Interview: Artist and Software Developer Meet

Treffen sich Artistin und SoftwareentwicklerArtist and Software Developer Meet

An Interview with Vera Sofia Mota and Kristoffer Ström.


Vera Sofia Mota (born in Espinho, Portugal) and Kristoffer Ström (born in Örebro, Sweden) met in Berlin. While they come from different fields, they have found a strong common interest in philosophy. After many conversations and having discussed and exchanged ideas about Brian Massumi’s Parables of the Virtual, they decided to do a collaboration where they would experiment and exchange their knowledge about performance, dance, and programming; putting in practice and problematizing some of their intuitions and questions regarding the body, movement and position. They are excited about the way this work has been unfolding and multiplying in many different ways, presenting possibilities and new questions. This investigation has been so productive they already have two more concepts they want to explore in the near future.

SM: What were your first experiences with theatre?

V&K: Before this project, Kristoffer had no experience in the field of performance art. He was so taken by the experience, he was heard exclaiming ‘I have a body’. Vera began her training at age eleven with classical and modern dance classes in her home town, Espinho. She often says that she would like to be out of her body.

SM: What is the idea of your art in general?

V&K: Coming from a philosophical, scientific and artistic backgrounds, we want to explore concepts of bodies, movement, position and perceptions thereof. We are experimenting as we go with software and hardware technology.

SM: How did you get the idea for the performance Second love?

V&K: In 2009 Vera did a performance called There is no love like the first, where she combined classical ballet ‘positions’ with ‘natural’ movements of the body. Playing with common cultural images of ballet, memory, recognition and the way we process and organize information in real time, she decided to use a stroboscopic light, pulsing at a regular frequency, to allow a ‘democratic’ organization of the figures and movements in the space, where neither the creator nor the spectator could choose completely what was being shown or received.

At this same time, Kristoffer was working on a sequencing program for music and sound.

We met in Berlin in 2011, and after many conversations realized that we could control the stroboscopic light with Kristoffer’s software. We began experimenting with combining work which ultimately led to the creation of Second Love.

For Second Love we wanted to go further in exploring the relations between light, body, movement, and perception and we decided to create a structure within which we can add sounds and music as well as control the light in different ways, playing with construction and randomness and pushing the game a bit further while confronting our different physical languages under this apparatus. In Second Love the game becomes about the combination of all these elements through a compositional idea where we assume the crudity of the apparatus and at the same time play with it’s own effects, amplifying them to the point that the spectator becomes as aware of it as the performers.

SM: How would you describe the relationship between the two of you?

V&K: We like to think about our friendship in philosophical terms, as in being stronger together than each on their own, and having a kind of common language, or pre-language, that allow us an intense exchange and questioning of each other’s ways of relating, working and acting.


Interview conducted by Silas Matthes in the context of 100Grad Festival / HAU – Hebbel am Uffer Berlin 2014



Works by Kristoffer Ström & Vera Sofia Mota:

Second love I (2012)

Third Lover (2013)

Second love II (2014)


© Vera Sofia Mota 2017