EMERGENCE ROOM #2 BERLIN
In 2011, I was invited by Kattrin Deufert and Thomas Plischke (aka deufert&plischke) to take part in the second edition of the Emergence Room (ER). As the artists themselves write about it:
“The mission of the Emergence Room is to create the Emergence Room. Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. […] The Emergence Room is a space to face arachnophobia by spinning, weaving, knitting, stitching together. Everybody that enters the Emergence Room is co-responsible for its creation. Everybody can contribute. The Emergence Room is a space of silence and proliferation.”
The second edition of the ER took place in the courtyard of the Uferstudios2 in Berlin, from August 18 – September 2, 2011, as a collaboration between deufert&plischke, the Inter-University Center for Dance HZT, the Advancing Performing Arts Project (apap), and the Tanzfabrik Berlin, and it included contributions by Anat Eisenberg, Diego Gil, Juan Gabriel Harcha, An Kaler, Ana Laura Lozza, Carlos Manuel Oliveira, Felix Ott and Philipp Stich, and lectures by Prof. Dr Barbara Baert, Marcus Steinweg and deufert&plischke. The ER#2 Berlin’s spatial setup consisted of four caravans arranged in a circle, creating in this way a fifth inner space capable of hosting temporary events such as lectures, exhibitions, meetings and performances. Inside the caravans visitors could encounter a variety of artefacts, not only collected and created by deufert&plischke, but also created by other artists who were invited to contribute with whatever they found adequate. The main ideas around which all these contributions revolved are synthesized in the myth of Arachne, “the female artist who unveiled hegemonic power in representation, the woman that was punished for her artwork and transformed into a spider.” From this myth, the actions of “spinning, weaving, knitting and stitching” were retrieved as modes of collective production. Visitors were invited to use the available tools for performing such actions and, in this way, to leave traces of their participation at the ER’s site. Each person’s marks became embedded in a web of inscriptions left by others, from which they acquired a situated value. As such, authorship was not a factor of valuation, even more because, from the moment of their inscription in a context of collective participation, all traces were somewhat anonymous. There was thus a seamless register of traces (from artists and visitors) in a space which proposed “that one can touch things, move in the space, leave notes, document what is there.” The fundamental character of this reticulation, more than being functional, consisted in how traces resonated with one another, either through expression or through the ideas conveyed. With such openness, the ER revealed itself as a site where experience could unfold in unpredictable ways, as a complex of “environments that facilitate, produce and demand a dense complexity of inter- and cross- connectivity, of processes and partaking.”
My own contribution to this edition of the ER involved creating a document of it, that is, creating a site of memory capable of re-enacting this installation’s characteristic emergence of patterns. As such, the ER posed the following problem: if emergence is its main characteristic, how does one create the necessary conditions for the iteration of such process in the form of a document? How can one allow for the emergence of unpredictable patterns in a finite system of reference? In order to essay a resolution for this problem, a collection of sounds, videos, photos, texts, etc., was used as content for a digital database, the algorithms of which relate all registers to one another in multiple combinations according to the way in which such registers were indexed (as a result from observing the relation between the objects in the ER itself).