Übersicht: Bundesweite Artist Labs 2023

The following Artist Labs have been selected by the Fonds Darstellende Künste based on the recommendations of a multi-perspective curatorial panel and will be held nationwide between July and October:

What can theater do for whom, when crisis has become a condition for everyone?
What spaces do we create in order to work artistically in them and invite people to participate? What role does the relationship between public and private space play in it? Where does what kind of mediation take place. And how does that work with the power apparatus inherent in representation? We take time to work on this.

In the laboratory RE:VALUATION NOW** the Hamburg collective FORMATION NOW** deals with access and future perspectives of and for public, as well as artists of color in the independent performing arts, which have resulted from the corona-conditioned funding structures.

In the course of founding the "International Center for Artistic Representation and United Society" at the Green Salon of the Volksbühne, the question of how experiences from the pandemic help to win new, diverse audiences for the independent theater scene will be discussed. The focus is on approaching the lived realities of diverse communities to become more visible on and off stage.

How can independent theaters expand/long-term engage their audiences against the backdrop of changing cultural and social contexts? How do we approach the issue? Is the way we think about audiences creative or itself the problem? A theoretical and artistic-practical exchange about success stories, aberrations and open questions around the topic of audiences.

The project "THEATER im Ländlichen Raum: Macht Bock?" invites artists of the independent performing arts to think about the future of theater in rural areas together with existing and potential audiences. Docked on the THEATERNATUR Festival in Benneckenstein/Harz they develop approaches to questions like: What formats do we need? What kind of cultural work do we want?

MicelArtistLab is a knowledge exchange network for Latin American artists living in Germany. With this lab we strive to understand and strengthen strategies for generating and engaging audiences in our migrant communities. At the same time, we want to draw attention to the fact that we want to be perceived as part of the independent performing arts scene.

In recent years, the independent scene for young audiences in Frankfurt has been on the move: Numerous new groups have emerged and existing groups have renewed themselves. The lab deals with aspects of audience development that have emerged around the pandemic. How can theater open up for young audiences in the sense of a diverse and lively cultural landscape?

Prefiguring a Choreographic Milieu is a lab conceived to assess which structures can adequately support the artistic development and the public life of choreographic practices in urban space when they centre on the shaping of somatic experience rather than the production of image.
How can we reformulate “the public” in regard to the effects the work produces rather than the number of spectators?

PSR Collective will invite existing and new collaborators to reflect on their work creating social choreographies in time and space that seek to include marginalised artists, audiences, and communities. With references to migrant, LGBT and disabled experience, the participants will reflect on what was won and lost in the last years, asking how these gains can be made sustainable and ongoing.

It opens the Bits & Bytes - a PopUp Lab, which wants to dicuss what constitutes an ideal media competence center together with the residents of the residents of the city. The place should gaps in knowledge and create access points so that, for example, theater makers and viewers can engage with digital realities on new levels.

‘expanded listening - new spaces on air’ examines the gained significance that the medium of radio and alternative forms of listening have assumed for the performing arts. Actors from ‘expanded radio’ and listening practices exchange on gained experiences and discuss new tendencies. Further the research on an audible archive for diaspora Black dances is deepened.

With "Exploring Neighborhood(s)" the NFT takes a look at the space that is closest to us: our neighborhood. In several neighborhood explorations, artists* examine how aesthetic practice in the pandemic has interacted with the social near-space of free production sites and what after-effects this will have on the future relationship of art and audience.

The Artist Lab "Dialogpotentiale in Zeiten gesellschaftlicher Zersplitterung" deals with the question of how we can develop a common language of art between and through the contradictions of an absolutely diverse society. How do we manage to build a freer future for all, beyond the antagonism of needs?

Artists from the field of children's and youth theater develop strategies for theater productions in dealing with topics such as colonial history, colonial continuities and discriminatory power structures, which are essential for social coexistence as well as the individual, self-empowered personality development of adolescents who have not previously found their way into the theater.

The focus of this evaluation project is the spatial-social search for forms of encounter and artistic engagement beyond fixed theater contexts. When does theater as a place become obsolete in the sense of a social sculpture? How do we (re)find each other? It undertakes the attempt to connect the historical models of a political theater practice with current questions.

In the context of a summer camp, the Sustainable Culture Collective is securing experiences that emerged from transdisciplinary projects during the pandemic. It explores how leaving ancestral spaces led to new interconnections between performing arts and society, to new relevance in the sense of transformation, and how in this way recipients became collaborators.

The lab "Auswege aus patriarchaler Männlichkeit - eine Zielgruppenforschung" evaluates the possibilities and potentials of Instagram advertising as an artistic-practical format. How can it be used as a tool to spread alternative narratives of masculinity and provide men with a way out of patriarchal cycles of violence and loneliness?

Absence arises. It is not simply there. Absence arises through the definition of a place where it appears and to which it relates. The laboratory "Essence of Absence (being abstract)" gathers representatives of societies that for various reasons do not want to or cannot go to the theater, in order to jointly formulate theses on how the theater would have to transform itself in order to counteract this state of affairs. The lab will take place during B.A.L.L. live in the newly emerging "sewage plant" at Kampnagel.

In times of increased conservative backlash and anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric, "What's Love Got to Do with It?" invites an international group of curators and artists with queer working practices to critically reflect on the ways in which theater and other (art) spaces are used for queer purposes and to share strategies and experiences.

In Neustart Kultur, about 24 artists and researchers have networked to carry out performative research processes together with children and young people (audiences). Now artists and children are coming together to evaluate what has been achieved and to develop perspectives for the future: How should intergenerational, performative and networked research be conducted in the future?

Why do so many people think theater is only for the middle class? Gob Squad believe that art should belong to everyone and invite cultural workers, political actors and Berlin neighbors to develop strategies for a new cultural practice that dares experimental forms and creates accessibility - whether as audience or protagonist.

Blind, visually impaired, and chronically ill audience members, come together to inquire what is necessary for performances in public space and per post to be accessible to blind, visually impaired, and chronically ill persons. Freelance choreographers and dramaturgs of theatre institutions then develop their answers into practices of implementation, noting both structural and aesthetic shifts.

With the "Das Hof-Labor" LOKSTOFF! wants to venture into the rural area, with all its opportunities and challenges. Together with local experts and artists from various disciplines, LOKSTOFF! would like to use a farm as an example to investigate which forms for our agricultural and cultural heritage and which visions for the future need to be developed together.

The audience of (post)digital formats is increasingly addressed as accomplices and co-creators of the artistic process. With the help of prototyping, play tests and user experience design, community building in theater is rethought. "ShiftingCommunities" invites artists to reflect on their practices in dealing with audiences and to design tools for more visibility.

Tanzkomplizen SÜW & creation doors community join forces to share insights of their common focus collegially in the form of online workshops & experimental spaces: Audience generation, dialogical/practical mediation formats, participation strategies, target group specific address, intercollegial communication, collaboration, reciprocal/proactive networks are the focus of this exchange.

The public space as an artistic space was the only space for the audience during the pandemic. How can a reflection on this lead to a more democratic and less discriminatory cultural sharing and participation for the audience of the future? With different artists* the BUTIÖR investigates its audience in urban, rural and newly discovered public space.

Organizing Cultural Commons: Theater commoning should be bottom-up, not top-down. Audiences and theater makers merge into a creative community of commonizers. But who are the people who organize commoning and initiate phase 1 of the cyclical model? What specific experiences and methods do they bring to the table? What hurdles and problems do they face?

The "GamesArtistLab: Playing with The Audience" is intended to be a space for encounter and play in which artists of all disciplines engage with the audience in a researching and questioning manner. Central to this is the investigation of hybrid forms between games and theater and the resulting questions on topics such as participation, interaction, storytelling and mediation.

The eastern German states are still characterized by strong flows of movement between fluctuating metropolitan areas and rural, bleeding regions, usually in only one direction - as is the case in the area land Thuringia.

But what happens when routes change and the arts return? The Artist Lab redefines this area in a collective workshop journey through Thuringia.

As a space for feminist visions, agency, and intersectional futures, Artist Lab nudges overdue transformations in production and performance modes of the liberal performing arts to break down barriers for parents and people with care responsibilities. You are welcome and part of a diverse feminist future that we are all helping to create!

During the pandemic, audiowalks were a way to play the orphaned public space, brought variety to the daily Corona walk, and enabled free scene actors to stay in touch with their audience despite all odds. But what will happen with the format that has only just arrived in the consciousness of the audience?

The "Temporal Audiences in Cross-Genre Queer Performing Arts" lab unites a diverse group of performing artists exploring the power of queer spaces in audience formation. Artists like Shlomi Moto Wagner, Heinrich Horwitz and others will take part in live workshops, digital and cloud-based exchanges, and a public open-studio day, culminating in a podcast and VR space documenting their exploration.

"Global Village Dreams" comprises the evaluation and further development of participatory, immersive hybrid formats regarding audience generation in urban/rural/digital spaces. In dialogue with theater scholars, digitally competent young adults in rural areas and immersion experts, the lab reflects on the existing and sharpen methods of sustainable audience development.

Hearing Voices is an audio collection of testimonies of participants, community hosts, institutions in dialogue (‘audiences’), who find belonging and affinity with Social Pleasure Center. SPC asks a large community of queers and artists how can the performing art field inform an anticolonial cultural shift with its somatic wisdom? What are structural necessities to sustain embodied change?

"The writing beyond the yester-morrow" explores and develops new collaborative formats between urbanism, experimental music, and practices of practices of decolonization for a new audience of transcultural communities.

10 multidisciplinary artists from costume, scenography, direction, dramaturgy and performance come together to explore and practically test scenographies for the audiences of tomorrow: Participation, encounter and co-creation, intergenerational, egalitarian and inclusive, what are the chances and potentials of scenography?

Based on his obsessive-compulsive disorder developed during the CoViD lockdowns Oliver Zahn investigates the reverberations of the pandemic with regard to artists the reverberations of the pandemic with regard to artists, audiences and society in the form of four collaborative seminars.

In the lab "performing for peers - publika (post)pandemischer berufseinsteiger*innen" (2019-22), emerging artists in the independent performing arts evaluate whether they produced predominantly with and for each other during the pandemic and how they can extend this peer protective space post-pandemically to younger and older people.

Vanessa Stern and her team want to redefine the possible radicality of their theater work by no longer referring to the individual root, Latin "radix", but by perceiving the audience as a rhizome (root network). For them, the audience does not exist as a "target group," as market logic would have it, but is produced through a variety of effective social relationships to which the theater connects.

The Community Arts Lab Augsburg (CALA) brings artists and art students from the HfG Karlsruhe into contact with Augsburg's urban society and accompanies site-specific artistic processes in which Augsburg citizens performatively negotiate the post-pandemic desire for encounter.

Together with queer artists from Berlin and representatives of Berlin theaters and institutions, we want to share our experiences with performing queer content in front of theater audiences and map out the possibilities of building a support network to become more resilient in the face of a discriminatory society.

When society changes, the theater must also change. The team of this lab believes that there are already artists and intersectional festivals that are implementing these changes and that and that everyone can learn from them. With this in mind Katharina Wisotzki, Sri Hartini Santo and Olivia Hotz 3 years. Festival work in the pandemic. Because: the future is intersectional!

More and more parties and clubs are integrating performance art into their events. Can party guests be lured into the theater? Do performing artists have to leave the institution of theater? What is the relationship between rave and high culture? What strategies of addressing and retaining audiences can we learn from club culture?

After a three-year pandemic, people in rural areas are once again meeting at public celebrations. Right-wing populists use this need to gain acceptance from the middle of society. How can we as performing artists make this process visible and, if necessary, re-evaluate it? The lab evaluates "culturally distant" audiences in relation to the performing arts.

"Brave Space: anti-fragilityand audience participation" is a lab that explores "anti-fragile" strategies for audiences. Through "Brave Space," open dialogues and sensitive topics are addressed. The goal is to promote meaningful interactions with a predominantly white audience.

Organized by Mutating Kinship Lab (MKL), a platform for 6 Asian diaspora arts initiatives."

How do we succeed in improving cultural participation for people in daily care chaos? The evaluation of pandemic, innovative formats serves as inspiration for us to develop a Kids Rider and a family-friendly label together with the venues in rounds of talks, idea workshops and test runs. Our wish: to drive inclusivity.

She She Pop invites to salons in which they explore the concept of hosting as a relationship between audience and artists. The lab is about participation, about social and cultural barriers, about the heterogeneity of the audience and stepping out of one's own bubble. From the experiences of the pandemic, a concept for future audience relations will be developed.

Six artists from the nationwide puppet theater scene exchange ideas about the evolution of the newly developed formats and future audience engagement. The aim of the lab is to consider the further development of these formats and the necessary funding instruments.

Artists from independent as well as so-called inclusive performance performance collectives will explore forms of collaboration, project planning and collaboration, project planning and audience opening.
The focus will be on how can we work together in such teams with very different participants and how can we come to a common exchange.

How can we use our resilience as marginalized artists to sustainably open community spaces to diverse audiences? Now we need to connect the different artistic-activist strands in order to share our community spaces sustainably with a diverse audience without compromising on the majority society.

In this Artist Lab, born class clowns and other jokers in the performative arts share their aesthetic strategies for dealing with experiences of classism. The artists explore how class differences correspond with comic forms and can be made uninhibitedly experiential for the audience: Who has a good laugh when class shows itself, and who knows no pardon?

OVAH is an empowering lab for Hannover's growing ballroom community. National and international representatives of the scene are invited to carry on the culture of QTIBIPOC* (Queer, Trans, Inter*, Black, Indigenous, People(s) of Color*) from/for us through live workshops as well as online sessions.

Can artists in exile maintain contact with their audience through virtual performances? How does an international theater workshop for young people feel in virtual space? The ensemble members of the theater company WHEELS are featured for the Artist Lab "Digital Nomads" by the Studio für unendliche Möglichkeiten and equipped for VR performances.

For over ten years, the show Queereeoké has been promoting queer empowerment through karaoke singing, spontaneous choreography, subversive humor and DIY costumes. The cheerful project is not just any party - at its core is a healing and therapeutic concept that dissolves the binary of audience and performer and thus fundamentally picks up the queer community.

The Artist Lab brings together artists from the independent scene and institutional actors by asking the question of the extent to which the artistic formats and aesthetics developed under pandemic conditions have opened up new ways of access for music theater and permanently change the way audiences can be addressed.

The lab wants to evaluate what translocal accessibility, participation & community-building can be in artistic processes locally and worldwide, between neighborhood work & digital formats, with a network of artists created at tak Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg. Who are the audiences for a glocal artists' village at Moritzplatz? Who is (not) visible? IT NEEDS THE WHOLE VILLAGE!

For three days at the FFT Düsseldorf, pulk fiktion, young people and theater makers without a production house of their own will reflect on their own artistic paths of encounter in digital and analog space. Together they want to find out what interests young people in theater and its makers and vice versa. How can common artistic spaces of encounter be created?

"Das Freie Theater war schon immer im Lockdown," we asserted in the 2020 Impulse anthology Learning from Lockdown. The artistic evaluation lab "The Words of the Arty Class" intersectionally examines class and racism in the field of Free Theater. The starting point of our lab are forms of speechlessness in a society where criticism of injustice too often goes unheard.

A lab that gathers artists, cultural-political workers, representatives of theaters and communication experts around the questions: How to deal with aggressive and violent reactions from the publics/public opinion? Which strategies and tools do we have as artists to deal with harmful fake news and populist rhetoric? How can we respond to the rise of violence and radicalized opinions?

The role of theater in urban development is being discussed: How do changes in inner cities affect theater audiences? Which theater formats promote active participation in social life? How can artists respond to change? The connection between urban development and performing arts will also be explored. The aim is to create participation in culture.

PRODUCING FUTURE AUDIENCES creates space to reflect and evaluate the role of producers as a link between artists and audiences. How can we implement insights from the pandemic into artistic work processes in the future?

Our lab addresses exclusion in marginalized groups, researching its causes. Do topic choices in theatre contribute? Are non-elite audiences overlooked? We aim to create a unified space for diverse artists to reflect and experiment with innovative formats, prioritizing inclusive and diverse audiences.

"House of Brownies" invites BIPOC dance practitioners to engage in an open discourse about their publics. The Lab takes a look at challenges of representation and explores questions around diversity and accessibility in the dance field.

How are young people and children with a refugee and migration background specifically reached in the field of the liberal performing arts? What measures have been taken to actively involve this target group and facilitate their access to the arts? To what extent is care considered as a basic principle to create a supportive and inclusive environment for these groups? Who participates in existing offerings and what barriers remain that impede their participation?