Things might have to get worse before they get better
Hobo's creatives Jamie Harper and Elien Hanselaer are collaborating on a brand new project on performance, games and ecological resilience (2021).
Jamie and Elien want to explore ecological resilience in the process of making performance. In pursuing this aim, we start from the premise that things might have to get worse before they get better, embracing decay or decomposition of known structures in order for new possibilities to emerge.
Our ecological approach is based on the notion that we work in complex, interconnected systems that are both material and ideological.
In this collaboration, Jamie and Elien want to interrogate the differences in our research interests. Elien’s work is inspired by the female principles of empathy, connection and spirituality in performance, while Jamie focuses on linking affect with critical reflexivity in play. We have found great value in the clash of our differing perspectives and want to further cultivate this clash as a form of mutual care. This notion of care need not be understood as something soft and gentle, but rather something that is both destructive and generative, colliding our perspectives on rationality / sensuality to produce a more diverse creative ecology.
Things might have to get worse before they get better, but we want to embrace that struggle in the hope that we will become stronger, more resilient, with a broader capacity to adapt our practices to the challenges of an uncertain future.
In earlier epochs, communities facing existential threats have activated rituals, games and mythic stories to re-enforce values and practices that sustain them through challenging times. In this project, we want to experiment with the creation of a performative game that combines new rituals and myths for a contemporary moment. Narva’s Post-Soviet landscape offers a fertile environment to interrogate these thematic concerns, combining images of a fallen empire alongside the emergence of a new landscape and social configuration.
Fusing our experience in game design and theatre making, we want to devise a performance piece that is the result of a three-week game played between two artists (Jamie and Elien). Our game will be characterised by interconnection, acceleration and potential collapse. Our creative process may include participatory performances that people can get involved in, which might include walking adventures, games or other creative tasks. We also want to play with the cultivation of remote connections with people across Europe. Our intention is for this network of old and new friends to expand across local and international space. People’s responses to our creative provocations will stimulate our activities, feeding into the game that we will play as a duo. Essentially, we want to research how the relational, social fabric that is constructed through these working methods might strengthen us, or deconstruct parts of us, enhancing our resilient capacity to adapt and change in tandem with the world around us.