The Living Archive is a core part of the Viral Theatres project: it offers a space for creative and participatory documentation and reflection on cultural production during and after the pandemic. It combines an open online multimedia platform that is to be shared and expanded and a live installation, which creates the living archive as a dialogue between digital and embodied elements. We set out to create a creative dictionary of pandemic theatres with a mix of audio, visual, VR/AR and performative elements to explore concepts such as “participation”,“intimacy” and “collaboration”, while putting the “search for the audience” into the center. At the same time, “living and liveness” themselves are at issue in this project of archiving the here and now; that means the documenting itself turns into an interactive and open process. Alongside the installation we will run a set of evening events that bring together international theatre makers, scholars, and digital makers.
The official launch of the online archive and the live performance installation are planned for December 9-12, 2021 at the Tieranatomisches Theater Berlin. The archive will consist of material that emerges from the research residencies, from the practical work with guest artists that will take place during the workshops series in the summer of 2021, and from the student work developed during the network seminar “Digital Theatres: Post/pandemic performance practices” that takes place at Bard Annandale New York and Bard College Berlin.