And this is the reason why it is impossible in a visitation to prevent the spreading of the plague by the utmost human vigilance: viz., that it is impossible to know the infected people from the sound, or that the infected people should perfectly know themselves.
[Daniel DeFoe. Journal of the Plague Year. 1722]
people who live in this sort of disorder … sort of moral and physical sewer … they spread it around them like an infectious disease … dangerous creatures … to themselves and others
[Bad Timing. Nicolas Roeg. 1980]
With the city of Vienna identified as a concentric site of contagion and execution, a leaky processor, the workshop proposes a revealing of materiality and message, of self-evident signal and carrier within the landscape of the plague city.
Methods of revelation are not limited to the esoteric (EVP,ITC, dowsing), the scientific, aesthetic, forensical (as a science also), archaeological, epistemic, and the fetishistic or psychoanalytic. The crypt and cryptographic (decoding) refer to a certain inscription and digging; divining a diagram of execution.
With symptoms defined as an unwilled exposure of signification, the workshop seeks to identify and record symptomatic sites. Paranoid steganography meets psychoanalysis meets detection under Burroughs; ”… everything he sees or hears is there at that time to be seen and heard.”
Activities will include the dowsing, scrying and divining of buboes on the skin of the city, the rubbing, tracing and excavation of these sites (inscription and playback of the stone tape using self-built apparatus) towards the collective production of a strange hybrid of archaeologists/forensics report, an essay in self-observation and social questionnaire.
viennese symptoms is part of coded cultures 2011