Performance — 22, 23 Mar 2019

The Stedelijk Museum is pleased to present Rory Pilgrim’s performance Software Garden as part of the exhibition Freedom of Movement.
Museumticket + €3
Teijin Auditorium
22 Mar 2019, 7.30 pm until 8.30 pm
23 Mar 2019, 3 pm until 4 pm
Main language
This performance is sold out

A multimedia work comprising a full-length album, live performances, interactive workshops, and almost a dozen music videos, Pilgrim’s expansive artwork Software Garden (2016-18) explores connections between technology, disability, and care as a way of examining larger political frameworks. Interweaving poetry, narration, music, and choreography, Software Garden brings together an intersectional group of participants—both human and robotic—to reimagine systems of care.

Rory Pilgrim, ‘Software Garden’, 2016-2018, 12-Track music video-album, 50 minutes, courtesy the artist, andriesse eyck galerie
Rory Pilgrim, ‘Software Garden’, 2016-2018, 12-Track music video-album, 50 minutes, courtesy the artist, andriesse eyck galerie

The work responds to an increasingly polarized political climate in which algorithms used by social media platforms such as Facebook have created online echo chambers that foster deep divisions between different groups of people. Through Software Garden, Pilgrim models how technology could be used to encourage interactions between people of diverse political, racial, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds, as well as of various ages.

The concert element of the work will be narrated via Skype by disability rights advocate and poet Carol R. Kallend, who will be physically represented by a robot named Pepper. Joining Kallend and Pepper will be singer-songwriter Robyn Haddon, Utrecht-based singer/rapper Daisy Rodrigues, and dancer/choreographer Casper-Malte Augusta. The performance will also feature a chorus comprised of professional and non-professional dancers, who will perform movements devised in workshops that Augusta facilitated. The choreography will explore questions that the artwork raises about touch, contact, collectivity, and care, and consider how different bodies can be brought together both through and beyond screens.


Rory Pilgrim (b. 1988, United Kingdom) studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and has been in residence at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. His work has been presented and performed at venues including TENT, Rotterdam; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; South London Gallery, London; the 1st Asia Biennial/5th Guangzhou Triennial; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; De Hallen, Haarlem; and Cobra Museum, Amstelveen. Pilgrim’s work is also held in various institutional collections in the Netherlands, including De Hallen, Haarlem; Stichting C.o.C.A., Rotterdam; and Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht.