An Incomplete Guide for Unconditional Theatre UT — So Far (SF).
The only constant is Process and our Credo: Love Play Fight! Add it to each single point.
by Hayat Erdoğan, Tine Milz, Julia Reichert
1. Unconditional Theatre (UT)
Unconditional Theatre is a condensed space of experiment, thought and expression.
UT provides audible and visible aesthetical, ethical, social and political impetuses.
UT questions traditional knowledge and conventions.
UT brings new narrations into the world.
UT challenges the potentials of the as-if.
UT searches new forms.
UT is open for l‘arrivant (Jacques Derrida).
* The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it.
Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice.
All (*) are quotes from Bruce Mau: An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth (1998)
2. Public Declaration
or Don’t be cool.*
Leading is a promise to devote and profess oneself. It is profession, is duty that anchors freedom, is duty to be response-able. Leading is public declaration, is profession of faith, is confession. It is also a performative act.
* Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.
3. Practicing Hospitality
We are hosts. We believe in cosmopolitanism. We treat guests as friends. We believe that hospitality is absolutely necessary for an ethical, political, and social culture of being together. UT develops new rituals for living together: «forms of interaction and of companionship» (Kwane Anthony Appiah).
*Joy is the engine of growth.
4. Openness for the New
or Love your Experiments as you would love an ugly child. / Stand on someone’s shoulders.*
The New is innovative only if we co-create change. The New stands on the shoulders of the Old. The New (re-)invents while remembering forwards. The New projects itself into the future and transforms knowledge, artistic expression and perceptions.
* You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.
or Intentionally left blank …*
* Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.
6. No Buzzwords – no Labelling
or Make new words.*
We say No to catchphrases, pigeon-hole thinking and empty commonplaces.
We say No to re-actionisms on short-term trends, topics and terms. Used inflationary, fancy terms become labels and eventually hollow.
We want to turn the attitudes residing in words like engaged, embedded or collaboration into actions: unconditionally, fundamentally and all-embracing.
We are convinced that Zeitgenossenschaft doesn’t necessarily consist of the accumulation of buzz-words & discourses, but of relevance.
Relevance is nothing that you can ultimately define, forever. We want to act on behalf of an agile art. We want to act on behalf of an art that questions and criticizes itself.
* Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression generates new creations.
7. Questions Instead of Answers
or Ask stupid questions.* & Take fieldtrips.**
We acknowledge the complexity of the world. We are committed to theater as a place where contradictions are possible and necessary. We want to get out of the bubble.
* Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.
** The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic-simulated environment.
8. Time is the Most Precious Resource
or Slow Down.* → Go Deep.**
Living life as a project exploits creativity.
Acceleration of information creates instant thoughts. Structurally we somewhat counter this dynamic of wearing ourselves out and flattening: Slow down.
* Structurally we somewhat counter this dynamic of wearing ourselves out and flattening: Slow down.
** The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.
9. Don’t Eat Your Neighbors
Unconditional Theater tries and tests practices of being together and artistic co-existence.
We won’t cannibalize our neighbors, wir machen uns verwandt. We believe in dialogue and exchange. We don’t want consensus. We want to cultivate an agonistic principle for democratic co-existence.
* The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.
10. Collaborative Identity – CI
or Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly.*
UT says no to the corporate, the completely normalized and institutionalized.
We deconstruct the concept of identity and we celebrate plural identities: open, fluid, vivid, ever-changing identities as «affinit» (Donna Haraway).
We love breaks, cracks, and noise.
We favor interaction between artists and aesthetics, zwischen Stilen und Sujets, zwischen Techniken und Themen.
UT relies on recognizability through linked multiplicities.
* Work the metaphor
11. Just Do It.*
or If the fear won’t go away, sometimes you’ll have to do it afraid.
UT keeps the wolf from the door. Fear is given a name, becomes a topic, inspires or calls for confrontation. Fear does not lead. Unconditional Theater recognizes–if at all–the reality of feeling threatened, not that of being afraid.
* Listen carefully. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.
12. Stay restless
or Allow events to change you.*
« there is nothing stable under heaven.» (James Baldwin). Unconditional Theater is a work in progress. Is ready to learn and unlearn. It does not hesitate to tear down what it has built. Unconditional Theater stays restless, “stays with the trouble” (Donna Haraway), not only reacts strongly, but also calms the waves and rebuilds places of refuge.
* If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.