wire, photographic documentation of performance
Playing on the idea of space, Dana Iskakova considered how little space an internationally travelling artist might take up. She solved the problem of visas, migration and language barriers by sonstructing a wire frame, hollow from the inside - a perfect container for any contemporary art ideas, foldable, modular, and climate-neutral.
The images were produced by directing a projector from the train window and photographing the result whilst riding through the Kazakh steppe. All the projected words are inspired by the journey through multiple countries and across their borders.
book, 76 pages
Humanoids was written on the train and is situated on the edge [or in between] theory and literature. It follows the tradition of borrowing in literature, like collage and pastiche – taking a word from here, a sentence from there – Michel de Certeau’s related concept of bricolage – William Burroughs Cut-Up technique – Kathy Acker’s plagiarism – Walter Benjamin’s professed love for copying and the means of appropriation in the tradition of Shanzhai. Combining historical traditions in literature with new technologies – some as simple as using the three keystrokes: select / copy / paste; translation programmes, or speech-to-text editors – the authors (the re-mixers) try to explore new ways of writing by dealing with a basic change in the operating system of how we write at the root level. By accepting that language is “already written” and gets recycled via ongoing social/political institutions and linguistic fashion, the authors the re-mixers – in place of innovation – employ appropriation and the queering of existing styles, and genres. In place of a coherent text, they favor a form that is fragmentary, inconclusive and digressive.
video loop, animation
Leonid Khan drew the succession of a blinking eye, frame by frame, in each public toilet he visited - from zurich to Almaty, via Moscow, Berlin and Turkestan. Thes result is a hallucinatory, dizzying run through space and time.
Feelings of Europe
4 posters, A2
During their stay in Zurich, Dana and Leonid mapped how strongly their feeling of being in Europe corresponded to their ideas and ideals in a graph. Where did they feel most "in Europe"? What changed about their pre-conceived notion of whatis European and what is Asian? Where can borders be felt, and where do they disappear?
clay flower pots, blacklight, carpet, neon paint
Anne-Laure Franchette collected wild invasive plants next to train stations and construction sites at every stop between Zurich and Almaty. She relocated the little passengers into a container, and took them on their first lengthy voyage. The plants thus became undocumented, uprooted migrants. her artwork questions notions of urbanism and nature, motion and migration, and shifts the focus towards non-human agents.
Fuck You, Olafur Eliasson, We Did it In A Train
Gelatine prints on phtosensitive paper, developed in a camera obscura created in a train carriage
What do you see when you look out of a train window? Do the landscapes, whizzying past your carriage, all blur into one? Does the frame of the window limit your vision? What if the limits were much bigger? Dilda Kulmagambetova and Takhir Yakharov converted their compartments into a camera obscura, by using makeshift equipment; like a blanket with a hole cut into it. The light passing through the hole created photographs on sheets of photosensitive paper. The premise of this work deals with movement, the appropriation of space and the relation to the photographic image through time.
"Sorry, ich habe gespritzt."
plastic buckets, water, pump
The plastic counterpart of a classical three-tier fountain, the likes of which can be found in luxurious gardens in Europe.
Sculpture: suitcase, clay, human hair, mirror
During the journey from Zurich to Almaty, Dana Iskakova's suitcase started looking the worse for wear with every passing kilometer. After being shlepped across Europe and Asia, the sad remnants of the suitcase were incorporated by Lucien Wampfler for his navel-gazing, half-human, half-object sculpture Pupok (Russian for "navel").
video installation, 10:00 (sound by Gregor Vogel)
When filming from a train or any other speeding vehicle, the Rolling Shutter effect distorts straight lines and angels. Coupled with digital recording techniques, it produces a fragmentation of colour channels, as each object leaves rainbow-coloured traces in its wake. Anvar Musrepov and Gregor Vogel filmed the scenery through a train window, mixing in experimental sounds generated from a miniature synthesizer. The result is a glitchy, fragmented, surreal landscape.
During the journey from zurich to Almaty, the artists crossed more than 7 borders and 4 time zones. However, time is extremely relative in these circumstances: all Russian trains operate on Moscow time (meaning that the time inside the carriage is different to the time outside). Coupled with the uncertainty of how long one has to wait at border crossings, a feeling of being suspended in time emerges. Gregor Vogel threw a cheap plastic watch through the train window each time a border was (probably) crossed and filmed their shattering to pieces in a temporal no-man's land.
Migrating Sounds And Voices
five speakers, spray-coated tubes, audio recordings
Claudia Stöckli recorded voices, announcements, and the grinding of the iron trains as it sped through Eurpe and Asia. The remixed sounds were played from within large tubes, reverberating eerily when dissociated from their source.
"Еду по России, не доеду до конца..."
“Traveling through Russia, never reaching its end…”
[j'edú] [pa] [ròs':ìì] | [n'e] [dòj'èdù] [dó] [kant͡sá]/
looped video animation
“The longest continuous route on the journey from Zurich to Almaty were the three days between Moscow and Turkestan. I travelled this segment of the route mostly in solitude. Somewhere in "Napoleonic" Russia" where there are no roads, only directions, I found myself in a state of trance, where borders and time no longer matter. Once you become detached of everything, you become a helpless witness, unable to influence the speed of movement or the appearance of successive landscapes. The words on the window become part of the landscape, and you mutter them like a spell.”
Train Talk Show
video documentation of a performance
"Where are you from? Why do you travel by train? Are you happy where you live? Do you consider your government to be just? " Thesequestions can be highly political, especially when directed at a person one hardly knows. Anvar Musrepov wrote a questionnaire and sest up an almost child-like cardboard setting for a "Train Talk-Show", complete with a cardboard camera, microphone and tv-set. The playful environment had the effect of making the guests of his show more at ease in the setting, allowing for discussion around sensitive topics to emerge smoothly and still seriously.