“Only superficial people do not judge by appearances. The true secret of the world lies in the visible, not in the invisible,” writes Oscar Wilde and C.G. Jung adds: “We are all mute children of the noise of civilization.
We, The Navidsons and “TGR –. …. . -. -“ – asked ourselves who and what should be represented and how for a possible tomorrow? Which pictures should be hurled into the future? How does our world sound today in its entirety? What message do we want to send our descendants? Should we rather warn them that they are not digging too far into our past? Or should we shout out to you everything that is going on in the world today? Can everyone have a voice or can we just say to some: ‘Shut Up! Is it possible to read “Fu1tu6E” from a comprehensive snapshot? Where to start, with this undertaking?
We start in f.ex. Ghent. In the heart of Europe, where everything is still so good. For “TGR –. …. . -. -“ (TGR = The Golden Records) we record the proposal of the representation of the world on two data discs with image and audio information of the two interstellar space probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, launched in 1977. The selection of images and sounds from the original plates was intended to convey an image of our humanity to a possible intelligent extraterrestrial life form. The NASA selection made over forty years ago was limited to the two records and to a very specific Central American context, which is why we will be creating a new, contemporary, critical, pluralistic, class-struggle, absurd, gender-parity, megalomaniac version of the Golden Records during the two weeks in Ghent. We don’t want an essentialization or representation of particular interests, but we want to create a poetic list out of a scientific list, in the sense of Umberto Ecoʻs Statement on an encyclopedic world view.
We want to transform a freight container into a temporary “culture tanker” and space station laboratory into a terrestrial “probe” of our society for two weeks. The audience should ‘write’ the actual performance. Together with the forces, ideas and abilities of passers-by, visitors and invited guests, we as theatre creators will translate, collect, locate and document the original images, sounds, pieces of music and noises. We understand the transformation of content and presentation of the material as an aesthetic process and our team as translation aids and chroniclers. We reenact pictures with the audience, collect, sing and make music and set off in search of the 60 languages, 19 sounds, 27 pieces of music and greetings in Ghent. Because collecting means choosing and choosing means making decisions. Our aim is to create the impossible space in which everything and everyone have their place. The selection and decisions will, we hope, lead to dissonances: With which 116 pictures would you depict our world? What are the 16 sounds that are important today? The sound of a Porsche Cayenne or the buzzing of honey bees? “The Whole World” by Sophie Hunger or rather “Round the World” by Beyoncé or simply the 9th Symphony by A. Dvořák?We accompany the discussions about the selection of the pictures with picture and sound and try to find specific questions about the situation of the world. These discussions are also documented on film, sound or text and also the “TGR –. …. . -… -” are added.
We imagine a 20′ overseas container whitewashed in gold as a translation laboratory and an operations centre. We equip it with technology, furniture, lamps and wallpaper. Alternative: We set up the laboratory as a publicly accessible space in the south stage. The laboratory consists of 4 areas, which allow the recording of 116 pictures, 27 pieces of music, 19 sounds and 55 greetings messages. For example, there is a reception area for recording conversations and sounds, an intimate and exposed place where greetings are received, a simple image and video laboratory and a small stage for the production of music.
Outside the laboratory’s opening hours, the bright golden container as a sound and light sculpture will attract more people by playing its stored sounds and images. A notice board provides information about the project. Passers-by* can use a device with a microphone on the container to leave a secret commentary on the project. The “probe” forms the centre of the laboratory. A small container hangs from the ceiling of the large container, all cables flow together there and go out from there; a transport box for the audio and video equipment and the storage medium: the “golden hard disk”.
A minimalist equipment with which the material of our search can be created, stored and played back. A multimedia hard disk does not only store all the material of our search, it also offers various connection possibilities for image processing and sound editing on stationary computers. In the 12 days of working time the collection of material of the “TGR –. …. . -… -” and is presented in two performances as crystallization points of a continuous publication in the form of a lecture performance and then sealed.
At the moment there are two ideas for the conclusion of the project: the version could be sent on a journey with this “probe” as a reconstructable installation. A construction plan is given to the probe and forms the basis for the design of the laboratory at other stations of the “probe”. Or the probe is buried on site in a 12 meter deep hole for a future life form.