29.03 - 31.03 - Art of the Networked Practice
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Monday, March 26. 2018
Thursday 29th of March around 15h30 Paris time (21:30 SGT)
You are most welcome online for
Online En-semble – Entanglement Training
An online performance directed by Annie Abrahams (NL/FR) with the wonderful artists Antye Greie (DE/FI), Helen Varley Jamieson (NZ/DE), Soyung Lee (KR), Huong Ngô (HK/USA), Daniel Pinheiro (VE/PT) and Igor Stromajer (SLO/DE)
In the frame of the online symposium Art of the Networked Practice - Social Broadcasting: an Unfinished Communications Revolution symposium, School of Art, Design & Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (29 – 31 March 2018, a collaboration between the School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore; and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Performance, USA). Chair Randall Packer.
Program of the day:
8 pm SGT Introduction by Randall Packer.
8.15 pm SGT Maria Chatzichristodoulou keynote Live Art and Telematics: The Promise of Internationalism
9.30 pm SGT Online En-semble – Entanglement Training Live networked performance
10 pm SGT Post performance roundtable
This is Singapore time. Find your own time here.
How to connect for the symposium (you will need 5 min to prepare).
In this new work we investigate how to be together in a connected world, where machines and humans have to communicate accepting partial overviews, glitches, time-lags, disrupting audience participation and ensuing disorientations. Abrahams considers the intra-active webcam performance situation a good apparatus to train and demonstrate entanglement. She wrote a script for seven performers with different cultural backgrounds. They will defy their own and the others’ ideas on performance and online politics in a conversational performance. In order to avoid chit-chat and to get rid of the distracting images of the faces she proposes to converse using objects, prepared phrases and voices. During the performance they create together a changing composition with the objects and improvise a sound environment with their voices and phrases. Because they share the responsibility for the performances’ acoustic and visual appearance it will be interesting to see how they negotiate their individuality and personal thoughts in this environment where they all have equal power. Contradictions, maybe even oppositions, as well as poetry can emerge in this collectively created complexity, where machines facilitate but also prevent. The performers research the limits and possibilities of their own agency in an attempt to be “with” while being separated.
Disentangling the Entanglements article on our preparations by Randall Packer
Live Art and Telematics: The Promise of Internationalism Randall Packer introduces Maria Chatzichristodoulou's keynote.
Web page with information about preparations, protocols, text, video, images and later the archives.
Tuesday, February 13. 2018
We are now one week into the Magdalena München Saison 2018, and already a lot has happened! The February artists have arrived in Munich and settled into the Villa Waldberta in Feldafing, and their performances, workshops and projects are underway.
Our opening on Friday 02.02. and Saturday 03.02. was warmly received. A good-sized audience was gathered i the foyer of HochX, when a masked figure (Cecilia Bolaños) appeared on the stairs, singing and drumming. She moved through the audience, singing and making contact with people, before leading everyone into the theatre space and all the way onto the stage. There, Martina Marini Misterioso gave her performance Final Act, a quiet meditation on the concepts of home and belonging.
As the audience sat contemplatively on the stage, drums and calling came from the theatre’s gallery. A regal figure (Sabine Bollenbach) in a long flowing sparkly blue gown that extended into the seating welcomed us – to HochX, to the centenary of women’s suffrage in Germany, and to the Magdalena München Saison. Her speech described Magdalenas and gave hints at the performances and events to come in the programme. Then she invited the public to be seated, and we listened to the beautiful music of Elis Roseira. I introduced the artists and spoke about Magdalena, then we heard more from Elis.
Unfortunately the second half of our opening programme had had to be changed due to the non-arrival of Deborah Hunt‘s luggage, containing all of her puppets, props, costumes and scenery required for Tale 53; Snowhite. We screened the documentary film Magdalena instead, and then had an extra surprise finale to the evening when, as we sat in the foyer with a glass of wine after the film, the three missing suitcases arrived! It was a jubilant moment and a big relief. The show would go on!! And it did, on the following night, to an enthusiastic audience. Everyone stayed afterwards to hear an impromptu discussion from Deborah, explaining the various puppetry techniques she had employed and allowing us to have a close look at everything. Deborah will perform Tale 53; Snowhite once more, on Saturday 24 February at Meta Theater (Moosach bei Grafing).
On Saturday 03.02., Zoe Gudović opened her performance installation DISSOCIATION, in collaboration with Das KloHäuschen. She has transformed this former men’s public urinal into her living room, and invites the public to visit her, to drink tea with her, and to speak about love – in the context of her story of the 2001 Belgrade Gay Pride march, where violent thugs attacked peaceful marchers. Visitors then write something about love on a piece of toilet paper and this is hung in the KloHäuschen’s glass door. So many people came on the first day (they were “giving each other the doorhandle”) that the glass door was quickly filling up with people’s messages.
Also on the 3rd and 4th of February, Jana Korb gave her workshop Kreation im begrenzte Raum (Creation in Confined Space). Some of the participants came with their “confined space”, such as a suitcase, or a box, while others worked with Jana’s trapaze and other limitations that they found in the workshop space. They all found this idea of operating within limitations to be very inspiring.
The monthly “Jourfix” at the Villa Waldberta took place last Thursday. This is an informal party and an opportunity for the resident artists to meet local people from Feldafing and from the Munich arts scene. Often the artists give presentations or small performances, and naturally the “Villa Magdalena” artists put together a wonderful show. Deborah Hunt’s Macanuda mask character acted as our guide, leading us to the Palmenhaus for a preview of Kordula Lobeck de Fabris‘ multimedia installation Unischtbare Orte – das Leben ist ein Geschenk, and a work-in-progress from Jana Korb. Back at the Villa, Zoe Gudović gave a presentation about her street performances highlighting violence against women in Serbia, and the programme concluded with a taste of Tapete Manifesto from Thaís Medeiros and Ivan Medeiros Masocatto.
Today the Macanudos workshop is underway, the participants are busy making the masks and costumes that they’ll wear for the parade at Olympia Einkaufszentrum this coming Saturday. I’m busy catching up on admin and emails, and trying to finish this blog post that I began almost a week ago!
Friday, January 19. 2018
in just two weeks, the Magdalena München Saison 2018 will open with a special evening of performances at HochX. i've been working on this project for almost a year, with the help of a small organisation team. we're a lean operation - no office, and a relatively small amount of project funding, but with a lot of wonderful Magdalena energy!
during the last week we have been finalising all of the print material, with raquel ro working late nights and another designer, carina müller, jumping in with some wonderful ideas to really lift our marketing materials to a new level. one rather special detail is the font that is used for the word "Magdalena" - this is a brand new font, it's not even finished or publicly available yet, but its creator inge Plönnings happens to be a friend of carina's, & happened to have already completed the letters required for "Magdalena", & has allowed us to use them. the lovely coincidence is that as well as being a stunning font, the name inge has given to this font is "Magnet". those of us who work on the Magdalena Project website refer to ourselves as "the Magnetics", and we're all part of the MAGdalena NETwork, so to have a font called Magnet is very appropriate!
The programme and flyers are at the printers, email versions are about to fly into our inboxes, we have a press conference next week and the first international artists start arriving a few days later for their residencies at the Villa Waldberta. right now it's that luscious and slightly stressful anticipatory time - i'm surrounded by lists, notes, emails, messages, a team of people, but still the fear of forgetting something lurks in my head. have we done everything? what have i forgotten???
Wednesday, December 20. 2017
last week i finished read "Die Enthüllung" by the peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa. it was selected for our Literaturkreis (book club), and i discovered that the english translation is not available until some time next year. mostly we try to choose books that are available in german and english, and in the past when there hasn't been an english translation, i've simply not read the book. this time, i decided it was time to tackle a german novel.
actually i have tackled german novels before. a couple of years ago, our Literaturkreis book was "Das Wochenende" by Bernhard Schlink, which deals with germany's left wing terrorism of the 1970s. it's available in english, so i read it first in english, and because it wasn't so long i decided to then read the german original. having already read it in english, and keeping the english translation beside me, i was able to get through it pretty easily. this year, i started reading "Aus Tausend Grünen Spiegeln" by Christa Moog, which is the story of an East German woman who is a fan of the New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, and makes a journey to visit all the places where KM lived. i'm still half-way through this one, & have taken a pause from it. it's quite poetically written, and jumps about in time, so it's difficult to follow when i'm only understanding parts of it. but as i'm familiar with KM's story and writings, there are large chunks of it that are more accessible to me.
so, "Die Enthüllung" is the first novel that i've started and finished reading in german, without an english translation, and without knowing the story. i'm sure i missed a lot of nuances and i can't comment on its literary merits. i was able to follow the plot, and get a good sense of the characters. in general, it was too much of a male sex fantasy to be a book i really like, but the main thing for me is that i've reached another milestone in my slow mastering of the deutsche sprache. Ein kleiner Triumph!!
Thursday, December 7. 2017
or, the curious tale of how i came to lose my swiss army knife.
just before 3am one night a couple of months ago, i heard the sound of breaking glass outside. it had been very quiet, with no passing vehicles, so i looked out the window to see what had caused the sound. from one window, i could see two people standing on the opposite corner. from the kitchen window, i saw the shop down below, but didn't notice anything amiss. the noise had also disturbed andy, who came to the kitchen window as i went away. a moment later i heard her urgently whispering that someone had gone into the shop. when i returned to the kitchen window with the camera, she was already on the phone to the police giving a detailed live commentary. it appeared that the two people i'd seen on the opposite corner had smashed the lower glass of the shop's door, waited on the other side of the street to see if the noise attracted any attention, then come back to rob the shop. one was inside, the other outside keeping watch. several times he looked directly up at our window, where i was attempting to take photos and andy was describing him to the police. thanks to our spectacularly lush and abundant basil plants on the window sill - which i'd been meaning to harvest for some time but hadn't got around to - the look-out ("Schmierer" auf Bayerisch) did not notice us.
after only a few minutes, the Einbrecher ducked nimbly out from the broken window, a bulging bag in each hand. the two men walked briskly away from the scene at the same moment as an unmarked police car came around the corner. andy was still commentating to the operating, telling that the theives had just walked past the police car. within minutes reinforcements arrive - i was quite amazed at the speed and resources of the response - and a short time later they had apprehended the two men and recovered the stolen goods (cigarettes, to the value of about €1500). we gave our statements to the police and i provided my photos - too dark and blurry to be of use in identifying the men, but helpful in confirming that we had a close and clear view of the event (through the basil leaves!). it had been a dramatic and surreal experience to witness the burglary, and the shop owner was very grateful for our actions.
the story doesn't end there, however. some six weeks later, andy received a summons to attend the court case, and i decided to go along to support her and to experience the german justice system in action. i had had a busy morning, with a meeting running later than i expected, and as i hurriedly cycled to the court i realised that i'd forgotten to take my swiss army knife out of my handbag. this pocketknife was given to me by friends as a farewell gift when i set off on one of my european adventures in the late 1990s, and it had travelled everywhere with me for nearly 20 years. twice i had nearly lost it at airport security (actually i think three times, but i can't remember where the third was): at sydney airport i was able to check in my hand luggage backpack at the boarding gate, with almost nothing but the knife in it, and carried my hand luggage on in a plastic bag (not the first time i'd done this - i went to india in 1987 with a plastic supermarket shopping bag as my handluggage ... ); and in trondheim, where security didn't even pick it up - but i was flying via oslo to london and was sure it would get confiscated in oslo. trondheim being a small airport, i was taken backstage to the baggage handling area, found my suitcase waiting to be loaded, and slipped in the knife. it's been an invaluable tool on many occasions - most often for opening bottles of wine, but it's also come in handy in many other social and technical situations.
i knew there would be stringent security at the court (the beate jeppe case is currently going on in the same building) but i expected there would be a system for holding onto such items, and there was. i handed over my swiss army knife and in return was given a laminated red cardboard square, printed with the number 9. the court proceedings were straightforward as both men had pleaded guilty, both were sentenced to prison, and in the end andy was not even required to testify. leaving the building, i stopped at security to retrieve my swiss army knife. after some confusion, it became clear that my knife was no longer there. was it a small silver pocket knife, they asked? no, i answered, it's a medium-sized red swiss army knife. eventually, a very apologetic woman security officer concluded that someone must have mixed up the 6 and the 9, and handed my swiss army knife to the owner of the small silver pocket knife - who must have seen it as an upgrade, as they had not objected to being given the wrong knife.
it felt like we spent almost as long at security as we had in the court itself. they didn't have a procedure for such an eventuality, as it had never happened before. details were exchanged and i headed home, knifeless. a week later they called to arrange payment for a replacement, and i was amazed to learn that i can buy a similar knife for not much more than €20! As someone who nostalgically values such gifts and very rarely loses anything special, it was a bit of a wrench to let go emotionally; however, i've lost contact with the friends who gave me the knife, the blades were getting blunt and the scissors were a bit wonky. sometimes it's the right time to let go.
the burglars are in jail and the knife will be replaced; all's well that ends well!
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