Negative Sessions explores what we are not. Informed by the structure of the ‘Negative Confession’ from the Egyptian Book of the Dead and linguist George Lakoff’s ideas about framing, the event considers how language is used to constitute the self, identity, and intention in the negative; by asserting what it is that we are not, we are articulating what it is that we are as well as what we refuse to be. In a world that encourages strong, positive assertions and affirmations as the primary opportunity for an individual to set goals and achieve clarity, Negative Sessions proposes that a complementary practice based on the process of elimination can be just as useful for creating a space for resistance. Sometimes you’ve got to cross things out before you can write anything new.
Negative Sessions was originally presented by The Bureau of Experimental Speech and Holy Theses (BESHT), organized by Adam Overton. An experiment in public address, BESHT explored the commingling of speech, authority, and performance.
WORD THE WORD is an ongoing series of projects intended to initiate and affirm the connections between exploration and language, consciousness and articulation. To date, the events and performances have included a guided listening session of psychedelic music with language as its lyrical subject matter, roundtable reenactments of the Surrealists’ sex research sessions, and a fiery ‘materialogue’ punctuated by ceramic instrumentals. The series contemplates what role language might be able to play in transformation and groundedness. Into the ether, into the ether; we speak of and to the ether, so as to make the tacit tactile. WORD THE WORD is presented by the Experimental Meditation Center of Los Angeles.