[NetBehaviour] besides, slowed by communication / chronicles of the future

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Apr 26 18:27:55 CEST 2016

dear all,
reading Edward Picot's long reflections on the accelerationist (and breasthless) discussion was very fruitful and refreshing for me, both his look back (at manifestos, and failed futurisms)
and his very thoughtful, beautiful reflections on some of the artworks..

I was really glad how you made them come back to life again for me (I had watched them, and then returned again as one needs time, for example, for Annie Abrahams & Martina Ruhsam's "besides, compressed
by communication", or to reflect on Ruth's piece "Time is Speeding Up" or to wrap one's head around "the Promise of Total Automation" and the ideas of "xenofeminism."

During the recent Metabody Forum I hosted in London at our performance space, one of the performers, Anna Troisi, also explained to me that she works alongside xenofeminism; her piece seemed a private and intimate
one, titled "OB-Scene,"  staged in the women's dressing room, but also representing an explicit artistic act of "remediation where the female body becomes a
cyber subject/object of embodiment of experience" (she was listening to an arousing sound tape on headphones, while a sensor
inserted inside her vagina measures her sexual arousal and sonifies her vibrations or sensual inner and outer awarenesses, a self made medical
probe used to transform a female sexual arousal into sound, intruding/extruding the performer’s body. Data are transformed lively into sound through
original software...).

Her performance lasted for an hour; I think Annie Abrahams's piece is close to 40 minutes of a slowly evolving conversation while we observe/imagine/listen to the "social metabolism", the ecologies of
collaboration as Annie and Martina describe it ('object agency' one also sees evoked). Ruth's work is durational, I assume, it is up for many days and accrues (references are to life-time(s).)

This sense of accrue --- I had to think of the numerous times, Edward, when you mention landscape, earth, planet, the socio-economic,
ageing (time), war, destruction, renewal  – and then I thought of the sensorial in my own work, and wanted to share just one aspect of DAP-Lab's last installation,
the "metakimosphere":

we deliberately, over the past years, have sought to enhance the tactile, acoustic and sonic materiality of our "choreographic objects" and movement/design; we built new soundobjects which were housed in a black velvet geodesic dome into which visitors could crawl, or they were worn by the dancers, given to audience members, just as visitors were encouraged to move the large architectural dress and the cocoons in which (photo) you see Helenna Ren sitting, the blind/vision-impaired man behind her lifting the shroud up high over her head. the other photo shows visitors touching the origami accordion worn by Sasha Pitale.

We had arranged a pre-audition of the kimosphere for a group of blind persons, and they stayed for over an hour and seemed completely engaged, aroused,  touching all the dancers and costumes, the scenic environments, they listened to the scenography; they did not want to leave and that impacted us too, as we had not imagined such a deep listening-touching response. I feel  in our work the digital is only used when embodied into sensorial and sense-making "stories" we tell through our kimospheres.

Coming back to landscapes and Edward's long post, I read it in conjunction with an interview I saw in the Guardian with Svetlana Alexievich where she describes her fieldwork when writing "Chernobyl Prayer", talking to "eyewitnesses",  survivors of a cataclysm that saw 50m curies of radiation dumped into the atmosphere. They included rescue workers, helicopter pilots, Communist party bosses, scientists and villagers forcibly evacuated by the authorities from “the zone”, as it became known. Seventy per cent of this radioactivity fell on Belarus, perhaps an unimaginable disaster, its effects lasting for tens of thousands of years – Alexievich subtitles ther writing  “A Chronicle of the Future”.

i leave you with this thought of slow time

Johannes Birringer

[Edward schreibt]

..... It's impossible to keep up, but it's also profoundly inspiring and exciting.

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