During this beta 0.1 festival, in which an international group of artist from Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris and Goteborg will work together intensively for five days, we will hold a total of three Open Sessions, to share and gather thoughts, insights, energy and play from any improvisers who want to join us in our quest.
The central question of this edition is “How to document improvisation principles and processes?”, which the research group intends to tackle with a healthy mix of practice, play and reflection.
Next to the opening session on Thursday there will be one mid-festival open session on Saturday and an open session on Monday to close the festival.
You are welcome to join, also spontaneously! Note that only the Thursday session is at the Carpet Session studio, the other two are in the beautiful studio of De Eester. Rental cost sharing: if you join, bring a self-chosen amount (5-10 euro) so we can cover our costs.
9 March, Thursday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
dansstudio Vredenburgersteeg 31-35, Amsterdam
11 March, Saturday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
studio De Eeester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266, Amsterdam.
13 March, Monday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
studio De Eeester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266, Amsterdam.
We are looking forward to play/exchange/perform with you!
See you next week,
the ‘Research Group’ of IIIF beta 0.1
Hey all improvisers, instant composers, dancers, musicians, actors, philosophers, pudding makers far and wide !
From the 9th to the 13th of March 2017, we are proposing IIIF – a beta festival 0.1 that looks at the artistic practice of interdisciplinary improvisation. This festival will feel like performers mingling and playing together, it will feel like serious scientific researchers trying to grasp and record what they are doing and it will feel like a lot of nice people gathering to cook and eat together. Would you like to participate ?
IIIF 0.1 – International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival Amsterdam, Holland
9 to 13 March 2017
An invitation by : Benedikte Esperi (SW) Thomas Johannsen (NL) Catharine Cary (US/FR)
One of the crucial elements of advancing an art form is artistic research. Research and documentation, and the process of doing it, allow the form to open, consider, grow and take pauses to understand. All three of us, and many others around the world that practice instant composition within one discipline or across many, are interested in growing the knowledge and practice of our art, and increasing its public.
IIIF 0.1 will be held in Amsterdam, the next ones probably in Gothenburg and Avignon, followed by other European cities where connected improvisation artists live and work.
This first meeting is meant to better define our and your ambition for a connected international community of improvisers that collects and makes useful the various approaches to improvisation. The intention of this work would be to further connect, inspire and develop pathways between the various communities in Europe and around the world.
One of the great things about today is that there are more and more festivals, workshops, meetings, practice sessions, and movement around interdisciplinary improvisation. Yes ! This is just one more, until the cup runneth over, and suddenly our art form is everywhere, contaminating everything, and making a lot of people inside and outside of it really happy.
We are proposing 4 “research circle” sessions to people who have expressed to us a specific interest in the process of documenting artistic research in interdisciplinary improvisation, and we are proposing 3 “open circle” interdisciplinary improvisation practice sessions.
The initiative is started by Benedikte, Catharine and Thomas, but we are very open to include more people into the core group of enablers of IIIF. Come participate if you can, and even if you cannot, let us know if you would be interested, and on what potential level of engagement. (e.g. being associated as an artist in the research, proposing content and being present during all the festival sessions, carrying the project artistically/organisationally with us, supporting IIIF 0.1 by providing sleeping place for someone from abroad, just hopping on and off…)
More extensive information, and also how to get in contact with us you can find in this pdf: iiif festival invitation
Thursday 9 March:
The first open session to start the festival is at the usual Carpet Session studio:
Vredenburgersteeg 31-35, Amsterdam.
Friday 10 to Monday 13 March:
All other days/sessions (except the brunch) are at:
Studio De Eester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266, Amsterdam.
9 to 13 March 2017
OPEN CIRCLE SESSIONS
are from 14:00 to 17:00
on Thursday 9, Saturday 11 and Monday 13
– doors open at 13H30
RESEARCH CIRCLE SESSIONS include all open sessions, and are in total all four days 10:00-17:00 (only Thursday, we start at 14:00) . More detailed info in the pdf.
HOW? — DOCUMENTATION
That’s the idea of this IIIF – how to document? – it will be however we imagine and test it out – drawings, entries in the website, texts, songs, videos, scholarly treatises …
For this IIIF beta, Benedikte will be in charge of video documentation that could result in definitions, small instructive moments, or explanations of a technique which sharpens our ability to be present, to notice and to compose in the instant. The target is moving and the work is evolutionary, we may invent new forms of art and of research during these 4 days. If you come, you need to be OK with your image being used. If you like to take video and like to edit, click here. (Benedikte) email@example.com
Otherwise, bring an open mind, a big glass of water, a camera if you can shoot video and like to, an instrument. And a notebook. Wear comfortable clothes.
PARTICIPATION IN THE COSTS
sliding scale of 5 to 10 euros per session.
And here’s who we are :
Benedikte Esperi (SW)
Holds an MFA in Contemporary Performative Arts with practice in dance for screen, physical performance in public space and sound art. She has run the company Dansverk since 2007 which produces solo and ensemble performances. Since 2011, She is also a part time lecturer in dance at The Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg.
Thomas Johannsen (NL)
Performer and performance maker who works on the borders between fine art, theatre, dance and music. Improvisation and open systems of meaning creation form a strong current in all his work. ( http://www.thojoh.com) He is founder and artistic director of the Genetic Choir ( http://www.genetic-choir.org ) and created the international platform for Interdisciplinary Instant Composition, with its Amsterdam emanation of the Carpet Sessions. http://www.instantcomposition.com
Catharine Cary (US/FR)
A visual performative artist known as ‘‘la tagueuse élégante”, Catharine Cary is a painter, a dancer and female. She is co-founder of Instant Pudding!, a platform that provokes opportunities for sharpening skills for scenic improvisation across Europe. http://www.catharine-cary.com
due to all professionals of the Carpet Sessions being rather occupied with other work and projects at the moment, the regular sessions on Thursday are in hibernation mode.
However, we will meet tomorrow, Sunday November 13th, from 13:00 on Natanja’s boat around a table full of food to talk and eat together and hear how everyone is doing.
All improvisers, whether old or new to the Carpet Sessions initiative are very welcome to join this table. Just bring something that you really love eating which can be put in the middle for everyone to share. Natanja will make soup! 🙂
Sunday, 13 November 2016, 13:00-…
Place: boat “LOFRA”, Levantkade 176, Amsterdam.
On the ship, the door is an aluminium horizontal door on the front deck. No need to wander towards the back in the gangway. Just lift it and come in. There is no bell… Tel. Natanja if you are lost: 06 38062307
See you tomorrow!
For the end-of-season gathering of the Carpet Sessions coming Thursday, what are your wishes to spend the afternoon?
My own proposal would be to toy around with ideas and work forms how improvisers (from different disciplines) could build a dictionary of their work, together.
Backed by the foundation behind the Carpet Sessions, and in collaboration with Instant Pudding in Paris and ImproXchange in Berlin, I am preparing a project in exactly that gist, and this could be a way to give direction to the Carpet Sessions organised by different people in the coming year, if we would feel like it.
Making such a Wikipedia of improvisation (like a dictionary of everything relating to improvisation) is actually taking the open improvisation knowledge base that we started here on this website to a professional level and making it editable and adjustable for a much bigger community.
It is also provoking several questions, amongst which
– how can you define at all things about improvisation (that by nature likes to be undefined)
– in which way the words/media in such a dictionary can relate as closely as possible to the actual work being done on the floor (rather than the dictionary becoming a purely academic exercise)
Let’s speak/play/dance/sing about it further on Thursday. Looking forward to it… 13:00-17:00
See you there!
let’s gather next week Thursday (13:00-17:00) to play / improvise / talk and close the Carpet Season of Interdisciplinary Instant Composition together.
We can look back and ahead, or just enjoy each others company in performing and being. It’s up to us!
For an idea of how big the group will be, please announce if you want to come as well by writing a comment to this post below.
There will be at least 11 of us: Johnny, Kristien, Weijke, Suzan, Tanaquil, Thomas, Zwaan, James, Esmeralda, Manuela & Natanja
See you then!
We are looking back at a buzzing half year of virtually every Thursday a session on a specific theme, lead by our pool of improvisation professionals from various disciplines. Thanks a lot for that!
So what’s up for the coming months? Esther Eij will do at least one more “Can I go solo?” session about the dynamics of group vs. soloists, and Bettina Neuhaus and me are brooding on a fitting follow-up for the very fruitful “Groove & Ground” research we had. Are there other plans that I don’t know about?
Do you want lead a research? You are welcome!
The agenda is still very open. Please let us know if you would like to make use of the Carpet Research Studio to facilitate a session on a theme that you are interested in between now and June 2016. A one-off session or a series of multiple sessions, all is possible.
Get in touch here.
With warm greetings and a big hug to everyone!
The last session of Can I go solo? on december 17th, will be postponed till january 2016. Please keep an eye on this blog for the exact date and time so i can keep you updated!!
For now; i wish everyone a great holiday and a smashing 2016.
3/10/17 december 13.00-15.30
A new series of three sessions start next week. artists from any discipline (performing ans non-performing) are welcome to join us in the search for balancing the groupwork and solowork within improvisation. What makes us a group, how do we perform as a group, how can i go solo within the group, where is my timing, our energy, how does it flow?
all these questions came up in the previous series. Now we want to continue our work.
if you want to know what happened in the previous sessions, read our summary below
Leave a respons if you want to join in.
“There was a sense of Rebellion”
About Can I go solo?
Three sessions have taken place by now.
In these three sessions we worked with actors, musicians, dancers, visual artists.
A lot of questions arose during the work. We wrote them down to share, but we didn’t try to come to a group answer on them. Everyone found their own answers (or not). The ones i write down here are a combination of our shared observations and my personal thoughts on the subject.
Questions written down were:
Observations on GROUP:
We started our research by doing the same thing all together at the same time. There was no audience, everybody was improvising all the time, the whole time. This lead to the following remarks:
Not copying defines the group, but focusing on the same while doing different things.
A group becomes interesting to watch when you can still see the individuals within the group.
Feeling part of the group came with a feeling of organic mood/rhythm/movement.
There was a sense of rebellion, which leads to making small changes to the given group theme: was this impatience or evolution?
The second and third sessions we worked with a more structured way of improvising. There was audience, and the structure meant we started with an empty space, and one by one we would start improvising, up to a maximum of 4 performers. This way we wanted to create more room, time and space for all the elements we encountered in the first session. It gave us the possibility to observe the process more. These are some observations on those sessions.
What makes us a group? The very fact that we are in this room, concentrating on the same work, makes us a group. But then we find there are groups within groups.
The performers are a group, the visual artists are a group, the audience is a group. You can play with this. You can try to diffuse the boundaries between these sub-groups by not acknowledging the difference. If you consider everyone who is physically present as part of the group, then you create a kind of confusion for everyone about the part their taking in the improvisation (e.g. Is there an audience, when you consider the audience a part of the improvisers?)
TRUST was a word that came up more and more; trusting your group members to focus on the same thing as you. Trusting the each other to follow and lead when it feels necessary. But also trusting yourself to change or alter the improvisations form/energy/etc. When you think it necessary.
It appears that often everyone felt the action needed to change, but no one dared taking charge and break or shift the action. So group ca also mean no one dares to take initiative.
Trusting the group gives a natural rhythm to the improvisation.
Waiting long enough to be/ feel like a group seems to be important.
ADDING and BUILDING and DIVERSIFY:
We defined a difference between the several actions you can take as a group;
You can ADD to one another’s action. Meaning a does something, and B steps in and does something to counter it, or support it or, broaden it.
but you can also BUILD. This would mean, A starts with an action, B steps in and does the same, so does C, D, etc. By committing our self to this one action as a group, we narrow down and intensify the action until a climax is reached, after which something new can start to happen.
DIVERSIFYING would mean that every group member has an individual action, but is still very much aware of the actions of all the other performers. So there is still a group work going on, although it is not immediately clear on sight what the group focus is. It’s just the TRUST between all the group members that our mutual focus will keep us together.
On the matter of SOLO:
Does solo work exist within a group? Or is it merely a continuous shifting of focus, between doing the same thing, to everybody doing something individual to one person doing something different from the rest, with all the group giving their attention?
Also solo moments can work as a tool for changing the group energy ans rhythm. It bends/breaks/shifts the ongoing flow.
Solo can be:
a new starting point
the shifting of focusing
breaking the energy.
In the first session the performing group seemed to be a more dominant subgroup within the group. Fast decision making, feedback, action, leading. Whereas the non-performing artists seemed more observant, following, silent. After talking about this the next session, there was more room for different kind of impulses and initiative. More visual actions, more awareness of space, colour, sound. And a greater sense of freedom by everyone to bring in any impulse or action you wanted. This freedom led to a beautiful series of moments where performance, colour, sound and spacing came together. This freedom seemed to give us more sensitivity for each others’ impulses and more possibilities to explore new grounds.
The last two sessions we have been working on shifting focus in groupwork and solowork. And a lot of new ideas, concepts and questions arose.
We have been focussing on:
It has been an exciting journey up till now. During the last two sessions we found a way to shift from group to one or none, endings becoming new startingpoints, individuals becoming a group, doing the same thing, doing different things but still remaining a group, then becoming a group of soloists, evolving into a solo of blue squares.
Next week we want to go deeper into themes like
waiting/ strechting time/timing. Adding to eachothers ideas/building on eachothers input/taking time and space/giving time and space.
Sounds interesting? Come and join us next week to share our research. Let us know through the posts, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We start at 13.00 and work till 15.30.
For more info on the Carpet Sessions: What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?
While the first Carpet session of the season is on it’s way – have fun over there! – I prepared this season’s start update for you.
Here now all planned sessions until now:
29 October, 12 & 19 November – “Grooves & Grounds” (worktitle) – An exploration into ‘groove’ as a focus for interdisciplinary improvisation, using voice, body, materials (with Bettina Neuhaus and Thomas Johannsen – more info soon)
As you know, any professional improviser is invited to bring his research to the Carpet Sessions and lead an afternoon (or more) of investigating their chosen issues. If you don’t know the sessions, it is of course best if you join a few times and in that way get in touch with us. But also don’t hesitate to write us a message.