Thursday, oct 8

In cooperation with Center for Cognitive Semiotics at Lund University

Erik Rynell, Jörgen Dahlqvist and Kent Olofsson

The Cognitive Sciences and Theatre Studies Today

Keynote: Bruce McConachie
This presentation will chart the progress that cognitive theatre scholars have made since the 2006, with the publication of PERFORMANCE AND COGNITION. It will briefly discuss the major systems that constitute theatrical performances and how each of them functions. The talk will also explore the difficulties that cognitive scientists and theatre humanists experience when attempting to work together and propose a temporary solution to this problem.

Dramaturgy, robots and what it means to be human
Erik Rynell
What does it mean to be human? This is a question Gob Squad asked with their performance My Square Lady, which was premiered in Berlin in June 2015. The performance featured a humanoid robot in its main part, and was produced in collaboration with two institutions in Berlin, the Neurobotics Research Laboratory and the Comic Opera, which was also where the performance was played. One answer to the question was that to be human is to be capable of emotions of the kind an opera house can give expression to. Another answer was that for a robot to be humanoid and autonomous it must first of all be situated and embodied. These two notions, situatedness and embodiment are crucial not only within robotics and cognitive science, but within acting methodology as well. In my speech, I will compare the use of these notions within the respective fields, as well as in examples of contemporary and traditional dramaturgy.

Finding Your Character: The Situation Rules!

Linda Ritzén
This presentation deals with the technique of finding a character’s identity, using the situations in each scene as a powerful defining tool. It’s about creating – and maintaining – a deep awareness of your surroundings, and your character’s role within those surroundings.

What's in a situation? Embodied cognition, intentionality, and social interaction in humans and artificial agents
Tom Ziemke
The cognitive sciences have in recent years seen a shift from the traditional view of cognition as some kind of internal computation, taking place first and foremost inside people's heads, to the view of cognition as "situated" and "embodied", i.e. taking place in interaction with the world, including other agents. This development has been paralleled - and driven to some degree - by the shift in artificial intelligence research from programs running inside computers, without much direct interaction with the external world, to robots that are physically embodied and situated in their environment, and capable of sensorimotor interaction with it. In philosophy of mind this is referred to as a shift from the traditional computational functionalism to a robotic functionalism, and the latter is the current mainstream conception of "embodied cognition". What both types of functionalism are ignoring though is the fact that situated and embodied cognition in humans - and other living organisms - is fundamentally characterized by the visceral connections between an agent and its world that ground intentionality and embodied meaning making. The talk discusses implications for our understanding of embodied cognition and social interaction in - and between - humans and artificial agents.

The theater of hypnosis and the hypnosis of theater
Erik Ringmar
In my talk I will discuss the question of suggestibility. It has long been observed that people, especially when they find themselves the members of crowds, are easily manipulated. This power over people's minds has sometimes been compare to the power of hypnosis. This is more than a metaphor, I will suggest. As researchers working on hypnosis have suggested, hypnosis works by focusing and diverting people's attention and by separating conscious and unconscious mental processes. This in turn raises more general issues of the nature of attention and the connection between attention and consciousness. As I will argue, suggestibility of a kind is operating in the theater too, both as actors enter into their roles and as audience members suspend their disbelief.

Levels of embodiment in an evolutionary perspective
Jordan Zlatev
The concept of "embodiment" has been influential in cognitive science and semiotics, but at the same time it has been rather ambiguous, resulting a substantial cross-talk (Ziemke, Zlatev, Franck 2007). To a large extent, this depends on different concepts of the Body. In the presentation, I distinguish between five levels of embodiment, corresponding to the five levels of the revised version of the Semiotic Hierarchy (Zlatev 2009): organismic, experiential, cultural, significational and linguistic. These will then be applied to different kinds of communication systems, in a macro-evolutionary perspective. The argument is that even though Darwinian evolution does not automatically lead to greater complexity, the history of our species demonstrates such a trajectory, with early Homo achieving the cultural and significational levels, while linguistic embodiment was a trademark of Homo sapiens (apparently: both sapiens sapiens, and sapiens neanderthalensis).

Kent Olofsson, Jörgen Dahlqvist, Linda Ritzén and Zofia Åsenlöf
Video/sound installation, with introduction
In Fält (Fields) we encounter a chorus of voices that revolves around the conditions of existence. Fält is one of the artistic outcomes of the research project The anatomy of the moment.

Hamlet II: exit ghost
Kent Olofsson, Jörgen Dahlqvist, Linda Ritzén and Rafael Pettersson
Based on the great drama by Shakespeare, this performance by Teatr Weimar is actually the transformation of a scenic performance into an intriguing radio drama that finds play within the play where two actors battle with the play, turning the silence into ambiguous places that can be spoken or kept silent. The sound work is the key element in the staging of the play, intertwining the voices of Hamlet and Ophelia, distorting the outbursts of anger by Hamlet and making Ophelia's cries for help into sound of water drops down by the water.
Indy500: seklernas udde
Kent Olofsson, Jörgen Dahlqvist
Based on the biggest sports event in the world, the Indy500 car race, this hörspiel takes the futurist manifesto of Marinetti as departure into a play with themes of speed, consumerism and death.
Fantastic Voyage
Carina Ehrenholm

Carina Ehrenholm is working with an on-going project called Fantastic Voyage in order to explore our notion of reality through the radio format. Fantastic Voyage is set in the near future during the election in Sweden a few years from now, and is being told through different time and narrative structures simultaneously. The piece reveals things about our future and explains why everything became what it is. This version of Fantastic Voyage is a work-in-progress and the finished version will premiere late -15 or early -16 with sound and music by Björn Lindberg.

Some objects are more equal than others

Exhibition at Inter Arts Center
This exhibition about globalization shows five artists who are all strangers, not just to the art scene in Malmö, but in fact also to themselves.

Arrival Cities: Hanoi
Kent Olofsson, Jörgen Dahlqvist, The Six Tones, Miguél Cortés and
Marcus Råberg
Video/sound installation, with introduction
The Canadian Journalist Doug Saunders discusses migration in his book Arrival City as “the great and final shift of human populations out of rural, agricultural life into cities” and points towards the “need to devote far more attention to these places, for they are not just the sites of potential conflict and violence but also the neighbourhoods where the transition from poverty occurs, where the next middle class is forged, where the next generation´s dreams, movements and governments are created.” This raises political issues of identity, colonialism, nation states and borders but an arrival city is also characterized by individual experiences of homesickness, insecurity, aspiration and dreams. The question we have explored in a series of staged works is how these different experiences can be expressed artistically and projected to an audience. Rather than creating a representation of the work’s theme, we want to create a joint exploration where several different situations interact. Arrival Cities: Hanoi examines the experience of Hanoi as a point of migration by actualising the musicians’ memories and experiences as several independent layers of narrative. Other layers are drawn from interviews with street monglers, actors and other people in the turbulent soundscape of Hanoi.

Friday oct 9

David Roesner
From an eclectic musicality of theatre to composing “with the means of the stage"
In this talk, I will develop a notion of "musicality“ as a dispositif (Foucault) with which to illuminate the various practices and processes in a theatrical environment that use "music“ as a model, method or metaphor in the creative development and training. Despite the multi-facetedness of phenomena that would fall within this dispositif I will draw out a few common features, such as a logoscepticism, a new sense of "dramaturgy“ or an interest in forms of "intermusicality“. Finally, the talk will turn to what Matthias Rebstock have termed "Composed Theatre“ as a very particular manifestation of musicality in the theatre and and interesting challenge to current definitions of and boundaries between "music" and "theatre".

Kent Olofsson
FIELDS - Compositional strategies in a mixed media performance

FÄLT is a performing arts piece that can be described as a mixture of theatre, concert, radio play and video art. But looking at its special creation process it is closer to think of it as a genre of its own with all its elements created in a unified collaborative process. Based on the experiences from Fält I will discuss the methods and strategies used for creating such a work.

The politics of listening in inter-cultural artistic practice

Nguyen Thanh Thuy & Stefan Östersjö
The Vietnamese/Swedish group Six Tones have a long history of collaborative work together with the Swedish playwright and director Jörgen Dahlqvist and this paper draws on video documentation of their development of an intercultural practice between 2010 and 2015 in the making of two music theatre works, IDIOMS (2010-11) and Arrival Cities: Hanoi (2014-15). At the heart of this practice is the concept of mutual learning. The music in IDIOMS has no score but was negotiated between The Six Tones and the American composer Richard Karpen. Similar devising methods have been adopted by Jörgen Dahlqvist in both pieces. IDIOMS brought actors together from Vietnam, USA and Sweden and the making of the piece was in many ways a series of negotiations of the cultural resistance of Tuong theatre and contemporary western idioms (Coessens&Östersjö 2014). The work was carried out in workshops in the three countries and became a culmination in the work of The Six Tones within the artistic research project titled (re)thinking improvisation (2009-2012) in which the development of method for intercultural collaboration was a focal point. The paper addresses questions of how a shared understanding of quality can emerge over time in cross-cultural work. Beyond the notion of transparency (Agawu 2003) we argue that true listening must build on trust that also allows the participating artists to accept the opacity of the other (Nguyen & Östersjö 2013). We further argue that such openness of listening (Gadamer 2004) may constitute the foundation for an ethics in intercultural work, as well as for the development of a shared aesthetics by artists from different cultures and disciplines.
Agawu, K. (2003). ”Contesting Difference: A Critique of Africanist Ethnomusicology”.
In Clayton, M., Herbert, T. & Middleton, R. (Eds.). The Cultural Study of Music. London: Routledge.
Coessens & Östersjö: Habitus and the Resistance of Culture (2014) in Crispin & Gilmore, (Eds), Handbook on Musical Experimentation, Leuven University Press
Gadamer, H.-G. (2004). Truth and method. 2nd ed. London; New York: Continuum.

Henrik Frisk
Conceptualising obliviousness and a A Marxist view on the theory/practice divide
Conceptualising obliviousness (Att konceptualisera glömskan) is a piece for one improviser. It consists of a text to be read out loud inbetween short improvisations. A Marxist view on the theory/practice divide is a text and a series of conceptualisations on the topic of the common binary theory versus practice. The artistic practice is here linked to the Marxist view on materiality and my general claim is that theory and practice should belong to one and the same basic articulation

Nguyen Thanh Thuy, Kate Ryder and Jakob Riis
Moment to Moment
TJK ensemble explore the rich dynamics and complexities of inter performer relationships and the dramaturgy inherent in group improvisation. How can improvisation transform the relationship between performer and instrument? Do different locations and environments have a significant bearing on states of performance?


Nguyen Thanh Thuy, Kate Ryder, Jakob Riis, Kent Olofsson and Henrik Frisk

Champs D´etoiles
Kent Olofsson, Jörgen Dahlqvist and Ensemble Liparella
Video/sound installation

Saturday oct 10

Text, Intermediality & Interaction in works by Matthaei und Konsorten and Rimini Protokoll

Miriam Frandsen
In this talk Miriam Frandsen will present and discuss two performances by matthaei und konsorten (war, you should have been there 2013) and Rimini Protokoll (home visit Europe 2015) that she has been involved in as researcher and dramaturge. Focusing on the development of the ‘text’ for the performance and the different dramaturgies involved when you work with intermediality and interaction with the audience.

Expanding the theatrical expression
Anna Pettersson
This talk will present Anna Pettersson´s project in her ph.D studies at Uniarts, Stockholm, with developing methods how to use film, sound and movement as situated expressions aiming for an expanding theatrical aesthetic in her work as an actor and director for the theatre.

The conceptual framework of Arrival Cities: Hanoi

Jörgen Dahlqvist
In an article Yosef Jabareen define ”conceptual framework” as a network ”of interlinked concepts that together provide a comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon or phenomena.” (Jabareen 2009). By changing the perspective the conceptual framework becomes a creative tool instead of an analytical, thus making it the departure for a collaborative work between artists from different art fields. In this presentation playwright and director Jörgen Dahlqvist discusses “interlinked concepts” that aim to create a framing device for collaborative and interdisciplinary work in the field of new performing arts.

Searching for a multi-structural dramaturgy

Fredrik Haller
In this talk I will introduce my thoughts on the metaphor a file cabinet for dramaturgy patterns. The metaphor is an attempt to create an open, more comprehensive and, above all, more practical toolkit compared to those created in the tradition of Gustav Freytag and his pyramid. I will also talk about how the metaphor helped me to be more specific in some selected parts of my work as a director as well as a dramaturge.

A Dynamic Systems Approach to Spectating in the Theatre
Bruce McConachie
How do all of the major cognitive systems that constitute theatrical performances actually work together, moment-by-moment, to facilitate spectator engagement? This talk will explore one understanding of dynamic systems theory to explore and explain audience response during a short performance.

Erik Rynell, Jörgen Dahlqvist and Kent Olofsson