Hannah Clarkson | Matilda Tucker | Konstantina Pappa | Milagros Bedoya
poetics of understanding
Moderation or the risk of being considerate: moderating is my actual practice. This moderation I understand literally as a contribution to reflexivity via the medium of language inside the context of artistic practice and as a caring method of research. It is very much influenced by the world of language arts and literature, its moving ways to develop and to ask questions, in other words of its artistic modes of researching. With spontaneous-improvisatory investigations I aim to enable freedom through reflection and secure reflection through freedom. My wish is to expand comfort zones together with others. Therefore structures to secure potentials are important; as openly as possible and as focused as necessary. I want to institute the new, and not to institutionalize the evidently given. It is my wish to create a milieu of exchange and change. For sure resonances and reflections result in kaleidoscopic impressions.
I dedicate myself to the creation of resonant milieus. The aim is to bring together positions within an open set of fields of expertise, which then reflexively integrate and enable new perspectives.
I describe my work as an epistemic-aesthetic practice, as moderating and facilitating organizational and project development. Vigilance and attentiveness are required for this, at the same time spontaneous responsiveness and the ability to associate, the ability to connect the unconnected. The play of elements in the calm exchange of views is my goal, therefore it is important to take the risk being considerate.
1. Meeting on language-based practices, in Convocation, Research Pavilion, Venice, 2019, taking place in the collectively built Temporary Agora by Anni Laakso & Disruptive Processes. Photograph by Mika Elo.
2. INCLUDING INSTITUTIONS THEMSELVES, a public morning discussion as a contribution of the exchange in the cell “Through Phenomena Themselves” at the Research Pavilion #3 in Venice 2019. Photograph by Mika Elo.
Alexander Damianisch ±
I am investigating the development of a poetics of understanding navigating with the help of Language-based Artistic Research, whereby literature plays a very important role. Transform understanding, understand transformation is literally connected as two recurrent processes via a certain expandatory interaction and moderation. The subject of my personal curiosity-driven enquiry practice is trying to understand what is happening there. Combining the careful and bold practice of artistic work of transformative action and thorough academic discussion is important. There are a great number of historical and current examples we have the opportunity to learn from about this interrelation, about their ways of transforming our understanding and reflecting this process.
In particular, works of 'language art' are essential for the exploration of this, cases of 'language art' that tend towards styles of explication provide a quality, where execution and impact of change with immediate reflexive-resonance are uniquely present compared with other forms of art and research. In the recursive process of explicating answers and following suspicions, potentials unfold in new ways and ideal suspension meets perception. The sensual plays an important role, whereby what is meant is present and graspable. What remains open — between change and understanding — becomes real, it is trick and treat, manual and magic. To find the pivotal moments of change is an opportunity for our liberation for a better understanding of what is at stake.
In 2009 I coined the word-concept re-sensing (Entsinnung) and put it in the mouth of the fictional linguist J.C. Duenkel: “Re-sensing enables to recall the origin of a thing and to get rid of its meaning at the same time: A paradoxical state, a suspension of sense is achieved, in which nothing seems to have changed but everything is put into question, waiting to become possible.” In my book, Duenkel performs re-sensing in a series of speech acts in Chan Chan/Peru as a remedy against the dominance of colonial place names and the loss of the indigenous language Quingnam. I have varied and played with this phantasmic technique in my writings and began to further develop it in live performances. Exercised privately or within lecture performances and/or readings, the following word-concepts have been re-sensed, so far:
'gap'; 'understanding', 'Jens', 'womb', 'lieben', ‚Kontaktverbot', 'Machbarkeit', 'Sicherheitsabstand', 'Mutter', 'Forschungsantrag'.
Re-sensing proposes a lessening and/or looseness of meaning by a practice of excessive repetition. One says and listens, saysand lisens, ses nd lisens, seeking to suspend meaning and to summon the unexpected. Re-sensing can be achieved intentionally with and through words one wishes to free from sense or gain access to; or it may just happen through slippages, glitches or sudden shifts in the perception of a word.
CREDITS AND LINKS
1. Example of a re-sensing of "lieben" [loving] through dictation into an English voice recognition programme, 0:51 min.
LINK TO MORE on Vocalization
Cordula Daus ±
My works explore how meaning is made – literally, where and how meaning takes place. (In a name, or in a body, for example.) And further, how to shake the mechanism and structures of meaning making through writing, vocalising, and other language practices. Lately, I have focused on the relation between body and language looking at the concept of intensity. I strategically employ fictional characters and forms of writing to speak both from and about a body. Ten years ago, I initiated a journal series and publishing practice called Toponymisches Heft [Toponymic journal, see 1]. Each journal contains a semifictional universe of its own where different personas, voices and species of text meet and collide with each other. I enjoy the involuntary poetics derived from technical language (Fachsprache) or what I call excessive specialisation. (How specific can we get about a subject until we lose it?). By displacing words from their natural habitat, by morphing or scaling terms (such as meaningless sex), I seek to create new words and possible corporealities (like meaning lesser sex). The stages of becoming book (traveling, writing in situ, making objects, living with text); the form of text (interview, essay, article, subtitle) and the staging of text (in lecture performances, audio plays) are equally important to me.
In the following, I’d like to share two practices: 1) Semi-fictional writing/interviewing linked to my publishing practice and embodied form of making text. 2) Re-sensing (Entsinnung), connected to a word-phenomenological and vocal practice.
How to ask? How to become answerable to something that does not yet exist and that only emerges in dialogue – with another, oneself or the language material? My works often depart from interviews or dialogues. Recently, I have taken this approach further by inviting scientists and artists to actively participate in a fiction of mine. The video excerpt above shows a text-in-progress related to two interrelated books that I’m currently developing: a. the novel SEHR written by the fictional character Kay, and b. the journal KAY edited by Cordula Daus. For the latter, I invited the artist and witch doctor [M] Dudeck as contributing author. [M] was asked to comment on a selected episode of the novel. (In this episode, the protagonist Kay meets Nyam, a character described as half-man, half-foam at a public pool.) After several informal dialogues with [M], I scripted an interview in which [M] acts as an expert (and former friend of the fictional author) whilst I, the actual author, embody the role of the interviewer and editor. In the video, we perform and rehearse this script, trying out statements, fabulating together to then further process the material in written form. As the relation between literary text and comment, between author and editor get blurry, new narrative possibilities open up.
CREDITS AND LINKS
1. Toponymisches Heft No. 3 by Cordula Daus, https://toponymie.de/
2. Text-in-progress, [M] Dudeck in dialogue with Cordula Daus, May 2020, 3:35 min.
Regina Dürig ±
My artistic practice as a fiction writer and performer is an ongoing exploration of fragmented forms, of un-understanding, of voice and space, of constraints and freedom. I think and write, including when doing research, with my writer’s body, this is to say, I follow my hand to work within language.
Writing provides the intuition, porousness, and poetic energy for my artistic research. In this, I’m interested in the question how creative writing can be a genuine gesture of research. In my PhD project „Journey to Alice“ I explored the archive of American classicist Alice Kober (1906-1950) with literary strategies. That is, I wrote her back into the world and provided alternatives for the prevailing master narratives, in which she is often portrayed as a brilliant scholar and thus (!) icy spinster. As an autoethnographer, too, I am focusing on gender based discrimination. The question how we can live together as a family, community or society is underpinning all my work. In this, Luce Irigaray’s idea about how the first word that we speak to each other always has to be silence, became a guiding star. It inspired my book "Nebensächlich, Nomade" (Edition Solitude, 2020), in which I transferred Hebrew poems by Savyon to German–without knowing any Hebrew, but based on conversations with Savyon about her poems in English, a non-native language for both of us. Researching and writing, to me, are both at their best if they embrace the ineffable, the unknowable, the blanks.
The fabulatory approach which I developed during my exploration of Alice Kober’s archive is an artistic research method, based in creative writing. By doing what a writer does, that is, understanding the historical personage as characters that have goals and motivations and also things to lose or risk through their actions, and trying to write certain scenes that allegedly happened with these characters, I raised instances of doubt regarding how cold Alice Kober is usually portrayed. The fabulatory approach is interlinked with the notion of the ‘anarchive’, a term Zielinski has coined to describe artists’ archives—stacks of works, references and material organized in a way that follows personal principles, work-process-logic or available space, rather than externally accessible systems. In my research I was the prefix of anarchy in the archive: I used the material for my own logic’s sake, I restructured the items in my memory and in notes to serve my process. I, as an artist, was an anarchivist amidst the neatly labelled boxes. My mindset, with which I immersed myself in the Kober archive, was from the beginning gentle and attentive, but not uncritical, not uncritical of myself, too. The idea of the anarchive recognizes the value of alternative knowledge propositions, of simultaneity, and the absence of power. I, as an anarchivist, followed the inspirations I got from the material. I allowed myself to get lost, to lose or deliberately misplace ideas and preconceptions.
CREDITS AND LINKS
1. Detail from a Notebook by Alice Kober (C) Thomas Palaima and Archives of Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory UT Austin.
LINK TO audio drama Das Schweigen entziffern (Deciphering the Silence)
In the experimental translation project “Nebensächlich, Nomade”, which I have realized with Isreali poet Savyon, we brought poems from Hebrew to German without knowing the other’s language, just hearing its sound. Translation thus was “an asymptote: no matter how close we try to get, there’s always a space between the two bodies and that is the space where we live” (Antena 2014: 1). When we first met at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Savyon told me that her texts are untranslatable, as a friend of hers had told her. That’s when I knew that I had to try: Like a bird who understands nothing of what we hear, who hears what we do not understand (Roland Barthes).
The bird in me thinks of writing as a space in which the writing subject constantly disappears (Foucault), already spreading its wings. Gradually fading into layers of the atmosphere, at last into nothing. What started as a slightly silly stubbornness–translating texts from a language I don’t speak–became a strategy of cultural approximation, poetic intimacy even. I have not only encountered Savyon’s work and thoughts and references, but also my own mother tongue heard from Hebrew, my own culture (including its distressing irrevocability – birds have ancestors, too), my own language. By listening and whispering, we have both encountered the power of silence.
CREDITS AND LINKS
1. Nebensächlich, Nomade
2. Excerpt of reading of book by Regina and Savyon
LINK TO full audio version of the book.
The video is a form of document which explores the development (or lack of development) of its own exegesis as a method of making. It's a worm eating its own tail.
1. Fedorov Drawing, Steve Dutton
2. The Other Magic Drawing, Steve Dutton
3. Useless Things Drawing, Steve Dutton
4. Video, Sympoiesis, Steve Dutton
Steve Dutton ±
My practice and research forms a constellation of approaches which perform relationships between the acts of speaking / writing / drawing / reading and thinking. I aim to occupy and disrupt the ontological frames of writing, drawing and speaking, to create and inhabit a hybrid space and time, generating new forms and thinking around the nature of verbal, visual, performative, textual forms of language. A wide range of materials and methodologies are employed as a means to effectively reflect upon and challenge one another, including drawings, drawing as performance, written texts, text animations, text painting, sound pieces in the form of spoken word performances via digital avatars, digital prints, and published work in journals. The methods employed are conspicuously varied so that each process could be somehow inhabited, or confronted, by another, e.g. writing in drawing, drawing in speaking. This unruliness of method is central to the nature of my enquiries. What is at stake is a flickering between utterance and glossolalia, where, in linguistic terms, everything may be permissible and as a consequence nothing may be fixed. Lately I have been trying to imagine and work with this movement as a potential site in itself, and a body of work currently under way concerns this thinking of this site as a form of quasi-linguistic architecture. It is therefore important that I do not break down the work into separate practices, as the fluctuation of approach throughout my work is the practice.
4. LINK TO video
Karl Erickson ±
I am interested in how we communicate across differences. In particular, I am interested in how we can communicate with non-human intelligences. If we assume that different life forms have agency, we must work to find ways in which to exchange information. To create a just and equitable environment, we need to imagine forms of language that can reach across species. I use speculative fiction scenarios to do this, imagining that there are extraterrestrial intelligences trying to contact Earth-based life. Why should we assume that these other intelligences would necessarily want to talk with us first? Why not all of the other forms of life on the planet? Speculative fiction is my chosen genre because I find that when people consider the possibility of aliens and embrace science-fiction they give themselves permission to consider alternative worldviews and how belief-systems are structured.
To create these scenarios, I use video collage, mixing together animation, still and moving images, and motion design. I create the sounds of the languages using a modular synthesizer, an instrument made of discrete units that are temporarily connected together to channel electrical signals around to create songs. The modular synthesizer is, for me, an interdependent networked system that is analogous to how we can work together to find a common language. My videos are created in a mixture of live performances with laboriously edited content.
In my art I portray other intelligences in the universe that would like to commune with non-human life on Earth, proposing that this life is active and meaningful, leveling the importance of all life. An aspect of my art making can be thought of as serving as a translator between the different agencies that I am collaborating with: hardware, software, plants, and electricity. This trans-species communication is the subject of my animations Hello/Goodbye and The Earth is Getting ET Downloads. Both are made in a similar way: I create the subjects to be animated using digital drawing. I then bring them into real-time animation software in which I use my body gestures to move the characters around, translating my body onto theirs.
For each video I use a modular synthesizer to generate and manipulate language. The synthesizer is made up of discrete “modules” serving different purposes: some generate sounds, some record and manipulate those sounds, others adjust the pitch or volume. There are no predefined connections, so that each time the synthesizer is “patched” a new network is formed for producing sound. My task when working with it is to find forms and patterns among the electrical signals that can be translated and shared as a form of communication, creating sounds that feel like language, even if it is a language we are not immediately privy to.
In The Earth is Getting ET Downloads, the anthropomorphized word “Earth” is singing and dancing in acknowledgment of its connections to other intelligences. The sound is the religious scholar Diana Pasulka saying “I’m getting ET downloads, and they’re helping me.” Pasulka is paraphrasing Silicon Valley inventor-types who believe they have been contacted by otherworldly intelligences that enable them to create new technologies, from iPhones to medical implants to space craft. The sounds are manipulated into granularized phonemes, and then fed into the animation software. There, the software attempts to match the hand-drawn visemes (the shapes human mouths form when making particular sounds) to the sounds. This takes several passes, as the software (and the human operator!) need to be trained on how to match the visemes with the phonemes.
In Hello/Goodbye I animated three “alien” flowers, imagining that they are trying to communicate with us in the form of an abstracted song-and-dance routine. This work is inspired by Monica Gagliano, a plant biologist who investigates how plants use sound to share information. The modular synthesizer was connected to a plant, the electrical signals generated by the plant translated into voltages that could control the sound forms generated by the synthesizer. This is, in a fashion, translation of the electrical language of the plant into the electrical language of the synthesizer. I then used the animation software to have the animated plants lipsynch to the “song” the plants were singing to us. In this case, there are no English language phonemes to which to match the visemes. Rather, it is raw sound that is formed into patterns of utterances by both the plant and the animation software.
Making stories of flora and fauna having exterrestrial contact experiences displaces humankind as the center of importance. My hope is that through imaginative exploration, we can find ways for cross species communication. My fear is that humankind will be unable to enter into a common language with other intelligences.
1. Documentation of Plant/Synth set up
2. Hello/Goodbye, Digital Video, 2020
3. The Earth is Getting ET Downloads, Digital Video, 2019
Fiskis Collective ±
Hannah Clarkson | Matilda Tucker | Konstantina Pappa | Milagros Bedoya
The Fiskis Collective is comprised of four artists – Hannah Clarkson (UK), Matilda Tucker (US/Germany), Konstantina Pappa (Greece), and Milagros Bedoya (Peru) – with backgrounds as various as visual arts, writing, and architectural practice, focusing on the potentialities of storytelling for empathy and political agency. Currently based in Sweden, the group met as students on the Decolonizing Architecture post-master research course at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Art, and have been working predominantly on projects with Fisksätra Museum, a self-described ‘cultural and political laboratory’ located in a suburb in the east of Stockholm characterised by its diversity of languages and immigrant communities. Our work at Fisksätra Museum aims to explore and shape ideas related to urban justice, civic participation and empowerment in a playful, empathetic way, through writing, interviews, video and animation, listening sessions, language and translation.
In our individual and collective practices, we are engaged in processes of storytelling grounded in everyday communities and the politics of home, exploring potential embodiments in language(s) of thinking and dwelling in the ‘here and elsewhere’ of places and spaces we may not physically be in, across cultural, geographical and/or emotional distance. Through methods and concepts of listening, speaking, and writing, we are interested in how language can be employed as a tool for empathy beyond concrete linguistic understanding; how translation as method opens up to modalities of fictioning and collective storytelling; and writing as an experiment in sharing everyday struggles and building collective narratives of care.
A neighbourhood such as Fisksätra can be a physical place in which people dwell together, or a threshold to other places, a portal to stories which allow us to inhabit a place we are no longer in or have not yet visited. Storytelling can give us a sense of being ‘here and elsewhere’, can transport us to other worlds, at least for a time. In Fisksätra and other communities across the world, the everyday is something experienced both individually and collectively, in our similarities and differences; a kind of lived narration of routine and small surprises; a politics of our day-to-day lives; a series of stories we embody.
In these writing workshops, we asked: What kinds of stories do we tell every day, and which ones do we listen to? When you meet a stranger at the bus stop, who do you tell about it? How can a child’s imagination change an old bridge into a monster’s palace? A laundry line into a superhero’s wardrobe? What makes a story worth telling? Does a good story have to be true? What stories lie out in the open and which ones hide in the shadows? Can we tell exciting stories about things we don’t usually notice? How can an archive of the everyday be fictionalised or situate itself outside of normative structures of time? Does our neighbourhood tell us stories too, and how do we hear them? How often do we tell our own stories, and how often do we simply listen?
CREDITS AND LINKS
1. Poster for ‘Synonyms for the Everyday’ writing workshop, Fiskis Collective, 2020, © Fiskis Collective 2020
LINK TO materials from ‘Synonyms for the Everyday’ writing workshop.
Based on a community that is characterized by immigration, with Fisksätra’s inhabitants coming from almost 125 nations, the museum considers local heritage as a mosaic of people’s life stories, global experiences and memories carried in their bodies, which are collected in the form of interviews exhibited in the museum. The life-stories archive is a tool for empowerment: ‘to narrate yourself into the world’. In that sense, the collection of interviews - with narration as a method - is used to counter feelings and experiences of injustice, exclusion, and ‘not being listened to’.
Another mode of gathering stories has been through continuing language cafes, writing workshops and listening sessions, held in the various languages of the participants simultaneously and playing with the limits of traditional translation practices. Listening, and indeed narration, is a crucial part of agency and creating new collectivities, as well as enabling empathy; a collective action of understanding similarity and what might emerge in difference.
While gathering stories and conducting interviews with residents of Fisksätra, we have been employing a chain-reaction approach, whereby each participant recommends another, who, like us, may or may not be based in Fisksätra. In response to these interviews, we created a series of collective video works, playing with auto-fictions and ways of storytelling, with one person’s story taken as a starting point for the next. Multiple languages are used in a play of listening and reading, engaging the semi-fictions which occur in translation not as a negation of but as a tool for empathy.
CREDITS AND LINKS
1. Stories from Here and Elsewhere i, Fiskis Collective 2020, © Fiskis Collective 2020
LINK TO second video Stories from Here and Elsewhere iii, 2020
Rob Flint ±
In writing, something is always left out. Glenn Ligon
For a long time my practice has explored the voice through four main areas of focus – as a descriptive tool, where language is used to translate sensory experience; as a marker of origin and identity, seen both as authentic and stable while malleable and capable of mimicry; as a form of a command, like the face described by Levinas and Deleuze; and lastly, as a contingent collective medium for forming and maintaining a group.
Chorus is a body of performance works in which a declamatory text is read aloud by an assembly of people who are often encountering each other and the text for the first time.
This activity borrows from other contexts where voices are joined in unison to make an event or event seem more important or permanent. Marriage ceremonies, pledges of allegiance, acts of Parliament, the tradition of chorus in classical Greek theatre, cantatory magic, carol singing, meditational chanting and many other rituals and social activities form a background to this work.
The work is experimental in the sense that it explores ‘meaning’ as an event, rather than a static property of something. During the activity the status of language shifts between descriptive, declamatory and rhythmic, with the printed text using the formation of the words on the page to explore how shifts of emphasis in the language are taken up by a body of speaking people. Language is used to make many bodies become one, before dissolving again into distinct entities.
The images show two different iterations of the performance. (1) A performance as part of Convocation: On Expanded Language Based Practices within the frame of the Research Pavilion in Venice 2019. (2) A performance work that took place during the Incidental Assembly at South London Gallery in summer 2019. This was a response to an invitation from the Incidental Unit, who are dedicated to maintaining the legacy of John Latham and the late Barbara Steveni, who participated in the performance.
CREDITS AND LINKS
1. Rob Flint, Like Work, as part of Convocation, Research Pavilion, Venice 2019. Credit: Andrew Brown.
2. Performance at Flattime House, 2019. Credit. Incidental Unit.
3. Performance at Flattime House, 2019. Credit. Incidental Unit.
4. Performance at Flattime House, 2019. Credit. Incidental Unit.
LINK TO SCORE from Convocation
LINK TO MORE on Flatime performance
If grammaticality affects something in the body of an actor, it is precisely breathing. Breathing is the first victim, we think, of grammaticality. The induced or self-induced obsession with producing conform, good, acceptable, tolerable utterings in the second language English (literally) strangulates the breathing process, cripples the diaphragm, imperils the relationship between the actor’s body (expressed by its capacity to ventilate air) and space (performance space in particular but also textual space). In BANDIT, the performer was preoccupied exclusively with breathing freely and with exercising his diaphragm towards this freedom. What can be more significant – for him, as an SLA performing for an audience made of mainly first language English speakers – than to metaphorically/performatively tell them: ‘’Here I am, in front of you, taking ownership of your so-called native language! I can breathe in it; I am free in it; I breathe in front of you and I am not afraid of doing that!’’
BANDIT is 45 minutes-long monologue that presupposes a sustained exercise of utterance in second language English, including shrieks, whispers, shouts, in various tones and volumes of voice. The crux of this uttering exercise is located in the SLA’s diaphragm. For us, the makers (director and performer) of BANDIT, it was vital to be able to construct a breathing technique and a breathing exercise-cum-performance which allowed our schizo-strolling through English-becoming-Romanian to proceed in full force. An apt use/employment of the diaphragm is the artifice that ensures a breathing process that sustains speaking in English-becoming-another-language. The whole body of the actor (carrying with it the character and plot) will have to follow the diaphragm in this schizo-utterance opening towards the world - an air-ial construction of space, in a bastardized language.
1. Video extract of performance documentation of Bandit
Billie Killer is a theatre piece that has emerged from a Romanian lullaby. It evokes the story of a goat and its three Billie goats, two of whom are killed and eaten by Wolf. Billie Killer uses a particular modality to frame the creation of English-becoming-Romanian: the Romanian actors jazz-ify the second language English, they de-territorialize and crochet in it foreign elements, a technique akin to how jazz players take a particular tune and subject it to an intensive improvisation. This technique does not produce a musicalizing of the language (a chanting as such) but a musical-like variation exerted at the level of utterance. The result of this free-style de-territorializing exercise is represented by the emergence of the new uttering tune which we call English-becoming-Romanian: a branching out from English, which carries the personal creative mark of each individual actor. This is a distinct sonorous realm, a style, a growing graft onto the standard tune of the English language, attaining its own – as it were – de-territorialized territoriality. Billie Killer experiments with how the three second language actors can articulate their own, unique second language English’s.
The vowel e, for instance, has never felt properly positioned in my mouth during speech. There was an intrinsic, unsurpassable mismatch between my Romanian way of saying e (grown as it was into my body since early childhood) and an alien e in English that I had to fit in. In some scenes – like Scene 2, in which Wolf teases and frightens little Billie - there was a sense of awkward positioning of the body (drawn in different directions by Romanian and English), resulting in an impossibility to move properly on stage, an incongruence between the text and my body, which at times I have exploited or to which, on the contrary, I have exposed myself.
1. Video extract of performance documentation of Billie Killer
Mihai Florea ±
I am co-founder of Nu Nu Theatre and researcher at University of Bristol. My PhD research focuses on actors who work in English as a second language. The practice-based research is conducted under the umbrella of Nu Nu and is coordinated by theatre director Ileana Gherghina. We are interested in uncovering immanent act-ors in a second language English in every second language speaker: from the Rroma Gypsy woman who sells The Big Issue in the corner of a café in Bristol to Michel Barnier, who communicates in a second language English the conclusions of the latest round of Brexit negotiations: in all these people, we see incumbent second-language actors. The English language is the first ‘’stage’’ that a second-language actor performs on: this theatre of utterance produces an English-in-the-process-of-becoming-another-language (English-becoming-Romanian, becoming-Polish, becoming-Mandarin, etc.). In our research and practice, we seek to eliminate the question of accent and focus instead on combinations of elements pertaining to two or more languages. Elements of the first language discreetly contaminate the second one, transforming it and pushing it towards dissolution. On the other hand, the second language (English in this case) defends itself through grammaticality, which is a military-like machine made of rules, accents, codes, standards or utterance, institutions that uphold a certain standard of spoken and written English. Shakespeare Royal Company for instance is - among other things – an institution of grammaticality (comprising people, artists, rules, traditions and customs) that fashions and regulates the standard of uttering Shakespeare verse on British stages.
One other aspect that we investigate is language as a tool for breathing: when reciting a great tirade on stage, an actor is not only engaged emotionally but also biologically and anatomically. Thus, an actor breathes (or breathes differently) through a text, monologue, speech (just like an aria in the opera is often a complicated breathing exercise). We are interested in understanding if lack of access for second-language actors to important dramatic texts, scores and characters in English is not in fact a hindrance on their ability to breathe with artistic plenitude in the second language.
Moa Franzén ±
My practice encircles choreography and writing as interrelated practices, with a special interest in voice as choreographic material and expression. My evolving interest in writing as a choreographic practice has lead me into investigating the text as a performative space, often in the form of scores that involves the reader in a performative act when engaging with the work. My performances as well as my text works investigates the relation between performer and audience, writer and reader, by directing attention to and playing with the different forms of submission and opposition that are in play in social relations, with language in focus.
My research interests investigates the ambiguity between performed textuality and spoken writing, as well as the context and means for writing as activated for and through a stage, a site, the body of the performer, the body of a voice or the body of a page.
The work prɑpər ˈspiːtʃ takes its point of departure from the practice of proper speech and how the linguistic norms and laws that it abides under has its roots in ideology and the idea of civilized discourse (as opposed to the "primitive" sounds of the "sub-human"). I'm interested in the connection between speech and body, how the mouth is schooled by incorporating the practice of proper speech, how the movements of the mouth is tied to the plays of power, and how the learning of proper speech is a way to exercise power over the bodies of the speakers by making them incorporate and internalize a linguistic and grammatical structure.
The work discusses and defines what proper speech is and what it demands. Since it is written in phonetics it is also an instruction, spelling out the correct way to utter and pronounce the words.
However, phonetic transcription is really difficult to decipher if you're not familiar with it, which places the reader/performer in a position where s/he might fail to perform the text in the way that it dictates.
The piece problematises what kind of practice speech is and makes room for a faltering speech. It directs attention to speech as a movement practice, as well as to the materiality of voice - language as sound heard, and as an individual sound of a specific body.
CREDITS AND LINKS
1. Documentation of Proper Speech
2. Documentation of Proper Speech
The work puts the relationship between the writer and the reader as well as reader and text into play, by addressing the act of silent reading as it takes place within the body as well as mind of the reader. By explicitly addressing the reader and the performance of reading, it unveils the circulation of submission and power, violence and vulnerability that is part of language and it’s manifestation in the relation between reader, text and writer.
CREDITS AND LINKS
1.Extract of A Mouth Hidden in the Eyes
LINK TO TEXT