Made with Processing + After Effects.
I’m very happy to announce that I’m (as Forces) part of SFX labels XquisiteForce AV exhibition with 42 other artists in CTM Festival’s virtual platform Cyberia. There is a slight delay and you should be able to reach the Cyberia interface in couple for days, probably at 23rd of January.
Here is the festival text:
“»XquisiteForce.AV« is a collaborative audiovisual piece, a record of artistic expressions and conversations curated and produced by Alessandra Leone and Zoë Mc Pherson, who together form SFX. The project is addressed to adventurous video and sound artists, with the aim to foster synergetic thinking and making.
The »exquisite corpse« (cadavre exquis) is a surrealist method/technique created in the 1920s by which words and images are collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, having only seen the end of the previous contribution. »Xquisite Force« borrows from the surrealists’ semi-blind and sequential method and asks participants to create sound or video in response to the final fragment of a previous work.
Within CTM Cyberia, this ongoing project features contributions from 43 contributors:
Aho Ssan, A-li-ce, Aylu, Ainissa V, Bonebrokk, Alessandra Leone, Dali de Saint-Paul, Analucia Roeder, Désir d’enfant, Bora, ELLLL, Constant Fernandez, Flore, Geso, Forces, h5io6i54k, Glass, iamunnatural, Gramrcy, Kevin Karanja, Holy Similaun, light.synth, Hulubalang, LUXMEADUX, Jellvako, Malo Lacroix, John Object, Michael Mesiats, Kaltès, Moonth.AV, Katie Gately, Nick Teeple, KMRU, oxoo, Luke Lund,Patrick Defasten, Simon Grab, Petra Hermanova, Tadleeh, Pierce Warnecke, Ziúr, Pierre Tardif, Zoë Mc Pherson, Sam Wiehl, ZULI, Serena Stucke, Software2050, Soyun Park (RGBdog), Testu Collective”
A new charity compilation is out called ‘Peramen! A Compilation for Belarus”. All the funds from the compilationg goes to #BY_help an independent grassroot organization that helps the victims of repression. From their website: “Since June 2020, #BY_help fundraises money to provide help to victims of repressions during the 2020 presidential election campaign: compensation of fines, medical expenses, legal support. ”
Full compilation here and more info about the project:
I have a new Forces track on the compilation called “Strength In Number”, which you can listen from the BandCamp link above or from SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/forces-music/strength-in-numbers
Other news, I have updated this website to include two my most recent works from this year: Untitled with Helmi Kajaste exhibited in Oksasenkatu 11 gallery June 2020 and Anti-Blashemia exhibited in Nastola‘s summer exhibition July-August 2020.
Hi, very strange times we’re living during Coronavirus. But some things goes on as normal, as was the release of my new album (digi/cassette) called ‘Epoch’ as Forces that me and Czech record label Gin & Platonic had scheduled months before. The albums maps out my personal and global struggles of last year, when I made it but I think it’s applicable to this year as well, as we clearly can see now. I wrote liner notes about the record about two months ago, when the virus was yet to hit Europe, but yea it’s pretty fitting to this situation as well.
Hope everyone stays safe!
Forces – Epoch (G&P012)
“This is the epoch of uncertainties; of shifting and unreliable narratives, of rising temperatures and sea levels, of growing economic inequality, of increasing political polarization and far-right influence.
’Epoch’ is a testament of these disintegrating processes. It is also a narrative of my own struggles. The album was made during 2019, when I felt that my mental health was unraveling; panic attacks, anxiety and somatic pains left me almost paralyzed before I got some professional help.
My personal troubles can be seen as an indicator of the general political, ecological and social problems. There are many new studies, how the looming possibility of climate catastrophe is causing anxiety and mental health issues.
Besides the disastrous effects on climate change, late capitalism is also causing problems on a societal level. The job and social security is poor, especially for younger generations, which in turn generates even more distress, alienation and mental instability.
How to remain hopeful in this situation? Rather than reverting to abandoned nihilism, I believe in the force of grassroots activism. Not everybody has to be like Greta Thunberg, but her actions can be seen as an illustrious example, how you can actual make a difference.
The album maps out all these topical ideas sonically. Collapsing sound material, unsteady temporal structures, noise and distortion build up intensities without catharsis. The tracks are made with different live programming techniques, peculiar time-stretching and layering techniques and other VST and FX’s dysfunctions.
Within the mournful aural chaos, there is a potentiality for change.”
– Forces aka Joonas Siren
Released by Gin & Platonic March 22, 2020
Produced by Forces
Mastered by Wim Dehaen
Artwork by Jiri Macku
Haven’t had a proper solo exhibition in some years, but I will now next Thursday at Kosminen!
The theme of the exhibition is to be a kind of antithesis to Vito Acconci 1972 performance piece ”Seedbed”. You can read more about my ideas about it in the exhibition text:
Joonas Siren: Softbed
Kosminen (Pursimiehenkatu 13)
7.12.-22.12.2019, Thu-Fri 14-18, Sat-Sun 12-16)
It was year 1972. Acclaimed performance artist Vito Acconci embarked on a durational performance / installation called ”Seedbed” in a Manhattan gallery in New York. Visitors of the piece encountered an empty room with a sloped floor. Underneath the floor construction was the artist, masturbating while narrating his fantasies about the people walking on top of him.
It is year 2019. I want to do a durational performance / installation that would be the polar opposite of Acconci’s work. Let’s call it ”Softbed”. I want visitors to feel cozy and welcomed, not threatened or abused. I’m very tired of macho performance pieces and toxic masculinity. I also don’t want to be present in a physical sense in the same space as the visitors. That’s why I’m Twitch-streaming myself into the gallery.
During 2019 I have got a lot of solace from different streamers that just chat whatever, while gaming. Live Twitch streams give a sense of presence that feels comforting, even when people are talking about pretty mundane things. I feel that the medium is interesting and it could be well used in art context as well.
With my stream I try to discuss soft things, fragile things and feelings. The stream also includes different pictures, text, sounds, music and videos that link to the topic. I’m streaming every day the gallery is open (Thu – Friday 14-18, Sat – Sun 12-16) and you can also watch if from home: www.twitch.tv/softbed_. There is also the possibility to chat with me in real time through Twitch, if you have comments or questions.
At the Kosminen gallery you can find a spatial installation related to the themes of the stream.
Satuday 13.4. at 23 (GMT+2) I will be playing a very special Forces gig: a streaming performance together with visual artist H5io6i54k, which you can listen/watch at our Twitch channels and which will also be screened at DOTEK fashion event in Olomouc, Czech Republic. You can acces both of our streams easily with multitwitch service:
The DOTEK people approached me for a gig late February. I felt that instead quite unnecessary back and forth flying, I would be interested to try out streaming as a performance option. I think there has been very little talk about constant air travel inside the electronic experimental music community. I feel that as internet speeds are getting really fast for 720p (and beyond) live streams, why not use that option? Is the aura of the performer that important. In my case it’s just an another dude w/ computer. I guess it could be that people are suspicious about the “live” aspect of the performance, but as I’m always using SuperCollider as a live coding tool, so there shouldn’t be no fear of unliveness, but on the other hand, who cares?
This winter has been quite rough on me and I have found lot of solace w/ different Twitch streamers. I feel that the medium is really interesting and it could be used for lot of other things as it’s used at the moment that is mainly live gaming streams. So I’m hopeful I could do this again at some time in the future!
I will be playing material from all my albums released last year and H5io6i54k will improvise w/ his cutting edge mutating software beings and underwater algae!
If you have some free time on Sat evening, consider us!
Picture by: H5io6i54k
”Climate Denial Machine” is my third Forces album. It was released 20.12.2018 by the enigmatic online label Bio Future Laboratory. The theme of the album is the shadowy organizations and institutions behind anti-climate change propaganda, saturating especially the US scientific discourse with false information for the benefit of oil and fossil fuel companies. You can read my thoughts about it in more detail below. Here is also a nice review of the album in Resident Advisor.
Forces – Climate Denial Machine [BFL-18]
01 – Frontiers of Freedom
02 – Heritage Foundation
03 – Cato Institute
04 – Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
05 – Environmental Perspectives
06 – Earth Day Alternatives
07 – Donors Trust
08 – Institute For Humane Studies
In 2012 there was a survey of the US public that asked the question: “Do scientists believe that Earth is getting warmer because of human activity?” Out of the people chosen for the questionnaire 43% replied no and another 12% didn’t know. Only 45% accurately answered yes.
One reason for this uncertainty is the continuous and ongoing media saturation of falsified information regarding climate change. This is done by shadowy institutes, committees, foundations and even departments inside universities that largely operate with funding from conservative oil and fossil fuel millionaires like the infamous Koch brothers. These pseudo-scientific institutions have been successful undermining the genuine research into climate change.
The environmental organization Greenpeace maintains an archive of these institutions and all the track titles of Forces’ “Climate Denial Machine” album are derived from there. The album was made after Summer ‘18, when record high temperatures were measured around the Globe – yet an another worrying sign of anthropogenic climate change.
Soundwise, the album should not to be taken as a literal sonification of a dystopian future, where the Earth is left barren and destroyed, or of a shiny utopian future, where technology has solved the climate crisis. Rather, it’s a collection of tracks that operate independently in many different levels of sonic experimentation. The sometimes mellow, sometimes harsh sounds form futures that are not binary, but shifting in tonalities and narratives.
The undisputed reality is that we need to recognize the influence of the people and institutions hijacking the scientific discourse of climate change for their own benefits. The album is dedicated to raise that awareness.
Greenpeace, “The Anti-Environmental Archives”
Robert J. Brulle: “Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations”, PhD study, Drexel University, 2013:
The Guardian, “How Donors Trust distributed millions to to anti-climate groups”:
Here are my thoughts/linear notes about it:
“You see a robot dog standing on four legs in front of a man holding a long stick. The man tries violently to knock the robot off balance. The robots sways back and forth, still holding its ground. You feel empathy towards the thing, while nonetheless recognizing it as an artificial being. It’s uncanny. Perhaps it’s the lifelike movement of the robot that tricks our brain into recognizing it as a living thing.
The robot in question is a prototype of Boston Dynamics, one of worlds most advanced robotics manufacturers. The company has strong ties with the US military research institute DARPA. Thus, it’s very likely that some day they might be used to fight proxy wars and kill humans.
The ‘Dynamics’ album was conceived in early 2018. While making it I noticed that there was an underlying theme of “robot-ness” in the tracks. Writing SuperCollider code that produced strange interlocking kick drums, shifting temporally almost in an autonomous manner, I felt that this is dance music better suited for artificial beings than humans.
The robots of Boston Dynamics came to mind. I named the tracks after the prototypes of the manufacturer and started to wonder, why can’t we make robots to rave and dance instead of fight our wars? Why is it that that the advancement of technology is often left to the military-industrial complex? Rather than producing killing machines, maybe we could produce robots simply because we can.”
Cassette + Digital Album
Acidic yellow C40 cassette. Only 30 copies.
Forces – Dynamics (CON020)
After pretty much 20 years of electronic music making, my first proper solo album is now out!
Forces – Plastisphere limited edition cassette/digital was released by the Czech label Genot Centre on 11th of March. It was also premiered by the digital culture platform AQNB last week: http://www.aqnb.com/2018/03/09/finnish-producer-forces-considers-hybrid-bioforms-in-the-anthropocene-with-the-trembling-polluted-noise-of-plastisphere/
The name and theme of the album is derived from the concept of plastisphere; new era of organisms that have evolved to live from the plastic waste of our oceans. It’s is still unclear if these totally new lifeforms propose a threat to the existing lifeforms of the sea or a solution to the growing problem of plastic waste.
The album consist of nine improvised tracks with the audio program language SuperCollider from last summer. My working method is to repurpose existing source material, mainly contemporary EDM/Trance (Calvin Harris etc) to form totally new kinds of algoritmic compositions.
I see a parallel between these new creatures and my snippets of code. The plastisphere creatures are feeding of the human produced plastics in a similar manner as are my SuperCollider code/”viruses” feeding/transforming the plastic source material.
Cover design by: h5io
They are coming. Inhabiting your email, crawling inside your browser. Watching, listening. All eyes on you. Can you feel them? Soon they are walking, in your garden, eating your carrots. I’m the prepper, searching for organic with my ultraviolet light. This is my home. Here I eat my cereals.
OPENING: Thursday 18.1.18, 18-20
Notice: we will be in the near-by Brew Dog bar
VISITING HOURS 19 – 27.1.2018 @ 16 – 22, during dark hours
THIRD SPACE, Tarkk’ampujankatu 18, 00150 Helsinki
Only visible from the street – no entrance.
“Sleep paralysis is a condition where the mind is awake but the body is not. The experience is described as an oppressive feeling and a distortion of space. Often a strange entity is perceived occupying the space. Thinking is possible but action is not. The exhibition is based on sleep paralysis as an allegory to a dysfunctional political subjectivity, fueled by a paralysis of discourse.
Consisting of a series of spatial experimentations and abstraction as an instrument of substance, the artist group aims to produce a landscape governed by an immobility of language.”
The opening of the joint-exhibition is on Wednesday 18th of October, from 6 pm – 8 pm! The exhibition is ongoing from 19th of October until 12th of November. Opening hours of Myymälä 2 are Wed-Sat 12.00 p.m.-6.00 p.m., Sun 12.00 p.m.-5.00 p.m. Welcome!
In other news, this Fall I have started studying in a PhD-program (actually a D.A program) at Aalto ARTS University’s, Fine Art department’s Contemporary Art -study program. The title of my dissertation is: “Poetics of Sound. How can sound forms meanings in a contemporary art context?”. I will focus mainly on newer sound works from the past 10 years that somehow bypass the ephemeral nature of sound to form different kinds of meanings, discourses and contexts, perhaps not at first hearable in the aural material of the work itself. I am not interested researching old pioneers of which there is plenty of texts. Rather I’m interested researching new developments and continuing forming a critical theory of sound art. I’m mostly following the research lines opened up by Seth Kim-Cohen’s “In the Blink of an Ear” -book that was instrumental for me for acknowledging more critical attitude towards sound based art works.
I will start to post more regularly about the progress of my studies.
In a couple of days (27th of July) I’m playing my first Forces live gig outside of Finland. I’m very happy that it is in Norberg Festival (http://norbergfestival.com/programme/live/forces-fi/), which I regard one of the most interesting festivals in the Nordic countries. I’m part of THRDEYEVISION collective and we are taking over of the 303 tent venue for the whole day of Thursday.
+ still some other news: I’m having some difficulty with the Tumblr platform, so couple of my old online projects (herr doktor buckwaldt’s island experiment & land art in minecraft) are not functioning properly at the moment. I try to fix this later on.
Hello, during Summer I have been mostly concentrating on my musical output. Forces is now my main musical alias and I haven’t done really anything else over a year.
‘Liquid Syntax‘ EP was done over last two months. It consists of tracks that are almost solely made from computer aided manipulation of Ibiza Trance compilation albums. Nowadays I am heavily using Ableton and Max For Live as I make my own granular synthesis Max/MSP patches.
I find the EP title apt for my working process where electronic sound material is infinitely capable for more transformation.
I find the title also suitable for the current predicament of reality, where identity, politics, capital etc etc etc is fluid.
You can listen it below!
A short slide projector / audio documentation of my joint exhibition with Hermanni Keko added to the Pyhäinjäännös / Residue of Sacred -exhibition page.
Other new, I’ll play a gig at the upcoming Flow festival with Jani Purhonen as Tietokoneduo J&J featuring Anturapolku. Check it out: http://www.flowfestival.com/art_and_design/tietokoneduo-jj-featuring-anturapolku/
My two previous works were included in two new exhibitions. I had a solo show in Turku in a new media art gallery called Harmaa, where I showed my “Can You Hear the Grasshoppers Sing?” sound installation. Newspaper story in Finnish about the new gallery.
Soon I’ll have an exhibition with Hermanni Keko at Oksasenkatu11 gallery. The exhibition is called Pyhäinjäännös / Residue of Sacred and it is based on an earlier exhibition we did last year at Siipyy near Pori. Here is the exhibition text / picture / fb-event:
Joonas Siren & Hermanni Keko:
Pyhäinjäännös / Residue of Sacred
Go find a treasure at 60°10’29.7″N 25°00’56.7″E
dig a bone up
or mud inside plastic
man is a relic
and that is
how things are
Oksasenkatu11 Gallery 18.3-24.3
Opening Thu 17.3. at 6 PM
Open daily 12-6PM
Last day of the exhibition Thu 24.3.
My soundwork “Can You Hear the Grasshoppers Sing?” is included in Jussi Koitela’s Skills of Economy Session – Beginning From the End event Saturday 20th of February in Kiasma theater.
This version is using the 7.0 soundsystem of the Kiasma theater, so it will be much more high fidelity version than the previous ones.
More info about the event here:
Next week I’ll have my first joint-exhibition with Hermanni Keko called Pyhäinjäännös (Relic in English, or more literally Residue of Sacred) in Siipyy, Kriistinankaupunki, 340 kilometres from Helsinki. The topic of the exhibition is the concept of a relic, but from a transhumanist perspective. It consist of videos, photographs, electronics, generative sound, objects and perhaps something else.
Here is the event if you you happen to be around Pori / Kristiinankaupunki early July.
Also, I started a new project with the same Hermanni called Zealous (https://soundcloud.com/zealousmusik). It is mainly beat based electronics, quite slow and sometimes distorted, but not without melodies.
I visited the experimental music program Sähkötyyny on Bassoradio last Sunday. I played a short HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA live set, played some records and talked about my music and artistic works. Sadly it is in Finnish but many of the tracks (and the live set I hope) is worth of a listen.