Since 2015 I’ve started to portray young people I’ve met on my travels. I’ve always been fascinated by youth- and subculture. In my lifetime I’ve witnessed a great change in interplay of motives to sub- and youth cultures. Late nineties we used wait for days getting our films developed to send some prints out to a few, underground graffiti magazines in Finland and Europe. Maybe months later, if ever you would see your work published. The few Hip Hop documentaries on VHS cassette took weeks if not months to order into local public library. These days social media is the platform to share and connect. Immediately and across the globe. Being young and will to express ideas and orientation is profoundly human. Also it’s ageless. Feeling of belonging is important hallmark of youth and often substantial drive behind representing a certain cultural movement. On my Odyssey into Global Youth Culture I wish to study the similarities and differences of the young of today. Also it is an attempt to capture the age of social media and it’s impact in 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 book. 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.
Project Silent Disco focuses on observing the presence of smartphones and other portable electronics, and their impact on social interaction. To study this subject I have chosen several scenes from our daily environments. Inspired by time-lapse images of security cameras, which record all movement and events in public spaces, I shot several photos in short intervals and added them all together into one montage photograph. The result is layered “time lapse” documentation, which shows the pervasive presence of smartphones.
“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
In town of Dahab in Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, there is no water supply. All the drinking water is hauled in in plastic bottles from the cities far away. There is no waste disposal either. Plastic is ground into the desert and hurled around by the wind.