Arts Interventions Development



A 10 point hypertheatre manifesto in progress

1. Hypertheatre (from ancient Greek: hyper, e.g. «over», «more than», «enhanced», «extremely») reaches beyond the usual, conventional, expected, and perhaps even sustainable boundaries of not only theatre as such, but even the notion of art itself – and yet, still firmly on the basis of and fuelled by the most basic and eternal principles, methods and creative processes of The Theatre.

 2. Hypertheatre is transdisciplinary and multitasking in form – in principle, similar to hyperthreading which enables computers to perform many tasks at once. It is hypertextual in content – in principle, similar to any HTML text with hyperlinks to other texts, articles, webpages, videos etc. 

3. Hypertheatre’s arenas and stages include, but are not in any way limited to, the black boxes of theatre venues or white cubes of art galleries. To the extent that it makes use of these arty-ficial spaces, it is as showcases for the rehearsed and reproduceable parts and levels (if any) of the Big Performance – the one where all men and women are merely players, have their exits and their entrances, and in their time plays many parts. 

4. Hypertheatre is happening both within and outside  above mentioned arty-ficial boundaries simultaneously, in the multi-layered geographical, cultural, moral and political grey zones that make up the world as we know it. Rather than preparing, directing  and/or editing an already ”finished” script or idea within the comfort zone of established art forums, Hypertheatre transplants that creative process into a different social, political, cultural environment and incorporates the synergy and friction between the original concept and the realization of it. Where, for example, contemporary stage theatre (at its best) can be likened to a laboratory, hypertheatre is field work. 

5. Hypertheatre does not take sides. It insists on doubt, paradoxes, self-contradictions, inner tensions and polyphony of message(s). Even more so as these are the (only!) badges of honour clearly distinguishing Art from its parasites Politics, Entertainment, Politics and Propaganda (whenever that disctinction is needed). 

6. Hypertheatre is a region in which, as it were, primitive man’s strivings for omnipotence is still in full force.

7.  Hypertheatre comforts the disturbed, but disturbs the comfortable. It is impartial, amoral and propagates no ideology, value system or political creed, such as for example the virtually unchallenged paradigm of soft-left humanist faux-subversiveness of  so-called «political» art.

8. Hypertheatre actively encourages getting your hands dirty and encourages the Faustian dilemma of working within, and in collaboration with, established power structures as a far more potent strategy for real and lasting change than moral high-horsing and condemnation from afar.

9. Hypertheatre is just as self-questioning as it is questioning.

10. True Hypertheatre might still be buried in social energies not yet recognized as art. 

With contributions from: 

  • William Shakespeare (1)
  • Sigmund Freud (6) 
  • Fridge magnet wisdom (7) 
  • Lucy Lippard (10)

(Video: CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING. Lecture by Morten Traavik. Courtesy of ArtEx/Talent Norge 2020)