weS.A.N.K. Tokyo

The weS.A.N.K. Research Group presents:

weS.A.N.K. [TOKYO]
Three days to prototype the stage of the future

Collaborative Session in TOKYO

Location: TOKAS (Tokyo Arts and Space – new name of former Tokyo Wonder Site)

16th, 17th and 18th of November 2017

Participants-Hosts: weS.A.N.K. research group: Vincent Roumagnac (France) and Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou (France)
Participants-Guests: Simo Kellokumpu (Finland), Josselin Vamour (France), Yusuke Kamata (Japan)

The mathematician Rene Thom once wrote that the rational and the imaginary are enemy brothers that cannot keep away from each other, but clandestinely only, as they do not like to be seen with each other. It could be that architecture and theatre have a similar secret attraction to one another.

Our research project weS.A.N.K. seeks to delimit a third space, a common cultural ground on which both theatre and architecture can unfold outside of their dogmas and traditional discourses, to take on experimental and speculative forms. There, both disciplines can mutate under each other’s influence.

Hence the collaborative session that we propose aims to look at the two-sided question: how can theatre revise its ecology of representation learning from and working with radical/relational/experimental/proto architecture? And how can architecture understand contemporary performance, of itself and of the bodies and objects to which it functions as backdrop? Our exchanges on this twofold question might open, over the course of the workshop, a field of experimentation on the idea of the “stage of the future”.

weS.A.N.K.[TOKYO]’s participants are thus invited to exchange on the possible future of theatre and/with architecture, and reciprocally, focusing and speculating on the mutations of scenic thinking and imaginaries, through opening up a dialogue on the boundaries of contemporary art, performing arts, architecture, design, science-fiction and futurology. Hence the collaborative session is opened to theatre/visual/installation artists, architects, scenographers, designers and media artists.

We will start by sharing our views on how much anticipation such as the forecast of the ecological catastrophe or the countdown to the ‘Sixth Extinction’ is putting a demand on the pre-existing stages to mutate in order to sustain themselves as experiential platforms for an access to our techno-conditioned future. We will also introduce the idea of the “deep stage”, as the process of emergence of a new stage that doesn’t function anymore according to the separation in between human stage and non-human backstage, but rather as a non-anthropocentric expansion of the notion of the stage towards environmental more-than-human agential materiality (from vegetal, animal, mineral, weather to algorithmic and computational). We will then invite the participants to implement with us strategies of architectural development as a response to the need of changing the paradigm to represent/experience, from a scenic perspective, the transformation of our rapidly eco-changing world.

weS.A.N.K.[TOKYO], which will be the first of four international collaborative sessions (Japan, France, Finland, Spain), will more specifically be looking at the holographic, computational and artificially intelligent architecture of the deep stage (or: how to address scenically the big data?)

In that direction, we propose to spend three days not only sharing conceptual speculations on those paradigm shifts but also playfully inventing prototypes of the stage(s) of the future(s). During the session, the participants will therefore create, collaboratively or individually, a series of futuristic stages and will present them, in this very quality of prototypes and/or storytelling formats, to an invited audience at the festive end of the gathering.

weSANK collaborative sessions are held in English.