Röda Sten Konsthall
May 26–27, 2022
An orchestral swarm performance
Panophilia is a performance project where visual artists, musicians and performers collectively create a site-specific piece beyond the confines of result/product but rather explore the process in itself.
They act as a creative human swarm rather than a group of individuals. The idea: how to achieve the dissolution of physical, mental, and genre boundaries by creating something together. The happening is the outcome, there will be no product to sell. Instead, the process of producing art and live music collectively and being the productive body becomes the actual artwork.
Process over product
The objective is to challenge the notion of an individual artist producing an individual work of art or piece of music, and instead to regard the process of collectively producing music and, moreover, experiencing this process as the actual artwork. The quality of this artwork can no longer be defined in terms of a tangible or audible result; the series of actions taken on the way, and how everyone experiences them, define its quality. The audience is invited to participate in this interdisciplinary exercise. They are welcome to get involved in activities, get themselves heard and become part of the swarm. The conventional delineation between performer and attendee will be abolished. We no longer distinguish between stage, orchestra, white cube, parking lot, and dancefloor. The event is walkable all around. Sight, sound, scent, locale, and people become one. There are no guest stars – everyone’s a guest, everyone’s a star.
Two days / 20 hours of flow
Over the course of two days, the swarm will turn the site into a multidimensional, living walk-in installation with abundant sonic properties. The installation and its live sound change constantly, depending on the dynamics of the day. The only constant factor is the constant change that takes place – site and personnel are in fluxus and what happens one moment may not happen ever again.
The event is open to the public Thursday May 26th 12:00–20:00 and Friday May 27th 12:00–21:00. There is no starting point or finish line, the audience may come and go as they please. The producers encourage attendees to actively participate in the creative process. The audience is not merely a recipient, they invent the event together with the artists rather than just consuming a show.
How do borders affect us? How isolated do we want to be, as a person, as a group, as a city, as a country? What happens when we decide to trust a stranger? Who do we let in, and on what conditions? Who gets to join ”the Union”? Can we counteract the current panophobia (the ”fear of everything”) and look beyond the myth of ”the nation” or ”our culture”? When is resistance to border policies considered arbitrary conduct and when is it an ethical duty? When do we need borders and do they succeed in defending a sovereign territory? With Panophilia (literally the ”love for everything”), we want to contribute to the discourse around the notion of ”boundary”, and what rights and restrictions are connected with it. Deeper yet, how come we even perceive ourselves as individuals? Just like ”no man is an island entirely of itself”, an organism comprising billions of cells can hardly claim to be one individual. Are we not composed of parts, i.e. dividual? On that basis, does it matter that you and I inhabit different bodies and think with different minds? Why not – at least for two days – start perceiving ourselves as one and transcend the notion of ”self” altogether? Historically, mystics have reported experiencing a state of transcendance, by which they meant a sensation of unity – with fellow humans, nature, a greater force, a deity. In our agnostic era of individualism, is there even the necessity of a communal experience? What are its implications?
With Panophilia, the contributors will accomplish the paradoxical mission of being the masterminds of the performance piece, yet abolishing themselves in the process and producing an artwork that will never be assigned to them. Since the performance has multiple authors, it becomes, by definition, an item of the common good. It no longer belongs to a single person or corporation but transcends the idea of ownership and power. Also, since the process is more important than the result, it never matters what is being built, performed, explored, shown, and experienced. The fact that it is built, performed, explored, shown, and experienced together exceeds the ’what’. In that sense, Panophilia both creates and discards itself.
Panophilia is kindly supported by
Swedish Arts Council / Kulturrådet
City of Gothenburg / Göteborgs Stad