Reading edge is a library dedicated to the field of knowledge processed within choreography, dance, performance, and movement-based practices.

On this site, you will find the library catalog, as well as other gestures of care for the publishing practices featured in the library.

Welcome!

EVENTS & NEWS Now | Previous About Reading Edge

Find upcoming and past events here. Reading edge is currently preparing to re-open at MDT in Stockholm.

Find upcoming and past events here. Reading edge is currently preparing to re-open at MDT in Stockholm.

  • Book Launch: And then it got legs: Notes on dance dramaturgy
    11 November 2022 / 17.30-18.30
    MDT, Stockholm
    ...

    Drawing on his experience in the field of contemporary dance, in And then it got legs: Notes on dance dramaturgy Jeroen Peeters discusses principles, methods and practices that contribute to an understanding of dramaturgy as an experimental, collaborative practice and a material form of thinking. How do you set up conditions for the work to come about? How do you create a shared ground for exploring the unfamiliar in pursuit of making sense? The book is written from practice and reflects a particular history of collaboration and conversation with various dance-makers.

    And then it got legs is published by Varamo Press and will be launched at MDT in the framework of Reading edge library. Dance-making and dramaturgy thrive on embodied knowledge, oral transmission and a culture of commoning. This spirit guides the presentation to curator Izabella Borzecka and dance-maker Benjamin Pohlig who will respond to the book with oral annotations, followed by a conversation with Jeroen Peeters. You can purchase the book at the event.

    Facebook event

  • COMING SOON
    Reading edge is currently preparing to re-open at MDT in Stockholm.
    ...

    Stay tuned for more information about the opening event here, on our Instagram or Facebook page.

  • SAX/Reading edge pop-up
    22–24 April 2021 / 12.00–17.00
    Färgkontoret, Stockholm
    ...

    Are you interested in the relationship between words/text and movement? Do you want to get acquainted with publications in the field of dance and choreography? Do you have your own publication that you would like to share? Join us at Färgkontoret to look, read, practice, and discuss publications about scores, performance instructions, and directives from the Reading edge library.

    Facebook event

  • Emotional-check in and bransch_brunch – evening version
    22 June 2020 / 17.00–19.30
    c.off, Stockholm
    ...

    Welcome to a performance intervention and bransch_brunch #12 – evening version with current Publisher in resident Karin Hald.

    The performance intervention ”Emotional check-in” is a collaboration between artist and writer Karin Hald (DK) and dancer Kat Staub (DK), which has been developed during Karin’s residency at c.off. The work deals with intimacy, closeness, and communication seen through the current pandemic, and how we translate and understand through different states and mediums such as writing, talking, dancing as well as in between performance and documentation of an event.

    After the performance intervention, we invite you to a bransch_brunch #12 – evening version and an open conversation about how one can approach publishing as a choreographic and performative practice. How can intimacy in documentation and archiving of performance be published? What publishing methods, formats, and discourses are or could be relevant for the field of choreography and performance? How can we cultivate a publishing discourse within this field together?

  • Bransch_brunch: Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN and xiri tara noir
    31 March 2020 / 11.30–13.00
    Online (zoom)
    ...

    Together with Vishnu Vardhani and Xiri Tara Noir, who are current Publishers in residence – we invite you to an open conversation about how one can approach publishing as a choreographic practice, such as bookbinding as a choreographic gesture, or writing as an embodied practice. What publishing methods, formats, and discourses are or could be relevant for this field in particular? How can we cultivate a publishing discourse within this field together?

    Bransch_brunch is an informal meeting place for the interdisciplinary and performing arts community at large who are interested in interchanging dialogues, share driving forces, articulate thoughts on specific working processes, or other urgent issues. Altogether intertwined in a shared space of a social (brunch) choreography.

    RSVP to info@coff.se

  • Bransch_brunch with Live Art DK
    27 February 2020 / 11.30–13.00
    c.off, Stockholm
    ...

    Together with Live Art Denmark, who are publishers in residence, we invite you to an open conversation about what publishing is and can be for live art practices of today, beyond conventional documentation. What publishing methods, formats and discourses are or could be relevant for this field in particular? How could we cultivate a publishing discourse within this field together?

    Bransch_brunch is an informal meeting place for the interdisciplinary and performing arts community at large who are interested in interchanging dialogues, share driving forces, articulate thoughts on specific working processes, or other urgent issues. Altogether intertwined in a shared space of a social (brunch) choreography.

    RSVP to info@coff.se

  • Lecture: The Art of Documentation
    3 March 2020 / 18.00–21.00
    c.off, Stockholm
    ...

    Welcome to a lecture on documentation with current Publishers in Residence Live Art Denmark.

    ABOUT THE VR ARCHIVE FOR PERFORMANCE ART
    Since Henrik Vestergaard and Ellen Friis founded Liveart.dk in 2004, they have pondered how best to document performance art. They have studied photo, video and other digital media. They have conducted seminars, workshops and courses in performative writing as documentation, and they continue to investigate how the unmatchable glow of a live performance can be preserved.

    Virtual Reality offers several brand new dimensions for performance art documentation. VR can capture the room, the mood, the audience’s relationship with the work, and actions that take place in multiple locations in the room at once. When you (re)experience the works with VR glasses, you can look in all directions and focus on what you think is exciting. You can watch the recording again and focus on other details. Just like a live experience, the experience of the documentation can now be unique, too.

    The potential of VR documentation for performance art can hardly be overestimated. Performance art has always been limited by its special conditions. It’s difficult to experience the art form live, to document it, to compare and analyze works.

    With Live Art DK’s VR Archive, they are building a platform where researchers, artists, students and others can experience performance artworks as if they were present. It is their hope, this will constitute a starting point for the development of a literature and research in the field that will also affect the artists’ activities within the art form. Young performance artists need no longer to start from scratch or to miss out on works happening in other countries.

    Facebook event

  • Open VR Archive for Performance Art
    25 February 2020 / 12.00–19.00
    c.off, Stockholm
    ...

    Welcome to experience a selection of performances from the VR Archive for Performance Art, hosted and curated by Live Art Denmark.

    ABOUT THE VR ARCHIVE FOR PERFORMANCE ART
    Since Henrik Vestergaard and Ellen Friis founded Liveart.dk in 2004, they have pondered how best to document performance art. They have studied photo, video and other digital media. They have conducted seminars, workshops and courses in performative writing as documentation, and they continue to investigate how the unmatchable glow of a live performance can be preserved.

    Virtual Reality offers several brand new dimensions for performance art documentation. VR can capture the room, the mood, the audience’s relationship with the work, and actions that take place in multiple locations in the room at once. When you (re)experience the works with VR glasses, you can look in all directions and focus on what you think is exciting. You can watch the recording again and focus on other details. Just like a live experience, the experience of the documentation can now be unique, too.

    The potential of VR documentation for performance art can hardly be overestimated. Performance art has always been limited by its special conditions. It’s difficult to experience the art form live, to document it, to compare and analyze works.
    With Live Art DK’s VR Archive, they are building a platform where researchers, artists, students and others can experience performance artworks as if they were present. It is their hope, this will constitute a starting point for the development of a literature and research in the field that will also affect the artists’ activities within the art form. Young performance artists need no longer to start from scratch or to miss out on works happening in other countries.

    Facebook event
  • Reading edge art book festival
    June 8–9 2019
    c.off, Stockholm
    ...

    Reading edge art book festival brings together independent organizations and individual artists who run their own publishing practice of artists’ books, zines, magazines, discursive books, photo books, digital publications or elaborate with other experimental publishing formats. Meet them and their works, take part in presentations, conversations, performances and readings!

    PARTICIPANTS
    Alice MacKenzie (together with Amanda Billberg, André Soares, Anna Westberg, Benedict Olk, Ebba Petrén, Harriet Plewis, Mirko Guido & This Container)
    c.off
    ccap
    Centre of Nowhere
    Ellinor Ljungkvist
    FSL
    Jon Brunberg förlag
    Julia Maksimeyko
    Moon space books
    Nyxxx / Ebba Petrén
    Peter Larsson
    Pontus Pettersson
    Power Distortion / Bokbål / Åsa Elieson
    Sthlm zine scene
    SymbioLab / Julia Adzuki
    Therése “Fonfe” Grabs
    Waspwriting Press – Hanne Frey Husø

    Facebook event

  • MISS READ Art Book Festival 2019
    3–4 May 2019
    Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
    ...

    Miss Read is Europe’s Art Book Festival, dedicated to community-building and creating a public meeting place for discourse around artists’ books, conceptual publications and publishing as practice. In this year’s Scandinavian Focus, a selection of publications by Swedish choreographers and artists from the Reading edge library will be presented.

    More information

  • Kritisk natt
    27 April 2019 / 18.00–24.00
    c.off, Stockholm
    ...

    Welcome to Kritsik_natt [Critical night] in Reading edge library at c.off during this year’s Stockholm Culture Night with threefold book and journal launches! Watch, listen, talk, take part, rest. Stay for a little while our hang out for the whole evening. Soup and beverages are offered for cost price.

    ON THE PROGRAM
    18.00 Doors open
    18.30–20.00 Stockholm launch of ANOTHER HOLE by choreographer Sara Gebran with an invited panel formed by Cristina Caprioli, Rebecka Stillman, Maria Stiernborg, Anna Efraimsson and Kajsa Wadhia.
    20.30–21.30 Launch of Vision Forum’s new book ”Grymhetens konst” with a talk with philosopher, art historian and author Freddie Ross, and “Are you touched” – an interactive exercise with designer Emila Rota.
    Ongoing: Launch of c.off’s new publishing initiative CRIP.journal + installation and talk.
    Ongoing: Installation of publications from the Reading edge collection.

    Facebook event

  • MANI-FEST
    15 December 2018 / 16.00–late
    c.off, Stockholm

    ...

    Welcome to a multiple declaration of a MANI-fest where we write, re-write and investigate manifesting in practice!

    ON THE PROGRAM
    16.00–17.00 DiM_Dance in Many: She who things she is a pale planet with Hana Erdman Louise Dahl Louise Perming Ulrika Berg, Dansefterklang with Stadsmissionens Äldrecenter, Reading of mot:vidare:mot with Johan Jönson
    17.30–19.30 POSSE x MANIFEST feat. Lydia Östberg Diakité and Klara Utke Acs
    18.00–19.00 Collective manifestation of a Perfect Play no. 3
    20.00–20.30 Mr. Rice & peanuts with KINDA VAGUE
    20.30–as long as we manage. Hang out. Chat with Mr Rice & peanuts.
    Ongoing: Sound installation with Skrivarakademin (Skrivarlinjens litterära manifest 2018)
    Ongoing: Soup manifesto with Marcus Doverud
    Ongoing: Manifestos in line with Reading edge submissions

  • En kritikpraktik: mellan konsten och livet
    8 December 2018 / 16.00–23.00
    c.off, Stockholm

    ...

    Welcome to an afternoon and evening with current choreographies and conversations. The simple premise is that life does not happen after, or before art. At the same time, it might be too big, and too risky, to say that the two are synonymous. What does the landscape look like between art and life? And what can we learn from meeting there?

    SCHEDULE
    16.00 DiM_Dance in Many: Ringbeskrivning and Perfekt Pjäs no.2 with participants from ccap, Stadsmissionen Senior Center and audience, Johan Jönson reads from mot:vidare:mot.
    17.00 Tania Espinoza about Walter Benjamin’s reading of Goethe’s Elective Affinities. In English.
    17.30 Irina Anufrieva read from Maja Bajevic’s “…and other stories”.
    18.00 Tanja Tuurala with ”Trivial” & following discussion
    19:30 Food och hang-out

    Organized by c.off, FSL, ccap in collaboration with ABF Stockholm.

  • Manifestverkstad
    6 November 2018 / 17.30–19.30
    c.off, Stockholm

    ...

    Välkommen till en öppen verkstad i manifestskrivande. Under ledning av Anna Hallberg och Elin Grelsson Almestad, båda författare, kritiker och lärare på Skrivarakademin, utforskar vi manifestet som konstform och uttryckssätt.

    Under verkstaden arbetar du individuellt eller gemensamt i egenvald grupp med att formulera ett manifest. Det behövs inga förkunskaper och inga krav ställs på en färdig slutprodukt. På plats finns inspirationsmaterial att ta del av. Läs, reflektera, pröva och hitta ditt manifestuttryck. Verkstaden är en del av höstens manifest-tema inom Reading edge library.

  • Release Koreografisk journal #5:text
    29 september 2018 / 18.00–21.00
    c.off, Stockholm

    ...
    Welcome to the release of Koreografisk Journal #5 with the theme Text that focuses on the relationship between choreography and text as interrelated practices.

    The fifth issue of Koreografisk Journal publishes fifteen texts by choreographers, artists, curators and critics that are working with both writing and movement based practices. For the event of the release of Koreografisk Journal # 5, Koreografiska Konstitutet (Marie Fahlin and Rebecca Chentinell) has curated koreoochgrafi, to which they have invited choreographers and dancers to respond, be choreographed, re-choreograph, write and read texts in the journal; to move the text and write the movement.

    The writers in Koreografisk Journal #5 are: Caroline Byström, Sybrig Dokter, Marcus Doverud, Marie Fahlin, Moa Franzén, Tova Gerge, Josefin Gladh, Mirko Guido, Efva Lilja, Peter Mills, Pontus Pettersson, Frida Sandström, Kajsa Sandström, Malin Ståhl and Hannah Zafiropoulos.

    Participators in koreoochgrafi: Pär Andersson, Anna Asplind, Eleanor Bauer, Minna Berglund, Elise Brewer, Rebecca Chentinell, Marie Fahlin, Moa Franzén, Tova Gerge, Frédéric Gies, Mirko Guido, Pontus Pettersson, Per Sacklén, Rebecka Stillman, Maria Öhman and Cicilia Östholm.

  • Lecture On Manifestos
    3 October 2018 / 17.30–19.00
    c.off, Stockholm

    ...
    Välkommen till en öppen föreläsning Om manifestet med författaren och professorn i estetik vid Södertörns högskola, Aris Fioretos.

    Vad har dadaismen gemensamt med Bauhausrörelsen, surrealismen med 60-talets minimalism? Nästan ingen av de många konstnärliga strömningarna och kotterierna under de senaste 150 åren tycks klara sig utan ett manifest. Vissa präglas av upptåg och upprorsanda, andra av avgränsningsförsök och kampparoller. De flesta talar i namnet av en grupp eller gruppering, men inte alla. Är genren en modern företeelse? Krävs en föreställning om modernitet? Varför myntas nya ismer och vilken roll spelar programförklaringen?

    Aris Fioretos föreläser om manifestets skilda estetiska och politiska, kulturella och teoretiska anspråk – från ”Det kommunistiska manifestet” 1848 till Valerie Solanas ”SCUM manifestet” 1968. Tonvikten ligger på genrens historiska glansperiod under 1900-talets första decennnier. Fioretos är författare och professor i estetik vid Södertörns högskola. Senast utgav han romanen Nelly B:s hjärta (Norstedts, 2018).Föreläsningen är en del av höstens manifest-tema inom Reading edge library.

     

  • Manifesto brain barricade
    31 August 2018 / 14.00–16.00
    c.off, Stockholm

    ...

    Welcome to an open discussion and collective brainstorm barricade on MANIFESTO writing in conjunction to the Reading edge opening and its upcoming manifesto themed autumn!

    The manifesto has a long history of being a way for artist’s to proclaim and visualize about art, society and what art an be, as well as an art form in itself. We return to the manifesto as an art form to re-discover, investigate and mobilize a place where manifestations of today’s cross-disciplinary art practices can be articulated and printed. Join us in an open discussion about how we can work with manifestos!

    Facebook event

  • Vara kritisk, göra kritiskt
    30 August 2018 / 18.00–21.00
    c.off, Stockholm

    ...
    Välkommen till seminariet Vara kritisk, göra kritiskt i samband med öppningen och invigningen av Reading edge!

    Vilka är de viktiga frågorna för dagens och framtidens kritiska praktiker? Vi möts i ett samtal över disciplinära gränser för att utforska våra förhållanden till kritik i vid mening där konstnärligt tänkande och utövande förenas. Syftet är inte att finna gemensamma positioner, utan snarare att identifiera givande beröringspunkter och friktioner som kan lägga grunden för samarbeten och utbyten mellan individer, initiativ, föreningar, rörelser och institutioner.
    Bjuder in gör c.off och Fria seminariet i litterär kritik (FSL) tillsammans med Folkrörelsernas Konstfrämjande och ABF Stockholm.

  • Reading edge opening
    29 August 2019 / 18.00–21.00
    c.off, Stockholm
    ...

    Welcome to the inauguration of Reading edge library with performative interventions, books, soup, and drinks at c.off!

    ON THE PROGRAM
    19:00 Erica Preli | TABLE CONVERSATION – body, condition, articulation
    20:00 Seroconversion | Queer Noise reading
    20:30 Sanna Blennow | UN_SPOKEN_LANGUAGE
    Ongoing: Ellinor Ljungkvist | TEAR
    Ongoing: My Lindh | Tågteve
    Ongoing: Isabella Martin | CROSSING THE ATLANTIC AGAIN AND AGAINSchool in Common | Collect(ive)

     

Contribute with your publication Contact

Reading edge is a library dedicated to the field of knowledge processed within choreography, dance, performance, and movement-based practices. Reading edge focuses on independent and self-published publications by small-scale organizations, micro-publishers, or individual artists. In this constantly growing collection, you can find artists’ books, magazines, zines, online publications, time-based media, and other related art books in experimental materials and formats. Reading edge aims to expand the notion of what a publication is and can do. The ambition is to gather a diverse collection, and present public programs that activate publications and publishing practices. In this way, Reading edge wants to contribute to the discourse in the fields of dance, choreography, and performance.

Reading edge takes its form as a non-circulating library, a mobile installation, and a digital platform. As an audience, you are invited to move with the library, in its multiple formations, to read, reflect, discuss, or rest. On this digital platform, you can browse through or search for specific artists, publications or topics in the Online Catalogue. You can contribute with your publication to the library or reach out about publications you think should be included. On the Table functions as a publishing site, a curated shelf, as much as a space for dissemination and activation of publications from the library. Here, you can find texts, interviews, sound, video, selected publications and other gestures of care and attention to publishing practices. If you have suggestions, please reach out. In News & Events, you find information about upcoming and past events.

From 2022, you are invited to explore Reading edge in person with recurring opening hours at a new hosting venue in Stockholm. 

Reading edge is run by the independent organization PAM, initiated by the curator Izabella Borzecka.

 

Colophone
Initiator & Curator: Izabella Borzecka
Website design: Hanna Bergman
Programming: Tea Palmelund
Logotype: Eleonora Bergendahl / La strada studio
Type faces: Till Normal & Brown

Interior designer: Cassandra Lorca Macchiavelli
Designer: Martin Moderato

ON THE TABLE Now | Previous Table All Tables

Read, listen to, or look closer at publications from the library here. On the Table functions as a publishing site, a curated shelf, as much as a space for dissemination and activation of publishing practices.

Read, listen to, or look closer at publications from the library here. On the Table functions as a publishing site, a curated shelf, as much as a space for dissemination and activation of publishing practices.

THE ART OF DOCUMENTATION
Live Art Denmark
Interview (2020)

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR MESSY SCENARIOS
Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN and xiri tara noir
Interview (2020)

TRANSLATION AND NON-LINEAR ARCHIVING
Karin Hald
Interview (2020)

VR ARCHIVE FOR PERFORMANCE ART
Live Art DK
VR glasses and YouTube channel (2017-)

[ KRAHY SEEZ ] A READER
Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN & xiri tara noir
Folded publication with cards (2020)

IKKÖÖHAIK – I’M OK
Forlaget Gestus
Booklet (2018)

PERFORMING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND AUTHORITY
Moa Franzén
Interview (2018)

TEXT OCH KOREOGRAFI
Koreografiska konstitutet
Intervju (2018)

SCULPTURING TEXT
Dana Sederowsky
Interview (2018)

THE ART OF DOCUMENTATION
Live Art Denmark
Interview (2020)

PERFORMING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND AUTHORITY
Moa Franzén
Interview (2018)

TEXT OCH KOREOGRAFI
Koreografiska konstitutet
Intervju (2018)

SCULPTURING TEXT
Dana Sederowsky
Interview (2018)

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR MESSY SCENARIOS
Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN and xiri tara noir
Interview (2020)

TRANSLATION AND NON-LINEAR ARCHIVING
Karin Hald
Interview (2020)

VR ARCHIVE FOR PERFORMANCE ART
Live Art DK
VR glasses and YouTube channel (2017-)

[ KRAHY SEEZ ] A READER
Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN & xiri tara noir
Folded publication with cards (2020)

IKKÖÖHAIK – I’M OK
Forlaget Gestus
Booklet (2018)

ON THE TABLE

THE ART OF DOCUMENTATION
Live Art Denmark
Interview (2020)

Live Art Denmark specializes in interdisciplinary audience engagement, and has, over the years, developed several new formats and modes of interaction in collaborations with art institutions, theatres, museums, festivals, and performance artists. During their Publisher-In-Residency in Stockholm, Izabella Borzecka sat down with Henrik Vestergaard and Ellen Friis to ask about their work at Live Art Denmark, why they first started, and how documentation can be seen as a form of publishing.

WHAT IS LIVE ART DENMARK? HOW AND WHY DID YOU START THIS ORGANIZATION?

The term ‘live art’ was introduced by Roselee Goldberg, but today it means more than just visual art exploring time and live presence. Live art today is more like an umbrella term for many kinds of interdisciplinary investigations that often include the audience, and that do not distinguish between life and art, meaning that the artist is always ‘live’, and at work.

We – Henrik and Ellen – have both studied in Berlin (theatre dramaturgy and interdisciplinary art in the public space respectively). In our practice, we are not just influenced by English live art and humor, but also by Germany, in our interest in inclusion and audience participation, and the desire to influence and perhaps change society.

Since 2004, we have organized 15 festivals, presenting international performance art, critique and documentation in Denmark, and worked with many more events and formats in Denmark and abroad. We collaborate with larger art institutions and museums in Denmark, and constantly invent new formats. Since 2014, we have wanted to include all ages in our projects. In our own recent productions and curating, we have been investigating fields like games, rules/recipes and roleplaying.

YOU HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN DOCUMENTING LIVE ART THROUGH VARIOUS METHODS AND FORMATS FROM THE START. WHY DO YOU THINK DOCUMENTING LIVE ART IS IMPORTANT? AND WHAT STRATEGIES, METHODS AND FORMATS HAVE YOU FOUND INTERESTING OR GENERATIVE? 

Performance art has become a lot more common since 2004, when we started. But still, very few people are really knowledgeable in the field, including the artists themselves; in part due to the lack of good documentation and established venues. Performance art is perhaps the most ephemeral of all art forms. So, we wanted to inform people by presenting, teaching and documenting it. We work hard to make performance art works accessible outside the space and the short time span in which they were first presented. And our goal is also that the experience of the documentation should be interesting in its own right. A new, performative situation should occur when the documentation is experienced. And this is why the word ‘publishing’ is actually a better word for what happens.

We have explored photography, regular video, oral tradition, performance-for-video, drawings, text as performance, but also as scores for works or plain descriptions, exhibitions (of physical remnants of works), and since 2016, we have worked with a 360-degree camera. All these methods have advantages and disadvantages, but in all cases, the question is how to engage a new viewer, physically and intellectually. Interestingly, a partial documentation, like a photo, can actually be better than traditional video, because new viewers will fill out the missing information themselves, and so they become engaged.

HOW ARE YOU MAKING THE VR ARCHIVE FOR PERFORMANCE ART ACCESSIBLE TO AUDICENCES? AND ARE YOU ALSO ARCHIVING OTHER TYPES OF DOCUMENTATION?

One part of our VR archive is on our YouTube channel. We also have various open events, where people can see a selection of works on the internal hard drive of our VR goggles. The VR goggles are like a pocket-sized festival of international performance art, making it very easy and inexpensive to bring 10 artists to, say, Toronto or Cameroon.

Our YouTube channel is our main channel of publication. Apart from VR and regular video, we have published a seminar (Collaborating with Kids) about children as co-creators. It consists of a series of interviews with children and artists, such as Tim Etchells, Eva Meyer-Keller, and others.

IN OUR PREVIOUS CONVERSATIONS I HAVE NOTED THAT YOU REFERRED TO YOUR WORK WITH THE VR ARCHIVE AS ‘INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTATION (OR WAS IT LIVE DOCUMENTATION?). COULD YOU ELABORATE ON THAT? 

Neither interactive documentation nor live documentation seem quite fitting terms. We really appreciate your use of the word ‘publication’ rather than ‘documentation’, because it doesn’t mean recording for an archive, but for a new audience. It represents the idea that a person´s experience of a piece of documentation is, or generates, a new life and performative situation.

The VR is interesting because the same recording can be experienced any number of times, and each time in a new and different way, depending on where the viewer decides to direct his or her attention. It is possible to watch the other guests rather than the performance, for example. As the VR is often presented by us personally, this creates a second layer of interaction and context around the experience.

Of the many different formats of documentation we have explored, Virtual Reality simulates the original experience most closely, especially perhaps by including the (exchange with the) audience itself as an important part of a live experience.

NOW, YOU ARE PUBLISHERS IN RESIDENCE FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS, WHAT WILL YOU WORK ON DURING YOUR RESIDENCY?

During this residency, we will translate and rewrite our two-hour lecture about various documentative formats, but now inspired by your concept of ‘publishing’. We will hold that lecture at the end of our stay, and we will present our VR archive over two days, when people can drop in and meet us. Finally, we will also meet and record new local artists for the VR archive.

Colophon
Interview questions: Izabella Borzecka
Language editing: Lisa Klevemark
Photo: My Carnestedt and Izabella Borzecka
First published at coff.se
Live Art Denmark’s residency was supported by the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme – Culture.
ON THE TABLE

PERFORMING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND AUTHORITY
Moa Franzén
Interview (2018)

ordbok/lexicon uses the form of the lexicon to discuss and perform the relationship between language, authority, and hegemony by putting it at play through ruptures, repetitions, displacements, and poetry. We asked Moa to tell us a bit more about this particular work, and the conversation revolved around how text and body intertwine, and the relationship between performed and printed text – topics that are central to her artistic practice.

WHAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THIS PUBLICATION? HOW DID IT COME INTO BEING AND HOW DID YOU DISTRIBUTE IT?

The publication was part of my MA degree presentation at DOCH. I had been occupied by writing for and as performance, and wanted the presentation of my project to take place both on stage and on the page. The performance and the publication accompanied each other during the event – the audience was invited to enter a small reading room after the performance, where the publication was placed. Since then, it has been presented through performance readings with artist Vilda Kvist.

ORDBOK/LEXICON USES THE FORM OF THE LEXICON TO DISCUSS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND AUTHORITY. YOU WRITE: ‘VIOLENCE APPEARS WITH ARTICULATION.’ WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW YOU WORKED WITH THE RELATIONSHIP OF POWER AND LANGUAGE IN THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT?

As I experience it, there is always a relationship between power and language – or rather, power is always at play in language. Language is a system, and like all systems, it requires submission from the ones existing in it. The lexicon is an explicit example of this. The form of the lexicon was productive for me to use, since it presents itself as an ultimate authority on the meanings of words and how to use them. It is a question of ownership, really. History and ideology are included as well. The form of a lexicon is static and strict, which means that every alteration or intervention will leave very ‘loud’ traces; even subtle interventions will disrupt it. The form itself marks a voice that is productive to play with – will we believe it? Follow it? What is at stake when we submit to a language we haven’t created, but nonetheless are subjected to, and must use to describe ourselves and our experiences. I wanted to interrupt, displace and dissolve the relationship between authority and language, word and meaning, even between word and word, in an attempt to open up the notion of language so that it represents ambiguity, playfulness and meaning as migrant and errant.

YOU WRITE: ‘DEFINITION BREAKS THE LOCK.’ I READ IT AS AN INVITATION OR REQUEST. AS YOU SAY, THE FORM AND FUNCTION OD A LEXICON IS TO DEFINE WORDS CLEARLY, WHEREAS POETRY, BY ITS VERY NATURE, WORKS WITH DISLOCATION OF MEANING. FOR ME, THE MERGING OF THESE, STATED IN ORDBOK/LEXICON, IS WHAT CREATES THE INTENSE AND INTERESTING TENSION IN THIS TEXT. POETRY AND POETIC LANGUAGE ARE OFTEN BELIEVED TO CARRY THE POTENTIAL OF BEING A SUBVERSIVE FORCE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHT ON THAT, AND WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO POETRY?

Poetry is what makes me able to write at all, or maybe I should say what makes it possible for me to breathe in language. I certainly think of it as a potentially subversive force. To me, it is also a crucial counterforce to the narrative, normative matrixes that we are flooded with today, in which I cannot recognize my experiences but, nonetheless, am expected to organize and express myself through.

ORDBOK/LEXICON IS, IN ITS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE, SMALL, ABOUT 10 CENTIMETERS, PINK IN COLOR, AND VERY LIGHT, QUITE OPPOSITE OF THE TRADITIONAL LEXICON WHICH, IN ADDITION TO ITS METAPHORICAL HEAVINESS AND POWER, ALSO HAS AN ACTUAL WEIGHT. WAS THERE A THOUGHT BEHIND IT, OR HOW DID YOU WORK WITH THE DESIGN OG THIS PUBLICATION?

The design was made in collaboration with graphic designer Anna Giertz. I wanted it to have two covers, and appreciate that you have to move it to read it – turn it, flip it. Since the text isn’t very long, I knew it was going to be light – we made it small to maximize the amount of pages, wanting it to be more of a small book then a leaflet. We both wanted it to be small enough to fit in a pocket. Anna proposed the rounded corners as a reference to the format of the passport, another official, authoritative and violent ‘book’. The pink was proposed by Anna, and I immediately fell for it – it is a color that is negatively connoted when it comes to authority, since it is connected with femininity and girliness.

YOU WRITE: “SILENCE THE WORDS WE DO NOT YET HAVE”. YOU WORK ON THE BORDER BETWEEN LITERATURE AND CHOREOGRAPHY. THE BODY IS VERY MUCH PRESENT IN YOUR TEXT; BREATH, VOICE, MOUTH… HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH WORKING ARTISTICALLY WITH THE BODY/TEXT RESPECTIVELY?

Yes. Well, in my work, text and body are more or less intertwined. For me, it is a way of trying to understand how language shapes and forms the body, as well as how the body can reform and reshape itself and its experiences, as well as language. Both language and the body are subject to the founding factors of hegemonic structures and ideological systems, and in my work, I try to understand what this means, how it works, who I can be within it, what I can say, what saying actually means, and what kind of subversive potential there is – or could be.

AS YOU MENTIONED, ORDBOK/LEXICON HAS ALSO BEEN PERFORMED BY YOU AND VILDA KVIST. HOW DID THE CONTENT OF THE PUBLICATION TRANSFORM WHEN TAKING THE FORM OF A PUBLIC PERFORMANCE?

Vilda and I worked out the structure of the reading in a very intuitive way, where rhythm was the focus, and we wanted to play with the intertwinement of our voices as well as a blurring of the distinction between word and explanation. We ended up mixing the Swedish and the English versions, turning and flipping both the book and the language. During the performance, we chose to stand quite close, facing each other, to establish a sense of intimacy, and worked with the structure of a kind of call and response, an interrogation as well as a duet.

ON THAT TOPIC, FOR YOU AND FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE – HOW DOES PRINTED AND PUBLISHED WORK DIFFER FROM PERFORMANCE? YOU MENTION THAT YOU USE ‘WRITING’ AS A BASE, VOICE AS A TOOL, AND PERFORMANCE AS FORM’. CAN YOU TELL A BIT MORE ABOUT THE ROLES THAT THE DIFFERENT EXPRESSIONS TAKE, AND HOW THE OUTCOME PERHAPS BOTH DOFFERS AND/OR IS INTERWOVEN?

The relationship between performed and printed text is central to my practice. I’m interested in the ambiguity between performed textuality and spoken writing, the context and means of writing as activated for and through a stage, a site, a paper, the body of the performer, the body of a voice, or the body of a page. I’ve been trying to understand what space the written material inhabits in a performance – can one talk about it as a text when it is transformed by and through the performance? These questions continue to fuel my work in a very productive way, but I’ve grown less interested in trying to pinpoint the differences. Of course they are there, but the materials I’m working with are the same – time, space, body, voice, language – what differs is, most of all, how you engage with them, both as a writer/performer, and as reader/spectator, and I think that time is the key material here, as well as the sense/presence of one’s body. The situations in which you encounter a work as a reader or spectator are radically different, and to me, that is the greatest concern when I create work for a page that is meant to be read, or work for stage that is meant to be heard. When I write for the page, I work with the relationship between the text and the silent reader, when I write for stage, I work with the relationship, not just between the performer and the audience, but between the members of the audience as well. In both cases, I often address the reader/spectator directly, wanting to write their position and presence into the work. I think I am very inclined to see the affinities rather than the differences right now.

THANK YOU, MOA!

BIO
Moa Franzén (b. 1985) is an artist and writer based in Stockholm. Her practice revolves around writing and performance, and places itself in and between visual arts, choreography and literature. Franzén’s work evolves around the relationship between language and violence, rhetorics and ideology, body and power – most often with writing as the base, voice as the tool, and performance as the format. Franzén works within curatorial collaborations where the organization of temporary spaces for exchanges, conversation and performance is of key interest. At the moment, she is involved in curatorial constellation We Happen Things, alongside choreographers and dancers Tove Salmgren and Manon Santkin, and seminar project Flacka with visual artist Sofia Magdalena Eliasson. Franzén has a BA in Visual Arts from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and Bergen National Academy of Fine Arts in Bergen, and an MA in Choreography from New Performative Practices at DOCH.

 

Colophon
Interview questions: Josefin Gladh
Language editing: Lisa Klevemark
Text editing: Izabella Borzecka
First published at coff.se

 

ON THE TABLE

TEXT OCH KOREOGRAFI
Koreografiska konstitutet
Intervju (2018)

Koreografiska konstitutet (Marie Fahlin och Rebeccan Chentinell) ger sedan 2013 ut Koreografisk Journal. Det femte numret undersöker relationen mellan text och koreografi som interrelaterade uttryck i en koreografisk praktik. Temat ser specifikt närmare på den konstnärliga texten i relation till och som integrerad del av koreografi, samt lyfter fram konstnärer som arbetar med både en skrivande – och rörelsebaserad praktik. Journalen innerhåller reflekterande texter kring det egna eller andras arbete på detta område, men även textbaserade koreografiska verk där texten – när den läses – manifesteras som rörelse i läsarens kropp.

HUR UPPKOM INITIATIVET KOREOGRAFISK JOURNAL? HUR SKULLE NI BESKRIVA TIDSKRIFTENS AMBITION OCH DESS ROLL OCH PLATS I DEN SAMTIDA BRANSCHEN?

Det har aldrig tidigare existerat en tidskrift för dans- och koreografiområdet där de verksamma inom det koreografiska fältet, i stort, har svarat för innehållet, även om behovet funnits länge. I samband med att vi initierade Koreografiska Konstitutet, vars ambition var att fungera som en flytande plattform som drev konstnärliga projekt med konstformens utveckling som motiv, såg vi också möjligheten att kunna vara en oberoende utgivare av en journal för konstområdet koreografi.

Dans- och koreografifältet i Sverige kan tyckas relativt litet men är samtidigt väldigt mångfacetterat, vilket även avspeglas i Koreografisk Journal genom skribenternas olika perspektiv. Som kontext skapar journalen en unik inblick i och sammanhang för en fördjupad diskurs, skapar en rörelse och dialog mellan de olika texterna och sätter fältets olika röster i relation till varandra.

VARFÖR ÄR DET VIKTIGT ATT INSISTERA PÅ EN TRYCKT TIDSKIFT I SAMTIDENS “DIGITALA OFFENTLIGHET”?

Kontexten som en tidskrift genererar är svår att helt översätta i det digitala. Objektet som en tryckt tidskrift innebär, är inte bara viktig för historieskrivningen, att det som tänks och skrivs ska finnas kvar, utan ger innehållet mer dignitet, och har även mer bäring i relation till andra (konst)områden. Det handlar också om den taktila upplevelsen, att en journal i/om koreografi även ska ta läsarens kropp i anspråk kändes helt självklart när vi startade journalen, läsupplevelsen blir en annan.

TEXT OCH KOREOGRAFI ÄR DET FEMTE NUMRET AV TIDSKIFTEN (#1:2013). HUR HAR TIDSKIFTENS OCH ER RESA MED DEN SETT UT?

För oss, och även för många skribenter ur fältet, har Koreografisk Journal inneburit “learning by doing”. Vi hade ingen tidigare erfarenhet av utgivning, även om vi båda har ett starkt intresse för skrivande, likväl som många inom dans- och koreografifältet inte hade särskilt mycket erfarenhet av skrivande med ändamålet att publicera något. Det var viktigt för oss att journalen ändå skulle trycka texter skrivna av verksamma från det egna fältet, att det inte skulle bli ett utifrånperspektiv (vilket redan finns) utan främst fokusera på konstnärernas egna reflektioner, teorier och konstnärliga angelägenheter.

Vi vill också att journalen skall ses som ett långsiktigt existerande forum – något som påverkar hur man tänker kring det egna fältet och sin egen praktik. Att det finns möjlighet att skriva och publicera innebär en avsevärd skillnad för fältet som helhet och dess utveckling.

En skrivandepraktik har blivit allt vanligare, för att inte säga oundviklig, inom de flesta konstområden, bland annat som ett resultat av akademiseringen som fått stort genomslag på dans- och koreografiområdet. Något som märks också i relation till journalen, tendensen är att fler skriver och färre räds att göra det offentligt.

HUR FÖDDES IDÉN TILL TEMAT FÖR DETTA NUMMER OCH DEN CURATERADE RELEASEN “KOREOCHGRAFI”?

Vi diskuterar fortlöpande olika idéer och teman som skulle vara intressanta för Koreografisk Journal, både utifrån vad vi ser hända i det koreografiska fältet men också utifrån våra egna intressen. Temat Text och Koreografi relaterar till det ökade intresset för skrivande både som konstnärlig verksamhet och produktion men även som olika former för reflektivt arbete och översättande mellan konstformerna inom den egna praktiken.

Efter ett antal utgivna nummer skapar den aktuella tematiken också ett slags självreflekterande ut-/inifrån; en koreografisk journal kring/över/i text och koreografi.

Idén med koreoochgrafi kom som ett svar på att många, läsare och skribenter, gett uttryck för den lite tvetydiga växelverkan mellan att dels få vara själv med sitt läsande men också en önskan om att kunna dela den med andra, i ett gemensamt rum där texten också kan få kropp. Just i det här numret kändes det som en självklarhet att skapa ett sammanhang där text, kropp och olika slag av koreografiskt skrivande och verkande kan samspela på olika sätt. Vi har bjudit in några koreografer och dansare att respondera, om-koreografera, bli koreograferade, skriva och läsa texter och delar av texter i journalen och hoppas att det sammantaget skall ge en upplevelse av och en förståelse för kroppen i texten och texten i kroppen, i rörelse, kanske så som Cristina Caprioli uttryckte det, en kroppsjournal.

I READING EDGE FRAMKOMMER EN MÄNGD VERK SOM ÄR GRÄNSÖVERSKRIDANDE MELLAN OMRÅDENA TEXT OCH KOREOGRAFI. ATT JUST DETTA BLEV TEMAT FÖR ERT NYA NUMMER PÅVISAR OCKSÅ EN SÅDAN BENÄGENHET. DET VERKAR FINNAS ETT UPPDÄMT BEHOV AV ATT SOM RÖRELSEBASERAD KONSTNÄR OCKSÅ ARBETA MED TEXT OCH PUBLIKATION. NI NÄMNDE AKADEMISERINGEN SOM KRÄVER EN SKRIVANDEPRAKTIK, MEN I ÖVRIGT HUR SER NI PÅ DENNA TENDENS?

En aspekt kan kanske vara att det utökade koreografiska fältet både öppnat upp för att förstå skrivande som en “ny” koreografisk praktik, och samtidigt, eller kanske från andra förståelsehorisonter, en återgång till koreografins själva grundprinciper, att skriva dansen. Arbetet med dans och koreografi utövas ju till stor del i språket, dels det vedertagna, men också i specifika terminologier relaterade till individuella konstnärer. Skrivande blir också ett sätt att få syn på, och arbeta med, det egna språket, och där-i-genom den konstnärliga verksamheten. Egentligen är det väl anmärkningsvärt att det inte gjorts mer tidigare, kanske har det bottnat i någon snedvriden idé om koreografer som koreografer och inte som konstnärer (i den konventionella idén om konstnären så har ju artists’ books funnits väldigt länge), men i och med att vi börjat benämna oss själva annorlunda så ökar ju också vårt verksamhetsfält och våra möjligheter att arbeta med koreografi i olika medier, material och format.

EN VANLIG UPPFATTNING ÄR ATT DANSEN SOM KONSTFORM ÄR EXTRA “SVÅR” ATT SKRIVA OM JUST PÅ GRUND AV SIN ORDLÖSA KARAKTÄR, SAMTIDIGT SOM DETTA INTE VERKAR VARA ETT PROBLEM FÖR DEN KRITISKA DISKURSEN INOM T. EX. BILDKONST. VAD ÄR ER UPPFATTNING OM HUR DEN KRITISKA DANSRECEPTIONEN (ELLER BRISTEN PÅ DENSAMMA) HÄNGER SAMMAN MED RELATIONEN MELLAN DANSEN SOM KONSTFORM OCH SKRIVANDE? ÄR DET I ALLMÄNHET SVÅRT ATT FORMULERA SIG PÅ ADEKVATA SÄTT OMRKING DANS, ELLER BOTTNAR PROBLEMATIKEN I NÅGOT ANNAT?

Möjligen kan det vara så att det är den tänkta mottagaren av texten som behöver “uppgraderas” för att skrivandet skall kunna träda in i ett annat språk. Om den tänkta läsaren skall vara en kulturintresserad “vem som helst” så blir ju språket, och förståelsen, av nödvändighet förenklat. Om en istället föreställer sig en redan initierad och kunnig läsare så skulle språket behöva, och kunna, förhålla sig till det konstnärliga verket på ett, för alla, mer adekvat sätt. Men möjligen handlar problemet inte om att danskonsten är ordlös, utan om att den är “rörlig”, och skrivande uppfattas som “nedtecknad”.  Med andra ord så kanske vi skulle ha en annan kritisk miljö om vi hade fler respondenter som var utbildade i koreografi, som förstår den dubbla rörelsen av att dansa-skriva-dansa.

SER MAN PÅ Å ENA SIDAN TRYCKT TEXT OCH Å ANDRA SIDAN SCENKONST, KAN DE TILL SIN KARAKTÄR FÖR MÅNGA KANSKE UPPFATTAS SOM VÄSENSSKILDA. VAD TROR NI OM DEN FRAMTIDA RELATIONEN MELLAN DESSA BÅDA OMRÅDEN OCH DESS UTÖVARE – KOMMER DE ATT YTTERLIGARE NÄRMA SIG OCH GENOMSKÄRA VARANDRA?

Konstnärligt skapande som bedriver en fortgående, undersökande och krävande verksamhet i ett ständigt öppnande av nya flikar/sidor/dörrar närmar sig kanske ofta andra discipliner för att arbetet i sig kräver det. Koreografi utökas och vidgas inifrån, blir flerlagrat och mångskiktat, det kanske kan förstås som olika metoder för att undersöka t.ex. en viss frågeställning eller intresse, från flera olika angreppspunkter. Vi kan hoppas att framtiden är oändlig nog att kunna härbärgera både relationer som kommer att inbegripa närmanden av flera olika slag, andra genomskärningar och nya och gamla förblandningar, samtidigt som vissa inte vill blandas alls. Text och scenkonst kanske kan ses som helt olika uttryck, men det intressanta är ju det som händer mellan dem, där det eventuellt väsensskilda kan existera på samma gång som det upphör att dra åt snarorna runt sig själva.

MED TANKE PÅ SCENKONSTENS HISTORIA AV ETT DELVIS PROBLEMATISKT FÖRHÅLLANDE TILL DOKUMENTATION – TOR NI ATT EN VILJA TILL SKRIVANDE INOM KOREOGRAFIFÄLTET HÄNGER SAMMAN MED EN (MER ELLER MINDRE MEDVETEN) VILJA ATT ÖVERHUVUDTAGET UPPTAS I HISTORIESKRIVNINGEN? ATT GÖRA DANSKONSTEN VARAKTIG OCH DÄRMED GILTIG?

Viljan till att skriva är nog alldeles för vittomspännande och mångfacetterad för att den skulle kunna definieras som ett behov av en slags soliditet. Det koreografiska skrivandet, eller skrivandet i koreografi, är ett fält där texten i sig också kan förstås som en böjlig, porös, söndertrasande och formerande rörelse. Om den rörelsen går att “fånga” kanske är tveksamt, i de fall rör det sig mer om text om och runt det som ändå inte kan “upptas”. Danskonstens varaktighet finns i dansandet och skrivandet kan vara en inneboende del i koreograferande, båda ingår i historieskrivningen men på olika sätt, och genom och i olika kroppar.

TACK!

BIO
Koreografiska Konstitutet är en plattform som föreslår och producerar konstnärliga utvecklingsprojekt för koreografer. Koreografiska Konstitutet rör sig mellan och kompletterar befintliga strukturer inom koreografiområdet. Vi arbetar långsiktigt för konstnärlig utveckling och utökade konstnärliga möjligheter inom och för koreografi som konstområde. Organisationen är flexibel och lyhörd för de konstnärliga behov och intressen som finns både inom fältet och inom verksamheten. Koreografiska Konstitutets skiftande roll och position gör att vi inte är låsta till ett specifikt sätt att producera, skapa, kommunicera eller mötas.

Kolofon
Intervjufrågor: Josefin Gladh
Textredigering: Izabella Borzecka
Först publicerad på coff.se
ON THE TABLE

SCULPTURING TEXT
Dana Sederowsky
Interview (2018)

This interview (in Swedish) brings up the many dimensions of the book 'monotony repetition practice' – how one can interact with it as a sculptural object, or create a personal performance while reading it. It´s also a conversation about monotony and repetition as such, Sederowsky´s experience of different performance formats, and the supposed opposing relationship between performing arts and books as static objects.

JAG HAR FÖRSTÅTT ATT BOKEN VAR EN DEL AV ETT STÖRRE PROJEKT DU GJORDE SOM HETTE “TEXT WALLS”. VILL DU BERÄTTA LITE OM PROJEKTET SOM HELHET OCH BOKENS ROLL I DETTA?

“Text Walls” är ett projekt baserat på det handskrivna ordet som går ut på att jag undersöker ”long durational performative writing” och använder mig av repetition som metod. monotony repetition practice är dels en regelrätt läsbar och blädder-bar bok, dels en skulptural form – det vill säga ett objekt som går att forma på olika sätt. Man kan också läsa den som poesi. Jag ser boken som en del av mitt utforskande och den fungerar som att man får en bit av en väggtext/textvägg med sig hem.

JA, BOKEN HAR VERKLIGEN MÅNGA DIMENSIONER OCH INRYMMER MÖJLIGHETEN ATT VARA I STÄNDIG FÖRÄNDRING. LÄSAREN ÄR JU ALLTID EN MEDSKAPARE AV VERKET, MEN I DET HÄR FALLET UPPMANAD ATT INTERAGERA PÅ ETT PÅFALLANDE SÄTT. PÅ DIN HEMSIDA KAN MAN SE EXEMPEL PÅ MÖJLIGA INTERAKTIONER. VAD MER HAR DU SETT UTFÖRAS MED BOKEN? HAR DU NÅGRA ÖNSKEMÅL OM HUR BOKEN SKA ANVÄNDAS?

Jag har fått berättat för mig att flera ägare till boken verkligen har gått all in gällande att se boken som ett skulpturalt objekt och placerat den utifrån det synsättet, till och med på ett podium. Andra har tyckt att den fungerat lika bra som en blädder-bar bok och har läst den från pärm till pärm. Genom läsningen av de tre repetitiva fraserna om och om igen skapar läsaren en egen performance utförd i hemmet.

HUR ARBETADE DU TILLSAMMANS MED FÖRLAG OCH REDAKTÖRER GÄLLANDE SÄTTNING, LAYOUT M.M.?

Jag har arbetat en del i Berlin på olika artist residencies och letade upp ett förlag; Kerber Verlag. Jag tyckte att de gav ut spännande titlar och presenterade min idé för dem. De nappade, men det var viktigt för mig att ALLA moment i det konstnärliga utformandet av boken skulle produceras av mig – från textskrivandet till själva formen. Sammanställningen av texterna samt den beskrivande introtexten har dock två andra personer gjort; grafisk form av Anna Antonsson och ett förord av Sinziana Ravini.

MAN SKULLE KUNNA SÄGA ATT DET KARAKTÄRISTISKA MED PERFORMATIVA PRAKTIKER ÄR DET FAKTUM ATT DE ÄR EFEMÄRA. DE UTMÄRKS AV TILLFÄLLIG OCH AKUT NÄRVARO SOM ÄR FÖRGÄNGLIG, MED EN PUBLIKATION SNARARE SKAPAS JUST FÖR ATT STANNA KVAR OCH DEFINIERAS AV SIN FORTSATTA NÄRVARO. I DIN KONSTNÄRLIGA PRAKTIK, EXEMPELVIS “MONOTONY REPETITION PRACTICE”, ÖVERTRÄDER DESSA FORMAT VARANDRAS OMRÅDEN. HUR SKULLE DU BESKRIVA DENNA RELATION?

Ibland gör jag live performance, men mestadels video performance. Det viktigaste för mig är det personliga mötet med verket. Genom att undersöka båda dessa former (live och video), har jag funnit att det är videoprojektionens möte med åskådaren som ger den direkta effekt som jag önskar få fram, trots att det är en skärm emellan åskådare och verk. Jag upplever att det blir ett mer intimt tilltal än med en stor grupp som ofta är fallet med ett live performance. För mig är det alltså inte viktigt när själva verket blir till. Att däremot göra en fysisk bok är den totala motsatsen, det är något jag aldrig har gjort tidigare. Det är så att säga en statisk produkt och därför var det viktigt för mig att låta ägaren åtminstone vara delaktig i hur man vill placera boken och hur man vill utföra läsningen av den.

MONOTONY REPETITION PRACTICE VAR OCKSÅ EN PERFORMATIV SKRIVAKT. KAN DU BERÄTTA LITE OM HUR DU UPPLEVDE DENNA PERFORMANCE? DEN KROPPSLIGA UPPLEVELSEN, RELATON TILL PUBLIKEN, STYCKETS OMFATTNING OSV.?

Jag gjorde ett live performance på Göteborgs Konsthall år 2015 under min separatutställning där. Jag stod i rummet längst in i Konsthallen med ryggen vänd mot betraktarna och skrev på väggen direkt med tuschpenna, 2 timmar om dagen utan uppehåll, 3 dagar i veckan under en månads tid. Eftersom väggen var 10 meter lång, 6 meter hög och bokstäverna ca 5 cm, så tog det sin tid. De första dagarna arbetade jag från en byggnadsställning och klättrade upp och ned från denna, flyttade ställningen en meter, förankrade den, gick upp, skrev och gick ned igen. Det var som ett koreografiskt mönster, en form. Jag ville undersöka vad som hände i repetitionen av samma tre fraser (“monotony is a virtue, repetition is a strength, practice makes progress”). Publiken var aktiv; vissa satt i timmar på sina utfällbara stolar och väntade på att något skulle hända, vissa gav mig direktiv om hur texten böljade fram och hur jag skulle göra för att räta ut den. Vissa kom fram och knackade mig på axeln under tiden jag arbetade, vissa försökte prata med mig. Hela idén gick ut på att undersöka vad det konstnärliga arbetet går ut på, och vad ett arbete innebär. Vad som är värt någonting. Efter utställningens tre månader var slut, målades väggen vit igen och verket försvann. Eller inte… eftersom det finns kvar där under som ett färgskikt dolt inuti Göteborgs Konsthalls vägg, möjligt att skrapa fram om hundra år.

EN GÄNGSE FÖRSTÅELSE AV REPETITION SOM SÅDAN ÄR ATT DET ÄR UPPREPNING SOM FÖRBLIR DENSAMMA, MEN DET KAN OCKSÅ FÖRSTÅS SOM OFRÅNKOMLIGT SKAPANDE AV SKILLNAD ELLER FÖRSKJUTNING. NÄR DU I DETTA SPECIFIKA ARBETE FORTSATTE ATT SKRIVA UNDER SÅ PASS LÅNG TID, UPPSTOD EN RUBBNING OCH I SÅ FALL PÅ VILKET SÄTT?

En stor del av mina performativa undersökningar går ut på att just se vad som händer med mig, akten och med publiken när något till synes vardagligt eller enkelt repeteras in absurdum. När man utför något så monotont under djupaste koncentration, förlorar då texten succesivt sin innebörd i och med upprepandets uttömmande kraft? Blir den endast en dekorativ tapet? Tappas innehållet och tyngden i orden bort? Jag har intresserat mig för hur propagandatext verkar, när budskap matas in genom ständig upprepning, vad händer i att utsättas på det sättet? Det jag upptäckte i själva skrivakten var intressant; även om jag kunde fraserna utan och innan så var jag efter varje kommatering tvungen att se tillbaka på tidigare fras för att veta var någonstans jag befann mig i flödet av texten. Jag fick således små ”black-outs” inför varje fras och innebörden av orden var ingenting jag tänkte på eller intalade mig var viktiga just då. Jag blev som en maskin vars enda uppgift var att inte skriva fel, hålla raka rader och röra mig utifrån ett specifikt rörelsemönster. Jag befann mig i ett kritvitt rum. Vi hade maxat belysningen med mycket skarpa lysrör för att förstärka känslan av att befinna sig på en icke-plats, i ett slags vakuum. Där förlorade jag mig själv och publiken under djupaste koncentration – en mycket märklig känsla som jag aldrig upplevt i något annat sammanhang förut.

VAD ÄR SKRIVANDE FÖR DIG?

En utdöende handling. Barn kan inte skriva för hand längre. Det skrämmer mig. Och det hör ihop med den fysiska boken och dagstidningar som känns hotade. Jag vill göra vad jag kan för att försöka bevara dessa medier.

OM MAN TÄNKER SIG MONOTONI SOM MOTSTÅND SÅ FÖRBINDER JAG DET PÅ SAMMA GÅNG MED VÅLD OCH FRIHET. EFTER DINA ERFARENHETER AV DENNA PRAKTIK, VAD SKULLE DU SÄGA MONOTONI ÄR FÖR DIG?

En dygd.

Tack Dana!

BIO
Dana Sederowsky works with video performance, photography, and extensive handwritten texts covering large wall surfaces.

Dana Sederowsky was born in 1975 in Helsingborg. She received a BFA in photography from the Högskolan för Fotografi in 1999, and an MFA from the University of Gothenburg, Valand Academy of Arts, in 2006. She has exhibited nationally in solo exhibitions, such as at Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg, Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg, Fotografiska Stockholm, and Göteborgs Konsthall, as well as internationally in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Center for Contemporary Art in Ekaterinburg and Moscow, and at the L.A. International Art Biennale, Los Angeles. In 2004, Sederowsky received a stipend from the Hasselblad Foundation to Villa San Michele on Capri, Italy.

 

Kolofon
Intervjufrågor: Josefin Gladh
Textredigering: Izabella Borzecka
Först publicerad på coff.se
ON THE TABLE

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR MESSY SCENARIOS
Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN and xiri tara noir
Interview (2020)

During Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN's (FIN) and xiri tara noir's (DK) Publisher-in-Residency, we took the opportunity to ask about their (publishing) practices, and how they’re shaping their first collaboration in times of uncertainty. Vishnu and xiri arrived in Stockholm just before various measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus were introduced. Therefore, their residency, as well as this conversation, addresses questions of how one establishes safe working spaces and a search for ‘simple solutions for messy scenarios’.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELVES IN SHORT!

VISHNU: My practice revolves around the ongoing investigation of sensory experiences. I am a Body-Philosopher. I am drawn to the politics of sleep, ethics of conflict and restorations, invested in the cultural architecture of institutions. I am inspired by nutrition and inquire about food habits and the accessibility of seeds. As a pessimist, I thrive on rest as an act of resistance. My acts of activism manifest in taking naps in public spaces, twerking, and reclaiming fermentation processes.

XIRI: OMG, this is already such a difficult question to start with, as I believe that identity is always moving, so I’m always trying to avoid too many definitions, but let’s try… I’m active as a community activist, facilitator, researcher, and choreographer. As an activist choreographer, my roots are in the radical queer feminist and sex worker community. I’m also working as a facilitator of feminist self-defence classes, and I’m exploring radical care as a form of resistance. Yeah, I would say that in general, my practice lies in finding the capacity to make any movement generate potential… and the way for me to practice choreography is to take it outside of the ‘space where it belongs’… but if you ask me tomorrow I might give a different answer to this question…

WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU FIRST MEET? SINCE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME YOU ARE COLLABORATING ON A PROJECT, HOW ARE YOU SHAPING AND STARTING YOUR COLLABORATION?

VISHNU: Me and xiri first met in the Ponderosa residency space in Germany, at Jamiil Kosoko’s workshop ‘Transgressive Bodies’.

XIRI: Yes, that was such a beautiful and magical space to meet in. In Jamiil’s workshop, we were exploring performative emergence in the form of resistance, survival and pleasure. Practices which both Vishnu and I are involved in. This was also when Toni Morrison died…

VISHNU: The next time after that, it was yet another workshop, at the Cifas Performing Arts Center in Brussels, with Mallika Taneja. This was when we first thought about collaborating.

XIRI: During this workshop, Vishnu was staying at my home, so besides sharing the studio space, we were also sharing our living space and kitchen… and I somehow think our collaboration started in the kitchen… like you say, Vishnu, the revolution starts in the kitchen!

VISHNU: Yes, I am so grateful for that generosity from xiri and their partner Inés. Voilà. Thank you for giving us this residency to explore that intention.

XIRI: In our collaboration, we have used language – which I think is where our shared interest in performance and publication comes from – as the starting point. Language as unrecognizable, as foreign, as other, as exotic, as dangerous, as angry, as misunderstood and mistranslated. Vishnu had seen a subtitle in a movie saying ‘speaking softly in a foreign language’. In our practice, we are questioning who this language is foreign to? Who are the ones who have the right to translation, and who are the ones whose language is often foreign, othered, unrecognizable, not understood, and constantly having to be explained by the ones expressing themselves ‘differently’.

VISHNU: I came to understand that we all have work languages, just like love languages. There are ebbs and flows in the output. As xiri and I haven’t worked together before, it took me time to comprehend their ‘language of work’, which is very different from my own. I see now that this learning is valuable to me, and this is surely the case for any two people that come from different schools of thought, and adopt certain methodologies in their work.

I had the pleasure of introducing this activity I have been developing, about finding parallels between expressions of Respect, and expressions of Safety. Most of the time, how we render a space safer, and how we express respect is very similar. We collectively made a list for each other on how our common space could accommodate our moods, which are sometimes loud, and sometimes soft.

Footbath and pickle recipe © xiri tara noir

XIRI: Yes, I really loved this practice a lot. It was interesting to see how we started from different perspectives, and how everything was interconnected in the end. In all collaborations and relationships in life, I believe that the practice of establishing safer spaces within shared spaces is crucial. What feels safe for me might not feel safe for you, but we will never know about this if we are not creating a space for these thoughts and feelings to be shared without prejudice. For me, this is what a safer space is about; being able to be yourself, but also having enough empathy and respect for the people you are sharing the space with to understand that ‘being yourself’ is not always safe for others, so it’s a constant conversation with, and adaption to the space(s)… which, for me, reminds me of dancing, writing, choreographing… That’s why it’s interesting to discover how interconnected the two words ‘safety’ and ‘respect’ are… and so you could connect a lot of words such as ‘empathy’ and ‘patience’, or ‘care’ and ‘abundance’, or ‘movement’ and ‘language’…

VISHNU: As our space was dynamic, we also established a safeword when we needed time to disengage after work hours. It helped, especially for me, as I am only now learning how to have boundaries. xiri said multiple times to me: ‘Never take things personally’. It was good advice, not easy for me. A good takeaway.

XIRI: Yes, I’m still practising this, never taking things personally, but it’s not always easy. We often want things and situations to be about ourselves, and it can be difficult to separate. Maybe it’s also important to say, for the context, that just as we arrived at c.off, the coronavirus had also arrived, and for obvious reasons, our conversations revolved around the urgency of art-making in times of crisis. We also talked a lot about misinformation, misinterpretation, and misunderstandings… and most of all, about how to deal with crises in a pleasurable way. To propose simple and joyful recipes for messy situations, which is not something that is new to us.

Practice a different perspective © xiri tara noir

VISHNU: Ironically, I am thankful for this corona-time coinciding with our collaboration-time, as I have managed to unlock something from the past. I have lived with a lockdown (or a curfew time) multiple times in my life, because of the RamJanmabhumi and Babri Masjid Conflict, (in Hyderabad, India). So the novelty of the COVID-19 lockdown was lost on me. Yet, witnessing how xiri attended to her needs in order to work efficiently clarified how a sense of safety, of self and of our loved ones is quintessential to a healthy working environment. This helped me to understand how my school grades developed, the constant exhaustion during curfew. I am also thankful to c.off for being so open to approving this new formation in which we are collaborating*.

*Because of the closing of European borders, xiri and Vishnu had to continue their collaboration at a distance. #ThankGodForTheInternet

 

© Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN

 

XIRI: Uuhhmm, thank you for sharing these powerful memories and insights, Vishnu! What I think is also interesting about this new format for collaboration is that it is opening up alternative ways of understanding and working with accessibility. Both in our practice as artists, and in our presentation format, which is something we might not have taken into consideration if this situation had not occurred. It is interesting, and also a bit scary, to see how much this situation (the coronavirus confinement) literally highlights how the lack of accessibility is really the main cause of inequality, rather than capitalism. In this sense, I’m also very grateful for having support that enables me to continue this work at a distance, and I really hope for us, as a global community, that this can be a way of including accessibility into our ways of working, rather than it being an exception. I guess this is part of being a privileged person; that you don’t understand the importance of certain situations until they become relevant to you, so yeah, this is definitely an eye-opener on how we are often stuck in our ways, and how things can easily be adapted and done differently… which, in a way, takes us back to our starting point… othering, distancing, or not giving value to things or situations that seem foreign to us at first sight!

VISHNU: At this point, I have a question for you, Izabella; do you have safe-space guidelines with the people you collaborate with? How do you formulate these agreements without imposing on or overpowering your colleagues?

IZABELLA: Thanks for inviting me to join the conversation! As a micro-organization, we have some safe-space and work ethics guidelines (which could also be developed further), but I think that practical and attentive work is the main thing that enables safe spaces to exist. People need different things to feel safe, and that need can also change over time, which makes it more complex. Therefore, I have a set of methods and tools that I turn to in different situations (also in constant development). For me, care is a central word in my practice and work ethics. Listening, not taking things for granted, and being ready to act according to one’s principles are important caring tools for me. I also try to be as transparent as possible, and ‘work as a team’. During these times, when the coronavirus is spreading and kind of interrupting your residency, it becomes even more apparent to me how important it is to enable the existence of safe spaces, how that notion changes, is different for different people, and how one can’t plan for what will be needed in advance.

XIRI: Yes, not assuming that you understand something can be a good way to engage in spaces. We are often so obsessed with finding answers, but I actually think that letting there be room for not knowing can open up for a lot of understanding. In order to create spaces of care, we need to practice multi-layered listening…

© xiri tara noir

VISHNU: I am also curious about the timeline of Reading edge, how did it start? When? Do you have any dreams for it? Transformations?

IZABELLA: Reading Edge opened in August, 2018. The idea came to me maybe a year earlier. Actually, I think it was on a bus between Cordoba and Cadiz in Spain, where I was on a solo vacation. #Workaholic 

Before I started working at c.off, I was working within the visual arts field, and my background is in art history. Within that field, there is a Western history of artists’ books and art bookmaking which is considered an established art format. I found it intriguing that art publishing didn’t seem as common within the field of dance and choreography, that some even seemed to question that choreography can be presented in a book, or appear in different formats than live on stage. At the same time, c.off, as well as its sister organization ccap, were producing art books and discursive publications as part of our projects. However, we struggled to find a suitable place or distribution channel for these publications after their release. I had thought about organizing our art and theory books at c.off into a library/archive/reading room, which is not groundbreaking for an art institution. Somewhere during that bus ride in Spain, I realized that it would be more relevant if a library of ours would care and provide a space for self-published publications specifically, to fill that need for a place and a context for such publications, for them to co-exist and possibly inform and support one another. Now, I wish to bring more projects, events, gatherings, exhibitions, etc. to Reading Edge, and activate it more. That is my dream for the near future. We have been struggling with funding lately, maybe because our proposed activities sit between the traditional genre boxes. Anyhow, we were pleasantly surprised to be granted funding from the Nordic-Baltic Culture program for this ‘Publisher in Residence’ program, which is funding your residency, and which I see as part of Reading Edge’s activities.

IZABELLA: Speaking further about publishing practices. What is your relationship to publishing within choreography and performance? How are you working with publishing in an expanded field in your practices?

VISHNU: Journaling has always been my tool of expression, a process and a practice of daily self-care. I had the honor of being invited to be part of two works by Jeanne van Heeswijk – an artist who facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces in order to radicalize the local. ‘Public Faculty N 13’ was about the simple questions of what you think of the future, care, commitment, and togetherness. A four-day intervention to stir up conversations, and sketch forms of collective action in public spaces. This collaboration enriched my personal practice of journaling. The second collaboration was ‘Maunula Staircase’. We occupied the staircase of Maunula House in Helsinki for a six-hour discussion on collaborative futures of the neighbourhood. The long discussion was edited into a four-page annex to the local newspaper.

In my personal practice, I have mainly projected texts during performances. I have experimented with setting up pop-up nap cafes, where people could write private journals, collective poems, a la cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse).

Also, I love making collages of words in the various languages I speak. I enjoy the performativity of writing, yet I prefer the performativity of reading even more. Seeing a person with a book in their hand in a public space continues to inspire me to take that aspect into performances, especially in the Anthropocene, and digital platforms.

Quoting Mohsen Namjoo – ‘being modern is to understand roots’ – as a starting point, and leaving digital platforms behind, I explored engravings on stone, palm-leaf manuscripts, recycled paper. As a progression, from writing to reading to making, I arrived at quilting when I was researching traditional book-binding practices. Quilt-making subverts the hierarchy of archiving, the handwriting in a stitch, the piece of cloth a person wore, colors, everything gestures towards privilege in the grand publication arena. Quilting to me is a process of changing publication imagery. With care, it de-canonizes the historical colonization of land, languages, and minds, undoing the hegemony of language. Sensibilization of recycling, and the source of paper… Gesturing towards eco-feminism. I am still researching the un-archival tendencies of a quilt, the uniqueness of the stories a quilt contains augments my practice as a Body-Philosopher. Quilts for me are a way to bring a collective together in connection/ritual, and to enable people, fantastically, to go beyond language. An image is worth a thousand words, a quilt a thousand stories, making space for the story to be re-told in any language.

An Anthology of (Mis)Organized Words © Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN

XIRI: In our society, we put a lot of power into language, especially the written word. As Vishnu is also emphasizing, language is so much more than just words… it is everywhere, graspable as well as ungraspable. And I think this is exactly what choreography is, the creation of language. As Erin Manning expresses it: ‘The minor gesture is an ally of language in the making.’ In this sense, words are at the core of my choreographic practice. Both during creation, in my performances, and as a workshop facilitator; writing and reading in an expanded sense becomes the catalyst for movement.

My last two works, ‘Listening by Speaking to Oneself’ and ‘The Trouble of Walking Straight’, both use this perspective as a starting point. In ‘Listening by Speaking to Oneself’, I intended to draw attention to the in-between moment in a conversation, and to investigate if it is possible to ‘extend’ or ‘amplify’ the ‘not yet created’ moment of encounter. I did this through transcribing conversations in one specific group of womxn, a group of sex workers in this case, and then asked another group of womxn, a group of artists, to perform a re-enactment of the transcription. My purpose with this work is where my choreographic practice intersects with my activist practice; in generating spaces that can initiate a feeling of collectivity across different communities. As we often tend to give less value to people or situations that we don’t understand at first, it was truly amazing to see what was happening with both groups of womxn in this process of opening up to something unknown.

‘The Trouble of Walking Straight’ is, in a way, a continuation of this same idea, but instead of it being a conversation or a meeting between two groups, it is a collective re-enactment of individual written stories from different walks of life, read and performed by the audience. With this work, I wanted to question the choreographic and political power of walking, through the sharing of personal writings on diverse perspectives on walking.

What I’m investigating in both of these studies is if both recognition and an affinity to the self in the other can occur, through the re-enactment of words and movements. And if they’re in this in-between space between words, can a space emerge for listening to what is often left unheard or invisible?

Beyond my choreographic work, I have, in recent years, been busy with turning my research into practice through facilitating labs and workshops for diverse intersectional groups of artists and activists. I see this work as part of my expanded writing and movement research. For me, it is an ongoing, collective learning and sharing process of de-constructing and reinventing languages, movements, and thought systems… and embodying this knowledge into proposing new ways of relating and being together in this world.

Thank you, Vishnu and xiri!

Colophon
Interview questions: Izabella Borzecka & Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN
Language editing: Lisa Clevemark & Gloria Hao
First published at coff.se
Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN ‘s and xiri tara noir’s residency is supported by the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme – Culture.
ON THE TABLE

TRANSLATION AND NON-LINEAR ARCHIVING
Karin Hald
Interview (2020)

Karin Hald’s (DK) artistic research deals with post-humanism and spirituality, which she seeks to connect through participatory performances. Language, empathy, and care are key elements. In this interview, Karin talks about her interest in post-humanism, zoegraphy, and non-linear archiving in relation to her Publisher-In-Residency in Stockholm.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF!

My name is Karin Hald, I’m Danish, and was born in 1986. I currently live in Copenhagen together with my white Shiba Inu called Baby. I started making art as a photographer, and then moved on to the Malmö Art Academy, where I got my MFA in 2015. In my final years at school, I started getting into writing, and worked with tactile text and language, very much based on the notions and thoughts surrounding écriture féminine. This led me to co-found Forlaget Gestus (Gesture Press), which is an artist-run exhibition concept that works with the space between fine art and language/text. The result is often solo exhibitions with an associated artist’s book, rather than a traditional catalogue. Alongside working as a curator and an editor within Forlaget Gestus, I got more involved with my own writing, which resulted in another MFA in Literary Composition at the Valand Academy.

In the fall of 2020, I will be going back to Malmö Art Academy, to do a Master’s in artistic research, which will hopefully lead to a PhD in two years. My research deals with a link I see between post-humanism and spirituality, and I seek to look for this connection through participatory performance, where language, empathy, and care are key elements. In this research lies a critique of neoliberalism and the unhealthy division that modernity has instilled in modern humans.

WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT ARTISTIC INTERESTS?

In relation to this residency at c.off, I am collaborating with dancer Kat Staub, who is a part of the dance collective Dance for Plants, among other things. Kat was supposed to have come here with me, but due to Covid-19, she had to stay in Denmark. The work has therefore changed a bit because of that, but its core elements are still intact: how to cultivate empathy, and how to connect with both yourself and the other, whether that other be nature, animal, or human.

Interestingly, these questions become even more relevant in this time of crisis, as we face a pandemic.

I am very interested in investigating how text can be seen as performance, how a text is read anew each time a person encounters it, and how it can translate again and again through both people and different mediums. The old-school and outdated idea of the genius is completely irrelevant here. Instead, collectivity, feedback, and re-performance/re-enactment is the focus.

A PREVIOUS PROJECT OF YOURS IS ENTITLED ‘HOW CAN I RECOGNIZE MYSELF?’ THE PIECE IS A COMBINATION OF TEXT AND PERFORMANCE AND DEALS WITH QUESTIONS SURROUNDING ARCHIVING, IN RELATION TO DOCUMENTATION OF PERFORMANCE. COULD YOU ELABORATE ON YOUT THOUGHT AROUND ARCHIVING IN RELATION TO PUBLISHING, PERFORMANCE, AND DOCUMENTATION?

Both in my work with Forlaget Gestus and in my own practice I challenge – because I think that it is important the common idea of traditional documentation, where a book is often used as a catalogue. I believe that this is rarely the best way to serve the work. Instead, we need to acknowledge that a performance or an art show of any kind has to do with an experience that took place in that exact space, and think of the accompanying book as a space as well, which necessitates a translation of the experience. This means that a linear archive is no longer valid, and that we need to include emotion, sensation, and orality into the archive, which means that the body also functions as an archive in itself as well.

HOW DO YOU WORK WITH TRANSLATION AND NON-LINEAR ARCHIVING NOW DURING YOUR RESIDENCY? DO YOU WISH FOR THOSE TRANSLATIONS TO RESULT IN A SPECIFIC OUTCOME?

The work I am making together with Kat Staub has translation at its core in every sense: I tell her a personal story of mine, which is then translated by Staub into (dance)movement, gestures and speech/mumbling, which I then again take in, process through association and interpretation, and write and talk once again…

To me, this is how a conversation actually take place, and I think the question becomes: ‘How can we stay open towards one another, and be in the improvisation, that is being in this life, together?’

I wish and hope that the translations and non-linear archiving will result in both a performance, that will move the audience/witnesses, and also become a site-specific book, that is able to, once again, somehow, be a translation of the lived experience that includes a movement within it, so the book isn’t a completely stable experience.

IN YOUR PRACTICE, YOU ARE ALSO INTERESTED IN THE POST-HUMAN PHILOSOPHY TERM ‘ZOEOGRAPHY’. COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT IT ENTAILS AND HOW ‘ZOEOGRAPHY’ INFORMS THE USE OF LANGUAGE IN YOUR PROJECT?

Loup, from the dance collective Dance for Plants, whose practice is dancing alone for plants after an invitation from their owner, writes: ‘The verb “to heal” has two meanings, and it is impossible to silence one when you beckon the other. To heal oneself is to heal the world, to take care of things is already taking care of oneself.’

The etymological root of ‘healing’ points towards becoming whole; oneness. So it’s, therefore, no wonder that spirituality and healing have become interlinked in many instances, because spirituality is concerned with seeing all living beings, visible and invisible, as connected. In post-humanism, especially the strain of thought formulated by Rosi Braidotti, there are many links, as I view it, that could easily have been about spirituality, but are instead called zoegraphy. 

As Louis Van Den Hengel describes zoegraphy, it is a mode of writing life that is not indexed using the traditional notion of bíos – the discursive, social, and political life appropriated to human beings – but that centers on the generative vitality of zoe: an inhuman, impersonal, and inorganic force which is not specific to human lifeworlds, but cuts across humans, animals, technologies, and objects.

If the notion of the ‘post-human’ signals anything, it is that we have never been human, that life has always already been overwhelmingly post-human, since all living beings are symbiotically related to the biological and technological worlds that sustain them, which is also the core value of spirituality. The notion of zoegraphy can create embodied encounters in which the human becomes open to qualitative change.

As I see it, post-humanism can offer a mindset to think with, and spirituality can offer body and practice to the questions of healing, on both a micro and macro level.

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT ‘ZOEOGRAPHY’ THEN CAN BE SEEN AS A MODE OF WRITING THAT CAN TRANSLATE THE UNGRASPABLE, OR SPIRITUAL, TO AN EMBODIED ENCOUNTER. COULD THAT ENCOUNTER ALSO TAKE PLACE WITHIN THE SPACE OF A PRINTED MATTER?

I hope so, but that is a question that I am constantly trying to figure out myself, and dive into. I think the (im)possibility of writing text is that it becomes fixed in a format, and that it can be difficult to change that format. To bring alterations and movement into printed matter is a big and important task, that isn’t just solved by making yet another book in an oeuvre. How we archive has to do with how we are in the world and how we view the past, so we need to sustain the ungraspable within the graspable.

THANK YOU, KARIN!

 

Colophone
Interview questions: Izabella Borzecka
Language editing: Lisa Klevemark
Photos: Izabella Borzecka
Interview first published at coff.se
Karin Hald’s residency was supported by the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme – Culture.

 

ON THE TABLE

VR ARCHIVE FOR PERFORMANCE ART
Live Art DK
VR glasses and YouTube channel (2017-)

Since Henrik Vestergaard and Ellen Friis founded Liveart.dk in 2004, they have pondered how best to document performance art. They have studied photo, video and other digital media. They have conducted seminars, workshops and courses in performative writing as documentation, and they continue to investigate how the unmatchable glow of a live performance can be preserved.Virtual Reality offers several brand new dimensions for performance art documentation. VR can capture the room, the mood, the audience’s relationship with the work, and actions that take place in multiple locations in the room at once. When you (re)experience the works with VR glasses, you can look in all directions and focus on what you think is exciting. You can watch the recording again and focus on other details. Just like a live experience, the experience of the documentation can now be unique, too.

The potential of VR documentation for performance art can hardly be overestimated. Performance art has always been limited by its special conditions. It’s difficult to experience the art form live, to document it, to compare and analyze works.With Live Art DK’s VR Archive, they are building a platform where researchers, artists, students and others can experience performance artworks as if they were present. It is their hope, this will constitute a starting point for the development of a literature and research in the field that will also affect the artists’ activities within the art form. Young performance artists need no longer to start from scratch or to miss out on works happening in other countries.

 

Find a list of all recordings here

 

ON THE TABLE

[ KRAHY SEEZ ] A READER
Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN & xiri tara noir
Folded publication with cards (2020)

[ krahy seez ] A Reader consists of cards with scores, recipes, text, drawings, and other resources that can be used everywhere and by anyone, whenever a messy situation occurs. It is a result of Body-philosopher Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN's and activist/choreographer xiri tara noir's Publisher-In-Residency.

A Reading Proposal

This is a proposal for one possible way to read the card ‘an anthology of (mis)organised words’ by Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN: 

– Find a space that feels right for you at this moment.
– Settle in, feel your belly, and take a long, deep breath.
– Say the anthology of (mis)organised words.
– You can choose four to five words from (mis)organised words. Try it again.
– Do you feel full? High? Refreshed?
– Do you want to laugh? Scream? Stop?

Listen to the sample above where Salla Friberg, invited by Vishnu Vardhani RAJAN, reads the (mis)organised words out loud to feel the effect.

An online version of the publication is found here.

 

ON THE TABLE

IKKÖÖHAIK – I’M OK
Forlaget Gestus
Booklet (2018)

ikkööhäik – I’m ok is a site-specific project, consisting of a performance and an artist’s book by Maarit Mustonen and Anne Naukkarinen, published by Gesture Press. The works originated from listening to Danish, which Mustonen and Naukkarinen do not understand. Together, they work with the embodiment of language, its emotions and logics, and the possible spaces created by words. They examine how do meanings emerge and sway? Who is the body who moves and talks? What kind of world language creates?

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Browse and search for publications here. Click on each publication to learn more. Reading edge graciously accepts new donations of independent publications.

Browse and search for publications here. Click on each publication to learn more. Reading edge graciously accepts new donations of independent publications.