Repeat, Please: An Experience of Creation

In this presentation, we outline a creative experiment organised by the Ornata group and carried out during the course “The Body, Memory and Becoming: Encounters and Vestiges of Art Jewellery” by art students of the Institute of Arts, State University of Campinas. Ornata is a group of teachers and researchers that runs courses and workshops for art students and employs a teaching methodology that seeks to deconstruct preconceived meanings of jewellery. By drawing attention to its symbolic potentiality, as a sign of power associated with the body, it posits jewellery as a potent medium for artistic creation, an individual and social object able to mediate or interrogate relationships of desire, power, and memory.

The methodology developed by Ornata is informed by Deleuze and Guattari; in the course, the guiding principles were the theorists’ concepts of “becoming” and “difference and repetition” and the relationship of these concepts to memory. The goal was to create an object in which the concept of “Becoming” is manifested, materialised, and produced through the body and for the body. We started from the notion of duration, in which being is conceived as an overlap, as a continuous construction in which past and present contract. As a strategy, we suggested to the students a procedure to produce something so that the body could evoke and/or invoke the concepts of becoming, and difference and repetition. We decided to highlight how time could be made tangible through the body by using the voice. We asked the students to repeat poems or extracts for ten consecutive days and record them. Through this procedure, the transformed speech gives rise to a word that would in turn be translated into an object.

The stages of the exercise were to select poems or extracts from Ana Cristina Cesar (a Brazilian poet) on the basis of a possible relationship found by the teacher between the poem and the student who recites it. Students were instructed to repeat these poems for ten consecutive days, recited at least twice a day. The reading should be governed by the way the text resonates with the student and not by its interpretation. Only the recording of the voice interests us, and the recordings must be posted on the group’s Facebook page every day.

After ten days, we collectively listened to the recordings—only the first and last—to compare the transformations over time and we compiled keywords that expressed the difference in utterance between each student’s first and last recording. The results were discussed among the group and two verbs that reflected the change in utterance (conjugated in the present continuous) were suggested, for example, “swallowing.” The students were asked to use the concept of translation (explored in previous exercises) to make an object for the body related to the verbs identified in the process, but not by making a representation. The guidelines for developing the piece were to think where in the body the object would be placed and what materials would better translate this action.

The objects presented showed unusual connections afforded by the choice of materials and the way they were worked. The relationship between the objects and the body was also unexpected. Thus, the unusual combination of different artistic and material languages, together with the methodological approach described above, set in motion a creative situation that contributed to foster imagination and to stimulate creation.

OMNIADVERSUS Self-Actualising the Subject

“OMNIADVERSUS Self-Actualising the Subject,” or “O,” is a theoretical, visual, and performative art research project that has been developed since 2010. It is an ongoing piece that undertakes artistic research on post-identity through heteronomy, the formation of artistic subjecthoods, the interdependence between subject and object as artistic values in non-art approaches. O proposes a revision of the question of authorship through a conceptual and immersive practice and inquires about the functionalities of the self in art politics.

O is a rhizosphere-like platform that revives concepts that are put to an experimental performative practice. It explores these concepts to an empiric extent, setting its research to analyse and develop knowledge over the aftermaths of such experiences. Its formulation has been influenced by ubiquitous concepts in philosophy and in critical theory and by a subsistential affinity encountered with Mille Plateaux. These are undertaken as playful elements for research, with ultimate considerations in self-overcoming, becoming-other, metamorphosis of the being, schizoanalysis and schizophrenic practices, the existential nomadic, multiplicity, and impersonality.

O’s practice happens through an immersive performance with existential contours, consisting of launching several artist-personae, or immersive heteronyms, that develop distinct lines of investigation resulting in individual bodies of work, by inducing the manifestation of agencements, practising deterritorialisation, and evolving through becoming-other.

The heteronyms, are integrated in particular cultural and social backgrounds and interact in specific circuits, describing their existence as living personae. Evolving in an autonomous way and independent of one another, they create different artistic approaches, as by-product multiplicities surging within the context of immersion. Promoting insights into the overcoming of the self through multiple-subject approaches, O aims to cast the self as the art piece, ungraspable, within several prisms and cultural influences. This is in accordance with the identity forming process of subjectivation, which the heteronyms relate to in the field of visual and performing arts.

These heteronyms are impersonated by a sole person who temporarily disengages from using her official, familiar identity and sets off on a post-identity journey, immersing herself in a field of action with other identity attributes (such as name, origin, generation, gender), allowing these to become tinted by the circumstantial contact in the cultural-social environment they are immersed in. This self-approved allowance for frequent identity shifting according to an external leverage strives to recreate and actualise the concept of identity as an ever-changing interfacial embedding of the self, as a medium for self-overcoming, beyond arborescent compliances.

The launching of the heteronyms’ personalities allows for observations about the formation of identity in a bid to transgress its own officialised restrictions.

O enables practices toward an ultimate merging of subject and object, as a formula for retrieving significance ahead of dualism, impoverishing the fields of stage/wall representation.

O encourages processes of becoming, immanence acts as the subject emerges as an artistic object in unexpected existential formats, as in life itself, sustaining non-art statements.It conceives trajectories of life as the artistic object per se, living-as-form, with their inevitable processes of deconstruction/reconstruction unveiling the possibility of “being-zero” as an excellent source of the art medium.

The authorship of OMNIADVERSUS is presented sous rature due to the reasons explained above which defend the impersonality of the author; thus it should always be presented in this way: Silvia Pereira.