Artist Residency 2021
Jan Philip Steimel

Several people are standing in a circle using telephones
© Dorothea Tuch

Through its residency programmes, the Goethe-Institut seeks to provide a space for new perspectives. Particularly in the age of globalisation, it is especially inspiring for artists and culture producers to ground their works in specific, real places and to pursue their projects for a while, free from economic considerations and to build up or deepen lasting professional contacts. Artists will be nominated. Applications are not possible. Each year, with its residency programmes and their variety of focuses, the Goethe-Institut New Zealand in cooperation with Wellington City Council offers artists and other culture creator’s opportunities to live and work in Wellington for a period of time. The situation in 2021 however requires a special format and the residency will take place virtually over several months. The residency programme’s focus is not on one-time presentations. Instead, the projects’ success and significance become evident in long-term exchange and lasting co-operation between the artists.

Residency artist 2021: Jan Philip Steimel

Jan Philip Steimel - Portrait © Jan Philip Steimel Jan Philip Steimel invents, programmes and solders electronic gadgets for theatrical real-life games. He specialises in the artistic exploration of the borderlands between performing arts and technology. Somewhere between theatre, computer games and explorative art installations, Philip is always on the hunt for new ways to make objects, computers and humans interact and interlink. For that, he works in the realms of physical computing and interaction design to create unique and often weird experiences.

Philip teaches game design with the means of theatre, digital theatre technology and is involved in several open source projects. He is a member of the 7 person theatre collective machina Ex (real life game theatre) who develop playable theatre pieces that also work as walkable computer games. Since 2010 machina Ex has been exploring the crossover area of theatre and computer games combining modern technology with the tools of classical illusion theatre, game design and literature to create immersive theatre experiences. They have developed more than 25 live games that have been performed in Europe, the US and the UK.

In his spare time, Philip is tinkering with code that fills out customs forms and creating storytelling tools or 3D printable models of things that might or might not be useful. His heart beats for open source hardware and he dreams of fablabs and electric elephants.

During his virtual residency, Philip will work on an interdisciplinary performance-project “The Hitchhiking Robot” – a collaboration with local artists and tech talent.