General Humanity Lab 4: PEAK HUMANITY

Research, libretto, composition: March to May 2021; Workshops 20 May-5 June 2021; Goldbekhaus and Kraftwerk Bille, Hamburg; Performance 6 June 2021, Kraftwerk Bille.

From the scene “Apocalypso”. Dance: Emese Kovacs; photo: Jakob Schulze-Rohr

Due to Corona regulations the performance was streamed only; you can watch it online here. The audio album has been released on Bandcamp on 1 January, 2022 – have a listen here.

The second scene – The Abyss of Time – was shot in the French mountains; have a look at our work in progress here. The one but last scene – Mutant Mambo – was written by Remi Marie; have a look at the libretto and photos here.

The scene/long poem Extinction Blues has been performed as a site specific event at the 8th Festival Teatro para el fin del mundo (Theatre for the end of the world) themed Un derrumbe (Collapse). The festival took place in Tampico, México (24-27 November 2021).

From the scene “Extinction Blues”. Voice: Ingrid Hoelzl; guitar: Georgia Ch. Hoppe; photo: Jakob Schulze-Rohr

TEAM: Artistic direction, research, libretto: Ingrid Hoelzl; Dramaturgy, text, camera: Remi Marie; Composition: Georgia Ch. Hoppe; Technical direction: Sascha Hahnrath; Scientific advice: Sebastian Dutreuil and Sebastien Klotz.

PERFORMERS: Ingrid Hoelzl (D/F): clarinet, voice, performance; Georgia Ch. Hoppe (D): composition, reeds, mini-elektronics; Emese Kovács (HU): dance, voice, performance; Marcia Lemke-Kern (D): soprano, viola, performance; Frantz Loriot (CH): viola, voice, performance.

PEAK HUMANITY was a main event of Blurred Edges 2021, funded by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media and the Hamburger Kulturstiftung, and received additional funding by Musikfonds as part of the national Neustart Kultur program.

Friendly support by Kraftwerk Bille and Goldbekhaus.


Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, MA Transdisziplinarität / Festival Teatro para el fin del mundo

From the scene “Mutant Mambo”. Dance performance: Emese Kovacs; combo: Georgia Ch. Hoppe, Marcia Lemke-Kern, Frantz Loriot, Ingrid Hoelzl. Photo by Jakob Schulze-Rohr

Are we at the peak of humanity, in terms of demography, resources, and the habitablity of planet Earth? Are we already beyond? Will we simply go extinct or can we survive in radically changing gears?

PEAK HUMANITY counters the modern mantra of the “survival of the fittest”, projected from society onto nature and back onto society (and of which today’s geoengineering phantasies are but a variant) with a “survival of the best related” (Morizot) that has been practiced intra- and inter species ever since.

With recourse to the octatonic scale as a musical “peak of humanity” five performers will gather in the former ballroom of Hamburg’s industrial vestige Kraftwerk Bille, a 1901 coal power plant. Using voice, instruments, and movement they will grope their way towards resonance as resilience: A journey that leads us from Apocalypso; The Abyss of Time; Extinction Blues to Mutant Mambo and Cosmic Fragility.

PEAK HUMANITY is the fourth Projekt of General Humanity, a collective for theory-performance founded in 2018 and based in Hamburg and Digne-les-Bains. General Humanity means the integration of humans in the ecological community. Each project consists of a research phase, a collective experimentation and a participatory performance. For more infos about our vision see the About and Manifesto pages.

Previous projects: General Humanity Lab 3: ANIMAL ANCESTOR (2020), General Humanity Lab 2: POSTIMAGE OPERAAA (2019), General Humanity Lab 1: IN THE MOOD FOR MUD (2018).

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