Happy New Year!

So it’s 2014 and I wish you all a happy new year!

As you have noticed, my blogging hasn’t been very active in 2013 and  there are several reasons for it and maybe some excuses as well. One obvious reason is that besides my full time artistic work and part time work at ANTI Festival, I was also studying. I completed an MA in Cultural Policy and begun a course on management and leadership. Basically, this has meant that all the possible time I’ve had at hand, I’ve had to use on my studies and not i.e. on blogging. And believe me, it was a tough year! But for a longer time, I’ve also been suffering from a conflict concerning the content of my blogging. I have so many kind of ‘confidential’ plans, ideas and things going on which I don’t really feel confident sharing which makes me uneasy and hesitant – which is not good for blogging. Anyway… thought I would like to share that, at least. However, things are not looking much easier at the moment. My CEO training course is still going on (should be completed in May!) and after my MA, I’ve also begun a PhD at the University of Jyväskylä. My research plan was accepted by the university and I received a three month kick off grant to begin my thesis. Hurray! This is soooo exciting and terrifying and something I absolutely never thought of in my life before. And that is great! To be doing or to find yourself doing something you never could have imagined before. Because it means that all kinds of things unimaginable NOW might be possible at some point of your life so you really don’t know where life takes you. And I find this thought rather soothing.

2014 marks a new beginning for me also in a way that my 3 year artist grant from the Arts Council of Finland ended in December 2013 and I’ve returned full time to ANTI Festival since January. I feel rather excited about that and want to develop several aspects of the job and the organization itself. One thing I definitely want focus and need to spend time with is networking and seeing more work, especially in Finland. So, besides having some meetings,  last week I spent a few days in Helsinki at the Lux Helsinki Festival that focuses on light art. And I must say that I was… a bit disappointed. I mean my overall experience which consisted of the Invisible Light light art symposium and all the works at the festival experienced during a guided walk provided by the festival (my guide was Kukka-Maaria) was OK but the works themselves I found rather mainstream, commercial, decorative and just too easy, beautiful and colorful. Somehow to me these kinds of works represent something that should always be present in a big city and artistically, there wasn’t really anything that interesting to me about them. So to call Lux Helsinki a festival on light art is a bit confusing to me. Of course, I do think it’s great that Lux Helsinki gets people to walk on the streets, be outdoors, experience works in the beginning of January outdoors – in terms of cultural policy and citizenship this is great and very important. But it doesn’t mean that it’s great art and that is my problem. Probably I enjoyed Jari Haanperä’s Fyr and Philipp Artus’s Snailtrail the most and the symposium was inspiring to further think about issues on light art in general. But would I travel to Helsinki just for Lux Helsinki – no. But if you are there, why not.

This January I will be in Helsinki every week attending meetings, events and networking. Feels great! During my Helsinki days I’m also looking forward to have a dinner at Boulevard Social and Patrona.

Will keep you posted!

Johanna

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