DATA OCEAN THEATRE is a research project at the intersection of performing and visual arts, which speculates on the contemporary entanglement of myths, western theatre memory, new media, digital animism, climate emergency, and technological acceleration. The project poses, as a starting point, the physical metaphor of submersion as a contemporary condition and dynamic of living, and manifests through a series of polymorphic artworks and research supplements, based on the consideration of the double phenomenon of 1. the rising sea and ocean levels and 2. the exponential growth of big data in our informational age. The artworks produced in the framework of the project are intended to be simultaneously performed in diverse art grounded venues and shared through multimedia research expositions. After the first period of eight months of research and a series of inaugural artistic experiments, I propose to disclose in Carpa 7 the encountered writing challenges of the project through a twenty-minute video essay. In addition to reflecting on the qualities of the video-essay-as-writing in the context of artistic research, I would like to open a dialogue on the project from an artistic point of view and from the correspondent perspective of its research iteration through the following questions: how to address the performative ever-changing liquidities and the aesthetic opacities of such a pelagic project in a practice of expositional writing that doesn’t solidify the inherent movements and metamorphoses at play into a contained and stabilized rhetorical object? How to give experiential hospitality to the vastness, the unknowability, the depth of the research terrain, and at the same time providing the human community with a research compass for conceptually navigating the inappropriable and unmasterable swell? Are the forces, and correlative weaknesses, at stake in such a project, inevitably leading towards a radicalization of the artistic research language? How to write oceanically?
Vincent Roumagnac is a French-Basque theatre artist and a researcher interested in the way, the notion and the practice of the “stage” evolve through climate-morphing and techno-conditioning. In 2020, Roumagnac completes a Doctorate in Arts in the Performing Arts Research Centre of the University of the Arts of Helsinki based on the artistic research project Reacclimating the Stage. Thereafter, he initiates a three-year post-doctoral artistic research project titled DATA OCEAN THEATRE (D.O.T.).