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WhatIIIF? - the International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival
An international, yearly, nomadic festival that attempts to answer the absurd question: Can improvisation be documented?


The International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival - WhatIIIF? - is a research gathering and performance playground for improvisers, each year in a different place in Europe, dedicated to answering the absurd question:

Can improvisation be documented (and how should that be done)?

We had the 2017 founding edition in Amsterdam, we had London (UK, 2018) and Gothenborg (SE, 2019). The year after started our pandemic inspired, and ongoing Nowhere&Everywhere festival 2020/2021 (recently passing the mark of the 123rd online improvisation session (!) ). And last year we met in Berlin (GER, 2021) for our fifth research festival.

The website improvisation.wiki is a constant working space and open library of improvisation aspects. It gets energized through the yearly meetings of WhatIIIF? and everyone is invited to contribute to it through these yearly gatherings, or at any other time, from their own improvisation practice and perspective. There is also this new initiative starting for an Expandable Networked Universe for the Art of Improvisation.

Due to the covid-19 situation in Europe right now, we decided to postpone the planned 2020 physical edition to 2021.

There was a 12h online duration improvisation performance on 15 May 2021 with WhatIIIFers from 10 countries around the globe. See a summary of the durational performance livestream here.

Now, in October 2022, we will meet in the French Pyrénées, this time for a week, because it’s a lovely place, but hard to get to. The invitation will soon be posted on improvisation.wiki.

The event is free and open to any experienced improvisers. Tell us how you want to contribute with your practice and presence and we will link you with another participant so you can sharpen together the research focus with which you will join us.

Local hosts generously provide the space and context for each gathering. Travel and possible accommodation costs are generally for yourself (though this year La Soulane is generously also providing housing!).

We can provide you with an official invitation letter if you have options to apply for individual travel funds.


WhatIIIF? original initiators and regular gardeners:
Benedikte Esperi, Catharine Cary, Thomas Johannsen

Additional WhatIIIF? founding members in Amsterdam 2017:
Andrea Hackl, Esmeralda Detmers, Jagna Anderson, Marianthi Michailidou, Shelley Owen

WhatIIIF? researchers and kindness givers of London 2018:
Independent Dance, Sue Davies, Anat Ben-David, Sally Dean, Jasper Llewellyn, Dick James Hall, Maggie Nicolson, Dam Van Huynh Company, Centre 151, Pietro Denaro, Marianthi Michailidou, Catharine Cary, Thomas Johannsen, Shelley Owen, Esmeralda Detmers, Benedikte Esperi, Jay Luxemburg, Rosalie Walhfrid, Kajoli Ilojak, Agata Kik, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Annette Giesriegl, Middlesex Filter Beds, Trip Dance and the Royal College of Art.

WhatIIIF? researchers and performers of Gothenborg 2019:
Tuva Hildebrand, Nathalie Fari, Marianthi Michailidou, Catharine Cary, Reinhard Gagel, Thomas Johannsen, Shelley Owen, Esmeralda Detmers, Benedikte Esperi, Alexandra Mahnke, Galleri 54, Tiny Festival Producers, Theater Trickster, Anders Göransson

WhatIIF? performers/researchers & mystery guests in the Nowhere and Everywhere festival:
(to date, it's ongoing since May 2020)
Thomas Johannsen, Shelly Owen, Esmeralda Detmers, Catharine Cary, Reinhard Gagel, Chris Parfitt, Clarice Rito Plotkowski, Denitsa Dikova, Susanne Martin, Emmanuelle Pépin, Anet van de Elzen, Maria Mavridou, Anke Ames, Angélique Wilke, Anat Ben David, Danielle Davidson, Heini Nukari, Henry McPherson, Soila Sariola, Maria Michaildou, Ulrike Brand, Maria Sappho and mystery guest Simon, Yuri Bongers, Tommaso Rolando, Loes Rietkerk, Anna Riesel, Kate Allen, Deszo Virag, Astro A, Beni Lerner, Miguel Lopes, Lisa Thomas, K Rolland, Frank Fiedler, Doris Kollman, 8 participants of SAALFREI through 3 computers arranged in their practice space belonging to Johannes Blattner, M. Gunkel, Selina Koch, Nicolas Allwright and Joëlle Valterio.

WhatIIIF? organising committee Berlin 2021:
Reinhard Gagel, Jagna Anderson (preparations 2020), Ulrike Brand (2021), Danielle Davidson, Thomas Johannsen, Catharine Cary, Esmeralda Detmers, Shelley Owen