the monkey mind
a proposal by Frans Poelstra for an improvisation performance
Performers: Xava Mikosch, Frans Poelstra and Agnes Schneidewind
06. April 2023
pay as you wish
Note from Frans Poelstra
In this improvisation performance we will let our monkey mind come to surface and let it manifest itself in the performance space of Eindorf. In Vipassana meditation one sits still for one hour, in this monkey mind meditation we will act and do a lot, and more, in one hour.
MEDITATIONS is the first in a series of ongoing improvisation performances in different venues curated by Frans Poelstra. In MEDITATIONS he explores, together with collaborators from a variety of backgrounds, different strategies for improvisation.
The term „monkey mind“ is often used in Buddhist and yoga philosophy to describe a mind that is restless, unsettled, and constantly jumping from thought to thought, like a monkey swinging from tree to tree. A mind with a „monkey mind“ is easily distracted and has difficulty staying focused on a particular task or object of meditation. It is said to be a common obstacle to achieving a state of mindfulness or concentration, and practitioners of meditation and yoga work to calm the monkey mind through various techniques such as breath-work, visualisation, and mindfulness practices.
Question to ChatGPT
What are the benefits to have a „monkey mind“?
Answer from ChatGPT
While having a „monkey mind“ can be challenging and sometimes frustrating, there are some benefits associated with it:
1. Creativity: A mind that is constantly generating new ideas and jumping from thought to thought can lead to greater creativity and innovation.
2. Alertness: A restless mind can also be more alert and aware of its surroundings, noticing small details and changes in the environment.
3. Problem-solving: A monkey mind can be good at problem-solving, as it tends to approach issues from multiple angles and is always looking for new solutions.
4. Flexibility: A mind that is quick to shift attention can be more adaptable and flexible, able to adjust to changing circumstances more easily.
is working with the dreaming body, its articulations, and manifestations through different media, with a practice based in somatic movement and craniosacral therapy, with a concern for (collective) working processes and poetic environments. Agnes has created different performative experiments and pieces, the most recent one, “through which they have wandered”, a collaboration with Johanna Nielson and Zoumana Meїté, premiered in December 2022 at brut Wien.
As a kid Frans Poelstra stared more into the waters off the canals in Amsterdam than being at school. Dreaming to be the next Jimi Hendrix, but he had no talent to play the guitar, he decided in 1972 to work in the arts, the place where you can professionally dream. For him, performing is a matter of keeping channels open in order to think, to listen and to dream. He makes work which mixes dance with theatre, music and visual arts in a way which makes people think: ”Do I dream, is this really possible or at least acceptable?”
is a transdisciplinary artist, based in Vienna. They finished their diploma in Digital Arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2021.
In many of their recent works they combine video projections and sound with performance and/ or interactive elements.
Coming from the digital arts, using technologies and interdisciplinary medias have always been fundamental tools to express the contents they explore. Besides their own projects, Xava is part of the performance collective XhansXfranz.
first photo: Frans Poelstra, Agnes Schneidewind, Xava Mikosch
photo of Agnes Schneidewind: Anne Glassner
photo of Frans Poelstra: Alex Eynaudi
photo of Xava Mikosch: Xava Mikosch