Compost and Height at QO2 Winter School 2014


Compost and Height will be speaking at the QO2 Winter School, Brussels. 6 December 2014.

In light of the theme ‘Interpretation’, Farmer and Hughes present two separate interpretations of the 2011 Compost and Height project based on George Brecht’s Water Yam. They each elaborate on individual research interests, the role that Compost and Height plays in the development of such interests, and their own accounts of collaborative practice. By welcoming any chance repetitions, contradictions and diverging interpretations of the project, the authors propose a point at which contraries can meet.

Hughes retrospectively articulates the Water Yam project in line with ideas developed in her 2014 essay ‘The Continuum of the Field’, which discusses Pisaro’s Only [Harmony Series #17] and John Berger’s 1972 essay ‘Field’. Hughes further explores the role of the event within contemporary composition, both through Water Yam and its antecedents in the work of various Surrealist writers, poets and artists. By making connections to preceding exponents of artistic practice, Hughes questions the political economy of a certain type of artistic production that evades commodification and the agency inherent to both historic and contemporary work.

For Farmer, Brecht’s event-scores are interpreted as a means of correspondence and an affective mode of expanded listening. Farmer’s approach to the Water Yam project concentrates on his interpretation of the collected event-scores as being a ‘species’ of novel. Two textual realisations, by Julia Eckhardt and David R J Stent, are considered by Farmer as a slowing down of the way we approach plain language, with the interpretations being viewed as distortions of Brecht’s desire to pay attention to the focused and humorous surround of the everyday, such as the turning on of a light switch or the ignition of a car. Developing his current research, Farmer will discuss various modes of poetics in relation to what he feels are the main differences between ‘corresponding with’ and the ‘performance of’ event-scores. Farmer’s interest, in particular, concerns how the former approach may lend itself to a textual co-response that ultimately tries to establish a kind of osmotic rapport between the writing and its participant.

Full details of the Winter School are available here.

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