About me

John W. Fail

Icewhistle.com (or www.johnw.fail) is the website of John W. Fail.

I am an {artist?, musician?, cultural producer?, urbanist?} based in Helsinki, Finland. My work in recent years has sought to challenge the voluntary myopia of conventional cultural structures through the development of empowerment-focused platforms and networks. Drawing on my background in literature, experimental music, and digital culture production, I’m hoping to find pathways, simultaneously challenging and fun, through the thorny swamp of monopoly platforms and market democracy.

My work generally takes the form of participatory interactions, and I try to see myself as a loose organiser (or facilitator) rather than a central artistic voice. I am highly skeptical of participation-based art that merely uses participants as actors, props, or pawns in a predetermined structure. Workshops, working groups, and other activities that I organise aim for a bidirectional mode of creative dissemination. I don’t come from a traditional art background, so my work is generally unconcerned with visual output or artworld-orientated formats. I use the term trans-disciplinary as I’m truly fascinated by the ways that people collaborate, and how the different operating philosophies of disciplines can mesh together into an unstable, shape-shifting matrix of potential.

This website contains my CV and links to my major projects (Kuusi Palaa/Temporary, Ptarmigan, Living Spaces) as well as occasional descriptions and news about my current activities.

If you would like to know more about me, please don't hesitate to get in touch.