Foam Agency is a function similar to that of an adoptive name. It is the sign pointing to the meeting of contingent inspiration with consistent care. It hosts the stories of a variety of work relations and contexts, through which different physical persons have passed. By offering himself for adoption under this name, Michiel explores the risks and benefits of authorship and interpretation, creation and translation, in formats that cross writing, performance, theory and an ambition towards activism, production and consumption, contemplation and immersion, real and fiction … So many binaries for a foamy world where the center is everywhere and nowhere.
Cardboard sense (working title)
This residency is the beginning of an attempt do the impossible, to be in two places at the same time, to have too much to handle. I discovered this impossibility, through the experience of telling a riddle, widely published under the title “the three prisoner five hat problem”, in several variations. Given the riddle’s availability, this residency is thus also a research into retelling – a relation with the authorship of several of the thinkers who have incorporated that riddle in their work, in a line of thought reaching back to the Sophists. Sophism here is the the ethics that says that the philosopher’s job is to use the form of reason to convince his audience to follow the course of action the philosopher himself believes to be right. That is the nature of the riddle as I experienced it: its rhetoric convinces us that we must perform a certain type of thought, in order to achieve that particular act, however banal, of offering a solution. The riddle of the three prisoners though, caries the potential of breaking with that pattern. Confronting us with the impossibility of solving it along the usual logic, it offers a chance to apply that impossibility as a shared situation with fellow thinkers.It is this impossibility that becomes the key to a solution. It shows the need for being in two places at the same time: my own and the other’s. It also implies a more subtle distribution of the art of conviction and of the different times for action and thought. This distribution is also what I aim to explore in a work for the stage.