about

Puck Vonk (°1989, Amersfoort) lives and works in Den Bosch (NL) and Antwerpen (BE).

Her work is framed within a linguistic performance practice, looking at her work includes reading and listening. Reading and listening as an act, a field of action, or a metaphor through which we can better understand our surroundings and the way we perceive and interpret the context of social activity.

Sound installations, spoken word performances, visual poetry, body language, writings and drawings all come together to achieve a nuanced depiction about the way interactions shape both our identities and relations. By these means, she aims to make us aware of the disparities in representation, the implicit forms of control over the body (and the voice), and the repercussions of the usage of female voices in the allegedly neutral digital sphere.

Overlapping recordings and graphic notations act as a script that requires an active audience to complete its narrative. While at the same time revealing the script behind the scenes.

She manages to navigate the immaterial path between organ and sound to convey and reflect upon sound as a powerful, evocative tool that generates, mediates and catalyses the experience of reality. Simultaneously she explores the voice as a powerful, evocative tool that influences the experience of reality and the status of the (own) female voice in current society.

Puck Vonk

Skype lectures – Interactive long-distance lecture performances, 2016, 2017, 2018

Making notations of the ‘spoken word’ performances that I do is an important part of my practice. It takes the form of scripts with text and graphical notations. The performances consist not only of spoken language and body language, but also of recorded and live sounds. For this I use a database of sounds I recorded and little non-instruments I like to use to create soundscapes while people listen to the spoken words.

The body language and indications such as ‘take a deep breath’, ‘clear your throat’, ‘sigh’, ‘wet your lips’, ‘yawn’ and ‘make eye contact’ are scripted at exact times. Our communication consists for sixty per cent of non-verbal body language, in my scripts I explore how all those elements can be put down on paper. In my attempt to record performances on paper, I develop my personal variation on graphical notations, an alternative and more refined system that allows for many more specifications and details than just written language. Graphical notation is the representation of music, dance and sound through the use of visual symbols outside the realm of traditional notation, an experimental and often personal visual language system.

I don’t believe in the integrity of video recordings made of a performance. To me that is like listening to a story about a horizon without experiencing the horizon itself. However, writing down the performance also implies a certain distance from the actual performance, because a performance and text-based writing are two distinct media that don’t connect seamlessly. I view a performance or sound installation as an artwork that is a shared moment in time rather than relating yourself to an object in space. The spatial fixation of an essentially time-bound experience is an example of this medial distinction. Trying to objectify, capture and expand a substantial experience in time is rather poetic in itself but no reason not to try.

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