Ladies and Gentlemen, some of you know a short film of  John Smith "The girl chewing gum", some of you not.......... But this is not important...Important is what I see in front of me now
What do you see in front of you?

Do you see the light on the white wall?  Wonderful!
I deliver my presence today through my voice and through the light…. "
I suppose many of you if not everyone are artists.  That means you are familiar with my further descriptions. I would like to start with a question that is a driving force for the whole body of my artistic research. “Immersion” in the reality....How does it work?
  I already have a risky answer.  There is no clear boundary between a person and the world. More over this “immersion” in the world may have different qualities. “Resonance” is one of them – a good one.
I wouldn’t mention this topic if it was not related to my personal experience based on artistic experimentation. In the end of second semester I came up with a question whether a state is a filter to perceive the world. Now I am convinced that the state is not only a filter of perception. It is quality with which we create reality minute by minute.

Probably “resonance with the world” has something in common with a state of inspiration or revelation. Some describe it as if  suddenly you see a hidden beauty and poetry of things, have deeper understanding of the processes, want to do something, be active, you have no fear, you do things you usually don’t do and things work out, you have some luck, you get the information you are looking for…. Or the world reflects your demands and desires.

I reformulate the research question. “If I play with the world will it play with me?”
appearance and  performative actions, that were not so performative…somewhere in between. It felt like “tickling” society with injecting small anomalies.   I suppose for that reason we know the expression “mad artist”.  It had something in common with inventing personal rituals. Once we tried a derive with a friend both dressed absolutely the same way. Second time I painted a chair with the same striped pattern as my dress in the yard of Uferstudios. I took a ride in u-bahn with that chair, drawing the same pattern on a cover of a book… What else, wearing a very beautiful pyjama with a coat, wearing a costume of a rabbit or a golden suit with a cooking pot on my head in public spaces, once I even came with a big knife in Uferstudios.
Was my intention to affect people? Yes and no. Was my intention to affect myself? Yes and no.  What was the aim?  I believed in the Idea of a “boomerang”. I bring something in the world and then through ungraspable und nonlinear net of connections I have it back probably in a different shape (something happens to me). It is important to say. While playing with norms of behaviour I was not interested just in attraction of attention or in destabilising conventions. I was playing not in a way to be taken to the jail. I was looking for hidden affinities in reality and wanted to be hit by unexpected responses.  

And now … important moment


But let’s come back to the derive.  Derive for me is arranging the context of a thought and letting the thought be inflamed by the context.

You go for a walk with a friend. It is important to have an exciting topic to discuss. In my case it has always been either artistic or philosophical. Sooner or later you start to meet answers to your questions in people, situations or coincidences.  Soon your thought comes in a “resonance with the world”. And something that people call chance, small coincidences or magic or tricks of subconscious start to happen while you are talking or thinking about them.   To put in other words “something” that is on a border between the reality and fiction starts to happen. Something that is a little bit weird to be true but real.

As you may already noticed, my filter of perception and a quality of actions are defined by a concept of a GAME.
I am playing…..
playing and improvisation as something that doesn’t separate art and life.

playing and experimentation as practices to research unpredictable.

I figured out some rules.

(1)   As it happens in many games there should be some risk on a personal level to make it all work out.

(2)   A small, slightly visible deviation from the social order as a starting point is good

(3)    You need to “be open”

(4)    Poetic mood helps a lot

It is like a circle, an action creates a state, a state calls for an action.  If you want to warm up… to activate yourself, start playing, improvising, bring emotions, humour, do something that you are afraid to do or something that you have never done before.

Playing as practice brought me to the questions.

To what extent is the experience (unpredictability) arranged by chance or by subconscious choices?

To what extent can I provoke/invite coincidences in my life?

How a coincidence relates to an event and an insight?

As many of you already know my interest concerns the notion of EVENT.  It is a very subtle, vulnerable and intangible material to deal with. That is why the main focus of the research is in arranging circumstances for unexpected to happen. The question sounds as a paradox. HOW TO PREPARE TO UNPREDICTABLE?


Half of a year ago I was learning to interact with the audience through improvisation. As a performer I actively mastered unpredictable most of the time. .When I reached the point I realised that, my experience was the most exciting in comparison to their.  How could I create the same “parkour” experience for others?  How could I arrange the meeting between the audience and the unpredictable when people have more agency?

The answer was – to remove myself from the piece.  How…. To substitute myself with a devise (tool/score) or to substitute myself with other people.

First of all, I started to explore the device.  The word device I borrow from the research of Juan Dominguez and Co described in the book “Dirty room”.  Device is a structure that offers certain type of experience to the audience.

Device as set of rules of a game.

Device as a starting point of a game…

Device as something that points out that the game has already started…

My exploration started with tasks and envelopes. They were more or less direct, applied for actions or imagination.  I experimented a bit with a format and the atmosphere of delivering tasks. It could be me or not me (a person or a situation). Experimentations brought me to understanding that anything can be a task, or a score.

Yes… ANYTHING…. I hope you got me wright!

Language (text) is a good way to give a task, but very obvious and directive. Objects as tasks that provided wider range of possible interpretations, however also limited (a folk to eat, a coat to put on). Then I continued with setting situations (a dinner, a party) in theatrical or nontheatrical space. Soon it turned out that a situation also contains a restricted code of behaviour. Finally I came up with conclusion: the beauty of INTERPRETATION is more interesting than the precision of execution. That fact made new demands to me as an author. I had to invent a task/score/toy/situation that escapes clear interpretation and provides wide range of possible responses, “the toy that no one knows how to play”, “the entrance point to a game that nobody knows how to play”. At the same time this toy/game should be still recognised and noticed as a toy/game.  It opened up a new world for exploration for me as an author and a performer “the art of affection”, “the art of making CUEs”. I will tell about it later.

What else is important to tell about tasks?  In first semester while preparing a theatre piece I wanted to find a way how to distribute a concept (meaning) through different mediums: video, body movements, narratives, sound without explicitly pointing to a well-known description. This strategy appeared again in 301. This time applied not to the media but to the human actions and thoughts. It may sound quite unbelievable and fantastic

…But the idea of inception…

I hope someone has already started to think about the movie

How to suggest the action or an idea… or a focus of attention?                                                               How to bring to a certain mood without direct instruction?  

That impossible question became another driving force of my research and caused an amount of theatre experiments.  On the one hand it may be compared to a butterfly effect. On another I see it as a net that creates itself.

Imagine. You wake up in the morning, you get out of your house, you see people in a café, suddenly one of them smiles at you…. You are touched. You become more happy. While continuing walking you always recollect the face of a stranger. You take a tram… It feels like a day is going to be good. You think about beauty and people. You start to notice that people in a tram are indeed very beautiful. You are touched to extent that you make a decision to go to the cinema instead of a school.  Then . Baaam! What if the smiling stranger was a planted performer?  What would I do as a planted performer if my task is to implicitly suggest you to go to the cinema? What if café was a device to send people to the cinema? What device should work in a way to send people to the cinema?

It was an obsession and it still is. I perceived the world as an endless net of games, each point is a part of something else, the beginning and the end at the same time. I call it rhyzomatic thinking.  How does it deal with a performance and tasks? 

I tried to distribute an idea in tasks and experience for participants. For example.. During 1 hour of performance participants execute tasks that are designed in a way to bring their attention to a dance and to Evgenia. Then on the way home participants see me dancing on the street. How to arrange activities in order to make meanings resonate?  Necessary to say the “convergation”, the idea of bringing an attention of many participants to one specific thing never fully worked out. “Divergation” worked much better and easier. I am talking about the interpretation now but from another perspective.  The less obvious the task becomes the more interpretations it allows the more it becomes a CUE rather than a task (a concept borrowed from Diego Agullo). It also works when the task is too easy to be real. It is always necessary to find a balance.

An art of giving CUEs is my sweet nightmare. Probably, because I am the one who easily gets caught up. To give a cue is the same as to tune 2 complex systems together: the Cue and the receiver (a person, an audience or yourself).  If a cue is too obvious for the receivers it will not work. Or it might happen that they don’t even notice it. It is important that the receivers are sensitive enough, aware enough to recognize a cue.  It has something in common with a mother who hears breathing of her sleeping child from another room. This tuning goes through setting up predispositions or working with those that are already there. 

It is like “you will never see a rainbow if you are looking down”. It is a quote of Charlie Chaplin. Who noticed this writing on the asphalt in the yard of Uferstudios?

The most extreme way is when a receiver becomes sensitive to the extent they don’t need a cue at all or notice cues everywhere. It is close to paranoia or an artistic madness. Or this is a moment when the world starts to play with you.

How to tune this awareness? practices of self-activation.  Or in case of a performance - learning or training possible audience.

I want to remind you that things I am telling you now are the outcome of a practical research. During this semester I was not only injecting anomalies on the streets of Berlin and in Uferstudios, but continued arranging games and experiments in theatre in Czech Republic.  There I had an opportunity to explore second way of substitution a performer, the way to do it through people.  In reality of production a theatre piece those people were collaborators: a light designer, a musicians and a performer. The idea was to provide the agency to them, to find a substitution not only in a device (a mechanism), but in human beings. I wanted to test a situation when I make relations between audience/participants and me through a chain of relations with creative team.

A strategy to work with a dream team.

1.      Be an example of playful attitude

2.      Slightly play with people and invite them in your game. Probably they will respond

3.      Let them feel the taste of a game until they start to play by themselves

4.      Provide them with amount of freedom to improvise during the time of performance

It seems that you have already forget about the question…. What question?  “How to make the world playable? If you want to talk about it, please call  0 163 927 24 58.

e arrived in a small city in Check Republic to make a research in a residence and deliver a performance for local high school community festival. The aim was

to find a format of a participative event that happens in a traditional black box theatre

and to arrange something that is not expected neither for the artists nor for the participants to happen within this event.

You wouldn’t believe. We made 8 performances in 12 days looking for answers to these questions.  We made small interventions in local schools. We arranged test performances and invited “test audience” to learn more about them, to tune the format of the event and…. (the most important) to secretly train them. Finally we came up with a format improvisational performance for the theatre space. This format resembled a game and put into play conventions of the traditional theatre practice. I believe you have already found some similarity to what has happened and still happening….

Attention please….

A period of experimentation brought more profound understanding about the dispositive of theatre, social conventions, social and cultural differences, about behavioural tendencies of the participants and the performers.  We became aware of implicit function of theatre structure.  I am talking now about 2 worlds separated with the 4th wall.  Both worlds arranged by this social practice have hierarchy of roles and strict rules. This investigation allowed me later to continue the research as a solo unmediated performer who works as a guerrilla: inside the theatre but against it, who inject anomaly, merges concepts, roles and rules. To start develop a solo that works because it comes in dissonance with the theatre apparatus.

Btw, when I was a teenager, I was strongly affected by 2 movies. Guess what… “The Matrix” and “The fight club”.

As you have already understood, our so called “games” became powerful research tool. Each time a new try out happened we had more information not only about visitors, but about ourselves. Many ideas and devices didn’t work. I have to confess.  I have not managed to create a good device yet.  In a situation of self-fulfilling game sometimes “triggers” appear. I suppose triggers are those mysterious cues: moments when you can’t help but jump into the action. They can be different. I bring an example.

The hole in time and space titled “nothing happens”. The other is “Oh! God! Everything goes wrong!” – these two are triggers that work for performers.

But there are others.  Those work both for performers and for participants.  Sometimes performers almost subconsciously jump into action taking away possibility from less experienced participants to interpret and react. So did I by jumping in to prevent the “failure of the device” and by that killed the device.

In the situation of destabilised theatre structure that can be literally described as on group of people preparing an exciting improvisational game for another group of people, the concept of “rehearsal” didn’t work anymore. There can be a test, an exercise or an experiment.

I open up rules of the game a little bit. Usually we have a fixed beginning and a score for ourselves: we function as a sensitive theatre mechanism as an environment that reflects intentions and actions of participants, we function as an improvisational frame that creates a certain context for the real life happening in certain time and space. Playful theatre as a metaphor of the playful world.

This situation reminds of a concept of the “open work” (Umberto Eco) isn’t it?  It becomes difficult to call people who are engaged in it “participants” … They are not just participants, they are players, collaborators, co-authors… As you are today, by the way.

And now. Please… Look and listen and observe very attentively….

As you probably noticed, there is more than one game happening. There are always many of them happening on different levels at the same time……………….. and often one inside another. These games affect performers same strong as participants.  But it is already not clear who is who… Isn’t it? Probably we all need to recall rhizomatic thinking now to find out who has started this game.  

To move to the advanced level we need to detect games and to navigate the attention between layers.

But before we do it please, let me finish with boring things.

My art became a research on reality. Huge invisible frames of social order became more tangible for me. I believe that in my chase for unpredictable to happen I should go towards them.  These huge frames that create reality are probably not as solid as it seems.

1.       This presentation is a demonstration of an excerpt of my research

2.       This presentation is a demonstration of the experiment and the experiment in a way that “open work” is  always remains an experiment.

3.       Do I work with representation? Yes and no. Yes in a way that “playable theatre” is a symbol of “playable world”.   No, because I try to create a device that produces something in between reality and fiction.

4.       Is it a participatory art? Yes. But participation is not the ultimate goal.  Participation is a tool as long as  I research something that happens in shared reality (time and space)

5.       It has something in common with relational art. My practice touches human relations, but human relations and social conventions are not in focus of my attention

6.       My research is going around a question of “negative capability” (John Keats). I am still researching the same “hole” as I did in first semester but from another perspective. If in the first semester I made a piece – an artistic demonstration of my intuitive feeling, in second  - I made a performance – I arranged this hole for myself, in third semester I investigate tools to open this hole for something to happen between others.  I can call it a “gap” a space of “ambiguity”, feeling of cognitive dissonance, tension, suspense, electricity in the air, losing ground under one’s feet.

7.       In unbalanced situation when the gravity of understanding is lost when everything can be everything the question HOW arises. My suggestion is art and humour.