campana – Acantilado (10 Chapters) 1:20:00
  • Joan Schumann: Shimmer & Loop 12:46
  • The Square Root of Negative Two: Vapor 15:24
  • Sebastian Pafundo: Gûlgaltâ = Calvariae = Calvario 8:00
  • Richard Zeiss: It’s a beautiful rain 7:36
  • Tzu Huan Lin & Campbell Watson: How’s the Weather ep1-4:
    Bad Weather in Puerto Rico 25:40
    Human Social Interaction 25:40
    Evolution 14:22
    Utopia 25:40

Guests on Friday, 17th of June 11am -1pm

  • Joana Quiroga: Ferment: From the Air Around You
  • Filips Stanislavskis: Human-Cloud Project
  • Kilottaa (Elsa Häkkinen, Miia Mäkinen, Sannu Vaarala): Transcendent Messages

Nightloop 2, 18th

  • Charlotte Law: hAir
  • Castelló_Domínguez Rangel_Moreno Vera_Somón Medina: Of Breath and Sound
  • Tiger Stangl: Oxygene / Sauerstoff
  • Isto_Rahkila_Diffuser
  • Ian Joyce: Blow Out for Air on Air
  • Juho_Rahikka: Soundscape (for Datscha Radio)
  • Lukas Noren: Orgelwind
  • Sol Rezza, Franco Falistoco: Yeast DNA

From the 16th (due to a tech failure In streaming) for some time:

  • Joan Schuman: Shimmer & Loop
  • Stuart Mellor: Turbine
  • The Square Root of Negative Two: Vapor
  • Elizabeth Shores: On the Inhale
    TzuHuan_Lin: How’s the Weather ep1-4
  • La Claud: Ondes
  • Martin Virgilio: Campana Acantilado
  • Neu:
    + Stephen Shiell: Vojak

Nightloop 3, 19th

  • Chelidon Frame: a_certain_sense_of_loss + Flatline Voyages
  • Dirk Hülstrunk: Chennai Air Condition
  • Gabriele_de Seta: Air, Membranes
  • Joana Jardim & Filipe Miranda: WRP
  • Jaakko Autio: _Love_Is_In_The_Air
  • Kate Donovan: The Dream will watch over it
  • Eva Sjuve: MetopiaDeepSignal
  • George Ridgway: pedagogy of the knot

Sunday: Last Show

  • Paint the Sky: Conceptual Artists
  • Hagai Itzenberg:  Involuntarily
  • Sebastian Pafundo: Gûlgaltâ = Calvariae = Calvario
  • Dirk Huelstrunk: Poem for Air
  • + Peter Courtemanche: Mechanical Velocities

only until 0:00

The above plus:

  • Lauren Wong: (Don’t) take my breath away
  • Wilfried Hanrath: Something in the Air (and in-between)
  • NKvdK (Nieuwe Klanken van de Keizer – The Emperor’s New Sounds): Planktone

Datscha Radio Ii would like to thank ALL participating artists!!!!!

Stay tuned: There’s more to the night!

—> Streaming right after midnight, the radio artist Marold Langer-Philippsen will start on “Hörmaschine”. Both on datscharadio.de and [open radio] Read More

The weather forecast had shown a rain warning, yet the day started with bright sunshine and  stayed like this during our very first broadcast at 11 am at the Lähti park in Ii.

Our scheduled guests for this transmission were the curators of the art Ii Biennal, but! Propped up in the birdhouse our air on air mics picked up a different sound (different from the rustling wind in the pine trees, birches and the grass and the river): a song!

Along the pathways of the park a girl in a wheelchair and a social worker approached us speedily. As it turned out, Miia loves to sing. And she loves radio music, concerts and more singing.

The artist’s park of Ii is situated close the towns municipal center. There is the hospital, pharmacy, job center, retirement home and a support center for people with special abilities.

Later that morning we were joined by another radio-hunry group (we still had not started on our show), Paula, Jonas, Susanna, Timo, Sanna and Sirpa. Sirpa too proved to be a lovely singer. We chatted on about singing and our forthcoming program and the Art Biennal.

Of course, the radio day had then just started. You will read more about it in due time. This is it for now.

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Datscha Radio Schedule Up-Date
Finnish Time (GMT+3)

Hello, our time here has been very exiting so far: Pine tree juice dripping on our birdhouse cables, a visit to the local pub, tech mysteries, inspiring encounters with our fellow artists… most of which you will meet in the course of our shows.

The original plan of broadcasts has been changed to the following times:

Wed. 15th of June      2-3 pm Opening
OC Artists today: Elizabeth Shores, Stuart Mellor, Martin Virgili, Kazuya Ishigami, (after the show:) Jussi Alaraasakka

Thu. 16th of June        11 am – 1 pm
Expedition performance by the artist INARI. Reported live from the event via Tina on the telephone.
The Square Root of Negative Two: Vapour
Later on with possible changes:
Joan Schumann: Shimmer Loop
Sebastian Pafundo: Gûlgaltâ = Calvariae = Calvario (will be played again during our broadcasts
Now playing: 12:50 – the return of Tina: TzuHuan_Lin_How’s the Weather ep1-4

Fri. 17th of June          11 am- 1 pm

Sat. 18th of June         11 am- 1 pm + Radio Picnic 2 pm – 3:30 pm

Sun. 19th of June        11 am- 1 pm

Updates will follow within the next 12 hours, stay tuned :)

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Datscha Radio Ii is realised with the kind support of the Goethe Institut Munich

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