About me

John W. Fail

Icewhistle.com (or www.johnw.fail) is the website of John W. Fail.

I am an {artist?, musician?, cultural producer?, urbanist?} based in Helsinki, Finland. My work in recent years has sought to challenge the voluntary myopia of conventional cultural structures through the development of empowerment-focused platforms and networks. Drawing on my background in literature, experimental music, and digital culture production, I’m hoping to find pathways, simultaneously challenging and fun, through the thorny swamp of monopoly platforms and market democracy.

My work generally takes the form of participatory interactions, and I try to see myself as a loose organiser (or facilitator) rather than a central artistic voice. I am highly skeptical of participation-based art that merely uses participants as actors, props, or pawns in a predetermined structure. Workshops, working groups, and other activities that I organise aim for a bidirectional mode of creative dissemination. I don’t come from a traditional art background, so my work is generally unconcerned with visual output or artworld-orientated formats. I use the term trans-disciplinary as I’m truly fascinated by the ways that people collaborate, and how the different operating philosophies of disciplines can mesh together into an unstable, shape-shifting matrix of potential.

This website contains my CV and links to my major projects (Kuusi Palaa/Temporary, Ptarmigan, Living Spaces) as well as occasional descriptions and news about my current activities.

If you would like to know more about me, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Serious Introspection
with John W. Fail was a live show in Helsinki, Finland from 2015-2016. Each week, John along with hype man Justin Tyler Tate, interviewed people about their creative process and tried to deliver a direct, communicative experience about art and performance. The show took place at Mad House Helsinki's Ihana Baari, and was free to attend. We tried our best to entertain. You know, we did eight shows in the first season and it was pretty time-consuming, but we were excited to come back for more in 2016. We've made videos available from all episodes of the show here for you to watch. The videos aren't always perfect and the audio even less so, but we hope you still enjoy them. The show is indefinitely on hiatus as Justin moved away and other projects took over. We also will occasionally post audio podcasts when we get the time to go more in-depth with people, outside of the public show. But wait, there's more! We are still available to be booked for parties, wedding, bar mitzvahs and other events. We will come to your event and offer our services for hosting, hyping and media specialisation (live tweeting) for a variable fee. The for-profit arm of Serious Introspection is called SI Services and we're up for anything, really! If you'd like to find out more about Serious Introspection, you can start by watching these episodes and seeing if it's your cup of tea. The hashtag #SeriousIntrospection contains the running stream of live tweets from our media specialist Ernest Truely (and anyone else who might contribute). We have made the show available as a podcast via iTunes and Stitcher. We have a Facebook page which we use to post info about the upcoming shows and videos as they are released. So yeah, that's it, pretty much. We will announce future events and SI-related matters here so feel free to check back any time. We're trying to keep this page simple, if for no other reason than our cup runneth over with websites already.