SYMPOSIUM: A TASTE OF TOASTER; Interdisciplinary Arts in the 20's 



With Andreas Liebmann, Vincent Roumagnac & Simo Kellokumpu (ri:vr), Hestnes/Popovic and DANSEatelier and Dina Vester Feilberg.


Each guest was invited to provide a five-minute input on the topic.

The successive panelists' presentations were followed by a discussion.

The panel was moderated by Miriam Frandsen.



(Alternately, while the slideshow is played on a screen above the speakers)

Simo: ri:vr is the second part of the trilogy of performance-installations called Astrotrilogy.

It was realized in Paris in 2019.

The first part is called pompom, and it was realized and installed in Tokyo in 2018.


Vincent: pompom in Tokyo was installed in a gallery space. In this work, visitors would enter the gallery space to experience the installation and the performance, inside the work so to speak. At the same time, the performance could be seen outside from the street through the glass window.

Simo: For ri:vr we decided to only keep this gaze from the outside, so the installation-performance could be attended by visitors intending to see the work, but also, like in Tokyo, by random passers-by.

ri:vr went through a first transformation when we were invited to show in Kohta kunsthalle in Helsinki, in a gallery space situated on the second floor of a building with no option for watching the work from the outside.


Vincent: We set the piece in the « studio » of the kunsthalle/gallery, in a white cube with only one entrance and no windows. To reproduce the gaze through the glass wall, we prevented access to the inside by covering the entrance with a large Plexiglas. The visitors were therefore constrained to stay out and to peep from the outside.


Simo: Both in Paris and in Helsinki, I performed over several hours, and people were invited to come and go as they wish, on the same day, or over several days.


Vincent: Both shows were for free.


Simo: For ri:vr, here in Copenhagen, we had to go through another process of transformation, meaning its translation for the previous white-cube settings into a new version for a black-box-like theatre.


Vincent: The parameters of such process were:

> To enable an outside gaze (peeping) on a constructed intimate situation.

> To trigger a durational dimension of the performance, exceeding habitual temporalities of the context of experience.

> To boost contingency by giving the possibility for the visitors to come and go as wished


Simo: We had also options: for example, to repaint the whole theatre black-box in white - as Vincent did once, in 2012 in Lyon - and to recreate the situation in a corner of the whitened theatre behind an added transparent wall.


Vincent: Another option would have been to find a space in the building other than the black box stage. But testing the work through black-box settings and conventions of visit was interesting for both of us, who left, intentionally, the theater-building a decade ago...


Simo: So the chosen option, for many reasons (from technical to metaphorical...) was to rebuild a « cube », like a museum vitrine, or an aquarium, on stage to recreate ri:vr's « tableau vivant » or « living sculpture » as a fragment of intimacy to be observed.


Vincent: To visit the show, in theatre settings, is not for free. This economic difference might matter and perform, and alter the experience from seeing this work in gallery settings, for free.


Simo: What we think we gain with the black box version is the possibility to diffract the experience of the work from multiple perspectives, from a frontal distance (the theatre ”perspective”), or from nearing it coming on stage (the museum or gallery ”free circulation”).


Vincent: It is important for us to note that working with a clear sense of theatricality in gallery settings or disrupting conventions of experience in the black box is not the focal point of the work. Adapting to the offered context is the work, and the way to generate a quality of gaze and experience, that enables the aesthetic offer to be communicated and lived.


Simo: We consider that ri:vr could with equal aesthetic interests be set in a VR metaverse or as a holographic dispositif in a private apartment in time of epidemics. The challenges to meet is the rendering of the choreographic thinking that supports such work, the bodily dimensions and scales, a certain visual quality and affective tonality, and SF imaginary triggering. We are interested in looking into the transformability of a work, its shapeshifting potential, its adaptability, and its disruptive agency too. It is not much about the history of the containers, and genealogy of the form(at)s, even if these are always embedded, referenced, and considered, but the question of temporality, materiality, and spatiality, and how these meet the contemporary challenges and allow a sensory experience of the multi-layered realities « we » are living in.


Vincent: Thinking these last days, while undergoing rivr's black-boxed version, of the topic of the symposium “interdisciplinary art in the 20s” we thought that we could bring on the table of the discussion the possibility to address the issue from a strategical shift between criticality and post-criticality. Criticality understood as a dynamic of thinking and practicing through means of deconstruction, and post-criticality, as a strategy of speculating beyond modern criticality by supplementing the former deconstructive practice with generative movements of infrastructural reset or invention. Concretely, how, for example, to address a venue such as this one, Husets Teater? And work, with, through, and beyond, it through a renewed take on interdisciplinarity? The “critical way” would be to work with destabilizing the context's habits and aesthetic registers while keeping the infrastructural settings. When the post-critical might try to transform these given infrastructures, taking the risk of a collapse, through meeting a general and larger ecology, in relation, for example to other than human (biospheric, algorithmic, or not identified yet) materialities and temporalities.


Simo: In this way, even if technically we are dealing with mapping the differences between performing arts and visual arts contexts of visibility, we are not that much interested about these categories but more in the questions:

Is it possible, and how, to think and practice transdisciplinarity and intermediality beyond the obsolete binary dynamic of bringing performing arts into the white cube, and vice-versa?


Vincent: How to engage with “hybridization” beyond mixing these inherited architectural categories? And how to engage with transdisciplinarity as a process of transitioning from institutionalized, categorized, and historicized so-called disciplines to a discipline-fluid ecosystem of practices.


Simo: And how to work as an artist beyond the temptation of going back to these known exchanges, and to invite "the" audience into processes of infrastructural mutations from a larger ecodramaturgical perspective?