Introducing Remote X, a project by Rimini Protokoll that is currently taking place in Abu Dhabi. The project is meant to give a whole new feeling and experience towards places that are common and familiar.
Remote X is a piece of production by a group of artists who work under a Berlin-based label called Rimini Protokoll. German artists Helgard Haug and Daniel Wetzel, and Swiss artist Stefan Kaegi’s work mostly centers around the world of theater. Rimini Protokoll’s aim is to utilize sound, radio, film and installations to shed light on different perspectives of the reality we live in. Some of my favorite Rimini Protokoll projects include:
“Situation Rooms”: These rooms play a soundtrack of voices from people around the world living in areas that are controlled by weapons. Participants are offered a chance to dislocate themselves and see how it feels to be in someone else’s dark reality.
“Cargo X” is a truck that carries people through a ride between different cities, whether in Europe or Asia. The inside of the truck is converted into a hall supported by an audio system with a window at the side of the truck overlooking the streets. The audience gets to sit and observe cities from a moving perspective. The most intriguing part of this experience is that the truck drivers share stories and insights from their personal experience in transporting goods between cities.
“U-deur”: each space has its own distinctive odor and based on that an analysis of the smell in the U-Bahn underground lines in Berlin is reproduced in a laboratory. The scent is then installed in a vending machine for people to purchase at the station itself for them to re-enter the realm of the station whenever they smell it.
Going back to Remote X, X refers to the city the project takes place in. It is a virtual treasure hunt that takes place in real cities; the New York Times refers to it as a “pedestrian-based live art experience”. A maximum number of 50 participants get the chance to experience it together. It begins when all participants gather at a starting point, wear headphones, and listen to a synthetic voice that directs their movement. The city becomes a canvas in which participants can be found in streets, parks, garages, rooftops and so on.
The main objective of this project is to explore unknown territories or familiar areas in your city in an unusual way. The project wants to highlight how humans function from a remote perspective. Since Remote X takes place in public, everyone passing by will not understand what the group is doing. All participants will eventually feel a sense of alienation which is all a part of the experience. What is worth noting is that each city Remote X takes place in has its own audio and storyline that would relate entirely to people from that particular city or those who live in it.
Remote X took place in 17 cities including Sao Paulo, Bangalore and New York. For those who are intrigued by the concept and want to experience it themselves, I have great news. Remote Abu Dhabi by Rimini Protokoll is currently taking place as a part of Durub Al Tawaya, a group of performances alongside Abu Dhabi Art. According to a friend of mine who lived her entire life in Abu Dhabi, Remote X made her perceive the city from a complete different angle. It also made her step out of her comfort zone, since it took place in public. Keep in mind that it requires prior registration and it happens on selected dates until the end of March 2016.
Latifa Al Azdi (@Latifazdi )
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