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jeudi 16 novembre 2017

On safewords

I have been collecting safewords found on various Internet forums, discussions and other sources. What I learnt from this random dictionary I have gathered is that there is a shared sense of bluntness, playfulness and contradiction that is common to most of the words people choose for their safewords. The words not only put a stop to the situation, but also turn it upside down and change the mood, like laughing whilst in pain.

lundi 13 novembre 2017


Found safeword

dimanche 12 novembre 2017

On Dicta 1

Dicta 1 is a Dadaist work, an at times incomprehensible repetition of authoritative speech. The starting point of Dicta 1 was a conceptual contemplation on the word ‘dicta’, which is the plural of ‘dictum’ (a formal pronouncement from an authoritative source or a short statement expressing a general truth or principle). Dicta 1 is a performed discourse simulating the voice of authority and at the same time its failure.

vendredi 10 novembre 2017

Damir Očko

Dicta 1, production image. Photo by studio Damir Očko

(24 broken parts)
(text version)

– read in articulated, precise and confident voice.
– avoid sounding overly romantic, soft or whispery
– find strange and peculiar expressions, unnatural accents,
overly theatrical pauses in unnatural positions. (will be marked in a score)
 this is a form of a dictate, grammar is occasionally broken, so are the meanings.
Do not try to voice a logic in the sentence where there is none in the meaning.
– Accent should be mild British to none.
– There is no logic in the order.


Do not cringe before the powerful
he who lies about withdrawing
his exist survives
but one of the dispossessed
who never gave up courage
he who wishes the skill as a weapon
to suppress untrue
observes what over(-)turned
these views exiled
he who speaks that a man without is better
than one who takes does not ask

for whom?

jeudi 9 novembre 2017

Damir Očko, Dicta 1 (film still), 2017. Courtesy the artist

Personal project note on “Dicta”

Like the non-venomous milk snake that mimics the venomous coral snake, but is unable to evolve the right pattern of colors, Dicta 1 investigates otherness and mimicry in language as a reflection of political mimicry, whereas Dicta 2 addresses the idea of safewords (used to stop consensual violent protocols) as a metaphor for the current state of democracy. The project consists of two films, each featuring a radical analysis of a seemingly incomprehensible Dadaist poem. One is based on Brecht’s text “Writing the Truth: Five Difficulties” (1935), while the other poem featured in Dicta 2 was composed from a selection of found safewords.

Damir Očko