We have a situation! is a series of live, trans-border, online-offline participatory performances addressing current cross-cultural issues.
“There is no use in deceiving ourselves with hope. Our most effective course is to confront the situation as it is, and if it is still bad, to acknowledge the badness, trusting in the truth as the premise of any improvement, and feeling a new security because of the very fact that we have met and verified the worst.” – Clement Greenberg, The Collected Essays and Criticism, vol.2, Arrogant Purpose, p192.
Four “situations” were created, in France, Netherlands, UK and Austria, between March-May 2013. Each involved a 4-day workshop and a performance and discussion event, using the online platform UpStage.
In each location, a current topical issue was chosen as the theme and researched; from this a performance was created, that shared stories and posed questions to creatively frame the specific situation. After each performance, the audience – both online and at physical venues – participated in a discussion that imagined creative solutions to the situation. This process engaged all of the participants in a creative and discursive exploration of topical issues.
The project has been documented and a model created that can be adopted and adapted by other artists and organisations for their own “situations”.
The project was supported by a grant from the European Cultural Foundation and the partners are:
- APO33: interdisciplinary artist-run laboratory and Platforme Intermédia/La Fabrique: Space for experimental arts in Nantes, France
- MAD emergent art center: artist-led laboratory, platform and provider of emergent art in Eindhoven, Netherlands
- Furtherfield: media arts collective and gallery space for art, technology and social change in London, UK
- Schaumbad Freies Atelierhaus: independent artists’ collective in Graz, Austria.
Lead artist Helen Varley Jamieson (Germany/NZ) worked with participants at each location, and developer/artist Martin Eisenbarth (Germany) provided technical support for the online platform, UpStage, enhancing it to meet the artistic needs of the project (as well as actively participating in the creative side of the project!).