Utterings is a networked performance and research experiment where six artists gather online and, while blindfolded, engage in utterings as communication, building on solo’s, duo’s, chorals and silence, creating an on the fly “new” language, that forwards attention, trust and feeling above rationality.
Utterings is a collaborative attempt to go beyond the borders and closures created by languages, opening up and transgressing these in a performance that probes meaning through pre-language communication and formerly un-inhabited expressions.
In Utterings communication is not approached as a transmission of information, ruled by code or abstract conventions, but as connection through affection, attention, glitches and even voids.
"What is the earth? It is - lava; a flame forged just a crust of crystals (of rocks); and rumblings of lava beat against the craters of volcanoes; and the upper layer - of the earth - is very thin; it is covered by grass.
So too is the word, which is - a storm of molten rhythms of a sound meaning; these rhythms are bound by a thicket of siliceous roots; their dusty meaning is kept a mystery; the upper layer is - the word-image (metaphor); its sound, as the history of language tells us, is merely a combination of disparate regurgitated sounds; but the image is - a process of the destruction of sound; and the meanings of an ordinary word are - the grass! - they begin to grow out of it; so that: the fall of phonetic purity is a development of dialectical splendor; and the fall of this splendor is a technical term, it is the autumn for thought.
The stormy flame, the granite, the clay, the grasses are - not related, not related; their meanings are unrelated for us: of the concepts, of the metaphors, of the roots, and of the movements of the air stream which constructs sounds in the enormous Cosmos (in the cavity of the mouth)."
GLOSSOLALIA A Poem about Sound Author: Andrei Bely Translated by Thomas R. Beyer, Jr. 1922
"In the space between muteness and speech, De Certeau imagines a reservoir ‘from which the voice pours forth’ (1996, pp.30-31). From this vocal utopia, we give ourselves permission to step over the boundaries that make us hold our tongues for fear of judgment, persecution or humiliation."
Glossolalia and the Sound Poem Author: Dr Maree Cunnington . 2011
Vocal Utopias: Glossolalias Author: Michel De Certeau Source: Representations,No. 56, Special Issue: The New Erudition (Autumn, 1996), pp. 29-47 Published by: University of California Press
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."
Deep Listening, Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Panaiotis. 1989.
"According to Bakhtin, the voice or intonation, not yet captured in the ‘phonetic abstraction’ of language, is always produced ‘on the threshold of the verbal and the non-verbal, the said and the non-said’ and it is through it that it addresses itself to the other. This address is affective and ethico-political rather than linguistic. It ‘appropriates, travels, avails itself of linguistic and semiotic elements, confirms and drifts away, critiques and legitimates meanings and established intonations’. (...) It is only when the voice penetrates and appropriates words and statements that the latter loose their linguistic potentiality and turn into actualised expression. It is only at that moment that words and statements are encumbered with the a unique and non reproducible role in verbal exchange."
Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of the utterance, Maurizio Lazzarato, Translation: Arianna Bove, Maastricht, 2009
The Place of Dance: A Somatic Guide to Dancing and Dance Making Author(s) Andrea Olsen, with Caryn McHose
For five decades, vocalist-composer Meredith Monk has explored what she calls “primordial utterance,” or non-verbal vocal sound that lay beneath and beyond language, expressing “that for which we have no words.” https://youtu.be/9pYO9UPSMzo
"I am interested in perceptible processes. I want to be able to hear the process happening throughout the music. To facilitate closely detailed listening a musical process should happen extremely gradually."
Steve Reich, 1968
We Wah Wah Manifesto
From 2014 (unfinished project sketch by AA)
Communication is never clean smooth and transparent
Machines don’t make communication easier, they just change it.
Machines are fragile and need a lot of attention
Humans also have hormones and moods in front of a screen
Communication is always dangerous
About relational dynamics in a dispersed group, investigating and staging the limits and possibilities of machine mediated collaboration and co-creation
Alone together, sharing a place of expression and responsibility
Beyond adolescent group-dynamics and partying
Losing spatial control
Can’t trust the body
Bodies are absent, have become disorienting images, but exist in front of the screen
Bodies constraint due to fixed position imposed by headset and webcam
Evolving in a unified soundscape incapable of knowing who says what
Details, subtleties in face and body expression are lacking, the image is pixelized and of low quality
The gaze is wandering across the screen
There cannot be a complete overview
There is no peripheral view
Due to network delays there is No unified timeframe
Perceiving what is going on is difficult
Interacting is hazardous
no one controls
Vulnerabilities (hidden code) are revealed
Beyond self-representation and control
Aesthetics of attention and trust
It’s all about behaviour
How to listen ?
When to act ?
Where is my place ?
What shall I do ?
Where can I be ?
Where is the we ?
What can we do ?
Where do I stand ?
Who can I touch ?
Utterings will never be sleek. Each iteration might range from effort to scarcity.