Second Edition of ‘Spy on Me’ Festival at HAU Opens This Month

Mar. 10, 2020

Following its successful inaugural edition in 2018, HAU Hebbel am Ufer presents ‘Spy on Me #2 – Artistic Manoeuvres for the Digital Present’ from March 19th to 29th, in an effort to examine the complex effects of society’s digital transformation. Berlin-based and international artists, critics and other cultural collectives and thinkers will come together to present an array of spatial installations, discursive events and performances held across HAU’s three venues.

Courtesy of dgtl fmnsm

One highlight of the festival is sure to be dgtl fmnsm’s ‘HOT MESS,’ an interactive spatial installation inspired by the often-chaotic order of our desktops, thought constructs and digital repositories. In addition to this upcoming installation, the international queer-feminist collective network hosts live online performances, talks, technological rituals and laboratories of counter-speculation. “Technology is not neutral,” they write, “and only a feminist AI can save us.”

For three days of the festival, Berlin drag artist Oozing Gloop is joining forces with NewfrontEars (Alex Large and Liane Sommers) to present an installation and performance that explores new modes of collective participation via livestream, developing content through the collective failure of AI and material available in the public domain. Titled ‘Feeeeeeed,’ the audience will be invited to watch a YouTube stream on their phone or enter what the collaborators deem an “analogue inter-zone of the digital feed” in HAU3.

Kat Válastur: ‘Rasp Your Soul,’ performance still // Courtesy of the artist

Another performance with a three-day run, Kat Válastur’s ‘Rasp Your Soul’ is not to be missed. Part dance, part choreographed concert, the piece is a manifestation of the elusive. Ruins of language from capitalist digital culture are transformed into mantras that initiate precarious gestures, fading whispers, voice interruptions and molecular kinetics. Taking it another step further, such kinetic monuments might even be altered codes of processed cultural signs. The performance builds up the narrative of a post-mythological space in which a humanoid with “sensitive skin” makes the audience consider their own flesh and bones.

Mette Ingvartsen: ‘Moving in Concert,’ performance still // Courtesy of the artist, © Marc Domage

Lastly, make sure your calendar is marked for Mette Ingvartsen’s dance piece ‘Moving in Concert.’ Here, Ingvartsen and nine performers imagine a universe where humans, technologies and natural materials coexist and create different conceptions of life forms. In doing so, they address questions like how we can understand technology as something that is active in our bodies, even when technical devices have all been turned off.

Exhibition Info

‘Spy on Me #2 – Artistic Manoeuvres for the Digital Present’
Festival: March 19–29, 2020
*In order to prevent a rapid spread of the coronavirus, HAU Hebbel am Ufer is suspending the programme until April 19, 2020. HAU will live stream selected events. Further information will be available soon.

Mette Ingvartsen: ‘Moving in Concert,’ performance still // Courtesy of the artist, © Marc Domage

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