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?”
The audio piece is a document on a document on a document. Dr. Edward George, a founding member of Black Audio Film Collective, and writer, researcher, narrator of the seminal fiction-documentary film ‘The Last Angel of History’, performs live the research processes and thinking that supported the creation of the film. The audio piece revisits George revisiting his work of revisiting the lineage of Afrofuturism.
Dr. Edward George is a founding member of Black Audio Film Collective (1982-1998), the multimedia duo Flow Motion (1996-present), and the electronic music group Hallucinator (1998-present). He lives in London.
an audio editing of a live lecture,180’, 2019
Author and Performer/Lecturer Edward George
Editor Pierre Rubio
Sound Christian Hansen
The lecture was performed in March 2017 in Brussels at a.pass (advanced performance and scenography studies - a platform for artistic research)
The Last Angel of History is one of the most influential video-essays of the 1990s influencing filmmakers and inspiring conferences, novels and exhibitions. Black Audio Film Collective’s exploration of the chromatic possibilities of digital video is embedded within a mythology of the future that creates connections between black (un)popular culture, outer space and the limits of the human condition. The influential Black Audio Film Collective crafted this experimental blend of sci-fi parable and essay film, which also serves as an essential primer on the aesthetics and dynamics of contemporary Afrofuturism. Interviews with esteemed musicians, writers, and cultural critics are interwoven with the fictional story of the “data thief,” who must travel through time and space in search of the code that holds the key to his future.
an audio editing of a live lecture, 55’ to 70’, 2019
Author and Performer/Lecturer Sina Seifee
Editor Pierre Rubio
Sound Christian Hansen
The lecture was performed in March 2017 in Brussels within the lectures series “Book Club” at a.pass (advanced performance and scenography studies - a platform for artistic research)
Sina Seiffe is an artist-researcher-storyteller working on poetics of animal description (ecological cosmologies of nonhumans-with-history). Born in Tehran (1982), he studied Applied Mathematics in Beheshti University and Visual Arts in Charsoo Institute of Art in Tehran. After moving to Germany in 2011, he graduated in Cologne with master diploma in Media Arts from Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln (2014) and received his postmaster in Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies from a.pass in Brussels (2017). A two-year research program in which he developed his work on bestiaries, and a deep interest for other people’s projects and how we get on together in communities of knowledge. His artworks (realized in different forms of lecture-performances, reading group, workshops, image making, video and writing) are about the questions of technology, storytelling, globalism and intercultural mythologies in the heterogeneous knowledge-worlds of art and sciences, with attention to the premodern era.
The essay/performance investigates the fragile intersections of friendship between digital avatars and trans-animals in the social media in Tehran’s landscape. Through personal animal-findings and fairy-tale associations the ‘An Animal Escape Case’ interprets the epistemological openings and closings in cross-species sociality in Tehran domestic landscape exemplified in the everyday use of mobile phones where images of pets circulates and different species meet in mediated formats. The essay/performance analyzes all that anthropomorphism performs and withholds on and with animality in the situated conditions of contemporary Tehran domestic life and addresses the relationships between people, animals and place in a socio-technological milieu as complex as Tehran’s urban environment with its politics, televised operations, public/private cross- boundaries, its wilderness, and technologically mediated stories and rumors that populate its landscape.
The sound piece is a long and atmospheric editing of a wild collective improvisation by a group of artists-researchers that occurred during a sound research atelier called ‘Foley Your Research’. The recording session offered choices of changing time and space completely as the artists-researchers worked free of any visual references but focussed on creating images through the exclusive use of sound.
The atelier was based both on the history of the evolution of methods used to reproduce sound effects for film (foley) and a research around the question “how does/could your research sound like?”. The artists-researchers involved in the atelier answered through audio improvised compositions to some questions like ‘does your research have a direct auditory quality and content or would you like/need to create a fictional soundscape to give it a sound? Or ‘how does an object/material producing a given sound release to the mental image you want to produce? And vice versa?