The Silicon Passion
2022-07-22, 18:00–19:15, Abacus 🧮

What do big tech, synthesizers, the crucifixion and Matthäus Passion have in common? Find the answer in the tech performance The Silicon Passion. We’ve all embraced big tech —but is it a warm hug or a strangulation? Bear witness to a debate of biblical proportions between tech nerds, technology and its users. In The Silicon Passion SETUP, in collaboration with de Transmissie (David Schwarz en Derk Stenvers) and Rodrigo Ferreira, is looking for a way out of the pit that technology has created for them.

The performers draw inspiration from one of the most important stories about penance: the crucifixion. They want to find out exactly who or what should be nailed to the cross, and what the world might look like after a resurrection.Taking the St Matthew Passion as a starting point, both for the valuable lessons as well as musical inspiration. Armed with Bachst’ St Matthew Passion and synthesizers we will look for a new way of dealing with big tech.

SETUP (Utrecht) is a media lab exploring the day-to-day future of technology. Using a critical yet humorous perspective, SETUP translates complex themes into more tangible ideas for everyone. In 2021, SETUP asked several artists to offer new perspectives on penance and forgiveness for big tech, using the St Matthew Passion. A composed group consisting of multidisciplinary theater collective de Transmissie and musician Rodrigo Ferreira came to a stunning result, with live performances from Theater Kikker and Pakhuis de Zwijger in April 2021. The new performance in 2022 is the next step in this research.

SETUP is an Utrecht-based medialab, established in 2010

Combining our research background with artistic practice, we strive to create an enriched, critical stance towards emerging technologies. What impact do new technologies have on society? What negative consequences can digitalization have and how can we steer developments towards more fruitful futures?

To make this happen, we collaborate with artists, designers, scientists and other specialists in artistic research to imagine and visualize these possible futures. Over the years, we have developed a distinctive style, which allows us to translate complex issues into mediagenic, straight-to-the-heart projects and works of art. We stimulate people to create an ethical countermovement. To see what we can – or have to – do differently. That is why our artistic research is aimed at a wide audience and why we collaborate with governmental institutions, schools, libraries and other organizations.