2004-04-14 BWORK_01: Thursday april_14, 12.00 am, OSF, Vilnius
Participants: BK: Birute Kiskiene, DM: Dalia Marcinkeviciene, DN: Dalia Navikaite, FA: Fareed Armaly, GU: Gediminas Urbonas, IP: Irena Piekute, JD: Jonas Dagys, NM: Nerijus Milerius, NU: Nomeda Urbonas, RS: Renata Sukaityte, UT: Ula Tornau, VK: Valentinas Klimasauskas, VM: Vytautas Michelkevicius, ZK: Zivile Kucharskiene.

UT: We should identify what kind of situation we are speaking about. How ideal can we get? How local? What is the character of the situation? Even though it has many domains... sort of desire for current or local, or ideal.

NU: If everyone would just describe what could it be that you are thinking of. Maybe we should start with these examples.

DM: Examples of what?

NU: Of a character!

DM: Of a character? Which character?


NM: Black box.

DM: But VILMA is who? man or woman? a sister? a wife?

FA: I think you are directing it very quickly to an answer. Why?

DM: I am raising the questions.

FA: No, you are answering them already. I think it should wait. We want to get to a point, to find a way to describe this first phase. It's a search pattern. No search pattern has an answer. We have to stick with that. It is not going to be forever, maybe just an hour, so we can ‘suffer’! The search pattern is to say that we think there should be something specific found in this way. It has to begin with a structure, that has certain parameters of VILMA.

NU: The core was these two points that VILMA is a black box which records parameters which you could say are important. Everyone describes their own desires and things that define these parameters as important. Like Dalia for example, she is probably interested in the feminist scenario or woman scenario, or family issues.

FA: The point is that we aren’t looking for scenarios. We look for the keywords, as we are only looking for operating principles now. And for operating principles you need first of all the desires that these principles are going to address... and as vague as the desires are then as vague as its principles will be. And as more as specific as desires can be, then as more we could start to define what can this VILMA voice be. VILMA is also about the voice or cultural representational form that takes some form to voicing. Voicing already gives us some direction. So if you want to look at the structure I showed you, it is like this: I'm in the position like an interface for the moment. Nomeda and Gediminas have been initiators since they had written you. There are three points: You, myself listening and putting down the system I can understand and Nomeda and Gediminas, who are going to be orienting it and at the same time we all are participating in it. The best issue is just to let it go. What we want to have is first of all these questions that you've raised, put into a form in those keywords and look at that as an environment. What is the environment of VILMA? What could be the cosmos the constellation of these desires? It should be specific. We want to have something that deals with this environment.

NU: OK, so ula will be writing on the blackboard.

NM: But I have one question. As i understood this “marat/sade”, this play is something like an operational system?

FA: Absolutely. We analyzed it…

NM: So operational system, which could be applied as certain political theater, isn’t it?

FA: And therefore institutional.

NM: And that scheme which you've showed us it uses the Lacanian vocabulary. So it would be clear for me if you would explain what is real for you in social-political or institutional frame.

FA: But that’s missing.. That's why the play was used, because it was in the act of staging the play, which was the real political moment of that play.

NM: As i understood you use now this MSOS operational system as an analogous to VILMA?

FA: Well, it is separate. VILMA is constructing something else. I've showed MSOS as a model, based on what I have done, because of how quick one can come to a point that can already start a building process. That’s a point: how to get to the system itself. So you need this workshop to decide what is VILMA. The difference here is that we don’t have an artifact, we’re not looking at the film, or script, or any other object. But you do have a black box.

NU: Yes, we already have. VILMA is referring to the factory, which was producing the black box, it’s already a reference.

BK: It’s a metaphor!

NU: A metaphor?. You don’t like this word ‘metaphor’?

FA: It’s not only this word. I don’t know why you are choosing it. There can be also ‘allegory’, etc.

NU: And also VILMA as a female name for a character. And these two points just to start with.

GU: Maybe we should explain why? What was the logic of the choice of a female character: it was partly based on our own experience with supporting the events staged by other participants.

NU: If you remember we had a collaboration with some of you, Dalia for instance since 2000 and since then we joined the sessions where we discussed a lot about the character and the scenario.

GU: The last event “film & gender” finished with the situation difficult to describe after analyzing examples of manga, laura croft, guerrilla girl, etc. And we had this frustration to conclude with 'what is the future scenario of the female character?' It is challenging and we would like to find what VILMA could be. And as a starting point coming with not the answer but more with a possibility. And this is what we proposed you on the table. But maybe this is not (and not only) about female character.

FA: we are at this stage in the workshop which should be form-finding, a search pattern. It is going to reflect now already what is going to be happening in a way. So it is not consensus. It’s uncomfortable .. That’s up to you to sort of script that sense differently. Because it should be something that reflects in a sense the issue of trying to do an art project here which has a certain kind of working system or methodology, that obviously Nomeda and Gediminas have passed through already. It tries to deal with contemporary moment in Vilnius and tries to also be international and tries to find a creative way putting together the new understanding of the RAM project as well, which is technology-oriented and again certain things inside of that. Now it is more interesting that you try to start to make this very messy first layer, which is the desiring machine if you want. We have to find a way to bring it into the form. And the first thing is that people have a voice.

DM: as prisijungsiu veliau,.

NU: ta prasme isheini?

DM: aha.

DM: ash prisijungsiu veliau, kai kas nors paaishkes.

NU: bet tai blogai be tavo klausimu!

DM: as tikrai negaliu dalyvaut, man tai yra per daug ishplauke. Bet ne todel, kad man kas nors nepatiktu. Tiesiog mano specialybe tam netinka. Ash turiu tureti objekta. Ir tai visishkai aishku.

NU: bet kaip tik tai, ko mes ir ieshkom!

DM: neimanoma. Bet jus mano shita.ishejima galit paimti, pradeti nuo to.

GU: Dalia wants to leave because of her methodological approach. She says it’s too vague and she would like to join when there is a precise definition of an object of what is VILMA.

DM: Yes, it’s too flexible for me as historian.

FA: Ok. But that tells me something.

NM: Now I've understood why you showed us yesterday this episode about waiting. Waiting FOR WHAT? (!) - for the object!

FA: In the end of the day as usually some answers will arrive. Now you see an example of methodologies. This is a very good point of the difference between the methodologies of the art historians and what in Germany would be called 'scientist'. Art history is on one hand and the idea of an experimental approach, as you recall my diagram, is on the other. An experiment can’t tell you how it’s going to work out in the end. So that is a reaction if one has a feeling to get up and leave as it’s a part of the nature of such a methodology. And…it means in this moment we should start writing!

NU: We should write 'dalia left’ because of the lack of the object.

FA: The keywords.

NM: The first keyword – ‘lack of the object’.

DN: Just a ‘lack’.

FA: ‘Lack’ is too big…

FA: What we need is to have each person to go through and think what would be to define VILMA around their own desires, 'what I want to have'. I mean we heard that there is one desire for “an object”, but that is also not clear for VILMA. It’s just clear for this moment here, but now in terms of this VILMA, it should be this dialogue and you somehow have to be a part of it. What should be a form, not the adjectives like ”LACK”. I mean things that are interesting today you want to have, things you don’t see inside of a cultural institution or you don’t see in the cultural projects from Vilnius. So specifically the desires that you think should be there, should it be this kind of voicing project. And that is YOU who knows why it is 'desires'. Not the reality, but just the DESIRE.

BK: But all these things should be optimistic?

FA: No. No at all.

BK: Bbecause for me the keyword, that I can relate to is the “PAST”, which is the keyword, which has transformed from the old soviet phonograph, not functioning.

FA: But this keyword… Can you make that the other way around so that it is not so specific to the thing but more what is inside that.

BK: So I have said 'the past'

FA: The past in which way? The past could be ‘nostalgia’, ‘history’.

JD: Could be ‘not functioning’, probably?

BK: No! Better say it: ‘re-functioned past’.

JD: It doesn’t perform the function it was desired for.

BK: I mean we are trying to get a non functioning object to function.

JD: But in a different way? Not in a way it was desired / designed to function... if you see that is not working as a player.

BK: I know. I don’t care. I don’t connect it with the object and its function, form. Just we are talking about the object, which is not functioning, but I mean that we try to do something which is needed, but we are using data from the past.

FA: And for you what would you like in terms of this past? What is it that’s lacking.

BK: All the feelings are not optimistic at all. They are too light in your talk.

FA: I dont know.

BK: if the black box isn’t optimistic? I don’t know… It’s not light at all.

UT: If we are going to make some structure…so I also would like to make something what we need, which is not there yet, so it’s sort of optimistic.

BK: i know, but for instance the technological art, plus the not-functioning old phonograph, they both are connected for me, I associate those two objects.

FA: Where do you find the voice now?

BK: Voice?

FA: Yes. Because this idea was that we want to script certain notion of desires. And the reason we ask is so, that the people would say 'what I would like to imagine with this VILMA project is not the way it could be related to the past in object’. What I feel has not been said particularly - a ‘voice’. That is what is interesting in terms of art. It is not optimistic, or negative. It’s a voice.

BK: I think we are lacking… we are trying to make our voice, we are in contemporary surrounding. And this old past bothers me.

FA: OK, that’s good: not to like it. I think that’s very optimistic. We going to start it like this and it’s going to be a rocky road. What we can say from this to make a keywords: ‘the past re-functioning’, ‘not functioning in a way’, it was designed to function in these objects of the past. We should produce something, which is not there, trying to use technological art plus this not functioning object. Then you said you don’t think we should make a voice for this, it can’t be a contemporary voice for this old type.

BK: Not type, but just a title. Why to use old labels?

FA: OK. So how we should put into the keywords? We need some description of the sensibility there. The past doesn’t perform its function? What do you see inside that we could put down as notes? What could be the first guide principles?

GU: I have a question. For you VILMA is connected with the factory as it was emphasized because of the black box and the history.

BK: Maybe also with the childhood.

GU: But it also refers to the idea of recording devices. Our brainstorming is also being recorded so it is all of these references leading to the idea of the media if you want. And that is what makes me to disagree that it is referring to the past only. VILMA also has these contemporary references to the media. It works also through the notion of character if you like: Wilma from Flintstones, animation, pop music, magazines, and through that to contemporary culture.

BK: And I associate it with the music of some 60s or 70s

UT: And it is actually the name. For me it is connected with those times in Lithuania or people called by this name in seventies. The name is German, it was very modern in those time.

FA: So it isn’t just the label of the object. It’s also the name and where it circulates in an economy of.signs.

GU: And having those references you would still think that it is too much bound to the past?

BK: Yes!

NU: I feel this moment when the names come back in a way. After a while you get the same names that 20-30 years before. So we should make that Vilma becomes a very popular name. You have all this Dzeraldas, like the names of the actors of the soap operas…

BK: I like the ties with the past, but I don’t like the uses, the way we are using that.

FA: You mean interpretations? Or just in usage?

BK: Not the interpretation. Just usage!

VM: If we start with this name, I have some linguistic derivations as to what does it mean, this ‘Vilma’. I can show the presentation on the screen:
There are two linguistic derivations as Vilhelmina ir Vilmante. Vilhelmina is an old German name that is constituted of two parts vil - a wish and helmin – something like a will power. The next derivation is ‘Vilmante’ - a pure Lithuanian derivation, which means ‘a hope’ (viltis) and ‘mante’, ‘mantus’ -is smart. These qualities are necessary for being representative.
The next point is to see this identity as bilingual. You see this old linguistic inscription, which means “it is prohibited to drink vodka here". It posses this bilingual character being Lithuanian-Russian, Lithuanian-German, Lithuanian-English. The way as the street signs used to be in two languages here.

FA: Will power and luck?

VM: Sorry?

FA: Will power and smart hope?

NM: Hopefully smart.

VM: Yes!

NU: So we have a keywords already.

GU: And they are optimistic.

FA: There are the names already, lets keep moving. We have to condense our keywords already from these two positions on the names. But most important, there is this institution which is a cultural project. What could be desired from this VILMA, that we are hearing now? There's got to be something that we could use as orientation. We need just orientation.

UT: Actually what I was thinking about now and I have already spoken with Gediminas and Nomeda, is that it is very simple there are no keywords, but there is a situation that bothers me. For instance I have noticed in general in Lithuania such a situation for example comparing with other countries like Poland or Hungary, which are in a way similar to Lithuania because of the historical past, recent past, there is a big difference how people treat kind of collective initiative which are totally lacking in Lithuania. People here are in a way afraid of that and there is really like some kind of problem. When there is a political event were people have to take part there supporting or not supporting groups. But they do not take social initiative in that is what is really important for me here and that is what i desire from this situation.

FA: What do you think we can put as a keyword? How can we pass that sense of order, and what you feel is there in it, that is, between the expression and the actual initiative, doing an initiative. That there is this initiative to discuss but it is not happening. Support is there but never happens.

UT: Maybe there is no belief, that this voice that I add to something makes it bigger, can make something, the voice or even two voices can change something. It is commonly used expression here, “what could one voice change”.

FA: So around this social initiative, not only talking about but bringing together and making it happen. VILMA is getting some sense of body – a body politic– now. It has a name and body. And the keyword of that is maybe a social initiative and support?

UT: But i would say that there should be a collective. Because there is a social initiative but it is more individual.

FA: Social and Collective

DN: I am thinking about disorientation, in direction of orientation, about such disorientation from the world to the person you don’t know. In the sense of the experiences, sensations, you have never noticed that through the person you don’t know any meaning yourself .. Experiences and sensation you don’t expect to have, you don’t have. To the notion of the black box, the metaphor ‘bb’, even thinking in psychoanalytical terms of the “bb” as of a kind of Pandora’s box. And have kind of these associations with the antiquity. Pandora's box: again she is a female and the things kept inside are not positive. I realized another metaphor that could be interesting for VILMA, a metaphor of a membrane which doesn’t have a center at all. Which doesn’t belong neither to you nor to somebody else, as well it is neither inside nor outside. It is the place where you can have no orientation at all... it is also the place of the connection and interaction.

FA: This would be also an interface in a another way. Association with antiquity, a female character, Pandora’s box, black box is only required in the cases when it is not a ‘good scenario’.

DN: The black box as a unconsciousness.

NM: Indeed the word of VILMA reminds me the concept of a vocal grain. Vocal grain - it’s a French term that means the individual voice, something that can combine body and the meanings into one net. So VILMA could be understood as something giving a vocal grain and something that can bind different bodies, meanings social, political elements into one net. It could be like that. And the keyword could be 'vocal grain'.

FA: OK. Vocal grain. We have this black box as ‘unconsciousness’, we have this ‘vocal grain’, we have this lack of desire to deal with the past in this old-fashioned tool or black box. VILMA as spoke person at the end, but there is still hope, supportive hope, hopefully smart.

RS: And for me VILMA could be a collective identity for as it records the voices, ideas, identities.

FA: How it would be different from lots of the other libraries, database? There exist such websites that have so many collective forms.

RS: I think that in Lithuania that is an actual problem, because we need to find our own identity, because we are dealing with the EU, EU community.

FA: So you mean that it is good to have a collective form, you need a dialogue in a way inside of that. This issue is not only around an electoral problem, its not only now. Every country has this… sort of collective... Because this word is cut in several layers and you know that in every language terms are used differently and who do you mean is collective?

GU: i think that it could be elaborated. If we talk about the word collective that has a reference to the title, this word that we have proposed for RAM6, which is social interaction and collective intelligence. And then collective has this very heavy reference to the past: starting with the collective farms and finishing with collective decisions. My interpretation would be that it is very difficult nowadays to come with some collective or collaborative project, because this collective world of the past doesn’t allow to develop the individual decision enough to join on the free will with the collective. So collective message could be that this is the free will of joining the collective. In that sense VILMA would be an attempt to engage into a collective but in a totally new light, in the new quality.

FA: This is interesting because you have this 'collective' as a problematic term. It is interesting for me, because it doesn’t occur in English for me, at least as an American. So I was overseeing it.

VM: It has some negative aspects I think

FA: To work together?

VM: No, no

FA: Just the past?

VM: It is hard to work together with the term

FA: If you come with a term then, what could it be?

RS: “Team work” maybe.

DN: Collaboration

FA: Collaboration is a different relation, but it is a kind of team .Team work…VILMA team is on!

VN: I recall one work from surrealists, from Magritte, it is called 'collective work', so it is the mermaid but not the usual one but it visa-versa - the head of fish and the rest of a female - and it is named a collective work.

FA: i think there is something forming, but lets keep going. At least we could follow through and everyone could start to give a sense of it, so we can put that direction that I find at least reflective of what you were starting talking about, that is - with a sense of black box and this voice and how to make it in a dialogue. Black Box is the ‘unconscious’ or its just this old device from history, no more need in it. Is it a problematic term. The real? And we have a vocal grain, which is interesting in terms of collective identity, because what you use in this particular term is about this individual voice.