[NetBehaviour] Sound in the construction zone / Telepresence & Migration

Johannes Birringer (Staff) Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Jun 11 17:00:09 CEST 2019

dear all,  
having just seen the amazing list of events on the further-list, I recalled the conversation we had on Sound in the construction zone; several of you responded to me;  & I had promised a small Bucharest diary, and here comes:

"Telepresence and Migration" took place May 30 at CINETic (International Center for Research and Education in innovative creative technologies, part of UNATC
National University of theatre and film), located right behind the National Theatre, and across from the University Square where last year we took part in the Pride Parade and demo. The event was organized by theatre director Marina Hangaru, who works at the Teatrul George Ciprian (Buzău). Marina and artist colleagues between Romania, Spain and Portugal had engaged in an EU (Creative Europe Program) project dealing with the effects of economic migration on families (and especially children). Marina co-directed a telematic and live streamed performance with actors in Romania and Spain (in the 2 distant locations), performed multiple times also in front of physical audience in the two locations. It was a full length play, titled "Planet of Lost Dreams":


The event in Bucharest brought some of the participating artists together, alongside sociologists and researchers who addressed the problematics of migration, whereas some additional guests (ironically from the UK) - after Bianca Floarea had sketched the landscape of cultural cooperation in Europe outlining who is eligible for grants and who might be partially or non-eligible (Moldova, Macedonia, Ukraine, Uk after Brexit..) -  were asked to comment on telepresence and networked performance.  Marina spoke eloquently on the concept of telepresence in view of the results of the "Tele-Encounters" project, filtered through the lens of New Media studies and New Media Dramaturgy. How do you build a telematic performance from ground zero, integrating technology to tell a coherent story? She analyzed the “levels of organization” of "The Planet of Lost Dreams" telematic performance, trying to establish how and if telepresence can change our understanding of the theatre (or media) and vice-versa. The project was performance oriented but also sociological, with audience questionnaires revealing intriguing insights into how the performance was perceived, offering potential starting points in articulating a dramaturgy of the telematic spectator. Marina also mentioned a phase 2 project (the participants’ sense of presence in the 360° short films created by Portuguese artists as part of the project).

Later in the afternoon Alexandru Berceanu (who is director of CINETic) presented his own fieldwork, a fascinating VR project called ATINGE (Touch) -  through which you can experience the life and culture of Roma people. Based on documentary work in segregated and non-segregated Roma communities in Romania, Turkey, Italy, and Sweden, the project provides insight into the challenges and successes of Roma individuals of different religions and from different countries as seen by themselves.
(In Europe, families or large groups of people live in precarious and temporary conditions, often without access to water minimal sanitation, or minimal safety. TOUCH is an invitation to empathy, Alexandru told us). 

In my own talk, following Andy Lavender's more philosophical reflections on "taking time" in telepresence, I tried to re-visit my early telematic dance work in 2001-03 which I could barely find amongst my old digital tapes, it looks clunky and yet viscerally complex at the same time, working with dancers on live feed cameras mixing 5 to 7 sites in the USA, Brasil and Japan at a time when we were still learning how to use the internet for such collaboration. I then compared 'Planet of Lost Dreams' (a naturalist theatre play meshed up telematically) to other contemporary networked performances, e.g. Annie Abrahams' recent "Distant Movement 11", the Station House Opera collaborative telepresence work "At Home in London and Gaza", and finally a surreal dance piece I saw at Tanzhaus Düsseldorf last month, Eric Minh Cuong Castaing's "Phoenix"  


which was performed with three French dancers and drones, and a live link too Gaza too where Palestine performers showed us their parcours on the rooftops, under drone eyes.  It was actually an amazing work that also caused me to think hard about where surveillance or camera-feed life is moving: "Sur scène, trois danseurs et des drones sèment le trouble. Évoquant à la fois les avions téléguidés de notre enfance comme les nouvelles armes meurtrières des guerres technologiques du XXIe siècle, les drones (« gros bourdon » ou « bourdonnement », selon la terminologie anglo-saxonne) sillonnent la scène et interagissent avec les danseurs. Exposés à leur vrombissement incessant, ces derniers évoluent dans un espace tour à tour sensible, terrain d’opérations ou fenêtre sur le monde, connectés en temps réel avec d’autres artistes subissant, à Gaza, la présence permanente de ces machines..." 

have a look at Minh's short trailer, and you will also be surprised how topical such work might be in relation, say, to the work that Eyal Weizman & Forensic Architecture have done in counter surveillance and media excavations of settlements, architecture, politics, and violence, & a new mapping of the (telepresent) connections between climate change, drought, drones, armed conflict. 

Johannes Birringer

photos show the young actress Andreea Darie (who plays the daughter in "Planet") and Marina Hanganu introducing us. 

From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of marc.garrett via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: 11 June 2019 11:42

A weekly list of Furtherfield recommendations we're looking at and sharing with others, exhibitions, events, books, articles & other curiosities.
It reflects the expansive and dynamic culture we enjoy, straddling the fields of art, technology and social change.
Enjoy - https://www.furtherfield.org/the-weekly-furtherlist-no-2-june-7th-2019/
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