SystemFailed cancelled
Fri, 18.03.2022 and Sat, 19.03.2022, Performance

++ Performances at 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm each ++

- Cancelled due to corona -

SystemFailed: A Performative Experiment Around the Factor »Man«


»Does digitalization lead to more freedom, or does it endanger our humanity?«

This is the question posed by the performance group ArtesMobiles as part of a social experiment. Automated hegemonic structures structures of rule and algorithmic government techniques are made playfully tangible in a simulation. The audience forms a temporary micro-society that is observed and investigated by three researchers. Every movement is tracked by an artificial intelligence (AI) and evaluated with a specific scoring system. The experimentees have the choice to collect or to lose points, i.e. to behave in a norm-conforming or disobedient manner. In the field of tension between individuality and collective action, the question of self-determination arises in a seemingly overpowering system. Who dares to rebel and who is willing to adapt to the system? Can an individual person change something or does it need a critical mass to change collective action?

Trigger warning: Increased volume, total darkness, stroboscopic effects –

ArtesMobiles was founded by Nina Maria Stemberger (director) and Birk Schmithüsen (media artist) and has been producing forward-looking performances since 2013. They are looking for ways to dissolve academic categories and break down the demarcation between art, theater and technology. Therefore, ArtesMobiles stages cross-disciplinary and expand the performing arts with new media in their performances.

Q&A with ArtesMobiles

concept: ArtesMobiles  |  performance: Mad Kate, Milena Gürtler, Juliane Torhorst  |  stage direction: Nina Maria Stemberger  |  audiovisual direction: Birk Schmithüsen  |  sound design: Elisa Battisutta  |  lighting design: Hans Leser  |  dramaturgical support:  Lea-Maria Kneisel  |  visuals: Caren Müller, Wieland Hilker  |  programming TouchDesigner: Lennart Beese  |  programming machine learning (AI): Marcus Ding  |  costume: Mad Kate, Juan Chamié  |  technical direction: Hendrik Fritze  |  lighting operator:  Fabian Arat, Luise Graeff  |  tracking: Fabian Luepke  |  moderation: Flugwerk  |  technical assistance: Sophie Krause  |  assistance stage direction: Elisabeth Eichler  |  video documentation: Alexander Hector  |  photo documentation: Caroline Wimmer  |  graphics: Max Adam  |  intern: Isabella Jahns

Impressum information

ZKM | Hertz-Lab

Ludger Brümmer (Artistic director)
Dominik Kautz (Production manager)
Benjamin Miller (Sound director)
Hans Gass (Light- & stage technician)
Mirko Posluschny & Manuel Urrutia (Assistant stage technicians)

ZKM | Video Studio

Christina Zartmann (Head of ZKM | Video Studio)
Andy Koch & Xenia Leidig (Camera)

ZKM | Communication & Marketing

Tanja Binder (Head of ZKM | Communication & Marketing)
Samira Kaiser, Ida Kammerer, Svenja Liebig, Anouk Widmann (Homepage & Communication)


Supported Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media, the ChaosComputerClub and the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen.

An event of ArtesMobiles

In cooperation with

Funded by