In August 2011 I will be travelling to Gottelborn in Germany to participate in the International Interaktions Lab, lead by Johannes Birringer.

Located in a converted coalmine in the West German region of Saarland, the centre is equipped with technical facilities as well as live-in accomodation for artists attending the lab. It was set up by the multi-media performance artist Johannes Birringer, who co-ordinates and leads the annual research lab event.

During ten days in August, the international Interaktionslabor in Göttelborn collaborates with XMLab and Donlon Dance Company on creating a new PERFORMANCE ACADEMY, a shared platform of workshop spaces and research facilities for performance-media design, interactional and wearable concepts, and investigations of gestural processes, protocols, and social choreography.

With its partners XMLab and Donlon Dance Company, Interaktionslabor shares the sense that the concept of research should be opened up (again), and aims to acknowledge the relevance of experimental treatments of actuality – of forms of collaborative creation – that may take us beyond the perspectives and protocols of (established academic) inquiry as we know it. Which is why we have chosen gesture as focus of the inaugural workshop – gesture as practice that is at once aesthetic, corporeal, and political.

Interaktionslabor is a laboratory for interactive media, design, and performance, founded by Johannes Birringer in 2003 on the site of the former coal mine Göttelborn (Saarland), and developed over the past nine years into an annual summer residency-workshop for performers, media artists, filmmakers, engineers and writers from different artistic and cultural backgrounds, always open to participants’ ideas, processes and project proposals that nurture collaboration and research as well as the building of transcultural networks. At the end of the workshops, which are housed in the beautifully renovated industrial spaces of the Coal Mine (participants also live in new Guest House on the mine campus), Interaktionslabor has exhibited works in progress as well as co-produced new installations or performance later premiered in other countries. The lab has been invited to Brasil and the US, and now enters into a new phase of collaborative research exchange and partnership in the Greater Region.

Interaktionslabor 2011 Press Release

Birringer’s focus on the artistic questions that arise from working in a digital environment are particularly relevant to my work at this stage. My ten day stay will be documented on this blog.

The travel cost of this project is supported by the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund. The research laboratory itself is covered by a bursary from Dance Digital.