The Sphere x 2033
LARP (Live Action Role Play) for The Sphere, at Contempo Festival 2023
During her residency at Contempo Kaunas, Lene Vollhardt collected and edited memes about relational ecologies, which formed the basis of a 3-days long performance with local residents. Its purpose was to explore dystopian scenarios set in the near future, against which the residents need to form collective resistance through the mutual creation of DAO's (decentralized autonomous organizations).
Artist / Director Lene Vollhardt
Co-Dramaturg Erik Bordeleau
VR Design Timur Novikov
Scenography & Scent laura fernández antolín
Sound Scenography HASHIA
Performers Inga Galinytė, Violina Romeikaitė, Marija Baranauskaite, Eglė Ukanytė, Lilly Jankauskaite, Monika Poderytė, Džiugas Kunsmanas, Marius Jurgutis, laura fernández antolín, Jonas Tertelis, Markas Liberman, Arturas Sedys, Nida Žickytė, Ana-Maria Deliu, Anika Wiese, Ataberk Casur
As the participants learned a pragmatic approach to practicing dreaming as planning, they explored the potential and boundaries of the body as collectively accessible vessel and (an)archive, to create a collection of memory that is defined by a plurality of people, rather than a singular power figure.
How would a constitutive vessel for these reciprocal exchanges look like? How do people create an agreement around what we call 'property', so that they can circulate and ferment towards re-entering edible, fragrant, excessively abundant cycles? How to ensure an artwork, or ‘show’ does what it is supposed to do according to our assetization mechanism? Yet essentially, these questions create an artistic conversation which is carried across artist bodies, subjectivities and authorships, thus prompting a new entity of a discursive lineage. As we imagine together the new lineages in the making around which the next generations of artists will gather, we are shaping values for the future, in the long-term (just as any other traditional art institution sets out to).
The Sphere x 2033 is a play, a process, a performance, a dance, a meditation, a sci-fi, a document, a cruise through liquidity pools, and a shared love affair with the commons.
After the datafication of flesh (❛‿❛✿)
In 2033, the art world has gone through a severe transformation. Now we could track everything. No emotional labor went unrecognized as it gets registered on the blockchain; and every relation, every idea, every gesture, can be archived and turned into an asset (often called a community).
We perfected the art of turning our work - and ourselves - into NFTs. We were banking on performances, just as other people were banking on words or attention.
Some people became really good at it; too good actually. They extended the curse of self-ownership like few libertarians would ever dream of. They became replicas in the metaverse: lost souls, or rather, lost bodies. Around them, the future felt useless, and so damn expensive. They were talking about having skin in the game, but they actually couldn’t feel the play anymore.
The precarity of our flesh became an urgent matter. The question became:
How do we get our bodies back?
Throughout these three days, we explored the Sphere’s relationscape. We went haptic. We made ourselves porous to our surroundings. We ignited hybrid zones of trust, being held, dragged and sometimes thrown onto handcrafted and nested Anarchive pillows.
We manipulated gravity in small groups, moved in and out of comfort, cruised our VR space IRL. We meditated ourselves through sediments of the earth and tapped into the air’s storage devices. There, we eventually found a portal to land and integrate the knowledge that was always already there. We found ourselves right amidst The Sphere, where the digital soul waited patiently for us to leave behind our good old patterns of individualistic artistic ambition. And we became seers of the unforeseen, fugitive dreamers of the afterlife of live art.
We accessed together, with our bodies and in shared balance, the space where live memory is archived and anarchived - where traces of events are preserved in their living potentiality. These traces in the Sphere are manifold. They register in the (blockchain-based) digital soul as data, validating the occurrence of an event of the past. But they are also plotted into something like the riddle of documented life. As we strive to account for what we have become, something exceeds. Our experiences escape from our own grasp. You can only get a hold on them as long as you pass them on.
We are now, back in 2022, at the end of what Legacy Russel calls “the singular body as a legible subject”. This was a wild and speculative ride, as we moved and got moved, adding a line of ledger into the knowledger here, marveling at the care irradiating between a performer and a character and an improvisation there; gently contracting fleeting visions into propositional fragments, and also, as if we were preparing time-capsules for (our) future AI-assisted selves, some preliminary instructions for running and curating them –
for the time being
We Draw a Magic Circle and Grow at the Speed of Trust