This other thing. The voice. Like a freedom to speak

Rachel James

November 30, 2015 — January 30, 2016

+15 Window Exhibition

This other thing. The voice. Like a freedom to speak

Maris and I listened to shortwave radios in an abandoned soviet press house last year and he said he had something with his voice before we met and I said that was fine of course and when he arrived he had a stutter.

To stutter, cognate with Middle Low German stoten “to knock, strike against, collide.” From Proto ­Germanic “push, thrust” from Proto ­Indo­ European “to hit, beat, knock against”.

I asked him how to do something only he knows how. He said, “How Not to Be in a Shell with Un-Orderly Speech.”

Order, body of persons under religious discipline, from Italic root *ord- “to arrange” source ordiri “to begin to weave.”

I took the letters off the church sign but six letters would not come off.

In patriarchy from patriarch from Greek, pater + arkheim, “father” + “to rule”, we find: Sad Dad.

Maris finished his instructions, “This other thing. The voice. Like a freedom to speak. It is really important. It is really complicated.”

All day I think about the words of others. It is hard to know who is ruling who. She could say ontology or she could ask How to Know a Different Way. Or she could flip nothing.


Rachel James is a Canadian artist living and working in New York. With a background in social anthropology and experimental ethnography, her practice centers on documentary assemblage: placing recorded and archival narratives onto a surreal plane. She has exhibited or performed throughout the United States and Europe, including at La MaMa, The Watermill Center, MoMA PS1, and Uniondocs in New York, SFMoma, Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Totaldobže in Latvia, and Kamppi Chapel in Helsinki. As a radio documentarian she has worked with Radiolab, This American Life, BBC Radio, and been featured by the Third Coast International Audio Festival.