Oona Tikkaoja Reality Tinkering


Everyday anomalies are fleeting curious events that take place in the middle of the familiar flow of everyday life. They are often experienced at a moment when routinized perceptive or cognitive patterns are disturbed by something different from the usual. An anomaly causes the experiencer to pause for a moment when things do not proceed as she expected. Anomalies can be spontaneously born in the environment or as perceptions of the person experiencing them, or organized by a prankster or artist. In this dissertation, I ask: How could everyday anomalies be used for recognizing the abundance in the familiar? I scrutinize the research question from two viewpoints – experience (anomalous occurrences) and production (anomalous acts) – in an attempt to determine what kind of occurrences make people experience moments of confusion in order to find suitable ways to produce new anomalies.

This work continues the tradition of avant-garde art, finding inspiration especially in the urge of Situationists and Fluxus to affect the world at large.

Reality tinkering is the application of bricolage developed during this research process. When producing lifelike art in environments that are not demarcated for art, one inevitably affects the shared reality. Reality tinkering is available to everybody because no special skills or resources are needed. It operates along two different strategies, one of which aims to cause disruptions into the flow of everyday life, and the other of which aims to help sharpen one's perception of everyday details by concentrating on them. Reality tinkering is an ethical method that aims to cause an appreciative and participatory attitude towards the world. It is essentially about the both-and mindset, instead of the either-or mindset.

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