New Adventures: Spinner - Steffens & Stigsdatter

Antonia Steffens and Sigrid Stigsdatter continue their research on questioning how to bond, relate and vibrate with materials that enter the space of creation, by chance, research, urgency and conflict.


In an absurd landscape of former forms (former in relation to previous works such as in relation to their “former identity” before tapping into the studio) the two makers negotiate their position and perspective with them and towards them. In a time where we deal with surfaces and screens, representations of thoughts and neoliberal ideas on fluctuating bodies in a constant state of availability, how can one actually create a relationship to an object, a sound, another being and a space that is determined by capitalist and speculative realism.


With the hope to offer a field where the spectators tools of making relationship are targeted and motivated to jump into action, they are asking each other and the rest that witnesses to come and finish the picture. Such as a hologram transforms information into forms expressing frequency, (one of ) the first and most important tool to create is here at stake: imagination. Played out in the material reality of the 3dimensional space, ever-changing arrangements of performative, physical and metaphysical gates might hopefully open into the hidden dimensions of architectures we are dealing with on a daily basis.



Techno expressionist dance

Comes from a deeply anthropocentric desire of human species to be equalised/harmonised with its technological environment and ecosystem and localise a space for this desire within the cultural occurrence of dance. Departing from Foucaults theory on the body-machine articulation in disciplinary apparatus such as late 19th century factories in the area of industrialisation, techno expressionist dance can be understood as a late echo in recent contemporary dance practices to reflect on that very moment when body, gesture and machine had been put in correlational circumstances by means of discipline and control and for the favour of capitalism in fordist society. 

The deep desire to not only claim independence on that relation but also use it as a means of expression in the post-industrial/-fordist era can be witnessed in various physical practice around dance and performance art. While threatened by environmental crisis and the inevitable need to make and remake connection to a hybrid and partly dysfunctional ecosystems composed out of factory remains, a troubled and/or dying nature, global warming and an almost autonomous functioning reproduction and over populating world of “subobjects" (melting of subjects and objects and their inter relation), techno expressionist dance looks for the longing of a human body that carries the echo of past decades of discipline in its DNA and mutated into a not yet recognised form of itself, where human and non human skills are localised in a border-negociating being, that claims to explore itself and its mutated environment in radically new ways, while at the same time dealing with its own destructive past that has brought it into the body it is today. Techno expressionist dance can be seen also as a new way of producing sensory capacity, emotionality and urgency in response and acknowledgement of technology having entered the “human nature” that now has to be reidentified. Out of this reidentification the techno expressionist body longs for the negotiation of an alternative kind of ethic that can give credit to the reality of nowadays conditions, proposing partly liveable and partly toxic environments for the status quo of human kind.


Similar to the moment in time giving birth to expressionist dance, techno expressionist dance can be seen as a kind of revolutionary activism within dance, reclaiming the self expressionist option of a dancers body, that is now merged within eco-technological discourse and reality. Nevertheless the idea of “expressionism” reclaims the position of a responsible being in a responsible environment that has the ability to formulate inter relational discourse and language and is not a mere product of a technological analysis of the body or an entirely conditioned being living in somatic realism that is under full observatory control about its dynamic, directionality and evolution. The techno expressionist dance proposes an aesthetic demanding for unforeseeable discourse and dialogue in between techno-humans and techno-non-humans such as human-technologies and human-non-technologies that collectively redefine their politics.



Former forms

Former forms appear as materialised memories or “half-forgotten” materials in the realm of performing arts or life arts. Being both elements of former performances and elements that have been appeared and performed before, former forms mostly work as reminder of pasts, that one is unable to memorise or as defaults and disturbances of functions that belong to their former life, and which they now do not want to associate with anymore. Becoming dysfunctional in respect of their past, former forms are desperately asking the viewer and collaborator to revisit their agency while not forgetting their former identity. Former forms can be found within set design, sounds, physical practices and words. They operate in relation to their significance: while being mostly still identified as a sign x they claim to not be able to any longer represent or pursue specific ideological or functional activity and ask for state of retirement or repurpose. Former forms are mostly philosophically ahead of their users, entering into their living context to open up discourse and  perspective on what they are or became in the meantime. Former forms in that respect detect potential futures while remembering their own pasts. These futures though can only be generated by collective intervention and radical reconsideration of what those forms are able to be. Former forms attract humans in the re-pre-mirror state ( Neo psycho analysis for humans that revive the pre-mirror state phase), who are again not able to sharply identify the borders of subjects and/or subjobjects. 

Former forms are therefore intersubjective subobjects dealing with the chronics of significance of non-humans, that have been utilised by humans in order to write fiction, to not say history. Their main function can be seen in the stubborn insistence of motivating the human to re-evaluate this function and utilisation and hopefully rewrite, actualise and alternate their function.

Former forms refer to holographic processes that transform information into form that expresses frequency. Former forms long for an activation that alters their frequency and detects their hidden information expressing their desire of being and not their function of being.



Re-occurring nightmare in Dali desert

Is a performative event practiced by a former form (the red structure) in which the subobject is processing its existential crisis provoked by the disturbing activity of Neo-liberal throw-away society. In this nightmare the subobject finds itself in a desert likely to the Dali desert of Argentina. One performer who has been visiting this desert before physically and carries therefore access to the imagination of that environment finds herself in a particular place that alters her body state slowly but steadily. Another performer that is an evident rookie in the ecological environment touches and lifts the subobject not yet knowing what and where it is leading her and for what purpose. Attracting the space where the other performer is located, the object pulls more and more and obviously asks to come closer. While approaching the other performer will continuously be drawn into a quicksand scenario of which danger she only gets aware of when touching the subobject. Transforming immediately into a complete nightmarish scenario, the other performer now can perform a life-saving operation that pulls the performer out of the deadly quicksand thanks to the intelligence and communicative potential of the subobject.

Ultimately this re occurring nightmare is a necessary process for the subobject to deal with its own psychological fears in times of traumatic re-evalutation of the relationship in between humans and non-humans. The practice facilitates a catalyser for the object to deal and find temporary peace with its doubtful existence and self-evaluation. The human performer here serve to provide the nightmare and help the subobject to deal with stress and neurosis arriving from a contemporary state of affair defined by crisis and conspiracy towards subobjects and their value, use and necessity. 



Subobjects/ Subobjective events

Subobjects are selfconcious experiences, that work through defining themselves on the intersection of being objects and subjects at and in the same notable moment and space. Being incapable of deciding what they want to be, they find themselves in a state of flux, that can involve sensations of identity disorder, high state of empathy towards the environment and other subobjects, neurosis and the urgency to seek for significance in apparent un-relatedness that are similar to the pathological state of Apophenia ( the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things, Claus Konrad on “the beginning stages of Schizophrenia”). 

Subobjective events are eventually resulting out of the spectator-performer-relation in performative set ups, where the dynamics of being watched and participating in the event through watching are likely to be mixed and also sometimes, sadly, mistaken for generating power relations in between the exposed and the witness. Subobjects can be understood as effects with self-expressive potential that crack through in spaces of apparent organisation of roles and rules and re-objectify or re-subjectify their own existence.



The Gate

The Gate is a space of transition. It could be a vortex or a hole. A hole has always at least two sides. A gate is also a fetish of the theatre space.


Part of New Adventures 2018 - 2019


In deze serie worden jaarlijks enkele onderzoeksprojecten geselecteerd voor een residentie. Vier weken lang worden theater en studio door deze makers ingezet als laboratorium voor innovatie in dans en performance kunst. Het resultaat wordt gedeeld met het publiek. Deze editie is een coproductie met ICK Amsterdam.


De geselecteerde kunstenaars 18/19 zijn Moreno Perna (ism. ICK), Moa Holgersson & Isadora Tomasi, CHRONOS (ism. ICK), Lois Alexander, Karel Tuytschaever (ism. ICK), Antonia Steffens.

Meer over de makers >>>





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