Project Description

Simon Løffler – The Origin of Blinking

“No animal can know what it is to die”, Rousseau wrote. “And original man was animal.”
How did we learn to know?
By looking. Ahead of the now.
How does one do so?
By ignoring the blinking of one’s eyes,
ignoring that the world happens in small isolated segments,
letting time happen continuously, with anticipation.

It seems everybody has forgotten how resonant the sound of the upper eyelids striking the lower is.
No historical reference to this sound can be traced anywhere; our prehistoric minds became deaf to it.

Here is a score that brings the sound of blinking back to us:

Blink, and let the sound of the upper eyelids against the lower eyelids be audible in your head.
Let the sound decay while your eyes are open.
Whether the sound is very short, or long, repeat the gesture again as it dies out.
Strike it fast twice. Strike it very soft and light. Or continue regularly.
Do this for one minute. Extend if you so desire.

Here is a score that is more detailed, which can be memorized and repeated:

==00  indicates a blink
____  indicates an undefinable amount of time

If the sound of the eyelids needs reinforcement, amplify it in the following way:
Assemble ten pieces of straw from a Pampas grass plant, or a similar extremely light yet stiff grass plant.
Strip the tiny leaves off, cut the straws into lengths of twelve centimeters.
Find a set of fake eyelashes and cut the hair off, leaving just the base.
Cut the base into a very short piece; about 1,5 centimeters.
Glue the ends of the straws onto the base, five for each base.
Color the straws black.
Attach a resonating object to your cheeks.
Wear the new extended eyelashes and perform the score again.

Simon Løffler
26 January 2021
Photo: Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen

commissioned by SPOR festival
– with support from European Region of Culture
and 1000 Scores