INSPIRATION OF THE MONTH
Every end of the month I’ll present an artist/maker/doer/thinker/concept/happening that gives me lyfe right now. I hope you’ll find something new here or something that resonates. If you have something cooking and you want to participate I’m always open for recommendations and dialogue! Sharing is caring.
SEPTEMBER 2018 INSPO & LYFE GIVER:
Since we were kids I’ve always admired the depth of this one. She’s been my forest sister, energy partner and a role model. The frequencies she’s at are something else, another level you might say. The stories she’s full of will amaze you. An oracle, prophet, an inspiration. Take a look and stay tuned for her up coming work. I wouldn’t miss this.
Tuuti Piippo | writer, storyteller, visual artist
1. Who are you and watcha doin’?
That’s what I ask myself every day! The answers keep changing, though. I haven’t found a box that fits during the soon 33 years I’ve been here on Earth (except maybe ’consciousness moving around in a complex and hilarious skin suit’). Okay, but: I have spent a lot of time telling stories. I studied journalism and creative leadership, used to make magazines, and have published a couple of nonfiction books. I’ve worked in games and health tech in Helsinki and San Francisco and sometimes speak publicly about people who are creating the future. I have edited books, helped other authors to write them, translated one, and somehow become a partner at a publishing company. I’ve also been taking photos and playing with the arts for as long as I can remember, and that has become an even clearer passion, direction and channel of expression lately.
Plunging right into the deep end, I see. Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools ever created. You can turn your worst failure into an epic growth journey by telling the story from a different perspective.
Besides being my craft and life’s work, I think stories are how we make sense of the world and what we are built of as human beings, no less. I see us as a kind of storytelling species. Our brain creates narratives continuously, and they’re usually pretty much fiction. It’s nature’s genius to build beings this way, because we remember stories and learn through them really well. That also means that stories are incredibly persuasive. Knowing this, I try to be mindful of the stories I tell myself every day, the ones I read/hear/watch, and especially the ones I tell others. They carry meanings, values and feelings on so many levels in a way that’s very tempting for our brain to just believe and lock onto. I think that’s why humans have preserved knowledge through stories since ancient times.
I really love mythology and would just dive deep into the world of creation myths and epic poetry of different cultures forever if I could. It’s extremely fascinating how we can step into anyone’s experience through a carefully crafted story. It’s such a holistic way of transmitting consciousness from one being to another, sometimes through millennia.
This is a huge question! I love to work with people who have mastered disciplines or skillsets different from mine, but who stay curious and eager to grow, so we can learn from each other as much as possible. Right now I’m working on a book with a world-class pioneer in mindfulness. It’s mind-blowing to watch and listen to someone who has decades of experience in noticing the movements of their mind-body and treating them with kindness. That awareness is something I really value, respect and work on myself, too. (I wish everyone would.)
So the setting always begins with people and the rest is created together. I’m fascinated by directing video work now and looking forward to learning from different professionals through it, whether it’s dance, music, poetry, documentary or something entirely different. I’d also like to learn more about making VR experiences. There are worlds in my mind waiting to be created and I thought for a long time that they’d surely be books. But I think they need to be born through a new combination of channels and tools that allow me to combine the skills and experience that only I have.
The indescribable, inexpressible, unutterable (I love these words) because it’s a challenge. Paradoxically, at the moment, I’m most moved by allowing myself to be with and feel whatever is. Practicing to give space to the state where I’m not trying to change or fix anything, just noticing. It’s harder than it sounds. Of course, it’s an ancient and life-long practice.
On a different level: cats, coffee, and honest conversations move me. As well as the astonishment I feel when I look at what’s happening in the world and realize that despite the apparent stupidity of human beings, we have managed to build civilizations, communities, cultures, and create all this amazing art, science and technology for centuries. How is that even possible?
6. Do you consider something as a taboo for a story or a theme in a video work at this period of time?
Oh, sure! Every culture has their taboos, and stories are a great way to open them up. With my first book, for example, the driving force was that we didn’t see enough public conversation about learning from failure, so we wanted to nudge it by sharing Finnish influencers’ failure stories – showing that it’s okay to talk about it.
I don’t think much about intentionally breaking taboos with what I do and make now, but I sometimes ask myself: What are the things I feel like I could never say, write or express? It’s a powerful question. I think it was one of the questions that led me to explore femininity and the norms and taboos around being a woman. Many of them have been broken in the past few years, thankfully, but globally (and internally!) there’s tons of work to do. I’ve dabbled in the waters of the fierce/angry feminine, studying the Kali-like powers of creation and destruction, and those themes will probably fascinate and pour through me as long as we have a hard time understanding that consciousness, loving gentleness and raw head-dropping fierceness can coexist (and that they do, and they must). We need more Little Mys, Lisbeth Salanders, and Shuris for that.
7. What makes this particular time special for you as an artist?
I feel like transformative times like these hold a special call for us sensitive beings, the introverts, the quiet misfits and hidden rebellious souls to surface and release their wisdom and seeing into the world. Because this time shows us clearly that the loud, aggressive, overly masculine ideals we’ve nurtured for a long time haven’t worked that well for the whole. Luckily there are more ways and channels to express and publish through than ever before. It creates opportunities for a lot of different thinkers and makers, and we all benefit. (I have a lot of respect for the word ’artist’ and feel like I haven’t earned it at all, but thank you, and maybe this way of thinking is just one of the many skins that could already be shed.)
8. Do you have any tips for this autumn in Helsinki?
Even though there’s the growing (magnificent) opportunity to stay home and do all the hygge things, I still try to go out for long walks by the sea and really take in all the light, color, fragrance and life that will be mostly hidden under darkness during the winter months. It’s free, good for you on many levels (says science), takes you out of the vortex of screens and sometimes results in a wild gush of new ideas.