Since our residency on notation at LAB Frankfurt am Main, we, the collective VOLL:MILCH, have been researching nota as a digital rehearsal stage for the independent theater scene. We see nota as a visibility machine (Sichtbarkeitsmaschine) for research, concept and rehearsal work in independent theater. In nota we examine research for its scenic potential and for stage scenarios. With this conception of nota, we refer to the publication of the same name by theater scholar Andreas Wolfsteiner and understand "[...] thinking in scenarios [...] as a practical knowledge that is only ever made perceptible when mediating visibility machines - performances, films or electronic image fabrics - make it appear as mediatized action." (Andreas Wolfsteiner: Sichtbarkeitsmaschine. Zum Umgang mit Szenarien, Berlin 2018, p. 25.).
As a tool from the independent theater scene for the scene, nota was further developed and presented publicly for the first time at the mentorship program of PAP Berlin in 2019. With nota, VOLL:MILCH was at Theater Der Dinge in 2019 and brought together local test groups of the Bündnis Internationaler Produktionshäuser in a beta test in 2020. In the same year, we brought nota to the FFT Düsseldorf twice: at the symposium Game on Stage and in the Digitales Foyer series.
From KAMPNAGEL we were supported with three #TakeCareResidencies in 2021 to further expand and explore nota as a digital rehearsal space. And in connection with nota, we successfully applied for funding in the NEUSTART KULTUR program #takeAction of the Fonds Darstellende Künste for the so rarely paid VORARBEIT (preparation work): With these funds, we gave special attention and space to the preliminary considerations, to researching, collecting and pre-sorting, to first talks as well as the collection and maintenance of data. With VORARBEIT IST KLASSE! we collected hundreds of popular working images in our assembly software nota. We were able to give the preparation work of theater and our digital research and assembly tool the attention that sustainable collective work needs.
The often little noticed, but time-consuming VORARBEIT will also receive special attention in the coming years within our conceptual funding from the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony under the title SICHTBARKEITSMASCHINEN. In nota, research material can be checked for its scenic potential even before the first stage rehearsal. This has basically to do with the long time spent in the nota space with the research fragments; because in nota the material shows itself constantly and does not disappear behind file names. Furthermore, with its montage possibilities, nota picks up on an essential aspect of our theater aesthetic. In nota it becomes apparent whether individual researches form a cosmos of their own, or whether they only become interesting through montage with other fragments. In addition, individual searches can be given a separate nota space: Here they can spread out or find their own aesthetic expression as digital nota essays.