Chronopolitics — III Memo of Time (2010 — )

Chronopolitics — III Memo of Time is a performance seeking a duration that exceeds the human lifespan and lasts "endlessly". The performance began on March 1st 2010. It explores the boundaries of performance, subjectivity and performative societies by asking whether performance has an exterior or an end.

The "endless performance" is not an attempt to celebrate the pervasiveness of performance but to draw attention to the questions of duration in our age: it addresses our difficulties to perceive the duration of the impacts of human action in a complex world of intertwining human and non-human spheres. In the performance the attention is directed to the durations and temporal relationships between beings and processes of “nature”.

The starting point of the performance is the notion of a world without animals, but filled with representations of animals. This vision of potential future is founded on two powerful trends in the present: the escalating extinction of animal species, and the vast growth of performance practices and research. Behind this vision is the idea, presented by philosopher Jacques Derrida, that human subjectivity is based on animals.

Chronopolitics branches into three threads. One is a performance by non-humans on the prehistoric shore of the post-ice-age Yoldia Sea in the northern suburbs of Helsinki, at the highest point of the city area. This performance goes on constantly. So does also the simple web performance, whose main input is a proposal to make performances with and for non-humans (beings and processes of nature). www.chronopoliticsmemoperformance.fi. The third thread is a nomadic live performance, which first appeared in March 2010. In the beginning of it, spectators went on a guided walk through the underground vaults of the Zoological Museum in the centre of Helsinki, wandering among over 10 million remnants of dead animals. From there a visitor could walk at her/his own pace to the workroom of the performance - which approached the question of the representations, mediations and memories of disappearing animals through the use of performance/remembrance technologies from different eras - and finally to an observatory for a star show and a discussion with an astronomer.

The performers of Chronopolitics consist of robodogs and other machines, people of different ages and other beings and processes of “nature”.

Performance continues as various practices, e.g. workshops, texts and performances. Next performances are in Stanford, California in June 2013 and in the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Helsinki in October 2013.

Chronopolitics - III Memo of Time is the last instalment in the Memos of Time performance series, which is part of Tuija Kokkonen's doctoral research project "The potential nature of performance. Relationships to the non-human in the performance event from the perspective of duration and potentiality" in the Theatre Academy, Helsinki.

Maus&Orlovski 2009-2010—

In the age order, in March 2010 human performers are between 9 and 70 years:

  • Performers:
    non-human co-performers
    Sirkka Turkka (poetry)
    Kauko Uusoksa (qigong)
    Tuija Kokkonen (concept, text, direction)
    Pekka Sassi (animal videos)
    Riku Saastamoinen (sound design)
    Sini Haapalinna (live video)
    Pinja Kokkonen (roboanimal direction)
    Silja Sallamaa, Elina Tommila (guides/the Zoological Museum)
    Sakari Lehtinen, (star presenter /Observatory, Ursa Astronomical Association
  • The rest of the working group:
    Mika Aalto-Setälä (graphic design)
    Johanna Tirronen (production consultant)
    Ville Saarivaara (web programming)
    Karita Blom (production assistant)
  • Other co-agents:
    Jouko Rikkinen, professor of botany, Dept. of Biosciences/ University of Helsinki (lichen photography and discussions)
    Ilona Oksanen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept. of Food and environmental sciences, Division of Microbiology /University of Helsinki (Introduction to cyanobacteria, microscoping and filming in collaboration with Sini Haapalinna)
    Markku Nousiainen, digital media designer & artist (programming & technical consulting)
    David Hackston, English translation (except the citates)
  • Photos
    VTM /KKA / Petri Virtanen (5,6,7,9,10,11,12)
    Johanna Tirronen (13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21)
    Pekka Sassi (1)
    Tuija Kokkonen (2,3)

Production

Maus&Orlovski in collaboration with Kiasma Theatre/Museum of Contemporary Art and Theatre Academy, Helsinki.

Other collaborators

  • Zoological Museum
  • Observatory of the Ursa Astronomical Association

Supported by

  • Finnish Cultural Foundation
  • Kone Foundation
  • Performing Arts Research Centre/Theatre Academy
  • Arts Council of Finland

Texts on performance

Publications

  • Tuija Kokkonen & Alan Read: ”Chronopolitics with Dogs and Trees in Stanford.” Performance Research 19.3. 2014.
  • ”Kun emme tiedä: Keskustelemassa ”meitä” uusiksi. Lajienväliset esitykset ja esitystaiteen rooli ekokriisien aikakaudella.” An anthology on posthumanism. Ed. Lea Rojola & Karoliina Lummaa. Eetos 2014.
  • “Muistioita ajasta: kolme näkökulmaa toisiin eläimiin ja esitykseen” (“Memos of Time: Three Perspectives on Other Animals and Performance.”) Esitys 2/2013.
  • ”Kronopolitiikkaa esityksessä robottikoiran, jäkälän ja tähden kanssa.” (“Chronopolitics in Performance with a Robodog, Lichen and a Star.”) Esittävien taiteiden metodologiset haasteet. Näyttämö ja tutkimus 4. Eds. Liisa Ikonen, Hanna Järvinen, Maiju Loukola. The 4th Yearbook of the Society for the Theatre Research. 2012.

Other texts