It is important to me to feel unfamiliar with a thing, as it encourages me to find a new way to respond to it. I release a boundary. I hear butterflies flocking. I am looking for a place to rest within this music.
As kinetic energy on the gallery’s floor turns into sound, I am simultaneously grounded and unmoored.
There is joy in experiencing disruption, and there is joy in enacting it, too.
Through the object of a ‘written response’, I feel expected to imbue someone’s work with a meaning that is at once tangible, expressible, intelligible. What if the construction, and expectation, of such an act — that is, the act of responding — is kind of impossible?
Meaning cannot always be tangible, or material, and perhaps it does not have to be.
Meaning can be spiritual, it can be felt and undone within the tension of our muscles.
Meaning can exist in the sinew, in the invisible make-up of body, in the biology, yet I still do not quite know.Arben Dzika
When our work, If falling is relational, then a body in free-fall may not necessarily be falling down, was materialising and almost ready to be exhibited, one of the things I began to think about was how much trust people might have to exercise in order to see the work’s elements existing as a whole.
Trust that Chi’s writing and my soundtrack were actually in conversation with each other.
Trust that the writing was not necessarily about sound and the sound was not necessarily about writing —that we had made the work in the same space, in and around our conversations and time together.
Trust that the elements were convergent — referenced from overlapping points of relating.
Our intention was focused and applied throughout our process but, once a work is made and released to be seen or heard, you have to trust or come to terms with the approaching possibilities of how your intentions can and will be muted, remixed, misheard, reheard, unheard by audience.CT
I want to say that we both like thinking about this idea of the deregulation of sound, of the way we use our words/others’ words, of the way we respond to energies around us. Deregulation as unhearing, like you say. Or, deregulation as a kind of transmutation of sound. Maybe as a form of leaning into time, during the act of articulation, and giving the act of expression as much pliancy as we can.
I listen to sound to show it that I believe it. I believe in it.AD
I am conscious of a thing to be believed being a thought that is thought many times, or just a thought that I am ready to think.CT
I want to think more about this relationship between listening and relinquishing.
The energy of a sound may have its own, singular direction. Sound may recognise our bodies as carriers to absorb it. Heat is a condition of presence.AD
In bearing witness to a work, we enter an arena within which a fluctuating formation or mutation of knowing is either hidden or declared.CT
Some noises are beginning to feel familiar, meaning, my body is gradually relaxing as my muscles absorb the work. The jarring becomes digestible.AD
There is a spaciousness to sound, which is simultaneously liberating and terrifying.
When witnessing sound that is being repeated or looped, I often feel that a chasm is being bored into a particular sense of time. A whirlpool is formed, and if I position myself in the centre of it or listen in a particular way, I can encounter a version of time that seemingly presents itself as a whole and perceivable shape.CT
Perhaps the devotional human voice is an example of a deregulated sound. Within a paradigm of faith, the sound of worship reverberates and exhausts. A boundary transforms and the butterflies reveal themselves to be metamorphic.AD
Within experiences like these, I bask in the awkward and elating effect of incommunicable knowledge, which is then confronted by the probabilities of how and why we make meaning.
A feedback loop forms between these two points.
I sit in this for as long as I can.
Although an act of relinquishment is an act of release, to do so may still require us to actively place something, like knowing, somewhere.
Chi Tran is a writer, editor, and an artist who makes poems that may be text, video, object, sound, or drawing. Chi is primarily interested in working with language as a means of coming-to-terms. Their work has been published by Incendium Radical Library Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry and Liminal Magazine and exhibited at galleries including Firstdraft, Sydney; Punk Café, Melbourne; and ACCA, Melbourne. In 2019, as a recipient of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Fund, Chi spent three months in New York developing their practice with renowned poets including Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Fred Moten, and Jackie Wang.
Arben Dzika is an artist whose practice involves working with various media including, but not limited to: sound, image, word, and performance. His work primarily seeks to reflect on, interrogate, and play with technologies, systems, and human senses. Within his practice, he works as a producer and DJ under the moniker, Dilae.