Press 1 for Spring Water
Authors/Participants: Daniel Aschwanden, Anna Litovskikh, Lina Marangattil, Elisa Pezza, Simon Platzgummer, Lisa Rohringer
Once we were all at sea. That was long ago. We grew apart with water, even though we are part water.
We take the current crisis as an impulse to deal and to reconnect with water. Water simply lacks space. Not in its streambeds and sea pits, but in people’s minds. We take everyday life in relation to water as the starting point for our approaches and want to give water the space in our heads that it deserves through artistic-performative means.
No easy task, especially since flowing water is taken for granted today. Although water supply is still and even increasingly a major problem in many parts of the world – including the global North.
With the H2otline we, a group of students of the University of Applied Arts in a seminar of Daniel Aschwanden, dedicate ourselves to the constant demand not to lose the mindfulness towards water. In the telephone guided performances – a selection of offers for all interested people – they can try out different forms of consciousness towards one of the most modest and at the same time most valuable of all materials.
No prior knowledge is required. Everything that happens in these dialogical suggestions is familiar to us as human beings and is inscribed in our genes. Seemingly self-evident activities such as drinking or washing hands are contextualized in exercise-like forms of action and thus transformed into poetic, political and ecological actions that build a bridge to water.
How do these performances work?
The pieces are performed on the basis of instructions for action, which are transmitted in individual telephone calls: Via H2Otline, which is presented in the video on the SOHO homepage, interested parties select their desired content and a time window on a working day of the SOHO Festival. A performer will then call the person at the specified time and guide them through a series of instructions.
In this way, the called persons themselves become performers in a reflection on human-water relationships.
The calling performers follow loosely scripted instructions, poems, textual quotations and narratives of their own stories, leaving space for the flow of interaction and for the input of their partner on the other end of the line to shift the conversation and the direction of the performance.
Our approach to focus on a variety of personal human attitudes towards water is one of many attempts to navigate through a sea of uncertainty as we all currently experience it.
© Daniel Aschwanden