Habitat is a design for an interactive, temporary performance installation that invites audiences to enter multiple layers of virtual and real space. Spectators experience how these spaces come to life from any perspective of their choice.

Wood-carved sculptures provide the general framework for the performance-installation space. Each individual sculpture also contains an intimate inner space that the viewer must discover. These interior spaces are equipped with a screen and speaker.

The screen reveals a virtual space that is a media-generated extension of the sculpture, building a virtual stage for the dancer and her choreography. The dancer performs in a clearly defined area, which is integrated into the general performance-installation framework.

Dance and sculpture are united through the use of new technology and a software programme developed especially for this performance. The real-time video projections establish a link between the choreography in real space and the dance taking place in the sculpture’s virtual spaces. The virtual stages (screens) come alive as the dance unfolds. The dancer inhabits the sculpture’s virtual spaces as a single image or as multiple clone of herself. Every movement is born of an exchange with, and in relation to, the sculpture’s virtual inner spaces.

As she performs, the dancer is aware of the “habitats” defined by her interaction with the sculpture’s inner rooms. The choreographic interpretation remains part of the sculpture as a digital recording. The dancer inhabits separate “Habitats” of the sculptural installation without physically leaving the dance area.

For the spectators, the environment is both performance and installation, challenging and encouraging them to leave the safety of simple observation and discover new ways to perceive the world around them. This accessible, walkable installation becomes the audience’s temporary living space; a space that comes alive because the audience’s own movement brings them to simultaneously discover the real and the media-generated life within the sculptures. There is no distance between stage, spectator, performer, sound and sculpture, so that the artistic process becomes transparent as the performance progresses.

Concept: laborgras & Volker Schnüttgen
Choreography: laborgras (Renate Graziadei & Arthur Stäldi)
Performance: Renate Graziadei
Sculptures and Virtual Interior Design: Volker Schnüttgen
Composition & Live Music: Constantin Popp
Videoart: Frieder Weiss & Martin Bellardi
Costume Design: Chantal Margiotta
Assistance Costume: Claudia Janitschek
Sculpture Assistance: Fernando Almeida
Technical Director: Jochen Massar
Production: Inge Zysk
Public Relation: Yven Augustin

Pictures: Constantin Popp & Volker Schnüttgen

World premiere
December 17th 2010

Venue: Radialsystem
Holzmarktstr. 33
10243 Berlin

HABITAT is a laborgras & Volker Schnüttgen production and is supported by funds from the Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin. Generous support is also provided by Kirchoff Automotive and Galeria Arthobler. The Studio LaborGras is subsidised by „der Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten.“ The Performances in August is a event of LaborGras and RADIALSYSTEM V in Cooperation with Tanz im August.

The work in progress 2008 version was created in cooperation with Espaço dos Tempos Convento da Saudação, Montemor-o-Novo, with Faculdade De Belas Artes Do Porto and was supported by Kirchhoff Automotive.

Trailer: Tanzforum Berlin