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18 happenings in 3 yards







environments berlin.




“18 happenings in 3 yards” cycle of interactive environments & participatory art in berlin. may 2014

Project coordinator and curator: Paz Ponce Pérez-Bustamante

INDEX 1. Project description 2. Project concretization 3. Artists in mind 4. Calendar: possible dates 5. Apendix of images 6. Maps + Location images 7. Contact details

1. Project description

18 happenings in 3 yards is a cycle of happenings, performances, environments and interactive installations taking place in the space of 3 courtyards belonging to a complex of buildings in the Berliner neighbourhood of Wedding. The event will be presented as part of Month of Performance Art Berlin Festival in May 2014, and it will be divided into 3 sessions during 2 consecutive Sundays preceded by an introductory conference about “Interactive Environments and Participatory Art”. The project in essence is a tribute to Allan Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (1959), considered to be the first event in art history that engaged an audience as active participants in an interactive environment – invitations to the event said ‘you will become part of the happenings; you will simultaneously experience them’. 55 years of participatory art later, this project brings together 18 international artists whose practice undermines the boundaries between the artwork and its viewer, presented site-specifically in a series of Berliner Hinterhöfe (courtyards). The choice of the courtyard as an urban container of art and entertainment nods to a long Berliner tradition, which started as early as 1890s, in the context of the city’s industrialization period and the demographical boom that converted Wedding into a working-class district. Every Sunday afternoon a variety of leisure activities gathered labourers and their families around several Hinterhöfe. Dancing afternoons, circus games (“Klub Wedding”), Kunst-Salons and scenic stages are well documented in the illustrations of famous Berliner cartoonist Heinrich Zille. This cycle of events aims at featuring once again the architectural space of the courtyard as an environment for public interaction through art; understanding art as an experience, and space as a physical envelope for the senses and a passage for the imagination. On the other hand, the project is intended to drawn a conceptual parallelism between interactive art practices and the space of the courtyard understood as physical catalysts of personal and social dynamics of participation, as well as a metaphor for cultural, artistic and urban liberation. Structurally, both interactive art practices and urban yards hinge around the issues of control and freedom, embodying unresolved tensions between the different levels of individual agency within collective experience. Integrating chance operations, and playing with the variability of experience, of what cannot be predicted or controlled, they build a particular “architecture of the uncertain”. 18 happenings in 3 yards wants to become a playground for artistic experimentation where to rethink the role of the artist and the “spect-actor”, within a given urban environment which, in turn, epitomizes the permanent negotiation between control and freedom experienced by individual subjects in modern cities.

2. Project concretization

a) What specific goals does this project have?

To re-contextualize the use of Berliner courtyards as environments for public interaction through art, to regain their symbolical value as meeting spaces for citizens within the urban structure, to commemorate the history of the „spect(actor)“ as active participant in contemporary art since 1959.

b) Which target groups/audiences is this Project addressing to?

To a wide open audience that consumes art as part of their entertainment and daily life; to a specific art audience aware of the Month of Performance Art Berlin Festival; to a specific art audience keen on interactive art, from Children to Adults with a special emphasis on families due to the sensorial and the participatory nature of the project; to the Weddiner neighbours interested in the history of their district; to those who seek in art an analogic experience through out the orchestration of multi media resources. To a specific academically-related audience interested in urban development, participatory art, interactive environments and public art. c) What is the relevance of the project? To which current (inter)national discourses appeals this project? What new perspectives can be developed? With the commemoration of 55 years of participatory audience in interactive art practices this project offers the opportunity to judge the current possibilities of interdisciplinary art with the impact of digital, technological and audio-visual resources in contemporary art. The project is inserted in the discourses of experiential art, sensorial art, and the German tradition of the „gesammtkunswerke“ (total work of art), with the possibilities that the orchestration of new technology resources implies in creating an effective atmosphere that envelopes an audience. The program is representational of 3 current art trends in Berlin: performative art, technology based art and site-specific art; specially taking into account the fact that Berlin is the only European capital hosting an annual festival of performance art. The project responds to the status of Berlin as pioneer in the use of technology in art. Finally, the project echoes the dynamics of personal and social participation understanding the city as a collective experience, giving new meanings to already existing urban spaces, taking the city as a subject and rethinking the public space through participatory artistic events in the aim of blurring the barriers between art and life.

3. Artists in mind KEYWORDS art&life, participatory art, experiential art, sensorial

art, happening, fluxus, gesammtkunstwerk, environments, site-specific situations, action painting, walk-in instal-

lations, performance, public art, new media art, sound-

scape, interdisciplinary, interactive sculpture, interactive installation.

1. Rosana AntolĂ­ (ES)

performance, dance, action painting.

2. Loudwig van Ludens (GE)


Fluxus, Performance, painting, gesammtkunswerk.

3. AnaĂ­sa Franco (BR)

interactive sculptures, participatory, new media art, sensorial.

4. Reagan Truax (US)

durational performance, interactive, participatory.

performance, new media art, interactive.

6. Deborah Borque (ES)

interactive installation, new media art, participatory, sound environment.

7. Andrea Liu (US)

performative lecture, dance, participatory, happening.

8. Poyais Group (US) environments, walk-in installations, Fluxus, happening.

9. Miryana Todorova (BG) performance, action drawing, participatory art, public art

10. Nicolas Puyjalon (FR)

performance, participatory, interactive


11. Ivan Boskovic (RS)

performance, participatory, interactive, drawing, fluxus



5. Jeremy Bailey (CA)

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. Open call

4. Calendar: possible dates

* The event is programmed to be realised during 2 consecutive Sundays in May. The dates will be fixed acording to the availability of the artists.

** A doodle calendar will be sent to the artist and people involved in the project to do so.

*** The conference “Interactive Environments and Participatory Art� will take place at the beggining of the first day (either the 11th or 18th of May).

5. Apendix of images

5.1 Berliner Hinterhöfe in Wedding (1900-1910s) Images taken from “Das Grosse Zille-Album”. 2005, Komet.

Tanz im Hinterhof um 1912 Heinrich Zille

“Maxe macht der Hund sehr natürlich” Heinrich Zille

Schaubudenszene. F.Leu’s Kunst-Salon um 1904 Heinrich Zille

(Left) “Zirjusspiel am Wedding”. 1922 Heinrich Zille (Down) Berliner Hinterhof. Photography (unknown)

5.2 Allan Kaprow’s “eighteen happenings in six parts”. October 1959, 3rd floor loft of the Reuben Gallery (New York).

Kaprow’s scores and notes (from his notebook) Photo: Jeff Kelley

Robett Whitman playing a block “Match� during performance of eighteen happenings in six parts, 1959. Photo: Fred W. McDarrah

rosalyn montague sqeezing oranges during performance of eighteen happenings in six parts,

1959. Photo: Fred W. McDarrah

kaprow talking with robert whitman during construction of the set (left) and tape machines

(right) for eighteen happenings in six parts, 1959. Photos: Fred W. McDarrah

kaprow with the “sandwich man” during performance of eighteen happenings in six parts,

1959. Photo: Fred W. McDarrah

kaprow and his son, anton, in “yard”, installed in the backyard sculpture garden of martha jackson gallery (nyc),

1961. Photo: ken heyman

6. Maps + Location images 6.1 Location Map.

>> Gerichstrasse 23. hof III, IV, V. 13347 Wedding, Berlin

6.2 Location Pictures.

>> Gerichstrasse 23. hof III, IV, V. 13347 Wedding, Berlin

6. Contact details

“18 happenings in 3 yards” cycle of interactive environments & participatory art in berlin. may 2014 do you want to participate? would you like to join in the

/ curation / design of the event? organization

would you like to take part as a lecturer in the conference?

do you want to become a sponsor of the event?

do you want to help?

Please contact me! Project coordinator and curator: Paz Ponce Pérez email: telf: +49 (0) 15734099160 skype: pazppb

18 happenings in 3 yards  

Project dossier documentation (in process)

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