ow lab posterOWL LAB - Objects, Words and Labyrinths. An Attempt to Get Lost in Performance Research

Lab Director: Diego Rotman (Department of Theater Studias & Sala-manca Group)

Project Partner: Lea Mauas (Sala-manca Group & Mamuta Art and Reserach Center)

The Owl Lab is a performance laboratory founded as part of the Department of Theater Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in collaboration with the Mamuta Art and Research Center. From its inception, the lab was born out of a desire to explore and create through a range of concepts and practices, such as reenactment, hacking, and the reuse of obsolete technological equipment (deemed “purposeless”), alongside new uses of archival materials, teaching materials, and past pedagogical and performative practices. These materials and practices serve as primary sources in the development of research and artistic projects.

The Owl Lab aims to investigate different ways of transmitting knowledge as well as (de-)archivization. These topics are addressed by reading texts, reviewing the documentation of relevant projects, meeting artists, and discussing re-enactment and embodiment options for performances (whether artistic, everyday, or pedagogical). The goal of these activities is to explore new-old ways of research, in general, and especially art-based research.

Besides experimenting with "purposeless" objects, which have lost their use (i.e. the obsolete), the lab raises questions about the impact of technological innovations as they shape experiences—including artistic, performative and pedagogical experiences. Of particular importance to the lab is how these technological innovations, especially in the visual and auditory realms, have influenced and continue to influence aesthetics and poetics in the following fields: performance; the culture of viewing, hearing, and learning; the reception, absorption, and interpretation of performance; and the audience's participation in performances.

The main goals of the Owl Lab are to:

  • Create a community of researchers and artists dedicated to performance research;
  • Grant new life to equipment that has gone into disuse, as part of poetic and aesthetic practices in performance;
  • Investigate the history of teaching and research (in and out of academia) and examine the tension between performance and distant learning, as well as between performance and learning with a present audience and community;
  • Engage with performative reenactment as an aesthetic practice for the creation and transmission of knowledge.


Fellows 2022:

Eyal Bitton (with Eran Sachs, Amir Meir and Tomer Damsky) [more soon]

Ruth Lea Danon 

Guy Dolev

Ronen Eidelman

Hadassa Goldvicht

Mica Kupfer 

David Lockard

Lonnie Monka (fellow and assistant)

Sharon Tal 


Porjects, News:

14.9.22-1.12.22 | The OWL lab members (Monka, Dolev, Tal, Eidelman and Lockard) at the Azrieli Gallery

31.5.22 | Presentation at the conference "I am not a text"

25.4.22 | The OWL LAB at THE DYBBUK - Undisciplining the Archive