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Friedrich Kirschner “Situated drama aka enacting complexities”

FK – professor of new media and technologies, University of Performing Arts Berlin

apologies – missing credits, using mac… 
didn’t used a mac since a long time 

The talk – about academic lenses inspired by humanities methods, such as ethnographic studies, social studies applied to the artistic practise 

Coming from art school 
where everything is governed by certain principles > autonomy for students 

Research based art / different from art space (galleries? / museums?) research

I don’t see the benefits by bringing two things together. 

I don’t see the benefits by bringing art space discourses within the academic research discourse. 
(Comment: pffff!!! )

Lens implemented : own field of the world – complex 
World is very complex (Donna Haraway – everything is connected with others) 
Reference to Tincuta’s talk : cybernetics is an influence in his field of study, but does quite the opposite; 
Interested in using these models, but cannot accept this crude representations / models of the world; 
All life experience is counter cybernetics; 
To counter feedback loops simplify representation ; rationalisation of the world. 

“”posttraditionale Vergemeinschaftung”” <- can be approximative translated as “post  traditional communiti z ation” 
Used to be a structure – you can be part or against it;

But structures will always be there;
Like churches, for example; 
Or the way you dress….. 
Reference to ? > kittler ? not sure / dramatology 

Identity is fluid, situated 
Situated laws / behaviours  
Formation of new situations 

-> imagine actions changing situations or forming a new situation 

Interactionism, field of sociology 

How can we make art, in the world we live in ? 

—– Another preambule 
Question: how many people went to a German theater play? 
Were you forced to go there? 
Were you interested by yourself? 

Own history: moved from the USA in the most Eastern German University to teach Digital media 
Eastern German universities – in line with German theatre tradition,  

Theater shaped by the idea of Bertold Brecht 
“you shall always remember that a play is put on” 
Don’t be emotional, because it’s a play 
Don’t be funny at the same time 
The school is shaped by this post-traditional philosophy 
The play has 2 roles : the role on the script and the one you do yourself by working on the role 
Another rule: just obey to the director’s idea 

Then started a PhD
Born 2 hours from here
Know quite a lot about communism
Many ways to talk on something , different realities
Always negotiations between opposed reality
Navigating complex situations

*** name missing *** female version of Bruno Latour (teaching sociology  in Chicago) 
Negotiation should include also objects and others than humans
We are shaped by knowledge objects,
Always situated and situative 

— Photo of a German theater — 
German theater would look like in the photo 

—— switch to Quicktime video 
Quick trailer – sound off : https://vimeo.com/137982330
Giant robots conference in Brisbane (Australia)

A device, a machine called “Weltmaschine” (German engineering untranslatable, but it would be the “World machine” so so)
Concrete block
Presented as the only thing that can travel through time
Kinect+cables+box->lookin’ professional

Generate specific features / based on people ‘s expectations
Specultative – psychological …..
Used qualitative form of sociology
Semi structured questionnaire to ask robots questions (“garbage bot”)
Human robot – speed dating
Also a questionnaire with questions on robots:

  • Where do you think there will be a robot in your house?
  • How much power will you have in the future?
  • Draw cats — the more cats you draw the more power you have…

( dalek ) <—– ??? 

Playful agency 
Grounded theory 
As craziest questionaries as possible 

society for cultural optimism 
Similar to forum theatre  (Augusto Boal – theatre of the oppressed -70s) 

 – Screenshot images of telegram messages +his brother — 
<– he makes an auto-ethnographic study of this chat 
Conversation about mechanical keyboard 
Conversation drives him nuts 
Languages switches 
How to give this as a score for theater students? 
Very boring if not in mechanical keyboard 
Forum of mechanical keyboards geek ? at geekhack “keyboard enthusiasts” 

<– what a group buys? 
When one searches for stuff produced long ago 
Forums help to organise efforts to produce mech keyboards in china 
You can produce anything you want if you get enough people to want it 
Institutionalized starting from  a discussion on a forum > becoming an economical model
Hack the production lines !!! small scale quantities productions integrated into a mass production system !

connected to video games because vg needs mech keyboards 
Steam store  largest place to buy videogames 
*** gamer talk ***
Steamstore has a  break, because of summer sales * store.steampowered.com
Usually when big sales, there is a game
Butterfly effect ?
Former minister of finance in Greece – Yannis Varoufakis has a PhD in Game Theory🙂
Worked at steam (wow)


— return of theatre image 
Loop : hard to work in theater because theater is like this (conventional scene/room)

Model of theater does not make sense anymore
What if we create cultural product that don’t make sense anymore (?)
Back internet meme : ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY … HELDENREISE …

American entertainment giant elephant in the room
Does not want to sound like an attorney (“avocat du diable”)

Meme image = crossroad rod panel, one way to storytelling, another way to complexity 

Western culture myth of a story with only one ending 
[disclaimer] Call of duty, horrible game (part of it recruit people by US Army singular narratives are mainstream->problem

Theater is a good place for new cultural productions 
And negotiate with different people 
Space for … cooking ? 
Space for crazy things 
People are not upset if someone beats one another on stage 
Not calling the police 
Cultural setting with bizarre things happening 
No consequences like in real life because is theatre -> ok with crazy things happening -> Get people to make people do crazy shit 
Make-believe has become harder 

“Make Believe” 
example from “the social practical” project kind a like Minecraft blocks 
Phone squares, is a social particle
Science to inspect a social particle to someone
One can change social particles
Charge social particles and throw them at others *experiment* <- throw stuff at Tincuta and she smiles
2500 social practices
Social gravity
500 social particles people will be attracted to them
Attracts people = they will jump at it!
Also built a “social particle accelerator” (performative installation)
New ways to look at the social thing, through this (uncanny) setting
Not a theatre setting

video now of battle royale ( Battle Royale Documentation at Next Level Festival (Dortmund, Germany) 2016: https://vimeo.com/162536324)
Social simulation
80 people 
10 workers pressing buttons=>generating products 
5 politicians use gross domestic product 
Divided in two societies  
— utopia written on the wall 

Representation of the society, invited to move, from country to country to suck out more and more resources from the lands
Archigram late sixties
The idea of walking city, inspired by cybernetics
Gloves, touch the performer to move society
Workers have to generate enough energy to move the society
Workers are paid, they go to the bar, etc.
No actors, just players( the audience)
No description of what a “worker” is, they were only tools given (soldering iron, cardboard…)
You have a role but you can do anything you want => people negotiate how they want to perform self chosen tasks
Rare moment worker + culture
Open a way for people to negotiate between themselves
How they want to perform their role
Culture people decided to become porn industry

Things happen
Revolution happened with power dynamics
Riot of workers to the politicians tent 
Some rioters decided to stay in the political tent to participate to the political set 

<—– much happened like in reality, did he hear as a feedback… 

// social psycho experiments but to train to extract from systems authority 

Discussion on what it’s like to be a worker? 
Automated worker Arduino plus servo motor 
For sale of this automated worker the creator got paid 3 coins, one shift’s worth, was upset 
What does it mean to automatize your work? Bring people to negotiate! 
This is awesome! 
He “makes believe” it was huh 🙂 but yeah that is truly is funky 

[[ video of students work with sound ]] : (All Together Now – Documentation of first year Research projects MA Spiel und Objekt: https://vimeo.com/340237179)

Description :  
Audience invited to give food and art to animals 
Then to ask forgiveness for Anthropocene 
Anna Vera Kelle & Leoni, shape and negotiate as agents 
(“Schule” “Press” desks) 
Resources are transferred to next generations of players 
A 5 channel installation 
By plugging in and out 
Material mediated knowledge object (charged) 
Actualizing our understanding of Mediterranean crisis of refugees ! 


****************************** questions ********************************* 

Question: architect – Stefan Farâmiță 
How would the work of the last video would be put in an architectural design context ? 
Answer: by stepping away from academia logic, towards what humans are in reality, using playing 
I believe : when people can lithen they can be truthful to themselves, can try things 
Architects can be the best at playing citizens unhappy with architects 
His talk highlights that :
Not one single thing happen emmerged, but many things, chaotic, many ideas
Very idea will be good and bad
Like a pharmakon / poison or medicament
Its about negotiations, not outcome.
– cool answer 

Question: How are the roles assigned? Randomly ? Fictional ? 
Start form 0? Is there a set of instructions? 
Does it have to do something with my current situation?
Answer: importance for him that people have “”some sort of choice””
People need a choice.
Persuasion, ask questions to change perception 
Who wants to have a normal life? Instead of who wants to be a worker? 
That’s why its theater not science! 
The play aspect is most important <3 
[disclaimer] we are not therapists 
Playfulness of the situation is established 

Latour, human and non-humans, assemblages
Methods of controverse:
1. Do you use controverse? 
2. (reading) about negotiation, harmonies, resonance, Hartmund Rosa -> also used ? 
Resonance would be interesting to apply to this work yes, thinking about it 
Latour… yes and no, love and hate, (Comment: What, Stengers !) 
Find people with various backgrounds,  
Reference : Karin Knorr Cetina

(comment: Super nice way to give a reference!)

Question (Tincuta): Do you collect those situated situations?
Answer: Amazing question, ask the students 
A story about rumours in a theater play. Uh.. Uh 
65 persons decides of a setting in a bar, but 3 are not part, have to understand after how Things are set 
People argue  
Things are so complex to not been able to be documented 
But there’s a press core…  

Question: Milgram experiment? Old psychological situation to improve authority 
Answer: There is a tape on Milgram instruction on how to play 
Yes, there is a link
Do we do it reverse? or do we do the same?
Situation change, situations not reproducible  
Therefore non reproducible data were obtained 
Latour makes the analogy of science as theater setting 

Question: not a question / but a comment 
There are no borders, reality play, more than stage play 
How important is the real time?    
Answer: I want to have one-two beers with you <3 
We know who to ask for a 3 beer 
turn- beer- based 
Importance of rythm  
Machinex? immersive theater when they have a bar, talk to the audience as friends 
Where meta- discussion can happen.