1:100 – or to narrate a «we»

Tale Næss Lysestøl, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Academy of Theatre

My starting point is deeply personal. Lately I’ve been feeling that I live in this constant state of ethical tension where my feeling of being me, a person with a free will and free choices, constantly is rubbing shoulders with deep political and economical dilemmas.

My main enquiry is – How can I as a playwright express this tensions? What challenges would this entail? In what way can my texts expose the trans-individual super-structures that influences our lives without losing their existential dimensions?

My goal is to explore this through different forms of dramatic texts: texts for the stage, audio-plays, voice-collages and texts for dramatic installation work.

I will write as a singular author – but I will also explore methods of collective writing and of writing within a collective. Two ongoing projects will offer me just this possibility. «the State and the Ecstasy» and «Prospect». Both projects are based on text collecting and my writing will both bounce off the other artist’s texts, research-material and material that evolves through interdisciplinary discussions around the subject matters.
«the State and the Ecstasy» is a trance-national project. Its subject matter is the potential of the state to be an entity for ensuring individual freedom, and ecstasy as a collective form of losing the «individual self» in a common positive experience. What of the collective is intrinsically “good”?

In «Prospect» we explore the «super city». How does the city shape our thoughts? And is it so that the super-cities offer an intrinsic and in-built tension between the human and the trans-human just through the way they are structured?
Both projects have strong interdisciplinary elements.

I will also approach my subject through more performative explorations: readings, practical interdisciplinary work in situe – and through theoretical reflection.
My plan is to write four essays that delve into the subject matter historically, to looks at the traditions we playwrights work within today, to look at the ethical dimension of the different narrative positions I explore, and to look at entities like “topos” and Hanna Arendts definition of the political and the private.

I hope to publish the essays together with my dramatic texts. I will also strive to present the results of my research through documentation (photo/video) and if possible staged readings, a dramatic installation or both.