In the Finnish town of Tornio, a hundred kilometers north from our home town, when you walk to Meeri’s Grill (that certainly would deserve a whole blog post just about its menu), you can see a very confusing installation. There’s a pile of rocks by the road, and a sign that tells us that it is a monument by the people of Tornio, made for the people of Tornio.
So you guys made this all by yourself? The whole little bunch of rocks, in a handsome pile, there by the road? This self-made pile of rocks has been a never-ending source for making fun of my hosts every time I’ve been in Tornio. And for some reason every time I’ve been to Tornio, the trip has included a visit to Meeri’s Grill and a huge amount of making fun of the hosts and trying to piss them off in a way that is typical for friends in northern Finland.
I have started to appreciate this pile of rocks a lot nowadays, but let’s get back to it later.
A recent research by Tomi Venho shows that the campaign budget for parliamentary election candidates has been getting bigger (as expected), and that in the past elections it was 11 000 euros per candidate in average. For those who got elected, the average budget was 35 000 euros. Now this is a bit problematic, if you think of democracy.
It seems that the huge sum of money, 11 000 euros, is not enough if you want to get there. You need to triple it. I get this feeling that we’re not starting from the same start line when it comes to getting your voice heard. And the feeling that democracy is quietly slipping to “them”, when it should be “us”.
But how do we get back to the pile of rocks from here? Easily. There is no art without a community that it’s made for, and therefore art is always political.
When taking care of your community seems to be slipping out of our hands, the pile-of-rocks-monuments suddenly appear in a very touching light. They are not artifacts coming from “outside”, statues that confirm the contemporary structures of power on the main street of the city, neither are they commercial shopping heavens where you can dream of buying your personal slice of material paradise. Politics and money are somewhere out there around their big table, but behind their backs the people of Tornio have built this monument by themselves, for themselves. Isn’t that beautiful?
We need a world where everyone can build these piles of rocks on their own conditions for themselves and for everyone else. Bajo Cero seems to be getting one pile done, as it starts to look inevitable that our album is coming out later this spring. Then we are going to need you that we might call fans. In facebook there seems to be 905 of you at the moment. When the album comes out, we’re going to need you so that together we can build a huge pile of rocks together, for us and for everyone.
And to end this blog, I’d like to play a very confusing mind game: how much would the world have changed, if all the election candidates had used their campaign money for publishing their own albums, instead of politics?
-kili / Bajo Cero