an audio editing of a collective improvisation, 20’, 2019
Score by Sol Archer
Performers Aela Royer, Marialena Marouda, Sana Ghobbeh, Seba Hendrickx, Sina Seifee, Sol Archer, Sven Dehens, Zoumana Meïté
Editing and sound Pierre Rubio & Christian Hansen
The collective improvisation was performed in January 2017 in Brussels at a.pass (advanced performance and scenography studies - a platform for artistic research)
Sol Archer is an artist, primarily working with the moving image to research the layering of narratives within location. Sol’s work has been exhibited internationally, at, among other places, the Sydney Biennial, the MuKHA Antwerp, Action Field Kodra, and the University of California. Currently he is an artistic researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie where he is developing a film workshop, based on an improvisational game of science fiction and alternative futures.
Frederick Jameson, following Darko Suvin, identifies Utopian fiction as a specifically economic sub-genre of science-fiction. Science fiction is a propositional form for creating alternative narratives, realities, and social structures, with utopian texts generally focussed on different ways of structuring property. While these may be deeply imaginary worlds, this alternative is not intended to be unrooted from the real. These imagined alternatives operate explicitly or implicitly as critique. By staging difference, one is able to critique the real, or what Darko Suvin calls the zero world. The science fictional world is not only different in time or place to our own, but one whose chief interest is precisely the difference that such difference makes. It is also a world whose difference is concretised within a cognitive continuum with the actual. At the root of this difference is a process of estrangement. This works in different ways, but one of the narrative conceptions most useful is from Darko Suvin. Suvin identifies Science Fiction as a logic of ‘cognitive estrangement’, in which something distinctly different from the real world is introduced, and the structure of the new world and its narrative extend rationally from this new thing, this ‘novum’. This mechanism of estrangement allows one to look at the world as it is from the outside. From another complete reality, and through that to critique the structures of consensus reality.
This collective oral script-writing follows a score proposed by Sol Archer, a visual artist primarily working with the moving image to research the layering of narratives within advanced capitalism locations. The collective ‘estranged’ oral storytelling describes an utopian world where there is no scarcity because a technology provides automatic nutrition for people for free. Beyond the exciting descriptions composing the script/world imagined on the spot by the group, the free associative and inventive process is also a mode of reflection on Suvin’s concept of ‘cognitive estrangement’.