oracle invites participants for the project ‘Reading the City‘,

with Estelle Delcambre, Anouk Llaurens, Gaël Santisteva, Tine Ringele, Amelie Marneffe, Katja Dreyer, Aleksandra Janeva Imfeld, Heike Langsdorf, Caroline Daish, Justine Maxelon
Sound artist: Laszlo Umbreit
writer: Mira Sanders

From Afar – Preface

“Oracle invited me last year to write a text regarding their practice. The writing project was originally planned as an exchange while travelling together one week on the Buratinas boat, navigating on the canals and rivers starting from Brussels. Due to the sanitary conditions with the Covid19, the trip together could not be realised or at least was complicated.

Instead of seeing the situation as an obstacle, I saw it as an opportunity to travel with them from afar. Me, living outside the city and them, inside. My question was ‘how, through their voices echoing with the urban spaces, will I imagine the city’s everyday life?’. Because one of the things that Oracle’s practice does, is to offer ways to perceive and encounter the city and its inhabitants.

For the following texts I was inspired by the records Oracle sent me every day during one week. Besides that, the book Invisible Cities written by Italo Calvino gave me a way of structuring my imagination. Regarding the genre, I opted for a kind of ‘sci-fi storytelling’ that offered me as an artist (because I am not a writer) the idea of being able to reach limits beyond the daily news and instead, get closer to the (their) little stories of our (their) everyday life.”

Mira Sanders
June 2020