ATTENTION! is a three-day workshop exploring perceptual engagement, that seeks to re-orient the audiovisual attentions of its participants towards the present. Participants will be led by artist, filmmaker and curator Ben Russell in employing a series of listening, movement, recording, and viewing exercises, to produce a continuity from now to the infinite. ATTENTION! takes its title from the exclamations of a trained Mynah bird in Aldous Huxley’s ISLAND*.
Ben Russell at Sonic Acts Festival 2017, De Brakke Grond.
Informed by Ben Russell’s own decades-long practice in image-and-sound collection under the loose frame of 'documentary' and 'psychedelic ethnography' and inspired by production trips to Vanuatu, the Marquesas Islands, Rapa Nui, and more, the workshop contains audiovisual tasks drawn from sources as diverse as Maryanne Amacher, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, LSD test subjects, Georges Perec, hydrophone coral reef recordings, Jean Rouch’s idea of trance-cinema and more – all in the name of recognising one’s own intuitive, cognitive and perceptual processes within the construction of the Here and Now.
*“Is that your bird?” Will asked.
She shook her head.
“Mynahs are like the electric light,” she said. “They don’t belong to anybody.”
“Why does he say those things?”
“Because somebody taught him,” she answered patiently. What an ass! her tone seemed to imply.
“But why did they teach him those things? Why ‘Attention’? Why ‘Here and now’?”
“Well …” She searched for the right words in which to explain the self evident to this strange imbecile. “That’s what you always forget, isn’t it? I mean, you forget to pay attentionto what’s happening. And that’s the same as not being here and now.”
“And the mynahs fly about reminding you — is that it?“
She nodded. That, of course, was it. There was a silence.
To apply for the workshop, taking place from 12 to 14 February 2020 in Amsterdam, please send a short motivation and CV to workshop[at]sonicacts[dot]com. The deadline for applications is 22 January.
Participants pay a €75 contribution. Lunch is included.
This workshop is a co-production of Sonic Acts & Paradiso and part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.