Lecture performance by Mysteeriteatteri
Premiered August 29, 2011, at the Post Museum, in Helsinki
Concept by: Lauri Niskanen, Mikko Niemistö, Joonas Lahtinen
Script by: Lauri Niskanen
Performed by: Mikko Niemistö
Directed by: Joonas Lahtinen
Lights, props and tech by: Eero Erkamo
Produced by: Minna Martikainen
Love! Inspiration! Innovation! reflects upon the current innovation craze, mixing fact with fiction, the imaginary with reality. It sheds a critical light upon modern market economy’s endless need to measure, brand and capitalize all areas of human life. In today’s Europe, both individuals and communities are valued in economic and political terms first and foremost by their ability to brand and productize themselves and their abilities in the service of market economy. The performance highlights this basic assumption of creative economy, and attempts to provoke reflection in the audience about their own relationship to personal achievement and branding in their everyday lives.
The performances are held in seminar rooms and auditoriums, which gives an opportunity for trompe-l’œil illusion, whereby the audience cannot be quite sure whether they are observing an actual presentation or lecture, or a parody or pastiche thereof. The performance aims at a state of ambivalence between earnest creative economy discourse and critical parody. The ambivalence stimulates a sense of self-reflection in the audience.
Creativity is an inherit aspect of humanity, but should we accept harnessing human creativity in the guise of innovation to serve the modern market economy? Doesn’t it only help to further capitalize our lives, to make us try to be ever more and more effective, competitive, and productive in the name of this new monolithic religion? Which consequences does this have to our life quality?
We do believe that innovation and creative economy entail positive aspects that may enhance the quality of life for both individuals and communities. However, for these positive aspects to flourish, we need to critically reflect on their problematic usage today, and on the logic and powers that uphold them. This is what we aim to do with Love! Inspiration! Innovation!
According to the American philosopher and economist Alexander Chamberlain, Love is at the heart of everything. But what is at the heart of Love? The “Right Philosophy” that draws from Adam Smith’s thoughts, belief in the “Invisible Hand”, and religious rhetoric.
Love! Inspiration! Innovation! most readily associates itself with culture jamming strategies. Culture jamming tactics are widely used by anti-consumerist social movements, including for example the media activist group “The Yes Men”. We bring this approach into theatre, aiming to expose the dubious underlying assumptions of the innovation discourse. As in culture jamming tactics, we exploit the signifiers of the innovation discourse, but expose their conventional significance in critical light through irony and satire.
We don’t create simply by inspiration, but consciously employ arbitrary practices to create new forms. The performance end-product is simultaneously playing with the old form and creating new form. Here, our inspiration is the Oulipo-movement of the 1960’s (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle; “workshop of potential literature”), which used form-analysis and arbitrary writing constraint to forge new form for literary expression and understanding of the world.
Love! Inspiration! Innovation! is available for touring!
Length: app. 1h 10 minutes
Suggested site: lecture hall, auditorium or seminar room with beamer and Internet Technical preparation time: preferably 1– 2 hours
Rehearsing time: flexible
Props: we bring everything with us
For inquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Video documentation of the first performance season will be available upon request from December 2012.
The first performance season of Love! Inspiration! Innovation! was endorsed by City of Helsinki Cultural Office.
Photos: Joonas Lahtinen