FLINTRIDGE or: Man appears on the holodeck

A room in an isolated mountain village in Ticino. A storm lasting for days has cut the village off from its surroundings. And as the water rises, the winds rush through the mountains. But then? A new community settles in and is full of ideas.

F. Wiesel unfolds a virtual theatre machinery and turns Max Frisch's story "Man in the Holocene" into the starting point of a multidimensional walk on 16 square metres. Crude apparatuses, computer game logic from the 70s and VR elements lead through a narrative about climatic challenges, the role of humankind in the future and the mechanics of the imagination.

» Gloucester: When shall we come to the top of that same hill?
Edgar: You do climb up it now: look, how we labour.
Gloucester: Methinks the ground is even.
Edgar: Horrible steep. Hark, do you hear the sea?
Gloucester: No, truly.
Edgar: Why, then, your other senses grow imperfect by your eyes’ anguish.
Gloucester: So may it be, indeed. «

William Shakespeare. King Lear, 4.6.2-10

Concept, implementation: Hanke Wilsmann, Jost von Harleßem, Rupert Jaud
Collaboration Digital Art: Paula Reissig
Narrator: Ana Berkenhoff
Interaction-Design: Robert Läßig
Programming: Benedikt Göpfert, Jan Godde
Production Management: Heidrun Schlegel

18.-25. Nov 2021 Atelierfrankfurt / Mousonturm, Frankfurt
14.-22. Jan 2022 Roxy Birsfelden
17.-10. März 2022 Theater Chur / Digidays
10.-19. März 2023 Mousonturm, Frankfurt
24.09-18.11. 2023 Schauspielhaus Graz / Konsole
13.–16. März 2024 Schauspielhaus Graz / Digithalia Festival

A production by F. Wiesel in cooperation with the Roxy Birsfelden and the Mousonturm Frankfurt.
with the kind support of: Atelierfrankfurt e.V., andpartnersincrime
Sponsored by:
Kulturamt der Stadt Frankfurt, Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst as well as the Fonds Darstellende Künste aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.

"And be it because it demonstrates to the viewer with extremely simple means what it means to build an entire world in 15 minutes. And how little it takes. After all, the scene, set and plot, once entered into the universe unfolded with nothing but narrative means, are initially created in the audience's head. Until one puts on the VR glasses and stands for the next quarter of an hour in the middle of the virtual mountains instead of in the project room of the Atelierfrankfurt. [...] A prospectus in essence with majestically towering mountains, a chalet perhaps, a mountain stream and a picturesque waterfall plunging into the depths almost as if on holiday. Only recognizably not quite real. So what? Nevertheless, here you believe it immediately. And that's the point. This has always been the case in the works of Jost von Harleßem and Hanke Wilsmann, who have been questioning the illusion machine of theater in a highly entertaining way [under the moniker] F. Wiesel since their student days together in Giessen. What drives it, what makes it tick and what holds it together at its core. With its own means, which sometimes oscillate between stage, installation and radio play. In short, what theater is still capable of even in times of virtual realities. [...] The water rises until we seemingly drown, while the virtual stage space of the Holodeck becomes bitterly cold for the next 1000 years. And yet, no doubt: when one day all the waters recede, the theatre starts all over again."

Exploring the world - F. Wiesel's "Flintridge" at Atelierfrankfurt
Christoph Schütte  / FAZ 18.11.2021

"You are in the middle of it [...] in a world that is clearly not ours but nevertheless seems incredibly real, because it forms an entire reality through the VR glasses. [...] This idea of doom, of the Flood, of drought, of climate catastrophe is very present. But you also have to deal incredibly with yourself and your own imagination and how this imagination is animated and triggered."

Im Kopf von Max Frisch – HR2 Frühkritik / Ulrich Sonnenschein 22.11.2021

"An art experience unlikely to anything that you have yet experienced. [...] For the artists, it was a chance to work on something new at a time of limited live performances. You can expect large sets, effects, machines, wind and weather. [...] They aim to illustrate the nature of the environment beyond the human being. And this environment is not seen in relation to mankind, but rather as it exists by itself to be taken seriously."

Announcement Radio X Basel / Tim Meyer 22.01.2022

«Gelungen: Virtual Reality in der neuen „Konsole“ […] Entlang von Max Frischs Protokoll eines Persönlichkeitszerfalls in der Erzählung „Der Mensch erscheint im Holozän“ und William Crowthers prototypischem Computerspiel „Colossal Cave Adventure“ von 1976 untersucht das Theaterkollektiv F. Wiesel in seiner Mixed- Reality-Installation „Flintridge/Der Mensch erscheint im Holodeck“ Sinn und Nutzen gespeicherter Information, aber auch die Macht der Imagination. Von der profitieren Theater und Computerspiel gleichermaßen. Und sollte der Nachweis nötig sein, dass die Science Fiction theatertauglich ist, er wäre hiermit erbracht.»

Tiefgefrorene Salamander / Ute Baumhackl, Kleine Zeitung Steiermark 03.10.2023