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  • Cecilie Fang Jensen

All Tongues Are Moving

Updated: May 30, 2023

The sound is the extract of an audio documentation of the research installation ‘All tongues are moving, but we don’t hear them all’.

A performing time-specific sound installation piece performing over five days. With material resembling skin in a metal pond transforming over time, ice is changed daily to melt from the ceiling. A sensor attached to the metal detects the water and together with hydrophones (waterproof contact microphones), the transformation of water enables sound. Each drop of water creates. As the water enters a dialogue with the surface and materiality, the visual and sound co-transform, when rust slowly appears and the skin looking material decays.

At the beginning, the metal is clean and carries no water. Slowly over time as the ice melts, the amount of water grows, which changes the acoustics of the metal plate. When the water hits the sensor, the amount of water is measured and sending data to the sound software as a controller. As the acoustics of the metal changes, as the amount of water changes the data and as the skin looking material starts decaying and changing the watery texture, the sound transforms.

‘All tongues are moving, but we don’t hear them all’ was a research space of how the relationship of sound/silence can be a space of resistance, when language marginalizes. When language is meant to be relational; to form relations to others, when words move from one body to another. But in that exchange of words, we tend to forget how language is political. Forgetting that the language we are taught is the one with political value.

Can sound can be a more inclusive exchange, when sound only exists because of the relationships within a space? Inviting to listening, when sound crosses borders and is enabled as an immaterial body without skin.

‘All tongues are moving, but we don’t hear them all’ is the result of my 5 month research on how silence can be a space for resistance, when words carry violence and language politicizes. Work driven by research is also work carrying a certain temporality, when a visual answer is only a temporary answer as soon as a research continues.

Can the relationship of sound/silence be a tool of resistance, when words politicizes and marginalizes?

I am curious in exploring further, how sound can be a more inclusive exchange than language. Language carries both exclusion and inclusion depending on who speaks, yet also how one speaks. Language-wise, accent-wise and even subculture-wise. To use a language is to enter a territory of categories we assign bodies through gazing at skin. When language is built around both a visual and non-visual aspect as in spoken and written words, how can the relationship of visual and sound be a more inclusive exchange, when sound is an interconnected world existing between relations and the relationship of cause and effect?

Sound has the ability to birth a new body without skin. To break how words create borders between insiders and outsiders of a dominant culture.

Moving between material development, reading, and looking upon the relationships between cause and effect in a space. I am interested in linking hydro feminism to the development of watery materials as bio plastic; materials born of water, created by water, and linked to other bodies of water.

I anticipate to move between reading, writing and creating audiovisual work; a research of words in words, which can also be a contractionary space, when one is in the need of words to describe the violence of words. Not being interested in binaries, I want to research how it’s possible to create spaces of juxtapositions, when nothing is binary as such but exists in relation to another. When language both has the ability to create relations, but destroy the same ones as well. When water both birth bodies, but carries the ability to demolish the same bodies. And how the juxtapositions within a space have the ability to transform and raise the question of where the line between decaying and birthing lies? Is it possible to decay something to create spaces for something new to appear?

In the audiovisuals of the work, coincidence is essential. When grammar and structures within language carry patriarchal roots, is the constant birth of something without a grammar a resistance?

My research is intended to draw from intersectional feminist theory and move into a philosophy of senses. Coming from a visual background, I am interested in taking the sense of gazing further than leaving it in the historical relationship of an observer and subject. Gazing carries both a capitalist, patriarchal and colonial history, yet gazing is still so dominant in the present visual culture. Sound on the other hand is an overlooked sense – even in an environment of sound pollution. Yet sound crosses borders, when the soundwave of one immaterial or material body moves from one to another. The senses of gazing and listening are what I previously have researched. Now I am curious in exploring how other senses relate to the topic of space(s) of resistance. How the sense of touch, taste and smell may carry overlooked abilities to cross borders. Being half Chinese, my research of senses will also research how non-Western cultures have more than 5 senses, yet how in Western society gazing has been places as a hierarchical sense.


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