Andrea Familari


ΣXHALE exposes algorithmic violence by questioning the responsibilities of both artificial intelligence systems and human collectivities. It is an ecosystem of catharsis, a biome whose very existence demands alternative forms of empathy and knowledge. labyrinth of perspectives, of half-seen events, and of unseen reactions. Since, here, one’s perspective is never truly complete, alternative forms of empathy and knowledge must be created.

The structure of algorithmic violence is both visible and invisible. It involves both carbon-based beings – such as humans, animals and plants – and silicon-based entities – such as artificial intelligence algorithms. Humans dictate instructions, algorithms repeat instructions, living things suffer instructions, capital increases; and again, humans dictate, algorithms repeat, living things suffer, capital increases. It’s an intricate net of relations, or a continuous loop of actions and consequences, where every one has a responsibility.

[ΣXHALE] asks a seemingly simple question: How do you know what you know? Your knowledge derives from your viewpoint, but your viewpoint is, by definition, subjective. What you see can never be the whole story, and [ΣXHALE] will prove to you just that. Come sit in these derelict greenhouses and discover a labyrinth of perspectives, of half-seen events, and of unseen reactions. Since, here, one’s perspective is never truly complete, alternative forms of empathy and knowledge must be created.

Beware though, here, you sit amid a swarming ecosystem where humans are not the only actors: seedlings, fungi and the custom-made artificial intelligence (AI) named are co-creators too. , the AI performer, orchestrates rhythm, music and lights in response to the actions of the other performers. As if it was a whirling wind, stirs everything and everyone on stage and it is swayed by them at the same time.

Through infinite loops, this human-nature-machine entanglement becomes a cathartic ritual, a symbiogenesis. Again and again, every evening anew, the people, living things and machines in [ΣXHALE] create ever new realities – a multiverse of possibilities where the narration reaches a different ending each time. How can the circle of violence be broken? If any action here has a consequence, what will you do?

[ΣXHALE] is a rhizome of the Humane Methods project, an ongoing reflection on violence in algorithmic societies.


World Premiere. CTM Festival,
Episodes 1 to 4, Radialsystem, Berlin, DE
tanzhaus nrw
Episodes 1 to 4, Düsseldorf, DE
Austrian Premiere. Volkstheater
Episodes 1 to 6, 12 shows, Volx/Margareten, Vienna, AT


Performance for 6 human figures, bodies, algorithms, fungi, sound and light.
Duration: 6 episodes, total 9 hours
Media: soil, plants, videos, cameras, computers, AI music and light, multi-channel sound diffusion.



Development: Fronte Vacuo (Donnarumma, Pevere, Familari)
Direction, Choreography, AI Music system: Marco Donnarumma
Choreography, Symbionts: Margherita Pevere
Interactive Light and Video Design, Technical Direction: Andrea Familari
Set Design, Costumes: Anna Cingi
AI and Machine Learning Research: Baptiste Caramiaux
AI Engineering: Meredith Thomas
Sculpture: Ana Rajcevic, Filippo Vogliazzo, Richard Green
Performance, Choreographic Thinking: Hikaru Inagawa and Maco (4RUDE), Steffi Wieser, Will Lopes, Margherita Pevere, Marco Donnarumma
Audiovisual Dramaturgy: AI performer
Spores: Pleurotus salmoneostramineus
Production: Daniela Silvestrin, René Dombrowski, Olga Wiedemann
Dramaturgy Advice: Anne-Kathrin Schulz
Artistic production management Volkstheater: Eva Luzia Preindl
Live photography: Nikolaus Ostermann / Volkstheater Wien, Stefanie Kulisch / CTM Festival

A production by Fronte Vacuo GbR, co-produced by the Volkstheater Wien, CTM Festival and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) – associated with the Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique (LRI) at the Université Paris-Saclay – and by the tanzhaus nrw as part of the Alliance of International Production Houses. Supported by the Fonds Darstellende Künste from funds of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as by the co-financing fund of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Partially developed @AKADEMIE FÜR_THEATER_UND_DIGITALITÄT.

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