In 2015 I started to portray young people I met on my travels. I have always found youth and subculture fascinating. My generation has faced a rapid change in communication, both in access to information and means of communicating. Early 2000's we used to wait for days to get the photos of our graffiti work developed. Then we could send our prints to a few, underground street art magazines in Finland and Europe. Months later, if ever, one could see one ́s work published. The few Hip Hop documentaries on VHS cassettes took weeks if not months to order to public libraries. Currently, social media is the platform to share and connect, immediately and across the globe. Being young and willing to express ideas and orientation is profoundly human. It is ageless. A need to belong to something and express identity are significant hallmarks of youth. On Odyssey into Global Youth Culture I wish to study the similarities and differences of the young of today, especially now when influences rapidly spread around. Also the project is an attempt to capture the impact of social media on contemporary youth culture in different parts of the world.
I’m currently working on a long-term project about Finland. The body constructs from photographs and interviews which I am assembling into a publication. I have lived abroad since 2009 and travelling the country by bicycle and documenting the life there has been a way to stay in touch with my homeland and it's culture.
Next to personal experiences and encounters it is also a story about the change.
Countryside is emptying from people and old ways of life are changing rapidly. Paper industry of East Finland migrates to southern hemisphere, towns shut down and ageing population gets left behind. The might and prosperity of Nokia has shrunk and forced many to search work from European or Asian IT markets. New generation of migrant workers or refugees set up small businesses in the midst of diminishing communities and bring their own culture into the cities and even frontier towns, truly becoming a part of new generation of Finnish society. By now, I have covered approximately 4000km by cycling and spent three summers on the road aiming to bring these stories soon into one body of work.
Nowadays everything we see and experience is immediately captured and shared on smartphones. I decided to investigate the immediate reactions of an average exhibition visitor’s perception on a decoy-fellow attendant and the interaction of audience.
“Visitor” consists of a realistic, life-size 3D scanned self-portrait of me, making a picture with my smartphone.
The work is aimed to reflect the hastiness of our current culture in experiencing art. Our automatic mechanism of ‘grabbing for your smart-phone’ is magnified in these photographs in order to make the audience more aware of our lens-based perception. The photos are constructed from several takes where the audience took a photo of the decoy.
“And as you grow forceful and achieve more power, it often becomes increasingly difficult to disguise your cynical objectives. Everyone knows you practice deception. Continue in playing naive, and you run the risk of seeming the sheerest hypocrite, which will severely limit your room to maneuver. In such cases, it is better to own up, to appear the honest rogue, or, better, the repentant rogue. Not only will you be admired for your frankness, but, most wonderful and strange of all, you will be able to continue your duplicity.”
Robert Greene 48 Laws of Power