TROUBLE ON RADIO TRITON
((((((( changing (the) world(s) ))))))
‘ The struggle to survive is not really separable from the cultural life of fantasy, and the foreclosure of fantasy is one strategy for providing for the social death of persons. Fantasy is not the opposite of reality; it is what reality forecloses, and, as a result, it defines the limits of reality, constituting it as its constitutive outside. The critical promise of fantasy, when and where it exists, is to challenge the contingent limits of what will and will not be called reality. Fantasy is what allows us to imagine ourselves and others otherwise; it establishes the possible excess of the real; it points elsewhere, and when it is embodied, it brings the elsewhere home.'
Undoing Gender, 2004
For the coming months, a.pass will adopt a ‘Sci-Fi terraforming mode of attention’ to challenge the current assembly of artist-researchers with the task of creating some conditions to critically questioning our abilities to ‘render our world habitable again’.
In fact, far from proposing an innocuous escapism in the false paradise of disembodied utopias, the next a.pass block is concerned with questions addressing the possible (in)capacity of art in general to produce a change and aims to understand the (im)possible contribution of art to collective empowerment by means of artistic researching.
The hybrid dispositive of the block is designed to research, reveal, activate and share the political inventive potentialities of our artistic researches through, paradoxically, an immersion into and practice of different types of (speculative) fiction.
Which alternative worlds do our researches/practices contain and can immanently produce? How do we relate to the future via artistic-research? As artists, do we through our researches contribute to changes in contemporary culture? And if yes, then which cultures do our researches produce?
Trouble on Radio Triton is a metaphoric multipolar dispositive. A discursive and practice-based ‘lure for feeling’ and thinking. An operative alibi strategically using ‘if’s’, ‘what if’s’, ‘as if’s’ to exercise critique and imagine alternatives.
Through a permanent dialogue between practice-based research, reflection on a variety of discourses and different modes of speculation we will explore multiple but simultaneous realities induced by a proliferation of free-form 'fictionalisations' of every participants’ research in parallel with the individual development of these very researches.
What can we discover in our research by listening to it from another space – the one of fiction? Who will talk? What will talk? But also: how to listen? Where to listen from? What to listen for? And whom to listen with? How to get to more than one point of listening? What/Who will become deaf? What/Who will be silenced? What/Who will be heard?
We will present our researches three times during the block, using different forms: at first a networked portrait then a master class and finally a performative artistic-research presentation.
On Thursday mornings we will welcome several engaged practitioners in a series of reading sessions, talks and discussions curated by Pierre Rubio in collaboration with some of the artists-researchers involved in the program. They will share with us their efforts at creating conditions for imagining otherwise.
With e.g. : Sol Archer, Peggy Pierrot, Laurence Rassel, Fabrizio Terranova...
We will follow three different practice-based workshops: Alice Chauchat's Wordling from this World , Helena Dietrich's The Tea Party and a taylor-made proposal by Myriam Van Imschoot.
We will attend a series of conferences by Edward George, Paul Gilroy, Lizzie Borden and Donna Haraway.
We will collectively curate the Night Sessions: a series of evenings proposing lines of flight and unexpected connections with the program.
We will finally collaborate together at creating a true/false/real/fictional radio station: Radio Triton.
Radio Triton is the collective experimental dispositive of the block – a pedagogical and metaphorical tool. The proposal invites the participants to imagine and produce a series of audio pieces developed out of their researches and their contributions to the block. They can be produced individually or in collaboration within the ‘machine’ Radio Triton, which nature and identity we will collectively invent.
The Radio Triton ‘'program’ will follow two main trajectories. The first consisting of the recording of different forms of interviews between the artists researchers and the block-guests and second being the creation of fictional audio and sonic pieces through the application of various translation processes to the participants’ researches.
These translations/speculations will be supported by a series of sound research ateliers. Starting with ”Foley your Research” with Christian Hansen -a queer interpretation of Foley art- around the question "how does/could your research sound like?" and followed by a series of Thursday afternoon sessions curated by Pierre Rubio in collaboration with the artists-researchers. The aim of the sessions will be in finding the appropriate 'displacing questions': the futures we need to produce the audio fictions we need.
Radio Triton will simultaneously engage in the tasks of performing, documenting, archiving and broadcasting alternative -both disturbing and reassuring- ways of becoming-with-each-other otherwise.
The block and the radio dispositive are named in reference to Donna Haraway’s “invitation to stay with the trouble” and the anarchist and hedonistic science-fiction masterpiece novel by Samuel R. Delany ‘Trouble on Triton - an ambiguous heterotopia’ from 1976. The novel was partly written in a dialogue with Ursula K. Le Guin’s anarchist and feminist science fiction novel ‘The Dispossessed’, whose subtitle is ‘an ambiguous utopia’. As the subtitles imply, the two novels offer conflicting perspectives on utopia and imagine the concrete possibilities and consequences of anarchist and queer societies.
Both books inviting us to see through the trouble.
Pierre Rubio, December 2016
“The first cultural device was probably a recipient .... Many theorisers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier”. So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women's Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody with in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilise it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely foetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don't know. I don't even care. I'm not telling that story. We've heard it, we've all heard all about all the sticks spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.”
Ursula K. LeGuin in ’The Carrier bag Theory of Fiction’,
In Dancing at the Edge of the World, 1986