Individual Project

i can’t hear you

Changing Room, Berlin (DE)

As a member of collective and label 'Research and Waves', Henrik Nieratschker co-organizes the event series 'i can't hear you'

The simple phrase “i can’t hear you” has become a symptom of the present. Being a substantial part of every video call, it opens up a field of conflicts between varying ideas of work, social distance, hearing and sounding. The event series “i can’t hear you” is a proposal to dissect words within the lexical field of work focussing on the notion of performance. In the process, we want to deeper understand how people do and could communicate, collaborate and relate to each other throughout the various structures, spaces, affects and meanings associated with ideas of work.

The project proposes the re-evaluation and poetization of the toxified terminology of performance that the different parameters of modernity and postmodernity imposed as norms for current conditions of labour and means of (cultural) production. Workers in all contexts deal with varying conditions of inaudibility and inability, that are produced by hegemonic forms of oppression, such as ableism, racism, sexism, or other social inequalities. We can’t ‘unsee’/’unhear’ that. Performing within given notions of productivity, growth, capacity, or integration eventually makes it hard for individuals to equally participate in society. We ask ourselves: How can we give new meaning to these terms in a playful, unique and personal way?

Keywords such as: work-out, work out, a piece of work, work as job, artwork, workflow, work-life-balance, paid work, unpaid work, temp work, etc. invite to be discussed, dissected and poeticized through the means of performance and performativity.

In this project we would like to provoke the debunking of statements around what it means to “hear” each other, statements that are usually deemed obvious. Can and do we really hear each other? Do we want to hear each other? We imagine the sessions as free-form, free-of-charge meetings, listenings and get-togethers which offer a space for audience, artists/non-artists to spend time with each other and have an open and public conversation.

Results from the meetings are published on, the research platform hosted by collective and label Research and Waves, that critically examines digital (re)formations of media, specifically the use of language and the emancipatory possibilities of poetic intervention in currently emerging real life practices. These documents, which will travel forward, will allow access to the knowledge accumulated during our meetings.

Documentary materials and conceptual results from all the events become part of a vinyl record released and realized by Research and Waves together with the invited artists.

With: Ralf Wendt, Anna Zawadzka | handverlesen with Lea Schneider and Kassandra Wedel | FemmeFitness, Raluca Croitoru | Soy Division | Juliana Lindenhofer, Brad Nath