Klaus Maunuksela

Dramaturge and writer

During my residency, I intend to find out what an algorithmic libretto is and explore its potential as an art form.

An algorithmic libretto is a speculative concept I use in an attempt to discern the impact of technology and automation on language and the way this impact appears, will appear or could appear in contemporary music and performance art. The essence of algorithms refers not only to the algorithms that existing digital platforms, services, and tools are based on, but also to the more or less imperceptible effects that operating in environments dominated by algorithmic logic has on thinking, speech and the building of human agency, for example, for a viewer, consumer or dramaturge/writer.

Libretto is the text type, sector and field from which I approach these effects. During my residency, I will develop principles and guidelines that are suitable for producing performance texts performed aloud and I will test these texts through various practical and thought experiments. I will study language in its various forms: sounds, vibrations, syntactical structures, material and rhythm. At the same time, I will develop my theoretical understanding of the relationship between technology, power and language by reading literature on the subject.

My work during the residency on algorithmic libretto will serve as a theoretical and practical platform for future processes of creation, where language-based experiments are combined with new forms of sound, music performance and reception. My discursive goal of sorts is to expand the concept of ‘libretto’ and inspire its use in new contexts outside traditional opera and musical theatre.

In addition to my own work, I hope my time at the residence will also open up space for non-digital communication and encounters that are not determined by the terms of digital platforms. This possibility (or impossibility) may be something that is only highlighted by geographical distance and disconnection.


Klaus Maunuksela (born 1993) is a dramaturge and writer who works with theatre, modern music and literature. His work with various forms of art works often share a theoretical interest in the relationship between language and power, as well as the issue of the presentation as a potential space for thought. He has written two plays, libretto texts and, in collaboration with nine other authors, Työstäkieltäytyjän käsikirja (Manual for People Who Refuse to Work, 2019, in Finnish). He graduated with a Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama) degree from Uniarts Helsinki and has studied writing at the Critical Academy.