Write-Up: Presenting at In Dialogue 2014, Nottingham Contemporary

Earlier on in the year, I was invited by Dr. Heather Connelly to present as part of the 4-day symposium ‘In Dialogue 2014’, an event interrogating how artists and researchers use dialogue as practice with a focus on translation. As my PhD research looks directly into the notion of transcultural translation in relation to contemporary Chinese art, she thought my perspectives would be very appropriate to the day. It took place across multiple venues in Nottingham from the 2-5 October 2014 – see the InDialogue2014 Timetable here and the full programme here. A nice introduction to the day was by Fucking Good Art who left index cards at the registration desk for “quotes not notes” asking the audience to make some quotes from the day and return them to the ‘In Dialogue 2014’ team for use in one of their future works and publications. I loved this! All the talks, papers, performances, words and happenings were recorded on the day…shared here for you to view, read and recall…it would be great to hear your response to some of the perspectives from the day.

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Dr. Gillian Whiteley from Loughborough University, introduced day 2 of the symposium with the normal round robin introduction of the ‘In Dialogue 2014’ team including Rebecca Beinhart, Heather Connelly and Rhiannon Jones, a many thanks to those involved, general housekeeping then speaking of her own background and interest in the dialogue between art and politics, art and the social sphere, art and the political sphere. Gillian is a practitioner of critique, interested in the dialogue between practice and theory, and between disciplines, which will be shown today….objects and ideas, and how they relate to each other through multi-sensory ways of thinking about the world and matter.

The day began with a performance by Bartram O’Neill (Ang Bartram and Mary O’Neill), who collaboratively exhibit, perform and publish nationally and internationally. Bartram O’Neill began by doing what I’d call a performance ritual, changing their clothes and cleaning their faces, Bartram dressed in black, O’Neill in white. They stood on one metre high platforms, about 10 metres apart with megaphones in their hands, in front of a blank, stark white projection screen that then presented words in alphabetical, angry words, in clear black text…”bumlicker” – “cock” – “cocksucker” – “cow” – “dumbfucker” – “miser” – “motherfucker” – “old cunt” – “snake” – “sod”. Bartram O’Neill would periodically raise their megaphones to their lips, mouthing without verbalising the words played out on screen…as time went on they would mouth more and more with silent articulation. When the words came to an end, the space went black, O’Neill screamed at the top of her voice “you fucking titlicker”, after which they exited the space by the side entrance. Wordic perfection on many levels.

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Next was ‘Panel 1: Linguistic Hospitality – intercultural dialogue’ with Fucking Good Art, Rachel Marsden (me!) and Heather Connelly. Heather wanted us to look at “Translation as dialogue” and “Linguistic Hospitality” – “Hospitality having the dual meaning of being simultaneously ‘host’ and  ‘guest’”…talking about our artistic and curatorial practice, outlining any dialogic practices we (or other artists we work with) use, whilst highlighting any cultural, language, communication issues.

Heather Connelly introduced the panel, the background and context of the symposium in relation to her own research…through and doing the process of translation and the notion of “linguistic hospitality”. What happens during that time? What can be gained and learned through the inter/trans/multi-lingually…the process and practice of multi-linguistic-text art practice – “translation as dialogue”. “Translation” in the traditional sense, the interlingual to the verbal, between cultures across and with cultures, language is unstable, context dependent and a different grammar in multiple ways, performativity of the words…”translation” as a dialogic act, as a product…can’t be thought of in any other way. It is unstable as a positive…it is about movement, a fuzzy term…”dialogue” is unfinalisable, continual and self-perpetuating, relational and interdependent. The ambiguity and multiplicity of dialogue…must acknowledge this and its assumptions. “Process of receiving harmony”…similar to héxié 和谐 in Chinese, known as “hanashi” in Japanese – the “process of receiving harmony”. [hanashi can mean any of the following: talk, speech, chat, story, conversation, discussions, negotiation, arguments.] In the translation of the word “translation”, who is speaking to whom? Linguistic translation as inherently dialogic…”linguistic hospitality” is an open dialogue, literal translation breakdown of the term. Dialogue as a host and a guest citing Derrida’s experiences of hospitality. Irigaray speaks of it as an open dialogue with myself and the other.

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After Heathers dialogue, I went on to present a short paper ‘The Transcultural Curator: Global Translations of Chinese Contemporary Culture’, focusing on ‘a life lived and divided between cities, between locations, between experience – in the transculture – the space across and between global cultures.’ I referenced the building boom and “museumification” of China, its explosion of urban development and “architectures of change” and ultimately how it is up to curators, cultural producers, critics, creatives, to translate these changes…’What are the implications of this for the contemporary arts, curatorial and artistic practice, and how are they translated and understood?’ I then went on to reference some of my curatorial experiences such as with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2008, then talking of my ongoing PhD research including the outcome project and platform ‘The Temporary: 01’ including the successes and problematics as part of these processes concluding on a quotation by curator Johnson Chang:

‘…anyone who is interested in engaging with art on this [curatorial]platform, has to traverse different roles, different spaces, and invent the practice itself….I see the curatorial platform as a nebulous open space, for the exchange of skills, techniques and knowledge which can be used for local purpose…opening up channels for reviving traditional cultural disciplines and also opening up a feud for cultural practice, where it is about stepping outside and also going backwards.’ – Chang, 2010

Fucking Good Art followed via a Skype connection, stating most dialogues happen in English but not between English people. They spoke of the banned words in England and their experiences of 10 years of being Fucking Good Art and their ‘libraries of gifts and exchange’. Their practice is a conversation – “we don’t speak in a vacuum” – conversations and dialogues as practice. The magazine, self-organised kitchen table project…international in the voice of practitioners, the more people involved, the more difference…curators then started to invite us to discuss the different processes. Outsiders in a local sense. Guests mapping out the cultural production (we dislike this). Art criticism as art research…international criticism as art research…both turned into books.

‘Once you start a dialogue with a foreign art scene, so much knowledge wants to be showed, to be shared.’ – Fucking Good Art

The budget and the money creates a different logic. It is a question of others investing in us…they had an international experience of what we were doing. Dialogical. Language is now “globish”…we all speak English, all from different sides, all from different backgrounds, all so willing to understand each other, the social background. – “Globish” is international English – ‘Let them frown it’s not our language, its ours.’ “Globish” can be set in comparison the “Chinglish” and other portmanteau terms used to describe language hybrids. Fucking Good Art detoxified or toxified in Globish/English? Scotland is a normal word.

‘How the context becomes part of the text when the dialogue is written. So much happen non-verbally, gestures are not only made to communicate but to help us think. The number of languages you know, that’s how many times you’re a different person. Language and culture opens up new possibilities to you. Can there be a similarity with different things? You have to be willing to communicate not in your mother tongue. By understanding gestures, you understand all.’ – Fucking Good Art

FGA’s word “globish” had me thinking for the rest of the day…particularly about these rise of portmanteau words used to categorise and define ongoing developments in art historical discourse when ultimately, they need time to breathe and grow..to be critiqued and reflected upon…to remain and settle. For the panel Q&A session, Heather had provided some questions to consider prior to the symposium, which we went on to discuss:

  1. How does your practice shift or change when you are working across multiple (verbal) languages?
  2. What are the specific difficulties that you encounter?
  3. Do you work with translators? If you have could you outline the process – if you saw it as a dialogic act or something else? And if you did have to use an intermediary to communicate for you – how did this interrupt/affect the work? And has it influenced the way you practice?
  4. Is there anything specific that you had not anticipated?
  5. There is a tendency to think about what is ‘lost in translation’ but I do think with the plethora of events happening this year in the UK and beyond there is a shift away from this and the current research and focus on monolingualism and the need to promote second language learning  announced by…and call from AHRC….
  6. I am interested in what you think is and can be gained ‘in’ translation – can you reflect on this personally and what role it has to play (if any) within artistic practice?

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After a brief interlude break, the second part of the morning session began with a performance by Tom Estes called ‘EMOTICONS’ In the episode “The Age of Steel”, Dr. Who is able to defeat the Cybermen by shutting down their emotional inhibitors, enabling them to “see” what had become of them. Their realization of what they had become led them to either simply shut down out of sheer horror, or partially explode. By donning the mask of a Cyberman, he attempts to question how our view of life is increasingly mediated by machines and the digital as a shaping condition and structuring paradox. As a starting point the work explores the sense of disorientation and dislocation as a standard modern condition. During his performance, audience members are asked to interact by taking pictures on what he refers to as a “communal camera” – ‘Harnessing The Hive’; a type of shared or group intelligence that emerges in consensus decision-making.

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Next was the paper ‘The Tender Space: Theatre, Dialogue and Response-ability’ by Sophie Bush from Sheffield Hallam University. She defines the word tender as a noun and as verbs, its entomologies. ‘I am interested in the word tender. To be tender (adj.) is to be gentle, affectionate, compassionate; loving; but it is also to be sore, painful, bruised. This creates a paradox. But tender, and its variants, have many other meanings. The English language contains the noun tender: someone who looks after another person, place or thing; and the verb to tender: to offer, propose or bid. It also has two verbs: to tend, meaning to look after, care for, or serve; and to tend, meaning to incline…It is not difficult to see how this word that means to stretch or extend might develop in both that literal, physical sense – to tend, meaning to incline, lean or tilt – and in a more abstract sense – tender meaning to offer; tend, to offer one’s services. But what of our adjective tender, from which the noun tenderness and the adverb tenderly are both drawn?’ Sophie questioned ‘if to tender is to stretch, extend, incline, essentially, to reach out to the other, to be tender is to reach out to that other. I propose that tender-ness is created in the space between the offer and the response; the tenderer and the responder.’

‘…whilst tenderness is more commonly seen as a physical quality, and the process of stretching, extending, or reaching out is deeply imbued with physicality, that one way to reach out is to speak out. To tender is to offer, is to speak out. To be tender is to be in dialogue.’ – Sophie Bush

‘Playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker has suggested that ‘if a culture loses its language it loses its tenderness’ (cited in Mackenzie 1991). A strange turn of phrase, but carefully chosen. A similar equation is made in her play The Love of the Nightingale: ‘When you love you want to imprison the one you love in your words, in your tenderness’ (Wertenbaker 2002: 305). What is it about language that Wertenbaker associates with tenderness? Elsewhere she makes a reverse association: ‘silence leads to violence’ (cited in Mackenzie 1991); ‘without language, brutality will triumph’ (Wertenbaker 1996: viii-ix). And if we accept, more readily, that silence is brutal, why not that language is tender? I want to explore this proposition.’

Words are living entities and should be treated with the same tenderness as human beings. They are alive, they breathe, they can be happy and they can suffer. We have to teach our partners to love words, to choose the ones they prefer to signify each particular idea or feeling or emotion they have, to utter them meaningfully: words are a language, and so is the voice, and so is the body, and so is the body in space, and so are our eyes, the most vulnerable part of our bodies. (Boal 1998: 45)

‘In language and dialogue, in tender-ness, and in theatre, reciprocity is vital for success. Consequently, tender-ness, like dialogue, and theatre, means risk. It leaves you open; exposed; vulnerable. You can tender, you can offer, but there may be no response; no answer; no one may reach back. Yet if we allow ourselves to be put off, or even unduly preoccupied, by this risk, we are missing the point.’ I very much enjoyed Sophie’s paper as it played on the notion of the definition, the muliplicities of definition and the interpretations on a direct language to philosophical level, noting the importance of the silence between words and definitions that has the opportunity and power to create new translations and mistranslations, something that I clearly reference in my current PhD research.

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Following Sophie was ‘The Touching Moment: Touch as dialogic form – the matter(ing) of response(ability) or being constituted by getting in touch’ by Monika Jaeckel with performances by Katherine Hall, Jack A. G. Britton and Lewys Holt…this paper performance has resonated with me since it’s happening at the beginning of October and I’m trying to find a way in which I can work with her in the future. Her paper is available to download here through her Research Gate profile.

‘“Touch moves and affects what it effects” is how Karen Barad, professor for Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness in Santa Cruz, California, summarizes her conclusion that the aspects of touching upon something or being touched affect movement. This conditional relation of touch also influences the way orientation is formed2. It may seem as subtle as just to affect breathing, or as direct as to bump into something. Eventually, the entire sense of being is affected, and with it the lines of movement, which define the ways of our knowledge of and in this world. Response is thus essential to touch. Imagine the pre-verbal infant, who just crawls and explores their surroundings by climbing, touching, and eventually even trying to bite or chew on things. In this state the infant quite literally takes the effects of touch as affective impulses of world making. The emerging effect of touch sways knowledge through the experience of contact.’

‘Defining matter and us in this sense of world making and (world) becoming in a specific moment of interaction incites mattering as meaning.’ – Monika Jaeckel

Touch can be understood as the defining moment that creates contact and exchange. It is a chiasmic entanglement of attractive-repulsive responses (of contact) establishing a certain structure of matter(ing).’ Monika speaks directly about the process of digital “touch” digital engagement and exchange as a concept of “touching moment”:

‘Even ‘staying in touch’ over a long distance, either in time or space entails a sort of mutual exchange. As already the manifold meanings of the word (English) ‘touch’ suggest, it does not necessarily need to be a literal way of touching to create contact. ‘Tap, tap, swipe, tap’: being in touch, by remotely linking via a digital interface to each other, has become a quite common experience. A literal relation created via technological devices that allow interaction. Today this often implies to touch upon a screen to get in touch with someone else. But the tactile experience of impacting the smooth surface of glass or plastic is almost ignored. Touching a touchscreen addresses the responsiveness we desire but seems less affecting than being pointed at with a red laser pointer. You might be annoyed by this fleeting spot causing futile grasping but that cannot be caught. Still it is not unimportant what touches on what, as only some materials react in the presumed way to each other.’ – Monika Jaeckel

She concludes by stating – ‘To get in touch is to be in dialogue, which due to the paradigmatic nature of any dialogical exchange is always transitory, as is the touching moment of response. These encounters create a resonance of difference, a cutting-together-apart, of the self within the other and the other within self, thus defining one self and the surrounding.’

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After a Nottingham Contemporary smoked salmon salad lunch, it was time for the afternoon session to begin with Kate Stobbart’s spoken word performance ‘I’M ON THE TRAIN: a years worth of overheard phone conversations’. Over 750 calls were collated randomly over the space of a year…verbal recordings, fractures, soundbytes, oral histories, random insights into unknown occurrences that when put together back-to-back, sentence to sentence, reframed and reordered…they create new stories, new narratives, new meanings and translations where the same characters keep reappearing in the dialogue. Kate performs and speaks in her Newcastle-Upon-Tyne accent, with different tones, energies and articulations translated the character of the person originally observed, the audio the dialogue was originally taken from…and the associated emotion. The performance was sectioned into chapters such as the longest goodbye and the shortest goodbye and have so far only been used in sound works and performances but not yet physically published. Some serious, some humorous, some laugh out loud…the words play out like short stories, short theatrical parts that emphasise the simplicity of a conversation, the way in which one situation such as saying goodbye can play out in so many different ways. She is observing the language of public spaces, where there was no logic or method in the way they are put together, they were arranged more in an emotional construct such as when vulnerable or cocky…and the ways of starting or finishing a conversation.

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Following Kate was ‘Panel 2: The Performative Conversation: Rhiannon Jones in conversation with John Newling‘:

“I take pleasure in connecting, connecting objects, objects to people, people to place…building vast webs, artists do this all the time…what art can do is wobble people’s set of connections and direct them into places they’re not used to being in, into better places than they were before.” – John Newling

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‘John Newling constantly reviews ‘The tacit agreements of Place’ and this has coalesced into a view of the pathology of institutions such as banks and churches. His current researches have been into the nature, manifestations and relationships of Currency and Belief. This process of review is the initial impetus for a work for a specific place. He is a pioneer of public space with social purpose…practice as research and art.’ He is interested in spaces becoming places…the transformative shift and the use of the word vehicle in the conversations you have, and the conversations as performativity. His practice is often mapping – “territory is the synchronicity of the map itself” – the psychological sense, it’s observed sense, psycho-geographical sense – “all places have different rhythms to them”.

RJ: Fucking Good Art mentioned this morning about being an insider and outsider when you’re having conversations with people. When you worked in York and Poland, did you feel like an insider or outsider?

JN: I see as being a “participant observant” coined by anthropologists in the 1920s. It is a question of being absolutely honest, I’m interested in what you want, it’s love thing…the people I get to talk with, I really want to learn this, what this group of people want in this square of time. Whatever they say, I will write down, because some people can’t write and they will get to read what I’ve written down. I’ll get back to those people over time as he project develops. Actually scared as I’m so shy…but I’m really grateful as people are so willing. Bring together material from over 10 years to see what it’s like to be a person in this place over time. It’s all about learning…

RJ: …unlearning and relearning as part of your approach, a generosity to respond to a space as much to transform it. People’s thoughts that they share with you, there’s an intimacy that embodies the experience, that takes places…what defines performative, I define it within that moment of connection with the I and other, physically, verbally, intermingled.

JN: It’s trying to chat. Chatting on the street. Thinking slightly ahead. You can’t help but think it’s an invaluable material.

“Harmony” as a repeated concept throughout the day.

RJ: Connection between the personal and societal questions you ask are interwoven, at the heart of your practice is a sense of wanting to understand humans and their wellbeing…there’s a real passion there to keep asking what it is to be human, can you say a bit more about that?

JN: It comes from being perplexed about us as species…our lives without meaning, a huge amount of “distopia” that goes on. I’m interested in finding out essentially what we are in our ecology…competition for resources is about value, things like caring.

RJ: there’s a real sense of responsibility by offering it as part of your practice.

JN: I think it’s always been there…trying to reconcile a disturbance…I’m interested in how these things become art, it’s just completely part of what I do. I don’t distinguish between research and art production, or the how knowledge is being produced. You evolve a love affair with the people you work with…you build on trust…friendships grow out of it.

Me: Your practice immediately connected me to the work of Céline Condorelli, her art practice of support structures and networks, and specifically her new book ‘The Company She Keeps’ (2014):

‘Perhaps one of my favourite definitions of cultural production is of “making things public”: the process of connecting things, establishing relationships, which in many ways means befriending issues, people, contexts. Friendship in this sense is both a set-up for working and a dimension of production. The line of thought that threads through the following pages is thus that of friendship as a form of solidarity: friends in action.’ — Céline Condorelli in conversation with Nick Aikens, Avery F. Gordon, Johan Frederik Hartle and Polly Staple

JN: Friendships that happen from cultural production, if you work with certain curators you get to know them very well…I used to go out with litho plates and get people to draw, then take them home and print from them.

Audience: The poetics of other people’s’ texts. How do you translate these into other kinds of poetics? How important is it for those poetics to be more material and readable?

JN: The text themselves go into all kinds of things, more commonly they get shredded and grow into soil and grow trees. It’s still evolving as to what to do.

Audience: You spoke about how place becomes a space…

JN: I’m interested in how a space becomes a place, the other way round. What the people want…the democracy of people’s voices being said out loud.

Audience: In terms of engagement, how do you do that? Is it easy?

JN: How I do it is I’m hanging about…looking…I often just sit down…some people with come and ask, and I also approach people with great trepidation.

Audience: I’m a vulnerable adult human being, like many people in the room, I’m reflecting on that vulnerability which comes from not engaging in a separation of art and the people looking at the art and I’m interested in removing that separation.

Next was ‘Emma Francis O’Connor From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia’ by Emma O’Connor. She is an artist and a PhD Student in the Department of Art and Design, Sheffield Hallam University, where her research asks how genetic diagnosis and preventative surgery can be explored through art practice. O’Connor’s experience of Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer informs her PhD research and provides a site for her investigations. The focus of her Practice-based PhD is to employ filmmaking to explore the relations between the patient experience, its representation, and its communication as narrative. She asks how patient narrative can be explored through film, unraveling the concept of patient narrative, and proposing that the structure and particularity of filmmaking reveals the elements of individual patient narratives, often cited as ineffable. ‘In the context of imposed genetic diagnosis, the retelling of patient narratives through film presents the possibility for the reclamation of this narrative through its reconstruction.’

During her performance, she displays a wikipedia page that is in progress, in design…her profile, her life, her existence to date and, in front of the symposium audience, makes it go live, online, then asking the public to go and change, alter and update the profile. To change its history, it’s meaning, her history, her meaning. Emma then performed her wikipedia page as a monologue…reading it out live, word-for-word, experience-to experience, history-to-history…verbatim. As she read, a visual on the projection screen showed a visualisation of her Wikipedia text being edited alongside an nondescript subtitled film. Meditative and philosophical, it became intimate. She sees the Wikipedia page as a space to start a dialogue, to contribute. She has invited a specific group of clinical researchers from Cambridge to be involved with the project, who will invite their students to participate to, to create a collective patient voice.

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The final paper of the day before the closing performance was ‘Meeting halfway: Prototypical visual materials in interactions between artists and curators’ by Gabriella Arrigoni. The project acknowledges the emergence of a speculative and future-oriented tendency in our contemporary culture, and describes a context of rapid technological change and endemic, supply-driven innovation. The research is aimed at suggesting new challenges and opportunities for curatorial practice in such context and locates in the concept of the lab a crucial space for engaging publics in trans-disciplinary discussions about innovation and development in science and technology. She starts by defining prototypes and prototyping culture. She discusses one function of a prototype, the prototypical visual representations in art making for the communication of art ideas to others for applications, planning, curating and so on. She references the project and associated workshops for ‘Connecting Cities’ (2014), and her approaches to networked curating such as co-production. She sees the role of the curator as not just selecting and mediating, it is about negotiating proposals around visual representations, it’s about networks. She also references outcomes from the workshops including ‘Half What?’ by Nooobware amongst other projects discussing how visual presentations used in conceptualising work can be seen as boundary objects.

‘Design is addressed as an expanded field for the convergence of research (and innovation), public engagement (and public understanding), and the construction of reality, future practices and behaviours. Curatorial practice can draw inspiration from design approaches such as design fiction and/or critical and participative design, to find ways of mediating the dynamics of innovation to the public and allowing more voices in the debates around technological change.’ – Gabriella Arrigoni

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Finishing the day was a show-stopping performance paper looking into language and communication in curatorial practice – ‘dontdrinkthemilk: a de-synched conversation’ by amaCollective (amacollective.org)They are a curatorial collective comprising of Alejandro Ball, Miriam La Rosa and Amy E. Brown who are ‘collaborative, contemporary, experimental, independent, interdisciplinary, international, non-traditional, performative, transparent, unconventional.’ They began their performance by sitting down in front of the main projection screen, reading verbatim, word-for-word their paper as it appeared on-screen like a karaoke song text. As the words played out, almost like their personal manifesto, the verbal became more and more out of sync with the visual where they started to move away from the screen as performers and turned around to talk to the audience as presenters…talking less seriously and more personally. Fragments of their text is shown below…and it can be read in full here. I am looking forward to talking with them post-PhD land with potential collaboration.

dontdrinkthemilk is a domino effect and a game of broken telephone.

dontdrinkthemilk is inspired by the Little Rascals; one of the earliest groups of individuals that, in 1933, were shown together as equals, irrespective of skin colour, sex or social status.

dontdrinkthemilk is exhibition-making without being confined to making exhibitions.

dontdrinkthemilk is unconstrained by defined timelines, challenging the perceived order of things. It finds its identity in reacting to what came before it and, in turn, to what will come after it.

dontdrinkthemilk is the product of amaCollective’s ongoing research into the notion of Dialogue,  and the consideration of translation and mistranslation.

dontdrinkthemilk is a one night performance event, a publication, an exhibition, a party or a happening.

dontdrinkthemilk is an overarching project which will see artists, writers and other collaborators consider what came before them, in an artistic and curatorial chain-reaction.

‘As we started to discuss our own definition of Dialogue, feeding off the recognised term, we started to comprehend that in contemporary art, and our own thinking, it could be identified as something that does not simply occur between people, but between components, and that this type of communication can happen, not just physically but, in the terms of exhibition-making, as a curatorial approach. In curating shows, and generating discourse, we are also creating dialogue, the kind that exists between objects, artists and even the audience. Our definition, or notion as we prefer to call it, began to come together:

“Dialogue is a performance.

It involves two or more components that communicate with each other in a not necessarily verbal manner.

Dialogue can have an either external or internal manifestation.

In other words: it can happen directly between two or more components, which independently interact with each other; or indirectly, between multiple components by means of an outsider. The latter is a facilitator whose interpretation initiates, develops and controls a conversation.

One of the main processes occurring in dialogue is translation, i.e. an exchange of perspectives.

When considering dialogical translation in relation to source material or medium, a fundamental thing to acknowledge is the reaction arising from the encounter of these elements. As in a sort of chain effect, each source material or medium involved in the performance produces, challenges and changes the original content of the message, which comes to be altered in its form, nature and structure.

Like in a Chinese whisper.

Dialogue is a performance; and its sound is infinite.”

‘It has become apparent that, in many senses, de-synchronisation is a catalyst for our chain reaction. This is especially due to our definition of Dialogue: one that spontaneously generates new material and changes what was there before. To conclude, we make exhibitions the same way we make conversations: proposing Dialogue as a medium, which primarily de-synchronises, in order to synchronise anew.’ If you have the time, I’d watch their performance online below…a real treat of performative curatorial language…

Dr. Gillian Whiteley concluded the day with some final thoughts…’right from the start, we looked at dissonance and antagonism, we’ve gone through a whole set of binaries and polarities, hospitality and friendship, conviviality, dialogue as an area of cultural struggle…those real poles have been interesting all day…reciprocity, the more benevolent aspects of dialogue, but not so much about the struggle that goes on. We’ve talked about the hegemony of English, but not so much about social dialects. We’ve talked about silences, the language of silence, the aspect of social class…language as an area of social struggle. The antagonism, struggle versus the more hospitality and that kind of friendship, that’s an interesting spectrum that we think about dialogue in. The idea of risk and vulnerability, opening ones self seen in many of the papers and performances, the physical performances have conveyed that way of thinking about how we open up ourselves in language, offering conversation and in a physical way of touch, the multi-sensory, physical haptic sense of dialogue, the embodied encounter has been present. A very interesting way to apprehend it collectively. This connection is important. Interconnectivity has been another thread today…not just to people but to objects. They ways in which as human we relate to the world, to processes, to technology. The role of art in connecting people and disturbing etiquette…the interconnectivity of matter, the social and political…the interconnectivity and how dialogue is part of that, how is dialogue part of network and networking. Another thread is the inner dialogue…”breaking into the inner monologue”…to communicate with each other “bodily”. Monologue and dialogue and the solipsistic response to our work…then the collective and how we relate to each other…a “polylogue”?

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One response to “Write-Up: Presenting at In Dialogue 2014, Nottingham Contemporary

  1. Pingback: Representing Texting, the Internet & Memes | Rachel Marsden's Words·

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