Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil, Peter Kozek, Lucie Strecker, Victor Jaschke (research project Shaken Grounds -AR 780, AU)



Shaken Grounds. Seismography of Precarious Presences is a research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund and is affiliated with the University of Applied Arts Vienna at the Angewandte Performance Lab, aiming to explore and extend basic research in the arts. In this research project, a transdisciplinary team, Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil, Peter Kozek, and Lucie Strecker, re-explores the role of artists as seismographs to train the perception of the interconnectedness between humans and a technologically changed, geological environment at selected sites of seismic activity. "Shaken Grounds" will research the tremors felt in the ground upon which artists stand today and the significance of developing trainings in sensing "future vibrations" and tools and practices for hypersensitizing the body to cultivate geo-sensory skills by critically reflecting the artists' role as "seismographer" >>>>>>The project Throughout history, worship sites have been constructed where humans connect with the Earth's interior — volcanoes, fissures, and caves—echoing a geological time beyond individual, human lifespans. Rituals enacted at these sites transform perceptions of time, cultivating a heightened responsibility towards the future. The Oracle of Delphi stands as a renowned example, where mind-expanding gases emerged from rock seams to the surface and influenced predictions. Today, humans are extensively harnessing the Earth's interior, altering surface stress distribution through mineral extraction, drilling, injection, and geothermal power generation, even triggering earthquakes. This interdependency underscores the inseparable link between humanity and the planet's structure, revealed through shock-waves. Across cultures and epochs, artists have been declared seismographs (Riedl, 2014), capable of sensing and articulating forthcoming dynamics or shocks. Although ideas about the role of artists have changed and art has long been deprived of its special status (Luhmann, 1995), transdisciplinary artistic research in alliance with the sciences is said to be able to produce innovative solution models for the future of an ecologically, politically and economically shaken world community. In this research project, a transdisciplinary team re-explores the role of artists as seismographs to train the perceptionof the interconnectedness between humans and a technologically changed, geological environment at selected sites of seismic activity. Man-made earthquakes are a phenomenon that has only recently gained prominence, and few artists have addressed the issue. This research endeavor investigates this phenomenon through artistic research, aiming to foster a new socio-ecological consciousness. Our focus encompasses artistic performative methodologies, anthropology, geology, and body awareness through somatic-therapeutic techniques, offering avenues for addressing the human-induced shockwaves of the Anthropocene.

Nikolaus Gansterer (AT, artista, performer) è profondamente interessato alla diagrammatizzazione sperimentale di atmosfere e ambienti fragili. Dispiegando le loro strutture immanenti di collegamento, mette in discussione la soglia immaginaria tra natura e cultura, arte e filosofia.

Mariella Greil (AT, dance-maker, performer) asks through her somatic and therapeutic practices how artistic strategies can support the development of future scenarios of living with the trauma created through environmental damage and actively shape rather than suppress the anxieties surrounding these global urgencies.

Peter Kozek (AT, artist, performer) is interested in a nuanced yet personal artistic perspective on local conditions, landscapes, their history, present, and future, as well as their economic and social nature. Regions become transfer spaces between myths, realities, and fictional and constructed worlds.,

Lucie Strecker (AT/DE, artist, performer) puts non-human entities at the centre of installations and life art. She considers microperformativity as a way to question human levels of perception (both spatial and temporal), emphasizing biological and technological micro-agencies.

Victor Jaschke (AT, filmmaker, interactor) approaches people as animals, with a provoked basic trust in our essentiality. After four decades, he is still amazed by the concentrated images that enter the quiet chamber of his camera: what there is to see when you look back, free from expectations of interaction! A camera makes love easy.


Projects for Volcanic Attitude

The research project Shaken Grounds will be in Naples in the modern premises of the Osservatorio Vulcanologico Vesuviano with a 'conference performance' in the meeting room of the offices.

On the island of Vulcano they will accompany us on the descent from the crater with a participatory and filmed performance focusing on the seismicity of the territories and the interaction with the bodies of the performers involved.


Rituals of Resonance

Rituals of Resonance Lecture Performance, NGV - Osservatorio Vesuviano, Napels, 18.06.2024, 5pm

Mariella Greil and Peter Kozek are presenting their artistic practices and research questions applied within the currently running research project "Shaken Grounds. Seismography of Precarious Presences," in collaboration with Nikolaus Gansterer and Lucie Strecker.

In this 30-minute performance lecture, Mariella Greil and Peter Kozek engage in somatic scores, documentary material, and speech acts, reflecting on the relationship between volcanism, climate change, and eruption politics. Thereby, they reimagine artists as seismographs, adept at detecting and expressing the intricate relationship between humanity and an evolving, technologically influenced geological environment.

A specific module of the research project will be exhibited as part of "IMAGINE CLIMATE DIGNITY," hosted by the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Rome.



Trembling Teorema: A live re-enactment of Pasolini's final scene from the 1968 film Vulcano Island, Crater La Fossa

Isola di Vulcano, Cratere La Fossa 21.06.2024, 18.00 – 21.00

In the final scene of Pasolini’s Teorema, the protagonist stumbles trembling down the slopes of a black volcano. He screams into the camera, seeking freedom from an inescapable capitalist realm. This urge finds its stage on the primordially seething landscape. 56 years later, a group of performers, choreographers, directors, camera men and costume makers will include an audience in a live re-enactment of trembling, falling, urging for a world untethered from historical constraints, flourishing despite its perceived desolation, all while integrating tension and trauma releasing exercises and neurogenic trembling into the performance.

This scenario is part of the ongoing FWF PEEK research project Shaken Grounds. Seismography of Precarious Presences, conducted by Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil, Peter Kozek and Lucie Strecker, in collaboration with Victor Jaschke (camera and field direction).


-Naples, Vesuvius Observatory modern site.

-Vulcano Island, La Fossa Crater



Photo and video: Davide Pompejano

Web development: Creactive Room

Type: Collletttivo e CAST Foundry