What is Là-bas→? What does it mean? Qu'est-ce qu'il y a là-bas?

Là-bas→ is a project of live and living art which began in 2000. It is a manifestation of contemporary philosophy’s ideas of nonhierarchical organization, rhizomes and networking. As a forum for performances, Là-bas→ is operated without any fixed organizational structure, on site-specific
case-by-case basis depending on the situation and location.

Là-bas→ equals live art’s bodily, visual and audible spatiality whenever electromechanical bodies and punctuated tuning of the working stations involved equal the multidimensional moments and lived technology of the works.

Là-bas→ is a direction towards a course of events, which contains and which is:

               a) a pulse, a rhythm, a location and an environment
               b) poetic movement of action in simultaneous, adjacent forms
               c) autonomous intersections and figures of living processes
               d) a discontinuous, noted score of working methods
               e) a sphere of influence operating through differences of practice

Là-bas→ is an experimental arts lab and a forum for performance art, performed forms of media art and other adjacent forms of performance.

Since its inception in 2000, Là-bas→ has been known for its activity both as a permanent platform and
as a discussion forum for performance and media art in the form of seminars, panel discussions, exhibitions and texts.

The live arts lab activity maintained within Là-bas→ has so far emphasized both qualitative and quantitative dimensions of contemporary cultural production.

Studio Là-bas→ has existed in the basement level of Cable Factory, Helsinki, since the year 2000.
Smaller, one-night Là-bas→ events have taken place there dozens of times now.

The work that has gone down in Studio Là-bas→ over the years has provided artists a laboratory-like experimental space and made it possible for new performers to present their work in a communal and understanding environment.

One aim in Là-bas→ has been to seek out and find new contexts, to connect live art with communal situations, communities, friendships and partnerships.

The Là-bas→ events, international festivals and the biennale (the first was organized in 2010) have taken place in various locations, both in institutional/public and underground/alternative venues, both in Finland and abroad.

This series of events connects conceptual ideas and working methods with bodily-sensual, inter-media habits and styles. Live art is unpredictable and mutates meaning through its dimensions.

It leaves behind traces and signifiers, but what is left is not obvious, immediate or present. Là-bas→ is also a symbol of absence. Là-bas→ means being there, not here. It signifies a live situation as something once lived, already ephemeral, soon to be lost.

Attempts to interpret and understand languages after the fact degenerate them into metaphysics of
a second degree. They are attempts to regain what is already permanently lost. This is the dilemma of whole live art – the situation in which there are “no conscious traces”. What is paramount here is how
Là-bas→ conceptualizes the relation to time and space in a nonlinear way.

Performance spaces are time-spaces that transcend dimensions of the concrete site and time of a performance. Performance spaces contain the memories of the performer and the community. Time
within performances flows from retroactive practices and future scenarios of action. They include unrealized intentions and possible plans. All those invisible things are also signified by Là-bas→.

As something visible, recognized and known, Là-bas→ presents, produces and creates live art in varying communally linked and networked environments. The course of events is determined by the different temporary and transitory impulses within its fluctuation of power relations. This results in:

               a) deconstruction of structures
               b) innovative combination of different areas and fields
               c) linking contradictory systems through moves and interactions within their transformations
               d) development of site-specific aspects and concepts
               e) interlacing and interlaying of forms, work based on simultaneity and repetition
               f) changes of scale in both performances and events in which they occur; in terms of work, mass,                    size, form, structure, matter are all flexible elements

When dimensions are adjacent, the differences of meaning and characteristics produced by them are respected. A living, mutating series of performance and sound art, of action poetry, of video, audio, music, theatre and dance performances is set in motion.

These performances, works, events, festivals and the biennale have been participated by relevant performers, solo artists, groups, collectives, bands, orchestras, associations and communities – perhaps half a thousand participants realizing one thousand projects or so in the context of Là-bas→ since 2000.

Là-bas→ is also an archive project. Là-bas→ events have been documented on video and photographs from the beginning and work is underway to solve the problem of preserving live art documents for history and posterity.

Release of the book Tuolla, alhaalla (ntamo, 2010) was an important addition to the philosophical discussion on the time-space essence of live art. Tuolla, alhaalla contains an interpretation of the first
Là-bas→ events 2000–2003.

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