PERFORMANCE ACADEMY is launched in the Saarland      

August 13-23, 2011

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. 

The workshop in August will inaugurate a 12-months series of performance and research events open to individual, collective, and institutional actors especially from the Greater Region (Belgium, France, Luxembourg) to facilitate the sharing of approaches, experiences, and reflections. The events are varied, including workshops, hacklabs, and symposia, but will be organized under the common umbrella of the PERFORMANCE ACADEMY.  The new academy plans to include exhibitions and concert/installations in an open platform for the exchange of new performance and media work; locations for these events include venues in Saarbrücken and on the coal mine campus in Göttelborn. 

Performance Academy 1 
August 13-23, 2011 – 
summer residency
enrollment € 400 [concs 300] 

On location in the former Coal Mine Göttelborn 
& Media Gallery HBK Saarbrücken/Academy of Fine Arts Saar , Germany     // 

Facilitated by Johannes Birringer, in cooperation with Soenke Zehle (XMLab) and Marguerite Donlon (Donlon Dance Company).

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Deadline for applications: July 15, 2011. 


XMLab has a research focus on experimental media and new forms of aesthetic communication, with a particular interest in the performative and play-based dimension of digital technologies. In  2011, our focus is on the question of gesture – as aesthetic practice, as re-engagement of the political, as way to reflect on synaesthetic experiences, and, eventually, as (non-representational) curatorial perspective. The research context includes experimental approaches to embodied/physical computing (such as XBox Kinect), to the constitution of (public) space, and more generally technologies of play. 

Donlon Dance Company is based at the Saarlaendisches Staatstheater (State Theatre) in Saarbruecken, and is a young, exciting, innovative company attracting dancers of the highest calibre. The performers who work with Marguerite Donlon, the dynamic Irishwoman who was appointed Ballet Director in 2001, come from all over the world –Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Japan, Korea, China, United States and Argentina.  One of Marguerite Donlon’s aims is to promote European exchange in dancing and bring other high standard choreographers to Saarbruecken, ranging in style from the wild queen of pop Constanza Macras to world renowned choreographer Jirí Kylián. The company is also working on several projects to be shown not just within the theatre but also on different locations in collaboration with a variety of cultural institutions in the region and beyond. Local artists from the Saarland have been invited to work with the company.

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 across regions.