The Agency of Things

The Agency of Things
WTM#4, 2023, Prague Quadrennial Duration: 11 days from 8-18 June 2023 17 bodies, tools and sand. Sound Marc Hasselbach. Holešovice Market, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo Amanda Bødker
Site- and material specific scenographies in which live performance and design reshapes our perception of things in urban architecture.

Olga Regitze Dyrløv Høegh
Copenhagen, Denmark
Scenographer and sustainable tour designer exploring world-making through objects, atmospheres and human bodies in all scales.
Field of work
Design, Ecology, Visual Art, Research, Other
Project category
Sustainable mobility
Project submitted

Høegh’s practice is an artistic and philosophical inquiry of the agency of things on and off stage. Her practice mobilizes preconceptions of form, ecology and material politics through design, performance, installations.

Høegh works to disconnect design from the market, and scenography from the theater machine. An idea that might seem a perverse case of biting the hand that has fed designers since the Industrial Revolution, and the institutions that fund performing arts but for her, design is as much about what things mean and how they perform, as what they do.

From a methodology deriving from somewhere between performance and design Høegh asks questions about the agency of the things and our relationship with them. Prior to her MA in fine arts in Scenography at Norwegian Theater Academy she did a BA in Design Culture which sparked the interest in the triad object, body and space - questioning the commodification of our everyday tools/objects and the data biases in the designed world.

Høegh’s works has most recently been shown at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design & Space (CZ) for Norway, Kunsthal Overgaden (DK), Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting, (JPN), Palmera Gallery for Meteor International Festival of Performing Arts (NO), Den Fynske Opera (DK), Bora Bora (DK) and Kloden Teater (NO). She has held talks at Copenhagen Architecture Center (DK), Hudson Yards (US) for UN Week, New York as well as Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design & Space (CZ). She has taught workshops at Norwegian Theater Academy and Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen amongst others.

This year she was selected the International Touring and Environmental Responsibility Programme (ITER) - a collaboration between the Danish Arts Foundation, Arts Council Norway and England & has received Diversstipend from Arts Council Norway to continue her work to develop site- and material specific scenographies in the pursuit of recalibrating our relationship to things and materials.

At the core of the ecological crisis lies an inability to reimagine the relationship between materials and form. In my practice live experiences cultivates the audience's access to experience a material as a phenomenon freed from its form.

Prior to my MA in fine arts in Scenography I did a BA in Design Culture studying the triad object, body and space and questioning the commodification of our everyday tools/objects as well as the data biases in the designed world. This led to a performative-scenographic research of the agency of things. Asking: what is the power dynamic between things/nonhuman bodies, human bodies and environments & can this power structure be renegotiated through performative-scenographic strategies?
This research manifested in “Walking, Talking Minerals” a durational installation performed in shifting architectural contexts. The installation labors different materializations of stone: gravel, sand etc. Each material specific to the site. “Walking, Talking Minerals” has become a macro scenography, “WTM”, consisting of many independent site & material specific manifestations: performed between Palmera Gallery in Bergen, Norwegian Theatre Academy in Fredrikstad and Overgaden in Copenhagen and most recently at PQ23 - Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space as transforming tableaus of useless labor through 17 bodies, tools and local materials in a 11 day duration.

I am continuing the serial work as a series of installations specific to the materials on site and further developing the method into new works: “Oceanlines” (tentative title) a dance piece between Indonesia, The Faroe Islands and Denmark with local artist and “FormBodyMaterials” a solo for dance artist Yohei Hamada and paper.

By using performative strategies the works invites audience’s to encounter matter in non-permanent forms to explore and develop new ways of which the art can support the transition into a more circular way of dealing with things and materials.