We begin our project with more and more commonly known news: we are living in the time of the sixth mass extinction event, the manmade climate catastrophe, the polluting of the oceans and the impoverishment and destruction of ever expanding parts of our human and non-human world. This is the terrible news of the anthropocene. These are the reasons why horror is the mother of our project.
But we are not only confronted with the crisis of our earth systems threatening our survival, we are also in a crisis of perception. The power to act is not anymore exclusively human but nature itself has become an actor. Human-beings are confronted with the task to acknowledge a network of human and non-human actors in order to reject the illusionary view ‘as if from Sirius’ (B.Latour) – reject the possibility of neutral observation from an external point of view.
The long term theatre project ANTHROPOS EX proposes to fight against both crises with the means of the theatre – we want to face the crisis of the climate and the crisis of the perception by making the ground underneath our feet the centre of our attention and work. In order to do that, we, the Initiative for Applied Melancholy, will assemble collaborators from various fields of science and art in Entlebuch, central Switzerland. From September 2022 onwards for the duration of two years they will be invited to interdisciplinary and collective research and mediation of knowledge.
These two years will serve to explore how to talk about the entanglements of human and non-human actors adequately and comprehensively as well as to ask how they can be re-/presented. To tackle questions of representation, the means of theatre are crucial: by redistributing the agencies of protagonists, stage and audience, we can shift our perception of agencies in the world. We want to radically question the superior position that the human-being possesses in the bourgeois theatre and find its place in a world of complex entanglements and contaminations.