In Performance: MUSICISMOVEMENTISIMAGEISMUSIC “MIM” (Tallinn, Estonia)

MIM3 Project: MIM goes sustainable

There seems to be a wider and wider acceptance of green and sustainable practices, especially in electronic and technological art. There are many noteworthy artworks that do not need extra energy to keep themselves running nor would they pollute the environment around them.

Conventional theatre seems to be lacking in that area, especially in the context of Estonian very modest sustainable and ecological practices.

To provide alternative to traditional thinking how theaters operate and prove that low-tech eco-thinking in theatre does not automatically imply substandard production quality we will start a project “MIM goes sustainable” (working title).

The main goal of the project is to create a staged theatrical performance that brings the usage of fossil fuels and other resources to absolute minimum. To provide an educational aspect, we will engage the audience to make an effort and be physically part of the energy-creation cycle for the performance.

There are three main dimensions of the project research stage of the project:

1. Artistic dimension

In their latest performances the proposal authors have moved towards offering more freedom to the recipient to interpret the piece and steer his/her imagination. Also, they started using sustainable practices: in piece “Last orders to those who I have loved” all the lighting was done just by one single light source and using only 40% of its power maximum. Success of such artistically and technologically minimalist approach gave them confidence that using simple tools, the right atmosphere for the performance can be created without “technological fireworks”, common to conventional theater. In addition to reduce dependence on traditional tools of the theatre, they also tried to use natural effects for creating an atmosphere on stage: natural light, rain, snow etc.

2. Technological dimension

MIM is looking at how to produce energy required for production using lo-fi technology based on sustainable or recycled energy sources: the physical activity of the actor and the audience, body heat, solar energy etc. This research needs co-operation with sustainable energy activists: institutions, engineers, artists on that field and creating working prototypes for energy-gathering.

3. Social dimension

MIM will offer an unconventional theatre experience to the audience. The contribution of the audience is more social than usual: in order to make things happen, both technically and artistically, everybody — actors, technical crew and audience — need to actively participate in the performance.

Workshops:

Research and working on prototypes will be a continuous task throughout the project. In order to track progress better, MIM will have three milestone workshops/labs during the project (lab1, lab2, lab3) to run prototype simulations, gather feedback and brainstorm ideas for next steps.

The workshop team consists of the core team, one researcher, couple of partners and some volunteers.

Each workshop consists four days of intensive work and final day with public showing and discussion, targeted especially to activists of our field and students. All workshop activity is taken to a video, blogged and tweeted.

The Final Presentation:

The project culminates with a theatrical performance where the technical solutions developed during the research and workshops are used to create a complete artistic piece to demonstrate the capabilities of the sustainable theatre and technology. The audience is asked to actively participate to help creating necessary resources to make performance happen and are encouraged to feel, think and learn about the importance of conserving resources and making theatre and the whole world more sustainable.

Schedule:

– Fall 2009: lab1
– Spring 2010: lab2
– Fall 2010: lab3
– Spring 2011: Final presentation

Partners:

Association of Experimental Electronics from Finland who work mostly on re-engineering and recycling technology to produce original art and music performances.

Teadusbuss

Tallinn University of Technology

Kanuti Gildi SAAL
MIM plans to use video conferences to invite several artists and scholars to join the workshops: Joost Rekvelt (NL), working on experimental, electronic and robotic art; Sher Doruff (US/NL), PhD on old and new media; Bojana Kunst (SLO), psychologist and expert on group behavior.

Also, They will present our work and will hold a discussion in Pixelache festival in 2010.

Background:

The foundations of the current project lie on MUSICISMOVEMENTISIMAGEISMUSIC (MIM in short) workshops during
2005-2008 with core members Maike Lond, Taavet Jansen and Kristjan Jansen. There were three workshops in total: in Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn in 2005, 2006 and Karlsruche New Media Centre ZKM, Germany in 2008.

MIM was organized to investigate the technological and interactive art and theatre and bring together experimental art community with more traditional theatre establishment. The main goal was to encourage usage of interdisciplinary practices and latest technology in theaters and performing arts.

All workshops ended with public showing and QA. MIM was documented on DVD and blogged at http://www.tants.ee/mim/. All ideas and prototypes were released as open source — a very important principle in our work.

The Team:

Maike Lond
Musician, interdisciplinary artist. Graduated Interfaculty Art Science in Royal Academy of Art in Der Haag. In 2008-2009 worked with Von Krahl Theatre on “Is There A Life After Capitalism” and “Republic of Dreams”

Taavet Jansen
Director, programmer and interdisciplinary artist. Graduated as choreographer in Tallinn University and got masters degree in dance and New Media program Dance Unlimited in Amsterdam Theatreschool. Worked with several renowned and not-yet-renowned artists and institutions.

Kristjan Jansen
Interaction designer and user experience consultant. Worked 4 years in Skype http://skype.com as senior interaction designer and has been participating in open source software development for 8 years.

Kalle Tikas
Musician and electronic and mechanic toolkit engineer.

Project is supported by Kanuti Gildi SAAL and Tallinn 2011

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