- The Overview
One of the more common images associated with the act of reading is that of a sedentary and forward-leaning person. But if you think instead of how one acquires audiobooks, it is doubtful that it would be a sedentary person that you imagine – rather, our understanding of the audiobook is characterized by a completely different bodily situation, namely movement. It is often emphasized that the audiobook enables people to absorb literature while engaging in other activities. But what bearing does the actual physicality of listening to the audiobook have on the audiobook as an artwork, except that there is a simultaneity when you, for example, listen to a book while doing the dishes? How is a literary work affected by the fact that, when listening, one performs various physical activities – walking, working, commuting, cooking, and so on?
On the one hand, this type of question brings us to the sound setup of the everyday that has become so widespread today: the idea of your own soundtrack, the soundtrack of your life, that follows you and colors all your experiences. On the other hand, there are more specific issues concerning the interplay between body and sound, movement and attention, which have to do with memory rather than mood. What happens to the act of listening when you add the rhythm of the body, no matter how vague or complicated it may be, that arises in the movements? What happens to the act of listening when walking or running or cycling, apart from the fact that attention sometimes slips between the inner and the outer (which is also the case when reading a book)? How does the physical environment interact with the book? How are stories connected to everyday life and the place?
This experiment takes shape in travel and movement. It starts on the morning of the 9/4, at MDT on Skeppsholmen in Stockholm, with an introduction by artist and choreographer Pontus Pettersson about bodyliness and sound. Afterwards, each participant is instructed, during the afternoon and evening, to listen to either Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Lila hibiskus (read by Tuva Novotny) or Jens Lapidus Snabba Cash (read by Morgan Alling). Some participants will be asked to travel somewhere – hop on the Vaxholm ferry or the commuter train or bus number 4 – and others will be asked to perform some sort of activity involving movement; cycle to Söderort, walk around Skeppsholmen, get your running shoes out for an hour or so. The goal is to summarize your experiences in a way that can be communicated to the other participants on Sunday 10/4. It can be in the form of a text, a recording, a choreography or a performance – the main thing is that you reflect on the relationship of physicality and bodyliness to the experience of a sounding literature.
Pre-registration is required to participate in the experiment, and is done here. The event is free, but places are limited.
Please note that the experiment will be conducted in Swedish.
Editorial staff: Yolanda Bohm Ramirez, Jesper Olsson, Fredrik Nyberg, Sol Andersson, Erik Lindman Mata and Magnus William-Olsson.
Introduction at MDT: Pontus Pettersson
Project coordinator Kritiklabbet: Erik Lindman Mata
Coordinator MDT: Mariana Suikkanen Gomes
Co-produced by: MDT and Kritiklabbet
Supported by: The Swedish Arts Grants Committee
- About Pontus Pettersson
Pontus Pettersson is a Swedish choreographer and artist based in Stockholm, working in the intersection of visual arts, the expanded field of choreography and contemporary dance. Petterssons unique style is always a mix of practices and genres, where text, objects, sculptures, and choreographic instructions are always a part of the whole piece. The work ranges from fortune telling, cat practicing, writing poetry to dancing. Within his artistic practice, hosting has been a key component to understand not only dancing, but also the social qualities dance brings, this has led into more curatorial projects, the annual dance and performance festival My Wild Flag is one of them. Pontus received his MFA in choreography at Uniarts in 2014, and a second one in visual arts at Konstfack 2018.