The research festival WHAT IIIF? will be held in the south of France this year, will nestle in the Pyrénées this year, will be longer this year because we are welcomed by @LaSoulane, (and because it’s far to go, so let’s stay longer). Now in its 6th edition, WHAT IIIF? meets annually to answer the absurd question “Can improvisation be documented? ” Our work feeds into this site, and into a variety of mindmappish TASWIR atlases and TUMBLR notebooks, distributing marcaroon crumbs of learning into the universe of the craft of improvisation. It’s an enormous task, and we love it, and welcome your collaboration. The dates of this year’s research festival are being confirmed, but it’s something like October 14 – 23, 2022. To receive the call to attend, click on contact to let us know.
Last night, I was invited by Anis Gras (Le Lieu de l’Autre), Le Fondeur de Son and SHARE to JAM. And I think I found the key to quality. Everyone in the space took up the deep and sacred responsibility that everyone in the room, even the small child and a smaller dog, is responsible for the quality of the performance. Musicians, dancers, voicers, the pizzaoli and public alike were attentive like a bee sting, were listening with care, were sitting in configurations to spawn newness, were tuning their instruments gently, were asking for help, allowing for new meetings, open for 4 hours to whatever happened. There were familiars, newness, kindness, tolerance, excellences, excedences, jokes and joy. Quality in this case could be measured by how each new set made up a new barometer for the one to follow. Don’t need statistics or questionnaires. Just come, be, dance, play, be absolutely undividedly present. And eat pizza.
IMPROVISATION AND MEMORY – WHAT IIIF? 2021
Welcome to the fifth edition of the What IIIF? Festival to be held in Berlin from dinner on September 16th September to the afternoon of September 19th 2021 !
This ongoing collective, interdisciplinary and international research festival is dedicated to answering the absurd question: Can improvisation be documented ?
WHAT IIIF? brings together International Interdisciplinary Improvisation researchers from Europe and beyond. We focus on a method and a subject for several days, and through labs, discussions, performances and observations, we ‘document’ improvisation practice on an interdisciplinary level. This work feeds and develops the open source website www.improvisation.wiki.
After Amsterdam in 2017, London in 2018, Gothenburg in 2019 and our pandemic inspired Nowhere & Everywhere festival online in 2020 (and ongoing) Berlin 2021 is our fifth peer-organised research festival. We will be hosted by Exploratorium Berlin, whom we wish to thank for their ongoing support.
In Berlin, we wish to focus on:
— MEMORY —
What role does memory play in your personal improvisation practice and/or reflection?
How can we use strategies of remembering, reminding, forgetting while improvising?
What questions, obsessions, fascinations, discomforts or troubles does this subject bring for you?
What types of memory are particularly relevant to your practice?
Here are a handful of possible memory-related topics, just to get your juices going. Of course you will have your own!
- memory as traces — in language (writing) or images and figures (symbols)
- long-time, ultrashort and short-time memory
- embodied memory
- memory and (personal/cultural) identity
Memory is a narrative that constructs your personality (you can remember things that have not happened)
- memory filters: insignificant/ waste/ fragment/ forgetting/
Is fragmented/faulty memory a problem or a chance for improvisation?
- digital memory vs. analogue memory and their usage in performance
We hope that some of these topics resonate with you and look forward to your contributions!
We will explore this theme by deepening the research practice we developed in previous What IIIF? editions – it is ripening into a form we could call ASSEMBLAGE.
ASSEMBLAGE could be described as a continuous moving between performing and reflection, resting, eating, writing, drawing, playing, and being. All stable in movement.
A new artistic research tool that we are going to use for this in Berlin is the Taswir atlas developed by House of Taswir, an international platform for artistic research and diasporic thinking (taswir.org).
The Taswir atlas is developed as a collaborative art work by Shulamit Bruckstein. The atlas “allows for the display of an open number of artifacts, objects, soundclouds, film clips, texts, that may enter into variable, unpredictable, and dynamic relations with each other.”
Here is the atlas that we made together at WHAT IIIF? 10 TO 10 on May 15, 2021 that was live streamed on Facebook : https://www.atlaz.space/atlas/MxFZrGjhN8rah3YLZ
THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO PARTICIPATE :
YOU CAN COME TO BERLIN
YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE MAKING OF A TASWIR ATLAS BEFOREHAND
IF YOU WANT TO JOIN US in SEPTEMBER IN BERLIN:
Please send us by August 10th an email in which you say:
- YES ! I want to come to WHAT IIIF? Berlin from 19:00 on September 16th (Thursday) to 16:00 on September 19th (Sunday).
- you give us your email and telephone number
- you give us an idea about your discipline(s) / instruments / passions …
- you send us 2 or 3 sentences, 2 or 3 pictures and/or a poem, reflection, photo about how MEMORY plays a role in IMPROVISATION for you.
Please send your mail to Reinhard at reinhard.gagel (at) posteo.de
IF YOU WANT TO JOIN THE MAKING OF THE TASWIR ATLAS BEFOREHAND :
Please send an email to Reinhard at reinhard.gagel (at) posteo.de expressing your interest and your city, and he will send you the parameters for sending content.
IN GENERAL :
The festival is free, peer-to-peer and no-budget in the sense that people are responsible for their own costs and we share costs if we for example have shared meals. If you need an official letter to apply for funding in your own country (e.g. for travel/lodging), we can provide you with an official invitation letter. Thanks to Exploratorium Berlin for hosting WHAT IIIF? 2021.
@esmeraldadetmersWe can help you find housing if you need help. There are very cheap hotels nearby and we have several couches/rooms available with friends. Please contact ulrikebrand.vlc (at) gmail.com
Due to the corona situation, we expect to have a limit of 16 participants that can gather physically at the Exploratorium in Berlin for the full four days. We will likely create a mix of online and offline participation, and outside-performance possibilities. After hearing how big the group is that likes to physically travel to Berlin, we will inform you how we will proceed.
Thank you for your interest. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
THE BEGINNING // Benedikte Esperi/Thomas Johannsen/Catharine Cary
THE CURRENT CREATIVE TEAM // Thomas Johannsen/Shelley Owen/Danielle Davidson/Esmeralda Detmers/Catharine Cary
THE BERLIN DREAM TEAM // Reinhard Gagel/Ulrike Brand
We love the messy interstitial space of interdisciplinary improvisation.
ON MONDAY, JANUARY 11TH, AT 18H AMSTERDAM TIME, SIMON ROSE AND INGO REULECKE HAVE ACCEPTED WHAT IIIF’S INVITATION TO AN IMPROMPTU READING GROUP DISCUSSION OF THEIR NEWLY PUBLISHED ARTICLE: IMPROVISATION IN DANCE AND MUSIC.
THIS ARTICLE JUST NEWLY PUBLISHED IN HZT-BERLIN IS AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE.
Over the past 9 months, a space has been held by WHAT IIIF? online – a space called WHAT IIIF? Nowhere & Everywhere. This space allows improvisors from Anywhere to meet for 40 minutes of open improvisation. No commute, no hello nor goodbye … a shared moment of presence as if you joined in as you left the lunch or breakfast table, before leaving to run an errand, take a nap or write a paper or a song.
Yesterday, I had an epiphany. For me, this space opened wide the definition of interdisciplinary improvisation. Yesterday, my computer’s camera was focussed on a window – the grid of the panes pleased me and not showing my face, pleased me. The architecture played in direct relationship to the players – it wasn’t about how I interpreted in through my body. I moved the camera around slightly to capture different angles and light, and the sun suddenly shone in the corner of my ZOOM rectangle, a blinding light that stopped cold the harmonica in the next square. And suddenly the clouds were moving across the screen faster and faster, and as they passed by, they became the leitmotif of the moment. The sun and its shadows have played this role as well. The wind has erased my voice, the wind has moved leaves for others to dance to. Weeds have been plucked, water poured, cold has sent us inside then outside again. Suddenly interdisciplinary is no longer just Are we musicians, dancers, actors, writers collaborating ? It is this. But it is also : Are we trees, rocks, plants, buildings, carpets, planets, orbs, wind, water, vapor, shadows and sun ?
The third beta edition of the What IIIF? gathering is coming up in Gothenborg, Sweden!
From all niches of Europe and beyond a good handful of improvisers will gather 16-19 May 2019 to play, eat and bend their heads together around the maybe impossible question:
How to document and reflect on improvisation in a meaningful way when it comes to interdisciplinarity?
Read up on the participant invite here and join us if you can:
follow this link to see the TUMBLR book on what wonderful things happened at WHAT IIIF? LONDON
What IIIF ? London is beta 0.2 of the Interdisciplinary International Improvisation Festival. This research festival (the first was in Amsterdam in 2017) brings together researchers from around Europe to ask the absurd question, ‘How/Can improvisation be documented ?’
The festival moves within the London Improvisation scene and includes workshops, performances and reflection sessions. We use only one method of documentation for each iteration of the festival. For IIIF Amsterdam, it was video. For What IIIF ? LONDON, it’s writing. Writing it down, on paper, on a computer, on a board, on your hand, printing, printing pages somewhere, cursive, upside down, backwards.
Independent, artist-run and self-organized, nomadic and iterative, absent or present, it’s open to everyone who is interested.
Public venues :
PERFORMANCE Facebook Event
Organized by hosts: Catharine Cary, Benedikte Esperi and Thomas Johannsen in collaboration with all the participants. Special thanks to Anat Ben-David, Jasper Llewellyn, Independent Dance, Dam Van Huynh/Centre 151, Agata Kik, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Royal College of Art, Anne Duffau, Annette Geisriegl, Maggie Nichols, Esmeralda Detmers, Jagna Anderson, Maria Michailidou and Shelley Owen.