The End Justifies the Means, 2021 / video performance / sonicexplorers / Künstlerforum Bonn / performer: Ali Hashemlou, Kathrin Lambert, Kaveh Sattari, Mehdi Behbudi, Lorenz Pasch / duration: 10 min (variable) / material: smartphones

*”The End Justifies the Means” is a performance piece that explores the dynamics of interdependence through a simple yet structured set of rules. A group of performers begins by forming a circle, each person filming the individual to their left with their phone. The rules are straightforward:

Line up in a circle.
Film the person to your left.
Continue filming for 10 minutes.

As the group follows these instructions, they move through the space in unpredictable and uncontrollable ways. This collective movement generates a unique momentum, leading to a variety of strange and seemingly absurd poses and actions. However, these actions never appear ridiculous or unfounded. Each movement remains justified within the context of the rules, as each performer is committed to filming their assigned subject.

For instance, one performer might find themselves crawling on their knees in a circle, focused on capturing the feet of the person they are filming, while the person being filmed circles around them. This creates a dynamic interaction where the necessity to adhere to the rules results in intricate and sometimes bizarre physical expressions.

This work was developed during the second part of the SonicExplorers residency at the Künstlerforum Bonn, inspired by my reflections on artistic production conditions from the first part of the residency in Tehran. “The End Justifies the Means” premiered with my colleagues in Bonn, showcasing the unpredictable and compelling nature of collaborative rule-based performance.*