Alessandra Ferreri, Joshua Vanhaverbeke, Matteo Sedda / Vitamina
›https://www.neverstopscrollingbaby.com‹ is a digital performance in which we experiment with the codes of social media platforms to create the narrative of a choreography, exploring new possibilities of presenting work during these challenging times. The project is an adaptation of our work in progress ›Never Stop Scrolling Baby‹, a solo performance about the infinite act of scrolling, which confronts us with the velocity of our times as we continuously expose ourselves to a pornography of information. We choose to face this unsatisfiable scopic drive which keeps us glued to our screens, constantly injected with new stimuli of visual violence, messages and notification sounds. As contemporary gladiators in an era in which the concentration of a goldfish is greater than ours, and in which our identity has fragmented into a myriad of colourful content, proposed by social media algorithms.
Digital performance: 'https://www.neverstopscrollingbaby.com'
Concept: Joshua Vanhaverbeke
Choreography: Alessandra Ferreri, Matteo Sedda
Performance: Matteo Sedda
Sound design: Joshua Vanhaverbeke
Shot & Edited by: Joshua Vanhaverbeke, Paolo Ferreri
Web design: Paolo Ferreri
Artistic Co-ordination: Alessandra Ferreri
Support: PACT Zollverein (DE), CC Bruegel, Bruxelles (BE)
The work was available during ATELIER No. 64 from Nov 20 - 22, 2020.
Interview with Alessandra Ferreri, Joshua Vanhaverbeke, Matteo Sedda / Vitamina
For the online edition of Atelier No. 64 you have transferred a live performance into a web-based presentation. How does digital translation change the movement material for you as choreographers and dancers?
Not much changed for us because we kept the choreography very close to the original version, what changed is the narration and how we communicate those movements. Our main effort has been to establish a new kind of language, totally different from what we are used to. We went through all the sequences of the choreography and created a storyboard suitable for the digital format. We focused specifically on overlapping perspectives and zooming in on details that we would never experience during a live performance, as well as on creating connections between frames.
The starting point for the choreography to "Never Stop Scrolling Baby" is the moment of never ending interactive wiping over the touch screen. Is this phenomenon a frustrating or a satisfying one for you?
It’s very fascinating for us that this simple idea has managed to change the life of billions of users. Scrolling makes you feel like there is always a ton of things to discover, numerous articles to read, it’s an adventure. Our brain is literally designed to be attracted to the unknown, so an endless scroll of new content is an irresistible incentive for a new shot of dopamine. Of course there is a high price to pay, we see it as a slot machine a place where people can comfortably get lost. It is important to be aware of that and be careful.
What does the audience of the web version miss out, that they would have experienced if they had been able to join the live performance?
What the web version lacks is the immersive effect in which the viewer is accompanied. In this digital experiment, the audience can choose how to navigate through the experience, as with a real commercial product. In the theatre, we ask the audience to be extremely concentrated. We are experimenting with additive forms, trying to understand the principles that regulate hypnotic effects through the choreography, sound and lights. All of this is not visible in the digital version which nevertheless remains a very interesting experiment.
Vitamina is an artistic project founded by Alessandra Ferreri, Joshua Vanhaverbeke and Matteo Sedda, focused on a hybrid language of dance, visual arts and performance. We are specifically fascinated by the cracks and glitches in our system, those sweet spots which trigger us for their potential of questioning basic human conditions.