The Talking Cure

What is the role of talking, exchange, and recognizing voices in conceptions and realities of “the popular” today, in this critical moment where the notion of “popularity” is as problematic as it is ambivalent in our societies – for politics, public health, information, democracy, creation, and mental health? What is the role of contemporary art in shepherding, making space for, or influencing, such exchanges? What is “the voice of the people” today, really? How might popular media technologies play a role in furthering, or restricting, the reach of artistic exchanges and dialogic practices beyond the echo chamber/often elitist bubble of contemporary art? In what ways are we humans being further exploited, whether knowingly or not, by the means of production that drive our everyday life and mediation of it through engagement with popular media? What do we want these tools to do in the context of democracy, personal freedom, social justice, access to unbiased information, means for creative expression, and personal agency? How might we leverage these tools differently, especially in the spaces in which we serve as tools ourselves? How might we learn more from one another, whether through these platforms or by consciously moving away from them to consider our local communities, and what “local” means nowadays? Most importantly: How do we talk about all this, and what function does this talking serve for our collective and individual well-being?

Framed by these questions and a desire to probe them collectively and discursively, TBCS is producing The Talking Cure for the group exhibition The Real Show at CAC Bretigny (January – April 2022). The Talking Cure will include a video series, live talk show and installation that creates space for dialogic exchanges on the function and reality of popularity, reality, the voice, personal agency and freedom, and where creativity fits in (or could in the future).

Image: Sigmund Freud’s Couch (Le divan de Sigmund Freud). Photograph by Robert Huffstutter via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The Big Conversation Game

The Big Conversation Game is flexible framework designed to encourage PLAYERS to converse freely, openly, playfully, and strategically about a wide variety of topics ranging from the absurd, to the deeply personal, the the darkly pragmatic, to the confusing, and beyond. The Game functions as an interactive parody of democratic communication, consensus, and the “free” market, requiring PLAYERS to develop conversational/bartering strategies that will SATISFY the OTHER PLAYERS.

Through the adoption of the different CONVERSATION MODES described below, PLAYERS are invited to perceive the world “a little bit differently” through experimentation (both collective and individual) in different (and at times contradictory) forms of speaking, performance, decision-making, bartering, listening, arguing, and self-revelation (or denial).

 

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