TWAH(=These Worlds Are Here)

TWAH(=These Worlds Are Here) was a project realised during my stay in Los Angeles in the summer 2019. The project consisted of two consecutive parts, starting with a four-day long writing workshop for trans, non-binary, queer people and women, held in NAVEL. The workshop culminated in an intimate audio and text installation within a mobile Gas gallery.

The workshop allowed participants to LARP (live action role play) queer worlds as they wrote, asking them to experience and embody these imagined worlds at the moment of writing. In the workshop we asked how can we consider writing to be a political tool for naming, re-naming, making visible, audible and felt the dreams that we care for. How can writing be a vehicle—how can it move, touch, orient and re-orient us?

A chorus of words, both written and spoken, by workshop attendees was the basis of the exhibition in Gas’s truck gallery.

CREDITS:

The written and spoken words of the work:
Ana Teo Ala-Ruona
Angi Brzycki (website)
Jessica Fee (website)
Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai (website)
R. Kauff (website)
Arin Krausz
Julia Mande (website)
Renée Reizman (website)
Bridgid Ryan (website)
Daviel Shy (website)
Soffia Stiassni 
Kristof Trakal
Annabel Turrado (website)
Udita Upadhyaya (website)

Curation: Ceci Moss (website)
Production: Gas (website) & NAVEL (website)
Zine cover desing & animation: Anni Puolakka (website)
Sound assistance: Scallion Chloe (website)
Production assistance: Saara Hannus (website)
Documentation: Larin Sullivan (website)
Supported by: Frame Contemporary Finland, Suomen Kulttuurirahasto & Poets and Writers

Clay Erotics

Clay Erotics is partly improvised, partly planned and thoroughly enjoyed consensual, erotic, sexual and playful performance by Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Anna-Mari Karvonen, Anni Puolakka and lots of clay.

First Clay Erotics -performance was performed in Wonderlust-festival 2019, in All That Swag -night of performance.

Working group: Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Anna-Mari Karvonen & Anni Puolakka

toxinosexofuturecummings

”Ages ago, about exactly one week after having Nexplanon removed from the inner side of my left arm, under the skin, I felt how my shoulders widened.

Nexplanon is a birth control implant that releases progestin. It contains 68 mg of the active substance etonogestrel. Synthetic progestin mimics the actions of progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone.”

toxinosexofuturecummings is a bodyfiction about pleasurable sex on a polluted planet. It’s a speech performance of a body making itself with words.

In the performance sex is seen as an evolutionary and developmental process. It opens up a world in which materials and multispecies bodies infiltrate each other, giving and receiving pleasure. The world is thoroughly polluted, but possible, queer and trans.

toxinosexofuturecummings is a performance about an anticipatory and transformational state.

Duration: approximately 50 min.
Premiere: 2nd of March 2019, Asbestos Art Space, Helsinki.

Working group:
Ana Teo Ala-Ruona (text & speech)
Alvi Haapamäki (costume & mask)
Satu Kankkonen (sound design)
Elina Minn (dramaturgy)

Production assistance: Saara Hannus
Promo photos: Nova Kaspia
Documentation: Jaakko Pallasvuo
Featuring voice: Eeti Piiroinen

Work has been supported by Taike.

writing pleasure, fiction, avatars

’these two states of being, male and female, only exist as “biopolitical fictions,”
as somatic effects of the technical process of normalization’
– Paul B. Preciado –
This writing workshop invites trans- and nonbinary people and queer folks to write together in and about speculative fictional (=SF) queer worlds. The aim is to look for pleasure and enjoyment in writing as tools for naming and exploring the potentially endless multiplicity, fluidity and transformation of needs, sexuality and gender, gaining autonomy and creating possible (more queer) futures. We also play and create our own avatars by writing. We write about and as avatars from whose perspective we wish to experience the world for a moment. Queer-SF is approached from a perspective of somatic fiction, that moves and affects the body of the writer deeply: Somatic speculative fiction can be considered as ”home-building” or ”home-coming” with each and every word. It resonates on cellular levels, it re-writes the body, and it trains it for the futures.
—-
First workshop has been facilitated as part of On Transformations -festival, in Third Space, Helsinki in November 2018. Next one will be facilitated in Asbestos Art Space in February 2019.
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The work has been supported by Taike.

Nowhere in Particular

2018

”This is the site. My elbow is holding the floor as if I were underneath it and not on top. This isn’t true, I’m already halfway in a fiction.

Come, darling, come. In certain light, we are here.”

Nowhere in Particular (NIP) was an hour long speech performance, a community of parallel worlds created by writing. NIP was an assembly of transient scenes, landscapes and visions, that came together in a heterogenous stream of words: overlapping, interlacing, amplifying and echoing each other. These words took a form of speech, and were listened by others than their writers. In NIP listeners were invited to traverse through a variety of spoken, fragmented worlds, as well as create new ones in their own imaginations. NIP could be considered both as a demonstration, a frontal performance and a proposal for other kinds of worlds to exist.

The words spoken in NIP had been created in workshops with women, non-binary, trans- and queer people exploring the words’ world-making potential; how can the world of writing be feminist speculative fiction in practice?

Words by: Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Alvi Haapamäki, Venla Helenius, Anni Kaila, Satu Kankkonen, Leena Kuusisto, Milka Luhtaniemi, Daniela Pascual, Gesa Piper, Iona Roisin
Performers: Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Alvi Haapamäki, Venla Helenius, Anni Kaila, Anna Kankila, Satu Kankkonen, Leena Kuusisto, Inna Lampinen, Nadja Leham, Milka Luhtaniemi and Gesa Piper
Dramaturg: Milka Luhtaniemi
Sound designer: Satu Kankkonen
Lighting designer: Johannes Vartola
Concept and coordination: Ana Teo Ala-Ruona
Where and when: Vapaan Taiteen Tila, Helsinki, June 2018

WMW -writing workshop(s)

2017 – 2018

WORDS MAKE WORLDS (WMW)

This writing workshop invites non-binary, trans-, women and queer people to come together for thinking, dreaming and writing together about and inside worlds that they desire to live in.

Both individual and collective writing practices are dealt with in the workshop. Act of writing is approached as a world-making practice. Workshop asks; How can we create worlds by writing, and how can the moment and space of writing be approached as speculative fiction in practice? The moment of writing can be considered leaking into futures: it is moving the writer towards them. Then if every act in the present is feeding into multiple futures, to care for the present is also to propose futures that are cared for. The workshop is exploring writing as an attempt to experience futures enfolding as the writing happens, in the world of writing.

Workshops have been held in different locations in Helsinki, Berlin and Prague.

The work has been supported by Taike.

Carmen C. Wong

Carmen C. Wong is a curiously hungry nomad and performance-maker whose current research explores affective ecologies and sites of belonging within places of food-making, everyday cooking choreographies, and food micro-ethnographies. Her work is usually expressed through participatory performances by, with and around food, its makers, and its eaters. She is interested in investigating through her pedagogy and dialogical practice, the slippery concept of food authenticity vis-a-vis migration, and embodied attentiveness to sensory experiences in the everyday as social practice.

Words Make Worlds

2017

Words Make Worlds
 was a sound installation with 
five speakers, paper and headphones

. The installation was presented in Omenapuutalo, part of MAECP At Work -exhibition. Words Make Worlds is a work in process; four writing workshops held exclusively for women-, trans-, non-binary- and queer people were held in Helsinki during autumn 2017. After each workshop every participant was invited to record their written words for the sound installation. Participants were also welcome to leave their words to be recorded by someone else, or to choose to leave their words unspoken.

Words Make Worlds explores the act of writing as a world- and future-making practice. It asks: how can we create new worlds by writing? Can the moment and space of writing serve the writer as a world one inhabits while writing? Words Make Worlds considers writing as an act that operates on/in the past(s), present(s) and future(s). In the experience of the writer words carry histories, they appear in the present, but leak into futures; moving the writer towards them. Words articulated in the present can be considered as proposals for futures.

In the sound installation these words took a form of speech; they morphed and blended together; they were listened to by others than their writers; they made worlds in other ways than when they were originated on papers.

 The words audible from the five speakers were generated by nine people during a writing exercise with a following invitation:

Write about/inside a world/a space/a place where you want/wish/desire/feel good to be in.”

Words in the speakers written by:
 Ana Teo Ala-Ruona
, Venla Helenius
, Shelley Etkin
, Maiju Janatuinen, 
Leena Kuusisto, 
Ida-Elisabeth Larsen, 
Aino Lindh, 
Sanna Ritvanen
, Anna-Kaisa Romppanen

People who also took part in the workshop-drafts: 
Inna Lampinen
, Gesa Piper and 
Emil Uuttu

Special tanks also to:
Loren Kronemyer
Kari/Ringo

Garden of Others

vaihtoehtoinen tekstivaihtoehtoinen teksti2

2016 – 2017

Garden of Others was a collaborative project initiated by Ana Ala-Ruona and Shelley Etkin. It combined both gardening and performance, offering practices for being together, in a squatted garden space near Vantaa river. The garden was made by, framed by and inhabited by the working group and others: rabbits, deers, mosquitos, birds, slugs…

Coming from lineages of guerrilla practices and urban gardening, Garden of Others asked, how can gardening be a feminist practice? What is the role of caring, tending, and stewarding without placing humans at the center? Who constitutes the ‘other’? How might this inform our practices of solidarity, sanctuary, and alternative notions of ownership and influence?

Within the frame of Garden of Others project the working group made one performance action in the garden area, took part in Pixelache Empathy as Resistance project as well as facilitated a lunch event in the Pixelache Festival 2017. The event was called Lunch as a Temporary Autnonomous Zone, and it included three courses made from the ingredients from the Garden of Others. The lunch was offered for approximately 20 guests.

Working group: Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Shelley Etkin and various other critters

K S E N O S

2016 – 2017
Helsinki

Ksenos was a two week long performance installation taking place in Helsinki, under the bridge of Hakaniemi, inside and next to a parked caravan in August 2017.

Ksenos was: resting, taking care, idling and dreaming about possible feminist future visions. It gave space for lavishing and resting for worn-out, fossil-capitalist bodies. Ksenos was a dream and a proposal of a future. It inhabited a caravan: a surplus of heteronormative and capitalist family narrative.

Ksenos is a word that stems from Greek word Xenos, that refers to a ”stranger” and a ”guest friend”. Stranger refers to something unknown, whereas guest is something that is an expected visitor who is being treated with hospitality. Ksenos thus combines love of the uncanny and expectation towards the unknown.

The performance installation consisted of two parts: the other was a durational and daily performance taking place inside the caravan, and the other a one-hour-long performance taking place outside the caravan, on seven evenings. The performance inside the caravan included two human bodies resting and humming, a video, texts and plants. The performance outside the caravan was a manifest for a future, performed by two performers.

Ksenos performance installation preceded a year and half -long research period focusing on questions around resource thinking and post-fossil speculations. This research period included a reading group and a workshop for public.

Credits:
Working group and production: Venla Helenius and Ana Teo Ala-Ruona
Supported by: Niilo Helanderin Säätiö and Helsinki University of Arts
Many thanks to: Sanna Ritvanen, Jussi Salminen, Gesa Piper, Anna Kuusamo, Marja Rautaharju, Juho Nykänen, Annika Sohlman, Aliisa Talja, Leena Kuusisto, Samuli Saarinen, Juho Hoikka, Anna Tuominen, Timo Sihvonen, Harriet Rabe, Ulrika Ferm, Saara Hannula, Kira O’Reilly, Perdita Phillips, Elina Kaakinen, + other family members

Vimeo-link to KSENOS documentation: https://vimeo.com/306561928

The Nonhuman Island

2016 – 2017

The Nonhuman Island was a two-year performative research project that approached nonhuman beings as potential performance makers. In the project nonhuman beings were considered both as collaborators and as independent performers and performance creators. The project asked how can performances happen in nonhumans’ terms, and what kind of performance structures and methods nonhuman beings propose and generate. What kind of changes of perception do these kind of performances create in human beings? Who and what are the audience of nonhuman performances? Can performance happen without any presence or intervention of humans?

The project consisted of three phases. In the first phase, nonhuman beings were approached as equal collaborators in performance making; in the second phase, the working group asked can performances be initiated by nonhumans; and in the third phase, the performances happened (or did not happen) without any human interference.

The research process was shared with audience in monthly events, which included discussions, performances and sharing of working methods and exercises. Events were open for anyone.

The project culminated in a two day seminar in May 2017. The seminar included presentations of artists working with nonhuman performance, discussions and two performances.

Project website:
http://www.todellisuus.fi/ei-inhimillinen-2#etu-ei

Credits:
Concept and coordination: Saara Hannula
Working group: Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Saara Hannula, Luka, Minja Mertanen, Linda Priha, Kati Raatikainen, and other (non)human beings
Production: Reality Research Center

Relation Tryouts part 2

2015

Relation Tryouts was a process oriented series of various prototype artworks, which examined humans’ relations to different kinds of things and beings, through embodied and relational practices.

Relation Tryouts part 2 (Water & Air) was a second part of the Relation Tryouts -series. It consisted of a workshop and a three-hour long performance installation. Relation Tryouts -workshop included various exercises in which the participants were invited to look at and explore their surroundings in new and playful ways.

The performance installation was dealing with my personal relationship to water and air. The performance took place in a tent with flowers, cucumbers, glasses, sticks, mushrooms, and a water container full of water. The piece included also videos, plants, sound files and text, all of them focusing on the questions such as how do I consume, appreciate and carry water and air in my everyday life and body? People were asked to enter the tent one by one in order to create dialogue with me about their own relations to water and air.

The workshop and the performance installation took place in Tampere Break A Brain – Art-Eco Justice Festival in July 2015.

White Horses

2014

White Horses was a performance and installation project by Ana Teo Ala-Ruona and Venla Helenius. It consisted of video performances, photos, installations and an online blog. The project dealt with hierarchical relationships between human beings and their surroundings, and various ways of understanding the notion of ”freedom” in our society.

The project was realised during 2013 – 2014, during which Ala-Ruona and Helenius interviewed people on the concept of freedom. The outcome of the project was an exhibition, which presented the investigation through a composition of multiple art works. The exhibition was held in B-gallery, Turku.

Link to one of the White Horses -videos: https://vimeo.com/119872713

KIL

2013 – 2016
KIL (Kehollisen Ilmaisun Laboratorio)

KIL was a performance group exploring being and reality through embodied, improvisational and psychosomatic exercises. The group developed and practiced various ways of decentralization, being-with, orientation and disorientation as well as deconstruction of concepts, words and information. KIL rehearsed regularly, performed in different contexts and organized open rehearsals for public.

KILs latest events were a two-day performance installation in The Living Room Exhibition in Helsinki, and a two-day workshop in Titanik-gallery in Turku. The group performed also in Omenapuutalo and Kalleria in Helsinki.

KIL was Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Venla Helenius, Satu Sipilä & Joonas Suomalainen