Part of Abducting Europa

cyphers in the dream

Sulaïman Majali

cyphers in the dream is a video work using footage filmed on the edges of Europe, at various sites on the southern Spanish coast the same week a private metro company encounter the remains of a 12th century Muslim neighbourhood al-Tabbanin; and in various sites in Istanbul, filmed amidst rising anti-Arab and anti-Kurdish hostility and the authoritys’ threat to open the gates of Europe to refugees. The work takes the internet and the dream as a shared space of the repressed unconscious and follows a dream sequence in which Cypher inhabits a public domain 3D model of a 12th century Almohad era fragment excavated in al-Andalus on the southern Iberian coast and a middle-bronze age grinding stone excavated in Jericho under British mandate. A dream at the folds of diasporic flesh, the machinations and exhaustion of the colonial, and a haunting of Europe. Directly from the arabic for “zero”, “cypher/cipher” when used in english is a secret or disguised and coded way of communicating and revealing. A whispering AI soliloquy addresses Cypher who, whilst remaining unlocatable in the dream, is revealed through the artefacts that breach the surface for moments of air; a breather, expanding and contracting stones, speak back in fear, panic and orgasm. Aerial, actual, stock, virtual footage, sonic, on-screen and field recording, form a series of zeniths that punctuate the video with slips and creases; perhaps the mechanisms of the colonial might be decipherable in the folds; at “multiple places, at the same time, at different times, I dunno.”


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