In Ghent (2018), Mapas Oniricos [Oniric Maps, MO] introduced “Espectrito” within the workshop performance. There were two ideas behind it, first I wanted to disappear in front of my colleagues at KASK. Back in those days, I was taking a storytelling postgraduate course as a student and docent. Besides that I was announced as workshop facilitator since the start of the course, a lot of my colleagues didn’t know about it. So I have the feeling that erasing myself from the role of being a ‘classmate’ would improve the workshop presentation, especially during the first minutes. Also, back in those days I was living a personal-creative-turbulence period… when a childhood friend, Micho, appeared in town from Mexico city. And he brought a present for me, the mexican wrestler mask of “Espectrito”.
Espectrito is not the most popular wrestler mask, others like El Santo, Atlantis, Mistico are more famous and easy to recognize. Yet it is one of the most mysterious masks in the history of Lucha libre; Espectrito’s story is linked to the origin of broadcasting lucha libre in the mexican tv back in the 50s . And because of the aesthetic of the mask and the ‘ritual’ that the original wrestler used to perform. (He used to arrive inside a coffin to the fight field) The mask became a controversy for the mexican catholic society from the time. Since those days, Espectro‘s saga ─ which includes a lot of wrestlers with similar names and masks, such as Espectricto, Espectro de ultratumba, Mono verde among others─ is full of bad reputation and even a wishcraft.
Today, I know more about the story behind this Mexican icon, but back in those days, I merely knew this mask was coming from my old first friend who loved evil and mysterious forces since his childhood. And maybe that was enough to use it during this presentation in Belgium.
Anyway, my friend gave me a tool to disappear/appear in front of my colleagues and a toy for self exploration. Also, one of the objectives of MO workshop deals with the remediation of written language in images, sounds and interactions; So in a way this gave me the chance to play and incorporate a performance that encourages participants to experiment with language beyond a cases of words.
For the purpose of this workshop edition in the Blend and Bleed symposium, my goal was to remark that the mask is a tool for the workshop and not the other way around. The mask is not a character; it is not a childish story, not even an icon; it is not about the performance. The mask is a tool, It has a function that aims to blend the pedagogical and performative experience of the workshop. So I decided to continue this (self) exploration and take out an Espectro mask and vanish it into myself.
These are some sketches and tests about my makeup and expressions. I was looking something simple that remark the expressions of my own face
Something I have discovered during the tests, is that each time I was playing a mask, my own voice and character was changing. it was like meeting a another VIni
MO looks to merge what is happening, the real moment with visual, sound and performance elements that sum to the statement of what is developed within the workshop. I would say a symbolic experience that goes beyond words.
It echoes Augusto de Boal’s idea of Invisible theatre of blending reality in some spontaneous event. Participants of the workshop don’t really know exactly what, how and when an event will happen. There is not such an exact script. It only exists a plan to develop during the workshop, notes.
I feel enthusiastic about the potential of the online version of the workshop, surely this will continue evolving and changing. Some ideas that came to my mind are related to the UI and the modification of the workshop format it self. As MO is not attached to Twine or any particular technology, I wonder about how the content shapes the experience of the workshop.
In contrast with the physical experience of the workshop; the online version of MO, optimizes the time and facilitates unique features from the medium, such as more control on sound and images and programmatic or networked features that impact the total performance of the workshop.
Nevertheless, the personal physical interactions and casual events are nul. For the workshop development those small interactions and casual events are essential for the personal growth of each participant. For example, personal conversations about dreams are lost . I don’t mean we don’t talk about our dreams in some way, the workshop has an organized way to talk about them . I am talking about casual chats and events that happened within the time that we are just around. Those events might happen more often as we provide time for “blank spaces” within the workshop. Maybe working with some asynchronous times during a a workshop that last more time , it would be ideal to provoke those conversations. Psychical interactions are unique; yet I wonder about the power of the physique.
There are more questions and concerns to be answered such as How to balance the performance and the pedagogical content? So far I have been using the mask a lot, but What about using some other visual,sound and interactive elements? How time and more sessions would affect the experience?
RESULT OF THE DAY
You can check the dream exploration we did that day here .
My apologize I did not keep a precise track about the dreams ownership for each twine stories, my mistake. The next twine stories, only mention the last author, an interpreter of others dream. You can find more information in the original document.
Thanks to everybody who join the workshop.
All my gratitude to my Carina Erdman for this fantastic initiative and for the invitation. Gracias
Oniric Maps (Mapas Oníricos) is a workshop that explores dreams through digital narratives by using UX prototype techniques and tools to do it. The project fosters the remediation of written language within the networked and programmable media, by remembering, deconstructing, rearranging and symbolizing dreams experiences.
For this edition, we evoke the spirit of the Mexican mini wrestler Espectrito from the underworld. During this brief workshop, Espectrito showed us basic syntax of Twine, a fantastic tool to deploy interactive fiction. Also, he proposed a technique to explore our oniric experiences
Espectro has been a popular wrestler mask since the early 50’s in Mexico. Many wrestlers have been using this mask since then, such as Espectro de ultratumba, Espectrito or Espectro Jr, Mono verde and many others. The story of this mask is attached to the birth and development of Lucha libre in the mexican media realm and to the evil misfortunes of their users. For this workshop, the story starts when my best friend of my childhood (MIcho) appears in Ghent with a gift on his hands, a mask. Since then, I have been exploring this mask every time I performs this workshop. First, it was a manner to disconnect my own persona from the public. But as the time has passed, it has become a way to reconnect with my own symbols and friends.
Honestly I was nervous about condensing this workshop. It usually take me between 12 and 8 hours to give it . Viral brief workshops as a format means to deploy an interactive workshop under the condition of time, 50 minutes. At the end this workshop experience took me 15 minutes more to facilitate it.
Sure I can optimize some part of the workshop with out loosing this “social” feeling of co creating together , spontaneous events and gestures from everybody. For example, I lost time in advising participants to modify their name.
Also, a participant, Debora ( from Re:anima), suggested to send a 5 minutes video of Twine syntax before. So the participants can focus more on the practice during the workshop. Both cases my mistake and this suggestions should be part part of the communication plan within the first email
During the workshop, Steven Malliet, ask me for a depository to save the html files. I forgot it, but still I could react in time during the performance and I create one. That was so cool!
One of my fears was that the character of espectro became bigger than the content. Fortunately it didn’t happen. Something funny, besides that participants knew espectrito would arrive, based on their faces I think they didn’t expected the entrance. This was dissolved in the discourse, it was fantastic. 24 hr before I was not sure how to make this transition. But I got a tremendous good advice from Maylo Colmenares and Mayra Cebreros. Maylo started a street theater company in the 60s , named Los nakos full of counter culture ideas. This evolve in a music theater group since those days.
He told me Theather is to play. Stay in front of the camera and just play . Practice, but play with your self. Get fun ! He was right. I found the transition to change my character just by playing 12 hours before the opening. My main concern was how can I make a transition in a way that is smooth and natural. So I decided to refused my self and create a new story. I apologized at the begging of the workshop and said espectrito would not come because I lost the mask . And I focus in trying to place the people in the right place and mood, so I asked them to close their eyes and breath deeply to feel their heart beat. Then at certain point, I stood up and came back as espectrito .
I am so happy and glad with the results of the workshop . I guess this is the best Edition in a production perspective. We did a lot a brief time (15 min) maybe .
I am already thinking in the next workshop, and continuing exploring this mask. I like that espectrito but I am not interested to keep it pure as the popular icon that means in my home coutry. Instead I am interesting in my relation with the mask
“Ya lo dijo Freud no me acuerdo en que lado Solo la experiencia que he experimentado.”[Freud has said it before, I don’t remember exactly where,It is just about the experience that I have experienced.]“Estación del Metro Balderas”Rockdrigo Gónzales (1984)
I am so glad to share this article about workshops. Cuéntanos un secreto project has been a personal project that taught me a lot about the potencial of the workshop: as research methodology, a social tool for community building and aesthetic experience.These previous lines, took me years to digest, an still Workshop knowledge only can happen in practice.
for this paper, I was inspired by Lori Emerson´s presentation in Mexico city, Against ‘Lab’ as Free-Floating Signifier: From Appropriation to Counter-Cooptation and Codeswitching”. During her presentation she mentioned to Sandy Stone and the Act lab (Rise your hand and say: yeah! ) and she introduced to me the concept of “Code switching, an umbrellathta that translates experimental, Trans-ish lan-guage into blackboxed, institutional language.…and more ” Beyond to the transparent sensation that those words leave to us, a rotten critic of education, The term it self is an implicit verb, rather than a noun, an invitation to act before any crictic So the main cuestionis about How to code switch you workshop?
There is much more to say about this, but this was my first deliver on the subjet I hope soon to come back with more.
The article aims to provide a practical framework for the design and organization of workshops, based on the proceedings of the Cuéntanos un secreto (Tell us a secret) project. I focus on the activation of the sociocultural exchange of experiences; I provide two samples of pedagogical material used during the workshop taken from the works of Ulises Carrión’s (Love Story) and Augusto de Campos (Incomunicable); lastly, I inquire about the workshop as a creative and collaborative tool for community building looking towards the future of society
Thanks to Fabrica de Artes y Oficio Oriente, Tania Basilio ; ELO for their support and inspiration; Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Bertrand Gervais & Sophie Marcotte for making this publication possibe.
Thanks a lot Kathi Imman Beren and Rika Colpeart for their words, back in 2018
Around 2004-6, I started a project named Bandito e-zine. Its was an interactive pdf where we were publishing emerging artists, photographers, illustrators, animators, performers and musicians.
The project was created by a beautiful Aussie girl, Hayley Mckee and the chaotic designer, Chango ( another me ). Both of them strangers. They know each other by exchanging email. The first contact happened when H bought a CD in Mexico city bySilencios Incomodos. The same album was illustrated by Chango. Monhs later she contacted Ch ….and Voila ! How cool is to trust in somebody u haven’t met in person?
Later I met some of the artist in person and some publishers by exchanging emails , such as Morta Griskeviciute in Vilnius, Heiko or Peter Skwiot from I still miss you . Some other PDFs were added later as Jinks the cat by Mike Hoge or The fly by Windjack solution, both, maybe the first full interactives PDFs I have seen. And much more , PDFS full of music from Berlin scene , unknown writers from south america or just artist that were publishing themselves in this strange format. Early 2000, I think it was common to find zines done as portable documents files format
Back in those days it exist a German website called pdf-mag.com This site was acting as link distributor of hundreds of PDFs from everywhere. It was showing a great selection of PDFs, focus in arts, architecture, literature and music. and time to time random stuff . The cool point is that the site was creating by a small scene of musicians, artist and publishers from everywhere. Years later, I came back to the pdf website and it didn’t exist any more. So I want to share some of those PDFs that I still have in this collection. I ll continue looking for more of these weird pdfs .
Please dont doubt to send me strangeand interesting pdfs
Meanwhile you can download the the collection here PASSWORD. Hola_Hayley
This post provides two samples of pedagogical material used during the Cuentanos un secreto workshop when it explores digital literacy practices as, UX, Game design, animation or ebooks. Both examples are grounded in Ulises Carrión’s and Augusto de Campos’s artwork and manifest. This is a extension of the paper Secret sharing, a pedagogical tool for e-lit practices presented on ELO18 in Montreal.
There will not be literature any more. There will be, perhaps, new ways to communicate that will include language or will use language as basis. As a medium of communication, literature will always be old literature. Ulises Carrión, 1975
There are several examples taken from art and visual communication history that can provide a phenomenological context to understand the mutation of books and written language into the networking and programmable media (Cayley 2008). For instance, in her book Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (2014), Johanna Drucker provides diverse examples from graphic design, book history and cinema theory. In Uncreative Writing (2011), Kenneth Goldsmith gives an extensive framework of samples, mostly from the 20th century imaginary revolution, focused on the late 1970s avant-garde movements.
Such examples, rather than exemplify e-lit practices or digital culture in the flashy and futuristic new land of never-ending tech, contextualize digital culture within the critical eyes of History and place the language of computation practices into the ground of culture, where technology is a result of the human will. Those examples seem simple, but in depth they condense complex linguistic and media theories, as explained by Katherine Hayles’s concept of the “eventualized text” or by Marshall Mcluhan’s idea that “The medium is the message“.
I want to explore two of these examples: The New Art of Making Books (1975) by Ulises Carrión (Fig.9), and The Concrete Poetry Manifesto (1956) by Augusto de Campos. Both examples come from the field of art and are manifestos. I feel the need to clarify that, being manifestos, neither of them use the scientific method; in fact, they don’t seek to demonstrate anything at all. They manifest, and there is where their beauty lies. Also, both “theories” are far from being mere theoretical frameworks for art practices. They are visible, tangible and playfully applied in diverse art pieces by their creators. They ensemble theory and art practice. They mirror each other. Thereby, they can easily be tracked, analyzed, compared, used and played with as pedagogical materials.
Élika Ortega, in her essay “Not a case of words: Textual environments and multimateriality” (2017), provides diverse examples about the impact of Carrión’s work on textualities in the programmable and networked media. The New Art of Making Books framed a fantastic cultural phenomena during the 1960s: the avant-garde practices for artist’s books or book-works, a term coined by Carrión to call those practices. The innovation of Carrión’s essay lies in his conceptualization of the ontology of the book, the language and artistic book practices. The New Art of Making Books is an essential theoretical framework for anyone who wants to question the book, both as an object and as a cultural institution.
“What makes a book a book? What is a book? What is language? Is a rose a rose, or it is just the typical rose?” (Carrión 1975). Merely opening the door to these questions implies a tremendous advance for understanding the book and language beyond print media.
As Ortega also points out in her essay, Carrión’s contribution to understanding textualities in network and programmable media is the conceptualization of “the book as an autonomous space-time sequence” (Ortega 2017). This definition provides an alternative for diverse cultural expressions: some of them are literary genres, but some others are expressions that appeal to their own symbolic language, as an ordinateur of symbols.
For instance, on May 23rd, 1983, Carrión performed an organized sight-seeing tour in the Dutch city of Arnhem and its surrounding countryside. The tour was based on the “real” love story of an artist and his wife: Ton and Ina. The people who signed up for the tour visited the most important places in Ton and Ina’s love story: “the place where they first met,” “where Ina’s father banned their love,” “where they shared their first kiss,” etc. During the tour, you would go from point A to point B, and so on. (Fig.10)
According to Harry Ruhè (1992), Ulises Carrión said: “the city as organized chaos imbues the story with a clear and perceptible structure. A tour around the city, along the story’s most important points, [is] an aesthetic experience“. Based on Carrión’s definition of a book as “an autonomous space-time sequence,”. Love story is an organized sequence of moments contained in the city of Arnhem, fixed in time. The book is an autonomous reality close in time: May 23rd, 1983.
As a parallelism, this can easily be translated as a sketch for a user experience journey into the city. A geolocative narrative app, using augmented reality technology for tourism, would have a similar approach to Carrión’s art piece: go from point A to point B and tell a story. This is what some geolocative narrative art pieces have done already, such as 34th North 118 West (2003) by Jeff Knowlton, Naomi Spellman and Jeremy Hight (Fig.11) or Pilgrim (2018) by Lauren Hutchinson.
In his concrete poetry manifesto, the Brazilian Augusto de Campos described concrete poetry as “Tension of things-words in space-time” (Campos 1956). One of my favorite examples to illustrate this statement comes from experimenting with the collection of Poémobiles (1968-1974), in particular with a poem called “In-comunicable”. (Fig.12)
Based on paper pop-up technology, “In-comunicable” (1968) is a folded paper card which holds three cut paper layers. Each layer has its own text/content that shows itself in a consecutive order during the performance of opening the paper card. Inside the card, the word “in” is printed in red font in the background layer. The next layer says “Comuni”, and, on the last layer the word “cable” is written. This last layer, cut by the horizontal axis, allows the layer to show the content of the second layer, “Comuni”. This will only happen when the paper card is completely open. By then, it is already too late, and the content “cable” is no longer readable.
In fact, the piece only “communicates” when the paper card is opened. When it is closed, the reader can’t know the card’s content, and the card cannot communicate. In contrast, the art piece will not have any meaning without the active interaction of the reader. Only when the reader plays the poem do they find its meaning. Yet it is the “tension” between the three consecutive layers and the interaction that shows “in-communicable” as meaning, a metaphor.
In 2006, in Time of Digital Poetry, Katherine Hayles described the cybertext as being “eventualized,” being less discrete and self contained. This eventualized text is procedural: it is the result of processes and it can trigger processes, either by human or non-human actors. It is a self-contained text in space-time (Hayles, 2006: 182). From this point of view, De Campos’s Poémobiles seems to be a UX paper prototype of Katherine Hayles eventualized text. “In-comunicable” is a self contained system and poem that signifies while it triggers its own process.
I would also like to clarify that my argument here is not to place art and design at the same level. Each cultural manifestation regards visuality from a different perspective. Nevertheless, both of them are constantly mirroring, communicating and feeding each other. And time adds a unique and valuable perspective for understanding any cultural process.
Los discretos [The discrete ones]
To conclude, I would like to present “Los discretos” [The discrete ones]. It is important to clarify that, in Spanish, “discretos” does not actually translate as “discrete” because “discrete” constitutes a separate entity, a self-contained object. Discreto actually translates as “discreet” in English; however, you need to be quite self-contained to be discreet enough. In the case of these secrets, they are too noisy to be discretos or self-contained.
This collection of secrets explored digital narratives enclosed in a single digital button. The collection was created in 2012 at Faro de Oriente, and its main idea was to assign the semiotic relations between the diverse states to one of three digital “buttons”: normal, hover or trigger.
This performative idea of using digital buttons of state as a semiotic space regards the principles of concrete poetry manifesto: “Tension of things-words in space-time.”. Those states promote a systematic understanding of the whole poem, with the user interaction as part of the poetic language.
This collection was named in 2018. The name was inspired by Katheline Hayley Time for Digital Poetry (2006) and Roberto Simanowsky’s essay “What is and to what end do we read digital literature?” (2009). While Hayley’s ideas made me reflect upon the eventualized feature of the cyber text that differs from the self-contained objects in print media, i.e. the discrete characters, Simanowsky’s essay made me think for the first time about the doubts and contradictions of electronic literature. What makes e-literature literature?
What is literature?
What would the world be like without doubts and contradictions?
Carrión, Ulises. “The new art of making books”. In Ulises Carrión:We Have Won! Haven’t We? Edited by Guy Schraenen. Amsterdam: Museum Fordor, 1975.
Cayley, Jhon. “Performance Of Writing in The Age Of digital Transliteration.” In Digital arts and culture 98. Bergen: University of Bergen, 1998. Accessed May 1, 2019. http://cmc.uib.no/dac98/papers/cayley.html.
Goldsmith, Kenneth, Uncreative Writing, Columbia University Press, 2011.
Hayles, N. Katherine “The time of digital poetry: from object to event.” In New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories. Ed. Cambridge, MIT Press: Morris A & Swiss. 2006.
Hutchinson L & Unseld S. 2019.“Pilgrim.” Artwork, Geolocative narrative experience at IDFA 2018. Date of retrieval: April 11th, 2019 https://www.idfa.nl/en/film/400bc75c-13f1-4012-b4aa-67b9684156b8/pilgrim