The Kammari Residency is independently run by a collective of artist and researchers. This brief introduction attempts to communicate some of the foundations of our thinking, ideas and what the project is about.
Briefly, the main challenge is how to tackle the two-fold task of becoming conscious of the material relations determining our experience, as well as the ideologies determining our emotions and thinking.
We invite all artists and guests to relate to this text, challenge it and engage in a dialogue with the space, the people and the ideas presented.
Our actions and thinking rely on a material reality. When, as is usually the case, this is ignored, action and thinking become disconnected and our critique and work remain, on a fundamental level, irrelevant, a form of pseudo activity possibly preventing change. This is important in terms of understanding how societal change can happen in the face of the acute ecological, social and political crisis, that we now face in the transition period from the global modernity that finite fossil fuels made possible.
Even in the remote Kammari Residency, we live and work in a globally connected world. Cheap labour is working for us somewhere, fossil fuels magically run everything from food production to infrastructure and economic and political structures distribute power in a global network. Any work or research aiming to understand ways forward in terms of a more sustainable society, must be conscious of all relations it and its surrounding society depends on. Therefore we want our research, thinking and work to be based on the acknowledgement of the interconnections of all of these structures, and our responsibility for them.
With this in mind, the aim of the project is to progress, in theory and practice, in building a space that includes experiments on material autonomy, theoretical developments, post-fossil future consciousness, contemporary art practices and experimenting on systems of ecological sustainability.
Experimental thinking – understanding modernity through ideology
One of the main aspects confusing our thinking, and hence the way we perceive and act in the world, is the appeal of ideologies. We, as modern subjects, seem irresistibly drawn to determined, regulated and controlled systems of thought that hinder individually responsible and free thinking. And infamously most of this happens unconsciously, or at least passively and unnoticed from the daily, active consciousness.
So, while each individual’s thinking and experiential worlds are infinitely unique, we at the same time seem to think and act in significantly uniform ways in social groups. In this given tension we tend to experience ourselves as split between, on one hand, socially determined identities, and on the other hand, a “real” self hidden behind them. This picture is in itself an illusion and a fundamental trait of the structure of ideology. In turn, we suggest that the uniqueness of every individual should be understood as an open, undetermined and conflicting process, where each one is constituted by his/her/their relatedness to other people, animals, plants and objects.
Understanding ideology and how it determines our thinking and relatedness is an urgent political project and is thus an organic part of our research.
Art is a practice that has a chance to challenge ideology through experiential experimentation. Philosophy is the practice of challenging ideology in thinking. We aim to combine the two.
This essentially requires working with other artists, researchers, thinkers, writers, performers, musicians etc. The Kammari Residency is a space for such encounters.
The residency house as a work of post-fossil art
The residency house is an evolving, collective post-fossil art work. It is a progressive practical and theoretical project of understanding how ecologically sustainable forms of living and working can be developed, while at the same time understanding our modern predicament and ideology.
The work started from renovating an abandoned old stone house in the spring 2018. The house project, which is completely artist-ran and financed by the artists, is combining recycled and mostly natural materials, DIY post-fossil inventions, sustainable energy solution experiments, experimental architecture and a garden. At the same time the house is hosting installations, performances and visual art works in the areas of sound art, bio art, poetry and cinema.
The main coordinator of the residency project is Sakari Laurila. We invite all guest artists to participate in its evolution.
Transition state to the Post-Fossil
The current state of the project is that the house and work there is fuelled by fossil fuel generated electricity and transport, recycled materials from the industrial modernity, industrial food production, etc. Thus it differs little from a usual modern establishment. However this allows the transition state of experimenting on the new post-fossil and sustainable ways of working for the future.
Apart from the Post-Fossil Creature research, artists in the residency will be working with modern contemporary tools such as computers, printers etc. on their own artistic and research projects. One of the main challenges in the project is to combine the contemporary tools to a post-fossil and sustainable reality. What is possible and what not? What post-fossil alternatives can be created?
The transition state is estimated to last about 10 years. After that, the house is going to be fuelled autonomously by sustainable energy sources, using tools and equipment that can be produced locally in collaboration with local handicraft workers, producing its own food and is in general an established pioneer project on how to create a sustainable and autonomous place to live and work, but without disconnection from the surrounding political and social global environment.
The Post-Fossil Creature -research and artistic practice
All of the in-house research and artistic practices are connected to the every day life sustaining work in the house. This includes washing laundry, taking care of a garden, growing food, thinking, writing, filmmaking, cooking, cleaning, irrigating, creating electricity, heating the house, etc.
The Post-Fossil Creature -research aims to understand how washing laundry is significantly different without the help of fossil fuels that determine the experience for a usual modern fossil human subject.
For example in a post-fossil situation one has to be aware of the limitations and possibilities of input of clean water and the form of energy used to transport it. Also the labour is all done by the human body, instead of a washing machine. Thus we research how the body has a different relatedness and consciousness. If water needs to be warmed a sustainable way must be invented. The washing itself requires containers that can be created locally. All this is connected to a theoretical understanding of ideology, the modern experience and fossil fuels as the primus motor of it.
In turn, the modern fossil subject turns on a lever and clean water magically appears. From a push of a button the machine does all the work. Everything if fuelled by excess of energy whose source and web of relations the subject is unconscious of. This magic reality has determined to a large extent the experience and thinking of the modern human as a subject.
All of these every day, life sustaining activities require a very different consciousness when done with a post-fossil consciousness in mind. We see this as a great opportunity to combine all essential aspects of understanding our predicament and ways forward. Every aspect of life sustaining work in the residency, including washing laundry, becomes a possibility for theoretical analysis and artistic creativity as well as a site for practical innovation for solutions.
The Post-Fossil Creature -residency program
To invite artists and researchers to work on the project, we have a artist residency program. We invite people to participate in the evolution of the theoretical and practical aspects of the project with their own artistic or theoretical expertise. More information on the residency program page.