Mark Titchner, 2009 for Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre.
I see [language] as a play between constraint and room to manoeuvre. If you think of language in the traditional way, as a correspondence between a word with its established meaning on the one hand and a matching perception on the other, then it starts coagulating. It’s just being used as a totally conventional system for pointing out things you want other people to recognise. It’s all about pointing out what everyone can agree is already there. When you think about it, though, there’s a unique feeling to every experience that comes along, and the exact details of it can never be exhausted by linguistic expression. That’s partly because no two people in the same situation will have had exactly the same experience of it – they would be able to argue and discuss the nuances endlessly. And it’s partly because there was just too much there between them to be completely articulated – especially if you think about what was only there potentially, or virtually. But there are uses of language that can bring that inadequation between language and experience to the fore in a way that can convey the ‘too much’ of the situation – its charge – in a way that actually fosters new experiences.
Navigating movements – Brian Massumi interviewed by M. Zournazi in ‘Hope: new philosophies for change’ Pluto Press.
Andy Field flags the virtual/SMS performance I made last year – An S.M.S (A Short Message Spectacle) – in his round up of performances from 2010. Meanwhile my latest virtual/imaginary performance venture – Vacuum Days – makes it to the very early fourth day of a planned 365 tomorrow.
Over the course of two painstaking years in the late 1990s, Saddam Hussein… sat regularly with a nurse and an Islamic calligrapher; the former drawing 27 litres of his blood and the latter using it as a macabre ink to transcribe a Qur’an. But since the fall of Baghdad, almost eight years ago, it has stayed largely out of sight – locked away behind three vaulted doors. It is the one part of the ousted tyrant’s legacy that Iraq has simply not known what to do with.
months ago. you are sitting in the lobby of a hotel somewhere (not England), waiting for taxi… as unseen, to your left, a pair of receptionists make early morning wake-up calls – one after another, after another after another. The calls coming out of phase with each other "Good morning. This is your wake-up call.. it’s 7am..", "Good morning. This is your wake-up call.. it’s 7am, this is your wake-up call….", "Good morning. it’s 7am.." And as you sit there you imagine all those sleepy hands reaching for phones, all those interrupted dreams, all those narratives (lives) starting over again after the interregnum of the night.
afternoon of new years eve. city centre. light fading but not yet gone from the sky. a man and a woman in a blurred dance, she pulling cans of special brew from a polythene bag, opening them and pouring the contents out into the gutter, the guy staring at her in resigned show, at a metre’s slow motion distance staggering slightly and watching his lifeblood glug out there into a set of mingling pools on the cracked paving. no one pays much attention.
Some nice material about Anna Chapman and her appearance on a Russian chat show, Let Them Speak, here .
On being asked if she would die for her country, she gives this very natural and easy going answer: "The incorruptibility of a person is one of the most important qualities. The only thing more important than patriotism is to be humane. Love of the motherland is vital to be a happy person."
Also an appearance by Chapman’s grandma, narrating how, as a child, Chapman had a favourite book called, The Tale of the Military Secret. "We used to play out the roles… I would tie Anya up and say, ‘Tell me the secret!’ But she would always reply, ‘No!’ very severely. And I would shoot her."
New project. As if I didn’t have enough to do I launched a new web-project which will be updated daily with new entries through the whole of 2011. Scurrilous and often abusive or obscene Vacuum Days is a rolling version of the booklets of imaginary events I’ve produced from time to time for specific contexts in the last couple of years.