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’.
The Tea Party gathers newly discovered alien-fiction-beings. Their voices are enhanced through microphones, loop-machines, effect-paddles and speakers and recorded as a divergent radio-show. Supported by the sonic experience, the focus is on ‘invisible matters’ the modifications bring out.
The German designer and performance artist Helena Dietrich is since four years working and living in Brussels. After her Master in European Media at the University of Portsmouth, she conducted a research project at a.pass in Brussels, a postgraduate program for performance arts and scenography. Both in her artistic and in her design approach she is interested in the analyzation of the impact of visual information on identity and therefore culture. In her artistic work she lays out the significance of the symbolism that is embedded in esthetics (and by extension our identity). Her work has been exhibited amongst others at Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Beursschouwburg Brussels, and Cinema Galeries Brussels.
Performers : Ekaterina Kaplunova, Sebastien Hendrickx, Sven Dehens, Laura Pante, Pierre Rubio, Helena Dietrich, Christian Hansen
audio editing of a recorded collective performative practice, 25:04, 2019
In this workshop the proposed practices create sensitivity towards the relations one can build with images and aesthetics. The group was invited to encounter alternative forms of being-with-oneself through creating an auto-(science?)-fiction story through self-image-modifications. The practices were based on improvised physical explorations of physiognomic aspects of the body-image collected in several years of experimentation by Helena Dietrich.
“We will use surfaces, materials, clothes and props as entrances into parallel realities within ourselves. The clothes and accessories will become our vessels to travel into unknown (and unconscious?) parallel forms of being. Trying to establish a perspective from outer-space, the future or a parallel universe we will revisit common aesthetics with an outside eye. This approach can be understood as a ritualistic act of re-configuration of known aesthetics revealing another relation to them. We will use clothing like a pharmakon: what pollutes us can also clean us! By triggering the optical unconscious we can transform sensuously a commoditised visual world into a psychological cleansing process from cultural inherited aesthetics. Acknowledging the agency of three-dimensional images and materials as determinations of our perception of self is already an attempt to empower ourselves at changing our/the reality. Not only in words but also in materialising this reality into visible and tangible new object-beings. Which kind of voices and words will ‘the other’ image-beings create?”