Uneasy Ride – the Book

I made a small edition of my thesis book Uneasy Ride – Chasing Freedom, Facing Devastation available for ‘public consumption’. Published by PARAFERAL, the edition is 20 copies only. As of writing this a few copies are up for grabs via the renewed PARAFERAL website.

Written in English, rich in photographic illustrations.
Pro-printed, softcover, 80 pages.
Size 20 cm x 25 cm.

Go get yours now if interested!


This thesis examines the essential themes of the road movie film genre and their relation to certain contemporary issues and my own artistic practice. The point of view is that of a visual artist who works with moving image and sound and who reveres sovereignty and equality, suffers from climate anxiety and drives an automobile. In addition to the written part, the thesis consists of an artistic production which is a video installation.

The research material consists of a selection of films, beginning with classic American road movies. The thesis also examines a number of films that are not road movies per se, but they serve as a continuation of the themes, illustrating a vision of a near future that is undesirable but at worst inevitable. Additionally the text examines selected experimental films that are either relevant to the subject matter or influential to the author’s working methods and aesthetic practices. The literary research material includes books and articles that elaborate on the themes brought forth in the films from various points of view.

The research begins with various phenomena influential to the emergence of the road movie genre, from the developments in cinema and technology to the counterculture movements of the 1960s. The themes selected for further study are the pursuit of freedom, the rebellion, and the transformation of the passenger enabled by the journey. The themes are entwined with the Western notions of freedom and the human condition, the long history of consciousness expansion, and environmental disasters.

Additionally the text describes the two-channel video installation also called Uneasy Ride. The artistic process at the crossroads of image, sound and the selected themes is discussed. Most of the material for the work was filmed on the road. The filming trips and the writing overlapped and influenced each other, in particular the experiences of being on the road sustained the written part.

The written part of the thesis uses the films as a metaphor of the human condition and the current global problems surrounding us. The artistic part attempts to communicate on an emotional level and by audiovisual means something unattainable by words alone.


Printed Sources
Alanen, Antti and Ilppo Pohjola. Sähköiset unet. Musiikkivideot: Miten taiteesta tuli pop. Helsinki: VAPK-kustannus, 1992.
Allen, Stewart Lee. Paholaisen juoma. Translated from English by Seppo Hyrkäs. Helsinki: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö, 2000. 
Archer, Neil. The Road Movie: In Search of Meaning. New York: Wallflower Press, 2016.
Atkinson, Michael. ‘‘Crossing The Frontiers.’’ Sight and Sound 4, no. 1, January 1994. 
Berlin, Isaiah. “Two Concepts of Liberty.” Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969. 
Brakhage, Stan. Metaphors on Vision. N.p.: Film Culture Inc., 1963.
Burroughs, William S. Last Words: The Final Journals of Willliam S. Burroughs. New York: Grove Press, 2000.
Burroughs, William S. and Brion Gysin. The Third Mind. New York: The Viking Press, 1978.
Charters, Ann, ed. Beat Down to Your Soul: What Was the Beat Generation? London: Penguin Books, 2001.
Grant, Barry Keith, ed. Film Genre: Theory and Criticism. Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1977.
Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell. London: Random House, 2004.
Joseph, Branden W. Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts After Cage. New York: Zone Books, 2008.
Kerouac, Jack. Matkalla. (Finnish translation, translated by Lauri Lehtinen.) Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Tammi, 1998.
Kuri, José Férez, ed. Brion Gysin: Tuning in to the Multimedia Age. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003. 
Laderman, David. Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002.
Lebel, Robert. Marcel Duchamp. New York: Grove Press, 1959.
Lee, Martin A. & Bruce Shlain. Acid Dreams. The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, The Sixties, and Beyond. New York: Grove Press, 1985. 
McKenna, Terence. Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge. London: Rider & Company, 1992.
Möller, Olaf. “To Die Without God.” Filmihullu, June 2012. 
Pinchbeck, Daniel. How Soon is Now? From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation. London: Watkins Publishing, 2017.
Rees, A.L. A History of Experimental Film and Video. London: BFI Publishing, 1999. 
Rodley, Chris. Lynch on Lynch. (Finnish translation, translated by Lauri Lehtinen.) Helsinki: Like, 1998. 
Rubin, David S., ed. Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2010.
Rudgley, Richard. The Alchemy of Culture: Intoxicants in Society. London: British Museum Press, 1993.
Stouffer, Hannah, ed. Juxtapoz Psychedelic. Berkeley: Gingko Press, 2014.
Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture. London: The University of Chicago Press, 2006. 
Youngblood, Gene. Expanded Cinema. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co Inc., 1970.

Online Sources
Banks, Hanly. “Monte Hellman on Two Lane Blacktop and the Road Movie.” Fader, May 02, 2011. Accessed April 1, 2018. http://www.thefader.com/2011/05/02/interview-monte-hellman-on-two-lane-blacktop-and-the-road-movie
Bick, Andreas. “The Concept of ‘Sound Object’ (objet sonore) by Pierre Schaeffer.” Silent Listening. Accessed February 1, 2018. https://silentlistening.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/the-concept-of-„sound-object“-objet-sonore-by-pierre-schaeffer/ 
Briggs, Helen. “Plastic from tyres ‘major source’ of ocean pollution.” BBC News, February 22, 2017. Accessed April 6, 2018. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39042655 
Davis, Matthew. “Drive-in Theatres refuse to fade away.” BBC News, October 13, 2005. Accessed April 1, 2018. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4332896.stm 
Hartlaub, Peter. “Nicolas Cage tries, but too bad – the Ghost Rider can’t save his own movie.” SF Gate, February 17, 2007. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/REVIEW-Nicolas-Cage-tries-but-too-bad-the-2648304.php
Haslem, Wendy. “Great Directors: Maya Deren.” Senses of Cinema, December 2002. Accessed April 8, 2018. http://sensesofcinema.com/2002/great-directors/deren-2/ 
Hojnicki, Carrie. “Cracked Tales of Cocaine on Wall Street.” Business Insider, July 13, 2012. Accessed April 6, 2018. http://www.businessinsider.com/wall-street-cocaine-stories-2012-7?r=US&IR=T
Hurault-Paupe, Anne. “The paradoxes of cinematic movement: is the road movie a static genre?” Miranda [Online], 10/2014. Accessed March 7, 2018. http://miranda.revues.org/6257 
King, Tracy. “No, Max Mad Max: Fury Road is not a feminist masterpiece (but that’s OK).” The New Statesman, May 20, 2015. Accessed March 23, 2018. https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/05/no-mad-max-fury-road-not-feminist-masterpiece-s-ok
Liu, Marian. “Great Pacific Garbage Patch now three times the size of France.” CNN International Edition, March 23, 2018. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/23/world/plastic-great-pacific-garbage-patch-intl/index.html 
Long, Tony. “Sept. 26, 1983: The Men Who Saved the World by Doing… Nothing” Wired, Sept. 26, 2009. Accessed March 4, 2018. https://www.wired.com/2007/09/dayintech-0926-2/
Mondello, Bob. “Remembering Hollywood’s Hays Code, 40 Years On.” National Public Radio. Accessed April 8, 2018. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93301189 
Ojibwa. “Vision Quest Among the Southern Plains Tribes.” Native American Netroots. Accessed April 1, 2018. http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/578 
Rowin, Michael J. “Movies To Take Drugs To: Jordan Belson’s Trippy Shorts.” LA Weekly, March 24, 2011. Accessed April 7, 2018. http://www.laweekly.com/film/movies-to-take-drugs-to-jordan-belsons-trippy-shorts-2169707
Shea, Andrea. “Jack Kerouac’s Famous Scroll, ‘On the Road’ Again.” National Public Radio. Accessed March 30, 2018. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11709924 
Siff, Stephen. “The Illegalization of Marijuana: A Brief History.” Origins vol. 7, issue 8, May 2014. Accessed April 8, 2018. http://origins.osu.edu/article/illegalization-marijuana-brief-history/ 78 / 
Simner, Julia. “Why are there different types of synesthete?” Frontiers of Psychology, September 2, 2013. Accessed April 10, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3759026/
Singer, Leigh. “Blue Velvet: five films that influenced David Lynch’s shocking masterpiece.” BFI, updated June 16, 2017. Accessed April 8, 2018. http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/features/blue-velvet-five-films-influenced-david-lynch-s-shocking-masterpiece
Smith, Kyle. “Why ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is the feminist picture of the year.” New York Post, May 14, 2015. Accessed March 23, 2018. https://nypost.com/2015/05/14/why-mad-max-fury-road-is-the-feminist-picture-of-the-year/
Sragow, Michael. “Steven Spielberg: Force Behind the Box Office, From ‘Jaws’ to ‘E.T.’” Rolling Stone. Accessed April 2, 2018. https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/features/a-conversation-with-steven-spielberg-19820722 
Sugrue, Thomas J. “Driving While Black: The Car and Race Relations in Modern America”. Automobile in American Life and Society. Accessed April 1, 2018. http://www.autolife.umd.umich.edu/Race/R_Casestudy/R_Casestudy.htm
Wallace, David Foster. “David Lynch Keeps His Head.” Premiere, September 1996. Published online at http://www.lynchnet.com/lh/lhpremiere.html – accessed August 8, 2018.
Zazarine, Paul. “Kowalski’s Last Ride.” Muscle Car Review, March 1986. Published online at http://www.angelfire.com/id/newssection/VP.html – accessed May 23, 2018.
Zizek, Slavoj. “On David Lynch.” Zizek.uk, March 1, 2012. Accessed 23 July, 2018. http://zizek.uk/on-david-lynch/
“Drowning in plastic: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of France.” The Telegraph, April 24, 2009. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/5208645/Drowning-in-plastic-The-Great-Pacific-Garbage-Patch-is-twice-the-size-of-France.html “Ghost Rider.” Rotten Tomatoes. Accessed January 31, 2018. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ghost_rider/
“Sea Level Rise & Global Warming.” Union of Concerned Scientists. Accessed July 30, 2018. https://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/infographic-sea-level-rise-global-warming.html
“Vanishing Point (1971).” Elonet Kansallisfilmografia. Accessed April 9, 2018. https://www.elonet.fi/fi/elokuva/115119

Film & Video
Belson, Jordan, dir. Mandala. 1953. YouTube video, 00:40, excerpt. Posted by “Cvm Programs”, June 11, 2017. Accessed July 30, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH60wa2TuSk
Belson, Jordan, dir. Allures. 1961. YouTube video, 07:17. Posted by “Denial”, October 30, 2017. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlcB5psKz5Y
Brakhage, Stan, dir. Cat’s Cradle. 1959. YouTube video, 06:20. Posted by “Sergio Mota”, November 22, 2008. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cur2P5Ym3Yw
Brakhage, Stan, dir. Mothlight. 1963. YouTube video, 03:25. Posted by “phospheneca”, June 4, 2009. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt3nDgnC7M8 
Brakhage, Stan, dir. Dog Star Man. 1961-64. YouTube video, 1:14:33. Posted by “Andrew Balauger”, November 21, 2016. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb5Ko_sTwlc 
Conrad, Tony, dir. The Flicker. 1966. YouTube video, 01:39, excerpt. Posted by “REVOIRVIDEO”, July 20, 2012. Accessed June 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY5VryfCRig
Hellman, Monte, dir. Two-Lane Blacktop. 1971. Vimeo video, in two parts, 53:25 and 49:35. Posted by “Car Chase Wonderland”. Accessed January 14, 2018. Part 1: https://vimeo.com/196953402 Part 2: https://vimeo.com/197761616
Hopper, Dennis, dir. Easy Rider. 1969. Netflix, 95:00. Accessed December 6, 2017.
Lynch, David, dir. Lost Highway. 1997. N.p.: Sandrew Metronome, 2002. DVD. 
Lynch, David, dir. Wild at Heart. 1990. N.p.: Universal, 2010. Blu-ray. 
Lynch, David, dir. The Straight Story. 1990. N.p.: Channel 4, 2008. DVD.
Miller, George, dir. Mad Max. 1979. Solna: Warner Bros, 2013. Blu-ray.
Miller, George, dir. Mad Max II: The Road Warrior. 1981. Solna: Warner Bros, 2013. Blu-ray.
Miller, George, dir. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. 1985. Solna: Warner Bros, 2013. Blu-ray.
Miller, George, dir. Mad Max: Fury Road. 2015. Solna: Warner Bros, 2015. Blu-ray. 
Nguyen, Jon, dir. David Lynch: The Art Life. 2016. Yle Teema, March 21, 2018.
Pohjola, Ilppo, dir. Asphalto. 1998; Helsinki: Crystal Eye, 2004. DVD.
Pohjola, Ilppo, dir. Routemaster. 1999; Helsinki: Crystal Eye, 2004. DVD.
Pohjola, Ilppo, dir. 1 Plus 1 Plus 1 – Sympathy for the Decay. 2012. Helsinki: Crystal Eye, 2012. DVD (screening preview disc).
Salles, Walter, dir. On the Road. 2012. Yle Teema, March 9, 2016.
Sarafian, Richard C., dir. Vanishing Point. 1971. N.p.: Twentieth Century Fox, 2006. DVD.
Snow, Michael dir. Seated Figures. 1988. Vimeo video, 22:15, excerpt. Posted by “Images Festival”. Accessed January 31, 2018. https://vimeo.com/40316663
Spielberg, Steven, dir. Duel. 1971. YouTube video, 1:29:14. Posted by “Jill Shirley Dini”, February 23, 2017. Accessed March 23, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc9kpbxufRA
Starr, Jason, dir. Reflecting Thought: Stan Brakhage. 1985. YouTube video, 27:27. Posted by “CircuitoNomadica”, February 28, 2015. Accessed July 27, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tVu_AT_zk8 
Whitney, John, dir. Permutations. 1968. YouTube video, 7:53. Posted by “jordotech”, December 14, 2015. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdYxJ85RSds
Whitney, John, dir. Matrix. 1971. YouTube video, 6:20. Posted by “jordotech”, December 14, 2015. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryKT1uIPIaI

Judas Priest. Defenders of the Faith. N.p: Columbia, 1984. LP.
Various Artists. Easy Rider (Music from the Soundtrack). N.p.: Universal, 2000. CD.
Various Artists. Lost Highway. N.p.: Nothing Records, 1996. CD.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.