Proposition for a conversation about silence with Wittgenstein

Proposition for a conversation about silence with Wittgenstein

Li-E Chen - 9 May 2016

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Convener(s): Li E Chen
Participants: Omar
Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations: -

This is an report about my experiment with DandD24/7, open space and with my project -'n-1'.

Records of the event:

9.37am 18 degrees 7th May 2016 traveling to Highbury & Islington square 162/meeting 11am Omar 1st participant n-1 2016 proposition for a conversation about silence with Wittgenstein. We'll talk about language and silence on the train. ‪#‎nminus1‬ ‪#‎space‬ ‪#‎time‬


We exchanged our thoughts and different practice both in traditional theatre and experimental performance. I wanted to ‘talk’ to Wittgenstein about space and time in language. I am interested in exploring how we can focus our attention simply with space and time in a language of ‘silence’. Omar works in theatre with his collaborators who may be blind or deaf. He talked about how the visual and audio senses and its individual challenge of communicating to the audience who engage with their works. We talked about theatre, rehearsal, a chair, space, measurement, body, context, actors, directing, cultural differences, watching and being watched/hearing and being heard on the train…duration, non-context, thinking, limitation, a silence opera, space, location, visit to New York, failing…

We exchanged lots of notes with each other. We took a picture together at the train station before we said goodbye. We had about two hours conversation on the train. I recorded one minute of video action of a wheelchair by the same station after we left.

Breaking news:
12 May 2016 I've decided that I will accept the facts: the limitation of the world, and the limitation of language.

Thank you so much to Omar for taking part in my experiment.

This is part of my ‘n-1’ experimental site-specific art project, supported using public funding by Arts Council England. For more information, please read my invitation: How can one speak about nothingness and silence? On Saturdays from 7 May - 22 October 2016 via here!participation/c4ac
or View invitation in PDF Please email if you would like to receive the invitation by post or take part ’n-1’.

Below is my own writing using my notation of “1” and “2” in responding to Robert Wilson’s lecture “1 HAVE YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE” “2 NO THIS IS THE FIRST TIME” at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 13 Feb 2012, pre-conference event programmed by Manchester International Festival as part of Arts Council England’s STATE OF THE ARTS 2012

Today yesterday a day my another dream has come truth. ….. Long story hard to tell…. (measure space, counting time, measuring time with mind, the body cannot hide the body speaks the body listens – give a chance for the body to listen “take-no-action”, constructing time, deconstruction, is a structure a language itself? 1 Robert Wilson said, “what is it?” 2 Robert Wilson said, “Just one thing” 1 Robert Wilson said, “Without a structure, I am lost, I don’t know what to do” 1 Robert Wilson said about “the turning point in 1907” 2 “What is it?” 1 “Sense of hearing” Robert Wilson said, “always start with silent first and movement first” 2 “Sense of hearing” 1 where or when do you get a chance to listen to your body and give a chance for your body to speak first before doing anything else? 2 you create or invent it yourself. 2 a structure of time, a language of time/a language through the structure 1 Robert Wilson said, “1976 Einstein on the beach” 2 “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …. 24mins, 23mins, … 16mins, 18mins.” 2 is a structure itself a kind of new language? mathematical language, language without reasoning but it speak the body speak first? 2 Robert Wilson talked about “A letter for Queen Victoria” 2 language 1 he talked about Formally constructed movement, formally constructed time and space if I understood correctly 1 What is it? Robert Wilson said he always start his work by asking himself “What is it?” … end: 1 2 “I had a dream.”

Both Wilson and Wittgenstein don't want interpretation.

Here is some notes from a book “Robert Wilson's from Within”, “Wagner had an inner logic. You don't need to interpret his psychologically; that only diminished him. I look at it structurally. … The problem is when directors and actors think too much…. In Parsifal, I wanted to make a space where you could hear the music.” Wilson often says, ”I'd like the audience to be able to hear my staging and envision the music.“ Giuseppe Frigeni says, ”He is always trying to create the visual conditions that allow the spectator to truly listen, and doing so shows an enormous respect for the music above all. Wilson's work achieves it's greatest results with performers capable of great intellectual openness and sincere receptiveness to the experience of reinventing the relationship between words and sounds, and that between vocal and physical presence onstage. It's all, quite simply, in the hearing.” (page 209) Philip Glass says, “My interest in music has been personal and obsessive.”, “I am not thinking of bringing happiness to mankind. I just write a piece of music and I play it.”; ”Wilson has said that from the beginning, you both determined that Einstein on the Beach would be four to five hours, that each scene would be about 20 minutes long, and the scenes would be connected by what you both call “knee plays,” the knee being the joint that links two similar elements. What does it mean to determine duration before content?"

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