News/posts

January 2019: Festival of the Not, Newcastle

03 January 2019

I'm delighted to return to Newcastle this month, once again as part of a production by CIRCA Projects + Giles Bailey. This time it's a festival, entitled Festival of the Not and taking place at the newly re-opened Star & Shadow Cinema. I'm thrilled to be part of this, as our work together in the summer of 2017 was an incredible experience, and I've also been following...

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Kuusi Palaa: view from within season one

25 April 2018

The Biathlon system that I have been co-developing since 2016 has been in use at Kuusi Palaa, a cooperatively operated project space in Helsinki. Kuusi Palaa opened on 1 March 2018 and will run at least until the end of June. The idea for Kuusi Palaa was to continue using the Biathlon tools that Temporary used (and operating in the same physical space), but to further decentralise the financing...

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Report on the Northern Pen90s symposium

25 April 2018

On Monday, 10 July 2017, I was honoured to host The Northern Pen90s: Interrogating the Curr-ency Collective 1992-1999 at the Burnlaw Centre, one of the main sites of Curr-ency’s original artistic activity.

This was the first time I have ever organised anything in the seminar/symposium format, and despite the limited time restraints we managed to produce a phenomenal event,...

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World is Sudden: Summer Lab (+ bursaries available!)

19 June 2017

I'm honoured to have been invited to participate in the World is Sudden: Summer Lab project by Giles Bailey & CIRCA Projects next month. The project will take place in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and the North Pennines, and I'll be one of the artists along with Anne-James Chaton, Rory Pilgrim, Giles, Christian Jendreiko, Christo Wallers and the Glasgow Open Dance...

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Travelling (report/upcoming): Sheffield, Athens, and Sofia

21 April 2014

Earlier this month I spent a few days in Sheffield, a city which I had visited only twice before and never for such a lengthy stay. I was participating in the Open Sourcing Festivals project, a Pixel network venture that seeks to open up the process of creating education-based cultural festivals. The idea is we will create a 'festival toolkit', all leading up to a festival in Sheffield...

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Followup to my open letter to the minister of culture

11 December 2013

Yesterday, I wrote an open letter to the incoming Estonian culture minister, and against my better judgement I shared it on Facebook. What resulted was not surprising - a plethora of ‘likes’ from friends, and it was shared by about ten other people to wider audiences.

What disappointed me was that I wrote the piece not to actually communicate with the culture minister (I’m...

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An open letter to the new Culture Minister in Estonia

09 December 2013

Dear Urve Tiidus,

Congratulations on your appointment as the new Culture Minister of Estonia. I don't know anything about you, and I don't even know what specifically you can do as Culture Minister, but I welcome any potential change in culture policy in Estonia and wish you the best.

My hope in writing this letter is to encourage some discussion about the various forms of culture in...

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Ptarmigan at Supermarket 2012

05 March 2012

Last month, Ptarmigan went to Supermarket, the artist-run art fair in Stockholm. Thanks to the KulturKontakt Nord Mobility Programme for enabling this to happen - Sari Kivinen, Andra Aaloe, Lewis McGuffie and myself all attended, which was 4/5 of the Ptarmigan staffers and in a way, our first collective project as collaborating artists (outside of the regular administration of Ptarmigan).

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Miscellaneous expertise @ MoKS AVAMAA 2010

19 January 2012


Next month I will be coordinating a workshop entitled Miscellaneous expertise: performance, unlearning stories and public speech at the MoKS Kunsti ja Sotsiaalpraktika Keskus AVAMAA sympsium in Mooste, Estonia.  This is a collaboration with my good friend Giles Bailey, and the workshop will take place over five days with the dissemination on the sixth.

We proposed Miscellaneous...
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Musings on Mutopia: a week of collaboration in rural Estonia

15 July 2019

I spent the last 10 days in Estonia, mostly at the MoKS AVAMAA 2009 ArtSymposium.  While the symposium offered traditional workshops (on printmaking and sound electronics), I participated in Mutopia 3, an exploration of collaborative creative practices that is quite difficult to describe.

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Led by MoKS coordinator John Grzinich, the name is intended to combine the idea of Utopia with the...

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Random thoughts on advertising

19 January 2012
This morning I found myself thinking about advertising in general - and just how completely normal it seems to me, a 28-year old who has grown up in the United States. Logos, slogans, and other residue of the coprorate advertising language are so ingrained into my life that I rarely take the time anymore to even think about what they mean. I imagine a teenager, growing up today, would be even...
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Serious Introspection
with John W. Fail was a live show in Helsinki, Finland from 2015-2016. We tried our best to entertain. No one is really sure why John hosted a talk show, but a lot of strange things have happened in the universe and this is ultimately pretty insignificant. The show took place at Mad House Helsinki's Ihana Baari, and was free to attend. You know, we did eight shows in the first season and it was pretty time-consuming, but we were excited to come back for eight more in 2016. It's all archived here. 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. 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! The for-profit arm of Serious Introspection is called SI Services and we're up for anything, really! Now that we all live in different places, it's probably going to be quite an ordeal just to have three white guys host your kid's birthday party. But please believe me when I say that we would really, really love to do this. We are still available, in theory 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. 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. We have a Facebook page which we use to post info about the upcoming shows and videos as they are released. We have made the show available as a podcast where people get Podcasts, generally iTunes or Stitcher. Try the Overcast app, it's really nice. The hashtag #SeriousIntrospection contains the running stream of live tweets from our media specialist Ernest Truely (and anyone else who might contribute). 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.