The International Science Festival Gothenburg

 

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Wow – fantastic kids!

We once again got the great opportunity to participate in the International Science Festival in Gothenburg  this year under the heading ‘Språkets betydelse för identitet och förmåga att påverka‘. Doing a workshop with the focus on language, political language and identity with a large group of youngster from 4th grade. The participants, 24 children and 2 teachers, started by analyzing posters from political parties from the election in Sweden 2014, and discussing the use of words as well as pictures and possible ‘hidden messages’. The kids were fantastic, clever and of course came with insights and shared them with each other. Then they made use of their creativity and put their own thoughts and questions in focus creating their own posters with questions that are close to their hearts, and that they think the political parties should address in this years election in Sweden. So clever, so much positive energy, so many things put on paper that are of utter importance for our society and environment – I wish the politicians of today would be just as brilliant.

 

 

 

 

Time to summarise the past months

Wow, what an intense summer and autumn (not talking about the weather)! CoScene was used in two works of art, first I en demokrati finns det inte plats för idioter that was exhibited during the August. Then in September a story based, interactive “puppet” art installation was born, Eclosion as a part of Göteborgs Stadstriennal och Älvornas strandEclosion will continue to evolve both story wise and considering the different forms of interaction used, and I en demokrati finns det inte plats för idioter will be exhibited again during the spring.

We have identified some weak spots in the software that we will continue to work with and also plan how we are going to take the next step … out in the future.

What is more or less confirmed is that CoScene will be used in two new works of art that will be exhibited in December in Gothenburg, Sweden and in the beginning of next year in Aarhus, Denmark.

Looking forward to let you know more soon but until then a bunch of photos from I en demokrati finns det inte plats för idioter och Eclosion.

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Vad sa du? / What did you say? 

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Ord, ord, ord … Språk är det sätt som vi vanligtvis interagerar, kommunicerar och tar oss fram professionellt och under fritid. Talat och skrivet språk får den mänskliga världen att röra sig på olika sätt men språk kommer i olika former inklusive t.ex. kropps språk. Med projektet ”I en demokrati finns det inte plats för idioter” riktas fokus på de byggstenar som konstituerar språk – ord.

Ludwig Wittgenstein presenterade teorin om språkspel och att ord bäst kan förstås utifrån deras allmänna användning i ett givet språkspel. Förenklat lär hans teori oss att genom att använda ett språk lär vi oss det och förstår det och troligtvis sker detta genom att vi gör misstag och rättar till dem. Enligt en annan filosof, John R. Searle, utgör språk grunden för vår sociala verklighet inklusive institutioner som universitet, pengar, etc. så väl som social status.

Vad händer med demokratin om medborgarna är omedvetna om den roll språket spelar, hur det används och felaktigt används av t.ex. politiker med syfte att vinna ett val genom dokument, retoriska trix och genom att använda vissa värdeladdade ord?

Projektet vill belysa de mesta använda orden och fraserna som används i den politiska dialogen, dokumentera dem och omvandla dem till en interaktiv konstinstallation vilken ger betraktaren utrymme att reflektera över orden och förhoppningsvis samtidigt ha lite kul då installationen öppnar upp möjligheterna att för lek.

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Words, words, words … Language is the way we usually interact, communicate and get around professionally and casually. Spoken and written language does make the human world go around in different ways but language comes in different forms including for instance body language. With the project ”I en demokrati finns det inte plats för idioter” is focus put on the building blocks that constitute language – words.

Ludwig Wittgenstein presented the theory of language games and that words is best understood as their use within a given language game. Simplified his theory tells us that we learn a language by using it, understanding the game and probably by making mistakes and correcting them. According to another philosopher, John R. Searle, language is said to create the foundation of our social reality including institutions such as Universities, money etc. as well as social status.

What happens to democracy if the citizens are unaware the role language plays, how it is used and misused for instance by politicians in order to win an election through documents, rhetorical tricks and by choosing certain value loaded words?

The project want to shine light on the most used words and phrases in political dialogue, record them and transform them into an interactive art installation that gives the visitor space to reflect upon the words and hopefully have a bit fun at the same time as the installation opens up at possibility to play at the same time.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. Plato

I en demokrati finns det inte plats för idioter. / In a democracy there is no place for idiots.

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Vad händer då ord blir en vara, då språket används för vinnings skull?

We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business;                                                                                                   we say that he has no business here at all. Pericles enligt Thucydides.

I antikens Grekland kallades den som inte aktivt intresserade sig för politik  “idiot”. Ordet betecknade en enskild individ i motsats till en offentlig.

Demokrati bygger på att medborgarna aktivt tar ställning till vem som ska representera, parti eller person, och hur landet ska styras. På vilka grunder görs dessa val på? Ord i form av löften, politiska ställningstaganden, partiprogram osv. utgör en viktig del.

Vad händer då orden, ställningstaganden och löften, plockas bort ur sin kontext och placeras i ett nytt sammanhang eller får stå ensamma utan att kopplas till en specifik person eller ett politiskt parti? Finns det ord som är mer förekommande än andra? Finns det ord som är mer tilltalande, melodiskt uttalade såväl som grafiskt framställda?

Ovanstående frågeställningar och citat utgör utgångspunkt i projektet ”I en demokrati finns det inte plats för idioter.” Med hjälp av CoScene-teamet kommer en interaktiv audiovisuell installation att växa fram under 2014-2015. Projektet genomförs med stöd från Kulturbryggans Tema 2014: Kultur & Politik. Mer info om projektet kommer under de närmaste veckorna.

 

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What happens when words become a product as language is used aiming for profit?

We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business;                                                                                                   we say that he has no business here at all. Pericles according to Thucydides.

 In ancient Greece the one who paid no attention to politics was called “idiot”. The meaning of the word was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs.

Democracy is founded on the assumption that the citizens play an active part and vote who shall represent them and run their country. On what fundament are these choices and the elections made? Words in the shape of promises, political standpoints, political platforms, etc. play an important part. But what happens when the words, the standpoints and the promises and lifted from their usual context and placed into a new environment or are allowed to stand on their own without any connection to specific individual or political party? Are certain words more common than others? Are there any words, which are more attractive, melodically articulated and/or graphically presented?

These questions and quotes is the starting point for the project “In a democracy there is no place for idiots.” With the help from the CoScene-team an interactive audiovisual installation will be created during 2014-2015. The project is made possible with support from Kulturbryggan Tema 2014: Kultur & Politik. More info regarding the project will come during the next couple of weeks.