Student Portrait Robi Voigt
Fantastic stage designs — Robi Voigt develops these in his sleep. In the truest sense of the word. His work enchants audiences at renowned theatres and opera houses. Now, with his latest project, he wants to invite the audience to dream its own images.
BY SOPHIE KÄSER
Sophie Käser: Why did you decide to do a Master’s in Stage Design?
Robi Voigt: I have spent many years doing video art, lighting and stage design for concerts, TV, theatre and opera productions. I enrolled at ZHdK to be able to experiment without any financial pressure and to continue my education. I’m already a bit older than most student and was curious to see what I could learn.
You’ll be graduating soon. Were your expectations fulfilled?
I didn’t exactly know what to expect. But I have found exchanging ideas and experiences with like-minded people very enriching. I have relished the opportunity of doing a project at ZHdK’s Immersive Arts Space: The technical infrastructure and the available know-how are hard to find on the free market.
What are your current projects?
At the moment, I’m mostly working on my Master’s project: a performative installation about “dreaming.” Its heartbeat is a fog-infused cube in which a female dancer controls video projections, sound and stage machinery through motion tracking. It would be nice if every spectator saw something different in it.
What inspires your work?
When I work intensively on a project, most of my ideas come to me in my sleep — in my dreams. If I find a thought great after waking up, I try to remember it and put it into practice. Otherwise, the basis of everything I do is music.
Which production inspired you most recently?
I made a real discovery last summer: I was working at Amsterdam Opera House with music by Karlheinz Stockhausen. At first I thought: This sound is so disharmonious, neverchanging and inaudible. And yet, the music really took root in me — and I’ve loved it ever since.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I’d like to link my work more to the visual arts. I’m very interested in stand-alone installations.
Who or what doesn’t suit you at all?
I’ve often thought that something doesn’t suit me — only to discover, on closer scrutiny, that this wasn’t true at all. There is one exception: Christmas markets.