Mutabili Numerus (OOO)

2017

Mutabili Numerus (OOO) is my philosophical interpretation of the technological and cultural shift in the Anthropocene era. Humanity barely foresaw the internet, yet it rapidly intertwined itself in global daily life as if were a natural phenomenon, overriding authentic natural rhythms. It enables new freedoms, yet institutes invisible control mechanisms that impact communities and individuals; online social networks take over time previously spent in direct physical space, often in group activities that helped form cultures -- activities from the past like crafting and folklore that created bonds and mental stability through regular repetition. Social rhythms have been broken by insistent capitalist patterns, as well as technology; we need to understand their disruptive influence on human behaviour, and the resulting alienation and disembodiment.

My performance, installation and costume series inventories the sociological, economical, medical and cultural issues of our society and proposes some solutions. The work references Deleuze's Difference and Repetition (1968), bringing together elements necessary for a collective approach, with the formation of a common vocabulary independent of governmental/political/external control and censorship. It uses both an ancient understanding of the body and mind, and the conditions that these now suffer because of Anthropocene era destruction. It makes rhizomatic, networked, connections between disciplines to restore an emological balance.

Our dancers are, by chance not intent, Greek, British-Italian, Italian, Serbian, Spanish, German and from Ghana, though that is not how they define themselves. They want to create a new folklore together, drawing empathically on female social strength to make a flexible yet resistant cultural heritage. The inspiration comes from Philip Glass and Steve Reich, who studied other cultures and natural rhythms to break with traditions of composition.

The performance Mutabili Numerus (OOO) was developed together with the performers Barbara Agostini, Isabelle Sidony Capper, Pinelopi Kefou, Rebecca Korang, Nena Robertson, Beatriz Sanchez. This project is my Graduation Project for MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins.

Many thanks to Veronica Horwell, Franziska Presche (Hair and Make Up), Olga Suchanova (Photography), Daniel Rubinstein, Emma Shackleton, and all supporting friends.
Pictures by: Olga Suchanova

Metacognitive Tool

2016

This work was produced as part of Arts Catalyst's season 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering Revisited 1966/2016.  
The video installation Metacognitive Tool (2016) was developed for an experimental one-day-exhibition at Arts Catalyst, while the performance was created together with performer Alice Weber for an experimental evening of actions and installations called Why make it simple, when you can make it complex?, co-organised by The Performance Studio.

Starting point was a month long collaboration between a group of students from MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins, UAL, and recent MA graduates from Goldsmiths and UCA Farnham. Our group came together as performers in Robert Whitman's new commission, Side Effects, produced as part of Arts Catalyst's recent season 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering Revisited 1966/2016. In collaboration with The Performance Studio, Arts Catalyst had since hosted weekly workshops to develop a practical and historical perspective on performance practice and transdisciplinary working.


Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, but Not Simpler.

In his quote Einstein addresses the dendritic interplay of accuracy and creativity in the sciences. This interactive relation is present at the debates about the shifting scientific definitions of mind and body. Our brains neural plasticity responds to environmental developments and the implant of technology in our life creates synthetic dependancy. Simultaneously we are learning more about the organic control over our bodies.
In Dr. Daniel Siegels Hand Model of the Brain the psychiatrist suggests a possibility to cope with emotional stress by explaining its structure with a hand model; an action formally called Metacognition. The installation ‘The Metacognitive Tool’ adapted Siegels model to the gallery context and transformed the metacognitive theory in a collective game that invited the audience member to interpret the hand gestures. 



For the evening organised by The Performance Studio at The Nines, the 3-D work transformed in a performance on Agency, Disembodiment and the anthropocentric paradox of humanity's position within nature, and outside of it. The performance lecture connected physical and theoretical elements, and was interpreted by Trinity Laban student Alice Weber with my 12-min-long soundtrack.

This performance was performed another time as part of the evening Sensing The Invisible atThe Cube residency em-em in 2017.

The collaboration with Alice Weber was archived in a photographic project, called The Alienated Self  (2016).

The video stills was published in Terra Firma Magazine (2017), color edition, together with a poem, and the film was screened as part of an evening hosted by Terra Firma in Down/Under Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

again and yet again,
the mistake to believe that time can be conditioned with synthetic formulas; appearing fragmentations that one ought concatenating,
failing to comprehend:
what has happened, cannot not have happened, not any longer –

oppressed memory and overbeared mind,
now, avid for new, vague impressions, instead of contemplating, what appears to not disappear;

memory is carried in the body, displaced by news, obstructing the wearer, with matter, that time is absorbing, an initial idea,
to slip through physics, is denied by collective elements;

it is invisible, and too present not to be.

Un/Folding

2015



Un/Folding (2015) consists of an installation with a video on loop, a book and laser-printed woodsheet reflecting on the circle of life in the anthropocentric era.

My video Un/Folding (2015) was created for the project Remember Nature initiated by Gustav Metzger and CSM. The video refers to the traditional act of harvesting in groups and the related communication between human beings and nature. In Un/Folding I specifically reflect on the rise of industries such as machine engineering and beverage industry that affected individual agriculture in the 60s/70s. I observe this shift on the example of my german family situated in the rural area on the border of Belgium and Luxemburg. People started to work in cities or industries in the 60s, consequently giving up their agriculture, and beginning to consume
from supply chains. Besides of the economic factors, I am interested in the imprint this shift has on the individuum and culture. I ask myself, if repetitive ergonomic tasks in mass production cause an inherited alienation of body and mind. The connection between a past, present and future, is regarded through interdisciplinary lenses in my work, such as a psychological, sociological, historical and scientific ones. An example for such a cluster is the emotional state of distress, called Solastalgia, whose main cause are environmental changes in ones surrounding, and are a possible reason for mental health problems.
The video shows two hand pairs arranging yellow and red berries along the wooden rings of a cutted piece of wood. Each hand pair has a personal color. This repetitive act is continued by the removal of the berries and the gesture of one of the hand pairs only.
Next to the digital work is a deformed sheet of wood with a laser cut showing traces of a neurological network. And an old pocket book called Unfolding Life. In this book one can look at previous attempts of science to explain Life.

It was first exhibited at the exhibition 'Remember Nature' initiated by Gustav Metzger in collaboration with Serpentine Galleries at CSM London, the MA Art and Science exhibition, Elthrone Studios CSM, and at the Anthropocene Exhibition at CSM, Kings Cross.

Special thanks to Isabel for camera and as a second handpair.

Emological Symphony

2013





Special thanks to
Lukas Grundmann (Live Sound)
Sarah Hermanutz (Arduino/Programming)

Mab Cardoso, Naemeh Shirazi, Lisa Shirin (Performer)

Steffen Ullmann (Flyer)
Arne Schmitt (Photography)
Kostümkollektiv Berlin
Wanda Golonka
Daniel Belasco Rogers
Maximilian Haas
The performative installation An Emological Symphony (2013) is a livel hybrid literally joining human and technological organs. Th outcome of this mixed form is a bio-musical score which is being breed -live on stage- not only by the human performers but also by
the computers influence. The heart rate, breathing scale, and temperature of the performer is being measured and used as parameter for sounds. With the action of the performer the music is changing its emotional layers, and with the modification of the soundtrack the performers reaction is being influenced. Who is the active performer within this installation? And who is controlling whom If we regard it from the philosophical side there would be no explicit political difference between the elements on stage. As Bruno Latour explains in his manifest „Politics of nature“: „I do not claim that things speak „on their own“, since no beings, not even humans, speak on their own, but always trough something or someone else“.

Could the performers „speaking organ“ be the machine then? Or is the machine just a designed interpretation of human being- and therefor as human as the person using it? Even if we collected the scientific data by the performer we would need to question ourself which data we may rely on. Weither its the dancer controlling the intensity of movement, the designed computerprogram transforming the dancers data into a new media, or the human performer who is
controlling the program- there are many stages within a process of collecting information and processing it into a „fact“. And the start or ending point is hard to define.

Within this performance artist Monika Dorniak composes a philosophic and scientific game, which is composed as a network of action and reaction. The audience may regards the performance on stage but needs to decide where it is actually taking place. By merging the traditional background of technological and musical performance with a usual dance performance the artist wants to awake the audience attention- or overwork it with the mass of data.
The work „An emological Symphony- Langsamer Wendepunkt“ is regarding current topics such as (over-) usage of technology, politics of privacy in the internet, and the impact of psychological pressure within a group.

The Human Anatomy is Adorning Itself

2009-2011


The Human Anatomy is Adorning Itself (2009-2011) is a clothing collection with a neuro-philosophical approach. It was published in 2011 in a solo exhibition along with the launch of a philosophical-photo zine and video-performance in the studio from Alex Xie in Kreuzberg – Berlin.

All pieces together (clothes, zine, performance) created an artistically tailored puzzle work explaining one anothers content with different sensual experiences.

The clothes reflect the human anatomy as universal messengers. The wearable objects, which shall remind of the „human basics“ are designed with skin-like colors and textures. By re-creating the complex psychological self with the usage of several skin-like layers the artist simultaneously raises the philosophical question: how many „selfs“ do we own?

For further information one can read the artistic essay which is dealing with the topic of conscious mind-control to change common psychological and physiological patterns by using a.o. metacognition. The zine is additionally featuring contemporary positions of young photographers, dealing with the human body.