20 May – 10 Jun 2023
Wg-Plein, 1054 DM Amsterdam
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 below.
shy* play is generously supported by Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Stichting Stokroos and DAS Research.
sign up here:
Sat, 20 May: 2 – 5 pm
Sat, 27 May: 2 – 5 pm
Thu, 01 Jun: 2 – 5 pm
Sat, 03 Jun: 2 – 5 pm
Sat, 10 Jun: 2 – 5 pm
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.
sign up here:
Thu, 25 May: 2 – 6 pm
Fri, 26 May: 2 – 6
Fri, 02 Jun: 2 – 8 pm
Sun, 04 Jun: 2 – 8 pm
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.
sign up here:
Sun 21 May: 2 – 5 pm
Sun 28 May: 2 – 5 pm
shy* play, in collaboration with Rajni Shah, is hosting reading group sessions that prioritise listening, decentre speech and experiment with presence.
shy* play at
would like to extend our thanks to people that have been indispensable to this process of learning and creating neurodiverse socialities-in-difference.
Angelo Custodio has made us realise that neurodiverse voices and sounds are truly powerful in their capacity for artfulness and forms of communication. Thank you Angelo for working with us to create techniques that truly foreground neurodiverse voices in relation.
shy* play events never start from the idea that bodies are set; events create bodies. Thank you Karime Salame for creating wearables that never land, but remain in the process of always expressing themselves/ourselves differently.
Thank you Rajni Shah for creating reading group events with us that prioritise listening, eliminating the reading group as a test, debate, or practice of dominance by those who 'know' over others. Reading, as Rajni teaches us so eloquently, is an embodied practice that accommodates all the senses.
A space is always more than what meets the eye. Thank you Andrés Novo for exploring the space with us deeper. Without your help and insights, a shy* play space at PuntWG would never have been made possible.
And lastly, thank you Faysal Mroueh for making shy* play a virtual reality. This website inhabits such an important meeting point. Thank you also for keeping up with us and our endless little requests.
shy* play would also like to thank four institutions that made shy* play at puntWG an ever-changing presence: puntWG, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Stichting Stokroos, and DAS Research.
AHK Day of Teacher/Researcher