How making kin with the secondary river valleys?
Bruocsella a resilient movement for room to secondary river valleies
- Ecole Mondiale
- Start at Zenne Garden
- 22 May 2019
- 22 May 2019
PORTFOLIO // LUCIA PALLADINO AND PIERO RAMELLA 17 January 2020
- case of: Lucia Palladino
Research Center 19/III - Reviewing emergence cleaning is just another approach to messing up
- Cared by Nicolas Y Galeazzi
- 01 September 2019
- 30 November 2019
PEACH BASKETS - THREE ANGLES ON BALANCING End-Communications of Caterina Mora, Laura Pante and Maurice Meewisse
- 27 September 2019
- 28 September 2019
The thing called "Portfolio" "why" this is "what" it is?
- case of: Caterina Mora
Writing into becoming water an instant conversation
- Marialena Marouda, Christina Stadlbauer and Nicolas Geleazzi
victories over the suns projects / events / agenda
- a.pass Research Centre Associates in residence
- ZSenne ART Lab / Brussels
- 24 June 2019
- 14 July 2019
Body Virtual Institution End-Communications - Nassia Fourtouni, Goda Palekaitė and Katinka Van Gorkum
- @ Hacktiris (6th floor) - Rue Paul Devauxstraat 3, 1000 Brussel
- 31 May 2019
- 01 June 2019
BLOCK 19/I UNSETTLED STUDY curated by Vladimir Miller
- 07 January 2019
- 31 March 2019
- case of: Vladimir Miller
TEXTS RESEARCH Geert Vaes: 'Masks and play as tools of awareness and knowledge production' 21 September 2018
- case of: Geert Vaes
- Some years ago I gave a workshop in Helsinki called ‘Pretend To Be Old’. I was playing the character of Walter Bourdin (with one of my highly realistic silicone masks). Walter helped the people to create wrinkles with liquid latex and chalk powder. The persons attending the workshop attached weights to their joints and on their backs in order to move more like an aged person, they changed their voices, and eventually, we walked through Helsinki in a parade of fake old people. After the workshop, we sat together to talk about our experiences. People were very positive: they had had very new and unexpected experiences in pretending to be old.
- In my second block, I had the artist and economist Kate Rich as a mentor. One idea I briefly developed with her was to use Airbnb for my work. Airbnb started to offer the possibility to advertise Experiences. The experience I want to create is giving tourists the opportunity to visit Brussels as somebody else. I would venture into the field of micro-tourism. I invite tourists to travel into someone else’s skin. I want to offer a two-day experience:
- Miss Piggy
- Tommie Has Milk
PIECE ME BACK TOGETHER (AGAIN) End-Communications
- 14 September 2018
- 16 September 2018
Milieus, associations, sieves and other matters... 24 April 2018
- BLOCK 18/II
- 30 April 2018
- 02 September 2018
- CURATED BY PIERRE RUBIO
- case of: Pierre Rubio
Performing knowledge. Lecture-performances in perspective
- Pieter Vermeulen
- ARIA - Antwerp
- 09 March 2018
- 09 February 2018
BLOCK DIARY / SLOW, RANDOM & LINKED WRITING & THINKING 24 January 2018
- 01 January 2018
- 29 April 2018
- case of: Geert Vaes
a.pass seminar and master classes: The Document Transformed + Book Launch Juan Dominguez 11 May 2017
- La Bellone, Brussels
- 22 June 2017
- 24 June 2017
- case of: Lilia Mestre
LANDINGS end presentation 2017
- SOFIA CAESAR VARINIA CANTO VILA CHRISTIAN HANSEN BRENDAN MICHAL HESHKA ANOUK LLAURENS ARIANNA MARCOLINI AGNES SCHNEIDEWIND
- Morpho, Rue Gallaitstraat 80, 1030 Schaarbeek, Brussel
- 20 January 2017
- 21 January 2017
A silent group visit to my father's house 22 April 2016
- Séba Hendrickx
- 16 June 2016
BUBBLE SCORE SESSION #2 11 January 2016
- 20 January 2016
- 20 January 2016
- Seba > Robin > Mala
- find your blind spot
- when your blind spot dissappeared give him new life with a color of your choice
- whisper something nice to your blind spot
- place your blind spot somewhere in the space
VAN 01 December 2015
- Jack Hauser & Sabina Holzer
- 15 February 2016
- 19 February 2016
dirty room 01 August 2015
- Juan Dominguez
- a.pass studio
- 12 October 2015
- 22 October 2015
The Participants Feedback From the immersible site specific experiment at PAF
- case of: Tinna Ottesen
REPERTOIRE 24 November 2014
- Eric Thielemans
- 05 January 2015
- 09 January 2015
- Memory-personal history-(personal) mythology childhood memories of practices and tendencies related to your practices and tools of today: a mental, virtual, imaginative, psycho-emotional landscape. First memories. teenage memories…
Relation to the choice of practice? Why that practice? Why that mode of expression? One can see a technique, practice or tool as a prism that reflects the light in a specific way so it also constitutes your perception of things. A technique/practice/tool is a teacher. How do you relate to your chosen mode(s) of expression in those terms? Why did you choose it? Was that always easy?
Is there a sort of archetypal persona that you like to use specifically or to play off when performing/working? How do you see yourself? Are you a troubadour, a researcher, a botanist, a scientist, philosopher,...
- postures-spatial relationship-environment-pulse-tempo-stasis-mobility-voyage immobile- dynamics.
Which postures and dynamics do you relate to most. Is there a repertoire of postures and dynamics for you? Do you like to sit or stand in a certain way? Do you prefer to move? Along which lines related to the room do you move? Do you relate to directions (up, down, left, right), center stage or front, back stage...Posture-Mobility...Dynamics: are you loud and clear in your expression or do you prefer soft and moderate. When intimate, non-performing, which mode of expression do you use? Is there an internal clock, rhythm, frequency to which you tick or more than one? What inner tempo do you relate to when creativity flows? Is it one tempo or more than one at the same time? Mobility versus stasis: How do you relate to movement, mobility? How do you deal with stasis, a fixed position in a space or stage? Voyage Immobile....
- repetition Repertoire = Repetition: without repetition there is no notion of repertoire. Hence Patterns. A repertoire develops through time. We write it like a story using tools like mirroring and feedback from peers, society... Which patterns do we rely on, did we create for, through our craft? Maybe you have a repertoire of techniques that are either posture based or are related to an obscure imaginary place, nourished by life experiences? Patterns maybe in how you like to go from one part to another in your writing? How do you relate to continuity and discontinuity?
- Love list: Think of a list of specific techniques, things you really like doing or touching, having when dealing with your practice.
- “I could do this for hours”: What is it in your practice that you like so much that you litteraily can do it for hours?
- As a start of the january block with the workshop; knowing that we will be part of a quite large and pretty heterogenous group of writers, researchers, artists with a practise etc... I would like you to introduce yourself and your practices, techniques and tools.
- Out of your answers or reactions to these questions and notions posted above, I want you to distill a number (minimum 3) of objects of your repertoire. Those objects you will also propose individually to the group as an alternative way of introducing ourselves to each other with what we do or are here to do.
- Make an organigram/cosmology/score of those objects on a paper. Express the relationship between those objects and how you are positioned or travel between them. Use if possible some notions like mobility, frequency, time, tempo, up, down, left, right, imagination,...
Make this any way you feel like. A drawing, a collage, a catalogue, a text,... Use any format you wish.
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
(this workshop is part of the opening week and compulsory for everyone!!)
I'm Eric Thielemans, trained and drowned in a musical practice. I'm a drummer, composer and sound artist with a broad range of interests and experience with cross, multi en interdisciplinary artistic collaborations. For the last couple of years my artistic practice became more research based and reflective, and my work was touched by that evolution. I'm proposing a workshop in apass at the beginning of the january block. The workshop deals with the notion(s) of repertoire. Of what stuff are they made? How did they come about? I did this work once before with my musical ensemble EARR. It will be a first time for me to adapt the questions and reflections to a wider and multidisciplinary field of expertise and practices. In order to use our time well during this week, I propose an introduction text and some questions that are meant to open up the reflective juices. I would kindly like to ask you to prepare the sessions based on the questions and preparative tasks you will find underneath. It will make the workshop and sharing surely richer and denser. So, here we go. Looking forward to meet you in january.
If you have questions regarding this document and how to deal with the questions, you can reach out to me by mail: email@example.com.
repertoire - the entire range of skills or aptitudes or devices used in a particular field or occupation; "the repertory of the supposed feats of mesmerism"; "has a large repertory of dialects and characters" - The range or number of skills, aptitudes, or special accomplishments of a particular person or group.
For this workshop I’m looking for the entire range of skills, patterns, aptitudes in which we come home to. I really like to connect “repertoire” with “home”. “Practice” with “life”. As in: “Something to come home to.”
Repertoire(s) is a research and reflective workshop in which I see us all, like a bunch of passionate amateur entomologues (insectologues...), observe,repertorise , taxonomise, and share the constitutive phenomenons of our life with our craft and the repertory of skills, tools, techniques, practices that we use to build that life. Furthermore we will investigate various strategies and ways to weave the sensibilities, disciplines and practices of each participant together into meaningful wholes or collective spaces and cosmologies.
First the focus will lie on each of us individually. For this I have formulated some questions and notions (see under) for you to get started and prepare the first 2 days of our week. After that we will dive into group related observations. How do we behave as a group? What’s the repertoire of the group? How do we deal with the multidisciplinary aspect of it all? Off coarse this separation individual-group is artificial and not always easy to keep but I think it will give us a strategy, plan, focus and ground during the work.
I also want us to look for appropriate ways to propose this work in a performative situation.
At the end of the workweek, on friday, we will propose a showing of the work in which there will be place for each individual to share and propose some of his/her findings and reflections in whatever way suitable as well as there will be group propositions.
List of questions and notions to get you started:
APPLY TO THE A.PASS PROGRAMMESSIGN UP TO EVENTORDER
This text was written for the magazine of the Steirischer Herbst Festival (Austria). Although the text addresses the specific spatial situation of PAF (Performing Arts Forum) in Reims (a place where a.pass goes at least once per block for a week during End Week), the thinking and writing process around this text was largely constructed around the notions of space as developed in the series of Settlement workshops that were created by current APC Vladimir Miller, and that greatly influenced the notions of ‘performative space’ and scenography as they are developed in a.pass.
SPACES AS TOOLS
One lonely dancer lies meditating on the grass, a challenging philosophical treatise opened on page 213 next to him. From the open windows of the nearby room the sound of a theatre rehearsal, eerily repetitive, its harshness clashing with the idyllic surroundings. The peacocks look through the window of the corner studio at a yoga session. A group of American runaway brides (with fitting gowns) returns from a work session in the nearby woods, their conversations incomprehensible to the uninitiated onlooker. And in every corridor, every time you enter the kitchen, two or more people are discussing politics, the arts, food, practicalities, planning parties, the evening film program, or inviting the others to their showings or work. Not the most typical PAF-day maybe, but surely a possible one.
PAF stands for Performing Arts Forum: a former convent reoriented towards artists, actionists and thinkers in the French Champagne. The 6400 sq feet building was bought by the Dutch theatre maker Jan Ritsema in 2007 (2008?), and has since then functioned as an open space for artists and theoreticians from over the whole world. On its website, the place introduces itself as:
- a forum for producing knowledge in critical exchange and ongoing discursive practice
- a place for temporary autonomy and full concentration on work
- a tool-machine where one can work on developing methods, tools and procedures, not necessarily driven toward a product
- a place for experimenting with other than known modes of production and organization of work, e.g. open source production.
1. The malaise of a generation
In a way this description echoes the concerns of artists in the performing and other scenes of the last ten years and more. The artistic scene has little by little found itself squeezed between governmental compartmentation (through often ill-fitting and politically motivated subsidy systems) and the seductive call of the enterprise-funded 'creative industries', paving the way for an understanding of the artist as either a well-prepared and policy-aware dossier-writer, or a self-proclaimed entrepreneur totally in line with the neo-liberal ethics of self-realization, mobility and economic common sense.
Trying to go against the grain of the times, countless artists have expressed the need and the urgency to escape these corsets of survival by pointing out their toxic by-products: the subsidy system in the well-founded European scene has started to create a way of working and an aesthetics that is not primarily based on artistic choice and necessity, but on the possibilities of touring (and reaching your minimum quota of presentations), networking (getting as much prominent arts centres to back up your project), and formatting (ideally a performance should fit as many venues as possible, not be too costly, and be adaptable to the regular programming strategies of the field). The kind of work that escapes these constraints is often overlooked or doesn't find its way into the regular programmation.
In that sense the self-organized artist model, which depends largely on grants , sponsoring or cooperation with commercial institutions and enterprises might seem a less hypocritical choice for some. And it is true that some company grant systems (Cartier, Siemens, …) have in the last decades built themselves a reputation on supporting often experimental and challenging artists, without posing banal economic constraints on their output. But even in these 'ideal' circumstances, for a lot of artists this kind of recuperation of the artist's position, equalling it to the position of any middle-of-the-road creative worker for any progressive neo-liberal company, does seem to deprive him of any credible critical bite.
Now, it is not the case that in the time span of the last twenty years nothing has been done to accommodate this malaise in the arts. The (European) subsidiary system for example, has invested a lot of resources in the creation of residency spaces, laboratory situations, exchange programs and learning environments that should fill the gap between the artist's needs and the governmental policies. On a large scale, networking and exchange between artists from different countries has been promoted, festivals have echoed the concerns of the neo-liberalisation of the arts, economy and ecology have entered the arts debates, etc… But in the end, the last word was and is still given to the subsidizer: the one who pays decides. And however close the bureaucratized commissions, jury's, cabinets and programmers might come to an understanding of the arts, their strategies and ideologies will always be primarily oriented towards the survival and sustainability of the institution, on the uni-formization of the field (to make it more efficient and manageable), and on the transparent and seductive promo-talk demanded by the communication departments.
And, even more importantly, the artistic sector these last years has been cringing under the hot breath of the increasingly right-oriented politics. Recently, in the Netherlands, the funding for the experimental performance sector got all but eliminated. Portugal since one year no longer has a Minister of Culture. France is giving reign to a neo-conservative arts ideology and so forth. Not even speaking about the countless countries in the East that have no budget for the experimental arts scene whatsoever.
2. Artistic self-organization as a way out of the impasse
In answer to the above-mentioned reserves, artists everywhere in the world have been working on creating alternative models and frames for the development of their own work. An endeavor that has been tinged by the pull from both the comfort of the subsidized scene, and the self-promoting grandeur of the self-made artist.
On the one hand for a lot of artists it is hard to survive out of the subsidiary system. Moreover, their dependent statute is often even structurally enhanced by the dole regulation, favoring the artist's special needs by equalling his practice to a gilded form of unemployment. Artists in the well-to-do-countries of today have grown up with the promise of employment, however badly paid. In Belgium, whole weeks are organized under the title First Aid for artist, in which the statute of the beginning artist on the market is discussed. The concern is how to get all these aspiring young creatives working in a field that seems to be overproducing already. Much like the Swiss cows whose milk production largely surpasses the European needs, artists seem to be kept (barely) alive for the wrong reasons. Where the cows are necessary props in the creation of the 'typical' Swiss mountain landscape, the artists kind of function as a band aid for the total lack of political resistance and discussion that rules the current political era.
So artists have been residency-hopping and networking and realizing themselves like the projects they are, no longer only to sell their goods, but to attain the necessary visibility that will get them invited in think tanks, experimental set-ups and laboratories all over, the one even more critical than the other. However productive these environments might have proved to be, most of these projects come with a price: the working spaces are institutionally tagged, have a limit of validation, have to answer to certain expectations and norms. Just like any other sector in society, the arts have to prove their in- and outcomes, their future visions, their unique selling position, and the originality of their discourse. Not unreasonably, if you follow the logic of the subsidizer. From an artist's point of view, however, these discussion groups and projects often don't reach their goal: for economic reasons the time of working is often too short, or not completely answering the needs of those present. Nor do they feel the need to comply to the desire for the clear profile marketing of the institution inviting them.
Also, as makers, artists have expressed the need to think of other production systems than the 'typical' career model proposed to the artists in the 1980's. The model of the sole author-artist, inventing his or her own esthetics, has been replaced by a much more critical and historically anchored view on how these artists themselves very quickly become commodities in a system that is in constant search for the 'new'. Artists have started to look for other ways of being together, of producing 'symbolic capital', of developing discourse, that can not so easily be recuperated and branded by the artistic economy. Mixing up recognizable solo identities, artists have been working under collective names, often changing the belonging to the 'group' underway, or working on ongoing researches involving very different participants at every stage. What they put into question is not so much the value of the artistic gesture, but the ownership over the material, the ideas, the producing and creation of the artistic material. Whereas in the practice of the Artist (I represent the model of the sole self-created artist from here on simply by adding the capital A) was largely concerned with the unicity of his production, creating his value on the artist market on the basis of scarcity, newness and shock-value, the artists we talk about in this text are rather concerned with the practices of sharing, of questioning themselves as the centre of gravity, of relating to other (historical, political, economic, discourse) realities. In these contexts, the practice becomes as important as the outcome, the way of organizing the work as important as the work itself, the way of dealing with collaborators a significant part of the trajectory leading up (or not) to a public moment.
But for this to become a viable artistic practice, another kind of spaces has to be created: spaces that are no longer governed by subsidy policies or economic (un)common sense, but by artists themselves. Places that are not under the reign of profiling and networking, not dubbed as subsidiary placeholders for artistic merit, but simply places to work, that take into account the simple but pressing needs of the artists and thinkers concerned.
3. Spaces as tools
It is important at this point to focus a bit more closely on this need for sharing, for flexible collaboration, that seems to encompass a lot of artist's projects in the last decades. In a lot of the PAF discussions over the years, these notions have been put into question: what is the common ground explored here? What is to be shared and in what form? What is the underlying logic of the space? etc…
Since I just spent three weeks in a space called 'The Settlement', created by artist Vladimir Miller, let us just elaborate a little bit on these notions. As mentioned in the website description of PAF describing itself as a tool, The Settlement as well functioned not so much as a metaphoric space mirroring society, nor as an artistic project to be realized through collaboration, but simply as a 'protospace': an open space filled with non-functional materials, used as a workspace by an unlimited group of people during three weeks time. The participants of this group could rearrange the materials to their own content, and adapt the space every day to the needs of their personal projects. What resulted out of this way of working was a space in constant transition. Momentary moments of clarity, of crystallization of function or meaning (a heap of wooden crates and metal rectangles becoming a recognizable 'desk', three isolation sheets used repeatedly as 'cinema') dissolved into new constructions over the days, charging the space with ever-changing points of focus of attention and activity. What was shared in this settlement was thus not an idea of a theme or a goal, nor a drive for the creation of spaces for 'sociality', but simply the need to work and be of everyone of the participants. In other words, instead of a group of people gathering around a project and a shared belief about what this project could be or lead to, their only stronghod was an idea of 'commonality': a 'mentality of being together', always on the verge of crystallizing into a temporary self-understood community, but always as well dissolving before this point of a shared understanding and identity was achieved.
If we try to distinguish the community from the communality, I would propose for this text to talk about 'community' as a group that is bounded to a shared value system on the grounds of a recognizable ideology or idea system on which the members of the community agree (or choose to disagree). A community in that sense is based on an initial agreement, however flimsy, and with that agreement comes the appropriation of the individual's contributions, placing them under the banner of a shared territory. In that sense the community is settled, no longer in motion, but as any closed system, in constant dialogue with the outside world.
(Now, we are talking about an abstract understanding of 'community', since on an individual level, we know we nowadays live under the banner of (often a lot) of very different communities, often in flagrant contradiction to each other on the level of ethics, esthetics and politics. This is exactly what makes agency and decision-making, in and out of the artistic sector, such a difficult endeavor today. But this is another discussion).
In contrast and in accordance to this understanding of 'community' I would like to place the sense of 'commonality'. Not based on territory (1), commonality has to be understood as a process, as the forming-of-temporary-localities, as a movement on the way to another one. In this context value is not created on the basis of a common belief, but can only be relative to the situation and what is happening in it. Value in this sense can not be recuperated in this temporary zone, it can only be negotiated through the handling of the objects, through the creation of fleeting situations, through the (unspoken) communal debate. Value is, in other words, not dependent on ideological agreement, but can only be understood as 'practice value': whatever enhances the practice and makes it move is valuable for the commonality. Therefore the politics of The Settlement is a politics of circulation, of knowledge and ideas moving from locality to locality, often separated from their original creators, picked up by someone else and left behind again for someone else to find, interpret and restart with.
In relating this experience to PAF, I think the rephrasing of a space as a tool, as a temporary locality for people to move through, work with and reinterpret, is a valid one. Although radically different in scale and scope, The Settlement and PAF have this in common that they undo the strings attached to artist workspaces as they are mostly understood. The building is both an instrument and a project in itself: whatever you get out of it, you somehow give back to the space, charging it with renewed perspectives and ideas. PAF only has three rules that have to be followed by all residents:
1. Don't leave traces
2. Make it possible for others
3. The do-er decides
In other words: all residents somehow share a common understanding of the building as an instrument for the development of their personal practice, but every one of them can develop another perspective on what that means. But at the same time, the building is not a silent partner: it is a resistant object, that carries a lot of traces of former use, not always literally materialized, but certainly abundant in the atmosphere, the kind of discussions that prevail, the working attitude, the library, the books sold etcetera… As a privately owned initiative, PAF does carry the stamp of its owner, the critical attitude induced by his presence and legacy. But its sheer size (50 rooms, 15 working spaces) makes any kind of controlled discourse or practice impossible. The uniqueness of PAF probably lies exactly there: that the size and the potential of it gets picked up simultaneously by very different groups of people, which makes it at the same time ungovernable and inspiring. The diverse uses of time (long-time residents mixing with hazardous weekend hoppers), space (the same studio used for performing, midnight dinners, exorcisms and political discussions), and exchange (everything from the lone wolf to the societal preacher), keep the space from closing up, from becoming a territory with a recognizable and forbidding identity. Although three times a year PAF organizes communal activities (the SummerUniversity, WinterUpdateMeeting and SpringMeeting) for more or less restricted participants, even those gatherings are proposed rather as a space for re-thinking and re-arranging than as moments of 'passing on the candle' to the next generation. Also at these moments, the different temporalities become clear within the unlimited body of potential residents: some struggling with questions that were circulating since years already, others looking for a way forward, thus stretching up the current moment towards past and future. Digging up the remains of former discussions for redigestion while planting new seeds at the dinner table.
(1) The thoughts on territory and locality and the rest of this paragraph are largely based on a conversation with Vladimir Miller in The Settlement
01 April 2015
posted by: Tinna Ottesen
Those who entered the room were asked to take a book with them that had instructions on both the front and the back side.
On the front it said : "Open this book at the end of your time and follow the instructions on page 1"
On the back it said : "Please play with the space. I recommend aprox. 15 minutes inside. Try to walk upright.
[gallery columns="2" link="file" size="large" ids="2558,2559"]
These were the instructions on page 1 :
( 1. Fill out the graph with 2 factors of your own choice. One for the - - - line & one for the
2. Draw your movements from inside the room. )
Here are the drawn feedbacks :
- case of: Tinna Ottesen
performative conference and presentations by
SAMAH HIJAWI, PHILIPPINE HOEGEN,
CECILIA MOLANO, SARA SANTOS,
GOSIE VERVLOESEM & VERIDIANA ZURITA
29 (5-10pm) - 30/5 (12.30-11pm)
(click here for detailed program)
@ Aleppo - Dexia Art Centre - Schildknaapstraat/Rue de l’Ecuyer 50, 1000 Brussel
For Volver, a.pass is a guest at Aleppo, a laboratory of experiments in performance and politics, in residency at the Académie Royale des Beaux Arts Bruxelles
In the frame of Aleppo's research project ‘Back to the Order’, six artistic researchers of a.pass will discuss, perform, exhibit and share their different takes on notions of ‘order’ and its simultaneous resonances of ease and discomfort, of political rigidity and potential, of aesthetic boredom and political reconsideration. Exploring the shifting territories of an order to be reconstructed, a.pass proposes ‘volver’ as an incentive to become involved, to revolve around recurring and shared interests, to recompose history in the aftermaths of an imploded revolution.
Departing from our individual projects we will dive into our researches, and approach concepts such as the domestic, evolving identities, (the act of) display(ing) and artistic production as the shifting ground on which the idea of order and its consequences can be explored and activated.
On Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th of May, we invite you for performances, film screenings and installations, to share in the artistic research processes, participate in workshops and attend lectures and presentations by the guests of the researchers: Patricia Reed, Gonçalo Pena and Petra van Brabant.
THE WANDERING SINGER OF TALES
This work is an exploration of the aesthetics of loss, and the images recreated - by the looser - of a place and a time that perpetuates through fragile narratives, utopic images, and nostalgic songs - tokens and emblems for preserving memory. Located in political and artistic histories around Palestine, 'The Wandering Singer of Tales' questions the temporality of images reproduced of lost places, and how these function in the present following a ruptured historical trajectory of dislocation, trauma and exile in the last century.
one-to-one performative installation
Writing becomes trace. An unthinkable process of alchemy. Each word is, again, what it was before becoming a word: an image, a hesitation, a movement.
Narrative melts into drawings. Life remains there, in the paper, as a footprint. The diary is an invented document: the fiction of oneself.
In this work we turn back to the place of words before being articulated.
This installation is an experiment in co-writing, reading and (re)creating.
VERSIONS AND DISPLAYS
Video Installation, Performative Interventions
Versioning - as in: regarding objects in the way they appear to us as versions of themselves - means that other versions are possible, probable. Different versions are present simultaneously and may become perceptible through a slight shift of perspective or a change in the gaze. The point of this exercise is a rearrangement of relations between things. Traits, qualities and characteristics that were assumed to be constitutive for ‘our’ of ‘their’ selves, are questioned and relativized; they may in fact simply be a consequence, an outcome, of the angle at which you are looking. This implies fluidity in the nature of relations, it destabilises presumptions and assumptions. It is a way to understand the constant flux in the order of relations between things.
Undergoing (Another Version, 2015), or trying to embody (Regarding David and Dividing David, 2 performances, 2015) are ways in which I attempt to see or experience things –objects, situations, myself- from more or other sides than the given frame allows. Unraveling through history different narratives about an object constructed and deconstructed through display (The Borneo Trophy, performance, 2015) or re-ordering the display (Arena, video installation, 2015) are strategies to shift or look beyond the frame, producing different objects, or more precisely different versions: the object as a different version of itself.
Excavate (‘ekska, veit) vb excavates, excavating, excavated. 1 to remove (soil, earth etc.) by digging; dig out. 2 to make (hole or tunnel) in (solid matter) by hollowing. 3 to unearth (buried objects) methodically to discover information about the past. (C16: from L. cavãre to make hollow, from cavus hollow).
The dead heroes are closer to a ruin-state than to glorious, tragic death. Putting aside the epic patina, ruin is a romantic process of decay. The hero itself is the embodiment of a zombie ideology, a living-dead, a transition. By ideology, I mean immaterial constructions (symbolic ‘texts’) that impact and condition our experience of the world, and ultimately become materialized in it.
Coming back to ‘an order’ unfolds a discussion about how the common experience of a crisis (war, uprising, revolution, disaster..) becomes inscribed, or eventually, cultural. My research focusses on the left-over materials of a given crisis, on the symbolic objects of those experiences, and their trajectory towards an eventual stabilization into oblivion.
How do they change into something else, or stay resilient? Resonating for decades, they appear as distortions of contexts long gone.
The answer on how to cope with the chaos in our daily lives lies at the bottom of a Tupperware box. 'Recipes for Disaster / The Magazine/Tupperware Party’ cooks up crucial questions: how to argue for messy and less sterile life in times of Ebola? And, how to free ourselves from the quarantine of our own bathroom?
Everybody knows Tupperware, the handy plastic boxes to store and conserve food, for eternity. 'Recipes for Disaster” uses the format of the Tupperware Party (women getting together around the kitchen table to attend demonstrations of shiny plastic boxes.) And at the same time disrupts the idea that everything can be nicely stored away.
For 3 months I have been working together with a riverside community in the Amazon on re-enactments of Brazilian soap operas. I spent 3 days with each family and used their house as the studio for filming. Eating what they eat, sleeping as they do, watching what we watch: soaps. Every night we looked at the soap and picked a scene to re-enact the next day. While re-enacting different logics of appropriation were inaugurated. The way soaps seem to order language and physicality were disturbed by those re-enacting it.
During a talk I will share some of the footage, the working methodologies, the context and ideas around the first edition of this ongoing project.
workshops & lectures
lecture - Sat 4.45pm
‘Order’ in and of itself, is a structural proposition in which sets of functions, behaviours, relations and norms can play out (while making other operations impossible or extremely difficult to carry out). Within the ‘social’, order is largely cultural, meaning productively artificial, subject to infinite mutability. So to demand ‘order’ is not (necessarily) to seek to submit oneself to relations of authoritarian dominance, but to seize upon structural possibilities as a project for construction. ‘Order’, in this way, is mobilised as an affirmative project - a freedom to construct new systems of cohabitation (rather than simply a freedom from something). read more
Master Class - Sat 12.30 to 3.30pm
Within a conscious danger of falling back into romanticist politics and trying to avoid this trap, I would take this idea of an ethical or even several ethical lines to think drawing as one of the tools we have to challenge politics of smoothing and soothing the collective body onto mindless consumerism. It is important to state that this collective body has still a human multitudinous and restless soul, from which the annoying and frequent twitches call for permanent police vigilance. Moreover this body comes from the box including with it technology and complete ecosystems. So it comes the time where this soul struggles and seem itself forced to draw her painful lines of choice, discovery, recovery of concepts and criticism. read more
PETRA VAN BRABANDT
DISRUPTION IS STILL TO COME.
table talk - Fri 7pm
The disruptive movements of the last years were hardly a threat to the state of order. They might be the first signals of a disruption to come; therefore to entertain the idea of 'back to an order' is far too precocious, even pernicious to the imaginative process of unworking the order. I want to focus in this table-conversation on the order of Fort Europe, which hasn't been radically contested. Our obsessions with order and stability seem to warrant the mass grave outside our safety gates. This is the horror of order showing its face, again. Inspired by the work of Gosie Vervloessem, I want to compare Fort Europa to the dynamics of fear of the kitchen, and question its order, hygiene, productivity and purpose
posted by: Elke van Campenhout
In these 10 days we will work together. That would be the most important. The togetherness. Working together, spending time together.
Agenda??? What is that, maybe something to discover???
I will ask you a lot of questions, over and over. From the begining till the end.
I will question you, you will question everybody, we will experience suspiciousness I guess.
In which conspiracy are you involved at the moment?
Angles, all the time different ones.
We will trip for sure, all kinds of trips or maybe not all kinds but different trips.
We will share expectations.
We will build new fictions and devises.
We will not go out, we will be trapped like el angel exterminador from Buñuel and we will not go, the negative of el angel exterminador. We will watch this movie again.
We will cook for each other.
We will sleep together.
We will gather people, as many as we can. We have to beat the Guinness record.
We will spend time, we will understand time and the time we want and what we want from time.
what are we going to do together that we cannot do alone?
we will build tension, all kind and we will have to hold it. how? together.
we will work in continuity. what is that?
also in friendship.
where the fuck are you?
Is there any infiltrant among us?
What are you doing here?
Follow me through the rabbit hole and lets visit Wonderland.
16th June 2015
I would like to ask some questions to you, because of the last conversation that we had drinking a beer in… what is this bar called?
Yes, after this conversation I have been working on some questions about the subject of your research, and I would like to ask them to you and see what you do with them
Aha Do you want to say something or do you want me to go straight away with the interview?
No, Im also interested in what I can be able to say around this questions
I hope they will not take you by surprise, or that they are not too conflictive, or too new, or anything like this, ok?
No… don’t worry about it
If you cannot reply just make a sign and I go to the next ok?
My first question would be: what is the relationship between the authentic movement practice, which is in fact an appropriation that you do of this practice with your research interest
It is a very good question, the first thing I would say is
Can you speak a little bit louder?
Yes…the first thing I would say is, I don't know…yet
I think it came about because I was interested in researching within a logic that was closer to the body
Closer to the body…
A logic coming from the body, because I wanted not to start from a logic that comes from language and since I had in mind the idea of interviewing, I said to myself perhaps I can ask questions to the body. But this implies that the body is beyond language and that i can go like this (does the gesture of peeling off or opening a curtain) and there is the body. So now it is different, I think it is more about the interaction of many layers of bodyliness and many layers of language that I feel interact in this particular practice. So now I might step into a different question….
Yes, its interesting this idea of layers of body and language, how did it appear or come into your mind?
The practice of authentic movement came about in a couple of ways, one is: I started with Jennifer Monson when I lived in the U.S. and she is actually connected to Jennifer Lacey and DD Dorvillier, they worked together in New York
This is how it started, and then when I went to Impulstanz in 2007, it was a lot of what we were doing in a workshop there. Later on I started experimenting with this tool because I was interested in how much you can gather in terms of information about yourself, about the body and about the world, through this practice.
With time this became a “safe place” for me, a place where I could go if I needed to be with myself. Now, it might be good to wonder: safe from what? (long pause) I think it made me safe from dance training (?)
And i think it kept me safe from dance training, because it was a way for me to take a distance from “actual training” and wonder about my own particular way of understanding….
But is it because you don’t feel authentic movement is a way of dance training?
Yes, or maybe at the moment it felt like it was not entirely a dance training, perhaps because it comes form a dance-movement therapy context. Although the way I came about it was through dance and choreography practitioners, now I can see that it actually is a way of dance training. I think maybe I did this separation at the moment - a separation between dance training and authentic movement - because it became a way of assimilating technical aspects, morphological qualities about my body, or about how I relate to people….and so it really is a place that I created in order to articulate and ponder about my own dancing body.
And …..your interest or intuition about developing this practice? or do you have a goal in mind?
I do… its more like an intuition, really, at this point
Yes, because you have talked about the origin of it, but do you have a goal?
Actually I think in order to have a goal I need to go over the questions in this interview first….
Ok, but then at least can you present this practice to me? are you going to present it? what are you going to do with it?
I think I actually need to talk about the idea of neutral, because it seems that I some point I came to see it that way. I wonder in which way I came to understand it as ‘neutral’, and whatever I mean by that…
Because now that we’ve been talking about this many layers of body and language, how would you then define what is neutral? is it possible to find something without layers?
Authentic Movement is an actual technique and it comes from a Jungian school of Movement Therapy and it aims - among other things - to find connections between body and mind.
I am going to step out of my interviewing role for a moment, since we have been discussing about these topics for several occasions. Don’t you think that the questions that you have about your project have been imposed already? Is the idea of a colonized body that is trying to break free from boundaries not an already colonized idea?
Maybe I will say it in spanish, que si no consideras que muchas de las preguntas que tienes no son ya una propia herencia, por lo tanto una especie de colonización, una imposición, están impuestas de alguna forma?
I think I know what you mean… but I would like you to elaborate more
Ok, we can have a beer later and discuss about this, but i Would like continue with the interview
Do you think you can apply it to every context?
No I don't, I think it always depends, but I think Im insisting in this idea of neutral because I would like to trace my train of thought in respect to this. I think I got to understand it as neutral because it gave me a place that was out of the constraints of ‘having to do something’ and started to finally wonder how it is that I was approaching any doing.
How do you think it was helping you?
It mostly has to do with creating my own body, when I went back to Ecuador I continued to work on this practice and developed it further. At that moment it was a tool for reconstructing and re-membering things together (as a group of dancers). Also I had the chance to do it as a Movement Therapy, which in conjunction with my own going to psychoanalysis. I think it enabled me to find more freedom in my own representation of my body. I was working in my own layers of bodyliness and the materiality of it, and the possibility to talk about it, this became my own creative project, or my own bricolage. This process was very informative abut my own way of thinking and experiencing.
What limitations do you see in this practice
I think my questions about coloniality and geography are very specific, and the tool could turn out to be vague in relation to them. This would be the limitation.
In the case that this practice was not there, what do you envision could be another practice that addresses what we have been talking about?
I may need to get closer to language and use a tool like anamnesis, or use a regular interviewing device.
wow, but you are using language!
yes, but it is a different kind of language, I think I am talking about a more chronological account of events.
but what I am interested in is the constitution or configuration of a body, that happens around the trajectory of doings that each body has. So I am more interested in trajectories and perhaps this tool is dealing more specifically with the present moment: in this space, in this environment, with these sensations.
Ok, we can go on while having a beer later, Thank you
15th July 2015
Can you describe your practices?
Yes, I have two practices going on at the moment, one I have called dissolving the other. It is a series of relays, a person does something for an amount of time with eyes closed, the next person is going to re-do what the first person did. I suppose there is an idea of continuation, along with the idea of re-doing, that may be involuntary and also an idea of reviewing, which happens at the same time as re-doing.
For the next time I do it I have a lot of questions, the first one is if there should be a more specific score, because right now what they do is open. Although the open score is also nice because each person can do whatever they need and listen to their own body
Why do you think it would be good to have a more precise score?
Because it seems very open and a lot depends on the first person who is doing it. The whole set of re-doings is very connected to what the first person does. This is good because it starts as something very close to the person’s body and experience and listening to that moment, but I am wondering if I set it up as a question (and of course then i have the issue of how to come up with the question, and where the question comes from) So maybe we start with a question (that could be more or less arbitrary for the group) and it is not that they have to think about the question consciously, but we will see if with the many doings something of the question gets answered.
I also want to do it for an extended period of time, it could be 2 hours a day each day.
What kind of experience do you want to give to the participants in this current format?
This is a very good question because it is related to what I want to get from the practice. mentoring with Pierre, at some point he said that I seems what I want is the other people to experience what I have experienced. In relation to many layers of bodyliness and many layers of language, but i think it does have to do with my own experience of reviewing these layers and seeing how they have come about and maybe opening up spaces in them or re- ordering them. I want the participants to have an experience of their “many layers” of their own bodyliness and also of how they give an account of them.
Where do you envision it happening in the future? What kind of space?
In the immediate future, I would like to do it outside
In which kind of space?
In a garden, there is something ecological about this project - although not in the sense of a search of the ‘natural’-, but about looking at a person’s mental ecology, or bodily ecology, and I think it will be interesting to see how this happens in a more ‘natural setting’, a setting that has a different arrangement than inside a building.
Otherwise Im thinking it could happen inside a ‘set’ in which there are many types of objects (I still need to work on this). I could have cushions, something that feels comfortable, but I would like a plant to be in there, and a piece of furniture.
So you are thinking not only about the person’s intention but about the relationship to the environment?
Yes, something may appear in the relationship to the objects that may be worthwhile to explore, for example, in Half Way Days, in one of the groups, it became very much about the body, but in another group, it became very much about the objects in the room.
The cushions you had
So it would be interesting to set it up in a way that i can be about the environment, can also become very internal, I like this space for the person to choose.
The other practice that I would like to describe is Weaving Talking
The Weaving Talking Singing (laughs)
Its an ‘invented’ tradition, of course many cultures have weaving as a very important part of their tradition; particularly in the Andes it is an important element for memory, religious practices, agriculture…
And for identity
Yes, even the gender is codified in the weaving of the clothing, for example. Also, what they wear has has a practicality for planting and harvesting.
In Spain they have this practice for weaving with “boleros”, to weave lace.
So it appears in many contexts, but since I haven’t had a direct relationship with any of these traditions, I am sort of making it up. I am looking at youtube tutorials and doing this teenager bracelet kind of weaving and using a loom that is designed for children.
Because it is not goal oriented, we are wondering about the act of weaving, more than actually weaving something like a tapestry or a sweater.
More than the result, the process?
I am also interested in the conversation that happens while weaving, there is kind of concentration that provokes language to appear in a different way. There are a lot of possibilities here also, its could be a conversation, or it could be an interview. It could be a way of talking about things that are hard to talk about.
But you don’t know if it is?
If it was therapy I would have to be sustained for a long period of time, They would have to come regularly and weave. I think it would allow for many elaborations with objects and materials.
Both of the practices are at this initial state.
Apparently I am interested in language
Yes, I should look carefully into the ways that I set the scores, the way I give the tasks, etc etc.
And for the weaving do you think a change in the space could also be interesting?
Yes! If I do it in the street it could be an interesting social/relational practice, like in the middle of a square and people can come weave and talk. Its a relational object.
What kind of experience do you want to give to the participants in the Weaving Talking?
There is a collective doing that i would like them to get engaged in. There is also a transformative element since their words are going into the weaving, and here there are many possibilities. There is instead of a crystallisation of words, a woolization of words.
Since it doesn’t require too much skills, someone who has more of an expertise can do it as much as someone who has never done it.
Do you always see it as a collective practice?
Yes I see around 3 people doing it at the time
21st July 2015
What place do you give to the idea of race in your own experience?
This is complicated, because it has been a very important element in my own construction as a person, and there is an element of racism and discrimination that has been ever present in my own history growing up in Ecuador and living there.
In my family, my grandmother on my father’s side was an indigenous person, she was an worker in a Hacienda and my grandfather was the owner of the hacienda. There is a great deal of this story that I don’t know, even though I have been reconstructing it for a long time; but I do have my grandfather’s last name, my father got it through a legal procedure that used to be done at the time.
To go back to the idea of race, one of the things that I don’t know about my grandmother is if she spoke quichua (the native language) besides speaking spanish, that would be important for me to know. The way the issue of race has worked is that there is a clear hierarchy between indigenous people and white-looking people in which traditionally the indigenous people are the servants, as in the case of the Hacienda where my grandmother worked.
My father was moved to a different city when he was a little kid
WIth his mother?
No, by himself, to go to school. My grandmother stayed working in the Hacienda, for free, because the new owners sent him to school, although my father would have been the heir of the Hacienda, being the only son of the owner. And of course if that would have been the case, it would have been even more terrible, to be a manager in this unjust system, you know? there would have been too much karma to that
Afterwards, when my father married my mother and they had their own house, we also had maids, which were of course indigenous people who came from the countryside to the city and worked in households.
So your father went away to study and met your mother there?
No, he studied until high school, went back to the Hacienda and left to the city with my grandmother. He met my mother in the city.
My mother’s family was from the city, but this was in the 50s - 60s and the city didn't really become modernized until the 70s with the Oil Boom. She said that when she was a kid it was usual for people to have guinea pigs in the kitchen, running around, just like in the countryside, because they kept the kitchen warm. Its crazy to have had this mix of modern city and indigenous tradition at the same time.
So it was a heating system?
But its interesting how the ideas of class and of race come together in Ecuador. My great grandfather on my mother’s side was the son of a Minister, and he never had to work, since he had a status, although he kept loosing his fortune and selling estate to maintain his status and still not work, ever. My great grandmother had to work sewing to feed the fifteen children they had. There is a very patriarchal sexist hierarchy in which the hard work goes to the female indigenous person, although also for the indigenous males jobs like construction were left.
So your father and your mother got married and….
Yes they got married they lived in the city, they had seven kids, which is quite a lot and this is why they always needed help, and there were a lot of people who came form the countryside and needed a job
So you always had an indigenous nana
Yes, and even now she is still around, she works for one of my older brothers, though she is about to retire. Now they have a retirement fund and social security, but it is a rather new thing in the system. Before, the working relationships were ambiguous and there was the idea that hiring them was ‘doing them a favour’.
When I was growing up, relatives of the house keepers would come to work in the house for periods of time as a way of taking them ‘out’ of the extreme poverty they lived in. One time a young boy (who had exactly my age) came and stayed for a few weeks until something valuable disappeared in the house and they kicked him out. It happened many times that people came and left for some reason.
So I feel I have been exposed to this racialization of people; although my family has a mixed background there is this very ‘white’ rhetoric of making a difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’.
Who are the whites in Ecuador?
Spanish descendants, criollos, they are called
Same as in Mexico
Yes, I think Ecuador is very similar to Mexico in that there are still indigenous populations, but what I saw in Mexico is that you have a lot of work about indigenous cultures, like in the Anthropology Museum the work of periodization and historization of indigenous cultures is quite amazing. In Ecuador it seems a bit underdone, this kind of work.
Do you think Ecuadorian indigenous are racist to themselves?
I do, many times I have heard indigenous people saying self deprecating things about themselves, and also talking as if race was an essence. There is also a lot of alcoholism, and sadness, it is a diminished culture….
The reason why I am interested in constructions of otherness has to do with the racial other, I have lived in a context that clearly distinguishes between indians and non-indians - thought they are not so clearly distinguishable in actuality, are they? -
They are even antagonists, in this system
Yes, exactly, completely antagonist, and hierarchized through many modes of violence that has been internalized.
When I was working as a teacher there, I had a student who worked teaching at an intercultural school in which they spoke quichua and spanish, a lot of the kids’ parents had migrated to the city from the country side. She said that a lot of times the parents came to the school and explicitly told her not to talk to their kids in quichua, but in spanish; and a lot of times when they spoke to the kids in quichua the kids responded saying ‘I don’t know this language’. In this case language is a way of marking oppression.
Interestingly, a lot of our spanish uses structures from quichua, and a lot of words we normally use too, but it seems we don't acknowledge this fact often.
There is a merging of languages
Yes but Im really interested in looking at how this merging comes about
I see that this influences you personally, but why do you think you transpose this into your practices? And what for?
For me there is something about layering there, and how this many layers coexist within your personal ecology
What is personal ecology for you?
I am in the process of defining it and understanding it, looking at The T hree Ecologies, by Guattari. It has to do with how you have built your own terrain, based on your life experiences and the collective memory that inhabits you - and you inhabit-. Somehow this elements in your terrain have become solid and part of it, like the idea that you have of yourself and your identity, but If you can build and create your own terrain you can start to see what elements are good for your soil and how it can be more fertile. It is important also to decide what you want to grow. This is how I am understanding it at the moment.
Do you think your practices are directed to finding an ecology?
Yes, they really have to do with working with each person’s own ecology. I am assuming that experiences of ‘othering’ of being under oppressive systems work in different ways in different contexts but they still operate, you know? So a lot of the work for me has to do with looking at this formations, and maybe doing something to the soil.
In the practice of dissolving the other, when you see the result in the end, What does it give to you?
I think what it does is that it enables mobility and a certain transformation that i think is quite important. It builds a temporary community and a material that is always changing.
Yes, but what do YOU get out of this practice?
For me the observation of how it works with other people really gives me a lot right now. On the other hand, it helps me dissolve my own others; I think I have been constructed with very fixed idea of others, under very tyrannical systems, even Europe is a tyranizing other for me
Tell me about your residency card (laughs)
Exactly, this helps to soften this constructions, and that is a precious thing for me. I don't like solid worlds
So who is this other and how would you describe it?
Well at the moment I am thinking of the other as the cultural other. I don't want to go into the psychoanalytic distinction between the Other and the other…. But the Other in general terms is a place where language and culture come from, and it is different form the other which is a mirrored reflection of the person - we are constructed within this Other. I suppose in the end it is all very related, the cultural other as a mirroring fantasy of difference, and the Other, the system that encompasses and frames that mirror dynamic.
However, making another person different is a particular way of ‘othering’ and since the construction of the racial other is so violent, I would like to research more into this.
Perhaps this is why in dissolving the other I have gone away form doing it in couples, and want to introduce many third parties in the mix, to get out of the mirroring thing.
Franz Fanon says that the concern with self and other constructions is already a colonizer privilege, since if you are in a position of colonized you are in a zone of non-being, you are not human. Entering the self- other dynamic is already a step ahead.
In Latin America the indians are seen as essentially inferior, and a lesser kind of human, this is what ratializing does, it colours the other as inferior.
I would like to continue to think about other elements about my own ecology, but this has become a bit intense, and I need a break, could we continue in two weeks?
I will see you then?
Yes, thank you!
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
If we have a room for instance with just tables and chairs. What else is necessary to liven up a place? Noises, movements, pictures, words probably, presences and absences. Some awareness and listening. Scores to fold action and fictions. Scores to discover what is going on. Scores to support memory and construct frames for translations. We develop them. Together. The participants, are invited to engage with their artistic and daily practices, occupations and desires.
VAN is a spacetime machine in which all medias and materials become speakers to question common dichotomies: subject / object, observers / observed, nature / culture, male / female, materiality / discourse, matter / meaning, past / future, space / time, something / nothing.
VAN invites us to a collaborative work. Jack Hauser & Sabina Holzer propose a situation as a sculpture in time for stories to emerge, dances pop up and sentences as we know from Philosophers and trashy novels catapult us into what we are seeing with our own eyes but cannot quite grasp. Do our codes stay hidden? Or do we override some patterns of dominance to process this specific ecriture?
Jack Hauser, was born in 1958 in horn/lower Austria. From 1983 to 1986 studied electro-acoustic music. 1994 foundation member of lux flux.
In recent years artistic projects with Daniel Aschwanden, David Bergé, David Ender, Karlheinz Essl, Philipp Gehmacher, Lisa Hinterreithner, Anne Juren, Krõõt Juurak, Barbara Kraus, Elke Krystufek, machfeld, Markus Schinwald, Oleg Soulimenko, Myriam van Imschoot, Simon Wachsmuth, and others.
Since 2003 co-operating with Milli Bitterli, and since 2005 numerous joint projects with Sabina Holzer.
Member of the editorial staff of www.corpusweb.net. Designs performative pictorial interventions and experimental works with various media which since 1999 have been run and attended to as "Wohnung Miryam van Doren" ("Apartment Miryam van Doren"). During the triennale 1.0 at Lentos Art Museum Linz in 2010 the dwelling's mobile version was exhibited in co-operation with M1+1, as well as a series of pictures from the Apartment under the title "Carte de tendre".
Sabina Holzer, is a dance and performance artist and a writer based in Vienna. She worked in projects with Robert Steijn (NL), Fabian Chyle (D), Bilderwerfer (AT), Toxic Dreams (AT), Vera Mantero (PT), Philipp Gehmacher (AT), Lux Flux (AT), Machfeld (AT), Milli Bitterli (AT) and Jeroen Peeters (B) and others. She organizes and is invited for transmedial-settings and collaborative research projects at the intersection of theory and practice internationally. She teaches in various institutions such as Tanzquartier Wien (A), School for New Dance Development (NL), Konservatorium Wien (A), Trois C-L (LB), ImPulsTanz (A) and publishes texts on performances since 2007. Since 2011 she is associated artist of the independent artist platform Im_flieger. In 2005 she started cooperating closely with the fine artist Jack Hauser. Together they create performances, interventions in public space and galleries as well as in theaters and museums, such as the Lentos Museum of Modern Art, Linz; WUK; Essl Museum; Hidden Museum; Documenta 13, University of visual Arts Vienna and Tanzquartier Wien. www.cattravelsnotalone.at
Nicolas, Sofia, Brendan, Nicolas, Christian, Sana, Arianna, Esteban, Thiago, Agnes, Juan, Seba, Anouk, Luiza, Pierre, Robin, Yaari, Aela, Lili, Lilia
P > Q > R
1) Sofia > Nicolas > Christian
2) Brendan > Aela > Agnes
3) Nicolas > Luiza > Juan
4) Christian > Varinia > Sofia
5) Sana > Lili > Lilia
6) Arianna > Brendan > Varinia
7) Esteban > Yaari > Aela
8) Thiago > Pierre > Arianna
9) Agnes > Lilia > Luiza
10) Juan > Arianna > Lili
11) Seba > Sana > Nicolas
12) Anouk > Christian > Pierre
13) Luiza > Juan > Anouk
14) Pierre > Esteban > Seba
15) Robin > Anouk > Thiago
16) Yaari > Thiago > Sana
17) Aela > Sofia > Yaari
18) Lili > Agnes > Robin
19) Lilia > Seba > Esteban
20) Varinia > Robin > Brendan
1) Sofia > Nicolas > Christian
Dear Sofiafollowing the advise of Juan, I’ll keep myself short this time.Your teeth - and what they were reacting on - reminded me of these sentences of a Danish guy:... What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!how infinite in faculty! in form and moving howexpress and admirable! in action how like an angel!in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of theworld! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,what is this quintessence of dust? ...bestNicolas
2) Brendan > Aela > Agnes
Those black dots made me think about the blind point of our vision: the point located at the exact center of our iris ! Paradoxically, without this blind point we could not see: it is the void of the wheel's hub that makes it roll !!!
"At the extremes, there is freedom" sounds like the peaceful promise, the quiet answer to an unresolvable question...what is behind?...what is after ?...nothing...something else ?
Here is my question: are we breathing ?
3) Nicolas > Luiza > JuanNicolas,During you performance I kept thinking on mobility. First, because it regulated the order of our presentations, since you could not move. Then, because later you could move, and did so the entire night with that boxed-hand, and, finally, because of the short exchange we had where you said that it was funny because you could actually move your index finger around - even if we could not see, or if you couldn't move any other part of your hand.And then, this image came to my mind, in a maybe oppose process of thinking...And then I thought on the polyp. growing and taking space and on the confetti spreading and taking space, but both in very different manners, specially in relation to the air around them and, thus, my question is: How do you feel is your way of taking space as you move?Juan, I really liked you idea of using image, and so feel free to respond directly to it as well :))4) Christian > Varinia > Sofia
Christian, in your proposition i saw that the silence generated by the impossibility to talk in a fight between 2 people, has a soothing effect on bodies, as if making them somehow docile and devoted to their condition. I was not sure if this condition bind the bodies closer together or just kept them at an unchangeable distance to each other. But i believe to see that this condition doesn't distance the bodies further away from each other. Do you think that this proximity of bodies is created by silence alone or by the impossibility to talk? For instance, how close do you feel to the other bodies while reading a book in a library?5) Sana > Lili > Lilia*a cut and a stitch* - both operating on a membrane, both using similar instruments, the act is distinguishing them however from each other;
both small, but insistent
after a while I lose track of which one is destructive and which one is mending in its intention
disruption, destruction turns into a call for change, while the caring sewing becomes the imprisonment
I find it interesting that a stitch can also mean a twinge, a spasm, a sharp pain in the body
How is/can care be an act of violence?6) Arianna > Brendan > VariniaBefore becoming the careful breathing pile:
There was a circle drawn on the ground. Where was it that we went when we crossed over the divide from the outside of the circle to the inside. Where did we go ? (And maybe, are there things we could or should do to prepare ourselves for the journey across this divide?)
7) Esteban > Yaari > Aela
ok: the night before the session i was reading Ovid's Metamorphosis (!), in Hebrew, and copied to myself the exact same sentence(!#2) that begins it all:
“I intend to speak of forms changed into new entities".
the Hebrew translation though, says something like: "my soul (/psyche) is forcing me to speak of bodies that changed into new forms".
the differences are a great land of thinking: first in the intention - it shifts the "i" to a place which is a channel, a body or a vessel - a medium which forced by an inner movement to an action, then comes the shift from body->new form, in compere to form->new entity.
in relates to readiness, or to metamorphosis , which thought these differences enable?
8) Thiago > Pierre > Arianna
You introduced in your text a highly interesting matter for me : the octopus intelligence.
I'll let you know asap the content of my research on the subject but I will focus today on your desire and practice of imitating animals.
Gabriel Tarde offers two concepts to explain social movements: imitation and invention. Everyone imitates what s-he admires, what s-he sees as good and able to serve as a model, but arranges by mixing, in an original way, the selected imitations to their plural sources. Thus, history is as a succession of different imitative flows, a succession of models able to give rise to imitations by a large number of individuals. Why imitation? Because Tarde conceives individuals as a large ensemble of reflections; that is to say that everyone sees her/his fellows and in them finds her/himself. It is a game of mirrors that stands at the heart of living-in-society. Constantly, we judge and we are judged, ourselves facing the others and the others facing us. Each one of us comes naturally to doing-like-the-other, so that she/he will recognize her/himself in us and vice versa, for that life-in-society, after all, substantialises consistently and possibly becomes shared common points and not opposed dissimilarities – a set of relationships where even the tendency to opposition becomes common: ‘Two opposite, inverse, contrary things, have, as their singular character, to actualise a difference in their similarity which consists in its very difference, or, if one prefers, to present a resemblance which is to differ as much as possible’ (in L'opposition universelle : essai d'une théorie des contraires, 1897). One can understand Bruno Latour when he identifies Tarde as a precursor of actor-network-theory: one link in an unbroken social chain, the individual finds its place in society through the influential relationships she/he weaves with her/his peers. The basis of imitation and invention, which is a series of acts and processes, is identified by Tarde as belief and desire, which are individual psychological characteristics. "Belief and desire: so this is the substance and the strength, these are the two psychological quantities that analysis found underneath all the sensational qualities with which they combine; and when invention and then imitation, seize them to organize and use them, these are the real social quantities "(in Les lois de l'imitation (1890).
Thus my question is : who do you think you will become by regularly imitating animals and which kind of effect this desire can have on society?
9) Agnes > Lilia > Luiza
When I was reading your text I kept thinking about multiplying, adding, subtracting the numbers 1 and 2… So that one could become two or three or zero, or… So that choice is not binary but a multiple or a fraction, a derivate, of the given… I think that was maybe what was happening in the way you performed the text with the lines crossing each other, creating cross road options … maybe this is the desire for freedom, which at the end does not depend on the choice you take but how you deal with the future of those choices. Sometimes I think choice does not exist.
I was looking for a poem because some poetry is a relief… I wanted to connect to notions of ambiguity and uncertainty and the number three. I found this one by Wislawa Szymborska, which I didn’t know before.
The Three Oddest Words
When I pronounce the word Future, the first syllable already belongs to the past.
When I pronounce the word Silence, I destroy it.
When I pronounce the word Nothing, I make something no non-being can hold.
The question is: what happens when I pronounce the word escape?
10) Juan > Arianna > Lili
It's funny to see the links between all this.
I'm very much inspired by the text that you proposed right before your action, Juan.
It talks about a space that it is not accountable through reason.
This resistance of space to reason (and reasonability) is not an act of antiphaty of the former towards the latter.
It's just the gentle and wise refusal to hastily follow the seemengly crystalline, transparent, univocal path of logic.
Space: "No, thank you. I need to take my time".
The labyrinth (the Sensory Space, the Hole) is what requires more than one sense to be used when traversing it.
More than one intention when entered, more than one quality of strength when confronted.
It is a space of the multiple and ambiguous – a space of the resonance more than one of the echo.
It needs intuition, generosity, and a bit of blindness when approached.
The word labyrinth itself resonated in me when I read the text again, because of the name I carry.
Ariadne is the one who knows how to handle the threads, and she knows not by intellect, but by intuition. She doesn't hold on her knowledge, but offers it almost blindly because she fell in love.
This generous act leads her, varying according to the different accounts, either to a solitary death on an isle or to the marriage with the god of Disorder, Ambiguity, Ecstasy and Madness – Dyonisus. Which I personally find two very similar outcomes of the story.
Coming back to the text.. and connecting it to the action you did.
I wonder if my name spoke trough me. If the potential that a word can carry expressed itself through the vessel of the body – through the fleshy materiality of it. Like a sound can pass through and resonate differently according to the material that traverses.
So, I am not speaking language. Language speaks me.
It's not (or not only) an act of the intellect anymore. It is an event of the entire flesh we are made of.
It makes me move, and articulate my full(s) and my void(s).
The mouth, with its full and empty spaces, is the cavity-cave of language; the Hole, the Sensory Space.
The jaw is its instrument and rudder, which then transmits its inputs to and through the passages of the body.
What if we were beings fully conducted by the mouth and the jaw?
What if the apparatus mouth/jaw would be our leading organ?
11) Seba -Sana -NicolasI really enjoyed reading the lines , they were silent lines on the black background like the waving breaths in the darkness( as you described).It was joyful to dive into images you created by those pictorial, imaginary and alive fragments.I am impressed how you gradually turn detachment to connection, alienation to relation and factuality to fluidity through the rhythm of breaths. When we try to synchronize our breaths we become more aware of our presence. Thus the breaths speak and the skins understand.At the same time the notion of location is inserted. Therefore, we are invited to a traversal spatiality.The body could become an in-between space when it’s location is wrapped in it’s imagination. What is the actual location then transformed to?12) Anouk > Christian > PierreDear Anouk,one of the sentences you quoted from your (unnamed) friend was this: "The skin is an extended layer of the brain and the brain is an extended layer of the skin". Do you think that means that discourse and material are inseparable because our bodies contains, and can not exist without, both? If yes it's just yes, but if no; does material without any form of discourse exist?
You continued to explain, as you moved around to sense the space towards the ceiling and the floor, what it means to your practice to pay attention to your own self and the materials you were touching. It is important for you (and us, I think) to actively seek out physical knowledge and not take materials for granted just because they happen to all around us.What are you made of, and where does the energy that makes you move come from?
13) Luiza > Juan > Anouk
So Luiza coincidentally your drawing session with Arianna was base on my poetic text !
Stroke me a lot how accurate are the dynamics of the drawings related to the word ABYSMAL, they are so near to my images when I wrote the text.
My question will try to dig in Arianna’s question about ABYSMAL seen through the vector - dot drawings of Luiza.
My question is a photograph I took couple of years ago at the Museum of anthropology in Mexico City; the image depicts a terracotta Aztec warrior wearing as a mask the face of a defeater warrior at war which is been totally peel off.
- Personification of the soul of the other
- Appropriation of the image of the other
- Cultural anthropophage
14) Pierre > Esteban > Seba
Thinking about the journey that you proposed to us on Wednesday, I am surrounded by questions about temporality and subjectivity.
Since we are functioning as mediums, we are called to become a vessel for the presence of the ghost. However, we are not only transmitting the ghost’s ‘message’, but actually, our recollection-impregnation-imagination of its presence.
Furthermore, we are asked to substantiate its presence in the objects, and to
create a new collective presence through their relationality. This new life of the ghost will be solidified in a photograph.
How do you see our function of vessels and at the same time translators of
a fleeting presence? How do we impregnate and singularize our transmissions with ourselves while maintaining our collective function of opening up the past-future? Do we also become ghosts in the sense of loosing our regular contours?
15) Robin > Anouk > Thiago
I remember/ imagine, the cracks, the space between the ice blocks, the sharp interruption of the film by some kind of lightning. Is the short-circuit (court-circuit) an important tool in your work and why ?
16) Yaari > Thiago > Sana
Yaari, your language reminds me a lot of Manoel de Barros, one of the greatest Brazilian poets. Not only because of his interest in forests and nature, but because he used to subvert the usual logics of written language, as you do. I see in both of you the interest of finding in nature the metaphors for the exhaustion of language. To write becomes to meet nature.
Being a rock
I have the pleasure of lying on the ground.
I only deprive lizards and butterflies.
Certain shells take shelter in me.
Mosses grow from my interstices.
Birds use me to sharpen their beaks.
Sometimes a heron occupies me all day.
I feel praised.
There are other privileges to being a rock:
a—I irritate the silence of insects,
b—I am the beat of moonlight in solitude,
c—In the mornings I bathe in dew.
d—And the sun compliments me first.
how to practice the forest in the city ? would it be possible without writing?
17) Aela > Sofia > Yaari
Dear Aela,Your intergalactic waltz reminded me of this scene: http://youtu.be/_
d5X2t_s9g8 (Bela Tar, Werkmister Harmonies)In the end of the scene, the main protagonist, who runs the village and in this scene takes up the role of a sort of choreographer/director (who performs a similar role to the one you did) says something like: "but It's not over" as indicating that we are still moving according to that eternal and immortal choreography. To him, that dance is a model that represents the movements of the solar system but it also has a metaphorical function in the film: it's an element of transmutation that allows the character's bodies to connect to immortality and to the universe. In your waltz you made references to what I understand as eroticism when describing the movements between our bodies, our relationship to space and music. The dance was a way for us to connect with the cosmos and the erotic connection between us. You made us to dance alone, holding our arms in mid air as if someone was there, but all at the same time and rhythm. What is the importance of the distance you made us keep between us?
18) Lili > Agnes > Robin
When I recall the image of your performance it has a strong physical impact on me. I have to think about poetic sadism or sadistic poetry……and wonder: what is a long-distance touch and what could it stimulate?
19) Lilia > Sébastien > Esteban
I have two questions about love, inspired by Lilia's triple-couple-performance. You can pick the one you like best!
1. Metaphor, George Lakof and Mark Johnson explain in Metaphors We Live By, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are "metaphors we live by"—metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them. Of all the metaphors for love you can find via the following link (or anywhere), very few refer to long term, complex but fruitful relationships. What would be a good metaphor to describe those kinds of relationships, and why? http://grammar.about.com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/lovemetaphors_3.htm
2. What is the relation between love and mourning? I am not referring to the mourning process following the death of a loved one, but to the role of mourning within a love relationship.
What touched me most in your performance was the way, at the end, you came towards us and made this kind of hesitant ambiguous gesture to the right and left - It felt like a mix between a potential indication of direction or a receiving of something, but it was the vulnerability of the gesture which I found interesting.. (unlike the one below which I include as a visual reference but not a very exact one, sorry)
So the Question is “What’s the importance of vulnerability in your research?
Definition of vulnerability from the Red Cross:
Vulnerability can be defined as the diminished capacity of an individual or group to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a natural or man-made hazard. The concept is relative and dynamic. Vulnerability is most often associated with poverty, but it can also arise when people are isolated, insecure and defenceless in the face of risk, shock or stress.
People differ in their exposure to risk as a result of their social group, gender, ethnic or other identity, age and other factors. Vulnerability may also vary in its forms: poverty, for example, may mean that housing is unable to withstand an earthquake or a hurricane, or lack of preparedness may result in a slower response to a disaster, leading to greater loss of life or prolonged suffering.
The reverse side of the coin is capacity, which can be described as the resources available to individuals, households and communities to cope with a threat or to resist the impact of a hazard. Such resources can be physical or material, but they can also be found in the way a community is organized or in the skills or attributes of individuals and/or organizations in the community.
To determine people’s vulnerability, two questions need to be asked:
• to what threat or hazard are they vulnerable?
• what makes them vulnerable to that threat or hazard?
Counteracting vulnerability requires:
• reducing the impact of the hazard itself where possible (through mitigation, prediction and warning, preparedness);
• building capacities to withstand and cope with hazards;
• tackling the root causes of vulnerability, such as poverty, poor governance, discrimination, inequality and inadequate access to resources and livelihoods.
2) Brendan > Aela > Agnes
revitalise your personal blind spot
7) esteban > Yaahri > Aela
“I I I I.... inteeeeeeennnnnd to sp...sp...speak of fffff...forms cccchhhhh...changed intoooooo neeeeeew entities” / "myyyyy sooooooul is ffff...ff...forciiiing meeeee to sp...sp...sp...speak offff bo...o..dies that ch...ch...changed intoooo neeeeew ffff...f...fforms”
8) Thiago > Pierre > Arianna
in animal behavior
is the storage of food in locations hidden from the sight of both
conspecifics (animals of the same or closely related species) and
members of other species.
the function of hoarding or caching is to store food in times of
surplus for times when food is less plentiful.
there is evidence that some amount of caching or hoarding is done
in order to ripen the food, called
The term hoarding is most typically used for rodents,
whereas caching is more commonly used in reference to birds,
but the behaviors in both animal groups are quite similar.
Hoarding is done either on
a long-term basis
or on a short term basis,
in which case the food will be consumed over a period of one
or several days.
There are two types of caching behavior:
larder-hoarding, where a species creates a few large caches which
it often defends,
and scatter-hoarding, where a species will create multiple caches,
each individual food item
stored in a unique place.
Both types of caching have
Most species are particularly wary of onlooking individuals during
caching and ensure
that the cache locations
Not all caches are
for example shrikes store
prey items on thorns on branches in the open.
Although a small handful of species share food stores,
food hoarding is a solo
endeavor for most species, including almost all rodents
They hoard their food supply selfishly, caching and retrieving the
supply in secret.
(from the definition of "Hoarding (animal behavior)", Wikipedia)
13) Luiza > Juan > Anouk
I am using a score from Anna Halprin, an American dance artist to describe this image to answer Juan’s question. The score is: I see,I feel, I imagine. I like the use of I, the subjective point of view and that the verbs, to see, to feel and to imagine are touching three layers of awareness: the body layer, the emotional layer and the mental layer that is imagination.
I see a sculpture made of terra cotta. I see a head, a terra cotta head, a bold head. I see the head of a baby. I see only one ear, a broken ear. I imagine that the ear lobe was very long before it broke. I imagine that it can break. I see that it is fragile. I imagine it is fragile. I see some shadows. I see holes. I see that the holes have different shapes. I see a big open hole; two small ones next to each other and two other almonds shape ones that are not placed symmetrically. I see a mouth, two nostrils, two orbits. I see there is no eye in the orbits. I see that the holes are not deep. I see another mouth in the mouse and one other orbit in the right orbit. I see a mask covering a face. I imagine someone else face behind the mask. I feel intrigued. I feel that I want to see that face behind. I feel that I want to uncover that face. I feel that I will find another layer behind this layer and another one and another, an infinity of layers. I imagine layers and layers and layers of faces on top of each other. I imagine myself falling into the hole, falling through the mouth. I imagine myself shouting while I fall. I imagine diving into layers of generation. I see that the mouth of that face that I imagine behind the mask is slightly open. I see the teeth of this person. I imagine it is a man. I imagine he is cruel. I imagine he is older. I imagine he is tense. I imagine that he want to appear younger by wearing this mask. I imagine plastic surgery. I see an expression that has been frozen. I imagine death. I imagine that the mask is shouting. I imagine he is shouting because he is in pain. I imagine it is the moment of his death. I imagine it is the moment of its birth. I imagine a rebirth. I imagine his first shout. I imagine the sound of it. I feel mesmerized and terrified. I feel goose bump on my skin. I feel tension in my guts. I imagine this child is my child. I remember his two eyes looking at me from below in the water.
I see the irregularity of the terra cotta. I imagine myself making this mask with my hand. I imagine myself touching the surface. I feel touched by this material. I feel inclined to touch it. I imagine myself making this mask. I imagine the sound of the humid clay while I mold it. I imagine the dance of my hand adapting to the material. I imagine that the clay is molding me. I imagine wearing the mask. I imagine I would be someone else then. I imagine the mask as some power. I imagine that if I wear this mask, I will make a trip back in time. I imagine I will revisit ancient memories. I imagine myself diving into the abyss of my memories. I imagine reliving my ancestors, my previous incarnation. I feel scares of becoming the cruel man if I wear it. I feel the sensation of the mask on my face. I feel it is cold. I feel that it does not fit. I imagine myself moving the sculpture to see it from another angle. I see the point of view of the photographer that took the picture. I see blue grey background. I imagine that the camera is Iike a mask. I imagine it is another layer in front of the face of the photographer. I imagine the photography as a mask, as a layer that covers something else. I imagine the photography of the photography of the photography. I imagine a “ mise en abyme”. I feel myself looking for what is behind. I feel myself wandering if there is anything behind. I feel myself wandering if there is anything at all.
So what I would say is that, in a way, there is nothing to see,
nothing really, there’s nothing to really see, if you are looking at it, as you do.
“Look there’s nothing to see. Look what you see is so real.
Look, if you don’t look you’ll make your own expectations,
you’ll make your own desire.”
“It is as if I opened my shirt, my shirt at the door of my bedroom, saying leave me alone,”
(silence accompanied by time)
(taking position in the recline)
“You bastard looking at me crying. I won’t give you a tear.”
“I won’t give you a single tear.”
“you watch the painting”
“and I don’t believe you, you mock- this illusion”.
“There is nothing to see, pass your way,”
“ l’indécence du regard, est de plus en plus morne.
Tout cela, à beaucoup entre vous donne les cornes”
The indecent look becomes increasingly more and more bleak.
All this gives you a lot between the horns-
“and you will never say hi to puberty the same way again.”
“L’ indecence a voir avec la mort des larmes”
Indecency even with the death of tears.
(sounding and speaking more gentle)
“And I tried, I tried, I tried-
to say that things can be hidden. Not for the good but for the highest level.
I know that I didn’t do so many things at the end. But I still think I did too much.
I have the time to think, I have the time to discover, I have the time to touch, I have the time to untouch, I have the time to detach, I have the time to”-
“where as polite or not-
and grey in the silk ground
of flower bond
for thinkers shouldn’t be so much. (so many)
they are confusing the whole(hole)-
18) Lili > Agnes > Robin
what is a long-distance touch and what could it stimulate?
“It is possible that we are rare, fleeting specks of awareness in an unfeeling cosmic desert, the only witnesses to its wonder.
It is also possible that we are living in a universal sea of sentience, surrounded by ecstasy and strife that is open to our influence.
Timo Hannay, publisher
the term light sometimes refers to electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength, whether visible or not. In this sense, gamma rays, X-rays, microwaves and radio waves are also light.
Like all types of light, visible light is emitted and absorbed in tiny "packets" called photons and exhibits properties of both waves and particles. This property is referred to as the wave–particle duality.
We are dead stars looking back up at the sky, the Iron in our blood and all the elements that make up our bodies were created in a Supernova explosion.
As Humans we tend to think of the stars as eternal, but the stars will all burn out someday, there's only a certain amount of stellar fuel- Hydrogen, and the Stars are burning through it, and the stars, as we know them will all eventually die out, (in some trillions of years), and the universe will be dark for the rest of time.
We're actually living in a potential Eden right now, in a time when this 10 billion year live thing 'the sun' is pouring down free energy, we are using it , we are evolving, we are becoming sentient beings who are able to look back out at the universe from where they came.
Starlight will only be there for the shortest span of the universe's history and then everything else will be dark, someday I wonder if people will have myths about the days when stars rained down free energy and sunlight on the planet."
Nasa Astronomer Dr. Michelle Thaller.
Hang on this connection is breaking up
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look, but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
David Bowie/comfortably numb
physicists brought light to a "complete standstill" by passing it through a Bose–Einstein condensate of the element rubidium.
The popular description of light being "stopped" in experiments refers only to light being stored in the excited states of atoms. During the time it had "stopped" it had ceased to be light.
Touch: embrace, lick, palpation, stroke, feel,
Touch:pat, fondle, hit, tactility, touching,
Touch: petting, push, caress, taste, kiss, rub, taction,
Touch: stroking, scratching, hug, blow, grope, feel , peck
Touch: to put the hand, finger, etc., on or into contact with (something) to feel it:
Touch: one of the five senses along with taste, smell, hearing and seeing, is defined as the act you do when you hold, caress, feel or otherwise encounter something with your hand.
Touch: to lay the hand on (a person with scrofula), as some kings once did, to effect a cure
Touch: to arouse an emotion in, esp. one of sympathy, gratitude, etc
Touch/ Somatosensory System: Pain receptors: nocireceptor. "Noci-" in Latin means "injurious" or "hurt”. these receptors detect pain or stimuli that can or does cause damage to the skin and other tissues of the body, tissues of the body.
Touch: There are over three million pain receptors throughout the body, found in skin, muscles, bones, blood vessels, and some organs.
Touch: Pain receptors can detect pain that is caused by mechanical stimuli, like cutting into the surface of the skin with a knife, thermal stimuli, like burning the layers of your body with a blow torch, chemical stimuli - like swallowing a poison and emotional stimuli, like having your heart pierced by another.
Touch: When you were born, oxytocin helped expel you from your mother’s womb and made it possible for her to nurse you..As a small child, you enjoyed your mother’s and father’s loving touch because it released oxytocin in your body
Touch: sensory neurons are triggered by specific stimulus such as pain, for instance. This signal then passes to the part of the brain attributed to that area on the body—this allows the stimulus to be felt at the correct location.
Sound bed for text: Soy el punto negro que anda.m4a.download
KEYWORDS: goo, internal communication, sensible mass, timing, two, materiality, skin, Imagination, flux, fusion, bite,
REPORT: It's exiting, we are getting somewhere different from where we had started. Starting next Wednesday we will be cooking for each other. We are asking questions to each other that we would never be asking otherwise, pulling potentialities out of each others proposals. We are stepping out of what we knew, of what we felt was our own interest. Isn't it exiting when suddenly we find ourselves liking things we would never have expected to like before? Isn't it surprising to be all of the sudden disliking things you would've thought you already loved? Yes, I feel it changing, it's coming, we're are stepping into something beautifully complex! Oh, it's exiting, we are stepping into strange fields! Oh, so exiting, these dangerous fields that soon we might call common ground!
Isabel, Arianna, Lilia, Agnes, Sebastian, Sofia, Aela, Mala, Esteban, Robin
PERFORMANCE > QUESTION > REPLY
1 Sofia > Lilia > Arianna
2 Isabel > Arianna > Robin
3 Arianna > Isabel > Esteban
4 Agnes > Esteban > Isabel
5 Aela > Agnes > Lilia
6 Lilia > Sofia > Seba
7 Seba > Robin > Mala
8 Robin > Aela > Sofia
9 Esteban > Mala > Aela
10 Mala > Seba > Agnes
1)Sofia > Lilia > Arianna
In Sofia's score the words became the real and the real became the words. It was a mise-en-abime that caught the moment of the moment. An enhancer of what is there and not perceived at first instance, or too known and ordinary that it gets lost. An invitation to pay attention and re-imagine the 'we' we are in that moment. The text, the reader, the group, the room, the other. Certain scores are tuning devices, they create reading parameters for the moment. One writes and reads simultaneously the moment. I find them fascinating, time openers. Was thinking about art strategies that bring us to the present time, to the self and the group, and what do they do terms of responsibility for both the one and the group. I would like to invite you to develop on this issue. Looking forwards to read you!
2) Isabel > Arianna > Robin
it is always a pleasant surprise for me to attend to your proposals. They bring a burst of fresh air, creating the space for both disruption and intimacy.
It is this combination that interests me the most. A strong frontal approach on themes that we most likely wouldn't talk about otherwise in a group, and the simultaneous capacity to create a space for sharing a certain kind of intimacy.
I see the approach to this intimacy that your propositions bring about as characterized by an activist and militant spirit.
You (one) DIY, you (one) can take things into your (her/his) hands and experiment with them, without forgetting about the material they are made of, and the special care each material requires to be handled with.
In other words: the opening of a space where intimacy is possible in a public way. Even, it is directly born in a public way, and shared, without losing its specificity.
My focus is then in this possibility for activism to be intimate, and for intimacy to be absolutely disruptive, poweful and re-generative, in the sense of the possibility for it to be a tool and a performative situation where to create change not only for the one, but also for many.
2 connected questions:
How to combine activism and self-care?
How to be a wrecker and a flower at the same time?
3) Arianna > Isabel > Esteban
Visibility and invisibility... presence and shadow, light and darkness, a quest of the opposites and in the middle permeable receptors: body and mind mutually observing each other, evidencing a certain spectral condition that binds them together but, that also tears them apart. Is the quality of being spectral inherent to humans and why?
As I look back on your text/performance I think of gaps... and grammar, my question comes again in the form of a quote:
There will be a writing of the unwritten.
Someday this will happen.
A brief writing without grammar
A writing made solely out of words.
Words without a grammar to support them. Lost
There, written. and inmediately abandoned.
Marguerite Duras, C’est Tout
5) Aela > Agnes > Lilia
Talking upside down about erection has something beautifully desperate and hopeful at the same time. The never giving up attitude affronts the paradox and exhaustion in its quest for the impossible. My question comes along with a song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjW_I-2fARA and I’m curious: what do you think about eroticism in impotency?
I can just think about eating flowers. Old bouquets from valentine’s day. Today is the day! The celebration of impotency I wish it was the one of eroticism. This though made me laugh! I’m referring to the consumerism of love. Also yesterday someone posted on Facebook an article about the origine of St. Valentine day. It says: “Those Wild And Crazy Romans From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. The Roman romantics "were drunk. They were naked. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them. They believed this would make them fertile.” I don’t know… this is possibly both eroticism and impotency in a dance macabre.
Eroticism is potency. Eroticism needs response I believe. Impotency is no response. And there we start.
I would like to respond with a letter I wrote to my best friend based on a text by Jean-Luc Nancy : “Stirring stirring up, uprising.”
Brussels, 4 February, 2016
I've been wanting to write this letter for some time. We are so apart. Many kilometers separate our physical bodies and though I always feel you are so close. Friendship is an opening to the outside.
Thinking about my work and wanting to be in touch with you about it. In relation to life, work and love, I feel I am propelled in between motion, agitation, desire and rebellion. Restless. A being alive that doesn't want to stay still but persists in touching and being touched by the world, that wants to alter it, not with the intension that it becomes something fixed but as a challenge my physical and moral senses. Almost as a paradox this state of mind implies a strong responsible relation to the other (being the other also the non-human other), so somehow it enters the domain of ecology. I feel weak sometimes because too driven, too hopeful engaging in the believe that movement is the only condition of all. Too much expectation I guess.
The movement that there is, is the movement of (e)motion, the one that mobilizes one towards the other and brings along excitement and exaggeration, brings on the transgression. When I write this I feel the drama queen I can be.
On the other hand I also feel that that restlessness is a state of mind, something I can't get rid off and that wants to join the movement around me. I want to touch! Be in touch! Be touched! It's like a drug, an addiction, a disease…
Touching shakes up and sets in motion, I think. As soon as I move my body closer to another body (even an inert body made of wood, stone or metal), it feels like I displace it, I move it even if just a tiny little bit, and the other sets me apart, holding me up in a way, I loose myself. Touching acts and reacts at the same time !!!!!. There is no mercy. . Touching propels and repels — impulsion and repulsion, rhythm of the outside and the inside, of ingestion and indigestion, of the clean and the unclean. It's strong! Am I going crazy? Did I fall in love?
I'm thinking now in the case of a new born baby. When K was born, after being contained inside my body, she reached for me in a survival motion, searching my breast to suck nutrition. . It was one of the most amazing experiences I had. How could she know that I had a breast, that she could suck and that there was milk? She approximates and distances, penetrates and escapes at the same time my body with her body. You know as well as me about this. We both have children, we both bared in our wombs an alien body, feeding from our own blood for later being contained by it. Sucked and pushed away on a motion of relation. An interdependent autonomous symbiosis. An intimacy that is carnal knowledge. The beginning of it all!
The small bodies of our daughters were immersed in our resonating amniotic liquid, that surrounded them inside our bellies. The sounds of our bodies, our heart and our guts, and the sounds of the outside world touched their ears, their closed eyes, their nostrils and their whole infused skin at the same time. The beginning of eroticism. Yet inside there, each possible sensation was still diluted in a dim way, they were too close, in a kind of permanent, quasi-permeable exchange between the outside and the inside.
At birth it all changes, they separated from us, we separated from our mothers. But we still remain this potential thing, floating now not in the amniotic liquid but in the world where everything relates to everything . Yes, everything strains towards everything and pulls away from everything — but now we are separated there is a gulf between one and another. Crisis!!!! The cruel and exciting reality that only a separated body on its own is able to touch. No contact possible without being apart. Out of reason or passion, striving to connect, to exist. This letter is a getting in touch of the reason. I miss you. Miss talking to you!
Thinking about the sense of pleasure in love and sex, the rhythmic movement and overflow, of the bodies spilling against and into one another, and one setting itself off from the other only to take it up and move in again together in succeeding waves. The separation is the opening of the intercourse. Poetic intimacy. The intercourse isn’t seeking to restore a lack of distinction: it celebrates the distinction! Together, apart, in , out. It announces a meeting, which precisely is contact. Contact doesn't cancel the separation - it makes is apparent on the contrary. Maybe here is where it resides the capacity to receive and the capacity to be affected. In that vulnerability. And affection is first of all passion and the movement of passion, a passion whose very nature is to touch. This is all about mutual action, I think, one can't receive passively, one is an active receiving mode per se. I like this idea that receptivity is active and not passive, and that when you touch your are being touched and both parties are receivers. It's an act of generosity, vulnerability and courage. My whole being is contact. My whole being is touch/touching. This is amazing!!
If I say touching is stroking; the caress is the desire and the pleasure to come as close as one can to a skin — be it human, animal, textile or mineral, and so on — and to engage this proximity to play off two skins grappling with each other. This is again a play between the inside and the outside, perhaps the only game there is. Listen, if all playing consists in taking and leaving an area, in opening breaches, filling and voiding places, boxes and schedules, the only game there is is an act of intercourse. Indeed, is there even a desire that hasn’t a desire to touch? Ah, now the world becomes an erotic entity! This is a funny thought!
This means we are open to the outside, open with all our orifices — my ears, eyes, mouth and nostrils, not to mention all the channels of ingestion and digestion, like those of my moods, sweats, thoughts, gaze and much more. As for the skin, it's the envelope around these openings, these entries and exits, which locates and specifies them while at the same time developing for itself this ability to be affected and to have a desire for that. I love the skin. Maybe the skin is the loving organ with all its permeability. It makes us be-come what we are not yet and un-come who we just were.
Now you’d say but what's the relation between body, politics and touch relate?
Well, at the end, it is always a matter of sensible reality, thus material and vibratory. When the self quivers, it really is quivering, just as one may speak of water about to boil. What we commonly call the self is in fact nothing other than the waking and welcoming — both mixed — of motion/emotion. The self is the touched body — vibrating, receptive and responsive. Its response is the sharing out of the touch, its rise towards it. The body rises up! Maybe in here there is a pre-disposition of the body to be political? Indeed, there is some insurrection (and sometimes some erection) in the motions of touching. A body rises up against its own enclosure, against being locked up within itself, and against its own entropy. It rebels against its death. Whether it is about the coming of another (him or her), or the absolute alteration of death, it is the body that opens up and extends outside. It is its pure act!!!
When i am touched, I have nothing to expect: the touch is all act, in its mobile, vibratory and sudden action. And as for Aristotle’s god, this act is accompanied by its own excess, which is its pleasure, the climax that is the flower or spark of the act — sun or dark- ness, always an abyss.
Would these thoughts make the world a better place? Would the sense of love instigate a relational care beyond personal narcissistic achievement?
Hope you like the reading and looking forward to hear back your thoughts,
The song says:
The rings of Saturn are so sexy and Jupiter's got that rad spot! Pluto and Eris are just dwarfs but they get me twice as hot Oh planet forms! The solar system really turns me on! I'm floating through your galaxy, your milkway is all over me! I'd spread my legs for Venus and I'd like to live on Mars I'd take Neptune or Uranus or any of the galaxy stars... Oh planet forms! The solar system really turns me on! I'm floating through your galaxy, your milkway is all over me! Mercury is the hottest being closest to the sun and if that gets you hot you know you are not the only one! Oh planet forms! The solar system really turns me on! I'm floating through your galaxy, your milkway is all over me! Oh planet forms! The solar system really turns me on! I'm floating through your galaxy, your milkway is ah ah AH AH!
6) Lilia > Sofia > Seba
Maybe a mask allows a body to become other. It's such an impressive thing, such a game changer, and it does it so fast. You put the mask on and -damn! who the fuck?-, it works every time. But at the same time that it works, it's still a mask, and not a human body. If you don't wear it and leave it hanging on a nail it is clear, it's just a mask, just the other and not a body. But if you put it on again - damn again, what the fuck?! it's a body again!-. Maybe a mask allows a body to become two: both a body and not a body. It's a splitter. It gives you a super-power, and extra-non-body... I don't know, it's for you to say: What is a mask? And what is the superpower this mask gives you that you think is most interesting for you to have?
Nitrazepam is a hypnotic drug of the benzodiazepine class, indicated for the short-term relief of severe, disabling anxiety and insomnia. It also has sedative and motor-impairing properties, as well as amnestic, anticonvulsant, and skeletal muscle relaxant effects.
Nimetazepam (marketed under brand name Erimin) is an intermediate-acting hypnotic drug which is a benzodiazepine derivative. It was first synthesized by a team at Hoffmann-La Roche in 1962. It possesses hypnotic, anxiolytic, sedative, and skeletal muscle relaxant properties. Nimetazepam is also an anticonvulsant. It is sold in 5 mg tablets known as Erimin. It is generally prescribed for the short-term treatment of severe insomnia in patients who have difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep.
Lithium compounds, also known as lithium salts are primarily used as a psychiatric medication. This includes in the treatment of major depressive disorder that does not improve following other antidepressants and bipolar disorder. In these disorders it reduces the risk of suicide. Lithium is taken by mouth.
Dear Seba, I have to admit to not really consciously understanding your performance but there is something so clinical or maybe neutral about the way you list these drugs, And then there is the really representational side of what you did with the drawings. They serve somehow to set up a narrative, which allows me to tell myself a story:
There was a man who was blocked from his memories by a wall
Part of him was stuck in the past
He recited a list of magical ingredients
This became an incantation, the incantation of the dead head
These were supposed to be the keys to a memory that was blocked
The memory was blocked by a failure to be assimilated
This failure was related to lack of sleep
1st he used a potion in a bottle to sleep
Half of the people in the world used this potion to forget
Ultimately It didn't work,
The magical ingredients in his incantation were kept in a red box
The magical ingredients gave him temporary sleep
But this sleep was the sleep of the dead
They allowed him to function but he became a zombie
His head was split in 2 and cut off from the rest of himself
He was a basket case
Please consider this story the question
8) Robin > aela > sofia
as I know you would like more feedback, I am gonna try to give as much observation as I can :)
I liked the decalage between what I could describe as an intimate lecture dispositive and the very text which was read. A nice mix between telling a story, a tale and doing it in a formal way...meaning giving awareness of the philosophical side of the tale and challenging imagination in the same way.
Same decalage I could felt by the situation of both characters: being next to each other, responding (in term of tempo) to each other but not really seeing, touching, communicating...just knowing the other is somewhere near you while in the same time, keeping a private and comfortable space.
It was also about interpretation...how each character interprets the silence of the other, the void in between them two...while one thinks it is necessary and peaceful to maintain this quiet void the second wonders if something might be wrong with it...non verbal communication lets space for possibilities of interpretation. The void as the space of the possible...
This issue of interpretation can be found in science...here...meteorology or science fiction...how to rationalise what is seen, observed and how those observations are related to one specific way of perceiving... the limits of perception (here human and something-else-than-human) are also the limits of scientific interpretation of events...
Here comes the issue of point of view...very present in your performance...zooming in...out...at least two different interpretations of the same void, the same non-presence...two different ways of feeling, living and recognising one event (human being perception and observer perception)...plus the song in behind...like a lightly colourful wind that guides imagination of the viewer a bit at side of the lecture dispositive...I felt brought away...in between two possible realities because of that song...
here is my question: Does reality depends necessarily on a common interpretation or the so called reality is never else than a very useful concept we use to hide the fear of not sharing enough, the fear of being alone (in one mind, one body, one universe) ?
Extra question: do you think human being can manage to live with a multitude of different realities (generated by a multitude of different point of view) happening in the same time ?
9) Esteban > Mala > Aela
thank u for yr proposition. i find very interesting the relation between what is represented and what remains invisible (behind the white screen), yet in a way tangible, which affects what we see, what is being performed and what is represented. I am interested in this subtle logic of confluences btw the two (voices, bodies, or states of mind, layers of "text") and how they affect or destabilise each other. It is as if the two phantasmatic frameworks within one person clash. or perhaps it is the friction between ones own fantasy and the invisible other within ones self that always already invades, tackles, influences one's own fantasy from behind the white screen. It makes me think of Zizek in his Pervert's Guide to Cinema (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTcCjNTpecc) where he talks about voice as an "alien intruder" into one's psychic reality, which in psychoanalytic terms is always displaced, cracked open. thinking, about yr performance, i wander what is then this logic of continuous and perpetual displacement and how it generates yr "cinematic" narratives on stage.
10)Mala > Seba > Agnes
I was intrigued by the way you used the technique of visualization. The experiences I had up until now were individual ones, even though they happened in a group context. Your session made us verbalize in front of the group the specificity of the impressions, thoughts and affects that were produced by the interaction between your words and our imagination. By sharing all of this with each other, we could see the many individual differences. You also asked some of us to delve a bit deeper into our imagination, in order for us to be more precise when communicating our impressions. Sometimes it also seemed as if you as the interrogator were looking for something yourself, through the imagination of someone else. I wondered what it was, and if you eventually found it!
But this is not a question Agnes could do a lot with… So, here it is: Considering the importance of knowledge production, creativity and innovation for our contemporary economies, shouldn’t we as artists take a more critical stance in regards to the productive and transformative potential of the imagination (‘elsewhere & otherwise’), a capacity often associated with our practices? Should we redefine imagination as something which is not in opposition with continuity, tradition, situated-ness,… Or define a force which can balance its constructive-destructive agency?
fish, displacement, sex, excitable, particles
posted by: Sébastien Hendrickx
Robin, Arianna, Isabel, Juan, Ricardo, Esteban , Lilia, Yaari, Juan, Anouk, Brendan, Gerald, Varinia, Sana, Agnes, Luiza, Sofia, Aela, Christian, Lili, Nicolas, Thiago
P> Q >R
1)Varinia > Gerald> Isabel
2)Isabel >Yaari > Sebastian
3)Agnes >Esteban > Christian
4)Ricardo > Lili > Anouk
5)Yaari > Robin > Lilia
6)Seba > Ricardo >Nicolas
7)Arianna > Sana > Lili
8)Luiza > Lilia > Thiago
9)Anouk > Sebastian > Agnes
10)Christian > Aela > Aela
11)Esteban > Agnes > Yaari
12)Nicolas > Brendan > Gerald
13)Brendan > Thiago > Juan
14)Sofia > Luiza > Ricardo
15)Lili > Christian > Arianna
16)Aela > Varinia > Robin
17)Gerald > Juan > Varinia
18)Robin > Sofia > Brendan
19)Sana > Nicolas > Sana
20)Lilia > Anouk > Esteban
21)Juan > Arianna > Luiza
22)Thiago > Isabel > Sofia
1)Varinia > Gerald> Isabel
Varinia, in your bubble performance of the second session, you used absurd while very simple verbal and body languages to describe casual physical phenomenons.
If you ever had to depart from there to invent a practice, would that practice be a pretext to use humour as a collective cement or absurdity as a way to challenge our relationship.s to truth? Or a critical practice of truth via humor?2) Yaari on Isabel (reply Sebastian)The density you've put our bodies in was a moment of tension between suffering and pleasure. a cis-archaeological-corporeal-
(I liked to feel I trust you, your proposal, and the others present)
since you defined the task as an act which will help you to articulate a question…I would be interested to know why did you feel our bodies need to attain this physical contact of tightness and compression in order to 'accept' the material you offered? what was there is the two-layers-landscape that created the best state of receiving?
3) Esteban's question to Agnes (Christian replies)
Watching your performance, I was very amused by how it was working; the deliberate choice of objects and the design of tasks developed a ‘lets not take this seriously’ kind of atmosphere that became at the same time an expectation of what the setup could engender. My questions are:
What do you think discovering the potentiality of absurdity can generate? What do mishaps as a tool reveal about the actions and the people that perform them?
I also thought this article of the aesthetics of failure might be of your interestRemembering your „solo“ on the table yesterday, I have many questions. Two most prominent ones are as follows:1) were you part of the audience, so us, during the „table dance“?(I found it a nice setting you chose - a bit elevated, in the midst of us, where a strip tease could take place, but instead of luring us into the escalating excitement and anticipation of the end, you have seduced us/me into cycles that kept bringing me back to the same spot. That enabled me to see you doing as well as performing)2) through what other practical ways could you immerse yourself into the audience, while still performing something - I don´t want to say observe yourself performing, because I´d say the two are different - (a performer becoming part of the audience but still available as a performer, or performing the split I am mentioning)
Anouk's reply with a performance. Here is the text written after the performance
What stays of my performance for the Bubbles score #3
I stand up and ask people to follow me to the space behind the mobile wall/ corner. I keep the general light shut. There is some light setting from the past, some yellow light from Pierre’s proposal and a blue light coming from the projector on the white wall. I like the coldness of the blue and the warmth of the yellow. I invite everybody to walk in the space for 30 seconds. Then, I ask us to stop and stand on place with the eyes closed. I invite peoples to experience my performance from where they are, from this random point of view. I start to move with my eyes closed and my attention on my skin. What is touching me? I say to people that they can open their eyes whenever they want. I keep my eyes closed. I move in order to give sensation to my skin. I am touched by my clothe, by the air. I am gliding into space, I am not disturbing it, I am air, I am light. Am I visible? Can I feel myself? Can I sustain the lightness, the almost non-perceivable sensation? Do I still exist? I continue moving with my attention on my skin. I open my mouse to say : “ A friend of mine told me that the skin is the most external layer of the brain and the brain the most internal layer of the skin.” Depth is surface, surface is the depth. While travelling, I encounter a body, a person. The back of this person is caressing my hand. Soon after, another person. I wonder what they feel. Do they like the caress? Now, I know that some people are standing close to each other. It is darker here. I imagine that I am close to a wall. I say another thing. Why do I want to speak? Isn’t my physical presence enough? I want to share my subjective experience. Do I want to talk about subjectivity? Is my tactile experience communicative? Can we share a tactile experience? I say: “ in Chinese medicine the skin is associated to the function of the lungs, so to the respiratory system. Lungs and skin are similarly porous.” I am interested in porosity. Sometimes I am not porous enough, sometimes it’s too much. Too much porosity can arm. Can I close my skin? Can something that does not exist be armed? I am somewhere else now. I melt down to the ground. The light is yellow behind my eyes lids. The floor touches me. I think: “ there you are again. “ It is difficult to sustain verticality when my eyes are shut. I encounter a vertical object covered with thick fabric. It is a leg. I let it touch my arm. My whole arm adapts to its form, its texture, its temperature. It let the leg anchor itself; it penetrates the first layer of my skin. Now, I am an outgrowth, a parasite, a mushroom on a tree trunk. My left leg is a bit bent and floats in the air, parallel to the arm on the tree trunk. I say ‘ lets’ see if I can maintain my attention of my skin with my eyes open”. I open my eyes. I see. I let the image touch my retina. I turn my head and see the face of someone looking at me with a really soft open face. I am happy to see that my dance is affecting her. I am glad to see that to be affected by the environment can affect it in return. Receptivity is an action. A revolution? Presence. I maintain my position and talks again:” the gazes are touching me”. I only move my head and see where I am. I say “ The light ….”, the alarm rings. END.
5) Robin asking Questions to the performance of Yari (to be replied by Lilia)
Sorry can't believe I'm doing one of these long questions but I am:
Yari I found your performance kind of fascinating in that the position you took was so ambiguous. By assigning someone else to find you a lover you abdicated responsibility but at the same time were very clear about what you didn’t want - so there was a move towards community, or transindividuality but a constant reclaiming of the position of decision maker- if this was intended to illustrate the ambiguity or impossibility of the question ‘how to realise the idea of Love and life and building a community” then it was effective.
Less clear to me was the talk of falling in love not as an outward act but more as an an internal movement of falling back into the self. I think the ‘falling’ in ‘falling in love’ is unspecified in its direction, neither in nor out or rather potentially either, but I do think it does refer to the fact of doing it with, you ‘fall in love with’ so there is an action that’s an attempt to share, which you again did in your search for a lover. But I feel by treating your search for a lover with such a pragmatic and ’throw-away’ attitude you were attempting to question the desperation and commodification of a contemporary attitude towards ‘falling in love’ but this didn’t quite come off because of the lack of investment (even a momentary one) took the desperation out of the act. For me it became too blasé and what could have been desperate (even with a coating of indifference) became Irony, and Irony, for me, only succeeds in detaching us from the question. I think we may be consuming fast and without much thought but I think we certainly are ‘desperate’ in our search, driven by the the idea of somehow becoming whole , completing ourselves through the other. For me this desperation brings up the Lacanian idea of a desire that has no object …”simply the wish to perpetuate itself ad infinitum, in the dialectical movement from one signifier to the next signifier, between things but also the movement itself, the metronymic slippage from one object to the next. The desire in the gaze of the other, the pure desirousness, the looking itself. The lost object, the thing that was once conceived as part of the self becomes the other, the ghost of the original which never was”.
This refers back to another point you bought up which was the idea of time, the arrow of time, and whether it produces language or the other way around. I lost the connection a bit here but I thought it well illustrated in the Tinder apps arrow system, though I didn’t quite get the connection between language and ecstasy. Here I I thought of Terence McKenna’s book ‘Food of the Gods’ where he talks about language coming out of the experience of ecstasy induced by our historically symbiotic relationship to Psychedelics, and how our quest for reproducing this experience of ecstasy is the driving force behind our addictions to ‘Love’, ‘materiality’ and any substance or object of desire.
Finally about the performance at the end when you didn’t seem to want to illustrate or answer further, a sort of refusal. I found this very intriguing and wondered whether it related to this pre-self consciousness, pre-history moment, when we didn’t have language.
So my question for you is twofold:
What do you think the relationship between language, love and addiction is?
How can the refusal to speak be an act of radical change?
6) Sebastian > Ricardo > Nicolás
Through substances containing certain subjects, we witness the emptying and deformation of being. How would you fill an empty body? What will you put inside of an empty body?
7) Sana Asks Arriana , Lili repliesI should say that I really like your performance and the text. They fully work together and complete each other.You text amazingly takes me back and forth in time. From memory to contingency, from nostalgia to the uncertainty of future, from childhood to maturity...What impressed me a lot was that in chapter three which abstractly illustrates future in front of my eyes, you create a poetic world wrapped in fantasy. The world you are waiting for is a mysterious one in which magic is possible. Thus, you beautifully transform the fear to hope and desire by passing through consciousness.I doubt if I have any question around the text but as a clue for Lili ' reply I want to discuss this: if the body can make a bridge between memory and future!
8)Luiza > Lilia > ThiagoThe body is a bridgeWe were mingled and at the end of our individual arms each of us held a cray. Underneath the cray there was a paper, a black paper. We couldn`t see well. We functioned as a blind octopus, gesticulating our tentacles on the flat surface, engaged in discovering the possibilities of that moment.What kind of imaginary that situation brought to you? And what kind of politics you think it generates?
9)Anouk > Sebastian > Agnes
Considering the depth of the ecological crisis, what does our world need more: sacralization or profanation*? Or none of both? And why?
* According to Roman law, objects that belonged in some way to the gods were considered sacred or religious. As such, these things were removed from free use and trade among humans: they could neither be sold nor given as security, neither relinquished for the enjoyment of others nor subjected to servitude. Sacrilegious were the acts that violated or transgressed the special unavailability of these objects, which were reserved either for celestial beings (and so they were properly called "sacred") or for the beings of the netherworld (in this case, they were simply called "religious"). And if "to consecrate (sacrare) was the term that designated the exit of things from the sphere of human law, then "to profane" signified, on the contrary, restoring the thing to the free use of men. "Profane," the great jurist Trebatius was therefore able to write, "is, in the truest sense of the word, that which was sacred or religious, but was then restored to the use and property of human beings." (Giorgio Agamben, What is an apparatus?)
10) Christian > Aela > Aela
Give an exemple on how sound plays in the process of letting the subject narrates itself !!!
11) Esteban > Agnes > Yaari
one day after your proposal I read this lines which made me think of the interaction of chairs and the relation between them and the sound:
“… in a world where things are continually coming into being through processes of growth and movement – that is, in a world of life – knotting is the fundamental principle of coherence. It is the way forms are held together and kept in place within what would otherwise be a formless and inchoate flux” (Tim Ingold, The Life of Lines)
how do relate to making and unraveling knots?
12) Brendan questions the performance of Nicolas (replied by Gerald)
I liked your performance with your machines. or perhaps rather, your machines performance with you.
Frankensteining " This is not what i programmed! "
I felt like you created a back door vortex into a neo-world, somewhere between a human dimension (a reality governed by humans) and a computer dimension (one governed by machines), with both exerting their desire for expression and autonomy. This shifting of dimensions illustrated by the time sequence that slowly twists into a distortion as it counts down and out … A humorous space where languages miscommunicate and everything is caught in a loop of failure and sense/nonsence. To quote my first filmmaking professor, "The only thing you can count on with technology is that it will fail".
This makes me question, in regards to working with technology:
Imagine, everything is done properly, everything should be working just fine, it has operated smoothly this same way 99 previous times, there can be no possible accounting for any possible error, but yet - the unforeseeable happens - meltdown. Can this fouling up, this failure actually be a sign of artificial life? A sign of these objects, these machines exerting a kind of free will?
Rather than answer this deeply speculative question for me, I was hoping to ask you if you could, with all your tools, take us even deeper into this neo-world that I described and was performed for us, so that as a group we could consider its implications as we embody the in-between dimension. Can you create the conditions for the allowance of this A.I. to surface in our laboratory ?
13) Brendan > Thiago > Juan
I liked very much the presence of the mundane in your mythical
discourse: your god is a cleaner, not so comfortable with his
But you also present us a world where the creator wants back
everything he once gave/offered/created. The cruelty of this figure
reminded me of Kronos and Shiva, gods of the destruction. Shiva, as
far as I know, is also responsible for creating new worlds while
destroying everything, through this dance called Tandava.
What is the importance of destruction in your practice? What are you
14) Luiza to Sofia (reply Ricardo)In your performance not only gesture but also sound was very important. When we sounded our book's names (in both cases) there was an intersection and we created something new: noise. But in the first part noise was a cumulative fragmented information - we couldn't get and weren't supposed to get each other's book's names - and in the second part it was the thing, our thing - the book.noise, in music, uses "non-musical" sounds as well as mechanisms of distortions, feedback, manipulation, duration, residues... What could you say is the role of noise in your work, and even, more specific, in the creation of a character?15)Lili > Christian > AriannaWhile experiencing you performance this question came to mind: How is it ever possible be intimate when you constantly have to (reach the surface to) breath?
16) Varinia asks Aela and Robin replies
In an exercise of trying to think in a science fiction mode, i.e in regard to what the future has in store for us, concerning the question of subjectivity v.s objectivity: if the notion of accessing ourselves - as specific and particular human beings that are aware of an interiority - is still a possible one, how would that be after the engineering of a brain that matches sense and form in such a way in which subjectivity is completely aligned with objectivity, giving end to subjectivity ?
Robin Replies with the movie Transnistria
https://youtu.be/IrqCsMiS8VE17) Juan about Gerald reply VariniaMy question is an image....
18) Sofia's question to Robin (reply Brendan)Dear Robin,
I really appreciated the sound-experience I had with your proposition. After a while I was really affected by the task you gave us. It was as if the space and the cup had become one, making me doubt if reality had shifted... I checked and it hadn't. :) Then, the voice of my partner became focused on the back of my head, and I could hear the position of the source of the voice (the mouth) quite clearly because of the cup. Usually sound is more spread out... but this time it seemed to stay in one point. I could hear the sentence: "Soy el punto negro que anda/A las orillas de la suerte" (I am the black point that walks the shores of chance). Esteban's voice was focused in one point in space and talked about a black point... coincidence... ?... I felt like reality had shifted. I was left with an enigma: What is the black point that walks the shores of chance?
19) Sana > Nicolas > Sana
Dear SanaThank you for sending me the text again! Listening at it once was definitively not enough. It’s nothing linear. I needed to listen it in layers, line by line, dive vertically into it and open the cracks in personal labyrinth this text. Each sentence seems to sediment over the next and covers it’s meaning with a new world. There is - in fact - a confusing distance between each sentence and I’m due to find my world to bridge between them.In your text, territories belong to a time - or timeless - dimension. Somewhere out of time and time in itself. But not only this, territories seem - by being wrapped in a time - to belong to an emotional dimension - a dimension of which I’m filled. And not only that, territories are moving elements, they march on our flesh, as if in a parallel universe our spacial consciousness would be obsolete.And not only that, time seems to be a multiplicity of unsynchronized parallel universes (desires).When I am the houryou play days or yearsWhen you said that I was starting to doubt, wether you ever were interested at all in bridging over the borders? It seems, that you accept the border as a game - cold as it is. You’r hours, I’m years, no need for synching.Yet, there is a horizon of every territory: somewhere on the line something changes. The question of ‘touch’ is coming up: is touch ‘connection', or 'revelation of difference'? Is there something like an absolute zero point of the border’s frigidity? An absolute one way? What happens when you cross that line? And when would you know, you see the border form the other side?I don’t know if it is possible to spatialize this question or if it remains in dimensions we don’t know.20)Lilia > Anouk > Esteban
Dear Lilia, you are asking this question in your text: “If one is not ready for change can change happen?”. Then what is it for you to be ready?21) Arianna on Juan (reply Luiza)the first two words you use in your text areTwoABYSMALI was actually impressed by that.The coexistence of two elements. But:is it one, repeated? is it that one is the copy of the other? were they born at the same time, from the same material, or..?what's the relationship between the two?2 + 0 = 20 + 2 = 21 + 1 = 21 + 1 + 0 = 21 = 12 = 2 ..I read the relationship between the 2 as being the ABYSMAL.You wrote it like that, in capital letters.It sounded like a character from an epic tale - a hero, or the character from a cartoon.the ABYSMAL. I see it wearing a mask, almost like Tiger Mask.It is a wrestler.I imagine a wrestling match -between you and the work of art;between a work of art and its copy (if such a thing as a copy exists at all);between the work of art and its other, whatever that is;between 1 and another 1..The abysmal, in this perspective and in my view, is also what happens between 2 facing each other,next to each other, close but never enough;parallel, not reachable from each other's perspectives..that which escapes the cumulative.The abysmal is an in-between:that which is never reachable as a full state of being, of inhabited presence.It is being as the state of passage.It isa hiatus, a longing,a bit like sehnsucht.What happens in this wrestling match?22) Isabel asks Thiago to be responded by Sophia:Thinking on irony again… on the irony that appears in the bubble that you proposed and the position of vulnerability, an “un-apparently presence” a “non-acknowledged little thing” yet so strong at the same time... A human-animal rhythmically gatecrashing through the restricting laws of “civilization”… that still speaks of a witty quality of human beings. My question to you is: What is more anima-Listic, to know or not to know?
10) Christian > Aela > Aela
Hello, Ladies, gentlemen and others...
Tonight I am gonna give you an inter-galactic waltz lesson !!!
Waltz was born in germany, in the late eighteens century ! It was first considered as the most sexual dance ever in opposition with group dance practice such das menuet... A dance in which one partners are allowed to touch each others and even more to enter in rotation together !!!
Waltz is a three times tempo dance ! Giving this specific rhythm of each beat waiting for the next one...and in between : the void, the intergalactic void !!! Every beat resonates and exhausts its sound waves into that void till the next beat and so on !!! Here it is about gravity, relativity or if you prefer Attraction !
Every beat creates a circular deformation of space-time exactly like the sun does ! This geometrical deformation of space-time is what makes the earth and other planets turning around it : our galaxy and the universe itself are a gigantic inter-galactic waltz !
Every beat enter in vibration with your inner body, activating your deepest organs... causing your deepest orgasm...
In every waltz there is this little breath... the beat goes down..it is disturbed by the apparition of an asteroid coming closer to the attraction field...it is called a balade, a walk... or if you prefer a little flirt... It is just a breath...soon, the rhythm starts increasing again and the movement of love goes back again to its rotation !!!
To love is to dance waltz and to dance waltz is to be individually universal !!!
11) Esteban > Agnes > YaariI was "reading" Esteban's performance as an encounter: sound that piercing a specific changeable landscape.in light of & in response to that, through Agnes's question i did a training in my materials*a dancewhen we attend the forest as an entity which is constantly coming into being, the forest becomes a poem-body.the forest, as an entity, is a whole, that is larger then the sum of its parts.through processes of growth and movement, it is Alive. every Possible of its Potential is in its practice.the forest is a structure while it is an essence.a poem, is a whole, greater then the sum of its parts, a Thing that practices Life due to its formation.its nature is a function but also an Experience.the poem, is a vessel, for life to dwell.language is finite and endless at the same time.there, is a forest. it has a form. but since it practices itself as a body, it articulates as language.a network of visible and invisible organs, frequencies, intervals, that manifests itself through exercising communication between its performances and the latent.the forest is an oral teaching, of the movement of final towards infinity.it is a place of divinity, where singularity succeeds to participate in intimacy, due to its becoming in contact.this, operates as a system of encounters, where every intension is already a working. every encounter is an event of knotting and unraveling. singularities penetrating each other, permeable for each other, while also, at the same time, remaining different from, and 'other' then, themselves.like the poem, the forest passes through its own borders while Art-iculating. like the poem, it declare itself, on its edges. in order to be, it reads itself and recalls itself continuously.it is a membrane, reacting to the events, that registered in, and making of, its flesh.to think the forest in that sense, is to think the light piercing the thicket and meets itself on a trunk. the bush's ravel as space of cavities for the wind to transfigure. it is to think the earth absorbing dead-vegetal-bodies to feed the live ones. it is to understand the mushrooms as a speech conductor. the animals, as a touch transmuting a limit into energy.the forest IS.in its own time.the poem-body is a coherent order of becoming. by coming into being-in-contact it accedes and resists to inner and outer data while simultaneously produces it. as an operative structure, it calls, in its own time, to itself, and speaks, maybe strAngely its events.the forest as a poem-body is an oracle.*15) Lili > Christian > Arianna1) We step inside the outline of a circle placed on the floor.We form a huddle.
2) We can lay on each other's bodies. Try to find a comfortable position, where you can close your eyes.
Ease down your head, your arms.. your body parts onto the ones of the others close to you.
3) Feel your breath
and try to feel the breath of the person who's closer to you.
4) Now, reach with one of your hands the surface of another body.
Keep your hand there. Try to feel the quality of the body material that your hand is touching.
How would you take care of that material?
5) With your hand - the hand that is touching another body - make one gesture to take care of that body material.18)Robin > Sofia > Brendan
KEYWORDS: exchange, protocols, stacking, Landscape, fear, sharing, blackapple, gemini, trance, Ambience, locomotion, circle, subterraneous, strict minimum, brainwashing session
The key words remind me of ‘ The Return’. I have watched this film several times and it is still discovering for me.
Andrey and his younger brother meet their father after many years of his absence. They set off for a fishing trip and end up on a remote Island. The father who is essentially a stranger becomes more mysterious when he starts looking for a box buried somewhere on the Island.
As the movie opens, the brothers are testing their fears jumping in the river from height. This is a threshold to what we see later.
Arianna’s performance made me remember this film. Gerald was also talking about discovering the landscape and the body which is one of the main concepts in the same film. Thus, I think watching this film could be a report from my point of view.
Sofia, Christian, Aela, Gerald, Lilia, Lili, Sana, Nicolas, Luiza, Varínia, Robin, Brendan, Mala
PERFORMANCE > QUESTION > REPLY
1)Varínia > Sofia > Lili
2) Robin > Nicolas > Sana
3) Nicolas > Sana > Luiza
4) Lili > Lili > Varínia
5) Luiza > Varinia > Aela
6) Lilia > Robin >Brendan
7) Sana > Luiza > Mala
8) Gerald > Brendan > Lilia
9) Christian > Mala > Sofia
10) Brendan > Lilia > Nicolas
11) Sofia > Christian > Gerald
12) Aela > Aela > Christian
13) Mala > Gerald > Robin
1)Varínia > Sofia > Lili
Let’s act as if this was what happened last Wednesday. Let’s take one thing for another:
X was asked to locate and touch parts of Y's body, as if it was someone else’s. X chose the neck when The Scientist asked to act as if it was a loved one, but X also chose the neck when The Scientist asked to act as if it was X's own body being touched after sex. Easy to come to the conclusion that, after sex, X wants to be treated as if X’s loved ones. In this experiment, the method of taking one thing for another leads to elucidating conclusions. Let’s elaborate on this methodology. Maybe it works like a mathematical equation, where The Scientist substitutes Y for different values in order to discover more about the nature of X’s conducts and desires.
What does it do: to take one thing for another?
2) Robin > Nicolas > Sana
I found the solution to your riddle. You are a snail in outer space (probably on the way towards a black hole.)
Still my thoughts couldn’t stop speculating, and I was wondering if it would be possible to exchange some words in your poem. For example: “House” with “Freedom” and “staircase” with “happiness”, “windows” with “Self”. Or more concrete: “my House” with “public space” and “my staircase” with “urbane planing” and “my windows” with “responsibility” etc.
This would give sentences like:
My freedom is circular with no beginning or end…
My happiness lead both up and down; my Self is looking both in and out…
or Public space turns on its own axis in a state of perpetual movement..
and As Urbain planning lead both up and down, responsibility look both in and out..
I don’t know how to interpret such sentences, but somehow they sound more promising then looking actually out of my actual “window".
Or how about this:
Our conflicts are circular
with no beginning or end, no sides, no up, no down.
Our conflicts turn on their own axis in a state of a perpetual movement.
Fear infiltrates both up and down suspiciousness observes both in and out.
Your last line is:
There is an occasional flicker, a slit, a slip, of light a path both in and out.
What is “light” for you?
3) Nicolas > Sana > Luiza
Your script and specially the way you presented that make me think about black comedy. In black comedy there is the possibility of talking about serious issues and facts in a humorous way. The characters you created and their confusion were in contrast with the sequences you invited us to imagine as the background. I enjoyed this contradiction,
My question is what happens when paradoxes come together?
4) Lili > Lili > Varinia
As the question goes to my own bubble score, I am tempted again to resort to yet another performance artist - Pipilotti Rist and her video-piece, Mutaflor. Question for me to consider again is how do I assimilate influences (consciously and recognizing the unconscious absorption over time). Which artists´ hair would I keep in a little locket? How do I hold them dear, what have they passed on to me?
But in the light of Mutaflor´s perpetual exchange of the inside and outside here is my question to you: how can performance create without excavating? Creation (of new) seems to happen in the pauses we make (for the audience, which are for the performer one of the densest moments, being pressed against the arrow of time, progression and the eye of the audience).
Or the other way around - imagining creation only happens by digging out bones of the bodies once existing, we re-flesh them into the zombies and then how far into the future are we following our creations?
5) Luiza > Varinia > Aela
in your bubble action, you turned off the lights of the room to then use a torch. With the torch in hand, you rolled on the big sheets of paper bringing to light drawings, words and symbols. Your body action, the torch and the action of bringing to the light some drawings made me imagine as if you were an explorer looking to discover some ancient hieroglyphs in a dark cave. My question doesn't concern a possible fiction but more of a technical matter. If in my view a small source of light -the torch- helped you to highlight what maybe the room light would have not, in what other ways could the body become a frame for us to look into the reality in its detail and complexity ?
7) Sana > Luiza > Mala
Here is my question, sorry for the little delay :)
In your proposal we were seeing our surroundings with our eyes and through each other. We were seeing through our ears and through language. We were also seeing through our location throughout the stairs and the architecture of the building. That way of seeing was full of flaws, but also of possibilities of reaching things that otherwise we wouldnt be able to reach.
But, to be honest, I felt a bit disconnect of what I was seeing (for myself), as I was immersed in this "seeing through other...", and so I wondered, what is this disconexion ? Is it an openess? Or an omission? How much do we have to disconnect from ourselves in order to connect with another (person, body, structure, time...)?
Hope you have a great weekend!
8) Gerald > Brendan > Lilia
Remember when we all had VCR's ?
Remember that little clock,
the one on your VCR,
that was always blinking twelve noon,
because you never bothered or figured out how to get in there and change it ?
So it’s always the same time,
just the way it came from the factory.
Good morning. Good night.
Same time tomorrow. We're in record
So here are the questions: Is time long or is it wide?
And the answers? Sometimes the answers
just come in the mail. And one day you get the letter
you've been waiting for forever. And everything it says,
is true. and then the last line says:
And what I really want to know is: Are things getting better,
or are they getting worse? Can we start all over again?
Stop. Pause. We're in record. Good morning. Goodnight.
Now I in you without a body move.
And in our hearts we fly. Standby.
Good morning. Good night.
9) Christian > Mala > Sofia
i am strangely moved by the watering cans, i could watch them being discovered forever, like in a loop, as a repetitive dream, only the colour changes. and then the sound is so evocative, slightly displacing, it frames my perception of the image i see. it is the sound that makes me travel and discover the world with u, as if for the first time, and as if through the lens of "an alien" from the wild blue yonder (https://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=BE&v=N5Lh5mD_JJ4). i wonder how do u make the sound, the recorded sound, how u transform it, how does the relation of the sound to the image work for u, what does it do to the image, how it shifts the image or my perception of the image? the sound keeps moving my sense of a fictional "where": it’s hypnotising, then i'm in Hitchcock, then again i'm here now... but constantly moving through different spaces while looking at the multi-coloured watering cans.
thank u! xm
10) Brendan > Lilia > Nicolas
"Close your eyes and tell me which message I'm sending you."
Projections (as in the mind), dreams, imaginations, reflections (as in a mirror), illusions, hallucinations, building the world as we go ..... what do we want to know that hides behind the surface?
Have a nice week end,
11) Sofia > Christian > Gerald
I perceived your projected texts as being synchronized, your voice telling a story about water that sounded very allegorical, and then there was the projected text that spoke directly to us and directed our situation as listeners in a (dry) space.
Your spoken text was a reply to, or inspired by, David Foster Wallaces text "This Is Water" that begins with two young fish meeting an old fish and the old fish says “Morning, boys, how's the water?” and one of the young fish exclaims “What the hell is water?”
So I would like to ask you this: How can water be digital, is there any digital effects/incidents/functions that you normally would compare to water? What effects would it have if your computer was flooded by digital water, leaking in to all your folders and open online accounts like gmail, paypal and facebook?
13) Gerald to Mala
In your recent bubble score proposal, you invited us to travel mentally through some of our very human depths. In these dimensions, space and time gain seem to gain elasticity.
In the same movement, emotions feel different, get maybe less personal.
Something universal is going on.
How much are these possible bridges between dimensions, important keystones in your practice, and on broader level, in human collective practices in general?
KEYWORDS: Moon~time~insights, as if, here and there,
PARTICIPANTS : Arianna, Tinna, Isabel, Juan, Ricardo, Esteban , Lilia, Yaari, Juan, Anouk, Brendan, Gerald, varinia, Sana, Agnes, Pierre, Luiza, Sofia, Aela, Christian, Lili.
PERFORMANCE > QUESTION > ANSWER
1) P) Arianna > Q )Sana > A)Pierre
2) Yaari > Christian > Gerald
3) Christian > Isabel > Arianna
4) Sofia > Lilia > Yaari
5) Ricardo > Varinia > Esteban
6) Esteban > Ricardo > Christian
7) Anouk > Esteban > Luiza
8) Gerald > Tinna > Sebastian
9) Lili > Yaari > Varinia
10) Luiza > Brendan > Sana
11) Agnes > Anouk > Tinna
12) Brendan > Luiza > Anouk
13) Sebastian > Juan > Lili
14) Tinna > Gerald > Aela
15) Juan > Sofia > Juan
16) Aela > Aela > Sofia
17) Sana > Arianna > Brendan
18) Isabel > Pierre > Agnes
19) Pierre > Sebastian > Lilia
20) Lilia > Lili > Ricardo
21) Varinia > Agnes > Isabel
1) Sana asks Arianna (reply Pierre)
Is the disfigured, anonymous body approachable through its spontaneous reactions to it's surroundings?
If yes, to what extent?
If no, what is the alternative?
2) Yaari > Christian > GeraldYour text is beautifully hovering at a mental state where situation has merged into timelesness, an energy that could last for a split second or 80 years.I am in this connection curious to know if it would be possible to tie the situation to an ideal geographical location (city, desert...) one that would include year, space ( i.e. mountain top, café, bus), tools for writing?(Of course this question assumes that you're willing to feed in to a parallel fictional universe, if you're not already there.)
3) Isabel asks Christian (reply Arianna)
The maori people have amazing techniques for dialoguing with the sea. In fact in Easter Island elder women teach their grandchildren how to make the waves get smaller. Thus, they avoid being taken away by the gigantic waves when they go collecting shells and exotic seafood on turbulent rocky seashores. I imagine there must be a symbiosis between hypnosis and molecular water cells in the human body interacting with the molecular water cells of the sea. When we were talking about the performance you presented in bubble score # 1, you mentioned the paradox between hypnosis and property, as hypnotizing the landscape as a property means (I hope to have understood well?). My question is: Could the notion and practice of private property be a result of hypnosis and why?
4) Lilia To Sofia (reply Yaari)
The first thing that came to my mind was the idea of falling in love. And mostly the Falling in the Love. The vertigo towards the other, the ecstasy of becoming blurred with the other, indeed like a suicidal flirt that creates a third space for fictional reality, that constructs reality itself. I think I have question in two folds. They concern the romantic idea of love and the fictional aspect of it anchored in the falling. How do you relate the idea of love with the idea of life? And how do you think the the idea of love builds community? This can be seen in a literary way, philosophical or...
5) Varinia to Ricardo (Reply Esteban)
And if all the various body operations would halt in a single and inoperative - but nontheless expressive - act, or if all variations would manifest as sameness, how could we then still call the body the body?
6) Ricardo to Esteban (Reply: Christian)
Something that I got out of your proposal is that the element of sound blurs or obscures meaning. You have been working on the idea of the subject narrating itself through language and through cultural practices such as cooking or weaving. I understand that the text that you chose is of interest to you since it works through the relationship Lucrecia Martel has found between her sensory, affective and biographical memory, and the tool she articulates through her filmic work. In this case, the tool is sound and its power to pierce the body. This short narration that you are appropriating is of relevance since it evidences the poetic power of Lucrecia's films, which is your point of interest.
In which way do you think the action you presented creates a link between your interest in the subject narrating itself, its displacement in a series of cultural, collective practices, the idea of artistic tool and poetic efficacy and finally, the concept of appropriation in the construction of the subject?
7) Esteban to Anouk (Reply Luiza)
For me it was clear that we were dealing with traces, material traces and spatial configurations that were having a second life.
During the performance, however, it became very much about our presence and present time experience, about inhabiting the fragment and the impossibility to see it-all. There was such a calm, open presence in your performance and subsequently we all became performers/onlookers/witnesses at the same time.
Besides the blurring of time frames and your interest in trace as present experience, and perhaps a preoccupation for preserving something of the experience for future performers/onlookers/witnesses; do you also see a blurring of the subject-other happening? are we regarded as our own sensorial world, or, how do you understand the subject-other interface within this experience of blurred temporality?9) Yaari question to Lili (reply Varinia)About stretching or attracting the physical capacities of your body because of an immediate contact with an-other body. About a moment of endurance vis-a-vis intimacy. About a necessary need which can not be fulfilled unless repeated, and even then. How breathing can obey the effort and produce a signifcant change in the procedure?10) Brendan question to Luiza (reply Sana)LuizaI was mostly swept away by your scenography. Which was dictated by the text and achieved quite simply by killing the lights. First leaving just the 4 or 5 glowing apples in the room, then later beautiful silhouettes accompanying only one's self and the voice of the page, backdropped, for me, by the glass wall and the brussels skyline. Feeling at ease and carried away.Recalling my experience and re-reading the text, I conceived and noticed many change of planes, shifting points of view, view points, from the horizontal to the vertical, to and fro, internal/external, etc. It occurred to me, after thinking about this changing of planes for awhile, that it could have been nice to have a glass ceiling for the prophecy of the glass ceiling, but how!! In the end, I admit to being very pleasantly distracted from the text by what I was experiencing as caused by the windows that I faced (and am now also considering how those whom I faced, those silhouettes I looked upon experienced things in a different darkness), and worked to not feel guilty by my failure to studiously follow the complex text. Now i realize this was not the fault of me being a poor student !! But it was my body being hypnotized by the text and the glass ceiling! Which here, was experiencing vertically as a window, a glass wall !! Oh the twisting embodiment that escapes my frontal consciousness !! My body working to join the fold of the changing planes, the shift of view points anchored by my eyes stuck in a head. Body seeking the horizontal, mind in the vertical. I need to lay down before the glass, and make it my ceiling !!!But!There is a part of the text that is a bit more unclear for me, how does all this, the presentations and suppositions made by the poet (as well as mine) amount to the conclusive line "To remember will become a thing of the past ... i can imagine that light effects negatively the capacity to remember, but this is not the realm of the text i believe. So, i guess my question is, how does the author reach this conclusion that results from what he/she proposes, "to remember will become a thing of the past"? Or maybe more broadly what do you feel contained in this poem, is consequential on memory/remembering/forgetting?eeeeek! i think i just figured it out! But am very interested to hear the correct answer from Sana.
11) Anouk question to Agnes (reply Tinna)Dear Agnes, the world "reality" is appearing one or several times in each the text fragments.Do you think "reality" is something that can be shared ?
12) Luiza to Brendan (Reply Anouk)
Hey! So I remember the sound of the can of coke being opened before your reading. It was for me a very well known sound that could set up a space. The way you positioned it made me think of sacred and profane symbols. Also, that speech sacralized america as a way of apologizing for misconduct, for profaning america and its figure of power, the president. So, I would like to know what is for you (the) sacred and what is (the) profane and how is, if there is any, your relationship to both?
13) Juan To Sebastian (Reply Lili)
How accurately can one transfer verbally the intrinsic physical characteristics of an object ?
14) Tinna to Gerald (Reply Aela)
In the frame of your bubble performance, we collectively agreed on a partially wrong information.
Why do you need our trust to language to be hijacked?
15) Sofia To Juan (Reply Juan)
When you brought the material from Youtube it felt to me as an act of quoting. So then I wondered how do you use quoting and citing in your practice? How do you quote?
16) Aela to Aela (Reply Sofia)
Languages and artistic, political and media representations model, determine, freeze, valuate, judge, catalogue the body using subjective parameters dictated by society.
Is it then possible to de-determine the body ? To think the body as a moving and liquide entity, able to metamorphose endlessly without deteriorate what is considered as individuality ?
Or do we have to give up on individuality as a fixed and safe marker and to reconsider it as something alterable and altering ?
In this case what is individuality ?
17) Arianna to Sana (Reply Brendan)At the beginning of your writing, you create the almost cinematic atmosphere of an ancient tale.It's a tale of growth and change, and I think it is telling us about roots.I could feel the wind - or, more precisely, I could imagine this wind of history: a wind whose strength comes not only from its physical force but also from the distance it has to pass through to come to my face, and to face my body.Is resistance something that we grow with time, like a plant grows roots that go deeper and deeper into the ground?Is resistance something superficial - that acts and is effective at and from the level of the skin?How deep resistance grows into the body?These are more general questions I have - they do the groundwork for what I'd like to ask:Imagine the strongest wind you can think about. It is so strong that blowing against your body, it keeps it suspended in the air, preventing it from moving. Not a step is possible.What would you do with your body (physical strategy) in order to be able to keep moving in spite of this wind?
18) Pierre to Isabel (Reply Agnes)
Dear Isabel,What you offered last Wednesday to the Bubble Score community was a text, precisely the beginning of a chapter entitled "Goddess of the Witches" from a book called "The Great Cosmic Mother".The text is about the multiple prehistoric and historic cults around the figure of Diana/Artemis/Ishtar/Hecate that produced knowledges in the past associated with feminine power and later on were condemned, banned, erased by, first, the greek patriarchal turn, then by Christianity, culminating with hunts and burnings of witches in the 16th and 17th century. The text ends with the following line "The witch persecutions were not simply aimed at 'Devil-worshipers', but at ancient human knowledge of the world".Later on in a discussion with me you said "but what have women done to men to deserve that ?"If I share with you the idea that today's situation can be enlightened by studying the past, that we must practice an archeology of the occidental way of thinking and that a decolonisation of the mind is necessary to prevent more shit to happen in the future, my reaction to the text's positioning was more doubtful, concerning the way the text is written and the assertive tone of some of your remarks.In fact, I do think that the text is over dichotomising the issue, reducing its complexity and is using the same tools that authoritarian knowledge : the "there is no alternative" leading to an injunction to think in a dichromatic way : black or white. Period.Concerning women, I do not think that women did anything to men, but that the power shift happened for political and economic reasons in societies growing in scale and in need of a general order, a pre-globalised order disqualifying the local more and more. A "general way of thinking", a way to generalise everything, to universalise, leading to the interchangeability of the humans where, under the ancient localised order, the communities were more singular, particular and not replaceable.I do not want to continue today as I have to ask you a question, but would like to continue discussing with you about this book statements and your relation with it. (you know that I like witches as you do, but may be differently?...)My question is inspired by your text in relation with another text.It's a text written by Isabelle Stengers called "The Cosmopolitical Proposal" where she proposes ways to actualise and produce real changes.She, and I agree with her, shows that denunciating is not enough to shift, to dismantle the authority associated with knowledge.I attach the text to this mail. I glossed some lines. hope we can find a moment to read and discuss them together.You can find it here : Isabelle Stengers_The Cosmopolitical ProposalMy question now.In fact I have two. Couldn't choose."What "taking magic seriously" can do for you today?" or "What do you hope for by "taking magic seriously" today?You pick.Hear from you,see you next weekamicalement,Pierre
19) Sebastian to Pierre (Reply by Lilia)
Which artistic experience changed your way of thinking? And how?
19) Tinna to Gerald (Reply Sebastian)
In your performance you made a live remix of the past, with recordings of us talking and the song Lithium with Nirvana. What connection is there between these 2 sound-sources?
20) Lili to Lilia (Reply Ricardo)If internalizing camera functions in how we think is mostly stemming from „manipulating time“ (jumps, cuts, continuity, fast forwards etc.), which other notion is being manipulated/influenced by haptic information? Or is it simply subordinate to visual/audio neural processes?Can you imagine whole room with all the people moving around you, running underneath your fingertips instead of you moving in the space?How would that inform you differently?(receptivity in relation to various body positions - e.g. "gallery with beds")
21) Agnes to Varinia (Reply Isabel)
I remember the walk of two black gloves, strong like ants that can sustain a weight five thousand times greater than their own body weight. thinking about ants I guess the ability to support a multitude of the own heaviness does not mean that it is also a pleasure to do so. I imagine it could be quite annoying, which reminds me of a question that was posed to you already last week. I will reformulate the question and ask what makes you more angry, cold or dirty hands?
2) Brendan > Luiza > Anouk
Preparation: I write a draft of text on my computer then I finish it writing it on a positive visual field, on the materialized form of my visual filed at a certain moment. I write SACRED on one side and PROFANE on the other. I finish writing my text by passing from one side of the “page” to the other. I have the object/page in my hands, I am manipulating it. My manual activity (writing, holding, turning) supports my intellectual activity and the process of articulating my thought. I have to put numbers and arrows to help me find the next sentence when I turn to the other side of the page. I read the text in front of the group, kneeling on the cardboard floor, holding the object in my hand in front of my eyes (face). I am turning the object/page to read one side and the other.
Performance of the text
1 - PROFANE: The root of profane is the Latin profanes which means “ what is in front of” which means “out of the temple”, non-initiated, ignorant.
2 - SACRED: The word "sacred" descends from the Latin sacrum, which referred to the gods or anything in their power, and to sacerdos and sanctum set apart. It was generally conceived spatially, as referring to the area around a temple. The English word "holy" dates back to at least the 11th century with the Old English word halig an adjective derived from hāl meaning "whole" and used to mean "uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete".
3 – PROFANE: What I keep from profane is non-initiated, ignorant.
4- SACRED: What I keep from sacred is and from sacred entire and complete.The shift from the profane space to the sacred space happens when I PAY ATTENTION. Then I see the sacred in the profane.
5 – PROFANE: For me sacred and profane are the two sides of the same coin. They are not intrinsically different. The sacred is when I listen and the profane is when I don’t. There is nothing to change, nothing is better. As Cage would suggest…
6 – SACRED: “ CHANGE YOUR MIND!”
7 – PROFANE: I AM OSCILLATING BETWEEN THE TWO. It is an OSCILLATION. I put the sacred is the realm of sensoriality and the profane the realm of words. For me the sacred cannot be expressed with words.
8 – SACRED: The sacred is a matter of ATTENTION. It is in the realm of EXPERIENCE. The sacred ineffable, it is beyond discourse. The sacred is for me a NON-time/space, NON-time/space of no escape. I am rarely there, though I love when it happens.
9 – ROFANE: I made a mistake while typing, SACRED became SCARED. Did we made this separation because we where scared? Scared of what? Is the profane the realm of fears?
10 – SACRED: The dictionary says that that one can pass from the profane dimension to the sacred dimension through RITUALS. I am a bit scared of the word ritual. I find it too heavy, too serious. Still I am looking for the sacred through my work.
11 – PROFANE: but for me the sacred is very much connected to SIMPLICITY and to the concrete and daily world, the “ NOTHING SPECIAL”, the “ PLAIN”, some could say the “BORRING”.
12 – SACRED: I find duration useful, duration and repetition. I practice observing myself, jugging and labeling. I practice observing my internal WAR.
3) Christian > Isabel > Arianna
Climbing the scaffold and laying down on the platform on top, face downwards.
My mother suffers from dizzy spells.
She prefers not to go climbing mountains. She stays on plain horizontal surfaces, where she can see everything at the same level.
When I was a kid and we went visiting a city, we would go up the highest tower of that city.
She would come with the rest of us, but would stay far from the view of the terrace. If we moved towards the edge, she would scream and grab the tip of our sweater, or the skin of our elbow if she had the chance, and prevent us from the risk of approaching the risk of falling.
(The remembering materializes, coming back into the present in a specific form)
stream of consciousness
Opening a bottle of water previously placed on top of the scaffold. Leaving the stream of water going down by the force of gravity through a hole in the platform.
Water falls on the ground from the height.
(It's night. The sky is clear, of an opaque dense black colour. I can see the full moon and the stars.
I am laying down on the top of something of uncertain nature. I am very close to the Moon. I can see it even with my eyes closed. I can almost touch it.
I think about the ones who are still on the ground)
What do you do when the tide rises
1 - When it comes up, it takes your elbows and brings them more and more towards your ears.
Be careful then - protect them using a thick sweater, or wearing water wings.
2 - Climb somewhere high and stay there for a while.
Tides are caused by gravity.
They can occur as two high waters and two low waters each day.
However, these periods do not happen at the same time. This is because the Moon takes its time to line up again exactly with the same point on the Earth.
Check it out with the Moon for more info.
3 - If the swirl is right above you, you cannot do anything more than waiting for it to come down. You can also try to bring it down yourself through the use of your hands.
Singing might help. Hypnosis is the last resort, for hypnotizing a tide requires you not to be afraid of the risk of approaching the risk of falling.
10) Brendan asks Luiza, Sana repliesBorders are frigid
Distances wrapped in a time, lostBorders are frigid
Distances covered in colors, paleFeeling confused
We dream out of synch
Light bounces off your skin
Reminds me of distorted past
Shattering into pieces
Memories remain less of debrisI turn ubiquitousConquering the time
Let’s play a game
When I am the hours
You play days or yearsBorders are frigid
Distances fill in you and me
marching on our flesh
Hear ‘em breath
Feel ‘em float
Like a sorrowNow turning thicker
Like a forest
Vast meadow covers the distances
Such a wonder!14) Tinna to Gerald (Reply Aela)
From an english and objective frame of reference, putting aside any daltonic possibilities... well we could argue on an objective way to describe the wrong colour with the good name or a subjective way to be objective ??? That sounds already messy...
SO... from an english and objective and human-being frame of reference, I am eating a green apple. Considered lonely, in a completely abstract context, an apple is a thing. But in an objective context, THIS apple is an object constituted by many different objects, its colour, its pips, its core, etc.
Objectively eating this apple I'll find its pips and its pips are black. Everyone is following ?
So from now on it appears that the green apple is also constituted by black pips. From here it is a very easy abstract jump to say that at some point the green of the apple is made by the black of the pips contained by this very apple and an even easier one to say that green is black ! Probably as much as green is blue and yellow !!!
And even easier !!! Green equal black !
Let's study a bit this affirmation. When I say green equal black, I am doing what is called an abstraction ! The process of abstraction is used in many domaine and specially in mathematics to make easier operation ! The system of abstraction works by simplifying a complicated reality to be able to deal with ! Same process with objectivity ! Every time we assign a name to a thing we reduce every possibilities of different subjectivities in favour of a common objectivity !
So it is very important to notice that objectivity is only a collective agreement on how to reduce individual subjectivity, A=B under a certain frame of reference but under another one, A is absolutely not equal to B !!!!
Let's go a bit further :)
An apple is as black as an orange !
In terms of blackity an apple is actually equal to an orange even if not a single one of them is black (once again from a non-daltonic point of view) !
I could have also said an apple is as NOT black as an orange ! But what happens when we use the negativity ! If I say an apple is NOT black, the mind will picture first the apple and then the black colour: result = an apple is black ! Why, because the mind can't picture negativity but only what is viewable and negativity is not a viewable object but a substraction of viewable object from viewable object !
Let's go on the funny side of this discovery !!!
The delay created by the mind trying to remove the black colour from the apple it pictured is the origin of irony and the one of laugh !!!!
Demonstration: joke + delay or time of understanding = laugh hahaa...
Irony and laugh come from a very short misunderstanding or a little awkwardness
and uncomfortable situation, that is a tiny excess of subjectivity in an objective discourse ! A tiny excess which is fortunately possible due to the process of abstraction I described earlier !
If there was no common objective reduction of subjective reality there will be no surplus of subjectivity to use and then no laugh and so a very sad society !!! In which one everyone would be able to communicate entirely with anyone else, boring....
Now... how to make a black apple revolution !!!?
Working with abstraction once again, I am gonna make an equality between the Foucault's relations of power and the objectivity I described earlier. Relations of power as objectivity exist in any domaine, political, institutional, relationship and so on, this objectivity appears when one tries to direct someone else's behaviour. But this objectivity is only possible among a certain amount of liberty corresponding here to subjectivity ! If there was no possibility of expressing subjectivity, there will be no objectivity at all.
The practice of liberty or the practice of subjectivity is an individual way one has to play with objectivity, to play among the rules of common objectivity !
Most of the time, as we saw it, the game of subjectivity among objectivity leads to irony or laugh !
A black apple revolution is a revolution everyone can practice on its own, discovering its own subjectivity, applying it to many domaine and sharing it ! That is knowing oneself or to use the words of Foucault: taking care of the self !
A black apple revolution is a ironic revolution a revolution that shows the limits of objectivity and power through laugh, through a tiny delay of misunderstanding !
One is not free from its own definition as soon as one remains understandable ! A peri-understanding is the most powerful tool of a funny revolution and a black apple is already in itself a revolution ! A displacement of the domination of objectivity upon subjectivity !
This is a revolution !!!
17) Arianna to Sana (Reply Brendan)
Text For Vacuuming
This force gives you body, your face, eyes, voice, and skin.
and now it wants it back
this is how you will live and how you will die
But, even in the strongest, most paralyzing wind possible
there is always a way to move.
Resistance is a space between the giving and the taking, it is you.
every possible move is contained by you, and amongst the you's that approximate.
freedom of movement is always accomplished through shifts of the body into the potentials of force.
with this we can open doors in the wind and fly
19) Pierre > Sebastian > Lilia
Hmmm I think all artistic experiences have changed my way of thinking. Or as Willem James puts it, (if I understand well) the nature or substance of experience is not different from the consciousness of that same experience. The two realms of experience and thought are separated in a pure functional way in order to process the continuity of experiences in our memory. So if I follow this thought it would be impossible to not change my way of thinking constantly.
I often asked my self if is the experience of the arts that opened my mind, or if my mind open up the art experience? If one is not ready for change can change happen? Either way through out the years my experience of the arts has changed a lot. My deep love for the performing arts has maybe a say in this (my addictive behavior as well).
The temporality of the performing arts connects both the realms of experience and thought in a one to one relation, in the back and forth between the now and the immediate memory of it, together with the memory of other experiences and thoughts about it, in a very direct very fast way. The processes are mingled and refer to the complex act of perceiving and maybe in that exact moment of the present the ‘fake’ dichotomy between experience and thought collides. There is just the moment of the moment. At a first instance I don’t remove myself from the moment, I don’t create a distance that allows me to categorize my experience, or do I?
This makes me think now of a text of Bojana Kunst about the temporality of performance, which speaks about the political: http://www.stedelijkstudies.com/journal/the-troubles-with-temporality/
Performance can be thought of namely as an antagonistic knot of various temporal practices, a conglomerate of contradictory forces (human, non-human, spatial, natural, etc.) that constitute the moment of the present and the invention of its political potential. Performance is not a liminal practice because it is an act of the individual subject being subversive of its own context (that is to say, the figure of a militant artist), but because it is a sum of contradictory, complementary, or causally related micro-actions and events that must invent the form for the temporal condensation of actions, moves, energies, materials, and things, and in that way open the creation of performance to the intensity of life.
If change occurs and I think it does, definitely due to its inherent political conditions I would like to mention a performance that came first to my mind: Jerome Bel by Gerome Bel. Many questions emerged from that performance I saw in 1995 in Gent in a rather small theatre. I think I connected strongly to the questioning of dance and to the stripping down of the performance tools to their strict minimum: bodies, light, music and space. There was a sort of back to the basics strategy that enhanced very complex questions of authorship, agency and capitalism. What are we seing when we are seing performance? What kind of mechanisms hide behind the protocols of theatre as a place for the production of entertainment?
I’ve never seen consciously something like this before, poetical and critical simultaneously. Those bodies, light, music and space were not naked in the bareness but filled with codes, intentions, manipulations and emotions part of our collective consciousness. We were not looking at alienated bodies deprived feeling and meaning but to bodies relating in their sensuality and knowledge to the apparatus where they were performing.
GIFTS:YAARIAnd your Eye – where does your Eye dwell?down onto you,in youwill you believe myMouthI speak of loveHow did we live until here?the body of each of us wereyour bodyIt gleamedI open your leaves, foreveronly there did you enter wholly the namethat is yoursthe Listened-for reached youIt cast an image into our eyesand the Dew of your thought(not in the eye for the tearbut seven nights higherwhen I attended the orchidswhen I was audible)it shiveredWehave drunkThe blood and the image that was in the bloodwe drink it and we drink itas if I were this:your Whiteness,as if you weremine,as if without us we could be weThe place of angelswas written there tooHowdid we toucheach other - each other withthese hands?we could not let go, and it came at uscame through us at the last membrane andyour eyesthey dwell and dwellthey speakthey singan acoustic thoughtIspeakthe Prayer:Come, come.Come a word, come,and something believed the eyes and the mouthsand obeyed
fiction; embodiment; memory; disappearance; disturbance; transparency; liminal body; tentacle; noise; threshold; come; crocky; microwave; time (now just passed); universal knowledge; fairytale; estrangement; inhabiting the ruins of the body; unidentifiable; hybrid nature; unnamed.
REPORT : the shot gun (coming soon)
Every person contributed a key word after seeing all the presentations. We did a collective constellation practice to relate and organize the key words. The image formed by the squared papers on floor was a shot gun. Aside of that image, there were floating three papers with the key words: unidentifiable; hybrid nature; unnamed.
I remember three main focus: Memory, (fiction, embodiment, disapearence, disturbance,) System ( crocky, microwave, come = universal knowledge, fairy tale, estrangement ) and Body ( inhabiting the ruins of the body). Out of the shot gun a free floating constellation contained the keywords: unidentifiable; hybrid nature; unnamed.
Program in collaboration with Constant vzw
21-15 / 01 / 2008
‘PERFORMATIVE RECORDINGS, BROWSING THE CITY’
workshop by Constant vzw (Brussels)
Some members of Constant vzw confront the a.pass participants with low tech recording instruments for sound, images, video streams, .... These tools are portable objects (skate, backpack, long stick vibration measurement, trolley making photos, etc. ..) The material is initially planned as a study in the buildings of the art center Singel, and in the second instance in the shopping mall of the Meir in Antwerpen.
The resulting material (audio and video) is then processed whether or not supplemented with text.
Through this intense collaboration in creating the material collection will emerge many theoretical questions which will constitute the discursive core of the block.
...How do you deal with copyright in contemporary art practice?
...How public is public space?
...How technology can today be hijacked and used in a subversive context?
...What does mean archiving and registration?
28-31 / 01 / 2008
‘MODULATING SENSORY INPUT: OBJECTS AND SPACES STRATEGIES’
workshop by Rogerio Liro
In today's society we face in increasing degree of technological tools for communication: phone, email, text messaging, internet data generated oriented person. These instruments gain influence and determine already greatly our personal lives. The growth of these media seems endless. But our reserves of energy and attention is finite although we tend to test its limits. These technological opportunities for interaction show as well their own borders.
How these instruments affect our perception of space and of our social needs? How do they redefine the boundary between ourselves and the world that surrounds us? What is the nature of this limit and how liquid is that? Do we always know when the saturation point is reached?
In practice, particular attention will be paid to the work of Lygia Clark as therapeutic art practice, and the workshop will result in the construction of a new model for the use of a.pass workspaces.
29-31 / 01 / 2008
‘PERFORMING PROXIMITIES : SWEETNESS AND FEAR AMONG FRIENDS AND STRANGERS’
(SWAP MEAT AND MALE BREAST FEEDING)
workshop by Heather Kravas (U.S.) and Antonija Livingstone (SE / CA)
Choreographers Antonija Livingstone and Heather Kravas already worked a long time together, and will try to share their choreographic practices. In particular, they will work with the participants on two motion systems that simultaneously construct and deconstruct an image. The workshop revolves around the development of intimacy in a performance situation.
The workshop takes place during the ‘Performing Proximities' festival, curated by Bettina Knaup at the Beursschouwburg in Brussels. This festival focuses on notions of hospitality, intimacy and confrontation, both in terms of programming formats and in relation to artistic work and research.
11-17 / 02 / 2008
‘OBJECT SCORE NOTATION’
workshop by Simon Yuill (software developer) and Kirstie Stansfield (artist)
This workshop looks for the potentiality of softwares as tools to create notation of performance.
The starting point is the development of a notation system for everyday objects, movements, and gestures capture. For this, the physical space (the dance floor) is used as notation canvas shared by/in a collective authorship.
Program by a.pass in collaboration with the Antwerpen Master in Theater Studies
18 / 02 - 20 / 03 / 2008
workshop by Peter Stamer and Philippe Riera
This long-term project will develop in several phases, including the development of a performance with the master students Theatre Studies of the University of Antwerp.
Peter Stamer initially will work with the participants around the basic principles of the therapeutic practice 'family constellations', where participants act as representatives of characters involved in the therapeutic needs of the client. The theatrical aspect of family constellations (volunteers take the 'role' of the father, mother, daughter or lover of the client, and are placed in the room to promote in this way the relationship between these key players), is the starting point for testing out this methodology as a tool in performance creation. The participants will work around these principles in the creation of improvisational moments of singing, wordless, dramatic or choreographic constellations.
Secondarily Peter Stamer will work with about 20 students of the master Theatre Studies at UA and apass participants will become their coaches.
One of the working week will focus on the contribution of choreographer Philippe Riera. He will work, inspired by his experience with the collective Superamas, with students around notions of fake / real and film editing esthetics principles in performance.
Special event / research laboratory
28-29 / 03 / 2008
‘PRINCIPLES AND METHODOLOGIES OF AUTO-EDUCATION’
research laboratory curated by a.pass, PAF (Performing Arts Forum, Reims), TkH (Walking Theory, Belgrade) and TQW (Tanz Quartier Wien).
08-10 / 05 / 2008
‘SOME POLITICAL DANCE’
workshop by Davis Freeman
In the framework of the project 'Some Political Art', curated by choreographer Lilia Mestre in Les Bains (Brussels), the creation of a solo performance is proposed to the participants under the direction of theater maker Davis Freeman (U.S.A.).
The participants are asked to develop a five minutes performance out of their relation with politics and / or political art and to create a video out of it. They are also asked to formulate a short text out of that position. The resulting films and texts will be used in the video installation 'Some Political Dance' by Davis Freeman.
21-31 / 05 / 2008
‘RES & REF’ (Residence and Reflection)
by Elke Van Campenhout and Lilia Mestre
KunstenFestivaldesArts each year invites a group of fifteen international artists to view the festival performances, to discuss, to bring in opinions and exchange. This year, Elke Van Campenhout will expand with two other groups the ‘res & ref’ project: the a.pt-participants will join as well the group 'some political art’ around Lilia Mestre, curator of Les Bains Connective in Brussels..
All three groups (a total of thirty artists from different disciplines) will reside for ten days in Les Bains. In addition to the discussions there will be public 'reading sessions' organized by the a.pt-participants on 'The Art of Over-Identification'.
11-16 / 06 / 2008
guidance by Andre Lepecki (U.S., curator of the festival ‘In Transit’)
In-Transit festival focuses on postcolonial related issues. The program is exceptional, to the extent that it creates, in a challenging intellectual framework, a visibility to artists who are not often seen in Europe.
Andre Lepecki will guide the a.pass participants through the festival. For this he will provide in advance a reader of texts on postcolonial theory and contemporary performance.
23 / 06 - 04 / 07 / 2008
workshop by Lilia Mestre
The showcase project "Interface Fictions" will develop in the temporary gallery space Conflict Room in Borgerhout, on the busy Turnhoutselaan in Antwerpen. The project will use the transparent, yet persistent partition of a former shop vitrine to explore relationships between private and public spaces.
The a.pass participants will reside for a week in the vitrine room and will experiment with forms of (in) visibility, intimacy and (mis)communication between them and the outside world. The recurring daily passersby will face their practices, which will simultaneously function as a reverse ring and an invitation, and at times, will also transgress outside the limits of the shop to the streets.
This experimental project researches the 'relational' mapping between art practice, everyday life and community.
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
+/- 15 a.pass-participants and others travel to the place where the initiator of the trip spent most of his youth. The visit forms the basis of a collective writing score, inspired by the architecture of collaboration of a 'writers room' (a group of scriptwriters working on a TV series, a.k.a. 'a bigger brain').
This is my thread documentation on the Bubble Score, proposed by Lilia Mestre, and carried out every Wednesday from January till March 2016. Read about the score here.
Bubble score #1 - THE GIFT
The prophecy of the ceiling made of glass
I have been here, waiting for something that would present itself to me, and behold something approaches, something unravels. Slowly, dragging, that is the way the hidden things present themselves. It is much like a cut through the skin or the opening of a fruit: It flows.
It has been said that light would make it possible to see through, to see further. But I say, it is now known that that which is immersed in darkness enlightens the foreseeing eye. Light, as it becomes more dense by multiples visions, will blind those who thought they were ready to see it all.
the impossible becomes a recognizable shape
and the rain, which sounds through the windows, becomes a rhythm
and words, cast as a spell, fulfill their duties
and magicians launch how to manuals
and fingernails cease to exist
for the period for claws is long gone
Ours will be a world of
and retelling of stories
To remember will become a thing of the past and,
It will be then that alarms will go off.
Alarms that will resonate within every breathing creature
who dared to watch the sun
and it’s endless turns
and having counted those turns, used it as a marker
and for every creature the alarm will sound different
But there will be no personal fortunes anymore.
And people will say it is only white noise
that which everyone else hears.
And there will be a dispute
between air and information
having the world shrunken and having space become a matter of elections
Some will argue in favor of the air
claiming it the beginning of all things
And others will argue in favor of information
claiming it the reason for all things
And even so, every side is full of good intentions,
being for themselves or for all others,
this dispute will continue for more then a thousand days
And it will, somehow, be the carrier of the novelty,
which will put the world in motion again.
But, hear me as say, that the darkness which foresees is not the darkness of the closing eye. The darkness of the night as it falls, or the dreams, as it is remembered. It is the darkness of the ceiling of glass which revelas its fragility, and in doing so, make you look up while forgetting the hard ground in which you stand. And that is why it will still be important to sweat on your feet and feel neck pains.
Bubble score #2 - THE BODY IS THE BRIDGE
An answer to the question (by Esteban Donoso):
For me it was clear that we were dealing with traces, material traces and spatial configurations that were having a second life.
During the performance, however, it became very much about our presence and present time experience, about inhabiting the fragment and the impossibility to see it-all. There was such a calm, open presence in your performance and subsequently we all became performers/onlookers/witnesses at the same time. Besides the blurring of time frames and your interest in trace as present experience, and perhaps a preoccupation for preserving something of the experience for future performers/onlookers/witnesses; do you also see a blurring of the subject-other happening? are we regarded as our own sensorial world, or, how do you understand the subject-other interface within this experience of blurred temporality?
[easingslider id="4744"] - Collective performance. "The body is the bridge" - Bubble Score #2
The body is the bridge score
Ask a group of people to be around a table with it’s perimeter less wide then that of the group together.
Some people will be naturally squeezed out or leave the cluster around the table.
In the table there is one black paper. In each of people’s hand there is one piece of chalk.
Ask people to draw “the body is the bridge” for 5 minutes.
Climb on a chair and watch from above.
Ask people, while they are drawing, if they are able to explain what they are doing and why.
Listen to: “I am drowning! I’ve been pushed under the table”, “I am pushing my chalk into the paper”, “ha ha ha you are ripping the paper!”, “I am drawing the contour of hands”, and other things you will no longer remember because you will only write them down after one week.
Notice as the space around the table grows bigger as people leave the group.
There is more space. There is more possibility to move.
Notice how people who kept drawing don’t take that space up. That space became a body.
Notice how people turn the paper over or rip it and sometimes refer to their actions as being “violent”.
The paper is not yet a body.
Notice how people will draw on the table after the paper has been ripped.
The table will become a drawing.
Notice how the energy of the activity will go down as the paper becomes more saturated.
The drawing will become a body.
Bubble score #3 - THE ABYSMALArriana Marcolini to Juan Duque:"Here is my question:the first two words you use in your text areTwoABYSMALI was actually impressed by that.The coexistence of two elements. But:what's the relationship between the two?2 + 0 = 20 + 2 = 21 + 1 = 21 + 1 + 0 = 21 = 12 = 2 ..I read the relationship between the 2 as being the ABYSMAL.You wrote it like that, in capital letters.It sounded like a character from an epic tale - a hero, or the character from a cartoon.the ABYSMAL. I see it wearing a mask, almost like Tiger Mask.It is a wrestler.I imagine a wrestling match -between you and the work of art;between a work of art and its copy (if such a thing as a copy exists at all);between the work of art and its other, whatever that is;between 1 and another 1..The abysmal, in this perspective and in my view, is also what happens between 2facing each other, next to each other, close but never enough;parallel, not reachable from each other's perspectives..that which escapes the cumulative.The abysmal is an in-between:that which is never reachable as a full state of being, of inhabited presence.It is being as the state of passage.It isa hiatus, a longing,a bit like sehnsucht.What happens in this wrestling match?"
The abysmal drawn together with Arianna Marcolini.
Bubble score #4 - WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I PRONOUNCE THE WORD ESCAPE?
[easingslider id="4746"] - Collective performance. "What happens when I pronounce the word escape'?" - Bubble Score #4
Audio: Texas chain massacre soundtrack.
Lights: on or off.
Go into a closed space.
Put yourself in front of one of the walls facing it.
Press it hard, in which ever way you feel like it: with your hands, body, forehead, shoulders.
Press it like you want it do move, explode. Like the wall there is no right to be there and you want to remove it.
Increase the force and tension. Feel it pressing you as well, but don’t decompress.
When I say the word escape, let your body go.
Bubble score #6 - I HAD A DREAM OF YOU
On the question (by Lili Rampre): How do you manage affect in your work or relate to it - more straightforwardly - what is it that escapes and is unactualised within you research - purposefully so - fabricating that escape or without your direct control?
What is the relation between how you perceive affect and how you transmit it to your audience?
Screenshot of sent SMS to participants present - Bubble score #6.
Bubble score #8 - CONCEPT-DRAWING READING SCORE
Arriana Marcolini questions Mala Kline: "I have just experienced a work situation of this kind: the passage between phase A of the work and phase B wasn't regulated by the transformation (distillation) of the concepts formulated in one phase in order to bring this distilled material to the other. The passage was a jump. But not one that forgets what has left behind; rather, a jump full of the joy of discovery and of the wonder of surprise. To let yourself be surprised by the unusual, unexpected way a translation can take form. This way, leaving things behind keeps a lot of trust in the things themselves: the trust that those things can have their way to arrange themselves without me choosing a direction for them.
I wonder about dream being the translation machine between one phase of a situation to another. I imagine sort of a magic box: what happens when we put our concepts inside and leave them becoming something else through the dream machine?"
- Reading performance of concept-drawings maps - Bubble score #8
password: bubblebubble / video by Mala Kline.
Bubble score #10 - THIS IS MY ALIBI, PLEASE MEMORIZE FOR WHEN THEY COME FOR ME
Sana Ghobbeh question to Nicolas Galeazzi: "My question is what happens when paradoxes come together?"
This is my alibi, please memorize for when they come for me
In July 10th 2028 a man was murdered on the streets of Botafogo, an active neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. Although the neighborhood was known for its poor lighting at night time the crime happened in front of well lit busy street. A lot of people say to have seen the body falling down but no one could identify the murderer. It all happened during the opening of one of the neighborhood’s most traditional art spaces exhibition. Police investigation declared that the crime had nothing to do with the party; though the confusion on the streets caused by the great attendance to the event may have presented itself as the perfect opportunity for the murderer to make its move and then disappear mingling amongst those around. As a result, the police interrogated all the people present, including myself, but I was safe, I had an alibi.
I was standing a few meters from where the man was hit, near the doors of the art space. I remember I knew I would need to be almost outside so that I could breath when the confusion started. I was positioned in such a way it was possible for me to see him falling down and to describe that to the investigation commissar. I did that on purpose, I wanted to be of some help to the future investigation. I was able to describe how the body fell in a very specific way. I had people all around me, we were having a conversation, one which I cannot recall, because I was looking straight ahead, looking for the body that would fall down. One police man asked me a funny question: “Could you have stopped the crime from happening?” he said; and maybe I could have, but instead I answered “I think I was meant to give you only a perspective of things, so that the investigation could move forward. Should I call the next person to be interrogated when I’m out of the room?”.
On March 16th 2016 I wrote a text with my actions of that future date. I presented in front of a group of people so that they could know where and what I was doing at the moment of the murder. Since I knew the crime would come, I deeply invested myself in following each future step that would lead me to be at the right place at the right time on July 10th, that is: performing for the future and hoping that this written account could be enough to change the course of events.
23 -09 -2016
The typewriter revolution
Richard F. H. Polt is a professor of philosophy at Xavier University. He has written about and translated works by Martin Heidegger. Polt is a typewriter enthusiast active on the Typosphere and former editor of the quarterly ETCetera publication about manual typewriters.
Richard Polt, the author of The Typewriter Revolution, talks about the growing interest in typewriters, what they are doing with them and why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TcKYEnA-PU
intzrview of Richard Polt:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTe6d23zBjg
I transcribed the beginning of the audio recording of my first mentoring session with Femke .
I want to add it to "the breathing archive".
I usually transcribe audio recordings with my computer.
It took the whole session to transcribe few minutes of the conversation.
There where a lot of obstacle on the way.
I like mistakes and obstacles on the way.
Type writting performance score:
The typewritter is placed on a heavy table.
The performer drags the table in the room, consciously making a lot of noise.
She looks for a "good place to start".
The "good place to start" is an usual place to typewrite.
The performer types standing.
She transcribes a conversation that is recorded on her phone.
She mesures her action with the cicada candle.
She smells the cicada candle burning as she listen to the sound of her action.
Sometimes she stops typing and listen to the room.
When she feels it's a "good moment", she resituates the table.
She drags it again to another unusual place, for example, too close to someone.
She can leave the table to check what other poeple are doing around, grab a coffee or go to the toilet.
She sometimes engages with the practice of others.
She sometimes stays behind the table as a spectator.
As she does not want to destroy the plastic dance floor that she secretely hates, she places the table on a wool blanket.
She drags the blanket and pay attention to re situate the table in between the plastic dance floor and the wodden floor.
She wants to make sure that dance can happen anywhere in the space, especially in the margin.
She wants to make sure that her actions can be seen as dance.
She lays on the blanket half under the table and listen to the recording with the eyes closed.
She leaves the blanket and let the audio play alone.
This tool approaches a loose idea of 'Pattern Language'
Use it to:
a. name tings temporarely
b. give a context a discourse temporarely
Use it by:
a. placing a setcard somewhere
b. writing or drawing (signing) with the white or black choak marker
c. wiping out someone elses declaration
d. adding new setcards into the box.
16 September 2016: flipped through the setcards provided by the declaration tool. I placed several of them with some of the Gaps / Resources / Tools in the room.
Setcard placed by the tool itself: How to enter the common sphere when you have yet to clarify, define your own practice?
12 January 2017
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
Landings (definition by the M-Webster dictionary): an act of returning to the ground or another surface after a flight. This is an invitation to us visitors to temporarily observe and intentionally touch that ground we continuously step on. Landings brings together 7 a.pass researchers that started and finished their Post Master program at the same time.
Their research engaged in varied practices and tackled different concerns that are inherent to the relationship between the rules of a given habitat and the experiencing of being in it. The 7 trajectories were explored individually and collectively within the a.pass environment for the past year and crossed paths on several occasions. They all share the sense of place as a meeting point where their research questions are practiced through singular interactions with the viewers. The affinities that these encounters propose can be seen as points of reflection for this end presentations, and can be the guidelines for you, dear visitor, to join in.Performances and Installations:Fri 20/1 - 18:00 to 22.00hSat 21/1 - 13.00 to 17.00h + 18:00 to 22.00h+ landings partydoor opening one hour before startBreathing archive practice with Anouk LLaurens:Fri 20/1 - 11:00 to 13:00 + 14:30 to 16:30Sat 21/1 - 10:30 to 12:30 + 14:30 to 16:30
"THE BREATHING ARCHIVE"
The breathing archive sends us back to the basic life’s movement that is an oscillation between concentration and expansion, like the movement of cells breathing and heart beating. The practice invites visitors to edit collectively a poetic and ephemeral document.
"A ROOM FROM HIS CONCEPTUAL HOUSE: THE CABINET OF PSYCHOSCULPTURE"
BRENDAN MICHAL HESHKA
A quick artist-guided tour through a single room from The House of the Wandering Joyce.
VARINIA CANTO VILA
In seeing laws and norms as a matrix that creates divisions and borders –physical and existential – this work attempts to map a territory through choreography. In this legal territory, gesture and movement become the cartographers, making visible how the legal and the normative are preset frames for our paths.
Possible Landscapes -
What happens in them and what happens when they’re not there
Earthquake glue and tectonic contrasts - Wildlife
is a performative setting to play with the intersection between care-taking gestures and the outcome of a Radical Cleaning session. Radical Cleaning is a practice that addresses the circulation of affects involved in the relations we establish with spaces, things, and other people. This time the outcome of the session takes the form of texts. They are performed in the Regular Cleaning, triggering the experience of the affective layer of an environment.
"LONG WE AHEAD & WORLD HAS GONE KOOKOO"
A performative erasing practice investigates the rest: the resting body that lies down horizontally, and also the rest that we leave behind as a trace.
"I AM WELTON SANTOS, 2016"
Visitors enter the backstage of an interview set. In between cameras, sound equipment, and lights, they find books. These contain texts based on transcripts and descriptions of an interview with geo-bio-architect Welton Santos.
By collectively reading the books, the visitors are invited to a generative reconstruction of the interview, a space for rewriting the operation of documentary and narrativity and its tools, tropes, and methods.
CLEAN ROOM is the name of a performance project created by Juan Domínguez and several collaborators that was developed as a three-season series with six episodes in each season. Its name refers to a spotless space, with low levels of external pollutants and controlled environmental parameters that guarantee minimum interferences in the developments of experiments.
price: 16 euro
DIRTY ROOM is CLEAN ROOM against the light, the negative of CLEAN ROOM, a collection of outlines, notes, ideas, reflections, photographic materials, maps, manifestos, fragments from diaries, transcriptions of conversations, interviews, email exchanges, memoirs, memories and scripts, among other documents from the working and research process that led to CLEAN ROOM. Through this book we invite you to enter the labyrinth of this long and multifaceted process, which had followed simultaneously different directions, moved by different concerns.
Juan Domínguez, a maker and organizer within the fields of choreography and performing arts; and Victoria Pérez-Royo, performing arts researcher.
posted by: Lilia Mestre
Curated by Sofia Caesar and Lilia Mestre, the public program “The Document Transformed” invites four practitioners that offer very distinct questions, methods, and proposals to problems related to documentation. Join Femke Snelting, Olga de Soto, Vincent Meessen, and Agency (Kobe Matthys), and others, for three days of presentations, screenings, performances and conversations. How does the document affect practices, bodies, histories, and experiences? The event brings together practices that not only give sight to the power relations engendered by apparatuses of documentation, but also move towards the transformation of the systems in which we produce history, law, art, and the body. Held in the context of The Problem of the Score, block curated by Lilia Mestre in the a.pass post-master research program and supported by a.pass.
This seminar is organized in collaboration with La Bellone - Brussels
To inscribe to the master-classes please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNE 22-23-24 @ LA BELLONE
Rue de Flandre 46
Thursday June 22nd
10:00 > 13:00 Masterclass Agency (Kobe Matthys)
What if ephemeral things become included within art practices? Intellectual property seems to be mostly reserved for “fixated” things. Although the European copyright law doesn't exclude variability, during jurisprudences judges consider movements that are “recordable” in some way or another. Agency calls forth different controversies from recorded movements in dance and performance and sport. By paying attention to the consequences of the apparatus of intellectual property right for the protocols inherent to practices, the fragility of the mode of existence of singular art practices is made explicit.
14:00 >17:00 Masterclass Possible Bodies (Femke Snelting and Adva Zakai)
This edition will be dedicated to a collaborative dissection of the BioVision Hierarchy file format. BioVision Hierarchy (.bvh) is an ASCII file format used to import data from various motion capture systems into 3D-animation software. It was developed in the mid-nineties and remains one of the most commonly used file-formats for transposing movement captured in physical space, to a computational environment. Around this relatively legible format, a rich ecology of software tools developed. The file-format functions as a boundary object between practices and bodies, as it is used by animators, game developers, interface researchers, medical professionals, dance-historians, sports-analysts and engineers.
Together we will analyse the .bvh specifications and samples of the file format in order to understand what imaginaries of the body are encoded into it, what a bipedal skeleton hierarchy consists of, and how rotational data for rigid bodies might constitute a movement in itself.
The reading of the .bvh file format is developed with Adva Zakai in the context of Possible Bodies, a collaborative research initiated by Jara Rocha and Femke Snelting on the very concrete and at the same time complex and fictional entities that “bodies” are, and the matter-cultural conditions of possibility that render them present.
Friday June 23rd
10:00 >13:00 Exhibition visit (Bozar) and discussion with Vincent Meessen
Starts at Bozar Main entrance
In this afternoon, artist Vincent Meessen will take us through his Bozar show, that comes from his recent practice that involves research, historicization, and speculation about congolese works of art that have been commissioned and (re-)contextualized in the early 30’s. Starting from there, we can raise some issues about what a work of art is expected to be and how it can shift meaning with context and neighbouring artefacts.
More about the show Patterns for (Re)cognition by Tshela Tendu & Vincent Meessen, Opening 16th June at BOZAR: http://www.bozar.be/nl/activities/124891-tshela-tendu-vincent-meessen
14:00 >17:00 Masterclass Olga de Soto
Olga de Soto will share her research project that has Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table (1932) as a starting point. She will display the process, methods, research protocols and strategies that she has developed over time, and through which she addresses the question of reconstruction, re-enactment and revival from the perspective of the trace, both material and immaterial, in order to analyse the several charges the work contain (social, political, dramatic, emotional...).
She will share with us how she approached Jooss' work through the archive, the trace and the document, proposing to circumvent the traditional modalities of transmission in dance, in order to probe the archive’s "capabilities" to say the work, as well to examine the archive's "becoming-work".
We will observe how the project and its process unfolded simultaneously into two levels: on a documentary research level and on a creation level. With the help of several documents, we will observe how the documentary research was developed, dedicated in part to researching and documenting the perception and transmission of The Green Table, seeking out iconographic material (through the gathering of numerous documents of different kinds), analysing the choreographic characteristics of the work and looking for witnesses – dancers and audience members from different origins and generations, in order to study the perception of the work through the prism of the viewer’s gaze (using the interview as a tool to collect memories, focusing on the importance of the testimony and oral sources).
Saturday June 24th 12:00 > 18:00
In this afternoon of presentations, screenings, and performances, the four invited practitioners will take us to dive deeper into different case studies.
12:30 Sofia Caesar: Introduction talk
13:00 Femke Snelting
Femke Snelting will present a collaborative dissection of the BioVision Hierarchy file format. BioVision Hierarchy (.bvh) is an ASCII file format used to import data from various motion capture systems into 3D-animation software. Together they will analyse the .bvh specifications and samples of the file format in order to understand what imaginaries of the body are encoded into it, what a bipedal skeleton hierarchy consists of, and how rotational data for rigid bodies might constitute a movement in itself.
14:00 Olga de Soto
Olga de Soto will share some excerpts of Débords, work presented at Les Halles in 2012, as well as some excerpts of the installation she is currently working on, and that was partially presented this Spring at Museum für Neue Kunst, in Freiburg. The presentation will be punctuated with a discussion on the work.
15:30 Vincent Meessen
Vincent Meessen will screen “One. Two. Three.”, piece presented in Wiels in 2016, followed by a talk about his strategies of re-composition and counter-narratives.
16:30 Agency (Kobe Matthys)
“What if ephemeral things become included within art practices?” Thing 001678 (Le Jeune Homme et la Mort) concerns a conflict between on the one hand Roger Eudes, Théâtre Champs-Elysées, and on the other hand Jean Guttmann (Babilée) and Jean Cocteau about the performance Le Jeune Homme et la Mort. On June 8, 1960, the court case Eudes c. Gutmann, Cocteau et autres took place at the Cour d’appel de Paris. Judge Rousselet had to decide who owned the rights over the movements of the performance, Eudes who hired Jean Gutmann to “translate” Jean Cocteau his drama into ballet movements or Cocteau who wrote the script of Le Jeune Homme et la Mort.
17:30 Book launch with Juan Dominguez and Victoria Perez Rojo
The book Dirty Room is the fourth and last phase of Juan Dominguez’s research, developed during 2015-16 as a.pass associate researcher. Dirty Room is a collection of outlines, notes, ideas, reflections, photographic materials, maps, manifestos, fragments from diaries, transcriptions of conversations, interviews, email exchanges, memoirs, memories and scripts, among other documents from the working and research process that led to Clean Room. Clean Room was a project based on the concept of seriality with a pilot and 3 more seasons of 6 episodes each that took place from 2010 to 2016.
Dirty Room offers the readers an immersion in the process of the project Clean Room. It is a book in which there are no critical essays, or texts speaking only from the external position of the spectator. All of the contributions are part of the ongoing research and working process of Clean Room, either continually accompanying it over long periods or as one-off contributions at a specific moments. This decision highlights the great potential of the process in its fragmentary, undefined and open nature not only for the transmission of knowledge and ideas, but above all for stimulating imaginative processes to connect with the concerns that set the series in motion.
Edited by: Juan Domínguez and Victoria Pérez Royo
Editorial: Continta me tienes
Executive Production: manyone
Madrid, May 2017
Translations by Ana Buitrago, Simon Malone and Catherine Phelps
This is a publication by the a.pass research centre.
About the participants
"Transform documents into experiences and vice versa". This phrase by Aby Warburg could definitely be used to introduce Vincent Meessen's speculative realism, or as he calls it: 'documents d'expérience'. His archival investigations always lead to loose associations and appropriative gestures that are rewritten into critical narratives.
In his latest modular installations he combines films with printed matter and sculptures. Meessen produces narratives that question our ability to deal with the colonial ghosts of modernity. In his recent Vita Nova, he makes use of the filmic essay to re-read Roland Barthes in various postcolonial African situations, applying Barthes's deconstruction tools to some of his famous texts. Vincent Meessen likes to use procedures of collaboration that undermine the authority of the author and emphasize the intelligence of collectives and of conceptual characters. He is a founding member of the artist collective Potential Estate and of the platform for artistic research and production Jubilee (jubilee-art.org).
Recent shows include KIOSK (Ghent), ARS 11, Kiasma Museum (Helsinki), Stedelijk Museum Bureau (Amsterdam) and Contour Biennial for Moving Images (Mechelen). He worked together with the collective Potential Estate for the Brussels Biennial and M HKA (Antwerp). His filmworks were screened at Jeu de Paume, at Cinémathèque française (Paris), at Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), at the Swiss Institute (NY) and at international festivals such as IDFA (Amsterdam), IFFR (Rotterdam), Cinéma du Réel (Paris) and Transmediale (Berlin). His films are distributed by Argos center for art & media (Brussels) (see also section on Art Organisations). Meessen has curated several film programs and exhibitions for various institutions including Extra City (Antwerp), Argos (Brussels), C.E.A.C (Xiamen, CH), E.R.B.A (Valence, F).
Agency is a Brussels-based initiative founded in 1992, which constitutes a growing list of 'things' that resist the radical split between the classifications of "nature" and "culture" and consequently between expressions and ideas, creations and facts, subjects and objects, humans and non-humans, originality and common, mind and body, etc.
Femke Snelting (Possible Bodies)
Artist and designer, developing projects at the intersection of design, feminism and free software. She is a core member of Constant, the Brussels-based association for arts and media, and co-initiated the design/research team Open Source Publishing (OSP). With delegates Jara Rocha, Seda Guerses and Miriyam Aouragh she takes part in the Darmstadt Delegation, assigned to explore techno-political and socio-emotional relationships between activist practice and tools. She formed De Geuzen (a foundation for multi-visual research) with Renée Turner and Riek Sijbring and recently co-ordinated the Libre Graphics Research Unit, a European partnership investigating inter-relations between free software tools and artistic practice. Femke teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute (Master Media Design and Communication).
Possible Bodies is a collaborative research on the very concrete and at the same time complex and fictional entities that “bodies” are, asking what matter-cultural conditions of possibility render them present. This becomes especially urgent in contact with the technologies, infrastructures and techniques of 3D tracking, modelling and scanning. Intersecting issues of race, gender, class, age and ability resurface through these performative as well as representational practices. The research is concerned with genealogies of how bodies and technologies have been mutually constituted. It interrogates corpo-realities and their orientation through parametric interfaces and looks at anatomies that are computationally constrained by the requirements of mesh-modelling. It invites the generation of concepts and experimental renderings, wild combinations and digital and non-digital prototypes for different embodiments. Collectors: Jara Rocha + Femke Snelting.
Her collaborator Adva Zakai is a choreographer, performer and curator who explores how body and language are perceived through each other.
Olga de Soto
Olga de Soto Olga de Soto is choreographer and dance researcher, born in Valencia, she lives in Brussels. She graduates from CNDC / Centre National de Danse Contemporaine d’Angers, after having studied classical ballet, contemporary dance and music theory in Valencia and in Madrid. Her creation work begins in 1992, and includes the creation of numerous works of different formats. Since the end of the ’90, her work focuses on the study of memory, and it questions the impact of live art, its usefulness its lasting quality, deploying itself along two axes. The first centres on the study of the body's memory through the creation of works, aiming at a pluralistic approach to dance and the body, in works creations such as anarborescences (Théâtre de la Cité internationale, Paris, 1999), Éclats mats (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2001), INCORPORER ce qui reste ici au dans mon cœur (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2004-2009). The second axis explores works from the history of dance as part of an approach governed by the study of perceptual memory, that of spectators and dancers. The resulting projects emphasize the importance of the processes and pay particular attention to documents, to the process of documentation, to testimony, to archives and oral sources, narrative and storytelling, particularly in works such as histoire(s) (Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels, 2004), An Introduction (Tanz Im August, Berlin, 2010) or Débords (Festival d’Automne, Paris, 2012). These projects are interested in the experience of the viewer and in the anthropology of the spectacle, while developing through an approach that studies the aesthetic experience based on the oral history of works from the past. Her last projects genuinely mix the languages of choreography with those of documentary, performance, visual arts and installation, playing with the porousness of these disciplines. The work of the choreographer also reveals the strong links between art history, social and political history, and personal paths. Olga de Soto’s work has been shown in some twenty countries, an she is regularly invited to teach and to lead workshops and classes in various universities, as well as to collaborate in conferences where she shares her research methodology and her documentation work. She was awarded the SACD Prize 2013 in the category of Performing Arts for both her trajectory and her research work on Dance History, and specially for her research and creation work on The Green Table.
posted by: Geert Vaes
24 JANUARY 2018 at the TOPOS, close to my INTAMISILLY ROOM
The space is being formed. Slowly it's taking shape. Slowly the condition emerges by itself. Where did it come from? Hard to say. It's a collection of memories, past actions and future musings and possibilities. It's at the crossroad of then and then. Maybe it's even now. But to be able to say that, to make such a statement, more time should be spent in and with the actual space/room/condition. I am creating a condition for myself. But it's a very liquid one, in the sense that nothing is being set in stone. Two walls have wheels, one wall is a curtain, the door is aluminium spaghetti,... But the mental space is quite set... This condition. I create. I am that condition. Why am I creating this condition? Out of habit. That's true... It's an habitual environment. It's the kind of place that brings me to results. BUT! Results I know / like. Is that helping my research? It's a way. A tool. Let's stay open for other options, possibilities, methodologies...
So. The space I am forming. My plan for this block is action. Action in my case leads to form. Shaping. I need the material to gain insight. I need to use my body. Put it in shapes, forms, molds. Shapes that are not me. Performing. Acting. Shapeshifting is my 'métier'. That's the backpack I am carrying. The words I was shaping in the previous block seem to be lost. Somewhere. In the new space I'm building? I know my research had something to do with You and I, with 'using masks as tools of awareness'. That sounds so good. 'A tool of awareness...'. But I lost what it means or even meant. I don't know anymore what I'm doing. But I'm not worried. I'm in the dark building a space. And I'm confident working and doing will bring clarity. At times my thinking and theorizing in the last block seemed so clear, especially talking to Peggy and sometimes to Heike too. The words and theoretical understanding went on a holiday. I hope they will send me a postcard soon...
All is set. Almost. The coming days I will become others. They will interact with other researchers at a.pass. Maybe my colleagues will shine bright or bring their flashlights.
25 JANUARY 2018 at the TOPOS, at the dining table next to the kitchen
Today I wanted to bring a record player. There's one in my basement. I wanted, but I didn't. I was looking at it and thought: why? It's an extra tool, an extra asset, an extra thing to toy around with, to help me find meaning. But I'm often using the same tools. I guess that's not such a problem since a painter tends to use paint and a canvas, and a carpenter uses wood. But what do I use? Tools to create something I can show. But I'm doing research. I'm searching for ways to eliminate the distance between Me and You. Well... Eliminating sounds drastic, let's call it: make the space between you and me as tiny as performatively possible. That's another piece of information I'll have to chew on. I'm writing for writing, I'm practicing automatic writing, so what comes out, comes out...
Instead of the record player I brought an old newspaper. 'La Nation Belge' from 17 December 1931. Inhabiting another skin through masks may feel similar as inhabiting another time, the thirties! It's always striking to see how little has actually and effectively changed. I have lots of these newspapers. I found them under the linoleum on the second floor of the house I'm living in. During renovations I stumbled on them and just started reading...
Now there's one in the Topos. Feel free to read.
I plan interviews. On the Intamissily stage and TV-Studio. Next week. Have to think about that. About the how. How to get closer to the other's researches...
I'm reminded of 'Swimming' by Martha and the Muffins. Especially the phrase: 'We're afraid to call it love, let's call it swimming'. Hmmm. Sounds usefull. Listen here:
AND I re-read the first lines of my research proposal. It helps (!):
The proposed research aims to investigate how hyper-realistic silicone spfx-masks can be used as tools of awareness to shed more light on race, gender and class issues in an experiential, sensual and non-mental way. How to help performers and non-performers create another persona and let them experience how it feels to literally be in somebody else’s skin, wearing another one’s face in non-theatrical daily situations. How does this change their perspectives? Or doesn’t it change anything? How does this, in a broader sense, affect the notions of ‚I’ and ‚You’? How does it affect one’s outlook on one’s own community, conditionings and beliefs?
1. Entrepreneur & Creative Economy
art and economy
Hans Abbing (2010). Why are artists poor? The exceptional economy of the arts. Amsterdam University Press.
Tatiana Bazzichelli (2013) Networked disruption. Aarhus: Digital Aesthetics Research Center, 73.
Richard Florida (2002) The economic geography of talent. Annals of the Association of American geographers, 92(4), pp.743-755.
creative economy flag-raiser
Richard Florida (2005) Cities and the creative class. Routledge.
Bridgstock Entrepreneurship Education in the Arts
quadruple bottom line theory, career self-management
Hartley et al Key Concepts in Creative Industries
entrepreneurship and innovation
creative economy critique
Banks, M. and O’Connor, J. (2017) Inside the whale (and how to get out of there): Moving on from two decades of creative industries research. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 20(6), pp.637-654.
Timely self-critique from apologetic creative economy former enthusiasts. Creative cities, cluster theory, Landry, Florida etc.
Paul Chatterton (2000). Will the real Creative City please stand up?. City, 4(3), pp.390-397. [online]
Banks, M., 2010. Craft labour and creative industries. International journal of cultural policy, 16(3), pp.305-321.
Richard Sennett and craft.
Anthony Davies (2007) Take me I’m yours: neoliberalising the cultural institution. In Mute Vol 2 No 5 It’s not easy being green [online]
A principle contradiction: the content of the institution’s discourse can be utterly inverted in the institutional form.
Jones, C. and Murtola, A.M. (2012) Entrepreneurship and expropriation. Organization, 19(5), pp.635-655.
Entrepreneurship as individual activity which rests on appropriation of production in common.
Angela McRobbie 2016. Be creative: Making a living in the new culture industries. John Wiley & Sons.
Book. Forensic examination of the UK cultural economy.
2. Diverse Economies
Butler, J., 1993. Critically queer. GLQ: A journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 1(1), pp.17-32.
Performativity as a research strategy.
Law, J. and Urry, J. (2004) Enacting the social. Economy and society, 33(3), pp.390-410.
Sedgwick, E.K., (1997) Paranoid reading and reparative reading, or, You're so paranoid, you probably think this introduction is about you. [online]
.. & art
Brook, Donald. Experimental Art [online]
Art as ‘mimetic innovation’
Wright, S. (2013). 1:1 Scale, Toward a lexicon of usership. Van Abbemuseum. [online]
Art on a 1:1 scale
.. & economy
Çalışkan, K. and Callon, M., 2009. Economization, part 1: shifting attention from the economy towards processes of economization. Economy and Society, 38(3), pp.369-398.
Performing the economy / economy as performance.
Çalışkan, K. and Callon, M., 2009. Economization, part 1: shifting attention from the economy towards processes of economization. Economy and Society, 38(3), pp.369-398.
Callon, M., 2006. What does it mean to say that economics is performative? [online]
JK Gibson-Graham and Ethan Miller (2015) ‘Economy as ecological livelihood’. Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene, pp.7-16.
Rethinking economic action as a space for ethical negotiation. In economic geography, JK Gibson-Graham challenges the idea of “the economy” as a unified, capitalist domain, to instead reframe it as diverse practices and interrelationships of sustenance and livelihood. This “diverse economies” approach is grounded in methodologies from feminist theory, which emphasise the need to recognise, theorise and engage with diversity. It constructs a different vision of "economy" where a host of informal, underground, non-market, collective and co-operative behaviours and activities are considered not only prevalent, but also primary and consequential.
JK Gibson-Graham. (2008) 'Diverse economies: performative practices for other worlds'. Progress in Human Geography, 32(5), pp.613-632.
Gibson-Graham, J.K., 1999. Queer(y)ing Capitalism in and out of the Classroom . Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 23(1), pp.80-85.
Zanoni, P., Contu, A., Healy, S. and Mir, R.,(2017) Post-capitalistic politics in the making: The imaginary and praxis of alternative economies. In Organization, Vol. 24(5) Sage Publications pp 575-588
Gibson-Graham, J.K., 2014. Rethinking the economy with thick description and weak theory. Current Anthropology, 55(S9), pp.S147-S153.
Art and admin
Andrea Phillips (2015) Invest in What
Arts organisations' structures shape their policies. A history of artistic work proposing radical forms of cooperation
vs potlitcally endorsed models of entrepreneurship.
Caroline Woolard (2017) Ourgoods, BAMBAPHD [online]
Art-based critique of art economies. Objects and contexts: together, objects
and contexts create space for reflection, circulation, and social transformation.
Angela McRobbie (2010) Rethinking Creative Economy as Radical Social Enterprise. Variant Magazine
How does teaching students critical understanding tally with also encouraging self-reliance and entrepreneurship?
Proposes a renewal of radical social enterprise and co-operatives as self-organised collectives, to provide working structures for diverse occupations, including artists.
Martin Parker Art as Work
Critical management studies perspective on Art. Being an artist is supposed to expose the constraints of rules by bending / breaking conventions .. but art is work and involves rules, and work is creative and produces difference.
Matthew Manos (2012) Business as a Medium in Hertz, Garnet. Critical Making. 1st ed. [United States]: Telharmonium p.27-32. [online]
Business as a medium for critical enquiry and meaning-making, to change perceptions.
A means of designing a future the entrepreneur would like to inhabit.
Business as a non end-dated project; an ultra accessible medium; a platform for experiments.
Martin Parker et al (2013) ‘Horizons of possibility’. In: Parker, M., Cheney, G., Fournier, V. and Land, C. eds., The Routledge companion to alternative organization. Routledge.
Assimilation and recuperation (Boltanski & Chiapello) vs operating in the cracks.
Essential laboratories for post/non/modified capitalist practices, ‘less-governed’ (Foucault).
Critique is a limited strategy if the real goal is social transformation. (A positive critique which brings new things into the world).
Does the scale of resistance have to match the scale of the problem?
Calls for a radical insurgent entrepreneurship as form of social creativity. Changes in daily practice, invents futures.
Entrepreneurship as a set of unstable, untested, potentially transformational practices of collective invention and reorientation.
Craig Deegan (2016)
Twenty five years of social and environmental accounting research within Critical Perspectives of Accounting: Hits, misses and ways forward. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 43, pp.65-87.
The transformational potential of accounting, vs producing incontravertible facts.
Accounting as a means of identifying which action one must defend.
Gregory Bateson (1972) Steps to an Ecology of Mind
Form is the primary mode of communication, understood analogically. Significant meta-level change requires a change of context as well as content.
Bruno Latour (2011) What’s the story? Organizing as a mode of existence. In: Passoth, JH., Peuker, B. and Schillmeier, M., Agency without Actors.
Organisation staves off disorder. Being-in-action, organisations as scripts. Organisations as a flock of sparrows.
Morgan, B. and Kush, D. (2015) 'Radical transactionalism: legal consciousness, diverse economies and the sharing economy'. Journal of Law and Society 556-587
Bronwen Mogan and Declan Kuch Radical Transactionalism
An expansive concept of enterprise as ‘any productive activity that might bring us sustenance’.
The legal, financial and organisational structures of our current economy do not sit comfortable with small-scale sustainable economy initiatives.
26 February 2018
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
Lecture-performances have gained increasing attention in recent years, in the wake of the ‘academic turn’, which frames artistic praxis as a form of research. Its genealogy can arguably be traced back to the emergence of performance art in the 1960s, with canonical examples such as Robert Morris, Dan Graham, Andrea Fraser and Joseph Beuys. Contemporary artists like Sharon Hayes, William Kentridge, Rabih Mroué, Hito Steyerl, Amalia Ulman, Walid Raad, Bruce High Quality Foundation and many others are now continuing this historical legacy. Sharpening the relation between art and knowledge, their work can be situated at the intersection of visual art, lecture and performance.
How to analyse these different forms of knowledge transmission? What kind of knowledge are we dealing with and how is it being performed? What is the role of the performer's body, and is it possible to move beyond the divide between subject and object? Or, for that matter, between the spectator and performer, or between the academic and artistic realm? Would teaching qualify as a form of art and/or research? The objective of this research seminar is not to canonise the lecture-performance as a ‘medium’, but to examine its multiplicity at the intersection between the arts and academia.
Performing Knowledge. Lecture-Performances in Perspective consists of a seminar program at ARIA (by registration only) and a public program at Extra City Kunsthal.
Venue daytime (seminar): ARIA, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp (room S.S208)
Venue evening (public) at Kunsthal Extra City, Eikelstraat 25-31, 2600 Antwerpen-Berchem
Co-curator: Michiel Vandevelde
ARIA, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp (room S.S208)
9:30 - 10:30 Welcome and introduction by Pieter Vermeulen
10:30 - 12:00 Doing Knowledge: Exploring the Tresholds of Lecturing and Performing, Dr. Lucia Rainer
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch break
13:00 - 14:00 Some Comments Concerning my Statisticon Neon, Dr. Warren Neidich
14:00 - 15:00 The Case of the Ridiculous Curator, or How Transfigurative Recontextualisations May Reveal Authentic Truths, Lecture-performance by Toon Leën
15:00 - 15:45 Round table discussion
15:45 - 16:30 Performance by Pia Louwerens
16:30 - 17:00 Concluding remarks by Pieter Vermeulen
PUBLIC PROGRAM, Kunsthal Extra City, Eikelstraat 25-31, 2600 Antwerpen-Berchem
19:00 - 20:00 Warren Neidich: The Brain Without Organs in Cognitive Capitalism (lecture)
20:00 - 20:30 Bryana Fritz: Indispensible blue (lecture-performance)
(Photo: Warren Neidich, Some Comments concerning my Statisticon Neon, Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, 2015)
posted by: Pierre Rubio
Milieus, Associations, Sieves and other matters
some orientation guidelines
Today, to the question ‘what is technoscience?’ the answer is: it is the medium of knowledge. Just as technology is not the instrument of science but its epistemological framework, so it is not the instrument of our communication, but our medium of meaning. Everyone seems to admit today that we are inhabited by our habitat, built by our niche, processed by our technical environment, which is neither external nor peripheral, but inherent to our being and to all meaning. Now it seems obvious that it is one and the same milieu that surrounds and separates us, and that which crosses and connects us, but this environment has become technical. The co-birth of humans and technology means that the latter is both our medium (the midpoint through which individuals maintain each other) and our environment (our space-time). The technical environment perfectly illustrates the idea that our environment or what surrounds us is actually in our midst (au milieu de nous). That technology is both our exteriority and our interiority, our cage and what takes us away from it. How, in an artistic research environment, do these ontological, ethical and political contemporary concerns resonate?
Composing a processual environment, the block consisted in a sequential ensemble of collective dispositives that were proposed to be appropriated, interpreted, developed and problematised by the artists and researchers. A metastable milieu in ‘crisis’ which evolved by shifting to new dimensions out of a series of analyses and temporary resolutions of problematics linked with the artists and researchers’ projects considered as technologies.
The basic structure was an arrangement of 1-self organised interactive events intersecting with 2-a series of three theoretical study days and 3-a series of advanced forms of feedback.
Organisation / Trajectory
1. Twenty two self-organised interactive events of different dimensions : the C.R.I.’s
(from May 31st to July 19th)
The acronym C.R.I. stands for Collective Research Interface. The researchers were invited to compose and propose participatory events that one could identify as shareable practices out of/around/through their individual researches. Instead of qualifying -and reducing- simply the object by ‘collective practice’ or ‘workshop’, the name ‘Collective Research Interface’ produced momentary shared interstitial spaces between different scales (private, public, cultural, social, personal, artistic, aesthetic, political and so on…) and enabled and supported a certain mode of attention, the one of technical mentality. Experiencing with this mentality was possible as the mode of production of the C.R.I.’s followed a principle of compositionality. The performativity and meaning of the C.R.I’s, as complex technical ensembles, were determined by the meanings of their constituent parts and the modes of relating/assembling used to combine them. A structuring loop was formulated : invent, invite, do, participate, share, document, discuss, reflect, problematisatise… and back again. The researches were not only presented but organised into shareable dispositives, that then were described, analysed, filtered driving the attention to their resonances in term of constructions and modes of assemblages. Their technological qualities.
2. Three theoretical study days
a/ The diagram and the residual (June 12th)
The program visited the artist residency project ‘Villa Blanche’ within the Solvay Parc in Brussels with Martino Morendi (philosopher-hacker-activist) and Pietro Fortuna (philosopher-artist). The day was articulated around the tension between two conceptual outlines, two proposals that sketched complementary or opposite modes of understanding reality. The diagram, as the systematic representation of a set of relations between elements, where logics, organicism and industrial engineering converge in the effort to govern and organize these relations and the residual, as the irreducible part that remains beyond one's hunger to explain and describe, that recedes and escapes any attempt of organization and rationalization.
United if only by their distance from the subject-object mode of disclosure, Martino Morandi and Pietro Fortuna oriented us through a series of ‘objects’ like an elegy by Rilke, passages from von Uexküll and Agamben, a bourgeois villa, a tree, a giant Olmec head made of stone, the Solvay ammonia-soda process ... and a series of readings of objects related to every researcher’s art and research.
b/ on Participation (June 17th)
The program visited the project ‘Precarious Pavillon #1 - Don’t eat the microphone’ -an artistic project initiated by Veridiana Zurita and Petra Van Dyck, curated by Michael Vandevelde and co-produced by Vooruit- happening in the garden of the Psychiatric Hospital Dr. Guislain in Ghent.
The study day was dedicated to the critique of participatory art and ideas of participation. Don’t Eat the Microphone represented for us a grey zone where we could think but also be challenged in our certainties about the nature and function of participation. Currently focused on the development of the Collective Research Interfaces and exploring the value of several modes of participation, we wanted to problematise the issue(s) in a problematic environment.
What is participatory art? What does it mean to participate?
What are the relations between participatory art and utopia?
Which kind of public space and social fabric participatory practices do (and do not) produce? What are the relations between participatory art and communicative capitalism?
What is participation-as-injunction the diagram of? Is it still possible not to participate? Is it still possible even to imagine non-participation? How to foster (non) participatory arts and (un) communicative thus militantly collective aesthetic educations of possibilities? After a phase of various reservations expressed about the optimistic rhetoric accompanying collaboration and participation, could we now be entering a new phase of a practical re-invention of participation?
This tentative list of problems and questions guided our study day displaced in the frame of Don’t Eat the Microphone. We read some Hal Foster , Chat Rooms / some Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells / some Yves Citton, Ecology of Attention / some Derek R. Ford and Tyson E. Lewis, On the freedom to be opaque monsters, and discuss in various ways our doubts on participative art with the curators of ‘Don’t eat the microphone’ project and the patients of the psychiatric hospital.
c/ Poieien (July 14th)
Invited by the summer program to structure a day around concerns traversing researchers and artists when thinking about methodologies and their politics, Bojana Cvejic, then-curator of the research program at p.a.r.t.s., guided the group of researchers and artists through a critical reflection that she currently conducts on methodologies, opposing practice and action to poiesis. During the encounter with the researchers of a.pass, she proposed two points of entry: how poetry pierces through other mediums than text and poiein, as in how to make, compose, form... more than do and act... a kind of thought that arises from within, or close to, artistic practice that in turn becomes an instrument of looking past art. She accounts for it by “poetics”, using the term to emphasise the productive power of thought as opposed to the genre of interpretation that classifies specimens of kinds. Bojana Cvejic shared that poetics entails engagement with art in imaginary and speculative senses that ‘theory’, tout court – in the way that it has become the superstructural element of art production in capitalism – no longer enables.
The participants did map out their imaginary around their matters of concern, read some texts and discussed with Bojana.
3. Three 'Sieves' proposed by three human 'analogous algorithms'
The aim of these three advanced modes of feedback named ‘Sieves’ -performed by three ex-a.pass researchers identified as 'analogous algorithms'- were to create conditions that could define practices of creative feedback experimentations on artistic researches envisaged as technical dispositives to investigate how each rhetoric of presentation and its digestive techniques could be expressed in terms of data model (Sina Seifee in May), in terms of recipes and cook books (Gosie Vervloessem in June) and in terms of idiotic practice (Vanja Smilianic in July)
a/ Sina Seifee / Filters
The basic question of 'Filter' was : what happens when linking the symbolic space of data-model to the (relational, procedural, emotional) qualities of the researches of participants? The work started with working on/with the feedback material produced during the block’s opening week and processing this material in diagrams. The proposal centred on the notion (and practice) of topological analysis to investigate questions of connectivity and boundaries, in order to find out what remains invariant as a result of transformation. This did direct us to construct ‘transversal objects’ actualising what connects and joins, what delinks and disconnects in the culture of each participant researches.
b/ Gosie Vervloessem / Vision and Digestion
The protocol was to bring one’s research and start to think about the taste of it, the way it could move through one’s intestines and try to visualise the tools and methods one would use to transform one’s questions into a dish. How to boil down questions, how to crystallise the background dramaturgy of researches? As a way of documenting the symposium, Gosie proposed to write the recipes of the ‘dishes’ and to edit the cookbook out of the ‘digested’ researches.
c/ Vanja Smilianic / Idiotic Mandala attacked by a parasitic octopus
The Idiotic Mandala -indicating a weird circular configuration with a centre that radiates outward into compartmentalised areas deranged by the unvited presence of a creeping octopus- asked to switch off one's rational thinking and opened it up to wandering and wondering. The practitioners were invited to introspectively transform the Vicious Circle ( sad passions at work disguised as set of tools and technologies that became behaviour patterns in one's research) into the Virtuous Circle (creating a universe in which idiots are able to act)
Milieus, Associations, Sieves and other matters
Thematics, Research questions, approaches, potentials, methodologies, relevance
In response to a proposed frame given by a.pass coordinator and research center curator Lilia Mestre to structure the block in relation to the Senselab concepts and practices, postmaster program curator Pierre Rubio choose to design entry points to different set of practices and theoretical notions accessing a central theme for Senselab and him, the one of technical mentality. A few years ago SenseLab published a special issue of Inflexions ‘Simondon : Milieux, Techniques, Aesthetics’ and Brian Massumi’s lenghtly interview ‘Technical mentality revisited’ was published in Parrhesia. Rubio, since 2010, regularly revisits Simondon’s texts in relation to his practice as artist/dramaturge and observes the growing interest for the french philosopher's ideas in the academic and artistic fields. He curated an a.pass block in 2014 -'Milieu(s)'- that problematised some aspects of technical mentality within a collectively constructed ephemeral public school dispositive. The possibility of considering artistic researches trajects and projects as technical objects and experimenting with technical mentality seemed to be relevant for this block especially in the vicinity of Senselab's residence invited by a.pass Research Centre within the 'Parallel/Parasite' project.
-A poly semantic space to activate problematisations and progressive resolutions through concretisation
-The individual CRI’s as case studies of non-autonomous technological open objects
-Constructivism, technical mentality and artistic research
-Simondon and artistic research : a promising diffractive equation
... to be continued...
03 September 2018
posted by: Lilia Mestre
On September 14, 15 and 16 Leo Kay, Elen Braga, Eszter Némethi, Geert Vaes and Hoda Siahtiri come together in concepts of identity, narratives of possible futures, liquidity and participation. The five artist researchers take over Elizabeth Park for the weekend presenting an undercover carnival of experiences. All of which welcome audience into tangible relationship with the material.
The presentations include: Eszter Némethi’s Border Stories a conference-machine weaving together magic, the uncertainty of definitions and war; Hoda Siahtiri’s intimate expanded film experience concerning pain and healing; Elen Braga’s site responsive, interactive exhibition exploring identity, gender roles and image construction through multi-threaded visual and sonic narratives; Geert Vaes's Live Talk Show: an awareness experiment at the crossroads of Therapy Street and Tourism Avenue where the public wear hyper real masks & explore the possibility of nurturing empathy for others; & Leo Kay’s Bakery Of Slow Ideas exploring sourdough and vegetable fermentation as an action; a ritual & a space for dialogue, critiquing the collateral damage caused by the continual drive towards hyper productivity and self presentation.
a.pass -advanced performance and scenography studies - is an artistic research environment that develops research on performativity and the creation of space, in an international artistic and educational context. The environment encourages diverse understandings of artistic research, the development of (post-disciplinary or undisciplined) perspectives and experimentation with methodologies and strategies. a.pass is concerned with reflections on the role and responsibility of the artist researcher within the vital and precarious economic, political and global context of the here and now.
From 12am to 11pm. With formal presentation from 16:00
12:00 > 21:00 Bakery of Slow Ideas process- Leo Kay
14:00 > 21:00 Vroom - Elen Braga
16:00 + 18:00 Border Stories - Eszter Némethi
20:00 > Singing the Silences - Hoda Siahtiri
21:00 > Bakery of Slow Ideas Breaking Bread Presentation- Leo Kay
18:30 + 22:00 > The Who Are You Talking To Talk Show- Geert Vaes
(Sunday at 17:00 + 19:00)
Elizabeth park / De Platoo
1081 Koekelberg Brussels, Belgium
posted by: Geert Vaes
1. TEXT FROM THE PUBLICATION OF THE END COMMUNICATIONS OF SEPTEMBER 2018
The Who Are You Talking To Talk Show / Geert Vaes
Kiosk @ Elizabeth Park
14/09/18 and 15/09/18 at 18:00 and 22:00, 16/09 at 18:00 and 20:00
'You are invited to be a guest and/or audience member at The Who Are You Talking To Talk Show.
A talk show where we all will try to playfully disappear and grow closer. So who will you be? And who will you be talking to?'
'U bent uitgenodigd als gast en/of publiek van The Who Are You Talking To Talk Show. Een talkshow waar we zullen proberen om spelenderwijs te verdwijnen en elkaar beter te leren kennen. Dus, wie zal je zijn? En met wie zal je praten?'
أنت مدعو لتكون ضيفًا و / أو عضوًا في جمهور برنامج "من هو الذي تتحدث إليه”.
برنامج حواري سنحاول من خلاله جميعاً أن نختفي بشكل هزلي. فمن ستكون؟ ومن هو الذي سوف تتحدث إليه؟
'Vous êtes invités à participer et/ou à assister au talk show :'Avec qui parlez-vous?'. Une conversation-performance où nous essaierons tous de nous amuser à disparaître. Alors, quel rôle jouerez-vous? Et avec qui allez-vous parler vraiment?'
THE WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO TALK SHOW
‘Everything is Fiction.’
It was 1980-something. I was a kid and I used the meadow at the back of our house as a playground. We kept chickens, goats, sometimes a sheep or two and Fik, the donkey.
These pictures are taken after the rooster got stuck in a bread bag. After I saw him doing it for the first time, I made sure to always bring empty bread bags for him. I knew he would put his head in them, peck away at the remaining crumbs and eventually become so eager for more that he would get stuck until I would come to his rescue.
The rooster didn’t know he was putting on a mask. Disappearing. Changing form. Shapeshifting into a creature that is half white bag, half a rooster’s bum and legs. By wearing the bag he draws attention, becomes something out of the ordinary. By showing less of his rooster-ness, he became more interesting to me. My aim as a performer has always been disappearing, going beyond the ‘I’, stepping into the unknown without knowing what will be the result of the exercise. The mask is a supreme way of vanishing and coming out the other end as more than I could possibly imagine.
Putting on a bag is also a way of surrendering to the unknown. The rooster gets lured in by the promise of more crumbs. I get lured in by the promise of a heightened state of play. The rooster’s eagerness for food is my eagerness for play. The mask becomes the stage. The mask doesn’t need the physical space called theatre. The mask is the theatre. The false face is the battlefield and the playground where sense, nonsense and no sense fight for attention. Inside and outside the mask a sense of excitement and freedom reigns. The mask destabilizes the wearer and the observer. The rooster on the picture is obviously lost and doesn’t know up from down (he always needed to be rescued), and I, the observer, would always be mesmerized by the absurdity of the situation.
I use the mask to disappear. And I invite you, the public, to also disappear. To become part of the process and to flow with whatever is being presented, to let ‘something else, something unspoken and unspeakable’ take over. I feel the need to explore the space between you and I. This space is the meeting point, the place where sharing occurs.
I thrive on improvisation. This doesn’t mean that anything goes, though. It’s all about adopting a mindset that wants to shed the walls of the practice, make visible the mechanics and lay bare the inner and outer workings of the process.
Wittgenstein once wrote an allegory where he describes mankind as living under a red glass bell. There are three ways of dealing with this, he says. One way is represented by people who are oblivious to the fact that they are living under a red glass bell, they see everything is red and go about their lives without thinking about it. Then there are people who realize that something is not completely right, they investigate and get close to the glass where they can touch the bell, but instead of doing something with this new knowledge they return to the middle and go about their lives. According to Wittgenstein, these people tend to become humorous or melancholic. Finally, there’s a third kind: the ones who try to break through the glass bell and aspire to see the actual light without the interference of the red glass.
I ‘d like to invite you to take a stroll outside the glass bell with me. Hoping you might start to notice that what we call ‘I’ is a story. What we call ‘history’ is a story. What we call the world, a country, who we are, where we are,... are collections of stories.
Note to self: These words I am writing (the same ones you are reading) are similarly building blocks of yet another story I tell myself (and you).
I want to be your tour guide, to unmask the collection of narratives we surround yourselves with. What you do next, is up to you. You are free to ignore everything, to build a house at the edge, to try to break through or to go back to the middle and become a melancholic.
In stating that everything is fiction, I also state that everything we are constantly doing is staging our own drama’s, comedies, thrillers… The notable mister Shakespeare observed it quite strikingly: ‘The world’s a stage, and each must play a part’.
Using theatrical tools in non-theatrical situations alongside deconstructing or extrapolating ‘the theatrical’ has always fascinated me. Using performance as a tool to try to create awareness about our personal and societal conditioning (the grabbag of narratives) is very important to me. The theatrical is the place where I can investigate and work with the narratives, those given to us and the ones we create ourselves through an unending process of copy-pasting. I discovered that the theatre has the potential to show me my dependence on these narratives. That’s why I love to inject the fictional into the real without saying what is real and what isn’t. It is disrupting the logic of the stories we tell ourselves. Taking the character out of the play stirs something essential in people: their obsession with believing and disbelieving and their fears around sanity and insanity.
There’s a story I once heard where a man visits his friend in the insane asylum. When the friend asks how are you, the man says: ‘Great! You see these walls here? They protect me from the crazy people outside. You should try to get in too, so you’ll be protected from the madness on the outside.’ Inside the mask, it feels more easy to see the fiction on the outside. I am very inspired by what the Situationists, the Dadaists or comedy genius Andy Kaufman did. They were all busy trying to make cracks in the ruling narrative. I think Andy Kaufman put it very, very well:
What’s real? What’s not? That’s what I do in my act. Test how other people deal with reality.
Yes, theatre is magic. For when I walk into a room as a character, the room changes. My reality changes but yours is also changing because you have only two options: you are playing along or you aren’t.
It all comes down to giving and taking. And this only becomes possible when there’s a willingness from both parties (you and me) to engage and discover together. What’s required is openness, an attitude of trust and the willingness to spend some time together in order to be inspired, entertained, taught, surprised,...
Participation is all about one pair of eyes looking straight into another pair of eyes sharing that moment of recognition. After all is said and done, the most important thing is other people (you!). And the closest I can get to you is by looking into your eyes. Especially when I look through the eyes of the mask. And this can be scary.
When I put on a mask I take a risk, when I ask you to wear a mask I ask you to take a risk. The risk is to tread unknown ground. Inside the mask I may feel like an impostor, I may feel like other people know something’s wrong, I may feel like I’m losing control. When I put on a mask my senses heighten. It is impossible to sleepwalk because everything is different. This may cause excitement or fear. I am seen differently by others. The people I know don’t recognize me. My dog barks at me. I start to interact very differently with my surroundings but also with myself. When I wore my old man mask for the first time I noticed young people didn’t see me. The only eye contact I could make was with other old people. The world changed, people bumped into me. I became invisible for most and all of a sudden of interest to others. It changed my perspective on my surroundings but also on myself. I became another so to speak. When I change physically, the world and my place in it changes, and the way I participate in it too. I suddenly find myself venturing into a liberating state of play. And I believe playing together is one of the highest forms of contact we can achieve.
So, could I ask you now to pretend to be a rooster?
Swami Premodaya (Satsang, ‘You experience what you expect to experience.’, ‘Your perceptions are your limitations.’), Swami Prem Prasad (‘Freedom through De-Conditioning’), OSHO (‘The Path of the Mystic’), Meher Baba, Adrian Piper (‘Ideology, Confrontation and Political Self-Awareness’), Stuart Price (‘I’m lost in the space between the concept and the execution’, ‘I’m stuck in the void between the instinct and the institution’), Ludwig Wittgenstein (‘Licht en schaduw: een droom en een brief over religie.’), Martin Buber (‘I and Thou’), Caroline Astell-Burt (‘I am the story’), Robert J. Landy (‘Persona and Performance’), Luigi Pirandello, Hannah Arendt (‘Lying in Politics’), Sören Kierkegaard (‘...the jump into the absurd...’), Codrescu (The Posthuman Dada Guide), Robert Crichton (‘The Great Impostor’), Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Eli Jaxon-Bear (‘Sudden Awakening’), Andy Kaufman, Bourdieu (‘Identity is given, not created’), Antonio Gramsci, Stuart Hall, one man continuously calling me ‘Christophe’ in Morocco and my irritation with that, Rabia of Basra, Artaud, Frantz Fanon (‘Black Skin, White Masks’), Reni Eddo-Lodge (‘Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race’), Nassim Taleb (‘Antifragile’), James Baldwin (‘The Fire Next Time’), John Cage (‘Silence’), Lou Reed’s rendition of ‘This Magic Moment’, Tommy Maitland, Mike Myers, The Gong Show, Sarah Paulson, Kokoroko, Fanna-Fi-Allah, The Little Flowers of Saint Francis, Anandamayi Ma, Gangaji (‘Hidden Treasure’), RuPaul’s Drag Race, Tony Clifton, Charles Aznavour, Lilia Mestre, Vladimir Miller, Pierre Rubio, Nicolas Galeazzi, Philippine Hoegen, Peggy Pierrot, Kate Rich, Geert Opsomer, Sara Manente, Heike Langsdorf, Sina Seifee, Michael Sugich (‘Signs on the Horizons’), Abdelwahab Meddeb (‘Instants soufis’), Ranchor Prime (‘The Birth of Kirtan’), Shomari Dev, Loka Dev, Jai Dev
2. TEXT OF THE PORTFOLIO
EVERYTHING IS FICTION
12 MUSINGS ABOUT MY RESEARCH
a.pass end communications
(September 2017 - September 2018)
“You, I and It walk into the World. I love to get close to You, I love to know You. You love to get close to I. You love to know I.
I see You. I recognize You. I approach You. You don’t recognize I. Because I am wearing It. You tell It You are waiting for I. It starts a conversation with You. You show I another side of You because You are not talking to I but to It.
It shows I You. I tell You I was using It to learn to know You. I lend You It to let me know You more too. We use It to get closer. It makes I love You and You love I. It creates US.”
From the writing workshop with Peter Stamer in Block I (Vladimir Miller): ‘Your research told as a joke’
It was 1980-something. I was a kid and used the meadow at the back of our house as a playground. We kept chickens, goats, sometimes a sheep or two and Fik, the donkey.
This picture is taken after the rooster got stuck in a bread bag. After seeing him doing it once I made sure to bring the empty bread bags for him. I knew he would get his head in, peck away at the remaining crumbs and eventually become so eager for more that he would get stuck until I would come to his rescue.
The rooster didn’t know he was putting on a mask. Disappearing. Changing form. Shapeshifting into a creature that is half white bag, half a rooster’s bum and legs. By having the bag on he draws attention, becomes something out of the ordinary. By showing less of his rooster-ness, he becomes of more interest to the observer, in this case, me. My aim as a performer has always been disappearing, going beyond the ‘I’, stepping into the unknown without knowing what will be the result of this exercise. The mask is a supreme way of vanishing and coming out the other end as more than I can possibly imagine.
Putting on a bag is also a way of surrendering to the unknown. The rooster gets lured in by the promise of more crumbs. I get lured in by the promise of a heightened state of play. The rooster’s eagerness for food is my eagerness for play. The mask becomes the stage. The mask doesn’t need the physical space called theatre. The mask is the theatre. The false face is the battlefield and playground where sense, nonsense and no sense fight for attention. Inside and outside the mask a sense of excitement and freedom reigns. The mask destabilizes the wearer and the observer, as is the case with the rooster. He is obviously lost and doesn’t know up from down (he always needed to be rescued), and I the observer would always be mesmerized by the absurdity of the situation. My interest in masking and disappearing awakened.
‘The mask as a tool of awareness. The proposed research aims to investigate how hyper-realistic silicone spfx-masks can be used as tools of awareness to shed more light on race, gender and class issues in an experiential, sensual and non-mental way. How to help performers and non-performers create another persona and let them experience how it feels to literally be in somebody else’s skin, wearing another one’s face in non-theatrical daily situations. How does this change their perspectives? Or doesn’t it change anything? How does this, in a broader sense, affect the notions of ‚I’ and ‚You’? How does it affect one’s outlook on one’s own community, conditioning, and beliefs?’
This is the first paragraph of the research proposal I sent to a.pass in May 2017.
Some of the questions I had, deepened and became richer, others faded into the background.
What seems to be at the heart of the research is that I invite you to look through a different lens. And while looking through this lens, maybe you will see that everything is a construction of stories. What we call ‘I’ is a story. What we call ‘history’ is a story. What we call the world, a country, who we are, where we are,... It’s all a collection of stories. Our lives are collections of stories we build upon. These stories crystalize into the more or less cohesive narrative called ‘I’.
So, we are surrounded by narratives, constructions, stories. We create them ourselves, they are created for us, we copy paste, add personal touches. We are inevitably moving through a narrative minefield: history, science, religion, countries, economics, politics, philosophy, love, you’s and I’s,... Narratives are given to us but we actively rearrange them through an unending process of copy-pasting. We are all very creative in writing our own scripts, fitting our scripts into the bigger narrative, creating a dazzling array of storylines upon storylines.
As a child, like many children, I was often busy dressing up as someone else, to the delight of my mother who would always be ready to take pictures. In creating other personas I found a way out of the narrative I was inhabiting. Later came my calling to study theatre and I became an actor and performer. Revisiting these pictures I realized: ‘I have been doing this since forever...’. What initially was just a very naive reflex: putting on clothes that were not mine and playacting and believing I was someone else, turned into a profession. I found the safe haven for transformation in the theatre. Later I started to take this urge to transform to the street, and in doing this I noticed the street transformed as well. By bringing the theatrical reflex into the street, the street becomes another character. In using this theatrical tool I hope to pierce through the veils knit together by the narratives surrounding us, and in doing so create more awareness.
Wittgenstein once wrote an allegory where he describes mankind as living under a red glass bell. There are three ways of dealing with this, he says. One way is represented by people who are oblivious to the fact that they are living under a red glass bell, they see everything is red and go about their lives without thinking about it. Then there are people who realize that something is not completely right, they investigate and get close to the glass where they can touch the bell, but instead of doing something with this new knowledge they return to the middle and go about their lives. According to Wittgenstein, these people tend to become humorous or melancholic. Finally, there’s a third kind: the ones who try to break through the glass bell and aspire to see the actual light without the interference of the red glass.
Wittgenstein’s allegory is related to Plato’s Cave. Plenty of similar allegorical examples can be found in mystical texts throughout the ages. What these metaphors and allegories all point at is that there is the possibility to look through the story, the mold, the mask. Using masks gives us the potential to become more aware of the multitude of masks and stories we surround ourselves with. Becoming aware of this we can generate more choices for ourselves. By using masks as tools we can address our biases and judgments and are able to reveal society's. With masks, we perform in the unconscious field of signs. We briefly are able to lose control and to step beyond our ideas of limitation.
We all are master storytellers and interpreters. As long as we are all believers in all the narrative constructions surrounding us, we are doomed to live as characters in the fairytales we construct for ourselves and others. ‘The world’s a stage, each must play its part’ is a very striking observation of how we live.
It’s 1980-something and this was my first ever performance. I am not visible. But I know I was there. The picture shows some audience member’s arms moving at the music. I am singing ‘We Are The World’ and attempting to do all the different voices (Willie Nelson, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Dion Warwick, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Al Jarreau, Huey Lewis, Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles,...). I am very shy and I feel I’m turning completely red, but the fun of using different voices somehow pulls me through. It makes perfect sense I am not in the picture. It was another exercise in disappearing. The stage is the place for the performer to disappear and step out of her/his skin and turn into something more real than he or she could ever be. The audience is also not visible. The audience’s role is similar to that of the performer. Each member of the audience sheds its bag of flesh and bones and becomes part of The Play.
My medium is theatre. I literally see everything as theatre. I think in terms of actors and audience, on stage and off stage, playing, rehearsing, improvising,... In stating that everything is fiction, I also state that everything we are constantly doing is staging our own drama’s, comedies, thrillers, musicals,... Everything is theatre. Therefore I like to infuse ‘reality’ with even more theatrical elements. Introducing a fictional character into the world but not telling he/she is fictional opens up lots of potentials to show the theatricality of the real. The theatre is a safe place when it does its work in the theatre space, but whenever theatre breaks out of the walls, then its potential becomes more dangerous, more subversive, more disruptive.
Using theatrical tools in non-theatrical situations alongside deconstructing or extrapolating ‘the theatrical’ has always fascinated me. Using performance as a tool to try to create awareness about our personal and societal conditioning (the grabbag of narratives) is very important to me. The theatrical is the place where I can investigate and work with the narratives, those given to us and the ones we create ourselves through an unending process of copy-pasting. I discovered that the theatre has the potential to show me my dependence on these narratives. That’s why I love to inject the fictional into the real without saying what is real and what isn’t. It is disrupting the logic of the stories we tell ourselves. Taking the character out of the play stirs something essential in people: their obsession with believing and disbelieving and their fears around sanity and insanity.
There’s a story I once heard where a man visits his friend in the insane asylum. When the friend asks how are you, the man says: ‘Great! You see these walls here? They protect me from the crazy people outside. You should try to get in too, so you’ll be protected from the madness on the outside.’ Inside the mask, it feels more easy to see the fiction on the outside. I am very inspired by what the Situationists, the Dadaists or comedy genius Andy Kaufman did. They were all busy trying to make cracks in the ruling narrative. I think Andy Kaufman put it very, very well:
What’s real? What’s not? That’s what I do in my act, test how other people deal with reality.
It’s 1980 something and it’s the day to celebrate carnival. Mimi (Marie) is posing with me. I am dressed like a Native American although the hat and nose are confusing the image a bit. I am pretty sure this picture was taken before or after the yearly school kids’ parade through the village. When talking about masking and disappearing and reappearing it is impossible not to talk about Carnival, the time of the year where it is allowed to change at will, to put down the burden called ‘you’ or ‘I’. We are all fools playing the fool’s games. And carnival makes us aware of this. The parade is an outside stage in the street. Streets are generally not safe havens for performance or theatre but the group aspect of a parade turns it again into a safe space allowing the inner playfulness to come out.
During my year in a.pass I held my experiments back and forth between the safe (inside the building of a.pass, the ‘4th Floor’, and with fellow a.passees) and the riskful (outside a.pass, in the street, with the people occupying the street at that particular moment in time). It became an important part of my research in a.pass. I learned to understand more the difference between IN and OUT. Inside the mask, outside the mask. Inside the safe haven (‘theatre space’), outside in the great wide open (no literal ‘theatre space’). Me inside my propositions, out of them or in and out of them. The dynamics change radically when I allow myself to be a player in my own frame, or when I am instigating and holding space for others to play. I am always searching for ways to let people participate. So when I started working with masks, besides the joy of me putting them on and playing with them, I also felt the urge to share the mask. To let the audience also experience the inside of the mask, to let them look through the eyes of the mask. The first time I realized this could work was with a presentation I held during the Halfway Days in my second block (curated by Nicolas Galeazzi). I created a small TV studio with a score. Two persons: one puts on a mask and different clothes, and in doing so turns into the character called Johannes Bouma, the other person asks questions to Johannes about the research of the actual person wearing the mask of Johannes. Everything is recorded by a camera placed in front. Here, for the first time, the mask started to work as a tool of awareness. People who normally weren’t very good at talking about their own work, were very clear talking about themselves and their work (as Johannes). Others started to realize things about their work in relation to the public. They started to relate differently to themselves and to the person questioning them. The mask mirrored, mimicked and magnified the person and his/her research.
It was 1980-something and I probably wanted to feel the rush of disguising again… These pictures are all about a Flanders and its rural identity. Rural Flanders where my ancestors all come from. I am only the 2nd generation non-farmer. In these pictures, there’s clear evidence of remnants of ‘peasantry’. The traditional stove, the ‘fermette’ (a type of house that became in fashion again in the 80’s when people started to build new houses to look like old farms). These ‘fermettes’ are masks of what once was. The figures I portray are also molds from the past catapulted into that present moment when the picture was taken. I embodied my ancestors. The widow is my great-grandmother who I only know through pictures. The farmer could represent either of my grandfathers.
During Block I (Vladimir Miller), when we were asked to prepare an excursion for the Halfway Days, I focused on my own personal flemish identity by visiting an amateur company rehearsing ‘Het Gezin Van Paemel’. This is the invitation I sent:
'Het Gezin Van Paemel' (The Family Van Paemel) by Cyriel Buysse is a 114-year old theatre piece that's still showing the flemish what it means to be Flemish. The excursion will bring us to an amateur theatre company rehearsing the piece. Why are they, and with them, lots of other amateur companies, still so interested in this piece? Why am I? My questioning will be mainly about one scene in particular: the son who goes to tell his father he's leaving for America. An America he only knows through stories, an America that personifies a better life. How is this flemish identity created (the I) by the staying and the leaving? And how is America (the other) created? And isn't all emigrating originating in the America of the soul? How is this construction of I a mask/conditioning? How is history as a re-construction keeping in place all these notions? How will I go from here to using masks again? How will I finally get out of Flanders?
I made a detour from literal masking to the metaphorical mask, in this case: a theatre piece. The piece was first written and produced in 1903. Since then it has become a standard in Flemish theatre, and mainly in amateur theatre. It has been performed continuously since the first performance up until now. The piece is a Flemish classic. It portrays peasant life in 19th century Flanders and still now the piece is revered as a flemish icon. It is a naturalistic piece narrating the misery and heroism of a peasant family: the poor ‘pater familias’ and his obedient wife, one son got crippled because the baron’s son accidentally shot him, one daughter is more Catholic than the pope, another one is made pregnant by the baron’s son, another son has to join the army and shoot at the socialists, yet another son is a socialist,... My excursion took us to Tielen, a small village in the province of Antwerp, in the region called ‘De Kempen’, a provincial, rural area. The local company ‘Tejater De Orchidee’ was rehearsing their version of the piece and I was interested in how and why they made this flemish classic. We were allowed to come and watch the rehearsals and talk with the cast and the director.
The piece was significant to me because of its resonance. I remembered as a kid watching the movie they made after the theatre piece. There’s one iconic scene at the end of the movie when the oldest son goes to visit his father and says: ‘Father, I’m going to America.’ He invites his parents to go with him, to go for a better life. But the father is stubborn and tells the son he will not leave the ground his ancestors are buried in. This piece is all about identity and roots and therefore it has been performed again and again to flemish audiences. It holds up a mirror of heroism, and ‘we always overcome hardship because us, Flemish, we work and work and work’. I was wondering how much this piece still influences the ‘flemish identity’. I never really understood what that meant. ‘Het Gezin Van Paemel’ has helped and is helping to construct this narrative.
Looking at the mask, through the mask of the piece helped me to understand better the myth of identity. It was very revealing for me to talk with the local actors and to hear their answers to some of the questions I had. I remember one of the young men talking about staying in the village because it felt safe.
The local company’ made one significant change to the piece. In the final scene of the written piece, the old father and mother stay behind while all the children have moved or are about to move to America. In the piece as rehearsed by ‘Tejater De Orchidee’, the old father stays behind alone while his wife also moves to America. The last scene became a heroic monologue of the aging man who gets left behind. ‘I will not move from the land my ancestors are buried in. I will stay and work, work, work.’ It wasn’t meant to be a commentary on migration, but it became a quite dubious one. Heroism masking the true reasons behind migration.
Theatre as a mask, a mirror, a lens, a prism… This excursion rekindled my thinking about and interest in theatre. It made me realize how -I talked about it on the first pages- theatre still is the medium I work with. The excursion made me also think about history (personal and national) as a mask.
It was 1980-something and in this picture, I personify Zwarte Lola (Black Lola), a Dutch singer infamous in the 1970’s and 1980’s in the Low Countries because of her -according to that era’s norms- raunchy lyrics and stage presence.
Dressing up as a girl -and especially this one!- was exciting, mainly because of the reactions of my mother, sister, and niece. I also remember my dad not being sure about what was going on. It was interesting to my young mind to see the effect of changing gender roles. It unconsciously released some tensions for me around the male and female stories we tell ourselves. And it showed me once again the impact of play and dress.
In my initial research proposal, I wanted to focus on race, gender, and class. During the research, I started to focus on more basic questions: What do these masks do? What does changing your appearance actually mean?
To work with these more basic questions I tried out ‘Moustache’ at ‘Don’t eat The Microphone’ in Gent with Pierre Rubio (curator Block III). Inspired by Adrian Piper’s essay ‘Ideology, Confrontation, and Political Self-Awareness’ (see p.22-24), we went to the garden the hosts of DETM inhabited and invited participants to create mustaches and by doing so alter their face and outlook and reflect on identity and the stories we create.
In my third block I made 4 sketches (short experiments): ‘Moustache’, ‘Who am I?’, ‘Who are You?’, ‘Stories, Stories’. This block was all about trying out different ways in how to use my new masks because the 5 of them had finally arrived in June after waiting almost 6 months (they had a delay of 4 months). This meant I had 7 masks in total now. So I wanted to see how they worked. More about ‘Who am I?’, ‘Who are You?’, ‘Stories, Stories’ later on in this text.
It was 1980-something and I’m at Mimi’s. She showed me my sister’s old Second Holy Communion dress with bag and gloves. I put it on. This was the first time I didn’t put in extra effort to have a wig, make-up, or anything. No, it was me in my sister’s dress. Here I realized the comical potential of it. I was a bit older and more self-aware. I knew that I was a boy and that boys aren’t supposed to wear dresses. This was a seminal moment for the joy is also a joy of knowing I can be subversive by willing to break through conditioning. This is the first time I became conscious about that. The smirk on my face is a very self-aware smirk. ‘Look at me, ain’t I just hilarious and foolish? Don’t you just love my daring silliness?’
It’s like I discovered fire. Before it all was just a lot of fun. Now my innocence got infused with a sense of danger and seemingly unlimited possibilities.
One of the 4 earlier mentioned sketches in my third block was ‘Who am I?’.
‘Who Am I?’ was performed at Zsenne Gallery in the center. Outside the gallery is a small square which our group of researchers inhabited for our Halfway Days that Block. I was sitting on a chair, next to a mirror, at the edge of the square, facing the gallery. I had a sign reading ‘Who Am I’. I had a suitcase next to me with masks, clothes, and objects. In front of me, I’d put a small table with two chairs. On the table were pens, questionnaires to be filled in by visitors and objects changing per character. I was sitting on a chair facing the people at the table, changing every 45 minutes mask and clothing and objects on the table. The visitors were asked to fill out the questionnaire which had questions about who they saw in front of them: ‘What’s my name? Where am I from? Am I married? What do you and I have in common? …’. I was being watched but I was also the watcher, looking at people thinking hard about what to write. Both parties (the people at the table and me) were sniffing each other and trying to make sense. The written responses were revealing. They showed biases but also a willingness to understand. This exercise showed me the necessity of good and meaningful questions. The better the question, the more meaningful the response becomes.
It was 1980-something and I am posing on a horse in Bobbejaanland. It’s a theme park built by Bobbejaan Schoepen, a flemish cowboy who made a career first as a singer, then as a theme park owner. The park was all about the Wild West (it still exists to this day). Bobbejaan died, but when he was still around he would drive through the theme park in his big American convertible dressed up as a cowboy. As a kid, I thought Bobbejaan was awesome. Here’s an adult man, in Belgium, Flanders, who pulls it off to be a cowboy. My dream was not necessarily to become Bobbejaan or a cowboy, I think I was intrigued by the sense of freedom he represented. He was free from the flemish mold, he recreated himself. He was Bobbejaan. How easy it could be to get out... This picture is important because whenever I was on a horse (although most of the time I was riding a donkey or a ram because we didn’t own a horse) I disappeared and became a cowboy on the prairie. I completely identified with the mask I chose and by doing so stepped out of the mask I was expected to wear in daily life.
I love to give people the opportunity to become someone else, to step out of the mold. This is one of the core themes of my research. Becoming...
Another sketch I made in Block III was called ‘Who Are You?’. Here I invited my a.pass colleagues to work in groups of two. One person was the shapeshifter (put on a mask and disguise, create a new character) and the other one was her/his chaperone. Then they had the possibility to spend the afternoon in the city at a location of their choosing. The role of the chaperone became very important. The chaperone is the link between the masked one and the unmasked ones. He/She is not only a safety guard but also part of the narrative. She/He plays along. The duos automatically created backstories between each other (‘She was my girlfriend and assistant’, ‘I was his caretaker.’). Becoming another with an accomplice adds to the experience, for in dialogue you are more aware of what you project and what others project on you. The accomplice became the mirror.
Ideally, this experiment should’ve been held over a couple of days. My initial plan was to start with basic acting exercises, then to extensively create a character, then to go to a well-pondered place in the city, everything is done with the possibility for the duo’s to switch roles.
I have been trying out this format in the past and would like to continue working with it in the future. Taking time is a very important factor I learned. Two examples (1. from the past, 2. in the future):
Day 1: performance workshop ‘Find your other you’ (4 hours)
Day 2: Explore Brussels as the other you. At the end of the day, I cook for you and we chat about the experience. (4 hours)
It’s 1980-something and I’m a punk and a hippie. These roles I chose myself, knowing they were roles to play, not roles to be identified with completely (as I did with the cowboy). Here I was semi-consciously trying out subversive roles. Roles that wouldn’t have been tolerated within my family or village. Not that I really knew what these roles were about but I had enough sense from watching television that these stereotypes were considered to be highly problematic: ‘They don’t want to work.’ ‘They let everything go to waste.’, ‘They destroy stuff.’ ‘They don’t follow the rules.’ Not following the rules was something that interested me very much, but I wasn’t very good at it. I was a very law-abiding child and was horrified about getting punished.
At a.pass I started to become aware of the fact that my masking game was potentially problematic. Mainly because I also wanted to experiment with gender and race. I wasn’t fully aware of the minefield I was stepping into.
Another sketch I did in my third block was ‘Stories, Stories’:
I asked people who visited me if they were interested in trying on some of my masks. I took a picture and interviewed the masked person, asking very basic questions: ‘What’s your name? Where are you from? What are your hobbies?...’. I recorded the Q&A and put the answers (without the questions) into a text file, leaving me in the end with a picture and a written piece of information (A4) imagined by the wearer of the mask. I also went out into the park and asked strangers whether they’d be interested in trying on a mask, get a picture taken and interview. This resulted in 11 pictures and 11 texts which I presented to my fellow researchers on a table: matching the pictures with text (2 A4’s placed next to each other). It looked like a possible book (the talk show as a book?), in which I created a kaleidoscope of ideas and biases of people in Koekelberg (the 11 pictures and texts were all taken in Koekelberg).
My questions could’ve been better, but I still think there’s a lot of revealing potential in this exercise. What happens when I take my masks to another place in the world? What does it mean there to pretend to be white for instance? What are the ideas we carry around? Like the ideas, I had about hippies and punks. These clichés are fertile ground to explore further.
Also, what could we learn from putting the biases (imagined stories) from people in Koekelberg, next to those of Matonge, next to those of Ukkel,... Or how about the biases of people in Senegal, next to the ones of people in Canada, in Sweden, in India,...?
It is 1980-something and I’m relaxing on the couch as Miss Piggy. One of my first actual maskings. I remember the thrill of sitting on that couch and consciously playing with the proposed sexuality of the image. The mask helped me not to worry about ‘me’. I wasn’t ‘me’, I was Miss Piggy all the way. Even my mother taking the picture was a bit disturbed, she felt I was exaggerating. This was probably the last picture taken of me dressing up. Maybe we reached a point where we didn’t feel in control anymore. After this, I stopped play-dressing for quite a while. I had become a teenager, I was around 12 years old when this picture was taken. Only at the end of my teens, I would taste the sweetness of confusing other people again…
This brings me back to Andy Kaufman. An important moment as a ‘player’, ‘performer’, ‘artist’ was to learn to know Andy Kaufman. He brought playing to a whole new level. He turned it into more than just entertainment, he turned it into art, raising questions just for the sake of raising questions. Disturbing the status quo. Rocking the boat. Who are you? What do you believe? Is this really true? As in the quote I already put: ‘I am testing how other people deal with reality.’ Kaufman was not interested in making people laugh, although he was considered to be a comedian. He said: ‘I never told a joke in my life’. He just wanted to stir something in his audience. Anything. I also think this confusion is a good thing. It has the potential to wake you up. I have very vivid memories (not only because of the pictures) of all the disguising I did as a kid. Those were very alive moments, heightened states. And I have been chasing them ever since the first time I tasted the joy of pretending to be someone else. My research turned into an ode to play and rekindled my love for the theatre.
10. Sharing with Tommie
It was 1980-something and I’m sharing with Tommie. She was my pet poodle and my best friend from when I was 6 until 12. On the picture, I am sharing an ice cream with her. The ice cream reminds me of a microphone. I love microphones. That’s one of the reasons why I love the format of the Talk Show so much.
For the last six months, I have been working with this format. Extrapolating its elements and abstracting them. One example was the first presentation of my third block:
I created a literal Talk Show setting. Three chairs for the guest and one chair for the host separated by a big plant. There was a microphone. Mirrors, and an audience space. I was playing Walter Bourdin (old man mask) and I invited 3 fellow researchers to come up and take a seat. They could each choose one cut out picture of my face (Geert). Each picture-mask had a different facial expression: Angry Geert, Happy Geert, Confused Geert,... I gave two other picture-masks to researchers in the audience. Walter Bourdin (old man mask) asked questions about Geert and his research. ‘Angry Geert, what would you say your research is about?’ This experiment revealed a lot about my research and how I communicate it.
The Talk Show set-up is also used in teaching and therapy. Anywhere where people talk with guests when other people are around to listen to the talking. I will continue to experiment with this format.
It was 1980-something and Tommie had puppies. They feed on her milk. As I fed on these references:
Swami Premodaya (Satsang, ‘You experience what you expect to experience.’, ‘Your perceptions are your limitations.’), Swami Prem Prasad (‘Freedom through De-Conditioning’), OSHO (‘The Path of the Mystic’), Meher Baba, Adrian Piper (‘Ideology, Confrontation and Political Self-Awareness’), Stuart Price (‘I’m lost in the space between the concept and the execution’, ‘I’m stuck in the void between the instinct and the institution’), Ludwig Wittgenstein (‘Licht en schaduw: een droom en een brief over religie.’), Martin Buber (‘I and Thou’), Caroline Astell-Burt (‘I am the story’), Robert J. Landy (‘Persona and Performance’), Luigi Pirandello, Hannah Arendt (‘Lying in Politics’), Sören Kierkegaard (‘...the jump into the absurd...’), Codrescu (The Posthuman Dada Guide), Robert Crichton (‘The Great Impostor’), Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Eli Jaxon-Bear (‘Sudden Awakening’), Andy Kaufman, Bourdieu (‘Identity is given, not created’), Antonio Gramsci, Stuart Hall, one man continuously calling me ‘Christophe’ in Morocco and my irritation with that, Rabia of Basra, Artaud, Frantz Fanon (‘Black Skin, White Masks’), Reni Eddo-Lodge (‘Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race’), Nassim Taleb (‘Antifragile’), James Baldwin (‘The Fire Next Time’), John Cage (‘Silence’), Lou Reed’s rendition of ‘This Magic Moment’, Tommy Maitland, Mike Myers, The Gong Show, Sarah Paulson, Kokoroko, Fanna-Fi-Allah, The Little Flowers of Saint Francis, Anandamayi Ma, Gangaji (‘Hidden Treasure’), RuPaul’s Drag Race, Tony Clifton, Charles Aznavour, Lilia Mestre, Vladimir Miller, Pierre Rubio, Nicolas Galeazzi, Philippine Hoegen, Peggy Pierrot, Kate Rich, Pol Pauwels, Geert Opsomer, Sara Manente, Heike Langsdorf, Sina Seifee, Michael Sugich (‘Signs on the Horizons’), Abdelwahab Meddeb (‘Instants soufis’), Ranchor Prime (‘The Birth of Kirtan’), Shomari Dev, Loka Dev, Jai Dev
I add this essay by Adrian Piper in its totality because it perfectly fits with what I’ve been researching, and she explains it far more eloquently than I ever could:
‘Ideology, Confrontation and Political Self-Awareness’
Adrian Piper is a conceptual artist with a background in sculpture and philosophy. Her performance work and writing during this period asked the observer to consider the construction of his/her own beliefs and their relation to action in the world. Art historian Moira Roth has written that Piper's work of this period "deals with confrontations of self to self and self to others, exposing the distances between people and the alienation that exists in our lives—personally, politically, emotionally." Here she puts forth some basic considerations about ideology. —Eds.
We started out with beliefs about the world and our place in it that we didn't ask for and didn't question. Only later, when those beliefs were attacked by new experiences that didn't conform to them, did we begin to doubt: e.g., do we and our friends really understand each other? Do we really have nothing in common with blacks/whites/ gays/workers/the middle class/other women/other men/etc.?
Doubt entails self-examination because a check on the plausibility of your beliefs and attitudes is a check on all the constituents of the self. Explanations of why your falsely supposed "X" includes your motives for believing "X" (your desire to maintain a relationship, your impulse to be charitable, your goal of becoming a better person); the causes of your believing "X" (your early training, your having drunk too much, your innate disposition to optimism); and your objective reasons for believing "X" (it's consistent with your other beliefs, it explains the most data, it's inductively confirmed, people you respect believe it). These reveal the traits and dispositions that individuate oneself from another.
So self-examination entails self-awareness, i.e., awareness of the components of the self. But self-awareness is largely a matter of degree. If you've only had a few discordant experiences or relatively superficial discordant experiences, you don't need to examine yourself very deeply in order to revise your false beliefs. For instance, you happen to have met a considerate, sensitive, nonexploitative person who's into sadism in bed. You think to yourself, "This doesn't show that my beliefs about sadists, in general, are wrong; after all, think what Krafft-Ebing says! This particular person is merely an exception to the general rule that sexual sadists are demented." Or you think, "My desire to build a friendship with this person is based on the possibility of reforming her/him (and has nothing to do with any curiosity to learn more about my own sexual tastes)." Such purely cosmetic repairs in your belief structure sometimes suffice to maintain your sense of self-consistency. Unless you are confronted with a genuine personal crisis or freely choose to push deeper and ask yourself more comprehensive and disturbing questions about the genesis and justification of your own beliefs, your actual degree of self-awareness may remain relatively thin.
Usually, the beliefs that remain most unexposed to examination are the ones we need to hold in order to maintain a certain conception of ourselves and our relation to the world. These are the ones in which we have the deepest personal investment. Hence these are the ones that are most resistant to revision; e.g., we have to believe that other people are capable of understanding and sympathy, of honorable and responsible behavior, in order not to feel completely alienated and suspicious of those around us. Or: Some people have to believe that the world of political and social catastrophe is completely outside their control in order to justify their indifference to it.
Some of these beliefs may be true, some may be false. This is difficult to ascertain because we can only confirm or disconfirm the beliefs under examination with reference to other beliefs, which themselves require examination. In any event, the set of false beliefs that a person has a personal investment in maintaining is what I will refer to (following Marx) as a person's ideology.
Ideology is pernicious for many reasons. The obvious one is that it makes people behave in stupid, insensitive, self-serving ways, usually at the expense of other individuals or groups. But it is also pernicious because of the mechanisms it uses to protect itself, and its consequent capacity for self-regeneration in the face of the most obvious counterevidence. Some of these mechanisms are:
(1) The False-Identity Mechanism
In order to preserve your ideological beliefs against attack, you identify them as objective facts and not as beliefs at all. For example, you insist that it is just a fact that black people are less intelligent than whites, or that those on the sexual fringes are in fact sick, violent or asocial. By maintaining that these are statements of fact rather than statements of belief compiled from the experiences you personally happen to have had, you avoid having to examine and perhaps revise those beliefs. This denial may be crucial to maintaining your self-conception against attack. If you're white and suspect that you may not be all that smart, to suppose that at least there's a whole race of people you're smarter than may be an important source of self-esteem. Or if you're not entirely successful in coping with your own nonstandard sexual impulses, isolating and identifying the sexual fringe as sick, violent or asocial may serve the very important function of reinforcing your sense of yourself as "normal."
The fallacy of the false-identity mechanism as a defense of one's ideology consists in supposing that there exist objective social facts that are not constructs of beliefs people have about each other.
(2) The Illusion of Perfectibility
Here you defend your ideology by convincing yourself that the hard work of self-scrutiny has an end and a final product, i.e., a set of true, central and uniquely defensible beliefs about some issue; and that you have in fact achieved this end, hence needn't subject your beliefs to further examination. Since there is no such final product, all of the inferences that supposedly follow from this belief are false. Example: You're a veteran of the anti-war movement and have developed a successful and much-lauded system of draft-avoidance counseling, on which your entire sense of self-worth is erected. When it is made clear to you that such services primarily benefit the middle class—that this consequently forces much larger proportions of the poor, the uneducated and blacks to serve and be killed in its place—you resist revising your views in light of this information on the grounds that you've worked on and thought hard about these issues, have developed a sophisticated critique of them, and therefore have no reason to reconsider your opinions or efforts. You thus treat the prior experience of having reflected deeply on some issue as a defense against the self-reflection appropriate now, that might uncover your personal investment in your anti-draft role.
The illusion of perfectibility is really the sin of arrogance, for it supposes that dogmatism can be justified by having "paid one's dues."
(3) The One-Way Communication Mechanism
You deflect dissents, criticisms or attacks on your cherished beliefs by treating all of your own pronouncements as imparting genuine information but treating those of other people as mere symptoms of some moral or psychological defect. Say you're committed to feminism, but have difficulty making genuine contact with other women. You dismiss all arguments advocating greater attention to lesbian and separatist issues within the women's movement on the grounds that they are maintained by frustrated man-haters who just want to get their names in the footlights. By reducing questions concerning the relations of women to each other to pathology or symptoms of excessive self-interest, you avoid confronting the conflict between your intellectual convictions and your actual alienation from other women, and therefore the motives that might explain this conflict. If these motives should include such things as deep-seated feelings of rivalry with other women, or a desire for attention from men, then avoiding recognition of this conflict is crucial to maintaining your self-respect.
The one-way communication mechanism is a form of elitism that ascribes pure, healthy, altruistic political motives only to oneself (or group), while reducing all dissenters to the status of moral defectives or egocentric and self-seeking subhumans, whom it is entirely justified to manipulate or disregard, but with whom the possibility of rational dialogue is not to be taken seriously.
There are many other mechanisms for defending one's personal ideology. These are merely a representative sampling. Together, they all add up to what I will call the illusion of omniscience. This illusion consists in being so convinced of the infallibility of your own beliefs about everyone else that you forget that you are perceiving and experiencing other people from a perspective that is, in its own ways, just as subjective and limited as theirs. Thus you confuse your personal experiences with objective reality and forget that you have a subjective and limited self that is selecting, processing and interpreting your experiences in accordance with its own limited capacities. You suppose that your perceptions of someone are truths about her or him; that your understanding of someone is comprehensive and complete. Thus your self-conception is not demarcated by the existence of other people. Rather, you appropriate them into your self-conception as psychologically and metaphysically transparent objects of your consciousness. You ignore their ontological independence, their psychological opacity, and thereby their essential personhood. The illusion of omniscience resolves into the fallacy of solipsism.
The result is blindness to the genuine needs of other people, coupled with the arrogant and dangerous conviction that you understand those needs better than they do; and a consequent inability to respond to those needs politically in genuinely effective ways.
The antidote, I suggest, is confrontation of the sinner with the evidence of the sin: the rationalizations; the subconscious defense mechanisms; the strategies of avoidance, denial, dismissal and withdrawal that signal, on the one hand, the retreat of the self to the protective enclave of ideology, on the other hand, precisely the proof of subjectivity and fallibility that the ideologue is so anxious to ignore. This is the concern of my recent work of the past three years.
The success of the antidote increases with the specificity of the confrontation. And because I don't know you I can't be as specific as I would like. I can only indicate general issues that have specific references in my own experience. But if this discussion has made you in the least degree self-conscious about your political beliefs or about your strategies for preserving them; or even faintly uncomfortable or annoyed at my having discussed them; or has raised just the slightest glimmerings of doubt about the veracity of your opinions, then I will consider this piece a roaring success. If not, then I will just have to try again, for my own sake. For of course I am talking not just about you, but about us.
This essay originally appeared in High Performance magazine, Spring 1981.
12. What’s next?
It’s 2000-something and what’s next?
I end with a text I wrote in my first block. This text also serves as the conclusion of everything you’ve just read. I end where I started and I will continue from there:
„MIMESIS AS AN ACT OF ULTIMATE LOVE”
- A SCIENTIFIC LOVE RESEARCH -
I want to gain and produce awareness about „otherness” in a direct, experiential way, using a „scientific” method: the mask. Inward and outward ‚signifiers’ (of race, gender, and class) produce and influence relations and positions. We are constantly building (constructing) interpersonal images and meanings. Which signals provoke/produce meaning in another? In other words: how is your body perceived and how do you perceive bodies? What is your position? Using masks or roles is to gain insight in ourselves and in humanity, the collective of others. We are not moving in contact zones, we are the contact zones (being ‚othered’ by other contact zones). Essentially I’m looking for a way out of exclusive thinking into inclusive thinking, out of ‘impathy’ towards empathy, out of mind into heart. This research is about going beyond the mind (I) into and eventually also beyond the other (You). To put it bluntly, it is about LOVE …
- case of: Geert Vaes
03 January 2019
posted by: Vladimir MillerContinuing the line of inquiry from Uninvited Research, Block 19/I will again come together around the questions of mobility, logistics and gestures of moving, settling and unsettling. All who research, work and support at apass including the Research Center, the administration, the curators and production support are invited to join the process.To initiate the building of an institution which can support study a.pass will host Settlement, a practice of being together while building the space for the individual and collective practices of research. Through a series of workshops with Philipp Gehmacher and Moritz Frischkorn and by presenting research to each other during the Half Way Days we will further develop this space into a multitude of individual research situations and scenographies. We aim to be able to move the resulting lecture performance spaces and works to KANAL Centre Pompidou Brussels and open them to the public of the Performatik Festival at the end of the block. We will perform and host this collective Unsettled Study as an intertwined complex space on two consecutive evenings.+++Moten and Harney once described study in an interview in "Undercommons" as the moment of unruly togetherness before the teacher enters the classroom. Etymologically the word can be used for a process of inquiry as well as for the architectural space designated to this process within a building. In Moten and Harney study happens besides, in between, despite the institutional and curricular framework of a university and is deeply related to the unseen connectedness of the undercommons. They establish study as a valuable political tool and process within educational systems, a commoning practice which universities came to actively suppress instead of supporting it. Marginalized by the institution, study becomes the excess, the unseen extra of school. How can we undo this order and bring study back to be the common center of what we do?As partner of the Performatik Festival 2019 a.pass has been asked to contribute a larger project to the upcoming festival. The invitation of Performatik comes with/from a curatorial proposal to engage with Bauhaus and its implications, therefore the question of what is a school and how does it perform itself is equally interesting to the festival and to us. In response, we would like to continue the line of inquiry that the School of Love by the guest curator Adva Zakai has initiated and position study as unruly undercommons, an inquiry and a space in the center of a contemporary idea of school, which we claim should be an institution in support of study.Moten and Harney envision study as a being-together framed by the classroom, even if the classroom is fugitive or imaginary. At a.pass this classroom is a gathering which is based in the mutual and the mutant, and in an engaged not-knowing that is decidedly non-academic, one that includes all the hear-say, weird intuitions and obsessing over a question that we sum up with the „artistic" in „artistic research“. We are taking this block to look again at the spatial manifestation of research in its architectural, material and components and their movement. We look at logistics of thought and material coming together to formulate a particular study, we look at the logistics of settling and unsettling again, of making and taking apart and re-making again with the hope of making a non-academic space to support our non-academic study.
30 April 2019
posted by: Lilia Mestre
@ Hacktiris (6th floor) - Rue Paul Devauxstraat 3, 1000 Brussel
Doors open at 18:00
19:00 GODA PALEKAITĖ - How to Infuriate a Historian
21:00 NASSIA FOURTOUNI - Waiting Room Meditation
22:00 KATINKA VAN GORKUM - Distance Learning in Close Proximity
Virtual Body Institution is the coming together of the 3 concepts that intertwine in the End-Communications of Katinka Van Gorkum, Nassia Fourtouni and Goda Palekaitė.
Their practices are very distinct from each other, in form as in content though they all engage with forms of sociability that enhance, propose and reveal the relation of the individual with the societal. Tackling this position from discursive, technological or body practices they invite the visitor to engage in thinking and embody modes of construction of the self.
Through their current practices of research and exposure - that use the personification of historical characters in a public discussion, the entrance into virtual space as a extension of the ‘real’ and the body as a perception machine - we encounter some of the contexts and mechanisms we inhabit in current western society.
Their proposals are not complementary but do co-habit through this event beyond agreement or disagreement by creating an area (spatial and experiential) of a temporary common.
The work of Katinka Van Gorkum, Nassia Fourtouni and Goda Palekaitė enacts research modes of activating and empowering the self as active part of larger technological concepts. One becomes aware through their piercing practices of the narratives that surround the institutional, the body and the virtual. They softly enable criticality in the moment of exposure by engineering transdisciplinary processes that fundamentally question what we are made of and how do we relate to it.
All researchers work with performance and with the performativity of the event as a field of exploration that deconstructs the world as a given. The making public of these concerns in a transdisciplinary manner, mainly want to politicise the individual as being an actant in the public sphere enacted by the event itself. The participatory is here seen as the moment of inquiry, experiencing and sharing that crosses through the individual to the communal and vice-versa in enabling the non expertise as potential for critical presence.
Are questions related to the self, isolated from the other? Is the self alienated from the communal, the historical, the technological, from the body? How do we practice the spilling of our personal concerns into societal concerns? Where and how do we politicise our practices? Where do we meet? Are we here yet?
Short description of the researches and links to the respective portfolios:
is a dramaturg and dance researcher. She came to a.pass with a research upon dramaturgical practice with a focus on the initial phase of a creative process, namely the phase where things are not yet shaped, the phase of nothing.
Having in mind the dialogical relationship in which most dramaturgical practices take place, the first scores she developed were about dialogue and conversation. Gradually, the scores and methodologies developed borrowed the form of a somatic lesson.
In her work she brings together text and experiential anatomy, shaping an expanded dramaturgical practice that can vary in form and content depending on the given context. The aim is to facilitate the appearance of embodied aesthetic experience by addressing the inner sense.
The practice manifests in installations, scores and somatic lessons. Also, it functions as a critical commentary on authorship and the seductive power of language, mainly in relation to the use of instructions.
For the a.pass end-communications, she is developing an in situ audio installation based on a score about the past, the present and the future of the building, using excerpts from texts by Virginia Woolf, Robert Walser and Ivan Illich.
is an artist and researcher whose work can be described as a combination of artistic, literary and anthropological practices. Her long-term projects explore the construction mechanisms of historical narratives, political agency of dreams and imagination, and social conditions of creativity. Their outcomes usually manifest as performances, installations, scenographies, and texts.
In the context of a.pass Goda continued her investigations on the construction of historical and political ideologies, and the agency of imagination in processes of legitimization and instituting. Her interest lies in narratives, stories and characters of diverse identities, which operated outside the official discourses, and were seen as troublemakers. These people did not see themselves as artists, neither have they had a place in art history; yet Goda sees their modes of operation as comparable to those of some contemporary artists working today.
For the End Communications event at a.pass she is writing a script and directing a performance-conference where three of such characters meet. The debate will take place between a 19th century Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, the ancient Greek female poet Sappho and a controversial Jewish-Muslim writer and journalist Essad Bay. This semi-scripted debate will manifest as a live discussion between three contemporary artists and researchers whom Goda encountered within the context of a.pass: Nicolas Galeazzi, Marialena Marouda, and Sina Seifee. They will embody the characters, yet contributing with their own practice.
Katinka Van Gorkum
is a visual artist interested in the (domestic) interior as a figure for interiority. Previous work includes video, performance and installations, all with a strong physical component. She arrived at a.pass with a desire to explore further the concept of home and how it's being shaped by ideas, ideologies, theory and philosophy. Besides that, she felt the need to dematerialize her art practice, experiencing difficulties with the inflexibility, heaviness (literally) and the origin of the materials she used. She also had questions about her work as a single-use artwork and art as an ecological act.
She started working with the 3D design program SketchUp which is used by architects and designers. In this virtual environment she tries to exteriorize the interior. Working in virtual space further problematized the question of exteriorizing the interior and brought up questions concerning (dis)orientation, scale, groundlessness, perspective, entering and sharing an interior.
Throughout the a.pass trajectory she has attempted multiple points and modes of entry to the spaces of the research. For the End Communications she intends to open the virtual research environments through a (lecture) performance and screen recordings of the SketchUp spaces, exploring the program as a tool for distance learning in close proximity.
24 June 2019
posted by: Pierre Rubio
general presentation of the project here
WICKED TECHNOLOGIES/WILD FERMENTATION
By linking practices of fermentation, feminism and artistic research, SARA MANENTE hosts a space for thinking, perceiving and doing togetherness in live cultures and live arts.
Sara is a performance artist, dance maker and researcher interested in narrowing the distance between the performers, the audience and the work. Her research starts from a dance practice that problematizes perception, translation and (aesthetic) value. Her work comes out in hybrid forms: book launch, 3Dfilm, written text, interview, choreographic piece, workshop, telepathic experience, collaboration et al.
For Zsenne she proposes and activates a Discursive lab on “fermentation and wickedness”. She will first lacto ferment a summer vegetable while discussing collectively the meaning of wicked, queer, wild and technologies in relation to participants personal researches. She then will leave the ferments in jars to age in the space of the gallery. On the last day of the residency the researchers in Brussels will open and taste them while discussing the same topics, this time informed by 3 weeks of collective fermentation. Meanwhile Sara will be in Fahrenheit 451 House in Catskill starting new alive cultures with the artists/curators Inju Kaboom and Steve Schmitz and their guests as a relay game of bacterial process. Among all the present participants of the residency, Antye Guenther, currently in residence in Japan, will join this online collective fermentation dinner.
Furthermore Sara will perform later in the week, an informal try-out concert on the multilayered and mashed sound that she has been making in the last few months : “Mush” musical cocktail.
FORMS OF LIFE OF FORMS
ROB RITZEN assembles elements of his research as an associate researcher at a.pass. In several collective moments he will explore the idea that form is not only aesthetical but that there is no politics without form. If so those concerned with form everyday, artists for example, can bring forms into being that can generate (un)foreseen effects on the forms that dictate our everyday life and shape our world. With Forms of Life of Forms, in short, Rob wants to work with others to better understand forms in all their expressions and workings, but above all to gain insights into how we can use forms to change the world around us.
With every moment he will add different perspectives and new layers to the notion of form; in-formation, political forms, network forms, value forms, organisational forms. Each moment brings forward a text and visual works that will be explored and discussed together. These elements will form a growing assemblage of written and visual works by Caroline Levine, Marco Lampis, Catherine Malabou, Antye Guenther, Marjolijn Dijkman, Mathijs van de Sande, Judith Butler, Alexander R. Galloway and Eugene Thacker, James Bridle, PA Consulting Group, Bureau des Etudes Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre, Nancy Fraser, Diego Tonus, and Zachary Formwalt.
Graphic design collective D.E.A.L will translate each moment and the added insights into a poster published for the following session.
Rob works as a curator with a background in philosophy, museum studies, art and architectural history. His curatorial practice is focused on self-organised and co-operative formats in close association with cultural practitioners — consciously positioned on the margin of established institutions and outside of market oriented spaces, but in the middle of communities of cultural practitioners. Most recently he co-initiated That Might Be Right, an attempt to reconfigure the politics of making art and alternative forms of production and presentation.
OTHERWISE EXHIBITING ARTISTIC ANXIETIES AND THE WORLD
‘My desires (or wills) are always in being produced, instead of producing. But some sort of production is expected.’
(Stefano Faoro, from the A4 press release of his solo exhibition ‘Soft Knees’, at Wiels project room 21.02 – 10.03.2019.)
Back in February, ADRIJANA GVOZDENOVIC related her thinking to Stefano Faoro’s text and how he used the standard format of A4 exhibition guide to be the work in the exhibition and a press release at the same time. How to engage with the time in ZSenne Artlab as a residency, a semi-public presentation, an open project, a traject, aiming to examine the formats of publicness of artistic research that pushes the border between research, mediation and production?
For three weeks, Adrijana proposes two ongoing practices that are at the same time a tool for conversation, an ongoing research and documentation process focusing on the temporal aspect of this kind of exhibiting. First, a cyanotype printing process, forming in time in relation to U.V. rays from sunlight to think together about traces and blueprints of and for the event, their sharp shadows and (non)transparency. Second, a one-to-one card reading, artistic anxieties and the world. In a 7 card spread Adrijana proposes to read (for and with) the artists and researchers - individuals that are concerned, fearful and hopeful, excited about their practice.
Adrijana is a visual artist and a researcher. In the last two years, in the collective studying environment of a.pass, she has been proposing activities and formats to explore possibilities of what she calls Otherwise Exhibiting, shifting the focus from
object to process to change. Since the beginning of this year, as a continuation of these lines, she started doing one year research at the Royal Academy of Antwerp with a project ‘Archiving Artistic Anxieties’, a proposal for self-archiving as an artistic practice. Adrijana introduces the concept of ‘artistic anxieties’ which stands for an artistic practice that looks for developing a mode of critique from an unstable position, exploring uncertainties and ‘follow(ing) the treads where they lead’.
*To take part in one of these two practices and contribute to the research, please send email email@example.com
Femke Snelting develops research projects at the intersection of feminisms, design and free software. In various constellations she explores how digital tools and cultural practices might co-construct each other. She is a member of Constant, a non-profit artist-run association for art and media based in Brussels.
She proposes for the residence a workshop : Other Geometries. It is an invitation to reflect on, re-imagine and train for togetherness with difference. It is a collaborative research-kit, a porous collection of trans*femininist renderings, eccentric imagery and recombinatory vocabularies. The kit is part of an ongoing conversation with activist collectives which rely on concepts such as 'sovereignty', 'freedom', 'independence' and 'autonomy' to ideologically motivate work on tools, networks and infrastructures we need and want. But by sticking to modes of separation rather than relation, we continue to evoke utopias elsewhere, instead of developing ways to stay with the trouble that we are already entangled in.
Other Geometries proposes 'complex collectivity' as a tentative framework to think with, for example, non-normative human constellations, or collectives where participants with radically different needs, backgrounds and agencies come together. ‘complex collectivity' can be self-chosen, or be the result of structural forces such as laws, racism, technology, wars, austerity, queerphobia and ecological conditions.
Many of the items included in the kit modify existing concepts by introducing dynamic tension. In the workshop Femke will extend this method to the way we relay stories of complex collectivities or the kind of geometries we invent for them. We will try to be attentive to generative vibrations between ontologies and cosmologies and speculate with ‘infrastructures’ that could hold more than one form of togetherness together. What non-utopian models can we design to interface with multiple collectivities? How can we do that without making their intersections dependent on the rigidifying assumptions of sameness and reciprocity?
After a.pass last audit in 2015, the Ministry of Education supported our institution by rating it officially “excellent”. Nevertheless the ministry encouraged us to become more visible and disseminate our knowledge practices on a more regular basis. This administrative curatorial invitation became a point of critical discussion and complex -conceptual and practical- development in a.pass under the name ‘Making Public’.
Publishing more? But what and how? Are we not obliged to problematize what a publication of artistic research could be? And isn’t it as well coherent to question and develop other modes of publishing? Disseminating more? But in which direction, in which proportion and for who? What does quantity mean in a frame of experimental practice? And what is the public for artistic research if not one to be imagined and ‘actualised’ because it might not exist yet? Are we not supposed to speculate a public for speculative practices?
Since three years the different iterations and proposals under the ‘Making Public’ umbrella were numerous within a.pass at large and occupied quite some space in the newly reconfigured research centre. Going from the thorny problem of ‘contract’, to the dichotomy between ‘private versus public’, to the challenging concept of ‘performative publishing’, to discussions towards the development of experimental digital (non)humanities, to the ontological/political definition of publishing as an act, and more... our notebook and catalogue of actual practices is expanding.
For this residence we propose a discussion day around ‘Making Public’ as a title, frame and horizon where the participants will contribute by sharing their own relational arrangement between their practices and the publication problem. They will also share their definitions and discuss together their concern starting from the question of urgency.
A lecture performance by SINA SEIFEE presenting the making of a mini-scale quasi-organization, called the critical bestiaries, to host/construct semi-sustainable structures for storytelling and questioning techniques of bestiaries. Namely, the questions of relational histories, technologies of memory, modes of attention, differential consciousness, and animal subjectivity. This project in the shape of a magazine will be a quadrilingual (German, Farsi, English, Arabic) online and printed form, and its topics are both thematic and epistemic. It is both an inspiration for storytelling and a reading apparatus, to give a chance to an interest for multi-species studies and to define a hybrid mode of discourse to talk about the conditions of storytelling today.
This projects will practically address the question of: which sensory-technology for making are necessary to approach ‘description’ as speculative theory in practice of how a world works? The aim of the magazine is to entangle: design (making things that tell stories), storytelling (a materialist practice of how not to reach the end), science (an interpretative adventure), faithful and fantastic (mixture of the highly rational and the highly fabulous), boundary objects (workaround things, concepts, processes, even routines that permit coordination, sometimes collaboration, without consensus), objectivity (the possibility of unambiguous communication and of boundary articulations) and fable (relational and speculative empiricism).
Sina Seifee researches as an artist in the fields of narrative, performance and knowledge production. He is working on the question of technology and storytelling in the arts and sciences of the middle ages and the past-present of material reading practices in collective life.
Lilia Mestre is a performing artist and researcher based in Brussels working mainly in collaboration with other artists. She is interested in art practice as a medial tool between several domains of semiotic existence. Lilia works with assemblages, scores and inter-subjective setups as an artist, curator, dramaturge and teacher. From 2019 till 2021 she has/will collaborate(d) with Brandon Labelle in Social Acoustic project - a research project supported by the University of Bergen, Norway and with Nikolaus Gansterer and Alex Arteaga in Contingent Agencies - a research project supported by PEEK -Vienna. Since 2008 she is involved in developing the artistic research oriented young institution a.pass -she is currently a.pass artistic coordinator and co-curator- where she has been developing a research on scores as pedagogical tool titled ScoreScapes.
ScoreScapes is a research Lilia started in the context of a.pass, starting from questions such as: How to create an inclusive dispositive that enables learning through each other’s research proposals? How to deal with an un-disciplinary context that aims for transversal relations? By “score” Lilia means a set of instructions that can be repeated for a predetermined period of time. These instructions create a system through which participants interact, as the scores can be modified and used by anyone. Since 2014, she has developed four iterations of the practice: Writing Score, Perform Back Score, Bubble Score and Medium Score. And each iteration marked by the release of a conclusive publication.
Recently Lilia wrote ‘Scorescapes’, a text about the project that points to its transversal qualities and delineates some problems about its nature. Is ScoreScapes an archive? A documentary production? An art practice? A social practice? How does the project relate to artistic research as an unstable and unframed mode of knowledge practice? Does ScorScapes project’s ungraspable definition create conditions for something to happen in term of publishing otherwise?
During the residency in Zsenne ArtLab, Pierre Rubio will present the different dimensions and current state of the ScoreScape project with Lilia in an afternoon of collective reading, interview, Q&A and discussion.
TOWARDS AN ECO-EROGENOUS PARA-PHARMACEUTICS VILLAGE
In catastrophic times… Can the orgasmic body be a source for sustainable electricity production? Can the cavities that make up the landscapes of the human sexual organs be a territory for agricultural development? Can sex hormones offer alternative components for psychopharmacology and recreational drugs formulas? ISABEL BURR RATY is an independent filmmaker and performance artist, interested in the ontological crack between the organic and the artificially engineered, between the unlicensed knowledge of minority groups and the official facts. In her films, Isabel embodies human cosmo-visions that are in eco-survival resistance, bringing the imaginative realisms of the camouflaged and their subversive sense of chronology into the screen. In her artwork she interweaves new media, body art, installation and performance proposing hybrid narratives and bio-autonomous practices that play with synthetic magic. In her current work, Isabel creates hybrid performances and installations that invite the public to queer fixed categories of production understandings and experience the benefits of embodying SF in real time. She is currently running a Mobile Farm that starts by harvesting human female sexual juices, to produce beauty bio-products in Portugal and Holland, and will evolve into an ‘Eco-erogenous Para-pharmaceutics Village’ in the Atacama Desert in Chile, where “every-BODY” will harvest and recycle each other. The village will be a tentacular community of synergic mutualism that goes beyond the idea of corpus/body as biological transmitter of kinship and situates the human as a non-human species that can offer solutions to the planetary crisis we live in.
During the residence, Isabel presents three objects that revisit her project and outline a perspective towards the future of her research: Self facial abduction beauty treatment - This installation offers to the public the tester products of the unisex skin care lines manufactured in the Beauty Kit Female Farm and displayed in this Farm SPA. The visitors are invited to follow the application protocol an experience exotic transpersonal benefits - Male Farm : 1st encounter - To move the ideas of the project forward, during the residence, Isabel organises the first official Male Farm Encounter starting the conversation with a question: What’s happening with male sexuality today? A group of friends will join Isabel for an off conversation about how to address the incognitos around the male sexuality with the ambitious mission of transforming in the future male orgasmic genital and mental fluids in bio-autonomous technologies to produce electric energy. Beauty Kit Upgraded - Lecture Performance - In this lecture the artist hacks the focus group format to present the different lines of beauty bio-products that she conceptualized and manufactured using the female sexual juices that were harvested in her Mobile Farms. In this occasion the public is invited to help solving some of the riddles embedded in the alter-economic model of this project.
Isabel is associate researcher in a.pass.be, teaches Media art history in École de Recherche Graphique Brussels and is artist in residency in Waag, Mediamatic and VU Amsterdam.
POLITICS OF ENGINEERING
‘Politics of engineering’ is a one day of presentations and conversations about the questions of digital technologies posed by a.pass, as an institution, and addressed by its constituent knowers -Lilia Mestre, Pierre Rubio, Sina Seifee, Open Source Publishing - in the process of making three models and adjustment to the work of documentation and digital publishing that has been recently done or currently in the making.
---The day will start with a public conversation and an inconclusive study on the technical and epistemological assumptions that were made in the making of Parallel Parasite : Timeline Repository, a visual and discursive apparatus made by Sina Seifee after Parallel Parasite, a month residency at ZSenne ArtLab, produced by a.pass Research Centre and curated by Lilia Mestre in the Summer of 2018.
---Afterwards we continue by a presentation of OSP (Open Source Publishing) an engaged graphic design unit founded in 2006 in Brussels. OSP comprises a group of individuals from different backgrounds and practices in typography and graphic design, cartography, programming, mathematics, writing, and performance. They will present their practice, commitments, tools and projects.
---We will then continue by publishing the RRadio Triton Data Retrieval Interface, a website hosting a collective and experimental radio project aiming at producing audio documents gathered and disseminated by the ad hoc fictional radio label/station, which is the outcome of voluntary contributions after the 2017 winter seminar of a.pass, curated by Pierre Rubio. The website will be presented by the makers, the result of the initiation and curation of Pierre Rubio with the artistic and technological dramaturgy of Sina Seifee. They will discuss the making of RRadio Triton Data Retrieval Interface as a hybrid dispositive, as a science-fiction entity, a problematic storytelling, a speculation site and some concerns around politics of imagination.
---Then, OSP in conversation with Sina Seifee, will question and problematise engineering mentality and the use-relation of digital technologies in/with the arts and complex artistic research practices and institutions.
---Finally, everybody will have a discussion/Q&A where complex politics of digital engineering can be addressed collectively.
CONTINGENT WEIRDNESS (workshop on horror)
Adrijana Gvozdenovic and Sina Seifee propose Contingent Weirdness (workshop on horror).
A two-days training/hanging-out/sharing/practice for artists researchers focusing on the specific genre of horror to understand each other’s artistic commitments in a constraint and therefore generative way. Adrijana and Sina will explore and reshape historical elements of the genre, such as zombies, gore and torture of ghostly demons, vicious animals and cannibal witches, as well as medieval serial killer monsters, unnatural disasters and Frankenstein projects, and so on. Parallel we foreground different scales and registers of horror for reconsideration, ranging from speculative fiction, sci-fi cinema, to medieval bestiaries, inducing “bad feelings” such as fear, uncanny, awe, mania, panic, tension and anxiety.
The workshop starts by imagining an aspect of our practices as a horror story, locating the fear, and deciding, with the help of the group, what can be turned into horror. Doing so, we are interested in exploring the parts of our practice that are fucked-up, that means to which extent what we do can become a disaster, gore, torture. Starting from where one’s practice produces demage and when thinking disintegrate and disorient, we will map what escapes our peripheral vision. We will discuss together (arche-)type of horror categories and make a cliche/scheme/model for at least one or two of them. Then we will chose an affective, atmospheric, compositional technique of horror to ask how does this story relates to which existing social, political, cultural phenomena today. We will concentrate on both, to create horrors but also working on a specific setting, which is important for the genre not only to set up the mood but to create an ambience of the expectation of horror. In the workshop we will provide basinc accessories and tools to create settings - an ambience of ‘expectation’ pregnant with horror. In relation to this, we will prepare references for the reading and/or watching selected films together. In the second day, we focus on composing singular pieces (around individual proposals or in small groups) which we will share at the end of the day in the setting of a ‘scary stories night’.
Going through how this genre works is important, because genre is a way of gathering and staging what it cares for, in a performative and coherent way to teach a negatively affected audience how to inhabit their world. Adrijana and Sina are interested what comes out when we start from the fears and affects creating personalised monsters of our work and how will this training from another side of reasoning, while working in an atmosphere for a contingent weirdness, shape the language for not thinking clearly, yet precisely. Particular interest of the workshop is in those scales that are not necessary correct and of good intention. We propose to exaggerate consciously how great art practices are also awful, how the things we do are also often laden with damage and death, to trace our works in the matrix of rage, lure, and desire (and not necessarily in the matrix of truth, duty, and achievements).
DEALING WITH POROSITY
How to become porous? How to stay porous? Dealing with porosity, this quality or state of being permeable and/or capable of being penetrated, as a means to disrupt binaries, culture-nature, inclusive-exclusive, body-mind, information-matter... That is what Antye Guenther is up for.
Antye is a visual artist and artist researcher, born and raised in Eastern Germany. Drawing from her background in medicine, in photography, and in the military, her artistic practice treats themes like (non)biological intelligence and supercomputing, posthumanism and mind control, body perception in techno-capitalist societies and science fiction. She is an associate researcher at a.pass and holds the first Mingler Scholarship for Art and Science/ NL. At the Arita Porcelain Residency in Japan, Antye is currently developing ‘brain vases’, to investigate the problematic metaphor of the brain as a container or vessel. Her brain was scanned at the Neuroscience Department of Maastricht University where the MRI data 3D (re)constructed it within a scientific visualisation programme and was used as a source material to fabricate delicate and desirable porcelain vases. But what if these vases are dysfunctionally engineered and are porous? What if a vessel as iconic as a porcelain vase leaks? The material metaphor poses some questions: How to stay porous? How to get severely entangled with and influenced by other people, new environments, other cultures etc.? How to take part in each other practice? How to engage in each others’ thought processes?
For this residence in Brussels, and taking into account Antye’s geographical displacement in Japan, she proposes the following encounters: 1/ She will send every week an object in the form of an audio file to fill and potentially penetrate the gallery space and be discussed by the artists/researchers present in Brussels in her ‘absence’. The discussion will be recorded and sent back to her in Japan. 2/ One-on-one video conversations creating concentrated moments to discuss concerns in each others’ practices. 3/ a live video communication moment of presentation and sharing of Antye’s experiences so far at the Arita Porcelain Residency in Japan.
*all the events are public, except noted otherwise
FORMS OF LIFE OF FORMS Rob Ritzen
26.6 - 16-19:00h / FOLOF I - reading group
1.7 - 16-19:00h / FOLOF II - reading group
1.7 - 19-20:00h / FOLOF II - lecture by Mathijs van de Sande
3.7 - 16-19:00h / FOLOF III - reading
8.7 - 16-19:00h / FOLOF IV - reading
13.7 - 13-15:00h / FOLOF V ultimate and complete form of the installation - open and public from 16h00 to 20h00
[A series of reading sessions and installations that will add different perspectives and new layers to the notion of form; in-formation, political forms, network forms, value forms, organizational forms. read more]
WICKED TECHNOLOGIES/WILD FERMENTATION Sara Manente
25.6 - 12-14:00h / [by invitation]
5.7 - 19-20:00h / MUSH musical cocktail concert on the multilayered and mashed sound
13.7 - 18:00h / last poisoned supper of doom
[A discursive lab about Sara’s notion of fermentation and wickedness, on the meaning of wicked, queer, wild and technologies in relation to the participants personal researches. read more]
OTHER GEOMETRIES Femke Snelting
30.6 - 12-18:00h [by invitation]
30.6 - 20-22:00h / in collaboration with Sara Manente and the group : “other geometries non agonistic performative dinner” [by invitation]
[Workshop with a collection of femininist renderings, eccentric imagery and recombinatory vocabularies, with ideologically motivate work on tools, networks and infrastructures to re-imagine togetherness. read more]
CRITICAL BESTIARIES Sina Seifee
4.7 - 19-22:00
[Presentation of the “critical bestiaries,” a magazine in the making, a mini-scale quasi-organization to host/construct semi-sustainable structures for ‘storytelling’ and ‘questioning’ techniques of bestiaries. read more]
9.7 - 11-12:00h Parallel Parasite : Timeline Repository
9.7 - 12-13:00h OSP presentation
9.7 - 13-14:00h (lunch break)
9.7 - 14-15:00h RRadio Triton Data Retrieval Interface
9.7 - 15-16:00h Discussion between OSP & Sina Seifee
9.7 - 16:30-18:00h Collective discussion and Q&A
-from 18:00h on - open evening with the platforms available!
[A day of presentations and conversations about the question of digital technologies posed by a.pass and addressed by its constituent knowers (Lilia Mestre, Pierre Rubio, Sina Seifee, and OSP) in the process of making three models and adjustment to the work of documentation that has been recently done. read more]
SCORESCAPE Lilia Mestre
5.7 - 14-17:00
[A transversal scoring practice, reading group/presentation/interview/discussion about the project ScoreScapes by Lilia Mestre. read more]
TOWARDS AN ECO-EROGENOUS PARA-PHARMACEUTICS VILLAGE Isabel Burr Raty
6.7 / installation: Self facial abduction beauty treatment
6.7 - 11-13:00h / Male Farm : 1st encounter [by invitation]
6.7 - 19-20:00h / Beauty Kit Upgraded - Lecture Performance
[A collection of performances and installations that invite the public to queer fixed categories of production understandings and experience the benefits of embodying SF in real time. read more]
11.7 - 10-18:00h day 1
12.7 - 10-24:00h day 2
for registration email to firstname.lastname@example.org
[Two-days workshop, training/hanging-out/sharing/practice for artists researchers, focusing on the specific genre of horror to understand each other’s artistic commitments in a constraint and therefore generative way. read more]
OTHERWISE EXHIBITING ARTISTIC ANXIETIES AND THE WORLD
Adrijana Gvozdenović / ongoing practice
for an appointment please contact email@example.com
[One-to-one sessions for artists and researchers, a card-reading and interview practice concerning individuals that are concerned, fearful and hopeful, excited about their practice. read more]
CYANOTYPE PRINTING PROCESS Adrijana Gvozdenović
ongoing / installation and practice
[Made of processing traces and blueprints of U.V. sun rays. read more]
DEALING WITH POROSITY Antye Guenther
ongoing exchange of audio files with the participants
13.7 - 11-12:00h skype working session from Arite (Japan) [by invitation]
[A series of inquiries in the form of interview between Japan and Belgian, one-one-one video calls, and recordings on individual bases. read more]
The residence is produced by a.pass Research Centre
and hosted by ZSenne ArtLab
From June 24th to July 14th 2019
9h00 - 23h00
Anneessens 2, 1000 Brussels
The Research Center at a.pass is a platform for advanced research practices in the arts. It invites six associated researchers per one year cycle to develop their artistic research practice in an environment of mutual criticality and institutional support. In agreement with the individual research trajectory of the associate researchers the apass Research Center supports and facilitates forms of publications, performative publishing, presentations, experimental research setups and collaborations. Rather than consolidating the existing discourse around the notion of artistic research, a.pass is committed to accumulating different understandings of artistic research through practicing its frameworks, archives and vocabularies. By bringing together differently practiced notions of artistic research, a.pass is reflecting on modes of study and knowledge practice within the artistic field. a.pass is interested in the actualisation of performing knowledge because it considers artistic research as a situated, contextual practice which is the consequence of ongoing negotiations between its stakeholders, contextual fields and discourses. a.pass interacts with academic, activist, or practice-based fields and methods of research, and supports the development of rigorous, inventive forms of artistic research on the intersections between those fields and in tension with academic artistic research as a developing discipline. The center itself is not a solid institutional body with its associate researchers as satellites, it is rather constructed as a support structure that brings different trajectories and fields of research to a multitude of temporary overlaps. It’s institutional and long term structures work towards a repository of methodologies, forms of archive and ‘making public’ of artistic research practice.
16 July 2019
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
Imagining a two-day boat trip on the Dilje-Leuven Canal:
M.M.: A brief introduction into my practice: I see performance as a practice of inhabiting a specific ecosystem. Currently, I am focusing on the oceanic ecosystem, one that can only in part be inhabited by human beings.
Concerning the ocean, the question that interests me most is: What is my relation to the ocean, and how can this relation be described? What are the affects or elements that make it up? And how can those affects be performed and thus communicated? My focus lies on creating affective (an)archives. i.e. archives that communicate relational experiences and knowledges of the ocean.
NG: What makes the ocean for you to the ideal ecosystem to be performatively inhabited?
M.M.: Well, I feel very attracted to it physically and mentally. And it also proposes a different way of thinking and being than land proposes. So I want to explore those. But it is not an "ideal" ecosystem because it is actually quite difficult to inhabit it physically. Very little is known of the ocean compared to ecosystems on land.
C.S.: For me, it is less the ocean than the water that triggers the idea of inhabiting it in a performative sense. Water is everywhere, in us, around us, we are made up of water - and the element is so common that we don't think about it much, as we live our lives. To give it a moment of special attention and to engage with it as a practice is like a process of becoming aware of something that we deal with every day, and that is so at the basis of our existence.
The ocean was extremely attractive to me when I was a child. I used to spend my entire summer holidays at the Mediterranean Sea, and I spent most of these months inside of the water. It was the experience of being submersed, totally enveloped by the salty moving body that intrigued me. The smell, the temperature, the consistency (compared with the bathtub water or the swimming pool water) of the Mediterranean became like a place where I would feel at home for me.
Today, much older, I don't have this urge anymore to submerse in the sea. I'm much more respectful of the gigantic body of water and enjoy more contemplating it by staying at its side, and not going in.
N.G.: Probably, I could see the ocean in any water. Looking deep into the glass before I take a sip of delicious spring water - e.g. at Schwarzsee in the Alps - I see the sea, I see into the history of these molecules and can follow them through my body into my pee, into the ground into the flower, into the sunray into the rain into the river into the stream into the whole flow that cyclically generates life. Of course, on these waves, we perform our lives and are performed by them. In the case of water, the conditions it creates, the landscape it carves, I'm not sure if I inhabit and perform within or if it's not the other way, the water inhabits me and performs through me.
M.M.: I think different bodies of water work differently, affect the human body in a different way. So for me, the ocean as I recently encountered it Portugal, for example, the force that it has, is very different from my own experience of the sea in the Mediterranean in Greece.
C.S.: Can you tell more about the performative aspect that intrigues you with water or the ocean?
M.M.: Performance is for me the way we choose to enter into relation with the body of water that we encounter. So for example, if you say that you want to be engulfed by the sea, the salty and continuously moving water, I am interested to know more about this sensation that you have and how it could be performed now, for example, in the conditions in this room.
C.S.: The most intriguing part that comes to mind at once is the aspect of being carried. And of course, we have this much more on the earth. The earth is solid and carries us all the time - something that we also take for granted, and forget about it, as we sit on this chair.
In the water, especially the salty - thick - water, the buoyancy is a fantastic characteristic that gives me a sense of trust inside this ever-moving deep sea.
M.M.: Yes, I recognize this feeling! What I would propose now on the trip is to explore how this sensation could be reconstructed through performance or how this sensation could influence what you are researching artistically.
C.S.: First association is STAGE DIVING!! But that is not very serious, of course!
M.M.: What is stage diving?
N.G.: The tricky thing might be, that the sensation is part of the ecosystem which should be performed. But probably that's exactly the chance. To perform WITHIN something not ON something (like a stage). If we take performance as a 'doing' not as a 'representing' it becomes very interesting, I think. Performance in an economic sense is an act of domination. To 'perform' witing a system, in respons-able relation to it, is something very different. The notion of being performed while performing is there very applicable.
C.S.: Stage diving is to let yourself be carried by the masses of listeners /audience standing in front of the stage when you dive onto their uplifted hands. It is a big test of trust!
M.M.: Aaaaahh yes, the rockstar thing. We could try it.
CS: Now, I have to think of VariousArtists - whose performance often has to do with experimenting with what he eats, drinks, how much he sleeps, or exercises. So a 40-day water fast could be a very embodied experience of what water does. And very cleansing, as well. Another important aspect of water, of course - the CLEANING!
In that sense, Trudo makes his body the ecosystem and the stage at the same time.
M.M.: We can make a list of those aspects here, during this conversation? I was planning to do this also on the boat trip. Now we can imagine the ocean and that we are travelling on it. What sensation does it give us?
1. Being engulfed/ buoyancy
2. Sense of cleansing
C.S.: There is something that happens to the sinuses, also. And to the sense of smell that I find very interesting. In the ocean, of course, you smell the salt and the "sea" - like algae and dead fish and live fish and all the rest of it. But there is also something happening to the nose, in my case. It gets full of water and clogged, and at the same time, it cleans itself.
What aspect of sensation is that?!
M.M.: How would you name it? If you had to use one word? Smell? Or salt-smell?
N.G.: For this, it would have been perfect to be on the boat. I'm sure we would find another answer than here!
C.S.: There is something that is inside and outside at the same time. It is as if the ocean gets INSIDE of my body through the nose. It is the one opening that lets the water in. So, it is not the smell, I think - it is more the permeability of my body to the body of water.
Of course, also the skin gets wrinkled and like a prune, that it keeps the water out. On the contrary, it may even lose a bit of my body water instead of letting the ocean in, because I always get very thirsty when I spend a long time in the water.
M.M.: Permeability is a wonderful word for it! There is this concept of the Hypersea, that was put forth by two biologists, Mark and Dianna McMenamin. They understand all living organisms on land as "lakes" that communicate with each other by on the one hand keeping the water in and on the other being permeable and passing water from one organism to the other. It's as if all organisms on land form a deterritorialized sea that they carry in their bodies.
N.G.: The inside/outside is actually rather a human perspective. Nothing wrong with this, but from the water perspective we are simply a tunnel! A place of passage, and probably of transformation. Perhaps that's the most real performance we do. Being a catalyst for waters. WE ARE THE CANAL!!
C.S.: Now, I have to think of homoeopathic medicine, somehow. The transformation of the water inside our body tunnel.
N.G.: btw. What do you think is the boat a stage ? or rather an ecosystem within an ecosystem?
C.S.: the boat is a very artificial object for me that allows us to traverse the body of water, to be on it without getting wet, to not engage with the water but only with the surface of the water, and there is an aspect of dominance in boats also. You are always (unless you are going under) on top of the water and you don't get wet. It is an object that divides you from the water. You feel it but indirectly only. The most stringent aspect of water - that it is WET - is lost. You don't get wet.
M.M.: You can get very wet on a boat! Have you ever been on a boat when there are strong wind and big waves? You get soaked.
For me, the boat is a machine that allows us to enter into relation with the vastness of the sea, that otherwise, we would not be able to approach. But yes, it also has an aspect of domination. Without boats, no "discoveries", no colonization, but also no communication, no fishing, no trade. It's a complex place to be, the boat. It also makes for a very specific surface on which to move and urges a particular behaviour regarding the human bodies that inhabit it.
N.G.: We have this image of the sailors, that try to master the waters with their boat, fighting against the waves and storms, overcoming the overwhelming forces of nature. Like Ishmael fighting Moby-Dick the wale.
C.S.: I have an aunt who cannot swim. She would go on a boat, though. But she would not go directly into the water. Only where it is very shallow.
And Jonas who found himself inside the whale. How did he end up there again? That was an ecosystem inside of the water, and then he was inside the belly, and that was a bit like land again. Like a membrane that allowed him to be inside the water for a long time, but without touching the water. Was it so?
M.M: So you would prefer a whale belly to a boat?
C.S.: that is difficult to answer. I don't have a clear image of a whale belly...
N.G.: Of course! Even in this nutshell, I dream of the big monsters.
M.M.: So we add 3. permeability, 4. whale-belly...
N.G.: Or let's say permea-belly.
C.S.: And now, the ice. What about ice. Is this ocean? But solid, you can walk on it. And it totally changes the experience of being in/on the water.
Or under it...?
M.M.: Yes definitely, ice is also ocean. Just in a different form. With a whole different set of conditions. I talked to a glaciologist recently, and he said there is the category of sea ice and the ice shelf, that are both ice formations on the sea, which differ from the big glaciers that are usually land formations.
N.G.: For an ice bear it might be something different than for a penguin, or for the wind. For the ice bear it is (more and more ) a boat!
C.S.: With ice I find it confusing. Do I remember right that for a long time it was not known if the North Pole is solid or if the South Pole is solid - land or sea. Ice confuses things a bit, I find...
M.M.: Then lets end in this confusion? I think its quite appropriate.
(this gift is made with images of the block)
Before to start: Excerpts from my application // Investigation purpose (2017)
Title: Derivatives around the construction of “the Latin imaginary” in Brussels context
This work takes the reflection as a topic concerning “the Latin imaginary” in Brussels context. As a starting point, it considers “the Latin imaginary” as a construction which is imagined by people who perceive themselves like “Latin people”, in terms of Imagined Communities. The aim is to study how this imaginary is composed of images, desires and motivations depositories that move around in the plot of signs in semio-capitalism.
The questions that give rise to this project are: how is “the Latin imaginary” constructed? Which signs are reproduced by this construction? How are Latin bodies perceived in Brussels context? And how is it possible to make artistic operation on this imaginary?
(...) First block: field work and theoretical tools
Regarding theoretical tools, it is worth mentioning that “the Latin issue” is analysed taking into account the concept of Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson. As a matter of fact, his work pays attention to the concept of nation, his definition is used here to talk about the “Latin Imaginary Community”. In relation to that, Anderson propounds that “it is imagined as a community, because, regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship” (1983: 7). This description is useful to think about the imaginary shared with others in terms of community.
Considering this, the field work relative to “the Latin imaginary” is focused on sign production in the current context of semio-capitalism. In this way, a study of the concept by Franco Berardi (known as Bifo) is carried out; he defined semio-capitalism “when informational technologies make possible a full integration of linguistic labour with capital valorisation” (2009: 149). In other words, when all acts of transformation could be substituted by information and the work process is based on signs combination. Bifo says that economy incorporates factors like instability and indefiniteness when valorisation depended on language, and “in turn language incorporates economic rules of competition, shortage, and overproduction” (2009: 149). Therefore, semiotic overproduction has consequences in the economy and in the psycho-sphere, due to acceleration of perception, which generates a dis-sensitization in bodies, and becomes pathologies and psychotropic drugs dependence. One of the possible ways for facing these symptoms is to go back to the question about body perception on others. In relation to this, the author proposes that “in order to experience the other as a sensorial body, you need time, time to caress and smell. The time for empathy is lacking, because stimulation has become too intense” (2009: 85).
Finally, as a theoretical mention, contributions that promote and accompany these questions are taken into account transversely in relation to "the Latin imaginary”. On the one hand, the perspective of "internal colonialism", which refers to the reproduction of the colonialism towards the interior of the ex-colonies and which takes as a reference the centres of power in the North-Hemisphere (Gonzalez Casanova: 2015). On the other hand, the heteronormativity existing in the perception of the sexed bodies and the stability of the gender, which depends on the alignment among sex and gender (Butler: 1990).
 Due to the absence of a more appropriate terminology to translate “lo latino”, it was chosen the phrase “the Latin imaginary” owing to its relevance in relation to the imaginaries.
1st Block, curated by Pierre Rubio called MILIEUS, ASSOCIATIONS, SIEVES AND OTHER MATTERS…, here the link
It was the first time I explained this project in English, I learned by heart most of my presentation. As you can see in my application, I started looking at the stereotype construction of Latin-imaginary through two concepts: semio-capitalism and imaginary communities. I was busy with how reggaeton videos and specially Despacito framed a stereotyped way of look at "latiness".
Half way days --> LONGER CRI and POCKET CRI
-- Half an hour of latiness, or... or...
A.pass people were invited to be in front of yours computer, anywhere in order to do comments at 15h of Monday 18th June.
That day they received a mail with a link to a first video in the platform Youtube.
The video showed the short plane of Caterina with an analogic voice. The voice invited people to follow a second video and set up the lyrics of a reggeaton, through comments of the video of "Gasoline", one of the first most famous reggetons. The “real” voice of Caterina is only heard when she sings the chorus of the song. And the is translated by the analogical voice:
She likes gasoline (give me more gas),
How she loves gasoline (give me more gas),
She likes gasoline (give me more gas),
How she loves gasoline (give me more gas)
And then the voice invited people to think in imaginary related to Latin people and latiness.
But the second video consisted of a white image for 2 minutes, then a plane of Caterina dancing and then a black image.
This comments were used for set up the lyrics of a song: Reggeaton 1.
Pocket CRI - Zsenne GALLERY
1 min to arrive at the location (Place Jardin des fleurs near to Szenne Gallery)
4 min to propose / choose / set up
Invitation 2 people to reproduce as much as possible one of the screenshot of Despacito. They chose between 4 options.
If people don't want to appear, there were many options to be far away of the camera. It will not be public.
Caterina bring some stuff in order to help in the reproduction and makes them indicate consent to publish photos of the participants .
THOSE PHOTOS are only public for documentation.
[gallery size="medium" columns="2" link="none" ids="9025,9026,9028,9029,9030,9032,9034,9036,9038,9040,9041,9042,9043,9044" orderby="rand"]
Invitation à The only proposition was bring Latin clothes.
Morning brunch at my home in Ixelles. Invitation to do this parallel activities -->
People were at the garden of where I live.
It was a sunny day.
They marked in maps different places related to latin culture.
Here some pics
[gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="9052,9055,9057"]
In my room:
- I showed the song that I did and the lyrics. Here you can listen here [audio mp3="https://apass.be/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Reggaeton-I.mp3"][/audio]
Here you can follow the lyrics
Reggaeton 1 - My EDITION
Hello ton ton ton reggae ton ton ton This is a monologue, Mono mono monolo
Gasoline Gasoline We like don't like gasolineeeee
I see dark hair I see gold jewelry I see sun olive oil I see shiny skin I see barbecue I see god
And so far from god x3 I am so stuck in this Latin body My hips
Everything is dark now x2 its blank its blank You can comment
This is the video Responder sexy body Sexy body RESPONDER
short skirts skin shorts short skirts skin shorts large breasts shake shake
short skirts skin shortsshort skirts skin shorts flat belly the motorcycle
subjects objects x5
or you just don't care
Maradonna was fantastic but I love Messi love Messi Messi"Arriba arriba andele andele"
Sexy ultimate sexy sexy ultimatelatino/latina
i find your spanish difficult to understand x2
I like being latina I enjoy the fantasy of it.Is coolIs not coolIs Colonialists...ooooh
Give me more gas x2This doesn't work, to be or to be, no sound, confused by the media acteur!Yes yes yes yeaaaaah
I don't know about reggaeton
I don't know about lyrics
order insubordination submission I think the second video has some problemsnow I understand sorry KI can see it only in white without any images,is it the same for the others? x3
- After, I asked apass people to choose a part of the lyrics and make a short video with that. They could recognize the lyrics that they wrote, or to choose one prhase. They had to create a movement for that. They shotted each other with the explanation and they could include the clothes. They gave me permission for internal use.
From those videos I did another song. People were strefull because of the task of the camera. They name an anxious problem in my research and in the way that I was producing.
End presentation - PAF
I explained the CRI. I sang both songs and exposed my problems. I said that I was doing a circular mouvement, because I was stereotyping all my view. At that moment, I was trying to understand who I am in the research. That´s why I presented the animal "Yaguateré". I presented the Reggaeton 2 with a an edited a video which has images of apass participants. I prefer to not pubic this video and the lyrics of the Reggaeton 2.
Lyrics of Reggaeton 2
The body is a problem. We are busy with its problems // make sure that we have all the details // she flies // magical realism of South-America
Through imitating movement that I think they are latin but I can not really continue doing like this // I have a serious lack of knowledge of latin culture // I don't know anything that is latin-american
I guess. Start // she give me this hat // C´est ca? C´est ca?
You are completely disarm, freedom, you don't need to protect your body. // You feel good in it, you feel bbq. Leisure time. // body is so a costume, is difficult to get rid of. // to lie down I chose and try to move without moving.
Latino stereotype,I think is not. // Not only because of the latino people //
“The hand of God” is Maradona scored against England. // I bought in Mexico, it has Jesus on it. //
catholicism and the imagery // To me is super latin // Shiny and synthetic.
Over commodify presentation of latino culture. // I am not sure.
Gaze is on the back, someone enjoying it. // knees are flexed, the pelvis is moving back and forward quite fast, // Breast, shoulders, from the left to right, fors coming movements. // Looking in the eyes // is active, seduces. // excites // excites // sexual desire
I could recognize this big problem in my first Block. In Adva´s words: ‘ you stereotype me by asking me to stereotype you’. That´s mean that I was stereotying others.
Somehow, I fell into my own trap.
[gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="9065,9066,9067,9068,9069"]
I recognize this potentialities of this block, that are potentialities as inputs for transformation:
The "trauma" → caused by necessity to answer, give, produce → the "conditions" of the experiments
Obscenity: how to show the body (connected to media)
In which sense do I want to talk? → stereotype way or not?
Problems of images: how can I expand more, open, and not restrict them?
What is Latin for me, NOW? → SUPER excellent question to continue
What is doing the "the art of super identification"?
The power role of being able to see and be seen --> what is producing the objectification?
Reggaeton genealogy: resistance rythm from Puerto Rico. "Reggae in SPANISH" (important) / perreo is coming from Afro-descendient dispora (persecuted, silencED, acallada). --> how this can appear in the research?
Important readings: the book about Reggaeton (Rivera and others, Duke Press University); BDSM approach (Freud; Barthes; Pat Califia; Foucault), decolonial theory (Silvia River Cusicanki).
04 September 2019
posted by: Caterina Mora
p o r t a f o l i o --> qui porte les folios, que pliega la research, that pretends question the vertical format
El "pensamiento" que pliega la research
The thing [THINK] called "Portfolio"
Portfolios are mandatory published from January 2019 (there are just six others Portfolios in a.pass web before us).
I am in the "thanks" of others´s Portfolios, that´s why I start with the "thanks".
I am Caterina Mora and I am listening this argentinian cumbia ( come closer please, click here).
I invite you to listen it.
This Portfolio refuses to be in a PDF format because it refuses to being seen as something vertical and fixed.
This Portfolio has a lot of HIPERLINKS.
It might have grammar mistakes. I am not sorry, but I don´t have budget to ask for Proof reading.
This Portfolio doesn´t have pre-fixed order. You can look at it as you want (it is up to you). It is conceived as a transtructure determined by how apass has been transforming/changing/modifying me.
That´s why there are evident thing and evidence.
You can enter through three options:
chronological order block by block-CLICK HERE
or the filter body practice-CLICK HERE,
or the filter "TRT" - CLICK HERE
apass team: Lilia, Nicolas, Pierre, Vladimir, Michele, Joke.
Special thanks to our technical support, incredible artist of time and resolution: Steven.
The participants: Leo Kay, Elen Braga, Eszter Némethi, Geert Vaes, Hoda Siahtiri, Adrijana Gvozdenović, Pia Louwerens, Eleanor Ivory Weber, Katinka Van Gorkum, Nassia Fourtouni, Goda Palekaitė, Christina Stadlbauer, Deborah Birch, Diego Echegoyen, Flavio Rodrigo, Amelie van Elmbt, Lucia Palladino, Mathilde Maillard, Muslin Brothers, Piero Ramella, Rui Calvo, Signe Frederiksen, Ana Paula Camargo.
The companions of the End-Communications adventure: Laura Pante, Maurice Meewisse.
The helpers: Stefanía Assandri, Alexandre Ismail, Lucas Trouillard, Marina Pessino.
People around me: Susana Paponi, Bernardo, Juan Carlos, Aphra Behn, Elvira Lopez, my family, Ana G., Angeli, María Martha, Ferchu, Josefina. Adela. Y Norbert.
Thanks to this specific places: apass 4th floor, apass 3rd floor, PAF (Saint-Erme, FR) rooms 167, 105, 117 and the garden, the Swamp School (Venice, IT), Unlearning Center (Fribourg, CH).
The mentors: Femke Snelting, Adva Zakai, Kristien Van den Brande, Vladimir Miller, Esteban Donoso, Juan Carlos Toth, Susana Tambutti, Kobe Matthys, Philipp Gehmacher, Philippine Hoegen, Timmy De Laet, Petra Van Brabandt, Sébastien Hendricks, Marie Bardet.
(you can start diretcly from here or coming back to the previous page)
- case of: Caterina Mora
05 September 2019
posted by: Lilia Mestre
a.pass is happy to invite you to the End-Communications of Caterina Mora, Laura Pante and Maurice Meewisse
18:30 > Door opens
19:00 - 21:00 > Ongoing Installation / performances
>Double Spiral with rain makers - Maurice Meewisse
>After Affect Clinique - Laura Pante
21:00 > Pa-küru: 47 minutes of a bastard cheap lecture performance
23:00 > Party with DJ Bicha Boo Collective -> 27th September ONLY!!!!
Peach Baskets - What the hell!
“Maria Spelterini is walking across a tightrope across the Niagara Gorge, from the United States side to Canada, with her feet in peach baskets. In the background is the Niagara Suspension Bridge, which is full of spectators. In the distant background is the Niagara Falls.” (wikipedia)
Funambulism is a "staying with the trouble" concept (in Donna Haraway´s words), that intertwines the a.pass End-Communications of Caterina Mora, Laura Pante and Maurice Meewisse, the 27 and 28 September at a.pass studio.
It all started with the idea of balancing oppositions, no matter which: theory and practice, high and low cultures, language and body, feminism and heteronormativity, bad and good, horizontal and vertical, north and south, truth and fake, here and there, real and virtual, peach baskets and shoes - What the hell?!
The projects of Cate, Laura and Maurice, embody the crossings between antonymous positionalities and work with strategies that include negotiations, side effects, mistakes, shadows, confusion, plural views and overlapings as co-inhabitors of a research context attempting to think complex phenomena.
To walk the tightrope one needs to be precisely at the moment. In the Merriam Webster dictionary, the second definition of funambulist says: “a show especially of mental agility”. Stay, stay, progress, walk…It is interesting to assess the complexity of such acts that involve several physical skills to portray exception and risk; that are then associated to freakishness, populism, entertainment, intense experience. Walking on the edge, for the good, the bad, the useless, the expectation, the market, for nothing, for life. Self-induced trouble in order to expose complex phenomena.
The tightrope delineates the space, creates sides and indicates the demarcation of territories. It is a geometrical form, a fictional separation that enables position, that asks to be crossed as a heroic act. A symbolic gesture linking (or separating) two end points. Reinforcing nature, in this case - the Niagara Falls as like if they would need support. What kind of visibility is at stake? What was that woman doing in 1876? Why did she have peach baskets on her feet? Why did she sometimes tie her ankles?
The scenographies of these End-Communications are differentiated by three geometric shapes: the spiral, the triangle and the rectangle. They are reference points that reflect dwellings within real and artificial realities, they deploy perceptions. They are imperatives to read topologies: the arena, the tent and the stage. They all have a centre, they all are crossed by lines, they all follow patterns, they all create spaces, folds.
Imagine that all these lines and curves crossing the scenographic spaces are folds proposing potential, temporary and situated forms of critical enquiry between seemingly disconnected or distanced realities.
At this point, the Deleuzian concept of the fold opens a range of actions, movements and transformations for what seems to be static and impenetrable perceptions of reality. The fold changes place, re-forms elsewhere, multiplies, turns things inside out and outside in. The fold is extreme and intense and unlimited, it's baroque. It might be a form of connection that facilitates open-ended and inexhaustible unfoldings of worlds.
Caterina Mora uses what she named Transversal Research Training as a way to politicise the relations between ones’ own biography, western culture, global economy, institutional demand & heteronormativity. Cate works with show business as a form, to research relationalities in a non binary manner. Laura Pante creates conditions that trouble the relation between the private and the public perception of the body. Provoking awareness of the degree to which language and visual culture shape the body and our relation to it. Laura approaches technology and spirituality as culturally formative constructs that are constitutive parts of the self. Maurice Meewisse crafts situations as mimicries of institutional frameworks. Maurice's research questions the discrepancy between theoretical and ideological standpoints and the conditions that enable artistic work. The idea of the artist researcher as a self - instituted figure brings focus to both the agency of the artist and the dominance of power structures.
"That is why the unfolded surface is never the opposite of the fold, but rather the movement that goes from some to the others. Unfolding sometimes means that I am developing—that I am undoing—infinite tiny folds that are forever agitating in the background, with the goal of drawing a great fold on the side whence forms appear. . . . At other times, on the contrary, I undo the folds of consciousness that pass through every one of my thresholds . . . in order to unveil in a single movement this unfathomable depth of tiny and moving folds that waft me along at excessive speeds in the operation of vertigo." Gilles Deleuze in 'The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque'
Maria Spelterini disappeared shortly after the crossing of the Niagara Falls. No one knows why, how or where to.
Caterina Mora, a patagonian doer (1988) from Fiske Menuco (Río Negro, Argentina) determined by the wind. She has incorrect English and she always asks for help for text revision. She had several titles and roles in Argentinian territory which become innocuous in other countries.
Although she can give specifications on her traditional artistic roles in the Performing Arts (as a dancer, performer, ballet/contemporary dance/tango professor, director assistant, writer, modèle vivant), she is interested in transcending them. The ‘doer’ participates in academic groups and loves to create pieces with fiction and glitter.
In a.pass she develops Transversal Research Training, a device for Artistic Research practice which is busy with the creation of political entertainment as affirmative critique. She makes, writes, embodies, questions and even refuses translations. She has become obsessed with Aprha Behn, a female spy for King Charles II in XVII century Belgium. She was a "translatress".
Her End-Communications is a show called Pa-küru: 47 minutes of a bastard cheap lecture performance.
It is based on translating ballet to reggaeton. a.pass provides bright paper, a 2x10 metre platform, a microphone like Madonna, cables, speakers, lights and a ballet barre. She provides 47 minutes of her embodied research, a 0,34 euro broken plastic crown that she bought in Buenos Aires (the crown ́s value then was of 1,21 euro) and music from her cell phone that she bought for 67 euros.
She's trying to dance critically: from l'obsession après une audition to the pleasure of mostrar los dientes.
Laura Pante is a dancemaker based between Brussels and Venice. She combines the practices of drawing, architecture and graphic design with movement, dance and choreography.
She crossed a.pass artistic research environment with a focus on body performativity, apparatus of spectatorship and the agency of images questioning in which way there is still a projection of fascist ideologies on the bi-dimensional screens which walk with us and prescribe our movement into the world. In other words how visual propaganda contributes to the production of body’s shapes. In her practice she researches how to create conditions for the possibility of a movement inquiry driven by a loss of corporal references and spatial coordinates challenging the expansion or the disappearance of body as a cultural phenomena.
For her End-Communication, THE CLINIQUE will welcome you into the green corner, the remains of an ancient and spreading red volcano or the living room of a grandmother’s dream(s), to experience one by one a 360° video and performative installation. Within a precarious co-presence of inside and outside, private and public, personal and collective, we will practice a propaedeutic* research exploring a possible loss of corporal references and a consequential loss of memory - a flickering amnesia of the body’s shape, as if discovering something would mean to forget the dimension you came from, challenging mediated vision and image production. Laura and her assistant will guide you with the help of a dance performed by hands (a touch) informed by osteopathic practices**: the capacity to see into the abyss of flesh.
* Propaedeutic // from the Ancient Greek προπαιδεύω (propaideúō, “I give preparatory instruction”), from πρό (pró, “before”) + παιδεύω (paideúō, “I teach”) is a historical term for an introductory course into a discipline, that is an art, or science, or movement.
** Ostheopatic practices of touch // OMT - osteopathic manipulative therapy // application of manual forces to improve homeostasis which have been altered by somatic dysfunction.
Maurice Meewise is a visual artist with a curiosity for the politics that construct accepted protocol of action and communication within specific institutionalized contexts. In most situations he finds an inherent conflict that acts as the impulse behind the creation of a new work in which he uses different techniques, from sculpture to performance, to create aesthetic interventions and attempt to provoke the reevaluation of our conditioned patterns of acceptance and behavior.
The journey he embarked on at a.pass has been primarily focussed on the context provided by the institute, the program as well as the participants, curators, staff and visitors. He explored the limits of the context and the inconsistencies that he sometimes found between theories and the way they were practiced. During his period at a.pass he attempted to challenge the beliefs within the institute by making a series of symbolic interventions that addressed these boundaries and discrepancies.
But one thing became apparent. Where is he in what he does?
For the end communication he commissioned himself to look at what context he provides, to look at what he is constituted of, to think about his role as an artist and performer and his relationship with the audience. He uses the same strategy he applied before, but now to explore his own politics. It resulted in Double Spiral with Rainmakers - and he will prepare the dinner.
"Milieus, associations, sieves and other matters."
"Ensemble of problematisations composing a processual environment. A metastable milieu in crisis, which evolves by shifting to new dimensions out of a series of confrontations with and temporary resolutions of problems. The basic grid is one of a series of self organised interactive events intersecting with a series of theoretical study days and a series of advanced forms of feedback." (May-August 2018, curated by Pierre Rubio)
During my first block I spend most time trying to understand in what kind of environment I ended up and to learn the lingo. Besides that, it was urgent to reformulate my research question that come out of my practise.
The block was activated by C.R.I.'s (critical research interfaces) which raised questions about what does your research open up or makes you see and how does it function as a dispositif (from Foucault). For the first C.R.I. I stacked all the materials, from coffee cups and wall segments to research objects from other participants on one big pile in the middle of the room. I invited all my colleague to come the next day with a very simple task, walk around the pile with me sitting on top. Every time somebody completed a full circle I would read up one 'act' that composed the pile, and if somebody activated the horn, I would start over again from the beginning. After more 90 minutes they managed to walk all the 123 circles around me without stepping on the horn.
C.R.I. II - A 40kg likable object to carry around
During a day at ZSenne artlab we were invited to make a small scale C.R.I. for which I introduced my likable object that was filled with 40kg of sand. My request for the group and visitors was simple, please carry the thing and don't put it down!
16 September 2019
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
How is not keen about ‚dynamics '. Mechanics describes it as a concern for the "effects of forces on the motion of a body or system of bodies, especially of forces that do not originate within the system itself". I'm wondering how mechanics define borders of a "system" - what belongs to its inside, and what does not. I imagine it as a possibly unavoidable but finally arbitrary process of deciding. However, I myself, I consider dynamics connected to vitality - or let's call it breathing.
One year, six associates, three curators, several events and residencies, lots of contexts and thoughts, etc. - I think we can say, the research center was never as extensive as this new cycle. It was time for a.pass to come up to the promise of generating more publicly available content. The five associate researchers accompanied by three different curators have processed their contexts and brought them to a ripe state for publishing. Holding in, taking a breath, smelling the taste, enjoying the fill of the lungs, holding in again and softly pushing the are out - and so, the cycle can start again. What was here? What was nourished by the oxygen? What did come up by breathing the same air as five other researchers?
This block we take a breath. We are looking at what emerged. We are cleaning up, select what felt useful, archive and document, think about publishing, and try to evaluate the insights for the next cycle.
Of course, while wrapping up, the question comes, is this not what research anyway requires from us at any time? Isn't wrapping up just another word for going on? Or is wrapping up possible anyhow in a research that is at the end never ending? Sure, close looking, reflecting, evaluating and sharing are intrinsic to research. It just takes place in a different light than pondering, discovering, curiosity, surprise etc.
Nothing against ‚Research '- but 'search' comes first!
This summer I was standing in a forest, next to my child. We listened, imagined, looked in the search for bears and libels, mushrooms and orchids. There was no direction, just forest, we entered where it was possible, and continued where that forest opens vision. The structures are given but inscrutable. We learn, we wonder, we wish, we compare, and things fall into our memory to be linked to other memories. Search is big. Search is following the order of the woods - not the trees.
Research feels a bit like hide-and-seek. Everything takes place within a certain convention - the rules of the game. That's what the fun is about it. I exactly know what I'm searching for and what I have to do, I just don't know how it will happen, and when. We collect, we document, we reorganise, we create an overview, we create vision. Research is messing up the order. Research is taking perspective, so we don't see the whole woods for the trees.
The a.pass Research Center is dedicated to supporting advanced research and to collecting and making public methodologies of artistic research developed at a.pass. After being initiated as a platform for individual research trajectories, the Research Center shifted to welcoming a group of advanced researchers for a period of one year.
This winter block marks the closure and thinking back of the first cycle of the a.pass Research Center through publishing.
Cycle I - Associated Researchers
Adrijana Gvozdenović is an artist who notes, talks, writes, and collects. She is interested in anecdotal and peripheral art, the conventions of exhibition making, artists’ motivations, and responsibility in the general context of art and art-related politics.
Sina Seifee researches as an artist in the fields of narrative, performance and knowledge production. He has been working on the question of technology and storytelling in the arts and sciences of the middle ages and the past-present of material reading practices in collective life. He studied Applied Mathematics in Tehran, received his master in Media Arts in KHM Cologne and in 2017 finished an advanced research program in performance studies in a.pass.
Rob Ritzen works as a curator with a background in philosophy, museum studies, art and architectural history. His curatorial practice is focused on self-organised and co-operative formats in close association with cultural practitioners — consciously positioned on the margin of established institutions and outside of market oriented spaces, but in the middle of communities of cultural practitioners. Most recently he co-initiated That Might Be Right, an attempt to reconfigure the politics of making art and alternative forms of production and presentation.
Isabel Burr Raty is a performance artist based in Brussels interested in the ontological crack between the organic and the artificially engineered, between the unlicensed knowledge of minority groups and the official facts. Her research interweaves new media, body art, lectures, installations and participatory performance to propose hybrid narratives and bio-autonomy practices that play with synthetic magic and compose in situ Sci-Fi.
Sara Manente lives in Brussels and works as a choreographer and performance artist.
Her projects start from an understanding of dance as a performative language and exist at the limit of the choreographic: texts, dance pieces, films, workshops, experimental performances, artistic researches and collaborations.
At the a.pass Research Center she is gathering knowledge on fermentation techniques in order to consider her research from a perspective of bacterial/interspecies ethics and aesthetics.
Antye Guenther, born in former East Germany, has a theory based visual art practice dealing with epistemological questions within the realms of technology, post-humanism, science fiction and fictionality of science. Since her fellowship at the Jan van Eyck Academy in 2015-2016, Guenther, who has a background in medicine, is investigating neuroscientific research and imaging, particularly in its entanglement with neoliberal corporate structures and ideologies.
posted by: Lucia Palladino
I have a proposal to deal with this portfolio: both of us will sit at our tables and we will write to each other on a common document. The conversation will be slowed down by the timing of the writing while we will look back together to this year and a half in A.PASS, from September 2018 until January 2020. In this period we have been leading a continuous conversation between us, which is maybe the smallest brick of the whole process. And I love small talk.
Let’s try. In time we have been asked many times to show the process of our reciprocal editing. We were sort of reluctant to be explicit about it in the beginning. Or we just thought that the two voices were already very clearly different, that they didn’t need to be further explicated. Or maybe we thought that it was just impossible to say who did what.
We’ll see if we’ll manage to enter some small talk in here!
I Block//School of Love
curated by Adva Zakai
What do you remember about the beginning?
I think that we started from the end. At the beginning we stopped. Maybe we were supposed to start but we didn’t.
We first tried to see where were we. What and in which shape, through which language we could relate to the context. We observed our practices, questions, our doing in relation to the new context of A.PASS and of the researchers that were there in that moment.
We used the first four months to suspend our doing. We looked back at our artistic practice and research, we renamed it, we rephrased it.
Do you remember what was the question when we started?
We had many questions, actually. At the beginning our work consisted mainly in formulating questions. Most of them would concern time, attention, peripheries, noise and translations.
What is there?
Is it possible to transform the perception of the instant in the construction of a duration?
What is such a translation?
What is noise?
Why should the periphery of the perception become the center of the research?
How can the center remain open?
What is sacred?
Are some of these words still with us? Did some of them change?
Now that you brought back these questions I can see again that we started from the end. From this last question.
What is sacred?
If I look back to it, I think that we tried to stay close to what was sacred to us.
I would say that what was sacred was the distance between us. We didn’t know how to name this alterity which is the unknown space between me and you.
The distance is what allows being together.
The distance is the space/time in between things.
The distance is the space and the time between me and the other. If we can look at the distance, if we can perceive it, we can look at what we share. All that we share is this “in between” which is the distance.
It is not only possible being together despite distances, but it is possible being together only thanks to these distances.
The distance is what determines the relationship.
Walking is a measure maybe.
When I walk without knowing where I am going, without knowing the path, with no project, I accept the existence of an other, something I don't know.
Not knowing is an obstacle between me and the other.
It is the obstacle that allows me to see the other as different from me.
Not knowing is a distance between me and the other, that I can run across.
I can run across this distance thanks to its opacity.
If it were transparent I would not see it, I could not run across it. I could only pass through it, without noticing it and without reflection, with no clash.
Not knowing is a distance.
A distance is opaque.
Opacity allows me to meet the other.
“Space was holy to
the pilgrims of old, till plane
stopped all that nonsense”
(W. H. Auden)
“Distance” and “opacity” are two specific concepts that influence very much our work. They were related to the problematic relationship between “center” and “ periphery”, which caused us many discussions. Actually for us these terms were time-related concepts. I can consider the peripheries only if I take the time to distance the usual path. The operation we were interested in was the dilation of time which allows previously unconsidered possibilities to emerge. Between our artistic practices, indeed, artistic research is for us a tool for self-critique. We got then interested in framing self-critical institutions, which would be institutions that are conscious about their situatedness and complexity, that allow space for self-sabotage and reframing.
A is not equal to A.
We wrote the following two texts for a writing score Adva proposed at the beginning of the block: “How would the future be, if your artistic research would have taken over the world?”
The world will exist in the interrogative form.
The end will be close to us
and we might be friends.
We will learn from flowers:
the truth about every man is that
he/she is about to die.
Nothing will be equal to nothing.
Everything will be
-Money will be the principle of irreality-
The dance of the dead will shape the light of the fire of the living ones.
There will be no evolution, no revolution. We will keep on turning.
We will wander in those utopian regions, placed somewhere and nowhere, between an infinite tenderness and an infinite solitude.
Every road will be a cemetery
and, in the crackles of the asphalt,
there will be our little fallen flowers
There will be a desire hidden in every thing.
We will become small
- small, in order not to lose each other.
Revolution is going on.
It will walk in the forest.
It will breath, smell, look.
It will be as an idiot. It will not know, like now, as a pioneer. It will say: I will not know but I will believe.
It will be an animal. It will look around modifying the shape of its body to enter the forest.
Attentively it will touch and get touched by the other. With no name, it will mutate and multiply, and it will continuously reverse the point of observation during its dance of attention.
It will be multidimensional, it will be inhabited by a multitude of spectres corporeal and impalpable at the same time.
It will not do a lot. It will not have anything to add.
It will move with caution through words, bodies and light. It will be mostly silent.
It will be stumbling, transforming judgement into motion.
II Block//Troubled Gardens
curated by Nicolas Galeazzi
I would say that with the video “And the woods all around” we framed our use of the words center and periphery and, thanks to this restriction, something else broke in the scenario.
How did this framing transform these words? Would you say that, looking at it now, it made us move to the structure of the frame itself?
We wanted to get rid of a problem we didn’t know how to solve. The dichotomy center/periphery seemed inadequate but still we wanted to use those words out of that geometrical/hierarchical relationship. According to the curatorial proposal of the block, we had to embody a question we were struggling with, give it in “adoption” to someone else and then eventually receive it transformed somehow by the “adopting researcher”. We created this video in order to hand our question to someone else and, in the moment we made it, the supposed content disappeared. What emerged instead was the problematic relationship between the artistic research and its documentation, which brought us back to the practice of framing self-critical institutions.
This is how we started to look at the frame and observed where and how it would raise questions. We looked at the framed document as a "material", in Tim Ingold's terms: not as a fixed object that would encapsulate and preserve a point of view from the past, but as a malleable flux of possibilities. We tried to understand what kind of relationship it could open for the future. What did it do, for example, to call this video a "document"? What did it do to us, to observe it through its institutions (e.g. the video format, the website on which its accessible...etc)? What did it do to look at it from the situated context we were working in during the block - the "troubled" Zsenne Garden?
Talking about self critical institutions, in this case the video attempts to show the complex cluster of media involved and the situatedness of their performativity. There is not a single possible mapping of this material, it aims to be open to critique and it does not pretend to have a “form” different from its “content”. For sure there has been a strong relationship between this operation and the fact that we were working in a permaculture garden.
Twelve Permaculture design principles articulated by David Holmgren in his Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability:
1. Observe and interact
2. Catch and store energy
3. Obtain a yield
4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
5. Use and value renewable resources and services
6. Produce no waste
7. Design from patterns to details
8. Integrate rather than segregate
9. Use small and slow solutions
10. Use and value diversity
11. Use edges and value the marginal
12. Creatively use and respond to change
We realized that there is no map from the outside and as soon as we try to create a document, a map, we are changing the landscape we are in.In the book "What would the animals say if we would ask to them the right questions?” Vinciane Despret observes how observers observe the animals. The way the observer position him/herself in the landscape changes the reality itself.
I remember you wrote a story when you were at highschool. Can you write it down here?
I love your stories.
The one about distance.
It would have worked well before, actually, when we were writing about distance!
Now we are far enough to read it.
You are right.
One day, the teleportation was invented. At first it was possible to transport datas anywhere, instantaneously and with no mistake. Then it became possible to teleport objects and eventually human beings too. That day humanity faced extinction.
You are particularly concerned by the future...
My affect towards the future is related to the fact that at a certain moment I started to realize that this word, “future”, wasn’t used anymore.I remember the future as science-fiction: it is amazing to think of unpredictable possibilities to come, to imagine them. For a long period, in Italy at least, we didn’t use that word anymore. Many generations of children without the word future in their bodies. In that moment I started to use it again, to say it, to see if it was possible to feed it and open for it new directions/horizons.
What I love about your story is that it shows how errors are those that allow us to relate to something, to engage with it - until death. The story also suggests that when the space-time is reduced to zero, there is no more other to relate to. This reminds me of what Byung Chul-Han calls "the society of transparency", where the "dictatorship of the self" doesn't allow any otherness to exist. If there is no otherness, there is nothing I can imagine anymore...This is the way I perceive things now, at least.
It seems that without accident there is no event. Without error there is no possible development. We are stuck playing the same scene again and again, if nothing goes wrong. The point is that we don’t have any direct access to the future, of course. In the present we have only access to the past and this means that in order to introduce some difference, we have to mess it up, lose something and highlight something else. We have to edit it. We actually do this anyway, since we are not omnipotent and omniscient. It’s about recognizing that any “closed” view of/from the past is not only impossible, but also undesirable.
We can design maps for the future. These are not meant to be "true", neither as objective points of view from the past, nor as consistent pre-views of the future. Once we have them, though, they will start to influence us.
Maybe they are not “true” now, but by drawing them they might become true in the future!
A chair is not so much designed by the way my body “spontaneously” sits, but rather it tells me how to sit.
This is exciting. And it works the same for the way we look at things, the way we formulate questions, the way we perceive things...etc. These activities are also designed by what surrounds us,
And it seems logical that documents are especially involved in designing future practices. This turns a little upside down the cause-effect logic and the linear perspective of time. Sometimes I feel that something “comes from the future”, that it is not related so much to a “now” that has already been, but rather to a “now” that is yet to come. Like in Aristotle's “final cause” theory - which appears quite bizarre to our actual common sense. Talking about things from the past that seem to come from the future...
There comes my fascination for the figure of the augur. For the ancient italic populations the augur was a priest that would read the will of the gods in the flight of the birds. He would go to the “templum” to do so. The “templum” was a portion of time and space from which he could read the birds flights.The “templum” was actually each one of the lines traced by the augur to frame the sacred space, a "cut" into space and time, a temporary suspension that allowed a reflection, a reading - the word "temple" comes from "templum", which derives from the ancient greek "temno=to cut". Also "tempo" (“time” in Italian) has the same origin. The augury embodies the action of taking a position from which, by observing what is there, it is possible to relate with different kinds of time simultaneously. You have to go in that position though, you have to move towards that place. An effort is needed. This is the frame where a suspension can happen. It is a time inside the time itself. It is what Agamben calls “Messianic time”. The time of contemplation. Contemplating is then holding this position. It is about staying with what is there, with what comes, through a specific frame. If the way I position myself can transform what is there - and therefore the future itself -, then the contemplation is a active and political state of being. I like to talk of “contemplative activism”.
I can see a strong relationship between artistic research and faith. You have to believe that something good will come out of it even if you can’t say exactly what and how. Nicolas’ proposal for the block, the “Adoption”, was very precise in this sense. To give away a piece of your work and to believe that it will be fruitful for it to be put in someone else's hands, you need faith. You can only take care, give all your attention to what you receive, and hope that the others will do the same.
A: Adopting is a big challenge.
B: To receive back the material we left.
A: To give up expectation of realization.
B: Can the documentation be originated by a script?
A: We wanted to avoid narration.
A: The narration tends to identification, often.
B: “This” is “this”.
A: To put things in one line.
B: How to avoid to do what we would have done anyway?
A: I don't know what this book is.
B: We don't know what it will be.
A: We didn't finish it, yet.
B: It's about avoiding linearity as the only option.
A: What I wanted to do was not only to write a book, but also to create an experience...
B: The problem is to translate these experiences we worked with.
A: When we entered this space we really felt “home”.
B: We are translating one's experience to the other.
A: We are translating each other's experience to the other.
B: We didn't see each other's presentation.
A: But I slept in your bed...That's very intimate.
B: How to translate something that's so close to me?
A: To work with someone else's project and not mine-still working on what I am interested in.
B: I have a strong tendency in reacting.
A: To embrace something that doesn't belong to me even when it starts hurting.
B: “Maybe it's still possible, maybe it's still possible...”
A: To work with the resistance, not against it.
B: To move out of the landscape, to see how can I relate to it and then to move back in.
A: It's not only to zoom in and out, but also to blur the lines.
B: You don't know what belongs to whom.
A: I like this a lot.
B: To show the responsibility in the adoption.
III Block//A looming score_sharing politics of damage;
curated by Lilia Mestre and Sina Seifee
Our third and last block has also been centered on an “adoption” process. This time, though, we would share some materials and we would adopt the other’s questions. The first thing we shared was a video which put together some shooting we did at Zsenne Garden during the summer and a text that we developed later on.
This video is a translation of a map we realised to observe the garden. This map would put in relation the landscape with the words we wrote about what our research would do in the future. My affect, when I arrived in Zsenne garden, was a portion of sky in between the trees. Being inside, immersed in the industrial area of Brussels, I could still have access to a vertical horizon. Then we imagined a conversation of the Augur with the birds.
I liked the question Rui wrote for us after seeing the video:
In the video, there are treetops framing the sky with clouds and the birds’ flight (frame inside the frame). There are dialogues between 2 non-visible characters (A and B) written on the surface of the image (these characters are around, in a place out of the frame but close to the borders, or not)? There are sounds of things out of the frame, but these things belong to that environment (a sound of something out of the frame could be from what is around or not). Is this set of things made for us to see the birds and the sky in a proper way or to see something else? The strength of your frame is centripetal (to the documented objects, even if it is multicenter) or centrifugal (there is an idea of whole, “from here_to_there”)? Is the documentation about something in the frame… or something around… or something else?
I wouldn't be able to give him a singular answer. I liked though the idea of a centrifugal force, which preserves the possibility to have a central object of attention, but at the same time it indicates the presence of vectors - within the same system - that tear it apart, that spread it all over the place. Being the frame of the camera an institution, that looks like the description of a self-critical institution to me.
What got less clear, then, was if this had to be considered a “document” or not...but at this point investigating the definition of “documentation” was not the main issue for us...
We wanted to re-open these documents, to see if and where there was space for us to enter. We slowly throughout the block tried to create space between the materials, between the documents, among the way they were translating each other in order to observe what kind of movement, what kind of dance they would bring.
If the “form” and the “content” of the document cannot be separated, the documentation corresponds to its staging. We moved from “documentation” to “memory”, not as the ability to preserve in one’s brain the image of past objects and events, but as a highly performative operation that makes the past and the future converge in the present experience.
I have all the ages at the same time in my body. Memory is an agent on the present. Memory enlarges the space of what is here and now transforming a linear perception of going forward, of flowing, of proceeding, in a multidimensional and multitemporal landscape.
Memory embodies distance and opacity.
Before A.PASS we had been working a lot with games. How did they come back in?
I always used games. It is a way to be with others. A game is a way to be fully involved and light at the same time. Whoever knows the rules can have access. And accessibility was an important point of our discourse as well.
And rules also have very often the form of a “map”
a game is a map
a self-critical institution
you can put the game there, in the middle
it’s clear that even if it is your game once you play it is not about you, it is about this middle space which is in between you and the others
and I need the others to be different
and see the difference
which is the distance that allows us being together
We were very happy to work with scores during this block: I would say that scores are a specific kind of games. To design scores was a great way to work on the staging of a map. The score draws a specific landscape, but - if it’s well designed - something unexpected will often emerge. The rules of the score are the “templum”, the suspension in space and time that dilate time and nourish our faculty of attention, just like the frame of the camera and the limits of the stage.
NAME IT/Writing Score
[There is a table. Two laptops on it. Two silent writers facing the public. One projector shows a blank page with the text on the wall behind the table. The public is witnessing]
- You look, you sense, you feel everything which is happening in the room. Everything means
everything that catches your attention. Everything that emerges through you in relation with what is around you. Your writing is not traveling too far nor too close from where you are.
- You can take your time, trust and write it down.
- You have to write 1st person, singular or plural - for example, if you see someone entering the space and saying hello to a friend you could write: "I entered the space, I said hello to my friend".
- If by looking, smelling, sensing, perceiving the way you want what is around you a memory or a thought emerge, then take it as part of the space and write it down. Through this digression, you can distance yourself from what is around you and then come back.
- The other writer is at your side writing with you on the same page. Try to consider it.
I AM HERE.
ARE THOSE VOICES, THAT I AM HEARING?
I AM READING.
I ENTERED BY THE ENTRANCE DOOR, AND NOW I'M IN. SITTING.
I REMEMBER STANDING FOR SOMETHING.
CAN I STAND FOR SOMETHING NOW? NOW SITTING?
I CAN FEEL YOU AT MY SIDE I CAN SEE YOU.
HOW MANY METERS OF AIR OVER MY HEAD?
I'M FLOATING, THE HEAD IN THE AIR.
I'M MOVING MY HANDS.
I BREATH. THE HEART IS BEATING.
ONCE I SAW MY HEART IN THE ECOGRAPHY SCREEN.
BEATING. OPENING AND CLOSING.
LIFE IS STRANGE THROUGH A SCREEN.
MY GAZE WANDERS ACROSS THE DETAILS
IS IT GOING TO END SOON?
A fellow researcher in A.PASS, Adriano, asked us:
A promise of observation. Observation from you - of what concerns most of us.
You were sitting next to each other. Soft, patient, listening. An analogue complicity situated between one big and two smaller screens.
Descriptions turn "poetic" "I'M FLOATING, THE HEAD IN THE AIR." "I REMEMBER STANDING FOR SOMETHING.
CAN I STAND FOR SOMETHING NOW? NOW SITTING?" "HOW MANY METERS OF AIR OVER MY HEAD?".
Not much is written, is this writing an excuse for sharing time/presence? For sitting next to each other and in front of us, while the laptops offer a small protection from full exposure and/or transparency.
If that is so, what is the minimum of text and screen needed to give a cover for presence?
We are interested in situations that are at the same time an exposure and a concealment. We wanted to show something that was clear and incomprehensible, intimate and universal. We imagined that “what is there” from my unique and ephemeral point of view, could be at the same time a paradoxical Manifesto.
We tried to write a text that would manifest the operation we were doing through the score. That’s why it is a manifesto. It manifests a reality from a specific point of view, which is a map, or a game. In the score the sabotage is included.
To explore further the idea of “sabotage” we wrote an actual manifesto informed by our documentation criteria and created an “editing score” to make other people enter into it, moving it away from us and making it opaque again.
WE ARE IDIOTS - MANIFESTO FOR NOW/Editing Score
[There is a table. Two laptops on top of it. There are two people: the “writer” is facing the public; the “reader” is sitting with his laptop facing the writer. Two projectors overlap their projections on the wall behind the writer. One of the two is projecting a very slow motion video of an almost invisible, overexposed, white goat. The other one projects the white page on which the writer is writing a text - which occupies exactly that one page:
I AM HERE NOW
I TAKE A POSITION
I REVEAL MY POSITION
I AM AT THE ENTRANCE THE DOOR IS OPEN I ENTER
I CAN RUN FROM HERE TO THERE FOLLOWING STRAIGHT LINE
I AM CLEAR NOW
I AM THE SHADOW I MAKE
I AM HERE
I LOOK THROUGH THIS FRAME
I AM IN THE FRAME
I AM THE FRAME
I MAKE THE FRAME
I FRAME INSTITUTIONS
I MOVE BORDERS AGAIN AND AGAIN
I AM ONE
I AM MANIFOLD
I AM MULTIPLE
I AM FOCUSED
I AM PERIPHERAL
I TAKE TIME IF NECESSARY
I TAKE TIME
LA VACHE EST UN HERBIVORE QUI A DU TEMPS POUR FAIRE LE CHOSE
I TAKE THE TIME IT TAKES
I AM AN IDIOT
I AM A PIONEER
I DO WITH WHAT IS THERE
I UNDO WITH WHAT IS THERE
I MANIFEST WHAT IS THERE
I ACCEPT WHAT IS THERE
I ACCEPT NOISE
I NEED NOISE
I TRUST OPACITY
I TRUST YOU
I BELIEVE IN THE PRESENT AS A PROMISE
I BELIEVE IN THE FUTURE AS A LEGACY
I BELIEVE IN COMPLEXITY
I BELIEVE IN MAGIC
FORSE L'AMORE E' CONTINUARE IL DISCORSO DI UN ALTRO
After the writer finishes to write the text, the score starts.]
- When the writer stops writing the “manifesto”, the public can start editing it
- One by one, the people in the public can whisper in the writer’s ear up to 5 elements to cancel choosing between words, letters and empty spaces. The writer cannot discuss if the indication is not clear: he/she has to find a solution alone.
- The reader keeps on reading out loud the “manifesto” while it is being edited, following its transformations until the end of the score. When he/she reaches the end, he/she starts back from the beginning.
- When the public stops editing, a new text is done and the score ends.
[21st November 2019, Bruxelles]
I AM NOW
POSITIVE THE DOOR THERE FOLLOWING A STRAIGHT LINE
I AM CLEAR NOW, I AM THE SHADOW I MAKE
THROUGH THIS FRAME
I AM THE FRAME
I MAKE THE FRAME
I BODER AGAIN AND AGAIN
I AM ONE OLD PERIPHERY
I TAKE TIME
DU TEMPS POUR FAIRE LES CHOSES
IT TAKES AN IDIOT
I AM WITH WHAT IS THERE
I UNDO WITH WHAT IS THERE
I MANIFEST WHAT
I ACCEPT NOISE
THE PRESENT AS THE FUTURE MAGIC
FORSE L'AMORE E' CONTINUARE
“Maybe love is continuing the discourse of another” wrote the Italian poet Milo De Angelis.
I think that our experience in A.PASS had a lot to do with this. Giving attention to the other, adopting the other’s work, letting the other’s work enter yours, in a dialogue.
It is so precious to nourish our critical sense by continuing a discourse, without burning it.
In the end it is really not about me and you, nor the others. It is about the discourse.
And, as always, it is a matter of love to make it last a little longer.
Thanks to A.PASS. Participating has been a big privilege.
Thanks to: Lilia Mestre, Nicolas Galeazzi, Pierre Rubio, Vladimir Miller, Joke Liberge, Steven Jouwerma, Michele Meesen. Thanks to all the mentors and participants and fellow researchers present, past and future.
This is not the end.
- case of: Lucia Palladino
07 May 2019
posted by: Nicolas Y GaleazziECOLE MONDIALE experiments and experiences walking in and with the Zenne Valley while researching an alternative political model for the Brussels region, - capital of Europe, as a metropolitan landscape. It's ambitions is to transform the dominant 19th-century political model of the Brussels-Capital Region into a 21st-century vision / version based on its specific hydrographic structure. The secondary river valleys of the Zenne can provide this metropolitan landscape specific characteristic features. How can we create a mentality and culture together with the landscape of these secondary valleys, to radically transform the old model? How can we confront us with energy transition, relating humans and non-humans, and provide common places for thinking in multi-species spheres? This future model is based on the special hydrographic structure of Brussels, in particular the 8 secondary river valleys, tributaries of the Zenne which make up 80% of the total green space.Landscape architect Bas Smets studied the changing significance of the landscape and the open space in the 21st century metropolitan Brussels region. He mapped the importance of these secondary valleys (Molenbeek, Neerpedebeek, Vogelzanbeek, Geleytsbeek, Maelbeek, Linkebeek, Woluwe, Laarbeek, Zuunbeek) and proposed to design a network. These secondary valleys can be strengthened to become linear park landscapes that enable greater water catchment and therebyreduce the risk of flooding.Taking this study as a starting point and the positive appreciation for the Zenne river basin, we want recognize and acknowledge room to the river and to investigate agency of the basin becoming a legal entity.