Janna Holmstedt

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Limit-Cruisers (#1 Sphere)
A performance for six participants. Three air-filled spheres, lighting, wireless headphones, loudspeakers, and four synched soundtracks. Inter Arts Center, Malmö, 2012 and Weld, Stockholm, Sweden, 2014. In cooperation with Teatr Weimar.

Equipped with wireless headphones you are asked to climb into a large, transparent sphere. A pleasant voice tells you to relax and informs you that the oxygen will last ten minutes. The light goes off; a countdown begins. You suddenly find yourself in a situation where you are forced to exist in a here and now that is running towards a definite end. Meanwhile, three observers can follow the process from outside.

The listeners are guided through the performance by three different, but synchronized soundtracks: ”The Heroes of Absolute Zero”, ”New Individualism”, and ”Decoy”. They all revolve around more or less successful attempts to reach a zero point, a clearly distinguishable border, or the strongly desired state of individual autonomy. In the break, listeners and observers change positions and the countdown begins again.

The countdown is both the form and the content in this fragmented narrative, where different notions about what constitutes an ”I” is revealed in relation to forces of internal and external control.
The many voices present themselves as authorities, but it remains unclear who are in control of the situation. Is this a therapy session, a study, science fiction, or a self-management exercise? Sometimes you as a listener are encouraged to sink into a meditative flow, sometimes you feel completely battered by the information overload. But regardless of the advices, instructions or orders you are given, everything somehow seems to be up to you. And time is running out.

In the work there is no privileged position or full view. There is neither audience nor actors. There isn’t even any artwork unless you activate it and set it in motion. As a visitor, you are invited to explore the experience of being situated and responsive. You don’t need to perform, only engage.

"Limit-Cruisers" is the first of a series of artworks that are included in Janna Holmstedt’s research project Are You Ready for a Wet Live-In? Explorations into Listening at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå University, and Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University, Sweden. Different versions of Limit-Cruisers have been performed at Inter Arts Center in Malmö, and at Performance Studies international Conference #19, Stanford University, California.

Concept and realization: Janna Holmstedt
Participants: 6
Duration: 40-60 min
Language: English
Voices: David Book, Nils Dernevik, Orenda Fink, Janna Holmstedt
Muzak and ambience: Kent Olofsson
Light concept: Mira Svanberg
Programming and technical coordinator: Johan Nordström
Technician (IAC): Dana Lötberg
Host (IAC): Janna Holmstedt
Producer (IAC): Jörgen Dahlqvist
Technician (Weld): Ronald Hessman
Producer and host (Weld): Fredrik Wåhlstedt
Performances: Feb 21-23, 2014, Weld, Stockholm, Sweden.
Sep 18-20, 2012 and Mar 25-26, 2013 at Inter Arts Center, Malmö, Sweden.
Realized with support from: Umeå Academy of Fine Arts and in collaboration with Teatr Weimarand Weld

Articles by Clemens Altgård and Malena Forsare (SE).

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