Transit VII talk

At Transit VII, I was asked to speak in the symposium as part of a sesion entitled "Giving Form: Art between Fiction and Reality". I found it very difficult to prepare for this presentation - unsure of what I could say on the topic that would be interesting or useful to the audience, wondering if I really know the difference between fiction and reality, even problematising the words "giving" and "form". I found myself fixating on the colon, the ":" between the two parts of the title, which resembles a European power socket - something that I need all the time in both fiction and reality. I also asked a few people what they would like to hear me talk about, and in the end, I decided to tell a little story. Here it is, for those who missed it (you'll have to imagine the accompanying images).


This is the story of how cyberformance resuscitated live performance.

In fact, live performance never needed resuscitation; it was still breathing, still very much alive, but sometimes it liked to play dead - just for fun. This was a fiction easily mistaken for reality.

In between this fiction and reality, cyberformance was born - the bastard offspring of a steckdose and a verlängerungskabel, some kind of electromystic convulsion in between
the socket and the pin,
the moment and the memory,
the word and its translation,
in between the yes and the no
between the thought and the breath
between the crisis and the intervention
in between art and technology
between theatre and the internet
between stereotype and fantasy
between people and pixels
in between giving and form

in between my words leaving here and travelling - independently of my body - through the pixels and the ether and the routers and the servers and the wires and the IP addresses and the protocols and the bits and the packets and the ISPs and the sensors and the censors and the dropouts and the switches and the gateways and the hardware and the software and the screen and the interface to you - to you, live performance, playing dead or maybe poised like a cat watching and waiting to pounce playfully when this cyberformance mouse makes its move.

To be honest, we don't know how this story ends. It was a risk to begin, and now here we are at the crisis: in between the beginning and the end. We will have to invent something together, some kind of fiction, to get us out of this reality.

We'll just have to use whatever we've got, whatever we can find - some cables perhaps, to connect us, from our living rooms and bedrooms and working spaces.

Some way to speak to each other across the distance
across time
to transmit from me to you
to translate between language and culture and form
between giving and taking
to slow

the conversation



to bridge the delay

of now

and then

and here


to unite lonliness and togetherness
presence and absence
the fiction and the reality
life and death
between the waves
between the inhale and the exhale
to that moment of resuscitation
breathing together.

Maria - I haven't answered your question
because it doesn't need an answer.
This is a conversation.

This is not finished.