CONCEPT

BADco.: Evolution won’t be televized

April 5-23, 2013

BADco. is a Zagreb, Croatia-based theatre collective. Over the years it has produced over twenty performances questioning the established ways of performing and spectating. In the process it has established a wide international presence, and after showing The League of Time in 2009, it now returns for the second time to Gothenburg. Following an invitation by the artist-run platform SKOGEN to create a program block, BADco. decided to spend the month of April in Gothenburg developing new work and presenting a public program that will include four of its performances, two workshops, a new performative installation work and a series of lectures and lecture performances a.o. by guests: Tor
Lindstrand, Anders Paulin and Anders Mossling, and Johan Normark.

Although the program will offer a comprehensive overview of BADco.’s artistic and educational work, the program block starts from BADco.’s recent concerns: on the one hand, artistic explorations of issues of ecology and environment that open the block with BADco.’s latest performance Is There Life on Stage? – Exercises in Terraforming. On the other hand, concerns with the old medium of television that will be at the center of BADco.’s work during the stay in SKOGEN and take the form of a performative installation “TVolution won’t be televised”.

The performative installation work in SKOGEN is a follow-up of the installation work BADco. did in 2011 for the Croatian presentation at the 54th Venice Biennale. This initiated a series of investigations and experimental set-ups that the collective is currently developing alongside of its performances and that are dealing with the recontextualisation and remediation of theatre performance into other artistic, scholarly and social practices.

BADco. are Pravdan Devlahović, Ana Kreitmeyer, Ivana Ivković, Tomislav Medak, Goran Sergej Pristaš, Nikolina Pristaš, Lovro Rumiha and Zrinka Užbine

You can get to know more about BADco here.

GLOSSARY

performative collective

give me a problem

theatre by other means

dramaturgy of time

alien logic

split attention

post-hoc dramaturgy

counter-television

choreographic unconscious

watching form aside

representing labor

laziness

social choreography

algorithmic editing

parables of the future

future scenarios

recapitulation

PROGRAMME

 April 5, 19hrs, SKOGEN
Peformance by BADco.: Is There Life on Stage? – Exercises in Terraforming

April 6, 19hrs, SKOGEN
Performance by BADco.: SEMI-INTERPRETATIONS or How to Explain Contemporary Dance to an Undead Hare
followed by: Presentation of BADco.’s work & party

April 9, 18 – 21hrs, SKOGEN
Digital tools in dance: demonstration of Whatever Dance Toolbox
BADco. will first demonstrate their software toolbox and after visitors can test the system first hand

April 14, 13hrs – 17hrs
Opening of performative installation: TVolution won’t be televised
The installation will be open for visitors also on April 15 & 17, 12-17hrs

April 16, 19hrs, SKOGEN
Lecture performance by Economy/Tor Lindstrand: The Walkable City.
+
Performance by Anders Paulin & Anders Mossling: Neither You Nor Me

April 17, 14hrs, SKOGEN
Seminar on BADco.’s work for the students of Academy of Drama and Music

April 18, 19hrs, SKOGEN
Talk by Johan Normark: Water as Object and Hyperobject in the Ancient Maya Area

April 18 – 19,  9-17hrs, SKOGEN
Workshop by BADco.: Whatever Dance Toolbox

April 19, 19hrs, SKOGEN
Performance by BADco.: Point of Convergence

April 20 – 21, 10-14hrs, SKOGEN
Workshop by BADco.: Post-hoc dramaturgy: Always, Never, Now

April 23, 20hrs, SKOGEN
Performance by BADco.: Trilogy on Labor
followed by: Goodbye party

 

Is There Life On Stage?

 – Exercises in Terraforming

 

 

BADco.’s production is an artistic exploration of two connected sets of problems: establishing the minimal conditions for life and the facticity in the theater. Our starting point is the question “What are the consequences of theater’s fictionalization of a reality such as the global environmental crisis?” Therefore our reference horizon spans artistic and media sources ranging from documentary footage of our conquests of outer space, through science-fiction prose and eco-art.

The performance-series starts out from the idea of terraforming, a hypothetical process of deliberately modifying the atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology of planet, moon or other body to be similar to those of Earth in order to make it habitable by terrestrial organisms. Conceived as serial, made up of individual episodes, the production’s primary interest is to approach and exhaust the topic of establishing new conditions for life and work on stage, networks of relations, ecosystems, forms of life, communities etc. On the one hand we wish to reflect on a heightened sense of urgency to relate the global environmental crisis, on the other hand our aim is to reflect on the status of the real in theater. While theater’s social and political argumentation increasingly exhibits a passion for reality, for the documentary, for the “real people” on stage, theater always inevitably fictionalizes relations between people and things, facts and illusions. And yet, theater always is a collective act of sorts, always a temporary community with its own set of sociopoetic consequences.

The performance has a serial structure whose segments will be changing from occasion to occasion, from venue to venue. The production has been presented twice as a work-in-progress, while the October 2012 performance in Rijeka, Croatia opened a cycle of public showings in theaters. The initial project propositions were developed through a number of workshops and collaborations with artists and experts outside of the collective. The performance will remain open after its premiere through continuous workshops with the audience and yet other creators, resulting in yet other segments that will be added to the serial and permutable structure of the performance. It is adaptable to performance and gallery venues, but also other open-air or enclosed public spaces.

 

Inspired by works and thoughts of Timothy Morton, John W. Campbell, Yona Friedman, Vlado Martek, Heraclitus of Ephesus, Long Distance Hotel and others.

 

Authors: Pravdan Devlahović (performance), Ivana Ivković (dramaturgy), Ana Kreitmeyer (performance), Tomislav Medak (dramaturgy), Goran Sergej Pristaš (directing), Nikolina Pristaš (performance and choreography), Zrinka Užbinec (performance).

Collaborators: Daniel Turing (software), Silvio Vujičić (costume design), Alan Vukelić (light design), Jasmin Dasović (sound design).

Company manager: Lovro Rumiha

Coproducers: BADco. and Domino

 

Project was made in: Culture Centre Novi Zagreb and POGON  – Zagreb Centre for Independent Culture and Youth.

Project is supported by: Zagreb City Office for Education, Culture and Sport, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia

The production premiered in Rijeka and in Zagreb in 2012.

 

Semi-interpretations

or How to Explain Contemporary Dance to an Undead Hare

 

 

A widespread popularity of physical culture, or more precisely “harmonic gymnastics”, in the context of American bourgeoisie at the beginning of 20th century came predominantly through teachings of a successor of the French oratory teacher François Delsarte, the creator of an exhaustive system of exercises the purpose of which was mostly aimed at achieving naturalness, elegance and harmoniousness in oratory and acting. This specific focus on refining and mastering the gestural expression of the body also imprinted itself into the ideology of early modern dance and could be traced in its techniques (Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, Ruth St.Denis, Ted Shawn…). By paying special attention to Delsarte’s detailed analysis of gestural expression, especially his prohibition to use parallel gesture in elegant oratory, this choreographic study exhausts that prohibition by insisting on it, thus attempting to shift away from an understanding of dance as a rhetorical gesture and toward an understanding of dance as a phenomenon that is procedurally rhetorical, that achieves effectivity of expression through operating with complex processes persuasively. On the same line, our interest went towards the hiatus between “speaking” and “speaking persuasively” in dance and towards contemporary dance’s relation to the rhetorical cliché of naturalness which substituted the idea of lightness in ballet.

The “image” of the historic performance by Joseph Beuys, paraphrased in the subtitle, seemed like a great conceptual substructure which could host a choreographic speculation on some of the key ideas beneath contemporary contemporary dance but at the same time enable us to ask the question how dance might look like not form the perspective of the spectator or the performer but from the perspective of all withdrawn objects whose “natural” deadness pulls the body away from the world of the living into the black box of the undead.

 

Composition and modulation: Nikolina Pristaš

Notes and blackboxing: Goran Sergej Pristaš

Sound design: Jasmin Dasović

Light design: Alan Vukelić

Costume design: Silvio Vujičić

Hare: Ana Ogrizović

Technical support: Marcell Mars

Speculative dimension: Pravdan Devlahović, Ana Kreitmeyer, Ivana Ivković, Tomislav Medak, Zrinka Užbinec.

Producer: Lovro Rumiha

 

Semi-inspired by the work of: Joseph Beuys, François Delsarte, Franz Kafka, Steven Shaviro, Bruno Latour and Graham Harman

 

The project was made in: Culture Centre Novi Zagreb, POGON – Zagreb Centre for Independant Culture and Youth and Culture Centre Kalvarija (Rijeka).

Project is supported by: Zagreb City Office for Education, Culture and Sport, Ministry of Culture RH

 

The production premiered in Zagreb at the Perforations festival in 2010.

 

The Walkable City

A performance by Economy/Tor Lindstrand.

 

 

“I wish I could talk in Technicolor. Or let you see, did you say you could see it? It’s here, can’t you feel it? This whole room. Everything is in color and I can feel the air and I can see it, I can see molecules. Wonder at the incredible vistas that surround you with the vivid contrast of green lawns that meet the azure blue of the River, be mesmerized by the beauty of the setting sun and dazzled by the twinkling stars at night. I have never seen such infinite beauty in my life. It’s like a curtain or a spider web. Can you see it it’s right here in front of me. Now, watch, no, good heavens. You know it went through me. It passed right through me.”

Non-plan enterprise zones, propagative-atmospheric-urbanism and dark matter organization are examples of contemporary strategies that are used to transform the city and its architectures. The practice of building has become so abstract, so hi-jacked by the forces of economics that when we talk about building cities, we are no longer talking about actually building matter, but optimising systems to better insure continued growth. The qualities of the cities of the future have nothing to do with the needs of the current citizens; instead it is geared toward attracting a future workforce of ambitious, well-educated and creative young professionals. The urban industry complex is preparing us for a city where life and work are again merged as one. A city where attention is the new currency and every interaction, encounter or experience is understood as an economical transaction. What role will architecture and architectural processes play under these conditions, is it doomed to act as a lubric

ant for an increased privatization or could it re-form itself as an oblique order, a refused flank, for the construction of a different collective?

 

Tor Lindstrand

 

Tor Lindstrand (Stockholm) is an Assistant Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH-A) and a co-owner of the office of Larsson, Lindstrand and Palme. He has been working on projects oscillating between architecture, visual art and performance in numerous cultural contexts, among others TATE Liverpool, Venice Architecture Biennale 2008 and 2010, Steirischer Herbst, Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture 2009, VOLTA Basel, Performa New York, Royal Dramatic Theatre Copenhagen, NAI Rotterdam, Stockholm Architecture Museum and Storefront New York. Together with choreographer Marten Spångberg he initiated International Festival, a practice working on context specific projects spanning from buildings, publications, films, installations, public interventions and situations. In 2010 he founded Economy together with Jessica Watson-Galbraith, a Swedish-Australian platform working with architecture, art and performance. He is currently involved in a collaborative research project on Power, Space and Ideology at KTH-A and Södertörn University.


Neither You Nor Me

– A performance by Anders Mossling & Anders Paulin

In “Neither You Nor Me” Anders M and Anders P together enter a journey through the narratives of Sophocle’s “Antigone”, Eschenbach’s “Parzival” and Melville’s “Bartleby”.

 The first material presents a number of dialectic positions – man/woman, king/citizen, law/religion – and the second is an invitation to follow the movement from singularity to subjectivity. The third story investigates the potential of doing nothing at all. Together they form the foundation for a series of examinations of the stage as a venue for, and encounters between, equal subjectivities; an arena for production of difference rather than identity, where participants and audience together can build imaginations of the infinite amount of potential existences, lives and destinies that isn’t our own.

The basic idea is simple: two individuals with identical references – age, background, gender, field – meet each other on stage in the act of storytelling; in acceptance and appreciation of the fact that we never will be able to share each others perspectives, or create an identity between them. Our verbal storytelling is projected through the perspectives of our bodies in the space, together with analogue animations produced with two overhead projectors, where we in a very simple, concrete fashion look at the basic notions of the narratives with the audience.

The staged body here, rather than being the representation of a certain identity, is trying out positions and perspectives, supporting the imagining act of the audience. The story is given the function of an interface, the membrane that both separates and connects the individual’s reading/interpreting it. In the same way, we contextualize the face as an interface; defining both the outside and the inside, the surface that activates a machine producing communication and exchange of meaning, rather than communicating a finalized meaning in itself.

 The objective of the project is to examine an updated toolbox for theatre. By merging methods and strategies from different art disciplines we aim to develop alternatives to traditional methods based on identity and mimesis, focusing on listening rather than understanding, and thus more suited to meet the needs of a post national world.

The project “Neither You Nor Me”, is a crossover platform using the theatre practice as venue for meetings between artists and researchers from different fields.

 

Point Of Convergence


Point of Convergence
is a choreographic experiment persisting in the excess where communication in dance and about dance oscillates between what can and what cannot be stated: insisting on choreographic means – structuring the intensity of communication’s noise – producing the specific conditions of dialogue in dance and dialogue on dance. To understand one another, it is necessary to negotiate the terms of understanding.

The authors Zrinka Užbinec and Ana Kreitmeyer implement this negotiation of the terms of understanding, an understanding that is yet to come to understanding, through a series of mutations of dance expressions. A simple initial choreography is communicated to each other through a series of dance negotiations, understandings and misunderstandings through which newly established gestures lose their meaning, and casual glances and signs of a hand become intensities that are changing the context, transforming meanings into an excess.

During this process of “rough” translation the dance expression of one is exposed to a constant and continuous dance interpretation of the other, creating a choreographic situation that is no longer located on the bodies, but between the two bodies. Attempts at negotiation, at translation, misconstructions, explanations one did not request, disagreements, an attempt at coexisting. The point of convergence is left to the spectators’ gaze where, in the illusory distance, two parallel lines intersect at infinity.

 

Team of Negotiators: Ivana Ivković, Ana Kreitmeyer, Tomislav Medak, Nikolina Pristaš, Goran Sergej Pristaš, Zrinka Užbinec

Choreography and performance: Ana Kreitmeyer and Zrinka Užbinec

Light design: Alan Vukelić
Costume design: Silvio Vujičić
Sound design: Jasmin Dasović
Producer: Lovro Rumiha
Support: Pravdan Devlahović

Project was made in: Culture Centre Novi Zagreb and POGON  – Zagreb Centre for Independent Culture and Youth.

Project is supported by: Zagreb City Office for Education, Culture and Sport, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia

The production premiered in Zagreb in 2010.

 

Trilogy On Labor

This performance will be a guided tour through some of the central concerns and scenes of three of BADco.’s performances that dealt directly or indirectly with the problem of labour: Changes (2007), 1 poor and one 0 (2008) and The League of Time (2009).

Changes was a performance that entered the terrain of political and creative problems stemming from La Fontaine’s fable The Grasshopper and the Ant, with a particular focus on the implications of those problems in contemporary dance and choreography. The consequences of over-laboriousness and laziness in art (dance in particular), the productive value of noises, noises of production as opposed to noises of silence, the parasites and the producers, the operative relationship between choreography and the environment (space, sound, light), the mediality of dance… were some of the topics that the performance brought into focus.

In 1 poor and one 0 BADco. returned to the scene of the first film ever made Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory – i.e. factory gates. The first moving images show workers leaving their workplace.The movement of the workforce from the place of industrial work into the world of film marks the starting point of the complicated relationship between the cinema and the portrayal of work. From its outset cinema tended to leave the manual labor out of the picture, focusing rather on atomized stories of individual workers once they have left their workplace: their romances, their transgressions, their destinies in the course of world events. Cinema starts where work ends.

1 poor and one 0 was a twofold performance: while the performers developed the manifold forms of dissolution of the working subject before the audience, the audience was slowly drawn into a process of transformation: from the popular medium of cinema to the political theatre of populism. Theatre exhausted in moving images, images exhausted in the theatre of movement. A change of perspective.

The League Of Time was a theatrical journey through parables of the future and recapitulations of the past, through an archeology of utopian tales and visions never realized. Kafka’s parallel world of an imaginary Amerika he never had the chance to visit, the futuristic vision of Mayakovski’s The Flying Proletarian. A flight two hundred years into the future during which you will meet the surviving members of the League of Time: an ufologist, a pilot, a man-machine and a cosmonaut, get a bird’s eye view of the Red Square, hear slogans of biocosmists and peak into American psychedelic art.

INSTALLATION


TVolution won’t be televised – Broken performances

Performative installation:

Vernissage 14 april 13.00 – 17.00
Open: 15 & 17 april, 12.00 – 17.00.

 

Products can be attacked only with counterproducts. Television criticism must set out from the historical corpus of the medium, namely, television as an industrial enterprise. What is more, any self-determination of the viewers, as the foundation of a possible emancipatory development of television, must measure itself against this industrial dimension: that is, by what cannot automatically be detected within an individual broadcast. Television can be transformed not on the level of the individual program, but of its entire history, which determines that program.

— Oskar Negt, Alexander Kluge: Public Sphere and Experience

 

Television is a public medium that has seen its golden era come and go. TV was a companion to the post-war trente gloriueses of democratic welfare states. Now it is again a companion to their dismantling. Throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s and well into the 80s it was a generator of shared experience, a mitigator of a bourgeois public sphere, an ideological apparatus reinforcing political hegemony. But since that period the commodification has slowly shifted TV’s social function from a public service to a marketing machine, replacing information with entertainment, expertise and education with opinionated and partisan commentary, public interest with attention-value. At the same time the proliferation of channels and programming has fragmented the collective experience, a development that has culminated in the rise of other screen technologies that make it easy for everyone to select a programme to suit their own taste and schedule, or even to create and broadcast information of their own. However, as internet is rapidly commodifying, creating an audience-commodity of its own, internet still won’t replace the television. TV will stay with us, this public medium that has seen its golden era come and go.

BADco. intends to create at SKOGEN a counterproposal to the television as we know it. BADco. will set up a small-scale short-circuit television environment, fusing together in one location both the production side and the reception side of the TV medium, transforming SKOGEN into a very different kind of TV environment.

To run this TV environment they’ll install their algorithmic live video system (ALVES) that was initially developed as a commission for the Croatian presentation at the 54th Venice Biennale. The custom-developed network with 6 computers and 6 cameras allows them to capture live action, to store it in a video data-base, to edit it together algorithmically, based on criteria they can set in advance, and perform various transformations during playback.

Using the system BADco. intends to create at SKOGEN a short feedback loop between the act of production and the act of reception. This short and closed video circuit will then be opened up by performative situations, joint TV viewing sessions and interaction with the visitors.

In this project BADco. takes the inspiration from the works of early television artists. In the early days of television, before TV became a colossal commercial closed circuit, these artists tried to construct a different circuit of television production and consumption, an open one. Thus, retracing some of the critical propositions in the work of these artists in their interactive environment, they will use their time at SKOGEN to publicly reflect on the current state of television, create experimental setups and draw alternate futures for this late medium. TVolution won’t be televised, its alternate evolution might however get performed.

TVolution won’t be televised will be developed by using the algorithmic live video system (ALVES) that was developed in collaboration with the German human-machine interface developer Daniel Turing. The performative installation presented in Gothenburg is a work in progress for BADco.’s forthcoming theatre performance scheduled to be premiered in October 2013

WORKSHOPS

Whatever Dance Toolbox
&
Post-hoc Dramaturgy: Always, Never, Now

During BADco.’s stay in SKOGEN they will conduct two two-day workshops. The first workshop, Whatever Dance Toolbox, starts out from the use of computer technologies in the development and analysis of movement and choreography. The workshop is based around a set of software tools that BADco. developed in collaboration with the German software developer Daniel Turing and released as free software suite Whatever Dance Toolbox. In learning to work with the software suite, workshop goers also learn some of the principles of human-computer interaction, as well as get introduced to some elements of BADco.’s own poetic. After the workshop they receive the software suite and can continue to use it, either in their own work or in teaching.

The second workshop, Post-hoc Dramaturgy, is aimed at theatre makers and focuses on helping them deepen the understanding of their existing performative artworks. It starts out from a set of exercises wherein they analyze and explain how their artworks ‘work’, i.e. how – in a concrete staging – relations between elements of performance, space, attention, theatrical apparatus work together to take effect on the audience and produce meaning. These exercises help them understand how the performative artwork works, both as a complex system of elements in itself and as an intervention into a larger social environment, and what it produces when performed – as opposed to what the author originally intended it to do in the process of creating. As opposed to the poetic dramaturgy, this is a retrospective, post-hoc dramaturgy. The understanding resulting from this retrospective analysis can then be reapplied to the work or integrated into future work.

 

TALKS

There will be public talks after each performance.

As a part of BADco.’s work on their new piece; TVolution won’t be televised, they have also invited some guests: Tor Lindstrand will make a public lecture performance The Walkable City. Johan Normark will give a public lecture: Water as object and hyperobject in the ancient Maya area.

 

Johan Normark: Water as object and hyperobject in the ancient Maya area

Water is a neglected archaeological object. It is often reduced to a medium for seafaring, irrigation, symbolism, palaeoclimate, etc. Its own qualities and capacities are usually of little concern to archaeologists. One way to shift the focus towards water itself is to make use of object-oriented ontologies. In philosopher Graham Harman’s quadruple object, only objects and their interiors exist. Time and space themselves only unfold on the inside of an object. Space is the tension between the real object and its sensual qualities. The simultaneous withdrawal of real objects from one another and their partial contact through sensual objects is what space is. Time is the tension between sensual objects and their sensual qualities. In Morton’s view, a hyperobject is widely distributed in time and space.

The hydrological cycle is a hyperobject whose interaction with other objects like crops, reservoirs, architecture, etc. creates local spaces and temporalities. In the Maya lowlands in southern Mexico and northern Central America, the time period known as ha’b lasted for 365 days. It is named after water (ha’) and refers to the annual rain cycle that ultimately was affected by the sun’s movement (the sun was also the lowest temporal unit for the Maya and its daily and annual path also formed the spatial layout of the Maya world). In the Long Count system, ha’b also referred to a period of 360 days. Winik-ha’b was a period of 20 ha’b (better known as katun). These periods were associated with frequencies of droughts. Chronomancy merged with hydromancy. Hence, hyperobjects, like the hydrological cycle, came to affect the way time was perceived by the ancient Maya.

The Late Formative and Classic periods (300 BC – AD 1050) political systems emerged through the management of water on greater scales. Kings were also rulers of the time-periods (katuns) that were sensual profiles of the hydrological cycle. Maya monumental architecture came to reflect these internal relations within the hydrological cycle. The causeway systems at the Mexican sites of Ichmul and Yo’okop were both connected to water-related features and architecture associated with rulers. The causeway systems were primarily constructed during the dry Terminal Classic period (AD 800-1050) and they were likely used for water petition as well as integrating a dispersed population. To use a Deleuzean term, the king and the associated State striated the landscape to create a new space. During the so-called “Maya collapse”, all these striations dissolved, became smoothened, by reforestation made possible by both human depopulation and the later return of a wetter climate.

Biography:

Johan Normark is a postdoctoral archaeologist at the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Gothenburg. He is currently involved in four projects that deal with: (1) The Spanish Colonial border in Yucatan and its importance for understanding climate related settlement strategies in Prehispanic times; (2) Water as an archaeological object; (3) The 2012-phenomenon; (4) The early modern town.

 

 

CREDITS

BADco. is coordinator of TIMeSCAPES, Images and performances of time in
late capitalism, a partner project of BADco. (Zagreb), Maska
(Ljubljana), Science Communications Research (Vienna), Walking Theory
(Belgrade) and Film-protufilm (Zagreb). With the support of the Culture
Programme of the European Union.

BADco. is co-organizer of LABO21 – European Platform for
Interdisciplinary Research on Artistic Methodologies, a partner project
of BADco. (Zagreb), Random Dance (London), Troubleyn (Antwerp) and
International Choreographic Arts Centre (Amsterdam). With the support of
the Culture Programme of the European Union.

TIMeSCAPES andLABO21 – European Platform for Interdisciplinary Research
on Artistic Methodologieshave been funded with support from the European
Commission.

Göteborgs Stad, Statens Kulturråd och Västra Götalandsregionen supports the creation of block no nine at Skogen: BADco. Evolution won’t be televized.