Quimera Rosa & Transnoise are both artistic laboratories of allied sensibilities that investigate and experiment around the processes that construct and produce identities, especially those of sex/gender/sexuality and their relation with arts and technology.
This interest is mostly expressed through interdisciplinary performances that sketch other relationships between humans, plants and machines. Between bodies, prosthetics and data. Performances aimed at generating a time-space that vanishes the limits between reality and fiction, between art and life.
Quimera Rosa (Barcelona):
Transnoise & Quimera Rosa have already joint various performances that prefigure the project [AKLR 2.0]:
UKI: Viral Performance. Live Cinema, Live Code (directed by Shu Lea Cheang), Hangar, Centro de Producción de Artes Visuales, Barcelona, 2009.
Ofrenda Lunar y Clitorian Stones, Silver Wedding to the Rocks by Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens. CCCB, Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona, 2011.
Circuitos Integrados, closing Performance of SummerLab, Plataforma Cero / LABoral, Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón, 2011.
UKI expanded, closing Performance of La Internacional Cuir curated by Beatriz Preciado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2011.
Filtered Intimacy, Plataforma Cero / LABoral, Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón, 2011
*“What a strange place! And these weird people! If you could call them people!… There is no way you could define what they are. Full of these artifacts over their bodies, you wouldn’t know where their flesh begins and where the rest starts. What a strange way of moving! Look! They approach and they touch each other. But what are they doing? What unsuitable practices to obtain pleasure! It seems like they have different organs, or what? You understand nothing they say, it looks as if they were invoking a spirit. Or do they engage with the malignant?
These gadgets that they manipulate, don’t seem Christian at all, there has to be a power given out of the malefic union... and then, I have no clue if they speak through the apparatus or if it is the other way around... But why is it changing all the time? All is being constantly transformed, or am I hallucinating? Why do I think of all of this?"*
Akelarre 2.0 is a project that unites the experiences and inquietudes of Transnoise and Quimera Rosa, so as to prepare an interdisciplinary performance of approximately one hour of duration.
The artwork is composed by an interaction of bodies, machines and surroundings. The performers, whose bodies are modified through different kinds of prosthetics, sketch via their encounters, hybrid identities that search to escape an infinite list of dichotomies:
Natural/ artificial, humane/ machine, human/ animal, man/ woman, homo/hetero, art/life, science/ pre-technologic, etc.
This performance is based on a re-appropriation of the notion of witchcraft, entirely distanced from any associations to black magic, esoterism, or other definitions produced by the medieval catholicism, the colonization, fairy tales or Disney’s films.
If we distance from these definitions, we find ourselves inside a set of practices, that through the manipulation of symbols, bodies, substances, objects, views and spaces, aim at the modification/creation of our identities, relationships, and surroundings. A mixture of practices that witches used to name “art“ or “arts“, from which we could assume that they could call themselves... “artists“. So, the covens were encounters of collective art.
The notion of ‘coven’, applied to the performance, has nothing to do with any theatrical approach. Leaving aside any notions of representation or expressiveness, we go for replacing them, by those of investigation and experimentation.
HOW / WHEN / WHERE
Usually, the covens were held in "No man's land". Witches used to meet in locations different from their daily life ones, far away from any central control or vigilance. They used to cross borders to arrive to selected sites, chosen for their special characteristics.
This displacement, and the selection of adequate locations appeared to us as perfect conditions to generate our project. While we were searching for options we bumped into the call “Reductos Tecno-lógicos”, made by mARTadero, a project that integrates social empowerment through arts and culture, which is located in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This is where we were fortunately selected!
Thus, the 14th of October, we are flying to La Paz, and the 15th we will be at Cochabamba to start a five weeks residency, in which we will give life to [AKLR 2.0]. During our residency, we will participate in activities proposed by Martadero and by ourselves, as an open and free workshop on Performance, designed out of our interests and experiences (identity politics, use of prosthetics, DIY and free culture, recycling, etc.) The end of our visit will be the presentation of the first edition of [AKLR 2.0]. Our aim is not to stage an action to be presented identically in a different context. We want to assemble a performative tool that could incorporate elements of the context in different occasions, so as to elaborate each time/site specific rituals.
Investigating on Cochabamba from different perspectives, one element was continually appearing on our research: water, “yaku” in quechua (family of languages in Andes, used by the majority at Cochabamba). Periods of drought, problems on its distribution and access, large disparities in access; water seems a central issue in all political, social, sanitary and environmental levels. But Yaku is not only that, is rather more. Yaku is simply... life. Thus its symbolism is enormous, and implies behaviors related to sacred things: taking care of it, respecting its cycles, loving it, sharing it... Facing problems of scarcity, have generated numerous rituals, such as "Yaku-Change" which regulates, in a symbolic social and political level, so as to maintain a collective water management and avoid competitive behaviors of appropriation. This dimension of Yaku has been reflected in the famous "Water War", in which the film "Even the Rain" by Iciar Bollain constitutes a good reflection.
So for Reductos tecno-lógicos (techno-logical Holdouts) we will present "Akelarre Yaku". It is not an attempt to retake concepts and rituals from an "exotic" perspective, but rather re-interpret them, so as to return them altered by a remixing process.
The performance is only one part of the project. Being a research/experimental project, the entire creative process will be documented on a website that we will keep updated during the whole process. All the content will be published under a free license: Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).
Leaving Cochabamba, we will stop at La Paz where we will address a presentation and a workshop, and then by train to Buenos Aires, where we will spend the holidays before making one more presentation there.
In February, we will be back in Barcelona where we will perform around March/April. We have already informally set the event.
WHAT DO WE ASK FOR?
We have no grant for this project, so we rely on our own resources to develop it.
Given the moment in which our creative process is, and the nature of the project itself, it seemed crucial to develop this work in an environment different from which we live daily. From the interaction between our concerns and the environment we inhabit, we want to create a performance where the exchange of experiences and concepts, do raise new questions about identity, art, technology and witchcraft.
The fact that our project has been selected by mARTadero, whose work we felt totally in phase with our concerns, seems the opportunity to create this work in the desired conditions.
We count with the funding of mARTadero for certain diets and material costs (besides offering accommodation, interest and support), but mARTadero is a self-sustained project and is not able to afford all of these expenses, much less the travel fees.
The amount we ask sponsors represents 30% of the total budget, including materials costs, media and travel. We do not include the cost of living, the internal travels or the work in research, testing and development of the project, which run all under our efforts.
This participation does not determine carrying out the project (we will do it anyway!), but it could limit our personal debt and we could dedicate better for the completion of the work. We have experience in developing our own projects and we have the necessary network structures for technical support, communication and presentation. The optimum amount would be the double, but we're used to work outside optimal conditions.
The crowdfunfing option gives us also a way of framing this work under the paradigm of collective production, through this collective process of financial and personal involvement.