Estonia has developed a strong reputation globally for its pioneering role and quick adaption to digital technologies. With this in mind, Berlin performance duo Chris Kondek and Christiane Kühl decided that Estonia was the most obvious setting for their work ‘Distinguishing Marks’.
Kondek and Kühl both have a range of creative experiences behind them, including theatrical work, directing, film, journalism, video installations and the tow have been working together in collaboration since 2004.
Developed over 5 years, ‘Distinguishing Marks’ explores the digital environment from a theatrical perspective, with a particular focus on the darker side of e-societies. Estonian artists Piret Jaaks, Taavet Jansen, Helen Kask, Barbara Lehtna and Roland Laos worked together with Kondek and Kühl to develop the work. The team researched Estonia’s digital history and present the results of that research in a variety of lectures and performances, utilising the mediums of video, sound and apps as tools for creative expression.
The state in a cloud, secrets in the swamps, life in applications, networks like mushrooms, a walk through databases, a ride on x-road - where does e really begin?
The work centres around the birth of digital, the invisible e-state - Estonia’s digital doppelgänger e-Estonia - and the stories of its residents. A failed e-resident entrepreneur and a lost and lonely traveller. e-Estonia is the place where the future is now, but the question is what can be expected of that future?
‘Distinguishing Marks’ is being presented as part of the International conference “The Future of Performing Arts: Theatre Expanded” also being held at VABA LAVA, on the 22nd and 23rd of May. The two-day conference will welcome participants from Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, Germany and the United States to explore issues around institutional and organisational change in the performing arts.
The performance will commence at 7pm on each day of the conference, immediately after the day’s proceedings and evening refreshments. ‘Distinguishing Marks’ will open on 22nd May with additional performances on the 23rd (as part of the conference) and the 24th, 25th and 26th of May. There will be talks with the artists on the 23rd and the 28th of May after the performances.
Distinguishing Marks will be performed at the performance venue VABA LAVA in Tallinnn, Estonia. It is a bilingual performance in Estonian and English. You can read more about the performances on the VABA LAVA website and about the conference on Facebook.
"Culture includes not only culture and arts, but also the way of life and system of values. In this sense culture becomes the major power for intellectual renewal and human perfection." (European Council Report on European Cultural Policy)