Introduction: Echo

Venka Purushothaman

DOI: 10.33671/ISS02PUR

The second volume of ISSUE commences with a provocation that Walter Benjamin compared translation to hearing an echo in a forest; and that the echo is not the original sound, and the copy not the original.1 To investigate this, we need to resuscitate the flailing nymph Echo pinning for the love of Narcissus, and one has to return to the primordial scene: the sighting.

In this volume, we have echoed two interviews, revisiting them to gain new insights, new reverberances: Trinh T. Minh-Ha’s “When the Eyes Frames Red” 1999 interview and Heman Chong’s “Calendars (2020-2096)” 2011 interview. Both have been selected to serve as parasites for the primordial scene. Trinh’s work paves a perspectival way to seeing and framing while Chong’s provides a critical rendition of time’s own entrapment within the condition of structure.

The ensuing essays by artists, filmmakers, academics and musicians represent a plethora of viewpoints, starting points and end points responding in their own to the echoes. They are intended to serve as counterpoints to the para-sites thereby providing a new rendition to an age-old conundrum regarding the real and original.


1 Introductory statement by renowned art historian, Dr. Charles Merewether at the international art residency, Tropical Lab 2013: LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.

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