A Proposal for Legal Loitering

A black and white photo that looks like some kind of distorted image of a circular glass ceiling. The ceiling consists of decorative glass panes in the shape of a rectangle, which taper towards the center of the window. The image twists in a spiral, which makes it difficult to recognize the elements.

Image: Haliz Yosef

The final night of the Baltic Circle Festival is a tribute to electronic music subculture and to the Ballroom tradition – as well as the historical significance of these as creators of safer spaces.  UNDERTONE – A Proposal For Legal Loitering moves at the interface between the club and the performance, pulsating with hospitality, freedom, colour, and power.

The work redefines the relationship of contemporary art to safety in a time when gatherings are restricted because of the threat involved. The performative, ever-changing space and sound installation examines different forms of safety, the role of public spaces, the politics of surveillance culture, and the right to self-determination.

Welcome, as a co-experiencer, witness, and sensor to a night where everyone is free to be as they are, their true self.

UNDERTONE Creative Associates: Arhychy Alvaro Gomes, Caroline Suinner, Dennis Okoth, Ellen Virman, Eric Barco, Geoffrey Erista, Haliz Yosef, Jennifer Appleton, Joona Huotari, Laura Eklund Nhaga, Sunny Seppä and Tinttu Henttonen.

The group was convened by Helsinki-based actor, dancer, and live art maker Geoffrey Erista, who works widely in the fields of theatre, dance and contemporary art.

UNDERTONE – A Proposal For Legal Loitering is the first work to be created as part of the Baltic Circle Festival’s four-year Coming Stage initiative, funded by the Kone Foundation.

UNDERTONE Creative Associates:

Archychy Alvaro Gomes is a musician from Helsinki, who found his way to music in 2016. Gomes is a former member and one of the founders of Local Deep collective. With Local Deep, Gomes has organized various events in Helsinki nightlife and brought other DJs and artists to Finland from different countries. The last remarkable shows he made were at Flow festival 2018 and at Pasila Turntable with Local Deep. Since 2020, Gomes has been performing as a solo artist under the name DJ Alvie, aiming at producing music of his own. At the moment, apart from music, Gomes is occupied with studies and work.

Caroline Suinner is an interdisciplinary artist, active within media and event production and known for many projects concentrating on intersectionality and representation. Suinner’s career covers several performance and visual art projects that have the examination of safety at their core. Suinner is also one of the founders of Brown Girls Media and The Soft Collective. Important values for them are anti-racism and accessibility, intersectionality, equity, sustainability and community. Suinner is working on accepting imperfections and creating balance in the chaotic reality.

Dennis Okoth aka Denzel has been serving customers five course meals for 11 years as a DJ, from sense-arousing entrés to fulfilling main courses and mouth-watering desserts. Musically he’s moved by all things psychedelic, groovey, and things that make you move your body and mind. Around 2014 he got sucked into throwing parties, which eventually led him to found Helsinki club Post Bar with his mates among numerous other music events. All these things have sure kept the fella busy over the years, all the while trying to maintain his own music producing soul alive. Holiday tips? Call in.

Ellen Virman works as a light and sound designer within performing arts and makes music with the alias Eilien. Eilien’s debut album Digital Lovers was released in May 2021. Virman is interested in the intersection of emotions and technology. Within performing arts, their work often combines documentary approach with personal narratives. This approach can be seen in Lauluja Sydämistä (2020), Norppaesitys (2019) and BODYCTRL (2019). Virman lives in Helsinki, and is currently studying Sound Design in the University of Arts Helsinki.

Eric Barco (MA) is an actor, dancer, adventurer and performing artist from Helsinki. Barco is interested in the social side of art, interaction and shared presence, unleashing creative potential through the power of community. How can love be conveyed as we walk down the street? How can the feeling of safety be shared by micro expressions? Why is celebration an essential circumstance for humans? How to create an even better future? Barco has a long and varied background as a performer and a director e.g. Ballet School of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, Theater Takomo, Helsinki Cellar Youth Theatre and a few tv-series. Barco’s art is feminist, celebrating diversity, norm-critical, anti-capitalist and egalitarian.

Geoffrey Erista is an actor, dancer and live art maker, who in the spring of 2020 received an MA in Acting from University of Arts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy. He has performed in theatre, dance, film and installation art productions. As a live performance-maker Erista is interested in exploring socially relevant topics and finding ways to bring up more diverse art. In 2019 his artistic thesis N.E.G.R.O. – Nhaga & Erista Growing ‘n Reaching Out was part of Tampere Theater Festival. After graduating Erista has purposefully pursued to practice policies that combine theory and physical expression.

Haliz Yosef is a fine artist based in Helsinki with a keen interest in challenging geopolitical narratives. Their works reflect this by exploring memory and language interacting with each other to form cultural identity. Yosef observes how code switching languages becomes a type of displacement itself, forming its own culture. They channel their visceral movements through moving image and sonic art, where site-specificity plays an important role. One of Yosef’s selective works, Abandoned Rituals was a site-specific sound installation at Kuninkaansaari’s Saari 2020 exhibition as well as Tell a Story (2019) at Cinema Orion. In 2019 Yosef graduated with a BFA degree from Finnish Academy of Fine Art. Earlier this year Yosef was a guest editor in chief for Mustekala.org online magazine. Their works have been shown in Finland, Sweden and South-Korea.

Jennifer Appleton is a Helsinki-based makeup artist. After graduating in 2013 she has worked in the makeup industry in commercials, beauty, fashion, short films and for various artists. One of her long-term clients is artist Yeboyah. For Appleton it is important to have a safe working environment and to see people as individuals. She will always do her best to make sure her clients feel safe and comfortable.

Joona Huotari is a costume designer and artist that has worked in a wide range of projects since 2010. His work has reached many audiences through music videos, television, fashion events, theatre, circus and opera. Huotari graduated from Pirkanmaa Vocational College as an artisan in the clothing industry in 2008 and went on to study costume design at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2013. Huotari specializes in material processing and has mastered the use of recycled and reused materials. In his designs, he strives to approach costumes in a modern and fresh way. In addition to costume design, Huotari has also worked as a performance artist, graphic designer and scenographer. Huotari’s most recent works includes Opera BOX’s and Opera Skaala’s Akhnaten (2021), Dance Theatre Hurjaruuth’s Winter Circus BAU (2019), Emma Salokoski’s Body Positive (2019). Huotari is also a member of the unique art collective, House of Disappointments. Their work was featured in the ‘WEAR(E)ART’ costume exhibition as part of URB Festival in summer of 2020.

Laura Eklund Nhaga is an actor, activist and a writer, who strongly believes art to be a vital tool for change. Eklund Nhaga explores themes of race, gender and marginalisation through spoken word poetry and storytelling. She was credited as the other writer of N.E.G.R.O. – Nhaga & Erista Growing ‘n Reaching Out and created a web series called Project Green Gables. She studies sociology at the University of Warwick in the UK, with the aim of always using her art as a form of activism, in addition to public speaking and organising. Most recently she was chosen as one of the Finnish translators of Amanda Gorman’s poetry.

Sunny Seppä is a Helsinki-based musician, producer, sound designer and DJ. For the past five years he’s been focusing his career on Sansibar solo-project. Under Sansibar he has produced multiple releases and performed globally from small events to international festivals. At the moment Seppä takes his inspiration to music from mind alteration and afrofuturistic utopias.

Tinttu Henttonen studied to be a professional nawashi in Tokyo between 2006-2009. She expands her rope work from fetish world to art. To study philosophy and experience of Holy. Ropes has taken her to dress big and small stars. From independence day presidential reception to tying a priest in a church during prayer. Henttonen has performed in Tokyo show clubs and she has suspended a band in an opera house. She has covered museum spaces with her ropes.

In collaboration with Kulttuurimylly.

Kone Foundation logo

Sat 27.11. 20.00

Sörnäisten rantatie 22 & Kaasutehtaankatu 1, Helsinki.

Price: free entry €

For participant:

The performance contains flickering lights, smoke, full blackout of the space, loud noise and high pitches.

The event is R-18