Considered by some as an alternate Finnish national anthem of sorts, producer Darude’s international smash hit Sandstorm has a special place in the Finnish millennial psyche. The song, released back in 2000, connects us back to a time when it could heard as old-school ringtones on Nokia phones or admired as a music video on MTV featuring a chase through a sunny Helsinki.
Having recently returned as something of a retro phenomenon, one person took it upon himself to play the Sandstorm as part of a private DJ set on on airplane, at the request of logistics tech provider Relex.
This person is no one less than DJ, visual artist and radio persona Teemu Keisteri, alias Windows95man. Keisteri’s Windows95man has rapidly become something bubbling under public persona persona in Finland and a hit in Japan(!).
Captured below is a clip of Keisteri’s plane performance, because why not.
This indeed seems to be a an authentic Keisteri: the man himself posted a quirky “rehearsal” video for the plane on Youtube a few days before this video. As a DJ, Keisteri goes for a lot of fun stuff from Italo Disco, funk, eurodance, trance, and new wave.
But let’s have a closer look at this Teemu Keisteri oddball, shall we?
Parody Combo: art school hipsters and IT workers
Known for his Windows 95 t-shirt, increasingly tight denim shorts, socks and sandals, Keisteri created Windows95man as a way of parodying IT workers and art school hipsters simultaneously. In fact, we can’t think of a better costume stunt for eclectic urban music extravaganza Flow Festival, back in 2013, for which the outfit was created. Yours truly caught a snapshot of the early incarnation of Windows95man by happenstance.
Keisteri’s endearingly dorky Windows95man persona has appeared in music videos and documentaries about Finland. In addition to embracing all things retro, Windows95man also seems to sport a kind of rebel against traditional masculinity.
That’s at least how we at Ink Tank choose to read his appearance a video for Finnish rock act Pariisin Kevät, shot and edited by Keisteri himself on old-school video gear.
Similar themes of video art are explored on Keisteri’s own Youtube and Vimeo channels: striptease in a kitchen and sinking slowly into a swamp, naked. In short, Teemu Keisteri embodies similarities to Tim and Eric in masterful transcendence of awkwardness into a… special kind of cool.
Keisteri’s colorful, naivist gender-bender Ukkeli art
Fans of naivist and bizarre art might also enjoy Keisteri’s Ukkeli character, also a fun spin on masculinity. Ukkeli came to be as a mashup of homoeroticism and greek statues, back in 2008, when Keisteri’s parents pushed the then twentysomething to get a summer job. Of course, the aspiring artist bought unmarked totebags, drew art on them and sold them in Helsinki’s parks.
The unmistakable Ukkeli and adaptions of similar characters have started appearing in cool restaurants, at music festivals and similar settings around Finland. Keisteri sells both paintings on canvas, t-shirts etc featuring his creation. Ukkeli has also appeared on the bespoke clothing of celebrities such as media personality Maria Veitola and pop star Sanni.
A year ago, Keisteri stated in an interview that he has a hard time seeing himself selling mass produced goods featuring ukkeli. Personally, I hope he changes his mind, because I’d love to buy everyone I know semi-awkward gifts with weird-nippled Ukkeli motifs.