04_ Plot 987: Surfaced Phantoms of the Egg
Students: Jacqueline Tran & Julia Ramos
“We are here now because in one way or another we share a commitment to language and to the power of language, and to the reclaiming of that language which has been made to work against us.” - Audre Lorde ‘The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action’
The egg is an entity not enclosed by physical boundaries but rather expands across a spectrum of the tangible and intangible. This spectrum is enmeshed in networks of cultural and socio-political relations and media representations. This field of exchanges- between bodies, materials, space and documents form its ‘surface’. These surfaces begin to form and construct a body of social language: a discourse.
Questioning the role of the egg, as an abandoned public space within the context of Beirut, we examine how the site has become a host for the city's complex social and cultural histories through its various occupations. By tracing the shift from the Civil War to the 2019 Revolution, we aim to uncover and explore how the dynamic and ephemeral conditions of the site allow it to become a space to resist forms of control.
Our intervention (re)surfaces the phantom states of the Egg through the reconstruction of archival fragments, documents, narratives and perceptions. Embracing the tension between the occupation and the preservation of the site, the intervention is an apparatus to embody, interrogate and encounter the surfaces of the Egg through four main gestures:
Mark, Gather, Speak and Reclaim
Through a performative exchange between the user, the surface, and the receipt the intervention reconstructs the spatiotemporal conditions of the site and opens up space for speculation. The artefact is an entanglement of the things that are not yet and the things that might become.
“I think the work is only halfway done until it is read — the question is who is reading, and therefore who is doing the other half of the work?”
- Nolan Oswald Dennis
The ‘Receipt’ is an interactive and speculative tool which reconstructs Dennis’ exhibition titled: Options (2019)
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” - Audre Lorde
The ‘Tool’ is an apparatus to read, compose, navigate and unpack Nolan Oswald Dennis’ practice.
The tool ‘trace’ is used to interrogate the digital and data surveillance that frame, control and transform our context. We hack the method of ‘Contact Tracing’, to stitch together a constellation of governing and surveying technologies and techniques, and their relationships to the objects, actors, bodies, and entities that surround us.
“What are the words you do not yet have?”
Audre Lorde ‘The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action’
Using language and the diagram as a tool, we explore and create the space for a (mis)reading and/or a (mis)translation of The Egg. Words, definitions, images, documents, artifacts, events and personal testimonies are stitched together to generate a dialogue between The Egg and forms of control. (Mis)translating words and acts within Lebanon’s censorship legislation, we explore the multiplicity of what ‘things’ can mean and how these ambiguities can create the space for forms of resistance (material and immaterial) to proliferate and occur.