Hum by Rasmus Mäkelä

Workplace I didn’t include this place in the final work for some reason. On the map it’s really close to our house, but with the river in between it was more than an hour’s walk. Once again knee deep in snow and at times falling on my face, I was cursing this whole project and the fact that I had to shoot it mostly in the winter. The car in the distance arrived shortly after I encountered a trail camera close by at an elk feeding area. The driver scoured the road slowly, probably looking for an intruder – me. Of all the places this is the closest to my parents’ house. It’s next to a small forest path where we walk our dogs. The path reminds me of my childhood and the three dogs that have passed away since. Here the point was on the field which was surrounded by an electric fence. By coincidence most of the map points landed on fields or forests, even though the centre of Orimattila is relatively big. The work became almost more about the average landscape around this region of Finland rather than my hometown. “An eerie calm dominates the scene” is a reference to architect Rem Koolhaas’ essay The Generic City. Many of my childhood friends lived in this area. Two of them I still keep in touch with. As I was shooting, the children playing across the street went silent, probably keeping an eye on me standing absolutely still for several minutes. The first place I visited for this project. Upon arrival I saw a deer bathing in golden light, staring at me at the edge of a forest. After a few seconds it leapt into the woods and the sun began to recede. Although the landscape after the sunset was beautiful and still, the scene was somehow unsettling. Looking back, this was the place where I really discovered the theme of the work through the surrounding sounds of traffic and an airplane flying above me. My partner drove me here as it was quite far away and we had a car to borrow. She told me that the people living across the field kept a close watch on me with binoculars. It says a lot about Orimattila; everything out of the ordinary needs to be monitored. One of the most difficult points on the map. I was tired, cold and knee deep in snow. Days like this taught me how huge a three kilometer radius becomes when you have to follow roads and paths. A 10 minute distance as the crow flies turns quickly into an hour on foot. Upon arrival this location was really striking. There was a pale violet sky with a crescent moon and an area that looked like a scrapyard. Then I generated the shooting direction and all that was left behind my back. You can see the church, one of Orimattila’s few sights, in the horizon on the right. Your average residential area in Orimattila; grey, dull and flat. I feel like my autumns looked like this growing up. There was an odd, new outdoor gym to the right which I really wanted to shoot, but I stuck with the direction the generator gave me. This was right next to a house where someone was audibly angry over something. I stayed behind the hedge in order to avoid conflict – the person seemed to be having a bad enough day without a stranger creeping around their house. A deer watched me from a hill afar. The point on the map was on the field, but as someone was watching me from the house on the left, I decided to stay on the road. I made small changes on the positions here and there depending on my energy and comfort at that specific moment. At first it was quite difficult to get to where the point was on the map. When the forest got less thick I found this calming, quiet place where I lingered for a while. The slowly rolling river and the sounds of children made me think of the forests of my childhood which are all gone now. The sudden sprint of a hare startled me and brought me back to that moment. One of the weirdest soundscapes I came upon. The bickering eurasian jays contrasted with the shooting range in the distance made for an interesting juxtaposition of humans and nature, if one wants to make such.