Silence! / Lecture on Nothing


Cartography of Desire, Hasköy
Essay Performance
European Artistic Network Research (EARN)
Curatorial Studies Workshop, Helsinki
via Zoom
9 June, 2022
in collaboration with İnci Eviner, Barış Arman, Gülsen Şenol








We built a collective body while writing to perform. The artist İnci Eviner wrote on and told about her being in Hasköy for 5 years, her observations for there and her artistic research and practice in general. Once,she underlined how challenging to leave the atelier and to be out. It is quite different to make or perform art in a gallery, a gated secure space, a museum. Co-action Hasköy is more than an exhibition and an installation. It is a joyful living form to mark the occasion of diversity. We are going out to the street to create a temporary but collective presence. It will occur at the public space in Hasköy Park. Gülsen Şenol said about our visits to H asköy Culture House and her impressions about these togetherness. Barış Arman and I mentioned about our workshop proposals to co-act and to co-create a collective temporary rhythm in Hasköy Park.


We searched for a ground to put ourselves in dailylife in Hasköy. At  that point, I believed being singular plural. To celebrate our subjectivity as well as our plurality, I worked on sounds and silences and their rhythms and representations; language in both acoustic and visual form. Thus, we will act and reenact.

The text I performed in Helsinki is below:


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“Lecture on Nothing”, John Cage, Incontri Musicali, 1959
Silence, Lectures & Writings by John Cage, the USA: Wesleyan University Press, 1973 (1961)


Lecture on Nothing
I have nothing to say and that is the point of my saying it.


SILENCE!


To Whom It May Concern,



My name is Bilge Bal.
I am a spatial researcher of architecture and an academician.
I speak, read and write scholarly texts naturally.


objectivity, clearity, ideology, identity, certainity, accuracy, mind, power of knowledge, permanency, profession, institutional space, intellectual interpretation, spatial stability, intelligibility, quatation, reference, pioneers, meaningfulness, linearity, declaration, didactic method, formal language, instructions, rules, function, function of academic reading, writing and speaking, back to discipline, limits, boundaries, divisions, repeatation, observation, reason, control, culture and cultivation, acceptance and expectations, affirmation, position yourself, concrete, evidence, structure, articles and lectures, books and walls

…symbolic noises [words]

These words flowing naturally do not belong to me.
These sentences flowing naturally do not belong to me.
These words and sentences flowing naturally became to belong to me over time.
These words and sentences flowing naturally have been made mine over time.





“, John Cage, pp. 109




Silence…

Hello!  My name is Bibi.

I am in Hasköy
I am in Hasköy Park.
I am a body in the Park.
I am any-body in the Park.
I am a body among all in the Park.
I am a body among the inhabitants of the neighborhood, the passer-by, the visitants, and hearsays in the Park.




”, John Cage, p. 116



”, John Cage, p. 116



 ”, John Cage, p. 175


The possibilities are endless. 
The possibilities are unique.
New decisions can be made at any time.
New situations can happen at any time. 


subjectivity, participation, experimentality, spontaneity, indeterminacy; ephemeral, elusive, not-repeatable, momentary; “cultural unspoiltness of noises”, joy, love, laugh ; hope, friendship, enthusiasm; screams, emotions, senses, deep inhale and exhale, pleasure, desire, imagination, dream, playfulness, chance; breathtakingly beautiful, sunset; friends and neighbours; hate, sadness, cry, fury, pain; letters, memory, personal mythologies, short stories, freedom, hooter at the factory, rebellion, lost revolutionaries, barricades, graffiti, weeds, dogs, water, splash, myth, genies, and fairies, hearsays, slogans, … orality individuality and collectivity, short stories, rituals

…  Sounds? 


These sounds coming out of my mouth belong to me.
These sounds are not non-narrative.
These sounds are only understood by experiencing it,
These sounds are only understood by living it.
These sounds coming together from the core of me to the tip of my tongue.






 ”, John Cage, p. 126




[...]


”, John Cage, p. 109




Where are we going?
What are we doing?




“, John Cage, p. 114



A performative reading, hearing and/or experiencing through listening – not a discussion but a (silent?/loud?) conversation…


… now, the meaning of a word and its sonic structure became distinctive, controversial and corresponding.




” John Cage, p. XII


”, John Cage, p.3

”, John Cage, p. 7


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This is primarily my criticism of academic language and an attempt to break the boundaries of my own discipline. That is, my attack to go beyond the forms of communication and interaction and representation that I am familiar with, as a research method in architecture. Then and foremost, it is a beginning for a workshop proposal; through everyday language, through the sound (sonic) structure and rhythmic structure of the language, to experience the plurality of being ‘I’ and ‘we’ together with whom I share time and space in Hasköy Park; with the inhabitants of the neighborhood, the passers-by, the visitants of the park; to celebrate our differences and co-act together, allowing everyone to be themselves without being didactic or dictating: Without any judgement or a rehearsal, A Performative Reading; hearing and/or experiencing through listening – not a discussion, but a (silent / loud) conversation… A workshop for Sounds, Noises and Silences.

…three different texts of/for/about Hasköy with three different emotions for three different days… These can be a fairytale, a lullaby, a nursery rhyme and a poem.  The most challenging point will be that they should accompany this workshop voluntarily. I should give them the confidence to initiate the interaction, and they should read the texts as themselves without getting scared, with their own punctuation marks, their own gestures and mimics, their own sounds accompanying their own noises and silences, their own breathing rhythm, their own deceleration and their own acceleration. The workshop should establish this environment and record the sounds and silences. Eventually, it should produce a record which has a plural rhythm.

John Cage's “Lecture on Nothing” (Incontri Musical, 1959) from Silence (Lectures & Writings by John Cage, the USA: Wesleyan University Press, 1973 (1961)) is an experimental text dealing with sound and silence, rhythm and measures, words and spaces, and reading and pausing. It is an invitation by Cage to make music through the freedom of expression and the freedom of rhythm through a musical form that is open both acoustically and visually. Observations and repetitions… Being open to the coincidences and the participation… Cage wants to transform words, punctuation marks, and large spaces into music not with an artificial and pushed rhythm, but rubato used in daily speech, not with the musical notations and scores in an institutionalized language.

The way Cage constructed his poetic and musical text, his attempt to bring the music closer to the rhythm of everyday speech by accepting the plurality as an input, the freedom he provided for reading, as a method, fed my creativity and all of them made me ask myself: Can we hear or experience through listening to each other as being ourselves?

Here and now, my experimental text and/or performative reading refers to Cage's poetic, musical text and wants to use it as an acoustically and visually artistic method: as a workshop proposal for Sounds, Noises and Silence.


I am in Hasköy Park.
I am a body in the Park.
I am any-body in the Park.
I am a body among all in the Park.
I am a body among the inhabitants of the neighborhood, the passer-by, the visitants, and the hearsays in the Park.
I am a MOUTH AND EAR in the Park.

Individual or collective…


Without any judgement or rehearsal, a performative reading; hearing and/or experiencing through listening – not a discussion, but a (silent / loud) conversation… A workshop for Sounds, Noises and Silences.



* After note: While building my text and imagining my workshop proposal, John Cage will accompanied with Stéphane Mallarmé with his visual poems like “Le Livre”, Marcel Broodthaers who reinterpreted Mallarmé’s poetry as lines and spaces, and Kurt Schwitters and his "Ursonate” in which he dealt with language, meaning, sounds and rhythms.