-What’s the score now
-Butterfly effect

We could speak about it on this higher plane of its philosophical dimension. But I’m also thinking very concretely about these interviews. Everything that you somehow mention in the setting up of it, has an incredible impact on the interview itself. There is no return from it. It’s only after that you realize, damn, this is full of butterfly effects. You spoke about the workshop with Petra, this idea of the experiment, and in a way I think that setting up conversations or situations that are in a way mediated talks. There are all sorts of genres, but let’s look at that one where people know that it facilitates something more than the immediate situation. Like we don’t have a normal conversation, because there’s a third element, a third presence. That can be a stand-in for a phd, a research project, a publication, television. What it then is –real time –sometime it will be used for something else. In that sense you make a very complex triangle of some sort. With somebody. Within that you are defining the conditions of your speech and interaction. And there is something real about this interaction, because its people with their own gesticulations, tendencies, habits, but how that third element maybe already mediates and makes a very different osmosis is an experiment hard to stabilize, to know all the parameters. That’s why I say that it’s full of butterfly effects. Even technologically, when it’s on a tripod, only your cell phone, a machine, how you arrange the meeting. So I don’t think in a polarity of truth – I’m sure you don’t think either – about truth and less truth about it. I think within that setup a speech performance will be affected an dwil happen. Performances of self.

-Crime Scene Investigation

Transcription part 2

Misschien nog een aanvulling. Wat voor mij gebeurt wanneer iets document wordt is voor een stukje die displacements. Ik heb de neiging om te denken dat een document meer document wordt naargelang het ook een stukje left voorbij zijn onmiddellijke context voor gebruik. Op het moment dat ik ermee werk, crëer ik misschien documenten in spe, maar ik schrijf niet in mijn document. Je bent met een heel utilitaire… Het reeds document worden betekent een verschuiving in gebruik en context, maar ook in tijd. En in dat opzicht is What’s the score voor mij boeiend om niet alleen de scores en interviews te zien en hebben een documentwaarde. Maar een essay is ook een document, een document in tijd, een tijdsdocument. Dit is ook opgeschoven. Een addendum, een update maken. Je laat iets intact. Het spreekt vanuit het moment zelf als utterance. Dat is toch eigen aan nu voor mij al mijn werk. Dat is omgaan met documenten, documentary performance, texts, sound installation. I’m not only working in the gap of time, but the gap of time is constitutive, because it already produces material of a certain kind that is already document. So it’s not only the theme of memory or past or history, but the fact that material with the course of time is tinched by the pastness. Possibly speaking there’s a lot of “what is it?” What is it still? It can be totally dead and non meaningful. Or maybe it means something completely different. Yes and something that you again need to activate through your interest or reuse or reappropriation, but as such … How does melancholy play in there? Maybe especially because these documents you deal with, that we dealth with here in the publication, were created by yourself. Not some sort of objet trouvé. Not a notebook you had found on the street. Could be interesting. Or maybe it is, because you find it at home. When I’m thinking of my … I often speak about archive, I have an archive, I work around archive, but for sure not an archive in a classical sense with the intend of classification, managing storing, but an archive that happens to become. Materials of some sort that gained after the fact through time and accumulation, you could start thinking “this is an archive of some sort”. But because it was not managed in an oral way or idiosyncratic way, you become your own archaeologist. And the found object, I would say – the solo of living archive- , 90 % comes from the principle of objet trouvé. The feeling of I’m finding this. Because I gave myself the task to go through everything. And what the hell is doing this here. From an alienated perspective. You mentioned the term “crime scene” before. It’s like being a detective, a sort of split subjectivity where you become detective of some sort of traces of activities and of life that you nearly need to approach with the sense or suspense of a riddle – something to solve. As if a murder happened. Something to retrace. You have to look at it. The gaze. Melancholy or its less beautiful counterpart – nostalgia, the love for vintage and the old, and all its preciousness. I started to read a lot about nostalgia. I wanted to find out… Where does my work, that of an historian, an artist that works with the past – where does does it overlap with nostalgia? And why is it a taboo? Why do we take that term as something to be avoided. When I did Crash landing revisited, I invited people to come to archimobile and have interviews with others etc. I always said it was certainly not a trip down memory lane. This is not a nostalgia problem, but a way to find other issues and problems. I got intrigued by that no go. The barring of the memory lane. Also a general feeling, when people say that something is nostalgic it often has a pejorative connotation. I’m not saying it was applied to my work, but it’s possible terms living around it. I read a book by Svetlana Voin and she makes two distinctions in the term nostalgia. First there is the restorative (and more dangerous, neonationalist movements, subcommunities that start cherishing identity on the basis of past, very often to restore the tokens of that past. Restorative in that sense. And there is what you call critical nostalgia, which perhaps is more in its most simple way of saying it a critical awareness of the passing of time. Of something, of this weird temporality that we have created. By way of having linear logics of our lives, our progress, our culture, and within that a sense of passing of time which creates its pastness, its present and future. And within that… There’s nostaligic practises that cultivate or look for a way of giving someone the possiblity to reflect or feel the passing of time. “This is all over now. This we don’t do anymore. Dance will disappear in 15 years.”. This is very intersting in relation to the medium where the publication is published. Because it is not fixed, we have no idea where that will go. Whether that is because we paying the virtual space. Or because Sarma will stop. We have no clue. There is a death certificate and its date is unknown. But its for sure that there is an expiring date. Why do you make this double movement? You make some sort of double nostalgia. Why double? Maybe a normal move would be that you find something and then you want to make it eternal. You found it, you foudn something that you lost and you want to give it a status that it actually deserves. But then again, you place it in a very unstable environment. Performance, digital media. Maybe it is not as instable as it seems to be at the first instance, but if you think about development… Then a book would be the counterpart. Okay. No direct answer. But to finish the nostalgia track. There’s one film. Two films with the title ‘Nostalgia’. The first one is made by Hollis Frampton. He was a protagonist of structural cinema. In Nostalgia he frames a burner, and a photo is put on it. The framing of the camera is in that way that you clearly see the photo, it is framed, but since is on the burner, the photo gradually crumbles, turns black and disintegrates. There’s this whole procedure of so many photos, there’s a series that one after the other are visible, but also close to their point of extinction and at the same time there’s a voice over someone giving easy-going, casual descriptions of the photo. The voice over is Frampton itself and you realize that the description doesn’t match the photo you are seeing. It takes a while that it is the description of the photo to come or that just passed by. It’s very simple. Yet your whole perceptional apparatus gets in a cannondrum. It’s very difficult to dismantle that. Your eyes believe what your ears hear. For many reasons a very important film. but also that a film with the name ‘Nostalgia’ actually gives a very complex temporality. It’s nostalgic in working with the older photos, but by the ritual distancing himself. He’s trained as a photographer, it’s his pictures, when he was young, when he moved to New York City, first pictures of artists, still lives. So it’s also an annihilation of a previous artistic identity while he’s filming. The nostalgia is whitin such a complex temporality and from that I identify with the act of destruction. It’s the most succesful way of preserving something. While burning and filming the photo’s he made a new document that recirculates his photos. Yet it must have satisfied him to some level of ritualistic exorcism. There’s a different typology of people working with history, a dance historical venture, publication, etc. Usually there’s a character of misionary, going into the past, saving, rescuing, caretakers, and I got interested in what if you see it as acts of destruction. In a way, when I’m making a performance with documents, is a fantastic way of releasing myself from documents. It’s like exorcism. It’s like the cleaning of your desk after a project. It’s a ritual on a household scale. I see a lot of these projects (Oral Site, Living Archive, Crash Landing Revisited) as a big household. As throwing out weight. Perhaps a redistribution of that mission, just as a metaphor or fantasy - i don’t know if this is an accurate gesture - i find it very interesting the historical project in academia or art, that you suddenly displace yourself from hegemony and that way of sharing you destribute, you delegate responsability. With ‘what’s the score’… At no point i think there’s a master standpoint, making insight, a new meta-insight, it’s divesting with a lot of care and openness and generosity. It’s not from a centralized historical masternarrative. It’s relinquishing. 00:23:11,152 —> You still have to go back to the medium itself, but now I’d like then: if you say “this is about my relation to these objects and the ritual”, then how do you think then of yourself in terms of a facilitator. By doing that ritual you give others space. No. No. I really see them as acts of transmission, not of pedagogical desires or needs, but to pass on those components that can lead to new configurations (for what’s the score and for other archival work i’ve done). Are you aware that what you do is functioning in a broader machinery, i.e. that you maybe make advertisement as well. Yes, that’s very problematic. Always. When we curated WTS in 2005 not all these artists have the status they have now. Again that’s an effect that came by time. But some also clearly had a status. Forsythe e.g. Even Jonahtan Burrows, Vincent Dunoyer. Some really were at that point quite significant in relation to scores. I have a big concern if you make history for the winners or not. Or you make new ones. That’s the problem I had, 20 years ago, I was very much interest in counter-history. But there’s a problem to it. Often you catapult into similar logics, canon-building, and then they have the possibility to get into the fabric of the narrative. Even I still think that counter-historiography is important, it makes other balances, it’s the logic itself that is very hard to question or to… There is a bit of counter-history in it, with people like Amoz Hetz. When I started working on improvisation some people where a bit in the periphery of certain scenes. It’s very interesting to go there, in this invisible history, to make it visible and audible. For sure there’s always an awareness, but with WTS it could loosen up a little bit, by the fact of working with two people. Ludovic having a totally different nose, going for materiality of things, and I facilitated him in that. Somebody like Myriam Gourfink came from him for example. I didn’t know her. 00:29:31,743 —> It’s always like that. Maybe the question behind that is are you aware of it and do you make use of it? Positively? This first structural cinema film was called Fax Film and it shows in the frame a page that rolls out of a fax machine. Because it’s not one roll, like old machines, but A4 pages that are sliced off. What you see is that you see a page appear, and there’s one or two names on it. You see it long enough - it comes in and goes out - and sometimes it stops when the machine slices; Then it drops out of the frame. That lasts for 25 minutes. 100 names. It really works on the one hand as giving visibility to those names, but also like a guillotine. The slicing off, disapearance. You don’t know this, unless you read the program note, it were all people invited to participate in Crash Landing. So also people who were invited but who didn’t participate. Crash Landing was called a project by some people who criticized it as a name dropping project, as a starr parade, especially the Vienna and Paris performance. But when you just take it very factual, then there are a lot of unknown names. So it’s interesting to see what you project on these names. some people where very familiar with video art, electronic music, or an organizer who became an artist now. There are people who had that name politics, but who lost that status and then intercultural exchange. A lot of Russian names. This is not an annecdote, but an answer. There is this first name, Dimitry Gutov. It was by chance, aleatory, sometimes not. But I liked that he was the first. Somebody nobody knows. The next one Tangers. A city or an artist? After a while you see that it’s “eigennamen”. But yeah, Dimitry as the kick-off as a long parade. A really marginal person. Recently I meet somebody who’s Russian, and he said “Yeah it will be very difficult to organize this in Russia, because it’s very bad situation, but since there were some famous people in this project maybe they can help. Because yeah, Dimitry Gutov became a start.” And you go really, is that true? It’s fantastic. That’s the answer. It’s a necessary remark to do an interview without names. Does it make you think more about names? For me I thought a lot about “Untitled” by Xavier Le Roy. Omitting a name can be very present and very haunting. Perhaps one more thing. This may get muddled, but there’s something like oral site and there’s a publication on it. And they are not in a relation of equation. The first publication does not foretell what oral site also can be. It gives on instantiation of how you can use it. in this case it’s going to something that touches issues of publication, documenation and recent history. From the publication one can adress all these questions, and that’s what i left unanswered. What’s the score chose for it’s republication in a digital medium. It’s a choice but also a constraint. In that sense there is something to talk about of course. But they are not replacable. If i speak about certain interests in my work, i’m not sure if they also apply to oral site. Then my question would be: the fact that you have audio files, and that you want people to hear them, that you don’t want to put them in a book, that already forces you into the direction of internet, ‘cause the counterpart could be a CD e.g. and that’s sometimes heavy. Functionality is more direct on the internet. But how then does that publication relate to oral site as a thing itself. Somehow I beleave that the idea came along audio and how to share it, although oral site provides more chances in the end. I can hardly imagine that if you wouldn’t have had the audio that you would have ended up with oral site. 00:41:59,535 —>

IT’s an interesting detail. The roots of oral site come from 2006-7, a very important shift. A paradigm shift of my own practice. I did some curating, a lot of dramaturgy, and I wanted to go for artistic research. I wanted to find out for myself how I would relate to concerns of my past, about history, oral history. How do I position myself now and how could I found other approaches and methodologies. It is also concurrent with an interest of an art scene in history, whether that is re-enactment, reconstruction, pirating, etc. This creates a climate where more agents are dealing with history and allow for a multiplication or new forms of adressing that question. So I’m within there. Somehow I don’t want to re-initiate an academic approach, but I also don’t want to reject their strategies. I’m looking for other strategies, but not for another theme. What if we take Crash Landing. A tremendous amount of work of 2 years of practising historical practice. As one consequence a new archive comes into existence. Again. And then after a while desire comes to make, an archimobile. Apart from those first formats came an interest to make documentary. Christine de smedt, extreme quoting, pick-up voices. Sound installation, jukebox.


The more you choose an instrument that is close to information technologies in its current status you nearly start to forget the meaning. You need a friction to retrieve information. The body, the overhead, the fax machine switch back information to experience. I got interested in its opposite, its other. But now you ended up there. The digital media is the least my inclination or tendency, so it’s my second digital project, counting sarma as the first. Perhaps that’s where I put myself, as a writer, maker, thinker, artist, that every so many years that I have to confront and force myself to get across my technofobia and to embrace it as much as I can. less from a point of view that I know what it is, then exploring it and understanding what it does. What I found interesting with the digital environment is its relation to flows of information and how it funcdtions in relation to archival society. I was interested in the archive, what did it mean, what does it mean in its current state. What is the archival logic nowadays? What I find interesting with internet is that it produces this logic immideately. Through search you get hits. You enter a matrix of other hits, results, that it comes deeply a retraining of what we expect and how we structure our data managment. We type something in and we get so many version of scores. Digital media, especially internet, works very archival. Listing, meta-data. Formally. But things also disappear. Like archives would burn, be conquered, etc. Nonetheless personal choices are made in there. Archivists start archiving websites. To reserach their looks for example. So what we can do with your remark is saying that the internet has archival logics, but that the durability is from a different sort. It doesn’t work in terms of preservation, but with distribution, circulation. Maybe an archive is not so much concerned with distribution. Not at all I would say. It depends. There is the archive and… Accessibility was always very important. It’s the foundation of democracy. The library, the archive and the museum. The fact that it’s very accessible is important. I’ve worked in an archive in Ghent. You have to be able to bare time in a double sense. you are working with all these documents, thinking how you can preserve them, there’s a heavy weight there, a serious atmosphere. But also the practice itself takes a lot of time, numbering, packing, re-packing, cataloguing. Did you bare it? It’s very difficult. It depends. It’s very much related to the subject that you are treating. … Arlette Farge wrote a nice book on archives. Very beautiful. Derrida makes one mark in this literature, and she makes the mark about the tactility of it. A manual in all its meanings.

A restart. Oral Site and its choice for a digital medium. As such we should bracket the remarks on archival logics. It’s relevant to some of my work, but not at the core of Oral Site. Compose. Sound publication. Words and speech. Not purely soundart, or a myspace. Once you take this as an angle you touch its array or its possible applications. Maybe spoken word, spoken poetry, visual poetry could have a place there. Interview as an artform for example. Therefor I think it’s an art project. It’s not like you start an organizing and its necessity and audience. I take it very close to my interest and people I’d like to work with. Yes, this allows you a lot of freedom, because it’s constructed from scratch. And then the philosophy of it is that I want to be generous with the instrument. I’m interested in using it, not only in being a curator and taking part.

Maybe a last thing about this as a platform. If you consider it as a space where an exhibition can happen, where you can do a performance, what do you think then as an equivalent of spectatorship in that sense? And how can they be integrated, or included in the process. Now there is a very clear cut, a screen and there’s one direction. It’s a good place to start somehow. I was yesterday in a masterclass about expanded documentary and there was a presentation by Laurent Van Lanck (?) and he spoke about webdocumentary. He made a whole list of existing projects. It was striking that he nearly used it as a normative criterium, their degree of interactivity. Participation as something that is good. This is the term. It’s daunting and where does it become an unquestioned necessity. Someone said; what do you expect from this participation. It’s like the usage of the word collaboration. Anyway it starts with the fact that reading is an important part in participation. I would love to find out by way of experiment, not by its tendency. It’s not really at the core of it. But it could serve for example as a means for collective writing. That could be fantastic to try. To again take another step. In a part of my lecture in Madrid, I asked the audience to participate. A part of me in the past would have said “no way”. But for that text I really think it’s a very good way to do it. To ask them to participate. The issue of spectatorship and readership was also very much adressed in the day in Kortrijk, to bojana, christel and me. And it was the question we could answer least. Who do you have in mind when you document? In the introduction she talks about the lack of interface between the work and the making of it, but who wants to know that, who wants to learn from that? It asks already a lot to read a score, and it is not like a baby book, it asks for a specific understanding. It comes to my mind that you were questioning Motion Bank, that it was too pedagogic. Like “let’s make this all accessible”. It’s guided by the conviction that one needs to make things available and understandable. I’m still very sceptical. Forsythe mentioned that he wants to reach another audience. And still he gives that the tools of motionbank are used by a school of architecture. But of coures, I’m interested in choreography and performance, but I also read something about architecture. That shift is not a shift. It’s not an extension. What I mean with extension is that someone completely strange to the field could become interested and could gain from it. It’s a trap, a false democratic move. So you want it to be less fake. Or you make it more real or you don’t use it as an argument. i don’t think that reaching another audience should be an argument for doing such a project. Because we have to start taking ourselves more seriously first. We should not right from the beginning on the extension and going away from it. So there is something about Bojana’s comment. Do you think you could get subsidies for that? That idea of maatschappelijk draagvlak, more and more as art becomes its own… that there is a curve to specialization. In order to be able to ask confirmation from the outside, the confirmation has to come from within and only then you can go out there. If taking yourself serious is the prime motor, then what is it to take spectatorship into account. How does that work? For sure it does not mean that you should make childish drawings on a website and that comes from there and that comes from there, like disecting the piece until nothing is left. 01:18:23,083 —>

And the book? And Oral Site? What’s the score? It’s very different. During the proces I was always for it. It only creates more trouble. It gives you documents, it’s not entirely yours, not totally readable, you don’t entirely get it, there is no specific script. It’s not just Antonia Baehr and goes minute by minute and says whati s happening. Never. You don’t have a timeline that you can drag to see how different cues in works are given. That’s what I hate about Motionbank. There is nothing left there. On the other hand, with the Rosas book, ATDK in the talk asked herself if it was not too demystifying. Then you see the struggle of an artist that doesn’t want to give everything away. But that’s also not true. In there is a different range of degrees. If I see on the DVD ATDK explaining a structure OK DAN IS HET GEDAAN HOOR! HEY HERMAN!