Silence and Noise in Inter-Action

Workshop and exhibition by the students of Art & Science, University of Applied Arts in Vienna


July 12th – 26th

Project concept: Dr Bernd Kräftner

Project coordinator: Isidora Krstić

Participants: Joan Carles Balleste Coma (ES), Stefanie Koemeda (CH), Sebastian Kienzl (AT), Isidora Krstić (RS), Anita Peretti (IT), Václav Peloušek (CZ), Ondřej Merta (CZ), Al Teleki (VE), Julia Roblow (DE/UA), Slawomir Bobola (PL)


Silence and Noise in Inter-Action / An Ecology of Heterogenous Sign Systems

In daily life we tend to blame rules and constraints of limiting our freedom of action. However, rules and constraints play the dominant role in playing and gaming. They produce innumerable options and contingencies that we are enjoying and celebrating. In interactions we use rules and constraints to coordinate the messiness of our perceptions and to put the chaos of our experience in an order. The coordination of our behaviours evokes language and signs. They produce our re-presentations of the world.
The workshop-exhibition aims at creating re-presentations of the world by exploring rules and constraints, thereby producing heterogeneous sign systems. The workshop participants draw inspiration from a background of heterogeneous material:
– A photo series designed for language training. Aphasia is a language disorder – a constraint – caused by dysfunction in specific brain regions. Neuropsycholinguistic research uses standardized picture stimuli from everyday life situations, that create a choreography between patient, therapist and photographs; aimed at the recovery of morpho-syntactic abilities in aphasics during the first years after their stroke.
– Methods developed by OULIPO. Oulipo („workshop of potential literature“) was a loose gathering of (mainly) French-speaking writers and mathematicians who sought to create works using constrained writing techniques. It was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. Their aim was “the seeking of new structures and patterns which may be used by writers in any way they enjoy“.
– Modes of interaction in and beyond language: anthropological investigation of practices that human beings use to construct in concert with each other; the social, cultural and cognitive worlds they inhabit. Central to this process are language, structures for the organization of action-in-interaction, and sign systems that include not only talk, but also a range of different kinds of displays made by the body and structure in the environment.
“Silence” in aphasia and “noise” that apparently distorts the signals of our communication are the starting points to explore rules and constraints in inter-actions that take place during the workshop. This exploration should help to create an ecology of heterogeneous sign systems that enrich re-presentations of our world.

Text: Dr Bernd Kräftner
Photo: N. Ivanović