Building Conversation is a dialogical artwork. Inspired by conversation techniques from all over the world we execute and perform different conversations together with participants in cities all over Europe. Doing so we explore, together with everybody who wants to join in, how we talk and how we could talk with each other.
We focus mainly on the basic conditions of a conversation, like the space where the conversation takes place, the length of a conversation, the way we introduce or reflect upon the conversation, the chairs we sit on and the way we physically relate to each other in space. We play, you could say, with these so called preconditions. What happens when we put away the table, start moving, leave out the words, stand opposite each other or lay down together? And, how is the way we speak influencing the content we generate and the thoughts we create?
At this moment Lotte is developing two new conversations, Parliament of Things (can we talk on behalf of the things?) and Time Loop (are we capable of going back in time to before we were born, ahead to after we die?).
About Parliament of Things
The French philosopher Bruno Latour states that the human perspective should be less central in order to be better able to deal with the challenges of this day and age. According to Latour we must give the values (not the value) of the things a place in our political debate.
Inspired by the theory of Bruno Latour, Building Conversation* accepts the challenge to set up a temporary Parliament of Things. We therefore invite you to take a seat in this parliament and to think about the future of the cities and the planet from the perspective of things and non-human entities.The Malta Festival presents three types of conversation:
22–26.06. Rozmowa bez słów / Conversation without Words
Inspired by the annual gathering of Inuit tribal chiefs from Greenland, we carry out a conversation without words. Research has shown that 60 to 80% of our communication is nonverbal. During this conversation we discover what happens when we refrain from using words.
'The body suddenly became so important, and for some time afterwards words felt like a mask I was hiding behind.' Daan Bosch (participant)
18, 19, 24–26.06. Agonistyczna rozmowa / Agonistic Conversation
Inspired on the conflict theorie of Chantal Mouffe and on a way of conversing peculiar to the Maoris from New Zealand, we carry on a conversation between opponents; a conversation in which conflict and differences are considered sources of change and creativity. If you avoid conflict, you stand still. When you confront conflict, not knowing where it will lead to, you are on the move.
’It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that a conversation gives form to conflict. If good, the form of the conversation offers you enough security to abandon your own safe standpoint and undergo a clash of basic principles.‘ Lotte van den Berg
20, 21, 24–26.06. Parlament rzeczy / Parliament of Things
Parliament of Things – a conversation will première on Friday 3 June 2016 during the on-stage programme of Europe by People and is developed and performed at the Creative Campus at the Java island.
Campaign bureau Partizan Publik set up the Parliament of Things in the fall of 2015. Building Conversation is involved in the design of this parliament and the findings that we gain together with the participants contribute to its final design.
LOTTE VAN DEN BERG was born in Groningen in 1975. She studied Theatre Studies and Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam before being accepted at the Amsterdam School of the Arts, Theatre Direction in 1998. After graduating, Lotte immediately started working freelance as a director for different Flemish and Dutch companies. From 2005 till the beginning of 2009 she was resident director at Toneelhuis in Antwerp. In 2009 Lotte left Toneelhuis to become artistic director of a new structure called OMSK.
concept Lotte van den Berg & Daan ’t Sas
direction Lotte van den Berg
design Daan ’t Sas
Building Conversation is a co-production with IN SITU and Münchner Kammerspiele and is financially supported by the Dutch Performing Arts Fund, AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts) and Fonds21