Researtch is an adequate term to describe the content and motives of my overall work, which sometimes is motivated by personal intuitions, sentiments or drives, sometimes by experimental curiosity, but which always manifest as something touching art and/or research. The main questions usually circle around a sense of presence, through which inspiration is accessible naturally and with richness – of how to activate that state and what to do from there.
I find that it is a real thing, which makes available a certain strength of nature in a person, a strength that brings on an at once high-minded and animalistic clarity in movement, thought and action, and allows new developments to surface in the process of myself, a group or an individual, leading to transformation, growth, and manifestation of beauty in presence.
Below are descriptions of some of the projects.
Practical attempts by expert enquiry:
Finn Hesselager (Crea 0 and Crea 1) 2010, 2011
In the course of my Master-education in Theaterpedagogy, I had the honor to do two internships with Finn Hesselager, as a way to gain better understanding into his method of teaching through mask. My previous experience with mask-work came from Per Brahe´s teachings – I found in Finn Hesselager a similar but different approach which was very well put together not only in practice, but also in theory. By watching Finn teach his students (Crea 0, 2010) I gained keys that have been with me since then, in my work. At the second internship (Crea 1, 2011) I conducted my own workshop and gained valuable feedback from Finn on my teaching.
Crea 1 applied a mixture of tools (developed through my personal process since 1996, combined with tools collectively developed in Club de la Faye since 2007) but was mainly based on the methods of Per Brahe and Finn Hesselager. The Crea-workshops are so far done without the use of masks in a traditional sense.
- first complete theoretical model of mask-work in practice, that I by then had encountered.
- first completely developed workshop of my own, entirely to the purpose of my Researtch into creativity, expression, transformation and personal growth.
I had the honor to come to Theatre Work Center in Ubud, Bali, with a small chosen team of comrades (Robert Bolin, Jonas Bræmer-Jensen, Simon Anker Larsen), to receive the full program as conducted by Per Brahe with local masters and to document the entire work on camera, for further project-development with the Researtch, this time in a fruitful dialogue with Robert Bolin. During the six weeks long journey, I received thorough practical and theoretical guidance in Per Brahe´s system of teaching, including the deeply related tradition of Balinese Sacred Art Practice and the notion of Taksu.
I also did an interview with high priest Ratu Srim Empu Dharma Kerti on similar themes and questions as I had been instructed in and explored in Ubud during the first month of the journey. This happened with the help of Nyoman Sridnyana in the village of Sawan, where I came with my team in order to learn in the footsteps of the genius Ulf Wayan Gadd (1943 – 2008), of the work practiced there by him and his family and village, and the ensembles of that village – school of GHANESA GAMELAN.
The documentation (filmed by J. Bræmer-Jensen and S. Anker-Larsen) is currently a treasure in the archive, awaiting new wind.
- second complete theoretical model of mask-work in practice.
- experience of deep work with Taksu in many ways and settings.
- thorough guidance in Balinese Sacred Art Practice.
- a deep pruning of my approach to and the tools of my Researtch.
Frans Ørsted-Andersen 2013–2016
During a period of three years, I had the honor to sporadically communicate with Frans-Ørsted Andersen, in my ambition to better understand Flow-theory. After several meetings and discussions, mainly based on my reflections and his further explanations regarding some of his books on the topic, I did an interview with him in which we went through not only Flow-theory as such, but also it´s possible relation with my own theories on how to apply it with my Researtch.
- deepening of the theory in my Master-thesis “Towards Personal Growth” (2012) about Autopoiesis as describing concept for the transformational Researtch-process.
Practical attempts at method development:
The Magus Theatre (swedish: Magusteatern) 2005
During a journey in Egypt in 2005, the project The Magus Theatre was created by myself and my good friend Jonas Ek. The idea had developed through our casual talks and practical experiments during 2002-2004. The vision was to develop a method of performance, where physical theatre was mixed with methods from qi-gong, yoga, and various esoteric perspectives, shamanistic and ritual-magic practices, ceremonial magic and chaosmagick. This in order to form an ensemble that created magical performance art and transformed themselves in the process. Both of us had in our backgrounds basic training in various kinds of theater, and a practical amateur knowledge of the use of the other methods that we wished to put into the combination. Main inspirations came from our having received teaching in physical theater from Joakim Waern (related Teatermaskinen) in 2002, from Dáh Teatar (related Odinteatret) in 2004, and, the project The Rites of Eleusis in 1910, led by Aleister Crowley. The Magus Theater managed in it´s short active period to make a creative translation of Aleister Crowleys “Rites of Eleusis” into Swedish from the English original, and to conduct a series of experimental workshops at Skrotum – Tankarörelsens Lustlaboratorium in Malmö. The project was short-lived, I was soon to move to Denmark, and the aim to work as an ensemble with the translated script never became reality. The notion of manifesting the Rites of Eleusis, had however become well ingrained in me and did develop further from there.
In my pursuit to work in the direction of the vision that the Magus Theater had represented, I was in Denmark drawn into immersive performance art, and also into Sacred Balinese Art-practice and mask work (Per Brahe), seeing that to my own gaze, these worlds had much to show and teach me on the matter.
- first attempt to apply methods that I had experience of in my own transformation-work, into an artistic, pedagogical system, intended for ensembles and audiences.
Towards Personal Growth (Crea 2) 2012
During my Master-education in Theater Pedagogy at Universität der Künste Berlin through Metropoluddannelserne in Copenhagen (2009-2012), I developed a workshop format (Crea), mainly inspired by Per Brahes and Finn Hesselagers pedagogies, filtered through my visions, which would be formulated in my graduation work at the education, “Towards Personal Growth”, including manifesting Crea 2.
Crea was the next major step in the Researtch. The workshop format was a basic version of a theater pedagogical method for training, teaching and research, designed to find ways to make it possible for an individual to “connect consciously with her being, become better equipped to follow her urge to manifest the being through heartful action, and furthermore, to establish that connection in an ongoing process of personal growth (autopoiesis)”.
The discourse in Crea was for all practical reasons stripped of the “magical” aspect, seeing, that all you need, is embodied imagination in liberated, grounded expansion, and a certain precision of will.
- First completed attempt at formulating my Researtch in academical terms, according to my best understanding at that time of the process.
Applied method in immersion for integration and growth:
Workshops in Bali – 2007, 2008, 2013, 2015
During three occasions of a few weeks at a time, I took part in workshops at the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts (Ubud), and the Balerung Theater (Peliatan), in order to develop myself and my Researtch further through the use of mask-work (Per Brahe, Aole T Miller), Balinese dance (Gde Bagus Mandera Erawan, Gde Oka Dalem, Raka Astuti (village of Peliatan), Ida Bagus Alit (village of Lodthonduh), Ida Bagus Anom (village of Mas)), and voice-work (Catherine Fitzmaurice, Aole T Miller, Micha Espinosa) and Clown (Aole T. Miller). The work was very transformative and has affected my Researtch strongly. During these workshops – including also one mask-workshop at Samsø, Denmark in 2007 with Per Brahe and Aole T Miller, one mask-workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark with Akil Davis in 2008, and two mask-workshops in Copenhagen in 2010 and 2011 with Per Brahe – I was introduced to the Balinese notion of the highest inspiration: Taksu. At my so far fourth journey to Bali in 2015, I further explored Taksu, at the Theatre Work Center in Lodhtunduh, and in the village of Sawan (GHANESA GAMELAN).
- deep training of the holistic approach to Researtch
- deep structural teaching in the ways of Balinese Sacred Art Practice
- establishing a deep heart-connection with the Island of the Gods
Club de la Faye – 2007 –>
Club de la Faye, a chaotically collective group, has many inspirations, many of which are written into it´s Manifesto. The two main streams of inspiration however, was originally the collective involvement in the work of SIGNA, and, the presence of a broad grass-root reaction in Copenhagen, to the domestic campaign for “normalization”, and the removal of creative free-havens, which is being actively pursued by the Danish government since around 2002. The members of the group got together as a collective art-activistic entity gradually during 2007, in order to re-enchant the stages of everyday life. This originally as a result of all having been part of the ensemble in SIGNA´s “Seven Tales of Misery”, in Copenhagen (2006).
During it´s first six years, the group organically fused the knowledge, desires, dreams and whims of it´s own members, gradually and by trial-and-error shaping and developing it´s ways of working, and through those ways, several immersive performances on the themes of transformation, ritual and enchantment were manifested. Being an active member in CDLF meant being part of a deep, broad and generous exchange of knowledge and ideas, all of which were shared under the name of the collective, but which were not bound to only being used within the manifestations of CDLF exclusively – hence, elements of that material and it´s “dna” keeps on transmuting sporadically through the works of it´s members on their own creative paths. For my own development, apart from finding many opportunities to grow as co-creating performer and facilitator as such, these projects brought me to a more seamlessly practical understanding, of how works of transformative ritual could be brought directly into art, without being burdened by solemnity or dogmatism – an understanding that I had originally seen possible to attain through immersive performance, when I at first encountered SIGNA in action (2004).
- strong collective exchange in development of memes and methods, structures and themes, in immersive performance
- experiencing the birth of a new egregore within the Current
- creating a method for the teaching of CDLF´s ways of immersive performance together with Iwona Rejmus and Inga Gerner Nielsen (later also used in our training of new performers as part of Dark Questions Matter – Rituel du Papillon)
Dark Questions Matter – Rituel du Papillon – 2013
This work was an immersive performance with Club de la Faye at the Explosive!-festival in Bremen, Germany. Around twenty of the clubs members took part in the nine-month process and three-day manifestation. I was Framesetter together with Louise Yaa Aisin (Yaa Lioness), and we created and led a form and process for the group, which aimed to give enhanced room for the expression of personal drives and dreams within the collective manifestation given in Bremen, while at the same time bringing the group to a new level as a whole. The structure involved many elements from previous performances with Club de la Faye, including the Embassy of Untrue Reality, the Creature, the Fairies Dance, Swimcats of the Swamp, and more. The installation was built as a combination of various “Transformational Zones” interconnected by a centralizing system of keys and visitors passport applications, for gradual exploration and challenge, in what was designed as a kind of personal initiatory journey for each applicant/visitor. Each Transformational Zone strongly manifested each particular performers approach to the theme of the work – which was transformation into a new paradigm, in a meeting with the personal path of the applicant/visitor at that moment within the same theme – hence providing the space for the individual performers, to grow personally out of the collective, in a collective effort of mutual growth and success, and to spread memes of this work further into the world.
- finding a fundament of possible answers, to the visionary questions of the Magus Theater, from my perspective of immersive performance art, in the view of my Researtch.
FIVE APARTMENTS – 2014
Being one of the performers in this project, gave me opportunity to experiment with the more phenomenological aspects of immersive performance, and apply perspectives from my own Researtch into the manifestation, within the context of it´s overall artistic and conceptual framework as given, facilitated and instructed by Madeleine Kate McGowan and Klara Utke Acs. This, in close co-creative exchange and collaboration, with my two co-performers Mads Bech Paluszewski-Hau (circuit-bending noise) and Mia Lyberth (mindfulness- and shadow-coaching).
Post-dramatic “Concoctions” with Håkan Magnusson 2014-2015
Beginning during the Master-education in theatre pedagogy, as a friendship around our mutual interest in co-creativity, performance, post-drama and organic self-development through artistic practice, a collaboration between me and Håkan Magnusson went on continuously through sporadic experiments and discussions during especially 2014 and 2015. We then created two large-scale manifestations (“postdramatic concoctions”) in the Dome of Visions (Copenhagen), in order to test our ideas, and to create movements in our circles: Symphonny Paralell Action, and Mysterious Gift from the Sky.
Symmphonny Paralell Action – 2014
This work manifested a practical experiment to work with synergies between different artistic acts, in a model inspired by Viewpoints (Bogart/Landau), involving contributions on the day by Charlotte Ravn, Ella Fogelberg, Ellen Spens, Elin Kattler, Herman Müntzing, Håkan Magnusson, Iwona Rejmus, James Brewster, Kalle Elofsson, Lena Fogelberg, Mads-Bech Paluszewski-Hau, Magnus Grenstedt, Melissa Henderson, Mia Lyberth and Peter Tommila.
As an aspect in this work, the collaboration which I had done with Mia Lyberth and Mads Bech Paluszewski-Hau during our participation as performers in Five Apartments earlier that year, continued in this other setting – mixing mindfulness-coaching, circuit-bending and improvisation of movement, voice and interaction. This time however not supported by the frame within Five Apartments, but instead as one of the many acts involved and intermingling, within Symmphonny Paralell Action.
The work also featured an installation, in which I presented the core themes and narratives of my Researtch in various interconnected stations for the audience to explore.
Mysterious Gift from the Sky – 2015
This work went along the same lines as the previous “Symmphonny Paralell Action”, but was more on the lines of a workshop with performing participants, than a loosely orchestrated symphony of individual artistic contributions – it was more minimalistic and centered in scope, relying strongly on Håkan Magnussons practice of making costumes and scenography from office material. Performing participants were Ellen Spens, Chiara Pellizzer, Lisbeth Hagerman, Elias Björn, Lena Fogelberg, Astrid Herner, Kajsa Lindskog, Dana Lötberg, Fanny Lindskog, Jørk Kjøller, Robert Bolin, Peter Tommila, Håkan Magnusson – with live improvisation on the day by CAM (Mads Bech Paluszewski-Hau, Anders Børup, Claus Poulsen)
The ensuing performance also generated an offering, which later was brought to the highest altar in Pura Besakih, during my work in Bali that same year, by the aid of Per Brahe as guide. Thereby reconnecting a circle which was opened in 2007 at my first visit there, and continuing the impulse into a new circle which still is open.
Visiting Artist at the Sisters Academy – 2015, 2016
In two 24-hour visits at two different manifestations of the Sisters Academy, I had the opportunity to experiment with aspects of the Researtch as it took place at that time in exchange and collaboration with Robert Bolin (Inkonst 2015) and Håkan Magnusson (Nova Academy, 2016).
The collaboration with Robert Bolin was a continuation of our work at the Theatre Work Center, Londtonduh, Bali, earlier that year, and focused on topics of presence and lightness through a minimalistic form of the traditional dance Penasar, manifested as an embryo to a new kind of performance art or dance. The collaboration with Håkan Magnusson was a minimalistic continuation of our post-dramatic “Concoctions” during 2014 and 2015, and manifested as a workshop with personal and collective mandalas, intuitively created with input from poetry of the five elements.
Both collaborations had links between each other – Håkan supported the work on the side in 2015, Robert supported the work on the side, in 2016. The beginning of this link of collaboration was formed during the post-dramatic Concoction “Mysterious Gift from the Sky” in Dome of Visions, Copenhagen, in 2015.
The SHIP – 2017 –>
This was an individual piece of work, within a collective manifestation. I fused chosen findings from my explorations of creativity and personal transformational, ritual work since my first exploration of physical theater, beginning 2002, and until my very present place-in-process at that time, in turn then reaching all the way back to my childhood, and again forward in time from there. In preparation of this engagement as teacher, pedagogue and performer, including designing and creating my own Tableaux / Transformational Zone, for this one month durational, immersive, installatory and liminal work, I created and shaped a form-in-process which by it ́s nature also is an act of fundamentally personal and continuous artistic expression.
Within the collective creation of the Sisters Academy 6 the Boarding School as performative frame, with enough room given me by the organizers to develop my own thing, I continued my Researtch through practical sessions on students of various backgrounds, combining teaching, ritualizing and field-research, while simultaneously expressing and exploring my being and urge performatively, and, for 27 days of that month, non-verbally.
During my preparations, I brought the Researtch further, with a deeper approach to the work, which had developed through the combination of, on the one hand, material and insights from Researtch on Bali in 2015, and on the other, precious insights and sentiments that had surfaced during my period of suffering a burnout during late 2015 – early 2017. I connected the dimensions of the Researtch into a form, which I found to be more integrated, workable and precise, seeing the aspects of my path coming together in deeper synchronization, giving room for stronger presence in practicing my way – and then I manifested this, with the purpose of personal transformation through holistic reconciliation of body and mind, and, with the purpose of doing my part in pushing a genre through the doors to higher acknowledgement, as always with that old Current at heart.
The atmosphere and history of the venue itself – Den Frie Center of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen – was very inspiring to work in, as was working with immersive performance in a context, which combined something familiar, with the energy of a new and amazing ensemble, in a very high level of precision regarding the immersive scenography, within which we all lived. The collective manifestation which ensued, blessed me to work with this daily and quite undisturbed for a month within the right setting, bringing my work further, deepening my Researtch and my own understanding of it´s general themes in practice, both within and without of collective manifestations of immersive performance art, and for that matter, official artistic manifestations in general.
- Culmination point in my understanding of the Researtch, as it had developed specifically since my Master-thesis “Towards Personal Growth” in 2012, but also in strong rapport with my entire transformational Researtch-process since 1996. Hence, the manifestation became a threshold to something new, on a personal level, as well as in the Researtch as such.
- Formulating Poetic Attentiveness as describing concept for understanding the link between imagination and experience in an Autopoietic / transformational Researtch -process.