6 people, 6 questions, one text – an inquiry into the reception of the written word (5A)

How we got started:

We have asked each member of the group to phrase 1 question that all group members had to answer. Altogether there were 6 questions and 6 different answers to these questions. The answers were then combined to form one single text.

What we were asking before:

  • Will it be possible to combine the interview questions to a functioning text without making any structural changes? 
  • To what extent does the form determine the reception of the text? 
  • Will you immediately recognize the different people in the text?

What we didn’t expect:

  • Creation of a common “identity” that seems to have written something new ( the text surprisingly sounds like having been written by one person only) 
  • Interchangeability of the answers 
  • Unintentional occurrence of stylistic elements usually used in fictional writing 

The questions:

Question 1 (Kiitan): A recollection of the greatest impact a woman has had on you?

Question 2 (Michael): What does freedom mean to you?

Question 3 (Xinyue): Which is more conducive to the acceptance of something new – Asking a question, allowing people to generate their own questions or directly importing a new concept?

Question 4: (Zhuowen): How do you deal with challenges?

Question 5: (Zhexi): What is a complete and meaningful work of art?

Question 6: (Olivia): What hides in small spaces?

The resulting text:

My mum has been the greatest impact a woman has had on me. She taught me that independence of thought is priceless and not to rely on anyone except myself but of course with help from others. To do something I believe in and to be an independent woman today is something she has instilled in me that no one can take away. Freedom is perhaps the most important thing for me. Freedom of choice and speech of course, but also for me freedom to have power over my own mind and thoughts is so important and something I no longer take for granted having struggled to have control over my own mind at times. As an artist, especially an artist whose direction is integrated material and cross-media creation, it is inseparable from freedom and freedom of thought. Freedom is an indispensable part of me. Freedom to me is purpose, to know and stand in ones self. In many cases, freedom means being unrestrained and doing whatever you want, but in fact, in my opinion, freedom isn’t about endless entertainment, it’s about consciously constantly searching for some kind of meaning in a state where only you can control yourself, and doing your best to achieve it. It is only in this process that you can feel free.

My former Italian teacher at high school inspired me to study Italian-German and English-German translation at University. This was definitely a decision that has had a major influence on the course of my life. What I didn’t realise back then was that art actually has a lot to do with translation as both practices are transferring informational units from one external form to another. Apart from that my mother has also been a great support, as she always believed even in the strangest of my ideas. My mother, shaken but not stirred, pressed on both sides but not crushed. She has been an example of strength in every situation. She has shown me that life is whatever you make it her life is the example. That must be my mother. She taught me how to deal with the difficulties I encountered in the most correct way. The most influential woman in my life is my mother. Even though she has always been strict with me, we have always been best friends. Whenever I was going through something that broke me down, she was always there to support me and give me the best advice. Her influence on me was subtle and most powerful. I became meek, outgoing, became a vegetable lover and loved to decorate my home, all because of her influence. My mom. Because she helped me the most. She always hugs me when I am sad. If it is a rather small everyday challenge, I will remind myself to take a cosmic perspective and go to outer space, look at the problem and asses its relevance and importance. If it is a larger issue I will work out what the core of it is, do some in-depth analysis myself and then talk about it with somebody I trust. To me freedom means to have a choice. I don’t think that we live in a system that enables people to be totally free. People may feel free as long as they have a source of income but as soon as this income is taken away there is no freedom. Total freedom of choice can only be installed in a system where people can decide freely – without fear of losing their home, access to food, clothing, etc. – whether they want to earn money or not. Maybe in a system where there is no money at all. 

When people try to think and study a question, it is a new exploration and a new improvement for each other. It is better to ask a question. Asking a question is easier than importing a new concept. Allowing people to generate their own questions. Be allowed to generate my own question. Generate their own question as this encourages authenticity. When people are fed an idea that seems complex and unknown to them or even beyond their cognition, they instinctively identify with the idea, so that the direct input of the idea has little effect on the cognition of something new. So I think it can only have a positive effect on the perception of new things if people are somehow made to actively question which leads to thinking. Generating their own question encourages authenticity. To be honest, whenever I face a challenge, I don’t act so brave at first. I’ll adjust my mindset and start making rough plans, and at the same time I enjoy seeking the opinions of others because every individual has a different perception of the same thing, and getting different answers helps me deal with complex situations even more. It may sound funny, but if the challenge is too stressful for me, I may find a way to let it out, I may listen to music, I may cry, but in the end I will pull myself together and continue with the challenge. I always try to tell myself that every challenge overcome reveals more possibilities. Challenges – whether they have been mastered or not – will ultimately lead to a change of perspective and this will in most cases increase your knowledge. Encountering challenges is a very good thing, because it means that we have the opportunity to improve some aspects of ourselves again. Usually the first thing we need to do when encountering challenges is to do the best you can, so that you can be better than you were before. Face it and find solutions. Sometimes I analyze alone, sometimes I ask for help. Gratitude, acknowledging every other thing that is good in my life. Art to me is freedom, fun and expression. A work of art can be said to be a MEANINGFUL work when its existence is meaningful. Whether a work of art serves people or society, or just expresses art itself, these are all part of the value of the work, either to satisfy oneself or to satisfy others, either to satisfy material needs or to satisfy social needs, either to serve money or to serve people’s spiritual desires. As for a COMPLETE work, I guess it depends on whether this work can create an atmosphere of its own to give the audience an immersive experience. When your work is mentioned again, it is a complete and meaningful work. My opinion is quite subjective. I think when you’ve done and you don’t want to edit it, that means it’s complete. Content is meaningful to me. A work that metaphorically holds up a mirror to myself and makes me look within but also to society for probably more questions than answers. One that touches me emotionally but also interacts on an intellectual level. Something that offers me an alternative view of the world. 

Everything I try to push away hides in small spaces, then the space grows even more the more I push. But more importantly it’s the corners of my mind that hide in small spaces, the things I am ashamed of, the things I struggle with and the parts of me I don’t think will be accepted. Small spaces might hide something that you are afraid of or they can be the cause of fear itself. I sometimes had nightmares about getting stuck in a cave or a large pipe underground. For me small spaces are a place of discomfort. It’s the fear itself that hides there. Fear. Egos. Sometimes I’m afraid to face it, even though I know there’s no good in hiding. Everything is hidden in a small space, and then the small space is hidden in a small space. 

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