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April is shaping up to be a busy month of music here at Ptarmigan. In addition to our regular open sessions each fortnight (where a local artist performs a short set and then the audience is encouraged -- no, required! - to collaborate) we are accomodating several touring artists during the month. Though our room is small, our audience is warm and welcoming so we hope to provide an alternative space for experimental and avant-garde sounds in Tallinn.

On two Mondays we have touring artists performing. On the 14th, ASTEPBACK arrives from Italy. Andrea Saggiomo performed here two years ago as 70fps (with Aspect) and will again be bringing the world of 16mm film and sound together. Supporting them, appropriately, is Plucié des Andes, consisting of Marek and James from Ptarmigan Finland. On the 28th, Den Arkaiska Rösten (from Uppsala) brings their unique blend of drones and tones, and open session mastermind Ted Parker will be supporting. On the 25th, Latvian electronic musician Martins Rokis will perform with adhesion.

The open sessions will continue throughout the summer and additional musical activity is always a possibility...

We're pleased to have our good friend Hannah Harkes officially join the team, where she will be Director of Creative Hemispheres the IInd. Hannah will be reponsible for all Ptarmigan activities during the gap between the end of Andrew Paterson's residency and the start of our yet-unscheduled Summer 2014 madness.

Hannah Harkes is a Scottish artist currently based in Tallinn, Her work sits in the interstice of slapstick and sincerity; where play meets morbidity and temptation meets repulsion. The drawn mark informs her practice, as does language and forcibly changed context. On the question of the viewer's position, she is becoming increasingly interested in who the player is.

And the standard bio: After graduating from Gray's School of Art in 2011 with a BA(Hons) in Fine Art Printmaking, Hannah became resident at Polymer Culture Factory in Tallinn, where she mainly made video works from the depths of an existential crisis. She returned to Scotland to do a drawing/durational action exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh then moved to Finland where she worked for some time at the Nelimarkka Museum in the middle of nowhere, resuscitating the dusty stone lithography facilities and making comics. She was invited as resident artist to the Novia Fine Art school in Jakobstad, Finland, where she formed an art school band and released one cross-genre album before disbanding and returning to Estonia, to co-run Grafodroom printmaking workshop and artists' studios in Tallinn's old town. From this spot she is now working on video games, audio games, comic books, upcycled contraceptives and sometimes prints. 

At Ptarmigan, Hannah plans, in collaboration with others, a handful of events that are connected perhaps only by the desire to encourage people to do things together and also to do things with things that don't do the things that those things usually do. 

We've worked closely with Hannah for over two years, through various events in both cities and at Tiib, and love her incredibly. With her energy we will hopefully survive the darkest and coldest part of this winter.

As the memories of Done Kino 2013 might be already quite blurry, let's refresh them with some photos.

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See More: Done Kino

Ptarmigan project space (Tallinn, Estonia) is looking for creative minds!

We're looking for people who can contribute to Ptarmigan's activities from April - September 2014. Ptarmigan is generally focused on creating participatory activities that are open and inclusive. We are probably not a good fit for those looking to create their own visual art or performance events.

Proposals are welcome that focus on one (or more) of the following "streams":

  • Whither are we wandering? 
    Ptarmigan is now in year five of existence, having started as an uncertain venue for strange musical forms in Helsinki and now lumbering along in Estonia as, well, whatever we are. (If you don't know what we do, have a look through our archive at some past events and projects). The grassroots cultural landscape is filled with small initiatives like us, constantly active creating events, projects and partnerships. The connections and networks continue to grow. But what are we actually building? Looking forward and backwards at the same time is not always easy, and despite the multiple ways that we can communicate electronically, human interaction is still the cornerstone.
    The Whither are we wandering? programming stream seeks to question the meta- issues of independent culture production, not just relating to Ptarmigan's own history but in a larger context. Topics to explore: How do we build upon the efforts of the past? How do we disseminate our activities to a wider audience? What is an 'archive' in this context, and how can it be re-imagined as an open, living creature? When and why do we collaborate?
  • Unraveling, untangling and undoing
    We will continue our ongoing focus on activities that resist measurable outcomes. If the journey is more important than the destination, or you subscribe to the credo "pointless ≠ waste of time", or you like taking things apart without putting them back together, or you like the demo versions and outtakes more than the finished album, or you're utterly unconcerned with creating a product or final work, or anything of the sort: let's talk. We plan to resurrect last summer's aborted projects, Strange Meetings Club and Undo Lab, as well as to provide space for experimental, open-form collaborations. So we're looking for any sort of proposal along these lines.
  • Feeding the Hand that Bites Us
    Money. Sustainability. Creative Industry. Rising inequality. Culture incubators. The neoliberal agenda. Blah blah blah.... you're heard it all before, and it's not going away. We understand if you're sick of hearing about this stuff. We're sick of thinking about it. Maybe we should just quit what we're doing and get "proper" jobs instead. Maybe an IT call-centre would hire us.
    Some possible topics: Creative experimentation in a technocratic society. The privilege of inefficiency. Hybrid public/private institutional structures. 
    If you're happy with things the way they currently are, disregard this stream. If you want to really talk about meaningful collaboration, self-empowering support structures, alternative economic models, etc. then we're listening. Propose something.

​This is a residency, and it is also not a residency. We are an unfunded, volunteer-run organisation that will close (or change drastically) in autumn 2014. This is most likely our final summer, and we want to do good things with good people. We can't offer any financial support; we're trying to find a way to pay the bills ourselves! However, we can write invitation letters for your local funding agencies, if that will help. 

What we can definitely offer is enthusiasm, the physical resources of the place (rooms, equipment, furniture), and the network of interesting people in our axis. What we really want are flexible people with good ideas who want to come and spend a bit of time with us and make great things happen. Maybe you have to be a bit crazy, but that's who we typically get along with anyway. Ptarmigan has always been as much of a "lifestyle" as an artistic platform, and that's not going to change. Think of this as a bizarre summer camp

Everything is negotiable. And as we've said in the past, everything is tentative.

Send us your ideas by emailing the name of the city we're based in, "@" the domain name of this website.  As this open call is as flexible as the actual 'residencies' will be, there's no deadline or anything like that; just be practical.

At Ptarmigan, 2014 began with the Fictiocratic Operations no. 27C experiment, a bizarre evening that we're still trying to unravel. Artefacts and other evidence will soon reach this digital realm.

We are pleased to host Andrew Gryf Paterson in January as part of the Axis of Praxis residency programme. Andrew will be based in Ptarmigan for the month before heading to MoKS; the project, supported by Kulturkontakt Nord, seeks creative practitioners to engage with the two distinct communities of Ptarmigan and MoKS and hopefully find a bridge that extends beyond the easy dichotomy of "urban/rural" . We've worked closely with Andrew over the years, all the way back to the beginning, so we're happy to have him here.

His main objective for the residency periods is to focus time outside of usual work patterns towards writing the introductory and contextual sections of his article-based doctoral candidate manuscript, which reflects on artistic fieldwork from an auto-ethnographic/archaeological perspective, acknowledging the different contexts, influences and outgoings of Finnish & Latvian -based processes (for example Herbologies/Foraging Networks 2010-2011, Happihuone 2005-2007 & Clip Kino 2008-2010, plus earlier Locative media projects 2003-2005). In addition to text he will identify documentation, media, meta-data, and other 'figure' -like artefacts from the fieldwork. During the residency period in Tallinn & Mooste, he will guest-host two invited dinner events to present and share stories about the artefacts related to each period of fieldwork mentioned above. The invited diners would also be encouraged to also share stories and artefacts which remain from hosting experiences (related to art projects, food or other social events).

Our friend Mari-Anna Lepasson will host an Art and Anthropology Workshop here on Saturday, 18 January. This workshop will be based heavily in diary writing and participants will study their own behaviour and their influence of themselves on other participants and vice-versa. There's no registration required so please just turn up.

Aware and unaware members of the Fictiocracy movement (1) are being called for Operation no. 27C (2)! Operation of Sappers Mining Under the Citadel of Gregorian Juncture is calling exactly you! It's calling till 24 November (3)! If you miss this opportunity, there will never be another!

Anyone thinking of breaking a ritual among the most ritualistically dense time of the calendar (4), your place is with us! Anyone who is a fictionaut (5), step forward! Anyone worrying about practicalities, let it go (6)!

We are meta-reality social movement that has a place for everyone, with everyone in his/her place! If you decide to join us, we congratulate you here and now and invite to manipulate the environment, and the people within it, under the spell of the Holiday Spirit (4)!

But hurry, be sure not to miss the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8's return to Earth. We start on 27 December 2013, at 10:51 a.m. EST (7) in Tallinn, Estonia, never to reopen again! Accursed be anyone who doesn't believe us!


(1) Fictiocracy is a meta-reality social movement -- a subversive, persistent and systematic declaration of rights for life according to fiction.

The prevalent paradigm of reality, based on the collaboration of shared "meaning" with sensual "concreteness", is like a fortress, built to shield us from the full wilderness of our lives.

Yet the walls of this fortress are as fictive as any. Ultimately, we govern ourselves by our creations: Things such as societal forms, or the laws that actualize them, are creations comparable to novels or movies -- hence, they can be observed as fictional works. The fortress has always been infiltrated, made from the very matter it seeks to resist.

Fictiocracy incorporates our fabrication, and the processes that go along with it, into our reality, without branding them as second-class citizens and inconsequential participants. It acknowledges the presence of the fictitious and articificial in the very soil of our lives. We depend on fiction -- this is not something that should be minimized, with an apologetic air, but exploited in a celebratory manner. We can create the reasons for our existence. Our beliefs, our manner of being can stand proudly on fabricated roots.

Our reality is already a work of creation, a texture of our fabrication. It's time that we started to live like it.

(2) Another embodiment of Migrating Art Academies, hosted by Ptarmigan between 27 Dec 2013 - 2 Jan 2014 in Tallinn, Estonia.

(3) More info and the registration form.

(4) The surrounds of the New Year's Eve: A time of subservience to our common practices, their constraints offering a fenced form of freedom. Revelry by rules, party by the numbers. What can be created with such material? How does it react? How can we modify its behavior?

(5) Anyone interested in co-operation between arts and all other fields (not limited to activism, anthropology, game design, performance, etc.) which serve the creation of innovative architectures of social convention and utopian fantasy productions. Anyone willing to blur the borders between art, social rituals and life itself by any accessible means, whether altering the norms of New Year's Eve or re-designing the organisations which host them.

(6) Travel costs are covered, accommodation and food are provided.

(7) 27 December 2013, 5:51 p.m. local time.