Cristina Emmel: Dissolving Into Stains: On Failure, Illegibility, Scatteredness and Ephemeral Temporalities


Thesis Advisor: Ana Teixeira Pinto

Thesis: Dissolving Into Stains: On Failure, Illegibility, Scatteredness and Ephemeral Temporalities 

August 2022


"Dissolving Into Stains" follows chance encounters, trails behind words, lingers in the in-betweens and seeks to think about how failure, forgetfulness and losing one’s way can be reconfigured as modes of inquiry situated on the edges of meaning and memory, tending to the elusive, ephemeral and particular instead of striving for mastery. Arguing against normative prescriptions of success and failure that are imposed by the capitalist ideals of profit, success, speed and accumulation and that connect to biographic markers implying success through measurability and sequentiality, "Dissolving Into Stains" chooses to stay incoherent and non-linear, skating in and out of bumpy timelines intertwining co-temporalities. I study how illegibility, incoherence, repetition and opacity can become forms of resistance and figure as propositions for counterhegemonic forms of knowledge and art practice. Finding strength in strategies such as looping, semantic satiation, interruption, hesitation, lingering, fragmentation and working with these principles in favor of scattered compositions carried by indeterminacy, "Dissolving Into Stains" aims to approximate itself of material, spatial and temporal aspects of language and to think about the ephemeral as a multitude of fleeting sites where language is made and un-made through writing, dissolving, blurring, stretching and repeating in loops. 

Author: Cristina Emmel