Fast asleep, she is perhaps the dreaming earth, contemplating her creation without regard to person: Wagner's Erda, "the world's wisest Wala" and Wotan's only intrepid admonisher, whom he has repeatedly tried to abuse for his own ends. In collaboration with the artificial intelligence text generator GPT3 and the avant-garde musician Ville Haimala, director Felix Rothenhäusler has rewritten the Ring of the Nibelung from their point of view.
The discourse on the risks and side effects of artificial intelligence is currently being conducted between extreme alarmism in the criticism of digitalisation and glorification in unquestioned optimism about progress. As a continuation of the idea of the death of the author from the second half of the 20th century, however, the most exciting perspectives on this new tool emerge: AIs can be literary agents because they know what humanity has already written about and in what ways. By drawing on collective bodies of knowledge, these tools can always be asked questions in a particular direction: What would a Wagnerian-type future narrative look like without us? What would a future narrative look like without us, one in which we once again become part of creation and not engineers of life and fate? In an examination of the work of essayists, filmmakers and authors such as Elvia Wilk, Alex Garland, Darren Aronofsky, Jeff Vandermeer, Margaret Atwood and many others. a new Ring fable has emerged that does not completely abandon Wagner's inventions and characters, but uses each of them only as a foil for the narrative of a future of the more-than-human: a future in which the human being is perhaps so far removed from the central perspective that he or she (once again) becomes part of the landscape and the nature that surrounds him or her.
The working method of the temporary architecture collective studio umschichten is called "precycling": borrowing things/materials before they are used, constructing temporary buildings and structures out of them, and then returning them for their original purpose. In the case of their installation made especially for Spring Festival #4, it is the other way around: the artists around Alper Kazokoglu and Peter Weigand have been provided by the construction company Züblin with no longer needed formwork elements from the casting work for the so-called "goblet supports" of the Stuttgart 21 construction site. Before these become rubbish, they have been reworked and form the landscape in which you may linger for a guided meditation with the voice of mezzo-soprano Shannon Keegan - as in the discussion of Wagner's opus magnum, the aim is to relate the oversized back to human scale. Come with us on a dream journey into Erda's visions and perhaps meet her face to face.