2023 – The Algorithmic Theatre // LABYSS (Performance Installation)

THE SHOW : LABYSS

Labyss is a performative installation. It is also a fictitious company that offers to store your memories for you, so you can access them at your convenience. In a world of increasing use of algorithmic technologies, we find ourselves loosing our memories. This is the fiction of Labyss. From here on the performance poses ethical and existential questions such as: Can our memories – the key to our very existence and identity – be harvested and datafied? And to what end? What does it mean to have no memory of your past life? As memories from the audiences are collected into the company cloud, they find themselves absorbed and distorted into a strange emerging collective life-form.

Labyss is a part of TOASTER and is supported by The Danish Arts Foundation and The Bikuben Foundation. First manifestation of the work will be at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art in March and April 2023.

Duration: 30 min

THE CONTEXT

Labyss adresses the topic of promises made by the tech industry, that their products will make our lives easier. This is a global promise and Labyss deals with a global reality. It combines humor and critical thinking in a both ironic and reflective way, seeking to give the audience a direct, sensory experience of being turned into data. Labyss is the first part of a planned suite of works exploring aspects of ’algoritmification’.

THE COMPANY: THE ALGORITHMIC THEATRE

The Algorithmic Theatre is an interdisciplinary working group and an investigation of what new algorithmic technologies do to our bodies, identities and society. It is an artistic research project at the crossroads between performing arts, visual arts and programming, which takes a critical, investigative look at algorithmic mapping and monitoring – in short the increased algorithmization of life.

The core members of the community are visual artist and writer Kristian Byskov, playwright and stage director Kristian Husted, dramaturg and producer Pernille Kragh and program developer and curator Tina Ryoon Andersen. In addition, changing collaboration partners are invited into our community, including set designers, performers, programmers, visual artists, researchers and theorists

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

“The Algorithmic Theatre is an ongoing artistic research project and an open international, interdisciplinary work community. We believe the main body of work concerns all nations and that collaborations across borders will only deepen our understanding and further the conversation and awareness of algorithmic technologies. We’d like to expand our outreach in two directions: via international collaborations with other artists and researchers. Here it would be a stepping stone, if Labyss paves the way for new international connections via international showings. Also it would be interesting to meet audiences from other countries, that might respond differently to Labyss than our Danish audience. We work not only artistically, but also through a discursive programme combining reflection-sessions, where audiences can discuss the performance with scientists and artist in an informal setting, and larger symposiums where scientists and artist together reflect and discuss the work at hand.”

FORMAT AND SUSTAINABILITY

“Everything apart from the iris-scanning technology has been either rented or lent to us by various institutions. The set design consists mostly of white exhibition walls and screens that can be rented locally most places in the world. Everything can be reused and there’s no waste in connection to the performance. Labyss then travels light, as most of the set design can be acquired on sight of an international venue, and will be reused. The core of the performance installation are a game called Memory Machine Game and is a software harvesting the memories of participants. These elements can easily be relocated to a different setting and adjusted to other contexts. It is therefore possible to restage Labyss with local actors, saving transport of more people than absolutely necessary.”

LANGUAGE

English

TRIGGER WARNINGS

AUDIENCE TARGET GROUP(S)

Everyone able to use a smartphone, tablet or similar algorithmic device. 

WEBSITE

https://toastercph.dk/show/labyss/?lang=en

CONTACT PERSON

Pernille Kragh, kraghetaer@gmail.com, +45 26135302

CREDITS

Idea and concept: The Algorithmic Theatre

Text and direction: Kristian Byskov and Kristian Husted

Dramaturg: Pernille Kragh

Performer: Lisbeth Sonne Andersen

Performer: Christian Rossil

Creative programmer: Esbern Torgard Kaspersen

Technology og interaction design: Kaspar AI

Installation design: Ana Lumack

Video: Émile Sadria

Music and sound: Kristian Hverring

Video-performers: Ida Ellinor Hermansen og Jesper Friis

Discursive programme: Tina Ryoon Andersen

Co-production between The Algorithmic Theatre and TOASTER