Indisciplinary Symphony – Train Method

Moving image, Music and Sound Art, Visual Arts


Photo: Nina de Vroome, Nicolina Stylianou

Moving landscapes in several wagons and displaced locomotive

Series of sensible interventions in the intersection of law, politics and the arts. Consideration of hypothesis on the frequent practice of equality and emancipation as a source of "customary right for all", with the aim of establishing a more justly sensitive and cognitive map of the world as a new phase of social relations.

In 1961 at an age of 19, Jacque Ranciere's begin his writings, with a text commenting on an early Marx criticizing a law sanctioning firewood theft, imprisoning hundreds of thousands of Prussian proletarians. Rancière's research then devoted to intellectual emancipation and the dehierarchization of knowledge, later focused on political emancipation and from 2000 onwards sensible emancipation and aesthetics has been the main focus.

Intervention for "Dada, Law, Rancère" session in the seminar about intersection of Law, Art and Philosophy connected with Jacques' s Rancière's poetics. Collective work with Ivana Momčilović.

Organized by University of Helsinki, Aalto University and Uniarts Helsinki in collaboration with "PhD In One Night", April-June 2020.

Part 0: Instead of Locomotive

We take as our departure two sources. The first is a hypothesis that every thought and aesthetic intervention (like Ranciere's first text from 1961, based on the "non-critical side of Marxs's critique") is a kind of poetic judgment and search for increasingly poetic, universal and just justice. The second source is the course of events that led to the separation of the Dadaist- and Surrealist movements played out through the famous performance, the mock-trial titled "The Trial of Barrés", in which the French writer Maurice Barrés a revolutionary thinker turned nationalist, was accused of "a crime against the security of the spirit", and sentenced to twenty years of forced labour by twelve jury-spectators.

Through a series of poetic-political interventions and experimentations which Anders Fjeld calls "aesthetic cartographies of situations", we attempted to summarize the relationship between the world's production of sensible matter and its influence on emancipation and equality as a micro political catalyst to which Ranciere has dedicated his literary practice and his research.

In summary, we put in front of all of us the following question: Could a systematic practice of sensible emancipation and equality in a world reigned by private property become the domain of "customary right for all", and not as young Marx suggested customary right (only) for the poor? Could this "customary right for all" become the source of a new self-managed justice, a "new era of world's human history", needed more than ever today by so many.

Collective work by students and Ivana Momčilović Editing (sound and images)+ Voice over: Nicolina Stylanou

Part 1: First Wagon - Judge's Wife

"In this short film, I examine a complicated relation between art and revolution. What happens when art is displaced from its conventional esthetic position to the field of politics and ethics? I present a chamber opera The Judge’s Wife which was performed in 2017 in Helsinki. While composing the opera I was mainly focusing on one specific personal question: When could I react so powerfully that I would take part in a revolutionary act? While I am answering the question I try to find an example of a non-violent revolutionary act. And unexpectedly, by the aid of Jacques Rancière and film "Poems From which we learned" by PhD In One Night, I found one – The Standing man."

By Riikka Talvitie; composer, doctoral student at DocMus Uniarts

Part 2: Second Wagon - Blanqui, Stars, Watkins and Rancière

Louis Auguste Blanqui was born in 1805 and was a revolutionist at heart. Preferring uprisings before general elections, he was a dangerous thinker in a system and a time where societal changes were either so slow that even the most patient observer couldn’t witness the development, or so disruptive that it turned a whole hierarchic system upside down. In a Rancièist method, this film explores the ramifications of Blanqui's passions on Peter Watkins film La Commune (2000).

By Nina de Vroome; film director and educator.

Part 3: Third Wagon - The Law of Unknown and The Unknown Law - Rosa Parks in the Train of History

For the beginning, in and off the train, in the accompanying landscape, through the window, passing: Gabriel Gauny, a parquet worker, Karl Marx, Mary Anne Walkley, August Blanky, some “midinettes”, Leo Tolstoy, Sergei Eisentein, Dziga Vertov, masses, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Alexandr Medvedkin, Chris Marker, Jacques Rancière, Dadaists, Surrealists, Rosa Parks, lawyers, students, Frederic Rzewski, Emancipated Judge, Judge's Wife, members of The Red Brigades, standing man, anonymous, amateurs, you, me….

By Kosta Jakić, pianist and musician, MA student of classical piano, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, The Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp

Collective students' work with Ivana Momčilović

Editing (sound and images): Neđo Gavrić Voice over: Cristian-Andrei Dohanici Intervention “Music, Medicine, Law and Tactics of Fiction” by Kosta Jakić

Fragments from the film "Voortaanvluchtig" by Nina de Vroome, 2012, Dutch, 24′, Bachelorfilm Royal Academy of Fine Arts Ghent (KASK).

Part 4: Wagon in the Wagon - We Want to Sing Together

In its original form, choral singing is a collective activity, where people gather to make music - by contributing to the whole with their own presence and voices. One of the most popular ways of spending free time together has been compromised during the 2020 pandemic and forced to either cease or reshape itself. During the prohibition of public gatherings to protect public health, Kristina's video considers choral singing as art in the form of “customary right for all” and outlines the strong foundations for its perseverance. It considers the pandemic from a chorister's point of view, and singing together as a collective, political and sensible action - while leaving space for various outcomes for the future.

By Kristina E Bogataj, choral conductor, choral conductor, musician, MA student of Sibelius Academy.

Part 5: Wagon inside Locomotive – Landscapes through the Window

The ‘Wagon Inside Locomotive – Landscapes through the Window intervention, considers the current political situation in the Republic of Cyprus, and the illegal occupation by the Turkish troops since the Turkish invasion in 1974. Nicolina Stylianou, re-visits her childhood and describes how the view from her window shapes her personal urgency for resistance and freedom. She finds herself in an image, where two opposing figures, on one hand the Turkish flag on the Pentadaktylos mountain, suggesting the abolishment of freedom and on the other the horses in Ayios Dometios, suggesting freedom’s natural force. At this journey, Stylianou’s works ‘Serpent and Lily’ (2018) and ‘Dithyramb’ (2017-2019) become the revolutionary instruments of resistance and bring into focus an act of remembrance of the lives lost, the rapes, the violations of cultural heritage, the trauma and the will to emancipate the land from any form of repression, occupation, abuse of power, and transgression of the national laws. In Stylianou’s poetic narration, one senses an inner desire for a liberated spirit that moves beyond life, matter, and the cruel and unjust governmental treatment of people as well as violations of human rights.

By Nicolina Stylanou, visual artist, student in MA Live Arts and Performance Studies, Theatre Academy.

Collective student's work with Ivana Momčilović