Jan Pieter ‘t Hart: Wash warm with unlike colors

‘Aeroponic’ – root systems nourished by air – Acts is the name given to the nomadic Dutch Art Institute’s final Kitchen presentations. Each participant addresses one question, as a practice of engagement.

Here you will find the documentation of Jan Pieter ‘t Hart's presentation as filmed by Baha Görkem Yalım. The written report is by Hubert Gromny and it includes a summary of the comments by esteemed guest respondents.

Wash warm with unlike colors

Jan Pieter's question: How to publish an unoriginal thought?

Jan Pieter's introduction: We’re “changing as the world changes, not with it or separately from it but in mutually determining interaction with it” / as “a condition of becoming between the two” / seeking “formations rather than forms” / and I realize that, in this becoming, “consumption is simultaneously also production” / and in the midst of these “chaotic arrangements” / with a past that “hasn’t already happened” / I’m looking for these “potentials which still await, ready to be re-awakened” / and so I’m left here hanging my dirty laundry in “public” / washing warm with unlike colors.

Hubert's report: Miel Ferraez announces the presentation in a performative way in herold-like fashion. The audience is located on the chairs placed in front of a TV in the middle of the room. Three speakers are lying on the floor and are covered by textile nets. Jan Pieter is sitting on the side, a little bit behind the screen, on which the video shows yellow and blue strokes of color in motion. Jan Pieter is wearing clothes inside out. The video starts and Jan Pieter moves to sit in front of one of the speakers. The music becomes present and is accompanied by the speech, which seems to be part of a voice-message recording. It reflects on personal and theoretical inquiries shared by two friends. The speech is also available on the screen in the form of funky, stylized subtitles. After finishing to listen to the voice-message Jan Pieter turns off the speaker and moves to the next one. Switch it on and listen again. Ambiental and glitchy music is a background for the spoken pre-recorded reflections on the practice of collecting, ownership and intimacy. The last chapter of the presentation begins in a similar fashion, the speaker is turned off and the other switched on. The formula of voice message comes back and transforms into poetic text with the refrain: “as I wash warm with unlike colors”. The ending of the presentation is marked by the video-clip of washing machine jumping on a trampoline and credits of all contributors screened on the TV. The image and music fades out and the performance ends.

Ana Teixeira Pinto commented on the practice of selection and traced it back to the Lawrance Sterne novel ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy’, as an example of the literary construction of a space of sentimentality. Deconstruction of this space allows decomposing an idea of an unique individual. Reflecting further on the notion of collection Ana noted the ironic quality of the piece and situated it within a broader spectrum of collecting information, rendering them visible and invisible in order to construct a racial matrix of the world. Referring to Fredric Jameson’s conceptualisation of cognitive mapping Ana commented on disorientation produced by the processes of globalization and evoked work of Forensic Architecture as a one way of responding to it—the way that collects facts and strives to create a repository of truth. Ana pointed out that the presentation directs to another perspective by playful and light engagement with the desire, which stands behind the practices of collecting.

Momtaza Mehri emphasized the conversational aspect of the presentation, which adds another dimension to critical reflection. Conversations with friends and acquaintances are the moments, when thinking happens are often overlooked it is thus refreshing to bring them forth. The conversational nature of the piece allows a light citational approach to quoting and misquoting of thinkers and writers. By being playful, it reflects on the question of originality. Momtaza referred to the publishing industry as the one, which often invisibilise the conversational and everyday aspects of thinking, especially in the contexts of migration, by imposing ways of how originality and uniqueness is presented to the public. The theme of laundry reminded her of the constant framing of trauma as a point of origin, the “airing of one’s laundry”. Publishing industries can enshrine the “currency of trauma and pain”, and the distribution of ownership and originality can also operate like this. Momtaza evoked the notion of “chaotic arrangements” from the abstract of the presentation, which alludes to already existing practices of interdependence, such as exchange between plants—in this view practices of re-inscription, re-coding and re-using, are ever-existing contestation of the notion of originality.  

Phanuel Antwi opened the response with the question: how the original thought is policed? What are the positions which render thought to be original and unoriginal? The presentation by operating on the structure of feeling seemed to seek for information rather than forms. Phanuel proposed to differentiate between various forms of information pointing out that shape and structure oftentimes create a form distinguishable from the material itself. The piece in this light seems to be investigating the ways of giving shape and making the form— the ways of formation of the information. Thinking of the constant processing of information the question of how we think change in time appears and by means of how the specific moment of time can emerge within continuous alterations. Referring to the work of Robert Williams Phanuel spoke about the inversion of the structure of feelings to feelings of structure which allows one to travel in time and pay close attention to the everyday acts of resistance. These acts were offered in the presentation through its conversational nature of interactions and emphasis on the link between technology and practices of washing.


Jan-Pieter ‘t Hart's "Wash warm with unlike colors" was presented before live audience at the Centrale Fies, Dro, Italy on July 12th.

Find the overview of all 24 AEROPONIC ACTS 2022 here: tuttə (le) rottə - all (the) ways: unfixed

About Jan-Pieter 't Hart