Hito Steyerl and Mark Waschke

I Play Therefore I Am! A Digital Peasant Revolt (2021)
Stage performance

Wearing knight’s armor and playing computer games, Tatort actor Mark Waschke and artist Hito Steyerl trace and explore feudal conditions in the theater and in the digital world.

In a mix of live performance, documentary fiction, and computer game footage, Steyerl and Waschke reflect on today’s theatrical and digital culture and playfully tell the story of how humans transform into “bots” and back again—both today and in early modern times. Tracing today's “bots” back to the “robot” labor duties of Austrian peasants, Steyerl delves into her own family history—which may or may not have been intertwined with the peasant uprisings of the time.

The unusual content of the piece is delivered in an unusual form. In the spirit of audience empowerment, it is presented not only as an on-site performance in an auditorium, but also as a live, unedited multi-angle stream that viewers can mix interactively in a specially developed, easy-to-use online player.

Hito Steyerl (1966, Munich, Germany) is a filmmaker, moving image artist, writer, and innovator of the essay documentary. Her principal topics of interest are media, technology, and the global circulation of images. She participated in Manifesta 5, Donostia—San Sebastián (2004) and represented Germany in the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Steyerl has exhibited widely in solo and group shows since this time, notably at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2020). She lives in Berlin.

Mark Waschke (1972, Wattenscheid, Germany) is an actor. Known for his work in major German theaters (Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Maxim Gorki Theater), he is also famous for his extensive work in cinema and television. He has appeared in television series and films, notably Buddenbrooks (2008) and Generation War (2013). Since 2015, he has been playing the character of Robert Karow in the Berlin version of the long-standing crime drama Tatort. He became known to international audiences for his role as Noah in the Netflix-produced series Dark. He lives in Berlin.

18.9., 19.9., 19:00

Orpheumgasse 8
8020 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

Google Maps

In German

16/12 euros

18.9., 21:00–21:45 
Artist Talk

Play: Hito Steyerl, Mark Waschke
Actors: Mark Waschke, Rosa Waschke
Producer, assistant director: Hanna Mattes
TABS gameplay recordings and technical assistance: Lucas Gutierrez
Costume design: Lea Søvsø
Music: Dirk Leupolz
Additional music: Biosphere, “Deviation”; and from freesound.org: Humanoide9000, “superhero fanfare”; Fons, “industrie schreeuw 1”; Michael-DB, “Cinematic Music - Relinquish”; Oymaldonado, “metal loop”
Special thanks: Landfall Games, Deutsches Theater Berlin

Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ʼ21