Freud strongly advises therapists not to write down a single word during the course of therapy sessions. Instead of taking notes, the therapist should suspend his attention evenly to all the patient’s statements and data, to receive all the information without interpreting or selecting. Therapists were advised to do the written report of each session at the end of the day. Freud, himself a writer in his own right, frames this listening technique by the metaphor of the telephone receiver, which is reproducing the unconsciousness of the patient in one’s own.
Technically speaking, the telephone is the predecessor of writing devices such as dictation machines, voice recorders, or speech-to-text applications on our nowadays mobile phones. We wonder if these devices could be also linked with the unconsciousness of their users in a non-metaphorical way?
To put it in another way, every act of writing is constituted by a threefold interplay of symbols, bodies and instruments. Each form of writing is embedded in an historical situation which subjects the act of writing to a specific regime. On the other hand, each writing regime produces specific forms of resistance, which could be understood as articulations of a writing regime’s unconsciousness.
From within the field of artistic research, basque artist Jon Mikel Euba deals with the possibility of resistance to conventional writing regimes through the development of an embodied practice that uses writing as a notation system that can be performed. In turn, Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector reinvented writing itself according to the logics of an idiosyncratic process analogue to the process of painting.
Our proposal consists of the research on the interchangeability between the heard, the written, the performed and the spoken built upon trans-disciplinary practices such as the ones of Lispector and Euba and our own experimental collaboration between the fields of writing studies and artistic research.
Ana de Almeida is an artist from Lisbon living and working in Vienna. Her interdisciplinary artistic practice addresses memory and remembering processes; narrative constructions that connect space and subject; and plurispatial and multilayered narratives in general. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna and 2021 recipient of the State Grant for Media Art of the Austrian Chancellery for Arts and Culture.
Christian Wimplinger is a university assistant at the Institute of German Philology of the University of Vienna, former Junior Fellow at the IFK (International Research Centre for Cultural Studies) in Vienna and is working on a dissertation on cooperative writing with a focus on the collaboration between Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge. Christian Wimplinger is also an associated member of the research platform “Mobile Cultures and Societies” at the University of Vienna and of the CENTRAL (Central European Network for Teaching and Research in Academic Liason) project “Transformations and Transfers. Space and Literary History” between the University of Vienna, the Humboldt Universität Berlin and the University of Warsaw.