sound / video / performance
Conflict Syntax is an audio monodrama based on the artist’s attempt to conduct quantitative analysis of the language of the audio archive from the project Testimony – Truth or Politics. Conflict Syntax started as a concept, a proposal where the act of testifying is liberated from context, affect, emotion, memory, association—the archive is treated as a corpus of data to be dismembered into formal elements of language and analyzed with the aim of extracting objective sums and values. However, this process never succeeded in its entirety and the artist used the partial findings of such an analysis to construct her own testimonial of the process and difficulty of working with such material.
The interviews of the Testimony – Truth or Politics archive were automatically transcribed, and each individual interview was analyzed for the frequency of the occurrence of individual words. The results of this analysis are aggregated and the results are used for creating a spoken word script. At the same time, the analysis results are used as numerical values that are translated into sound events occurring in step with the monodrama’s duration.
Conflict Syntax deals with the contextually loaded material of the Testimony – Truth or Politics archive and within the issues the project is trying to cope with. Ultimately, the predicate of Testimony – Truth or Politics is a question of justice. However, justice is a neuralgic point of discourse concerning the wars in Ex-Yugoslavia and the transition that ensued—it is elusive, breaks and mutates. In Conflict Syntax the deconstruction and re – signification of the material extracted from the archive through treating it as raw data is an attempt to homogenize the heterogeneous corpus of the archive, and reveal new insights and novel readings.
For the purpose of performing the text live, as a performance for a voice, a triangle and a metronome, the artist created a video to act as a tele-prompter for not only text but other elements in the score.
23 min, audio, stereo
written, performed, and engineered by: Lala Raščić
thank you: Peter Leonard and Damir Pečanac
Conflict Syntax appears as a part of the Testimony – Truth or Politics project and exhibition produced by CKZD and MSU, Belgrade, and has been supported by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union, Regional Cooperation and the Ministry of Culture, Serbia.