Over five days of intensive workshop residency held at Lake Studios in Berlin, the group continued to exchange ideas towards the exhibition and symposium to be held in December at Künstlerhaus Bethanien.
Economies of Gesture
The working group, consisting of Florian Bettel, Irina Kaldrack and Tobias Schulze, explores contemporary economies of gestures. In Berlin, the group started from an in-depth research on musical.ly to discuss issues of communication, forms of courtesy, agonal constellations, and adjustment of bodily movement. The connecting element of these topics was the integral use of technology as well as technology’s interdependency with economy and work.
Gesture & Labour
The members of the workgroup exchanged material and focused on notions of efficiency in the context of manual and automated production environments. The term “lost motion”, as coined by Frank Gilbreth in his early 20th century work, especially caught their attention. Florian Bettel drew connections to game theory while Konrad Strutz presented a draft for a video work that deals with gestures derived from industrial contexts and subsequently applied towards non-productive purposes.
Surveillance and Gesture
As a first draft the group members shot videos of themselves performing a variety of gaits in front of a grid similar to those used in chronophotography. Through this practice specific questions arose within the group about political and social aspects of the basic premise of their proposal, i.e. using alterations of movements to evade surveillance systems and of embodying “the animal” as a means for freedom of movement and what that may imply in the racialization of immigration politics.
Timo Herbst and Laurie Young´s starting point were to develop a social choreography score for the public space in and around the area of Kunstquartier Bethanian, which would highlight and reveal the hidden choreographic cues of city spaces and how bodies are demanded to obey them. Upon visiting the exhibition space, Laurie Young realized that Bethanien´s building is not fully accessible to wheelchair users. After being informed by the caretaker that there are no wheelchair-ramps available in the house to cover the first four steps of Studio1, Young and Herbst decided to address this problem by providing ramps for these stairs. This idea developed into creating a series of ramps as a re-occuring theme throughout the exhibition space as choreographic objects with which to activate the visitors body.
Transforming Political Gestures
The working group of Irina Kaldrack, Dina Boswank and Timo Herbst continued to develop their performative installation „Transforming political gestures through a chain“ which deals with gestures and actions during protests at the G20 in Hamburg. A first version was presented in November 2017 as a lecture performance during a conference at the University Potsdam and a second will be held in October 2018 in Kunstverein, Leipzig. The work will be further developed as a performative installation. Handling and manipulating the material, a space of thought and experience emerges that questions the status of „political gesture“. To this end the group continued to modify and specify their approach.
Timo Herbst edited a second film based on the observations the group made on what actions and gestures of different agendas had and what order they impose in the public space.
Irina Kaldrack deepened her investigation of what „political“ means in „poltical“ gesture. With a comparison of the readings of Oliver Marchart and André Lepecki, Timo Herbst and Irina Kaldrack began developing a textual dramaturgy.Dina Boswank worked on interviews about descriptions of press photos of the G20.