The Automated Sniper

Julian Hetzel (Utrecht)
Artists in Residence 25
Bare fists, swords, crossbows, pistols, rockets, drones. The history of human conflict is the history of ever more brutal weapons deployed at ever greater distances. The most powerful parties have completely removed themselves from the battle-field, guiding bombs to their targets from the comfortable distance of secure control rooms. What kind of ethics can we demand today, when the enemy has been reduced to a cluster of pixels on a monitor?
While Julian Hetzel is preparing his new production “All inclusive” for next season in his residency, we will present his current work “The Automated Sniper”. In this piece, he investigates the gamification of violence: An operator fires a remote-controlled automatic weapon at two performers on stage. The sniper himself is in a protected location. The brutality takes place in the virtual realm. How far would we go? “The Automated Sniper” is a comment on modern war-fare, an abstract sculpture, contemporary dance, a critical pamphlet and precarious game, all at once. The piece was developed in collaboration with the Leipzig-based machine artist Hannes Waldschütz.
Julian Hetzel studied visual communication and performance in Weimar and Amsterdam. In his internationally acclaimed performances, he combines documentary methods with fictional and political dimensions. In April 2016, he presented his performance “I’m not here says the void” at Residenz.

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Performance in English language


Concept, Director: Julian Hetzel
Machine design: Hannes Waldschütz
Dramaturg: Miguel Angel Melgares
Performance: Bas van Rijnsoever, Claudio Ritfeld, Ana Wild
Technical director: Tymen Bergman
Artistic collaboration: Joachim Robbrecht
Costume Designer: Karianne Hoenderkamp
Light Designer: Nico de Rooij
Dramaturg assistance: Luc Groen, Artun Alaska