Copyright © OM2017
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Building. A situation

Performance and objects prepared for Dutch Art Institute [2017]


PART 1 – WHERE I ENTER THE STAGE AND BRING OUT THE TOOLS

[The stage is empty]

This time let’s take this here as if it was there. Let’s call it the field and let’s do some fieldwork.

How does one work the field?

[I get up and bring the mallet, leave it on the stage. Then I also bring the utility knife and the hex keys]

There is obviously one person in the room who in this very moment is acting from somewhat distinct position.

It may be me conducting this fieldwork. I suggested it anyway.

But don’t fear- my intention is not to impose, test or use anything on you.
I’m only attempting to construct something, and if there is anything I am going to use- it will be the field, and the situation.

PART 2- WHERE I BRING OUT MY SMALL STOOL AND ASSEMBLE THE STRUCTURE -STOOL

[I bring the tiny stool and put it on the stage]

A question:
Presence of a thing – what does it bring to the situation?

Yes, in a moment-
First let’s see how an object becomes a thing.

[I bring materials for the structure-stool. First I bring all the boards, then I bring the wooden blocks and all the hardware. Once all the elements are brought in, I organize them on the floor as if their place and composition were significant or representative]

The object is at times simplified as an opposition to the subject.
But aren’t these two co-existent entities in a relation of partnership?
Objects are defined as obstacles to subjects, and subjects are said to be obedient. If we state that an object is what is thrown in the way of the subject, it remains unresolved which of the two actants is the dominant one in a particular situation.
Free will and body, or conscious mind are not necessarily determining factors here- as we would like to think.

Fieldwork- conducted as an encounter with other subjects- results in the investigation of their objects.

And that, I believe, is called ethnography.

[Upon this word, I take my tiny stool, turn it upside down and start assembling the vertical structure on it]

Now, we move on to the thing.

[After the vertical structure is assembled, I put it in horizontal position and sit on the tiny stool again]

When we talk about a thing, it is a case.

Case– cause– causa– cosa [read very slowly, word by word]
[case and cause- english words. causa- latin, cosa- italian or spanish, you decide]

This carries notion of a purpose, an affair or an act.
At the same time it is this material being we share physical space with.
A thing is so much more granted with meaning than an object.

[I separate the one hex key that I need from the whole chain]

So we co-exist with objects, but what we make are things.

[Now I screw the seat to the horizontal structure]

What does presence of a thing bring to the situation then, is a function.
Practically or socially speaking.


PART 3- WHERE I ASSEMBLE THE JOINT-STOOL

[Simultaneously with the following words I put the hex key back on the chain]

So one recognizes the field,
acknowledges the body,
defines resources,
finds solutions,
and begins to construct.

[I bring the wooden blocks for the joint-stool first, then I bring other elements. Once all the elements are brought in, I organize them on the floor]

What lies at the core of every structure, are the joints. They are the points that bear the weight and bind particular parts for as long as the thing is supposed to be used. And then there is also the content in between which links all the joints.

There are several ways of perceiving relations that rise among our physical products.
Seeing economy as a network of relations, and commodity as an outcome of our labor locates us in a certain position towards other makers and users. This is a multifaceted discourse, but I will not introduce it to our fieldwork this time.

Our material assets also affect us in a more immediate manner: our bodies are subject to the things we make for ourselves. Through the means provided by the tangible elements, one sustains a situation and operates within it.

First there is this room,
then there is the hand,
then there is the material,
then there is the tool,
and finally there are the pegs.

[After these words I assemble the joint-stool]

Now, there is a place for yet another person to join.

[I put the stool aside]

PART 4- WHERE I PLAY WITH THE STOOLS AND BUILD AN ABSTRACT PIECE

[I bring the big cable ties, put them aside]

As a matter of fact-
Just as objects exist and things are made, materials appearing in our environment can be distinguished between substances we empirically perceive and resources that are to be transformed into artifacts.

[I play with the stools- build an abstract piece out of them, walk around, build another one]

And now, please excuse me, but I’ll bring it up-
Term matter apparently comes from mother, therefore we originate from it and we are never entirely detached.
At the same time matter means the concern and the content of a thing, and so it introduces some non-tangible characteristics that execute its complete form.
Materials as active agents resonate with the maker and allow for certain molding, but it is not like they don’t imply any restrictions.

The urgency of the subject and the object being present to each other opens up the interaction resulting in development of efficient processes, constructive acts and coherent rules.

Fundaments of such reciprocal method are based on the capability to make and to build. It is about sensibility towards encountered matter, not about imposed knowledge.

Then, the product comes into being.

[After the abstract piece is built (a column) I fasten it with the cable ties]

PART 5- WHERE I DISSASEMBLE THE ABSTRACT PIECE AND INTRODUCE THE SITUATION INTO THE STRUCTURE

[I take the utility knife, cut big cable ties and arrange structure to sit within. I remove all the tools from the stage]

Tools may be the most prolific things that we make. Their essential functionality facilitates further activities.
The form of a tool reflects both mental and physical conditions of its maker as well as its future user. Intention and playfulness lead to the extension of one’s capabilities.

Dwelling as a tool is naturally invested with vernacular values, and therefore it responds to the manifested necessities by modifying the encountered circumstances.
It is to be verified by its users, and if needed- its functionality is also adjusted over time.

Function of a dwelling unfolds in the location, reaction and behavior of a body.
When the occurring situation is introduced to the structure just built, new perspective is offered.

And that is how the field is being worked here.

http://olgamicinska.com/files/gimgs/th-94_tinystoolmini.jpg
http://olgamicinska.com/files/gimgs/th-94_greenstoolmini.jpg
http://olgamicinska.com/files/gimgs/th-94_jointstoolmini.jpg
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