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A lab with Building Conversation

Building Conversation, photo Kris Dewitte

Peter Aers of the Netherlands-based collective Building Conversation invites you to join a laboratory for conversation. In this 3-day lab they share their artistic practice and, together with you, explore different approaches to interacting with the public. What is co-creation? What does it mean for the audience to step into a performance in which participants themselves have a say? What is your responsibility as a maker.

Taking place across two spaces – Siobhan Davies Studios and nearby community space Roots & Shoots – this lab starts with the performative conversations Thinking Together and Conversation without Words, and ends with an experiment that is created together with you for a small invited audience; what is needed for your own practice and that of your fellow participants?

Conversation Without Words is inspired by cultural customs in which being together in silence, without speaking, is practiced. Research has shown that 60-80% of our communication happens nonverbally. During Conversation without Words, we focus our attention on that part of the conversation, the part that usually passes subconsciously. How do we communicate when we do not use words? Conversation without Words is a shared moment beyond words which brings together people who do not know each other. How we are able – in silence – to show empathy, make agreements, collide and take opposing views is surprising.

Thinking Together is based on the theory and practice of the American quantum physicist David Bohm, who maintains that there is a self-regulating mechanism within a group of people that allows large groups of people to speak without a moderator. David Bohm claims that you never think alone and that your thinking is always related to the thinking of others. A conversation is the place where you can investigate and readjust the patterns of this collective thinking with each other.

What does Building Conversation do? It challenges the way we view one another. A sort of practice in how to be human. Mara

Building Conversation provides us with a means to truly engage and sustain healthy conversation, especially welcoming difference of opinion. How inspiring is it, for example, to create an alternate vision of the future together? It gives real hope and inextricably links us. Krista Array