Knot the tongue, grasp a stream II

Cristina Mejías

This video reflects on how knowledge is produced, how it occupies a body and is transferred under the intersubjectivity that happens in any exchange. What has brought us here, to the present, is based on the layers of History and the stories that precede. The creation of what is considered new, comes after a previous beginning: by catching a rumour that triggers History.

The rumour that trigged this research happened during a stay on the island of São Miguel, in the archipelago of the Azores, where Mejías developed a residency at Pico do Refúgio, an artistic research centre located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

There is a song that, ever since humpback whales have inhabited the seas and oceans, has circulated around the Earth. Members of the same population share the same song. They are versifiers, they have dialects, types of accents and even rhythms, scales and pulses that possibly facilitate their mnemonic quality. They start from a shared melody, but in these choral gatherings, subtle changes are introduced by a member of the community, and these are incorporated into the pod anthem. In addition, it seems that the whales of the world share acoustic information, as if they were singing fragments of the same song. Thus a circular melody is generated around the Earth, with one group of whales ending the song where another begins. This constitutes a shared cultural system. Like the troubadours of the deep sea, they recite stories that are not genetically encoded, but which they learn throughout their lives both from their families and from individuals who cross their path. With this way of circulating their history, they change it continuously.

From this research is produced, among others, this audiovisual piece that shows a series of human hands that filter and through which a constant flow of water passes. In a relationship of profound interdependence, the links of this gear together form the chorus that will be essential to keep the murmur alive. Each impulse twists the course of what comes next, and its relay may be familiar to us, but even the slightest pebble changes the course of a river and it is important that this happens. Thus, a body, any body, is a container, even for a second, of knowledge that passes through it and affects it. These extremities belong to the narrow circle of people with whom the artist cohabits a studio, experiences and common places.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Knot the tongue, grasp a stream II
  • Direction: Cristina Mejías
  • Production: 2021.
  • Duration: 00:14:29
  • Original format: HD 1920x1080
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright