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.

Nomad dérive

The goal of the workshop is to create a sound map of the area around the conference and compose a soundwalk using mobile phones and GPS to augment the sensorial dimensions of experiencing the city. We offer to participants the use of Android mobile phones, headphones, software, and recording equipment. Participants are advised to bring their own laptops and Android OS devices if possible, although Akoo-o can provide a number of mobile phones. The workshop will be scheduled as follows:

(1) Theory (distinction of sound walks, listening walks, audio walks; promenadology; public space art; link with the Deleuzian notion of nomadism and rhizome; locative media art). (2) Walk around the area of the conference venue to get acquainted with conscious listening and the specific site; field recordings of the area. (3) Editing the audio material (field recordings); acquaintance with editing software and basic techniques. (4) noTours (getting acquainted with this open source locative media platform to create a sound walk using the area map). (5) Walk to the area to listen to the soundwalk. (6) Discussion.

Participants are inducted into the process of soundscape composition, sound design, and sound mapping within the framework of site-specific artistic practice and promenadology and are familiarised with the use of innovative locative media applications. We will exemplify in practice field recording techniques and sound editing, as well as reproduction and sound composition based on the map of the city, using the open-source platform “noTours.” noTours (http://www.notours.org/) is an open-source software platform developed by escoitar.org collective for creating site-specific and interactive artistic works with the use of locative media technology, which results in an environment of “augmented aurality” within public space.

Starting from the situationist practice of “derive” and the Deleuzian concept of “nomadism,” we create itineraries that escape from concrete urban planning—which is primarily visual, geometrically aligned, and panoptically designed. We suggest a new cartographic model that could represent various layers of perception and experience of urban space and is based on mobility rather than stasis: this would include time as a fourth dimension, the subjective glance, the relational and emotional layers of experience; finally, it should be open to a polyphonic narration about space, at the process of its transformation into place. Strolling within an aurally augmented city is an open-ended artistic gesture that is ready to be reinterpreted and retoured by each listener. noTours is a tool for détournement and moving, appropriating the popular format of tourist guides and transforming it into a medium for non-touring and non-guiding.

The notion of “augmented aurality,” as used in the artistic practice of soundwalks, consists of intervening in space using audio means. It is an experience of immersion in a hybrid environment between material and potential reality, which employs the multiple levels of the constantly transforming notion of public space. As Deleuze and Guattari imply, many social activities, including art, can constitute a war-machine drawing, “a plane of consistency, a creative line of flight, a smooth place of displacement,” by reforming or acting against dominant systems and/or practices. In the case of soundwalking, nomadism is not relevant because it suggests fleeing the city but because it proposes wandering as resistance to the city’s confined and bordered space. In these soundscape compositions narratives prevail, communities acquire space and voice, and buildings are not the mere subjects of a sightseeing tour; the city is not a collection of historical information but a space to aurally, artistically, and socially wander within the microframes this space rhizomatically consists of. Music and narrative become tools; leaving behind ethnography, documentary, score, concert hall, museums, and institutions, they become pliable materials, fragments of a living organism, of a city-score whose music is made by and is addressed to people. Actually the notion of nomadism and war machine apply here “as a war of becoming over being, of the sedentary over the nomadic.”

Nevertheless, one should not assume that locative media soundwalking is in itself an act of drift against dominant systems. Locative media technology relies upon the ultimate panoptical device, satellite supervision, which in turn is adopted within the lures of postmodern, immaterial capitalism. But as the capitalisation of individual movement establishes itself alongside the colonisation of private space by “dotcom neoliberalism,” it is the movement between milieux, the reflection upon our shifting habitat, and the détournement of the parts of a well-oiled machine that can give us the ability to escape from a stagnant structure. From this perspective, we tend to view the work of art as a process, a dialogue between fields, a discursive negotiation with our social, physical, and digital environment, and an approach that reflects on the way the workshop is performed.

Strata: A Lecture Performance

My first creative gesture, always, is inwards. I look inside; I dive inside. I bathe myself in the numerous, interconnected yet distinct streams of sensations, thoughts, and feelings that incessantly rush through me. I drift upon them; I observe how they intersect, split one another apart, or converge. Amidst the buzzing of inner activities that living appears to be as soon as one suspends one’s project-oriented actions, one sees tentative tropes emerging, heteroclite assemblages forming themselves. Some persist, others vanish quickly to cohere later in a different combination. My work attempts to investigate how we constantly compose our experience from the multiplicity of which we are made. Artistic research too proceeds from an introspective drive: art turning itself toward art in an attempt to question anew its processes and its effects; research as a movement that goes nowhere but insists to be where it is, digging up the very place upon which it stands. Following such a self-reflexive movement, art encounters itself as not self-identical, animated as it is by multiple other practices—craftsmanship, daily life, theory, philosophy, politics . . .

Strata, the online publication on which this lecture performance is based, is an instantiation of such an introspective approach. It is a cross section of my own work, applying my compositional strategies to question my own practice. A collage of images, text, and video fragments on an endless white page, it was created in 2014 on an online platform for multi-modal publications, Oral Site, which is hosted by Sarma, a workplace focusing on artistic research and discursive creation. Although explicit references to Deleuzian concerns do surface in Strata—direct quotations as well as excerpts of an interview with I. Stengers—it is mostly through its rhizomatic mode of composition that it meets the philosopher’s work. With no centre, no end, no linearity, it offers itself as an environment to get lost in. By maintaining their reciprocal heterogeneity, clusters made of distinct documents create a wide constellation, a field of tensions where relationships are endless, yet (or because of this) are never totally effectuated. In this composition, gaps are pivotal and the trade with the non-actualised is constant. It invites the visitor to a diagrammatic experience in which meanings and affects emerge in the midst of invisible trajectories that saturate the page as one’s attention bounces from words to drawings to filmed movement, from personal anecdotes to art history to philosophical digression or political concerns. In its associated lecture-performance series, Strata is screened for the audience and offers itself as a score for a digressive exegesis. We navigate its large plane, unfolding one of the countless ways to think and feel its layering. Live dance and/or drawing extends its constellation into the room as the performer—myself—embodies the particular mythology instantiated by the publication.