The OtherAbilities performance night

Waag presents works developed at The OtherAbilities workshop, which resist the adaptation of 'dis-abled' bodies to an average normal and propose instead the exploration of other bodily abilities and aesthetic experiences.

Works by: by Angelo Custódio, Tatiana Rosa, Dan Xu, and a guest performance by Michele Abolaffio and Giuliano Anzani.

Things and environments we use in daily life, as well as works of art and design, are almost always tailored to a concept of an 'average' human body – mostly white, male, with particular bodily measurements and sensory abilities. This 'average' is often considered 'ideal', becoming a sign of normality, hence anyone who falls outside of the prescribed categories often has trouble sharing experiences of this 'normal' reality.

The OtherAbilities workshop (March - April 2019) was a collaboration between The OtherAbilities Festival, Waag, STEIM studio for electro-instrumental music, and Contact Broedplaats. The workshop explored how cultural producers explore alternative visions to the concept of the 'average' human body and the 'normal' function of the human senses. The OtherAbilities workshop ran parallel to the MakeHealth: prototyping workshop.

Entrance is free. English spoken.


QueerAble adaptations
Performance by Angelo Custódio and Tatiana Rosa

In times dominated by visual inputs of perfection and beauty in the media, 'passing' as able accentuates self inflicted stigma and perpetuates anxieties related to symptoms of discrimination and isolation.
QueerAble adaptations is a vulnerable encounter that reclaims space to other embodiments. It articulates utterance and sonic flows produced by a device as extension of the body, a sound instrument that amplifies the resonance of a non-normalised (free) movement.

Talking Piece (working title)
Installation by Dan Xu

The work is based on research undertaken in collaboration with Davida Rauch, Francesco Dimaggio and Alexandru Pantazica

Acoustic feedback usually occurs in a sound reinforcement system when, the input signal meets the amplified version of itself, which happens to be the output of the same system. After layers of amplification, certain frequencies of the input sound are reinforced while others attenuated, the accumulated energy at these frequencies erases the intelligibility of the output, results in a howling sound, the acoustic characteristics of which are partially determined by the resonant frequencies of the parts of the system and shaped by the input signal, the configuration of the system, and the situated environment (e.g. the quality of space). Once left unattended, the energy gradually dissipates, the system eventually returns to the unexcited state. By opening up and displaying such a system, we intend to invite the audience to touch, play, and interact with it, respond to the emergent feedback.

Special guests performance:

performance by Michele Abolaffio and Giuliano Anzani

Pulse//Wave explores the sonic nature of bodies and objects.
Two performers are challenged to tame material’s sound behaviour. Resonances are amplified and exposed through excitation and interaction. Hidden patterns reveal themselves through sound: matter and flesh become instruments.


The work of Angelo Custódio is shaped by an intersectional perspective and is informed by queerness and disability. He attempts to open 'cracks', wild spaces that utterly welcome embodiments of 'otherness' and free ecologies of living, by developing performative encounters with the 'strange'. He urges the promotion of empathic understandings of identities and focuses especially on the contemporary failure of support structures towards queer bodies and bodies with disability. Angelo has presented his work in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, China, Switzerland, Greece and Portugal.

Tatiana Rosa (1991) is a Portuguese audiovisual artist and flute player that has dedicated herself into developing multidisciplinary performances. She is urrently based in Amsterdam, where she also completed a Master’s in Live Electronics at the Conservatory in 2017. She has been regularly collaborating with dancers, actors and directors in the development of performances where she assumes the role of flutist, sound designer and visual artist. In her own creations she has been majorly dedicated in the development of works in which the musicians take a part in the theatrical expressions making use of movement, voice and electronic extensions. She’s a founding member of Trash Panda Collective, Queens of Noise and Ensemble mpmp.

Dan Xu is currently scouting inspirations for her PhD research at Leiden University. Meanwhile, she is also working at Digital Society School in Amsterdam, where she is exploring reviving the vanishing human connections in this increasingly 'connected' world. In addition, her other explorations include non-visual altered reality, designing interactive interface for understanding machine decision making, using a neural network to generate life advice, movement sonification, data perceptualisation, and installations that challenge our common perception. Her interests in the interplay between art and science, technology and society were ignited during her Master’s in Media Technology at Leiden University. Prior to the expedition in the media world, she was studying physics at Beijing Institute of Technology.

Giuliano Anzani (IT/NL) is a sound designer and composer based in The Hague. His practice is focused on the development of generative environments and digital interfaces for live electronics. By combining stochastic processes and improvisation, he aspires to explore new musical vocabularies and interactions.

Michele Abolaffio (IT/NL) is a performer, electronics designer and research associate in STEIM. His artistic and technological research focuses on the development of biophysical musical instruments for live performance.

Made possible by:


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 780298.





Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012 CR Amsterdam