All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace
In All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, Ezra Veldhuis and Bosse Provoost address the theme of freedom and unfreedom in relation to technology, by staging Richard Brautigan’s 1967 poem of the same name.
Brautigan’s poem depicts a cybernetic garden of Eden, an idyll in which machines will free us from work. Anno 2022, we may read this poem very differently than Brautigan intended at the time. When we think of technology in relation to freedom, Big Tech and surveillance technology dominate our imagination. We seem to be at the service of technology, rather than technology providing us with essential freedom. Does that mean Brautigan’s dream is dead? Are we already living in a totally perverted realization of it? Or does the freedom promised in his dream still contain potential? This is what Ezra Veldhuis and Bosse Provoost will explore in their new creation, by staging a “bio-technical environment”: a constellation of people (three human performers and the audience), materials and devices in a climate of light and sound. Within that environment, accompanied by an eclectic musical palette, they depict relationships of interdependency, both symbiotic and conflictual, between the human and non-human actors.
Choreography/light/scenography: Ezra Veldhuis & Bosse Provoost Choreography/performance: Nathan Ooms Performance: Estefanía Álvarez Ramírez, Jayson Batut Costume Design: Carly Rae Heathcote Sound Design: Benne Dousselaere Execution of decor and objects: Sibran Sampers Outside eye: Marc Vanrunxt Internship: Cesar Vromman Production: Hiros Coproduction: C-TAKT, NEXT Festival, Auawirleben festival, Kunstenwerkplaats, SPRING Performing Arts Festival, Perpodium With the support of: CAMPO, Kunstencentrum BUDA, De Grote Post, Le Bamp, STUK, Kunst/Werk, the Flemish government