Shy* play
Antje Nestel and Aster Arribas, in collaboration with Angelo Custodio, Karime Salame and Rajni Shah
20 May till 10 Jun 2023
Opening: Tuesday 0 0000 — 00:00 till 00:00 hrs

Part of the puntWG Open Call Series

shy* play is a series of performative events initiated by Aster Arribas and Antje Nestel, in collaboration with Angelo Custodio, Karime Salame Sainz and Rajni Shah. *shy is used here as a shorthand for shyness, introversion, and neurodivergence. The asterisk gestures a refusal to adhere to a final form of fixed categories.

shy* play departs from the urgency to reflect and craft amongst the hindrances that the dominant art world's contexts have confronted us with: In our experience, shy, introverted and neurodivergent expressions suffer under the regime of neurotypicality and extraversion which has become the standard method for institutional artistic experimentation and sociality formation. In response, this project asks: can shyness, introversion, and neurodivergence be a means for creative and experimental sociality formation?

In this project, neurodivergent tendencies act as springboards for the creation of different relational techniques which, in turn, perform as a means for artistic experiments in neurodivergent sociality. We hope to facilitate a spacetime where shyness, introversion and neurodivergence can exist outside the bounds of neurotypical hegemony, while also exploring the potential of creating new ways of doing-together-in-difference.

PuntWG will act as a laboratory where shy* play will collaborate with visiting humans and more-than-humans in exploring techniques that employ the voice, space, relationality, and performativity. A 300 meter-long fabric of various textures and opacities will become a space-shifter and facilitator throughout the project’s duration. All shy* play events and activities are organised for a limited number of visitors, so make sure to sign up.

shy* play is generously supported by Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Stichting Stokroos and DAS Research.


shy* play Workshops
20th and 27th of May, 1st, 3rd and 10th of June from 14:00 to 17:00
Sign up:

Through embodied and physical techniques of relation, participants will explore together-in-difference the potential for valuing otherwise when departing from neurodivergent tendencies. What if there is no center of attention or space? How to practice a decentered visibility? How can we create an architecture that challenges the view that the human subject is at the center of experience?

Throughout the duration of the workshop, a 300-meter-long fabric composed of various textures and opacities will be used as a space shifter and facilitator. It will also host activities such as costuming, body wrapping, thresholding, voicing, transferring text, and drawing on surfaces, as well as other unexpected techniques.

All shy* play's events are procedural: a collective construction of spacetime with those visiting (both human and more-than-human) whereby it is assumed that each mode of existing, seeing, voicing, experiencing, participating, expressing, and moving in the environment has the same existential value, all the while recognizing the effects of cumulative trauma load that neurotypical demands can have on a neurodivergent bodymind.

shy* play workshops are organised for a limited number of visitors, so make sure to sign up.

shy* play Lounging Sessions
25th, 26th of May, 2nd, 4th and 8th of June from 14:00 to 18:00/20:00
Sign up:

Participants of the lounging session will enter into the traces of the previous workshop, which will serve as the spatial starting point for inhabiting a shared timespace. These traces will host directionalities of neurodivergent tendencies to be immersed within a hangout experiment. There will be textual information and cues to relational techniques that linger in the space, and one can choose to engage with them.

Specifically designed for the occasion, costumes will be available for all participants to wear. These costumes will be large enough to accommodate all body shapes and forms, and ribbons, ropes, and elastic straps will be provided for adjusting. The costumes can also host drawings and writings, as well as any desired transformations.

shy* play Lounging Sessions are organised for a limited number of visitors, so make sure to sign up.

shy* play Reading Groups
21st and 28th of May from 14:00 to 17:00
shy* play, in collaboration with Rajni Shah, is hosting reading group sessions that prioritise listening.
Photography by Ilya Rabinovich