A GUIDED TOUR OF THE IIRRE
“A guided tour of the IIRRE” is a performance piece developed with the aim of introducing and actualizing a fictionalized entity—The Immaterial Institute for Receipt Research and Experimentation (IIRRE). The IIRRE, established in 2015, is an agency that explores the common receipt (for goods and services). It takes the receipt out of the wallet and extrapolates part of its physical, historical, social, political, and economic characteristics into parallel existences that disrupt all frames of intelligibility and certitude through parafactual and parafictional approaches.
The need for establishing an institute specialized in this subject matter comes from the lack of attention given to these pieces of paper which represent a core element in perpetuating systems of beliefs, value, and exchange and have a self-contained complicity in the functioning of the world as a whole and in maintaining an undisturbed, fair stream of day-to-day occurrences. Besides, similar to the documentation of live performances and artworks in general, they represent a slippery, reductive record which, most of the time, functions as a replacement of the experience and not as a supplement.
Due to the fact that the Institute is immaterial and does not have a physical working space, “A guided tour of the IIRRE” can happen in any given space and time. By using time-travelling qualities embedded in a specific object named Timbaka, the audience travels back in time to two important moments in the history of the receipt: Ancient Mesopotamia, where the first pieces of writing were discovered in two clay tablets recording the selling of clothing items and domestic animals, and Late Medieval Italy, where the roots of modern banking begin through the replacement of physical money with a written acknowledgement. Then, the audience is brought inside a contemporary thermal printer and it is presented the mechanisms through which a receipt is being produced. Lastly, following a presentation of the latest experiments and findings on the transition from digital to telepathic receipts, the audience receives a telepathic receipt for their visit at the IIRRE.
The specificity of the performance lies in the fact that its whole content is embodied through the use of particular gestures, intonation, body movements, and props as a way to make-believe and imagine. The tour departs from historical facts and believable aspects presented through storytelling, and gradually introduces other possible readings of the world.