pieter van bogaert
On the passage of a few persons through a rather brief period of time
Notes on SI
(lees verder in Nederlands)
Between the 16th and the 28th of august 2010, ten artists gather in the dance studio of Les Ballets C de la B, in the Belgian city of Ghent. The meeting is initiated by Christine De Smedt, performer and choreographer for Les Ballets, and co-curated by Myriam Van Imschoot, Brussels based independent writer/artist/performer. Participants are European dancers, choreographers and media-artists. Every artist comes with her or his own project to be further developed and to generate feedback with and from the other artists. I am part of a public that comes and goes during the meeting and will share a few thoughts, observations and remarks on what happens before, during and after this meeting, called Summer Intensive, in Ghent.
(1) The S and I
The first thing
The first thing that comes into my head. The S and the I: the logo on the invitation. It reminds me of the Situationist International. The list of names and nationalities underneath reminisces the names and nationalities of the group that was active between 1957 and 1975. They were in Paris, we are in Ghent. They came from France, Belgium, Holland, Scandinavia – we are German, Greek, Belgian, Austrian, Portuguese or Russian. Their practice developed around new concepts like psychogeography, détournement, unitary urbanism. Ours in deepening out existing concepts like exchange, experiment, learning, support. Their terrain was the city. Ours, a dance studio.
There is more than these two initials that link Summer Intensive and the Situationist International. In what follows, more than once, the Situationist idea of the European gathering, the society of the spectacle, or the potlatch will be matched by SI’s actualisations on agency, criticality or sharing; just like the situationist dérive found its allies – its contemporaries – in the nineteenth century flâneur (Benjamin, Baudelaire), the twentieth century poetics of space (Bachelard) or the post 1968 spatial tactics of everyday life (De Certeau, Lefebvre).
When I think back of this dance studio, I think of a (dis)organized space: obstacles make me wander around, letters that could be signs (or not), unfinished slogans (first) on the wall and (then) in the room, unclear spectacles, about situations that could change from the one day to the next – from the one minute to the next – and about a hole in the floor (Sous les pavés, la plage!). I think of a group of performance makers, who meet to produce spectacles in a different way. Experience instead of representation, instead of repetition. If spectacle became an image forty years ago, it becomes a space today – what was a mere commodity or meaningless currency for the situationists, becomes an exciting environment to explore during SI. This dance studio is a spectacle as image, as space.
The similarities are there. But there may be even more things which distance SI from SI. What started as a spontaneous gathering fifty-three years ago, and dissolved even less programmed thirty-five years ago, cannot be repeated. Summer Intensive is announced; artists are invited; a space is reserved which is relatively closed – this is after all a private dance studio and not a public theatre; a public is informed; presentations are planned. But the longer we work, the less we care about announcing, inviting, reserving, closing (or opening), informing or planning. We no longer care about making things public. And the less we care, the better it works (Ne travaillez jamais!). People come unannounced. Presentations come unexpected. Doors remain unclosed. Slowing down: pressure disappears. We take our own time. We create our own space. We invent our own objects. Anarchy seems to enter the room. Punk attitude. I see a needle, freshly pierced through an artists’ ear.
Slightly, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Life skills are developed. People adapt to the space, which adapts to the people. Towers are raised. Tunnels are made. Mattresses installed. Books dispersed. Tables disappear (No predefined objects, no!). Volumes move. Stairs become chairs. Different sights make different sites. This is where people move, where people look. A space turned into a wasteland turned into a place.
We watch the films of Sergio Cruz. Dance films in which normal people move in an awkward way. I see them staring with a grin on their face. I see them swimming with their asses out of the water. I see them running on all fours, naked. I see them disappear into the night. I see children dancing like animals. A disgraceful girl moving with amazing grace. Dance and music in public places. These are the images from a filmmaker, ready for a change – a filmmaker looking for a new way of producing, for new images to produce. We watch porn, which is part of that change. I realise that this is what it is all about: bodies and movement, rhythm and sound, distance and affect, desire and displacement.
In this new environment – this dance studio turned into an open workspace – I see very common movements, out of the everyday, becoming particularly uncommon. The open society turned into a temporary autonomous zone. And I remember that whenever I come back in this same space the following days and when I see people moving – the same people who watched these films with me the other day – that I find it more and more difficult to see the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
(I hear rumours. Some of these people watch rented DVD’s on exorcism, late at night. I witness spectators replaying scenes from the movies. Talking backwards, tongues in their throats, moving in spasms, as if they want to turn themselves inside out. Détournement.)
Lenio doing yoga; Pieter warming up; Christine rehearsing texts; Sergio walking to the coffee machine; Vladimir going for food – every time I see somebody moving, I see the extraordinary coming out of the ordinary. I realise how difficult, how futile, it is to be a spectator. Everybody is involved in this choreography of the everyday; in this spectacle that never is and never will be. But still: it is possible – no: it is better – to stay where I am and to do my own thing. Or even: to do nothing. This space makes place for emptiness, place for nothing, and everything.
This is the place
This is the place where we will spend two weeks. Together. Where we will cross each other. Every day. The place where we will work.
There is a lot of repetition involved in this work. Repetition, of course, is part of the everyday experience in the performing arts; repetition, meaning rehearsal. But here, repetition is somewhere else. It is part of the way the days are structured: eat, meet, discuss, present, work. And again. But always with a difference. Everything has to be re-invented every day. Every movement answered by a countermovement. Every language by a counterlanguage. Every point by its counterpoint.
This space has its doubles. Animaos, the first film of Sergio Cruz, is repeated as Animals. The first is made with friends; the second with children. Lenio Kaklea re-enacts with Matter of Act, a group within the group of eight spectators-as-actors, moments/performances of the day. Theirs is an engagement without being critical; a dialogue without talking. Christine works on a new solo; a portrait – a repetition – of Jonathan Burrows. (You know Jonathan Burrows?). I see her repeating the same text. Repetitions are part of the text. Her play is conceived in a very musical way. Counterdance. Words come back. Layers appear. Counterpoints made. This is how she gives form to uncertainty: with surprise and coincidence.
This Burrows-portrait tends to turn into a Burrows-variation. Christine uses ticks and tricks – repetitions – from his work to make her own. Every repetition, every rehearsal brings its own variations. Every performance. The first was for Sergio (and I); the second for the group. I notice the difference in rhythm, the difference in speed. I feel a different tension. A higher pressure. I see a process. An interaction. A counteraction: observers that are actively involved. Ideas are exchanged. Translations are made. I see words changing in movements. Movements becoming words. Words become rhythm. Every repetition becomes a remix. This work is a remix, a form of counteraction, counterdiction, vice-diction: a second line, supporting the first.
Moments like these
Moments like these show the importance of rhythm, of rehearsal, of repetition and of countering them. They point towards the extraordinary ordinary. The words that keep on coming back in Burrows’ portrait: slightly, struck, between, working, in some way, because, like, try, (somehow), (always). Counterwords, pacing the beat of the play. The offside at the heart of the work.
Repetition, rhythm, time. Resemblance: as in one minute presentations and ten minute dances. The first, initiated by Myriam, repeats significant moments of the day. Condensed re-enactment. The second, initiated by Pieter Ampe, consists in a simultaneous performance of thinking, talking and moving. Stretched thoughts, in a hypertext of fragmented words and guided movements. Interwoven text. Both are exercises, made to repeat. Repetition makes them stronger: one learns from faults. But they also make weaker: faults, when repeated, become more visible. They make vulnerable. Repetitions like these are about trust, and about doing it: you have to trust the onlooker; you have to do it to know if you can trust them. Repetitions are like a magnifying glass. They intensify and wear out.
Dmitry Paranyushkin repeats his performance, centred on a single word (which isn’t even a word): OK. He can repeat it for half an hour saying all and nothing. Extraordinary ordinary. Every portrait is a repetition – of a person, of a situation. Dmitry’s portraits for ThisIsLike; Lilia Mestre’s portrait of the affective workspace; every interview in Myriam’s archive, every recording is a repetition; petrified reality. This text I am writing right here and now is a translation, a re-enactment, a repetition of an event.
Repetition of movements, of thoughts, of words: the ubiquitous catchwords, spread by Vladimir as part of his (dis)organizing space; expletives that drift around in mental (our heads) and physical (our walls) environment. OK, of course, but also < yes, but >, but still…, although, and yet…, and so… These are the words that keep on coming back. The words we keep on repeating. They show repetition as what you want to get rid of. The spectres that keep on haunting you. Some exorcism can be done here. Exorcism, in the sense of demonstration. Taking the monstrous out of the everyday. Making it move. Taking it out of the ordinary, right to the scene, to the theatre. SI is a dramatisation of ideas. It is a way of moving ideas; of making them work.
In Deleuze’s words: dancing (Nietzsche) and jumping (Kierkegaard) affect the mind. The most important in the repetitions – more Deleuze – are the differences. The difference is the essence of knowledge, the foundation of learning. It makes itself visible through repetition. This is what Deleuze means with his distinction between learning from and learning with. Whereas the first consists of repeating and remembering, the latter is a way of active forgetting. It is openness towards the future (and not repetition of the past). That is what the anarchy of SI was all about: an-arche , without origin. The chicken and the egg. The endless origin of the rhizome. An open structure with no beginning and no end.
A spectre haunts the cultural worker. The spectre of learning.
A spectre is a ghost and these are some titles of books in the dance studio: Mimesis and Alterity, Le Partage du Sensible, Vibrant Matter, Multitudes #21, Relational Aesthetics, Information is Alive, The Gift / Il dono, Parables of the Virtual, everybodys self interviews, everybodys 6 Months 1 Location, Body Mind Centering, A Choreographer’s Handbook and of course all these untitled, silver wrapped books, thick as bricks, spread around the room, promising no less than The Swedish Dance History. All these books, these titles, drift around, as if they don’t belong to anybody. They are part of this ongoing conversation, the exchange that is SI. These books are part of the work, the research, in progress. They are part of an evolution from a classical education towards a new way of learning.
Florian Schneider, one of the authors in The Swedish Dance History (pp. 66-78), draws on the philosophy of Deleuze, to make a distinction between institutions and ekstitutions. Institutions, according to Schneider, insist. Ekstitutions exist. In an institutional context one learns from the teacher. In an ekstitutional context one learns with the other. Institutions and ekstitutions: hierarchy and equality; framework and network; each one for her/his own and collaboration.
SI seeks for a way of learning, based on a non-hierarchical relation, explains Christine De Smedt. It is an exchange of experiences. It is a working environment. No coach, no pupil, no mentor. No educational system, no lab, but a short-term residence. It exists; it doesn’t insist. The open structure of the meeting is partly due to the projects, each participant brings along. Each of these projects started before SI and will be further developed after. SI is a short-term residency as part of life long learning.
All these books, these authors, these readers, those ideas, minds and spirits gathering in the room, become – more than a spectre – one many headed monster. Together they form a collective history of the mind – a Geistesgeschichte, linking the spirit of this space with all the ghosts of history. Spectres are part of the repetitions that haunt this event; they always keep on coming back. They keep on materialising and vaporizing; they are visible and invisible at the same time. Déjà-vu: what you think you see, but actually don’t. Déjà-vu, as in simultaneity: two images in one; presence of past and future. This is how we should understand the exorcism haunting Myriam’s archive: as a play with time. The archive preserves what was, for what has to come. Fate, in the form of the more or less arbitrary passersby invited by Myriam to explore her archive, decides what’s relevant and what not. What Derrida meant with the invisible visibility of the spectre: what one imagines, what one believes seeing, what one projects. This archive – or more general: this space – is meant to give room to (dis)appear. This room gives space to its spectres; it releases them. In Hamlet, the spirit is howling from under the floor. In SI, there is a hole in the floor to set that theatrical ghost free.
The definition of work
The definition of work is stretching here. Work is collaboration. It is a form of sharing, of distribution, like in Rancière’s Le partage du sensible. It is part of what Rancière described earlier as intellectual emancipation; a method of learning based on a profound belief in equality. If a teacher can teach a student, the student must also be able to teach her- or himself.
Now, isn’t this what happens during SI? Who is the teacher and who is the student? It’s hard to say. But one thing is clear: everybody in this room is eager to learn. And the presence of the other is essential for the intellectual emancipation, for the equality this group is striving for. This conception of sharing stands for a new idea of work. No teacher is asked to teach. No student forced to learn. The audience is free to enter or leave. There is only one rule, and that is that we’re all equal in this; we’re all participants in a process of creation. Emancipation makes any distinction between teacher and pupil, between performer and public, disappear. Everybody is involved. Each and every one has a task: the task of the emancipated participant.
So what about my role, my task, my work as an observer? SI made more than ever clear that any observer is always already an actor and a spectator at the same time. You cannot isolate the one from the other. Or to go back to Rancière (in Le spectateur émancipé): the erasure of the border between the performer and the observer is an artificial erasure of which Brecht and Debord (again: the spectre of Debord) were the last defenders. The border they want to erase does not exist. It never existed and will never exist. Here, everybody is equal. Every observer is a performer and every performer an observer; they both need the space to work.
It is not, however, because the task of performing and observing are mixed, that they lose their intrinsic value. Sometimes people have to be able to perform in order to observe (the uncritical re-enactments in Matter of Act). Other times people need time to observe in order to perform (the need to know the vocabulary in Lilia Mestre’s Moving You). How difficult it is to act without knowing. How hard it is to stay on the side to look, detect, learn and act. How tempting it is to do something, anything, to participate without waiting, without observing, without understanding.
Patience is important here. Take the time to get lost in the events. The time that is necessary to not understand. Sometimes there simply is nothing to understand. You have to accept that. Sometimes you just do things and learn about what happens afterwards. The understanding comes later, after the experience, when you least expect it. It is this uncritical approach that made many things possible during SI. An approach, stimulated by the space we’re in, that allows to take a distance from the events or to approach them; that gives room to agree or to disagree; to be affected or to remain unaffected.
Becoming matter is a first step towards becoming space. It is part of understanding space, not through thinking, but through doing. It is a way of living space – material space, but also affective space.
Elaborating on Moving you, a performance by Lilia Mestre, a practice during SI consists in voicing objects and moving spaces. Whereas Moving you is all about the affect between the performer and the objects on stage, this practice centres on things in this working space. Key questions are: “how to render visible the affective movement of a working area? How do people do establish the relation between their desire, their act, their needs, the other? Can we reveal its social / affective environment through a set up of sounds / vocabulary to objects?” (Lila Mestre on the SI website)
This practice is all about translation; about voicing. It is about “sound as thought, sound as action, sound as matter in between which I like to call relation”. It is about learning: “the process of learning a vocabulary / language / code for the distribution of affect in a given area that has its own materials, set ups and energy.” It is about agency: “the phenomenon of being a part of and being an agent of change between other multiple agents of change.” About place: “the place of the other (objects, thought, matter,…) in the making of a situation.” About affect: “affect as orientation towards something. (…) The act of modelling ways of living and modes of action within the existing real.”
The practice of voicing objects and moving spaces shows how things are connected. How actors are connected with the objects that surround them and with the space they are in. It is that connection that turns these objects into things and this space into a place. An affective connectedness that makes matters of fact (objectivities) become – Latour’s words – matters of concern (subjective things and places). It is about doing, more than about thinking; about participating, more than about perceiving. It is about direct action, more than about mediated experience.
How to go then from matters of fact to matters of concern? By turning the fact into an act. Becoming part of the (f)act. Which is exactly what happens in Lenio Kaklea’s Matter of act: re-enactment as re-appropriation. Understanding through becoming. Being part. Sharing. Experiencing. Feeling. Beyond criticality. Towards feedback. A process of learning and of repetition. A passage à l’acte: “des danses et des sauts qui atteignent directement l’esprit” (Deleuze).
The question is
The question is never how do I get into this space? You’re already in – if not, the question will not occur. The question is how do I get connected? How does this space become a place? Space is where you’re lost. Place is where you get connected. Affected. Places act, as agents with agency. This space is made up of a multiplicity of tiny places to connect.
You get in from the outside. The reason you’re in, is that you’re invited (as an artist), you’re attracted (as an audience), you’re affected (as both). This space is a continuum. People enter with old ideas and ongoing projects. They leave with new insights and developed projects. In between, something happens. These happenings are part of the continuum. This passage of a few persons, this group dynamic, is like a choreography; an orchestration of bodies.
Somewhere in this space, there is a dialog box. It is a shared place – collective, like so many other things in this space. It is a movable place – on wheels, unlike any other object in this space. This is how a dialog should be: shared and movable (and also, maybe: compact, as a box). This box brings the different places in this space together. It makes this space work as a dialog. It is the trigger for a permanent negotiation – against predetermined design; a continuous movement, a permanent change as method of facilitating emergent structures. Renaming, says Vladimir, is part of that dialogue. Renaming matter, as a revolt against repetition (remember the stopwords on the walls, as signs of protest against the repetition of the common): a table becomes a bed, a stair becomes a chair. Always starting afresh, allowing the objects to work. Opening up meaning. From this dialogue as interview as negotiation develops a space as portrait; as a mirror of the desire of the group. It turns this space into an image – a mirror image – in which to dwell.
The space for disagreement is important here. You don’t have to move out to disagree. Build your own structure – your conflict free zone, your zone of communication, your space for negotiation, your emancipating space – and things will emerge. And again: emergences are created by affects.
Space – object – image
Space – object – image. We have the beginning of a diagram. A diagram for SI.
One morning, Dmitry invites me for an interview. It is the first in a series of interviews that eventually will become a portrait of the group; a contemporary portrait. Contemporary, as in the media he uses: computer, software, website, network,… Contemporary also, as in ‘made on the spot’ (Vladimir suggests to do this on a bridge in a heavy frequented scenic environment where you can find all these painters and caricaturists for tourists), or as in ‘real time’: this portrait will develop while being linked to other portraits, and can be adjusted anytime via the website. The uneasy feeling that I'm pinned down with a few keywords that are never specific enough, disappears once I accept this as a living portrait.
The dynamic is important here. This portrait is always on the move. Not only from person to person, but as a whole. Go to the website: you will never find a static, fixed, finished configuration. This diagram raises questions on mapping, on limitations, on scale. Think Borges, who writes about a map that is as big as the territory it describes. His is the only possible map, the only exact representation of what it depicts. Here we have a completely different situation. No illusions about exactitude, no limitations, no finitude. This map is approximate, unlimited, never finished. It is a comparison. Hence, the title of Dmitry’s project: this is like. Space is like object is like image.
It is suggested that the diagram is what links space and image. The diagram is the map, the object, that draws similarities between the dynamic space and the static image. It is a way to join the static with the dynamic. Diagrams are important during SI, just like the interviews, portraits and other forms of questionnaires that go with it. Myriam’s table is a diagram; a more or less considered ordering of the objects and materials – interviews – in her archive. This space is a diagram: a possible image, a snapshot, of the different actors – agents, activities, connections – in the room. The board with the beginning of a possible schedule for SI, hidden behind another board after a few days, is a diagram.
There are probably more diagrams within SI – hidden or not. But what they all have in common is that they are dynamic; dynamic portraits. Or portraits of dynamics, like in the drawings of Nikolaus Gansterer. He starts from existing diagrams that have to be filled in, completed, by his public. The strangest things, stories, dynamics come out as a result. Which in turn come together again in his drawings of these dynamic processes. It is precisely this dynamic that makes these diagrams seem pointless, aimless. It is an aimlessness that affects signifying practices, but without the revolutionary qualities that the Situationists were looking for. Aimlessness that goes beyond distinctive hierarchies like right or wrong, correct or incorrect, clear or unclear, good or bad.
Good is a bad word. It could be the beginning of a manifesto. A manifesto for SI.
A manifesto draws the lines of things to come. A manifesto for SI should be open, uncritical, unjudgemental, beyond conflict. The word good sounds like a repetition; it is a recurring word that should be avoided. In philosophy, the words good and round have for a long time been used as synonymous. Good is what is accepted; what is (one of) ours. The round form of the sphere stands for what is finished, complete, closed. But then, when I think about it, the dance studio of SI has more of a tunnel, a station, a passage; always open, never finished, with a beginning that could as well be an end. What came previously and what will continue is always already part of what happens, of the event. This gives SI rather the shape of a cylinder – a tube, more than a sphere.
So what could a manifesto for SI look like? How to write this final, explicit, manifest text about something that is never finished, always open and rather hidden? How to write this critical text on this fundamentally uncritical event? Two possible answers. The first comes from the book, or rather the books, manifestly spread around the room: The History of Swedish Dance. Not only I find at least eight contributions explicitly named manifestos – not to mention all the hidden manifestos which do not call themselves like that – but moreover, one of the first major texts in the book, written by Bruno Latour, seeks ways to write a manifesto in a time when manifestos are per definition outdated. In Latour’s words: the time for manifestos has long passed, just like the time of the avant-gardes (the situationists, whose spectre was always present during SI, may well have been one of the last) or the time of the Great Frontier (the ultimate end, limit, goal, aim, that was always absent during SI). How to write a manifesto at the end of the time of time, in the age when time becomes something like a multidirectional – or rather: undirectional, no direction, no aim, no avant-garde – space? The answer of Latour comes as an attempt to write a compositionist manifesto – the spectre of Marx, again, and his communist manifesto. What both manifestos – Marx’ and Latour’s – have in common is the common: the willingness to share.
The second answer (although it did sound more like a question; as a way of thinking out loud) came from Pieter Ampe, during his talk on Sweet and Tender. Sweet and Tender is a community to support and to act. It is a network for collaboration, a continuing discussion in order to develop new ways and strategies for production. Questions raised in the process deal with problems of guilt (or not – the fact that in a group somebody is always at a disadvantage), of agreement (or not – should S&T open up for many things, or should it rather opt for a politics of disagreement and isolate itself from things?) and of form (or not – should S&T concentrate on form or rather on content?). S&T is more an idea than a well-defined project. Essential is the idea of collaboration, the method of exchange, the generosity at the core of the project.
This brings S&T very close to the experience of SI. I’m not sure whether a manifesto for SI (as for S&T) can ever be written. I would rather suggest this text should be done. Sergio does it, showing – and making – his films. Lenio does it, responding through Matter of Act. Christine does it, sharing her work in progress. Vladimir does it, (dis)organising the space. Myriam manifests herself with her very present archive; Dmitry and Nikolaus do it through their diagrams. Pieter does it by moving, talking and thinking at the same time; Lilia by moving and voicing objects in space. It is all there. Or not. Because, as soon as you try to seize it, it tends to dissolve in the air. It is like and it is not. It is a hidden manifesto. It will emerge from this text I’m writing. It will emerge from all the productions that will be developed the following months, of which we saw parts during SI. They are all part of this point that will never be made, that is always in process; endless work in progress. That is how this passage through a brief period in time turns into a never-ending event: an event of eternal becoming in which good definitely is a bad word. SI is a manifesto with the openness not to judge.
QUOTATIONS ARE USEFUL IN PERIODS OF IGNORANCE OR OBSCURANTIST BELIEFS – GUY DEBORD, 1981 (quoted in The Swedish Dance History and pasted on the Dialog Box)
A few quotes and many more words and ideas became part of this text, coming from interviews and conversations with participants during SI; books in the room of SI; text or sound fragments on the SI website; and the following books, lying on my desk before, during and after SI:
Jorge Luis Borges. Collected Fictions. Penguin, 1999
Guy Debord. La Société du Spectacle. Gallimard 1992 (1967)
Gilles Deleuze. Différence et repetition. PUF, 1968
Jacques Derrida. Spectres de Marx. Galilée, 1993
Brian Holmes. Escape the overcode. Activist art in the control society. Van Abbemuseum / WHW, 2009
Bruno Latour. Reassembling the social. An introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford, 2005
Greil Marcus. Lipstick traces. A secret history of the twentieth century. Secker & Warburg, 1989
Jacques Rancière. Le maître ignorant. Cinq leçons sur l’émancipation intellectuelle. Fayard, 1987
Id. The Politics of Aesthetics. Continuum, 2004
Id. Le spectateur émancipé. La fabrique, 2008
Peter Sloterdijk. Im Weltinnenraum des Kapitals. Für eine philosophische Theorie der Globalisierung. Suhrkamp, 2004
 More information on participants can be found elsewhere in this publication.
 See Myriam’s contribution for more.
 Matter of Act is about appropriation, decomposition and recomposition, not about interpretation or evaluation. See Lenio’s contribution for more.
 Jonathan Burrows: Strictly speaking, counterpoint is a musical term, whereas in dance we would tend to talk about relationship. / Relationship allows for the human, whereas counterpoint feels like it’s abstracting us into a formal element. A Choreographers Handbook, p. 106
 Burrows: Repetition is a device to intensify or erode something by showing it more than once, A Choreographers Handbook, p. 19
 Being a short-term residency, however, doesn’t mean that SI has a beginning and an end. SI, after all, fits into a series, a continuum, of other short-term residencies. Some of the participants come right from Impulstanz. Others have previous experiences at Jan Ritsema’s PAF (PerformingArtsForum). Nikolaus Gansterer stays in Ghent for Timelab. One could read this, or the fact that SI is organised in the framework of Les Ballets C de la B, as an institutionalisation of residencies. The openness of an ekstitutional initiative within an institutional context turns it into what Myriam described as a paradox.
 Myriam’s archive can only be experienced on invitation, and only in presence of Myriam herself. These visitors, these passersby, make the archive exist, they make it come alive. It is through them that Myriam learns to know her archive, that she explores it and finds out new meanings hidden in it. See Myriam’s contribution for more.
 Like so many things directly connected to this space, the dialog box is an invention of Vladimir Miller. His role in the functioning of this space is ubiquitous and therefore nearly invisible. His contribution to SI is generative, quickly turning this space – of which this dialog box is exemplary – into a collective, shared, work of art. See Vladimir’s contribution for more.