Video recording at my studio.
Live performance at ARS open studio in Tallinn.
Photos by Sylvia Köster.
Premiere on June, 2015 at Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava, Tallinn
Director, sound, light, cast – Erik Alalooga
„Obsession“ is a sleek technological theatre performance. Machine that has born as an object is been put into a state of subject. With this unwillingly coincides its personification, though it occurs without childish attempt to directly imply human values to it. Machine is a machine.
I constructed this machine seven years ago. He has no name yet. From the very beginning I have identified him through his function. His functions have always proceeded from his technical working principles and been part of a bigger system. Throughout seven years of my oeuvre, he has been a character representing all the dystopias of technophobes, worried that the machine might take the labour from humans. Yes, all this could have been done by a human. But it was the machine instead, not getting a single penny for it. His body feeds on 900W of electricity, gravity – that is a free resource so far and has 70 litres of tap water in its veins.
I do not consider him equal – as a replacement to human. I gave him life, yet he owes me nothing. Neither the other way round. Now we are on stage, us two. There would be no “you” without me and this performance without you. Do not get cheesy! There is nothing sentimental in here, flesh is meeting steel.
Articles (in estonian):
Premiere on May, 2013 in Black Hall of Culture Factory Polymer.
Performed in festivals Daama 2013 (Tartu), Estomania (Helsinki), Hommik (Tallinn)
Team: Erik Alalooga, Andreas W, Tanel V.Kulla, Taavi Suisalu
What if your plane happens to fall into a desert? The plane probably breaks. All kinds of pieces are scattered around. There is sand everywhere. You are lucky if you did not break your arm or neck. What happens now?
You start to look for pieces in the sand and clean them with the diligence of a beginner archaeologist. There is no welding machine. You might have a set of wrenches somewhere but they are all scattered around in the sand. You need to dig them out.
A hammer.. no, you probably do not have one. What an idiot would bring a hammer onto a plane? But what could you hit things with? Sand? Maybe your boot…. but where are all the nice tanker boots with metal sole inserts now? At home, of course, 1300 km away. This is not helping.
ERIK ALALOOGA & ANDREAS W “The Resistance of Material”
Performed in Kanuti Gildi SAAL.
‘”This performance is based on breaking. Man tries not to break anything. Or so it seems to us. In reality it is different. Nothing can be done in a physical room without breaking anything because no material will change its shape without intervening. This began already with stone axe. To get a sharp stone, some pieces had to be cut out of it. But to get to the concept of sharp stone, substantial and dynamic model of sharp stone had to evolve in the head of the person reshaping the stone. We think that it was premised by appearance of linguistic capability. Maybe. But linguistic capability can also only be the surface layer upon the capability of construing the reality. Interpretation of sharp stone could have been physical, perception of material that came from physical awareness, detecting power where used to be only instinct.
We believe that the appropriate method for this performance is breaking the materials. And if we add the linguistic layer then it comes from the inevitability that language surrounds us everywhere. We cannot through it out although we are actually not really interested in anything else than in how things and materials break.”
Co-producer: Kanuti Gildi SAAL
Supporters: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Kultuuritehas Polymer
“The Resistance of Material” was awarded with Independent Dance Prize 2012.
“The Odysseus´s Bow”
Premiere on July, 2011 in Culture Center Not Quite, Fengersfors, Sweden
Performed in Tallinn, Tartu, Riga, Kaunas.
Team: Erik Alalooga, Andreas W, Meeland Sepp, Hans-Gunter Lock.
Performance «Bow of Odysseus» focuses on synchronism between mechanics, sounds and lights. Of course, one can interpret the performance literally in one’s own way: authors of the performance have no intension what so ever to attach any cultural reference or meaning to the action taking place on stage. The authors’ group operates only with mechanics, sound and light; there is absolutely no interest in meanings and references that may (or not) occur to audience.
Even the heading «Bow of Odysseus» indicates barely initial idea of the performance. «Odysseus had a bow that no other man could cock,» said Andreas W. «Ok then,» said Erik Alalooga. «Let’s start with a stack of something that looks like a bow.» At that point Odysseus stepped out.
Project consists of series of machines and mechanisms with different complexity; Erik Alalooga and Meeland Sepp will be working live on stage to put all the machinery together. The assembling process will make sounds. There is a microphone (or several microphones) attached to each detail or component, the sound they make will be directed through Ableton live-processing filters. During the assembling process Andreas W will alter continually configuration and number of the microphones and filters. So all the sounds of putting together those machines and mechanisms will shift in real-time.
At the same time Hans-Gunter Lock will turn on and off algorithmically preprogrammed lights using Max/MSP. All changes in light scheme derive from the sounds made on stage. Preprogramming means that in live Hans-Gunter Lock will manually select algorithms on his light control panel and after that the lights will shift themselves in accordance with the sounds.
Audience was locked into old storage. To get out they needed to find a key. Only i knew its location, but i was in chains. To liberate me they needed to start all system. System contained machines which must have been started one-by-one. Instructions were drawn into blackboard with codes, cyphertexts and symbols.
“Error for music” is a performance of technological theatre in its pure style.
“Error for Music” was final performance of technological theatre masterclass (instructor Erik Alalooga) held in Tartu University Viljandi Culture Academy in spring 2014.
Technological theatre defines relationships between machine, human body and surrounding enviroment from technocentristic point of view. This point of view consists:
- Resignation of antropocentristic attitude in communication with technology.
- Treating machine as a subject not as an object.
- Syncronization of dramaturgical development with inner rhytms of machine.
Main question is: „How will devices on the stage and elsewhere around us start to act if we will not apply any dramaturgical pressure on them?“
Fixed functions have been attached to most of technological devices used in everyday life. Operations with any other (non-purposed) functions will automatically create platform for error-occurance. This can be easiest way to enter into the space of error, where we will be left behind by support of industrial engineering and mathematically calculated guarantee. We must create new way of communication with technology, assigning dominating role to error. „Error fo Music“ is not dealing so much with technical errors, but mostly with error constructed inside of spectator´s head while sensing a shift between expectations and reality.
Error for Music was performed three times in Estonia in program of student festival Kultuuridessant in Viljandi, Tartu and Tallinn and in final destination of this project – in The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.
Our PQ team:
Performance: Maarja Räni, Katre Sulane, Meeli Tuoppi, Anna Rosalie Uudre, Rommi Ruttas, Laura Maria Mäits.
Technical assistants: Ivar Piterskihh, Marko Odar, Eliisa Vellamaa
Manager: Liisa Liksor
Supervisor: Erik Alalooga