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@ -8,6 +8,8 @@ author: Ada
### A narrative exploration of divergent digital intimacies
---
> Water, stories, the body,
> all the things we do, are
> mediums
@ -15,6 +17,8 @@ that hide and show whats
> hidden.
> (Rumi, 1995 translation)
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## ꙳for you
All intimacy is about bodies.
@ -100,6 +104,8 @@ Safe dreams now, I will talk to you soon.
> not to drown me."
> (Yun, 2020)
---
### a. what is a digital body?
A digital body is a body on the Internet.
@ -479,6 +485,8 @@ like an image of your mind on a scientists screen.
> "In the town square, in the heart of night (a delicacy like the heart of an artichoke), a man dances cheek-to-cheek with the infinite blue."
> (Schwartz, 2022)
---
### a. comfort care
Lets care for this digital body.

@ -7,7 +7,7 @@ author: Aglaia
# Talking Documents
###
![WDKA- Winjhaven Building- February 2024- reading of act0 and act1](../aglaia/wijnhaven.JPG)
![WDKA- Winjhaven Building- February 2024- reading of act0 and act1](../aglaia/wijnhaven.JPG){.half-image}
This project appeared as a need to explore potential bureaucratic dramaturgies within the educational institution I was part as a student. I was curious about educational bureaucratic mechanisms being driven by smaller-scale paperwork struggles and peers narratives, stories and experiences. However, unexpected emergencies - due to my eviction on the 31st of January 2024 - placed centrally my personal struggles unfolded in parallel with the making period. I ended up conducting accidentally auto-ethnography as the project was dynamically being reshaped due to the material constraints of the bureaucratic timeline.
@ -15,29 +15,32 @@ Talking Documents are performative bureaucratic text inspections that intend to
Central element of this project is a seven-act scenario that construct my personal paperwork story, unraveling the actual struggles of my communication with the government. The body of the text of the “theatrical” script is sourced from the original documents, email threads as well as recordings of the conversations with the municipality of Rotterdam I documented and archived throughout this period. I preserved the sequence of the given sentences and by discarding the graphic design of the initial forms, I structured and repurposed the text into a playable scenario.
![Act 2 "Call with the municipality about the rejection of my application"](../aglaia/call1.png)
![Act 2 "Call with the municipality about the rejection of my application"](../aglaia/call1.png){.full-image}
![ ](../aglaia/call2.png)
![ ](../aglaia/call2.png){.full-image}
![Act 7 "Confirmation document of my deregistration"](../aglaia/dereg1.png)
![Act 7 "Confirmation document of my deregistration"](../aglaia/dereg1.png){.full-image}
![ ](../aglaia/dereg2.png)
![ ](../aglaia/dereg2.png){.full-image}
I perceive the document as a unit and as the fundamental symbolic interface of the bureaucratic network. The transformation of the materiality of a document into a scenario to be enacted collectively in public aims to examine these artifacts and highlight the shrouded performative elements of these processes.
I see the collective readings of these scenarios as a way of instant publishing and as a communal tool of inspecting bureaucratic bordering infrastructures. How can these re-enactments be situated in different institutional contexts and examine their structures?
I organized a series of performative readings of my own bureaucratic literature in different spaces and contexts, pubic and semi-public WDKA, Art Meets Radical Openness Festival in Linz, the City Hall of Rotterdam where I invited people to perform the play together, like a tiny theater.
![Art Meets Radical Openness Festival Linz, Austria - May 2024 - Reading Act 2 and Act3 in the tent](../aglaia/AMRO_all.jpg)
![Art Meets Radical Openness Festival Linz, Austria - May 2024 - Reading Act 2 and Act3 in the tent](../aglaia/AMRO_all.jpg){.half-image}
![ ](../aglaia/AMRO_kamo.jpg)
![ ](../aglaia/AMRO_kamo.jpg){.image-80}
The marginal voices of potential applicants are embodying and enacting a role. “The speech does not only describe but brings things into existence”(Austin, 1975). My intention was to stretch the limits of dramaturgical speech through vocalizing a document and turn individual administrative cases into public ones. How do the inscribed words in the documents are not descriptive but on the contrary “are instrumentalized in getting things done”(Butler,1997). Words as active agents. Bodies as low-tech “human microphones”. A group of people performs the bureaucratic scenario in chorus, out loud, in the corridor of the schools building, in the main hall, at the square right across, outside of the municipality building.
I documented and recorded these public acts and I re-created the collectively voiced scenario. This audio piece is a constellation of different recordings and soundscapes of these public moments, a vocal archive, published in the graduation exhibition of XPUB in 2024.
![City Hall Rotterdam - May 2024 - Reading of Act 5 and Act 6](../aglaia/gemeente_front.jpg)
![The garden of Gemeente](../aglaia/statue_garden.jpg)
The marginal voices of potential applicants are embodying and enacting a role. “The speech does not only describe but brings things into existence”(Austin, 1975). My intention was to stretch the limits of dramaturgical speech through vocalizing a document and turn individual administrative cases into public ones. How do the inscribed words in the documents are not descriptive but on the contrary “are instrumentalized in getting things done”(Butler,1997). Words as active agents. Bodies as low-tech “human microphones”. A group of people performs the bureaucratic scenario in chorus, out loud, in the corridor of the schools building, in the main hall, at the square right across, outside of the municipality building.
![The garden of Gemeente](../aglaia/statue_garden.jpg){.full-image}
I documented and recorded these public acts and I re-created the collectively voiced scenario. This audio piece is a constellation of different recordings and soundscapes of these public moments, a vocal archive, published in the graduation exhibition of XPUB in 2024.

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@ -32,14 +32,16 @@ In the third and last chapter, I bridge the written text with the ongoing projec
---
## borders
> “on the other side is the river
> and I cannot cross it
> on the other side is the sea
> I cannot bridge it”
> (Anzaldua, 1987)
---
## borders
How a border is defined? How, as an entity, does it define? How is it performed? I used to think of borders in a material concrete way, coming from a country of the European South that constitutes a rigid, violent border that repulses and kills thousands of migrants and refugees. In the following chapter, I will attempt to explore the terrain of material borders in relation to bureaucracy as another multi-layered filter.
What constitutes a border? Is it a wall, a line, a fence, a machine, a door, an armed body or a wound on the land? When somebody crosses a border are they consciously aware of the act of crossing? I am crossing the pedestrian street and walking on the white stripes to reach the pedestrian route right across. Are the white stripes a border or a territory to be crossed to reach another situation? Does the way I perform my walking when I step onto the white stripes change? Is there any embodied knowledge about what could be classified as border? Under which circumstances does this knowledge become canonical? I hop over a fence that separates one garden from another. What if instead of assuming that the fence is a device or a furniture or a material of enclosure, it is just part of the same land? The process or act of jumping a fence can be itself a moment of segregation and a moment of re-establishing or demonstrating the bordering function of it.
@ -86,9 +88,7 @@ The notion of hospitality is excessively instrumentalized within the Greek conte
Hospitality can function as a filtration mechanism that permits access lets in the ones who deserve it, those who have “passports, valid visas, adequate bank statements, or invitations” (Khosravi, 2010). By doing this, unproductive hospitality is being avoided due to sovereign states border regulations and checks. Conditional hospitality, is about worthiness, is directed towards migrants deemed good and productive skilled and capable for assimilation- or a tiny minority of vulnerable and marginalized asylum seekers who lack representation. Only in a world where the nation-states boundaries have been dismantled and where the undocumented, stateless, non-citizens are unconditionally accepted, only at this moment, we are able to imagine the “political and ethical survival of humankind” (Agamben, 2000). Hospitality does not seem a matter of choice but a profound urgency, if humanity desires to foster a future together.
#### “the right to have rights”
(Arendt, as cited by Khosravi, 2010, p.121)
#### “the right to have rights”<sup><span class="margin-note">(Arendt, as cited by Khosravi, 2010, p.121)</span></sup>
What about the crossers who managed to travel and reach the desirable “there”, the ones who transcended the borders and the control checks of the ministries of defense(7), the ones who enter but do not own papers, the paperless? What does it mean to be documented and what is inefficiently documented within a territory? They are threatened if they get caught by authorities and also according to the official narrative, they threaten. Since the physical mechanisms of bordering did not succeed in repulsing them, the bureaucratic border appears as an additional layer of filtration. The undocumented are non-citizens, they might be crossers or burners(8), both, or even none. “Undocumented migrants and unauthorized border crossers are polluted and polluting because of their very unclassifiability” (Borelli, Poy, Rué, 2023). The loss of citizenship, denaturalisation, makes somebody denaturalised, they are rendered unnatural. “Citizenship has become the nature of being human” (Koshravi, 2010).
@ -143,6 +143,7 @@ Undoubtedly the success of bureaucracy is drawn from its efficiency in relation
There is a great materiality in bureaucracies. Bureaucratic procedures are often compared to a labyrinth which appears as a similarly complex structure constituted by simple geometrical shapes (Weber, as cited by Cunningham, 2017, p.310). Bureaucratic documents can be complicated and multiple due to this infinite accumulation of really simple but at the same time contradictory elements. A constant juxtaposition of letters, symbols, stamps, signatures, paper, ink, barcodes, QR codes within a circuit of workers, interweaved and interconnected offices, repetitive performative tasks and rituals.
Underneath every bureaucratic document, there is a good amount of graphic design labor. What kind of visual strategy is embedded in administrative objects that the design aspect of these artifacts appears to be invisible? The material decisions applied as well as the material constraints attributed to the document can transform or produce different textual meanings and consequently understandings.
> “This does not mean that constraints limit meaning, but on the contrary, constitute it; meaning cannot appear where freedom is absolute or nonexistent: the stem of meaning is that of a supervised freedom”
> (Roland Barthes, 1983)
@ -155,9 +156,8 @@ One month ago (from the writing present), my friend Chae made for my birthday th
In the latter case, the inscription technology used is the sugar blue paste and the handwriting of Chae. The text in the white-blue government document forces a different reading from the white-blue biscuit document, even if they carry the same bits of information. If I do not read carefully the text in the folder and if I do not act according to the suggested actions there is a threat. The level of threat varies in relation to the case, the identities of the holder, the state, the context, etc. There is no room for negotiation in bureaucracy and this is the omnipresent underlying violence. The threat of violence shrouded within its structures and foundations does not permit any questioning but on the contrary creates “willful blindness” towards them<sup><span class="margin-note">I am referring to those people subjecting others to bureaucratic circles shaped by structurally violent situations as well as people in positions of privilege who deliberately ignore these facts.</span></sup>. Bureaucracies are not stupid inherently rather they manage and coerce processes that reproduce docile and stupid behaviors.
---
![The birthday biscuit that Chae made, re-creating the Dutch government form](../aglaia/chae_form.jpg)
![The birthday biscuit that Chae made, re-creating the Dutch government form](../aglaia/chae_form.jpg){.image-95}
---
@ -194,7 +194,7 @@ These 'rituals' are components of a larger “culture of evidence”, serving as
---
![The linguistic experiment of the Quality Assurance Questionnaire Document](../aglaia/quality.jpg)
![The linguistic experiment of the Quality Assurance Questionnaire Document](../aglaia/quality.jpg){.full-image}
---
@ -210,11 +210,11 @@ These 'rituals' are components of a larger “culture of evidence”, serving as
**Reflections-Thoughts:** Beyond the information gathered through my bureaucratic-like questionnaires, the most crucial element of this experiment was the understanding and highlighting of the hidden performative elements that entrench these “rituals”. It was amazing seeing the audience becoming instantly actors of the play enacting willingly a administrative ritualistic scene.
The provided context of this “play” was a social library hosting a masters course public event on graduation projects. I am wondering whether this asymphony between the repetitive bureaucratic acts within the space of Leeszaal, where such acts are not expected to be performed, evoked contradictory feelings or thoughts. Over-identifying with a role was being instrumentalized as an “interrogation” of ones own involvement in the reproduction of social discourses, power, authority, hegemony.
![Leeszaal West Rotterdam - November 2023 People queuing to receive their documents and sign. I was thinking of queues as a spatial oppressive tool used often by (bureaucratic) authorities. The naturalized image of bodies-in-a-line waiting for “something” to happen at “some point” under the public gaze in an efficiently defined area.](../aglaia/queue.jpg)
![Leeszaal West Rotterdam - November 2023 People queuing to receive their documents and sign. I was thinking of queues as a spatial oppressive tool used often by (bureaucratic) authorities. The naturalized image of bodies-in-a-line waiting for “something” to happen at “some point” under the public gaze in an efficiently defined area.](../aglaia/queue.jpg){.half-image}
---
![One of the forms that the audience had to fill out during the Lesszaal event](../aglaia/mitsi.jpg)
![One of the forms that the audience had to fill out during the Lesszaal event](../aglaia/mitsi.jpg){.full-image}
---
@ -234,15 +234,10 @@ The provided context of this “play” was a social library hosting a masters c
We read the embedded signs, symbols, categories, texts, magical numbers in our passports that construct our profiles. Seeing someone's passport, ID cards, visas, travel documents might mean that you are able to understand how easy or not is for them to move, what are their travel paths, how departure or arrival is smooth or cruel. Are there emotions along the way? For some people these are documents “that embody power — minimal or no waiting, peaceful departure, warm and confident arrival” (Khosravi, 2021).
---
![Part of the A6 booklet of the transcription of the passport readings session](../aglaia/passport1.png)
---
![ ](../aglaia/passport2.png)
![ ](../aglaia/passport1.png){.full-image}
![Part of the A6 booklet of the transcription of the passport readings session]
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@ -261,7 +256,7 @@ The first and the last moment of the performance was during a semi-public tryout
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![A6 booklet of the first chapter of the “theatrical” scenario created out of the Postal Address Application documents and performed by XPUB peers](../aglaia/postal.png)
![A6 booklet of the first chapter of the “theatrical” scenario created out of the Postal Address Application documents and performed by XPUB peers](../aglaia/postal.png){.full-image}
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@ -277,11 +272,11 @@ My intention is to facilitate a series of collective performative readings of bu
---
![ ](../aglaia/objection1.png)
![ ](../aglaia/objection1.png){.full-image}
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![ ](../aglaia/objection2.png)
![ ](../aglaia/objection2.png){.full-image}
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