Articulations from the Orifice (The Dry and the Wet)
Performance lecture, 35 min
Sound system with four speakers, subs, and a microphone; two video projectors; printed and spoken words.
Transistor 2: Old Form – New Format, Malmö, Sweden, 2016.
On Wetness: “Research at the frontiers of science is not a clean-cut, dry, planned affair.”
On Maternalism: “We’ve found that a particularly motherly type of woman makes the fastest progress.”
On Establishing Contact: “The day when communication is established, the particular other species becomes a legal, ethical, moral, and social problem. … They have reached the threshold of humanness, as it were.”
On Usefulness: They could “be very useful as antipersonnel self-directing weapons. They could do nocturnal harbor work, capture spies let out of submarines or dropped from airplanes, attacking silently and bringing back information from such contacts. They could deliver atomic nuclear warheads and attach them to submarines or surface vessels and to torpedoes and missiles.”
On No Longer Being Useful: “I closed the dolphin laboratory because I did not want to continue to run a concentration camp for my friends, the dolphins.”
The lecture performance "Articulations from the Orifice (The Dry and the Wet)" was based on excerpts from the recordings of John C. Lilly’s research experiments, conducted in the 1950s and 60s in the United States, in which dolphins were to learn to speak English through their blowholes. In a 35-minute long composition sound recordings from the language experiments were woven together with readings, pre-recorded synthetic voices, as well as filmed sequences with “wet” and “dry” articulations – that is, sound waves of dolphin voices visualized as vibrations in water and human voices visualized as vibrations in sand. Projected text and printed words were made use of as well.
Performed at the performing arts festival Transistor 2: Old Form – New Format, Oct 9-Nov 13, 2016. The lecture performance was the last artwork to be included in Janna Holmstedt’s research project Are You Ready for a Wet Live-In? Explorations into Listening at Umeå
Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå University, and Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University, in the framework of Konstnärliga
Language: Swedish [Original Sedish title: "Hålets artikulationer (det torra och det blöta)]
Programming: Jörgen Dahlqvist
Produced in collaboration with Teatr Weimar, and is supported by the Umeå
Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå University; Konstnärliga forskarskolan.