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The project was funded by a grant from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts.


In the times of the pandemic, the performing arts have shifted more and more into the virtual space. I would like to explore, in cooperation with Dorle Ferber and Evelina Winkler, how it affects the artists that they are suddenly only allowed to interact with their audience as digital avatars.
What possibilities does this state of affairs open up for performance and dance art?

Click here for interviews with artists who share their experiences with the virtual presentation of their works.



Dorle Ferber , freelance musician, voice and sound artist

After studying music in Mannheim, she played live and in the studio with various groups, including Zyma, Zauberfinger, Cochise. In the last few years she has mainly been on the road with her solo program, cooperates on many individual projects and plays in a duo with the double bass player Kolja Legde. She works both interdisciplinary and across cultural and stylistic boundaries. Her work includes the study of non-European singing cultures, the phonetics of other languages, vocal qualities and sound poetry. She sets her own and other people's texts to music, composes for dance, theater projects, performance. She also designs social music projects with a special focus on voice - in schools, universities and independent cultural institutions.

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Contributing artists

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Evelina Winkler is a freelance filmmaker and photographer from Mannheim. After studying media and cultural studies in Düsseldorf, she worked in film productions, video journalism and for Deutsche Welle in Bolivia. She has devoted herself in particular to documentary film.
In her work, feminist perspectives, everyday resistance and themes around the city and migration play an important role. Currently she is working as a writer and director on the documentary film "SUPERBOHATERKI*Superheroines" (80min), which follows acts of resistance and new self-designs of womanhood under a national conservative government in contemporary Poland. Even before the lock-down conditioned theater streaming, she was involved as director, cinematographer and editing for production documentaries in the field of performance.

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Miriam Markl, freelance dancer and choreographer

One of Miriam's greatest concerns is to use her artistic work to inspire people for contemporary
performance art to people who otherwise have little contact with it. Thereby she researches at the
between everyday life and art and gained experience in street performances in Germany, Italy and Switzerland,
Italy and Switzerland and presented her own pieces at public parties in Berlin and Mannheim. She also tested virtual, interactive performance concepts in the series Art as Everyday Encounter in Pandemic.

Interviews Artist Avatar

Michael Kiedaisch

Did you present any of your works online during the pandemic?
Yes. Both with and with we produced pieces in the field of improvisation-composition. I was also involved in live stream concerts. A rather unsatisfying experience, since the contact to the audience is missing and you also don't know if anyone is listening/watching at all...

Do you use social media to present your works? If yes, how?
No. I myself only use direct, personal infomails or newsletters. Open Music is present on Facebook.

If so, what was your experience? What were the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual presentation? What tips would you give to other artists?
S.o. The virtual presentation completely contradicts my understanding of music. No presentation, no matter how technically well done, can replace the live experience of music and the feedback of an audience. At best, the possibility of producing recordings was satisfying for me. But this is nothing new, it was already like this before Corona. The overabundance of virtual presentations in the last months was no substitute for live concerts! Music must be able to take place live!!!


Photo by Tess Lucassen
Elizabeth Kaul

Did you present any of your works online during the pandemic? If so, what was your experience? What were the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual presentation?
In the spring, I worked on a short piece together with a colleague.

We were very convinced that we could perform it live. In the end, however, the theaters were still closed and so the video recording of the piece premiered online.

Was there a positive example of a virtual presentation that you experienced as a viewer?

I have used social media as a promotional platform for my work for a few years.

It is also important for me to get in touch with the audience and people in general, to exchange concepts, to get reactions and to share the working process.

However, I have not used social media as a performative platform for a direct presentation of my pieces but rather as a medium of mediation and reflection.

What tips would you give to other artists?
In the course of my use of social media, I have repeatedly discovered how important a strategy is in its use.
The basis is the willingness to invest time very regularly, not only to post, but also to develop the content of the posts. In a sense, it requires a dramaturgy and therefore also an (artistic) vision.

I have been faced several times with the question of whether I can reconcile the needs and formats of the platforms with my own demands for work and mediation. So far, I haven't really succeeded in doing so, but I know examples of colleagues where the two organically come together.

Sometimes it can help to get support from others and then perhaps give this support in return yourself. Social media offers a functioning, far-reaching platform for artistic work, but it has very specific framework conditions and often also a predefined aesthetic.

As an artist, you are not entirely free to choose the reading and format of your work - whether it is performance, advertising, or sharing - according to your needs. Outsiders then sometimes find a better way to frame or post the work so that the desired content communicates.

In today's world, social media seems almost essential in artistic work, however, I think it is very important to ask yourself if and how you can personally use the format for yourself. And always in such a way that the content ideally enriches your own work. If this is not the case, I would refrain from using it and perhaps accept any disadvantages that may arise.


Photo by Alexander Ehhalt
Edan Gorlicki

Did you present any of your works online during the pandemic? If so, what was your experience? What were the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual presentation?

Yes, I did. Only one piece, it's called “Impact” and was supposed to premiere four days after the lockdown began.

Looking back,I would never do it again, because it is not my work. My work is supposed to be live and it can't be translated to a virtual format.

Nevertheless ​I do have some Ideas how to translate my work into a virtual format. Currently I'm planning a hybrid-format in November.


Was there a positive example of a virtual presentation that you experienced as a viewer?

There was one example of a virtual presentation that I really enjoyed. Because they took advantage of digital space.

It was a company from the Netherlands that came up with a new website. This website was an Imitation of a Theater and you could wander around, visit the bar, stage etc.. It also allowed to interact with other visitors online.

What tips would you give to other artists?

I would recommend to other artists to learn about virtual space as it is a field you don't know anything about. Try to learn as much about it as you can.

Don't just hire someone who has the technical know-how to present your work online. Cooperate with someone who knows how to do it from the very beginning of your proces. So that this person becomes part of your creative process from the beginning to the end.

Consider virtual space as its own universe. Don't consider virtual space to be any other space.

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Did you present any of your work online during the pandemic?

Do you use social media to showcase your work? If yes, how?
Not really, with the exception of short clips and improvisations on Instagram. Or, if I have an upcoming performance I'll post something about it!

If so, what was your experience? What were the advantages and
disadvantages of the virtual presentation? What tips would you give to
other artists?

Speaking for myself, it often feels annoying to have to have to self-promote and spend time getting people interested in what I'm doing via social media. Especially because you have to capture people's short attention spans so quickly and post something perhaps more flashy than and less subtle than your work is actually about. 

But, I think it's one of those things that can ultimately pay off, if you put in a little work and find a way to make it fun/interesting for yourself!


As far as creating virtual content, I find it much more challenging than live presentation, and it has kind of forced me to change my story-telling perspectives which I actually find really cool and which has pushed me as an artist. It has been jarring to work this way, and for the performers to have to work in front of a camera, but the journey of being in different environments to shoot in is also very exciting comparative to the stage environment, and it opens up more visions, images and possibilities once you are there. 


The thing is that you don't have this exchange of energy with an audience that the proscenium stage or site-specific space feeds you. And I have had to learn to be really patient with the time that it takes for editing, and going back for re-edits, depending on how we flow from one scene into the next. 


Paying attention to small details that I wouldn't necessarily notice onstage is also something I learned, for example bra-straps showing in closeup shots on the camera! 

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Photo by Gallery Lukisan 
Herlambang Bayu Aji

Did you present any of your works online during the pandemic?
Yes and no. I am a visual artist, and even before the pandemic I continuously posted my works online on my blog But I never did a "virtual exhibition."

Do you use social media to showcase your works? If yes, how?
Yes, I use facebook and post on Instagram my works as well as their working processes every now and then. There is also on youtube some stuff of mine to see, but never a complete performance, people have to come to experience that.

If so, what was your experience? What were the pros and cons of presenting virtually? What tips would you give to other artists?
Of course I can reach people from far away through my online presentation, and that is possible at any time. But in an exhibition in a gallery I experience the exchange of experiences with visitors, the atmosphere. Therefore, the virtual presentation of my work cannot be compared at all with the presentation of a real exhibition.

I recommend other artists to do what is necessary for them to present their art or work and to finance their life with it. Especially in the time of the pandemic people of many professions need real support among them are artists. It's great that many artists are exhibiting and presenting virtually, allowing their audience to experience culture and art through virtual media. But the question of how artists in the pandemic can cover the cost of their lives remains. Because not all artists could get emergency aid from the state.



Image by Alex Lackmann
Wayne Goetz

Did you present any of your work online during the pandemic?

Yes 😉.

Do you use social media to showcase your works? If yes, how?

I use social media mainly Instagram and Facebook to draw attention to my work. I simply use stories and posts for this purpose. I use IGTV and Reels less frequently.

In 2020, however, I realized a premiere for my piece You Mean It by means of IGTV, among others. Because of the pandemic, my perspective on these mediums has evolved. For example, I shot a "cell phone" version with my play BEE ME. For this, the street theater piece was recorded in a green screen studio and the theatrical work was expanded with filmic elements.

Basically, I have a great interest in digital theater and was able to explore the possibilities of these media through Pandemic and am looking forward to continue working in this field.In the best case I succeed in inspiring people with my digital content


If so, what was your experience? What were the pros and cons of presenting virtually? What tips would you give to other artists?

Well, so as I said, I'm still researching the possibilities, have been able to try some things, continue to do so, and enjoy the challenges of this field.

Personally, I think a big challenge is that you start to see media as a new artistic tool. In a way, you start all over again, you can rediscover the ways of storytelling, the possibilities and the challenges all over again. In other words, I think that in these media you can discover a new form of the respective discipline. From street theater to dance to performance, these modes of presentation translate very differently into digital space. Things that translate easily, playfully in the same physical space find no place in the digital space; at the same time, the impossible for the stage becomes an ease in the digital.


In summary, I would say, one should consider presentations in the digital as their own reality and understand this realm as a new and different space. Personally, this has helped me a lot to continue with the artistic work within Pandemic with relish.

When asked for tips, I would say not to be afraid and to allow joyful failure 😉 . We are all evolving and redeveloping in this area. The tools you need for qualitative work are becoming cheaper, so the possibilities remain diverse.

In conclusion, however, I would like to state that for me personally the digital space is not a substitute for meeting in real space, but only a nice extension to allow the enjoyment of creative work even in a train ride on the cell phone.


Photo by Żaneta Falińska
Amelia Eisen

Did you present any of your work online during the pandemic?


Do you use social media to showcase your work? If yes, how?

yes- I use it to increase my work's visibility and to promote/market upcoming events and/or offerings. I also use it as a place to share a little bit more about myself so that the public can learn about me as a person as well.

If so, what was your experience? What were the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual presentation? What tips would you give to other artists?

I presented my own work online via Zoom in July 2020 in the form of a Mini-Festival. I was supposed to have a live Wiederaufnahme of a previous production, but turned it into a digital collage of footage from the original stage premiere + new footage filmed outdoors.

An advantage of this was that I was able to get to know this particular piece of work in a new way, discover new details and learn tools for using technology to support the message of the piece. Another advantage was that it allowed audiences from all over the world to participate in workshops connected to the piece and a safe, intimate exchange happened between the online audience and the artists involved in my production. It was a more fulfilling experience than I expected it to be and it felt less like a Wiederaufnahme and more like a new project- and that was ok.

Some disadvantages were that the presence and energy of the live audience was deeply missed. It was also  a lot more work than I was prepared for and I struggled to keep the quality high within the resources available to me.


Some tips I would give to other artists would be to think everything through along the way, considering that most of us are not experienced in presenting online so it will most likely be more time and work than expected. Also, I'd recommend making an authentic marketing plan and regularly engaging with your audiences to keep their attention and make them feel included in what you are doing. Lastly, stay true to your artistic vision(s) and avoid compromising your quality when presenting online! 


Photo Lazaros
Christina Liakopoyloy Nosto's dance theater

Did you present any of your works online during the pandemic?
Yes, short solo pieces of 10 minutes, filmed with a camera from the front.
To adequately record a dance piece with several dancers, you need an expert, (filmmaker, video artist ) and 4-6 cameras minimum.
The material must then be cut and set to music accordingly.
This all costs a lot of money and is costly but then the result is also very good.
I decided to shoot two short films outside.
A camera, a dancer, a filmmaker.
The first Fox Keeper was awarded the first prize for the best film, choreography and dance in Los Angeles Film Festival of Dance and Music.
The filmmaker Joseph Franciosa had gotten very little money for it when we shot it. Okay, now he's finally getting his money's worth. It is now being shown in the Mannheim International Film Festival.
Let's see how the second one turns out.

Do you use social media to present your work? If so, how?
Yes, Instagram and Facebook. I post pictures, texts and videos, like millions of
Other people do.

If yes, what was your experience? What were the advantages and disadvantages of virtual presentation? What tips would you give to other artists?
I don't think that it generates more audience.
I also had a Facebook advertisement on. The ad-audience ratio was insignificant.
If you create a website just for the performance and pay a professional to do it just for that event and advertise massively every day, it might do something. In addition to posters and flyer distribution , of course. One should count with 2000 euro thereby.
This money is too bad for me, I am against the concept of art = business.
Facebook, Insta is business!
I have a great poster maker who takes over for much much less, the outdoor advertising in the city.
A newsletter with info does it too.



Crystal shaker

Did you present any of your work online during the pandemic?
During the pandemic, online presentations were actually the only way to reach a public
to reach a public interested in dance. While dancers and choreographers
dancers and choreographers continued to work within their creative bubble, there was no possibility to
audience contact. Except online. Operating in the countryside, contact with other dance
with other dance creators was there, but to a much lesser extent than before. I
found my inspiration in my rural surroundings, in nature and in my everyday
everyday environment. Several solo short films were made for adults and also
young people, among others, "The Witch's Creed", "World of Witches", "Forrest Impros",
"Flippy Floppy Sofa Dance", "Rocking Christmas" and "Imagine the Unimaginable". Many
questions that the pandemic raised, I tried to process in this way. The
the longer the pandemic lasted, the more inner discourses on the nature of being an
of being an artist at a time when, on the one hand, art is the last thing that touches people's
the last thing that touches people, but on the other hand it is a vital necessity for emotional and
rational reflection. The longer the situation of the lockdown lasted, the more the latter also gained
more the latter gained importance in the general public.
With the dancers of the Zeit Tanz Land Verein we showed the short videos "Swimming Pool
Improvisation", "ZTLV Dance Projects" and "Words Sensation Space". Also two
festival evenings of the festival "smallformatdance-20" with short dance pieces of
dance artists from the independent scene in the Rhine-Neckar area and beyond, took place completely
took place completely online. As well as the full-length piece "Looping Loop" with the
fiveelefants tanz kollektiv, a dance piece for children and adults, which celebrated its digital
As a solo artist I participated in the festival "Solitaire Solidaire" and Beaudelaire- Fleurs de
Mal", organized by the Theater Felina Areal Mannheim. Both works that I showed
was first shown online and in both works, I use an object to dance, once a cushion, the
once a pillow, the other time cups, because for me it became more and more urgent that I had to
that I was not only missing touch in dance, but that it was taking me to the
tormenting to the edge of despair, as a missing creative potential,
which makes dance speak.


Vimeo-Account: crystal schüttler in videos auf Vimeo

Website:Fotos/Blog/Projekte | SEMILLA (

Do you use social media to showcase your work? If yes, how?
To be honest, the topic of copyrights of used music touches me tremendously.
I am rather reluctant to show the online films on social media.
on social media. For me they are rather finished works and not short shots that I can post on the
I can post on the side. I would like to make them accessible to a broader public, so social
social media would be an ideal platform, but the legal complications make me
legal complications make me rather shy away from it.

If so, what was your experience? What were the advantages and disadvantages of the
virtual presentation? What tips would you give to other artists?
If so, what was your experience?
In any case, the digital presentation is an enrichment or extension of the art of representation
presentation art, but in the sense of the thought: "Blessing or curse?"

On the one hand the possibility to reach many people is much bigger, but uncontrollable the own art ends own art perhaps only as short Click or temporary eye catcher. It does not create true vibration, as on site in the theater between audience and dancer.
Video is an art form by itself. What we perceive digitally is something completely different
than what we perceive digitally.

This flickering of emotions, which floats in the space between spectator and performer is a unique, unrepeatable situation, which awakens on a completely different level of intensity, touches and moves.  Online, I can avoid the situation in the box, fade it out, simply switch off the screen. This certainty remains. When it is more comfortable to look away, then that's what I do. In the theater or at the venue, the situation is different.

Being there, is a deeper experience.

This balancing act brings with it a very concrete feeling, namely that of arbitrarily giving myself to something and to withdraw again, as it suits me concretely or to decide consciously for something
to decide for something and to bear the consequences for it.

From authenticity  and decision results in truth and confrontation and thereby a clear attitude towards the world and oneself in it. In my opinion, this is desirable.

In this sense, I find that the online presentations definitely produce a magical world
and can truly bind an audience, in this respect they are an enrichment.
But they are in no way a substitute for live presentations. They fall into an art division in its own right.

virtuelles Stück
01 How would you make art about pleasure.jpg
Try out virtual piece development with audience interaction via social media

All answers will flow into a 2-3 minute piece which will premiere on social media.

We ask ourselves, can we give audiences insights into our creative process through social media?
How can we combine the interactivity of virtual space with performing arts?
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
07 When do you allow yourself pleasure.jpg

when do you allow yourself pleasure

Every day... but sometimes a day goes by without it, then the next day there's double


A small one every day, for the soul. To be balanced and connected.


Usually only when I think that I can't get any further without it. Although I would have needed the pleasure to compensate earlier...


More and more, but still often when I "have worked productively" "the good girl can have fun"


A little bit every morning


Especially when I don't expect it, e.g. While meditating

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What's the sound of pleasure to you?

Gentle, haunting, elevating and intense


Music blowing out of the speakers and laughter


Waves on the beach, WOOHOO - sound


The sound check before a concert that you've been waiting for forever. Tuning the instruments in an orchestra. The S-Bahn rushing down the street in front of my house. The voice of a loved one.


Small babbling but not rushing stream. Rather slow, overall even and calm - but always rich in variety and partly arrhythmic


When the breath calms down


Laugh so hard that you forget yourself completely


Being short of breath after crying


Being told “thank you” by another person


When someone tells me they like me (whom I like too)


The sentence "It's nice to see you!" or "May I hug you?"


The sound of stroking someone's clothing and how the clothing moves.

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How does pleasure smell to you?

Forest, flowers, summer rain, lemons on everyone, bourbon vanilla, a loved one's skin, the early morning air


Salty sea air, open fire


grass after the rain


After Sternmoss


Clear mountain air with a bit of pine smell


Lilac and verbena scent


Damp air after the summer rain


Coffee roasting, definitely sweat, fig trees, that smell of lawn-sunscreen-fries-water in the outdoor pool, that modrog-tart of leaves on the ground in early fall

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Where would you locate pleasure in your body?

​In the stomach, where it gradually makes its way into the rest of the body in a star shape. Almost at the top, two small amusement depots are created in the cheeks. For later.

skin and pelvic organs


back of head


in the mind


neck, knees, abdomen






stomach and chest


Inner thighs, heart


In my tummy


Where the weight of another body touches me

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What does pleasure look like to you?

Orange, twilight, afterglow, glitter on water, sparkling


Sweat, fast beating hearts, dogs




Electric belly


Sparkling eyes






When others cry when they laugh, starry sky



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Can you clench your hand into a fist and feel pleasure?

Yes. It's an outlet for anger to accumulate and let go. The pleasure comes when I slowly let go of the fist.

For me it's such a pithy, loud "yes" when I do it, doing such a fighting spirit through fist feels really good

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Which shape represents pleasure for you?

You voted for Option 2 Curve.

More answers:

1 * Spiral

expected pleasure > more curve like

unexpected pleasure > broken line

12 Which costume.jpg

Which costume should we choose?

You voted for a combination of jumpsuit and glitter jersey.

what place.png

Where in space would you start a piece about pleasure?

You voted for option 5.

What movement quality.png

What quality of movement represents pleasure for you?

You voted for option 4.

You can watch all the videos below!

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Which music should we choose?

You chose option 2.

All of your answers inspired us to make this video:

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