net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams


A bulb, alleine mit die Sprache, immer die Sprache, Sprache im Kopf …
Kein …. recul, keine Ablösung
Die Konzentration
Gabel, Messer und Vogel
Gabel, Messer und Vogel
Eendjes op het water. Alles kan verdwijnen.
Kein Anker, Geister…

From October 31 till December 23rd 2015 I have been living in Villa Waldberta (Feldafing, Germany). In this period I worked with Helen Varley Jamieson on a project called unaussprechbarlich. We researched the difficulties and joys of communicating in a language that’s not our mothertongue: German.
Information for the performance we wanted to develop was accumulated on Anecdotes, academic reflexions, personal stories, literature, artworks, text, text text.

After a try out at Villa Waldberta we did performances in Schwere-Reiter‘s Probaraum (December 4rd) and in Lothringer13‘s Rroom (December 9th).

More images:

Helen was sitting at a table where she had two computers, two videoprojectors, a webcam, books and writing material. I was sitting amidst the public. The public heard Helen teaching herself German swearwords (Arschloch, Bergaufbremser) using an online guide to pronounciation ( After 5 minutes I started singing Vader Jacob. followed by a personal story (in German) about my experiences with language learning. In the mean time Helen wrote German words related to the news on a paper by hand. This was projected. After my story I went to the microphone and read excerpts of Julia Kristeva’s book Etrangers à nous-mêmes in French. Helen transcribed this text in German in an online translation window, that was projected. The public read the text and the English translation at the same time. When finished Helen started to correct the text. I yelled: a loud cry. Helen continued, I went to a corner, turned my back to the public and started singing a definition of monolinguism ….

This describes the first 20 minutes. If you want to know more here are the Performance Script and Wall Texts in a .pdf.

A short video trailer to be used for announcing future performances will come soon.

Filed under: Performance, , , , ,


Invited by Lisa Parra for the preparation of Land Project: Placelessness,  I participated in an online performance experiment on the  30th of October 2015.

Placelessness is the result of a residency of Lisa and Daniel Pinheiro at CAAA – Centre for Art and Architecture Affairs, in Guimarães (Portugal).

Are you here? Yes, I think so.

We had a very moving 6 minutes of “distanced feeling” :


Filed under: networked performance, Performance, , , ,

Gender Dissent across Mediated Literary Works

adalogoRule-guided Expression: Gender Dissent across Mediated Literary Works by Kristin Allukian and Mauro Carassai.

Published in Ada Issue #8. Ada is a journal of gender new media and technology.

“This paper is concerned with the examination of rule-guided cultural and thematic battles enacted by women writers in two historical moments—the late nineteenth- and early twenty-first centuries—against the dominant cultural institutions of their time. Such battles, evaluated in the Anglophone world of letters at large, bring to light women’s often inconspicuous strategies for legislating new mechanisms of written expression within the established authoring and reading practices of their times.

Both the mobility-limited late nineteenth century society and the apparently digitally-democratized twenty-first century seem to call for female writing subjects, who are often seen at the margins of the “social factory,”to intervene through specific literary acts of disturbance. Such acts of disturbance, when closely analyzed, can be seen as both exposing and altering the rule-based systems in which these authors are confrontationally embedded.


In envisioning the routes of such processes of imagination-based social practices moving from the ideally American radiating center, Dutch e-literature author Annie Abrahams, who has been living in France since 1987, and Australian codework poet Mary-Anne Breeze (also known as Mez) can be seen as modern Anglophone literary catalysts of the instances of the previously discussed nineteenth-century American writers such as Alcott, Phelps, Blake, and Jewett in a world increasingly imposing norms and standards both in digital labor and language-based technological expressions. Our brief analysis of works such as Abrahams’s Separation/Séparation or Mez’s 07/08 highlights how female electronic writing seems both to update the abovementioned three elements detected in the women’s career literature and translate them into the pragmatic dimension of digitally-mediated language expression.”

Filed under: Articles / Texts, Net art, , , , , ,

writing it twice – painsong

writing it twice
Sara Kippur, Writing It Twice
Self-Translation and the Making of a World Literature in French,
Northwestern University Press,
ISBN 978-0-8101-3205-4

While I was in Germany for unaussprechbarlich, I recieved this book by post, because there is an image of my work in it.

On page 135 there are some lines on the presentation of my work painsong (2004) as an example of presenting translations in dynamic contact with each other. Kippur also describes painsong as a dizzying auditory superposition of languages with a content that figures pain through discordant multilingualism.

I have read the introduction and feel stimulated to dig further.
Chapter 1 bears a motto by Marcel Proust: Great books are written in a kind of foreign language.
“Toward a Model of Collaborative Self-Translation” and “The bilingual call for Autofiction” are some intriguing sub-chapter titles.
I will certainly write some more about it on my e-stanger tumblr when I will have read the rest of the book.

Though the practice of self-translation long predates modernity, it has found new forms of expression in the global literary market of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. The international renown of self-translating authors Samuel Beckett, Joseph Brodsky, and Vladimir Nabokov has offered motivation to a new generation of writers who actively translate themselves.

Intervening in recent debates in world literature and translation studies, Writing It Twice establishes the prominence and vitality of self-translation in contemporary French literature. Because of its intrinsic connection to multiple literary communities, self-translation prompts a reexamination of the aesthetics and politics of reading across national lines. Kippur argues that self-translated works should be understood as the paradigmatic example of world literature and, as such, crucial for interpreting the dynamics of literary circulation into and out of French.

Filed under: Articles / Texts, , , , , , ,

Performance unaussprechbarlich Schwere Reiter.


Dezember 4 20h Schwere Reiter Proberaum, Dachauer Straße 114, München.
Tram 12, 20, 21, Bus 53, Leonrodplatz. Eintrit 12 / 8 euros.

Unausprechbarlich untersucht die schmerzvolle, lustige und lebensverändernde Erfahrung in einer anderen Sprache als die eigene Muttersprache zu kommunizieren.
Die Künstlerinnen sind beide Migrantinnen – Annie reiste vor dreißig Jahren von Holland nach Frankreich und Helen kam im 2010 von Neuseeland nach Deutschland.

Annie und Helen laden das Publikum ein, mit ihnen in ein Sprachgewirr jenseits eindeutiger Bedeutungen einzutauchen, das eine Welt erscheinen läßt, die unser aller Nomadenhaftigkeit sinnfällig macht.

Danach gibt es jeweils zusätzlich eine musikalisches Angebot eines aktuellen Villa-Waldberta-Stipendiaten aus Polen in der interaktiven Veranstaltungsreihe Matchpoint mit Franciszek Araskiewicz.

Wir sind Dankbar für die Unterstützung von: Landeshauptstadt München Kulturreferat; Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta; Doku e.V; Schwere Reiter Theater; Lothringer13 Halle; Reading Club.
Die performance ist ein Unterteil von unaussprechbarlich; ein Forschungsprojekt, eine Website und eine Performanceserie. Externer Berater : Horst Konietzny

Filed under: Performance, ,

besides, smaller than a single pixel – pixxelpoint performance

November 28th 2015 18h30
besides, smaller than a single pixel,
networked performance
Martina Ruhsam and Annie Abrahams
pixxelpoint 2015 festival, Nova Gorica (Slo), Gorizia (I)
Curator: Igor Stromajer

You can assist in Nova Gorica or online in Waterwheel
(please come a bit early because the streaming interface needs time to load – upto 3min.)

Martina will be streaming live from the Nova Gorica City Gallery in Slovenia and Annie from Villa Waldberta in Feldafing, Germany.


besides, smaller than a single pixel is a real-time composition in which daily objects interrelate in an interface that usually frames the heads of humans. Annie Abrahams and Martina Ruhsam communicate by juxtaposing and restituating objects and by reading a text that is recomposed during the course of the performance. Unexpected links between thing and thing, object and text, image and sound appear. Sometimes the inorganic performers hijack the discussion. Scissors meet a knife which coincides with the word capitalism before being replaced by a little white box that is temporarily allied with anonymity. While matches and a paperbag are juxtaposed, a discussion about being post-image takes place that is followed by inorganic pulsations. The conversation meanders through unpredictable territories and is disseminated among various human and nonhuman agents.
– text / script of the performance already available before .pdf
log of tchat during the performance.
– screencaptured video archive

Before the performance at 5PM Martina gave a lecture The It As Actant in the Nova Gorica City Gallery. Here is the .pdf of this lecture.

Filed under: networked performance, Performance, , , , ,

ReadingClub – unaussprechbarlich

Ein online kollektives Schreibexperiment über
Die Schwierigkeiten und Freuden von Deutschlernen
Igor Stromajer, Sandra Sarala, Helen Varley Jamieson und Annie Abrahams.

Das Publikum kann dieses poetische Battle live anschauen und kommentieren.
Klicken Sie bitte am 21. November ein bisschen vor 21 Uhr auf das Websitelink

Im Rahmen von Unaussprechbarlich, einem Forschungsprojekt, einer Website und einer Performanceserie von Annie Abrahams und Helen Varley Jamieson, wo die Künstlerinnen die eigene Dynamik von Sprachen erforschen und der Frage nachgehen, wie stark das, was wir unsere Kultur nennen, durch die Sprache geprägt ist.

Unaussprechbarlich wird ermöglicht durch eine Residenz in der Villa Walberta und die Unterstützung des Kulturreferats der LH München. Externer Berater : Horst Konietzny.

You can join us in the ethereal weirdness of our non-native finger-activated tongues” Sandra Sarala

Filed under: Collective writing, networked performance, , , , , , ,

Ich bin ein Feldafinger

ichInEinenAnderenZietalterImage from a wall painting at the Villa Waldberta.

For almost two months I’ll be a resident at Villa Walberta in Feldafing near to München. Besides enjoying the beautiful countryside (I am lucky with the weather sofar) I will be working with Helen Varley Jamieson on Unaussprechbarlich : an exploration of how the level of mastery of a language affects attitudes, psychological conditions and political positions. We do this in German, a language we both don’t speak and write very well.

Unaussprechbarlich will also be a performance that negotiates meaning beyond the monolingual condition.
You can follow our research here :

Villa Walberta is a beautiful and, for me, strange place. A place once owned by a Dutch publisher, called Sijthof, who grafitied the building in 1903 with a painting of an eagle and the words “Altijd Waek Saem” (“always vigilent” but also “always awake together”). After the war it was for 8 years a place for “displaced persons” (DP’s / heimatslose Zivilpersonen) and now I live here with a Slovenian, an Iranian and a Russian translator and a Greek grafik artist.

“Weltweit sind 60 Millionen Menschen auf der Flucht – das besagen die Statistiken des UN-Flüchtlingshilfswerks UNHCR. Es sind Menschen, die vor Bürgerkriegen fliehen, vertrieben wurden oder der Armut entkommen wollen. Seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg waren noch nie so viele Menschen gleichzeitig auf der Flucht.” Source

Filed under: Of interest, ,

Italian “translation” of Separation / Séparation

Mauro Carassai and Renata Morresi made an Italian powerpoint and javascript translation (2012) of Separation/Séparation (2002). They didn’t have the flash source codes and so imagined how translation of this piece of E-lit could be done from its experience alone.

Translation, Mutation, Decay.

The powerpoint version is hilarious (after clicking through 184 slides it stops – the poem can’t be read completely). The javascript version doesn’t work in all browsers and lacks some features, but does give an impression. (thanks!)

That’s what time can, will do with a piece of electronic art, I thought.
E-lit also is like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.

Carassi and Morresi wrote an article about their adventure which now appreared as
Verbal Disengagements: Translating Language Games in Annie Abrahams’s Separation/Séparation in Translating E-Literature (2015). Eds. Regnauld, Arnaud and Abrioux, Yves. Bibliothèque de l’Université Paris 8 (Saint-Denis, France).


Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Articles / Texts, Net art, , , , , ,

vivre entre – from estranger to e-stranger

Le samedi 26 septembre je participera au festival Magdalena Project Montpellier à La Bulle Bleue, 285 rue du Mas de Prunet à Montpellier. Sur réservation 0467421861.
14:00 – 19:00 Formes courtes : 10 à 30 min. Performances autour de créations en cours.

Je présenterai vivre entre – from estranger to e-stranger, une conférence performée autour de mon livre from estranger to e-stranger – living in between languages sur invitation de Marion Coutarel.
zit2 helen schoot 21240783353_1437eff3e3_q annieloopt textcarre ondersteboven21835685526_5a9dfdec50_q
Photos de Suzon Fuks – D’autres dans son flickr ici.
Le score, texte de la performance : .pdf

 Un (e)stranger est invisible, exotique, inidentifié, impoli, hybride, flou, subversif, complexe, pliable, dur et fragile

The Magdalena Project, Montpellier. 21 – 26 septembre

Filed under: Conference / lecture, performance, ,


ENTRE Conférence parfois performative, Commons'Lab ENSBA Lyon, 8/02-10h.

besides, compressed by communication 19/03 20h. Online performance with Martina Ruhsam, Loft/Schokofliegerei, Wien. In the frame of Metabolism - Ecologies of collaboration.

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