In Conversation with: Julian Kamphausen + Alex Wolf

INTERNATIONAL NOTICE chatted to Julian Kamphausen and Alex Wolf from the re:publica team about the inaugural Performersion.

IN: Tell us a little bit about Performersion

AW: Performersion is the result of a unique collaboration between re:publica and the Performing Arts Programme, Berlin. Over the two-day event, we will focus on the interplay between immersive art formats and media, bringing together high level artists from the performance scene and developers of immersive and digital technologies.

JK: We created the word ‘performersion’ to describe what might happen when artists from the worlds of dance, theatre and performance come together with developers from the digital and technical worlds. They will perform together and immerse us in a (hopefully) very creative process.

IN: What is the relationship between re:publica and Performersion?

AW: re:publica is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year, so it was time to broaden our scope! During #rpTEN we are focussing on topics that deal with the relationship between cultural production and tech. On May 3 during re:publica, which is dedicated to Immersive Arts, we will interrogate new methods of storytelling, the potential that the integration of AR applications create for cultural institutions, and how art production and distribution are being influenced by immersive technology.

JK: Over the course of the Immersive Arts Day, performers will be presenting their work in the labore:tory @ Kühlhaus. The dialogues and curiosity that are stimulated by these performances will filter through re:publica and nourish the conversations that continue during Performersion.

IN: How did the idea for Performersion come about?

JK: Performersion is the result of a conversation between me and Andreas Gebhard, the CEO of re:publica GmbH when we met at a tech event last year. We talked about the missed chances that we see all too often when artists are only marginally involved in the tech world of Berlin, and vice versa. We decided to do something about it and found support for the event from Tim Renner, and later from the Lotto Stiftung.

IN: Who is behind Performersion?

AW: It is a joint venture between re:publica and PAP Berlin. Julian and I are the organisers.

IN: Who is Performersion for?

JK: The programme will consist mostly of formats that were collected from an Open Call to the Berlin Free Scene. We are aiming to appeal equally to two groups of people; firstly, to those people who are interested in exploring new technical realms for the stories they want to tell, and secondly, to those who are seeking courageous content for their new digital tools, spaces and stages. It’s about bringing the artists and the tech together on an equal footing – it’s really not about big brand sponsorship at all. This is a programme for people who don’t just want to passively look and listen, but also who want to try things out and play. In the morning and over lunch we are offering labs and workshops, while in the afternoons and evenings, there will be performance showcases, lectures, and round-table talks.

What are your ambitions for Performersion?

JK: We have created a really level playing field where tech and the arts will meet. This is very unusual, so we cannot wait to see what will happen. This year will be a great start, but we feel our main aim this year is to watch and listen. As this is a brand-new kind of event, no one is an expert. We will see what works, and then plan accordingly for 2017!

AW: We want to trigger dialogue between tech and art creators – their ambitions and visions might not be so disparate, but the skills they have and the methods they use are. Developers, designers, entrepreneurs and artists can all benefit from one another’s expertise. We believe that Performersion will be a starting point for some really exciting collaborations!

  1. APR 2016