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EXPLORATION BLOCK 2

Tuesday 31 May 2022, 12.30 - 14.00

Location: Market Square, Vasa


Details of exploration:

Below is the overall 'score' or series of prompts that were used for structuring an experiment in collective writing in public space. A series of prompts for timed writing/reading together in Market Square, Vasa, in conjunction with an agreed pattern of movement. The 'choreography' or movement pattern of this practice involved gradually moving from the centre of the square towards the periphery/perimeter. Specific positions/locations could be moved or changed during the practices.

 

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Prompt (Part 1): SAY IT AGAIN (I).

Location: Centre facing towards each other

Duration: 20 minutes of writing

 

Interlude: Pass the last sentence of your writing onto the person next to you in a clockwise direction by reading it to them aloud. This sentence becomes the starting point for their next phase of writing.

 

Prompt (Part 2): SAY IT AGAIN (II) (with other’s sentence as a starting point)

Location: Beginning to disperse away from the centre of the square

Duration: 20 minutes of writing

 

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Prompt (PART 1): Reading SAY IT AGAIN (I).

Allow spaces for silence and for listening to the others’ reading.

Location: Centre facing towards each other

Duration: When you have finished reading that text, shift to Prompt (Part 2)

 

Prompt (PART 2): Reading SAY IT AGAIN (II).

Allow spaces for silence and for listening to the others’ reading.

Location: Centre facing away from each other

Duration: When you have finished reading that text stop.

 

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Interlude: Pass the last sentence of your writing onto the person next to you in an anticlockwise direction by reading it to them aloud. This sentence becomes the starting point for their next phase of writing.

 

Prompt: SAY IT AGAIN (III). (with other’s sentence as a starting point)

Location: Towards the periphery/edge of the square

Duration: 20 minutes of writing

 

To the right is documentation of this exploration, alongside the texts generated through engaging with each 'score' or 'prompt'.

 

 

Prompt (Part 1): SAY IT AGAIN (I).

Location: Centre facing towards each other

Duration: 20 minutes of writing

Prompt: SAY IT AGAIN (III). (with other’s sentence as a starting point)

Location: Towards the periphery/edge of the square

Duration: 20 minutes of writing

Prompt (PART 1): Reading SAY IT AGAIN (I).

Allow spaces for silence and for listening to the others’ reading.

Location: Centre facing towards each other

Duration: When you have finished reading that text, shift to Prompt (Part 2)

Prompt (PART 2): Reading SAY IT AGAIN (II).

Allow spaces for silence and for listening to the others’ reading.

Location: Centre facing away from each other

Duration: When you have finished reading that text stop.

Prompt (Part 2): SAY IT AGAIN (II) (with other’s sentence as a starting point)

Location: Beginning to disperse away from the centre of the square

Duration: 20 minutes of writing

Interlude: Pass the last sentence of your writing onto the person next to you in an anticlockwise direction by reading it to them aloud. This sentence becomes the starting point for their next phase of writing.

 

Interlude: Pass the last sentence of your writing onto the person next to you in a clockwise direction by reading it to them aloud. This sentence becomes the starting point for their next phase of writing.

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At some points, the rows of cobble stones meet each other on an angle, this is repeated in several places.

 

In some places individuals meet each other at an angle, leaning in to the other better or to share a secret, or exchange a moment of gossip.

 

Some lean in, others lean out.

I lean against the post to support the writing.

 

Angles of encounter, angles of relation and of meeting points.

 

Walking as an angle of encounter between foot and floor.

Angle of the ankle and the knee, of articulating joints.

 

Repeated encounter of body and ground, over and over.

 

Attend to these encounters:

Heal to toe, body leaning slightly back, mild extension of the back.

Body curled over, flexion of the spine.

Lateral lean to the side, a limping approach to others.

Crossed legs, testing the angle, joint of the knee.

 

Meet each other at an angle.

This is repeated in several places.

 

How might one meet the other at an angle – tangentially, interruptedly?

To meet the other at an angle – to cut in, to interrupt, headlong, from the side.

To meet another at an angle, from the side, also adjacent.

 

Towards adjacency, to be adjacent. To meet alongside.

To meet alongside, to be side by side.

Side by side, as a kind of solidarity.

Side by side, in time and/or in space.

 

The cobbles are side by side, together they make up the square.

We are side by side, together we make the unit, the group, the collective.

 

Do our attentions meet side by side?

Is our side-by-side-ness only as an visible action – or in the quality of our attention?

Am I side-by-side you or to the side?

I am writing near but I am near to your attention?

Where are you when you write?

How near does one need to be in order to really be side-by-side?

I am by your sides, or are you to the side?

Am I to the side, besides?

Besides.

Be-sides.

Besides as in – in addition to, next to, alongside.

How is the difference between besides and alongside?

What difference makes the “be” or the “along”?

 

Along, a – long.

A long side.

How long to be besides?

Do I have to see you to be besides, to be alongside?

Alongside-ness as a togetherness, even if we are apart.

Besides.

 

Besides – a sense of the incidental.

Next to, near to, proximate.

 

Adjacent.

Solidarity in adjacency.

The adjacency of the cobbles.

But the cobbles are not really meeting, for between them is green and glass and sand.

Between each cobble, always a gap or margin, always a space between.

 

No touch in the cobbles, no meet, no contact made, only sand, and grass, and glass, and dust touching. Touch of dust and sand. Is that the same for all encounters – no touch, only even the dust of gap?

 

 

The moss and lichen inhabit the empty spaces of the square. Moss fills the empty squares. In the gaps and crevices there is moss and other plant life. What ecosystems emerge in the gaps and crevices between the cobbles on the square.

There are squares within squares.

I look at a square cobble and around it moss and plants grow. Much as the cafes and passersby gather at the edges of the square.

The surface of the cobble stays clear. For each cobble, the surface remains clear. At times marked by scratches or traces of things passing over, but largely empty of activity. The life gathers as the edges, there is life at the edges.

 

Water gathers around the edges of the cobbles, creating environments for things to live and thrive.

What are the conditions of living and for thriving?

What do we need as environmental conditions in order to live and to thrive?

Why might the gaps and crevices create conditions for life to thrive?

Undisturbed. Untouched by footfall, or the tread of passing cards. The greenest gaps are at the centre of the square. Yes, the greenest gaps and crevices are towards the centre of the square.

Whole habitats emerge in the crevices and the gaps between the stones.

Sandy beaches and quartz gleam.

Shards of glass and starfish-shaped grasses.

 

The surface of the stone is smooth.

A patterned surface if grey-blue and pinkish hues. A stormy sky.

Constellations of bird excrement and the black ash of cigarettes stubbed.

Small pebbles become like boulders.

 

And what is no-one walked again on the square. Would the small plants eventually grow into trees and forests.

 

Beneath the pavement, the beach – I am reminded of the Situationist slogan. I see beaches in the crevices and the gaps, emerging forests and quartz gleam of crystals. Shining. Shimmering. Quartz flecks in the gaps, cut to touch, and sharp to finger. Like a gritty eye.

 

The sun is becoming warmer. My shadow joins the pattern on the floor, of oil spills and scraped traces.

 

The stones are completely irregular in size – each has been cut by hand and then assembled into the square to make this single surface. The flat surface of the square is a patchwork of hand-cut rock and labour.

 

The labour of the square. All this labour, all this cutting of stone and rock. All this movement of materials.

A sentence written, given away, rewritten, given away, around the world

 

The gift of a sentence written.

To give a gift away.

To rewrite the sentence.

 

A sentence written.

Is a sentence only ever written?

Can full sentences be also spoken?

A written sentence that is then spoken.

Was it a sentence?

I begin before I know how the sentence will end.

I begin without knowing the end, I begin in the middle.

A sentence may be written, but is it written first in thought?

Is it?

I hear a faint echo of the words in my mind, an echoing before they are written, shortly begore I write them down.

My pen somehow tries to follow, tries to keep up, tries to keep pace.

I do not know where this will lead. I follow the letters until they become sentences.

The sentence gives itself.

The sentence is given.

I give in to the sentence.

I give to the sentence.

Language gives and a sentence appears.

In the give of language, an unexpected opening emerges.

I give time to language, and in turn language gives.

 

Give or give.

To give as in a gift.

To give as in to slacken.

Language slackens, opens up to a new beginning, a sentence gives, it is given away.

 

To give away as in how the father gives away his daughter as a bride.

To give away as in ownership, as in possession

But how to give away that which was never owned.

How is it to give away that which was never yours, never a belonging.

 

Language a non-belonging.

The non-belonging of language.

To not belong in language.

To not hold to language as if a belonging.

 

Belonging as in feeling at home.

Belongings as in what one owns.

 

To give away.

A give away – to reveal the secret, or to give away as in to disown.

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A sentence written, given away, rewritten, given away, around the world (CD > EC)

A give-away as in "to reveal a secret", or to give away as in "to disown” (EC > CD).

What is the resolution of your writing? / Are you dissolving when you write? (CD > AB)

Again two legs, again two arms, two feet, a pen and a notebook (AB > CD)

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13h - 21°

 

Say it again

 

And then I’m (we) are at it, again. Again at the square. Again standing, again writing, again observing, again listening, again listing, again thinking, again trying not to think, again listening to the seagulls, the ambulance, the “barullo”, the wind, the wind crashing in the ears, being most of the time ignored, but not in the square. In the square everything is. A car parked is not just “a car parked” but a car parked in the square. A seagull squawking is not just squawking , it is squawking in the square. Falling is not just a fall, it’s a fall in the square.

 

Again and again changing how I hold the notebook, the pen, how the wind pushes the paper. Again and again moving the feet, the ankles, stretching and moving trying to avoid the pain and stiffness that comes with standing, with the weight, with gravity.

Again being aware of the others, looking, waiting, witnessing the weather move and transform while I (we) stand in the square.

Again finding the writing in a place of stand by, waiting to find a direction. Waiting to find itself, waiting to move, to walk and settle until it becomes something.

Time, again, time that haunts and chases the text.

Again, finding and losing and writing. Again in the square, again, here, again now; again two legs, again two arms, two feet, a pen and a notebook.

Shadows are deep and sharp they cut areas and define places, shapes, forms. Bidimensional beings that lurk next to their masters to never leave them. That is, until in some parts of the western hemisphere at the strike of mid-day all shadows get a holiday. They leave the side of their creators to become them, to be shadows no more.

To be a shadow, a soft companion following you around offering some shelter to the surfaces from the sun.

To be a shadow and wait the moment until shadow and object intersect.

To be a shadow and wait till another shadow comes and visits, merging into a new entity, transforming into a new being.

To be a shadow, deep without depth, sharp without edge.

What is the resolution of your writing? Are you dissolving when you write?


“What is the resolution of your writing?” she asked. We stood in the middle of the vast market square in Vaasa while she whispered closely her question. The word resolution, in German, is also related to “dissolve” she mentioned. Following her question with another “Are you dissolving when you write?” I thanked her, and she walked away. I turned around and walked the opposite direction to find shelter within the steps of the monument.

Who is the one writing? If there is an I, and the I dissolves, what or who is left? The text, language, writing perhaps? As I write I’m no longer. I no longer am. There is no room for me and the text being written. There is only the text and language. Until there is no more language, the pen leaves the paper, the sight abandons the text and wanders around observing the surroundings.

Then, I am again. I regained my body. A body that occupies a space, a body that is seen. A body that is loud in presence, and so, the text is no longer the subject. The writing, the text, and I.

How many times do we dissolve in a day? How many times do we find ourselves yet again, not knowing how we got there. Sometimes it would seem that this disappearing act could last for years, or decades. We never know when we will see ourselves again.

When writing, this act of disappearance is timeless. Yes, we can count in minutes for how long we have been dissolving. But when writing, while in the text, that’s another time measure that would seem in a way immeasurable. When writing, we are gone from place and time, and thoughts just are.

All this labour

all this cutting

of stone and rock

always movement of material

(EC > LS)

At some points, the rows of cobble stones meet each other on an angle, this is repeated in several places

(LS > EC)

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Shadows are deep and sharp (VS > AB)

 

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to be a shadow, deep without depth, sharp without edge (AB > VS)

A crow shouts with two syllables (LS > VS)

 

foot forward

one at the back

laughter

(VS > LS)

SAY IT AGAIN


Zócalo = Sockel. Komm von deinem Sockel herunter.

 

Jemand hat einen rosa Elektroroller mitten auf dem Platz abgestellt, offenbar hatte das GPS nichts dagegen. Was hat eine Statue mit einem Elektroroller gemeinsam?

 

Writing = making impossible equations.

 

Liberating the socle from its statue. A free socket. What kind of liberty do we need? How would your statue look like? A sentence written, given away, rewritten, given away, travelling the world.

Again two legs, again two arms, two feet, a pen and a notebook. Nochmal zwei Beine, nochmal zwei Arme, zwei Füße, ein Stift und ein Notizbuch.

 

Ein öffentlicher Schreibverein. Öffentliches Schreiben in Notizbücher. Werbung für Schreiben mit Stiften. (Lassen wir die Frau mit der Sonnebrille auf dem Screen einmal heraus.) Schreiben im Stehen, im Gehen, auf Knien. Von anderen geschrieben werden. Wo stehen. Das steht da. Die steht da. Das was dasteht hergeben, sich gegenseitig weiterschreiben.

 

Wie Schreiben Fotografieren. Mit welcher Auflösung schreibst Du? Löst Du dich auf beim Schreiben? Von einem Wort zum anderen kommen. Kommt der Platz nicht zu Wort. Der Stadtschreiber wird dafür bezahlt, gefälligst das aufzuschreiben, was in der Stadt passiert und nicht in ihm. Der Fotograf wird dafür bezahlt, die Schreiber zu fotografieren, die ihm sagen, fotografier uns nicht, sondern das Schreiben.

 

Am I hiding when I speak German?

To give-away, as in ‘to reveal a secret’, or to give away as in ‘to disown’.

 

Weggeben, im Sinne von ein Geheimnis aufdecken, oder weggeben, im Sinne von enteignen. Weggeben, im Sinne ‚von einen Weg geben‘, oder weggeben im Sinne von ‚Eigentum wegtun‘.

 

Weg geben, im Sinne von, ‚der Satz geht hier nicht weiter, sondern anderswo.‘

 

To write as in ‘to reveal  or  to conceal something’.

 

A writerly give-away. A writer that gives themselves away.

 

A sentence found on a cobble. Taken up and exchanged into a coffee, into the secrets of a stomach, into pee, into water to a tree.


 

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Score: Say it again - with the received sentence

21° C // 13:15

a crow shouts with two syllables

is it now forming a sentence?

and is it now in a conversation?

and has it become a meditative now?

is a seagull’s language monosyllabic?

smells of fried food

familiar language

a couple walking

calm muscles

a massage

onlooker

questions

singers

blue, white t-shirts

minding one’s business

being busy

looking busy

busying the other

leaning

need for support

rolling up looking serious

meditative

the young

their shoes

their gait

balancing sleep

contrast, not busy, not easy

yawning, jolting

scribbling

the sound of the bicycle ringing, cyclists and

the balancing of weight

the balancing of the movement

one foot forward, one at the back, laughter

Score: Say it again - with the received sentence

21° C // 13:37

to be a shadow, deep without depth, sharp without edge

like signs of hunger giving rise to the capacity to eat, the will to march

what brings happiness: a massage, grilled eggplant, sugar, salt, sex, clothes, conversations,

beauty, ability, learning capacity

the moving of a vehicle

a wedge can stop a vehicle

usually for chairs, two tables

small bags

youngsters prevent heat by saving the small portions of heat from the Sun

how to stop feeling sluggish

the writing of texts

red chairs

D exit

Score: Say it again & pass the last sentence

21° C // 13:00

rustling of a plastic bag

it holds

the wheel moves the weight

the starting of the engine

chatter, unloading the sound of an ambulance

two friends catch up

someone walks wearing red shoes

crow hops forward

the wind is gentle

being in the marketplace is like being in the sea

morning

moving of a car

the stalls

loading the carrier of a bicycle

smelling of deep-frying

the flapping of wings

cacophony

seagulls congregate

cars facing the wind

crow over a speaker

moving photographer

sitting body

setting up of chairs

uneven ground

hairy legs

season of the shorts

sleep coming over

set of flowers next to the set of shoes

speeds of walking could be information to map the square

the sun is back

shadows are deep and sharp