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Date of Publishing:
November 10, 2021

2021 © Anderwald + Grond

Podcast: On Certain Groundlessness

For the artistic research project Navigating Dizziness Together, Ruth Anderwald, Leonhard Grond, Sergio Edelsztein and Jeanne Drach create a series of podcasts that is at the same time a sound sculpture. In this way, the work can be perceived individually and portably and as an audience in a specific setting in response to the recent developments caused by the COVID crisis. The co-creative work invites artists, scientists, and practitioners from different disciplines to share their approach to dizziness and its actual and potential functions and impacts on society.

Trailer: November 2021
First episodes: Spring 2022

Production: OH WOW Podcast
Assistence: Laura Brechmann

With contributions by Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha, Davide Deriu, Dani Gal, Maria Auxilliadora Galvez Perez, David Grubbs, Anna Kim, Gal Kronenberg, Natasha Lennard, Philippe-Alain Michaud, Philippe Narval, Trevor Paglen, Alice Pechriggl, Ursula Prutsch, Ilan Volkov, and others.

The communal starting point recognises that states of dizziness break up the given – be it habits, beliefs, preconceptions, or patterns – creating space and dynamics between established categories and perceived oppositions. After Plato, dizziness creates the constitution of all philosophical thought by destabilising the basis of knowledge to a state of uncertainty. In this sense, dizziness can be regarded as a resource. It provides power and dynamics to restructure, rethink, and redesign the given.

In today’s societies, we can localise many sources of disruption, disorientation, and disaster. As for now, we are only starting to see glimpses of a culture where the power of emotions and individual profit overshadow solidarity, facts, and reason. Hannah Arendt already warned that a recognisable decrease of human common sense and a recognisable increase of superstition and credulity point to the falling apart of communality and to the world-alienation of human beings regressing into their subjectivity. This destabilisation of society, fuelled by impending, or even the illusion of, disaster and instability, can be economically and politically profitable. Time and again, we can see it being used as a strategy to push specific agendas. Dizziness can be a resource, but concerning togetherness, the question is who uses it to what end? Furthermore, what are the consequences? Therefore, it is critical to discuss and learn more about dizziness, togetherness, and our options of balancing out and navigating states of dizziness together. Only the experience of sharing a sense of the world with others who look at it from different perspectives can enable us to develop a ‘common sense,’ a sense of togetherness. Despite the existential condition of plurality, we must realise that action in public – the shared and common – space is not innate to human beings. We have to learn and exercise both the action and togetherness in states of dizziness. So, how are we to win back commonality and togetherness in the face of spreading dizziness, disruption, and disorientation?

Excerpt from the conversation with the author and political journalist Natasha Lennard:
I think the idea of dizziness as a conceptual hinge is expansive and has a lot of possibilities. It relates to my work focused on liberation struggles and challenging systems of power. I understand systems of power in a governmental sense, a corporate sense, and how our lives get ordered through certain modes of power relations and governance, through hierarchies, and different modes of control that we internalise and normalise and regard as normalised for those around us. Here, the idea of dizziness creates an interesting potential aperture. What does it mean to actually find oneself removed from an overbearing context, or find yourselves at a loss, or confused and dizzy and dislocated from the world that itself carries a certain order, but one that’s apparently life-denying, devastating, and decimating? Dizziness can present a fruitful opening for a potentially generative togetherness and interdependence through dizziness as a rejection of the current order. However, there is not necessarily a liberatory valence to the idea of dizziness; it’s not necessarily salutary; it’s not necessarily about a collective finding each other or breaking problematic orders. I would be nervous about romanticising dizziness per se, but rather think of the ways in which disorienting from our current orientation could switch from our racial capitalist reality could be interesting or fruitful. There is a lot of dizziness and dislocation that can indeed serve some of the worst forms of power that we have in our world. Of course, thinking of the media industry today that is invested in talking about disinformation, online chaos and the openings that can create fascist, far-right, and misogynistic constellations.
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