The grant has enabled the actor and storyteller Linus Ebner to spend four months away from his normal working routine in a theatre and to use the time in order to carry out research. In interdisciplinary interaction with artists and academics, he focuses his research on optical and non-optical viewing based on David Hockney and Walter Benjamin. The reason is that storytelling – a cultural tradition from the earliest times of humankind – has undergone significant change due to technological advancements both in theatre and everyday life. A live moment on stage has become a valuable commodity, and in everyday life we tend to show images and videos instead of talking about our experiences.
Instead of lamenting such a development, Linus Ebner wants to understand how the different ways of telling stories are mutually determined and how they function – at technical, cultural, communicative and sensory levels. In a systematic series of experiments, he contrasts the archaic narrative forms of theatre, dance and painting against the optical narrative forms of video and photography. Is it possible to begin a story in one form and ending it in another? How fragmented has storytelling become? How many sources and media make up contemporary stories? How do they blend into one another? The results will feed into a follow-up project "Fragments of Fact and Fiction", a multi-media and interdisciplinary installation project that can be seen next year in Bochum’s Prinz-Regent-Theater.