Vocabulaboratories

Enviado por claranja, seg, 2014-12-01 23:34


Amsterdam

{da introdução}

"This publication brings together some concepts that move us: words that act as doors or slides for us. We call this collection of concepts a ‘vocabulary’. The points of entry it offers are ren- dered in a static form here, but any more or less rapid eye movement can set them back to work.

If concepts move us, it is because somehow we move them – towards ideas, articulations and actions that get us closer towards what we (often inad- vertently) strive to answer to, desire and hope for. We thought of making a vocabulary-book that would collect the concepts that are important to us, be- cause we nd that by working on them and sharing them we can support our practices and everyday life. So this vo- cabulary book collects some of those conceptual frameworks as entries that point towards a larger and shareable vocabulary. The vocabulary that this book holds together is hence only a snapshot of certain things we are all working through, and its entries admit- tedly oscillate between referentiality and phantasm. These conceptual en- tries are messily connected to our selves, the groups and constellations we are in, the places we go, the things we hear and read – they come out of our lives and feed back into them. Whether we produce these entries through our memories of a journey, of a conversation or of the history of phi- losophy makes little difference to the way we end up using them: as access points to a way of articulating things that is never complete or perfect. We propose to see entries really quite liter- ally as entry points or doorways that act as points of passage, and as such are experientially framed.

They’re part of a search for relations, not for smart ways of using words, metaphysical security or self-represen- tation (though these are never com- pletely off). Entries are meant to function as frames through which our thoughts can open out to others and become contagious to them.

To be sure, this work with concepts and their affective and practical aspects is nothing new: our idea with this project and publication is to carefully work on the double sense (the meaning and the affective tonality) of the proc- esses and situations we’re engaged in. Our interest and hope is to understand how we can make concepts become a/effective for what we do – be it as stu- dents, cultural workers, writers, wait- ers, doctors, nurses, etc. It occurred to us that those entry points are a matter of survival in our lives, because they allow us to think and do things differ- ently and so to keep moving. Hence we wanted to see if we could come up with a speci c format that allowed us to share those ideas and strategies for movement more concretely. We also wondered what a vocabulary consisting of entries by quite different people and groups could do – whether it would produce moments of resonance/disso- nance, outrage, rupture or contagion, if and how it would hold together.

Can this tell us anything about our voice in relation to others(‘)? Does the simple vocabulary format help us frame a choreo-graphy of practices, ideas and desires that may speak in many voices? Of course this format is much in use today, and surely there is many reasons for that – one perhaps being the need to share our linguistic as well as affective and practical knowledges outside of institutionalised or commercialised contexts. We came to invest some hope in this need to nd new relations and modes of address, in recognizing the various modes of dis- empowerment we are struggling with. 

So then, entries are hardly guidelines or nal solutions, but meta-stable resolu- tions, catalyzing devices that we use for many purposes. Clearly, this concept of entry is so broad that one can say, ‘hey, but entries are everywhere, more or less potentially, waiting for someone to make them trespassable – beyond the space of this book and of the written text generally!’; and we’d agree. While much of this publication works through writing, we clearly also make our en- tries with gestures and movements that exceed the sphere of the linguistic, and certainly also that of art projects, aca- demic references and good intentions. If entries constitute interventions in a discursive space, this space is in turn structured by various semiological in- stances, to be inhabited and acted upon by bodies and prostheses of all sorts. The production of relations cuts across registers and oppositions between lan- guage and movement, theory and prac- tice: ‘once you start considering relations, you’re moving towards theo- ry...’, one of the contributors put it in a preparatory email. But if we end up producing something that starts to look like theory, that is because we started out engaging the ways in which we re- late to people and things around us, and dealt with the ways in which we act upon those relations. Clearly theory cannot be the end point – we want to get from practice to theory and back again, to keep moving.

 

So then, having funding to make this book was an opportunity for tracing some of the ongoing movements we’re engaged in. To us, the practice we called ‘entry-writing’ became operative in the way of a technology of our selves (self-selves, group-selves, work-selves), allowing us to nd new ways of relating to the world, to our work, our modes of address, our ways of learning and our sometimes seemingly pathetically disparate ideas and desires. The collec- tive aspect of this working on entries was key – we couldn’t have gone far if we’d simply mapped out some concepts we are busy with, without exposing and proposing them to each other in ways that make us assume response-ability (here’s one of our dear catalysts). Col- lectivity and participation has its limits with the format of a publication of course, which is clearly why the work on making entries takes on importance in the laboratories, and more impor- tantly, beyond them. The strange claim to collectivity that this book makes, by presenting itself as a vocabulary, is a kind of provocation we like to work with: what could it mean to speak to- gether?

Thanks to everyone who supported and worked with us on this, in the labs, on this publication, and elsewhere. We moved quite a bit in the process.

Manuela Zechner, Paz Rojo, Anja Kanngieser

 


2008


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