During the workshop “State in between”, that was taking place during the Transmediale “Afterglow” festival in Berlin, I was working on the performance “Formal states” in collaboration with Roberta Busechian.
Our project was a reflection about the very common form of artistic expression during the Transmediale festival, namely the “Artist’s lecture”.
We compered the speeches that took place during the festival, examined body positions, gestures that lectors used and sounds that they made (voices in a lot of scale variations, laughing, breathing, coughing…). We considered the elements that were used during the presentations like: stage, table, microphones, loudspeakers, projections, photos, voices, texts, English as the most common language of communication, audience. In every lecture the separation between “the knowledge giver”-artist, professional and “the knowledge receiver”- the audience, was very visible.
We counted the number of participants according to gender. The two thirds of them were men.
The participants came mostly from Western and Northern Europe.
We were interested in the technical aspect of giving a presentation, but we were also asking questions about the credibility of “Artist’s lecture”.
Should it be considered in the same way as scientific knowledge? Where is the border between lecture and performance? How to distinguish facts from the fantasy?
Is it necessary to do so?
Probably it could be possible to concentrate on the content of the speech and leave the context behind, still it would not mean that it did not exist, beginning with the high reduced accessibility to the festival on the financial level (90 Euro for the normal ticket), on professional knowledge level, for example: Panel: „An Ecosystem of excess“, because of geographical situation and gender reasons in case of festival’s participants and so on…
During the „Afterglow“ Festival I felt like a part of the exclusive group, that have had an opportunity to survive the catastrophe. I got luck to study in Berlin at that time while at the other side of the globe people were collecting metal for the newest version of the cellphone.