Residency 25
Arkadi Zaides


Villa Manin, Residency Space
8 – 22 December 2023
The Cloud

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Residency Team
Arkadi Zaides, choreographer
Igor Dobricic, dramaturg
Axel Chemla-Romeu-Santos, musician and specialist in artificial intelligence

Dialoghi stage in-depth meeting
19 December 2023

On 26 April 1986, an explosion occurred at reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, after tests had been conducted incorrectly and operators had lost control. The flaming graphite cloud spread in a north-westerly direction towards Sweden, Finland and Eastern Europe, exposing the population to radiation levels up to a hundred times higher than normal.
Arkadi Zaides, born in Gomel, a city in Belarus located 130 km from Chernobyl, was six years old when the disaster occurred and spent his childhood under the constant threat of radiation.
Arkadi Zaides, in line with his PhD research entitled ‘Towards Documentary Choreography’, during his study and research residency period at Villa Manin, will explore how artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can investigate this specific historical event: the Chernobyl disaster. The project uses related documentary materials (texts, images, sounds) as input for a self-learning system and examines how ultra-intelligent machines perceive, process and produce various types of output. The choreographer juxtaposes these outputs with the body to find a powerful intermediate form of documentary choreography.
The Cloud aims to create a dialogue between two clouds that have shaped our contemporary world in different ways. The cloud of Chernobyl was the result of human error and technological failure, while the cloud of artificial intelligence is the result of human aspiration and technological innovation. Both clouds raised ethical, social and environmental issues that are highly relevant today. By juxtaposing these two clouds, Zaides aims to stimulate reflection and discussion on the role and responsibility of humans and machines in shaping our past, present and future.

Arkadi Zaides is an independent choreographer. He was born in the Soviet Union in 1979 and immigrated to Israel in 1990. He was a member of Noa Dar's Dance Company and was one of the dancers and choreographers of the Batsheva Dance Company until 2004.
His work is known all over the world and he has received numerous prizes and awards, both for his artistic creations and for his commitment to human rights. He lived for a long time in Tel-Aviv, 20 km from the occupied territories, and now lives in Europe and tours with his performance projects.

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