Image: Dajana Lothert/Tanz im August-HAU Hebbel am Ufer
Image: Dajana Lothert/Tanz im August-HAU Hebbel am Ufer
Image: footage by Drone Media Studio (HU), animation by Effi & Amir


What kind of choreography arises in the proximity of borders? Which strategies of restriction define movement? This work sets out to explore a dynamic system of action and reaction, limitation and transgression, stasis and mobility. The piece is a response to TALOS, an EU-funded research project in the field of security enforcement for which an advanced system aimed at protecting European land borders was designed. TALOS was a collaborative project involving fourteen institutions from ten countries that was officially conducted between the years 2008-2013. It resulted in the conception of a surveillance system that could be rapidly deployed to any location. This system was to be based on mobile, semi-autonomous robots that patrol border areas and gain physical and performative presence. The TALOS project was never launched and remained an experiment, a test, and a demonstration of technological capabilities. Since 2016, Arkadi Zaides has gathered a team of choreographers, dramaturges, and video artists to develop a performance that questions the TALOS project.

Credits & Collaborators

Team Claire Buisson, Jonas Rutgeerts, Youness Anzane, Nienke Scholts, Effi & Amir, Gabriel Braga, Arkadi Zaides, Amit Epstein, Thalie Lurault, Etienne Exbrayat, Simge Gücük Performed by Arkadi Zaides / Lara Barsacq Co-produced by Les Subsistances (FR), La Maison de la Danse (FR), K3 - Zentrum für Choreographie, Tanzplan Hamburg as part of Together Apart project, funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation (DE), TanzQuartier Wien (AT), NEXT Arts Festival, Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai (BE-FR), CSS, Villa Manin (IT) , CDC Toulouse (FR), Wiesbaden Biennale (DE), Teaterhuset Avant Garden (NO), CCNN – Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes (FR) Residency support Kunstenfestivaldesarts (BE), O Espaço do Tempo (PT), STUK (BE), Tanz im August/HAU Hebbel am Ufer (DE) With the participation of DICRéAM With the support of Transfabrik Fund - the Franco-German Fund for performing arts Institut des Croisements - Arkadi Zaides is supported by French Ministry of Culture and Communication - DRAC Auvergne Rhône-Alpes International distribution Key Performance

Articles & Reviews

TALOS/Talos. What sort of future do we want to see performed?

by Jonas Rutgeerts & Nienke Scholts, 15/06/18

In 2016 the Israeli choreographer Arkadi Zaides and a team of collaborators embarked on a two-year artistic research initiative based on TALOS, a European project aimed at developing a mobile robot for protecting and securing Europe’s borders. The article uses this artistic research as a basis for an exploration of the possibilities of pre-enactment and speculation in contemporary theatre, dance and performance.

Talos – Arkadi Zaides

by Sébastien Hendrickx, E-tcetera, 21/03/18

Een project als Talos suggereert dat de blindheid zich al in een vroeger stadium manifesteert, een blindheid die zelfs constitutief lijkt voor een dergelijk initiatief: al van bij het begin moeten migranten ideologisch zijn geframed en ontdaan van hun menselijkheid. Idem dito trouwens voor een ander grimmig onderdeel van wat we vandaag smart migratiemanagement zouden kunnen noemen (eindeloos veel complexer dan slogans als ‘Build that wall!’ doen vermoeden), een onderdeel dat wél werd en wordt gerealiseerd, in een schimmig juridisch gebied en grotendeels uit het zicht van het brede publiek: de akkoorden die de EU sluit met bedenkelijke regimes net buiten haar grenzen, om migranten tegen te houden nog voor ze de oversteek kunnen wagen.

Are robots the solution to the refugee “crisis”?

by Nina Branner, Blog im August, 31/08/17

Automated technology is already a fact in many aspects of our lives. But what would happen if robots were assigned to make ethical decisions in situations where human interaction is perhaps most needed? “TALOS” is the title of dancer and choreographer Arkadi Zaides' new piece premiering at Tanz im August, but it’s also the name of a EU-funded mobile robot surveillance system intended to detect and prevent illegal border crossings in Europe, officially conducted between 2007 and 2012. We caught up with Zaides for a conversation about his performance and the future of borders. 

The empathetic view in the theater

For all our Flemish and Dutch speaking friends, the Belgian magazine Etcetera has released an article by theater scholar Esther Tuypens discussing the use of empathy in performing arts. The article analyzes mechanisms of emotional identification in Arkadi Zaides’ creation Archive as well as in Milo Rau’s Empire. It is available online

25 February 2019

How can we rethink the documentary in art in terms of content, form and method? The School of Speculative Documentary is an interdisciplinary space for an ​encounter that seeks to question the documentary act. Creators take the floor to discuss uncertainty and guesswork, to confront the unfixable holes in their work and the messiness of reality.

Usages Géopolitiques Des Images

What influence do images have on migration policies? How do dictatorial regimes produce their imagery? Is there an ethical way to document war zones? USAGES GÉOPOLITIQUES DES IMAGES is a new publication that sets to examine these issues through the works of various contemporary artists. The book compiles the writing of twelve contributors, among them is Frédéric Pouillaude, whose essay examines  Zaides' practice over the past years.