12 SONGS. 12 SOUNDSCAPES. 12 LANDSCAPES. 1 PLANET.
The first cruise ship has already left on its journey via the North West Passage. The rest of us will soon follow as the eco-tourists of the New World, loaded with equipment to record nature’s wonders and to map geological, biological and climatic changes. Nature’s Titanic is well under way. We are equipped with technology, with books, articles and factual knowledge about the disastrous consequences for the planet Earth that come with our present lifestyle and capitalist system.
We have entered the Anthropocene, a new geological age defined by human disturbance of the eco-system to an unprecedented extent. Humanity has become a ‘natural force’ that causes rapid, violent changes to the planet Earth.
This is the point of departure for the NeoArctic performance. A large and inconceivably complex subject. The performance investigates in what ways the Anthropocene can be expressed via aesthetical and musical mixed forms. NeoArctic has come into being via a long period of research and developmental work in a cooperation between artists, scientists and other competent people from international fora.
Climate changes, soil erosion, urbanisation, digitalisation of all areas of life, a drastic loss of biological species while new technical species are bred are what characterise the new age. All as material and non-material occurrences. Processes that bear the stamp of the period but which cannot necessarily be concretely observed. Irrespective of scale, micro-structures interweave with global processes. In the Anthropocene context, everything is at stake at one and the same time.
With ‘The Anthropocene Project’ at the German Haus der Kulturen der Welt and their definition of the concepts Grain, Vapor, Ray as its point of departure, a dramaturgic structure for the performance was developed. The three concepts represent the sensual qualities of materials and particles, of the transitory and of radiation as energy. Seen as a whole, they exemplify that which is characteristic of the Anthropocene: the diversity of the highly dynamic changes. The mobility of the materials (Grain), the continual change of phases (Vapor) and the transportation of energy (Ray) create both separately and together a new semantic field.
With Grain, Vapor, Ray as its point of departure, NeoArctic arrived at the twelve song titles that were given to the writers, composers and designers within video, sound, lighting, fashion and the visual arts.
1 Song for Plastic
2 Song for Dust
3 Song for Mud
4 Song for Minerals
5 Song for Infinity
6 Song for Respiration
7 Song for Turbulence
8 Song for Chance
9 Song for Electricity
10 Song for Temperature
11 Song for Optics
12a Song for Colours
12b Song for Colours
Duration: 80 min
Words such as turbulence and electricity get a new sensuality, when images of hurricanes and fire storms spread across both the stage and the backdrop, covering the full performance space, or when the noisy interference between electrical impulses and choir sounds crackle dangerously close to each other. It makes sense.