spiraling archive

︎passing through the fate you carry ︎

audiovisual poem for moving bodies (1969, 2023)
22 minutes

It all felt like in a movie. I went to the attic and there it was. A box of film in a brown paper bag, with her handwriting in pencil: “my TV lesson - sound film, 1969.” My father wanted to throw it away, but I  snatched it from his hands. I don’t have any memories of her, this stern, admirable, and distant ancestor.

The 16mm footage of her figure, delivering a language lesson, triggers the making of the Spiraling Archive. The sequence is uplifting. The sequence is oppressing. One’s origins are beyond control - or are they? My entanglement with foreignness, languages, heritage push and pull me. How am I to change direction within a spiral? Who or what does the writing after the language of television, dated 1969, is exhausted? The myth of the grandmother mediates the energy of the moment, in a rehearsed and uncontrollable spiral of words, images, movement and sound.

With this piece, I accept that I must encounter her/their mute image, in the haunted present. We co-exist. We are forms of being and needing, allowing each other to pass through or to linger on.

Spiraling Archive. 2023. still frame. “I don’t need to tell you / that there is nothing romantic about / this here and now.”


method & approach

Working with a laboratory approach, Spiraling Archive is a transdisciplinary performance by Miklós (Miki) Ambrózy (HU-LT), Filippos Raskovic (GR) and Caroline Daish (AUS-BE). An ensemble of forces, past and future, presented and represented, are put in the laboratory. The performer starts a conversation with an intimate yet banal archive, using their body as medium. A musician is following them along using modular synthesizers, while her fictive voice flows in an out of script.

The order imposed by the ancestor, present on the film reel, cannot hold any longer. The sounds and the voice emerge and meet the body, while film images run forward and loop back according to a score that is both linear and circular. Nothing is above, nor under, it’s a fleeting horizon. There is but the intention to let energy through, occasionally united in a momentary flow.

Spiraling Archive. 2023. performance documentation by Bon Alog (c)
“mother — Maaa ma Maaa ma-there / Ma-there — is there going to be milk / in your war-torn right breast?”

Spiraling Archive. 2023. performance documentation by Bon Alog (c) 
“in this propaganda reel / of English by Television / the ancestor is / moving on screen / she is language”

Spiraling Archive. 2023. performance documentation by Bon Alog (c)
“what about the rest? / the rest? you ask  / the excess”

Spiraling Archive. 2023. performance documentation by Bon Alog (c)
“high working hard hard ability high / high working high hard ability hard”

Spiraling Archive. 2023. still frame
“red light was missing, yet... / ... the ancestor’s cock produced.”

Spiraling Archive. 2023. still frame
“Work, work, work all day / Look at my life passing away..”

Spiraling Archive. 2023. still frame
“Her every gesture is deeply ingrained.”


Script, choreography, movement, image - Miklós (Miki) Ambrózy
Musical composition & performance - Filippos Raskovic
Voice - Caroline Daish
16mm projection - Aleksas Gilaitis, Sonya K.
Consultant for choreography - Andreas Hannes
Consultant for costumes - Elvita Brazdylyte
Lights & production - Paulius Burakas, Kirtimu Cultural Center

Spiraling Archive premiered at the 6th Vilnius Analogue Photography and Cinema Festival, on 23rd August 2023 (Vilnius, Lithuania).

Sources - Sounds of BBC English by Television - Walter and Connie On Record, 16mm found footage, 1969, no sound. Script for an Episode of Iskolatelevizió (Hungary), 1969 March: The Baby Goes to Hospital.