Presence of Absent proposes us for a moment to become intruders inside the intimacy of a person. We see his private screen, his connection through the network, his communication with a distant interlocutor – Cesar – the impossibility of physical contact between them, and how this translates into conflict. Is it a room, is it a workplace? Is it a transmission center, or a surveillance center? From the computer screen we can see an external, faceless hand that controls and manipulates what we see using a system that openly shows us how it works. Can you stay?


Presence of Absent nos propone convertirnos por un momento en intrusos dentro de la intimidad de una persona. Vemos su pantalla privada, su conexión a través de la red, su comunicación con un interlocutor lejano -César-, la imposibilidad de contacto físico entre ambos, y cómo esto se traduce en conflicto. ¿Es una habitación, es un lugar de trabajo? ¿Es un centro de transmisión, o un centro de vigilancia? Desde la pantalla del ordenador podemos ver una mano externa, sin rostro, que controla y manipula lo que vemos mediante un sistema que nos muestra abiertamente cómo funciona. ¿Puede quedarte?


Presence of Absent ci propone di diventare per un momento degli intrusi nell’intimità di una persona. Vediamo il suo schermo privato, la sua connessione attraverso la rete, la sua comunicazione con un interlocutore lontano – Cesar – l’impossibilità di un contatto fisico tra loro, e come questo si traduca in un conflitto. È una stanza, è un luogo di lavoro? È un centro di trasmissione o un centro di sorveglianza? Dallo schermo del computer vediamo una mano esterna, senza volto, che controlla e manipola ciò che vediamo utilizzando un sistema che ci mostra apertamente come funziona. Puoi restare?

Presence of Absent

Colectivo Cistifellea

30 min

Co-direction, Scenography, Multimedia Design
Elena Tilli

Co-Direction, Text, Performer
Cesar René Perez

Sound Design, Original Music, Performer
Nicolas Cristancho

Vera Rivas

Presented at:

Dec 2022 – THEATER IM DEPOT, Dortmund

Dec 2022 – ZUABALAM ART CENTER, Bogotá [Colombia]


Pictures by:

Jonhatan  Zipfel (Dortmund)

Carolina Ribelles (Bogotá)


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Composer, pianist, guitarist and percussionist specialized in Jazz and Afro-Caribbean music. Creator of soundtracks for audiovisuals and performing arts.
Song writer.
Double degree in Jazz Piano from the Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, Colombia and the Escuela Superior de Música de Catauña, Spain.

Nicolás is the co-founder of the Cistifellea Collective together with the director and stage designer Elena Tilli, in which he works as a sound designer, performer, and writer. His practice of improvisation and his capability to connect directly with the performers in real-time offers unique possibilities to the process. He also loves to experiment with what the participation of the public can offer to sound by developing specific tools for interaction and building custom-based small-scale instruments. By using software and electronic sounds, together with live played instruments, Nicolas allows himself a fullscale exploration that together with his wide versatility as a musician and composer, opens up a high level of complexity that translates into a beautiful, inspiring and sometimes provocative experience for the public.

Nicolas is also a singer-songwriter, leader, and manager of the independent musical project Yurgaki since 2005.

Composer and co-producer of the projects Candombe Tierra, Sones de Marimba, Chonta Dura, in Barcelona.
His work has been presented internationally in countries such as Ecuador, United States, France, Italy, Croatia, Romania, Ecuador, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Colombia and Spain.
Nicolás also works as an educator for children, youth and adults. He promotes Afro-Caribbean music around the world through concerts and workshops where he spreads various musical genres, disseminating traditional music and transforming it through his own compositions.



Elena is a multidisciplinary artist.

She insists on the body as the epicenter of scenic language while creating experiences for the spectator.

Elena is the co-founder of the Cistifellea Collective together with the musician Nicolas Cristancho, in which she directs, and builds scenery, machines, and media design. She is also a video designer in the theater and her collaborations have been seen at The Kitchen Theater in New York, at the Barichstaadt Opera in Munich, and in public theaters in Barcelona.

After graduating in mechanical engineering (MA), Elena completed her education at Yale School of Drama studying Technical Design and Production and Design for Theater. She completed the three years program held by Claudia Castellucci at Scuola Conia Raffaello Sanzio focused on the Theory of Scenic Representation.

Elena creates visual experiences combining elements of video, sound, and light for a variety of artistic applications. Her practice merges the research of the surrounding elements combined with curated improvisation to find new possibilities throughout the process, always guided by the commitment to find in the collaboration a unique and essential value.

In 2022 she received a scholarship from Daku, Berlin. She holds a scholarship from the Favoriten Festival (2022), Dortmund. She is a fellow of the Beyond Gravity project of Theater Im Depot, Dortmund. She is a fellow of the Digital Body program at the studio Lake Studios Berlin. In 2021 she receives a scholarship from the Akademie für Theater und Digitalität, Dortmund.
In 2019, Elena received the residency offered by Troikatronix-Isadora and LakeStudio Berlin. During this time she created the short piece Ex Matrice Corpora.

With Cistifellea she directed the shows A&D Presence of Absent (2022), Don’t Make it A Play (2022), Asuntos Humanos (2021), Todo Bien Todo Tranqui (2021) El Silencio no Existe (2020).