„Take a Number, Leave Your Head“, Klaus Obermaier & Ars Electronica FuturelabPresented in the frame of the Ars Electronica Festival 2014

FRI, Sept. 5 & SAT, Sept. 6, 2014, 5 PM
Ars Electronica Futurelab, Studio
Max. 50 persons (registration form tbd)


With the second micro-performance of the art-based research project (St)Age of Participation, Klaus Obermaier and the Ars Electronica Futurelab have recourse to a historical movement that still packs a punch even as it nears 100: the anti-art movement Dada with its predilection for the anarchic and absurd. 98 years after the first Salon Dada in Zürich’s Cabaret Voltaire, the experimental piece entitled Take a Number, Leave Your Head takes the Dada mentality that once rained down abuse on the bourgeoisie and lets it loose on our high-tech present.

Club Absurd
In the basement beneath the Ars Electronica Futurelab, a temporary club will be set up featuring a bar and interactive zones in which visitors can get acquainted with Dada poetry. The space’s soundscape can be distorted by mere gestures. And suddenly the ludicrous dramatics begin—actors and dancers morphing into virtual copies of those present. In this dramaturgical setting, audience members together with professional performers and high-tech tools create a setting for digital and physical absurdities.

How do you get the audience involved?
Since 2011, the project team of (St)Age of Participation has been investigating new possibilities of audience participation in stage-based media art. What dramaturgical factors have to be considered when spectators co-determine in real time what occurs in a performance? Which interfaces are suited to the collective design of a work’s sounds, visuals and other content? Can participation heighten an audience’s emotional involvement in an artistic experience? And can sustained involvement even be expected of spectators, or do they also need places for retreat and phases of passive reception?

Experimental micro-performances
To wrestle with these issues, several approximately half-hour-long micro-performances are developed in the frame of the art-based research project. They are conceived as dramaturgical proving grounds. A first series of micro-performances entitled Letterbox was staged in 2012 at Deep Space in the Ars Electronica Center.

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