Weak signaaal

In June 2022, Constant stirred up the format of our typical worksessions and organised a series of 4 afternoons under the title of Weak Signaaal at cafe La Vieille Chechette. Seeing the search for weak signals as a practice that centers sensibilities towards what easily goes under the radar, is barely perceivable, or straight up unclear.

The 4 sessions:
#1 Thursday 02/06: Spongy coexistence
#2 Thursday 09/06: Loud silences and muddy methods
#3 Thursday 16/06: Otherworldly tongues
#4 Thursday 23/06: Spongy coexistence, outcome of the open call

Participants could choose if they wanted to attend just one or all of the sessions. The 4 sessions were open to all without subscription. There was also a reading list and a bookshelf with resources available for the duration of the month of June at La Vieille Chechette. Child care was provided on site.

#1 Spongy coexistence
This workshop is a play on word2vec, a model commonly used to create ‘word embeddings’. Word embeddings is a technique used to prepare texts for machine learning. After splitting the writing up in individual words, word2vec assigns a list of number to each individual word based on what other words they find themselves in the company of. Once trained, such a model deducts synonymous words from comparing contexts, or will suggest probable words to complete partial sentences.

With word2complex Cristina Cochior (Varia) proposes a thought experiment to resist the flattening of meaning that is inherent in such a method, trying to think about ways to keep complexity in machinic readings of situated text materials.

This afternoon was conducted in English with assistance in French and Dutch.

#2 Loud silences and muddy methods

This afternoon was dedicated to intentional silences, dramatic pauses and obfuscation methods. As cities are increasingly sites of non-consentful observations, invasive probing and unsolicited listenings, Martino Morandi invited participants to consider how these are in place in Brussels, and discuss on possible muddying strategies by reading texts, making noises and silences, trying amulets.

This afternoon was conducted in English and French.

#3 Otherworldly tongues
This session engaged with awkward and speculative techno-affective practices, which attempt at translating the unperceivable while countering techno-scientific presumptions of objectified renderings regimes. Wendy Van Wynsberghe will bring the participants to the swamp in Wiels and playfully help them pricking up their ears.

Ths afternoon was conducted in English, French and Dutch

#4 Spongy coexistence (results op the open call)

Ballades Infidèles is an online and offline research group working around the Ballades en jargon, 11 poems composed by 15th century poet Françoys Villon and written in the secret tongue of the Coquillard·es, a posse of French rogues. While these ballads situate a re-purposing of language codes to narrate medieval social underworlds, they bring about a wider reflection around otherness and estrangement within a ’same’ language, as well as obscurity in and through language. Using the ballads as a map and a method for research, this open session of the working group moved across different forms of study: conversation, collective reading, short presentations, writing/speaking exercises, listening session, led by the different contributors of the working group and in an open conversation with the participants.

Ballades Infidèles was initiated by Françoys Villon and pursued by Simon Asencio in collaboration with Anouchka Oler, Chloe Chignell, Cee Füllemann, etaïnn zwer, camille gerenton, Diana Duta, Loucka Fiagan, and more.

Ballades Infidèles was chosen in the open call.

This afternoon was conducted in French and English

Related events

Open call: Weak signaaal

We invite potential participants across disciplines to apply for contributing to the final session of our Weak Signaaal program, on the 23rd of June, under the theme of Spongy coexistence. The (...)