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log 2012



I am starting at 5 am. Pretty early, because I cannot really estimate how long the dismantling proceedure without car will take. Again the incredible morning light is enchanting the landscape and the oasis is touched bynew colour plays. I have to take out my camera another time to catch the last facings of "keidas". Iam getting a little melancholic pulling out the first palm tree, which is frozen well into its ice shaft, but luckily its done rather fast. This year installation has been kind of more relaxed nevertheless my one man show was a lot more exhausting. Thankfully the weather finally admitted the location next to the iceroad so that the peculiarity of an "polar oasis" could be recognized by the visitors coming by, a small and silent, but perceptible irritation of a familiar surrounding. Contentedly I am leaving by ferry boat thinking about how curious it is that the iceroad has to close exactly the same time the oasis disappeared.



A magic sunriseis illuminating the little oasis in a spectecular way. Clouds are changing constantly, creating their own pictures as I only know from the Polar regions. Today I meet Antye Greye -a sound artist and head of the local culture institution "haiart", which helped me with preparations. Thanks for this!!In the evening I am invited by Kari and his family having a wonderful chat and the world's best darkroasted coffee!! Again I am fascinated by the honest friendliness of these people here.Then bad news reach me by Juha. The iceroad is closed for the next days because of heavy southern winds, which bring water ion the ice, this means dismantling of my installation by foot not by car. Goodness! Some good finnish vodka should help...



The palm trees keep tough against new weather changes. I now have to pick out some fotos out of hundreds and I am still taking more pictures. You never know when the weather will take down the installation and I like to catch up more different atmosphere, like dawn and night today. Cars stop by from time to time to have a look at this strange scenery. "It looks tropical" a local lady said recently.



The night gale-force winds had already let my house tremble, so what have they done to my most fragile Arctic palms? From the distance it looked quite o.k., but while approaching the disaster became obvious. Leaves torn and disfigured, the trunk-towells dismantled and and even some strong cable ties partially torn. What a joy! What does a hardworking polar-gardener finally do? He kneels down and will everything get together again. In the afternoon some of the Hailuoto Bay Festival visitors come along and a and have an interested and amused look on the little polar oasis. I take many of pictures and some movie clips of the scenery. Later on I enjoy the sun (6 degrees plus!!) and my success of planting before I do some gardening in the end of day.



Storm comes up, then snow, temperatures rise again. Can this be true? The work iss really fun, but what can I say, blame yourself. Finally, I am finished at 7 p.m. and the nasty wind takes complete command, let's see what he does. In darkness I shoot a few photos with ISO 6400, then drive to the Haiku to bar for delicious chicken.


The first poles are plugged in, at least this installation should stand climatic changes, let's see. Juha is drilling, gentle as a (good!!) dentist holes into the ice without causing any water coming up to the surface. It's getting warmer (what the hell did the weather forecast tell us??) I'm driving crazy. But this time, the winner that'
s me! Tomorrow I'll proceed.





Back again in Hailuoto, it seems like having left yesterday. The iceroad, Kari, Juha Toppi (asking him: do you rember me?-he answered with a laugh: OF COURSE!). I really feel home again. Today some shopping, tomorrow the project will start with drilling, building up, freezing etc. It is a tough schedule. On Saturday the installation should be completed for the local art event on the frozen bothnic sea. I am looking forward to it.





log 2011


Now finally the project starts! With a giant backpack with two strapped on giant boots I'm on my way to the Munich airport, a rather strange outfit, the boots itselves cause bemused looks. We proceed to Helsinki, a short airport stay and a beer for 7.90 Euros, that'll be fun ... Then in the evening light landing at Oulu airport,next to the North Bottnic sea. This you can call winter! All covered by snow, only the temperature of 0 degrees makes me sweat. This is obviously too warm for a frozen towel landscape, but it should get colder again. (I never thought that I'd crave such freezing coldness). Stay tuned. Tomorrow, there will be the first site visits.


This morning I had a first meeting with Leo Oja from the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment to determine the exact location of the project. Leo was so friendly and accommodating, he arranged an appointment for the next day on the Iceroad, printed out wind and weather information provided me with lots of other important information. The warm weather will unfortunately continue the next days, far from ideal, plus degrees with rich wind (this is something like a heat wave for this region), probably not to bad for the numerous preparations, which are still left. During my evening walk in Oulu Northern Lights appeared together with some strong wind. My thermometer proudly presents -2 degrees, oops .....


Yesterday I visited the Iceroad, incredibly impressive! The project location will be close to Hailuoto, but the temperatures have reached tropical 5 degrees plus! In the evening I was invited to the opening of an exhibition where I met the team of Kulttuurikauppila, all incredible nice people who help me where they can: there were immediately made numerous phone calls and today I am meeting the chief of culture of Hailuoto, who already enabled dozens of media contacts and cared together with the mayor for my accomodation in Hailuoto, I'm speechless! Below are the first pictures from the site.


Now I live directly in Hailuoto in a huge (unfurnished) but warm Pippi Langstrumpf-Villa with sauna, it is so great. Today the storm is strong, the wind whips the snow across the Iceroad, you cannotsee your hand in front of your face. Tomorrow it will finally be getting colder, the time window for the project is small, Monday morning TV-Team will come, let's see what besides two exhausted hovelers get in front of the lens.


I am working on a snow wall, on which the oasis objects will be planted on the very best. Now it has been indeed -1 degree, with the tight wind on the high sea it is almost like winter feeling. Tonight backing will arrive: Florian, very good friend, photographer and powerful helper in one. I am wondering about what may be the best approach with only moderate cold, somehow it will work out....


Yesterday it finally became much colder (down to -16 degrees). Juha Toppi, the Iceroad manager, gave us a nice big hole drilled into the ice, so we had enough water for freezing available. The towel-objects hade been immersed in sea water and spread on the snow, then more snippets, and a few slats for better stability were frozen to the towels. 3 o'clock in the night we were finally done so far, the objects have were ready to get them up on 7 am to be finished for the 9 o'clock meeting with the TV-Team. We went to sleep for two hours, after that we had to experience a rude awakening. A storm rages over Hailuoto, the installation of the sculpture is impossible. The TV crew moved on anyway, as the mayor of Hailuoto and Kari, the local cultural official and tireless project helper. We do an interview and succeed in setting up at least two palm trees temporarily against the strong natural forces. Now we are on "standby" and hope for a wind break, but the temperatures begin to rise again ...


After having dug out the heavily snow covered objects with quite some efforts, we have been trying to get the things in the vertical this morning. We carried the parts on the ice and lay them out side by side. The wind whistles still neat, but the main problem is now again the merciless plus degrees in collaboration with a not to be underestimated sunlight, melting my objects raprdly.Towels are soft and wet, now we at least try a minimal installation (the pictures are already online), further experiments with modified technique will follow anyway. This damned heat, it's maddening. This evening we drove the entire objects to our house to get them in shape again. Tomorrow morning we start again, this time on a more calm place with a very bizarre idea, hopefully it 'work out! Unfortunately, the webcam is only rarely, this is due to the relatively poor connection quality at the place of action, but please try again, maybe it will be better tomorrow.


We made it! Keidas is finally built up on the the North Bottnic Sea at the North shore of the beautiful island of Hailuoto. Yesterday evening about 5 pm the last palm tree was rammed in the ice, a heavy windshear almost tore down the entire construction, but turbo loaded by intense shovelling training in the last days, we could stabilize the whole installation with snow. We are excited - did the heavy snowfall during the last night tear it down? We'll see in a few minutes..


It's snowing, snowing, snowing. Nevertheless, at least yesterday the brave palms could stand the snow and wind, the mild temperatures, however, gave them a hard time. It's not the easy way to be a towel-palm in the Arctic region, not being aware that heat might be the bigger problem. Here we go in again, recent photos, followed by the removal, storage, etc. In the evening, the super nice people of Hailuoto organize a "meet the artist" happening, where I will tell about the project showing pictures, I'm really looking forward to it. Problems can occur concerning the return trip from Hailuoto, because the new snow might cause too much water on the iceroad, which makes a driving impossible.


The dismounting of the installation went on rather fast, the towels became truly heavy by ice, snow and water, but they did not crack even during a storm, what an impressive quality. We dried them in the locker room of the school gym where they will find well-earned rest the next few days before they may be prepared for further operations, we'll see. In the evening we had the announced event at the Haiko bar, with slide show, good food and interesting conversation, before we packed up and obtained the latest information on Iceroad. Juha Toppi cleared and we could go there at freezing temperatures (!) By 3 clock at night the last time about the fascinating Iceroad before at 6 clock in the morning my plane took off for Munich! Tomorrow you'll find the last blog with all the credits and further information.