The Loaned Terminology, set 2


Edgar Schmitz thinks the institution is not indifferent to the ways in which we describe it. Language produces a certain version of an institution. Therefore, substituting language, re-arranging it, and re-distributing it, causes different ways of constructing the infrastructure of the institution.

In his role as the Shadow Artist, Edgar Schmitz loans a set of alternative terminology to Netwerk Aalst.

The second set is made up of three operations that speak to our concern about how to consider, address, account for and engage with, what we in the arts would have called ‘the local’ in a different time and context.

Whilst the first set offers reference categories, the second set proposes actions to be performed, that re-arrange relationships. If anything, they are more polemically opposed to existing vocabularies and their inherent political and ideological inscriptions (mainly to do with how they consolidate hierarchies by declaring some to be wanting, and others to be in a position to remedy that lack…).

– Edgar Schmitz

4. Tunneling

In relation to replacing ‘bridging’ when it comes to talk about ‘reaching out’ to audiences.

Tunneling displaces the idea of ‘bridging’ and suggests that connections between two points are not always best made out in the open, may have a dark and intensely material side, and often produce substantial amounts of debris that need to be taken care of. In the kinds of tunnels dug to enter vaults and safes, this debris is often more of a problem than the blatant lack of oxygen, and even the noise.

Talking of tunneling instead of bridging asks to re-consider what kinds of connections we want, and which type of effort may be required to facilitate them.

5. Perforating

This term is different from ‘opening up’ because it dramatises the interface between inside and outside, instead of dismantling it. We do not open up or disclose content or an artistic practice but perforate it.

Some perforations allow to tear along a line, others let strictly controlled amounts of air or light through.

Talking of perforating instead of opening allows you to only ever pierce the outward facing surfaces and screens of a building; the operation has to factor in resistances and surface tensions, and only ever creates partial and heavily obstructed transparencies.

6. Portalling

Instead of connecting.

When we use ‘portalling’, we shift the action of movement from the idea of a transition toward an understanding of discontinuous connections and leaps across time and space.

Portals do not normally allow for continuous space, instead they manifest as a vibration of some sort in the surface texture of the image.

They brake the direct interdependence and relevance often required or asked for.

Talking of portalling instead of connecting insists on the odd trajectories enacted in (not only) virtual architectures, and the kinds of displacements they allow for.