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Script for a Synthetic Play
On (un)grounding community and the generative power of fiction

Ground, foundation, land, landscape, territory, earth, soil, dirt, dust. 


A staged conversation between a historian, an anthropologist, three artists, an earth eater and an architecture theorist: they enter unknown grounds, it is dark, and a disembodied alien voice encourages them to move across uneven terrain. A temporary community of strangers is formed. A sense of agency and belonging emerges, but also of marginality and dispossession. Hybrid voices start to circulate and be heard, borders of disciplines are blurred and grounds for certainty are collectively explored anew. Each step leaves sources for a unique script. 


Script for a Synthetic Play delves into new world-making technologies, the need for refuge and infrastructures of care, human and land exhaustion and cultural and ecological challenges of today. Expertise meets experience in informal and approachable discussions that, stylized for dramatic effect, create a conversation piece in the form of a play activated by the generative power of fiction. 


This book stems from the performative symposium “Unknown Grounds'' (Leeuwarden, 2019, supported by art initiative VHDG and Tresoar Frysk Histoarysk en Letterkundich Sintrum), and features a fictionalized version of transcripts of conversations that took place during the event by Nathaniel Feldmann, and a collection of texts written by Sissel Marie Tonn, Bert Looper, Andrej Radman, Theun Karelse, masharu, Bert Boekschoten and Flora Reznik.

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