Q&A: Heikki Kaski


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Yes, as long as I remember to: “Deeper into deeper caves” -JM. “Smart ideas never work” -Captain Blue Ice Energy Drink. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Bed bugs in my house. And maybe that youth clothing brands consisting of dynamic marketing teams revolving around one logo can create an anxiety to a whole (exaggeration) generation of rich young people to which (to the anxiety) the only cure will be the purchase of a t-shirt. Sorry if that’s not correct grammar. What is it that interests you about photography? The daily work that it involves. Colors, textures. The apparent ease. What is the worst thing about city life? I live in a very cozy city at the moment, so I have no problems in regards to this. People brightly lit in city center windows in an otherwise dark Scandinavian night, running on a row of treadmills; making both parties uncomfortable. What part of the planet would you like to explore? I could do with any place almost. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Stanislav Petrov in his moment of doubt. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Computer hacking. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? I can’t say for the most but of course there has been many situations over the years. Most of the time it’s not about having the camera, but not having the brains.

Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. For free. I could work for a really good printer, to learn. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. They come and go. How often do you take other people’s advice? I would feel less often than I should. Some advice I take very seriously though. Describe a personal hell. “Act Normal” -Captain Blue Ice ED. Which living person do you most admire? I’m having a hard time with the “most” questions. I admire Arvo Pärt. On what occasion do you lie? To a person or to a state. Clearly only to shortcut some stiffness that persists in institutions and social or economic relations. What was the last crime you witnessed? Don’t remember. What is the best way to educate yourself? “We do the thing we do, because that’s the thing we do.” What is the next book you want to read? I will read the 3rd chapter in Knausgaard My Struggle -series. Ultimate camera? I would like them to make robust cameras, a 67 with auto focus and a close enough focus distance. And bring 220 film back. Most used camera? Mamiya 645 at the moment but it’s not perfect. What object do you want? A really good van would be great. What object do you need? Can’t think of anything.

How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? I don’t know, but I like this what J. Franzen wrote in his new book: “The old Republic had certainly excelled at surveillance and parades, but the essence of its totalitarianism had been more everyday and subtle. You could cooperate with the system or you could oppose it, but the one thing you could never do, whether you were enjoying a secure and pleasant life or sitting in a prison, was not be in relation to it. The answer to every question large or small was socialism. If you substituted networks for socialism, you got the Internet. Its competing platforms were united in their ambition to define every term of your existence.” Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Why? Describe a cheap thrill. Lösgodis and folköl! Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. I don’t know, I’m trying hard to adapt to what I see right in front of my face. Are impulses more important than consequences? Related to photography? I think it’s important to try to be free when photographing. Which talent would you most like to have? Something related to playing music. Choir music. The calm constant realization that I’m not getting paid. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? I will be in the darkroom all day. Mörkrost all day.

Heikki Kaski — From the book and series Tranquility. See more at heikkikaski.com / Tumblr