on june 13th, 2012 5 international artists were selected to embark on "the crystal express" - a 14 day train journey from barcelona to tel aviv. they travelled and interacted with communities across western and eastern europe and the middle east, strategically stopping for 2 days in 7 cities. their task was to explore connectivity across borders, countries and cultures, and to generate individual responses to the following question: what happens when we deconstruct all the paradigms, open all the borders and explore connectivity using our most powerful technology…..the senses?
during the 14 day pilgrimage, the artists examined the nature of connectivity through a series of site specific events as they traversed the borders, languages, and religions that disconnect us. starting in barcelona and making their way ultimately to tel aviv, the participants reconnected while disconnecting, tapping into more universal sensibilities like the senses, what the group call magic consciousness, and like the birds in the fariduddin attar’s sufi fable “ the conference of the birds”relied on their wit and the power of improvisation to tell the stories of the places they visited as these stories unfolded in real time.
in each of the cities - barcelona, paris, berlin, gyoma, bucharest, istanbul and tel aviv - interactive events and happenings were generated. one event was linked to the next turning the journey into a chain effect and ultimately creating a stage for larger dialogues and idea generation.
in conjunction with these happenings, the public could sign up online and participate in the connectivity investigation, receiving online telegrams from the rabbit hole as they gathered insights and told their stories.
the artists themselves - selected from over 100 applications worldwide - were each commissioned to create a final work, shown in new york the following year.
in preparing for the journey, the rabbit hole developed several curatorial workshops inviting guest lecturers to catechize the nature of pilgrimages, for the selected artists.

through this culmination of philosophical inquiry, storytelling and staged provocations, the group immersed themselves in the deconstruction of myth and pilgrimage, as outlined in the residency program.


director:   samina virani
written by: samina virani,
anna-zoë schmidt
producer: rica amaral
barcelona producer: carlos calvo
designer: andrea guimet
associate designer: lisa del monte
city hosts: frederik reubens, karel sulam, irmak canevi, nir segal

communications: häberlein & mauerer


june 12, 2012

barcelona //
paris //
berlin //
gyoma //
bucharest //
istanbul //
tel aviv //

experience made possible by: