Thu 01 Jan 1970

As part of Oreet Ashery’s SPILL Salons, Rachel Porter and Edd Hobbs have been documenting infection through writing.

Taking the festival’s theme as a starting point, we have been recording the conversations on the walls of the Hammerson Room, writing a mixture of what we hear, copied out in verbatim, and our own thoughts and reactions to what is said. In his introduction to the festival Robert Pacitti raises the question of how an audience receives ideas and asks whether information arrives ‘in straight lines’ or whether ‘it cross-pollinate[s] with our own individual experiences, contaminating each personal reading to form new hybrid knowledge?’ This approach to writing is a direct exploration of these questions, and the text that follows illustrates how thinking and writing are infected by the contagious words of others.

5 O’Clock with Uma, 18th April 2011

will it stick the end is curling radio beep is annoying how much are we writing somebody is watching but I don’t know if I should turn around because it might no look so great as a performance perhaps they have gone now it’s nice to talk what will come up what will accumulate echo echo the long view the overview infecting the audience in straight lines or cross pollination hybrid ideas common knowledge stating the obvious talking writing thinking listening live process static no glue so yeah um er pouring honey in slovenia what did you think about the work watching witnessing perception memory what do you remember meeting through a performance are we meeting through a performance now is my pen meeting the plastic through a performance risk and nakedness wriggling sexual self conscious it didn’t mean anything to me because it was self conscious it got to a point where the things they were having to do was quite ridiculous why do you think I have invited you I invited you because I think the way you talk about work is so interesting I like that you say I like and with you I can say I like walk out because it was quite strong and too heavy we read about it and tried to figure out what it would be like get a sense of it like an aeroplane information like an aeroplane taking off an landing very fast slow down it’s all mixed in all together computers instead of books echo echo analyse on facebook lots of information do you feel like you are getting a lot of information too much enough no I don’t feel like it’s too much information but I do feel like i’m getting too much information i’m struggling to keep up there is a conversation going on now about homemade horror films that i’ve been missing as I write do you know what to expect yes I do I know the work how do you know a work what does it take to know a work how well can you know a work who knows a work you spoke to the artist why do like to speak to the artist do they know the work perhaps they are the worst person to ask ritual circling squirting chalk powder into her mouth people laugh the first time I have heard the audience I only really know that they are there now because they laughed why is laughter an acceptable noise for the audience to make why can’t they just shout out chant in a different language what is the meaning of the words put you in touch with a spiritual essence it is a different part of the heart it is the rhythm more than the meaning a way of sharing and connecting where are your roots get in touch with your roots not supposed to talk about it it depends if there is somebody who is dying experience the death of somebody close seven days the door is open what do people do here when somebody dies third or forth dead body if that is his body where is he I can’t see him anywhere how does this relate to performance if that is the work where is the artist if that is the artist where is the work where does it go once it stops moving stops breathing stops brushing it’s teeth does it go up to the rainbows with grandad do people dance yes and talk it depends when is it time to talk and when is it time to dance when it gets late in the night the dancing gets worse and more people do it is bad dancing more fun why does bad dancing allow more people to join in less self conscious perhaps honey and nudity I feel quite guilty hellbent there is something in performances that draws people around the performance into it distorting the face with sticks and string the masked dance genetic mixing in a blackout like a game react quickly and don’t be scared of things that come out of the dark because like a polar bear or a fox they all had sticks they were all going around the streets dancing last year we were doing a thing on politics I talked to all of these feminist women but they don’t really believe me I just want to open it up to share can you share can you have a conversation and share ideas if you have a conversation do you get to use the ideas again borrow ideas too complicated to explain I just didn’t want to have to get up and say my mummy makes performance is it because performance art is this kind of weird creature should the work answer those questions for you how can a work answer its questions how can it ask questions where does work come from do you know why you make work do I know why I make work sometimes you meet artists and they don’t know why they make work do audiences get the chance to ask artists questions what is missing if you can’t speak to them afterwards do they say things that you don’t expect do you know what they are going to say forget everything from before it’s new is there anything else I just want to go back because I’m quite curious it was a need to be needed it was as simple as that it’s what I take from it not what the work is saying if I need to ask the performer what it is about then it hasn’t worked self indulgent self conscious if I have to have a q and a then it hasn’t been successful what about this conversation how is it different from a q and a live artists bare their souls like grandad on the rainbow two minds two souls one to one talking i’m in two minds and we’re talking so perhaps there are three people work stands alone with my body so I am important in the work the work endures when I endure life and art are meshed art is a reappropriation the difference is you have an audience for the art part bring two things together like a conversation audiences want programme notes but I like it to be confusing I don’t understand and I don’t care how is it going to sit how does it sit sometimes artists are very generous they like to talk sometimes finding out spoils the fun blows apart the values of the work you were curious you don’t need the work defined good confusing bad confusing something to anchor temporal space there will be no blue tape here leave no trace transparent layering of your thoughts with mine let your words infect this space but leave nothing behind sheets of paper have their place amongst the architecture branded with pink experimental gathering a conversation how do we perceive information cross pollination hybrid knowledge common to all of us just listening a process a processing a procession hi uma we met in slovenia pouring honey why is memory so flawed my biggest fear is forgetting do you like naked women performances it depended on what they were doing covered in honey sexualised honey dripping with honey honey with ping pong balls following instructions people we don’t know people we do things we’re supposed to say things we’re not my mother my grandmother today is my mother’s birthday yesterday was uma’s birthday happy birthday if you want to interject that would be really nice it’s about data how do you say data sitting in a fast train slow down I haven’t seen a whole picture step back to see the whole picture to see the ring of chairs fuck off facebook facebook is a horror film facebook killed my best friend none of my friends do that videos made for birthdays physically disorientating I have a very clear sense of it but I don’t want to talk about it a reason an intent milk a floor made of milk and norwegian rock music when I was ten I really wanted to be a good witch chalk powder into her mouth hot chalklate poison I felt terrible when I was twelve I learnt to chant it puts you in touch with a different part of your heart a connection english thai spanish catalan workshops on death and dying grief is the price we pay for love seven days when the door is open the forth dead body I have seen a close link with death I once watched a man die in a train station and another one in a record store maybe everything’s a ritual ritual vs routine a village four four people dancing every week to spanish music the later it gets the worse the dancing I feel quite guilty when she was little we were in greenland she was hellbent on becoming part of the performance distorting the face with sticks and string painted black and red a game to scare the children a way of learning become a polar bear they don’t believe you feminist politics it’s twenty to can you share ideas how do we explain ourselves my dad is a computer processor but he likes books in between weird creature a freak a room full of freaks there’s a lot of them around is it important for work to answer questions or is it more important for work to ask questions why do we make work attention seeking mainly a piece that means something to the artist to the audience if you don’t have all the data is something missing no a work that tells a lie a new experience forget everything from before but what if you are scared to forget go back just over thirty years fostering children an addictive need to be needed when I see a performance it’s what I take from it not what the artist is trying to tell me a self indulgent work of art isn’t intention all just a fallacy anyway how far is the artist part of the work some people do some don’t not good or bad this piece is about my mother discuss art should stand for itself can art ever be fully separated from the performer what about the marked body they connect physical extremes mucus plus endurance plus glitter plus hyperventilating not necessarily autobiographical the difference is having an audience adding another layer on top a layer on top of this one programme notes can be confusing in themselves good and bad confusion the emporers new clothes is that how you spell emporer colchester my mum is from there this piece is all about my mother discuss is this all about my mother it is her birthday today I find it fascinating what about authenticity you don’t need to have work defined you don’t know what’s coming next I just need a name an anchor a non-artist audience if I just landed here how do I take this the art is for the public make work where you deny the audience anonymity nothing I don’t need you to explain the words can kill the affect are these words killing the affect just add alcohol it’s great training throwing tomatoes tomatoes plus alcohol bloody mary adapting to a place or a space paintings on the wall with a glass of water changing with space and time big lights and a theme tune a bass a rhythm a sound