Turku New Performance Festival 3-5 May 2012
Curators: Leena Kela and Christopher Hewitt
Video-documentation: Christopher Hewitt, Marek Pluciennik
Still photography: Kimmo Modig, Tero Nauha
This performance is part of a project called “Life inBytom” which is going to take place in the Kronika Centre for Contemporary Art inBytom,Poland. It will research the life in the context of neoliberalism, namely our relationship with machines and devices of various kinds. It is part of my research on Félix Guattari’s idea of schizoanalysis and metamodelization.
Audience sits in a semi-circle around the performer. There is lost of black cable and wire on the floor. In the beginning, five people from the audience are asked to become participants in the performance. They are sitting closer to a performer, and are asked questions about their machines. A performer is asking the questions, and the participants hear the questions through headphones. Rest of the audience are witnesses to the performance. The performance space is a Titanik gallery, a room size about 40 m2, with large windows on the one side. Windows are covered, so that while light enters the room, it is not possible to see through the windows.
Participants are asked questions about the machines they have, in the following way, and choose on machine that they want to work with:
Can you tell me what kind of machines you have?
What do they do?
Where are these machines?
What do you do at the same time, while a machine is working?
Is this machine controlling you in some ways?
Do you control yourself of using the machine?
How this machine controls your life with other people in social situations?
How does it control your relationships with people or other machines?
What do you think the machine wants you to do?
Do You think the machine has values? Why not?/What are they?
Does a machine promise you something?
Do you remember a moment when a machine was new?
After the question part, they are asked to take off the headphones and project an image of this machine on a opposite wall. To imagine how this machine looks like, feels, smells, etc. After that a performer steps into that area of projection and becomes a subject of their projections on machines and follow their directions, how they wish or desire a machine to function, serve or command. He says that:
I am your machine. You can direct me, tell me what to do, ask me to control you. I am your machine.
After a period of experimentation, the session is over.
My first artistic work for the research was called “Loop Variations” which took place in the MUU gallery in Helsinki in March 2008. It was a durational and highly structural performance having a topic of fordist labour. The performance lasted for nine days, in the opening hours of the gallery. There was a strict structure for several events within a day of practice, in which their duration and their content varied. What remained steady was the nature of obstructions. They were time-based or otherwise limited either on the material that could be used or in the relation with the audience. Obstruction served as a protective shield from uncertainty, but it also produced uncertain experimentation within the allowed perimeters. In such a laboratory practice delimitation of the research provide results. These strict limits of time, space and relationships with other beings or devices provided a certain efficiency of practice, and allowed loops to become more apparent.