The software nota was designed in 2017 by the theater collective VOLL:MILCH and the computer scientist Nils Bultjer in a residency on notations. In the following years we developed nota further as a production community: in 2018 conservation scientist Melissa Köhler joined us and in 2020-2021 visual artist and computer scientist Jan Neukirchen contributed to nota's source code. We understand nota as a social, technical, and aesthetic digital rehearsal space and assembly tool. Produced by a community of artists, scientists and programmers, nota is an alternative to "software solutions".
By now a network has gathered around the assembly software. Our software prototype has become the meeting space of an interdisciplinary community: nota is an impulse for an exchange between different practices and offers a common thinking and rehearsal space for coders, researchers and artists, even without a particular affinity to the digital. In 2022, we founded nota e.V. in the network; nota is now being further developed in this interdisciplinary community. The goal of the association is to give our software project and the critical, restless network community around nota a sustainable, long-term structure in which knowledge and hierarchies can be questioned, (de)assembled, and rearranged in just as many ways as media fragments in nota's immense assembly space.
With notastage, VOLL:MILCH explores nota as a digital rehearsal space in the independent theater scene, and notanarchiveis our research project together with Melissa Köhler for archive theory and practice in the performing arts. For our research we cooperate with Kampnagel Hamburg, Forum Freies Theater and documenta archiv, among others.
The website nota.space opens up an initially empty and seemingly infinite space in which text, image, video and sound files can be arranged as fragments in the most diverse ways and related to one another. nota is operated at the touch of a button or with the mouse and requires no special technical or code knowledge. The shareable online spaces allow joint assembly; actions are transmitted to other assemblers in real time. With its unusual surface and depth dimensions, nota offers the possibility of transferring aesthetic processes into digital space, of taking data out of their usual structures, and of reviewing previous digital practice. Thus, collections of materials, independent artistic works and new montage techniques are created in nota.
A demonstration of notas dimensions as a Montage space