Tuomo Kangasmaa, FI tegeleb nii dokumentalistika kui eksperimentaalse filmikunstiga ühendades mõlemaid erinevate kujutava kunsti tehnikate ning meetoditega.
Tuomo Kangasmaa , filmmaker and artist, presents in Muhu photo-based work called “Forest Shell” and “Satanic Ghost Hunting“ ..
Tuomo Kangasmaa lives and works in Oulu Finland. He graduated from the Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Arts 2012 and the Netherlands Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten in 1992. In recent years he has made video works and installations that focus on traditional cinematic expression combining performance and documentary material.
Tiiu Rebane´s (TR) interview with Toumo Kangasmaa (TK) on 26th of June
for Futu Muhu 2017
TR: Can you tell about the work you are going to present in the festival?
TK:I will present at the festival 2 single channel videos. One video is called Satanic Ghost Hunting and other is called Forêt Shell.
Satanic Ghost Hunting is a kind of horror movie, which is mixed from six different two minutes long captures from internet live streams.
On the Forêt Shell, a French-speaking narrator recollects an event where a film director, who was popular in Finland but defamed by critics, stopped off at a certain service station. Forêt Shell is a cinematic microhistory created by the artist, trying to tie the lost service station to a wider context.
TR:What are your plans for the residency in Muhu?
TK: I will work towards my next photo based solo exhibition in Helsinki. The starting point for the work is nearby personal experience. I'm looking back at a certain randomness and physicality of photography, which also has a large effect to the mood of images. As a photographer I try to reach a certain moment, which is moving at the border of recognizable and unrecognizable.
TR:What are your thoughts about last century – is it still here like haunting us as a memory or do you think it is more present in reality?
TK:I have not think about it that way. Different periods and their particular features are overlapping, but if we want to separate the time we are living now from the past, I guess we must say this is something new.
TR:Does history have a metaphysical side? How does it appear?
TK:I think that the history as a science is pretty pragmatic human construction. Microhistorical methods might be able to bring up smaller units and hidden experiences from historical reality. I see similarities in artistic process to the microhistorical methods.
Helen Merila videointervjuust Tuomo Kangasmaaga
H: Your video (and) installation is called “satanic ghost hunt“ Why such a name? Can you speak a bit more about your work?
T:The name is very simple, the video is combined from six different clips that I captured from YouTube and other internet sources. One of the clips is named by the author “satanic ghost hunting“ I did not innovate the name or title, I just picked it from one of the video clips I used in this installation.
H: In your work, music has a very important role. Tell me about the music?
T: In this particular work.. I wouldn’t consider it as music. It think about it as a noise. It’s a orchestral sound from the synthesizer. I generated the signals inside it and it’s kind of randomized sound scape from synthesizer. There is no structure of music, so it’s more like a noise.
H: Very impressive noise. If you would take off the music, then it would be absolutely another piece.
T: Exactly. I wanted to give it a certain atmosphere. With using such a strong sound scape I wanted to give directions to look at this installation.
H: If you take off the music, it’s not scary, you could go and see the spots, but if you add the music, then you start thinking that there is something more, something that you can’t see.
T: That’s what I was working with in the very beginning. If you think about the material that I use, it’s very harmless: normal people are recording themselves. This is basically the video material I use there. When you start to add a little bit, even the sound scape noise that reminds something else, you start to make stories. You start to see easily what you don’t really see there. We are so easily manipulated. We are manipulated even by giving the hint how to look at things.
H: Exactly. That is what I wanted to ask, did I get the message correctly, do we have to be careful how to look? And do we have to notice carefully what is going on around us visually and soundwise?
T: Yes. You know, I could tell one experience in Finland. I have shown this work once before in Finland and I was there present. Actually the adults didn’t want to come into the room to see the video, but lots of kids were there. They had very tight discussion about what was going on, on the screen. They really tried to figure out what was this about and why it was so strange. They kept talking and discussing about the facts (things? )that they saw. It was very interesting to see how the kinds were dealing with the situation, they didn’t think it was scary. They were analyzing it more than the adults.
H: Adults are more closed, they take a position, which they don’t want to leave.
T: Yes. They frame it before. If you look a bit deeper at this, you will see more facts, you see that it’s harmless in any way.
H: Actually I was sitting here quite a long time today and thanks to the music and the video, I started seeing things that probably weren’t there.
T: Yes, I know, of course. I give lots of reasons, like the name “satanic ghost hunting”, strange dark room and the sound scape.
H: You said, that you have shown this piece before, how do you find this spot here to exhibit your work? This work is quite site-specific I would say. The spot is perfect.
T: I think in Finland there was a similar situation. I found an old cellar room that was not very clean.
H: I guess it depends on the time of day, is it day or is it night. It was day time when I was sitting there and I was trying to imagine the night time here.
T: Originally I was thinking to put it in the cellar, but then I thought that it would be too difficult for people to go there and find it. I made a compromise, so that people would easily find it. The cellar is in the other side of the house, so it would have been difficult to get the audience there.
H: One thing that interests me generally and especially in this kind of works. The theme of this festival is 100 years. I don’t know if you agree with me, but to my mind, one of the things that has most influenced the human kind during the last 100 years was World Wide Web. What do you think about it and how to you feel about it as an artist?
T: I don’t remember the time before that. I’m much older than World Wide Web but still, I don’t remember the time before that. It’s so big thing. I can’t describe it any better.
H: There is a lot of criticism towards that. Personally, I think that it’s a measure for cultural exchange. Something that you can’t imagine the world without. And you as an artist, you definitely use all the possibilities, you can find the videos on the web and so on.
T: Yes, and I could see myself doing internet art also. But I’m a little bit more like, how do you say, I like to make stand-alone things which are standing in the solid space. I don’t like and I’m too scared about complicated technical stuff. But I could see myself doing online internet stuff.
H: And about the videos that you found on the web, did you asked the owners?
T: No, I didn’t ask because all the captures that I use in internet are online, they are public. In a way I was thinking that people invite me inside the public situation. So I thought that I was there. I’m on the other side of these images. I didn’t go and look for already saved video material from the Net. Internet is also full of these stock clips (file footage?). But I was there when I captured them. I think that I am allowed to use it.
H: Definitely, I think they would be proud that they are part of the art project.
T: I think that do, they are piece of art. I don’t find that material so personal. I censored some of the materials myself in the very beginning. I had also lots of materials from Iran and Iraq, the war areas which are very tough. Also form Iraq normal everyday situations, I captured this kind of stuff. But I put it away because when I added the music it started to look wrong, give wrong expression. For instance I had some video clips that were recorded night time in the jewellery shop where they are selling rings, gold and so on. You can see that it’s somewhere in Iraq or Iran. If I look it from the western eves, Europe from this time, it started to look a bit like how to you say, It was harmless situation but when I added my video, it didn’t look harmless anymore. These clips could give wrong political message. And in this video that I’m exhibiting here, I don’t see any wrong political- message or attitude. If I think about this kasonin (chaos?) in Europe now, the refugees and so on, and I start to bring film material from these countries, use it too freely and add some other messages with it, then it’s not maybe working. I don’t want to be political in many ways. I want to be political only in one way, in one work. In this work, the political side is that how easily we are manipulated.
H: it reminds me what once Basolini said: “It’s not important where you take things from, it’s important where you take the things, where they end up”
T: Exactly. That’s the point.
H: I think it was very well in your video.
T: I’m very simple artist. I just want to make art and give people something. Actually very traditional way also, and maybe aesthetical way.
H: What about Muhu, how to you find yourself here? Do you have something in mind regarding Muhu?
T: Yes, I have, my residency project is about photographs. I’m photographing here, no video work at all. Actually I already have photos from Muhu that I will use in my solo show next year. I’s been very nice in many ways. I didn’t know very much about if before I come here. First thing is that even if I’m not very far from Finland, it’s still kind of exotic.
H: It’s exotic even for Estonians.
T: I can understand. When I applied here, I wanted to have a nice summer. Not in the town or in the city. I really love this place.
H: Coming back to the theme of this year’s festival: 100 years. If you could go back or manage this 100 years, what would you change or what would you do differently? What is the highlight in a good or bad way?
T: Now you put very difficult one. Of course if you think about 100 years.. because of the time we are living now, you start to very easily think about the wars. But there were also lots of good things that happened. All the time the good and bad scenarios are possible. We cannot really know the scenario. Things can go very badly or very nicely. Even the wars are difficult because if you think about human history you cannot get rid of them. The wars are horrible and I hope there would never be any wars. Also nice things have happened. I just hope that people could keep the hope.
H: Thank you very much Tuomo