Fiction Feeling Frame
16–17 JULY 2021
16–17 JULY 2021

RELAY at the
Biennale Architettura 2021

Fiction Feeling Frame
Adam Kaasa
Thandi Loewenson
David Burns

RELAY, curated by Fiction Feeling Frame, is a durational conversation, a ritual in circumferential publicness, a performance becoming telegraph, current, message. RELAY is a 24-hour global conversation hosted by the Biennale Architettura 2021. RELAY will chase the hour between noon and 1pm around the planet in a global act of transfer— holding time and space for one another, passing ideas on, and on, and on— moving across time zones while continually staying in the present.

In response to Biennale Architettura 2021 curator Hashim Sarkis’ framing statement ‘How will we live together?’, RELAY will gather over 50 architects, artists, activists, curators and designers around questions of building a collective voice: ‘How can we speak to one another? How can we speak together?’

We are not the first. RELAY builds on previous experiments, giving thanks to those who have come before including but not limited to: Artangel’s Long Player Assembly, Occupy Wall Street’s ‘people’s microphone’, the Serpentine marathons, early television broadcast through the ill fated Telstar 1 rocket, the work of Lois Weaver like ‘The Long Table’, notes hidden in tennis balls thrown between cell blocks on Robben Island, miles of 2-inch magnetic tape containing photographs of every square inch of the Moon, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory opening a Deep Space Station in Australia by bouncing a live voice connection off of the surface of the Moon. Taking RELAY as a method as well as an injunction, we pick up the baton of these performances and practices with the RELAY from Venice today.

RELAY begins at 12:00 in Venice (CET) on Friday 16 July 2021, and ends at 12:00 in Venice on Saturday 17 July 2021.

RELAY satellite events will occur in Accra, Ghana at the African Futures Institute; in Sydney, Australia at Frontyard; and in London, U.K. at Filet Space.

RELAY is supported by WePresent, the digital arts platform of WeTransfer, and the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art.

Images by Linn Phyllis Seeger.

RELAY is a durational conversation, a ritual in circumferential publicness, a performance becoming telegraph, current, message.

RELAY is resonance, synchronicity, amplification and interference. It is a live act of tuning and retuning, finding meaning as much in static, dead air and the space held between words, as in the weight, force and matter of speech.

RELAY is the capacity to negotiate distance and time through a circuitry of interconnected broadcast, rather than the persuasion of instantaneity. It suggests the capacity of language, of energies, of influence to manifest through the technology of the discussion, of two bodies in relation, then two more and two more and bodies and bodies.

RELAY is as if a global circuit of people were sitting in a circle and one by one we turned left and then turned right, an ongoing relayed conversation. Each brings into relief ideas, books, people, histories, disagreements, citations, places, fictions, alt-futures, so that a set of tender circles emanates and expands like a pebble in dark dark water.

RELAY is the performance of the whisper, of gossip, of chatter. It practices the impossibility of being everywhere, hearing everything. It operates against human time, sleep time, productive time. It is about the impossibility of doing it all, at the same time, and the realisation that all depends on each in relay with the other.

RELAY invites us to become submarine telegraph line, electromagnetic current, fibre optic cable, telephone pole, radio wave, sine, cosine, tan. We are not a message transmitted through a relay. Rather the relay becomes the message as infrastructure.

RELAY broadcasts broadcasts, platforms platforms, and channels channels. It listens in on intimacies sited elsewhere and elsewhen. It collects a process of watching, observing, recording, transcribing. It is a sitting with, a being with, a radical togetherness that is fractured by time and geographical isolation. It invites a coming and goingness, a performance unique to everyplace and everyzone. It is a liveness experienced with multiple beginnings and multiple endings.

RELAY performs itself as loss, leaks, disconnection, glitches, interruption. These are not gaps of meaning, but precisely the meaning of bandwidth.

RELAY is a non-scripted scripting where sound becomes script becomes document becomes trace becomes live becomes comment. Each move is an integrated co-, a co-scripting, of co-sounds, co-documents, co-liveness, the you and me and us and there, and then, and was, and is, and might of co-traces.

RELAY sits within larger histories of communication, transmission, cables and signs. Of the power of connection in histories of war, of colonisation, of empire, of pedagogy, performance and liberation. It is an experiment in relay as message as wave, wave as wake, wake as sound and space in time.

RELAY relishes the insurgency of what it is to feel for someone through the limitations and ruptures of the channels we have at hand. It is happening now, now-now, now and again, through multiple forms of feeling through others and others feeling for you, refusing the limitation of the box, the screen, the container and the cell, and instead revelling in a line of sensing passed on, in the round.