HHS (Homo homo sapiens) is seeking a performer for a role of a gay man

The project is funded by Kone Foundation and will be part of the Helsinki Festival programme in 2020 and 2021.
Photo: Jaakko Pesonen

Homo Homo Sapiens (HHS) is an artistic laboratory that examines the metamorphoses of the human soul under extreme social, technological, and environmental conditions. The HHS group consists of philosopher Kai Alhanen, media artist Jaakko Pesonen and art historian Donna Roberts. We are seeking a performer to be the fourth member of the group. The performer’s task is to act in the role of a gay man in an alternative reality where homosexuals form the majority of the population. In the artistic laboratory a room will be constructed in which this gay man lives. With the aid of this character, the HHS group will investigate different developmental possibilities of the human soul.

HHS is funded by the Kone Foundation and will be part of the Helsinki Festival programme in 2020 and 2021.

ROLE AND TASKS

The tasks of the performer consist of the following:

– participation in HHS work periods 2019–2021
– acting in the role of a gay man in an alternative reality in the HHS laboratory during the Helsinki Festival 2020
– preparing the publication of the project with the other members of the group

REQUIREMENTS

– skills in dialogical group work
– skills in performing and improvising
– interest in examining humanity’s relationship to society, nature, and technology
– commitment to the whole process: designing the laboratory, public events, producing the final publication
– readiness to participate in intensive residences, some of which will be abroad

RESIDENCY PERIODS (preliminary schedule)

– short residency in fall 2019, exact time negotiable
– 17.–26.2.2020
– 6.–15.4.2020
– 1.–19.6.2020
– 20.7.–25.9.2020 (includes the Helsinki Festival)
– two short work periods in 2021
– total working period: 8 months

PAYMENT

The performer will receive a Kone Foundation grant for eight months (2400€/month), a total amount of 19 200€.

APPLICATION

– CV or resume and photo
– written text under the title: ”How does the HHS project resonate with my life and thoughts?”

Applications are to be sent by 30th of August to:

(applications from abroad have to arrive by 4th September)

Jaakko Pesonen
Härmälänbölentie 193
25410 Suomusjärvi
Finland

We will inform the applicants of possible interviews by 9th of September.

MORE INFORMATION:

Jaakko Pesonen
tel: +358 50 582 3374 e-mail: jaakko.pesonen@kolumbus.fi

Homo Homo Sapiens – A laboratory of humanity

Homo Homo Sapiens (HHS) is an artistic laboratory which examines the metamorphoses of the human soul under extreme social, technological, and environmental conditions.

THE LABORATORY:

The Laboratory is a real space containing a living person. A man in a room living out his daily existence. His reality, however, is an alternative one in which our world has taken a different turn. Ten generations after a global ecological disaster, the focus of study, Decca, lives as a gay man in a society dominated by advanced technology, population control and utmost respect for nature. As a consequence of overpopulation and limited resources, surviving humanity has devised a drastic solution: only homosexual men and women form society and breed. This solution has profoundly altered the notion of the ‘natural’ and the ‘artificial’, overturning ways of thinking that we might currently consider self-evident.

THE OBJECTIVE:

The Laboratory is an exploratory crucible for key issues that are currently determining life on our planet. HHS is devised to ask probing questions about our thinking on these issues, such as: What happens when a minority becomes a majority? How do humans adapt within a strictly adjusted society and hostile environmental conditions? What happens to the human soul – to sensitivity, memory, intimacy, empathy, individuality, relationships – when humans become annexed to machines that mediate our relations to our surroundings and to one another?

THE METHOD:

The Laboratory presents an experimental fable that opens up possibilities to explore fundamental dimensions of humanity when tested under certain conditions. Engagement with the room, its occupant and contents is unscripted and open to the public. Visual observation, behavioural analysis, direct communication and empathetic imagination will form the basis of the study. All experiences gained and thoughts that arise will be analysed in a multi-voiced dialogue between participants.

THE OUTCOME:

Tests, experiences, questions, findings and dialogues will be logged, recorded and published in a written and visual report at the end of the project. However, HHS is a process, and all actions and interactions are essential to the artistic laboratory.

THE STAFF:

The study group consists of philosopher Kai Alhanen, media artist Jaakko Pesonen, art historian Donna Roberts, and an actor playing the part of Decca. Invited experts and members of the public will participate as laboratory assistants. The HHS specialist consultants are director Zaida Bergroth, sociologist Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen and actor Olavi Uusivirta.

The project is supported by Kone Foundation.