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An expandable networked universe for the art of improvisation
Stichting Here & Now and WhatIIIF? are proposing a project to develop an open online environment for European improvisers from any discipline, their audiences and the reflection on their craft.


 
 


WHAT?

As part of the WhatIIIF? initiative, and together with all improvisers who would like to contribute, we want to create an online hub where it is engaging and enjoyable to ‘talk’ about all aspects of the art of improvisation. ‘Talk’ means here any form that the individual improvisation artist would find suitable in an online context to use in order to communicate their art form and reflect about improvisation from their discipline's perspective (with images, sounds and music, text, video, interactive scripts).

WHO? ---> Click here for the list of artists and organisations from 20 European countries who have already gathered behind this proposal.


WHY?

These are times when everybody has to improvise: Governments and care organisations are improvising on the very edge of the knife, having to make decisions with incomplete data that affect a lot of people daily. But also the rest of us are asked to improvise, to find new meaning for our lives while being mainly at home, create new structures and warm experiences for ourselves and the ones that are close to us, while the times are uncertain. The Covid-19 pandemic has not only shown the urgency for acting in the present, but heightend our awareness of (physical) space, makes us value silence and pauze, ask us to act without overseeing the whole and to be engaged while not acting. All of which are central aspects of improvisational technique.

How then can improvisers contribute, from their knowledge, to these uncertain times?

The fact that coming together and coming close to each other is so strongly restricted makes it hard to re-imagine how we can offer our intuitive and bodily skills to the world, so ingrained with the presence of performers and audience in the same time and place. Additionally, improvisation artists lean on an international community of like-minded people (colleagues and audience), because the niche we are working in locally is rather small. Festivals are cancelled, travelling is no longer possible. Even in the cultural capitals of Europe themselves, it is not possible at the moment to meet and make or perform work together.

With this project, we want to connect artists and audiences who are physically isolated due to the current circumstances and bring them together in a way that doesn’t try to mimic the subtlety of live interaction, but provides a different kind of experience and another possibility to be inspired by improvisation and stay culturally active:

An online universe that can be navigated with an improviser’s mindset, where work, tools and reflections can be continually added and intuitively organised, and which connects ideas, people and the European public around this unique craft.

 

BASIC ASSUMPTIONS

There are many initiatives already out there that research and attempt to 'map' the art of improvisation and reflect on it. We would like to create a web environment where all this work - from past and present - could be accessed and is presented in an engaging way, combined with the current cultural activity of improvisation artists in Europe. We imagine a web environment where the navigation and structure of the website has the spirit of improvisation (associative, non-hierarchical...) and still information can be found and can be structured by every user from their perspective on the world of improvisation. See further below for our first thoughts about a web architecture that would make this possible.

The project is open for all improvisers from any field to join and contribute. For now, you can send an email to thomas@genetic-choir.org if you would like to be involved. We are awaiting funding results by the end of May and will then inform everyone about the next steps in the process, which in the first place will be about designing the web-infrastructure of this expandable networked universe, then fill it with everyone's work and contributions, then open it to the public.


WEB ARCHITECTURE

We are imagining an upgrade and expansion of the existing interdisciplinary improvisation knowledge base on instantcomposition.com, which would turn all existing articles there into ‘nodes’ of an expandable network universe that will be tangibly visualized and can be ‘walked through’ on the website. The content of this existing website is merely intended as a starting point: New nodes with new content can be added by any artist/improviser involved and the connection pathways can be changed, so that the architecture of the network (e.g. which objects are grouped close to each other) is constantly evolving and not pre-conceived in a certain order.

Additionally to the intuitive way of browsing this new online environment, we also want to make it possible to find things in a straightforward way:

• Via a search function and the possibility to create your own online portefeuille of what you found in this expanding universe on information.
• Via an agenda for events, where improvisers can announce their online or offine activities.

So there will be at least two ways in which visitors can use this online environment: 

• As an online experience itself to dive into, get lost in and get inspired by creating unexpected and new connections in the content of improvisers from all over Europe.
• As an informative website about the art of improvisation and how it is alive (even in Corona times)

Here some more details about our first ideas for a navigational structure and user interface:

• The contents of the database generate a graphical representation of an unstable landscape which acts as the user interface.
• Users and visitors to the website can follow tracks/routes through various zones where different art disciplines meet.
• The tracks are generated by the indexing system which structures the underlying database.
• These tracks connect different objects of data that can be opened.
• Such objects can be sound, image, text, video files or html scripts which can be created/uploaded by the participants in the system.
• Each object is connected to a number of keywords (tags) which feed the indexing sytem, which in turn influences the way objects are spatially/graphically related and the way the website can be navigated.
• This all forms an open and freely accessible portal in which participants present projects, reflect on practical and philosophical aspects of improvisation and make contact with each other.
• Knowledge and information can be mutually shared with each others and with visitors (audience).
• The user interface works as a hybrid between a lens and a tuner that you can turn and tune to observe the world of interdisciplinary improvisation from an ever-changing perspective.
• Investigations and exploration journeys into the European scene of improvisation can be embarked upon and will return varying results each time.
• In the resulting - over months and years - regularly used and continually updated web environment, new entries to the knowledge base, and new entrances to various data clusters keep appearing.
• In addition to the intuitive navigation, a clear search function is also offered and the possibility to find live events (happening online or offline) that improvisers are announcing.
• There will also be a system for users and visitors to store data and information in their own domain.

We are taking our inspiration for a part from the Taswir Atlas online project, which shows an intuitive way of organizing content. We are already in contact to see how we could effectively work together. Note that the Taswir Atlas works at the moment mainly with images and texts in a 2D represenation, while we would like to create content from a wider range of sources and preferably in a graphical 3D environment.

Our initial partners for design and programming of this new web environment are Antenna-Men - Yvo Zijlstra and Marcel Langenberg. The development of the website will happen in international collaboration and development choices will be made in close consultation with our network.



 
 
 



 
Network of improvisation professionals and organisations supporting the initiative at this moment
(a selection, for readability - the actual number of artists that are connected through the 'hubs' of people and organisations listed below is much higher)

The currently 20 countries involved are listed in alphabetical order.

AUSTRIA

Annette Giesriegl, Graz
improvising musician, composer, educator
artistic director of Styrian Improvisers Orchestra
Association for promotion and dissemination of New Music
University for Music and Performing Arts Graz
http://annettegiesriegl.at/
http://vnm.mur.at/
http://vnm.mur.at/STIO/

Michael Fischer, Vienna
improvising musician, composer
artistic director of the Vienna Improvisers Orchestra
http://m.fischer.wuk.at

Ursula Sabatin, Bregenz
improvising dancer, educator
artistic director of Tanzufer
http://tanzufer.at


CROATIA

Improspekcije, Zagreb
Sonja Pregrad / Zrinka Simicic

international festival for the affirmation of improvisation
producer: Multimedijalna koliba
https://improspekcije.com/


CZECH REPUBLIC

Ridina Ahmedová, Prague
improvising musician, composer, organiser, curator
artistic director of Hlasohled vocal institute, Prague
http://hlasohled.cz/ 
http://www.ridina.cz/


ENGLAND

Dr. Anat Ben-David, London
improvising performer and reseacher
Resident Somerset House Studios, London
Lecturer at the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins
Theater of Making, London
http://somersethouse.org.uk/residents/anat-ben-david

Catharine Cary, London
improvising visual & performance artist, entrepreneur, researcher
Royal College of Art
PhD in process - Improvisation - a plastic practice in capitalist time
founding member of WhatIIIF?
founding member of Instant Pudding ! PARIS 2012 - 2017
Instagram: latagueuseelegante
http://catharine-cary.com

Laura Doehler, London
improvising dancer, performer, educator
creator of “SHARED PRACTICE”, London
http://exitmap.wordpress.com/training/
http://exitmap.wordpress.com/laura-dpehler/

Shelley Owen, Manchester
Improvising performers, dancer and researcher
founding member of WhatIIIF?
http://shelleyowendance.com

Henry McPherson / Maria Sappho, Huddersfield
improvising muisians and researchers
Noisebringers (improvisation series)
PhD in the Centre for Research in New Music and Research Centre for Performance Practice
University of Huddersfield
IRiMaS (European Council funded interactive research in music as sound)
http://henrymcpherson.org.uk
http://mariasappho.com
http://research.hud.ac.uk/institutes-centres/irimas/

Vanessa Grasse, Leeds
improvising dance artist, choreographer, educator
artistic director of MESH - participatory choreography in public spaces
MA Dance Creative Practice
https://meshjournal.wixsite.com/mesh
http://www.vanessagrasse.wordpress.com


ESTONIA

Prof. Jüri Nael, Tallinn
improvising choreographer, movement director, educator, researcher
course director for MA Contemporary Physical Performance Making (CPPM)
Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
http://mastersincppm.com
http://www.eamt.ee


FINLAND

Heini Elina Nukari, Helsinki
improvising dance-voice artist, educator
http://body-is-voice.com


FRANCE

Barre Phillips, Puget-Ville
improvising musician, educator, founder and director of CEPI
Centre Europeen pour l’Improvisation (CEPI)
http://european.improvisation.center/

Benoit Cancoin, Saint Etienne
improvising musician and composer
collaborations with writers, dancers, visual artists
community artist with speciality working with people with a mental handicap
http://benoit.cancoin.free.fr/

Emmanuelle Pépin, Nice
improvising dancer, choreographer and educator
co-founder with Pierre Vion of the company 7Pépinière, space for development and research in ephemeral writings, dance and environment, dance and sound

http://7pepiniere.com/

Enrique Pardo & Linda Wise, Paris
improvising vocalists, actors, educators, curators
Pantheatre, Paris
Roy Hart Centre, Malerargues
http://pantheatre.com/
http://roy-hart-theatre.com/

Ephia Gburek, Saint Etienne
improvising movement artist, educator, organiser
artistic director at Djalma Primordial Science
co-founder La Fab-Ka (lieu de pratiques artistiques en chantier permanent)
guest teacher at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (Tallinn, Estonia)
organizer of L'Anatomie du Sensible: a laboratory of reflection and physical research bringing together practitioners in the artistic and the medical fields
http://djalma.com
http://lafab-ka.blogspot.com/

Jean-Charles Francois, Lyon
improvising musician, composer, educator
founder Cefedem Aura, Lyon
co-founder of PaaLabRes, online space Artistic Practices in Acts, Laboratory of Research
professor at UCSan Diego Music faculty (1972-1990), San Diego (USA)
http://cefedem-aura.org/
http://www.paalabres.org/

Josephine Bode, Mazamet
improvising musician, interdisciplinary performer, music theater maker, organiser
Founder of Residence Midi - artist in residence space for musicians, artists & software developers
http://residencemidi.com
http://josephinebode.com

Association MÛ - pied, Valcivières
Patricia Kuypers / Franck Beaubois

improvising dancers, choreographers, educators, organisers
artistic directors of MÛ - pied - process of interaction in dance
http://www.mu-pied.com/

Gyorgy Kurtag, Asques
improvising musician, composer, sound designer
Coordinateur Art et Science au SCRIME
Chercheur Associé au LaBRI (2004)
University of Bordeaux
http://scrime.u-bordeaux.fr/


GERMANY

Alexandra Mahnke, Stuttgart
improvising dancer, performer, choreographer
SAAL FREI für Improvisation und Performance in Stuttgart
http://www.saalfrei.com/
http://alexandramahnke.de

Andrew Morrish, Berlin (and Australia)
improvising actor, dancer, story-teller, educator
30 years of performing and educating performers in Australia and Europe
research fellow Drama department Huddersfield University, UK (2008-2013)
https://movementresearch.org/publications/critical-correspondence/anat-ben-david-in-conversation-with-andrew-morrish-and-20-students
https://andrewmorrish.com/

Jagna Anderson, Berlin
improvising performance artist and curator
impro.per.arts - a platform for non-disciplinary real time arts
p.u.r.e. - performative urban research ensemble // improvisation & research in public space
Member of Aktion Tanz – Bundesverband Tanz in Bildung und Gesellschaft e.V.
founding member of WhatIIIF?
http://impro-per-arts.de
http://purewalks.wordpress.com

Jenny Haack, Berlin
improvising dancer, choreographer, curator, educator
b.arts.u - berlin arts united
Soundance Festival
http://berlinartsunited.com/
http://jennyhaack.de/

Matthias Schwabe, Berlin
improvising musician, educator, founder and director Exploratorium Berlin
exploratorium berlin
Mehringdamm 55, 10961 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
http://exploratorium-berlin.de

Dr. Reinhard Gagel, Pleetz
improvising musician, visual artist, researcher, educator
lecturer University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna
head of research Exploratorium Berlin (till spring 2020)
founder GM Kunstraum Pleetz
http://reinhard-gagel.de

Vlatko Kučan, Hamburg
improvising musician, researcher, music therapist, educator
SPIIC (Studio for Polystilistic Improvisation and Interdisciplinary Crossover)
Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg
concert series “The Art of Improvisation”
http://hfmt-hamburg.de/innovative-hochschule/spiic/
http://vlatkokucan.de/impromptu/
http://vlatkokucan.de


GREECE

Anna Tzakou, Athens
improvising performer, theatre deviser and academic researcher
Phd in Performance Practice, Exeter
founder Cloud Gate - Open Space Workshop, Athens
https://www.annatzakou-geopoetics.com/

Eleonora Ilia, Ioannina
improvising dancer and choreographer
founder and artistic director A Priori Dance co.
Instagram: eleonora_ilia
http://apriori-dance.com/index.html

Elisavet Pliakostathi, Athens
improvising performer, choreographer, educator
co-artistic director of BelleVille - nonprofit cultural organisation, Athens
co-artistic director of Athens Video Dance Project
https://58plus3danceco.wordpress.com/ 
http://www.athensvideodanceproject.gr/

Malvina- Nikoletta Androni, Athens
improvising choreographer, performer, designer and dj
https://vimeo.com/mnandroni

Paulina Kremasta, Athens
improvising performers, dancer, choreographer, educator
Artistic director of Creo Dance Company
Co-artistic director of Reon
Co-founder & member of the educational program “Skytali”
https://www.facebook.com/apogeosdance/
http://skytali.gr/
https://creodancecompany.wordpress.com/

Tsak Bam Festival, island of Aegina
a festival dedicated to the art of Here & Now
https://www.tsakbamfestival.gr/about/


HUNGARY

Balázs Simon, Borsod County
improvising performer, community builder
Utca-SzAK  (Theater group specialized in Street Creative Community)
http://utcaszak.hu

Ernő Zoltán Rubik, Budapest
improvising musician, composer
artistic director of JAZZAJ
http://jazzaj.hu/

Samu Gryllus, Budapest
improvising musician, composer, educator
artistic director Transparent Sound New Music Festival, Budapest
Varga Tibor Institute of Széchény University, Győr
University of Theater- and Film-Art, Budapest
department leader composition at Vienna Music Institute
http://uni.sze.hu/varga-tibor-institute-of-musical-art-1
http://szfe.hu/
http://www.samugryllus.info/


IRELAND

Laura Sarah Dowdall, Dublin
improvising dancer and choreographer
artistic leader Running Blind Dance
community artist, dance for people who are blind and deafblind
Instagram: @laurasarahdowdall
http://runningblind.ie/
https://laurasarahdowdall.wixsite.com/dancer



ITALY

Lelio Giannetto, Palermo
improvising musician, artistic director
CURVA MINORE
associazione per la musica contemporanea
Sicilian Improvisers Orchestra
http://curvaminore.org
http://facebook.com/SicilianImprovisersOrchestra

Pietro Denaro, Palermo / London
improvising lawyer, researcher and actor
https://www.linkedin.com/in/pietrodenaro/

Silvia Bennett, Viareggio
improvising dancer, choreographer, organiser
Compagnia IF PRANA
http://ifprana.it

Tommaso Rolando, Genua
improvising musician, entrepreneur, label owner
Torto Editions
Associazione Musicale e Culturale  “IMPROLAND EST”
http://torto.biz
http://improland.it


NETHERLANDS

Ab Baars, Amsterdam
improvising musician, bandleader, composer
artistic director of WIG Foundation (with Ig Henneman)
ICP Orchestra (Instant Composers Pool)
Baars Hennemann Duo / Fish Scale Sunrise
http://stichtingwig.com/
http://www.icporchestra.com/

Andrea Hackl, Amsterdam
improvising performer, choreographer and video artist
artistic director of Andrea Hackl Projects
founding member of WhatIIIF?
https://andreahackl.com/

Anet van de Elzen, Amsterdam/Texel
improvising visual and performance artist
artistic director Stichting Performance / To Be Present
http://anetvandeelzen.com
http://tobepresent.nl

Bert Mooiman, The Hague
improvising musician, researcher, educator
expert for historically inspired improvisation
Royal Acadamy of Music, The Hague
member of METRIC (Modernizing European Higher Music Education Through Improvisation)
http://metricimpro.eu/
http://koncon.nl/docenten/bert-mooiman

Bettina Neuhaus, Amsterdam
improvising dancer, choreographer, educator
http://bettinaneuhaus.com

Chris Tonelli, Groningen
improvising musician, researcher, educator
University of Groningen
Groningen Centre for Health & Humanities
Department of Arts, Culture, and Media
Editor of Book Reviews at the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, Canada
http://rug.nl/staff/c.j.tonelli/
               
Dodó Kis, Amsterdam
improvising musician, composer, educator, music-theater maker
EAR sessions (concert series)
http://facebook.com/earsession/
http://dodokis.com

Doek Collective, Amsterdam
improvising musicians, composers, artistic leaders
(Eric Boeren, John Dikeman, Kaja Draksler, Oscar Jan Hoogland, Wilbert de Joode, Michael Moore, Ada Rave, Jasper Stadhouders, Marta Warelis and Wolter Wierbos)
Doek Festival
http://doek.org

Esmeralda Detmers, Amsterdam
improvising actor, theatre director, edudcator, community artist
founding member of WhatIIIF?
http://esmeraldadetmers.nl/

Manuela Tessi, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cape Town (SA)
improvising dancer, choreographer, maker
artistic director of musicdance.net
OT301 Music Dance Performance Series and Festival
http://musicdance.net/
https://www.manuelalucia.com

Marcos Baggiani, Amsterdam
improvising musician, organiser, artistic leader
Celano Baggiani Group / Ambush Party
stichting Trytone (improvisation platform/label)
http://www.facebook.com/stichting.trytone/
http://www.marcosbaggiani.com

Maria Mavridou, Amsterdam
improvising dancer, choreographer, educator
https://mavridoumaria.blogspot.com

Marianthi Michailidou, Amsterdam
improvising dancer and choreographer
founding member of WhatIIIF?
http://www.marianthis.blogspot.com

Marije Nie, Amsterdam
improvising tap dancer, independent theatre maker, researcher and educator
Cross Pollination International Research Platform (NL)
Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium (DK)
Kunstteater (DK)
Splendor (NL)
http://marijenie.com
http://odinteatret.dk
http://splendoramsterdam.com

Marisa Grande, Wageningen
improvising dancer, performer, choreographer
director InMotionDanceTraces
co-founder Elap
http://www.inmotiondancetraces.nl
http://www.elap.nl

Thomas Johannsen, Amsterdam
improvising musician, dancer, actor, maker, educator, organiser
artistic director of Genetic Choir - vocal swarm intelligence projects
House of Sounds and Songs - improvisation for/with people with dementia
(Non)Corpus trilogy - bridging religious and secular/contemporary approaches to the voice
founding member of WhatIIIF?
http://www.genetic-choir.org


NORTHERN-IRELAND

Dr. Franziska Schroeder, Belfast
improvising musician, researcher, reader in music, sonic arts and improvisation
Queen's University Belfast
Sonic Arts Research Center
member of METRIC (Modernizing European Higher Music Education Through Improvisation)
http://pure.qub.ac.uk/en/persons/franziska-schroeder
http://metricimpro.eu/
http://improvisationresearch.com/


POLAND

Jeff Gburek, Poznan
improvising musician, composer, sound designer, field recordist
http://transparent-abelard.blogspot.com/
http://jeffgburekprojects.bandcamp.com/
http://djalma.com


SLOVENIA

Grega Mocivnik, Ljubljana
improvising performer, public space Interventions
LJUD group
theatre performance as a game, a ritual and a social event
http://www.ljud.si


SPAIN

Discordian Records, Barcelona
(El Pricto / Vasco Trilla Gomes Dos Santos)
improvising musicians, composers, producers, organisers
Discordian Records - label and collective
http://discordianrecords.bandcamp.com/ 
http://elpricto.com/
http://www.vascotrilla.com

Paloma Carrasco López, Madrid
improvising musician/dancer, educator, organiser
Escucha en Movimiento (interdisciplinary improvisation series)
http://www.facebook.com/escuchaenmovimiento/
http://palomacarrascolopez.weebly.com


SWEDEN

Benedikte Esperi, Gothenborg
improvising performer, producer, curator of choreography, video and performance
founding member of WhatIIIF?
Galleri 54
Tiny Festival
http://benedikteesperi.com
http://koreoartscape.com
http://galleri54.com
http://facebook.com/thetinyfestival/

Nathalie Fari, Gothenborg
improvising site specific performer and researcher
BodyMappingLab (Performative Arts & Artistic Research)
PhD Candidate in Performance Practices
University of Gothenburg
http://bodymappinglab.com


SWITZERLAND

Alberto Barberis, Lugano 
improvising performer, composer, code artist, organiser
electronic music teacher Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano
production manager OGGIMUSICA (Lugano, CH)
member Floating Forest Records (Verbania, IT)
http://www.highscorefestival.com/

Charlotte Hug, Zürich
improviser, composer-performer, media artist, educator
head of Creation and Scenario in Music at Zurich University of the Arts
lecturer for improvisation at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
http://www.charlottehug.com

Christoph Baumann, Luzern
improvising musician and composer
emeritus professor for Improvisation and Jazzpiano at the University of Applied Arts Lucerne.
member of METRIC (Modernizing European Higher Music Education Through Improvisation)
Duo Interzones
http://www.baumannhaemmerli.ch/hausquartett/
http://metricimpro.eu

Dragos Tara, Lausanne
improvising musician, composer, organiser
Member of Rue du Nord, ensemble of improvised music
Member of the Compagnie CHAU, contemporary chamber music
Coordinator of Topophoniques, sound art in public space
https://topophoniques.ch/
http://dragostara.blogspot.com/

Franziska Baumann, Bern
improvising musician, composer, sound-artist, educator, researcher
lecturer for Improvisation and Contemporary Vocal Arts Practice at Berne University of The Arts
http://www.hkb.bfh.ch/de/studium/master/music-composition/
http://baumann-brieske.net
http://hkb-soundarts.ch/
http://franziskabaumann.ch

Pierre Thoma, Genève
improvising musician, performer, sound-artist and composer
40 years of realising instrumental and electro-acoustic music, sound poetry and -installations on international level
http://www.pierrethoma.ch/

Prof. Simon Henein, Neuchâtel
professor of microengineering and improvisation, improvising dancer, educator
Director of Instant-Lab (Micromechanical and Horological Design Laboratory)
Professor of Microengineering at EPFL, Lausanne
Co-founder of L'Ame-de-Fonds Company
https://www.epfl.ch/labs/instantlab/ascopet/
http://www.epfl.ch/labs/instantlab/improgineering/
http://lechambart.blogspot.com

Thomas Mettler, Camedo
improvising dancer, performer, physical theatre director, film-maker, educator
working in theatre & dance since 38 years
http://somemenmustdie.com/
http://www.keep-searching.ch/

Zeno Gabaglio, Lugano
improviser, composer, performer and media artist
lecturer for improvisation at Lugano University of Music - Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana
https://www.conservatorio.ch/it/scuola-universitaria
http://zenogabaglio.com
 

TURKEY

Sevket Akinci, Istanbul
improvising musician, composer, organiser
Konjo
http://sevketakinci.com/
https://konjoband.wordpress.com/

Berke Can Ozcan, Istanbul
improvising musician, composer
http://berkecanozcan.com/


Efe Demiral, Istanbul
improvising musician, composer
youtube channel: Efe Demiral

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