“We cannot use old thinking to new ways of being” (Minna Salami)

This spring the world has changed overnight and we’ve witnessed how many more changes are necessary. What is the role of the arts and science in further societal transformations? How artists and scientists can collaborate in order to embrace the constant transitions in a nowadays world? And before answering, what kind of questions should we ask ourselves in the first place?

eˉlektron invites everyone to join artistic and experimental program ‘fruitful misunderstandings. art+science’. Its aim is to explore this ambiguous world of art and science fusion. The world where rigid scientific methods and approaches can be questioned and brought closer to the actual needs of society. The world where artistic practices can be enriched and diversified in order to become more open, inclusive and accepted not only as a spreader but also as a creator of knowledge.

Together with guest artists and scientists from around the globe we’ll be experimenting with the endless possibilities of Art-Science synthesis and online performance making. It’ll be done through online public talks and through workshops that will take place in both physical and virtual environments simultaneously.

WHERE
elektron.live (worldwide) and Kanuti Gildi Saal (Tallinn, Estonia)

WHEN
September – December 2020
(the program is updated each month, please find the detailed description for September below)

FOR WHOM
Performers, neuroscientists, directors, sociologists, visual and sound artists, anthropologists, engineers, philosophers, dancers, educators, both students and professionals

The program is free of charge.

NB! We can offer only a limited number of places for the participation in the workshops (the registration links are in the program below). However, we’ll ensure a possibility for the unlimited number of viewers to see the streaming of the workshops and we encourage the viewers to try working on their own (or in groups they form themselves) while following the stream and to document their results and share them with eˉlektron afterwards.

If you consider it worthy and want to contribute to eˉlektron’s development, it is possible to buy a ticket here: https://fienta.com/fruitful-misunderstandings

In case of questions, please feel free to contact the program curator at: bohdana@elektron.art

Supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture

Program

NOVEMBER

16.–18.11 ● 18.–21.11 ● 23.–29.11 ● TBA

fruitful misunderstandings.
online residency
“JUST A STAGE”

More info

DECEMBER

(TBA)

Past events

OCTOBER

10.10 ● Saturday ● 13.00 (EEST)

LIVE Panel: Hiroaki Umeda (Tokyo)
Dancing with the Science

More info

SEPTEMBER

19.09 20.09 28.09 30.09

LAB in online performance making
SHOW US WHERE YOU ARE
mentored by Daniel Wetzel (Rimini Protokoll, Berlin)
More info

22.09 ● Tuesday ● 18.00 (EEST)

LIVE Panel: Stacey Sacks (Stockholm) +
Armando Rotondi (Barcelona)
To Be Alone Together
More info

15.09 ● Tuesday ● 18.00 (EEST)

LIVE Panel: Hybrid Plattform (Berlin) +
eˉlektron (Tallinn)
Art+Science (Im)possibilities
More info

fruitful misunderstandings
Online residency
JUST A STAGE

  • a period of development
  • the area in a theater
  • a particular area of public life

Is it just a stage we’re in/on right now? What is it exactly anyway? Or, what could it be(come)?

“While the border seeks to prevent one from crossing, the threshold seems to invite such a crossover. […] While borders create clear divisions, thresholds mark a space of possibilities, empowerment, and metamorphosis. (…) the aesthetics of the performative aims at a border-crossing art, this means that it transforms borders into thresholds. The aesthetic of the performative allows for an art of passage”
–Erika Fischer-Lichte

eˉlektron, together with 4 mentors from the fields of performance, technologies, sound and visual arts, will invite 8 creative professionals to explore the borders dividing and limiting us now and to make an attempt in transforming them into thresholds through the form of online performance.

During 2 weeks in late November/beginning of December, 2 collectives will be formed and guided through the process of creation of 2 online performances that will be staged at elektron.live.

We don’t have the answers for the questions we pose. 

We have curiosity that drives us to explore where the search for those answers might bring us.

MENTORS:
Kat Mustatea, USA
playwright-technologist
Kat Mustatea is an imagination engine whose tech-native storytelling stretches theater into the digital age.
She has written plays in which people turn into lizards, a woman has a sexual relationship with a swan, and a one-eyed cyclops tries to fit into Manhattan society by getting a second eye surgically implanted in his head.
She is a co-curator of EdgeCut, a live performance series that explores our complex relationship to the digital, and a member of NEW INC, the art and tech incubator at The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. Her most recent language-based work, VOIDOPOLIS, was featured at the 2020 Ars Electronica + The Grid: Exposure Festival and won the 2020 Arts and Letters “Unclassifiable” Prize for Literature. Her work with synthetic language was recently detailed by Cueva Gallery.
She studied philosophy at Columbia University and sculpture at Pratt Institute, worked as a software engineer and product manager, and founded a theater company in Berlin. Over the last decade, she has developed cross-disciplinary works for the stage that combine music, dance, and highly emotional theater. Her plays have been performed in New York, Chicago, Berlin, and Oslo.

Taavi Suisalu, Estonia
sound artist-technologist
Taavi Suisalu conjures small utopias that act simultaneously on metaphorical, poetical and technical contexts. His work manifests in interactive installations, performative situations and curatorial endeavors that blend traditional and contemporary sensibilities and activate peripheral spaces for imaginative encounters. Suisalu’s work balances between artistic and scientific approaches, studio and fieldwork and his practice is informed by phenomena of contemporary society and its relations to developments in technologies, being interested in the behaviour, perception and thinking of social beings.
Suisalu has recorded volcanoes and malfunctioning satellites, composed for lawnmowers, blended living and digital ecosystems, explored datafictions and discrepancies between digital immigrants and natives. In 2014, he received the Young Estonian Artist Prize for curating a distributed exhibition throughout non-existent villages of Southern Estonia. In 2017, his work Distant Self-Portrait was awarded 2nd prize in Riga Photography Biennial Awards. In 2018 he was one of the selected artists to participate in the European Media Art Platform.
In recent years his work has been shown at KUMU in Tallinn; Riga Photography Biennale and RIXC festival in Riga Art Space and Latvian National Museum of Art in Latvia; Le Lieu Unique in France; Impakt in Netherlands; European Central Bank in Frankfurt; BOZAR and European Parliament in Brussels; Nikola Tesla Technical Museum in Croatia; gallery Triumph in Moscow; gallery Horseandpony Fine Arts and Weisser Elefant in Berlin; WRO Media Art Biennale in Four Domes Pavilion in Poland and in many venues and festivals in Estonia.

Ray LC, USA
creative technologist-artist-neuroscientist
RAY LC is an interdisciplinary artist and designer based in New York City. You can find him gesturing emotively to robots and other furniture at Parsons School of Design, patrolling the streets of Madison Square Park in VR goggles, teaching social dancing with a dramatic flare (most of the time in Japanese no less) at Columbia University, and burning down the kitchen with spicy Singaporean cuisine at International House NYC. He is also a neuroscientist.
Ray describes his practice as a creative technology and interactive art inspired and supported by multidisciplinary understanding of human behavior. With his works he also aims at creating human-machine gesture dynamics with environmental intelligence to let our world talk to us, so we can empathize deeply with others and with ourselves.
In 2020 his works were presented at Burning Man BRCvr, New York Short Documentary Film Fest, CICA Museum and EdgeCut NewMuseum.

Vera Iona Papadopoulou, Greece
film director-performance artist
In her works, Vera Iona includes interactive performances, video performances, long duration performances, short feature films, social documentaries and curating.
Vera makes a research into the relationship between artist and audience in an attempt to get both “Free”. She uses confession as a basic tool in her art, either by referring to her personal experiences or putting the viewer into situations to make a reference itself. Her work is characterized by brutality and immediacy.
Through the art of performance, she investigates the psychosomatic boundaries with the ultimate goal of balance. She tries to build a method of working with performers by doing research in various physical practices such as yoga, tantra, contact improvisation, etc., as well as in various practical exercises of psychology and actor training.
Vera stresses the importance of the process of project implementation and she is experimenting with the combination of different visual arts. So, she makes use of long duration performance as a filming process.
Social exclusion and racism are the main topics at her work. In addition, the artist is interested in social integration, as a result of her own cultural intercourse, and she is also studying the position of woman in modern families.
Apart from that, Vera has also collaborated with Marina Abramovich (GARAGE Museum of Contemporary Art: Marina Abramovic – The Artist is Present, 2011), with Yoko Ono (MOMA and GARAGE: Yoko Ono Morning Peace, 2015) and participated in many group and solo exhibitions.

PROGRAM 

Part I
16.11-18.11*
Panel discussions with the mentors and eˉlektron team
Mentors will share about their practices and experiences within the field of online performance. 
eˉlektron, introduced by Taavet Jansen, Andrus Aaslaid and Kristjan Jansen, will give an introduction into the powers and possibilities of elektron.live platform, previous performances executed on the platform and its unexplored potentials.

Part II
18.11-21.11*
Ideas’ Development
Residents will be put into 2 collectives. Each will include a sound artist, a visual artist, a performer/director and a tech creative/programmer. 
In these temporary collectives residents will be working on the development of their ideas for online performance that could be realised on elektron.live stage. 
After the group work, each collective meets with 2 mentors assigned to them and with eˉlektron. During the meeting, the collective pitch their idea and analyse, develop it further on together with the mentors and eˉlektron. 

Part III
23.11-29.11*
Tryouts Period
Collectives continue to elaborate their projects with try-outs on elektron.live throughout the week with guidance from eˉlektron. 
Collectives meet again with their mentors for the final try-out and feedback session. 

Part IV
Dates TBA
Showing of the online performances developed during the residency

*exact schedule and dates are subject to change (would be negotiated together with the residents)

Throughout the program eˉlektron will be promoting its individual residents on its social media platforms.

PAST EVENTS

LIVE Panel: Hiroaki Umeda (Tokyo)
Dancing with the Science

10.10 ● Saturday ● 13.00 (EEST)

A choreographer and a multidisciplinary artist from Tokyo, Hiroaki Umeda, joins us in the discussion on the role and influences of science in his work. Based on his artistic practice, we’ll talk about the possibilities of choreographing not only bodies but also time, space, light and sound. Among many, we’ll get a chance to get a closer look at such projects as “Holistic Strata” based on the artist’s post-anthropocentric perspective that involved sensing technology to allow for synchronization between Umeda’s muscles and visual material during the performance.

Hiroaki Umeda is now recognized as one of the leading figures of the Japanese avant-garde art scene. Since the launch of his company S20, his subtle yet violent dance pieces have toured around the world to audience and critical acclaim. His work is acknowledged for the highly holistic artistic methodology with strong digital background, which considers not only physical elements as dance, but also optical, sonal, sensorial and, above all, spatiotemporal components as part of the choreography.

WHERE: elektron.live/fruitful

The discussion is in English.

LAB in online performance making
SHOW US WHERE YOU ARE
mentored by Daniel Wetzel (Rimini Protokoll, Berlin)

19.0920.0928.0930.09

19.09.20, 12.00–15.00 (EEST)
20.09.20, 12.00–15.00 (EEST)
28.09.20, 18.00–20.00 (EEST)
30.09.20, 19.00–20.30 (EEST)

We participate in a global laboratory on performance. That means it is about perception and action. It is a global conference of viewpoints. And a lab on diverse actions.
It is not about describing the situation as such. It is about exploring it as a state of transition.
We, the participants in this laboratory, want to explore where we are and its past.
We want to explore where we are and how we can describe it to others. This is why it is productive that each of us is completely somewhere else.
By describing and transmitting the situation(s) of our choice we are in, via the internet, we want to explore the parameters of their potential transitions – the potentials of inevitable but controllable change. We want to discover our potential to participate in the creation and management of change.

We want to reconsider our presence and actions:
– where are we?
how and why is it where we are?
– what is striking us and what would we like to change? 

We will work on how to bring this closer or to make it clearer to others. Those who are far away in the geographic space but who share digital one, and moreover – time with us in this.

We will create performative maps in time and digital space together by finding forms and strategies of sharing. We will create a model of the world how it appears to be NOW every single time we assemble on this platform. What rituals, signs, images and texts will result out of this process? Will they trigger off actions that we will take where we are – or in support in where others are? 

The process is diverse but shares experience – and this is the show – and the show is what you see – and to witness something changes our minds.

This lab is initiated by people who work in the fields of progressive theater, performance and formats of assembly. We feel that theater as a mutually known platform of the assembly of diverse positions and experiences is a vital root for intercultural communication and a counter reality to the stages of press and social media.

About the mentor

Daniel Wetzel is one of the founders, together with Helgard Haug and Stefan Kaegi, of the theatre-label Rimini Protokoll. Work by work they have expanded the means of the theatre to create new perspectives on reality.

Rimini Protokoll often develop their stage-works, interventions, performative installations and audio plays together with experts who have gained their knowledge and skills beyond the theatre. Furthermore, they like to transpose rooms or social structures into theatrical formats. Many of their works feature interactivity and a playful use of technology.

WHERE: elektron.live (with the use of the Zoom platform)

The working language of the laboratory is English.

LIVE Panel: Stacey Sacks (Stockholm) +
Armando Rotondi (Barcelona)
To Be Alone Together

22.09 ● Tuesday ● 18.00 (EEST)

We live in the world in a political state that has also suddenly moved into digital. What happens to a performance in this new world? What are the new ways of imagining and making performances? Together with Stacey Sacks and Armando Rotondi we’ll be exploring the paradigm of online performances, its potential in creating unique experiences for the audience and one of its main problematics — how to share a space and time through the means of digital technologies.

WHERE: elektron.live (the link for the discussion will be published few days before the event)

The discussion is in English.

Stacey Sacks
performer-writer-director-teacher-researcher-clown

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Stacey Sacks studied Performance and Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town and later completed the MA program ‘A Year of Physical Comedy’ at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Art in 2012. Sacks is the co-author of The Clown Manifesto (Oberon Books, 2015) and recently completed a PhD in Performative and Media-Based Practices at Stockholm University of the Arts. The fragmented texts emerging from this exploration are collectively entitled SQUIRM (the book), 2020, and are freely available online, together with films and online expositions.

Interested in trans-generational and intra-cultural haunting, Sacks experiments with auto-ethnography and productive discomfort in multi-modal ways, attempting to discover sharper ways of giving attention, while making safe space for generative failure. The research evolves via a series of trans-disciplinary corporeal and material experiments which at root ask the question: how do I mobilize my positionality as a privileged body in the anti-colonial conversation?

Armando Rotondi
academic-writer-theatre practitioner-journalist

Armando is an Associate Professor in Performance Theory and Story-Telling and Leader of the MA Acting at the IAB — Institute of the Arts Barcelona. After a BA in Naples and an MA in Rome, he achieved his PhD at the University of Strathclyde and two University Professorship Habilitations in Theatre, Film, Music and Audiovisual and in Comparative Literature. Before IAB, he worked at universities in UK (Strathclyde), Italy (Naples “Federico II”, Naples “L’Orientale”, Verona), Poland (Torun), Romania (ICR and Bucharest), Slovakia (Comenius). He is a founding member of INIT — International Network of Italian Theatre, a member of the European Association for the Study of Theatre and Performance, and the editor for “Theatre and Adaptation” at “The Theatre Times” (New York). Recently he was a Project Manager at Creative Europe Make a Move project. 

As a practitioner, Armando is a dramaturg, a published narrative writer and a staged/published playwright. He worked with prominent artists such as Andy Arnold, Esteve Soler, Jasmin Vardimon, Guy Bar-Amotz, Andrew McKinnon, Grigore Gonța. He is a member of Lacuna Lab, a Berlin-based collective of artists interested at the intersection between arts, science and technology. Currently, he is interested in digital/online performance, micro-theatre, and transmedia and alternative storytelling.

LIVE Panel: Hybrid Plattform (Berlin) +
eˉlektron (Tallinn)
Art+Science (Im)possibilities

15.09 ● Tuesday ● 18.00 (EEST)

The Hybrid Plattform is a project platform of the Berlin University of the Arts and the Technische Universität Berlin. The platform serves the cross-disciplinary exchange of art, science and technology.

Together with the coordinators of the Hybrid Plattform, Ewelina Dobrzalski and Nina Horstmann, we’ll be exploring the possible forms of collaborations between artists and scientists. We will try to cover the fields of both research and practice, discuss the already executed projects of Hybrid Plattform and of eˉlektron, while also look at ongoing life of both platforms and their structures.

WHERE: elektron.live (the link for the discussion will be published few days before the event)

The discussion is in English.

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