Project week 4: Glue, bugs everywhere!


I didn’t get the drone promo video done yet, but I did glue another 20 packages, so if you’re feeling to order a whole bunch of drone pins I’m ready for you! Apart from that, it’s time to get seedling started for the growing season, and while Sara was looking over the tomatoes which are poking out through the dirt she also found some aphids among our other plants and went on to exterminate them. But before doing that, she thought to identify the species and so we set the microscope up and had a peek. We’re no closer to identifying it than we were before, but we saw that it had wings and to Saras horror they didn’t die quickly in the acetone we used to wet mount them, but rather squirmed and wiggled their poor little legs pityingly.

So Monday evening ends with a fascination for how complex and diverse life is all around us, and a silent prayer of thanks that we most likely won’t be killed by acetone poisoning. As always, remember that it can always get worse.

Project week 3: A gift

Audience at a gig of Fucking Werewolf Asso in March 2015, at Musikens hus Göteborg

I’m rediscovering the joys and perils of video editing. At work, I did en edit of the woodwork course I participated in last weekend (Take a look here: and shot a promo for Drawing with a chainsaw, a course I’m offering with Eric Saline where we still need to rustle up more participants. (That edit isn’t done yet)

Privately, I went to a gig with Fucking Werewolf Asso and tried out my new Nikon P7800 and was reminded of the value of external microphones; I used only the built in ones, and it’s inadvisable to stand in front of PA speakers if you can’t set levels manually. I’d hoped that I’d have a video done by tonights deadline, but alas. Ought to be done this week though, so although delayed I’m still doing something else for next Monday.

I’ve never been one for good timing when it comes to my projects, but I really should get the drone promo done before the discussion about the Swedish-Saudi weapon deals dies down completely. Not that the deals with Saudi Arabia are much more offensive than the ones we have with other dictatorships, but still. So although timing has never been my forte I should give it a shot – after all, mine is a project about the democratic control over technology, and it’s rather fitting that I slot that into the tail-end of the discussion of selling surveillance equipment and clandestine weapon factory projects.

PROJECT WEEK 2: Head of wood


The past week past in a blur; Friday through Sunday i spend in the KKV woodshop, taking a course in how to use all the tools without losing any fingers. We were six people who all made boxes of some sort, and I decided on making a small box for microscope glass slides. Of course, being a smartarse I wanted to make my box with parallelogram sides, which quickly had me revisiting grade school math in order to calculate angles and such. It’s surprising how difficult it is to hold more than one number or idea in ones head when you’re at the same time learning new machinery!

At the end of each day I was exhausted and had probably gained weight from all the dust I’d inhaled. I’m pretty sure that if I’d dried and flatten all mucus and snot, I’d have a respectable piece of veneer. Sort of like those goats who eat and shit whole coffee beans, or the guy who brewed beer from yeast cultured from his own beard: Nasal veneer.

The finished box came out crooked and is unusable – most likely I hadn’t used the planer correctly on the first day, but it wasn’t apparent until I started gluing the parts together. It felt reminiscent of when I brought my mom a 2kg turned coffee cup from “clay day” at school – look ma, I made this all by my selfs! But more practically, I now at least know how to use most of the machines in the woodshop, so feel slightly more comfortable in taking on building projects.

A couple of years ago, when I got a largish grant and had more money than sense, I considered subscribing to wood. You’d get samples sent to you a couple of times a year, and you were also encouraged to exchange wood with other members so that you’d get a feel for different qualities from all around the world. I didn’t go through with it then, and probably won’t do it now, but I’m definitely eager to learn more about it now. So you shouldn’t be surprised if you see me fondling wood with a joyful expression.

Project week 1: Weak

The first weeks ambition was to glue together 50 more packages for the drone project and do a marketing video. The packages got done, but the video has to wait as I’ve spend most of the week either sleeping or blowing my nose in a delirium – whatever bug is going around jumped onto my face and wouldn’t let go, so it’s not until today that I’m able to walk more or less in a straight line. But I did get some filming done, so there’s that at least.

So the last weeks task continues this week as well. We’ll see how that goes, since Friday through Sunday I’m taking a woodworking course at KKV which I’ve been looking forwards to. I’ll finally learn to use more than the bandsaw and belt sander, and seeing as we’re still not completely unpacked since our move around Christmas, we could really use some shelving and tables and such – which I ought to be able to build with no problems whatsoever once I’ve finished the course.

As a side note, I’ve started up another ongoing project which is continuing in a brisk-ish pace: Read All The Books! I have way too many books which have served no purpose other than to line my walls, so I’m foreswearing any new book purchases until I’ve thinned out the current stock. The goal is to read three books I already own before reading something new. I read somewhere that a proficient reader will have read 5000 books in their lifetime, and if I include my digital collection I’ve amassed way past that number already. It’s time to start reading instead of just skimming, and it’s time to realise that some of the books I’ve been puttin off might not deserve my attention but ought to be discarded. So any book I don’t believe I’ll want to keep for reference or a future re-read, I’ll give away or toss. I started in on the third book in as many weeks today – a speed reading manual – and will post a short summery of the other two shortly. Anytime now. Really soon.

Are we drone yet? Yes!

So, what started as a one week project (three weeks, max!) is just now coming to fruition. The drone pins have been delivered for some time, and I’ve just worked on getting the packaging right. The drone design took far less time than the packaging, and by now I’ve probably spent as much money as on the pins themselves, not counting the ten or so days doing package design and iteration.

It’s great fun and I’ve gotten to learn how to use the laser cutter here at KKV GBG but boy oh boy do all the little things add up. The last bit that needs doing is setting up the webshop, and that is all but done. Some typos need correcting and some images fiddled with before I’m happy with it, but any moment now you can buy the pins here:


Dröna inte min kompis pin

One interesting aspect of the project is that I get to decide what I want to charge for these pins, and I’m reminded of my experiments with pricing when doing serigraphy a couple of years ago and exhibiting at Marstrand. It all comes down to how not to price yourself out of the market, but also not below the threshold when it looks as if you’re not taking yourself seriously enough. It’s fascinating stuff, art pricing, and these pins are another opportunity to toy around with it.

I have 300 copies of the pins, and since 50 or so will be retained as trades / QC & loss / artist copies, I’m putting 250 copies in numbered boxes and offering them for sale at 200 SEK a pop. Since my rent isn’t dependent on if I manage to sell these or not (although it certainly wouldn’t harm my equity) I’m not particularly inclined to dump the price all that much, so we’ll see what will come out of it. Also, after a brief discussion with the Skatteverket (IRS) it was decided that a print run of 250 copies are too many to qualify as “art” and that value added tax is to be applied to these things, so that’s 25% out of whatever price I charge.

In order for the project to result in something more than just my pet project, I’ve contacted the Swedish peace-organisation Svenska Freds & Skiljedomsföreningen who are the only ones in Sweden trying to bringing attention to drones and their use. Before doing this project I wasn’t aware of that Sweden is taking part in developing two military drones, and it’s just that kind of information which needs to get out there before their use becomes so ubiquitous as to be unquestionable. Therefore, I’ve set it up that if you donate 200 SEK or more to Svenska Freds, you get to buy a pin from me for 50 SEK, which is more or less at cost.

I like the project; The pins turned out well and the packaging looks the way I want it. Going into the new year, with new resolutions and ambitions, I’m hoping to be a bit wiser and not underestimate how much work surrounds even small, innocuous ideas such as this.

Creating brand report

Following up on last weeks foray into my customisation of a nice invoice template, where I bought a new domain just so that the email address would take up less space in the design, I set up a new Koken install on said domain. Behold, is now an empty sheet onto which I will pour my professionalism and coherence. Which frees this blog up for even more random stuff, allowing me to really let loose.

My temporary employment at Akademin Valand is drawing to an end, and seeing as I’m joining the precariat once again I found it prudent to get a proper portfolio site up and running. Thus the site. I’m rather temperamental when it comes to putting together samples of my work. Consequently, I’ve so far put up nothing.

My reluctance is partly based on my uncertainty of what it is I really do. For the past fifteen or so years during which I’ve slid from unpaid creative work alongside paying menial work, to paying creative work, I’ve had a devil of a time coming to terms with what constitutes “work” and “title” and “profession.” I’ve joked about creating a “professional dilettante” calling card many times, but haven’t done so although the title would fit. (Most people I tried it on don’t know what a “dilettante” is so I end up having to explain it and come of as a “professional dilettante jerk” instead.)

But this is reflected in how I understand myself. I do do commissioned photography, but it’s not all I do so I feel a bit disingenuous when I present myself with a profile which is exclusively focused on my photo and editing experience. This blog is probably a better reflection of what I do, especially when someone reads more than the first couple of posts, but what kind of image is that? When the practicality of “getting work” meets ones requirement to “be truthful” I lean towards the latter to the detriment of legibility and focus.

Possibly it’s best to be “true enough” or at least “not lie” when it comes to these things – if I select the works I believe speak to my strengths and showcase them as best I can, it’s not untruthful; it’s just very omissive. Could it be this is what is known as being “professional” and that I’m just late to the game? It would be in line with other blank spots I’m constantly discovering in my personality and behaviour.

Perhaps I ought just to ask some friends in the business to help me style a portfolio? Talk to some photo buyers who could actually help determine if I should pursue this or not. If I’m uninterested in something I do a half-assed job of it, but perhaps I’m just not good enough to do the projects I’d actually be interested in, which would give an indication of what I’d need to do to get there. Too often I assume that it’s a question of will to accomplish something, underestimating the value of skill and experience, and so it can be liberating to learn that what I’m doing is trite garbage; it gives you a direction and a goal, and hints at a roadmap you could follow to become better, more interesting, more serious and fun.

Ok it’s settled; I’ll get in touch with some image editors and ask their advice and judgement. It goes up on the list next to “learn soil analysis” and “design an origami box for the drone pin”, but before “learn the trombone like Antoine in Treme” and circle back to it once I’m officially unemployed…

This week in review: many small things embusying one.

Originally, I set out to create one small project each week in order to get stuff going but I find that my mind is constantly wearing onto side streets and cul-de-sacs which take days just to navigate out of, let alone emerge with any solid gains. So too have the past two weeks passed by, and I have a bunch of notes and ongoing stuff happening, but have to once again remind myself that that wasn’t the point of the exercise. It was to publish one finished project once a week, not amassing five grand projects to publish “soon”.

So just to get something out there, I’ve uploaded the images from the “Virtual photography” series I did while still doing my BA in photography. The images are currently on the front page of and it’s a series of 8 pictures.

Printed copies have been on display in Sweden, Denmark and Canada, and I still get questions about them occasionally. One of my favourite comments from gallery visitors was “Hey, I know that place, I’ve been there”, in respons to seeing one of the photos. It seemed to prove a point at the time. Today, they look quite dated, so feel more like documentation of old computer games rather than the cutting edge of virtual photography, but there you go.

A family, a network of relations.

This weeks thing is a proper retouch and publication of the Family photo series I did in 2004-2005. It was a bunch of portraits of more or less everyone in my extended family (except my maternal grandmother who didn’t want to be remembered so frail) and although I haven’t exhibited them anywhere I’ve had analogue copies made and distributed.

As the project is almost ten years old (which gives me temporal vertigo) I’m considering revisiting it; perhaps it’s time again to pack a camera and shoot the family. Not sure if it would feel as relevant now, but since I’m looking at the project with ten years hindsight and am glad I pursued it, I might appreciate a followup in ten years time as well.

I’m quite certain that I won’t do the project using film though; Patience with the analogue isn’t part of my character, and removing dust from the scanned negatives is a time honoured craft I’d gladly do without. Images are here.

I’d love to have you for dinner.

To counteract our social stagnation we’re trying to throw dinners. True, we haven’t had one for six months, but still, we try to attempt, to perhaps do something at some point. Regardless, one of the features of these dinners is me pulling out the camera and documenting all guests. It’s mandatory and unless people co-operate I don’t tell them where the antidote is.

This weeks project is about finishing the retouch and publishing one set of dinner pictures. “the dinner set #1” (2013) is me having fun in photoshop, and switching the faces around of all dinner guests — I’ve moved nose, eyes and mouth from one face to another, resulting in some more or less plausible visages. Needless to say, I laughed my ass of doing this, although right now I can’t say why — these people all look so serious. You can find the image gallery at under “photography” or by clicking here.



Last weeks project was all the work migrating the blog into a new theme. WordPress themes are supposed to be mostly a skin on top of your content, but I splurged on a commercial theme with a lot of customisation, and it took a long time to make things look like it does now.

It’s been a while since this place got a facelift, and I don’t have the time nor inclination to once again dust of what mongrel knowledge I have of php/css/ and the WordPress loop just in order to hack something passable together. I figured that I could use that “flexible” layout people keep talking about. (At the moment the menus don’t work when viewed on a narrow screen, but I’ll get to that Or rather, now that I’ve paid for a theme I have someone to ask why it doesn’t work…)

Also, I received an email about the “don’t drone my friend” pins, and a box with samples is on it’s way over to me from China. I can’t get over how insane that is, but it’s also rather neat, in a “global fun-park, hell-in-a-handbasket” kinda way.

Smokers de-light

Silly puns aside, in this weeks “finally I got around to getting that done!” category, we find some images I took last year but haven’t put up anywhere. It’s a bunch of pictures of people smoking e-cigarettes, which make for some demonic-looking faces. The first one I did was a self-portrait, and the rest came about when visiting mom for Christmas. I would have had more pictures if it hadn’t been for the break-in when I lost my laptop, but there you go.

I also took some time to learn the Koken CMS which I installed last summer, and it’s a brilliant piece of software. It takes a while to learn the quirks and come up with a logical yet resilient navigation system, but seeing as my site never had that much traffic to begin with I don’t think I’ll traumatise too many people by doing live experimenting.

Curating a site is even harden than writing an artist statement. Breaking with convention, I’ve not written about myself in third person as is the custom, and I’m curious to see how I come across when I mix personal art projects with commissioned works and folio stuff. It might end up just being a mediocre mush instead of a streamlined persona, but I’m hoping that by adding most of my production to the site I’ll come to some realisation about what in the world it is that I’m doing with my time. After all, if I’m supposed to be a professional dilettante, this ought to be apparent in my production, and the thread weaving my carpet of doing might go all over the place but at least ought not break.

You can find the site at, and it’s supposed to play well with iOS as well as Android tablets. Let me know of any kinks. There are only two albums up at the moment, and the one with this weeks pictures are in the Alight album.