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EVENT: THE SHADOW OF A TRAIN at DISTANCE/ STOKE NEWINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON SUNDAY 20th JUNE

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 7:56 am

 

Photo: Mirja Koponen

 

This Sunday at 3pm I will present THE SHADOW OF A TRAIN as part of DISTANCE at the Stoke Newington International Airport. Co-curated by Third Party and the airport, the event offers “a weekend of performance, talks and walks around the central theme of distance.” 

For the full programme of events on the 19th and 20th see here. Tickets are available here

THE SHADOW OF A TRAIN is a script for an exhibition developed from two paragraphs by the Russian writer Arkadii Dragomoshchenko. These will be presented as part of an exhibition at the Totalkunst Gallery in Edinburgh June 25-27, curated by Mirja Koponen

In Edinburgh, the original script has been interpreted by three artists as a series of events and happenings over the three days. For DISTANCE we wanted to explore how distance worked in this project, and how that could be represented to an audience at the Stoke Newington International Airport.

Originally, it seemed like that might involve a live SKPE link between myself in London and Mirja in Edinburgh and/or performance of the original script. But actually, as we explored this further, distance appeared to be not so literal. Relations of distance and proximity, representation and participation, required different solutions. 

Asked for a short description of the project for the programme I wrote:

A resting space for distance. Between script and exhibition, word and writer, writer and reader, word and word, London and Edinburgh, David Berridge and Mirja Kopenen. 

As Mirja wrote very early on in our dialogue about the exhibition:

… it is a very open situation and the description of the project present several very concise entities that  are very distant from each other, but I can manipulate them in my mind like a jigsaw puzzle to see how they build a kind of immaterial architecture that has to do with my sensing and thinking…

And as I wrote the other day, working on my text for Sunday: 

I am re-writing the story of the hedgehog and the fox. I am looking for two contemporary characters. Maybe more.

This quote, too, from Nicole Brossard which entered into my thinking about the piece, about the relation of process and histories encountered in the language moment:

I imagine the passion of the language that is allowed escape from this. The turbulence that cracks open history. The desire that consumes the common places. I imagine the interior urgency that forces the liquidation of an era’s truisms. Literature is the fruit of a displacement of belonging into a belonging that invents its own horizon. I always displace myself starting from the words of my belonging. 

Here are the two paragraphs by Arakadii Dragomoshchenko’s DUST from which the whole project began:

Evenings, as usual, seemed endless to him. Time passed,  even though he never quite understood the meaning of that phrase. Take a couple of objects, for instance: are they immersed in time, or does each one of them actually reflect time? In the first case, the picture is reminiscent of a stream (a ritual scene: obsidian knives, an old cupboard, a rock flying through a web of glass, etc.) filled with stones/objects that form eddies, become  compressed: preserved. In the second, everything is much more complicated. I know what tomorrow will bring. This is a story about a man who once got really frightened. He was walking down the street and suddenly felt fear entering into him through his diaphragm, a sensation that reminded him of how he would have felt if he was falling in love. The meaning of the phrase “time passed” was gone, though its “disappearance” was itself beyond his perception. He had started doubting his premises, the numerous shells that were lying around him – particularly their “appearances,” the expansion of their radiant moiré into the air around them. As in Trakl’s black gardens.

Before, when he’d repeated some habitual phrase with a carefree regularity, he used to think of something (that now, in retrospect, seems) completely different. We are moving around an axis of assumptions. Gesticulations. The “eternal” turned out to be a single evening, its increasingly tattered threads of light dangling from the corner of his eye, or else a sentence without a subject. A destruction or restoration of balance – nothing more: when a period of non-writing begins, it’s necessarily followed by a period of non-speech, because the intent to create has been deliberately constrained. Past this point we use different systems of measurement to sound reality’s depths, despite the fact that this demarcation is nothing more than an auxiliary device. Length is measured by the speed of a moving shadow. Is seaweed beautiful? A change in a narrative’s temporal modality rids us of our Cartesian arrogance – it’s autumn now, but back then it was spring. Is it possible to say that seaweed is much more beautiful than the dryness in your mouth? She walks under the shadow of a red, brick wall. Warm dust seeps through the cracks; small, dry acacia leaves; the shadow of a train lies behind or on top of all this.

Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, Dust (Dalkey Archive Press, 2008), front cover.

More information about the project in Edinburgh will be available here next week. The project at Totalkunst Gallery includes a conversation with Gerry Smith on the 25th June at 3pm. Details of that event are available here

SOURCE TEXTS: Arakadii Dragomoshchenko, DUST (Dalkey Archive Press, 2008); Nicole Brossard, Selections (University of California, Press, 2010), 193.

EVENT IN EDINBURGH: A CONVERSATION WITH GERRY SMITH AT THE TOTALKUNST GALLERY JUNE 25th 3PM

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

 

Gerry Smith, I am a text-based artist: Selected Words (1998-2008), front cover.

 

On Friday 25th June 2010, 3pm at the TotalKunst Gallery in Edinburgh, VerySmallKitchen will hold a conversation with the Edinburgh based artist Gerry Smith. The conversation is part of The Shadow of a Train, a three day exhibition at the TK gallery (25-27th June) curated by Mirja Koponen from a script by David Berridge, part of the Betamaps festival.

Gerald Smith is a self-declared “text-based” artist. His own formulation of what this means can be seen in his 2010 statement “I am a text-based artist” (2010) which is re-printed below.

Gerry Smith, I am a text-based artist (2010)

 

As an example of the “Redcurrant themes” which characterise such a practice, I also cite the following reformulation by Smith of such a statement and practice as haiku as follows:

 I am therefore I

absences… you an artist

who uses text

For the conversation on the 25th, the starting point will be a series of books, pamphlets and cards that have been one location for Gerry’s recent work. These include Essential Reading, Away Wae Thi Burdies, Permanent Culture, I am A Text Based Artist/ Selected Words (1998-2008), Collected Fiction and Punctuation Poems.

This Line Is Six Feet Long and An Alexandrine from Storylines, WASPS Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh, 2010

More information on Gerry’s book works can be found on his website here.  In the context of the Betamaps events and their concern “with various notions of maps, movements, charts, instructions and recordings”- I want to note a constellation of concerns, histories, practices, and techniques evidenced in these publications, collaged from notes on the books Gerry sent me in an email on 16 June 2010: 

A working with “the/my own personal library… to enable the audience to complete their own library in a similar fashion… The Apocryphal Library, concerned with non-existent books/ Meta Books… a collection of short-form pieces which depict “encounters” that I’ve had with birds. It also has my first attempt at a punctuation poem (the haiku section of Guillemots)…

… a literary mulch – the cuttings/ shreddings of past writing helping to “bring on” or nourish new writing. The base materials all have a “mulch” connection, i.e. grass (predominantly Gunter and Whitman varieties, but also some other notable quotations) and other cuttings (my library again, and “shredded” newspapers)….

…. The book employs various writing structures and the end result was a book which was about the beginning of the writing process. It also has an annotated index…. 

…a collage short story constructed under a very tight constraint. Each line and its position in the short story was determined by the alphabetical order of the “donor” books from which it was taken (There was a substitution rule whereby I could use the preceding or following line from the donor book – so there was in effect a choice from 3 for each line). Some minor edits and alterations, specified beforehand, were also allowed… 

… The punctuation poems were a development of forms suggested by Francois Le Lionnais (OULIPO).I also drew upon the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay and Yoko Ono…


The conversation on the 25th will also consider Gerry’s recently completed The Universal History III, which has been constructed from 396 postcards. An extract of this is forthcoming on this site as a VSK Project.

A CONVERSATION WITH GERRY SMITH is the second in an itinerant series of conversations around the themes of WRITING/ EXHIBITION/ PUBLICATION. The first, with the curator Sonia Dermience, took place at shorttermsolutions in London in May.

THE WRITERS HOUSE at AWAY DAY 29-31 MAY 2010: FIVE SCORES for WANDLE PARK

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm

 

Pippa Koszerek and Anna Pharoah, Out of Office, Mostyn Gardens, 2010

 

Next week VerySmallKitchen curates The Writer’s House, a three day long series of art writing residencies as part of AWAY DAY, at Wandle Park in Colliers Wood, south London. For information about the full programme of events, see here.

The Writer’s House invited five practitioners to devise day long projects that utilised the house/ tent as a studio for a writer in residence, yet  also took account of the public and interactive nature of the AWAY DAY event. What happens to the writing when it takes place in the social and natural environments of Wandle Park? What – where – who- when – how-  if – then – was/is/will be writing?

Projects – by Bram Thomas Arnold, Rachel Lois Clapham (in collaboration with Antje Hildebrandt), Marianne Holm Hansen, Tamarin Norwood and Mary Paterson, each begin as a score (below) with varying relations to what might happen in the park itself. 

Such scores function as self instruction, an invitation to others, an announcement, a conceit, an observation, hope and warning, attempted seduction, and/or an intuition towards multiple possible activity. They inhabit the conceptual and physical geographies of Wandle Park via their own.

Here are the scores: 

BRAM THOMAS ARNOLD


a walk with a compass, a measurable step,

try and avoid the stream,                               somehow,

losing myself in the reeds,

losing myself in the rhythm,

losing myself in the recall,

….an experiment performed as though the landscape were a canvas for the imagination and footsteps were a rhythm for thoughts, language a plane for misinterpretations and translations, mistakes and conversations. 

MARIANNE HOLM HANSEN: For the Record

 

 We don’t speak much about how we truly feel – so, we will write. 

For the Record will collate two collaborative lists of words pertaining to the emotions that may occur  in relation to the park. The lists will be subsequently filed as documentary evidence of the day . To ensure accuracy, please come along to place your feelings on record. 

For the Record is an ongoing project by Marianne Holm Hansen. For more information see here

Tamarin Norwood, Works on Paper, Room 212 Gallery , Bristol, 2007

 

TAMARIN NORWOOD

C  A  N     Y  O  U     S   E   E     M   E     T   O   O ?

Tamarin Norwood presents a day of reciprocal portraiture

1. Be a person or an animal or an inanimate thing.

2. Sit for a written portrait as you write a portrait of the writer in return.

Rachel Lois Clapham, READERS WANTED, Colliers Wood, 2010

 

RACHEL LOIS CLAPHAM in collaboration with Antje Hildebrandt

READERS WANTED to share an intimate (w)reading performance for two. This is a little game, a small exercise in trust and a live cursive encounter. You can decide how long it might take. Two minutes is good though. Bring a + 1 with you if you like.

Please come. I’ll be waiting.

(Suitable for all ages)

A score for READERS WANTED

Nb. I am waiting for you
You set off on from your home
Nb. I am waiting for you
You arrive in the park
Nb. I am waiting for you
You find me
Nb. I am waiting for you
You take your shoes off and come inside
Nb. I am no longer waiting
We blindfold one another
I whisper to you
We might touch
We (w)read together
Then we look at what we have made
You leave me
You return home
Nb. I am still waiting for you

Mary Paterson, MEMORY EXCHANGE, 2010

 

MARY PATERSON

MEMORY EXCHANGE is an experiment, a model for participation, and a document of memory in public and private. 

Instructions for the Memory Exchange:

1. Welcome to the Memory Exchange.

2. Please write a memory on a memory card.

3. Submit your memory to the memory archive. This is now the property of MemoryExchange and will be donated to another person.
Forget it.

4. The archivist will give you a new memory. This is now your memory. Remember it.

*

Scores will be performed between 12-6pm on Sat 29th May (Bram Thomas Arnold and Marianne Holm Hansen); Sun 30th May (Tamarin Norwood) and Mon 31st May (Rachel Lois Clapham and Mary Paterson). 

EVENT THIS FRIDAY: A CURRICULUM OUT OF A CONVERSATION: PEDAGOGY, PERFORMANCE AND FEMINISM AT THE ICA

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm

 

Martha Rosler, Losing: A Conversation With The Parents, 1977, 18:39 min, color, sound

 

On Friday 21st May 12-2.15pm I will be part of Live Weekends: Futures and Pasts at the ICA, curated by Tim Etchells with Ant Hampton and Lois Keidan. I will be taking part in a discussion  on pedagogy, performance and feminism, curated by Mary Paterson in the “Some of the Pasts” strand of the event, which the ICA website describes as follows:    

Over three days the gallery is transformed as the site of an ongoing investigation on the power of performance, as a succession of invited artists, curators and writers linked to the field frame investigations on the exuberant and influential past of the form. Audiences can arrive anytime, stay, leave and return at any point. Conversations, interviews, slideshows, mini-performances, video-screenings and all kinds of playful hybrid interventions unfold in the gallery as different perspectives on the archive are explored. Personal recollections sit next to attempts at authoritative time lines, inexplicable images and sounds sit next to narratives and interactions of different kinds. 

Mary’s shift will begin with a screening of the Performance Saga interview with Martha Rosler, before opening into a discussion with Sonia Dermience, Martin Hargreaves,  Rachel Lois Clapham, and Theron Schmidt around themes and questions arising from the film. As Mary writes in brief for the session:  

How is performance different to its documentation? How can you communicate about past performances? What is it about performance, that you might want to communicate? How do artists and artworks become present to audiences in the future? What roles can an artist/ art practice play in creating knowledge about the past? What kind of framework do you need in order to understand the past?  

What role does writing have in taking control of the debate? What are the different relationships between performance, documentation, and different kinds of public?

My own contribution to the event is currently entitled A CURRICULUM OUT OF A CONVERSATION. I will be writing throughout the film and discussions, working towards a piece of writing that explores a boundary between documentation and curriculum. 

The eventual text aims to give a sense of what was seen and said, but by presenting the material orientated to the future rather than – maybe as well as – the past or present. It will be a programme of study/ attitude/ stance (words subject to change). 

This gives the session a written legacy, but maybe not what anyone intended. The writing may turn out to be at odds with or in contestation with the original event and its participants. It could include space for later re-workings or be defiant in its singularity (or some combination). I will navigate this boundary of the event for its own sake, and the event as material for something else. 

Martha Rosler, Losing: A Conversation With The Parents, 1977, 18:39 min, color, sound

 

Several sources have been formative in thinking through this project. The first is the notion – in the writings, of, say, Charles R. Garoian – that performance and live art (and experimental writing practices) involve methods and attitudes equivalent to radical pedagogies  of, for example, Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich. Is this true?  It’s certainly an assumption I’ve felt underpinning much of the work documented on this site.  I would like this piece of writing to test this proposition.

The second starting point is an art-writing practice of talking, and I have been thinking through the work of John Cage and David Antin, as well as (since I saw the film yesterday)  American: The Bill Hicks Story

These – in very different ways – structured, planned, and improvised practices of talking, are of course different from how I imagine the discussions on Friday will unfold. But they unfold questions about the prompt for speech, what kind of thought it enables, and how that speech is represented (if it is) on the page. I am looking to explore these further through A CURRICULUM FOR A CONVERSATION.

A THOUGHT: Conversation – and conversation worked into writing – appears suitable for a radical pedagogy/ curriculum, because it unfolds around and about  a subject, rather than pretending to define something. It does not package information that is exchanged like money for goods, but offers a model accomodating of what David Graeber has written of Bourdieu and Vygotsky:

Bourdieu has long drawn attention to the fact that – always a matter of frustration to anthropologists – a truly artful social actor is almost guaranteed not to be able to offer a clear explanation of the principles underlying her own artistry. 

According to the Godelian/Piagetian perspective, it is easy to see why this should be. The logical level on which one is operating is always at least one level higher than that which one can explain or understand – what the Russian psychologist Vygotsky referred to as the ‘proximal level of development.’

 

SOURCE TEXTS

Charles R. Garoian, Performing Pedagogy: Toward an Art of Politics (State University of New York Press, 1999).

Joan Retallack and Juliana Spahr, eds. Poetry and Pedagogy: The Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave Macmillian, 2006).

EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: WRITING/ EXHIBITION/ PUBLICATION: A CONVERSATION WITH SONIA DERMIENCE on FRIDAY MAY 21st 2010

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 6:36 am

 

'Y-The Black Issue' Issue, curated by Sonia Dermience, 2010.

 

VerySmallKitchen, in collaboration with Short Term Solutions, will hold a public conversation on connections of writing, exhibition and publication, with Sonia Dermience on Friday May 21st 7-9pm. 

The conversation will unfold from a consideration of ‘Y-The Black Issue’, a publication and exhibition project curated by Sonia Dermience /In residency at Far Away So Close, which she describes as follows:  

The exhibition Y is a decor, a mise-en-scène for action whilst the publication Y is a script for a project motivated by the desire to combat the darkness and cold. For the exhibition, which takes place in the context of a small seaside city, deserted in the winter by tourists, the artists assembled material to create a large scale installation. The publication Y is conceived as a collectively created artists book, a black and white reader in which the contributions overlap to mirror its process of creation. In pocket book form, it highlights the relationship between the curators, artists and designers through the gathering of fragments of conversations, poetry and images about SAD (seasonal affective disorder), melancholy, northern lights, weather, countryside, second residencies…

All welcome. The conversation will be a round table facilitated by David Berridge, Karen Di Franco,  Marit Muenzberg and Mary Paterson . 

This is a semi-public event at  the Short Term Solutions studio space in Bethnal Green. To reserve a place and receive directions please email David at verysmallkitchen@gmail.com

CURATOR BIO: Sonia Dermience (born 1971, lives in Brussels) founded Komplot in 2002, a curatorial collective concerned with nomadic creative practices, trends of specialisation and the infiltration of spaces. Projects such as ‘Vollevox’ or ‘Architecture of Survival’ explored new terrain in relation to objects, spaces, artists and the public.

She has conducted extensive research into post ’68 collaborative art practices in Belgium; organizing seminars and making two documentary films with Kosten Koper. This research is on-going with ‘Marcel’, a collective film and the itinerary exhibition, workshop and publication ‘Y-The Black Issue’. Komplot founded The Public School in Brussels, November 2009, in a joint venture with a residency program at Nadine. 

This conversation with Sonia is the first in an itinerant series by VerySmallKitchen exploring the relationships of writing, exhibition, and publication. The second will take place in Edinburgh in June at the TOTALKUNST gallery. Email verysmallkitchen@gmail.com for more information.

FROM BOA CONSTRICTOR TO FAT LADY FROM NORFOLK: CHARLES DICKENS AND THE ART OF READING ALOUD

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2010 at 7:13 am

On May 1st I will be presenting a reading as part of PREAMBLES AND PERAMBULATIONS, an exhibition at the Dickens House Museum curated by Island Projects. More about the event can be seen here

 On 13th April 2010, thinking about what I will read, I went to the Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street in Bloomsbury. On the top floor there was a small display dedicated to Dicken’s own practice of reading aloud. I noted Dickens specially built reading table that accompanied him on tour, particularly the small box placed on top and on which the hand holding the book would rest. 

 I wrote: This suggests that book reading is like a cumbersome prosthetic, how the act of reading in public is a complex act requiring a cumbersome architecture of body appendages and extensions. Rather than standing at the reading table, one crawls inside it to get more familiar with one’s own texts. 

I also examined a display case of the reading copies, from which Dickens read. These were subject to various methods of annotation, including pencil underlining and the highlighting of sections of text in red and blue. Inparticular I noted that Dickens sometimes crossed out paragraphs in the printed text, and replaced them with a handwritten alternative. I thought these might be slight rearrangements of grammar, possibly to bring out rhythms more striking for reading aloud. 

In the printed text of MR. CHOPS THE DWARF Dickens had crossed out a text which read:

There was the canvas representin the picter [sic] of a child of a British Planter, siezed by the two boa constricters…

and replaced it with the following: 

Then there was the canvas representing the fat lady from Norfolk, in a plaid frock and sash…

Whilst there may be some obvious reason for this shift apparent to Dickens scholars, I appropriated the shift between paragraphs as evidencing the demands of reading aloud, shifting from private absorption to public performance, and the transformations of matter, style, and story that necessitates. 

Coming downstairs into the library, I noticed in one corner a reproduction of Dickens reading table (the original upstairs had been in a glass case, which suggested a Dickens still reading, muffled, behind glass). But it lacked the small square – covered in the same dark red velvet – that Dickens rested hand and book upon (see image above). My response to the reading table had focussed upon that red square block. I wondered where it was, if the reproduction had ever included such a thing. 

I note some reasons for this fascination: its nature as building block, minimalist cube (fringed with a dark red tassle), mobility, wrist podium, something to be found hanging from every book like furry dice from a car window.

It is the block that fits the reading stand into the scale of Dicken’s body, giving form to a void space between human and object, reader and book, but such form is temporary/provisional/”blocked”. Hopefully, the block can levitate on its own if carrying around the reading stand proves difficult. 

In fact, I noted, the reconstruction [of the reading stand] is noticeable for its lack of animating props, its denial of the prosthetic nature of reading aloud. No ivory paper knife that functioned as a prop, never to cut paper; no jug of water; no cloth or towel. 

My image of how to use this reading table was becoming ever more physical. I IMAGINED DICKENS wiping his brow and the back of his neck with the towel like a boxer, sweat pouring onto the altered paragraphs of his page. I imagine a script of Dickens reading aloud that involves no books, just a choreography of sweat, box, jug, water, ivory paper knife.  From Boa Constrictor to Norfolk Fat Lady.

A few days after my visit to the Dickens House Museum I read the following quotation by Gertrude Stein:

She always said that that first visit had made London just like Dickens and Dickens had always frightened her. As she says anything can frighten her and London when it was like Dickens certainly did. 

SOURCE TEXT: Gertrude Stein, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B TOKLAS, (Penguin Books, London, 2001 [1933]), 92-3

*

Preambles and Perambulations: Past, Present and Future: Creative minds at 48 Doughty Street. Saturday 24th April 2010 – Saturday 8th May 2010.

ARTISTS: Larry Achiampong, Bram Thomas Arnold, David Berridge, Marco Cali, Maurice Carlin, Jeremy Evans, Anna Chapman, Pippa Koszerek, Yaron Lapid, Sophie Loss, Jane Madell, Penny Matheson, Aidan McNeill, Duane Moyle, Dermot O’Brien, Gary O’Connor, Claudia Passeri, Steve Perfect, Veronica Perez Karleson, Jonathan Trayner, Mary Yacoob.

Private View (entry free): Friday 23rd April 2010, 18.00 – 21.00. A conversation with the artists: Saturday 24th April 2010, 14.00 – 16.00. Performers and Readers: Saturday 1st May 2010, 14.00 – 16.00. Exhibition open: Monday – Sunday, 10.00 – 17.00. Normal museum admission charges apply. 

KAFKA THINKING STATIONS: A CHORA(L) SONG CYCLE

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

 

KAFKA THINKING STATIONS: A CHORA(L) SONG CYCLE, performed at Testing Grounds, Permanent Gallery Brighton, July 18th 2009

 

 

KAFKA THINKING STATIONS: A CHORA(L) SONG CYCLE  is a text developed from five short sentences found in the notebooks of Franz Kafka. The piece was first developed and presented as part of TESTING GROUNDS at the Permanent Gallery, Brighton on July 18th 2009. On the 24th April it will be recorded in London as a choral radio play, directed by Joseph Thorpe. 

 The score is preceded by the following text, and for the performance on the 24th this is the only part of the text that performers will see prior to the event:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERFORMERS 

 This is a text for a chora(l)* recitation to be performed by any possible number of performers, who may or may not be physically present in the same space. 

The distribution of texts amongst performers should be decided by the performers themselves as a reflection of the desired or actual group process.  All parts of the text may be regarded as vocal music, stage instructions, process notes or documentation and be performed or not as deemed appropriate. 

No instructions are included as to pitch, rhythm, tone, or speed. These are determined by each performer as emergent through sequential acts of word-concentration.

 ______________ 

*CHORA: “a temporary articulation, essentially mobile, constituted of movements and their ephemeral stases.” 

 

At the Permament Gallery KAFKA THINKING STATIONS took the form of a three part vocal performance with myself, Olivia Armstrong and Johanna Linsley. The piece was rehearsed once, and I distributed the following quotation by Jackson MacLow:

Performers must become acutely conscious of both the sounds they themselves are producing and those arising from other performers, the audience, and/or the environment. It is essential to the realization of Asymmetries that all performers choose as many aspects and details as possible of their individual realizations within the context of as clear an awareness of the total aural situation at each moment as performance circumstances allow. In many circumstances  -as when performers are dispersed within the space (e.g. around or in the midst of an audience or when performers and audience are identical), a procedure often followed in performances I’ve directed – each performer’s impression of the total aural situation will necessarily differ from those of the others.  What is asked for is concentrated attention to all sounds perceptible to the individual and an attitude of receptivity and responsiveness such that choices are made spontaneously, often seeming to arise from the whole situation. 

Schematically, this “whole” can be represented by concentric spheres: the inmost is that of the individual performer; next, that of the whole performance group; next, that of the larger social group, including audience as well as performers; next, that of the performance space including room acoustics, electronics etc.; and finally, the larger spaces within which the performance situation is situated: the rest of the building, the surrounding streets, neighbourhood, city (or rural area), etc., all of which may affect significantly the aggregate of sounds heard by each individual at each moment. The spheres are best conceived as transparent and interpenetrating – not static shells but concentric ripples travelling simultaneously out from and  in toward each center.

SOURCE TEXT: Jackson MacLow, THING OF BEAUTY: NEW AND SELECTED WORKS (University of California Press, 2008), 80-81.

 

We agreed that we would read sequentially through the thirty pages of the script, reading what we wished from each page, in whatever order. We held our separate performances together by agreeing that we would turn the page at the same time.

One discovery of this process was how much more connected we felt when absorbed in our individual acts of reading than when we tried to read looking at each other,  making the script into a too obvious fake conversation.

For the performance on the 24th, ten performers, director, writer, and sound engineer will spend one day together. The script will be read at the beginning of the day, enabling everyone present to identify questions and issues that determine the contents and approach of the ensuing workshop. The afternoon will be given over to a series of performances, each unfolding out into group led discussions and explorations that inform further readings. The resulting sound recording will be broadcast online as part of the PLATFORM RADIO PLAY PROJECT. More details to follow. 

In preparation for this performance, I went through the original script and made a series of annotations and drawings in black marker pen. I was trying to focus on the materiality of the page itself, focussing on my presence as a writer within a collaborative performance project.  When I met with Joe it was fascinated how he translated this markings into his own concerns as director, developing a through-line for the text as a whole.  

Whilst invaluable preparation, both of us will be leaving aside these interpretations in order to experience what emerges from the collective workings on the 24th.

Marc Camille Chaimowicz

 

A WRITER IN THE REHEARSAL SPACE: I am currently thinking through what it means to be a writer in a rehearsal space, how I can function, not as a provider of meaning and interpretation in regard to the text, but as some sort of facilitator regarding how its language, space and propositions could  organise our time together. 

In an indirect and sometimes contradictory way, I have been thinking about this through the following text by Clémentine Deliss:

…there remains a tension between responding on the basis of background knowledge – a certain precision reconnaissance and intentionality and travelling in the mode of the flâneur with less structure at hand. In my case, I want to know exactly whom it is that I need to talk to if i’m somewhere new. I don’t want to change the language of my practice. I know the intelligentsia is there. I just have to find it. So the last thing I want to do is to float into a location. I have to generate a meeting of intentionality between the other person and myself and for that I do the research before I go out there and I don’t compromise. 

Later in the same book, an overlapping set of issues get formulated by Marc Camille Chaimowicz as follows:

I think the photograph that I happened to find in Nantes of the Café du Rêve was a good example of a simple visual form that said everything I wanted to say. It implied a kind of sociability in a place where you get a wide cross-section of people, all dealing with their own solitude. They go to the Café du Rêve for a number of reasons: to pick someone up, or to get drunk, or to find warmth, or to engage in social intercourse. But because the title is Café du Rêve it also implies something else: that one can transcend and actually go into reverie. That’s a very simple example of what you are hinting at. The everyday in this photograph is not any old café. It has specificity.

SOURCE TEXT:  Jacob Bee et al eds. FIELDWORK (A/S/N MUTUAL PRESS, Edinburgh, 2009).

ANNOUNCEMENT: READING AS PUBLISHING WORKSHOP IN SALFORD APRIL 10th 2010

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm

This Saturday April 10th 10.30- 12.30pm I will be presenting READING AS PUBLISHING, a workshop and presentation as part of READING FOR READING’S SAKE at the Islington Mill Academy. The full programme of the four day event can be seen here

The following is the description of the project I wrote for the website: 

Reading as Publishing explores how acts and moments of individual reading can be published, and what shifts occur as private moments of textual absorption are translated into public performances, conversations, stories, silences, and images.

READING AS PUBLISHING begins from the following assumptions: (1) texts are mobile and easily distributed, so site specificity belongs to the moment of writing, the act of reading and commentary; (2)writing and reading are private acts, which must be made be public in order to have political efficacy.

READING AS PUBLISHING will begin with a presentation of a range of printed, visual and oral materials that unfold how reading can be published and made public, proposing a preliminary set of techniques and possibilities. The rest of the session will be for participants to read privately, then consider how to publish that experience to the group.

The session will conclude with a sharing of our “publications.”

The READING AS PUBLISHING  project is being developed on this website. The script from the weekend will be posted next week. Already online are:

WOUND ROSES ROSES BLEED: A KURT SCRIPT FOR READING KURT SCHWITTERS, exploring the development of scripts and scores for reading particular texts. 

A COMPENDIUM OF STRATEGIES: RODNEY GRAHAM AND READING AS PUBLISHING, a reading of the catalogue for his recent MACBA show, highlighting engagements with reading, writing and the book. 

The presentation will explore “reading as publishing” through texts by, amongst others, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Joubert, Hélène Cixous and St. Augustine.

 

READING FOR READING’S SAKE is curated by Maurice Carlin, Helen Kaplinksy and Megan Wakefield. It will also feature contributions from Aesthetics and Politics Reading Group, Ruth Beale, Rachel Lois ClaphamDavid BerridgeKatie Brandon, Patrick Coyle, Lowri Evans, Ella Finer, Royston Futter, Stephen Kingston, Fraser MuggeridgeTamarin Norwood, Sam Playford, Lucy May Schofield, and Sebastian Willan.

EVENT: QUESTION TIME AT CAFE CARBON ON FRIDAY 19th MARCH

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

 

On Friday 19th March, as part of the Question Time project, I will be reading with Rachel Lois Clapham, Alex Eisenberg and Mary Paterson at Cafe Carbon, an evening exploring art and climate change in the aftermath of COP15. The evening is curated by the The Gluts (Gina Birch, Kaffe Matthews, and Hayley Newman).

Part of our reading involves a representation and reconsideration of our Statements of Intent project. According to the original project description:

Each day Question Time hold a summit somewhere in Copenhagen- in cafes, street corners, domestic apartments, and train stations – after which a new statement of intent is produced towards an alternative declaration of the way forward on climate change. 

I previously wrote about this project  here.  The full archive of the project can be seen here.

Cafe Carbon is the third in a number of projects working with the Question Time archive to think through the implications of our time in Copenhagen. It follows on from two projects commissioned by CSPA (Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts): a curated transcript of our Copenhagen interviews for CSPA Quarterly  and three podcasts from our archive of interviews and encounters. 

My own project since December has been a fictional novella based on being in Copenhagen during COP15. This project uses fiction as a space for  exploring the relationships between politicians, activists, NGO’s, artists, and other groups that made their way to Copenhagen for the conference. It utilises fiction as proposition and provocation, creating a fantastical melding of these diverse groups, separated in actuality but endlessly intertwining in the novella’s never-conversation. We are organising a salon to present this work, and new writings  by Mary Paterson and Rachel Lois Clapham. More details available here soon.

The Ladies of the Press

 

Also on Friday night The Ladies of the Press will be creating a live magazine. I first worked with LOTP (Ana Čavić and Renée O’Drobinak) at the Permanent Gallery last year, as part of my Testing Grounds performance. In their own words: 

The Ladies of the Press* are Ana Čavić and Renée O’Drobinak: a performative publishing duo based on a contemporary art practice that re-imagines the role of the publisher into a theatrical persona. Each project focuses on ‘enacting’ a publication, extending the act of performance in to the realm of print by citing the page as the primary outlet for the work, thriving on a collaboration between the Ladies of the Press*, each participant and the space that surrounds the publication.

Friday’s Cafe Carbon will also include performance and presentations by  The Planetary Pledge Pyramid; Kristian Buus; The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination; and Emily James .

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