Figure 1. Spore. Image credit: Virginia Barratt.
‘CryptoCunterie: each rock a word’ (2021)
Performance lecture/experimental interview.
By In Her Interior (Virginia Barratt & Francesca da Rimini) with Lexi Mossop
For MoneyLab #X – Economythologies, In Her Interior animated Spore, Spine of Wonder, and Khaos, and created a short video with Virginia, Francesca and Alexandra Mossop vocally inhabiting the 3 avatars. The mood is prophetic, recalling perhaps a scene from Michael Cacoyannis’s 1962 film of Euripides’ tragedy Electra.
Notes on context, co-creation and constraint-based writing
The impetus for writing Cryptographic Country: each rock a word was an invitation from Nancy Mauro-Flude and Denise Thwaites (Co-convenors) and Alexandra Mossop (Publication Coordinator) to participate in MoneyLab #X – Economythologies. This multisite event and online artistic program (2020-21) aim to build ‘a transdisciplinary research network on alternative economies that stretches across our planetary archipelago; Australia, Asia, the Pacific and beyond’.
In Her Interior (IHI) generated and executed a series of writing constraints or rules. Rule 1 instructed Virginia Barratt, Francesca da Rimini and Alexandra Mossop each to select 5 quotes sparked by MoneyLab’s themes such as homo ecologicus. The quotes were starters in a process mirroring how yeast added to flour and water produces a ferment for bread dough, or a SCOBY added to tea and sugar produces kombucha. Words were gleaned from Maria Alyokhini, Silvia Federici, Nancy Mauro-Flude & Denise Thwaites, Aristea Fotopoulou, Inte Gloerich, David Graeber, Laura Lotti, Ursula K Le Guin, Christian Marazzi, David Orrell, Marion Sharples, Anna Tsing, Paolo Virno, and Kate Wright.
Writing Constraints / Rules
In the end IHI did not faithfully follow all the rules that they created, because the text began to take on a life of its own. However, all rules, including those that fell by the wayside, are listed below. Individual lines were attributed, albeit somewhat randomly, or intuitively, to 3 avatars or characters−Spore, Spine of Wonder, and Khaos. (These rules can be adapted freely by other writers for their own projects.)
Cryptographic Country Rules
(after Rule #1, follow the subsequent rules in any order that appeals to you)
Rule 3.5: Respond to each quote with as many words as you like.
In Her Interior (Virginia Barratt and Francesca da Rimini) co-create poems, multimedia works and site-specific installations. Their constraint-based experimentation often involves accomplices–local land custodians, sound artists, birdwatchers, writers, philosophers, gleaners. They have performed and exhibited in galleries, repurposed industrial sites and theatres in Helsingør, London, Berlin, New York, Graz, Adelaide, Byron Bay, Sydney and Melbourne. Collaborations include B.A.B.S., The Darkening: Language lined with flesh lined with language, Songs for Skinwalking the Drone (a commissioned libretto), Hexing the Alien, echolalia: golden iterations, The Tender Alembicians Suite, The Sorrows of the Mulloway, and Tell me what you see outside.
Figure 2 Spine of Wonder Image credit: Virginia Barratt.
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