Anna Ådahl



Impossible Homeostasis is a performance which was originally a comission from FRAC Champagne-Ardenne and was first performed at the Theater La Comédie in Reims on the first of december 2013 in the context of Reims Scènes d´Europe
The comission was based on Bruno Latours ideas and philosophy on Gaïa and our relationship to environmentalt and climatic problematics. Bruno Latour was present and showed his new play ”Gaïa Global Circus” the same night at the same theater, La Comédie.
Impossible Homeostasis is a performance in two parts/acts.
First part is a performative sculpture, a bloc of ice positioned in the theaters foajé or any space/building with a heating system. The ice, melt/reacts to the human built structure/corpus of the building. One person is constantly sweeping the floor and podium it is positioned on to prevent the water from the melted ice to damage and infiltrate the building. The spectators were invited to touch the ice before entering the second part of the performance.
The second part is a performance which includes an amount of performers enough to create a crowd (in Reims at La comédie there were 20 performers) and a film.(To watch video:
In the performance the spectators enter the stage while the performers are seated in the bleachers, roles are inverted. A screen is suspended at a certain height, above the heads, between the performers and the spectators. While the film is screened the spectators are observed by the performers. The film consists of sequences where no humans are present in the image nor behind the camera (surveillance cameras, storm cams, etc). The performers are equipped with microphones and the only sound in the room comes from their small muscular movements and their breathing.
”How we loved to feel small when encompassed by the magnificent forces of
the Niagara Falls or the stunning immensity of the Arctic glaciers or the desolate
and desiccated landscape of the Sahara. What a delicious thrill to set our size
alongside that of galaxies! Small compared to Nature but, as far as morality is
concerned, so much bigger than even Her grandest display of power! So many
poems, so many meditations about the lack of commensurability between the
everlasting forces of nature and the puny little humans claiming to know or to
dominate Her.
So one could say, after all, that the disconnect has always been there and that it is the inner spring of the feeling for the sublime.
“The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark--now glittering--now, reflecting gloom--
Now lending splendor, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings”
But what has become of the sublime lately, now that we are invited to consider another disconnect, this time between, on one side, our gigantic actions as humans, I mean as collected humans, and, on the other side, our complete lack of a grasp on what we have collectively done?”
Extract from:
Waiting for Gaia. Composing the common world through arts and politics*
A lecture at the French Institute, London, November 2011 for the launching of SPEAP
(the Sciences Po program in arts & politics)
Bruno Latour, Science Po.