The Series of Encounter & Exchange Session:

Illumination in Darkness

As the natural illumination that we experience as human beings from the direct sunlight gets shorter, we approach a new edition of our artists - in - residence programma Welcome To Our Guesthouse. During this edition, with the overarching theme Illumination in Darkness, we focus on the interconnected nature of our actions, responses and decisions that cause different impacts. We aim to examine the function of the natural phenomenas light and darkness in our daily life and question the conditions that controle to a large extend how we work, create art and live: Why we need Darkness as well as Light? How to imagine our temporary environment and transform it into an interconnected system where light and darkness weave a social system based on interconnectedness, acknowledgements and care? We propose those key questions in our current shared moment. Considering we are all different branches of a larger performance art community, we will work together within our programme that could combine our focuses, actions and expand our future perspectives.

From this starting point and with the main attitude of learning by doing we designed The Series of Encounter & Exchange Sessions in collaboration with Warming Up Rotterdam of Theater Rotterdam. During this week, as the starting point of our AIR programme Welcome To Our Guesthouse, the makers encounter frequently for artistic exchange sessions and performance visits.

Programme of The Series of Encounter & Exchange Session: Illumination in Darkness 

Day 1

Tuesday / 5th October 2021

12:00 welcome and short introduction 
13:00 - 14:00 

Studio Vist: Samara Hersch / Body of Knowledge 
As an invitation we will borrow our bodies collectively to participate in a    
process of a research around remote performance.



15:00 - 18:00

and then the doors opened again – unfolding the archive / Simone
On April 8, 2020, in the middle of the first Covid-19 wave in Europe, artist David Weber-Krebs invited his colleagues around the world to participate in a collective act of imagination. He asked them via e-mail to imagine the future of theatre from that specific moment when theatres were closed and it was not clear how and when, and even if they would open again.

This invitation brought forth 75 visions by artists, scholars, curators and spectators who gave their response to the question, !What will happen on your first theatre visit after the lockdown?”. Their responses were published as a compilation of visions in a handbook for theatre after Covid-19, edited together with dramaturg Simone Basani: and then the doors opened again.

From March 2021, starting from the content of the book itself, Weber-Krebs and Basani have engaged spectators in different countries to think further about spectatorship. New speculations, reflections and narrations have been produced through a series of collective workshops, individual talks and walks through cities.

These materials are going to be unfolded in Rotterdam. Simone Basani invite/s a group of spectators to gather for a three-days workshop. In this research workshop, every spectator takes care of a question or a key-concept coming from the materials of a previous spectator in order to challenge it, explore it, articulate it. Every spectator (or sub-group) can choose the medium they find the most coherent for this exploration: fiction or essay writing, choreoography, sound / light installation, institutional critique.

Workshop dramaturgy Simone Basani and David Weber-Krebs
Assistance Clara Cucchi

Simone Basani (IT/BE)’s dramaturgical and curatorial practice explores participatory strategies and remembrance/forgetting processes. The main outcomes of his practice are site-specific performances, written texts, and services that nobody requested. As a dramaturg, in the last years, he has been collaborating with David Weber-Krebs and Heike Langsdorf.


Note: On the 14th of October, prior to the performance Tonight Lights Out by David Weber Krebs, the group will host a larger conversation including a small audience of Warming Up Rotterdam where some outputs might be shared publicly.

Day 2

Wednesday / 6th October 2021 

10:00 - 12:00 and then the doors opened again – unfolding the archive / Simone
Lunch Break  
12:30 - 14:30

Biomyhtography / Kopano Maroga
Using the literary techniques of biomythography (coined by Audre Lorde) and critical fabulation (coined by Saidiya Hartman) this workshop seeks to translate these literary techniques into techniques for developing performative strategies. How can these systems of enmeshing biography, historical archive, mythology and fabulation act as a mechanism to jeopardise the status of the event, to displace the received or authorised account, and to imagine what might have happened or might have been said or might have been done" (Hartman, 2008). What can this  destabilisation produce in the way of a "slippage" of assumptions and rigid
 meaning making and identity making processes.

This workshop will consist of a presentation on the processes described above of 45 minutes followed by a physical exploration of these techniques in 40 - 50 minute sessions. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes to move and dance in, to bring a bottle of water and something to write on and with

15:00 - 18:00

Our Skin / Rita Vilhena & Yael Karavan
Rita Vilhena and Yael Karavan will guide the local community in a performative action with the intention of raising awareness and motivating the creative thinking of the participants on the theme of the film: how we influence each other - Body-Earth, Earth-Body.

The presentation of the film Our Skin on the 7th of October will be accompanied by a performance that results from a workshop with the community for all ages. This project is part of the universe of public art, with the intention of reaching out to all people, regardless of their financial   means, class or artistic inclinations. We intend to bring back nature to different urban spaces, where it once existed and thus remind us that we  are not independent from it.

Day 3

Thursday / 7th October 2021 

10:00 - 12:00    and then the doors opened again – unfolding the archive / Simone
Lunch break  
13:00 - 14:30  Collectieve session with participants 
15:00 - 18:00 Our Skin / Rita Vilhena & Yael Karavan workshop 
18:00 - 19:00  Collective Dinner 
19:00 - 20:00 Warming Up and preparation with participants
20:00 - 21:00 Our Skin - Video Art, Dance - workshop - Performance / Warming Up

Day 4

Friday / 8th October 2021 

13:29 (solar noon)

19:03 ( sunset )

Dreammachine/ Tools For Action+Floor in collaboration with Mala Kline

The provisional title of the work is Dreammachine, referencing the interactive sculpture of Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville from 1960: a cut-up cylinder with a light bulb inside that turned around. The result is a
 stroboscopic effect of 78 pulse per seconds that let your brain activity  synchronise with the frequency of the light flashes. The ´scientific` result is a state of wakeful relaxation as your bioelectric brain activity calms down to the frequency of so-called alpha waves. Here we will be part of an  research led by Tools For Action + Floor and Mala Kline.

Mala Kline uses Saphire™ to facilitate individual and communal dreaming in order to create unique singular worlds weaved from and generated through the language of our dreaming. Her work is a constant practice of presence, an ongoing return into the creative space where dreaming and the here and now, juxtaposed, continuously penetrate and inform each other

Day 5

Saturday / 9th October 2021

11:00 - 14:30 Laura Nsengiyumva and Mathieu Charles investigate the role of light, color and space in the Arts from an anti-colonial aesthetic, content and practice.

During this lecture, they both explain their own artistic research and the interfaces between their work.

 #decolonisation #arts #light #space #color
15:00 - 18:00 Let’s Lit! And stay with the trouble! 
We will question, discuss the history and politics of technologies that we  take for granted for years and experiment with theatre lighting. During this experimental space we are going to be guided by lightening experts Axel Dikkers and Andi Krijgsman through dynamics of over exposure and underexposure on different skin colours on stage. How new technologies can be appropriated by creating alternative light zones than usual in color, perspectives and bodies in motion. Lets stay with the trouble !
18:00 - 19:01 Dinner
19:01 - 20:00 Sunset walk 
20:00 Performance visit: A Revue - Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe 

Day 6

Thursday / 14 October 2021 

19:00 - 20:15 a larger conversation including a small audience of Warming Up Rotterdam where some outputs of the session with Simone Basani might be shared publicly.
  Performance visit: Tonight Lights Out - David Weber Krebs 

The artist-in-residence programme Welcome To Our Guesthouse - organised by Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam - is a part of ACT, a European cooperation project on ecology, climate change and social transition. In an era of climate breakdown, pandemics, mass extinction and growing inequalities, we join our forces in a project on hope: connecting broad perspectives with specific, localised possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we ACT. 


Tonight, Lights out

Practical information

All programme will take place at our building of Theater Rotterdam at Willem Boothlaan 8 in Rotterdam. Each participant will choose a plant in the building and imagine a protocol of tools to dialogue with it - or being and living together - and relating to other plants. Every participant brings one book, or written essay, inspirations or a source to introduce the relation of their artistic practice with the concept of Light and Darkness.

The Series of Encounter & Exchange Session is moderated by Mathieu Charles ( the guardian of light ) and Melih Gencboyaci (the guardian of darkness ). Let’s seek to shed a little more light into the darkness!