Interview with Stephanie Thiersch about The Memory Machine

The Memory Machine

The main idea for The Memory Machine was acceptance that the act of remembering was always an act of deconstruction and transformation.

This interdisciplinary walk-in installation by MOUVOIR/Stephanie Thiersch used reports by contemporary witness to bring dance history from 1980 and 2000, a period marked by new concepts and styles, to life. Statements by contemporary witnesses, and which had been collected in an associative process, were entered into a machine that imitated the workings of the brain. Visitors encountered the collection of memories via sound, text and live performance. They could set their own priorities, re-associate and bring dance history into the present moment via the senses.



Three-minute trailer on the installation The Memory Machine


Stephanie Thiersch studied dance, humanities and media art at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. With her company MOUVOIR, which she founded in 2000, she has developed stage works, films and installations that have been presented nationally and internationally, and won numerous awards. She is artistic director of the GLOBALIZE:COLOGNE festival with the Freihandelszone (Free Trade Area) ensemble network.


A performative installation by and with – Guy Cools, Jasper Diekamp, Tommy Noonan, Anton Skrzypiciel and Stephanie Thiersch
Performance support – Simona Ferrar
Research support – Vivana Escalé and Heike Lehmke
Installation – Jasper Diekamp; technicians: Oliver Kunkel, Sven Mause, Tim Becker and Matthias Krauß.

With memories from Cornelia Albrecht, Gabriele Brandstetter, Dieter Buroch, Dana Caspersen, Guy Cools, Ingo Diehl, Luc Dunberry, Viviana Escalé, Kerstin Evert, Sigrid Gareis, Thierry Guiderdoni, Claudia Henne, Walter Heun, Reinhild Hoffmann, Rui Horta, David Kern, Hanna Koller, Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, Heike Lehmke, Bettina Masuch, Anita Mathieu, Jean-Paul Montanari, David Morrow, Bertram Müller, Gabriele Naumann- Maertens, Kajo Nelles, Micha Purucker, Jan Pusch, Martin Puttke, Omar Rajeh, Madeline Ritter, Vera Sander, Jochen Sandig, Katja Schneider, Katharina Sehnert, Gerald Siegmund, Meg Stuart, Virve Sutinen, Christiane Theobald, Helena Waldmann and Arndt Wesemann

Performance Dates
  • 4 May 2013 |Tanzmuseum / Tanzarchiv Köln –  presentation and discussion,
  • 8 & 9 May 2014 |  insights into the research, ,
  • 23 May 2014 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf­– premiere
  • 24 May 2014 |tanzhaus nrw
  • 15 – 30 August 2014 | Tanz im August, HAU 2, Berlin
  • 25 – 31 October 2014 |  Favoriten festival, Dortmund, Museum Ostwall
  • 1 November 2014 | Favoriten festival, Dortmund, Museum Ostwall



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