Black Holes Workshop at MoKS 6-25 October 2014

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The Black Holes collaborative workshop – organized by Totaldobže from Riga, Latvia – took place during October 6-25th at MoKS in the remote village of Mooste, Estonia. Contemporary dance artist Kaspar Aus (EE), music composer Platon Buravicky (LV), visual artist Laura Prikule (LV), interdisciplinary choreographer Edd Schouten (NL) and poet Krišjānis Zeļģis (LV) collaborated during a three week process which was often inspired by an investigation around scores and scoring.

The Black Holes residents realized quite quickly that producing scores could be an effective way to a shared collaborative means of communication and it became intrinsic to their investigation. In a group of diverse backgrounds scoring made it possible to express personal practice and creativity while simultaneously reacting to that of the others. It provided just enough of a framework to allow for organic exploration and exchange. Some scores proved fundamental to the activities of the workshop period while others were brief sketches activating new avenues for consideration. Working with scores opened up a multitude of possibilities and the experience of the residents was that just about everything could be interpreted as a potential score and therefore a catalyst for continued exploration. Consequently it created space for a more unconventional consideration of what an artistic medium could be; what constitutes an audience; and what duration a work might exist for.

“Witnessing” and “Frameword(k) Walking” are two examples of how personal approaches merged and led to investigations and dialogues. “Witnessing” was a basic score of witnessing a space together. A mental space was created by framing the exercise with a specific word/action – witnessing. Through witnessing, the participants created an abstract exchange between themselves and a space but also within themselves and subsequently with each other. Similarly, within “Frameword(k) Walking” the concept of framing mental spaces carried over into an exploration of walking as an artistic medium. Again the score was simple: invite someone for a silent walk; frame the walk by blindly picking a word out of a hat; and, have a creative exchange right after the walk is over.

Furthermore there was a great deal of generating scores and subsequently reacting to the scores of others. One approach had each participant create a score and then pass it on to someone else. They would then react to the score by creating a new one before passing it on again. Another method was for someone to make a score and have everyone react to that particular score with another. There were also spontaneous reactions and score fabrications throughout the period.

The workshop in MoKS was organized in collaboration with Ptarmigan (EE) and MoKS (EE). It is supported by the Latvian Culture Capital Foundation, The Embassy of The Netherlands in Latvia, Kulturkontakt Nord (Nordic-Baltic mobility program, support for artist residencies) and Estonian Cultural Endowment. There were three presentations. The first was hosted by Tartu Kunstimaja in Tartu, the second in collaboration with artist Kirill Tulin and Rundum in Tallinn. The third was hosted by Austra in Riga.

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