Jirka Pfahl: Ba ding ba ding – occurency

A banana box into which a microphone was installed. To the crate running around two men. By distorted blur they are not visible. In the background: Another person in front of a microphone.

Jirka Pfahl defines "occurrency as a composition of the verb to occur and the noun currency; 'Ba', 'Ding' is both two elemental sounds and introductory rhythm". Something happens, but what is the corresponding currency? Could it be that the artist is alluding to elemental sounds? »Ba ding ba ding − occurrency« (2014) took place at the Karlsruhe Museums Night (KAMUNA) on August 2, 2014.

The Leipzig artist calls the public to the microphone and to the Web interface: "As said, this is no high culture, we are not professionals", he remarked at an earlier action in 2013. Participants should not be shy, but freely talk or sing. With beatboxes − in other words, talented imitators of rhythm instruments who only use their bodies − words and sounds fill the space. There is, however, more than just this performance. The so-called real-timers − one used to refer to them as stenographers − are seated within the space. As a rule, today, they no longer work with the classic shorthand pad and pencil, but maltreat special keyboards capable of typing up to 300 characters per minute. As a rule, clients are law courts, but also universities who have their lectures recorded.

In »Ba ding ba ding − occurrency«, writing virtuosos note down all sounds played. Each sound flows into a protocol which, in turn, when put online, inspires participants to new contributions that resound in the ZKM space before, once again, becoming objects of textual recording: a stimulating endless loop, which throws up general questions in multiple ways: what is the relationship between code, rhythm, language, law and translation? And what currency is used? Is it writing, in which everything that has taken place merges together?

Author:Matthias Kampann