We will meet to reflect upon the future of theater, performance arts and rituals in an age of algorithms, data and various attempts to virtualize every atom and moment of our lived experiences. Will our genuine expressions and experience of human agency in wondering, experimenting and even disobedience survive in the metaverse, ML and AIs driven systems or become predictable effects of new infrastructures? Is there an emerging posthuman aesthetics and creativity that we are liberating? To answer some of these questions, we will map the recent Czech experiments and experience with scenic and performance arts. Will the divide between online and offline, pixels and atoms, synthetic and real actors and public blend and even disappear? Will it provoke and generate unique artistic experiments never imagined before? The virtual and synthetic images, attempts at AI simulations and digital fakes, but also NFT powered Metaverse objects and avatars create a new stage for the performances but they are also disturbing and limiting. Their potential for monitoring and surveillance seem to transform the whole world into a theater stage (theatrum mundi) where we have to permanently wear a mask and learn how to perform or resist the roles assigned by algorithms. To understand the old and new expressions of agency, action and even disobedience in these virtual and hybrid spaces, we will compare the work of various artists and try to imagine together the future theatrum mundi beyond the algorithms.
The Show Must Go On/OFFline online discussion series, featuring guests drawn from the ranks of theatre and dance artists, curators, cultural managers and theorists from the Czech Republic and abroad, addresses the performing arts’ sensitivity and responsiveness to contemporary social issues. Key themes include the adaptation of theatre, dance and contemporary circus to the virtual environment as a result of the anti-pandemic measures and questions related to the sustainability of our current quality of life and of the performing arts themselves. While it seems that the critical need for social change discussed in the fields of ecology, economics, politics and culture has been overshadowed in recent months by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, concerns about the sustainability of the field itself are gaining ground in the performing arts. Does a hybrid existence in real and virtual space amount to a dead-end for disciplines that rely on audience contact, or might it open up new worlds and possibilities? Will spectators stay at home forever? How are artists, organisers of cultural events, public funding bodies and arts education institutions responding to this crisis? How are they orientating themselves? What do they believe in and where are they headed? How do they communicate? In dialogue with our guests, we will try to map the performing arts’ emerging strategies and first responses to this global paradigm shift.
This series is produced by ATI’s International Cooperation Department as part of the Promotion of Czech Performing Arts Abroad program and in collaboration with the European project Create to Connect -> Create to Impact and the Performing Arts Central Europe (PACE.V4) network, with support from the International Visegrad Fund. Webinars take place on the Zoom platform every month and are held in English. Viewers have the chance to ask guests questions during the discussions and recordings of the webinars are made available on the jsmeIDU Youtube channel.
• Dita Malečková (CZ) / lecturer, researcher, writer, independent AI researcher
in collaboartion with
• Denisa Reshef Kera (IL/CZ) / founder of the independent Future Design & Policy lab based in Tel Aviv https://dando.design/
• David Košťák (CZ) / playwright, translator, dramaturg of Theatre LETÍ
• Ondřej Holba (CZ) / director, lecturer, contact juggler, actor in the Circus Sacra theater
• Radim Vizváry (CZ) / mime, director, choreographer, pedagogue, artistic director of Laterna magika
• Rudolf Rosa (CZ) / robopsychologist, lecturer at the Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics, Charles University
• Jan Mocek (CZ) / theatre maker, visual artist, a member of IN-SITU - European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space
• Jan Tyl (CZ) / AI expert, Alpha Industries CEO
• Johann Wolfgang Goethe / digital being
• Václav Havel / digital being
• The meeting will take place on ZOOM; it is not necessary to download the application in advance.
• After filling out the registration form, you will receive an e-mail with a link to access the webinar.
• If possible, please register 15 minutes before the start of the event to allow time to complete the registration process.
• The webinar will be held in English.