[ISEA2022] Artist Talk: Johannes Birringer — Somatechnical Nature | Virtual River

Artist Statement 

June 14, MACBA – Convent dels Àngels. Session: Scale and the Politics of Other Living Systems

Keywords: soma-technics, virtual reality, water, climate, body weather, draw-to-perform

This artist talk features film excerpts from outdoor and telematic performance compositions created in an inter-pandemic era and focussed on dis-abilities and body-weather techniques used to cross over between disturbance-based ecospheres/natural environments and virtual realities.

I presents excerpts from two film projects exploring movement and challenges to movement, raising questions about re-embodiment and experiential dimensions of propriopecption in inter-pandemic society under a global climate crisis. The primary focus is on techno-choreography (using prosthetic devices and the Oculus Quest2 VR headset) and the somatechnical predicaments in the face of disturbance-based ecologies and blasted landscapes. A second concern is the exploration of new expressive techniques for ageing and differently-abled bodies. Electric Dance, or How to Talk with Birds and How Much of These Hills is Gold portray a series of outdoor performances during the COVID-19 lockdown periods: ‘compostitions,’ to use Donna Haraway’s term, which involve intimate individual and collective probings and drawings-to-perform enacted outdoors in a valley. The films evoke a series of climbs (up electrical power masts and hills) and submergences into river flow, which seek to combine body weather techniques (derived from Japanese butoh dance) with digital processing and speculative drawing in 3D virtual environment. The site-specific performances are creative responses as well as social choreographies in an era of climate crisis.

  • Johannes Birringer (DE) is a choreographer/media artist and co-directs the DAP-Lab with Michèle Danjoux. He has created numerous dance-theatre works, video installations and digital projects in collaboration with artists in Europe, the Americas, China, and Japan. DAP-Lab’s interactive dance Suna no Onna was featured at festivals in London (2007-08); the mixed-reality installation UKIYO went on European tour in 2010. The dance opera for the time being was shown at Sadler’s Wells, 2014. A series of immersive dance installations, metakimospheres, began touring in Europe in 2015-18 as part of the Europe-wide METABODY project; the dance work Mourning for a dead moon premiered in late 2019 in London. He is the author of Media and Performance (1998), Performance on the Edge (2000), Performance, Science and Technology (2009), Kinetic Atmospheres (2021) and transdisciplinary research projects, including the books Dance and Cognition (2005), Dance and Choreomania (2011) and Things that Dance (2019). http://interaktionslabor.de