Isis Fahmy and Benoît Renaudin, Kairo[s] project 2016
© Isis Fahmy, La Manufacture - Haute école des arts de la scène and Benoît Renaudin, HEAD – Genève
Isis Fahmy and Benoît Renaudin, Kairo[s] project 2016
© Isis Fahmy, La Manufacture - Haute école des arts de la scène and Benoît Renaudin, HEAD – Genève
Isis Fahmy and Benoît Renaudin, Kairo[s] project 2016
© Isis Fahmy, La Manufacture - Haute école des arts de la scène and Benoît Renaudin, HEAD – Genève

Investigating new technological utopias in Cairo through collaborative art-projects

October 2019 to September 2020

Leading institution: La Manufacture – Haute école des Arts de la Scène
Partner institution: HEAD – Genève
Project leaders: Benoît Renaudin, HEAD – Genève and Isis Fahmy La Manufacture – Haute école des Arts de la Scène
Partners: Duncan MacDonald, American University of Cairo et Haytham Nawar, CairoTronica Festival, Egypt
Financing: HES-SO Leading House MENA pour le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord
Co-financing: La Manufacture, HEAD – Genève, American University of Cairo, Festival CairoTronica
Key words: Technology utopia, speculative, theatre, design, performative objects, Egypt, Cairo, Art-based research
Dissemination: Blog, installation, performances, objects

As it stands the vision of the future is clearly ruled by the GAFAM and the predominant economic markets based in the occidental world. Artificial intelligence, Virtual Reality, Big Data, Augmented Reality, Uber-like services, Smart cities, drones delivery : these mind selling technologies are always followed by societal and behavioural changes that the industrial world might not take responsibility for. This research project, through the crosshairs of Design Fiction and Transdisciplinary Theater, aims to explore alternate scenarios based on the post-revolution city of Cairo (Egypt) and its complex and diverse sociological fields.

With a partnership with HEAD – Genève, La Manufacture (Lausanne) and The American University of Cairo, the researchers are planning to investigate feasible artefacts, installations and performances that propose different approaches, new utopias or possible positive drifts that could be empowered by Egyptian artists as well as Swiss artists in the areas of communication and telecommunication technologies.

This research project wants to create a series of “performative objects”. They will be the outcomes of this art-based research process. This term was coined by Isis Fahmy and Benoît Renaudin during a first research at La Manufacture and HEAD – Genève in 2018-2019 : Théâtre & Design: How to create a performative object? They explored how could speculative design practices could be a new source to create theatre plays oriented toward new technological visions. They also searched for creating new design objects based on a theater dramaturgy brief. They built methods to create this dynamic for a trialogue between theatre, design and fiction.

Isis Fahmy and Benoît Renaudin will apply these tools to this new research in Cairo, by merging theater and design investigating practices, to explore new technological narratives with other artists based in Cairo.

 




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