Alena Alexandrova, Jeff Guess, Samuel Vriezen

Ekphrastic Objects, performance by Jeff Guess and Q & A with Alena Alexandrova
Silence as a Performative Event, Samuel Vriezen gives an overview from Allais till Wandelweiser

Alena Alexandrova will introduce today’s guest speaker Jeff Guess, whom she invited to the Netherlands. Right after his performance Ekphrastic Objects she will invite him to engage in an on-stage conversation, a Q & A with her and with the audience.

Jeff Guess: Ekphrastic Objects

Ekphrastic Objects is a performance in the format of a traditional lecture, a scholarly discourse accompanied by projected text and images. It both adopts and circumvents the conventions and sets of expectations inherent in what has become a standardized model for the transmission of knowledge.

The talk is structured around the encounter in Paris in 1839 between Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, the French artist and photographer and Samuel Morse, an American painter who turned inventor, during which they share with one another the analogical and proto-digital inventions for which they are known (most notably the daguerreotype and the morse code). The allegorical evocation of these private demonstrations sets the stage for a wide variety of questions.

Each utterance is processed through a computer program, then visualized and projected as moving text in a virtual space. As these texts accumulate, they give a visible and material form, an externalized memory to the entire corpus of spoken statements. In this context ‘voice’ is experienced as a performative event, a speech act both declaring visible ‘truths’ and at the same time struggling to control meaning and maintain order. During this process, a gap is opened between what is said and read, heard and seen, within which the materiality of language is experienced as a malleable substance experimented in real time.

Samuel Vriezen: Silence as a Performative Event

An overview from Allais till Wandelweiser, an international group of composers / performers founded in 1992. Wandelweiser music is about “the evaluation and integration of silence(s) rather than an ongoing carpet of never-ending sounds.” John Cage is a figure of central importance to the Wandelweiser composers — their music is often referred to as “silent music”, taking as its starting point Cage’s work 4’33“, the first composition to consist largely of silence, after the Marche Funebre by the Frenchman Alphonse Allais.

News from Rietveld Uncut, a Beam Club sneak preview and another intervention by A Voice and Nothing More? (the Studium Generale’s reading group lead by Clare Butcher).

Jeff Guess is an artist and professor of digital media at l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts Paris-Cergy. His work, be it in photography, expanded cinematic forms, or software-based installations and performances, is predominantly an investigation of the technical image and its multifarious entanglements with language. Some of his recent exhibitions include Poetics of Light – Pinhole Photography, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, Young Projects, Los Angeles, and the Show Off art fair at the Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris.

He is also co-directing Media Mediums, a research project exploring the archeology and speculative future of a long series of technical objects, machines and devices, both implemented and hypothetical, which have as a foundational principle the transportation of information, and their relationship to a wide range of spirit and supranormal phenomena.

Alena Alexandrova, obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam. She is a lecturer in theory at the Dutch Art Institute and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She has published internationally in the fields of aesthetics, performance and visual studies and works as an independent curator. Currently she is developing a curatorial and research project entitled Anarcheologies.
Jeff Guess presentation for VOICE ~ CREATURE OF TRANSITION has been realized in collaboration with the DAI and Alena Alexandrova who curated Jeff Guess presentation at the MMKA in Arnhem on Friday February 14.

Samuel Vriezen is a composer, pianist and writer. He has collaborated with ensembles and musicians all over the world, and published two books of poetry as well as many essays and poetry translations.