Part of the LIFT & Watermans Utopia R&D Residency.
2016 marks the next LIFT festival as well as the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s radical, influential political tract Utopia. We see this as an opportune moment to consider our ideas on society and politics and some of the burning issues of the moment.
Both Watermans and LIFT work with artists and projects that engage with the big global issues of our time: freedom of expression and freedom of movement; the effects of globalisation on climate change, migration and social justice; the pervasion of digital culture, the potential of big data and the threat of surveillance and technological warfare.
LIFT and Watermans recently announced a joint open call for project ideas that use technology and performance to engage with the political stories of our time. We are very pleased to announce that Station House Opera were selected for the 2-week R&D Residency at Watermans.
Over two weeks from 5th to 17th January 2016, UK performance and theatre company Station House Opera have been based at Watermans for the arts and performance project At Home in Gaza and London.
During these two weeks, a group of around 10 artists in Gaza are working with 10 artists in London on a series of workshops exploring the possibilities of using video and software to collaboratively create live performance across digital and physical divides. Through exchanging high-quality video files over the internet and a real-time Skype connection, the two workshop locations are combined into a single space and inhabited virtually by the artists.
Selected through an open call for participants, the artists involved in the project come from a variety of disciplines – theatre, film, visual arts, photography, architecture – and this is the first time that they work together.
The project uses technical and artistic strategies that have been researched by the UK theatre company Station House Opera over the past five years. It is an attempt at a genuine exchange of artistic and cultural ambitions in the creation of a collaborative, site-specific theatre piece. This is an early stage in the development of a full-length theatre production between Gaza and London for presentation in 2017 or 2018.
A public sharing taking simultaneously place in Gaza and London on Sunday 17th January at 4pm, will present the results of the workshops including a live performance.