Selection of photographic work (2011-2023) is a series of sound performance-installations in open spaces, centred around collective listening experiences. They are born out of a research-based process which brings the location and its ecology (acoustic and otherwise) to the centre. The acoustics of the space itself become central to the listening experience, with the space emerging as a primary collaborator and co-creator. values listening experiences as a means of connecting to open spaces with deeper attention, offering a space and time for deeper listening, understanding, and experiencing. It is an opportunity to bring people together, find restful space, and discover alternate means of connecting to our non-human ecological counterparts.

One Belt. Many Roads (2021-2023)

Agung Kurniawan / Indonesia, Almagul Menlibayeva / Kazakhstan, Behzad Khosravi Noori / Iran, Pakistan, Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew / Ethiopia, Hatem Bourial / Tunesia, transparadiso (Paul Rajakovics, Barbara Holub) / Italy, Yara Mekawei / Egypt.
A project by Grammar of Urgencies (Maren Richter, Klaus Schafler, with Niels Plotard) / Austria.

In a collaborative experimental setting, One Belt. Many Roads investigates eight sites along China’s “New Silk Road” global infrastructure initiative, examining the effects of neo-colonialism on these places, what new types of dependencies or geographies this entails, and which long-standing mechanisms of dependency are being replicated. The “Belt and Road Initiative”, formerly “One Belt, One Road”, is arguably the most comprehensive global project to accelerate the transport of goods between Asia and Europe (including Austria), by which China aims to declare itself the world’s leading economic power. Various transportation corridors will be built for this purpose to achieve the necessary logistics, both on land (with a gigantic high-speed rail network) and on water.

In the VERSUCHSANSTALT of today’s WUK, originally built as a locomotive and machine factory, eleven collaborators from nine countries, who have been working together since 2021, explore how toxic entanglements and their narratives have local and geopolitical impacts.

Moving in Lines: Mapping Affective Geometries (2023) — Site-specific multidisciplinary performance, approx. 33’

Direction, performance & production management - Florinda Camilleri
Live A/V, spatial sound design (8.2) & technical direction - Niels Plotard
Light design & technical assistance - Andrew Schembri
Production assistance - Sarah Chircop
by invitation of Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti as a satellite event for the ‘In Search of Line’ exhibition

Moving in Lines: Mapping Affective Geometries (2023) is a live-composition performance where, through dance, camera, sound, and light, the ballroom of the Casino Maltese in Valletta is mapped through unusual perspectives. The Euclidean qualities of the space are explored initially, emphasized by the use of a high intensity torch attached to the perfomer's body and a singular laser beam cutting through the central axis of the room. Focus then shifts to the staircases and the peripheries of the room, with a body-mounted camera steaming live capture of the performer's tactile dialogue with the space. Sound and light dance with the performer, immersing audiences within a fluid field of affective potential. The performer then studies a small section of the floorboards with her hands. Intimate details of touch are given centre stage, magnified on screens and projected onto the whole ceiling, subverting the scale of the room and temporarily dominating the space with more a subtle, gentle, intimate story.  The affective map is consolidated through a condensed rendition of the full journey, leaving the audiences with a multisensorial feast and possibly, a fresh outlook on this historical place. 

Lisa Attard

Debatable Land(s) Kalkara (2021)

Created by:  Grammar of Urgencies (Maren Richter & Klaus Schafler), Greta Muscat Azzopardi, and Unfinished Art Space (Margerita Pulè)
Multi-channel sound installation (6), A/V technician, performance: Niels Plotard
Contributors: Mohamed Ali ‘Dali’ Aguerbi & Chakib Zidi | Maria Attard | Fatima Amn |  Keit Bonnici | Kristina Borg obo Batman Gżirjan  | Johannes Buch | Josephine Burden | Florinda Camilleri | Tina Camilleri | Simone Cutajar | REA (Rachelle Deguara) | Charlene Galea | Justin Galea | Adrian Grima | Helen Horgan | Magna Żmien | Tom van Malderen & Charlie Cauchi | Caldon Mercieca | Greta Muscat Azzopardi | Niels Plotard | Margerita Pulè | Maren Richter | Klaus Schafler | Raphael Vella

In the connection of the two actually opposing terms “fleeting” and “territory”, the Fleeting Territories project series see spatial coordinates not simply as stable or fixed values, but rather as aiding in the identification and negotiation of [in]visible mechanisms, which in turn organise and shape cities, land[scapes], human and more-than-human interconnections. Rights, laws, politics, and economies, as well as emotions play a central role in the appropriation of territories.

By forming temporary collectives and performative forums, Fleeting Territories ask questions such as which materialities and regimes of spatial concepts can be identified, and which artistic tools can be employed to measure and experience them.

The final Debtable Land(s) presentation took the form of a 3-day-long visual-performative-exhibition-festival, and was the culmination of the project’s 12 months of research and conversations, exploring how territories, lands and spaces are formed, and what conflicting interests influence these delineations.

The venue is one of the oldest houses in Kalkara. It was built around 1802, and is said to have been a type of infirmary. The cellars below this block also date back to the time of the Knights. The first and second floors were built in the early days of the British in Malta. Later, the house belonged to a Mariano Stivala - Marjanu, a freight-handler, who added a third floor to the building. During the war, he was well-off enough to be able to distribute food to the poor. He died under rubble in World War II during an air raid.

Elisa von Brockdorff

Solastalgia (2021) — Site-specific screendance film, 8’15’’

Direction, production & performance - Florinda Camilleri
Co-direction & co-production - Francesca Mercieca
DOP, post-production, sound design - Niels Plotard
Saxophone - Fah Rouge (Ryan Farrugia)
Title & graphic - Ed Dingli
with the support of Ben Borg Cardona, Pineapple Media

Solastalgia (2021) explores grief emerging when the land which once gave solace no longer does. Director and performer Florinda Camilleri grieves for her homeland of Malta, a small island and European state in the middle of the Mediterranean, which has been radically transformed by land development in the last decade. Seeking to transmute this grief, Florinda places her body in different urban and rural landscapes in an attempt to find her place within them, and rediscover a sense of belonging which has been fractured. She studies these landscapes with curiosity and care, engaging with them as sites of creative potential. Together with collaborators Francesca Mercieca and Niels Plotard,  Florinda seeks to reveal the monstrosity and beauty of the present moment in Malta, by "staying with the trouble” (Haraway, 2016) and asking: what next?

The Others (2018) —  27 min

Antonin Rioche | Korzo producties, Nederlands Dans Theater
Choreography & concept: Antonin Rioche
Dancers: Rosanne Briens, Kim Ceysens, Florinda Camilleri
Technical direction & composition (live): Niels Plotard
Light design: Antonin Rioche & Peter Lemmens

"After I discovered Bonnie Bassler’s incredible TED Talk about « 90% bacteria, 10% human », I grew interested in bacteria behavior.  What is happening inside of us fascinates me. Bacteria behave socially, just like we do. We are all made up of bacteria. And some bacteria are able to produce light when becoming aware of each other. I wanted to create a piece dealing with human, behavioral bioluminescence. I obviously drew my inspiration for The Others from bacteria, from something quite scientific, but mostly from my relationship with other people. I often notice that I feel comfortable talking to someone one-to-one; that, when a third is involved, the conversation is a conversation; and that, in a group of four people, I feel belittled. The more people join the conversation, the more I feel like I am disappearing. As though I couldn’t live with others anymore. My fierce and fearful relationship with other people. The beauty of the community. The beauty of not feeling lonely because we are not." Antonin Rioche

Alex Avgud

Alex Avgud
Finally a Sign of Life (2019) — 20 min

Antonin Rioche | Korzo producties, Nederlands Dans Theater
Choreography & concept: Antonin Rioche
Dancers: Antonin Rioche & Katarina Van den Wouwer
Sound design (quadraphonic) : Niels Plotard
Light design: Loes Schakenbos
Costume design: Jan-Jan Van Essche

Finally a sign of life reflects the days where the sun did not rise inside us. We did not hear the birds anymore. It was so dark that the mornings felt the same as the evenings. Even on sunny days, it was dark. The light never came home, and everything always remained the same. We were not grounded, we were floating. Our soul had to disconnect from our body, in order to carry on. We were waiting for something to happen, or someone to fall. An open jail surrounded by a deafening silence, filled with patience. The darkness was everywhere. Inside of me, and inside of you. We were living in the dark, and the only light we had was the light inside us. It is always darkest before the dawn. We know that we can draw a map to the stars in the death of night. Dancing our hopelessness away. The light came back again. A rebirth, translating a truly intimate story. It is a journey to find the courage to embrace moments of darkness and pain. The ability to meet discomfort, in order to recognize a hidden gift underneath. An offering of celebration, awakening, and light, helping us to connect to our body and nourish our love for dance. Dancing within the duality forever, again, and again.

Neil Grech
HER (2020) — 17 min

Choreography: Deborah Falzon & Julienne Schembri
Dancers: Andrea Martin Albert / Amber Van Veen
Original Score: Niels Plotard

HER presents the fragments of one remarkable woman’s experience of migration. Through the power of the dance, Schembri and Falzon seek to give an insight into this woman’s resilience,  strength, and bravery, echoing that of others living in our migrant communities. Enriched by the artistic contribution of its collaborators, HER is a sensorial and provocative experience.

OhBoy! The Film (2019) — 10:43 min

Based on the dance-piece "Oh Boy!" by Antonin Rioche
Co-production : h7o7 & Antonin Rioche
Adaptation by Antonin Rioche & Hadi Moussally
Film director : Hadi Moussally
Choreographer : Antonin Rioche
Dancer & Voice : Benjamin Behrends
D.O.P & Post production : Olivier Pagny
Sound design : Niels Plotard
Fashion stylist : Marie Scirocco
Fashion designers : Hed Mayner & Sean Suen