The work takes two forms: that of a ‘plug and play’ installation that operates on its own and that of a performance work that happens within, and interacts with, the installation. The work emerges out of a dialogue between the audience, the space, and the elements. This dialogue requires a specific relationship between the audience and the space in order to achieve freedom of movement. The work is contained by a start and an end point, but everything in between is performed live, in real-time, and can shift at any moment—creating a responsive journey that is in constant dialogue.

As the performance unfolds, it carries the spectator from one emotional state to another. Through the use of installation-based and performative elements and sensory impulses, the spatial awareness and perception of the audience will be manipulated and new ‘spaces’ will be created in the performance environment which are not physically present but rather constructed by, and emerging from, the viewer’s imagination. This ensemble of elements and senses is part of a complex mechanical apparatus that is controlled and manipulated live. The overall composition is best understood as a fluctuating ‘organism’. All the components create an interplay out of which emerges an environment in which fear is exposed as an affective domain. There is no safe spot for the audience, only complete immersion in the space.

The work is built on the basis of scientific and sociological theories and research— among others Zygmunt Bauman, Paul Virilio and Luc H. Arnal—and uses new technological developments to examine this contemporary phenomenon and its operations. This performance illuminates this current social issue and the underlying social structures that create a society that lives in permanent insecurity.

For the YYOY performance, a space has been designed which immerses the viewer in an uncanny experience—a multi-sensory abstracted space that anticipates our feelings of anxiety. Artist Nikki Hock, along with performer Marijn Brussaard, accompany the audience through an increasingly obscured landscape of smell, image, color, light, temperature, and spatial sound, along a range of abstract and emotional layers to create an experience in which the audience is confronted with their own fear. The combination of elements hyper-stimulates the senses, creating an array of incoming information that the brain is not fully able to process.

Why, Why ohh why (YYOY) is the first part of a trilogy of installation based performances by artist Nikki Hock, dealing with the pillars of modern citizenship. The work responds to the current prevailing culture (and climate) of fear by exploring this issue through scientific and sociological theories and research.

Contemporary fear is a fear that is omnipresent, that is as ungraspable as liquid, a haze that surrounds us all. Contemporary fear is constant and lingering. We don’t know where it is coming from or when it will hit. It is the crest of a wave suspended, never hitting the shore. From the refugee crisis, to the loom of terrorist threats, to the spectre of climate change, the fear that something is coming creates an endless feeling of anxiety under the surface of our daily interactions.

Fear is the contemporary lens through which we view the world—stifled in our thoughts and actions by a regime of uncertainty, the relationship between risk and the perception of it is increasingly disproportionate. According to the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, dread is not so much a fear of the present, but a fear of the future… not a fear of the actual, but a fear of the possible. Our current climate of fear is centred on this fear of the possible, and with the YYOY performance, Nikki Hock wants to create awareness about this phenomenon and the very workings of its operation within ourselves and society.

About Nikki Hock

Nikki Hock is a multidisciplinary artist who sculpts the spaces and environments around us to create experiential landscapes. Nikki does not merely focus on representation, but rather engages with the present moment to create abstractions of memories and lived experiences. His work moves between reality and the metaphysical—in search of other worlds and new dimensions.

Nikki is drawn to performance as a live medium, researching and developing spatial installations in which the audience becomes part of the work—creating a collective experience that simultaneously touches each spectator individually. His ensembles of light, colour, shape, sculpture, and space create an immersive journey, with the totality of elements forming the complete experience.

Engaging in a journey with the spectator through the use of different mediums, Nikki searches for aesthetics that cultivate direct and uninterrupted communication. Through a layered process, in which he appeals to each sense individually, Nikki explores the interplay between the (in)tangible and its perception.

Currently Nikki is working on a trilogy of installation based performances that is dealing with the pillars of modern citizenship. Why, Why ohh why (YYOY) is the first part of the trilogy and responds to the current prevailing culture of fear (or climate of fear) by exploring these issues through research and experimentation.


  • 18 & 19 May
      Zaal 3
  • 20 May
      Theater aan het Spui
  • 30 May
      Subbacultcha / De School
  • 7 June
      Toneelschuur Haarlem
  • 4 & 5 August
      Theatersfestival Boulevard
  • 5 September
      WORM Rotterdam
  • 20 - 24 September
      Scopitone Festival Nantes, FR
  • 4 November
      N8 / EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam
  • 15 - 17 November
      GLOW / TAC Eindhoven
  • 7 December
      Theater aan het Spui
  • 8 December
      Theater Kikker Utrecht

More dates to be confirmed.


Produced by: Ukno
Co-producer: Zaal 3

Concept, design and development: Nikki Hock
Performance & Visuals: Nikki Hock
Performance & Sound: Marijn Brussaard
Artistic advice by: Florian Hellwig, Poul Holleman
Scent Design: N.1 by Klara Ravat & N.2 by Nikki Hock

Projectmanagement: Danielle Boelling
Marketing & PR: Isabel da Costa
Webdesign, concept & development: Marsdiep
Video: Tanja Busking

With the kind support of: Fonds Podiumkunsten, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunsten, BNG Cultuurfonds, Stichting Melanie, Beamlab

Information and bookings

Why, Why ohh why is a co-production of Ukno and Theater aan het Spui and will have its premiere in spring 2017. The performance and installation is available for touring in ‘17/’18.

More information & bookings: