Established in 1995, Delak Institute is a production house exploring post-gravity art and outlining a path for the culturalisation of space. It develops different projects in the field of post-gravity art, such as informances, exhibitions and theatre productions.
Delak Institute was the co-founder of the Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) that strives for a systematic implementation of artistic projects in space programmes.
Supremat, directed by Dragan Živadinov, Mladinsko Theatre, 2002
The Delak Performing Arts Research Centre was founded by Jana Pavlič, Dragan Živadinov and Emil Hrvatin. Delak aimed for an open field of research and exchange of diverse contemporary artistic ideas, focusing on contemporary theatre and new technologies. Its information and documentation projects were mainly complex new media projects. Primarily intended to the theory of contemporary theatre practices and their historisation in the Slovene space, Delak published a bilingual CD-ROM, titled Ferdo Delak – the Avantgardist, featuring a multimedia presentation of the conceptual sources and perspectives of the work of the Slovene avant-garde author Ferdo Delak (1905–1968), after whom the institute is named. The publication also presented the most important actors of the then Slovene and European avant-gardes and their poetics. In 2001, Delak published, together with Maska Institute Castration Machines: Theatre and Art in the Nineties [Kastracijski stroji: gledališče in umetnost devetdestih] by Boris Pintar and Jana Pavlič, featuring 22 Slovene authors (also with video clips in the accompanying CD-ROM).
Today, Delak's main mission is the culturalisation of space, which enables the merging of art and science in real space. The vehicle for the work of Dragan Živadinov (attractor, candidate cosmonaut), Dunja Zupančič (visual artist) and Miha Turšič (designer of zero-gravity dwellings), Delak Institute focuses primarily on the research and development of post-gravity art, art that emerges in conditions without gravity. Delak Institute is engaged in a number of projects related to post-gravity art, widely presented worldwide, including exhibitions, conferences and informances, as well as other events related to space research.
Delak cooperates with different Slovene co-producers and venues to realise Dragan Živadinov's theatre performances (see also Noordung Cosmokinetic Cabinet), which are always marked by a rethinking of the strategies of the historical avant-gardes and drawing on the history of theatre at large, while its productions regularly appear at the major Slovene theatre festival, the Maribor Theatre Festival.
Delak Institute produces the fifty-year theatre project Noordung::1995–2045. The premiere, featuring fourteen actors, took place in Ljubljana at 10.00 p.m. on 20 April 1995. Five reprises are planned over the next 50 years. Should one of the actors die, he or she will be replaced by a remote-controlled sign; male actors and their speech will be substituted by rhythm while female actors and their speech will be substituted by melody. The first reprise took place in 2005 inside the model of the International Space Station (MKS-ISS) in the hydro-laboratory at Star City-Moscow and the second in 2015 at the Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT).
The Noordung project includes also the performance Biomechanics Noordung from 1999, the first complete theatre production in zero gravity, which was performed at a Russian cosmonaut training aircraft.
Delak Institute closely collaborates with the Ljubljana-based Projekt Atol Institute, currently also in the initiative Osmo/za.
Junction protocols exhibition by Dragan Živadinov, Dunja Zupančič and Miha Turšič, KiBela Art Space, Maribor 2007
Delak Institute has appeared in many major festivals and frequently presents its activities across Europe and the world. It regularly collaborates with Eyebeam, New York, USA; Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria; and with the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Star City. It is a member of the European Network of Information Centres for the Performing Arts (ENICPA) and represents a unit of the global network of community-based space programmes Association of Autonomous Astronauts.
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