International interdisciplinary arts project in deSingel from Saturday 21th to Monday 30th of August 2021
ChampdAction.LAbO is a laboratory for young creators, organized by Antwerp-based production platform for new music and interdisciplinary arts ChampdAction, and part of deSingel’s International Summer School. Its main purpose is creation through means of communication and interaction between the various arts disciplines: dance, music, fine arts and others.
ChampdAction.LAbO is aimed at students and young professionals who already have some experience with interdisciplinary work and who want to create something with the other artists during the LAbO period. ChampdAction.LAbO largely focuses on interdisciplinarity and the use of new technology.
Participants may propose their own projects in advance, of which a selection will serve as a starting point during the LAbO period: the emphasis will always be on creating together across various disciplines. During LAbO there is also room for new collaborations and projects, provided they are selected by the panel of coaches. Through short workshops and lectures on various subjects, participants are encouraged to leave their comfort zone every now and then.
On the evening of Sunday 29 of August, some of the participants are invited to show their projects during an exhibition for the general public. This performance is freely accessible.
ChampdAction.LAbO 2021 = theme = ALTER FUTURUM
In the 2021 edition of ChampdAction.LAbO, we would like to reflect on the question how artists relate to their personal past, to history in general, but also how envisage the future.
The history of art and music shows various instances, where artists understood their work as a continuation of a highly valued tradition. Frédéric Chopin, for example, supposedly kept a copy of Bach’s Well-Tempered Piano under his pillow, as a source of inspiration but also as a reminder of what he is aspiring to. Other artists, however, deliberately tried to break with the past. This has been expressed by many Fluxus artists through performances where classical music instruments were smashed, burned or otherwise destroyed.
How do you feel about the past? Do the works that predate us give guidance and orientation? Or are they a burden and hinderance? Is it the works that are forming our reference to art and music history? Or the people and personalities that stand behind it? Are we allowed to simply ignore the past? “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This famous phrase by Santanaya is often directed to politicians as a reminder of their responsibility. But can, or should such a sense of responsibility towards the past also be applied in the field of arts?
In his book “Ghosts of my Life” Mark Fisher (2014) opens with a chapter titled “Lost Futures”. Seeing himself as part of the “Future Shock” generation that was propelled forward by trust in progressive technologies and advancing science, he comes to the conclusion that in the 21st century the idea of the future has changed fundamentally. As phrased by Andrew Gallick “culture has [now] lost its momentum and […] we are all stuck at the end-of-history”.
The nostalgia for lost futures – that is past times, when the future was seen as something promising, rather than threatening – manifests most obviously in abundant variations of retromania and retrofuturism. But apart from such ouvert referentialities, the pertinent question emerges how a changed perspective on the future – enforced nowadays by the grim prospects of climate change and the Corona pandemic – echoes in our relationship to our present time and our past?
When compared with older generations of artists, today the internet places the access to the past on our fingertips. Either with well maintained archives such as Ubuweb, or via wild growing contents on platforms such as Youtube: we can scroll back in time as never before, revisit documentations or documentaries that reach to far older times than the internet itself. How do we build our historic references in an information-saturated time as today? Where do our personal histories differ from our browser histories?
During ChampdAction.LAbO2021 – a 10-day workshop for young creators – we want to reflect on these issues from multiple perspectives and through the lens of different disciplines.