Over 10 days in August 2000 the ICA’s theatre is transformed into an open platform for live audio-visual experiments and multi-sensory performances, created within the structures and environments called UNIT#4.
UNIT #4 evolves as a production site for various artists, providing room for interventions by an assortment of guests and visitors, encouraging collaboration and exchange. UNIT#4 is designed as a model of a city consisting of several communicative szenarios.
It has not a fixed form, but finds a temporal structuralisation within changing contextual conditions. The space gets defined by activity and provides room for dwellers and visitors. A fragile balance between one’s individuality and production in conjunction is necessary. A mere assemblage of individuals does not seem appealing!
Unit#4 is a village which initially did not physically exist. It existed in virtuality, in fractions, in the head of 13 people, all invited by Heimo Lattner and Daniela Swarowsky to participate in a journey. Unit#4 started to take form as soon as the dwellers met for the first time (16/8/00) at the ICA. Through e-mail communication, established between the 13 participants over the course of the past 5 months relationships developed through the exchange of ideas, visions and how to approach Unit #4. The ideas vary from an inflatable which fits into a travel case and which is the first prototype of a portable shelter [rescue] for homesick travellers, as well as other inflatable structures, to radio transmitters creating silent soundscapes spread out through portable radio units, to audio and video webcasts as well as documentation, capturing each ephemeral moment and thus engraving it into memory. To intrusions of electronic sounds, spontaneous performantive interventions, to public billboards with magnetic letters, to …
The goal is to develop a functioning social system, a basis enabling the dwellers to create moments/performances in conjunction. In it’s best it will become an entire piece, a unit deriving from the daily collaborations.
Through the experience of what a performative environment can be, an environment which is kept in constant transformation /mutation through the manifold expressions and personal statements, tensions and experiences, the finding of points of reference become the challenge.The improvisational character and the open structure move towards a karthartic point of magic, the finding of a mutual language and through the creation of a space inside/outside space. This as a reflection of the desire for space during a time of disappearance of the public domain in our culture, with the exception of virtual culture.
The performances have no clear structure. Structure develops over time. Failure is part of progress! During the performance nights only a fraction of the process will unfold.
Text by Daniela Swarowsky
Role: Artist, Performer, Developer
Institute of Contemorary Arts ICA
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
August 19 – August 30, 2000
open: 12 midday – 7pm Expanded Site
Testings: 21 Aug: 7:30pm-11pm
24-26,30 Aug: 7:30pm-1am