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Spectra – space as organism

Spectra – space as organism, is a long term artistic practice and research into attention and space and how their organisation affects our sense of embodiment, emergent realities and infrastructures. Spectra has been developed by Andrea Božić and Julia Willms and operates as the basic principle of our entire practice. In Spectra we work with the whole space and the visitor’s presence in it as part of the work: there is no such thing as empty space or a position outside of space. We are not in the space but we are space.

In Spectra we work with space as performative. We apply organic logic (such as dreams or organic processes in nature) to existing ‘hard’ infrastructures (such as architecture and modes of thinking) to allow for a new imaginal third space to emerge in their overlap.

Spectra is a third space that emerges from an overlap of a fictional space and the actual / physical space. It combines live performance, film, digital media and architecture creating its own in-disciplinary language and formats. The aim of Spectra is to initiate processes of ‘otherwise’ thinking, imagining and feeling of the existing (familiar) realities to allow for alternative ideas, structures and realities to unfold. Spectra creates a space of a particular and activated attention. It appears through a series of episodes on architectural, organic, virtual and imagined locations.

With Spectra we engage with space as a living organism, embedded in a larger environment. Space not as something to be formed as a plastic object but as a dynamic field of relations. Spectra creates a space of a particular attention by re-organising the logic of how the space functions.  It is a space of poetic logic: it embraces the experience of the paradox as part of its dynamics. Spectra is a way to train a different kind of attentiveness, suspended and intensified. It creates space where we do not know yet where we are, so we attend to what is there, and encounter each other, with a curious and open gaze. In Spectra, art is a tool to re-engage with the world by creating a rupture in perception. It proposes the poetic and the imagination as a political tool – a way to exit the purely sober reason of the liberal vernacular, and re-claim it as a ‘dreampolitik – created not simply to further existing progressive political agendas but help us imagine new ones’.

Within Spectra, we develop performance and installed environments that incorporate the architectural structure of the space it is presented in and the audience trajectory through it, as part of the work. We decentralise the stage through re-organising the logic of the space and where the event takes place. We incorporate our artistic practice of the divided attention and looking in-between sharing it with the audience in playful and direct ways. Through Spectra, we on the one hand explore how the way space is organised affects how we think, move, relate to each other and feel, and on the other hand imagine new organisations of space and how we can inhabit it, embody it, move through it or share it differently.  By re-organising the physical infrastructure we are interested in re-thinking social relationship and how we relate to the larger environment. In Spectra, we apply organic and natural principles to existing infrastructures.

Spectra is based on a co-existence of elements and paradoxes, the porosity of borders between what we consider organic and inorganic, natural and artificial, internal and external, political and personal, individual and social.

With Spectra we are imagining a space to engage with each other and the world through art. Spectra has its heart in Spectra Studio in Amsterdam, which is our studio, a place of research, exchange with interdisciplinary colleagues and partners, and meeting our audiences through their participation in a working process and try outs. From there, we present a series of works (performances, installations, encounters, interventions, workshops) with our partners in performing and visual arts, and on locations and public, virtual and unexpected spaces, in Amsterdam nationally and internationally. We explore new ways of engaging with old and new partners across disciplines within the spirit of Spectra and develop new sustainable financial models and engagement with audiences.