Was ist ein Frame? Theater und Netz Vol. 5

Einen der interessantesten Sätze, von denen die ich gehört habe, hat heute Klaus Lederer (Senator für Kultur und Europa, Berlin) gesagt: “Man muss auch in meinem Beruf die Möglichkeit des absoluten Scheiterns haben.” Dieser Satz ist im Kontext der Abschlussdiskussion des ersten Tages der Konferenz “Theater und Netz” und vor dem Hintergrund gefallen, dass wir das Recht zu scheitern für Kunst/Künstler einfordern, aber das auch für andere gelten sollte. Die Realitäten (und Fördermöglichkeiten) sind komplex. Der Mann hat Recht, denn Politiker stehen vor großen Aufgaben und den Titel Senatur für Kultur und Europa (Europa!) zu tragen, kann sicher eine Last sein. Die Erwartungen sind hoch. Um so spannender, dass Klaus Lederer gekommen ist und sich von seiner Neugierde treiben lässt.

Theater und Netz Vol. 5 – Behauptungsmaschinen: Fake, Fakten und Fiktionen. Das Feld wird schon seit einiger Zeit beackert. Die Theater haben (vermeindlich?) die Digitalisierung verschlafen (es stimmt wohl leider). Sie stehen in der Kritik museal zu bewaren, statt sich proaktiv mit dem gesellschaftlichen und wissenschaftlichen Fortschritt zu befassen. Virtuelle Welten, selbstfahrende Autos, Framing, Social-Media-Guidelines,…was haben all diese Themen mit Theater zu tun? Überspitzt gesagt, sitzen die überwiegend alten Intendanten/innen fest im Sattel, bestimmen was auf dem Spielplan steht und wollen möglichst jeden Satz vorher abgesegnet haben, obwohl sie nicht mal ein Smartphone richtig bedienen können. Die Dramaturgen sind viel zu zögerlich und Überforderung macht sich breit, angesichts der immer neuen digitalen Kanäle, die man nicht zu bespielen weiß. Den FSJlern in der Presseabteilung will man das Feld, die Inhalte für die facebook-Seite des Theaters gleich selbst zu produzieren, aber auch nicht alleine überlassen, denn die verstehen ja “vermeintlich” zu wenig von der Institution Theater, in der sie gelandet sind. Da posten die Pressemitarbeiter dann doch lieber selbst leidenschaftslos ein Mal pro Woche Premierenankündigungen auf facebook, die die meisten fallower aber wahrscheinlich mega langweilig finden werden. Alles viel zu vereinfacht und stimmt natürlich so nicht.

Frau Prof. Weling hat in ihrem Vortrag sehr klug dargelegt, dass ich mit dieser ironischen gemeinten Bestandsaufnahme leider nur dazu beitrage den Frame (hier: die Theater haben die Digitalisierung verschlafen) zu verankern. Alles klar!??? Nein, ich glaube, ich habe es noch nicht ganz begriffen, wie das mit dem Framing funktioniert. Metapher -Frame – Narrativ (eine Aneinanderreihung von frames). Nehmen wir ihr Sprachbeispiel “Flüchtlingswelle”. Der Frame wäre hier die Welle/Naturkatastrophe. Die Sprache impliziert eine vermeintlich Belastung. Einen Frame zu negieren bedeutet, ihn zu aktivieren. Wenn ich also etwas anderes erzählen will, dann brauche ich einen neuen Frame – ergo zum Beispiel: Die Theater treiben die Digitalisierung voran, weil sie mit Hackern, Programmierern und Neurowissenschaftlern Banden bilden. So, oder so ähnlich. Wäre doch schön.

Wie sagte Lukas-C. Fischer von der Internetredaktion der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung heute so schön: Der Mensch hat inzwischen nur noch eine Aufmerksamkeitsspanne von 7 Sekunden (der Goldfisch hat 8 Sekunden). Die jungen Leute suchen im Internet nach den Dingen so, wie sie sprechen, aber sie (die Theatermitarbeiter) schreiben im Internet so, als würden die Texte gedruckt werden. Youtube und Co funktionieren aber quassi wie ein sprechendes Selfie. Wie wir die Digitalisierung und andere gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen im Theater konkret und physisch erfahrbar machen und daraus einen Nutzen ziehen können, darüber gilt es weiter nachzudenken. Derweil forschen sie in den USA schon daran, wie man dem Menschen die Notwendigkeit zu schlafen austreiben kann, damit diese 24/7 Welt endlich wie geschmiert läuft. Ich sag nur eins: ich weiß, dass dieser Post zu lang ist und ich bin müde. Ich freu mich auf den zweiten Konferenztag morgen!

 

Spaziergänge durch Paris

Ich habe Zweitausendsieben in Paris gelebt und das ist schon eine Weile her. Die Stadt hat seitdem viel erlebt und dennoch kommt man am Gare de l’Est an und alles ist ganz entspannt. Ich bin letztes Wochenende durch St. Martin spaziert und kreuz und quer durch die Stadt. Der Place de la Republique ist jetzt geflastert und an der Seine sind die Uferstraßen – die Hauptverkehrsadern – nicht mehr nur im Sommer für einen Monat, sondern das ganze Jahr über gesperrt. Aus aller Welt reisen sie an, um dort spazieren zu gehen und ein Glas Wein bei Sonnenuntergang zu trinken. St. Chapelle, die Katakomben und das Musée de l’ Orangerie habe ich neu für mich entdeckt. Man kann in Paris wie immer hervorragend frühstücken und essen gehen. Für Courbevoir – mein altes Viertel – gibt es einen Stadtentwicklungsplan, inklusiver neuer Nahverkehrsanbindung. Es tut sich viel und für mich als Außenstehende herscht positive Stimmung, aber die Pariser sind nervös. Nach Trump ist sich keiner mehr sicher, ob Marin le Pen morgen nicht doch gewinnen könnte… Wenn man im Jardin des Tuilleries sitzt und die “Welt” beobachtet, hält man das nicht für möglich, aber wer weiß. Es gibt auch eine große unausgesprochene Enttäuschung, Ratlosigkeit, Überforderung und Müdigkeit. Man sieht das in den Gesichtern in der Metro. Ich werde morgen viel an unser Nachbarland denken…

In Dialogue with Dramaturgs or a huge backpack of useful and non-useful bits of information about a conference

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On my way to the Conference Day 1…the topic is present everywhere. How do you like this represenation of a body?

Who is that huge guy in the highly visible colorful jacket and what kind of group is the Secret Dramaturgs Society that I read about in the program? In retrospective I would like to share some impressions and thoughts about the conference „Body. Representation. Interaction. Difference.”, organized by the German Dramaturgs Society at the end of January in Hannover. This three day meeting once a year is always a highlight for me. You never know whom you will meet in the workshops and what will be the outcome of it all, but you know at least that all the people who show up (production dramaturges, directors, freelance actors, scientists, authors, publishers) love the performing arts and want to come up with new ideas for the future.

This year’s event dealt with questions like: What kind of bodies do we see on our stages? How come, that our ensembles get younger and younger (to pay them less and save money), while our society is getting older and older? Why are the minorities not represented? What about inclusion in the theater field? What structures and requirements are necessary backstage and on stage for a theater that hires disabled people and also produces performances for disabled people? Usually the conference produces a lot of questions and almost no answers, but the process is constructive. You start to think (about it) again.

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Conference Poster and main entrance to the venue Ballhof Eins

The performance that impressed me most this time was “Wrong” by Helmut Oehring with El Perro Andaluz and Christiana Schoenfeld (a deaf solist opera singer). I never thought about a concert, where a deaf singer would sing using sign language and it was a curious experience. I was able to hear the experimental music, but not able to understand the lyrics of the libretto, because I never learned sign language. To make it a bit more complicated the music was influenced and electronically blurred by a ring that the opera singer had on her finger. So she is not able to hear the music, but she has an influence on what I hear in the audience, because she as a performer is moving her hands all the time. On a second level the singer also produced sounds with her voice that she can’t hear to add another layer to this form of art for the audience that can hear. In the discussion afterwards they explained that the lyrics are so poetic that the singer has to invent new signs and gestures to express the content in a certain frame of time, which is predetermined by the composition of the music. The creative process therefore is comparable to all the other rehearsal forms of performing arts. I wonder how it is to play this concert for a deaf audience only, because from my point of view the orchestra makes no sense then, through the singer needs the signs from the conductor to know when she has to “sing” the lines with her hands. And what a moment to give applause in sign language, where you shake your hands in the air instead of clapping them. It moved me deeply, because I realized how important it is for me to hear and how irritating it was not to hear the final applause for a performance that was excellent.

My second highlight was a three hour workshop called “Rewriting Distance: dramaturgy as a somatic and creative practice”, given by Guy Cools, who is a dance dramaturg by training and now an Associate Professor for Dance Studies. I’m very thankful that he shared so many insights about his background and working methods, because he focuses on questions and self-critical reflections of the work of a dance dramaturg that I often struggle with myself. You know like the necessary invisibility of the dramaturgs contribution to the final work of art or the uncertainty what a dramaturg is doing at all during the process. There is no constant definition of Dramaturgy and that is the strength of the field, but it also makes it difficult to explain others what you do or what you maybe hope to do as a dance dramaturg in the future. It all depends on a trusting relationship between dramaturg and director or choreograph that needs to be established in the first place. We started with a twenty minute movement workout, followed by three practical exercises with the aim to reintegrate our own (dramaturg) bodies and to talk about the movement/learning processes after each step. In doing so, he gave us a practical experience of what it means to shift the focus of the work from supporting the actual production to supporting the creative process itself, which is now his main motivation to work. I will write about his workshop and some of the reflections in more detail in an extra post for those of you who are interested in dance dramaturgy. I also strongly recommend Guy Cools practice-based PhD on the relationship between dance and writing.

What else. I have seen performances every evening (more or less interesting ones like “Nussknacker und Mausekoenig”, a ballet by Joerg Mannes, “Amerika” by Franz Kafka and “Lehmann Brothers” by Stefano Massini / the youtube videos give a good impression) and I really liked Hannover and strolled around in the sunshine, whenever I had enough of the talking inside the walls. On the one hand it was too much input for one conference and on the other hand I was so grateful for the excessive demands. I really miss that time for discourse and reflection on what is going on and occupies our attention at work. So thanks to the awesome team for organizing this 60ies anniversary conference and I wish the new elected board of management all the best for the next (sixty) years of the German Dramaturgs Society. I missed out my chance to ask the huge guy in that colorful jacket who he is (perhaps you – my dear reader – know him), but I met a member of the group of the Secret Dramaturgs Society and they want to talk with us (webside in German only unfortunately).

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Strolling at the oldest traditional antique street market in Germany! I really like Hannover!

First Lines after Trump

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Me in San Francisco last summer (before Trump)!

Difficult times, confusing news, a lot of new executive orders. He really said that? He really signed that anti-abortion order. Let me double check this…what the f*** is going on.  I compared the inauguration speechs of Obama and Trump. You could write a theater play about that drama. The good news is, that people arround the world started to demonstrate (Kiwis and Aussie’s being the first ones on the streets), Madonna called for a peaceful revolution and we should all help her and Michael Moore (love his morning-after to-do-List!) to let it happen. I wish I could write like Elfriede Jelinek…you know like fallowing 10 media channels at the same time and writing the shit out of it, while all this is happening. But I prefer research, I want to understand things, I get tired…and all this is overwhelming me at the moment. I’m paralyzed. Tomorrow I will take a breath and drive to a conference in Hannover. It’s a conference for theater dramaturges in Germany and the topic is “Body, representation, interaction and difference.” Trump changed my whole perspective on this, because he is playing with and questioning all of these topics. Whom does re represent? What can I expect from a President? Is he interested in interaction?  How do we stand up for difference these days? He is that kind of a Trickster figure I hoped would never ever be in power again. Fallow me the next few days, if you are interested in the outcomes of the conference and please comment and share intersting articles – especially, if you are from the US. It’s difficult for me to keep track from Germany. Thank you and take care! 

 

The Golden State – California

What’s up? Everything good? You tried your first ginger bread jet? I did and that means it’s December folks. It’s been a while since I wrote my last post. My trip to California this summer was literally a hot highlight and I still want to share some impressions, thoughts and tips with you. I desperately need to remember these sunny days to better survive good cool Germany at the moment. So let’s catch up on this! We went hiking and camping and also spent a few nights in Motels and Hostels.

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Las Vegas

I flew in to Las Vegas from Frankfurt with Condor (cheap and good, but you pay extra for vegetarian food, which I think is unfair). The long flight and the air-conditioning killed me for a few days, but after that it was great. We rented a car and it was kind of a slow road trip that started with the “Valley of Fire” in Nevada (Valley of fire state park) and “The Death Valley” in California.

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Valley of Fire in Nevada
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Amargosa’s Opera House in the dessert

California experienced the fifth very dry summer in a roll and you most likely heard about the fires around Los Angeles. However we were very lucky and had no problems. 40-some degrees are really a challenge for me, but the experience is impressive and California deserves the nickname. You drive for hours through a dessert-like environment. The colors are fascinating. Once we passed a prison on our way to the Death Valley and I was wondering how it must be for the people to serve a sentence there. How does the isolation and the silence effectuate the souls? Then all of a sudden you reach a petrol station and you wonder that there are so many people around that you missed out on the road. Always feels like your car is the only car until you reach a car park. They sold all kinds of alien souvenirs at that station and I thought: jepp, this environment supports that idea.

Then we went hiking in the Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyan National Park and Yosemite National Park (website of the National Park Service). Only day hikes however, because we lost time in the beginning due to my flu and I didn’t felt a hundred percent fit again. The Buck Rock Firelookout is a must-do in the Sequoia NP. Mountain lions are in the area as well. http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/buck-rock-fire-lookout-trail

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Yosemite National Park – View of the Half Dome
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On the John Muir Trail for one day

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You should also not miss a hike to Indian Rock and the North Dome in Yosemite NP. We drove up Tioga Road and spent a few days on a small and basic campground. You don’t need a reservation during week, but on weekends it can be very crowded in the summer.

Next stop was San Francisco and simply said: it’s a lovely city and fellt more like a little town. The bridge, the fog, the harbor, the people, the foot (fantastic food really), the atmosphere. Only surprise was our chat with an African-American guy in the laundry. He was a good guy, father, fan of Angela Merkel, praised Germany and still wanted to vote for Trump. What he talked about was the feeling of a nation in simple words and when I heard the outcome of the elections a few weeks ago I thought about him again.

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Then we drove up Highway 101 for a while and spent a few days on the coast, before driving into Portland to catch a flight back to Frankfurt. I found Portland was a bit disappointing and I was shocked about the high number of homeless people. What I loved most about Oregon are the huge Sand Dunes. That is how it must be in the Sahara, but the temperatures on the Pacific Northwest Coast are so much easier to handle for hikers. http://www.oregon.com/recreation/oregon-dunes

http://blog.oregonlive.com/terryrichard/2011/07/oregon_dunes_offers_attractive.html

And we saw whales from the coast line, so that’s definitely a great reason to return to Oregon again one day! Any comments or thoughts!? Go ahead.

New in Southern Germany

It’s July and very hot in Ludwigsburg. I moved to Southern Germany lately. I can’t prove it, but I would guess we have had the most over-30-degree-days and storms in years already. Is anybody still working anymore? I mean can anybody really think and be productive these days? I would doubt it. My office in an historical building is a sauna without doors. I can’t open the windows, because the noise of the very busy national highway B27 (who came up with that idea – next to the Baroque castle by the way) infront of the door is even worse. You can’t make a phone call. That’s how the Greek,  the Spanish, the Italian and the Portuguese must feel like every summer. You simply can’t produce anything. Germany has a really strong economic advantage just because of the geographical location. Normally we don’t experience such heat waves. I only think about water, ice and vacation. As usual I don’t know jet, where to go one vacation in three weeks. I only know I would like to be on the coast. USA would be very interesting at the moment, because of the election campain. To talk to the people and see what’s going on. In my worst dreams Donald Trump will win in these critical times and that would mean that I don’t want to travel to the US for a while. Algarve is my other option. Less stressful and less expensive.

Es ist Juli und schwül in Ludwigsburg. Ich bin vor kurzem in den Süden Deutschlands gezogen. Gefühlt wird es der Rekordsommer der Hitzewellen, Über-30-Grad-Tage und Unwetter. Arbeitet eigentlich noch irgendjemand in diesen Tagen? Ich meine, kann noch jemand ernsthaft etwas zustande bringen und klare Gedanken fassen? Ich jedenfalls nicht, obwohl ich natürlich noch arbeiten muss. Mein Urlaub beginnt erst Mitte August. Mein Büro in einem Altbau gleicht einer Sauna, bei der man die Türen – respektive die Fenster – nicht öffnen kann, weil der Lärm der B27 vor der Haustür (irrsinnigerweise direkt neben dem Barockschloß gebaut) noch schlimmer ist als die Hitze und telefonieren unmöglich macht. So muss es  den Griechen, Italienern, Spaniern und Portugiesen permanent gehen. Deutschland hat wirklich einen enormen Standortvorteil, weil unsere Sommer normalerweise nicht so drückend heiß sind. Meine Gedanken kreisen oft um Mineralwasser, Wasserelone, Eis, Schwimmbad und Urlaub. Wie immer kann ich mich nicht entscheiden, wo ich eigentlich in drei Wochen Urlaub machen möchte. Nur eins ist sicher: Ich will an die Küste. Enger ins Auge gefasst habe ich die USA Westküste oder Osterküste. Amerika sollte man jetzt nochmal bereisen und etwas vom Wahlkampf miterleben. Wenn meine schlimmsten Befürchtungen in diesen krisengeschüttelten Zeiten wahr werden, gewinnt am Ende noch Donald Trump und dann kann man da schon aus Prinzip und Überzeugung nicht mehr hinreisen. Alternativ Algarve.

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