Jon Mikel Euba: Writing Out Loud (Dutch Art Institute & If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, 2016). Book cover.

People have been asking me for years for a translation of my book Writing Out Loud (Dutch Art Institute & If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution), which was published in English in 2016. Although (or perhaps because) I have the original Spanish texts for the book, I haven’t managed to work out how to approach the “translation” of them. The texts were put through simultaneous translation into English for the classes I was giving at the Dutch Art Institute, and I then completed and corrected them for publication. The text is practically the same in each language; however, the ambiguity of the Spanish is synthesized somewhat in the English version, which ends up “improving” the “original”.

At a certain point I thought of translating the texts by taking the English to be the source text and commissioning a regular translation which would finally produce the “real” original text in Spanish. Although the idea might be interesting conceptually, I wasn’t convinced about carrying it out; translating an entire book, apart from requiring a large investment, would mean I’d have to revise the entire text to bring my own “voice” back into it, as it is in the Spanish original, which I initially conceived as a score for simultaneous translation into English. Because the English translation of the text was worked at so elaborately, the actual Spanish source version now felt like it lacked something.

Because I have a prejudice towards the “reading group” (I can’t quite understand what they are) – which I thought is what Bulegoa z/b was going to invite me to do – I propose setting up a group for observing differences, where SEEING would lead to DISCERNMENT. This would consist in “playing at seeing differences” which would become apparent in the contrast between what is heard and seen. An exercise in optical perception, isolated by listening, but multiple in a group situation. With this proposal, I aim to test out a system and see where we come to after introducing a number of restrictions into the mechanics of each session, after which we will test out the possibilities of manipulating, attacking and digesting a piece of finite written material.

This proposal is a mise-en-scène to determine whether there is another feasible way to approach and refining the translation; as a first trial for the task of modestly digesting the book’s translation.

A lateral introduction to the content: coming to it through form. In particular, by comparing linguistic forms. Exploring that limit. As far as possible, avoiding content-related interventions. Avoid commenting, at least in principle, though it may occur. Avoid the collective. Introduce each text briefly to start off with, explaining questions such as the kind of writing exercise included in it, what motivated each chapter, or whatever I remember may have been transformed by changing the text from one language into another.

Audio recordings will be made of each session.

Participants are required to have some knowledge of both languages.

Dates: 01-02 September, 9:00 – 15:00

Group: No larger than 15 participants

For information on these two sessions or to take part, contact

Jon Mikel Euba (Amorebieta, 1967). His work is grounded in drawing, as a procedure, and sculpture, as a program resolved in diverse media. Since the late 90s, he developed a particular system of production through an ‘economical technique’ which has guided his practice since. This search, which he also considers a form of resistance, requires processes that involve other people, in which Euba plays the role of a mediator or filter. From 2006 on, continuing his performative work in other media, he produced a series of performances, for which he developed a didactic approach for different participants with whom he collaborates. In 2010 he, Txomin Badiola and Sergio Prego devised the experimental pedagogical project Primer Proforma 2010. 30 Exercises, 40 days, 8 hours a day. In 2015 together with Itziar Okariz, Asier Mendizabal and Sergio Prego carried out the school project Kalostra. Euba has been director of the Master Action Unites, Words Divide (On Praxis, An Unstated Theory) in the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem from 2014-2017. During the last six years he has been working on a writing-centred project aimed at defining a form of praxis that may evolve into a technical theory. In 2017 the Dutch Art Institute and If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution published his book Writing Out Loud.