The installation is based on two elements, a re-used tape recorder and a pair of aged wooden planks. The planks are mounted to form a table on which the tape recorder is placed. The sound from the tape recorder is based on field recordings from the area around the municipality Taivalkoski in Northeastern Finland. The tape recorder has formerly been used at The Department of Ethnology at Lund University. For several years it was used for ethnographic fieldworks in different parts of the world. People spoke into its microphone, gave witness, and told stories from their lives. Now it is used to reproduce other kinds of sounds. Environmental recordings from Northeastern Finland are blended with the noise and tape hiss from the mechanics and electronics of the tape recorder.
The wooden planks have their own story. In the 1960’s they were part of a small table. A young girl had got a knitting machine, and one of her older brothers built the table especially for her. The knitting machine and the table were used for some time, but soon challenges arose. the thread that was at hand at the time was made locally by sheep wool, and its irregular thickness and quality was not compatible with the machine. As the girl got older and moved away from home the table and the knitting machine was left behind. The table ended up behind a barn, left to decay. Decades later, the deteriorated planks were brought inside by the artist. They were dried and mounted to form a rickety table for a re-used tape recorder.
The tactile material character of the aged wood, almost disintegrated, with faint traces of earlier layers of paint and lichen might raise questions on how we draw the borders between patina and decay. The planks have become companions to the re-used fieldwork tape recorder with its now deteriorated, noisy and ethereal sound. Together they might evoke associations to environments, situations and stories somewhere in the woodlands of Northeastern Finland, but they may as well focus the attention to functions, values and shortcomings of the artefacts and technologies at hand.