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Date of Publishing:
March 4, 2021

THE FUTURE IS IN QUESTION

Laura Brechmann

[00:00:00] TEXT/VOICE: Lala, CAMERA: Anja Plonka [1]

[00:00:10] BEING ROTTEN AND LOST[2]

[00:02:50] COLLAPS[3]

[00:03:50] HOW DO I BEST GET LOST[4]

[00:04:50] NOWHERE, NOW HERE[5]

[00:05:50] THE CAMERA CANNOT BE MY EYES[6]

[00:06:30] EVERYWHERE, ANYWHERE[7] 

[00:08:00] INGWER[8]

[00:09:15] NEBEL, MIST[9]

[00:09:20] YOU CANNOT SEE FAR[10]

[00:09:40] ARCHITECTURE OF TOUCH[11]

[00:11:20] YOU ARE NOT ALONE[12]

Footnotes

[1]  Anja Plonka, performance artist, dialogue partner and friend.

[2] Consciousness about contemporaneity as a motivation to act. I am interested in thinking that keeps itself in question without feeling anaesthetized.

[3] The starting point of my forthcoming research is theso-called "collapsology" (effondrement), whose representatives investigate the collapse of industrial civilization through the interaction of various factors. They follow the theory that the instability of our civilization is based on the singularization of society by neoliberalcapitalism (comp. Isabell Lorey, State of Insecurity. Government of the Precarious; Andreas Reckwitz, Society of Singularities; IsabelleStengers, In catastrophic times. Resisting the coming barbarism). Following these thoughts, I will focus on the possibilities of dialogue in/through performative settings. The significance of the “circle” for dialogues is the starting point of the considerations (comp. Vilem Flusser, Communicology; Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space). In addition, Donna Haraway's thoughts on responsiveness (Staying with the trouble) are essential as well. Differences and qualities of "participatory performances" and"workshops" will be explored in order to develop a format that works with workshop elements, but with recourse to the existing vertigo material always contains performative elements that unbalance the space and the participants.

[4] Collaboration with Judith Ph. Franke, performance artist, art scholar, dialogue partner and friend. In the constant reconsidering of how to facilitate and communicate fluid knowledge, we developed a “thinking pad”, inviting others to think and write with us about being in (cognitive and physical) motion, being dis-orientated and thus in knowledge-production. The task is quite simple: Simultaneous questions are asked and answered by writing on a shared word-pad, without talking, discussing or reflecting. The thinking and writing process is filmed by a screen recording,leading both to a video of text-development and a text. Duration of creation: 2 hours. The quotation is taken from a dialogue with Zuzana ŽabkovÁ. See full text here: http://laurabrechmann.com/How-do-I-best-get-lost-article/.  

[5]  The different episodes of the long-term project focus all on the question of dizziness as a cultural, medical and subjective phenomenon. Started in 2017, the project was initially planned to be one solo performance that examines dizziness from different angles; the aim was to analyze, to encircle, to somehow catch this fluid experience. However, already in the concept I made a methodical mistake: I got involved in the topic. A topic (a dizziness) became my topic (my dizziness). It attacked, seized, captured me. A distant, observational attitude was impossible, and the project developed a momentum whose alignment and outcome were beyond control. I started this journey from nowhere, and now, following an invitation, I am here. A collection of images, impressions and encounters is the focus of this never-ending essayistic-performative research. “Essayistic”understood as an eternal fragment, as the eternally formless, as the continuous attempt of a thought-producing process. I draft (entwerfen) thoughts and reject the idea of production. I dedicate myself to experimentation. I experience by going on with the Taumel; discover the Dizziness here and there; alone or with others, I am exposing myself to life. And just as I will never stop experiencing the world, I will never stop trying to transform what I have experienced into experiences. Instead of generating, I collect – the material I can arrange and assemble. I can perform it or cut it into videos. I can extract or replace the audio track. I can, will, must meet other people. Sometimes it is a discussion, sometimes a dialogue and sometimes a monologue. I can create new thoughts or discard them. Sometimes I will resist Dizziness, sometimes I will surrender it. Sometimes I will think directly about art, sometimes I will not waste a thought on it. Sometimes I will observe the world and its vertigo (Schwindel), sometimes I will throw myself into it and lose myself.

[6] I am concerned with the question of whether and how experienced dizziness can be communicated to the outside world and, on the other hand, whether Taumel, triggered by real dizziness, can be used as a choreographic element. The inner and outer perspective of dizziness and Taumel thus becomes the focus of my artistic interest. I am working with mundane technical aids such as my cell phone camera, a dictating machine and the simplest of video editing programs.

[7] The audios are recorded randomly and unplanned; just thoughts recorded on tape. Drafted, selected, discarded. They are taken over unedited. Mistakes in spelling and pronunciation are part of the process.

[8] “Ingwer,” German for ginger.

[9] I am just at the starting point to think about mist and its importance as a metaphor to reflect on dizziness. But thoughts already exist which strike me, comp. Michel Serres, Les cinq sens. Philosophie des corps meles,p. 84f.

[10] How is our sense of hearing the world affected by vertigo? This is an unusual question. It is unusual because even while being dizzy, all our focus is primarily on seeing. Our surroundings become blurred before our eyes; visual fixed pointsare lost, bystanders out of our field of vision. It is the eye that deceives usabout the dizziness of the illusion of self- and environmental movement. Theeye's jerky movements make our world tremble. Our visual perception is notreliable in vertigo. Only schematically we recognize the outline of the world. Too fast the movements, too blurred the field of vision. In vertigo, a relationship cannot be established through the sense of sight. Instead, we must open ourselves to “the other” (cf. Martin Buber) and not direct our perceptive attention to our inner self, to the nightmare, to my theme that embraces me but radiate it outwards. In common vertigo we do not give in to the intoxications of vertigo, because then we would not only lose ourselves, but also the world. Instead, we open ourselves to the here and now. The sense of hearing gains strength. 

[11] Embodied research, my journey begins. A quote from a book that will become important to me: “The inhumanity of contemporary architecture and cities can be understood as the consequence of the negligence of the body andthe senses, and an imbalance in our sensory system. The growing experiences of alienation, detachment and solitude in the technological world today, for instance, may be related to a certain pathology of the senses. ... The dominance of the eye and the suppression of the other senses tends to push us into detachment, isolation and exteriority”, cf. Juhani Pallasma, The eyes of the skin. Architecture and the senses, p. 17f. 

[12] “Dizziness impacts our individual and collective agency, prompting the need to re-think ‘community,’ ..., and highlights the ambiguous nature of shared dizziness. Questions include a) When, why, where and how does a community experience and reflect sharing dizziness? b) What does the social/spatial potential of shared dizziness include? c) What responsibilities do we have towards each other in states of dizziness? d) What kind of community is shaped by sharing an experience of dizziness?”, cf. Ruth Anderwald; LeonardGrond, Proposal for PEEK-Project “Navigating Dizziness Together”, 2020.