as part of ON/LIVE 2023

23.05. – 25.05.2023

ON/LIVE has been negotiating current questions of digital life since 2016 – issues such as net accessibility, media literacy, or gamification. This year’s edition is mainly dedicated to playful forms of gathering. In 2020 and 2021, ON/LIVE happened purely in the digital realm.

machina eX

Layers of Life

Game Theatre + Performance Digital Culture Theatre & Performance

Four players will journey into the early 1990s to search for traces. They embark on time travel in an abandoned mobile home, examining a part of intra-German economic history. To access the plot, they need to cooperate, search for clues, and connect parts of an audio play. Bit by bit, this narrates the fictional biography of an ambivalent figure who was involved in the handling and transactions regarding GDR “people’s property” by the Treuhandanstalt trust agency.

With Layers of Life and follow-up piece Life Goes On, machine eX examines intra-German past by means of the fictitious hamlet of Prückwitz. For the first time, both games can be played back-to-back during ON/LIVE; yet they can also be played independently of and are not reliant on each other.



Concept: machina eX. Performance (Audio): Esther Becker, Laura Naumann, Tina Pfurr, Martin Schnippa, Leon Ullrich. Text: Clara Ehrenwerth. Scenography: Barbara Lenartz. Interaction Design and Programming: Sebastian Arnd, Benedikt Kaffai. Sound Design: Matthias Millhoff. Dramaturgy: Lena Vöcklinghaus. Assistance Scenography: Theresa Reiwer. Assistance Game Design: Anton Rose. Web Design: Philip Steimel. Production Assistance: Ines Strzedulla. Production Management: Sina Kießling.


Production: machina eX. Coproduction: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, FFT Düsseldorf. Funded by: Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Supported by the you are warmly invited Initiative.