The Schedule / A Rhythm Set To Erase the Scene

Text by FormContent's Bianca Baroni and Pieternel Vermoortel for an upcoming publication from KIM?, Latvia

Encounters Leave Traces


Ok I understand, edit you say, yes edit, please do so as the stage is full. It is inhabited not only by characters but also by props, conversations and images. And as now even the stage itself is multiplying. I can’t see anymore, you say, it even stops me from acting.

So what does this mean? Are you just describing our current condition in an over generalised manner? As in the overload of information, the visual debris, the fact that material turns into image and fact into fiction or the other way around?

It is as old as the hills you say – just change environment! Let’s go somewhere where you can act upon your senses. Are you implying it is impossible to do anything here and now? Or can we produce but it is no longer in context? Have we become isolated subjects bound in our own multiplicities. And what if this subject is not even to be reconciled with its material body? Can I change body?

(she remains silent…raises her eyebrow…)

I didn’t realize this environment had become so suffocating.
So you are asking about the body…not sure where my body is at this time.
The scene evolves as you inhabit it – the production alters the way we engage.

When I joined the dinner glasses had been raised many times already…conversations had been activated at all kinds of levels, some people left before I even arrived, others changed seats to get closer to old friends or make new encounters…you know…

Don’t change body! Don’t jump into another skin…no way that is one of the options on the table!
Of course it is a territory for transformation…though don’t you forget it functions as an extension only.
It is the prosthetic space of a chameleonic subjectivity… you know it is difficult to fully master that flow… you can only edit the surface.

What you propose is editing? Really you mean editing? As to rule out everything that is left over material, debris maybe? How can that only be a superficial movement?

The sound of hands scraping and scratching and digging. No actually there is no digging. The body is vertical and the leftover material falls on its side…or at least that’s how I imagine it to be happening. I can only guess as I hear the sound of action reverberating from remote and I replicate your gestures from the position where I am standing. I can’t quite see what’s underneath yet. We are getting there, don’t worry. Though I am afraid it will take a little while before the image is in front of us.

Is this a rather nostalgic search for the self?

Absolutely! Let’s embrace nostalgia!
Start perhaps by describing your current setting.

Ok for the sake of the image. So I’m wearing my oversized blue jumper, jeans, orange socks and just a pair of regular black shoes (I know a bit Dalston style). I’m writing this rapidly. And yes I should add: it’s raining, as it does in Riga, Vienna or with you in London. A romantic touch? I hear the drops falling on the roof, as you know I don’t have a view here, no ‘real’ perspective perhaps?  Similar conditions as to when I wrote you this letter, just this time maybe nothing is at stake. What should I edit from this? Make it stop raining, undress, cut out the computer? Edit you say, yes I hear you! Edit!

You say we need to change registers!? A different perspective on an identical subject matter? Isolating an aspect to focus on? You ask me whether I’m annoyed…you can’t be serious! I’m not only annoyed, frustrated would be more correct. We build up these conventions. This is how we learn to look, this is how we teach ourselves to act, this is how we relate. How do you leave all this behind?

Unlearning, removing yourself, forgetting, resetting, walking away…walking away…or perhaps even not attending, not showing up in the first place.

This is what we are looking at now: a proposition for a shift. “Just change environment” you say, but that’s what happens when a different wind blows onto your face. Plus, as you always tell me: “we are not schizophrenic”!  No matter how drastic the changes you make are, we still navigate traces…more or less consciously we are looking for consistencies. It’s not just about that usual chase for rationality and sense….it is about different ways of falling in love. From which body do we do this? Did you know the cat changes the colour of its fur coat every so often?

Forget! Forget about the body, think about the voice instead. Or better yet the echo of my voice in your head. This resonating utterance, its sound within this constructed environment. Grasp the reverberations.

Hmm…perhaps we should just change its name. The Subject Interrupted, not constructed as an evolving character, no fiction in the making, just a preset to look at its drives, attempts, repetitive actions. So no more developing characters, no more blurring between subjectivity and materiality, no more extrapolations from artistic language or institutional frameworks.

Like you were saying earlier…translating: as if an act of re-mediating language was to be involved. Maybe the question is not whether subjectivity translates or not into the practice and how it does so. Whether the subject produces the institution or the institution calls for an interruption from the side of the subject.

Unravelling the equation between subject and institution: I am not sure whether such reciprocity would be relevant in the context of what we are trying to do here. Don’t take me wrong, I don’t mean to dismiss your question! Perhaps what we need to delineate does not reside in such strict binary structure.

Let’s just look at the drives to constitute, perhaps maybe later we can look at how this informs the constituted. Let’s forget for a while the constructed stage, the other characters and images…

But wait! Slow down! It seems like this rupture is not the only possibility on the horizon.

Riga’s rhythm – a conversation maybe?

That’s what I am saying! Are we not pushing ourselves out of the stage?
Why rushing so much? I can hear the buzz getting less and less loud as we start to move…from the movements we are making I can sense the body is no longer elbowing through the crowd.
There seems to be a space that could possibly mediate such transition.

Your gradual entrance and discovery of this context is articulated through a dense list of encounters and conversations.  Accessing the routine of a foreign artistic community is negotiated through another rhythm.

Understanding the subject through habits, gestures and temporalities. I wonder where to situate this encounter…