The Car Performance
part of the Kesto event, Helsinki.
Six times a day for two days it was possible to book a place in a car for the special car performance. Those registered (either prior via web booking or via the list provided in the venue where other Kesto performances were taking place) were asked to present their ID’s. Upon successful identification passengers were invited inside of my KSL vehicle. KSL stands for Kesto Seudun Liikenne and is a deviation of the original HSL – Helsinki Seudun Liikenne/Helsinki Regional Transport. On the board of the KSL vehicle it is forbidden to speak (with the risk of being excluded from the transportation).
After entering the car I would take a position of the driver and turn on the prerecorded welcoming announcement from the car CD player. Also a loud psytrance music would be played in different parts of the ride. Approximately 30 minutes long ride had a precise route with only small space for improvisation and was carefully selected and many times rehearsed in advance. It started and also ended every time in the Vapaan Taiteen Tila/Space For Free Arts venue. In addition to different streets of Kallio two main sites would be always part of the performance: Merihaka parking lot and Suvilahti.
In Merihaka parking garages the speed significantly dropped, music stopped and the car was moving only very slowly with occasional complete stops. This site I found appropriate to articulate in a calm and contemplative way. On the contrary open, unlimited space of the Suvilahti provided an opportunity to drive in circles, elipses and curves, supported with the psytrance in the backround.
Before ending our cruise I would stop the car, brake the silence, invite the audience to comment on what we just experienced together and to choose the return music from the random selections of CDs which I found previously inside of the borrowed car.
I tried to minimize my own presence and to rather concentrate on the framing of the experience. I wanted the city of Helsinki to be the main star of this show.