Code Zero


Code Zero is an ongoing project in collaboration with the New York based artist Liv Rahel Schwenk. Having been connected through friendship and art for many years we decided to embark on a collaborative experiment in spring 2021 called 'Code Zero'. The point of departure for our collaboration was the online project 'Nullnummer' by Katrin Mayer and K√ľnstlerische Forschung Berlin which examines a general relationship between feminism, women in coding, and the number zero. It has since taken on its own form and has become the vessel for an ongoing and deepening exchange. It is an ongoing conversation in Poetry, Photography, Video and Drawing. But it has no limitations. Each piece is followed by the others response. The project began during pandemic times and was a way to deeply connect and exchance our artistic positions in an entirely digital space. When we first began our collaboration we set up a minimal structure, the only rule being that we would send things back and forth on an e-mail thread. The first element was a poem by Liv, written in her Brooklyn apartment. Sarah answered with a poem from her abode in the Sardinian spring. As this exchange took form, the elements being shared expanded from typed words to hand written poems, drawings, images, performances, dances, observations, videos, audio files and anything in between. Nevertheless the written word remained the backbone of this transatlantic conversation. Some unexpected things happened in the course of our exchange: Seemingly without our conscious effort, a language has emerged through the repetition and modification of motives and images. A sub-language which is untranslatable but which both of us understand and utilize to say things that are simmering under the surface. Another thing that happened was that this exchange has changed our sense of time in relation to productivity. There is no deadline, schedule or even a sense of expectation as to when the next answer is due. This collaboration has its own time, and contributions happen when they are ready. Sometimes we answer each other within hours and sometimes a month goes by with no addition on either side. This independent 'sub-language', and the intrinsic structure of time within it, make our project a space for a subversive artistic practice, independent and defiant of external structures of capitalism like deadlines, productivity, and the politics of language as an objective system of signs.

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