« Staying with the trouble : Sympoièse, figures de ficelle, embrouilles multispécifiques ».
Donna J. Haraway.
Chthulu, a monstrous tentacled underworld god borrowed from Donna Haraway1, has the gift of linking species, minorities and fringe elements of our normal worlds. Without grading or classification in the eyes of the sovereign authorities, the voice of this subterranean character accepts complexity, abhorring any simplification for the sake of ease. To hear this voice is to enter a variety of cultures, to abandon the stance of the dominatrix, and to become a partner in all things marvellous yet stupefying, alluring yet terrifying, reassuring yet dangerous.
This means a departure from the normal view and a joining of wills on a human scale, in an economy built on ingenuity and pragmatism. It means creating dedicated spaces and trying out other possibilities. This is why the festival organisers have made it a priority to appear and take up residence in a variety of places in the city of Bourges and to convene practitioners to offer workshops to students, creators or indeed anyone wishing to explore.
From these laboratories (and these “forges”) open sessions will emerge : conferences, projections and gatherings, multiple ways of fostering research, exchanging energies and knowledge. Concretely, the festival will include the programme TransPlantation with Quimera Rosa’s guests, the performing duo Proyecto Immiscuir (DaniD’Emilia and Daniel B. Chavez); the carte blanche It’s Time, in honour of Donna Haraway, with, in particular, a workshop on performance reading of the Manifeste Chthulucène led by Helen Torres in association with Nadège Piton; a trip through multiple worlds in Espècement by Hall Noir with this year’s guests, the collective Les Yeux de l’Ouïe; role reversals with John Sanborn’s Encryption, the opportunity for a retrospective of this pioneering artist imagined by Stephen Sarrazin. Alexis Degrenier’s Différence(s) et répétition(s) explores sound oscillating between the traditional and contemporary; lectures and conferences by contemporary sorcerers and cinematic offerings as strange in their form as in their story lines, including those of our future European artist-in-residence Graeme Cole.
1 – D.H. has invented this suitcase-name evoking both the divinity emanating from H.W. Lovecraft’s short stories and the Greek root khthon, the Earth, hence the difference in spelling from that of the author of Providence.
With our tentacles dipped into the compost, we are attempting a heterochronic narrative in the Berry region, home to sorcery and the widest variety of bat species in France.
In 2013, we dipped our hands in mud while building a studio for Vidéa Performing Art. This great collective experience gave rise a year on to Hall Noir, created by David Legrand. In the same year, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens were invited by the association Emmetrop to come for a great performance of It’s Time for Ecosex.
And so it goes on. Links are forged and influences leave their imprint on us.
Today our team is:
Isabelle Carlier, practitioner of Aikido, editor, director of Bandits-Mages, member contributor to E.A.R.T.H. Lab and Mémoire de Mondes-Mémoire d’Avenir.
Mathieu Simon, archer, artist, technical director of Bandits-Mages and anonymous hacker.
David Legrand, fencing champion, collective artist and coordinator of Hall Noir, a Hack School devoted to collective creation, without fixed teachers, where guests can mingle with students in the spirit of the great self-run living art workshops.
Quimera Rosa, a laboratory for research and experimentation into identity, the body and technology, founded in Barcelona in 2008, it has been nomadic since May 2014. QR is inspired by the notion of the cyborg defined by Donna Haraway as “chimeras, theorised hybrids, made up of machinery and organisms”.
Marine Armbruster, singer and project manager for Bandits-Mages’ ZAAP (Zone d’Activité Artistique et Pédagogique).
Les Yeux de l’Ouïe Est (Violaine Higelin, Hadrien Devaux and Anthony Marquelet) aims to develop video creation and distribution as well as associated visual, sound and performing formats; to reveal these scripts in their multi-format dimensions (video art, creative documentaries, experimental cinema, audiovisual, sound or multimedia installations); to join forces with the venues and institutions having similar aims and to set up networks for the exchange of the various artistic processes.
It’s Time (Erik Noulette and Nadège Piton), programming of the association Emmentrop, a response to the urgent need for giving a voice, visibility and production tools to a set of artistic and activist attitudes arising from post-identity and micro-political subcultures.
Alexis Degrenier, failing a career in boxing, a composer and musician (percussion and hurdy-gurdy). Co-director of the label Drone Sweet Drone and member of various groups (La Tène, Outrenoir, Tanz Mein Herz, Minisym, solo…).
Jean-Michel Ponty, artist, musician and publisher, founder of Radio Radio and coordinator of post-graduate sound at the Ensa in Bourges.
Stephen Sarrazin, professor/critic/curator in film and art media, author of essays and monographs, co-editor-in-chief of the magazine Mondes du Cinéma.