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02. – 04. November 2008


IMPACT08 invites artists, practitioners, theoreticians and advanced students from the areas of dance, theatre, art, new media and architecture to take part in a symposium which explores artistic strategies and critical methods in equal terms of practice and theoretical reflection and discussion.

The performance group Station House Opera, architects Floris Alkemade and Alex De Jong / OMA and multimedia artist Igor Stromajer and performance expert Bojana Kunst, all daringly push the limits of their own particular disciplines. Their working methods uniquely integrate social, urban, technological, political and phenomenological issues. They repeatedly investigate relations between culture, society and technology as well as the body and extensions of the body in our times. How can their approaches potentially interact with other artistic positions and processes? The invited guests have developed strategies that are as playful as they are tactical, subversive, invasive and methodically analytical in addressing complex systems in our society.

IMPACT08 offers a concentrated and motivating atmosphere for experimenting, exchanging and reflecting between and at the borders of different disciplines and perspectives. Each day's agenda is devised and led by the invited guests and informed by all the participants.

PDF Documentation


SAT 01.11.08 17:30 h

Igor Stromajer & Bojana Kunst (SI)
›Ballettikka Internettikka‹
Lecture Presentation

SAT 01.11.08 20:00 h

Station House Opera (GB)
›Mind Out‹

MON 03.11.09 20:00 h

Floris Alkemade & Alex de Jong / Office for Metropolitan Architecture – OMA (NL)
›Zollverein: Möglichkeiten eines DIN-freien Kontextes‹


Symposium Episode 1

SUN 02.11.08
›Lose your mind‹

Founded in 1980, and led by Artistic Director Julian Maynard Smith, Station House Opera has developed into an internationally renowned performance company with a unique physical and visual style. Varying enormously in scale, appearance and location, their work uses spectacle to explore the intimate relationship between people and the environment they inhabit. They have created interdisciplinary projects in a variety of locations all over the world, from New York's Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage to Dresden's historic Frauenkirche. Possessing a unique vision articulated through a genuinely theatrical language, they use pleasure and anxiety simultaneously to keep the spectator somewhere between a real and imaginary world.


During IMPACT08 Station House Opera will explore what it is like to be mindless and perform as a non-human alien. This will stimulate discussions as how to separate the character or mind from the material that creates it, the performer, and about patterns in the relationship of the human mind to its body and the space and time it occupies.

Symposium Episode 2

MON 03.11.08
Floris Alkemade & Alex de Jong / OMA (NL)

»We have no other option than to have a strong belief in our own time and intelligence.«
(Floris Alkemade)

In many buildings designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), such as the Seattle Public Library and the CCTV Tower (Peking), individual fragmented construction elements are offset against each other so that fore- and background perspectives interact. This creates countless architectural identities which give room to ambiguity and unpredictability and thus allow the architecture to also function as a social catalyst that influences public behaviour. To further research in such architectural strategies, OMA founder Rem Koolhaas and his partners, set up a subsidiary think tank, AMO, that is exclusively dedicated to investigating areas beyond the boundaries of architecture and urbanism including sociology, technology, media, politics, organization, culture and identity.


During IMPACT08, OMA architects Floris Alkemade und Alex de Jong will illustrate working processes and research strategies in architecture. Taking the Zollverein Master Plan as an example, they will look at how the arts can potentially use architectural thinking as a creative resource.

Symposium Episode 3

TUE 04.11.08
Igor Stromajer & Bojana Kunst (SI)
›Intimate Protocols‹

Igor Stromajer’s works are characterised by a complex approach to the internet. The net is for him both an instrument of communication and departure point for his artistic activities. Using but without being servile to existing protocols of communication, he creates projects that develop possible strategies of resistance and disobedience and open up links between emotionality and technology, production and ethics, desire and organisation, imagination and institution. Bojana Kunst has collaborated with Stromajer on many projects and is strongly interested in the influence of new technologies on our body awareness as well as social and aesthetic processes in the performing arts and in developing the theory and critical reflection of contemporary practices from interdisciplinary perspectives.


We live in a time of declining discoursive negotiations and increasing material protocols. Today’s technological procedures have an immediate effect on our bodies and how we experience proximity, closeness and intimacy. The workshop during IMPACT08 will focus on the notion of intimate protocols – both theoretically and practically. Participants will create situations for network performances, focused especially on the connection between technology and emotions, desire and connectivity, imagination and effectiveness. Robots often cry – why shouldn’t you?