Palinuro, DV configuration (video still)

Palinuro, HD configuration (video still)








This Palinurus' box section is initially created for a digital cross-departmental project from Sandberg Instituut, the University of Amsterdam (MA International Dramaturgy), and Amsterdam Conservatory (Electronic Music Academy and Pop Academy), April 15th - June 4th, 2021. For this project students were invited to create in small groups digital operatic shorts through a process of translation, reworking, undoing or abandoning my video-installation Palinuro (1989).

Central in the project were the myth of Palinurus and my speculative approach of the myth. In tutorials there was a look at different dramaturgical methods and philosophical frames around questions of historicization and speculative practices. My long and personal fascination with the myth of Palinurus was taken as inspiration for this. The students were encouraged during the creation process to find their own relationship to the question: Where lie the gaps in our imagination and how do we deal with them? The digitised analogue video and sound served as the raw material, inspiration or counterpoint to create new contemporary works. Because of that I created the Palinurus' box for them with my visual material and textual content as a parallel box to the shared Palinurus Project Google Drive folder.

(For more details of this project: see the open call document for this project in the website section > facta / facts & cv.)

The initiative for this cross-departmental project was taken by a former Senior Lecturer Modern theatre history at the University of Amsterdam, in cooperation with an opera and music theater dramatist and director, founder of an Amsterdam based studio for experimental opera and also design master at Sandberg Institute and coach at the Opera Forward Festival at the Dutch National Opera. The project was fascilitated by the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam.

The project arose from a visit of the former Senior Lecturer Modern theatre history to my exhibition De tak, de poort, de dwaas en de Lethe (The bough, the gate, the fool and the Lethe) at galery D.J. de Boer in Amsterdam in 2019. This exhibition - called by me an opera to look at - was designed around the typoscript of De K van Skylla (The C of Scylla), the project with my further elaboration of my speculations about the Palinurus myth as a closet drama, that is an opera to read. The exhibition was meant to promote the project De K van Skylla in two ways. On the one hand to make the production of the typoscript of De K van Skylla as a book feasible by means of a kith and kin fund action. On the other hand to attract the attention of an opera or music theatre maker for it.

I am very grateful to the former Senior Lecturer Modern theatre history - who, like me, had a personal and emotional connection with the Palinurus theme - for the thoroughgoing conversations we had and for her efforts to bring the project to the attention of the opera and music theatre maker. And both for the design of the digital cross-departmental project. I am also grateful to the Sandberg Institute, the MA International Dramaturgy department of the University of Amsterdam and the Electronic Music Academy and Pop Academy department of the Amsterdam Conservatory for their support of the project. And the students for their open-minded elaborations of my Palinurus myth.

As the digital cross-departmental project was also intended as a preliminary research for a possible real opera or music theatre piece on the speculative approach of the Palinurus myth, the Palinurus project will remain a work in progress. And therefore also this Palinurus box.

(ndk, July 2th, 2021)

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