In a near future, scientists discover a link between constantly rising sea levels and the number of words spoken per day around the world. As a result, speech has to be radically reduced – to 433 words per person per day. In a reference to John Cage’s com-position 4'33", in which not a single note is played, the applicable law that covers this is called “Cage Law”.
In the different episodes of her film series Word Count, Kasia Fudakowski (*1985) creates a dystopian world in which the right to communication is fundamentally curtailed in order to avoid a climate disaster. Here, social and ecological climates are very tightly linked. The episodes produced since 2016 are set in various locations around the world – however, the problem of the word crunch taken to absurd levels is always the same: under constant surveillance, people must obey “Cage Law”. Additional word allowances can only be purchased at very high prices and anyone disobeying the law is punished severely.
For the Ruhr Ding: Klima, the artist has filmed a new episode in the Ruhr Area, which not only shows the social consequences of not being allowed to speak, but also the educational ones: what happens if even lectures are restricted to a certain world limit and academics are strictly monitored?
The different episodes of the Word Count series will be presented in the cubicles of the former executive washroom at the General Blumenthal Mine. Kasia Fudakowski is also presenting her work Climate Changing Room at the Silbersee II location.
The installation Word Count#1-8 was developed as part of the exhibition Ruhr Ding: Klima and was on display from May 22—June 27, 2021 in the colliery General Blumenthal in Recklinghausen.