Theatre maker Lotte van den Berg and artist Daan ’t Sas began working on Building Conversation in the summer of 2013, inspired by an intense interest in conversational techniques from different cultures and curiosity about how conversation functions as a way of coming together.
At every stage of Building Conversation, they invited the public to help them conduct this research by taking part in the conversations. From the very start, they have approached conversation as a work of art, as a joint creation, a collective improvisation. Inspired by the conversational techniques and rituals a of people from all over the world – such as the Inuits, the Maoris, a quantum physicist and the Occupy movement – and in response to the theories of contemporary philosophers such as Bruno Latour and Chantal Mouffe, the founders have built up a repertoire of conversations/performances. They succeeded in getting the participants to look at conversing and themselves in conversation in a different way.
Building Conversation has grown into a collective of artists that approach conversation in the same manner. Their aim is to continue developing Building Conversation with as many partners as possible in the Netherlands and abroad. Convinced of the power and effect of this concept, they challenge themselves to continue to develop new forms and to get new audiences and partners involved.