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artist-in-residence 2007-2008 - CASSIE THORNTON 2

the future unincorporated

© cassie thornton


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    CASSIE THORNTON has started her stay in the artist-in-rersidence program on December 1 2007 and will stay until January 31, 2008.
    Her project is The Future Unincorporated and in the blog she has started, every-one can keep informed and can take part in the project.


    This is Cassie! Again! Sorry to keep bothering you, but if I am sending this to you it is because I have met you since I have been here in Finland, and I would like to involve you in my art project. I started a blog about my project, called 'The Future Unincorporated', which is a consulting company on the edge of the forest in Haukivuori. With this project I would like to create a situation where I can ask individuals, 'customers', from here to help me imagine what the future might be like... for them, Haukivuori, Mikkeli, Finland, and the world outside.

    I will update the blog every day as the corporation gets started. If there is ever something you don't understand on the blog, it would help me very much if you let me know so I can clarify for everyone.

    In January, I would like to begin to schedule meetings with individuals in the office I am making in the forest. In the meeting I will interview you about yourself and then discuss this idea of the future. I would like to invite each of you to come. As all of our schedules start to settle down after the holidays, let's make an appointment.

    Here is the blog: http://www.futureunincorporated.blogspot.com/ Please forward this information to anyone you know who might be interested in the project or who lives near Saksala ArtRadius.

    Thank you very much! Cassie

    When I applied at Saksala, I knew that I wanted to take a respite from NYC. To quote a friend, I expected to be enveloped in snow tunneling through the long dark hours, finally to be swallowed by bright whiteness. I expected to go crazy in silence. Having been so surrounded by big city people, I wanted to measure the effect that all that city energy had had on me—I think it had given me lots of energy and wore me out equally. I needed and escape so I could hear what I was thinking.

    I expected to come to an institution with lots of space, white walls and many other artists, a distant administration and some supplies- but no more. The big surprise for me was to be put in a tiny warm room with a stranger within the vast wintery planes of Finland. The living space was quite small and it was meant to be the working and living space for me and another person. It was difficult to understand what this experience would produce in me before I was in it. It was equally difficult and rewarding. I felt irony in the fact that the land surrounding us was so big and open, the sky so blank, and then my new friend and I were living every moment in unison, packed like New Yorkers in the last cheap Manhattan apartment. However, what I gathered from that experience was that the nature of living in a small village like this has different qualities (no fighting for open space, no need to search for solitude) and different necessities (heat and company). Here, warmth and comfort come from close familial proximity. Families stay inside for the winter, together like bears hibernating with candles. The problem was that after one month of living with another artist I thought I WAS her, and I became so swathed in her art and ideas that I thought I wanted to make her work for her. It was difficult to create distance from the person I ate and slept and made work with 24 hours a day. In order to recognize my own tunnel through the snow I needed to do it alone. So I switched rooms after month one.

    The next realization was that Saksala was more of a 'home' for art than an institution. Marja, the director is the force behind everything that happens here, and she lives here with the artists. This produced a different set of interpersonal and logistical circumstances than I had expected or encountered before. In a location like this I think it is necessary to have a driver for the Saksala art machine, and Marja is the driver at all times. It took me a few weeks to understand the complexity of her relationship to the place and to the resident artists- and what that meant to me. She sees the space and all the work that goes on in it as her own monumental art piece. After a month I see that this is vital, because she puts energy into whatever needs it, 24 hours per day. She attends to the community surrounding Saksala as well as the space with all her might. This means she treats the artists, the mayor, the local school children, the heating system, the visitors, and the maintenance with nurturing, discipline and support. I feel that Marja notices each artist and their work and is very enthusiastically supportive of all artwork and experimentation. I feel at home and supported in her big art project because I know she wants very much for all that comes out of it to be good in whatever way it needs to be. As for me and my work, I think the first impression of the landscape was the most important. The initial photos and ideas I took from the landscape were very important to the work I have continued. The initial impression of the vast wide open gray sky, the darkness, the infinite forests, and the silence was very important. For me it was inspiring and terrifying. Though I have continued to work on the projects I had planned earlier, I see my first impressions as an underlying feeling in all the work that has come.

    a report of her stay can be found on the link:

    her blogspot can be find under http://www.futureunincorporated.blogspot.com/


    visit also the website of Cassie Thornton

    Arts Council Finland
    AllaprimA foundation the Netherlands
    Encouragement Fund Finland
    suomen kulttuurirahasto

    information |Marja de Jong | mobile 00358 (0)50 4625 675 | info@arefs.org |

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