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Space Junk 28 years: Monuments of the Concrete Era

hylätty huoltoasema, öinen kuva
hylätty huoltoasema, öinen kuva Picture by: Indigo / Monuments of the Concrete Era hylätyt rakennukset

The birthday broadcast of Space Junk features new Finnish electronic music, and the visual whole, Monuments of the Concrete Era, was implemented by VJ Indigo. The documentary a nominee in the Tampere Film Festival national competition 2019. This may be the first time that a radio programme – a televised version of one – is in competition at a film festival.

Tampereen elokuvajuhlien 2019 kilpailun osallistumistunnus
Tampereen elokuvajuhlien 2019 kilpailun osallistumistunnus Tampereen elokuvajuhlat,betonisen aikakauden muistomerkit

Time. We see it as change. Time means that things happen. Time means that things change. They start, are born, live, and grow. They wear, rust, and die.

Time affects everything, we can see it and hear it. But why does time appear to flow in only one direction?

If an aluminium beverage can is dropped into the forest, it might still be there a thousand years later. A plastic bottle tossed into a lake can float in the water for hundreds of years. A plastic bag dropped on the ground will not disintegrate in a hundred years. Glass in nature stays there forever.

We discard things and objects. We leave objects behind. We move forward. Or we go around in circles.

hylätty ruostunut laiva
hylätty ruostunut laiva Picture by: Indigo / Monuments of the Concrete Era laivat

Many cultures have the idea that time goes around in circles.

Events repeat themselves. Everything starts at the beginning and everything ends. There will either be a world conflagration or a flood. Everything comes to an end, and starts over. The world rises up from ashes.

Consumption, production, growth, haste. Does it feel like there is never enough time to do the most important things? That there is always something that isn't so important, but is more urgent? Something that needs to be done first? And that that is why all of the important, less urgent things are left undone? Soon those things will no longer exist.

Technology develops, new things replace the old. And new things are replaced by things that are even newer. And so on. Time passes. It moves in only one direction. We forget things We reject things. We leave them behind us.

Why are so many interesting things connected with abandoned places and objects? What do they tell us?

hylätty kerrostalo
hylätty kerrostalo Picture by: Indigo / Monuments of the Concrete Era Kerrostalo

Do they tell us a story about a yesterday that was once a tomorrow? Or a story of a tomorrow that will soon be a yesterday? They tell us about time. Time that passes and moves forward. Time that makes things rust and erode.

June 3. 2018 was the 28th anniversary of the first broadcast of Space Junk radio show. It was on the fist Sunday of June in 1990 on what was then the Radiomafia, radio channel of the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. Much has rusted and eroded since then, but what is more important, much water has flowed and new things have emerged. Plenty of new music, among other things.

In this version, which includes images, the monuments of the age of concrete, abandoned places and objects engage in dialogue with previously unheard Finnish electronic music.

The programme contains music from ten Finnish artists: Tuomo Väänänen, Kuupuu, Rasmus Hedlund , Toimi Tytti feat. Jimi Tenor, Olga Palomäki, Latmos, Tsembla, Timo Kaukolampi, Hannu Ikola and Minea.

Time passes. What if we were to stop? If we stop and look around we will see that everything has been forgotten. We see abandoned places and goods. They tell us that there is something more than the present moment.

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.― Henry David Thoreau in 1854 in his book Walden or, Life in the Woods.

An abandoned car covered with moss, a rusty ship, an empty house, and an abandoned filling station are beautiful and frightening. They are reminders of how ephemeral people are. They disintegrate slowly to become part of nature. Finally, breaking down into atoms, just like everything in the universe. Astronomers predict that when all of the stars have gone out, when their energy has been spent, all of the atoms of the universe will turn either into iron or light.

Henry David Thoreau wrote that something new is always flowing into the world. He said that life in us is like water in a river.

This article has been updated to include information on participation at the Tampere Film Festival

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