Political Vocabulary for Aesthetic Processes

Enviado por aarquivista, qui, 2017-06-15 09:48

Londres / Rio de Janeiro

Small pamphlet that works out as an English version of the book Vocabulário político para processos estéticos. 


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This is the English version of the book Vocabulário político para processos estéticos, which came out of a project conceived by me and realised in Rio de Janeiro in 2014. It emerged together through a series of intersections and transversals also as part of the cycle of protests that started in 2013 in Brazil. The original version in Brazilian-Portuguese has 33 “entries”, and each entry might have more than one text, diagram, quote or other form of expression. Thus, each entry contains more than one author. For the English version I have made a small selection of texts, or prepared shorter versions of texts that were much longer in the Portuguese edition.





How to get in? Into a vocabulary of voices, into a current of meaning production, into a thread of texts? It might be possible that we don't perceive a transition, from the place where we are holding this booklet, so maybe there is no 'moving in, towards something', for all of a sudden we might be already 'inside it'. We are entering a vocabulary of voices, we are becoming part of these voices. How is it to go on entering this vocabulary from a different place and space? Do some of these voices that echo are our own voices here and now? When looking at the book, we scoop through its pages searching for something known, searching for some identification. But also searching for something unpredictable that may touch us or that comes against something we stand for. A concept might reach us, or not. Might warm us up or not. How visible are our vocabularies to ourselves? The vocabularies we come from, share and advocate for? If we think back about the voices who produced this booklet, as they are still talking around us, we open the booklet and we encounter them written down, assembled, diagrammed, schematised. We might find voices that invoke us to talk with. Or we might identify discourses or speeches that makes us shut the booklet down. In this case, the exit might be quicker than the route in. Which vocabularies are we leaving behind? Which ones are we entering? Maybe not in the first model of adhesion, or in the second of separation by regimes of discourses, vocabularies in motion might not have precise limits, and might work opening zones of promiscuity. The vocabularies share a space filled up with complexity that maybe ask for new rhythmanalisations and interlocution … , … exchange, … interjection, ... silence, … , scream! This is a way of thinking through the 'entering' in this vocabulary. Trying to think through the intersections between our vocabularies between here and there, then and now, will escape the temporalised mapping that this booklet produced. This remains as an invitation to continue actual intersections and transversals.






Vocabulation is a rough translation of vocabulação.


Vocabulação is the attempt of bringing together “vocabulary” (vocabulário) plus “action” (ação).


This entry was created as an outcome of the collective process. The entry, that actually is a process, is a sort of technique or procedure. It is a concept that designs a practice.


Vocabulation is an entry with no author. Perhaps as most of the entries should be, if we had abdicated our authorships in the process of writing the first edition of the book. But this one is really with no author, because it emerges from the collective work of those weeks (and months...). We wanted to have it in this edition as an emergence from the process itself. Vocabulation as such didn't appear as an entry in the Brazilian edition, but appeared in the middle of other writings, directly mentioned or not.


While investigating urgencies, themes and transformations from our own bodies and struggles to become content for the book, we were eager to understand what kind of thing was happening with the merging, rubbing, scratching, exchanges, conflicts and many other dynamics happening with our vocabularies. We were attentive to the fact there was an excessive bet on the verbal exchange, in a position taken from discourses, also trying to turn into crumbles the content of our speeches. It was necessary to leave aside the verbal exchange as the main form of expression when investigating our political vocabularies. Why? Because it seems that when attempting to investigate our vocabularies, concepts and meanings that appear first, we seem to respond to a very conscious representative drive – concepts we already know and that are already signified in our practices. But we didn't share exactly the same definition of certain concepts, and this was also a way of entering the vocabulation: how many entries to talk about apparently same issue?; how many ways of approaching an issue but from another “entry point”*? So we understood that we should also deviate from immediate concepts bringing them to a process of derive, of opening to several meanings, which also depended on the development of different dynamics to investigate ourselves and our vocabularies – which also means from body practice in specific political contexts.


The project conceived a series of “experiments” participants were invited to conduce other participants to – such as a walk around the place were we were reunited, a walk in Maré district in the first week of the military occupation, a massage and writing workshop, trying “mujica” - a spicy soup from north of Brazil cooked by Cecilia, a skype talk about the cycle of manifestations, an audition of funk listening, a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop (that didn't happen).

Vocabulação or Vocabulation is a term created amid the conversations but also amid the urgency of leaving the excessively verbal exchanges to a more embodied, more experiential, exchange. It appeared to map, incite and maybe understand the process of working on our vocabularies. In a quite similar assemblage, Cecilia Cotrim, created another new concept-tool: vocabulinar, from the mixing of "vocabulary" with “bolinação”, which means to incite someone sexually, or to annoy someone by making jokes. This also connects with the delicacy of Annick's text Speechless in this edition.




* One of the references for this Vocabulary is the Vocabularatoires, edited by Manuela Zechner, Paz Rojo and Anja Kanngieser (2009). In this booklet each text or contribution is also thought of as an “entry”.



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