A text written prior to the action by Monastyrski consisted of 22 small parts and was translated into German by Sabine Haensgen. A few days before the action, in two stages, the text was taped using a recorder. The recording was conducted in the following manner. The first part of the text was read aloud in Russian by Monastyrski and then repeated in German by Haensgen. Then the second part was recorded, with its German translation having started some seconds before the ending of the Russian part, so that it was superimposed acoustically over the Russian part’s last phrase. This superimposition of German speech over Russian continued and with each part seized more and more of the Russian text, so that parts 11 and 12 were synchronized in both languages. After the 13th part the German text (which was translated from Russian) began running ahead, and by the 20th part the manner of reading turned to reverse. Thus, first the German text of part 20 was read aloud, then the Russian text. Both language versions of part 21 (an episode "Drugstore") were synchronized, like parts 11 and 12. The last one, part 22, was recorded like part one: first Russian text, then its German translation.
In the second stage of preparatory recording Haensgen and S. Romashko vocalized the recorded text on one cassette and recorderd it to another using the repetitive technique (see "Voices"). S.Haensgen repeated after Monastyrski’s reading the Russian text, and vice versa. Thus, the second cassette was recorded, where Russian text by Monastyrski was repeated by Haensgen, and its German counterpart (written by Haensgen) repeated by Romashko.
In the course of the action, which took place indoors (at Monastyrski’s apartment), Haensgen and Monastyrski sat at a table moved a few feet away from the audience, put on headphones and repeated after the second cassette’s recording: Haensgen repeated after her original translation dubbed by Romashko, while Monastyrski repeated after his Russian text dubbed by Haensgen. During the playback of part 19 of the text which ended with words "What do you think?" the tape recorder was temporarily switched off and Haensgen "in her own words" (i.e. outside the repetition space) answered in German. Her answer was translated into Russian for the audience (and for Monastyrski): "What else can be said, enough words have been said already". Then the tape recorder was switched on again and the playback proceeded. During "The Drugstore" episode Romashko – synchronously with Haensgen and Monastyrski – read this text aloud in Russian. Thus, it was simultaneously read aloud in three voices, two in Russian and one in German.
After the second cassette’s playback was over, Monastyrski and Haensgen removed the headphones and turned off the tape recorder. Haensgen read aloud a beforehand-written text in German, while Romashko translated it into Russian. In the final part Romashko vocalized his own text titled "Afterword". Besides the described above verbal sequence, the action also had an acoustic background, which was produced by a speaker and consisted of homogenous street noise, low-key hissing with occasional inclusions of mechanical sounds such as distant working air supply, and vaguely audible "Music Outside the Window".
The visual sequence of the action consisted of an elongated rectangular black box with four (two paired) turned on electric torches protruding from the box’s front side. The box sat on the table, lamps facing the audience, and separated the participants (S.H., A.M. and S. R.) from viewers. Inside the box, invisible to the audience, there was a working tape recorder with a 45-minute-long tape. It was empty, with three occasional technical noises like clicks and humming: in the middle of the recording there was a sound of rewinding tape (about one minute long) and in the beginning and the end there were a couple of button clicks.
Behind participants’ backs in a windowpane there was a square black box (also used in the "Voices" action) with three electric torches of different shapes protruding from it (for description of these electric torches see text "Engineer Wasser and engineer Licht").
In the room there were several black boards with letters and numbers, like those on car license plates.
6th of February, 1985
A. Monastyrski, S.Hangsen, S. Romashko
V. Zakharov, Yu. Albert, N. Alekseyev, M. Yeryomina, Ye. Yelagina, I. Makarevich, I. Kabakov, I. Bakshtein,
I. Nakhova, Yu. Leiderman, A. Zhigalov, N. Abalakova,
D. Prigov, V. Mochalova, L. Rubinstein, G.Witte, E. Dobringer, S.Letov +