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Virtual Presence Physical Absence #1-6, 2013-14


Bombina Bombast and That Modem Generation presented six work-in-progress performances under the label V.P.P.A. The concept of each performance was site-specific and performed traditional venues as clubs, outdoor festivals, black boxes, white boxes and non-traditional places as an abandoned school and in the middle of a forest. #1: Teaterns dag, Moriska paviljongen, Malmö 23-03-2013 #2: Botnik Studios, Clandestino Festival, Hamburgsund 28-07-2013 #3: Kalv Center for the Interchange in Arts, Kalv, 21-08-2013 #4: Inter Arts Center och Bryggeriteatern, Malmö, 07–08-09-2013 #5: BIT Teatergarasjen’s Prøverommet at the public library in Bergen, Norway 10-03-2014 #6: In The Blend: performing arts festival curated by Teatr Weimar, Malmö, 25-04-2014

Performing: Liv K Vesterskov, Emma Bexell, Stefan Stanisic, Petra Huisman and Jerk Ohlson Westin. Video guides filmed by: Stefan Stanisic. Scenography and kostumes: Katrine Hoffmann. Hoffmann’s assistants: Maria Sloth, Sofie Shou Madsen. Music/ambience: Olle Markensten. Production manager: Petra Huisman

The idea was born somewhere between two contrasting phenomena– one: how information disseminated from the Arab Spring throughout the world. Information about riots and demonstrations kept circulating thanks to smartphones, Youtube, Twitter, which created the opportunity to partake in the massive event through the eyes of a swarm of different perspectives. The second phenomenon being the often expressed fear of technology and how it is killing face-to-face communication. How digital applications and virtual spaces are integrated with the theater as an event is at the center of the projects artistic research. During 2013 Bombina Bombast and That Modem Generation made four public work-in-progress performances to collect research material for the What’s Left production. During 2014, two more were made where different ways of showing the relationship between us and technology and public space/theater space and virtual reality were tried out. That Modem Generation’s sixth work-in-progress was the first one which showcased the tent structures by set designer Katrine Hoffmann. The structures were modified only slightly for the final What’s Left performance. The finished performance premiered at Inkonst May 2014. The final work-in-progress in the Virtual Presence Physical Absence series was presented at a festival connected to the symposium In The Blend, curated by Teatr Weimar. The symposium was about thinking in art and term “conceptual blending”, coined by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner. The visitors are presented with filmed guides on a surf tablet. Through the video they journey through their current space but mixed with fictional elements. In real life there might be a door in front of you, but when you look at the tablet the door opens. Someone meets you on the other side and tells you a story. You get a series of choices and whatever you choose next affects your narrative-  or does it?