Weak signaaal


In June 2022, Constant will stir up the format of our typical worksessions and organise a series of 4 afternoons under the title of Weak signaaal at cafe La Vieille Chechette. We see searching for weak signals as a practice that centers sensibilities towards what easily goes under the radar, is barely perceivable, or straight up unclear.

With Weak signaaal we want to look at human and non-human communication practices which play, open-up and wreck linguistic systems while acknowledging their ever-changing, unpredictable and muddy qualities. These 4 sessions work to gather and peer into coextisting language practices, specific vocabularies, interpretive reading materials, interruptions and encoded intentions. Weak signaaal whishes to connect the imaginaries constituted by the language(s) we (don’t) use and investigate the ways in which these imaginaries travel through locations, terminals, cultures and dimensions.

The different afternoons will follow the themes of:
#1 Spongy coexistence
#2 Loud silences and muddy methods
#3 Otherworldly tongues
#4 Spongy coexistence v.2

Participants can choose if they want to attend just one or all of the sessions. The 4 sessions are open to all without suscription. There will also be a reading list and a bookshelf with resources available for the duration of the month of June at La Vieille Chechette. If you contact us beforehand we can also organise child care on site.

#1 Spongy coexistence
[le multilinguisme] n’est pas une question de juxtaposition des langues, mais de leur mise en réseau. [1]

Inspired from trans*feminist and crip critics towards technological models enforcing stability and fixity [2], this session will investigate practices that inhabit spaces of language networking, instead of those of differentiation. From one’s experience of names multiplicity [2], to the multifarious resistances against language uniformization [3] or to the needs for conflict/ing/ed translation approaches [4], we wish to think systems, technical, artistic or speculative, which tend to the inherent multiple and even-changing qualities of languages.

#2 Loud silences and muddy methods
yoù no meester voor mi [5]
This afternoon is dedicated to intentional silences, dramatic pauses and obfuscation methods. Instants where complete clarity of detail is not the aim, but where slight uselessness has a use, a veil of doubt is embraced or ambiguity and so-called illegibility can become tactics against exploitation and oppression. Gleaning approaches from moments when we rely on the addition of gibberish, meaningless data, silence or noise to find the right language. Telling collective stories without giving away identities, hiding a tree among the forest [6], interrupting transmissions or thriving best under dimmed lights.

#3 Otherworldly tongues
The spectrum is no longer (or never was) the exclusive realm of technocrats or medical experts [7]

This session will engage with awkward and speculative techno-affective practices, which attempt at translating the unperceivable while countering techno-scientific presumptions of objectified renderings regimes. Listening to the cosmic rays howling by ways of flipping bits or reading the tectonic plates’ hot trembling and rubbing; are there signals we ought to transmit to *them*?

[1] Edouard Glissant. L’imaginaire des langues, p28
[2] Ren Loren Britton. Turnabouts and deadnames: shapeshifting trans* and disabled vernaculars, in Vernaculars come to Matter. Everyday Technology Press. Varia, Rotterdam
[3] Cristine Gorski Severo & Sinfree Bullock Makoni. Discourses of language in colonial and postcolonial Brazil, 2013. https://criticallanguagepolicy.paginas.ufsc.br/files/2019/03/SEVERO-MAKONI-BRAZIL.pdf
[4] In her book, Traduction et Violence, Tiphaine Samoyault highlights the multiple forms of violences unravelling within and from the practice of translation, and argues for translation practices which do not erase the many layers of conflict present across cultures, languages and translations practices. Seuil, Paris.
[5] Margot van den Berg, Mi no sal tron tongo. Early Sranan in court records 1667 - 1767. University of Nijmegen
[6] Seda Gürses & Femke Snelting. Obfuscation: Hiding trees among the forest. Reclaiming Digital Infrastructures, Constant, 2021, https://www.books.constantvzw.org/content/home/RDI/RDI.pdf
[7] Possible Bodies. Ultrasonic Dreams of Aclinical Renderings https://volumetricregimes.xyz/index.php?title=Ultrasonic_Dreams_of_Aclinical_Renderings

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 (...)