Future Bodies

Imaginations of the future have something paradoxical within. They are aiming towards a future time that hasn’t arrived yet but are produced in the now and based on the past. We build stories, films and literatüre based on what we have yet now and what we have in our memories.

This point of view has led us to prepare a one-week intensive workshop called "Future Bodies" for University of arts "Kollision Woche 2018". Coming from different disciplines, we wanted to see the possibility of building a future fiction based on what we have in our biographical histories.

During this one week workshop, we introduced the students to different disciplines and working methods. Coming from a theatre background, Gudrun Herrbold worked deeply with the students using biographical theatre methods in order to find their personal connections with their imagined future. Işıl Eğrikavuk introduced different ways and alternative methods used by contemporary artists of today in order to imagine another body. Wenzel Mehnert worked with students by introducing them to science fiction literature and theories and asking them to create their own possible scenarios. In the end all these different perspectives led students to imagine their own personal body in an imagined future.

Throughout the exercises, we played games, meditated in the space, worked with groups, made short performances and developed future imaginations. Each exercise built on the top of the other, thus leaving the students in the end with a lot of new material and leading them to decide how to craft this material into a body of an artwork.

The Kollisionwoche is an intense period. Having 24 students from different disciplines, we really wanted to understand what it means working with people from all various backgrounds. We had actors, dancers, media students, stage design, visual communication students and architects. This multi disciplinarity really helped the students to look at the material they learned from different angles, and in many moments they also challenged each-other during the class discussions. This also brough another need to surface, which is the need to work together with people from different disciplines.

Bringing together this need of being together with what they learned throughout the week, the students all together decided to do one single performance which included everyone together on the stage. Building from the individual stories they produced during the week, the students put together a choreography where each of them impersonalized a newly imagined body, which is deeply embedded in their past, yet connected to the future.

The outcome was a 7 minute live performance on stage, which was carefully crafted within a day. This 7 minutes only shows a segment of the possibilities of working together in a single week. The alternatives are many and perhaps what is not shown on stage will manifest itself in yet other works,  which will be produced in the near future.

- Gudrun Herrbold, Işıl Eğrikavuk and Wenzel Mehnert