SPACE is a Budapest and Amsterdam based art collective of a theatre maker, a designer, a spoken word artist and a visual artist. SPACE creates interactive games, documentary performances and immersive storytelling in diverse media. SPACE projects follow the principle of human centred design thinking and are co-created with partners, audience or participants. SPACE is specialized in inclusive future scenarios and living heritage projects.
The projects balance on the border of fiction and reality and dissect complex social themes like migration, identity, inequality or climate change playfully and unconventionally through a strong metaphor. SPACE wants to get a grip on reality by playing with fiction.
The performative strategies of the projects make the wicked problems of our time relatable and perceptible to a wide audience through the politics of the personal. The makers invite artists, scientists and experience experts from various disciplines and backgrounds – locals residents, newcomers, children – to participate as co-authors in the projects and expand their own stories in order to convey an engaged worldview and advance an evocative proposition that starts with the question: ‘What if this would happen to me? What would we do in that situation?’
SPACE believes that in the end, real change does not come from the head, but from the heart. The projects can make a difference by exploring the emotional side of story-making in a challenging but blissful and safe manner. Playing like children who have yet to master a whole new world, SPACE, her partners, the audience or the participants exercise themselves in new ways of thinking. Together they investigate the transition period in which we find ourselves and aim to seize the momentum with the collaboration.
SPACE searches for the stories we share without avoiding conflict or the differences. The makers regard themselves as contemporary storytellers and have grown into specialists in the field of immersive collaborative storytelling.
SPACE does not make performances for the public, but with them.
The visitors or participants step into an experience. By conjuring an imaginary world together, the audience gets highly involved in a unique exchange of thoughts that arises on the spot.
SPACE believes in the power of art and is committed to synergizing various sources of knowledge like science, art, education, journalism or the (unseen) knowledge of experience-experts through interactive collaboration.
SPACE’s performative concepts are increasingly implemented outside the art sector. The tailor-made scenarios create immersive experiences that have depth, go beyond existing protocols but are not elitist. The projects are often humorous and challenge the participants to drop preconditioned thought patterns and make room for new questions, new connections and exchange ideas and experiences regardless of expertise, age or cultural background.
The exchange of stories has its economy. SPACE strives to be completely transparent when co-creating with the communities. The concepts are based on equal exchange and aims to avoid any kind of hierarchical power set up like helping or training. During the process SPACE and the participants create art together even if the work happens in an asylum centre, a theatre or on a farm. SPACE and the participants have mutual interest in learning from each other.
SPACE aims to create sustainable concepts. The projects result organically in follow ups that can be carried out by the (local) community. The community has then full ownership of the narrative which is one of the most empowering aspects of the work.
‘…SPACE does not “rub it in”, the artists don’t make political demagoguery worse by going into theatre demagoguery, they have a vision of the world and they are looking forward to our opinion, they do not patronize us, they take us as equal partners, as adults, they go with us in dialogue, they encourage us to self-reflection and self-irony, so we come to a state where we can laugh about ourselves and think about who we are and what kind of a world we live in.’
Tamás Koltai, in Élet és irodalom (H) about SPACE
Petra Ardai – Theatre director, screenwriter and performer. For many years she has been working with immersive experiences that make major social issues palpable and accessible. Petra develops and monitors the overall concept of de projecten, designs the performative and interactive strategies of the local (future) scenarios. She translates the dilemmas of the community into online and offline experiences.
Esther Verhamme – Communication strategist and UX designer. She is co concept developer and focuses on all facets of the online immersive storytelling; the website, the socials, the game element. She is also active in community building and makes substantive connections with scientists and stakeholders. Esther is at home in connecting various expertise and knowledge circles.
Rebekka Fries – Visual design strategies, artist. She is co concept developer and focuses mainly on the graphic design and visual research of the project both online and offline. Rebekka is a radical thinker who knows how to capture the human scale in her designs. She has experiences in creating immersive experiences of major social issues such as migration and healthcare.
Jörgen Unom Gario – Performer, spoken word artist, workshop master and researcher of the colonial past, post-racism and decolonization. He is co-developer of the concept and participates in the design and moderation of the offline and online events. Jörgen can bring the political, historical and sustainability narratives together in poetry. unomjg.wordpress.com
Eric de Ruijter – Business manager of SPACE. He is the producer of the project and takes care of fundraising and contact with funds. He coordinates all business aspects of the project. Eric has a rich history in the performing arts as a business leader and editor/journalist and is also a psychologist.
Board of directors:
Voorzitter: Anneke Jansen (Directeur Asko|Schönberg)
Secretaris: Mascha Christine Ihwe (Directeur Newland Festival)
Penningmeester: Kristof Racz (Manager Tax Technology & Data Analytics bij PricewaterhouseCoopers)
Bestuurslid: Sophie Logothetis (programme manager Europe for Citizens and EUNIC bij DutchCulture)
Stichting We Are Space
Intra-UE Vat no.: NL803230862B01
Official registration no.: 41214258
IBAN: NL17 INGB 0006 9905 04