The Philosophising Machine
DIE PHILOSOPHIERMASCHINE (The Philosophising Machine) is an artificial intelligence that brings dead thinkers back to life. Audiences can enter into lively dialogue through headphones with Hannah Arendt, Karl Jaspers and others and renegotiate urgent contemporary issues such as freedom, dissidence, otherness, censorship, social Utopia and hope. Ideas like these were already central to the war torn 20th century, but against the background of current populist developments, they acquire new relevance and urgency once more.
Interrobang’s algorithmic montage of original sound material allows each audience member to have personal ‘conversations’ with personalities that are no longer alive. The algorithms have been specially created so that a dialogue about current and future social developments is possible. From philosophical conceptual work, a playful panorama of spaces for collective thought and action develops.
“If paper could speak, you’d now hear the following greeting in many voices: “Hellooo – Heeeelo. Welcome to the Phiiiilosophising Maachine.” The words have been edited together from three different mouths. They belong to three 20th century philosophers and freely accessible archives of interviews, out of which the resourceful Interrobang performers have collaged together a single fantastical voice. (…)
(…) , this ‘artificial intelligence’, made from old telephones with digital technology inside, will send audiences in the Sophiensaele on a thought journey seldom experienced in the theatre. We could also call what Interrobang creates here out of the whirr of different times, materials and aesthetics, vampire-futuristic cutting-edge theatre.”
(Doris Meierhenrich, Berliner Zeitung from 22/01/20)
Each audience member steers the conversation themselves through the telephone keys, creating their own individual philosophy session. Do you want to think about right-wing extremism? Or the climate crisis? Or do you want to formulate your own thoughts, your own questions. In this way, the listeners spend an intensive hour with philosophers such as Jeanne Hersch, Ernst Bloch and Rudolf Bahro. Listening to their explanations about the student uprisings of the 60s, the ecological crisis of the 80s, you realise that these dead philosophers still have relevant answers to contemporary questions. […]
You’re invited to write, draw and stick things onto the note paper provided. Afterwards, whoever wants to, can hang their thoughts on a kind of clothes line in the space, which creates an almost intimate dialogue between the performance participants. […] Even though everyone works, thinks and writes for themselves, the constant interaction with the thoughts of other people gives rise to a sort of collective enquiry about one another and the state of the world. […]
At least one more insight remains: How beautiful would it be to have more philosophy in everyday life! Even if only for an hour with notes and pens and the time to formulate a few thoughts, a question and even perhaps a new Utopia.
(Caro Knoblauch, Inforadio RBB, 24/01/20)
Concept: Interrobang By and with: Peggy Mädler, Till Müller-Klug, Nina Tecklenburg Set Design: Silke Bauer Music and Audioproduction: Friedrich Greiling Programming: Florian Fischer Lightdesign / Technical Director: Dirk Lutz Production: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro PR: Tina Ebert Intern: Annelie Uhlig.
Production: Interrobang. Co-production: SOPHIENSÆLE. Funded by: Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and Konzeptionsförderung of Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V.
PACT Zollverein Essen
24.-26. June 2020 (cancelled due to COVID)
Premiere: 23. January 2020
further shows: 24. – 26. January 2020