Niels Bohr

2009. Nordwind Festival, HAU2, Berlin.
2009. DISKURS Festival, Giessen.

Can a performance happen in more spaces at the same time?

Niels Bohr (1885-1962) developed the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, which includes Heisenbergs uncertainity principle: The position of e.g. an electron within an atom cannot be pinpointed by an observer; only its sphere of probability; its orbit. The electron jumps from a smaller orbit to a greater, or the other way round, dependent on whether it gets energy or gives off some. Actually observing the electron will stop it, and so ruin the attempt at a neutral observation. If the electron were a performer, it would be performing in all possible spaces at the same time, because checking the exact space would ruin the performance.

In my interpretation, I am the electron, circling the bar of the festival with a small tray with glasses of schnapps and a sign on my back: Ask me what I am doing. By stopping me, the audience “ruins” the performance. I explain all about Niels Bohr and the Copenhagen Interpretation and ask them to either have some “energy” (schnapps) or supply me with more – why I end up with bits and scraps from peoples pockets on my tray – before jumping to another orbit marked by arrows.

bohr_leftovers_hauvideo and photo:
Christopher Hewitt