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EXPLORATION BLOCK 6

Thursday 2 June 2022, 11.30 - 12.30

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 (and reading) in public space. A series of prompts for timed writing/reading together in Market Square, Vasa, in conjunction with an agreed pattern of movement. Specific positions/locations could be moved or changed during the practices.

 

Prompt: PULLS OF ATTRACTION (attunement)

Notice when something attracts your attention and move towards it.

Location: Moving in the square

Duration: 10 minutes


Prompt: PULLS OF ATTRACTION

Location: Moving in the square

Duration: 30 minutes of writing


Interlude: 5 minutes (reflection, writing, sitting, resting)

 

Prompt: SIGNS AND SYMBOLS

Location: Moving in the square

Duration: 30 minutes of writing


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

Prompt: PULLS OF ATTRACTION

Location: Moving in the square

Duration: 30 minutes of writing

Prompt: SIGNS, SYMBOLS AND TEXTS

Location: Moving in the square

Duration: 30 minutes of writing

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What triggers? What calls?

First movements, movings, stirring of activity in the stillness of the square.

Following – you take my eyes with you.

Wondering – where do you go?

No, I am not wondering about that. My attention stops as soon as you leave this frame.

It is like the square is a sheet of paper, movements are trajectories of drawn lines.

A spiderweb of itineraries taken.

Dense patterns of movement cross the corners and the edges, turning the diagrammed shape of the square gradually in the direction of an irregular hexagon, octagon, and so on, towards circle. Each route shaves off a section of the square, through the invisible trace of desire lines and short cuts.

Still no-one really crosses the centre of the square.

 

The wind makes other itineraries.

Tree blossom or leaf, fallen in the cracks catches the wind, is caught by the wind.

Pale yellow blooms to intense cerise edges. These small reminders of Spring now gathering on the crevices between the cobbles.

The wind brings animation. The blossom leaves look like small boats in a dense network of canals. A labyrinth of criss-crossing lanes and gullies.

 

Petal remnants gather in the corners between one cobble and another. Occasionally one breaks free and rolls with the wind across the square.

 

Circles of men in the cafes, meeting.

Gathering like the clustered petals and leaves.

 

A woman crosses the square with two hoola hoops, green and red.

A man in a checked shirt smokes, and the small child plays.

 

Brands try to pull my attention yet mostly fail. They have such a deadening effect on the square. Advertisements work through the pull of attention or of attraction. No not attraction, rather coercion. For attraction is a rather more fragile and fleeting experience – not so easy to control and predict. Advertisements work hard to tempt, seeking the formula that will best seduce. Branding is the most curious of advertisements – often just a name or sign. Names in giant letters marking out a territory. 

 

Marking, naming. Yet the large branded names do not have the pull of attraction, in fact, rather they somehow repel, oppress. Suffocating signage at the edges of the square. Dead signs, incommunicable signs, like large shouts. Failing to call, failing to connect, failing to care. A noisy background none the less, difficult to ignore.

 

Rhythms of movement and of attention. The regular flap of the flag on the breeze, heals meeting stone, gull’s cry.

 

A young boy turns his head to look back at the ice-cream stall that he has just walked past.

Head turning. What is it to turn one’s head or have one’s head turned?

To turn one’s attention, the physicality of the turn.

 

Head turns and eye lines.

What patterns of attention?

 

Eyes pull the attention. At times it is as if the eyes have a will of their own, are so easily bored and restless, refusing to settle and still, always on the look-out for something else.

 

The ears hear, but can remain passive, receptive. Just hearing.

But the eyes somehow want to know, want to see more, want to get closer.

What is it?

What was it?

What is that?

Eyes and names.

 

Looking back, looking again.

Attention has a different register to this endless searching of the eyes. It draws one closer, holds the gaze steady. Still, is it attention that draws one closer, or the object of one’s attention or attraction? Which comes first attraction or attention? How is the draw of attention. Writing of attention?

 

My attention is pulled, or even absorbed by the act of writing. Writing stills me, allows me to begin to settle. Towards the attraction of this other realm, this page-realm, a space of blue lines on pale page. Uncluttered by all the signs and noise and dust and flapping flags and banners and branded names. An open space. A space opens in a space. It feels like the wind drops as I settle into the writing, the background noise somehow quietens. I can hear my own breath once more.

 

Writing and the body. Writing as a pathway back. There is too much in this space pulling at my attention, pulling at my attention without attraction. More like a sense of nag. Attention is easily scattered in manifold directions.

 

Hold still. Attend.

 

Attraction can unsettle, for it can sometimes feel like such a surface lure, the pull of immediate gratification, attention drawn this way and that, by one thing and then another.

 

Attraction does not lead to attention in this sense, but rather it is through attention that attraction blooms. Things becoming more attractive somehow through the bringing of attention, of care.

 

My experience is that is does not work the other way around. The pull of attraction, in fact, depletes or disperse or even confuses my attention, rendering it unsettled, indeed, unable to connect.

 

Connection and attraction.

To let attraction come through attention, not to seek it, not to chase it.

Attraction – all the games and tricks of seduction, all the devices and ruses of luring someone in. What rules of attraction, what operations and ploys.

 

The square seems to work against the laws of attraction – its frame somehow operates as a means of anti-desire. Trucks block the sight lines of café stall, obstructing them from view. Market stall seem isolated and abandoned, as though remaining long after closing time.

 

Suddenly the warm sun on my face. I close my eyes.

Not to follow this, but just to feel it.

Attention like the spreading warmth of the sun on my face.

 

Singularities.

To attend to the uniqueness of all things, to stay, to remain attentive.

Remaining attracted, remaining in connection.

 

Close to the statue in the square. Winner’s – with an apostrophe.

Not winners, as in the victors, not the ones who won – the game, the match, the election, the battle or the war. But winner’s.

 

Winner’s – but winner’s what?

What do winners win?

What is won?

What does this possessive apostrophe attest to?

What belongs to the winners?

 

The winners win or the winner’s win?

But what is won and what is lost?

Winners and losers.

Winner’s and loser’s – what?

What is it that the losers own?

This mysterious possessive apostrophe, apostrophe of belonging, of owning.

 

Info – short for information.

A list in Suomi, Svenska, English and Deutsch.

SEE AND DO.

 

Näe ja koe.

Se och upplev

See and do

Sehen und erleben

 

See and do, seeing and doing. Two modes of activity signalled out from all the rest.

Seeing and doing.

Not listen and wait.

Not taste and savour.

Not feel and engage.

 

Only seeing and doing.

Imagine a life of only seeing and doing, only seeing and doing.

Only these two modalities have a place.

The signs call out to seeing and doing.

The brands call out to seeing and doing.

 

How might a more receptive relation to the world be signed towards?

Waiting

Resting

Listening

Abiding

Tarrying

 

Seeing and doing seem somewhat directed towards something. These other modes are rather more open to whatever comes. Seeing and doing are ways of spending time, passing time. The others take time, time is part of their very fabric or constituency.

 

Information – the language of seeing and doing.

Poetics – the language of being, listening, and of abiding.

 

 

 

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12:05h / 18° - 30 min

 

Sings, texts, and symbols

 

Vaakuna

Clas Ohlson

H & M

Intersport

Vero moda

P

Visit Vaasa Finland

Hair rewell center wella

The body shop

P

Sokos emotion

Spec savers optikko

Vaakuna vaasa

Rewel

Intersport

Sale

Rewell

Elisa

Koti

Intersport

Koti

Nissen

B

Salkari

Synsam

Akateminen

Wasadent

Oral

Kirjakaup-

Aukia

Amarillo

Rkioski

Studio ticket

Gorans

Akademiska bokhand

Dongrai

C.J. Hartman

Social burger joint

Social burger joint

Stadium

Little pub

Högskolestifielsen

Nooga

Panorama

Agentor

Lifti

Allen

Pop

A3

Cava

P

Intersport

Gina tricot

Mos ned

Nakcyl

Skall den har

Nakcyl

Sprida

Vasa Torgcafé

Tule tori-

Kahville!

Original by sokos hotel

Taste of holland

Wasa city

KLY 381

Burgers

Cafe de Paris

Pizza

Suomalainen

i

Original by sokos hotel

K

Tuoretta utta

Bar

P

P

Telia

Arnolds

Bis

Halonen

Kapphal

Åentik

Espen

Sweco

Partioitta

Lemon soft

Vasa

Waasa

City bus

Alko

Lindex

Telia

K city market

Espen

Op

Halonen

Kapphal

Friend’s&Brgrs

Bio rex

Unitas

Chill house

Iggy blanc

Nordea

Amore

Ice cream and waffles

Jäätelöä

Glass

Ice cream

Softs

Apteekki apotek

Teatro

Sulaa suussa

Minetti

Jäätelö

Missäs Muussa

Tauko paus

Wa-

Tunne

Likenne-

Säännöt

Intersport

Aktia

Panorama

 

Pull of attraction 11:20am / 18°

 

Slowly strolling while the wind passes through the fingers, the hair, the ears, the next, the trees, the stone, the buildings, the square.

The sight gets to wander and encounter. Objects on the floor, hear down, cabizbaja. The eye wander. The sight stops. Some cobblestones are mode a la intemperie without much dirt to cover their sides. I can see almost 3 or 4 cm deep. Trash on the floor, random stuff. A lot of cigarette butts and nicotine baggies. People around dwelling in the square, sitting down, having a memento. Others walk through walking with a purpose. I recognize some people. I encounter them in my path. I turn my head above from the ground, I raise my chin and encounter the street light lamps, not in poles but held with cables that dance to the rhythm of the wind.

I reach another point of the square. I found another person. I look at the trees and see a nice stone. I put it in my bag. I observe and realise that most of the tree spots have a stone inside the cage where the trees are held. Is this a thing? I mean, is this stone playing something purposeful? I found a stone that seems to be more part of the urban architecture. I take it with me, but don’t put it in my bag yet. I intend to. I see the stone I had taken inside my bag and try to figure out where it comes from. I can’t recognize any surface. An old man is strolling my way. He reaches for his bike, opens the lock, takes away the chain. Opens the second lock. Moves slowly, prepares his sleeves, his vest, checks his pockets, and walks aways with the bike. He hops on top of it and crosses the square riding the bike. I have swapped the rocks now. I took out the one I initially took and took the cube looking one which I can actually see where it belongs on/in the square.

Walking and only strolling and observing made me feel nostalgic.

No sé de dónde viene la nostalgia. O nostalgia relacionada a que. Automáticamente quiero entrar a un juego de “recuerdo…”

Recuerdo mis caminatas solitarias en Puebla

Recuerdo los días nublados, en silencio, sin hablar, observando y pensando

Recuerdo las calles, las esquinas, las tuberías, esos árboles horribles chiquititos que tan solo generan polvadera

Recuerdo el panteón

Recuerdo a mi padre

Recuerdo el sótano

Recuerdo los recortes, las obleas, los colores

Recuerdo a mi madre, acostada viendo el teléfono o leyendo, comiendo algún tipo de dulce o botana. Sus piernas dobladas con las plantas del pie sobre la cama.

Recuerdo la cama que ya no está, la mesa que ya no está, el refri que ya no está.

“Come back” a voice says. “Come back to the square. Come back to what you see here, in front of you, get out of your head, count, see, write”.

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SIGNS, SYMBOLS, TEXTS

 

A building stretched out over the full width of the market place. Title: REWELL. Fensterreihen, Beton, Fensterreihen. Window rows, concrete, window rows. Advertising on the two sides, all signs in equal size. I’m writing into a checkered notebook for the first time. Squeezing my letters into small squares. Now I realize that the surrounding facades also carry signs on grids. There seems to be a law in place, a kind of sign socialism. All letters are in the same size. I can’t help to think this building, this place looks empty, emptied out.

PULL OF ATTRACTION

 

Following random passers-by, being pulled into the speed of their steps and walking style. That man that walks slowly in direction of the mall. That woman that comes out of the mall and locks her bike. That tall guy that walks fast across the square. I can’t keep up with his pace. A white poodle sniffing at a bunch of flowers next to a market stand. Kartoffeln, Paprika, Blaubeeren, Erdbeeren, Erbsen. I’m pulled into the puffed up hair on its head. A humming sound pulls me away. I find a row of benches. Like a train without a shell. Each bench occupied by a man or two. Elderly men, most of them equipped with big bags, collectors of bottles, drinkers and no-drinkers, all sitting in the same direction. The strong feeling of having time overcomes me. I sit down. How it must be to have time. The man who sits on the other side of the bench just sits. No phone, no newspaper. I try just to sit, too. Just that. A rolling walker. A newspaper moving in the wind. Two passer-bys study the offers of ice cream through the metal grid of a closed kiosk. Strawberry, vanilla, blue berry, caramel.

 

Inhabiting another being for a while: That man. That poodle. This situation.

 

I change bench. A man sits down opposite me. Can I smoke? he signals. Another man with a bike and bag full of bottles comes by. Can I sit here? he asks, sits down at the end of the long bench. The two men start to talk. Anyone who sits in this invisible train I reckon agrees to be talked at. They ask me what I am. What I am doing here. I make a movement with my pen gesturing writing, pointing at the market square.  I take out a chocolate bar. This seems to be a trigger for the man next to me who takes out a white cardboard box, opens it and offers the ingredients to me: Pastries with and without cream, donuts. Two other men, bottle collectors come by and the man offers the sweets to them, too.

 

A finger touching the creamy light brown glaze of a bonelike pastry.

 

Yorbas is my name the man says in Finnish pointing at himself. Cordula, I say. He tries to repeat my name. Breasjfklasjdfjsla, he says. Question mark. We laugh. Ciao Yorbas, I say, as he walks off to the next bench.

 

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Pull of attractions 30min

11.30-12

 

kaksin nopeasti torilla halki

yksin takki auki, takin liepeet levähtävät auki askelten tahdissa

hitaammat askeleet punatakissa, katse jalkoihin,  tennareiden kumipohja on äänetön

naurahdus ja katse kännykkään

kännykän kaiutin päällä

ei ketään keskellä toria

kolmikko pieni ja iso ihminen

molemmilla päähine ja aurinkolasit vaikka on pilvistä

äänet päivästä päivään, varpuset joita en ole onnistunut näkemään ja liikennevalojen rytmittämä autoletka

päähineitä, ulkovaatteita

haalistuneita kenkiä

rollaattori ja sandaalit – ne lonksuvat

pyörätuoli ja huomaavainen työntäjä

jalankulkija joka ei ole menossa minnekään,  90 asteen käännös aikalailla keskellätoria, jatkaa kohti

kauppakeskusta, siellä tuttava tai puoliso, he jatkavat yhdessä

korkkarit

tennarit

jollat

saapikkaat

lokit jotenkin torin vakio, niiden tuleminen ja meneminen kiinnostaa

tällä hetkellä ei ainuttakaan mutta kohta ne sieltä tulee

rääkyy kalkattaa

lipuu torin yllä ja valitsee hyviä tarkkailu paikkoja

kättä ojentava veistos on ulosteen raidoittamalla

tori vilkkaan autotien ja kävelykadun välissä

tori kauppakeskusten välissä

 

kova tuulenpuuska istun kuitenkin tukevasti näyttämön rappusilla

iltaisin aivan eri tunnelma ja meininki

 

 

 

nyt arkipäivä ja lounasaika

vanhempia ja lapsia

otos väestöstä

pillimehuja

katuruoka autot ja perävaunut

muovipussi puristusotteessa

käsilaukku kämmenellä

paperinen ostoskassi

rattaiden rätinää kivetyksellä

hiussuortuvat korvan taakse, donitsi

bussin ovet avautuvat, se tyhjentyyy matkustajista ja jatkaa kohti Vaskiluotoa

pari autoa etenee nopeasti

kirkkaansininen vaatteessa

kirkkaan oranssi takissa

kestokassi jossa omena kuvio

reppu ohjaa painoa taaksepäin

ryhmä lukio- tai ammattikorkeakoulu ikäisiä

kirjoittaja nojaa oikeaa jalkaansa kaiteeseenjoka ympäröi istutettua lehmusta

kumartuu eteenpäin

kävelee takakenossa

istuu

 istuutuu

 

text, skylt symboler

text, signage and symbols

30 min

12 05

hollannin perunat

makkaraperunat

frikadellinakki

frikadellimakkara

lihakrokettirulla

lihakrokettipallo

juustopiirakka

kanakorni

grillimakkara

shoarmarulla

 

 

 

 

currymakkara

kevätrulla

D

P

toriparkki

Rewell

IFK Helsin

det e vi som e IFKdPaina

huo

ma

sit

avaa tästä

tyhjennetään

tähtipyörä

laukkutalo

kirurginen maski 12,90, 7,90 loppuerä 6,50, 50kappaletta

feel well

Punainen Risti

normal

sallittu

torikauppiaille

pelastustie, räddningsväg

Älä koske tolppiin ja köysiin

New Yorker

kaatumisvaara

visit Vaasa  

syöpäsäätiö

lem

lxry

Posti

Ed, ous, ay

Syö mut

potkupeli

Super Games

mellakka festivaali

roskis

anti fascist black medal

 

 

 

paloposti

Vaasan ystävyyskaupungit

Uumaja Pärnu Harstad Helsingör  Schwerin Kiel Sumperk Malmö Morogoro

Kaveria ei jätetä ilman parhaita tarjouksia

Isaksson

mansikoita

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Score: Signs Symbols Texts

17° C // 12:00

longer view

having lived

pauses in space

dim shapes

accepting the blur

mechanics of a wing

wire baskets

flashing

scattering

limpid light

darkened and gone

slump of a rebel

shell of a shelter

four entries

land almost dark

fanged eyes

shortened grass

palm-size stone

season of space and trouble

shapes

moon facing shapes

pearl-coloured shapes

white linen shapes

countable shapes

out of business

up for rent

fancy little flowers

dying bird feeder

bird wire

grubs of spring

ornamental fruits

Score: Pulls of attraction

17° C // 11:15

connecting cables

shoots on a trunk

setting up a day

checking the supply of electricity

they come as secrets

the walking of a passerby

almost like guests

left behind

summer path

seizing, hushing, gushing, rushing

alive and well

devoted City bikers

cheap coins

chained up and down

piling up pink bicycle lock

lock bicycles

gendered models

parked when the electric connection

someone makes a photo of two bags

both handles of a bicycle

baby carrier

two bicycles

flowers at the wheel

bicycle flashes among cars

the wall is covered with writing

pedals chained to the rack, and pedals

pedal like clams

words on a page

little packets of lovers thieves blue enamel body

movement of the tongue

the light splashes from the wheels

the market is a movement of the tongue

petting a scar

meandering root

embroidery hoop

sensations of an image

pattern recognition

software of our brains

carcass

mind glomming into things

possibilities of material

words that don’t rhyme

the vibration of words continuous chains

stays cold under my skin