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WhatIIIF? 2020 goes online!

Now that WhatIIIF? Berlin had to be postponed to 2021, we decided not to stand still this year… (never waste a good crisis, as they say 😀 )

We started two distinct projects that accept the limitations due to the covid-19 situation and try to create momentum from these circumstances in their own ways – and you are very much invited to participate:

WhatIIIF? 2020 – Nowhere and Everywhere festival

How to improvise via technological tools like tele-conferencing?  What are the limitations, what are the joys of these modes of live gatherings, extending into the living spaces of so many people at once, making all those places performance spaces to be used!

Instead of waiting for the moment that physically coming together is possible again, we attempt the impossible and invite everyone to do their own performative research in the possibilities and restrictions of performing via Zoom (or other tools).

We started this in May with the interdisciplinary group of improvisers who had been planning to come to Berlin. We now want to open these performance and research sessions up to anyone out there who is interested.

We have a WhatsApp group in which we announce the online gatherings. Fixed appointment for performing together are for now Wednesdays at 14:00 hours (CEST). With an optional aftertalk/afterdraw session afterwards. Also other performance or research gatherings can be announced through the same channel.

Click here to read more and how to join us!

An Expandable Networked Universe for the Art of Improvisation

We also started gathering our network and are at the moment hunting for funds to build a website as a platform and interactive library for all improvisation artists, from any country, from any discipline. We want to connect improvisation artists and audiences now that physical proximity and travelling is so much prohibited and most of us might still be sitting at home for months to come. A website to research, get inspired and connected and engage about the art of improvisation – with each other and with our audiences.

Read more about our ambitious plans here.

You are very welcome to join this network of now already 83 artists and organisations from 20 European countries who support this idea and want to be involved.

Contact if you would like to be part of this idea!

Once the project starts happening, we will post more here.

Berlin in May: Come to the WhatIIIF 2021 edition!

We postponed the 2020 Berlin edition of WhatIIIF to May 2021.
The new dates will be:

13 May – 16 May 2021

So please read the below text as an invitation for 2021! 😀


Upcoming in May, and this time in Berlin, Germany, is the 2020 edition of the yearly research festival WhatIIIF? – a meeting of interdisciplinary improvisers. And you are invited to join!

IIIF stands for International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival and the WhatIIIF? gatherings/meetings/festivals are dedicated to attempting to answer the absurd question: Can improvisation be documented?

There have been 3 editions of WHAT IIIF? until now: 2017 in Amsterdam (NL), 2018 in London (UK) and 2019 in Gothenborg (SE).

This website ( is a constant working space and open library of improvisation aspects. It gets energized through the yearly meetings of WhatIIIF? and everyone is invited to contribute to it through these yearly gatherings, or at any other time, from their own improvisation practice and perspective.

We invite now all interested improvisers to join us from 21-24 May 2020 [now, due to covid-19: 13-16 May 2021] in Berlin to take this utopian idea of a shared language for interdisciplinary improvisation practice further. Our hosts this year are the Exploratorium Berlin and Impro-Per-Arts.

Find the open call for participation here:

Invitation Call WhatIIIF Berlin 2020

WhatIIIF 2020 logo by Catharine Cary, photo below by Fabien Collini / performance by Constantin Leu and Catharine Cary

WhatIIIF 2019 in full swing!

Dear improvisers,

the 2019 edition of WhatIIIF in Gothenborg, Sweden, is going into its second day and the work is expanding, connecting and thickening. What a wonderful, intense time.

If you happen to be close enough, come tomorrow for witnessing more of this process of exchanging about the art of interdisciplinary improvisation performance at Galleri 54 (11:30-15:00) or in the evening during the Tiny Festival where we will do the opening performance at Theater Trixter (18:00)

participant-performers-observers-researchers-editors-authors of WhatIIIF? 2019:

Tuva Hildebrand, Nathalie Fari, Marianthi Michailidou, Catharine Cary, Reinhard Gagel, Thomas Johannsen, Shelley Owen, Esmeralda Detmers, Benedikte Esperi, Alexandra Mahnke

WHAT IIIF? GOTHENBURG: 16-19 May 2019 – you are invited !

What IIIF logo Gothenburg 2019
poster design: Catharine Cary

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:

What IIIF Gothenburg 2019 – Closer Invite






WHAT IIIF? LONDON book is on the WEB !

follow this link to see the TUMBLR book on what wonderful things happened at WHAT IIIF? LONDON

Early invite to WHAT IIIF Gothenburg – May 2019

We would like to give you an early wake-up call, mark your calendar, fireworks zap ! to join us for the beta 0.3 version of WHAT IIIF?.    We will be gathering from noon on the 16th of May to the 19th of May 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This rendition of What IIIF? Gothenburg is organized in collaboration with The Tiny Festival Producers,  Galleri 54 and Teater Trixter.


The research festival WHAT IIIF ? asks the absurd question, ‘Can improvisation be documented ?’  What IIIF ? Gotenburg is the third beta version (the first was in Amsterdam in 2016, and number two in London in 2018).  WHAT IIIF? brings together International Interdisciplinary Improvisation researchers from around Europe. We focus on a method or a concept for several days, and through labs, discussions, performances and observations, we ‘document’ improvisation.  Our thought is that this work will feed and develop the open source website  .


For the first two beta festivals, we focussed on documentation methods – video in Amsterdam and writing in London.  This time we are interested in the way we connect to other people with our improvisation work. We want to think about the fact that we are always addressing someone and within that awareness, on a meta level, ask how do I use material in the improvisational moment, put it out and put it forward.

Over the next few months, we look forward to developing the particular way we will spend these four days in May working with the circle of people committed to come.


  • being in the same space (an open to the public ‘white cube gallery’ named Galleri 54) for the entire time, creating the space, covering the walls, ongoing ongoing, ongoing.
  • observers will be invited, to participate or witness, in the space, or through the windows. Passers by are the instant witnesses
  • collaboration with the TINY FESTIVAL PRODUCERS and TEATER TRIXTER which provides the spaces and an opportunity to perform
  • time to reflect, listen and document on why we do this
  • time to eat together

There is no official participation fee.  You are responsible for your travel and housing.  We split the costs of the festival among ourselves, usually this does not exceed 40 euros each.

If you would like to join us, please write Thomas at

with a paragraph telling us why you are fabulous, and why you find a research festival interesting.

If you will be able to apply for funding for your travel and lodging, we can provide you with an official invitation letter from Galleri 54.  Please write to


a Tumblr “book” about the recent festival of interdisciplinary international improvisation : iteration “WHATIIIFLONDON”



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 :

Thursday, 27/09 6 pm Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, SW11 4AN LONDON
PERFORMANCE Facebook Event
Saturday 29/09 10:20 am Middlesex Filter Beds Nature Reserve

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.


Carpet Session 6 april – Prohibition

After Support and Challenge by Maria and James we continue our research with Prohibition.

To break your own patters or habit in an improvisation piece, we gave each others tasks or a prohibit. See where your Challenge is?

This Thursday from 13.00 – 17.00 at Dansstudio, Vredenburgersteeg 31 at Amsterdam. If you not a member: 5 euro.

See you 6th of April, Esmeralda

Support and challenge

In the first session, we explored practices and discovered tools that provide support in interdisciplinary instant composition pieces.
Questions we worked on:
How  we get and give support to ourselves and the environment.
How we identify support and how we change types of support.
(We realised that each one of us has their own support tools. Shifts of attention ,listening awareness, being in the context, silence, even confusion can provide support.)
In what ways we support the context of an improvised piece.
When  support becomes challenge.
In the second session, we will explore challenge.
How do we identify challenge and how do we challenge ourselves, existing structures and formats, the course of a piece?
How does each discipline identify challenge?
Is there any distinction between challenge and support?
Please, bring with you your curiosity, life experience, skills and willingness to support and challenge yourself and the practice.
23 March
From 1.30-17.00
Doors open at 13.00
Studio Vredenburg
Klik hier voor beantwoorden of doorsturen
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