All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace



  • 03.07 > 21.07.2023

I like to think (and
the sooner the bet­ter!)
of a cyber­ne­tic mea­dow
whe­re mam­mals and com­pu­ters
live together in mutu­al­ly
pro­gram­ming har­mo­ny
like pure water
tou­ching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now plea­se!)
of a cyber­ne­tic forest
fil­led with pines and elec­tro­nics
whe­re deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spin­ning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cyber­ne­tic ecology
whe­re we are free of our labors
and joi­ned back to nature,
retur­ned to our mammal
bro­thers and sisters,
and all wat­ched over
by machi­nes of loving grace.

(Richard Brautigan)

In All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, Ezra Veldhuis and Bosse Provoost explo­re free­dom and unfree­dom in rela­ti­on to tech­no­lo­gy, by sta­ging Richard Brautigan’s 1967 poem of the same name. 

Machines, medi­ci­ne, algo­rithms: many new tech­no­lo­gies seem aimed at soci­al con­trol or the dis­ci­pli­ning of labour, rather than giving us new forms of free­dom. Does this mean Brautigan’s dream is dead? Are we alrea­dy living in a total­ly per­ver­ted rea­li­sa­ti­on of it? Or does the free­dom pro­mi­sed in his dream still hold potential?

At last I am free, I can hard­ly see in front of me!

Concept, ligh­ting and sce­no­grap­hy: Ezra Veldhuis & Bosse Provoost I Choreography: Nathan Ooms, Bosse Provoost, Ezra Veldhuis I Performers: Estefanía Álvarez Ramírez, Jayson Batut, Nathan Ooms I Costume design: Carly Rae Heathcote I Sound design: Benne Dousselaere I Execution set: Sibran Sampers I Technical sup­port: Wim Bernaers I Outside eye: Marc Vanrunxt I Internship: Cesar Vromman I Production: Hiros I Co-pro­duc­ti­on: C‑TAKT, NEXT Festival, auawir­le­ben Festival, Kunstenwerkplaats, SPRING Performing Arts Festival, CAMPO, Per Podium I With the sup­port of: Kunstencentrum BUDA, De Grote Post, Le Bamp, STUK, Kunst/​Werk, Stad Gent, the Flemish govern­ment, taxs­hel­ter of the Belgian Federal Government via Ufund