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The SwediSh dance hiSTory

With and by: Aapo Nikkanen, Aaron Schuster, Aaron Smith, Abidjaninsky, Adrian Heathfield, Agnes Bjrn, Alejandra Pombo, Alexander Williams, Alexandrina Hemsley, Alissa Snaider Alyssa Reed-Stuewe, Amanda Apetrea,Amanda Prince-Lubawy, Amelie Rydqvist, Ana Dubljevic, Ana V Monteiro, Anders Jacobson, Andr Lepecki, Andrea Csaszni Rygh, Andros Zins-Browne, Angela Goh, Ann E. Mazzocca, Ann Liv Young, Anna Koch, Anna Perhsson, Annika B. Lewis, sgerur G. Gunnarsdttir, Atlanta Eke, Ayach Bailleux, Bojana Cvejic, Bora Sirin, Bruno Granja, Brynjar Badlien, Camilla Graff Junior, Camille Durif Bonis, Cecilia Bengolea, Chase Granoff, Chris Matthews, Chrisander Brun, Christian Tpfner, Christina Rizzo, Christina Vantzou, Christine De Smedt, Christopher Engdahl, Cicilia stholm, Cyriaque Villemaux, Dalija Acin, Dan Berglund, Dana Michel, Daniel Israelsson, Danielle Ross, Danjel Anderson, Danny Anatta, David Bernstein, Ebba Petrn, Efva Lilja, Egle Obcarskaite, Eleanor Bauer, Elena

Polzer, Elena Polzer, Eleonora Zdebiak, Eliisa Ervalo, Elisabeth Niklasson, Elizabeth Ward, Elizabeth Waterhouse, Emin Durak, Emma Kim Hagdahl, Emma Tolander, Ester Barinaga, Franco Bifo Berardi, Gabriel Widing, Gertrude Stein, Gillie Kleiman, Goro Tronsmo, Graham Harman, Halla lafsdttir, Hanna Erdman, Hannah Buckley, Hannah Goldstein, Helga Guren, Hybris Konstproduktion, Ilona Maennchen, Ina Sladic, Ion Dumitrescu, Ivan Mijacevic, Jack Hause, Jan Gunnar Sjlin, Jan Ritsema, Jana Jevtovic, Jasmina Zalonik, Jefta van Dinther, Jenny Holzer, Jessica Watson-Galbraith, Joanna Wingren, Johan Thelander, Johanna Wernmo, Jonathan Beller, Jorge Alencar, Josefin Hinders, Josefine Larson Olin, Josefine Wikstrm, Joseph Patricio, Juan Francisco, Maldonado Juan Malfrando, Juli Reinartz, Julia Holmgrd kerberg, Kai van Eikels, Kaja Kann, Kajsa Sandstrm, Karen Beaumont, Kata Kovcs, Katja F.M. Wolf, Katherina Zakravsky, Keith Hennessey, Kim Hiorthy, Krt Juurak, Kyli Kleven, Lars Lundberg, Linda Blomqvist, Linna Martinsson, Lisette Drangert, Liv Strand, Louise Hjer, Ludvig Daae, Lus Miguel Flix, Luke Jennings, Makhan Jan Anders Kruse, Malin Elgn, Malin Korkeasalo, Manon Santkin, Marcus Doverud, Mareike Wenzel, Margit Galanter, Maria Villalonga, Marisa Acin, Marta Ziek, Mrten Spngberg, Martin Schick, Martine Dennewald, Maryam Nikandish, Melissa Marotto, Mette Ingvartsen, Michael J. Shapiro, Michiel Vandevelde, Milka Djordjevic, Minna Kiper, Minna Wendin, Moa Hanssen, Moriah Evans, Myriam Van Imschoot, Myriam_Zandloper, Nadine Byrne, Nadja Hjorton, Nestor Garcia Diaz, Neto Machado,New Forms Of Life, Nicolas Siepen, Nikolina Pristas, Nina L. Bassett, Nina Power, Nina Thorwart, Noelle Stiles, Olof Westphalen, Oyindamola Fakeye, Patricia Allio, Pavle Heidler, Per Sundberg, Perrine Bailleux, Petra Sabisch, Pontus Pettersson, Rebecka Stillman, Reed-Stuewe, Rene Copraijjackie, Ric Allsopp, Richard Dyer, Richie

Guzmn, Robert Tyree, Rosalind Goldberg, Rosie Trump, Sada Yakko, Sandra Lolax, Sanna Sderholm, Sebastian Schulz, Sergej Pristas, Sidney Leoni, Siegmar Zacharias, Simone Aughterlony, Sofia Medici, Sonja Ahlfors, Sophia New, Sophie Augot, Stefan Hlscher, Stefano Harney, Steffi Hensel, Stephan Thalen, Stephanie Maher, Stephen Zepke, Steven Cohen, Steven Shaviro, Stina Nyberg, Styrmir Orm Gudmundson, Susanna Leibovici, Susanne Vincenz, SvenOlov Wallenstein, Sybrig Dokter, Tahni Holt, Tea Tupajic, Toby Lynas, Tony Ahola, Tor Lindstrand, Torvald Silver, Tova Gerge, Tove Salin, Tuomas Ojala, Ulrika Berg, Uri Turkenich, Valentina Desideri, Valeria Graziano, Verena Steiner, Virginie Bobin, Xavier Le Roy, Yumi Umiumare, Yves Mettler, Zo Poluch, FA

The Swedish Dance History was made possible with the support of The Swedish Art Grants Committee, The Swedish Research Council, MDT, Stockholm, and co-produced by PAF INPEX takes full responsibility for the content and distribution of The Swedish Dance History. The content in this book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share alike 2.5 Sweden License. For summaries of the Legal Code (the full license) please visit: http://creativecommons.org

ISBN: 978-91-979778-1-4

LeT The worLd grow

At certain moments it seems like the world is changing size. Suddenly, as if it woke up from hibernation it expands like a butterfly shaking of its cocoon. Its like we are looking at the globe through a fisheye lens, well fed and kind of with a smile. At other times the opposite occurs, mother earth retracts into some illusory shell, closes the door (read borders), puts up the dont disturb sign but not because of excessive amorous actions, pretends to forget the colored lights its actually because of greed and OMG global warning. No more camera stuff fisheye, nah it the earth at this point rather resembles the crusts of a pizza, like the day after. There are obvious moments when terra firma expanded. Call them colonialism, 4.33, one small step for man, rock n roll, central perspective or use your imagination. Moments that resembles positivist paradigm shifts and are measurable in some or other way, but there are also others that have less to do with innovation and measurability than with atmosphere and climate, the general state of love, French cinema, Wimbledon, 1723 (the first Rio Carnival), contraceptives and fantasy. 7

From a capitalist perspective the world is inscribed in an ongoing process of expansion, whatever it is that is expanding - a hole in the ground, pollution, science or sneakers doesnt particularly matter its just the way things go in capitalism, and its indeed an approach to the world that doesnt care whether expansion is on the side of bliss or fear, laughter or domestic violence. But apart, or not exactly from capitalism, forces seem to operate to make the world smaller, shrink it, make it graspable and comfy. Forces that rather have less of whats already around, then more of something else. That rather keep up with asymmetries -Its not that bad than take the chance of something fresh, violent or not. That prefers probability in front of contingency. Its not about now and the future, or past and then. The world grows and shrinks through mysterious reasons. Think about your own life. How small wasnt the world that Margaret Thatcher ruled over or the one portrayed in Douglas Sirk movies. How tiny the global perspective of Eurovision Song Contest and how amazing that of Jules Verne, Ian Fleming or Rabelais, how futile that of Henrik Ibsen and overwhelming that of Shakespeare, how embarrassing that of the New York dance scene and how fabulous that of Isadora or Martha. When fear catches us, we tend to contract and back away. When our identities are under threat we close borders, like a teenager slamming the door, and make the world smaller. When we cant keep it together, we install new disciplinary regimes and restrict our freedom of navigation. When life feels like an endless availability we book a flight somewhere just to know where we are going. These phenomena naturally operates both on the level of the individual, the nation, dance communities and the world. Dont let your world shrink and hey, dont allow others to shrink it for you. We dont wont to feel safe, we dont want more of the same. No, we insist on opening ourselves to the world as it is - actual, physical, cognitive and spiritual.

Over the last twenty years dance and choreography has been part of and surprised by weird transformations. It all started with identity politics, closely followed by booming performance studies and the hysteria around performativity. Soon those groovy tendencies were appropriated by corporate interests, Ashtanga yoga, self-enhancement courses and the entire experience economy and check it out, when internet turned to 2.0 it also turned from a static archive to a platform for performance, from content based appropriation of knowledge to activity/participation based production of knowledge. In short over the last twenty years we, the world, has undergone a massive shift. We have experienced the performative turn and live in a world whose first currency is activity, performance, or call it immaterial labor if you wish. Dont let the world shrink, and dont let somebody else shrink it for you. With this shift dance and choreography has turned from being something on the margins of society, insignificant. Something that cultural policy tended to forget, to something inhibiting the centerfold not only of artistic activity but in general. Check it out; dance, performance and its structural sibling choreography is the main attraction and the one to date. Its our turn now. Its show time in postDebordian society and everybody want to dance. Suddenly each and every company changes their USP (Unique Selling Point) to something performative, and the entire visual art world has developed obsessive-compulsive relations to dance. MOMA just engaged a research team to explore options to incorporate performance in the collection, and mind you there isnt a biennale that has forgotten to emphasize the importance of performance elements. Dance, performance and choreography will be given one chance, not two or three. We can take it now. If we hesi9

tate there will be no chance at all. We can take the leap of faith now. Jump like Yves Klein into potentiality, and make parts, an important part of the performative turn ours [under creative commons obviously]. If we dont do it now jump somebody else is about to snatch the opportunity in front of us. And once its over its so over. We, dance and choreography, really has nothing to lose. Like good old working class, only our chains. We have nothing to lose, except the pleasure of our chains. The only thing we know is that if we jump its all gonna be different, really different. So whats our choice? Are we so attached to our chains that we dont dare let the world grow? Are we so afraid of transformation that we prefer business as usual, where modern dance comes before contemporary, where ballet is taken for granted and we still take class? Where a small number of ballet houses are allowed economical prosperity and contemporary non-institutional choreography has a nobudget (do we really think that the ballets will close themselves? No, we have to work for their closing. No buts as long as ballet is there you are not.). Where festival programmers, art council representatives and dance school/university directors are chronically scared shitless and choreography is given only one expression; dance, and dance stays what it used to be. Dont let your world shrink and dont let others shrink it for you. They just want you to be nice, to feel safe and agree to maltreatment. When the world of dance changes, when we might not exactly know whats in front of us, is that the moment you decide to close the door, to withdraw and invest in extra insulation. Or are you one of those engage in fisheye perspective and let the growing world smile, that insist on expansion and expand with it. Of course when the world grows, also the unknown areas will also grow. When the globe gets bigger, and the future lies open in front of us there is also more at risk. Lets raise the stakes, dance is so 10

many things and choreography as you know is not the art of making dance but an approach to the world, a cluster of methods for analysis and production that exactly expands the world, that makes us, each of us, a little bit bigger. The Swedish Dance History is a dance and a choreography. Of course you can open any page and use it as choreographic score, or dance with it as if it was a prince or ballerina, but thats obviously not what we are talking about here. This dance, this choreography is our, or one attempt, to approach the understanding of dance and choreography as something bigger, something that grows and make us think differently. The Swedish Dance History is in itself a dance and a choreography, not least because its coming into being has taken place through thinking through dance and choreography. It is to some extent an aesthetic production, a dance and a choreography, and to some extent a political production as it has been assembled through protocols that undermine both conventions of aesthetic and political production. The Swedish Dance History is solidified through an open call to all individuals around the world that consider themselves practitioners of dance, performance or choreography whatever that means to contribute with their own or somebody elses writing, drawings, interviews, images, love letter and what have we. Everything is in and democracy is weird. It is a book that makes history now instead of recalling it. It is a dance and a choreography that one carries with oneself perhaps not first of all to read, but as a reminder that there is a dance community out there and as fellow practitioners we stand behind each other. This is a dance and a choreography made by us, for us, to produce a we an open one but still a we a we that doesnt belong together but share a passion. The Swedish dance history was made by you and us together not necessarily through known models of equality, but it belongs to us together and it has one job; to be there for us as we stand in front of a world we want to grow. 11

The 90 Crew


1. A 90 INTRODUCTION The 90 class is an 8 step strategy for cornering the phenomenon of the 90 leg and aims to share and generate a potential context for a 90 practice. The class will follow a strict structure, but ends with an open 90-discussion-and-fruit moment. 90 with the leg in this class will have two different meanings. It can mean to aim for the actual angle 90 with the leg. It can also mean the moment where each one individually has their point of maximum resistance while lifting and/or stretching the leg. We will try to specify at every occasion what 90-concept we refer to. 2. TAG IN 90 This exercise aims to warm up. The game works almost like Tag, but you tag with your leg. When you think you are
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close enough to tag someone, you scream 90!, making everyone in the room freeze. The tagger can then raises their leg and tags someone who becomes the new tagger. Any of the two definitions of the 90 angle is valid. The game goes on for 6 minutes. 3. THE 90 SHARED ANGLE WEIGHT COMPANIONSHIP We develop a companionship where we can meditate on a common relation to gravity and the 90 angle. The practitioners work in pairs or smaller groups, where one person in the pair or group lets their leg rest in 90 while supported by the other/s, who take on the weight in whatever way they please. The definition of 90 used here is the actual 90 angle with the leg (or something close to it), not the resistancedefinition. The person who has the leg in the 90 can actually aim to relax as much as possible. The companionship can change form in terms of roles, positions, tactics and so on, but continues for 9 minutes. 4. THE 90 CONSCIENCE SYNCHRONIZATION EXERCISE Here we develop a 90-conscience, to empower practitioners to act in the collective spirit of the 90s and leave individualism and outer factors that initiate and conduct movement behind (except for this whole exercise instruction). We stand, walk or engage in any upright movement practice, while trying to remain attentive to each other. While feeling our togetherness we decide when to lift 90-legs in any of the two definitions. The group may thus never lift their legs, but if they do, the idea is to do it within the same 90 definition and remain synchronized in the sense of timing, even though not necessarily in the same direction or in the same way. The exercise goes on for 9 minutes. 14


The aim of the massage is partly to give each other massage and partly to establish a different relation to massage, the 90 angle and to each other. We work in pairs or smaller groups. One person stands facing the wall, leaning against it. The other/s massage/s the standing person with their foot. The massage goes on for 3 minutes per massage. 6. DOING AND TALKING 90 The aim of the exercise is to initiate a conversation about the 90 practice that we are engaging in. The practitioners talk while standing in a group where they can hear each others voices, trying to hold a 90 leg in any direction. The definition of the 90 used here is the one where everyone individually use their point of maximum resistance while lifting and/or stretching the leg. The talk goes on for 9 minutes. 7. ANCIENT WARRIOR IMPROVISATION STRETCH The purpose of this stretch is partly to stretch. We propose actions to each other that we consider stretches, whilst telling in what way they have a meditative function for the ancient warrior culture that the 90 practice originates from. 8. EATING FRUIT AND TALKING 90 The class finishes with the possibility to eat fruit and talk about 90, both in this context that we have created together and in other contexts.


Theory oF dance
Nina Power

So Mrten is all like write something for my dance thing and Im like, I dont know anything about dance! and he says, yeah I know, write some theory or something! and Im like No! I wanna write about dance! Im sick of theory! So here is my THEORY OF DANCE (in eleven theses, obviously, dur): 1. Dancers intimidate normal, unhealthy people. Their superior physique and general good health, despite their often casual attitude to smoking and drinking, is infuriating. Non-dance people like to pretend that dance people cannot read books, despite evidence to the contrary, because we have nothing else with which to bolster our sluggish and inwardly weeping egos. 2. Embodiment is a curse and a nightmare, lightened only moments of abandonment, excess and the odd gratuitous sexual event. Dancers move as if this generally recog17

Juanfran Maldonado (2011)


nised truth was somehow unknown to them. I secretly hope all dancers are punished for their lilting, engaging and carefree bodily relation to the world by suffering consistently terrible sex, though I suspect that this is, in reality, unlikely. 3. Philosophers write terribly about dance. Nietzsche tried to make his whole thought emulate dance but was prevented from actually dancing because of his hatred of socialists. Kierkegaard thought that leaping about was pretty cool, but spent his life indoors wondering whether he had flushed the toilet or not. Deleuze was probably an ok dancer, but not as good as Guattari, so never tried for fear of being outshone. Kant was an exception to the rule, but the only person who ever saw him move was Lampe, his thieving butler, and this was only for a few minutes every night before he tied Kant up in bed to stop him masturbating. 4. Nevertheless, Philosophers secretly believe that they are better dancers than everyone else. This is why they will gyrate horrifically on the final evening of any conference or other theory event, imagining themselves somehow able to understand the secrets of the universe via their arse. 5. Good dancers will understand the truths presented in points 1-4 and will move in a way that neither intimidates Philosophers, nor draws attention to their body, nor invokes how many books they have concretely read. They will be simultaneously as abstract and as grubby as money. This is why Philosophers will always approve of dances that look like concepts, and vice versa. 6. Nobody apart from contemporary dancers and performance artists understands the difference between contemporary dance and performance art.

7. Furthermore, nobody understands what contemporary means. If you try to dance in a contemporary way, your head will explode, and a dozen art galleries will open in impoverished former industrial towns. 8. Proper leftists want to harm anyone who ever quotes Emma Goldmans petulant, deviationist line If I cant dance I dont want to be in your revolution. We prefer the line If you dance, you cannot be in our revolution. Furthermore, you will be shot. 9. Naked dancing has been destroyed by the 70s, and our parents. 10. Animals hate all humans, but at no point do they loathe them more than when they dance. This goes double for animals that are actually quite good at dancing, such as bees and bears, who make an effort to sting and eat dancing humans whenever they can, even if they perish in the process. 11. Interpretive dance has only philosophised the world the point is to destroy it once and for all.



eLeanor Bauer
Interview by Melissa Marotto

Interview with Eleanor Bauer on her 2010 performance A Dance For The Newest Age (the triangle piece) Eleanor Bauer: Answering any question about this piece feels like it necessitates an explanation of the starting point, the goals and questions that brought me to arrive at this particular choreography. So I will start with some overall context. A Dance For The Newest Age (the triangle piece) was motivated by my desire to focus on dance alone and isolate it from other modes of human expression that I usually employ alongside dance in my work, mainly language and song. My use of more theatrical means often hedges towards humor and irony, which makes people question the sincerity of my work despite the fact that it is always for me completely sincere. Whatever medium or mode of expression, I firmly
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believe that humor is a possible product of serious thought. Yet it is not only being open to humor that facilitates irony. Reference, or the act of putting anything between quotation marks, also makes irony possible. Probably for generational reasons, I find it difficult to escape reference or recognition, which make movements point towards other things than themselves. This is useful to avoid a navel-gazing, implosive, hermetic or smugly self-satisfied dance that only says look at my body and what it can do. I am interested in the body and what it can do but more as a question than a statement. What is the body? What can it do? What concepts are imminent to the body and what it can do? In that sense, I am interested in the possibility of people recognizing the world, themselves, ideas in dance, even having reflections on dance while watching dance, but with this piece especially (because I have already done this before) I am not interested in using the recognition of dance styles or genres in a way that relies on a shared education to communicate with the audience, because this promotes the isolation of dance and its history in a way makes the not dance-educated audience feel like they dont get it. One of my goals from the start was also to make a piece that my neighbors mother would understand as a dance and would feel permitted to co-create its meaning. So when I say I wanted to focus on dance alone, it doesnt mean that I wanted to cut dance off from the world. Quite the opposite: I wanted to make something so rooted in dance that it would be able to speak through dance about other things, without any other mediation. I welcome and encourage different readings and processes of recognition in this dance, to allow a dance-in-itself to speak about other things than itself. What I want to avoid is directing those readings in away that forces the dance to broadcast or demonstrate fixed meanings. As if in a game of charades, the use of explicit units of recognizable actions

makes dance function more like language, as a string of signifiers. I think that dance and the moving body have a sense of their own that functions through another spatio-temporal logic than the semiotic, and I wanted to go further into that. So I put aside all other ways of materializing my ideas onstage, mainly the linguistic and theatrical ones, to figure out what ideas, concepts, or issues are inherent to and shareable through my interest in dance. This does not mean that I excluded discourse from the process, definitely not, but rather that I want the product (the dance) to be able stand alone without the necessity of this discourse for its explanation, which is why there is no descriptive text in the program, for instance, just the sheet music to the songs in the performance. Of course the desire to put dance alone begs the question of what is dance alone, with which I pretty quickly landed on a huge paradox. I realized that my experience of dancing, making dances, and watching dance is a very inclusive one, in that I do not experience dance as alone, but rather as a way of coordinating and incorporating many levels of experience and thought, sense and sensation. I employ so many different registers of intelligence and sense-making at once as a dancer, choreographer, or viewer of dance, from the social to the cultural to the affective to the personal to the mathematical and formal to the emotional and psychological and so forth. Therefore, my first definition of dance as such became one of inclusion, maximalism, multiplicity, totality, or as I came to call it everythingness. We worked on various ways to make oneself sensitive to, responsive to, or expressive of a surplus of information through dancing. Thats when I coined the slogan everything comes! as the antithesis to anything goes - in that I wanted to be eagerly, actively inclusive of a wide range of modes of meaning production, embodying them with a certain hunger, rather than passively or permissively accepting whatever materializes from the possible at any moment. 23

While the starting point and final product of this piece are dance, the dance-based points of departure for research also quickly spread into political, philosophical or scientific paradigms. The first dramaturgical mapping of the piece was a chart I drew in a colored spectrum of 9 sections, (each a color of the rainbow followed by white and black) which I was connecting the ideologies represented in various moments of dance history to the ideologies present in different moments of world history to various states of matter to body systems and practices to artistic genres to geometrical shapes or forms, to philosophies, to ways of looking at the world in three parts, to musical ideas, to prophecies and science fiction fantasies and finally to chakras, as a body-based map of this spectrum in color. This organization of ideas was about connecting concepts through their common characteristics, or form, free from their placement on a timeline. This possible rearrangement of ideas and events dislocates the present as a continuum of the past and a precedent to the future. My experience of the present tense is so heavily loaded with past, present, and future constantly colliding, being a citizen of the globalized information age. In a time obsessed with apocalypse; in a decade when change is at the tip of everyones tongue and seems to have become a constant of its own (from climate to politics and not withstanding the metaphors between the two); when the whole world is entangled in a network of wars rooted deep in history while posing tangible and immediate threats and effects on the future, my personal experience of the present tense places me in a crossroads of so many psychological spaces and concerns at once, connected not only to various physical spaces and locations, but also to various temporalities. My reason for looking at my experience of the present tense as a human being in the world at large came from the very basic fact of dance as an ephemeral medium. Dance

practitioners often complain about dance as something that has no permanence, is difficult to archive or preserve, is constantly disappearing into the past, and therefore battles with relevance next to art forms that are more easily documented. Rather than mourning the constant disappearance of dance, or being melancholic about it as a form of constant death, I thought rather to take the vitalist approach and celebrate the very importance of dance as being so much about present tense, so much about an action happening right here, right now which is not a limitation, but an opening. When I look at my experience of here/now as a human being in the world, and how complex and networked that is, and when I see dance as an opportunity for connection to everythingness, I dont feel stuck in dance as a closure to the present tense, disappearing with each fleeting instant. I take my interest in the potential of the dancing body as a site of coordination of a surplus of ideas and interpretations and look for ways also to make it a site of coordination of a surplus of times and places. In a lecture by Giorgio Agamben called What is the Contemporary? he defines the true contemporary as someone with asynchronicity, or dislocation in time, and dare I paraphrase, the ability to distance oneself from ones own time and see it immediately with the same distance as one regards history or the future. Thus the contemporary is able to hypothesize, critique, propose or disrupt the current condition. I was inspired by this definition of contemporary in my question not only of what is dance, but how to do something contemporary with it. In order to escape the simplicity of recognition that would lock me into historical references, I tried at least conceptually, through the spectral idea-map, to connect our actions to other ideas and phenomena in whatever field of study that bears structural similarity to the dance idea at hand. In this way, the idea becomes a form

that is translatable to other ideas, and the form becomes an expression of all those possible ideas. Hence the possibility of meaning in forms that is multi-facted and flexible, nonabstract but very different from reference or overly determined goals of recognition.
Melissa Marotto: Youve written about postmodernism, New Age, and how the piece was related to the triptych: science, politics and philosophy. These are large concepts, in what way when creating this piece did your choreographic dance methods relate to those principles?

Eleanor Bauer


EB: While the triangle provided the kind of self-evidentiality in space that became the unquestionable law of the piece, and we play it out with full devotion and seriousness, it is only possible because we accept it as a temporary law for the purposes of A Dance for the Newest Age (the triangle piece). Even if I do not practice triangle-worship in my daily life, this shape as the law of this dance is not at all arbitrary and is very much related to questions about our current condition as people with a fragmented sense of truth. One reason for the equilateral triangle is purely symbolic - it is a shape that diagrams the simultaneous division and unification of three main realms of truth-production identified by Bruno Latour in a book called We Have Never Been Modern. Bruno Latour explains that the advent of Modernity was a revolutionary separation of the scientific, objective realm from which we derive facts about nature; the political, social realm in which we inter-subjectively discuss and decide how to organize ourselves and create laws to abide by; and the religious, spiritual realm in which we ascribe to omniscient or transcendent beliefs. Latour questions and dismantles this separation, as well as the consequent hybrids that it produced thereafter, and points out their paradoxical mutual collaboration in reifying one another as well as the separation from our pre-modern ancestors that 27

all of this implies. Before Modernity no single culture had experienced such a division between these different facets of being human in the world. At least in our anthropological analysis, pre-modern civilizations were marked by a more unified perspective that integrated nature, culture, and god within the same logics. Nowadays, because the discourses of these three realms have been so partitioned into different disciplines, the hybrids that come after either take the form of mutual validation in the instance of the interdisciplinary fetishism we see in various conferences, panels, or curatorial missions, or they involve bizarre leaps of faith and monstrous combinations of ideologies, as in the case of New Age, which is precisely what interests me about it. New Age is an attempt to put back together these three realms in the midst of the further-fragmented context of postmodernism from which New Age arose, with an emphasis on re-constituting the spiritual as a possibility for those postmodern individuals who did not belong to a religion, or if they were born into one, felt detached from the fixed identity and traditions implied by organized religion. It also addressed this very crisis of belonging or community at a peak of individualism - paradoxically based completely on personal self-realization and self-help at the same time as promoting one-world and universalism and harmony between all living creatures. New Age wanted to solve all the problems at once. New Age also interests me as an asynchronous philosophy (if one can even call it philosophy), in that a New Ager can speak of the early Egyptians, Pythagoras, Quantum Mechanics, Chakras, Aliens, and the future all in the same breath with no hesitation whatsoever. New Age borrows from new scientific discourses, ancient cultures and practices, various world religions, political visionaries, and more to create an amalgamated cocktail of beliefs and the facts with which they are upheld. I find it at once absurd, fascinating, humorous and beautiful - the New Age was the postmodern attempt to reunify a broken world with a

broken sense of truth. And so while my interest in rethinking history, rethinking ways of being together, and coordinating a vast array of information can be New Agey, Im not really New Age either, perhaps because I have that paradoxical distance mentioned above. So New Age becomes a key moment in time, like Modernity and the pre-modern, that I use as a lens through which to connect my artistic interests and understand them as related to certain ideologies, whether I subscribe to them or not, with humor, analysis, and pleasure. But not irony! The equilateral triangle, with three sides and three divisive axes of symmetry, is at once a unification and a division. The shape allows for circulation between three obvious perspectives and pushes them up against each other in the same solid mass. So the triangle is a symbol of pre-modern unification, Modern division, and New Age recombination simultaneously. If we look at pre-modern civilizations, we can also see that the importance of form played a great role in their construction of their over-arching world-views. For the Greeks, Geometry joined the heavens and the earth and was manifest throughout their architecture, their politics, and their artwork, none of which was not also within the purview of their religious beliefs, and mathematics was a source of truth because of its expression and evidence on so many levels. Or take the Native Americans, for example the Hopis, whose world-view was integrated by a circle with four directions, expressed in the architecture of their kivas, their understanding of the seasons, the four cardinal directions, four races of people, four elements, and so on. What is interesting to see in Modern times is that form lost its value as symbol or diagram, and we most commonly associate purely formal things with a state of absolute abstraction. Where form used to be a very loaded container for meanings, after our Modern separation into separate realms of truth production, and the

advent of the High Modern in art, forms in a sense lost their meaning. In A Dance for the Newest Age (the triangle piece) I am interested in truly embodying materiality of Modernism while critiquing the separatist world-view of Modernity. I want to resist the irreverance of postmodernism, welcoming meanings and interpretations including the symbolic, and look for ways to make sense of a fragmented reality in a way that is not making fun of it, but rather embodying it. Taking up the body as the site for coordination of all these influences to capture a contemporary experience of dislocation in time, the forms that we create in our integration of all these logics are fully infused with importance, deliberateness, and meaning. In that sense, the formalism as well as the expressionism, the collaboration as well as the individuation, are all ways that the choreography is a direct translation of these large concepts. MM: The belly of the piece seemed to be the group section where the dancers depicted a 6-pointed star. Visually it was driven by symmetry and the spatial relationships combined with partnering work were well supported by the technique of you and your cast. Juxtaposed with the improvisation in the piece why did you feel it important to work with such a highly technical medium in this section? EB: From the start of making this piece, I wanted to work in a very formal way. I was interested in the straightforwardness of formal dance, how it offers a situation in which to look at dance alone, to get immersed in the complexity of the dancing body itself, because it provides a certain rigidity of framework or movement language that allows the movement to adopt an air of self-evidentiality. Living in the age of posteverything, I find nothing is self-evident. There is no field of study capable of producing facts that go unquestioned by another field of study or way of understanding. Part of this has

to do with the modern separation between three main realms of truth production, which I will get to later, but the resulting condition is that everything is questionable in terms of its history, context, and which ideologies have constructed its truth. In other words, every truth is temporary, and only true within the accepted conditions set up as givens. Of course these ideas of correlationism, constructivism, or relativism are not even themselves possible transcendent truths, in that they are challenged and challengeable, often by their own discourse. As a philosophically influenced artist, no matter how many tools or skills I have acquired in dance and choreography to make a perfectly beautiful and tidy formal piece, I could not just do it. I could not deal with formal interests without questioning that urge historically and contextually. In my inquiry of what this formalist urge was about, I identified my interest to work on dance-as-such as a Modernist agenda. It is modern in the sense of separatist (dance alone presumes that dance can be cut from other contexts and frames), but also Modern in the sense of art history, in which the importance of the form and material of the art itself gained a certain autonomy of meaning. Modernism was hand in hand with the fact that artists were free from obligation to their previous benefactors of the ruling class or the church, so they no longer had to depict images with royal, political, or evangelist agendas behind them. They turned to nature, landscapes, still lives, self portriats, nudes of whores, the working class, then pushing the limits of abstraction until the figures disappeared from the painting all together and eventually the medium itself became the message. Continuing with this grossly over-simplified fast forward through the early 20th century, High Modernism heralded the absolute zero-degree of meaning, a totally abstract field of non-representational material, pure sensory experience, immediate and opaque, just a shape or an object and nothing more. Won31

dering if such abstraction is even possible in dance, I started to question if dance has ever been truly (High) Modern: looking at what we called Modern dance, Martha Graham, Isadora Duncan, and Mary Wigman, to name the most commonly cited, we see that what was called Modern dance was actually more Romantic in its values, or essentialist. Martha thought about dance as the truest form of self-expression, quoting her psychologist father in saying movement never lies. Isadora Duncan referred to the solar plexus as the prime source of movement; the center of the body and of connection with oneself, ones will, ones physical intuition and expression. Mary Wigman was expressionist through and through, and these three women are our main examples of Modern Dance. What we see is that Modern dance was not about zero-degree materiality and not about abstraction, but really about expressing the essence of the human. These artists were making narrative, allegorical, and mythological pieces, in which portraiture, story, and emotional expression were the goals of the dancing. This would never be present in a High-Modern definition of Art or Architecture, for example. I realized that the more Modernist agendas were most alive in what were actually referred to as post-modern choreographies and techniques, as in the work of Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, or Merce Cunningham. These artists were dealing with methods of generating and composing movement material based on very systematic and anatomical orientations of what the body can do, concerned more with the movements themselves than their meanings, and avoiding representation. But Trisha Brown herself pointed out the impossibility of abstraction of the body, because it was always a human. So in a sense, any definition of dance-as-such must take into account the humans motivation for dancing. One such motivation that endures through all cultures and moments in history is the social: people dance to be together without having to say anything. Although in many social

dances, especially ones used for special occasions, (and I even exclude rituals), the interactions have certain meanings or purposes, social dancing does not intend to represent anything else than the dancing itself, and it does so without denying the human and without any attempt at abstraction. The part of the piece to which you refer is the Kinetic Court Dance, in which social-dance-like interactions and patterns (derived from court dancing and square dancing, namely) are combined with a kinetic cause-and-effect movement vocabulary. This way of interacting physically and personally was chosen because it is highly formal, in the sense that social dances are traditionally highly patterned in order to facilitate and organize the meetings between the people dancing, thus efficiently satisfying their motivation for dancing, and a cause-effect kind of release dancing has a certain self-evidentiality about the passivity, gravity, swing, and momentum according to the bodys natural way of moving. This makes for a kind of zero-degree dance which is not willed by self-expression but rather motivated simply by a will to dance. And the combination of these two ingredients (the social and the release), by means of this odd combination of vocabularies, is an attempt to make a dance which is kind of a-historical and non-refferential -- we dont quote existing dances but rather derive principles and tools from them -- so that we are not particularly identified as belonging to a specific single culture, but something like a pure dance culture, that exists in some space-time not necessarily located or singular or even real. The ritualistic aspect of this highly formal situation is also an intentional connotation, in the sense that for the purposes of this piece we perform our belonging to an imagined culture that is devoted to forms, devoted to dance, sees the world through this practice, and sees this practice as the world.


MM: The composition of the piece was structurally diverse with dynamically contrasting sections. In some sections the 6 of you were creating geometric patterns and shapes and in others improvising. What lead you to that varied format and how do you feel one informed the other? EB: In my mind, the array of modes of choreography or composition employed in A Dance for the Newest Age (the triangle piece) belong to a longer list of ways of being together, which is a different way of categorizing that includes but is not limited to the use of geometry and improvisation. We could say that the geometrically-driven sections are an instance of organization or overall design from above/outside the individuals, and the more improvisationally-driven sections are instances of organization or overall design emerging from within the individuals in relation to each other and the score, structure, circumstances or rule(s). The last section, which is the most non-illustrative of the geometrical pattern of the choreography, the most individuated between us, and the most facially/vocally expressive and personal, is based on a spectral division of the body and a spectrally organized score wherein each performer is on their own mission to realize a wide range of possible ways of being, moving, and vocalizing within the course of their 13 paths in that 21-24 minutes. Although we include each other and the audience within the purview of our gaze and perception of the scene, it is the least unified that we are throughout the whole piece. In this section we strive for everythingness via a multiplication of the possibilities within each individual as well as between the individuals, aiming for maximum differentiation in order to develop a very sprawling and expanding scene of collected images, rather than looking for unification as a harmonious container for everything, which is what the formal sections are more

about. Its perhaps an instance of including versus controlling, which is a dichotomy of terms that I picked up from Chrysa Parkinson. Formal simplification is a means by which to reach allencompassing models based more on controlling. As with most platitudes, belief systems, theories of everything, or attempts at all-encompassing world-views, there is always some kind of principle, crux, paradigm, model, or form that it all boils down to, that is placed around/on top of everything, or that everything is seen through. The friction between attempting to encompass everything via unification versus the attempt to encompass everything via diversification and individuation was the major compositional tension in the piece between the more formal parts of the piece and the more improvised sections. The formal or more geometric sections became the explicit expression of us being unified under or within a particular system, building it, crafting it, and supporting it, which portrays a very different kind of people sociopolitically speaking than the more disparate and individualistic last section. I do think about these sections also in terms of historical metaphor, in the sense that the geometric togetherness from the social-dance-like section of interweaving symmetries to the slower and more sculptural forms created in the tensegrity section thereafter, both rigidly symmetrical, are about external ideals that we commit to of togetherness via harmony, sameness, consensus and organization from above/outside. The more task or rule-based sections involving more improvisation are driven from individual choices in negotiation with each other through more or less binding contingencies, depending on the section. While working with choreographer Xavier Le Roy on low pieces, I was introduced to the notion of dissensus, the opposite of consensus. It is a term coined by philosopher


Eleanor Bauer: A Dance For The Newest Age (the triangle piece)

Jacques Rancire to express what is for him pure politics a process of being together that is not static, not based in agreement nor disagreement, but the very act of confrontation, defined by highly differentiated individuals working together without having to consent to anything larger than what their individual collective effort makes possible (if I understand correctly). This concept intrigued me as a pertinent model of being together in our contemporary condition of a hyper-individualized, fragmented culture and the failure of most current governmental models to satisfy and accurately represent their disparate populations. In the more improvised sections, I think about this idea of dissensus, though I wonder if we achieve anything like it according to Ranciere. Im not making dances to preach about politics, its just one of the lenses through which I understand choreography as organization between bodies, and the one Im left with after this piece is finished, as people seem to ask often but who are these people and what are they doing? (like, is this a ritual or what?) about this piece which is a non-abstract question from a very non-abstract way of looking at a piece which wanted to be so abstract! So to return to your question about formalism and improvisation, In this piece and in general I am interested possible hybrids (or tribrids!) of artistic methods. I could attribute this to my obsession with the very nature of dance and choreography in performance as a paradoxical tension between subject-hood and object-hood, which we also worked on a lot in this piece. On the one hand, a dancer can have a desire to produce legible images for a viewer, to serve a greater structure or image beyond ones personal experience of dance, at the service of the spectators perception, and even in a sense to self-objectify oneself towards the audiences readership. On the other hand, the human subject dancing is an actively calculating network of sensations, ex38

pressions, and affects that relates to the viewer as a fellow human and is seen as such, and furthermore, is visible and observable on many non-abstract levels: personally, psychologically, emotionally, culturally, as belonging to a certain handful of demographic identifications. So when I set out to make a pure dance piece, the main condition upon which I based my definition of dance-as-such for this piece was the very impurity of dance itself, as a constant inclusion, activation, and mobilization of all these parts of being human: the social, the physical, the emotional, the psychological, the affective, the anatomical, the personal, the material, the cultural, the political and etcetera. It follows that the composition of the dance is one that tries to capture this impurity and these kinds of paradoxes. MM: How did you direct your dancers in the section where the group performed improvised movement around the perimeter of the triangle, in the section you refer to as Cloud? You wrote about the use of shared imagery, is this something you applied in this section? EB: The cloud section is an instance of unification more from internal organization and case-by-case choices, and shared imagery. It is improvised and supported by the effort of each of the individuals to create one mass, or cloud, free from a predetermined exact form or composition. The rules in the cloud section are in fact pretty simple. The distance from your body parts to any other persons should stay in a range of about 15-30 centimeters with no touching, you try to be interwoven within the group and several people at once, We use different body orientations so that the overall picture is not of six people standing or six people facing the same direction, but a mass of bodies and limbs that is not about the individual bodies being organized according to their own infrastructure but rather according to the con39

nections within the group between bodies. Working with the idea that we create a cloud, we reached a number of qualitative guidelines about shape, speed, and dynamics. Based on the nature of vapor or other gasses, the quality comes completely from imagery, working on little studies of trying to emulate what a cloud would do in a gust of wind, how gaseous substances react to disturbance, different kinds of clouds, how images appear and disappear in a cloud, etc. We developed a shared language by collective imagination and practice. Not every aspect or possibility we have worked on happens every time we do the cloud, and some of them even contradict each other, but we share an idea of cloud that gives us a set of conditions in which we are constantly negotiating with and trying to support what is actually happening to see which possibilities can be realized together at each moment, to steer the image towards cloud-hood. This creates an actively calculating and flexible unity of people, whose form of togetherness is in constant adaptation to each individuals movements, each movement itself is in a sense only a matter of reaction to some other movement, and yet every movement is also a trigger for a new movement. When I watch it sometimes I see more a sea anemone, or seaweed than a cloud, but this is fine, because what is important is not whether or not everyone sees a cloud but that we are engaged the sensitivity between people, that it makes a particular kind of togetherness. The cloud depicts yet another kind of people than the solid we build in the beginning in which we also constitute a single mass of bodies, but one that is highly constructed and composed for maximum density and symmetry as based on crystaline structures. In this beginning section, the choreography is again image based, in a 12-minute transformation as one-body-mass from a solid to liquid to gas. Starting from an interest here to be pure matter, and the three-part40

division of matter into solid, liquid and gas, I later became aware of the cultural theory metaphors that speak about modernity as solid and the contemporary condition as gaseous. Trying to be pure matter is a gesture of self-objectification, which is one possible defining aspect of what dance-as-such onstage, as a visually experienced artwork rather than as a social practice, in which the performer consciously abstracts his/her individuality or personality in the name of a form or image s/he wants to create. Ignoring the human anatomically and personally in our image of what we are doing is one way to take a stab at that. Yet even though we are trying to act/behave/think as pure matter rather than as people, (an impossibility of course) the range of images we create for others is huge. In that section alone I have heard that people see the crumbling of civilization, an opening flower, melting in reverse, a mass suicide, a slow-motion orgi cult, classical sculpture, mannerist painting, people doing body-mindcentering, all because we are of course humans, engaged in a particular and common but non-transparent activity. In general I am interested in this kind of opacity for the purposes of this piece. You do not need to know what we know to make sense of the piece, and often what we are doing between us is not what you see. I want you as a spectator to feel welcomed to make your own sense of the piece, to indulge in your own fantasy, analysis, narrative, thought of what the piece is. Starting with this self-objectification at the start of the piece is a way of welcoming you to do that, establishing that contract at the start of the piece. Making the beginning slow also gives you time to establish your recognition of, imagination about, or projection upon each arrangement of bodies. The opacity of the piece is in a sense another means of achieving or welcoming as many possible meanings from a dance alone, and another way to create an everythingness by means of divergence.


MM: There was a mixed response about the audience being so close to the stage and the performers. Certain sections were very shape oriented and could have been interesting to see from afar, or above. As a choreographer, why did you feel the intimate in the round -- or in the triangle -- as it were, setting better informed the piece? EB: Where the choreography between bodies is a hard formal structure we are all complicit in, sitting close to it instead of above it allows one see the performers engaged in negotiation and labor in order to fulfill this shared ideal, so that the structure itself is never visible alone. The shapes and forms, however purely formal or abstract are thence impossible to see as such, because a viewer cannot-not also see the human working to make them possible, with all of his/ her imperfections and asymmetries, trembling muscles, sweat, constant choices in relationship to the task at hand, or even mistakes. All of this individual, subjective softening of the hard structure is visible when seated so close. Of course the ideal place to see the hardness of these more geometrically-driven sections is from above, as in a Busby Berkeley film, and so my choice is also a way of implicating them within the subjective construction of the piece. Nobody, of the audience nor performers, has an overview - each persons perspective is unique, with a different distortion of the aerial symmetry they can only imagine exists. This his taps into the whole question of philosophy and religion of how and if the individual has access to reality, what perspective is objective, and how we collectively construct the idea of an objective perspective outside ourselves. In another way, the whole work of politics is also to define, install and maintain such objective or ideal structures of organization to which the individual answers in her daily individual choices, the laws that govern our behavior together, our organization between bodies. And finally, science is the third realm that attempts

to get the Busby Berkeley perspective. With our use of telescopes and satellites, microscopes and all other instruments, we try to physically extend and objectify our limited subjective perception of reality, in order to create facts, shared images and understandings of the world around us, or images of the world as a whole, to make visible what is invisible to the naked eye in order to created a sense of reality that is not shaken by belief or opinion or personal experience. I wanted the opposite, an artwork that resists these attempts at truth, and counteracts the ritualistic smell of truth or belief in what we are doing, so placing the audience really in the shape, on the stage, in the space, is another way of underlining the subjective human experience of the work. Also in the interest of dislocation in time, as mentioned above, as well as in order to wiggle free of fixed meanings based on recognition of or reference to other dances, I chose the triangle with audience all around as a frame in which to place the dance that offers a new way of looking at dance. The triangle escapes the theater and its frontality, and the 60 degree angles totally disrupt our more daily experience of space as cubic and gridded. While the audience sits on all sides, it is also deliberate that the triangle is not a circle: no framing by reference to parliaments, circuses, or social dances. In this way the triangle was to gives the audience a strange kind of distance to the event taking place before them through not recognizing the dispositif, or being themselves displaced in an unfamiliar position for viewing. At the same time, they are also seated relatively close to the action, so the arrangement offers a certain immersion in and intimate focus on the dancing that prevents distance. This paradox is the same one that we are dealing with in the piece as performers that belong to a certain frame of mind in these times. We have a natural distance to things, be they of Antiquity, Modernism, postmodernism, New Age, our dance training, fashion, or

anything else, because we are of a generation that is aware of ourself as constructions, products of circumstances. We constantly confront and acknowledge what has come before, we cannot deny our history and pretend what we do is an original invention. Nor can we accept anything as self-evident, since we are in the habit of questioning everything. At the same time, the approach we take in our hungry everything comes attitude is one of total immersion, one-hundred percent engagement and embodiment of whatever convergence of ideas and practices constitute the choreography at each moment. I guess we could call this embodied criticality or analytic immersion. (Did I just invent something?) It is this sense of immersion or lack of distance and questioning in the act of performing, as combined with the shapes we make together, that give the piece its sense of ritual that people often make note of. I am not against this connotation, obviously not if I use the term Newest Age in the title itself. I allow this connotation because I am interested in spirituality - as something like another word for the incimmensurable, the unknowable - being included in our experience of the physical, as well as with inviting a certain re-mystification of form after its purification by Modernism.

Minna Wendin: The Phrase (2011)



Gillie Kleiman

gratitude can act as an asset that assists in the production of further goods or services. Gratitude also works well as a store of value, a stand-in for cash money in what would usually be financial transactions paying for goods or services. The precise terms of these transactions are defined on a case-by-case basis, and have a tendency to transform during careers. For example, if I am a very new artist and would like to show my work somewhere, I may have to pay with money and with gratitude in order to reach the asking price of the presenting organisation, as the risk of showing the work of an unknown artist is very high. If my work becomes more known and I am invited by an organisation to show my work at a festival, say, the transactions of money and gratitude become more complex, often intersecting with the important market force that is visibility. If the organisation has little money but much gratitude, and can provide good visibility, then I may match their offer by showing the work and being very grateful indeed. If the visibility is not as much of a factor I may still show the work but be less grateful, and expect more gratitude in return. If my work becomes very well known I will expect more money, gratitude for both parties remaining functional only on the level of lubricant, as in a). Like money, this gratitude has a pattern of circulation which can be more than just a reciprocal to-ing and fro-ing between two parties. If the artist performs their work at a presenting organisation in return for gratitude, this gratitude might be exchanged at a later date for further professional opportunities with the organisation. However, the gratitude can be turned into good word, the organisation taking back some or all the gratitude in order to spread news of the artist and her work to other parties, proliferating the exchanges and laying the ground for growth.

According to recent reports, the so-called creative industries are the second largest sector after finance in the UK. What economists cannot know, however, is that the flow of goods, services and hard cash in the sector is heavily dependent on gratitude. Gratitude in the cultural sector acts as both a) economic lubricant and as b) a straight-up money replacement. Gratitude is best known for its work oiling the cogs of the exchange processes in the creative industries, allowing artist, presenter, and audience to try to forget about the embarrassment that comes with realising that there are a series of financial transactions at stake in the midst of the festival or season. This kind of gratitude might be seen as a kind of non-physical real capital for the artist, in the sense that a relationship with a presenter or audience built up by sufficient

Important to note is that this economic gratitude is not on the level of emotion. It is not necessary for any party to feel grateful. What is essential is that gratitude is expressed (though the more it appears heartfelt the more value it has). There are two ways in which this gratitude can be expressed: the intimate and the public. In the intimate expression the gratitude is given or exchanged in person or in correspondence between the two or more parties involved in the transaction. This often appears more genuine, and so can have a stronger value despite its limited circulation. This kind of gratitude can serve well as the basis of gratitude-as-realcapital, as described in a). The public expression of gratitude is essential in b), as its value is connected to its visibility and the implications of that visibility for the artists and organisations future work. This expression can often be seen at the opening or closing of events, or in written notes circulated amongst the visiting public. Unlike money, in principle gratitude can be expressed ad infinitum. Like money, though, gratitude appears to grow through exchange. The more it is expressed, the more can be returned. This growth can occur bilaterally between a single artist and a single presenter on an intimate level, for example. It may also take place, for another example, between a single artist and several presenters (or vice versa) in a more public manner. In both cases this growth needs to be managed carefully. In the former example, the expression of gratitude beyond an optimum level can come across as sycophantic badgering, causing a deficit in the working relationship that may not be resolvable with more gratitude. In the latter example, public expression of gratitude to too many parties renders any of it null and void as a result of its appearing insincere and exposing itself too openly as an economic driver. This kind of spread betting can be fruitful, but the boom can, of course, lead to a bust.

The uLTimaTe SoLo

a guide
Ana V Monteiro

This is a performance that comes from an investigation on regulation of attention through hypnosis and meditation techniques and the question: Where does the ultimate solo performance takes place? Welcome Over the next few minutes this voice will guide you through the ultimate solo You are now invited to close your eyes.... Please readjust your sitting position until you feel most comfortable.... Take a few moments to feel the weight of your body on the chair..... feel your feet being supported by the floor....your head standing loose on the top of your neck... Inhale and exhale at your own pace.... To receive a complete audio file with the Guide for the Ultimate Solo email to Ana: anaisabelvieiramonteiro@gmail.com

dANCE 2.0
ANd bEyONd
Christopher Engdahl

Apple Mecca at PAF, Agora 2011

Dance is not ephemeral anymore, it has become transformative. Dance performance does not become itself through disappearance. It becomes itself through remaining generative. Choreographic remixing presents the body as an archive. It does not regard dance as the art form that constantly and melancholically passes away. It presents dance as that which passes around and as that which also, always, comes back around (Lepecki). Dance does not disappear, but constantly reappears. Yet, it does not come back around to take on the identity of a creation of the past, but embodies what remains present from the past through the performative and transformative process of remixing.

Today web-technologies presents an area for the documentation and presentation of dance in which remixing is king. A proliferation of re-activities (remix, recycle, usergenerated content, call & response) is the consequence of the use of these technologies. Web-technologies allows for dance to remain, come back around and re-appear through the online sharing and recreating of dance documents. Importantly, dance always reappears as something different from before. Once a choreography appears through another dancers body (through reconstruction, remixing, reenactments, or simply when a dancer interprets a choreographer) it is something different. Dance performance becomes itself through becoming. And by becoming online.



The Swedish Dance History release event ImpulzTanz, August 2011


Uri Turkenich

helps to keep people quiet and dull after a long day of work. For every type of art that is produced, the state or a market can get a value return, if its a better control over the population or increase in productivity etc. So what kind of art do these structures require? It doesnt matter, everything and anything will help, therefore the rule that is used to curate and fund art is in general arbitrariness. To understand better how the state organizes its relations towards the activities of its population I refer to Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari Treatise on Nomadology:The War Machine:
It [the state] is defined by the perpetuation or conservation of organs of power. The concern of the State is to conserve. [] It is the State that makes possible the undertaking of large-scale projects, the constitution of surpluses, and the organization of the corresponding public functions. The State is what makes the distinction between governors and governed possible.

Lets assume that the only function art can perform is in relation and in service of the state or a market, or for simplicity sake, assume that are no other alternative super-structures at the moment. Considering that one main the task of the state is to support the life and activity of its population and art is one of these activities, the state has some interest to fund art. The market distributes these funds to institutions / curators / artists, usually in this order. In the performing arts field in Europe, almost all of the funding comes from the state. What does the state gets in return for its investment? And what does that mean for the art that is eventually produced? Art that expresses critic toward the state helps to keep the artists and some of the academic community inside the democratic structure as an institutional place for the critic, art that is trying to produce something new or push towards another subjectivity make people productive members of the creative industries, art that is entertaining

The cultural institutes, like many other state institutes, are aiming at keeping the power hierarchy just like it is today with its conservative approach. This approach aims to strengthen the already existing power relations and therefore to promote and maintain the people who will sustain these power relations. But not only that, the state needs also a certain vitality and liveliness to keep the structure functioning, because a frozen structure is not adaptable to the needs of the population. Therefore the state institutions also promote minor and controlled disturbances, disturbing enough to create the needed vitality, and at the same time not to take too much risk that this will disturb the power relations between the state organs. Markets can help to promote these disturbances in a controlled manner and with a good efficiency. The markets distribute the resources mostly to those who have them and has the power to secure more, and creates a promise for the others who dont have that if

they will work hard enough someday they will have the same resources as well.

Christian Tpfner, Marcus Doverud, Mrten Spngberg, Uri Tukenich at PAF.

In another attempt to find funding for a performance that I did, I went to a Frankfurt am Main culture department to ask for money, their criteria for giving it was as follows, and in this order Who else is funding the project? Are you planning to stay living in Frankfurt (and they even took time to check if I registered at the local police and more importantly that I had a German girlfriend)? Did you get money from Frankfurt city before? Where is the premiere? And thats about it, I got it, simple. What do I want to do with the money? Not important, as long as I bring a receipt. What about the content of the actual work? This is really not important or possibly not relevant. Maybe also because it seemed to me that like they have little knowledge and little ambition to see what is actually produced, if they were interested they would probably come to some of the performances they pay for. So what kind of artists do the funding institutions want? Well, if its funding from a city than locality is the most important criteria, the goal is to strengthen the local identity, and more generally, to strengthen some wanted identity. So as long as I have identity characteristic that fits the institute that gives me the money everything is ok. 56

But maybe the mediation of programmers in performing arts or curator in visual arts can somehow change the situation, maybe a person that is really interested in the art itself and in the development of art makers, someone with a political vision and political power can make a difference? Curators execute their power on the artists to open a connection point between funding and showing opportunities, and generic artistic capabilities (Intellect, creativity, social abilities) as means of production for the state. Creating these means of production is a requirement that the state imposes on the curators in order to sustain their position, this requirement is being controlled by statistics of visitors, endless administration work, budget cuts, temporary employment of people and so on. So a curator that has a political vision and wants to fulfill it has to do it under these conditions, but how would the curator support his political vision? The faith in the modalities of modern art is lost and post-modern art can be whatever, the need to produce themes with meaning to exhibitions is not necessary and even sometimes disturbing, the criteria to choose the artist is many times depending on his or her identity and not so much on the art that the artist produces. Workshops and laboratories are today means of control to establish power hierarchies. The text that is developed about art is either to justify the art to the administration and to the cultural department or by critics in order to sell newspapers or by academics to support their carriers. The way that is left to develop art is executing arbitrary power. Curators can sustain their power positions because the artists, museum managers and audience accept their power as such. Not because of what they do or if their exhibitions are interesting for us or not, rather because of what they are. Some are more successful than others, some make dance festivals / conferences / exhibitions that people like or not, but when they ask the artists to perform in their venues the artists immediately agree, not because of the content, not be57

cause of anything actually other than this, the curator asks, the artists has to say yes, this is what defines their authority. At this point, when artists say yes (or yes, I am available) because they want to comply with the power structure, imitation begins, Akseli Virtanen in this text Arbitrary Power writes:

about curators, in terms of who is maintaining or gaining a better position and who is not. The only thing that is left fixed is the state which provides the funds, and the art market that distributes it. It seems to me though, that when people act in an environment where meaningful action and meaningful reasons end, a certain freedom is produced. When the meaning of things ends, one can choose what meaning one wants to support or what kind of content or power hierarchy. This means that the artists and curators who have a political vision they want to support can make choices about content of the art or choose artists with the same political vision, what they actually say or do is not so relevant to the control mechanism of the state or the art market. These artists and curators can articulate what politics they want to support and what content and knowledge and expressions are important for them to produce and really go for it. In this way when these artists and curators are free to do produce in whatever expression they desire, there is nothing much that can stop them from doing just that. They can use this freedom as a political tool to go for what they believe in.

There were information ends, where meaningful action and meaningful reasons end, there begins imitation. Imitation is interaction beyond meanings and beyond particular common causes. It is interaction and communication without any particular reason, or interaction and communication in a deficit of information (or where there is too much information). Or as the empirical studies on investment behaviour have shown: what is important in the functioning of collective opinion or market psychology is not so much that what is communicated (the information content), but the way in which that what is regarded as a wise investment decision by others is communicated (the communication in itself).

This also works in between the curators themselves; their collective opinion about who and what kind of art they choose to support is very much in regard to what other curators choose to support. Probably it even works the same
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9 variaTionS on ThingS and perFormance

Andr Lepecki
0. The current investment in objects, and the incredible proliferation of stuff and things that we find in recent works of dance, performance, and installation art, characterizes the current performance and dance scene. In what follows, I propose that when displacing the prevalence of notions such as subject and object, performer and artwork, what emerges is the proposition for a deep link between performativity and thingliness. I offer nine preliminary theoretical variations on this phenomenon, which I believe to be less aesthetic than political. 1. The apparatus variation. In a recent essay, Giorgio Agamben made an intriguing proposition: that the world as we know it, and particularly the contemporary world, is divided into two major realms: living organisms on one side, and apparatuses(or disposi61

Alissa naider


tifs) on the other (Agamben 2009). From the clash between these two realms a third element emerges: subjectivity. However, in this trinity, apparatuses have the upper hand: I shall call an apparatus literally anything that has in some way the capacity to capture, orient, determine, intercept, model, control, or secure the gestures, behaviors, opinions, or discourses of living beings (Agamben 2009). Oddly powerful, this anythingendowed with the capacity to capture, to model, and to control gestures and behaviors matches quite well the definition of that aesthetic-disciplinary invention of modernity, choreography, which can be understood precisely as an apparatus of capture of gestures, mobility, dispositions, body types, bodily intentions and inclinations for the sake of a spectacular display of a bodys presence. But, as Agamben proceeds by listing a series of apparatuses, it becomes clear that his conception of the term goes beyond the notion of apparatus as a general system of control, and approaches instead a very concrete, and specific understanding of apparatus as a thing that commands. Indeed, Agambens listing reveals a quasi-paranoid perception of the world, where what predominates is the omnipotence of things: Not only therefore prisons, madhouses, the panopticon, schools, confession, factories, disciplines, juridical measures, and so forth (whose connection with power is in a certain sense evident), but also the pen, writing, literature, philosophy, agriculture, cigarettes, navigation, computers, cellular telephones... (Agamben 2009). 2. Variation on the apparatus variation It seems that Agambens listing of commanding/controlling apparatuses could go on forever, since between pen and cigarettes, computers and cellular telephones the amount of objects that might be seen as controlling and commanding our gestures and habits, our desires and movements, is limited only by their availability in the world particularly

in the extreme phase of capitalist development in which we live, characterized by a massive accumulation and proliferation of apparatuses (Agamben 2009). In other words: as we produce objects, we produce apparatuses that subjugate and diminish our own capacity to produce non-subjugated subjectivities. As we produce objects, we find ourselves being produced by objects. In the struggle between the living and the inorganic, it is not only as if objects are taking command subjectivity itself is becoming a kind of objecthood: today there is not even a single instant in which the life of individuals is not modeled, contaminated, or controlled by some apparatus (Agambed 2009). It is in this sense that Agambens definition of apparatus as a controlling thing becomes useful in order to probe the recent emergence and predominance of objects in some experimental dance. Firstly, because it uncovers a performativity in things, and secondly, because, since dance has an intimate relationship to the political and ethical question of obedience, of governing gestures, of determining movements, it is no wonder then that dance (but also performance art, thanks to its openly political verve, and particularly its concern about how objects elicit actions) must itself approach objects since objects seem to be governing our subjectivity, seem to be subjecting us, under their apparatus-function. But perhaps, there is more to it than just control... 3. The commodity variation Karl Marx noted that if human activity is capable of enacting corporeal transformations on matter by turning it into objects of usage (for instance, by turning a block of wood into a table), under capitalism, human activity makes objects endure a supplementary, magical, or incorporeal transformation, where anything made for the use of humans turns into a very strange thing called a commodity. Guy Dbord noted how in this peculiar mode of transformation,

we have the principle of commodity fetishism, the domination of society by things whose qualities are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses(Dbord 1994:26). Dbord took this principle of domination and used it to define our society of the spectacle, which is not a society made of spectacles, but one where the spectacle corresponds to the historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life. It is not just that the relationship to commodities is now plain to see; the world we see is the world of the commodity (Dbord). The political destiny of the commodity (very close, in a way, to Agambens apparatus-thing) is, then, to complete its total dominance over social life, over the life of things, but also over somatic life, since its dominance inscribes itself deeply into bodies. Indeed, the commodity dominates not only the world of things, but also the realm of the perceptible, the imperceptible, the sensible and the infra-sensible, the domain of desiring, even the domain of dreams. The commodity governs, and so much so it even governs the very possibility of imagining governance. Moreover, the commodity governs not only subjects, but also the very life of objects, the life of matter the life of life and the life of things. Under its domain, humans and things find their concrete openness for endless potentiality crushed or substantially diminished. Even if the commodity is a material object, its power is to make sure that things are not left in peace. The incorporeal transformation of a thing into a commodity corresponds to its entrapment within one single destiny: becoming a utilitarian object attached to an economy of excess, linked to a spectacular mode of appearing, firmly demanding proper use, bound to capital, and aimed eventually at the trashbin, preferably within less than six months, when it will become again a mere thing, i.e,. valueless matter for capital. So perhaps, the counter-force of objects lies precisely in merely being a thing.

4. The dispossession variation Lets propose that objects, when freed from utility, from use-value, from exchange-value, and from signification reveal their utter opaqueness, their total capacity to be fugitives from any apparatus of capture. When free, objects should gain another proper name: no longer object, no longer apparatus, no longer commodity, but simply thing. Fred Moten, theorizing on the resistance of the object that black radical performance always activates, remarks: While subjectivity is defined by the subjects possession of itself and its objects, it is troubled by a dispossessive force objects exert such that the subject seems to be possessed infused, deformed by the object it possesses (Moten 2003). I call the dispossessive and deformative force always being exerted by any object: thing. Perhaps we need to draw from this force, learn how subjects and objects can become less like subjects and less objects and more thing. 5. The decolonizing variation How can the performative power of things unleash vectors of subjectification away from Agambens and Dbords generalized diagnosis of our contemporary subjectivity and objectivity as existing exclusively under the sign of subjugation and resignation before the imperial force of controlling objects, commodities, or apparatuses? How do we decolonize the violent suturing of objects and subjects under the rabid violence of colonialism, capitalism, and racism (understood as forces intrinsic to commodity-apparatuses)? Towards the end of his essay, Agamben proposes profanation as an act of resistance that would restore the thing to the free use of men (Agamben 1998). I find this solution objectionable, with men affirming their power over things by using them as they wish. The violence in this proposition forecloses the recognition of a radical alterity in things. I see some recent dance recognizing precisely the necessity to

enact an ethics of things. Such an ethics implies being with things without forcing them into constant utilitarianism. This is why in much recent dance where objects are central, objects are not used as signifying elements, nor as proxies for the subject of enunciation or for the dancing body, but often objects appear simply to enact purely referential situations, where dancers and stuff remain within a kind of synchronous along-sidedness freed from utilitarianism, signification and domination. Even freed from being art. 6. The ethical variation How does one engage with the ethics, poetics, and politics that a things radical alterity proposes? How to enact what Silva Benso called an ontological attitude whose implications border on ethics in its recognition of the multilayeredness of things, and in its intimation to an act of listening, caring, attention to their alterity (Benso 2000)? A possible answer is to say that perhaps a becoming-thing might not be such a bad destiny for subjectivity after all. As we look around us, it certainly seems a better option than continuing to carry on living and being under the name of the human. A thing reminds us that living organisms, the inorganic as well as the organic, and that third produced by their clash called subjectivity, all need to be liberated from that subjugating force named the apparatus-commodity, a force that crushes them all into impoverished, or sad, or docile, or cowardly, or limited, or utilitarian modes of living. And a thing (the thingly element in any object and subject) may actually be that which offers us vectors and lines of flight away from the imperial sovereignty of colonizing apparatuses. In order to do so, things would have to be left in peace, allowed to become-thing once more so as to actively counter their subjugation to a particularly detestable regime of the object (the commodity-apparatus regime) and a particularly detestable regime of the subject (the personhood regime) that imprisons

both objects and subjects in mutual captivity. Perhaps some recent dance has been preoccupied precisely with this mutual liberation: of things and of bodies, of subjectivities and objects. In this mutual, necessary struggle, maybe we need to follow Mario Perniolas advice and place our trust not in the divine or the human but in the mode of being of the thing. (Perniola 2004). 7. The anti-personhood variation Mark Franko reminds us of the constitutive force of the personal in Renaissance dance, a force we can see traversing the whole history of Western theatrical dance: The dancers own person is the ultimate and single object of praise and dispraise in the dance. This is why the dancing body must in turn display the admirable self for praise and index this display as praiseworthy, elicit praise (Franko 1986). Consequence of this foundational, constitutive element of personhood and self-centeredness in dance: is a blocking of the dancers desire to become thing, to become animal, obfuscated as it is by the emphatic need to constantly affirm and reaffirm its personhood and its self. In the 1990s and early 2000s, some important experiments by Vera Mantero, Boris Charmatz, and Xavier LeRoy, among others, seem to have privileged a becoming-animal as a line of flight for dance. (Butoh had a similar political-performative impetus, becoming-animal as rejection of the human and of the person, Hijikata: I adore rib cages but, again, it seems to me that a dogs rib cage is superior to mine). It appears that now a line-of-flight can be found in dances embracing of a becoming-thing. It is fundamental here to find other devices of visibility, where the object and the person does not occupy a center thus other spaces must be invented, involving the viewer, dissolving the stage, scrambling distinctions. One of these new regimes of visibility is the installation in performance, where the open horizon of the installations

leads exactly to this spatial dissolution of the work of art (Perniola 2004), destroying the work as art to reveal the work as a thing. Here, we can remind ourselves of Heideggers formulation on the performativity of things: not to be, but to gather. 8. The lines-of-flight variation Of course objects have always been present on dance stages. Rosalind Krauss once wrote: a large number of postwar European and American sculptors became interested both in theater and in the extended experience of time which seemed part of the conventions of the stage. From this interest came some sculpture to be used as props in productions of dance and theater, some to function as surrogate performers, and some to act as the on-stage generators of scenic effects (Krauss 1981). But now it is not sculpture created by visual artists that we see appearing on dance stages but things, stuff that choreographers drag into the scene, precisely not to make a scene, but to create an environment. Moreover, things are used in ways totally different from how Krauss had described the use of sculptures in theatrical and dance events. Today, objects do appear, but not as properties (or props as objects are significantly called in theater parlance), nor as generators of scenic effects, or surrogate performers (i.e,. as puppets). Rather, objects and bodies take place alongside each other and... and sometimes little else takes place. This simple act of just placing things in their quiet, still, and concrete thingliness alongside bodies, not necessarily together with the dancers, but just alongside, effects a substantial event: to underline the thin line simultaneously separating and joining bodies and things, to delineate a zone of indiscernibility between the corporeal, the subjectile and the thingly. This operation is not Duchampian, in the sense that it wants to affirm the everyday object as art, once the object is signed by an artist or brought into

an art context. Instead, this operation wants to affirm the object as thing, to liberate the thing captured in the object that had been trapped by instrumental reasoning and artistic apparatuses. To invest in things, not as proxies of the body, nor as signifying or representative elements of a narrative, but as co-partners in a sheer, co-determinant, co-presence as co-extensive entities in the field of matter is to activate a fundamental change in the relationship between objects and their aesthetic effects (in dance, theatre, performance art, and installation art). This change is the political activation of the thing so that it may do what it does best to dispossess objects and subjects from their traps called apparatus, commodity, person and self. When this dispossession takes place within particularly involving environments, called installations, a reversibility takes place where it is the installation that feels the visitor ... penetrates him (as Perniola would say), turning the visitor then also into a thing. 9. The final quote variation Therefore, when I give myself as thing, I do not mean at all to offer myself to the exploitation and benefit of others. I do not offer myself to the other but to the impersonal movement that at the same time displaces the other from himself and allows him in his turn to give himself as thing and to take me as thing (Perniola, 2004).


Agamben, Giorgio: Homo Sacer. Sovereign Power and Bare Life, (Stanford, 1998). Agamben, Giorgio: What Is an Apparatus? and Other Essays, ( Stanford, 2009). Benso, Silvia: The Face of Things: A Different Side of Ethics, (New York, 2000). Csaire, Aim: Discourse On Colonialism, (New York,1972). Debord, Guy: The Society of The Spectacle, (New York, 1994). Franko, Mark: The Dancing Body In Renaissance Choreography (c. 1416-1589), (Birmingham, 1986). Johnson, Barbara: Persons and Things, (Cambridge, 2008). Krauss, Rosalind E: Passages in Modern Sculpture, (Cambridge, 1981). Moten, Fred: In The Break: The Aesthetics of The Black Radical Tradition, (Minneapolis, 2003). Perniola, Mario: The Sex Appeal of The Inorganic, (New York, 2004



Helga Guren
With inspiration from Mr. Espedal amongst others. Thomas - Im not 50 years old. And you get me On. Can be read out loud while walking. I start in Paris. Morning Sun Curtains With a lover. No. No Curtains. No lover. Im alone. Not like in lonely, but like in alone ALONE NOWHERE Cut. CUT ART, LET ART BE LIFE. IM ALONE NOT LONELY ALONE. You knocked the door twice and I thought like Bob. ITS ACTUALLY ALLRIGHT. I HAVE FEVER IM NERVOUS I WEAR A PINK WIG I DRINK AND TAKE 7 DOSES OF SNUS EACH HOUR IT IS TOO MUCH I LOVE IT. To keep distance. How good it feels to sit in the window - smoking drinking writing looking at the people around


He walked through the city searching for my secrets. NOT CAPABLE OF BEEING. THAT MAKES YOU THE SHIT. Do they know each others? No, of course they dont know each others, how could they? I BELIEVE THERE ARE PROBABLY PEOPLE AS OLD AS 50 TODAY WHO CAN LIVE IN PERFECT HEALTH UNTIL THEY ARE A THOUSAND YEARS OLD, or TWENTY YEARS AGO, IT WAS ROLLING AROUND ON THE FLOOR SMEARING BLACK PAINT ALL OVER YOUR BODY, GROWING A HUNCHBACK THAT MATTERED, BUT I THINK THE SPIRITUAL GROWTH HAS MADE ME FEEL AS IF I WANT TO REPRESENT MYSELF VISUALLY MORE AS A MAN. They automatically takes each others hands. In my bag: pen and notebook. What am i going to write down. That leaves are falling from the trees? She says: lets trick death. DID YOU SAY ADVENTURES? pause. Did you take the elevator up when I took the stairs on my way down YES, YOU CAN MAKE THEM. This is what you like the most. That everything looks like something else. YOU CAN MAKE THEM HAPPEN ANY DAY YOU WANT. He repeats it. HOW DOES A TRAVEL START I remember the first time I was in Paris, I remember it very well, I was 17 years old and heartbroken HOW DOES IT END You are still sitting in that window smoking drinking writing looking. He still walks through the city searching for secrets. I still walk through Paris looking for a prostitue. BIG LETTERS. It starts today, the new life. It is just to stand up and shake off, get your dress on and start walking along the open road. THE JOY OF LIFE I love life. The elder I get, the more I love life. Death scares me more and more. This surprises me.

I dont get smarter. On the contrary- maybe i walk against a pure and all-encompassing stupidity. I have always enjoyed walking. But for heavens sake. Lets find the way to a swedish Disco Taxi now. DISCO-TAXI Written and recorded in the age of 16. Or 17. Or 18, i do not remember. Can never be written as 16, 17 or 18 years old again. Song starts. A NIGHT IN RAIN AND LONESOME WALLS WHEN WE ALL NEED A PLACE TO GO WITH SEX AND MIND AND BODY AND SOUL LETS FIND A TWINKLING DISCO TAXI NOW WHAT DO WE FIND IN UPS AND DOWNS CRYING SMILING ALL IN ONE BABY KILLED MY DARLINGS FREE LETS FIND A TWINKLING DISCO TAXI NOW LETS TAKE A DISCO-TAXI EVERYWHERE LETS TAKE A DISCO-TAXI THROUGH THE WORLD LETS DANCE BY THE SPARKLING LIGHTS FORGET FORGET FORGET DRIVING DIVING FAR UP GONE AND ALL AROUND IS NEW BUT KNOWN LIFE IS SAFE BY FIVE LOCKED DOORS LETS FIND A TWINKLING DISCO-TAXI NOW LETS TAKE A DISCO-TAXI EVERYWHERE LETS TAKE A DISCO-TAXI THROUGH THE WORLD LETS DANCE BY THE SPARKLING LIGHTS FORGET FORGET FORGET Song ends. She says: Lets trick death. She repeats it. Desire should not be satisfied, it should be explored and described, it should transform in to art. May we ever follow the instinct souls. Grab a Cab. Walk. And live our Wild and Poetic Life. 75

8 ShorT STaTemenTS on The imporTance oF expanded choreography

Mette Ingvartsen

1. Its important in order to continuously rethink our understanding of movement and choreography due to contemporary developments in technology, science, theory etc. 2. Its important because we live in a world of immaterials flows, networks and connections that cannot be represented by bodies but need to be expressed in immaterial forms. 3. Its important because if we do not keep searching for what choreography can become, the preexisting frames and conventions will decide it for us. 4. Its important to try to understand the relationship to other fields. To think expanded choreography is to leave behind the domain of the body and the space of the theatre as the only possible frames for choreography.
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5. Its important to rethink the notion of what a stage is, due to new forms of expression like for instance YouTube. Even though YouTube in itself is not per se interesting, what it proposes in relation to performativity cannot be ignored. 6. Its important to think about what kinds of performativities that already exist in our society, to be able to understand the function of theatrical expression and the necessity of theatre. 7. Its important to think about where a choreographic practice can have an impact, what type of space a choreographic practice can transform. 8. Its important because it will create new dances, new types of venues and new modes of distribution.

uncondiTionaL Love LeTTer

Verena Steiner

A system that doesnt get sick, is sick. A system that is sick, fights to remain (sick). A system that doesnt get healthy, is sick. New and old sickness are called health. Health is new and old pain in process. Getting stuck is part of the process. Old pain becomes new pain before healing. Contamination is bliss is new pain. Healing is to figure it out in order to get contaminated anew. Contamination can be named healing and healing can be named contamination. Only the one who heals can be contaminated. Only the one who got contaminated needs to heal. Nobody can heal. Nobody can contaminate. Healing as well as contamination can happen.
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If a system gets sick, it fights for self-stabilization. In first reaction it encapsulates that part which does not function the way it is supposed to, while the rest of the body tries to compensate. On one hand, fear helps to block and activate enough adrenaline to keep on running, lethargy and depression on the other hand produce the idea, there would be no need for full power and capacities and hence prevent loss of control. A body which gets better by itself stays sick. It can not be (self)healed through already existing knowledge. (Self)Healing can happen, when the system stops to fight its own problem and exposes it, which is impossible to be thought by any system. It is a moment beyond selfstabilization and collapse, when if at all the virus can enter the integrity of the body and install new pain and new health. It is impossible for anybody to effect healing or contamination. Frustration as much as panic, obsession or any belief confirm the system. Longing cant get killed. It can only be ignored with the same result as above. Contamination and healing can still happen. Not knowing how to handle a situation is what can be loved.




Petra Sabisch

Trailor Practical philosophy and contemporary choreography enter a prolific field of resonance, if they are understood as mutual challenge to conceive of singular and experimental methods. This paper attempts to give a first answer to the question what choreography can do: It can contaminate and articulate. Contamination and articulation are two concepts that I developed in my doctoral dissertation on Deleuze/ Guattari and contemporary choreography (along with the choreographies of Antonia Baehr, Juan Dominguez, Xavier Le Roy and Eszter Salamon). Whereas contamination draws on the audiences participation in the choreographic assemblage, articulation names a topological practice of differentiation. This paper will outline the two concepts and show in how far they allow to build a methodological framework for the Performing Arts that critically counters a representational discourse. Lecture - Transcript I will start right away. The title of this paper is a question: What Can Choreography Do? This question formed the point of departure for my artistic and theoretical research some years ago. Meanwhile the conceptual part of this research is on the way to be submitted as a PhD within the next weeks.... From 1999, I have been working as a choreographer and I saw some singular performances which had a very strong impact on me: these were, for example, the works of Antonia Baehr, Xavier Le Roy, Juan Dominguez and Eszter Salamon, only to name the ones that my dissertation copes with. Watching these works created my need to understand more specifically in which sense theory could respond to the singularity of performances. There was a clivage in the late nineties between the highly prolific quality of the choreographic works that I saw

face & fiat The present text is the transcript of a lecture that I have given in the frame of the second international Deleuze studies conference Connect Deleuze at the University of Cologne on August 12, 2009. It contains problems and questions that steered the research for my thesis, as well as concepts that attempt to respond to these problems. The reason to contribute this still unpublished work in the Swedish Dance History III is blatantly obvious to me, for the Swedish Dance History is itself a fabulous response to the question: What Can Choreography Do? It is a rigorously contemporary choreography of diverging and heterogeneous approaches to practical thoughts, articulations, concepts and theories, combined with stunning text-image compositions, delightful neighbourhoods and a distribution that cares for accessibility and exchange. I would like to express my thanks to Mrten Spngberg, Inpex and all those who edited and helped supporting this generous project throughout the years.

on stage and the few theoretical texts about dance that were not solely interested in the historiography of dance. Choreographies, such as Self-Unnished by Xavier Le Roy or Holding Hands by Antonia Baehr, profoundly transformed the way in which dance and choreography could be understood. But they fall under the verdict of critics, which, instead of analyzing the novelty of these choreographies, their impact, their political and methodological stances, merely judged them as non-dance or likewise, as conceptual dance. All of the choreographies that my thesis copes with fell under this verdict, and this, simply because they did not represent dance movement in the way the critics used to see it before. In short, some self-declared guardians of the discipline accused these choreographies to be the negation of dance. Now, what really happened is that the performance propelled thought precisely by reconfiguring the landscape of what dance is, to what dance can do. Choreography, as an autonomous art form, is still very young and for example in Germany, dance and performance studies become institutionalized only in the last twenty years; so that these studies had nothing yet to oppose to a judgmental affair. Meanwhile most of these choreographies have entered the repertory of contemporary choreography, some of them, like Self-Unnished by Le Roy have travelled all over the world, in more than 50 countries, but up till now their performative procedures have rarely been examined qualitatively. To sum up: these years, and then my thesis were driven by the following questions: What are the methodological premises to conceptualize the qualitative transformations of a choreography (and to a larger extent performances) without reducing the singularity of an artwork to pre-established categories? How to escape a categorization that merely relates to the given without accounting for that which make things come into being? How can we grasp the ways in which a choreography makes sense? What is the relation that a choreog84

raphy entails with the audience? What is it exactly that we can share in and through choreography? Following Deleuze and Guattaris definition of the concept as object of an encounter, I wanted to elaborate concepts for my encounter with choreography and philosophy that responded to these questions. I would like to quote Diffrence et rptition, where Deleuze lays out his understanding of the concept as object as an encounter:
Empiricism is by no means a reaction against concepts, nor a simple appeal to lived experience. On the contrary, it undertakes the most insane creation of concepts ever seen or heard. Empiricism is a mysticism and a mathematicism of concepts, but precisely one which treats the concept as object of an encounter, as a here-and-now, or rather as an Erewhon from which emerge inexhaustibly ever new, differently distributed heres and nows. Only an empiricist could say: concepts are indeed things, but things in their free and wild state, beyond anthropological predicates. I make, remake and unmake my concepts along a moving horizon, from an always decentred centre, from an always displaced periphery which repeats and differentiates them.

In my thesis, captioned Choreographing Relations. Practical Philosophy and Contemporary Choreography in the works of Antonia Baehr, Gilles Deleuze, Juan Dominguez, Flix Guattari, Xavier Le Roy and Eszter Salamon, I tried to answer to these questions with four concepts. Today, I would like to present two of them that form for me a kind of methodological trampoline from which some productive questions and specifications might hopefully rebounce. These two concepts are the ones of contamination and articulation. contamination What does it mean to say that a choreography contaminates? As a point of departure one can say that contamination deals with the qualitative transformations that concern bodies. The conceptualizaton of bodily transformations, however, still marks a theoretical dark zone which, when be85

ing conceptualized, tends to separate the effects of a transformation from its very process. The term contamination crucially indexes this problem of conceptualizing qualitative change solely through its negative effects. Ordinarily, a contamination designates the infection of a body by a contagious disease, a radioactive radiation and, in a larger sense, an impurification able to seriously impair corporeal functions. Now, instead of capturing the whole range of qualitative transformations a body is capable of, these purely pejorative assignations signal a danger zone that one is better off not crossing. Against this reduction of qualitative transformations to their effects diagnosed as diseases, one has to think contamination in its positivity, so that the implicated qualitative transformations are not misconstrued from the outset as exclusively harmful effects. A mere inventory of substrates, of agents, taken as a conceptual snapshot of change, can certainly not account for these qualitative transformations. Instead, one must examine contamination as the bodys capacity to open up to other bodies, to enter different relations and to change qualitatively. This concept of contamination counters a reactive discourse on change by focussing the qualitative transformations of bodies, their capacity to relate to an outside and to partake in milieus. One cannot but highlight this capacity of the body, since it is first and foremost constitutive of any sort of life! Accordingly, contamination appears as the bodys power to assemble and to create new relations, curious alliances. This power applies to the living matter of bodies and their performances. Now, in opposition to medical discourse, theatrical discourse has conceptualized the qualitative transformations of performances as catharsis. The opposition to contamination could not be more obvious, since a catharsis testifies to a purification, a cleansing release of damaging affects, and to a feeling of interior redirection. 86

Similar to the medical discourse on contagion, the theatrical discourse thus isolates the qualitative transformation from its effects, but in quite a different way: where medical discourse is focalized around the negative results, catharsis appears to imply only positive effects: It provides the feeling of change by leaving the subject, its psyche and body, generally intact. If one follows the discourse on catharsis, this is very bizarre, the idea that there is a restitutio in integrum of the subject, as Fischer-Lichte calls it, that is, a qualitative transformation without the danger to really transform something. Something like a transformation that one presupposes as a tamed one and the effects of which one could know even before the transformation takes place: people leave theatre, affect-showered so to say, as educated citizens. The concept of contamination poses the issue of catharsis anew, though neither in terms of the psychological reorganization of a preceding subject, nor in terms of a tangible effect without consequences. Instead, contamination ties the disruptive effect of catharsis back to the qualitative transformations through which it emerged. It indicates the manner in which the spectators are involved and affected even at the threshold of perceptionwithout being effected, without having to undergo any imposition of a specific mode of behavior. As the power to assemble, contamination is the intrinsic relation to an exteriority; it constitutes a middle, a milieu, which undoes the binary of the internal and the external, the productive or receptive, and the material and the immaterial. In his Relational Aesthetics, Nicolas Bourriaud accounts for this power of the artistic assemblage to spread: The contemporary artworks form is spreading out from its material form: it is a linking element, a principle of dynamic agglutination.


Contamination perforates the centralized abyss of dichotomies, their splitting up into mutually exclusive or contradictory entities and corroborates their coexistence in a state of becoming. It accounts for a dynamics that can neither be examined adequately in terms of static and positional analysis, nor through the filter of preexisting categories. Brian Massumi has described this methodological problem very sharply:
The very notion of movement as qualitative transformation is lacking. There is displacement, but no transformation; it is as if the body simply leaps from one definition to the next. Since the positional models definitional framework is punctual, it simply cant attribute a reality to the interval, whose crossing is a continuity (or nothing).

It follows that a contamination essentially concerns method. What do I mean with method? Obviously, in choreography a method is not an abstract procedure that one can simply apply to a previously separated material. Instead one has to conceive of method as singular, material and experimental practice. In choreography the method used to carry out a corporeal movement converges with the bodies involved. The movement is irreducibly linked to the body; likewise it is inseparable from its particular exposure through lighting, spacing, timing, costumes etc. In this fashion, choreography evidences the inseparability of method and material without, however, undoing the distinction between the body and the performative method. This inseparability of a body and the various methodological ways to examine it through movement builds the key subject matter of the performance Product of Circumstances by the French dancer and choreographer Xavier Le Roy. With the format of the lecture-performance, this choreography reconsiders the connections between the body as raw material, as a becoming of biography and theory, and as agent for methods of transformation.

In this lecture-performance Le Roy lays open his own way from molecular biology (studying the in situ hybridization of breast cancer oncogenes) to dance and choreography, by critically questioning the conditions and procedures of scientific and artistic research methods. He shows how the biological procedures of separation (dissecting body tissues from the body) and quantification fall short of explaining the qualitative transformation of bodies. His experiences in science led Le Roy to quit his career after his doctorate and to investigate the field of dance and choreography, which seemed far more promising in the beginning in terms of understanding what a body can do through experimentation. But as in science, the conditions of research and the understanding of qualitative transformations in choreography turn out to be increasingly determined by capitalism and normative images of the spectacle... Unfortunately, I cannot go into detail of the performance here, but I have to mention at least that from my point of view the performance works out this critique of the political economy as a critique of separation, and one can say quite a systematic separation between processes and products, bodies and their transformations... Le Roys critique of this separation is, however, not merely said. It is part of his lecture, but it is not enough for a performance to criticize something, if this critique is not already applied to the own procedure. Now, thats exactly the point in Le Roys lecture-performance: It re-assembles the lecture to the dance performance, without opposing a discursive practice to the so-called non-discursive ones, it lightens the dark space of the audience to transform the theatre into an assembly with merely different roles, and it demonstrates in the excerpts of some of his own pieces, how body images can effectively be changed. In this way, the performance reestablishes the body as dynamic interface of a mode of existence, a mode of experimentation, and a mode of production,

the becomings of which risk being dismantled once their processes are extracted as consumable products. One has to come to Rancire here. In his Partage du Sensible, in English, The Distribution of the Sensible, Rancire argues that art is specific precisely because it differs from economic production. Now this was already Marxs distinction between non-material and material production and I cannot outline here the actual debates which follow from this. However, it is not by chance, that Le Roy situates choreography in the field of production when entitling his piece as Product of Circumstances. He does so, from my perspective, precisely in order to question how one can differentiate the productive field of qualitative transformations from a sphere of production that redistributes them as separable goods and representational exchange values. Only if art considers itself not as the outside of the production sphere, one can measure in which way it still differs from other productions. With Rancire one can grasp Le Roys method not only as an outspoken critique, but as methodological answer to the question what choreography can do. And in Le Roys case it can produce a method that entirely reconfigures the sensible of dance. On the level of a performance, contamination thus names the force that the choreographic assemblage conveys through a singular redistribution of the sensible. As an outstanding example of choreographic method that critically questions the conditions and procedures of scientific and artistic research methods, Product of Circumstances functions in my thesis as guiding example to elaborate the concept of contamination. Le Roy himself provides the trigger for the concept of contamination when paraphrasing the diverse relations between the performance of a body and its (social, material, affective, conceptual) environments as contamination. He concludes that his performance is the double-bind of a body as formative material and critical practice:

Now, to end this lecture, I would like to suggest that this performance was about a contaminated body in its weavings of historical, social, cultural and biological levels, being the place and time for a pathway of different thoughts unable to transform themselves into abstraction and theory. A second strand is necessary in order to outline the concept of contamination. Deleuze and Guattaris collaborative works are essential for contamination in two regards. Firstly the concept of contamination is closely related to their concept of qualitative transformations as becomings. Dont be afraid, I wont outline the concept of becoming here again, I would just like to mention this affinity but also a pragmatic problem, which I showed in my thesis along with Le Roys performance: Not much is gained if one says that a performer becomes x or y, or that a choreography shows a process of becoming. Often these rediscoverings of Deleuzian concepts in the works of arts are problematic for more than one reason, but mainly because the concept of becoming shatters the world of representation. So that one has to specify more precisely the arepresentational and intensive procedures through which the becomings are produced, before one reaches the point of specifying what the choreography actually does through a becoming xyz. Secondly, it is Deleuze and Guattaris method of the transcendental empiricism which is of utmost importance for the methodological premises in the conceptualization of choreography. I would like to outline this method by Marc Rllis concise formula:


Xavier Le Roy, Dsseldorf (2011)

[...] the sensible can only be thought, if it is ideally conceived as that which can only be sensed. The reception of choreographies is often caught between two poles: on the one hand, there is the phenomenological terminology, which describes the kinaesthetic experiences, and on the other hand, there is a theoretical abstraction, which focuses on the significance of a contextualized semiotic body. One can characterize this methodological gap of reception as viewing in and viewing as. In my thesis, I try to outline how Deleuze and Guattaris transcendental empiricism precisely bridges this gap, but not as a bridge between two pre-existing poles, but by dissolving the terms of the gap into a compound of differential relations. Daniel W. Smiths excellent article about Deleuzes theory of sensation has shown how Deleuzes empiricism overcomes the Kantian duality of aesthetic experience and the aesthetic theory of the work of art as experimentation. In my thesis I try to examine Deleuzes way from a logic of relations to a logic of differential relations, which first of all has the necessary degree of abstraction to account for the dynamic relational assemblages that choreography deals with.
Difference must be shown differing. We know that modern art tends to realise these conditions: in this sense it becomes a veritable theatre of metamorphoses and permutations. A theatre where nothing is fixed, a labyrinth without a thread [...]. The work of art leaves the domain of representation in order to become experience, transcendental empiricism or science of the sensible.

the way in which both methods, that of Le Roy and that of Guattari and Deleuze, pose a difference to the philosophical and choreographic territories of bodies, how they inject change into the geo-philosophy of movement-thought and how they distribute different zones of commitment. One has to underscore that these methods are not the same! They are different ones, and they encounter in difference. Only from the perspective of an encounter in method (as that which differs), the respective procedures can create a dynamic assemblage, an assemblage composed of heterogeneous processes which, when being reduced one to the other, simply cease to resonate and cohere. Articulation I would now like to come to the second concept of my thesis. With respect to the question what a choreography can do, the concept of contamination is, however, not a sufficient response, since a choreography does not only involve the differential assemblages that concern bodies. In addition to this first dimension, one has to consider the concrete procedures of a choreography, the way in which it unpacks a particular problem, its kinetic agencies, its dynamics and durations, briefly, the whole range of processes through which a choreographic production makes sense. Conceptualizing what a choreography can do in all the sensible and non-sensical relations that are put to play all the way through a performance, is still extremely problematic and again, this problem concerns method. The problem can be outlined as the quest for an adequate manner, by which the choreographic agencies can be explored with respect to their sense (without prefiguring this sense as act of signification) and to the differences in experience they provide (without loosing track of the performance in minute details). This problem extends the two-sided methodological gap of the reception of choreographies to the level of con95

Deleuze and Guattaris as well as Le Roys transcendental empiricism thus forces us to think the arepresentational assemblages of choreography and the singular forces they convey through contamination. Showing the manner in which these forces allow for specific encounters and for qualitative transformations of all kinds remains the task for future dance and performance studies... To sum up: The concept of contamination reflects on 94

ception: as soon as one assumes a choreography to convey sense, the analysis runs the double risk to mistake a choreography for a language or, to confuse the way in which a choreography makes sense with the notation of its concrete movements. The problem becomes immediately manifest, when performance criticism or aesthetic theory analyze a choreography in reference to its meaning as conveying a topic, a message or as staging a concept. In this manner, the criticist or theoretical texts represent the choreographys concern as an aboutness about something else, more abstract than itself for which it nevertheless stands. Other than that this procedure often conceals the interests of theory in the guise of what the performance says, the problem of this approach lies precisely in the analogical alignment of choreography to models of linguistic signification. In contrast to this presupposition, the methodological complexity of choreographed movements, embodied relations and qualitative transformations of a composed assemblage can, however, never be rendered adequately as sharing of a code or as a piece of information. Just as a movement phrase is not an uttered sentence, the specific shift from one movement quality to another does not resemble a statement. One has to say it as clear as it is: If choreography were a transmission of information, a text or like them, there would be no reason for putting to use its multiple means of expression and for realizing their dynamic and material mise-enrelation, since it could speak directly and to a far lesser economic expense. Therefore, one must radically question the fact that language transpires as semiological model of explication par excellence for any practice whatever, be it walking, gesticulating, watching, tossing around, stretching a torso, running in circles or lying on the ground with angled knees. For, the

singularity of a movement is eradicated when the particular way of performing it becomes assimilated to semiological rules of construction. In his second book on cinema, The Time-Image, Deleuze has clearly demarcated this problem for cinema when showing, in reference to Bergson, how movement as the essential characteristic of the cinematographic image is confiscated through the methodological presuppositions of semiologically formed relations:
But at the very point that the image is replaced by an utterance, the image is given a false appearance, and its most authentically visible characteristic, movement, is taken away from it.

The analysis of choreography, for its part, becomes just as fallacious as the semiology of cinema if one short-circuits the singularity of a choreography with the methodological assumption of an analogy between choreography and language. Alternatively, one might think to deviate the problematic underpinnings of semiological conceptions of sense when basing the conceptual analysis of what a choreography does on the notation of its concrete movements. But this alternative to the problem also reveals as a lure to the extent that the elected notational system depends itself on movement-signs, the implications of which precede and fashion the analysis. Even if the sign on which the notational system relies, reveals as a very dynamic one and does not presuppose normative values, as in the case of Labans sign, its specificity nonetheless devises movement. Opting for the analysis of a choreography through movement-analysis thus implies the preliminary decision to allocate its sense only in the movements. A pure Labanotation of Le Roys Product of Circumstances would, however, entirely miss the point of the performance, precisely because this performance does not only make sense through the displayed movements. 97


The major problem that any conceptualization of the multiplicity of relations in a choreography hinges on, is to account for a compositional practice of differentiation without predetermining whether this practice can be aligned with semiology or delimited to movements alone. Both theoretical pathways, semiology and movement-analysis, run the risk to finally oppose the body to language: either by equating the body to a linguistic sign-system which then legitimates the hierarchical position of theory to render explicit what the performance wanted to say or, by highlighting the specificity of pure movement-signs which then blinds out the fact that movement enters into composition with other regimes of signs, such as light-signs, costumes-signs and, last but not least, linguistic signs. The concept of articulation forms a way out of this methodological dilemma, since it underlies any attempt to make sense. The least one can say about what a choreography does is that it articulates something be it specific movements, thoughts, intensities, tensions, dynamics or assemblages. Speaking of articulation thus levels the hierarchy between body practices and semiological practices. To finish, I would like to outline some major arguments of this concept: I define articulation as a compositional practice of differentiation. One can image this definition by the bending of an arm: The elbow is the joint between two heterogeneous parts of the body, in this case forearm and upper arm, which are connected in such a way that one perceives the whole arm in the movement of bending. Yet, at the same time that the two heterogeneous parts of the body are connected, the joint paradoxically also segments them, so that one perceives forearm and upper arm as distinct members of the movement, the relation of which is transformed through the articulation. Accordingly, an articulation entails a double movement, which concerns on the one hand, the connection be100

tween heterogeneous parts, a connection, which can also be called joining, conjunctive relation (the forearm and the upperarm) or composition. On the other hand, the articulation differentiates the two heterogeneous parts and can thus be called segmentation, differentiation, partition and diverging relation. Both dimensions of articulation, the connection of a certain unit as a whole and the segmentation into different parts, are inseparably tied to each other and it is only by grasping this simultaneous move of connection through differentiation and differentiation through connection that the relation between the parts becomes determinable. Moreover, one has to specify and say that every articulation envelops a qualitative transformation of the parts in their mutual relation to each other: The qualification of this transformation characterizes the articulation, since that which differs between one way of bending the arm and another is less the spatial configuration of forearm and upper arm but rather the way in which their difference is produced through the articulation, for instance, through a sudden flexion, a torsion in slow motion, a strict dissociation of one part from the other, a constant increase in muscular tension, a rhythm etc. Specifying this qualitative transformation of the articulation is thus of utmost importance, since it allows to relate the articulation also to a difference in intensity. The implication of intensity in the concept of articulation inseparably interrelates the question of the object of articulation (what is articulated?) to the question of the way in which it is articulated (how does the double movement of articulation qualitatively transform the relation between the articuli?). It is this aspect of a qualitative transformation that makes a decisive difference to a simple signifier/signified relation, since it associates the differences of the sign with the differential relations in sensation.


One has to turn the assumptions of language philosophys on the head and say: Language is articulated to the same degree as movement is. Think only of the flexions! The inflection of language, all of them are differentiations... The double articulation, that Deleuze burrowed from Hjelmslev, is indeed not a specificity of language at all, but it runs through any assemblage, as the double articulation of content and expression. Let me conclude by referring to one last important feature in this construction of concept. When I spoke of the image of bending an arm, it is important to emphasize, that it is not enough to contest semiological approaches by a physicalist paradigm. One has to conceive articulation as a topological concept. To define a topology of articulation, which itself is only a part in a larger philosophy of expression, is possible, precisely because an articulation does no longer relate difference to the interruption of an identity, as it was the case in a logic of representation. Instead difference will be assigned to very different forms of connection, and representation will turn out to be nothing more than one specific case in a topology of difference. With the two concepts of contamination and articulation I thus hope to remap the way in which we can think what choreography can do.

Petra Sabisch


Anna Perhsson

Max von Sydow and Linda Blair in The Exorcist, 1973.

Somewhere between science and superstition there is another world, the world of darkness. Nobody expecteded it, nobody believed it and nothing could stop it
The Exorcist, 1973

Each seizure will exhibit unnatural powers including levitation, contortionism (the known spider walk) and great strength. Youll be confronted with expressive interpretation of some of my highest valued steps, the texts I wrote that were not accredited in the program, perhaps singing or even cello-playing. All performed with a charged presence that might already be leaning towards absence. The proposed events will take place at DOCH ( University College of Dance Choreography and Circus) Stockholm, starting from December 26 ( the day of the release of the film ) 2011, until the end of 2012, by appointment, and I only accept one exorcist at a time. As in the film, there is of course a possibility for the exorcist to join the evil side and answer to my last steps in any way preferred, because and I quote: There are no experts. You probably know as much about possession as most priests.

It is an excellent day for an exorcism, it will bring us together, you, and us. On the occasion of an approaching end as a performer and dancer, I would like to invite interested individuals to perform witnesses and as such exorcists, as I dance my last steps to the sound of the Exorcist, known from the film. Youll be witnessing my receding versatility be driven out, with the urge and brutality that this might give to the frame.


The sances will be filmed and the result edited in a manner as to create, achieve and sustain a kind of dreamlike state below the threshold of awareness. Hopefully, sequels and remakes will appear, all participants given a limited edition box-set of the event including interviews, a DOCH T-shirt and a free ticket to the House of Dance. Please book your seance by sms on the following number: +46704152383

The inFormaTion SocieTy a diScourSe

Ester Barinaga


During the last thirty to forty years a new way of conceiving contemporary societies seems to have emerged. To describe the society we inhabit, scholars have started to use metaphors such as the post-industrial society, the post-Fordist society (Amin, 1994), the network society (Castells, 1996/2000), the experience economy (Pine and Gilmore, 1999), or the age of unworldliness (Marquard, 1991). Conferences and seminars are organized to discuss the image economy, symposiums highlight the experience economy, and journals bearing the title The information society are established. The last ten to fifteen years have seen an expansion of that worldview and today indexes rank states according to how well they are adapted to the new economy (Atkinson and Correa, 2007), politicians discuss how to make it into the global economy, and the EU launches calls for research proposals on the knowledge society. We are told that we have entered a third wave economy driven by symbolic- and knowledge-based inputs; that
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the majority of employees works with information, signals, symbols, and images; that, thanks to the development of information and communication technologies, scientific and technological knowledge has penetrated all social spheres (Toffler, 1980). We read that the network logic of the new economy and the upcoming of cyberspace as a tool for global coordination and communication have led to characterize our age as one of global network capitalism (Fuch, 2007). The profusion of terms and analysis of contemporary society attest to the lively discussion on the essence of modern society and the role information technologies play in it. Neo-liberal observers praise the arrival of the information society as the coming of an open and self-regulated world market (Friedman, 2005). Neo-Marxist oriented analysts warn that the information society is widening and cementing already existing socio-economic class inequalities (Frank, 2001). For some, information technologies are the means to empower and develop all groups of society; for others, information technologies are embedded into social dichotomies giving raise to unemployment, the lowering of wages, the lost of labor rights, poverty, exclusion, the deregulation of the welfare state, or migration (Bauman, 2004). Some stress the potential for a truly professional and caring society; while others worry by the tightened control over the population. Often, however, and independently of political affiliations, political economist and policy-makers use the term to legitimate a wide range of governmental measures from neo-liberal policies aimed at de-regulating markets and liberalizing business rules to more interventionist policies to give incentive to a particular business sector (Braithwaite and Drahos, 2000). At another level of discussion, disagreement exists on whether todays society is substantially different to any other previous. On the one hand, some argue that what we are currently seeing is the emergence of a society that is radically

different to those we have inhabited up to date. On the other hand, there are scholars who maintain that the difference between contemporary and previous societies is merely one of degree. They concede that information and theoretical knowledge play a special role in the present era but insist that current social changes are incremental, not radical in nature. Whereas proponents of the first view stress newness, discontinuity, and inevitability of the changes, the second focus on continuities, persistence, and possibility to shape the course of the changes (Webster, 2002). The debates on the information society are thus many and varied. Yet, independently on the position one takes in what regards to the goods or evils of the information society, and independently on whether society is undergoing a radical or an incremental change, one fact cannot be denied: the discourse of the information society has taken public discussion and scholar analysis with force. The starting point of the argument in this article is the realization that there is much talk about the information society. It then proposes to look at the information society as a discourse, which highlights the ideological underpinnings of such talk. The article proceeds analyzing the major tenets of the discourse of the information society as well as the historical background to such a system of thought. The Swedish parliaments formulation of the information society will then serve as an example to illustrate the tenets and system of thought underlying the discourse. The article ends with a short discussion on the short of questions that would be particularly suited to be answered by a discursive approach to the information society. The information society: Two epistemic approaches An interesting and, I believe, fruitful analytical distinction is relevant when considering the ontological status

of the information society; a distinction separating the information society as a descriptive term referring to a period in a larger historical process, from the information society as a discourse, a way of comprehending the world, a sort of rationality. Roland Robertson (1994) first and Arif Dirlik (2000) later, both make a similar distinction concerning the related concept of globalization. These authors choose to describe globalization as a new paradigm, a mode of knowing the world that has replaced modernization as a paradigm of change and a social imaginary. I propose to take a similar movement when studying the information society. The information society can be regarded as a set of ideas, of language and social practices that provides and constitutes knowledge on a particular subject; a discourse. As such, it defines and constructs the objects of our knowledge in this case, the information society , and hence sustains a regime of truth (Foucault, 1980). A discourse is an institutionalized way of thinking, delimiting what can and cannot be said about a topic. Few question, for instance, the fact that information technologies are somehow shaping society. What it is put into question is how far this shaping has gone and whether the shaping is occurring in one or both directions. No one doubts the centrality of knowledge in that society for that matter, and few would dare to deny its global reach. Yet, nuances are debated on how far that knowledge is reaching and on the parallel globalization of a new sort of inequalities. The concepts of discourse, power and knowledge, as developed by the French philosopher Michel Foucault, are helpful at this point. Much more than a way of thinking and producing meaning, a discourse constitutes both the object of knowledge and the subject who knows. Accordingly, discourse is not merely speech. Rather, what can be talked about and how it is talked about is indistinguishable intertwined with social practices and individual subjectivities.

There is no clinic without the medical discourse, no prison without criminology, no asylums without psychiatry. Likewise, there is no patient, no delinquent, and no mad without those discourses. And there are no high-tech regions and no digital divides without the discourse of the information society. Discourse, that is, is to be treated as practices that systematically form the objects of which they speak (Foucault, 1972: 49). In this sense knowledge, power and discourse are inextricably connected. I am not negating the reality of current historical changes. It can be argued, and many constantly do so, that the advent of the new technologies has changed how corporations make business, individuals communicate, rural communities sell their products in distant markets, or national governments relate in the international arena. But this historical sense of the information society is not the only one available. The information society may also be understood as a contemporary discourse framing the space within which corporations and rural communities act, and within which individuals and national states negotiate power relations. The information society, that is, can be seen as a system of rules enabling certain objects and subjects to appear and resting on complex groups of relations established between institutions, economic and social processes, behavioral patterns, systems of norms, techniques, types of classification, modes of characterization (Foucault, 1972: 45). In this perspective, the information society becomes ideological as it seeks to reshape society in accordance with a new imaginary that serves some interests better than others. The discourse of the information society systematically advances ideas, opinions, concepts, a system of though, and ways of behaving that frame social power relations. The system of thought underlying the discourse of the information society becomes effective to prioritize people and goods revealing their political efficacy and economic gains. Because

of its taken-for-grantedness, this system of thought is easily adopted, entering into political processes and giving legitimacy to certain decisions over others. Neither it is a coincidence that civil society organizations and trade unions denounce an unholy alliance between both the corporate and the political worlds and make their discontent heard in multitudinary protests such as those in Seattle 1999, Gteborg 2001, or Genova 2003. Contradictory voices come from within academia, some denouncing the dominance of capitalism as an economic model and the pressure exerted by international institutions such as the imf or the World Bank toward the globalization of technologies, markets and democracy. Other academics, as the representative for the it-University in our little award ceremony, however, sing the chant of the times and support with their research activities all efforts to bring that social imaginary closer. Looking at the information society from the standpoint of discourse allows studying how economic policies are legitimated, corporate investments justified and technology developments prioritized. It is in this sense that it can be said that the information society has become the ideological production accompanying many of todays attempts to achieve economic and social development it is used to legitimate, prioritize and justify political, social and economic agendas. Highlighting the discursive dimension of the information society forces us to focus on the terms under which economic policies and many regional development projects are occurring. Now, to be able to study the (political, economic, social and cultural) processes shaped by the system of thought underlying the discourse of the information society, we first need to elicit the major tenets of that system of thought. It is to that task that I now turn.

Tenets of the discourse of the information society To be able to study a particular discourse and understand how it both mirrors and shapes the environment where it is exercised, we first need to be familiar with the central tenets of the discourse itself. In this quest, it is particularly helpful to recognize the assumptions made by those who either theorize about it or apply it in their everyday practices to legitimize political agendas or push forward economic priorities. One image often comes to mind whenever the information society is alluded: the single individual that with her knowledge, a wire and an Internet connection is able to plug into a hole in the wall and reach the wider world. This image encapsulates three elements that constitute the general idea on the information society: 1. Information and communication technologies are the driving force of a profound social change; 2. the scale of these social changes is global; and 3. knowledge and information are central to the new society. 1. Technology driven (technological determinism) Technological determinism is the assumption that technology is the main factor shaping society, the belief that social change is driven by technology development. It is best exemplified by quoting Karl Marx: the hand-mill gives you a society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill, a society with the industrial capitalist (Marx, 1847 as cited in Shaw, 1990). Accordingly, information and communication technologies (ICT) give you the information society: i2010 An European Information Society for Growth and Employment Context Information and communication technologies (ICT) are powerful drivers for growth and employment.


Approximately a quarter of EU GDP growth and 40% of productivity growth is due to ICT. ICT services and skills, media and content are a growing part of the economy and the rapidly emerging knowledge-based Information Society. Proactive policies are needed to respond to fundamental changes in technology. (Oluf Nielsen, Scientific Officer of the DG Information Society and Media for the EU, presentation held at the First World Conference on Intellectual Capital for Communities, June 20, 2005) Frank Webster is a British sociologist interested in the effects of information and communication technologies on education, urban change, and civil society. In his work, he distinguishes five definitions of the information society: the technological, the economic, the occupational, the spatial and the cultural definitions (Webster, 2002). In the technological conception of the information society the advent of the new society is marked by the spread of information and communication technologies such as satellite television, mobile phones, personal computers, or the Internet. The volume of technological innovations, it is maintained, has a profound impact in the economic, social and cultural spheres (Alvin Toffler would be an excellent representative of this approach). The economic definition centers on the growth in economic worth of informational activities. According to this view, GDP growth accounted for by information-related businesses signals the entry in the information society. Just as the industrial society is characterized by a dominance of industrial manufacture, the information society is dominated by informational activities (Among the proponents of this approach we find Fritz Machlup, 1962).

The third sort of definitions emphasizes occupational structure and its changing pattern. The decrease of manufacturing jobs and the rise of employment within the service sector is seen as the replacement of blue-collar by whitecollar work. Where the economic definition tries to quantify the rise of informational activities, this more sociological approach attempts to map occupational change. Ideas, knowledge, skills, talent, and creativity have substituted physical effort and sweat as the major production force (Leadbeater, 1999, p.18). It is this change in the preponderance of service employment that marks, for these authors, the beginning of the information society (Webster, 2002: 14-17) (Daniel Bell, 1973, and Peter Drucker, 1993 represent this perspective). Geographical space is at the core of the forth definition of the information society. Information networks increasingly link together offices, shops, homes, towns, regions, continents, and ultimately, the entire world. As corporations and individuals in far away locations are connected, constraints of time differences and distance are relieved. Electronic highways result in an emphasis on how information networks increasingly span distant geographical locations, having profound implications for the organization of time and space. The information society is preferably labeled the network society by these observers, who mark the coming of the new age in the increase in number and importance of information networks. (Manuel Castells, 1996-8, would be the topmost representative of this view.) Finally, the cultural approach to the information society focuses on the explosion of information, signs, messages, symbols and images in contemporary society. An increase in broadcast television channels, Internet access, websites, palm-held computers, radio stations, and newspapers, they argue, has contributed to a media-saturated environment, life becoming essentially about signification, about receiving, consuming and sending messages. These analysts see in

the explosion of signification the coming of the information society (Jean Baudrillard is associated with this view. See Baudrillard, 1983). The difference between these five sets of definitions resides in the criteria used to identify the new. Yet, no matter what their differences are, all five types of definitions agree in the role given to information and communication technologies. Either directly changing existing social reality, or indirectly unleashing the acceleration of social processes, definitions of the information society place technology somewhere behind a perceived or desired social change. Without denying the importance of information technologies in our times, a strong conceptual criticism has been addressed to the assumption of technology-driven social change that is found behind many of the formulations of the information society. Technological determinism is the general term used to refer to the idea that technology is, in itself, a neutral entity that is, by itself, able to shape society. Technology and society are, in this view, conceived independently, the relationship between both being a causal one where technology is the cause and society the effect (for further discussion of technological determinism, see Smith and Marx, 1994; Latour, 1991). It is such a belief that informs policy making as the one proposed above by the European Commissions scientific officer. It is beyond the scope of this article to offer a detailed overview of the mushrooming literature highlighting the weaknesses of technological determinism. Suffices to name that a whole research field, that of Science and Technology Studies, has arisen questioning technologys neutrality and an overwhelming number of studies have been carried out on how cultural and social values shape the development and use of technology (for some examples, see Bijker, 1997; Collins and Pinch, 2003/1998; Bijker and Law, 1992). The insight of the social shaping of technology has taken with

force entering such varied research fields as gender studies (for some examples, see Cockburn and Ormrod, 1993; Haraway, 1991), ethnic studies (Dyer, 1997), or work organization studies. In what refers to the belief on the information society and its inherent technological determinism, Brian Loader (1998), for instance, denounces the proclivity of many information society analysts to view technological development as apolitical and outside the scope of political economy. Mark Poster (1997) questions the tendency to look at Internet as a technology without agency instead of as a socially and political mediated space. Still some criticize the liberal, equal opportunities discourse endorsed to the information society on grounds of the neutrality of the technology. Such a discourse, they maintain, is grounded on a limited understanding of technology, gender and race/ethnicity. Hence, they proceed by studying the social and cultural context of technology, where gender and race are being produced (Henwood et al. 2000). 2. Global reach Globalization and the information society seem to be inextricably entwined. So much is this so that the discourse of the information society can be seen as a particular variant of the discourse of globalization, and vice versa. Observers of globalization view the new electronic technology at the origin of globalization. Thomas Friedman (1999), in what has become a given reference for any debate of globalization, sees the interplay between the new technology and processes of globalization in two ways. One, information and communication technologies have allowed sharing a greater economic space. Today, economic activity consists increasingly of providing services, not producing goods, which the new technology has made possible to sell in the international market. Two, electronic technology has en117


Agora Team in Kaai Theater (2011)

hanced big flows of capital to move rapidly across countries. Both a bigger economic space and the ease to move capital have, according to such authors, contributed to a qualitatively different interdependence among countries which is often called globalization. Yet, some authors contend that information technologies are not to be seen alone in promoting globalization. They argue that globalization has been facilitated by an extension of American-style free market capitalist doctrines and that, as a consequence, neo-liberal tinted ideas of competition, openness, privatization, and deregulation have captured world economic thinking (Yergin and Stanislaw, 1998). In this sense, technology-driven globalization has been supported by neo-liberal trends to the point that, seen within a longer historical context, the so-called information society has been placed as the very last chapter of capitalism (Kellner, 2002). Accordingly, the terms information capitalism, information age and information society are often used synonymously. Most of the critique addressed to globalization and the information society focus on the free-market ideology sustaining both concepts. Some denounce its perverse effects in terms of growing distributional inequality (Parayil, 2005; Thomas and Parayil, 2005), hence advocating for increased protectionism (Buchnan, 1998). Others denounce the role played by international institutions, such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, in blindly promoting the neo-liberal discourse as a development strategy without consideration for national specificities (Stiglitz, 2002). Others, still, see in it a process of cultural globalization leading to homogeneity of cultural practices across the globe, another example of US cultural imperialism (Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1999; La Feber, 1999). In sum, few seem to deny that the world has become a more tightly connected place and that economies have be120

come closely interdependent. Further, most see in the global element of the discourse on the new society neo-liberal attitudes that favour free trade and open competition in a world market. 3. Information / Knowledge based These are important times for education in all the member countries of the OECD. The never-ending search for competitive advantage in the global knowledge economy has led all public policy-makers to focus on education as a key factor in strengthening competitiveness, employment and social cohesion. (Noel Dempsey, Minister for Education and Science, Ireland, and Chair of the 2004 Meeting of OECD Education Ministers, OECD Observer, March 2004) [T]o become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. (Strategic goal for 2010 set for Europe at the Lisbon European Council - March 2000) The terms information society and knowledge society are used interchangeably, often by the very same actor in the very same context. Information society is commonly used to stress that information and communication technologies have brought profound changes in the ways we work and live the technology-driven assumption we saw above. Knowledge society, on the other hand, is brought up to emphasize that knowledge and creativity are seen as key factors for, in the words of the Irish minister for education and

science, strengthening competitiveness, employment and social cohesion. If the new electronic technologies are the motor driving social change, the argument goes, knowledge is the fuel. Frank Webster contends in his Theories of the information society that despite disagreement behind the various definitions of the new society, all scholars acknowledge the centrality of information for the society under observation. The broad literature on the information age can easily be characterized by the opposing views on the traits of the new age and its salience. Yet, Webster argues, there is no discord on the special relevance of knowledge and information. Being considered such crucial elements of the new society, it is not surprising to realize that many an attempt has been made to distinguish between the nature of information and that of knowledge. Whereas information is made to refer to structured and formatted data, knowledge becomes a matter of cognitive capability. It has to do with the ability to interpret and process information. It is knowledge, and not information, that is regarded as having the potential to empower people and enhance social cohesion (Steinmueller, 2002; David and Foray, 2002). A UNESCO World report from 2005, Towards knowledge societies, makes a point of this, opting for the term knowledge society to highlight that only through the extension of knowledge, and not of information or of information technologies per se, are societies able to contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities. It is precisely the difference between information and knowledge that leads Webster to criticize the many attempts to quantify information. In order to prove the existence of a qualitatively new type of society, many scholars proceed to quantify what they consider to be its most significant trait. These authors identify information industries such as education, law, publishing, media and computer manufacture ,

and separate informational activities within companies and state institutions for instance, the research and development department of a company or its personnel department within the aggregated national economic statistics (for an example, see Machlup, 1962; Machlup, 1980). Frank Websters criticism to quantitative measures of information and knowledge mirrors the debate on what type of knowledge we are actually talking about. Do we endorse the hegemony of the techno-scientific model in defining legitimate knowledge? Or, do we include the social sciences and the humanities as valuable knowledge capable of transforming the societies of the future? As Webster himself phrases it, [t]he enthusiasm of the information economists to put a price tag on everything has the unfortunate consequences of failing to let us know the really valuable dimensions of the information sector (Webster, 2002, p. 13). All in all, tacit or explicit, quantifiable or not, pure data or blended with cognitive human abilities, knowledge and information is a central and unquestioned component in the discourse of the information society (for a recent example, see Kallinikos, 2006). science- and technology- based economic development Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are an increasingly important tool for social and economic development and are the driving force behind the transition towards economies and societies based on information and knowledge. For developing the transition economies, ICT can provide a means to leapfrog some long and painful stages in the development process, and help to stimulate growth and prosperity. (Information Society Regional initiatives and activities, World Summit on the Information society, Geneva 2003 Tunis 2005) 123

The assumption of science- and technology-based economic development is implicit to the three discursive elements outlined above, where science refers to the technoscientific model of knowledge. Scientific knowledge, the discourse goes, leads to technological innovation that in turn fosters economic growth and results in social change that is global in scale. The origins of the science-based model of economic development can be traced back to the United States of the post-war years when American national leaders began to see scientific excellence as key to winning the Cold War (OMara, 2005). The Soviet launch of Sputnik turned American defense political leaders into active supporters of scientific education diverting billions of federal government funds towards American research universities, which in time transformed the American research university into a key political and economic actor (the multiversity). In the United States of the 60s, university involvement in economic development took two ways. One, political and business leaders seized upon universities as essential tools in larger economic strategies. Two, university administrators used the opportunity to become a new sort of city actor. Such partnerships between the university, the corporate world and local public administrators resulted in, among others, the creation of Silicon Valley around Stanford University and of Route 128 around Harvard and MIT (for a detailed historical account, see Saxenian, 1996). In the minds of political and business leaders, the example set by Stanford was forever to connect research universities with the rise and fall of industrial areas. Further, the prevailing assumption of this approach to economic development was that regional communities of scientific production were replicable (OMara, 2005: 81-92). As a consequence, and although more based on anecdotic evidence than serious research, it soon became a taken for granted that what

economically distressed regions needed was not simply industrial development, but science-based development, which not only brought [to the region] good jobs, but also brought talented people and rich cultural life (OMara, 2005: 87). Political leaders all over the world took notice and in an attempt to learn from Stanford University and replicate Silicon Valley at home started to visit the San Francisco Peninsula. Charles DeGaulle was one of the first foreign dignitaries to visit Stanford Industrial Park. Eight representatives from the National Diet of Japan followed shortly after, and many still continue to visit the park today. Noticeably, during the last decades of the twentieth century and well into the twenty first century science- and technology-based economic development has become the strategy for economic development in many regions of the world. Some well-documented examples are the technolopolis strategy promoted by Japan from the 60s to develop some twenty-five science magnets, (Tatsuno, 1986) Singapores focus on its National University (NUS) in the 80s to foster the city-states economic development, the University of Nices central role in attracting corporate investment to Sophia Antipolis in southern France, or the city council of Birmingham (UK), the University of Aston, and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry coordinated response to the economic troubles of the 80s resulting in a lively Science Park in the early 90s (for a classification of science-based industrial parks, see Castells and Hall, 1994). The World Summit on the Information Society launched by the United Nations at the beginning of this century further promoted science- and technology- based economic development strategies in the Third World. The discourse of the information society is the latest version of that fifty-year old regional development strategy, a version that adds a global dimension to it. And although the overarching name might have changed (from that of mul125

tiversity and technopole to that of information society), its execution continues to take the form of research parks or science cities that is, industrial parks closely connected to the university. Three major threads connect todays attempts to create an information society with the technopoles of the 60s and 80s: 1. Regional focus. As the World Summit on the Information Society phrases it, [t]he regional perspective is an indispensable intermediate stage in bringing together national particularities and global requirements for the Information Society. 2. Collaborations between the government, industry and university are the driving actors. 3. Science and technology are at the centre stage in regional economic development policies. An example: The swedish information society discourse Discourses are not mere inconsequential words detached from the context where they are spoken. The set of ideas implied in a discourse transform as they travel places, weaving together with local practices and relations as well as with other local discourses. Foucault traced the discourses of madness, sexuality and crime as they traveled not places but times and showed how economic, political and social circumstances condition the particular formulation and exercise of a discourse. The discourse of the information society is no exception. In Sweden, the discourse of the information society should be nuanced by Swedens tradition of socially oriented economic policies. I will use Swedens official IT policy as an example. Sweden is to become the first country to be an information society for all. The IT policy goal was made explicit by the Swedish parliament in March 2000 and was confirmed in July 2005. The underlying logic is the belief that [a] more ef126

ficient use of IT creates a better ground for economic growth and national development. Two aspects can be recognized in this goal. First, Sweden is to become an information society for all. On June 18, 2003, an it policy strategy group was appointed. In addition to exercising an advisory role vis--vis the government, the group is to play a proactive role in efforts to achieve the it policy goal of an information society for all. That is, the group will see that the benefits of the Swedish information society reach everybody independently of gender, race, ethnicity or religion. Social background or national origin should not restrict a particular individuals life chances in that new society. Traditional Swedish socialdemocratic ideals resonate in the policy goal. The long-term objective of the parliamentary proposition is to achieve economic growth, employment, regional development, democracy, justice, quality of life, equality, diversity, a sustainable society, and effective public administration. Since it affects all of us and changes our life conditions the Swedish parliament reasons, the strategy formulated to achieve a democratic and equalitarian society is to focus on it infrastructure and use (see picture below).


Two of the three tenets of the discourse of the information society are visible here: technology driven social change and a society based primarily on knowledge. In their words, general access to IT and widespread knowledge of its working should necessarily lead to democracy, equality and social justice throughout society. Consequently, Swedish IT industry and research are placed at the centre of Swedens economic growth and social development. Sweden is to become the first country to be an information society for all. The second aspect of the policy goal puts the emphasis on being the first country. The global dimension of the discourse enters here as a market competition on an international scale. One of the central tasks for the IT policy group is to consolidate Swedens leading international position at the forefront of IT development. Far more than being an information society that benefits all, Sweden is also to take a lead in international technology development. Whereas the first part of the policy vision has a social character, the second part has more of a competitive quality. The first has to do with how the benefits brought by technology are to be distributed across society; while the second is a direct call for a technology contest. That is, national solidarity plus international competition. The conflation of both spheres, the social and the techno-economic spheres, is in line with Swedens social-democratic tradition of juxtaposing economic growth with social security (Andersson, 2005). Discussion The article argues that the information society can be viewed and studied from the standpoint of discourse, where discourse refers both to (written, verbal, and visual) texts produced within a certain subject matter, to the set of social practices around them, and to the structures organizing the thinking underlying those texts and practices. These texts, practices and regularities cannot be attributed to the beliefs of individual authors. Discursive frameworks structure larg128

er scale belief systems, which in turn are given legitimacy by existing power relations. Questions that arise within this framework have to do with how some discourses maintain their authority, their truth status, their normative imperative. In the case of the information society, this translates into questions such as, under what group of relations is the discourse of the information society made legitimate and how does it maintain its legitimacy? Further, how do some interests get heard whilst others are silenced, as well as who benefits and how? Or, to what extent is the system of thought underlying the discourse of the information society framing the way we govern societies and how we tackle socio-economic inequalities? That is, the questions stressed by looking at the information society from the vantage point of a discourse address issues of power as well as of the government of society. A more particular example: the so-called digital divide. The digital divide is a term used to describe the discrepancy between people who have access to as well as knowledge to use information and communication technologies and those who have neither the access nor the knowledge to use such technology. The term describes differences between urban and rural areas, the educated and un-educated, socio-economic classes as well as the differences between more or less industrially developed countries in terms of how extended is the access and use of information technologies. It is often used to emphasize the difference in opportunities available to those connected and to those who are not. The focus is set on access to technology. As a result, policies towards bridging the digital divide in order to reduce social inequality bet on infrastructure as well as on technological knowledge. Yet, if we approach the information society from the vantage point of discourse, the term digital divide comes to refer to power differentials in the so-called information society. Accordingly, technology access becomes just an129

other manifestation of such power differentials, never its root. Analysis would proceed by looking at how the system of thought underlying the discourse of the information society contributes to re-produce such differentials by framing the efforts to come to terms with the digital divide. Hence, this approach highlights the shortcomings and limitations to bridge the digital divide of any regional development project exclusively centered on science and technology.

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Krt Juurak, Vienna (2010)

135 Speech poem by Myriam Van Imschoot, extracted from an interview with Steve Paxton, April 20 2009

The circLe oF ScenT

Gabriel Widing

This is a simple score for an aesthetic experience connected to our smelling senses. Its not site, but audience specific in the sense that the experience will differ depending on who the participants are. The Circle of Scent is realized through a few simple steps: 1. Organize a group of people in a circle facing inwards. Explain how the score works. 2. Each and everyone will in their turn go a full lap behind the people in the circle, stopping by to smell each persons neck and shoulders. This means everyone will have smelled everyone else when the circle is closed. 3. Just before you start, ask everyone to switch places with closed eyes in order to make it harder to connect identity with smell on forehand. 4. If you go clock-wise, the participants will know that it is their turn to start when they have no one to their right.
136 137



a Fairy TaLe
BraziLian conTemporary dance gaypS LocaTor
Jorge Alencar


Here, Im going to play the phallic and erotic game of mapping dance artists in Brazil who are interested in thinking about subjectivities and sensibilities beyond the instrumentalism that delimits safe gender signals. Its not about eviction from the closet, but a performative drive that catches in the act some actions in the contemporary scene that produce dissonance in foundational categories of body, sex, gender and sexuality. In this text, Ill draft an artistic map with an anthropophagic queer fist that assumes the exuberant, larger than life mission of defamiliarizing the naturalizing effect of a performative construct of sex and gender. Thus, I wish to point out, on an introductory level, some of the recent mobilizations in the Brazilian dance scene that somehow problematize a certain heterosexual imperative that constrains or even denies sexual identification and sensibility1. At this point I make up a ball with a call for entries that proposes a world of costumes, sound and movement. 141

Broad and specific at the same time. Slumber party, colored shirts and the like allowing an extreme level of customization, escaping any uniform pattern. You dont need a neon wrist pass. This is not a VIP balcony. Its like Brazilian carnival: confusing and messy. I filter the experiences I talk about through a homoerotic gaze. Thus, I can see almost anything in the world. In some cases, special things pop up and operate as criteria for this writing experience2. A dissonant, disruptive, strange, playful, absurd, indiscreetly sexual thing. A queer thing that kidnaps and shifts an imported term that comes from a bizarre context of derogatory interpellation and badmouthing of homosexuals. This is reinforced by classic chorus queer, fag, dyke, butch queer gains performative strength when it penetrates into the very poison of insult. Queer theory, fag theory, dyke theory, butch theory. Not only in the realm of words that mean something, but to the extend they are actions that produce meaning in the world, be it in graphics or choreography. The flock/pack seeking to undermine any domination regime: feminist, black and post-colonial politics, class and migration, geopolitical difference. What kind of dance can produce cracks in this perspective, requalifying, in a performative way, barren and uninhabitable zones of gender regulated by a normalizing and naturalizing ideal? I could go with a historicizing and emotional anxiety for reparation, evoking groups that opened holes in the compulsory Brazilian heterosexuality some decades ago. I would talk about Dzi Croquettes, a group that practically vanished for my generation and for the Brazilian Northeastern context until very recently3, or the group Vivencial de Pernambuco, contemporary to the Dzi, which I only recently heard about4. This time, however, Ill talk about their grandchildren, the current fellow artists that sometimes unwittingly incorporate the agenda of those who have left their marks. I want

to be at ease to place my perception at creation. Im an artist interested in issues that link desire, fantasy, performativity and gender, often based on humorous windings. I speak from the point of view of someone who theorizes and performs at the same time and composes in the very moment of writing. Without any pretense of validation or universality, the artists I highlight here are obviously part of a very restricted and temporary cast. Ill start with a Top Five from Bahia. Simone Gonalves is an artist that graduated from the Dance School of the Federal University of Bahia. Black, lesbian, connected to the hip hop scene in Salvador, she developed a solo called 44. She defines her works as a reflection upon the stigma of the number that can lead to different interpretations. 44 is not the size of my shoes, let alone my pants; its just the number of my house5. Simones dance mixes up hip hop and arrocha6, with a highly eroticized tone that builds up a hesitating gender interested in creating a kind of all wet phallic fag. Aldren Licon and his Pau Brazil7 are explicit pleasure machines on stage, organized after sensorial experiences in the realm of dance and photography. For Aldren, the qualities of Pau-Brasil (rusty red, heavy, hard and unbreakable) are like open cracks that contribute to reveal the exportation of the mulatto body; the colors of popular parties like carnival and the ability/sex-appeal of soccer players. On stage, Aldren dances a soccer game in short shorts and his movements invite us to penetrate him and to penetrate a pornohistory of Brazil and Bahia, even using data show. Carolina Falco is an artist from Bahia and a very beautiful woman. Her performance Jogo dos sete erros (Spot the seven differences) is a pairing act. She creates symmetry between herself present and statuesque , and a bath towel with Giselle Bndchens picture. Its a simple mechanism. She makes several objects available for the audience cos143

metics and food (like lettuce and arugula) with which we can change both images. Both Carol and the towel become a fetishized playground where we try to establish relationships of similarity and difference between the two women, in a game of pirating the very notion of femininity, in a context of consumption. Like children playing with Barbie makeup dolls, we embody social instances that have the power to decide and to inscribe marks of femininity and beauty in that body. In the act proposed by Carol, we play the right and wrong game of Cosmopolitan magazine, as we regulate and control certain norms that both reiterate a hegemonic status of beauty and femininity, and also stimulate a desperate ritual of delimiting differences that often reveal interesting grotesque glimpses. Aroldo Fernandess homo/heteronym Alec is a ghostlike composition of his subjectivity as an artist, choreographer, dancer and gay man. As shown by his latest (dis) appearances entitled Prologue to a Dream, performed in Phoenix, Arizona, and Alec Hyperbolic, made in video, Alec creates doubts about gender, which is presented in his work as scenic social construct. Fernando Passos is a professor at the Federal University of Bahia in the department of choreographic theory and creation. In Bahias dance field, he is by far the most vigorous theorist of subjects regarding gender and queer criticism, mainly the relationship between performance and drag. More than to speak about queer theory, he sometimes embodies the powerful female researcher wearing a pink suit and really disrupts our perception8. Speaking in terms of theoretical embodiment, I have seen few researchers in the academic realm process queer theory so emphatically in the body, in the way they produce and enact their discourse. He helped me understand that the gorgeous and precarious ncora do Marujo (Anchor of the Sailor) night club from Salvador (Bahia) is pure theory. 144

From now on, Ill review some national initiatives interested, among other things, in contextualizing gender in terms of discontinuity, alienation and denaturalization, and consequently queer terms. In Brazil, some pieces of work are already iconic in this mission: With his performances Travesti and the anthological O Samba do Crioulo Doido, Luis de Abreu geographically queerizes the Brazilian nation situated in the artists ass. Queer from Rio de Janeiro is explicitly assimilated in the work of three artists. With the solo Outdoor Corpo Machine, Andr Masseno makes a choreographic inventory of the homoerotic imaginary collection of poses and also mocks Ken Barbies boyfriend at the same time he turns into the doll and desires him, literally on all fours. Helena Vieiras solo Maria Jos premiered in the 2006-2007 edition of Rumos Ita Cultural Dana. It starts with the question: How many genders is it possible to enact in our daily performance?, while Rickyonc Seabra stages the drag of American nationalism in his solo Empire Love 2 Love u Baby! . In the vigorous Ncleo de Criao do Dirceu de Teresina, interested in the bodies that matter in terms of gender, I pick out Marcelo Evelin and Elielson Pacheco9. In the solo Ai ai ai, created away from Brazil, Marcelo processes aspects like exodus, identity and longing, cross dressing cultural archetypical marks that refer to the laundress, the pin up, the starlet, the hustlers swing. Elielson Pacheco has a specially instigating project called TTA. According to Elielson, the project Today-Tomorrow-Always or simply TTA is the result of jealousy, internet communication, MSN, non-stop 10 hour skyping, long distance calls Teresina/Votorantim, texting, a break-up, 10 gigabytes of memories etc. TTA is the name of the Avon perfume his ex used. At first, he collaborated with the project that was born as an excuse for keeping the couple in touch and is configured as a web-video-journal-danceself-documentary.

One of the last TTA of the series is a documentary about the simple life of Sayara, a drag heroine who daily exposes her ordinary life, the desires and limitations with some glamour, through a cyber-shot camera and 300 dpi resolution. Sayara, along with Cintia Sapequara (Erivelto Vianna So Luis) and Ana the princess with magical hair (Ricardo Marinelli Curitiba) , form the project Travesqueens. The choreographic endeavor seeks to compose a body crying out for androgyny, stressing the performativity of gender and stretching the limits between male and female by equalizing the amplified femininity of Drag Queens with the irreversibly courageous power of transvestite women. A native of So Lus do Maranho, Cintia Sapequara is straight forward. I can testify she really is a celebrity in the state. She is radio DJ, a TV host, dancer and actress. She loves Guaran Jesus (a soft drink typical of the city) and doce de espcie de Alcntara (also a local delicacy). She is also a poster girl and pays Eriveltos bills. The creations of Ricardo Marinelli are filled with a very queer confessional quality, in a frank process of baring it all. In some of his works, this issue is motivated by materials specifically linked to the issue of gender, like in the play Pelo a menos no pas das maravilhas (At least in wonderland), in which Ricardo turns into a penile Jennifer Beals the Flashdance actress , summons childhood and family homomemories and creates cracks in the heteronormativity of Brazilian laws. In other works, the affections of a wandering gender makes Ricardo confess his pains, desires and fantasies as in the solo Se ele fosse outra coisa, seria o mesmo, in which he cross-dresses with a leather, bizarre, fetishized and cutting costume to embody suicidal and whimsical drives. Also in Curitiba, Companhia Silenciosa mixes a manifesto quality and burlesque ideals in the body. Spearheaded by Giorgia Conceio, Henrique Saidel and Leo Gluck, the hesitation of sexual identities in this trio and their artistic

accomplices reach disruptive, explicit, daringly physical and affective dimensions. The companys Manifesto Inflamado pela Troca de carcias (Heated manifesto for the exchange of caresses), addresses a circumvented and burlesque spectacle that evokes total participation through the liberation of the unstoppable movement of desire, praising the spectacle as strategy for subverting the normative dictatorship of functionality, political bargaining, control and binaries. Cndida Monte, a member of artistic community Couve-Flor, created two pieces that stifle a homogenizing female body ideal Um Outro Corpo (Another body) and Hipoptama (Female hippopotamus) fictionalizes the performers body through masking procedures. In the first work, unrealistic sized body posters are scattered around the city with the image of Candidas face realistically glued on photos of naked bodies of different women young, obese, skinny... Hipoptama organizes almost an inversion of that process, when Cndidas naked body wears the hippo mask and becomes present to engender the performative action. Cndida Montes works and Carolina Falcos Jogo dos 7 erros come to meet the initiative of performer Patricia Barbara, from Rio de Janeiro, by the means of frictions between dressing and undressing the female body. With different conceptual baptisms comPATBilidade (compatibility) Boneca photo studio (Doll photo studio), A boneca vai ao cabar (The doll goes to the cabaret) and Vud Uma boneca bafo , (Voodoo an amazing doll) the project of the 1,60m tall artist weighing 92kg problematizes herself in canonic notions of beauty. On the space of the performance, a rack with clothes, bijous, shoes, accessories and the performer, standing up, closed within herself as an inert automaton available to the interference of the audience. In another research, the doll is photographed taking a bath besides a couple of pigs in a bestialized and grotesquely beautiful symmetry. Its clear for Patricia that her work is her body itself, the way she deals

with her nudity, the little attention she pays to decorum and the beauty she sees in herself. In both of his solos - Negro de Estimao (Pet Black Man) and Jandira - actor and dancer Kleber Loureno, from Pernambuco, goes into the relationship between scene and literature to expand the exclusively sexualized notion of queer by articulating such theoretical locus to racial issues and stigmas. Politically motivated, this choice marks mainly Negro de Estimao, based on the book Contos Negreiros, by Marcelino Freire. Interested in archetypical constructs of the feminine universe, he is inspired by the modernist poetry of writer Murilo Mendes. Kodak is Neto Machados choreographic toyart, a dance in frames or an analogical piece about a digital era for a teen audience. He gathers many male teen fetishes such as Iron Man, Power Ranges, Godzilla, Ben 10 andJustin Bieber. The masculine universe of teen icons is there, presenting Netos desire of being or/and having It. On stage, 70 folder boxes build a plastic world where everything is always changing places. They are like Lego pieces building things without following the box instructions, organized as a stop motion movie in which masculinity and teen pop culture sing together Its the end of the world as we know It. Neto is the man I love. From my creating artist perspective, its important to talk about personal projects that argue about penetrating specific codes of the body and their eroticized representations. Avoiding an overly umbilical tune, here I go opening my artistic zipper. In the different works I develop with Dimenti, a group of artists and producers with whom I have been working for 13 years, several issues about dance are gendered. Be it in performance or video, in pieces aimed at children and adults, there is an interest in the discourse that messes up overly suffocating delimitations regarding the right to pleasure and affective autonomy. Ill mention three

experiences: Um dente chamado bico (A Tooth Called Beak), Chu (Splash) and A mulher-gorila (Gorilla Woman). Um dente chamado bico is a project created in a partnership between Dimenti and Sheila Ribeiro/d. orpheline that choreographically articulates post-colonial issues, the real estate market, tourism and eroticism. The project encompasses actions on the street, videos and a fraudulent installation of a real estate enterprise/building called Yemanj10 Privilege. Like many other Brazilian cities, Salvador is going through a sanitizing and grinding real estate hysteria. Among other things, we are interested in self-exotism, selfstigmatization to expose recurring identity proposals that seek to establish a particular and exportable features that Disneyfy the citys urban/architectural landscape. Chu approaches the ballet and fairy tale Swan Lake to cast an understanding of childhood that overflows the very common moralizing and didactical framework of productions designed for children, like the animated film of the ballet featuring Barbie11. The performative/pedagogical project of the play doesnt include a rescuing prince, but an asthmatic swan that lives in a cage with open doors and several other flamboyant birds parrot, stork, chicken, humming bird, ostrich. The dancers wear orthopedic objects crutches, cervical collar and the like that interfere in their motor and visual compositions, creating tragic and playful forms of beauty. On stage, those who drown inside a pool filled with plastic balls gets mouth-to-mouth from men/women/bird indistinctly. The choreographic piece A mulher-gorila meddles with ballroom dancing, fashion and Hollywood musicals to think very explicitly about gender as quotability and performativity, understanding and penetrating in the reiterations through which a discourse marks and names bodies. In the work, a performative subversion can take place when gender is handled outside a radical constructionism or absolute essential149

Lus Miguel Flix and Neto Machado, Graz (2011)

ism. Gender is not an absolutely given construction, but its also not something portable, easy to establish or transform. At the same time, its fiction and fantasy are also performatively constituted. The title A mulher-gorila refers to a Brazilian theme park attraction that features the freakish transformation of a beautiful woman Monga into a gorilla and then from the gorilla back into the woman. The scenic provocations work towards problematizing even the idea of gender classification focused on the biological cage as a determining factor. The dancers capture whole scenes of choreographies in Hollywood musicals like Top hat (1935) and Singing in the rain (1952), creating a heteronormative couple like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers he wears a sober tail coat, she wears flowing and glamorized excess and a men-eating Cyd Charisse made of legs and cigarette holders. Most of the time, the performers dress up and exchange among themselves clothes that seem to come from a dollhouse, like the dress up paper doll that only has the top part of the outfit, in this case, a way to frame gender as scene, assemblage and cross dressing. We are only left with a huge, winding, stiff staircase in the middle of the stage, in an ascending movement to nowhere. It doesnt have any practical use in the show, but it remains with its self-proclaimed phallic power. The staircase is certainly one of the most recurring elements in musicals and it has to do with the fantasy of the delicate, melancholic or secretive diva. The Brazilian pieces mentioned in this essay articulate in their composition the very notion of gender in terms of displacement and parody. However, there are many queer touches in so many other dance pieces in Brazil that dont necessarily attach their declared fields of discussion to problematics regarding gender, desire and sexuality. In this perspective, queer goes way beyond its thematic dimension, but it constitutes a very wide and blurred universe of references

that cross in several ways the works of creators in the country, especially in the case of those who assume their homoerotic condition. The idea of blurring delimitations of gender and sexuality brings to the surface the solid idea of territory, not to reinforce it but to set off a process of identification that problematizes traditional opposing binaries like: inside and outside, with and against, originality and citation, depth and banality, true and false. Polarizations that are part of an exercise of territorial delimitations in their usual starting and arriving points that seek to create an apparent order in that which is intrinsically chaotic. Historically, the sex category has been closely linked to a system of compulsory heteronormativity and sexual reproduction. Meanwhile, from a queer perspective, there is no sex that isnt a result of discourse and power implications. The project of sex elaborated at the service of an apparatus of control and regulation seeks to unify a variety of distinct and non-related sexual functions. In this case, we can summon the interference of Foucault, for whom sexuality implicates an open and historical system of discourse and power. Being sexual is attached to a web of regulating social relations that beacon and act as forming principles of desire, sex and gender. Any desire for access to an original sexuality or even a handbook about what queer is is subject to exercises of parody and critical appropriation practices. The heteronormatizing tension created between imitation and original in terms of identity and sexuality is complicated and it indicates the silly relationship between primary identification with its supposed original meanings and the experiences formulated by citation. By creating a corporality interested in penetrating the performative citations of gender, the very imitating structure of that which cant be naturalized is triggered, since it is composition and fiction, a temporary and contingent choreography. 153

1. In order to elaborate this text, I talked to the artists mentioned here, in person or through e-mail and in some moments I use the words of the artists themselves. In most of the cases, I watched their work live, but I also had access to photos and other audiovisual records. 2. I gather artistic works whose subjects, themes and issues are explicit and openly linked to sexuality and gender according to their creators. 3. With a huge success in the field of documentary production in Brazil, the movie Dzi Croquettes (2009), directed by Tatiana Issa and Raphael Alvarez, brought to the open a group from Rio de Janeiro whose presence in the official history of Brazilian performing arts has been absurdly pale for many years. 4. According to researcher Rodrigo Dourado (2011), Vivencial emerged in 1974, in Olinda a city neighbor to Recife (PE) and became the main agglutinating agent in the citys avant-guard scene, being a focus point of wild resistance to the military dictatorship. In its brief history, Vivencial created a permanent relationship with the nightlife of the city. 5. N.T. Brazil 44 is the shoe size equivalent to size 14 in the USA and Canada and 46,5 in Europe. Its also clothes size equivalent to size 14 and 44. Sapato, big shoe is Brazilian slang for lesbians 6. N.T. A popular Brazilian rhythm. 7. N.T. Pau Brasil is a plant that was possibly the inspiration for countrys name, Pau is Brazilian slang for the male genitalia. 8. Fernando Passos was the guiding counselor for some of my masters studies. I finished the project with Eliana Rodrigues Silva. 9. Cleyde Silva is also a member of Ncleo de Criao do Dirceu. She develops a process in which she reflects about the place of women in the misogynist hip hop environment. 10. Yemanj is an orisha of the afro-brazilian religion candombl. In Bahia, Yemanj is often represented by a female figure very connected to the ocean. In this project, she was fictionally captured as an aseptic middle class image that has to do with a chic and supposedly authentic Bahia. 11. I want to publish a reflection specifically about the animation movies Barbie made based on classic ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker and Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses. In my masters dissertation, I already wrote about this and soon Ill bring it to light.



an image a LandScape
Ann E. Mazzocca

Framing the infinite (political yet undiscriminating) landscape... with our discriminative bodies and ever-judicious memories. Kabar, Ayiti. This photo was taken by me in Cabaret, Haiti (Kabar, Ayiti is the Haitian Creole spelling) in April 2011. I am a choreographer living and teaching in Norfolk, VA, USA. Let me know if you need any more information.



Aapo Nikkanen

story 1: The hospital Once I went to a hospital in France because of my shoulder. It had already been operated twice and it started acting up and being really painful. In the entrance of the hospital I saw a family that was hysteric, seemingly they had lost someone close to them, possibly even a child. There were three people, a man, a woman and an elderly woman. They were obviously related, thats why I thought that maybe they had lost their child, a son or a daughter. The woman was hysteric, well they all were, but the woman was in the most pain Ive ever seen anyone in. It was a desperate scene. You know when a scene is desperate and you dont want to look, but you still have to. Not like if you stumble into a room where someone is sobbing and someone is comforting them, maybe after a brake-up. You know to give them their space and avoid looking. But in this case, there was no avoiding.
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Aapo Nikkanen

The pain those people felt is something I cant understand. The scene resulted in an overwhelming feeling of empathy and it made me want to cry myself, which I actually also did later. They were still there after I had seen the doctor, but it didnt surprise me. Its not like they were in a rush or had any place to go. When we got back into the car I saw a small piece of knckebrd on the floor, it must have been there since our roadtrip to Finland, it was funny how I never had noticed it before. Since that day I have been seeing dancing knckebrd every time I feel a strong sense of empathy. I dont know why its dancing, but I guess some things are not meant to be understood. My shoulder turned out to be nothing serious, just the lack of exercise.




Hybris Konstproduktion

ergy to break out of the given choreography of recognizable attitudes and predictable herd behaviour. A language that challenges the given formats of what a language might be. I long for a language that recalls without sentimentality, and that looks forward with sleeves rolled up. A language that accepts that investment also means loss, that priority is also removed priority. A language that refuses to romanticize the art and the artist, but that sees the importance of arts as a myriad of contradictory doings, beings, events. I long for a visionary language that crassly realizes that art is not special, but specific, and impossible to unify. I long for a language in which self-criticism is not a marketing strategy or a tool for the consolidation of power. I long for a language in which risk is risk for real. I long for a nuanced language that insists on articulating the grey zones and colour scales between packaged truths. A language that takes the time to reveal our hasty pretend arguments. A language that is in constant transformation, while formulating clear definitions to consider. I long for a language that designates defined political opponents but never morally defined enemies. I long for an activist and idealistic language that never settles or gets comfortable, and that understand to use the opportunity. I long for a language that does not conceal selfinterest behind a rhetoric of solidarity, and who do not rule out singular interests aiming at community. A language that manages to articulate the much needed concept beyond individual and the collective. I long for a language that dares to be intellectually sharp, theoretically complex and difficult to understand,

The following text was written after a culture political conference in Stockholm in 2011. It was used as the rst in a series of articles that Hybris Konstproduktion edited on commission from the industry organization Svensk Scenkonst (Swedish Performing Arts), aiming at stimulating the public debate on performing arts and its relation to culture politics. This is its international premiere. I long for a different language. I long for a language that are many, that speaks in the plural, and that knows how to differentiate and simultaneously identify the common. I long for a language that finds its freedom through movement instead of self-marginalization and rigidity. A language where everything is at stake and that dares to speak as if it had nothing to lose. I long for a language that in a single vocabulary can both celebrate and problematize renegotiation and change. A disloyal language that has the en162

which lets itself go and hands itself over to be translated into everyones use. A democratized and accessible language where words still mean something. A language that embraces dissensus, feeds on criticism and that can admit itself defeated. I long for a language that is never self-sufficient and that always needs to learn more. I long for a luscious, pleasurable language that can not fail to accomplish more than it needs. A sensual and rich language, which, at the same moment as it is spoken, is embodied in practice. An eager and tireless language, that remembers that change takes time. I long for a language that never, never, never gives up the ambition to in every sentence formulate proposals for action. A language that turns itself into a foundation in the construction of cultural opportunity structures and new commons. I long for a language that never forgets that it is us people that make up the systems that surround us. They are ours. What we do shape them.





Images contributed by Jana Jevtovic




Josefine Wikstrm
BADco. is an international independent theatre collective based in Zagreb. They emerged in the late 1990s, together with a number of independent initiatives in Croatia, as a reaction to the nationalist cultural and political climate at the time. Since their inception they have produced theatrical performances for the stage as well as other performancerelated projects like publications and seminars on the topic of performance as well as open-source software computer programs through which choreographers, dancers and nondancers can analyse and explore movement and choreography. The collective is composed out of eight core members coming from such varied backgrounds as dance, choreography, dramaturgy, computer programming, philosophy and political theory. For each production, moreover, they often work with additional collaborators. This collective working process is reflected in their performances, which are strongly

interdisciplinary and which take place on the intersection of theatre, performance, installation and architecture. Their performances often include flow-like, yet expressive, sections of dance juxtaposed with spoken and written text, films, photos, sound and scenography. But instead of choreographies which transcend the movements BADco. juxtapose the dance parts with spoken and written text, films, photos, sound and scenography. This approach, like that of a montage or a bricolage, invites the viewer to look at the performance from an objective, Brechtian distance and as larger whole rather than focusing on particular details. In the following interview Josefine Wikstrm speaks to BADco. authors Ivana Ivkovi, Tomislav Medak, Goran Sergej Prista and Nikolina Prista, focusing on BADco.s most recent work,Responsibility for Things Seen: Tales in Negative Space (2011). Responsibility is presented in the Croatian Pavilion, which is curated by the collective What, How and for Whom, of this years Venice Biennale. JOSEFINE WIKSTRM: Responsibility for Things Seen: Tales in Negative Space is different from many of your performances. Here the physical presence of you, the performers, is absent from the space of the performance. What is the relation between this negative space, as the title suggests, and the way the performance functions, or let us say, produces itself? IVANA IVKOVIC: WHWs invitation was to do something at the Venice Biennale, an environment that is very different from a theatre stage and an encounter with a public who witness the work in a manner very different from a theatre audience. We knew from the beginning that we would share the exhibition space with the films and photographs of Tomislav Gotovac (19372010), who was an incredible film-maker and performance artist. However we were not so

interested in doing an homage but rather wanted to create a dialogue between Gotovas work and ours, which both share a fascination with staging, watching and being observed. The installation consists of a duplicated a gallery wall, which we placed behind the already existing one. The visitor can see this back wall only through a cracked door and through three punched-out holes which confront him or her with three different video screens. The first screen shows footage of the company in a white indistinct space, naked, running, walking and moving in flow-like gestures. The second presents images of the gallery floor-plan together with images of us performing short choreographies inspired by architecture and science fiction. And the third video consists of live footage of the exhibition space which then is processed through a software program which edits and erase images of the present visitors with stored images of visitors who have been in the exhibition space months, weeks or minutes before. This puts the visitor in a position where he or she can observe and be observed at the same time. It allows the visitor to assume a more active role of spectatorship, one that does not rely on forced interaction, but on devising a dramaturgical path through subtle cues. This approach has been present in much of our work for the stage in the past. So, coming back to your question, we may be absent in body in Venice, but we stand next to the gallery visitors in images. SERGEJ PRISTAS: If we compare the negative space with a stage though I would rather compare it to a backstage, a skene1 then we should talk here about the stage of watchinginstead of the stage of showing. The spatial and temporal displacements that are constitutive for this work result in a performative displacement. But its not the performers actions that are displaced and delegated to the visitor or spectator. It is the actionability of the gaze that we have created and which is triggered by the visitors presence.

Theatre is a place of a doubled act of watching: the watching of the performance and watching from the performance. We tried here to slow down the watching part by dividing the spectators gaze. JW: So, is the act of watching deeply intertwined with moving, or let us say, choreography? To watch from the performance, as you say, is that to be moved or to be choreographed within the performance? SP: What we call the choreography of attention is, metaphorically speaking, embedded in staged watching. There are no dramaturgical hierarchies between the watching and the organisation of movement in space. The visitor is not forced to move or to be watched, its just that he or she is provided with a multiplicity of experiences: the experience of watching, of being watched or of being the one who is watching from the side. JW: This relates, I think, to the fact that recently art galleries in London and elsewhere have shown an increased interest in presenting performance and dance, and to the challenges which accompany that interest. As I see it, this has demanded, from the works themselves but also from the organisation of exhibitions, a kind of staged or spectacularised interactivity, even imposing a forced choreography on the visitors. A lot of visual arts curators use performance works in order to activate the exhibition space and to make the visitor experience more participatory. But this often seems to me like an illusory mode of participation or interaction. NIKOLINA PRISTAS: Even though we experimented a lot with the idea of activating our spectators in some of our performances, we have never been interested in abolishing

the distance that theatre, by convention, grants them. If this distance is annihilated, if theatre involves them as performers, then they also lose their power as spectators that is, to reflect and to think. Their ability to watch things from a side, to exclude themselves from the events around them, in order to sharpen their point of view and understand that they can influence the system that includes them as much as it includes us as, for example, in Deleted Messages (2005) or Memories Are Made of This... Performance Notes (2006) is important in understanding our work. SP: That interstice between the observer and the observed is important for the configuration of public space. Interactive involvements attempt to erase that border between public and private. JW: I read somewhere that for your work in Venice you came up with the concept of theatre by other means. What is that? TOMISLAV MEDAK: Theatre by other means came out of our disinclination to create a performance only for the opening of the Venice Biennale which would then only leave vestiges or documents behind. We were more interested in making something in this new context that we found ourselves completely displaced into. While theatre principally relies on the presence of the performer, the presence of visual artists is rarely required and sometimes not at all. Yet, while we didnt want to create a performance and then leave, we wanted to retain certain elements of theatre that of the double presence of actor and spectator, for example. At the same time did we not want to simply delegate these elements of theatre to the visitor; rather we aimed to transpose them into the organisation of the work itself. JW: Could you expand on this resistance towards a

temporal performance? And has this work in Venice, which is within a visual arts context, made you think differently around the distribution of your work and about the distribution or circulation of performance and theatre in general? TM: The fact that you see more and more performances being presented within art venues might be saying more about how the performing arts field is transforming than about how the visual arts are finding ways to include performances. Structural transformations within the performing arts field have allowed for works to become much more presentable than they used to be. Performing arts have commonly been a massive affair. To create a theatre work you needed to command a certain amount of material resources and diversified human labour and so required a larger economy than creating a visual artwork. For theatre, this also meant a production framework which was organised more like a factory. And that was less democratic. JW: So is this structural transformation within the performing arts field to do with the transformation of how labour is performed and organised today? TM: Yes. Today we are seeing a fragmentation of the performing arts field into smaller units of production. There are several factors that contribute to that: more people being educated and working in the field and trying to find recognition as authors; an increased mobility and travel within the field; and funding becoming less available. In that sense the differentiation mechanisms, formats and conditions of labour in the performing arts resemble more and more those of the visual arts. What has become known as conceptual dance, with its radical mobility, small scale, single-concept works, discursiveness and strong elements of institutional critique is an index of the changing conditions of production within the performing arts. 175

SP: Another tendency is that more and more people, who before have been programmers or dramaturges in performing arts institutions, are now starting to call their practice curatorial. This is a problem because it destabilises production budgets, in the sense that the programmes of the institutions become more about carrying out concepts with already existing works and less about producing new work. TM: We, however, dont quite fit into that change. The fact that we are strongly rooted in Zagreb and that we are a collective of eight often makes us not economically viable for performing arts venues, let alone for the visual arts context. Therefore and Venice was a small test case for our work to circulate in the latter context, we would need to start thinking in terms of producing objects, works that do not require our presence. We are now trying to come to terms with the implications of that. Given our collective process of authorship, which is long and laborious, it does not seem feasible that well continue to do that very often. JW: Many of your works I am thinking here mainly of Memories are made of this... Performance Notes accumulate images, text, choreography and scenography, and so create an imaginary layer to the performance, a layer which does not seem to be written into the work but that emerges as an effect of the performance and which could be seen as a future image or imaginary. The door to the back stage in Responsibility for Things Seen... also creates this imaginary element to the work. SP: In Memories are Made of This..., we wanted to create an overload of intimate images of remembrance, while avoiding our personal memories. We actually worked on an operation of forgetting! There is a point in the performance that is individual to each spectator, when he or she experi176

ences that fact that the imagination can no longer create a proper time-image nor connect in a linear manner all the images that we have gradually laid before them. This is a moment when they become aware of the amount of stuff they need to leave behind them in order to progress further. This kind of negative approach, which stimulates the imagination and opens space for speculation is also related to the door in Responsibility I would say that because of the very vulgar act of bumping into the door that wont open (this happens to most of the visitors) one simply stops riding the wave of the imagery through the Arsenale inside the biennial. And that moment is a chance for us to reload their attention. JW: And so is your idea of theatre connected to this promise? SP: Not really I would say that the reason Im personally interested in theatre is the fact that it gives a space to experiment with a variety of problems and that this always happens somehow within this world and not within a promised one. The promise is one of the problems that has to be questioned on the larger scale. The promise has nothing necessarily positive in itself. It is more important to understand what kinds of conditions that produce it or what kind of living conditions they might bring. InThe League of Time (2009) we thematised utopian discourses from the 1920s in the USSR together with utopias from the second cybernetic wave in the 1970s in the US. InResponsibility we turned to the promise, given through the architectural theory of Parametricism, which is a strand of architecture that tries to produce poster images of future architecture and urban development, but only in order to capture and commodify our aspirations for the future to the financial or ideological benefit of only a few.


JW: Can you say a bit more about Parametricism and your relation it? SP: Well, in our view it is a form of technological modernism that has been emptied out of all aspiration to contribute to the progress of society and to the development of new forms of collective living, which is the aspiration behind much of the modernist design of the early twentieth century. Technological modernism has likewise been primarily invested into producing monuments of economic and political power. This is not a random judgement from our side last year in Metamute Owen Hatherley made similar critical remarks in his article on parametricism. Recently in Croatia we saw an example of what this type of architecture stands for when Zaha Hadids spaceship-like designed villas, overlooking the old town of Dubrovnik and to be built for a golfing resort, were brought in to a public debate over the privatisation of agricultural land where the resort would stand. Luckily the publics dissent was not silenced by the iconic starchitecture, but this example demonstrates how this type of architecture often is brought in to serve against the interests of the local community and its ideas on how it wants to manage the spatial resources. In our next project we will try to examine the idea of terraforming and its relation to the production of life and death. JW: So to conclude I would like bring up the impression I have that the performing arts in Croatia (and possibly in the rest of former Yugoslavia) seems deeply integrated with other artistic fields and initiatives, and here I mean both on the level of production and the organisation of the work as much as on the aesthetic level of the artwork. I dont really see this in Europe in the same way within the performing arts. Do you agree? Is this connected to the cultural situation from which many independent groups emerged from and that we spoke about earlier? 178

TM: The lateral integration a strong practice of collaboration and interdisciplinarity between independent actors reflects the fact that these, at least implicitly, share certain values related to the counter-project to the official cultural politics of 1990s. They also share the difficulty of having to function economically on the margins of the system and therefore have to work together to redefine the cultural politics, policy and framework from below. They including us have done this intensively and with articulated intent over the last decade or so. These are all small contexts, sometimes even incestuous and compartmentalisation can occasionally makes things even more claustrophobic. If independence is a counter-proposal to nationalist cultural policy, collaboration is independent cultures counter-infrastructure. JW: Could too much collaboration between different independent initiatives also harm the independent scene on a bigger scale? TM: No, not from where Im standing. In terms of production and work, this cant hurt. Collaboration offsets the failures of public infrastructure and cultural policy. And, as concerns the bigger scale, we just have to keep our eye on the big picture. We as a scene, as a segment of culture and of society that has the privilege to reflect at the changes that our societies have been swept into for instance with the latest economic downturn have to muster our capacity to act to help keep as much of the welfare state, the public good and the social system intact. Recently cuts of public financing in culture have been making waves across Europe. Before that there were cuts, privatisations and rationalisations in other parts of welfare state. We have to keep an eye on the big picture.


Sergej and Nikolina Pristas


Ebba Petrn, with Tova Gerge & Gabriel Widing
Things to take into consideration for anyone interested in experimenting with avatarization. Avatar. A body deprived of its own freedom of action by submission to an outer force, such as a voice in headphones. collitions. When two avatars say things simultaneously or receive instructions in the headphones when another avatar is speaking, they rarely perceive the meaning of what is said, but will instead be dependent on the non-verbal information in the situation to create their understanding of what they are experiencing. consciousness. Very simple movements, such as lifting a hand or taking a couple of steps, can become interesting to do if you are an avatar. The movements become unfamiliar and familiar at the same time.

Down to the letter. The avatar is emptied of own initiatives and will take instructions to the letter. If you give the instruction Look into the eyes of NN, you should also give the instruction Stop looking into the eyes of NN. If you specifically want the avatar to do something continuously, you can phrase it like this: Start looking NN into the eyes. fable. Dialogues can construct an imaginary past for avatars, or a common future. For example: 1: You wanna play a game? 2: I dont dare. 3. Weve played it before. Instrumentalization. To let the body be controlled can lead to the avatar feeling like an instrument for the operator: the avatar becomes a body that passes on an intention, nothing more. This seems to happen in particular when the avatars have no possibility of interpreting and feeling what they are executing, eg., in a fast flow of abstract movements. A feeling of meaningfulness often appears when the instructions are part of a thought through dramaturgy or when a set of rules lead you somewhere. Responsibility. To put head-phones on another person and give them instructions through the soundtrack is quite powerful, almost like having a voice inside your head. The experience is quite equal to what often occurs when you stand in front of a camera. There is a passing over of responsibility, and the person follows the instructions for the sake of the camera or the headphones, not for himself. now. The basic situation for the avatar is that it does not know what it will do in the next instant. It is present in the now and will not take any own initiative to form its future. It awaits its next instruction.

Operator. The voice that controls the avatar. Projections. Instead of projecting a fiction, such as you are standing in high grass, it might be useful to go for imagine that you stand in high grass or imagine what it would feel like if you were standing in high grass. One doesnt have to pretend anything in the avatar condition, one can just say walk through the room with closed eyes instead of walk through the dark room.

subjectivity. If the avatar is instructed to construct an inner image, it might be useful to consider whether one wants to tell what the emotional content of this image should be or not. The grass feels soft against the legs might collide with the avatars own idea of how grass feels like. Suggestions and imperatives where the avatar is asked to recall their own experiences put the human subjectivity in focus and the feeling of being an avatar might be reduced. Tautology. An instruction to imitate, follow another avatar, move to the rhythm of music or repeat something that has already been done is often experienced as tautologic. To be instructed by something else than the voice can also create a meta-awareness of how the feeling of being an avatar is constructed. Word vs. Action. In the encounter between two avatars, physical interaction gives deeper impact than spoken lines. In the encounter with another avatar, one is forced to renegotiate what the person in front is and from where its words and actions derive.

safety. Avatars may easily become very assured that they are right and they can be rather ruthless if they receive instructions to break social rules. This appears with even more clarity if the avatars interact with people who are not avatarized. speech. If the avatar receives many subsequent instructions to say lines out loud, it might result in not hearing what is said. If the avatar is to understand the content of a dialogue, the sentences has to be short and simple.









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Alejandra Pombo

performed a very particular routine, which included a nap they had to take before the afternoon classes on the floor of the class. A while ago I was having dinner in a Chinese restaurant with a friend, and as we were having dessert, he said that he needed to tell me something important. He told me that he had a paranormal ability, that when he was a child he had discovered that he was able to move things with his gaze. I didnt doubt him because I knew that I liked him because there was something special about him. I looked at him and I said, Move something! and he directed his gaze at the lamp that was on our table.

2nd Duet In February 2002 I arrived in Berlin to live there for awhile and I didnt know a word of German. During the first days that I was there, I had to buy toothpaste. In the supermarket I went and looked over all the toothpastes, and one that had the word organic printed on the package caught my eye (one of the few words that I could understand) and I decided to buy it because I was curious as to how it tasted (at that time I found all organic products very exotic). At first, I was surprised at how sticky it was, but I thought it had to do with it being all natural because of the organic thing. But on the fourth day I got fed up and decided to translate what was written on the tube. A short time ago I went to the supermarket in a town in Florida where I was doing an artists residency. I began to walk around looking for tofu and I was amazed at all the decorations, at the variety of colors and sizes and packaging of all the things that I was surrounded by.

By way of three duets of three instructions to say three things. 1st Duet During a whole year a friend told me that he was doing a masters degree in Origami. Every day he told me about the sophisticated techniques that he had to learn to make paper boats, such as, for example, those revealed by special cameras that were implanted into the hands of the maestro (this is how my friend referred to his teacher) and which projected images onto screens so the students could observe each movement of the hands in detail. Every day this friend brought me a paper boat. One day I asked him why, since this was a masters degree in Origami, they did not make more complicated figures, but he answered that the maestro told them that they would have to learn how to make a paper boat perfectly before they could make any other figure. They also


3rd Duet You run in to a person that you find very attractive, its 7 in the morning and you are rounding a corner and you are running, and without saying anything to him, you smile and keep running. He looks very surprised, even stupefied, because he finds you so suddenly, at this early hour, running and smiling To meet someone that you practically dont know, but to whom you feel very attracted. To meet someone with whom you have been writing for a month in a very fiery and intense way. To meet with that someone as if it was an appointment with the dentist in a far away and cold city. And I arrived to that foreign city. And I arrived to the hotel. We arranged to meet in the lobby. A quick look and I saw him. I started walking towards him with my head down. So excited inside that I couldnt look directly at him. The girl from the bar greeted me on my way. I could only see that his body was in an attitude of waiting. As soon as he was in front of me, I raised my eyes and pronounced a hello with an attitude of devotion.

And now do not take the trouble to turn the page if you really are not prepared to follow the instructions. I repeat, do not do it. And if you have the intention to follow them, I give you my gratitude, because of the trust. We will have achieved it.



1st Instruction Put on the song that you like the most, the one with which you are obsessed, or simply the one that you feel like listening to right now, and read this 1st duet, not out loud, but in your head. And do not turn the page until the song is finished. And dance and sing if you are inspired to do so. And if you cannot put on music, or if you dont have it at hand, I will give you a plan B, because if I dont, you will move on to the next thing and I will probably not have another chance like this to approach the outburst of action that you are considering right now. Plan B consists of. . . well, plan B doesnt exist.

he needed to tell me something important. He told me that he had a paranormal ability, that when he was a child he had discovered that he was able to move things with his gaze. I didnt doubt him because I knew that I liked him because there was something special about him. I looked at him and I said, Move something! and he directed his gaze at the lamp that was on our table. For a few seconds, there I was, waiting for the impossible.

2nd Instruction Ask yourself this question, What gesture do you make or do you believe you make when you want to say that you dont understand something? Well, make this gesture and, standing up with one foot lifted off the floor, read this 2nd duet.

1st Duet During a whole year a friend told me that he was doing a masters degree in Origami. Every day he told me about the sophisticated techniques that he had to learn to make paper boats, such as, for example, those revealed by special cameras that were implanted into the hands of the maestro (this is how my friend referred to his teacher) and which projected images onto screens so the students could observe each movement of the hands in detail. Every day this friend brought me a paper boat. One day I asked him why, since this was a masters degree in Origami, they did not make more complicated figures, but he answered that the maestro told them that they would have to learn how to make a paper boat perfectly before they could make any other figure. They also performed a very particular routine, which included a nap they had to take before the afternoon classes on the floor of the class. One day, by accident, a mutual friend of ours let it slip that he was really doing a masters degree in design and marketing. A while ago I was having dinner in a Chinese restaurant with a friend, and as we were having dessert, he said that 194

2nd Duet In February 2002 I arrived in Berlin to live there for awhile and I didnt know a word of German. During the first days that I was there, I had to buy toothpaste. In the supermarket I went and looked over all the toothpastes, and one that had the word organic printed on the package caught my eye (one of the few words that I could understand) and I decided to buy it because I was curious as to how it tasted (at that time I found all organic products very exotic). At first, I was surprised at how sticky it was, but I thought it had to do with it being all natural because of the organic thing. But on the fourth day I got fed up and decided to translate what was written on the tube. Of course it was not toothpaste but an adhesive paste for dentures.


A short time ago I went to the supermarket in a town in Florida where I was doing an artists residency. I began to walk around looking for tofu and I was amazed at all the decorations, at the variety of colors and sizes and packaging of all the things that I was surrounded by. Finally, I decided to ask for the place where the tofu was and they sent me, twice, to the dog food section.

arranged to meet in the lobby. A quick look and I saw him. I started walking towards him with my head down. So excited inside that I couldnt look directly at him. The girl from the bar greeted me on my way. I could only see that his body was in an attitude of waiting. As soon as he was in front of me, I raised my eyes and pronounced a hello with an attitude of devotion. Shit! It wasnt him. I turn back. The girl from the bar followed me with a smile. And now. I just want to say three things:

3rd Instruction Think of the person that turns you on, the one that makes your heart beat fast. He or she can be a person that you dont even know, it doesnt matter, you only have to steal his or her image and have it present while you read this 3rd duet. I recommend that for this step, if it is possible, look at a photo of this person a couple of seconds before you start reading.

3rd Duet You run in to a person that you find very attractive, its 7 in the morning and you are rounding a corner and you are running, and without saying anything to him, you smile and keep running. He looks very surprised, even stupefied, because he finds you so suddenly, at this early hour, running and smiling Actually, I had a terrible desire to pee and for that reason I was running. To meet someone that you practically dont know, but to whom you feel very attracted. To meet someone with whom you have been writing for a month in a very fiery and intense way. To meet with that someone as if it was an appointment with the dentist in a far away and cold city. And I arrived to that foreign city. And I arrived to the hotel. We
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1st Thing The problem is not in the equivocal. The problem is if we are not able to get out from the equivocal. What matters is that we encounter its remains, that we confront its debris. My generation has grown up living from a utopia and now we are like the city of Havana, a utopia in ruins. And this is how we are in a situation. And we are on the heat. The resistence has not exit. The individual responsability is pure fantasy. And this is how we are in a situation. And we are on the heat. We have to cooperate and make muscles grow.

2nd Thing Work in the ruins but we cant keep romanticizing. We have to stop singing that we can be whatever we want to be, that we must be what we want to be, that we want to be something. Stop the atomizations, stop confronting ourselves with identifications, and aspire for transformations. It is not time to be creative. As Jim says in Bolaos book El Gaucho Insufrible: Now Im a poet and I search for the extraordinary in order to say it with common words. For this reason, and only for this reason, I believe in poetry. We cannot just keep dreaming. We have to make something happen.

3rd Thing Exercise a way of looking that doesnt end in what we see.

Drawing by Krt Juurak and Mrten Spngberg (2010)




Siegmar Zacharias

Where exactly does the best performance youve ever seen take place? How does the space look? Who is performing? Are they one or many? Are they female, male or neither? What else is in the space? What is the quality of their performing? Is there movement? What kind of movement? Are there words? What kind of words? Are there sounds? What kind of sounds? Is their music? What kind of music? Are there images? What kind of images? Are there special effects? Fire, ice, lightning, noise?

If you were an audience member I would ask you to close your eyes now. But you are a reader so keep your eyes open and keep reading but imagine yourself having your eyes closed. Go through the words at your own pace. Inhale exhale. This is the best performance youve ever seen. It can be as funny as you want. It can be as challenging as you want. It can be as abstract as you want. It can be whatever you want it to be, and it will be the best performance youve ever seen. Where does the best performance you ever saw take place? Is it indoors or outdoors? Is it in a studio, a theatre, or site specific, or .

How does the best performance youve ever seen make you feel? What is the relation to the audience in the best performance youve ever seen? Are they implicated? Do they have to do something? Are they left alone? Will you take this performance on tour or Is it a one time only event? What are you thinking while you are watching the best performance youve ever seen? There are three more minutes left of the best performance youve ever seen.

What will have to happen in order to make it even better? How does the best performance youve ever seen deal with silence? How does it make you sense your surroundings? The place, the people, the time. This performance is coming to an end. What is the end of the best performance youve ever seen? Now take a few moments to think back on the best performance youve ever seen. Think of what happened. How thinks looked and sounded. What you thought. What you felt. Thank you For making the best performance youve ever seen.


Ina Sladic
Two years ago or so I bought a book on the airport and brought it home without even looking at it. Now I realized its still standing on my table. The title is Non-intentional design. I went through it. And you know what? Im sorry, but look. We do live in the time where absolutely everything is considered to be art, thats true. But is this right? I mean, can we approach life like this? Everything is art and art is everything. Art is a mainstream and a mainstream is art. Interesting. On the cover we can see a bathroom mirror on which somebody wrote See you later, Sue with a lipstick. On the cover, I repeat. This is art. This is a completely obvious statement, putting this on a cover of an art book. A statement that says: this is art and we are proud to present it to you. So if we look back to our childhood, remember how we baked cakes made of sand ( at least I did it) and forced people to eat it, how we used to create our imaginary houses and play in it ( even though nobody else saw this house except of us), going

Writers Note: Some people who witnessed the best performance theyve ever seen, saw the collaps of capitalism, saw a cloud in the theatre, saw their parents floating, or saw world peace.


through extended teenage era where we invented all sorts of ways to cheat on tests, including even a rope connecting two tables with which we could pass answers to a person sitting behind, we can come to one and only one conclusion. We are all born as artists. We are all super inventive and we can all live from this. But sorry, just one question. Who pays for this? How do you get living from this non-intentional art? We do not live in era where we are considered romantic bohemians if we dont have money for living. We are not considered anything. We probably die of some strange disease as we dont have money to pay a health insurance. Romantic enough? Lets all die for art. Lets do it. Lets make a circle, hold our hands together and pray for all non-intentional artists to make their living. I dont want to sound pissed, but its enough that every person who discovers body mind centering considers himself a dance artist. I do believe that every single person has the possibility to develop certain artists in himself ( whatever that word is supposed to mean...). But I also do believe that not every single person should make a living out of it. What is a non-intentional art in movement? If we look at it from a side of a dance artist. Walking on the street? Man, you are a big dance artist if you manage to get from the doors that will not open in the train to the next ones that are in a different wagon. All the rush, the sweat, bumping into people... Thats a true gift. A real art. Make a whole evening performance out of it. Its funny. Being frustrated with all this. But I do hear a lot of I am an artist statements. I just wonder, how do we get to this status? What does it take for us to start considering ourselves artists? Finishing art school, having 10 performances / exhibitions behind ourselves or something else? Our state of mind maybe...

The point is, why do we force stuff? I dont think its necessary to consider yourself an artist. Whats the point, anyway? Living in the time that we live in, that will be known in the future as a time of the reality shows boom, we might as well say that we live in the clich of Warhols 15 minutes of fame. And in that world everybody can be a star. But I still dont believe that everybody can be an artist. Sorry, but I really dont.


Drawing by Krt Juurak (2011)

Krt Juurak

Where do you go when there is nowhere to go? More and more practitioners, choreographers, performers and hundreds of other types of artists are experiencing a growing sense of acute hopelessness in what they call their practice. The practice previously known as creative industries, culture or art seemingly no longer provides neither frame, continuation, community nor future. They, the practitioners, artists, choreographers have already learnt to deploy an endless amount of strategies to deal with what looks to them like a terrible mess. Yes, they still can, they can everything which is all available. Survival food and money is not enough but when has it been so much better and nobody we know is like really starving to death. Same thing with stability funding has always been slow and unreliable so there isnt actually a big difference between receiving no money at all and endlessly delayed answers from the city councils. Creatively it is obviously primetime it is all open and without restriction:

no boundaries, no disciplines, no distinction between research, development and product, past and present, life and future. All in all everything has been merged into everything else and one no longer needs to keep work and leisure time, earning and spending money and resources separate. And furthermore even separation is optional separation is like garbage sorting fun to do, gives good conscience and of course we know it will all be one lump later on anyway. But still if the situation is so excellent, not really great but still better than ever, then why still regardless of everything, do the undead questions where is this all going, why bother and am I gonna make it (or who am I?) accompany every living artist on a more or less regular basis. At the start, middle or at least at the end of every next project, they find themselves facing one or all of these questions. Yet again it might also be an attitude thing you know to question things. Doubt, depression, desperation have accompanied artistic existence since it became recognizable as such. Yet today these questions seem totally ungrounded and therefore really depressing and occasionally kick even the fittest of us off-track. Maybe with the exception of the practitioners that base their whole oeuvre around depression for the rest of them it is bothersome, unproductive and basically a waste of time. Obviously therapy is not the answer for everybody and some even claim that the spread of therapy itself expands the number of depressed individuals. Many think it a better idea to look for the causes or reasons for the uneasy feeling. Or simply try to ignore it. Anyhow we have to admit that the situation is new and a new situation requires new adjustments, new strategies and new modes of thinking. And options are many. Some fight for the return of the past, although leaving out the unfavorable parts. Others are inclined to try out something new, obviously something better, yet another proportion of practitioners trust their adjustment skills and prefer to wait and see, wait for a new restriction, enemy or problem. Elimination of public display of ignorance. We 209

have also heard of suggestions of simply getting rid of all current conditions and so to say start from scratch. Or other utopian ideas. Not to talk of the large amount of hysterical individuals that have neither strategy, tactics, practice nor understanding. Life/work is unbearable whether one is an opportunist, specialist, therapist, leftist Everybody hates impossibility be it in the form of exploitation, unfair competition, emptiness or saturation. Yet we know that the alternative to the market pit would not be total life assistance (or life-long-learning/residency). But for a moment lets try to imagine that the earth is not meant for humans and the artist not meant for art. The unbearable is inevitable and the inevitable a necessity, kind of like living in the cosmos. Besides isnt the particular human (artistic) condition declined to feel uneasy with certainty as well as uncertainty. We all agree that normally the task of the artist is to break towards the outside, to encounter what has previously been unknown, unimaginable, nonexistent. Alongside with the settler and the student s/he ventures into the contemporary. Now, let us travel about half a century back in time to 1957, the year when the first dog traveled into the outer space that final frontier. Now, just take a moment to imagine what would happen to you in such an environment. You alone without protection in the absolute void in the vacuum of outer space, where you could probably not survive for more than 90 seconds without appropriate protection. What would it feel like to be in the extreme pressure, cold, emptiness? Over there you couldnt belong to anything except to the absolute opposite of yourself. There is nowhere left to break out, congratulations, you have just made it to the last level, this is you in the ultimate outside and that outside is about to internalize you! Outer space is only a metaphor, and no longer actual. But perhaps the problem with the new is exactly not in the

difficulty of conquering it but the unbearable conditions that one might have to face over there. And now take a moment to imagine that the over there is already here. If we can claim that the outside no longer is, we should also admit that neither does the inside. Are you feeling dizzy now? If politics today is the symptom of the self-determined subject then what kind of subjectivity might the artistic creative agency be the symptom of? As the title of the piece indicates the writer of this piece of article was commissioned to suggest a practice for a hypothetical time in the future when dance productions wont tour any more, when dance theaters and European networks have disappeared, when artistic labour as we know it has disappeared. We could of course imagine such a situation hitting us at some point but we could also admit that it is already here, has already happened. Where is it all? And dont be illusioned it will happen again. So you better prepare yourself.


Perrine Bailleux

cannot see him. She knows he can be everywhere. In your situation, there is no Hannibal behind the camera who can see you. You are the camera person. You play all parts. You can see nobody but you sense that you are surrounded by bellicose beings. You are scared to death. You clearly feel the presence of others, you are the actual victim of an endless physical aggression. Remember there is no camera person who can see you in the situation. There is only you who can see, or better, sense and feel what is going on. You dont see your aggressors. There is no body. But you sense they are multiple. This is not a film. I use the film thing in order to make it a little clearer. What you can keep from the Foster scene is the terror. Forget about the image. Just reconnect to the sort of fear you felt when you watched the movie 20 years ago. The word fear is too weak here, for fear always has a determined object. Or think of another terrifying scene in a better film. Still what is interesting in The Silence of the Lambs scene is precisely that at once she cannot see her aggressor. The object of her fear literally disappears. In a certain way, such a scene manages to represent anxiety as the second degree of fear, when fear culminates in having no longer a graspable object. So now, lets forget about the whole cinema thing. This is not a film. There is no image, no time line, no scenario, no camera movement, no nothing of a film. Just colored-grey fog, terror and impotence from being beaten up, for no reason, endlessly, by some ungraspable beings. You can hear them. You can hear sounds, dull sounds. You hear the dull version of the sound of each impact of the assaults you receive. It reaches you from all directions. You are beaten up badly. You are being aggressed for no reason. You are terrified.

The space youre in is undetermined, it is cloudy and vague. You are here, but you dont see your own body. You see no body. You sense that you are the main character of a long, very long sequence shot where the camera is subjective and fixed. Theres only fog around. There is no perspective, no horizon but an immediate palpable purple grey, thick fog, with nuances of green and yellowish here and there. Such a film would never have been screened, for there is nothing to see.There is no representation of you or nobody else on the image, but you are the main character of the sequence. There is nobody in the picture, and yet you are not alone. Remember Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs. Try only to remember the feeling you had (for her) when she is in the complete darkness knowing that the killer is in the room, potentially close to her, but not being able to see him. Shes terrified because she knows he can see her when she


You feel all possible emotions that torture can inflict. You feel you are being hit by all kinds of different things, but you feel this based on the fact that they sound differently. Again you see nothing, you see no object. You feel completely disempowered. You can only cry and suffer. You cannot avoid the impact, there is no way to defend nor to protect yourself. You cannot escape. You know that at this point, it is vain to try to understand, even to think. Things move, you can move your body, but always on the same spot. It feels as if you had stopped somewhere together with time. Everything has stopped, everything but this on-going foggy violence against you. You feel you are an absolute victim. You cannot do anything against it but observe your own end. But what you do not feel, strangely enough, is physical pain. You are being beaten up with an extraordinary violence from all directions, but it doesnt hurt. You suffer for real, from being the victim of a physical assault, but you dont suffer from any physical pain at all. You feel the intensity of pain as clearly as you feel its absence. There is no physical pain that you might recognize from the experience of being punched in the face or hit with a stick. An outburst of violence is raging onto your body, you can intensely feel it as an intended hatred against you from all over the place, but your body is actually hit by no thing. This is precisely what allows the torture to be eternal. This very eternity is the deepest and out-of-reach object of your fear. The idea that it can last forever is the cause of your unprecedented terror. The multiple and constant assaults seem to be part of the landscape, they seem to be constitutive elements of the fog, which at any moment and for no reason takes a shape to hit you. There is no comfort zone whatsoever. There is no way to ignore the aggression nor to forget the violence. The sound of it is deafening without being loud, it is deafening for being constant and varied, always with this dull quality. Violence is vibrating all around you and immediately and constantly onto you. 214

Perrine Bailleux and Emma Kim Hagdahl, PAF (2011)


Graham Harman
In the summer of 1994, I was studying German in Leipzig, where one of my fellow students was a nice Canadian gentleman named Gerard Zielinski. He and I occasionally corresponded for several years thereafter, and it was through Zielinskis contacts that I was later invited to visit the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto in early 1998. There, I gave a lecture on January 26 and a seminar (with Eric McLuhan) on January 28. The text that follows is the lecture from the night of January 26, held in a normal-sized classroom on the University of Toronto campus. This piece should actually have been included in Towards Speculative Realism: Essays and Lectures (Winchester, UK: Zero Books, 2010), but it somehow escaped my notice while assembling that collection of early writings. At the time of this lecture I was an unknown 29-year-old graduate student; accordingly, I had to pay my own way from Chicago to Toronto and meet all other expenses out of pocket. But the opportunity to visit the academic home base of Marshall McLuhan (an author I treasured) ranked as one of the most exciting events of my academic career to that point. The

lecture raises themes that have been dealt with in most of my writings ever since. I have left it entirely in its original form except for the correction of typographical blunders and the standardization of punctuation style. No major concept in the thought of Martin Heidegger has been more consistently avoided by commentators than that of the fourfold. In large part, this neglect is Heideggers own fault: nowhere is he more obscure than when appealing to the cryptic mirror-play of earth and sky, gods and mortals. If Heideggers earliest writings are already loaded with technical challenges and novel terminology, there is little in the period of Being and Time to prepare us for the inscrutable enigma of the four. Indeed, the theme of das Geviert appears to fall into Heideggers mind from out of nowhere, without forerunners and presumably without a future. Accordingly, many sympathetic observers prefer to downplay the notion entirely, as if it were nothing but a cryptic slang resulting from post-war trauma, or a kind of pidgin philosophy acquired by spending too much time with the writings of Hlderlin. Against this view, it should be said that the fourfold is nothing less than the central concept of Heideggers thought; for this reason alone, it has to rank as possibly the most intriguing philosophical discovery of the century now ending. As concerns the number four, it is clear that the numeral alone is not enough to establish a link between two given authors. Any theory that relies on two principles of division will necessarily generate four zones of reality. We can see this easily enough in Platos divided line and Aristotles four causes, in Bacons idols and Kants table of categories, none of them having any immediately obvious connection with the quadrate found in Heidegger. But a more direct kind of comparison is possible if we place Heideggers own fourfold alongside McLuhans concept of the tetrad, a theme

neglected to an equally puzzling degree even by some admirers of these thinkers. Whatever the clear differences between Heidegger and McLuhan in apparent subject matter, in terminology, and above all in style, their respective theories of quadruple existence are sparked by a shared initial concern: for lack of a better name, we might call it the critique of content. Strikingly, the first principle of both authors can be seen as the insistence that objects not be reduced to a list of visible properties, to self-contained hypnotic figures blinding us to the background from which they emerge. Instead, both treat reality in its ambivalent inner dynamic, as a resounding metaphoric interval between ostensibly separate poles. In each case, the object is a middle or a between; it is a medium. For this reason, unorthodox as the claim may be, it not only could be argued, but must be argued that Heideggers philosophical revolution turns us in the direction of a theory of media objects. Or to use his own short-lived term, ontology reverses into metontology, a rigorous theory of the duel in entities between their seductive facades and their brutal subterranean energies. As will be seen, Heidegger himself never proceeds especially far down this path. A visionary mired in structural difficulties, he neither thoroughly examines the inner laws of his fourfold, nor succeeds in exploring it in many concrete instances. At this point, a brief summary will help clarify the main tendencies of Heideggers philosophical breakthrough. 1. The fourfold The breakthrough appears in print as early as the first sections of Being and Time, in the famous analysis of the tool and its malfunction. Most of the time, Heidegger shows, we do not encounter objects as chunks of visible physical mass. Our primary access to beings comes from simply relying on them, from counting on them in an implicit way. For the purposes of illustration, we can imagine that a worker is as218

signed to drill holes along the length of a suspension bridge. Assuming that the work goes smoothly, the drill is usually not noticed at all; instead, it vanishes into the background as an unobtrusive effect. The drill itself remains invisible, while our conscious activity is occupied with the purpose served by this tool. It is only rarely, mostly in cases of failure or breakdown, that the equipment is noticed at all. Perhaps the drill-bit is shattered, or a power cord is accidentally severed. In cases of this kind, the tool no longer retreats into an underground realm of things taken for granted; instead, the drill forces its presence upon us, setting up shop in our field of awareness. Naturally, this portable drill-instrument isnt the only item of equipment found in this scenario; it simply grabs our attention more easily than some of the others, thanks to its status as a discrete, tangible device. In fact, any human situation is defined by a near infinity of tools, invisibly at work in generating a world. Absorbed in our labors, we seldom reflect on the steadiness of the bridge itself; it rarely occurs to us that our safety depends on the minute action of countless bolts, trestles, pillars, and spans of bridge-cable. Obviously, our lives would be impossible without the supply of atmospheric oxygen that we usually absorb unnoticed, and without the smooth function of countless bodily organs and nervous fibers, utterly suppressed from view except in cases of poor health. We invisibly rely on the earths crust not to collapse beneath our weight, and assume as well that the pedestrians now approaching us are not a danger: their clothing and mannerisms conform to standards of normalcy learned by heart in our childhood years; their behavior lacks that aggressive air we all know how to detect. Examples of this kind could be multiplied without limit. Taken together, they show the extent to which we barely live in a world of visible figures at all. Prior to this (or rather, simultaneously with this), the environment is a con219

cealed system of effects sustaining as well as opposing us. Our conscious life is only a thin and volatile film atop a heavy stratum of brute givens, a silent layer of tools sometimes joining in force together, but sometimes cutting, breaking, and burning each other. For Heidegger, it is the broken tool that first rises up from the concealed empire of the world and enters into our explicit view. The hammer is concealed; the broken hammer, revealed. But it should be noted that the phrase broken tool is meant only as a useful figure of speech. In fact, it is not ruined saws and chisels alone that stand in visible opposition to the background. As Heidegger tells us himself, anything that becomes visible at all can be thought of as a failed tool, even if it is not something we would normally regard as a tool or as means to an end. Then equipment is global; objects are tool-objects, caught up in a reversal between shadow and the light. Heideggers tool-analysis, far from some isolated insight into the life of the handyman, describes a universal dualism between the luminous faces of all that surrounds us, and the vast landscape of force and efficacy lying beneath it. The example of equipment is not, as some readers of Heidegger suppose, merely one fascinating passage among others, as if it were soon left behind in the wake of all the more remote and complicated Heideggerian concepts. Instead, the distinction between concealed and revealed tool already situates us at the innermost core of Heideggers thought. On the basis of just this opposition, he is able to conduct a withering critique of any notion of objects as present-at-hand, as visible or definable by way of their surface configurations. At the risk of some controversy, we can go so far as to claim that this criticism of presence-athand is Heideggers rst and only philosophical discovery, the key breakthrough that provides the basis for all of his more famous themes. We can now run through some of the most important of these, rapidly and without time for full argument. 220

1. Spatiality. In Heideggers view, the hidden background of the world has no parts, and makes up a unitary system of function or meaning. Taken strictly, he says, there is no such thing as an equipment.1 Space serves to fragment this apparently homogeneous world-system into distinct sites and regions, breaks the regime of equipment apart into specific objects. The problem is that the same thing turns out to be true even of non-spatial phenomena. A mood, for example, isnt spatial in the customary sense. But it is a specific feeling rising up against an invisible background, thereby tearing away from the concealed empire of equipment. Put more simply, there is nothing especially space-like in Heideggers definition of space. His concept of spatiality gives us only a repetition of the duel between broken tool and tool, between presence-at-hand and readiness-to-hand, between thing and world or beings and being. 2. Truth. For Heidegger, truth is defined neither as correctness nor as coherence. It is an aletheia, an unveiling in which the reality of the world rises from occlusion by degrees, while forever haunted by some dark residue that has not been brought to presence. But just as with space, we find here that there is nothing specifically truth-like about Heideggers theme of truth. The reversal between drill and broken drill is also an unveiling that nonetheless leaves something concealed. The name truth turns out to be yet another distracting alias for the strife between equipment and its failure, between being (viewed as ground) and beings (viewed as figure). Although Heidegger would undoubtedly resist the language of figure and ground, he would do so for reasons that are hardly pertinent in this case. In any event, his concept of Wahrheit tells us nothing different from what was already evident in the case of the hammer and its breakdown.


3. Time. The supposed temporal character of experience ranks as one of Heideggers most celebrated insights. Even so, beginners often find the philosophers concept of time to be his most confusing notion. And with good reason, since his so-called temporality turns out to have nothing to do with time at all. Thrown into the world, into the system of equipment, we do not live from scratch at every moment, but start from that which is already alongside us. Simply put, this is Heideggers past. Nonetheless, humans rise to some extent above this unseen background, and objects become visible for each of us in different ways, depending on how they are taken up in our project of existence. This is Heideggers future. The ambiguous intersection of these structures is what is known as the present. Heidegger claims that everyday clock-time is derivative of this deeper existential or ecstatic form of temporality. But this is unconvincing, since existential time turns out to be the source for everything, and has no special relationship to what we call time, other than a deceptive similarity in the name. There is nothing time-like about this time. Then Heideggers temporality is only yet another instance of that combat between the unnoticed conditioning ground and the glittering entities that have emerged from it. His word time is simply a pen name for the reversal between tool and broken tool, and would hold perfectly good even if it were somehow possible to halt the flow of time as we know it. As surprising as the claim may be, Heidegger, famous philosopher of time, has no real theory of time. What he does have is a theory of the two-headed tool-being, torn between the poles of exteriority and depth. 4. Freedom. As was clear from the case of past and future, the human being is not merely adrift in a sea of equipment, acted upon like a kind of passive matter. We do rise above the world and make it visible to some extent, even

if it remains forever impossible to reveal every force at work behind the horizon. To use Heideggers phrase, we cannot leap over our own shadows. But clearly, what we have just said about freedom is again a further monotonous repetition of what was already learned from the tool and its failure. Heideggers freedom is an ontological category that holds in every possible case. It is valid for prison inmates as well as for the most powerful autonomous agents, whether they be philosophers or the uppermost caste of nobility. To call it freedom simply invites confusion. 5. Destruction of the history of ontology. Heideggers detailed mastery of the philosophical tradition often leads to the mistaken belief that his historical works have an inherently complicated structure. In fact, nothing could be simpler to sum up than Heideggers history of being, however formidable his scholarship. Husserls phenomena are criticized for their status as merely visible or present-at-hand for consciousness. Kants definition of being as position is cited as a prejudice stemming, again, from the historical privilege of presence-at-hand. The same for the medieval opposition between existence and essence, which is decried for viewing existence as the visible and obvious presence-at-hand of the creature, a presence devoid of interior dynamism. In short, name any philosopher Heidegger has written about; it will be found that his gripe with all of them is that they ultimately define being as presence-at-hand, or try to define being itself in terms of some exemplary entity. This procedure is what is known as onto-theology, the impossible identification of ground with some specific figure, even if a different figure for each epoch of philosophy. Thus, rather than a destruction of the history of ontology, we ought to call Heideggers historical project an implosion of Western philosophy into a single theme: namely, the non-representable character of being. Its as if a gifted writer had published three or four dozen mur223

der mysteries, all of them diligently researched, all of them set in different world cities and rich in local color, but all of them ending with the same person as the murderer. Here, the murderer is the notion of being as presence-at-hand, as visible configuration. This critical project is continued brilliantly by Derrida, who excels at unmasking hidden onto-theology in most any text. But he is perhaps too close to Heidegger in his focus on the negative or implosive or deconstructive moment of the relation between tool and broken tool. Otherwise, he would not have confined himself to the intricacies of written texts alone, since oilrigs and arrowheads should be texts no less than the writings of Mallarm. But the positive moment in concrete objects is uncontestable, and Heidegger seems uniquely unable to refer to anything concrete except as a nickname for the whole, as we have seen in the cases of time, space, freedom, and so on. The question of the meaning of being, a question which Heidegger believes identifies his own revolutionary contribution to the history of thought, is actually nothing but the search for a notion of being that cannot be regarded as present-at-hand. Step One in this process is his simple analysis of tools (in the widest sense of the term), visible figures which are nonetheless also withdrawn from the sphere of vision. Step Two is his historical work, which amounts to a 15,000-page proof that all of his forerunners have failed to surmount the visual model of representation. It is doubtful whether Heidegger ever got to Step Three. And finally, 6. Technology. For Heidegger, there is no real distinction between different technological devices. Technology is only a symptom of the fateful history of being as presence. Technik carries out this program by reducing everything to a present-at-hand supply of stock materials, to a standing reserve or reservoir of manipulable items. For this

reason, events such as Hiroshima or the discovery of DNA are not especially significant in their own right; in an infamous passage, the Holocaust is described as the metaphysical equivalent of mechanized agriculture. In Heideggers view, the important step was already taken in the history of Greek philosophy, when being was identified with that which is produced. In this way, the entire field of technology is interpreted within the framework of Heideggers duel between the objects present-at-hand facade and its veiled action.
The point of this survey has been to add convincing evidence of the central role for Heidegger of the tool-analysis. We began with the simple intuitive situation of the background world of equipment and its fragmentation into specific elements. From there, it became evident that Heidegger wants to view all concrete philosophical questions as revolving around this difference between presence-at-hand and the shadowy environment from which it erupts. As overly prolific a writer as Heidegger is, as nuanced as his terminology may be, his abundant written words aim solely at fleshing out a single ontological paradox. The raw simplicity of his thought probably has no parallel in Western philosophy for more than 2,000 years. For this reason it is possible, as a former teacher of mine once suggested for different reasons, to view Heidegger as a retrieval of Parmenides. The abstract opposition in the latter thinker between being and non-being now finds a more concrete echo in Heideggers difference between presence-at-hand and its soundless twin, the background realm of equipmental effect. Perhaps the history of philosophy now begins again, but with a new and somewhat more intricate problem. It appears, then, that Heidegger leaves us with

nothing but a global dualism, a constant tension between reciprocal poles. Reality is thrown one way and the other; it is a metabole or reversal. It is carried along between both the luminous and opaque worlds; it is a metaphora, a meta225

phor. This is the origin of a briefly used Heideggerian term we mentioned earlier: metontology, a reworking of ontology in terms of a metabolism or metaphor in the heart of reality itself. It might be argued that this insight represents the high point of the Continental philosophy of this century. Much of contemporary French thought, at any rate, works explicitly within this Heideggerian horizon. And while Heidegger never succeeded in elaborating a complete metontology, he did take one significant further step in that direction. This is his concept of das Geviert, the fourfold. In fact, it became clear rather early in Heideggers career that there was an additional complication to his ubiquitous reversal between being and beings. As early as his late twenties, in 1919, Heidegger determines in an important Lecture Course that the visible realm itself is already split in two. On the one hand, the figural objects visible to us bear specific qualities: redness, oblong-shape, distinct velocity. On the other hand, everything surrounding us is at least something rather than nothing, no matter what it is. Ten years later, in 1929, this second aspect of visible beings is given a new twist in Heideggers analysis of anxiety; in the fundamental mood of Angst, beings as a whole appear against a background of nothingness, forcing us to wonder that there is something rather than nothing at all. Here, the world of specific beings mirrors the realm of unitary being. While the field of presence is normally thought of as populated by specific qualities and properties, it is now shown to contain a moment of simple unadulterated being as well, an aspect Heidegger normally reserves for the subterranean empire of equipment. The figure contains the ground. Even clearer than this is a similar division at the level of tool-being itself. While Heidegger tends to regard the invisible realm of being as a single unified system not yet broken into pieces by consciousness, he nonetheless finds that individuality already exists within this system. Walking

across a room, I do not rely on world in general, but on floor, shoes, gravity, and the like. Here, even the invisible city of being contains an aspect of specific quality, an aspect that Heidegger began by trying to confine to the upper floor of reality. With each of his two recurrent terms now cut in half, we find that reality is not a two, but a four. Rather than a simple opposition between the invisible one and the visible many, the world is crossed by a second axis, intersecting the first to form a figure X, an emblem that Heidegger playfully links to the mysterious nature of the relation between being and beings. But this fourfold was not explicitly announced until two decades later, in Heidegers first public appearance following the war and his resulting ban from university teaching. This was the 1949 lecture in Bremen, Einblick in das was ist, or roughly, Glimpse Into That Which Is. Left unpublished until 19942, it already served as the Ur-text for numerous well-known essays Building Dwelling Thinking, and The Question Concerning Technology, and The Thing. But first, a point of clarification: although we have used the term object as a name for Heideggers proper subject matter, it should be pointed out that he himself says object only in a pejorative sense. For him, object means only object of a visible representation, and refers to the historical reduction of things to presence-at-hand. In the 1949 lecture, Heidegger begins by opposing to the object or Gegenstand (that which stands over against our consciousness) the term das Selbststndige (that which stands independently in itself). We choose not to follow Heideggers terminology, believing that the English word object is too valuable in its nave usage to be given up so easily. Even so, Heideggers point is clear. The act of producing or viewing a thing, he tells us, is derivative. What is primary is that thing in its own background reality, its own


real being. To make something is precisely to let it stand freely on its own; to produce a cup is to release an independent cup-effect into the cosmos, something capable of containing fluids without our constant supervision. The eidos or idea of a thing does not give us that thing itself, a fact that Heidegger says was overlooked by Plato, Aristotle, and all subsequent thinkers. Here is further confirmation of what Heidegger regards as his own unique historical contribution to philosophy: the strife between the thing itself in its invisible reality and the thing as present or visible, ignored by Plato, Aristotle, and everyone that followed. In order to steer this talk toward a close, it is necessary that we give only a brief summary of the rich argument of the Glimpse Into That Which Is. This essay marks the appearance of Heideggers explicit fourfold: earth and sky, gods and mortals. While the terms are clearly borrowed from Hlderlins poetry, and while they strike some readers as an empty leap of the imagination, they are actually nothing more than stirring names for the quadrants already discussed. It is important first of all to realize that earth, sky, gods, mortals do not represent different types of objects at all. The four are mirrored in every object, as shown in Heideggers famous discussion of a jug of wine; although gods is one part of the fourfold, Zeus himself will have to reveal a quadruple aspect as much as the clouds in the sky or a handful of soil from the earth. The first opposition in Heidegger, which first appeared as the difference between the concealed tool-system and its sparkling visible fragments, is now renamed as the wedding of earth and sky. The earth, we read, is the building bearer, that which nourishes and tends us. It is that which sustains us even as it withdraws into the underworld; thus, it has to be identified with that which was defined, somewhat less inspiringly, as the tool-system. The sky, we read, is the suns path, the course of the moon, the glitter of the stars,

the years seasons, the light and dusk of day, the gloom and glow of night, the clemency and inclemency of the weather, the drifting clouds and blue depth of the ether.3 In short, it is reality as we know it, the world as we encounter it in our explicit experience. The second opposition in Heidegger was the one found in 1919 and 1929. The mood of Angst showed that the specific reality of the world already contained an analogue to the withdrawn unity of being. This is what Heidegger now renames the mortals. This is clear insofar as the mortals are the ones capable of experiencing death as death, i.e. capable of experiencing Angst as Angst or being as being, as something rather than nothing. The other term of the second axis was described as the distinct quality of separate parts of the tool-system even prior to our experience of them, the specificity of the ground rather than its simple unity. This term is now renamed the gods, the hinting messengers withdrawn from every comparison with what is present. The four unite into a onefold, reflecting each other in a mirror-play of earth and sky, gods and mortals. If these terms come off as precious and misleading, they are at least no more misleading than Heideggers earliest terminology, in which time is not really time, space not really space, freedom not really freedom, and tools not really tools in the everyday sense. For him, these all turn out to be code words, pseudonyms; the end result of his thought is only a general theory of the quadrants of reality a theory important in its historical stature, but one that fails to advance very far under his care. We can say that there are at least two unsatisfying features of Heideggers fourfold theory. In the first place, one would like to know a great deal more about how the four terms mirror each other. Does each of the four reflect its neighbors in the same way in each case, or is there an asymmetrical process? If the four are on equal footing at all

times, why is it that one or more seem to predominate over the others from time to time? There are other questions of this kind as well. Second, Heideggers fourfold leaves us with only a universal quadruplicity applicable to any being whatever, with no way to tell us much of anything about temples or hammers or jugs of wine (or even time) that isnt also true of everything else. For all its metaphoric resonance, we have seen that this theory has a frustrating tendency to reduce specific objects to synechdoches: here, to a series of overly specific names for the entire complex of being and beings. There is a frustrating inability for Heideggers theory to approach any entity at all. But this is precisely the direction in which the fourfold meant to take us, ought to have taken us, and perhaps would have taken us if its author had been able to leap over his own shadow. Too faithful to Heideggers own procedures, his followers have focused almost exclusively on discussing the perils faced by famous books. But what is demanded alongside this method is a fresh and concrete research into the secret contours of objects. 2. The Tetrad We have argued here that das Geviert amounts to the final as well as the paramount insight of Heideggers career. This result provokes an interesting hypothesis. Lets suppose, for the sake of argument, that Heidegger is the central figure in the philosophy of this century; while there are legitimate rivals, he is at least close to the forefront. If this is true, and if the reading offered here is not somehow contradicted, then all roads leading to twenty-first century philosophy will have to pass through the fourfold, as through a sort of checkpoint or tollbooth. Where things would go from there is not yet clear, but if there is anyone with accurate knowledge of the resonant terrain ahead, it must be McLuhan. We can look

briefly at some of the prominent similarities and differences between Heidegers fourfold and the concept of the tetrad. What Heidegger accomplishes with his fourfold, and in fact already with his initial twofold of tool/broken tool, could easily be identified as the flip of dialectic into grammar. Heidegger himself never uses the term grammar in this sense, and does not seem to follow McLuhan in regarding Bacon and Vico as kindred spirits. His references to Bacon are few and dismissive (focusing, as most readers do, on the inductive method of science rather than formal cause); any citations of Vico are to our knowledge non-existent. But we can think of no good reason not to call Heidegger a grammarian in this sense of the term. His failure to provide his own grammar of reality with a more typically encyclopedic scope can perhaps be explained by the utter generality of his subject matter, an ontological realm in which concreteness always tends to be elusive. No such explanation is necessary when it comes to the term dialectic, a key point of agreement between Heidegger and McLuhan. In both cases, the dominance of figure in dialectical thought comes under severe scrutiny. Indeed, experience shows that this aspect of both authors is perhaps the clearest pedagogical startingpoint for an introduction to the more intricate thoughts of both. In Heideggers case, the term dialectic comes under heaviest attack in his repeated criticisms of Hegel. McLuhan gives the term a wider historical scope, but with essentially the same complaint in mind to speak of the dominance of figure or to complain about the hegemony of presence-athand is to say the same thing. A related point in common is a critique of the visual model of human experience. While this is an insight that McLuhan has followed through in far greater detail, it is one to which Heidegger is no less committed. We have already said briefly that Heidegger assails Greek ontology for its visual notion of being as the image which is seen by

the craftsman beforehand in order to produce something; he would be in agreement in calling three-dimensional visual space a Greek invention. Perhaps even more revealing is the fact that in Heideggers later works, visual metaphors begin to give way almost entirely to auditory ones. Instead of the linear world of figuration, Heidegger thus joins McLuhan in retrieving an acoustic model of simultaneity and synchrony. Still another similarity is that both authors offer a central role to language in their theories, and both by way of a notion of language far broader than that offered by the various linguistic and textual philosophies dominant today. For McLuhan, words are things and things are words. This statement could possibly be agreed to by certain linguists, as a sort of interplay of langue and parole; in practice, however, the notion is never followed in specific human artefacts as assiduously as McLuhan manages to do. Similarly for Heidegger, language is not the property of an isolated thinking subject, but is instead described as the interplay of world and thing. For both, the simultaneity of all levels in this sort of language demands in every case a simultaneity of the four traditional forms of textual exegesis; to present any figure in absence of its ground is to commit, in McLuhans view, a grievous distortion. Heidegger is equally enthusiastic in his critique of such distortion or abstraction, also counterposing to it something like a method of poetic wisdom, even if, once again, the acknowledgement of Vico as a predecessor is missing here. Listing the parts of each of the fours together, another similarity jumps to mind. If we list earth and sky, gods and mortals alongside the four of enhancement, obsolescence, retrieval, and reversal, we note that in each case there are two figure terms and two ground terms. For Heidegger, earth and gods withdraw from sight, while it is the moments of sky and mortals that comprise the totality of the visible universe. The same role is played in McLuhans account by

enhancement (ground becomes figure) and retrieval (ground as figure through the new situation). In general, the parallel between earth and sky on the one hand and obsolescence and enhancement on the other is a striking one, identifiable with the morphological relation of figure and ground. It is less clear whether a similar parallel exists between the mortals/gods dyad and the pair of retrieval and reversal. In both cases, this second set of terms results from, in McLuhans opinion, the embedding of one situation in another. In the case of retrieval and reversal, this is referred to as a metamorphosis as opposed to morphology. But it is not entirely clear whether Heideggers second pair of terms can be metamorphic in this sense. On the one hand, the first tendency would be to read McLuhans retrieval as the revival of a factual older medium as the content of a new medium. This sort of resonance across historic time is a point about which Heidegger has surprisingly little to tell us as we have seen, his fourfold would hold completely good even if there were such a thing as a static, isolated moment with no relation to real history at all; historicity is not yet history. Second, even if it could be shown that the significance of metamorphosis lay in some deeper structure common to both authors, the moment in Heidegger that would probably have to coincide with retrieval (namely, the mortals) is incapable of doing so all that the mortals retrieve for Heidegger is being as being, being as an embedded element of visible reality in spite of itself. By necessity, this remains always and everywhere the same, so that there occurs no real retrieval of specific older media, as for McLuhan. There is another clear difference preventing any identification between the fourfold and the tetrad. The linguistic structure of the tetrad is applicable exclusively to human products as extensions of the primary sensory-bodily whole; there seems no basis for extending the media laws to

cover the products of animal labor, let alone to naturally occurring inanimate objects. By contrast, Heidegger is soon forced to push his fourfold, also linguistic in the broad sense mentioned earlier, into a sphere so broad that human creations no longer exhaust it. While this serves his general ontological position nicely, it also further undermines his ability to make any distinct pronouncements about any particular class or zone of entities. In the end, since Heidegger is forced to concede that all of the objects we encounter are tool-beings, it turns out for the same reason that everything encountered by human beings has this fourfold structure, whether it be hammers, birds nests, or stones. While Heidegger tends to prefer to illustrate his fourfold with examples of manmade artefacts, most often holy or aesthetic objects, it follows from the structure of the four that even beings such as trees appear within the framework of das Geviert. But how could there be a tetrad for trees? What would a tree retrieve, for example? In short, whatever is at work at the bottom of retrieval and reversal, at least, seems to be something not yet accounted for by Heideggers theory, which for all its depth, tends to dissolve all differences between objects in a single ontological solution. But in a final, perhaps more important way, there remains a crucial similarity between the two variant sets of quadrants. The analogical relationship found in the elements of the tetrad are also present in Heideggers Geviert, as was perhaps already clear from the path by which it was derived. Beginning with Heideggers distinction between the visible reality of presence-at-hand and the subterranean realm of equipment, it was found that Heidegger forces each kingdom to divide in two once again. Withdrawn from us are the sheltering unity of the earth and the motley band of the gods. Likewise unveiled to us are the oneness of being revealed to the mortals and the manifold of objects assembled in the visibility of what Heidegger calls sky. As with the tetrads, there

are two new sorts of proportional relations that emerge. In the first, the onefold terms mortals and earth (revealed and concealed) stand in the same relation as the qualitative terms sky and gods (again, unveiled and veiled). The terms are actually not as dessicated as they sound. Renamed as sincerity and simulation, they form the starting-point for the philosophical work of Emmanuel Levinas, who unifies these proportions under the general name of hypostasis. The other set of proportions, not seen by Levinas, are the analogous relations between mortals and sky (unity and quality within the visible realm) and between earth and gods (the same unity and quality within the visible realm). Again, these relations turn out not to be the pointless logicchopping one might expect; as if by some freak of instinct, these sets of relations form the exclusive subject matter of another student of Heideggers the lesser known Spaniard Xavier Zubri. Equally ironically, whereas Levinas speaks of his proportions as a hypostasis, Zubri refers to his own with the Latin translation: reication. The dual unity of hypostasis and reification is what gives rise to Heideggers Geviert. Since the work of these two students obviously lies beyond the scope of this talk, all of this is only to suggest that Heideggers schema is capable of further development than he himself gives it. But neither of his star pupils has picked up on the theme of the four at all, viewing them only as degenerate cases of a duality. Heidegger himself, who is alert to the four, nonetheless seems perplexed by his discovery, and does not anticipate McLuhan in a systematic meditation on the pair of pairs as a fundamental structure of reality. To return to an earlier analogy of our own, if Heidegger is Parmenides, and if Derrida is perhaps the paradox-generating Zeno, who is McLuhan? While it may be too early to answer a question of this kind, it is not too early to wonder if McLuhan might be the gatekeeper of twenty-first century philosophy.


1. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson. (New York: Harper & Row, 1962.) 2. Martin Heidegger, Einblick in das was ist, in Bremer und Freiburger Vortrge. (Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 2004.) 3. Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. A. Hofstadter. (New York: Harper, 1971.)


Amanda Apetrea, PAF (2011)


Aaron Schuster

the Scottish medium Daniel Dunglas Home, who on December 13, 1868 (one of the most auspicious days in the history of levitation) floated out of a third- story window and returned through the window of an adjoining room; or the ascension of Christ, archetype of all saintly air travel; or the magnetic levitation train zipping commuters between Shanghai and the Pudong International Airport at a maximum speed of 431 km/h.

What happens to levitation, one of the great imaginative figures of art and literature, in the transition from a religious culture to the disenchanted universe of modern science? What becomes of ecstasy, rapture, ascension, transcendence, grace when these give way to space oddity: man enclosed in a tin can floating far above the world? Is the cosmonaut a prophet of the erotic future, avatar of mans stellar renaissance, as Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke once imagined? Or is he like Nietzsches madman, proclaiming as Gagarin himself was rumored to have said: I dont see any God up here? Levitation: What Is It? The word levitation has several senses and connotations: miraculous, magical, oneiric, but also scientific and technological. Levitation is equally an affair of mystics and engineers, charlatans and poets. One thinks of the feats of

Levitation derives from the Latin levitas, meaning lightness. The term would appear to have been coined as the opposite of gravitation, sometime in the early seventeenth century when humanitys conception of the cosmos was being revolutionized by Brahe, Copernicus, and Kepler. Rather than being based on qualitative elective affinities, the attraction of bodies became a matter of purely quantitative relations expressed by algebraic symbols. Though the ancient cosmology was effectively vanquished by the new clockwork universe, this was hardly a simple or straightforward affair. Even Sir Isaac Newton hedged his bets. While developing his theory of gravitation, Newton was also privately elaborating a highly idiosyncratic theology. According to certain obsc241

ure and, until recently, largely neglected writings, after the Apocalypse children of the resurrection (notably Newton himself) would be able to levitate at will, soaring to the furthermost extremities of the universe.1 Levitation is also related to levity, to the lighthearted, the frivolous, and the fun. The link between levitation, levity, and laughter was made explicit in the 1964 Walt Disney classic Mary Poppins (as well see, the the 1960s was an absolutely crucial decade for levitation). Near the end of the film, the curmudgeonly bank director miraculously ascends as he goes into hysterics at an employees little joke. I wont tell you the jokeits not very good. Later we learn that the old man died. But he died happy from levitating laughter. Parceling The sky One of the great literary works of the past century dealing with levitation, combining the technology of aviation with Christian mysticism, is Blaise Cendrarss Le lotissement du ciel (literally The Parceling of the Sky but translated as Sky Memoirs). Begun during World War II and published in 1949, Cendrarss book presents a kind of literary collage. Prose poetry, exotic travelogues, personal memoirs, and found texts, including scholarly documents, are all pasted together in a complex construction. Cendrars is renowned as an adventurer, and the stories he recounts here do not disappoint: there is his trip across Siberia with a jewelry merchant, his pilgrimage to a strange Brazilian doctor obsessed with Sarah Bernhardt, his voyage from Rio to Cherbourg with 250 tropical birds (none survive the boat ride), his work as a war correspondent for British headquarters in Paris. But it is the death of his son Rmy, a pilot who perished in the early months of the war, that provides the novels center of gravity. Often Cendrarss parceling of the sky is interpreted as an act of mourning. He had spoken with his son about the idea of proposing St. Joseph of Copertino, famed levitator,

as the patron saint of French aviators. Though Cendrarss plan was foiled by the American air force, which adopted St. Joseph as their own guardian angel in 1943, his fascination for the flying priest was unabated. While hiding from the Gestapo in Aix-en-Provence, he spent his time in the library immersing himself in the study of levitation, and in particular the life of St. Joseph. Cendrars ends the first part of the book with a passionate proposal to make a film about the levitating saint: If a producer ever feels like making this prodigious film, I I, who have sworn never again to waste my time making films will drop everything, give up my solitude, my tranquility, and my writing, to make this film about St. Joseph of Copertino, in memory of my son, Rmy, the pilot, and as a souvenir for his sometime girlfriend, the out-of-work bakers girl, with whom I lost touch in wartime Paris.2

st. Joseph: The Movie What might this cinema of levitation have looked like? And what genre would it be? Perhaps an action film? That would certainly fit the temperament of Cendrars, but, frankly, there is not much in the life of the seventeenth-century Italian priest to recommend such an approach. It is true that 243

Josephs miraculous flights did provoke suspicion, and that he was investigated by the Inquisition at Naples for several weeks. But in the end, Joseph was released after the judges found no demonic wrongdoing. A historical drama, then? Large portions of Cendrarss book are simply transcriptions of the classic 1928 study by Olivier Leroy titled La Lvitation: Contribution historique et critique ltude du merveilleux. One could imagine a Duras-style film essay with long shots of airplanes taking off and landing, perhaps an image of a tropical sun floating languidly in the sky, while the voiceover endlessly recites passages from Leroy. Personally, I like to think that it would have been a slapstick-style comedy with lots of physical gagsthe unfortunate priest always being lifted off at just the wrong moment, flying away while sitting on the toilet, and so on. There are two details that speak in favor of this conception. First, Joseph was the only saint ever to have succeeded in flying backwards: retrorsum volantem. Cendrars was especially delighted by this fact. Second, Joseph was a total imbecile who (ironically) became the patron saint for candidates for the priesthood and people taking university degrees. So, what we have in effect is a dim-witted backwards-flying priest, a role that would have been perfect for Jerry Lewis in his prime. In order to envision the appropriate kitsch aesthetics for our hypothetical comedy, we need look no further than The Flying Nun, a highly eccentric television series that ran from 1967 to 1970. No history of levitation would be complete without mentioning this program. The show centered on the adventures of a group of nuns in the Convent San Tanco in Puerto Rico. Sister Bertrille could be counted on to get the nuns out of any jam by virtue of her unexplained ability to fly (perhaps it had to do with the aerodynamics of her oversized hat). Of course the storylines were limitedthere are only so many situations one can devise that require the heroine to

levitateand so the show was cancelled after three seasons. As it happens, a film was made about the life of St. Joseph. It is titled The Reluctant Saint and was released in 1962. The movie was directed by Edward Dmytryk, who is best known for The Caine Mutiny and for being one of the Hollywood Ten. It is very difficult to get hold of a copy of this film. I have seen it and can report that it is rather conventional and dull. Yet with Ricardo Montalban playing the suspicious Father Raspi, and the great Maximilian Schell in the role of St. Joseph, it is still definitely worth a view.

The Artist-Levitator I think it would not be terribly controversial to call Yves Klein the artist-levitator of the twentieth century. Indeed, with Klein, levitation becomes a veritable revolutionary program. In his 1959 manifesto Overcoming the Problematics of Art, the artist proclaims: We shall thus become aerial men. We shall know the forces that pull us upwards to the heavens, to space, to what is both nowhere and everywhere. The terrestrial force of attraction thus mastered, we shall literally levitate into a complete physical and spiritual freedom!3 245

This ideal, which is simultaneously that of the artist, the artwork, and life itself, is embodied in Kleins iconic photograph The Leap Into the Void; its other, lesser known title is Obsession of Levitation. The artists audacious plunge is that of a saint announcing the dawn of a new era,4 an epoch of immateriality where buildings will be fashioned from air currents, color dissolved into the void, and life and art merged in blissful union. In the caption beneath the photograph, it is written: Today the painter of space must, in fact, go into space to paint, but he must go there without trickery or deception, and not in an airplane, nor by parachute, nor in a rocket: he must go there on his own strength, using an autonomous, individual force; in short, he must be capable of levitation.5 With his leap, Klein both anticipates the space flight of Yuri Gagarin and outdoes him. The artist is superior to the cosmonaut in that his journey into space is made without the aid of technological gadgetry. Of course, it is ironic that The Leap Into the Void is precisely a doctored photograph, an early and masterful example of image manipulation before the days of Photoshop. As much as it may aspire to True Life, art, after all, remains a matter of illusion. The photograph was staged on October 19, 1960, with Kleins judo pals holding a blue sheet to catch the levitating artist. It appeared soon after in the publication Dimanche 27 novembre. Le Journal dun seul jour (Sunday November 27th: Newspaper of a Single Day). failing To Levitate, or The Art of The fall Bruce Naumans photograph Failing to Levitate in the Studio appears six years later as a kind of counter-weight to Kleins ascensional sublimation (sublimation being one of Kleins favorite words). From the triumphant leap of the artist-levitator, always suspected of charlatanry and cheap showmanship, we are presented with the fall of the clown. (Nauman once famously transformed himself into a spitting

fountain.) Later, Nauman staged a performance in which two actors were instructed to sink into the floor or, more mysteriously, let the floor rise above them. If the classical ideal of art is a kind of elevation, lifting up or spiritualization, one way of characterizing contemporary art is as an art of the fall.6 Rather than the miraculous flight of the saint, its iconic figure is the well-timed tumble of the slapstick artist. In short: Buster Keaton in place of St. Joseph. I am thinking especially of Bas Jan Aders Fall films, but there are many failed levitations in recent art history. After hearing about The Leap Into the Void, Paul McCarthy reportedly jumped from his balconyand broke a leg. There should be a name for this kind of vertiginous mimetic behavior. Perhaps after the Stendhal syndrome, we could call it the Klein syndrome.

Psychoanalyzing The cosmonaut The cosmonaut of the erotic future is a phrase that occurs once, in passing, in the 14 March 1962 session of Lacans seminar Identificationthe same year as the release of the film The Reluctant Saint, almost one year after Yuri Gagarins space flight aboard Vostok-1 on 12 April 1961, and

approximately sixteen months after the appearance of The Leap Into The Void. In other words, a particularly propitious moment in the history of levitation. How does the analyst interpret Gagarins voyage? Lacan paints a vivid portrait of the cosmonaut as living pulp implanted in a tin can, quivering flesh plugged into a complex technological apparatus. If for Freud man had already become a prosthetic God,7 in the era of the cosmonaut he would seem to be relegated to a button pusher, utterly dependent on the machine that supports his life functions and extends his limited sensorium. Gagarin himself, together with Soviet psychologist Vladimir Lebedev, stated plainly: The main function of the operator in the man-machine system, provided it functions normally, is to take the reading of instruments.8 For Lacan, the precarious situation of the cosmonaut hooked into an impenetrable mechanism is not an isolated or extreme case, but reveals the universal condition of the human subject. We are all erotic cosmonauts, split between our everyday, phenomenological life experience and the computing apparatuswhat Lacan calls the symbolic orderthat parasites our body and secretly controls our thoughts and desires. The lot of the modern subject, adrift in a universe of significations without substantial support or foundation, is perfectly encapsulated by the the experience of the cosmonaut: a body that can open and close itself weighing nothing and bearing on nothing.9 space sex At one point during his speculations on the cosmonaut, Lacan raises the delicate matter of the effects of anti-gravitation on sexual desire: What happens in the state of weightlessness to the sexual drive, which usually manifests itself as going against gravity?10 In other words, what happens to male erection in outer space? How can the phallus properly

levitate in a gravity-free environment?11 There have been internet rumors circulating for some time about sexual experiments conducted by NASA and the Russians, but it was popular French science writer Pierre Kohler who first discussed them in print in La Dernire mission: Mir laventure humaine (The Last Mission: Mir, The Human Adventure), published in 2000. The chapter titled Cosmic Love (in English) begins with a precise scientific question: Have the astronautsor the cosmonautsalready made love in outer space? If so, how many of them and who? Considering the secrecy of government organizations, we may never know the answer. For the conspiracy-minded, Kohler reports that information regarding the best positions for sexual intercourse in a state of weightlessness is to be found in the NASA dossier STS-75-Experiment no. 8. At the end of the film Moonraker, James Bond floats in amorous embrace with Dr. Holly Goodhead, but this is a highly idealized picture. As Kohler informs us, zero-gravity sex is no easy proposition: best first to strap yourself to your partner.12 Jews In space Compared to the Christians, levitation is not really a Jewish strong point. One can, of course, find some scattered episodes of miraculous flight in the Old Testament, but the phenomenon of levitation, especially as ecstatic experience, is largely absent from the Jewish tradition.13 There is an important exception to this general neglect: Emmanuel Levinass reflections on Yuri Gagarin, contained in his short 1961 essay Heidegger, Gagarin and Us. What does space flight signify for the Jewish philosopher? The first thing that strikes the eye is the way that Levinas puts Gagarin and Heidegger back to back. Strange comparison: what do the Russian cosmonaut and the rustic thinker of Todtnauberg have to do with one another? In fact, they represent absolute antipodes: Soviet Communism

and German Fascism, technological wizardry and technophobic anti-modernism, vita activa and vita contemplativa. Most importantly, for Levinas this impossible couple stands for the choice between enlightened uprootedness (enracinement clair) and earthly attachment (attachement terrestre). By voyaging into space, man leaves behind his mythic homeland: even further, he discovers that this hallowed place was never anything but superstition and idolatry. Levitation makes of the human being a creature of the universe. Against the philosopher of the forest clearing, Levinas defends the astral desires of technological man. To quote Levinass remarkable elegy to Gagarin in full:
What is admirable about Gagarins feat is certainly not his magnificent Luna Park performance which impresses the crowds; it is not the sporting achievement of having gone further than the others and broken the world records for height and speed. What counts more is the probable opening up of new forms of knowledge and new technological possibilities, Gagarins personal courage and virtues, the science that made the feat possible, and everything which that in turn assumes in the way of abnegation and sacrifice. But what perhaps counts most of all is that he left the Place. For one hour, man existed beyond any horizoneverything around him was sky or, more exactly, everything was geometrical space. A man existed in the absolute of homogeneous space.14

the answer finally is no.15 Yet as a certain literature would have it, the power to fly, far from being a vain aspiration, is a most ordinary and general human capacity. Everyone can fly. Only, we have forgotten how to do so.

In brief, Gagarin is the ultimate figure of exile: a man without roots in a cosmic desert without horizon or end. Mel Brooks once made a comedy sketch called Jews in Space, but Levinas goes even further: in the vast expanses of space, we are all wandering Jews. Remembering How To fly In the February 2008 issue of the Journal of Hand Surgery, there appeared an article by Dr. Samuel O. Poore examining the question of whether, through reconstructive surgery, the human arm may be transformed into a functional wing. Can mans ancient dream of unassisted flight finally be realized through cutting-edge surgical techniques? After thoroughly detailing the medical possibilities and problems,

The historian of levitation cannot fail to be impressed by the different ways in which levitation is posited as universal destiny. Who is the cosmonaut of the erotic future? Is he the soaring angel of ecstasy that augurs the coming of paradise on earth? Is he the machinic apparatus that parasitizes our body and controls our deepest desires? Or is he the geometric prophet of a new interstellar Diaspora? One of Eugene Ionescos lesser-known plays, A Stroll in the Air, first performed on December 15, 1962 (a little more than one month after the release of Dmytryks film on St. Joseph), suggests that salvation lies in reclaiming our innate levitative

powers. When Monsieur Brenger rises into the sky one Sunday afternoon, he explains his behavior to dubious onlookers thus: Man has a crying need to fly.... Its as necessary and natural as breathing .... Everyone knows how to fly. Its an innate gift but everyone forgets.16 The same sentiment was later echoed in Paul Austers Mr. Vertigo. At the novels end, the narrator, once a vaudevillian Wonder Boy renowned for his gravity-defying stunts, offers the following simple instructions for levitation:

1. Frank Manuel, The Religion of Isaac Newton (London: Oxford, 1974), p. 102. I also draw here on Joel D. Black, Levana: Levitation in Jean Paul and Thomas de Quincey, Comparative Literature, vol. 32, no. 1 (Winter 1980), pp. 4445. 2. Blaise Cendrars, Sky Memoirs, transl. Nina Rootes (New York: Paragon House, 1992), p. 148. The other great writer of the twentieth century fascinated with St. Joseph was Italian playwright and actor Carmelo Bene, who wrote a whole play about the flying priest. For Bene, the most interesting characteristic of St. Joseph was his imbecilityhe quips that Joseph was so stupid he didnt even know the law of gravity. 3. Yves Klein, Overcoming the Problematics of Art, in Overcoming the Problematics of Art, transl. Klaus Ottmann (Putnam, CT: Spring Publications, 2007), p. 64; translation modified. 4. The suspended pose of the self-defenestrating artist might best be described with the paradoxical expression of an upwards fall. As Cendrars writes: The saint who falls into ecstasy falls into the abyss, floats On High, levitates, gyrates in a transport, breaks out, and is no longer in possession of himself. At the most, he lets out a cry or a last sigh. Then he lets himself go and plummets into the very depths of the Word of God. He soars op. cit., p. 135. 5. Klein, Selections from Dimanche, in Overcoming the Problematics of Art, op. cit., p. 106. 6. See Grard Wajcman, Desublimation: An Art of What Falls, Lacanian Ink, no. 29 (Spring 2007). 7. Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, transl. James Strachey (London: Hogarth, 1955) vol. 21, pp. 9192. 8. Yuri Gagarin and Vladimir Lebedev, Psychology and Space [1968], transl. Boris Belitsky (Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, 2003), p. 259. 9. Jacques Lacan, Merleau-Ponty: In Memoriam, Merleau-Ponty and Psychology, ed. Keith Hoeller, transl. Wilfried Ver Eecke and Dirk de Schutter (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1993), p. 74; translation modified. 10. Lacan, Seminar IX, LIdentification, session of 28 February 1962 (unpublished). 11. For the father of psychoanalysis, the paradigmatic levitating object is the phallus. The remarkable phenomenon of erection, Freud writes, around which the human imagination has constantly played, cannot fail to be impressive, involving as it does an apparent suspension of the laws of gravity. The Interpretation of Dreams, in Standard Edition, vol. 5, p. 394. Freuds colleague Victor Tausk adds that erection is first experienced as an exceptional and mysterious feat, something independent of the ego, a part of the outer world not completely mastered, and even a kind of machine subordinated to a foreign will. See On the

Deep down, I dont believe it takes any special talent for a person to lift himself off the ground and hover in the air. We all have it in usevery man, woman, and childand with enough hard work and concentration, every human being is capable of duplicating the feats I accomplished as Walt the Wonder Boy. You must learn to stop yourself. Thats where it begins, and everything else follows from that. You must let yourself evaporate. Let your muscles go limp, breathe until you feel your soul pouring out of you, and then shut your eyes. Thats how its done. The emptiness inside your body grows lighter than the air around you. Little by little, you begin to weigh less than nothing. You shut your eyes; you spread your arms; you let yourself evaporate. And then, little by little, you lift yourself off the ground. Like so.17


Origin of the Influencing Machine in Schizophrenia [1919], Sexuality, War, and Schizophrenia: Collected Psychoanalytic Papers, ed. Paul Roazen (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1991), pp. 213214. 12. In contrast, in the cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky, levitation always occurs in place of the sexual act. By virtue of its unreal, miraculous character, levitation is apt to convey the miracle of love, which, according to Tarkovsky, is completely obscured by images of copulating bodies. Incidentally, it was another Soviet filmmaker, Pavel Klushantsev, who first filmed zero-gravity space scenes. 13. One should not forget, however, the mystical tradition of Judaism, which includes flying rabbis; see, for example, the floating Jews in Cynthia Ozicks short story Levitation, or scenes of flight in the paintings of Marc Chagall. Like Judaism, official Islam also de-emphasizes levitation. One of the most interesting treatments of levitation in the Islamic tradition is found in the work of Avicenna, who, some six centuries prior to Descartes, proposed a radical thought experiment to demonstrate the nature of self-consciousness. This experiment, in which a man is imagined deprived of sense data, floating in a void, was later dubbed the Flying Man. 14. Emmanuel Levinas, Heidegger, Gagarin and Us [1961] in Difficult Freedom: Essays on Judaism, transl. Sen Hand (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1997), p. 233. 15. Samuel O. Poore, The Morphological Basis of the Arm-to-Wing Transition, Journal of Hand Surgery, vol. 33 (February 2008). I thank Darius Miksys for this reference. 16. Eugene Ionesco, A Stroll in the Air, in Plays, vol. 6, transl. Donald Watson (London: John Calder, 1965), pp. 4647. 17. Paul Auster, Mr. Vertigo (New York: Penguin, 1994), p. 293.

novemBer 19Th 2011

Torvald Silver

Please I wish that I go to sleep and my artistic practice turns overnight into a hobby, I want to hide it behind the blind corner of the eye of the market, to do with it what I want when I want if I want. I dont want to pay people to do my artistic projects, I dont want to be invited to festivals, I dont want to ask anyone anymore to give me the money to be able to do my artistic projects, I dont want to write any reports about my artistic projects, I dont want that they are called artistic projects at all.




Alexandrina Hemsley & Amanda Prince-Lubawy
Dance History is a bit of an oxymoron. Dance is a language of the body, like an oral tradition, that roots itself in time and space while being undervalued by a patriarchal society. How does one document dance in a seemingly lasting way? Well, forms of notation have accredited Dance with a scientific association; and, surely one can write about or through Dance as a creative or theoretical process to establish the fluidity between forms of production. However, historically speaking, the body has been cast traditionally as feminine. We do not know if man stood up one day and pointed his finger at woman declaring, You are all things bodily. Or if one believes in religion, maybe He cursed woman to be all that is of the body, such as childbirth, menstrual pain and an over-dose of hormones. Or, we like to think that maybe, because woman for whatever reason does bear the existence of life, and without choosing must be aware of the bleeding body - something changing and dying within her, leaving

her body to transform into something else- is like a process of the moon itself that archives its own tradition through the movement of its own cycles. Thus, woman perhaps is the body through her own experience of bodily functions that affect her functioning within a larger community. Two bodies now do not write to you a history, but tell you a tale of a singular narrative that does not belong to man in the sense that it is not his story, but rather a story coming from the body, travels and workings of woman. We ask ourselves the same question about Dance as a documentary form as we do now trying to tell a story about the female body: How can women be sympathetic and bodily, premenstrual and weepy, and still try to flesh out some pretty decent stories to tell our grand-kids? How can we share our view of Dance as a story of woman, one that perhaps gets lost and heartbroken if you do not love her enough? The forest Lady Over the meadows and the river valleys, atop the mountains in a village, there lived The Forest Lady. She grew up as the third generation of the forest, full of redwoods to ensure the village people a secluded environment to sustain themselves.. The Forest Lady had long twine hair, that draped down her back and breast, revealing only small fragments of her skin. Her color was of the earth, soiled and enriched with the very essence of nature. She smelled of iron from the minerals of the ground she walked upon and of that substance that which secreted down her legs from her womb. Although she was made of all things earthly, she lived in the trees, longing for the sky above to carry her onto a new path beyond the forest village, and to outgrow her name. Every evening the people of the village celebrated their creative life by giving thanks. They danced and drummed around a fire to give awareness to the rhythms of their hearts

and of the forest. Well, The Forest Lady did not dance. Night after night she observed the ritual, withholding from the urge to move in syncopated ecstasy. How can my people free themselves through this same process of event and not get bored or tire of the doubt within us as we try to hold onto our existence? She glared at the moon in wonderment, wishing for the mystical motion of the tidal surface. Surely, she thought, The moon is the key to better myself, for how will I achieve anything whilst sitting here on earth. As everyone around her continued with their activities, The Forest Lady slipped away... Flaming blue feathers fly upon her at lightening speed from the black sky of her dreams. Suddenly, her figure glows in the illumination of The Phoenix, whose wingspan overpowers her presence times one-hundred. The winged creature lands gracefully and ignores The Forest Ladys alarm. In fact, she is sure that his large, blacktipped beak sniggers at her startled face. Her mouth wants to tell this bizarre house guest that actually, today was to be a wallow-in-pity alone day, but she opens up to him. The Forest Lady identifies with the bird who draws her out of her self-pity. This magnificent specimen puffs his dark blue chest out with a large inhale and opens his wings again. Each feather glistens with great indigo flames, flickering where each feather meets skin. The Forest Lady watches him shake his great head and pad his taloned feet enjoyably on the earth. He stops to look at her directly with piercing, small orange eyes. You crave the moon, he said, And so I will take you there to discover all its inconsistencies. Our heroine responds not, but the bird can see the flash of hope in her dark eyes. Climb upon my wing, and I will carry you as a chariot

to the highest point the eye can reach. His tone softens and he tells her kindly, All you have to do is go across it. There is much behind her dark eyes and The Forest Ladys mind is suddenly abuzz. Her path is emerging all sandy with evergreens either side. I could be the one to go to the moon... she ponders. At last, I would have done something! She looks up to see the crescent moon and thinks to herself, Yes. *** The bird takes her to the moons edge and hovers at the very bottom tip of the crescent. When they are close enough, she reaches one hand down and scoops up some of the cool, grey earth. It slips between her fingertips as the bird dips his head down so she can slide off. She lands with soft knees. Her feet seem to plant themselves surprisingly easily even though she is, technically, upside down at the bottom of the great sphere she believes to be a crescent; and, her jungle vine-like hair hangs away from her head, breathing in the sky Where do I go? she asks the flaming bird. Here is where you start. It is also where I leave but I will return. You will see what you do not know. But, what you find may not be of what you desire. The bird bows his head and with one mighty lift of his wings, soars up above and out of sight. The Forest Lady fights against her feelings of being abandoned after such a short time together with this some259

what smug bird. Stop being ridiculous, she tells herself. Its the moon. All I have to do is follow the edge around and then slide down the other side. Two days is all it will take. The Forest Lady begins to walk around the edge of the moon. She is used to the shadows of the forest so she can see quite clearly. She is careful because the ground is surprising. There is not much notable. In fact, she is disappointed that the moons surface looks ugly and barren. On her next step, she is hit by the light of the sun, the source of the moons bright wonderment. This white hot blindness panics her and our heroine sinks to her hands and knees. Overwhelmed by her loss, she retreats, feeling her knees scrape against the ground, into the coolness of the shadows once more. She wants to open her eyes and as she does so, something a voice deep within informs her that she will be blind. This voice is fleeting and quick but its origin is with her. An instant is all it takes to understand it clearly she only has to listen. As her eyelids fold back and she is left with a white hot impression encompassing her vision, she understands that there is more to this land than could ever be understood by sight alone. Nevertheless, she begins to worry as the foreign feel of her new ground rubs up against her skin in a cool dark manner. She knows she is alone, as no one before had wished to venture to the moon and the blue bird had left her with only the resonance of his words. All around her is silent. Her ears stand on end in anticipation to hear something, but only waves of pressure fill every orifice in her body. She begins to crawl along the craters, edging each crevice with precariousness. 260

With a catlike grip, clinging to the minimal gravity beneath her, The Forest Lady travels the surface bit by bit, scrapping her nude body against rubble and burning stardust. Our Forest Lady begins to notice... She is aware of the slightly damp soil and where the surfaces of her own warm, vital body meet the smooth windshaped land. She senses how this once silent moon now seems filled with a thousand distant voices. Voices of cackling grandmothers, firm mothers and nervous daughters. Tender friends, outraged lovers and bitter competitors. Voices that sing to her, tell her history and memories. They and she, witnesses of the certainty of her heartbeat. All the while, her body progresses forward (we think it would be arrogant to assume certainty of direction in this vast landscape). She pauses at last to dip her finders deep into this ancient soil. This soil that dictates many womens cycles. Cycles that see women of the forest howl at the moon on tumultuous nights. Our Forest Lady slides down craters and the wind catches her laughter. She handstands, skips and flips her way through the plains; and, she forgets her blindness as her whole body encounters what it is to trust oneself. Her skin that was once brown with the iron rich soil and winecoloured from monthly blood is now also streaked with grey sand, older than anyone can guess. Our Forest Lady runs... Lunar winds pass through her soft locks. She forgets to check where her feet fall. Arms outstretched and with the most wonderful of grins she tries to gather the air around her. She is driven to keep pushing through the current. On and

on she travels, accustomed now to the unpredictable way the soft ground dips and spills. Sightless in this black sky puckered with other stars...there remains silence. An expanse that lets her trust the way of things, assuring her that if it came to it, her feet, arms or back would break her fall and send her rolling into the grounds generous embrace. All at once, she stops. A sudden desire to halt herself. If she could just dig her heels in.As she does so, her body lurches forward imperceptibly. As she arrives at stillness she realises that the moon is still rotating. Her eyes have at last adjusted themselves and she sees the sky rushing past them; and, stars dash across her vision enriched by bodily experiences. Her body begins to grow. Each part of her swells so that her height rushes upwards. Legs stretching, tummy expanding, neck elongating, shoulders broadening. Soon Our Forest Lady has more than doubled in size; and, looking out around her, she can see the moons curved edges. Her long frame becomes the embodied tip of the moons axis and she becomes the centre of her own universe. *** She catches sight of the returning blue bird and realises that she may not have made it all the way across the moon. Her familiar panic of not achieving exactly what she had set out to do begins to work its mischievous way up through her chest. This panic is slimy and clogs up her airways. Once the bird lands and greets her, she hurriedly asks if she made it? Well, did she? The bird bows his great head and body so that our heroine may climb upon him, and this invitational gesture silences The Forest Ladys question. Habitual undermining and pressured voices are hard to break but they do not have

to be indulged in. The Forest Lady will never know if she made it. Her journey home is silent. She occasionally glances back to the moon to see if she can still notice what it offered to her. More frequently, The Forest Lady turns her eyes inwards to see how full her own body has become. As the bird lands, she bids him farewell and feels how familiar and light this forest air feels to her now. She washes her sticky body in a stream and reflects on the circularity of the moons surface. A small smile plays on her lips as she remembers her far-away journey only to come back to her home-body once more. The Forest Lady feels her skin, still marked with this ancient dirt and the dirt associated with her namesake. Her mind is clear. She feels the water drip off the tip of her nose before turning back to the campfire with the rest of the village to do the work she now desperately wants to do. Her feet tread certainly and her self-seeing voice and heartbeat remains strong with the voices of those gone before her.



Franco Bifo Berardi
Once upon a time I happened to take part in an action of the Living Theatre: in an old Italian theatre some hundred people met for a collective mantra: emission of harmonizing sounds, shared breathing going on in time thanks to a vocal wave which goes from one mouth to the next, from one body to the next. In this text I want to elaborate on the mantra as a form of self-empowerment of the insurgent movement. Lets consider the social relation from the point of view of harmony and disharmony among breathing singularities. Organisms that meet, conflict, interact in a common space. The wisdom of the Hindu yogi thinks of breathing (atman) as a relation of the organism with cosmic breath ( prana) and the physical surrounding environment. Physical organisms are interacting with the natural environment, with the city, the factory, the air that they

breathe. Psychic organisms are interacting with the Infosphere, the environment where info-stimuli are circulating, influencing psychic reactions. Lately we have been facing a growing pollution of air, water and food. Industrial fallout has provoked an increase in asthma, lung-cancer and respiratory diseases. There is an other kind of pollution which concerns the psychic breathing of individual and collective organisms. Semiotic flows which are spread through the Infosphere by the media system, advertising, and financial abstraction are polluting the psychosphere and provoking disharmony in the breathing of singularities: fear, anxiety, panic, depression are the pathological symptoms of this kind of pollution. Lets consider how singularities are linking in the social psychic process. Concatenations between conscious, sensitive organisms can have a conjunctive feature as well as a connective feature. Human beings conjoin as a result of their ability to linguistically and sensuously interact. The phenomenon of linguistic communication has been widely studied by scholars and we know that media can modify and enrich it, but also impoverish it. Sensibility is the other level of concatenation - subject comes first and this needs to be better understood. Sensibility is the ability of human beings to communicate something that cannot be said by words. Conjunction makes possible for the social organism: affection, sensuous comprehension, and social solidarity. Cultural flows, music and poetry, as psychotropic substances, both facilitate and obstruct the conjunctive ability. Sensibility is the faculty that allows us to enter in relation with entities not made of our matter, not speaking our language, and not reducible to the communication of discreet, verbal or digital signs.

Sensibility is the ability to harmonize with the rhizome. Principle of connection and heterogeneity: any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be. Collective assemblages of enunciation function directly within machinic assemblages; it is not impossible to make a radical break between regimes of signs and their objects. [] The orchid deterritorializes by forming an image, a tracing of a wasp; but the wasp reterritorializes on that image. The wasp is nevertheless deterritorialized, becoming a piece in the orchids reproductive apparatus. But it reterritorializes the orchid by transporting its pollen. Wasp and orchid, as heterogeneous elements, form a rhizome. (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980: 10) On the ontological, teleological or even the physical plane, the wasp and the orchid are not homogeneous. They even belong to two different natural realms. But this does not prevent them from working together in the sense of becoming a concatenation (sagencer) and in so doing generating something that was not there before, namely a machine. Any material concatenation is a machine when considered from the perspective of its functioning rather than its being. Be, Be, Be! is the metaphysical scream that dominates hierarchical civilization, to which rhizomatic thought replies: Concatenate, Concatenate, Concatenate! The principle of becoming lies in conjunctive concatenation. [] becoming-wasp of the orchid and a becomingorchid of the wasp. Each of these becomings brings about the deterritorialisation of one term and the reterritorialisation of the other; the two becomings interlink and form relays in a circulation of intensities pushing

the deterritorialisation ever further. There is neither imitation nor resemblance, only an exploding of two heterogeneous series on the line of flight composed by a common rhizome that can no longer be attributed to or subjugated by anything signifying: [...] the a-parallel evolution of two beings that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. (Deleuze and Guattari, 1999: 10) Conjunction/Connection Conjunction and connection are two different modalities of social concatenation. Whilst conjunction is the living and unpredictable concatenation of bodies, connection means functional interoperability of organisms previously reduced to compatible linguistic units. The spreading of the connective modality in social life creates the condition of an anthropological shift that we cannot yet fully understand. This shift involves a mutation of the conscious organism: in order to make the conscious organism compatible with the connective machine, cognitive systems have to be reformatted. Conscious and sensitive organisms are thus subjected to a process of mutation that involves attention, processing, decision and expression. Info flows have to accelerate, and connective capacity has to be empowered in order to comply with the recombinant technology of the global net. This mutation provokes a dulling of [the] conjunctive ability of human cognition, particularly of sensibility, the essential conjunctive faculty in the first connective generation, the generation that has learned more words from a machine than from the mother. In order to understand the present anthropological shift we should focus on the meaning of conjunction and connection. Conjunction is a becoming other. In contrast, [with] connection each element remains distinct and interacts only

functionally. Singularities change when they conjoin, they become something other than what they were before their conjunction. Love changes the lover and the combination of a-signifying signs gives rise to the emergence of a previously inexistent meaning. Rather than a fusion of segments, connection entails a simple effect of machine functionality. The functionality of the materials that connect is implicit in the connection as a functional modelling that prepares them for interfacing and inter-operability. In order for connection to be possible, segments must be linguistically compatible. Connection requires a prior process whereby the elements that need to connect are made compatible. Indeed the digital web extends through the progressive reduction of an increasing number of elements to a format, a standard and a code that makes different elements compatible. The process of change underway in our time is centred around the shift from conjunction to connection as the paradigm of exchange between conscious organisms. The leading factor of this change is the insertion of the electronic in the organic, the proliferation of artificial devices in the organic universe, the body, communication and society. The effect of this change is a transformation of the relationship between consciousness and sensibility and the increasing desensitization in the exchange of signs. Conjunction is the meeting and fusion of round and irregular shapes that are continuously weaselling their way about with no precision, repetition or perfection. Connection is the punctual and repeatable interaction of algorithmic functions, straight lines and points that overlap perfectly, plugging in or out according to discrete modes of interaction that render the different parts compatible to a pre-established standard. The shift from conjunction to connection as the predominant mode of interaction of conscious organisms is a consequence of the gradual digitalisation of signs and the

increasing mediatisation of relations. [I would mention this key point earlier in the article as well - where the section on media seemed a bit muddy and like it needed to be longer] The digitalization of communicative processes induces in the conscious and sensitive organism a sort of desensitization to the curve, to the continuous process of slow becoming; what follows is a sort of sensitization to the code. Immersed in the digital space the human being starts to react to the sudden digital changes and experience tends to be transformed into a flow of simulation. Conjunction entails a semantic criterion of interpretation. The other, who enters in conjunction with you, sends signs that you must interpret the meaning of by tracing the intention, the context, the shade, the unsaid. Connection requires a criterion of interpretation that is purely syntactic. The interpreter must recognize a sequence and be able to carry out the operation foreseen by the general syntax (or operating system); there can be no margins for ambiguity in the exchange of messages, nor can the intention be manifest though nuances. The gradual translation of semantic differences into syntactic differences is the process that led from modern scientific rationalism to cybernetics and eventually made the creation of a digital web possible. But if you extend the syntactic method of interpretation to human beings, a cognitive and psychic mutation is underway. The mutation is actually provoking painful effects on the conscious organism, and these effects can be interpreted with the categories of psychopathology: dyslexia, anxiety and apathy, panic and depression. However, the pathological description is not grasping the deep meaning of the question. What is more important, in fact, is the attempt of adaptation of the conscious organism to a changing environment. In order to efficiently interact with the connective en269

vironment, the conscious and sensitive organism starts to suppress at a certain degree what we call sensibility. This is in my opinion the core of cognitive reformatting that is underway. Sensibility, i.e. the ability to interpret and understand what cannot be expressed in verbal or digital signs, can be useless and also dangerous in an integrated system of [a] connective nature. Sensibility slows interpretation procedures, and makes de-codification aleatory, ambiguous, uncertain; it reduces the competitive efficiency of the semiotic agent. An ethical effect is involved in this process: a sort of ethical insensibility seems to mark the behaviour of the humans of the last generation. But if we want to understand the disturbance in the ethical sphere we should displace our attention towards the aesthetic field. The ethical disorder, the inability to ethically manage individual and collective life seems to follow a disturbance of the aesthesia, perception of the other and of the self. Composition and recombination Social concatenation can have a conjunctive feature and a connective. The conjunctive modality makes social composition possible at the cultural and psychic and political level, whilst connective modality demands compatibility and forbids composition. We may see composition, rather than connection, as a form of shared respiration: co-spiration, conspiracy. When connective compatibility, or functional recombination gets an upper hand over composition the social organism stiffens and gets frail. Social solidarity is not an ethical or ideological value: it depends on the continuousness of the relation between individuals in time and in space. The material foundation of solidarity is an embodied perception of the continuity of the body, and of the consistency of my interest in your interest. Since the 80s precarity provoked a process of de-solidarization and a process of

disaggregation of the social composition of work. Virtualization has been an additional cause of de-solidarization: precarization makes the social body frail at the level of work, while virtualization makes the social body frail at the level of affection. Collective breath starts to be fragmented, submitted to the accelerating rhythms of the virtual machine, and this process is parallel and complementary to the fractalization of financial capital. Financial capitalism is deterritorialized and virtual, and acts as a constant recombination of virtual fragments of abstract ownership. Following the introduction of the connective principle in social communication, organisms start losing the ability to empathize rather than sympathize here since were talking about bodies, and start recombining on an impersonal ground. Dis-empathy is the consequence of this dis-harmonization of social communication. The sexuality of the fractal body is exposed in the panic form, and desire heads simultaneously in countless directions, a frigid orgy that is the core of pornography. Bodies perceive each other as interchangeable, hair must disappear from the smooth epidermal surfaces. Rhythm and Refrain Late modern Rhythm has been synched to the ordered noise of the machine. Rock and Punk music have inherited the charm for mechanic rhythm although at the end they are turning this charm into rage against the machine. In the book Sonic Warfare, Sound Affect and the Ecology of Fear, MIT, 2010, Steve Goodman is describing the rhythmic aggression against social life. From Hitlers use of the loudspeaker as a mechanism for affective mobilization during World War II, through to Bin Ladens audio-taped messages, the techniques of sonic warfare have now percolated into the everyday.

Guattari speaks of retournel, the refrain. A child that sings in the night because of his fear of the dark tries to re-stabilize control of events that are too quickly deterritorializing for his liking and that begin to proliferate in the cosmos and in the imaginary. Each individual, each group, each nation thus equips themselves with a range of basic refrains for conjuring chaos. (Guattari, F.:LInconscient machinique, Encres, 1979, pag. 109). The refrain is an obsessive ritual that allows the individual the conscious organism in continuous variation to find identification points and to territorialize oneself and to represent oneself in relation to the surrounding world. The refrain is the modality of semiotization that allows an individual (a group, a people, a nation, a sub-culture, a movement) to receive and project the world according to reproducible and communicable formats. In order for the cosmic, social and molecular universe to be filtered through individual perception, models of semiotization must be active, and these models Guattari calls refrains. The perception of time by a society, a culture or a persona is also the model of a truly temporal refrain, that is, of particular rhythmic modulations that function as modules for accessing, awaiting and participating in cosmic temporal becoming. From this perspective, universal time appears to be no more than a hypothetical projection, a time of generalized equivalence, a flattened capitalistic time: what is important are these partial modules of temporalization, operating in diverse domains (biological, ethnological, socio-cultural, machinic, cosmic) and out of which complex refrains constitute highly relative existential synchronies. Guattari, F.: Chaosmosis, 16). The main cultural transformation of modern capitalism has been the creation of refrains of temporal perception that pervade and discipline society: the refrain of factory

work, the refrain of the salary, the refrain of production line. The digital transition has brought along with it new refrains: electronic fragmentation, information overload, acceleration of the semiotic exchange. Fractalization of time, competition. The essential feature of refrain is rhythm. Rhythm is the relation of a subjective flow of signs (musical, poetic, gestural signs) with the environment: cosmic environment, earthly environment, social environment. Rhythm is singular and collective. It is able to trigger a process of agglutination, of sensitive and sensible communality. Sometimes people start to sing the same song, to dance the same dance. It can be dangerous, and fascism and modern totalitarianism is in general based on this kind of homogeneous subjectivation. However, it can also happen in ironic and nomadic ways. People start to create a new song and they do it together. This is a movement. What is a movement? It is an event that makes a new landscape visible. Thanks to the movement (literally, a displacement) you are able to see a landscape of possibility you did not see before. A new rhythm makes it possible to see a new landscape. And when you see the landscape you discover new paths? Rhythm is everywhere in social life. Work, war, rituals and mobilizations have their special rhythm. Poetry essentially deals with rhythm. Rhythm and words, rhythm and voice, rhythm and gesture are the special object[s] of poetry. The social erotic body that semiocapitalism has subjected to the frantic rule of precariousness and competition is now looking for a new rhythm. Poetry is the main tool for this research. At the chaosmotic level, Rhythm is the concatenation between breathing and the surrounding universe. In Guat273

taris parlance refrain is the singular way of creating this concatenation, agencement between singularity and environment. At the social level rhythm is the relation between the body and the social concatenation of language.Social environment is marked by refrains (retournels), repetition of gestures and of signs that express the singular mode and simultaneously the relation between the agency and the environment. Mantra The uprising that emerged during the year 2011 can be seen as a Mantra, [a] re-activation of the conjunctive body, therapy of dis-empathic pathologies which are crossing social skin and social soul. Upheaval, uprising, insurrection and riots: these words should not be intended in a military way. A violent action of the anti-capitalist movement would not be smart nowadays, as violence is a pathological demonstration of impotence. Nevertheless we are witness to massive explosions of precarious rage and violence, like in Tottenham, Peckham and Birmingham in August 2011, like in Rome on October 15th. The uprising will frequently give way to phenomena of psychopathic violence. We should not be surprised, we should not condemn these acts as criminal. The too long financial dictatorship has compressed the social body, and cynicism of the ruling class has become repugnant. This is why we should not be surprised when violent explosions happen. The uprising is a therapy for this kind of psychopathology. The uprising is not judging, but healing. And the healing is made possible by a mantra that rises, stronger and stronger, as solidarity re-surfaces in daily life. What we should be able to communicate to the rioters, the looters, the black bloc and the casseurs is a truth that we have to build together and to spread: a collective mantra chanted by millions of people will tear down the walls of
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Moriah Evans on Elizabeth / Spring


Andrea Csaszni Rygh
1 Rather from the inside out, not the outside in or rather working inside with the inside. We miss it all by working only for the moment. We miss that the WORK/ the in between is where the change can be made. We are so individualistic nowadays that we go in circles and sleep in our own shit. We cant see anything else then our own two feet. And we feel so fucking alone that we cant breath. 2 About expressing opinions verbally: What you write is not written in stone, sure, everyone knows where you live and Google is watching you. But

What you write is not written in stone, you can always change your mind. To be confusing is to make sense of the senseless of being. We should make the world more interesting for ourselves, and to do it now. Because what can you possibly be waiting for? 3 Nightmare lyrics to WHOs that girl (with Linna): Birds singing Sunshine sound The day is glued together with the night and you see the trees are left. The dream is only like nothing when you wake up with your guy in a tulip-suit. Grown up children are also afraid when the lights switched of. You cant trust your dreams, only in your sleep. Grab something stabile, a table or a coffee pot and drink a sip in the summer night. Birds singing and Sunshine sound. A hint of love in the morning. Smile smile smile. Its gonna be alright youll see. Nothing of what you dreamt is for real. All you, you want costs money. Bye better beds. Money is nothing to have, without them wed be fine.


4 Only when aspirations are disconnected from capitalistic structures can we truly enjoy the state of being. 5 I tend to hope for people i overhear talking to each other to have engaging conversations, I dont like hearing people being bored or uncomfortable. 6 Possessed by our need to act politically, where do our ideas of truth come from? Isnt everything that we know about something, something we learned from someone else and therefore there cannot be any kind of truth? The fragmented engagement and divided actions, how to act? Sendt fra min iPhone


Some kind of multitude 279


Elizabeth Waterhouse

I am imagining the potential relationship that Dance Engaging Science might become. Most of what I imagine is disgusting: science that I would beat with a stick, and dance that deserves to hide under a rock. But still I hope for the unimaginable. The courtship of the odd coupledance meets sciencebegins as a political alliance. To play consequently, means to move publicly as the allied, also to be dissatisfied with alignments that injure either party. Vigilance my friends! Critical adventure with the enemy! Dance Engaging Science I know better why dance is engaging science, than why science is engaging dance. The story goes something like: let there be electrodes, let there be knowledge, let there be money! Science, as a method of legitimizing knowledge, is the perfect partner for dances power trip. Digital tools, notation forms and data analysis might choreograph dance a

more visible and relevant hold in contemporary society, a more stabile place within shrinking cultural budgets. The increasing institutionalization of performance within universities is both a refuge from capitalistic currents as well as a consequence of the gradual acceptance of the field as a body of knowledge. Academic openness still requires that dancers formulate and share research practices, doing so by producing texts and strategies that circulate more within academic architectures than within the artistic field. Buzzwords circulate faster. Everyone seems excited by the word perception, and loves to repeat the phrase knowledge in motion. When coupled with the actual need in science to rethink the body, such as the embodied turn of cognition, there is a red carpet for danced engagement of science. Changing choreographic practice also pressurizes the field for further clarification. As the company model of dance becomes clunky, expensive and for many reasons outdated (not to mention the deaths of leaders like Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch) unitary visions of movement are fading. Contemporary approaches to choreography and pedagogy eschew the vision of the singular. Instead, forms of collaboration, hybridization, and critical resistance have been producedrealizing choreography that disturbs and upsets conventional notions of theatricality. Choreographic innovation is at odds with the reduction of movement to analytic material and the view of the body as a stabile, quantifiable entity. Rigorous and relevant Dance Engaging Science must stick to pressing choreographic matters. Lets think the rupture between the disciplines, not bridge the fields into a contiguous or overlapping space, or worse regress to notions of the choreographic that are pass. Interplay between the fields is bound to yield many misunderstandings. We must choose our initial working teams very carefully. Bad science is monstrous. It produces, among evils, re281

ductive explanation to problems that are contextually bound. Bad science ignores the consequences of forcing objectivity within strategies that are deeply, and interestingly, defiant. Yet scientists battle bad science. The field is mobilized by its own ability to doubt, judge, and critique. I can imagine nothing worse than how Dance will be ridiculed by scientific work that mutilates its own fields standards. At its best, scientific thinking can be exquisitely agile and deeply transformative. So what seems at stake is 1) engaging only the very best and 2) empowering scientists own capacity for self-critique. We do not want scientific police, but rather a rechoreographing of the capacities that enable stealthy seeing. Dance, on the other hand, is methodologically sophisticated while often appearing very dumb. Dancers sometimes circle within thinking strategies that do not communicate. Without consensual procedures for sharing process, many know not what we dancers do. I wonder how science can honestly learn to think along the conceptual lines that choreographers and dancers learn, when dancers themselves have little consensus about the knowledge and research methodology within their own practice. Dance Engaging Science is animated by a fear of manipulation and objectificationthe confluence of to know with to know how to manipulate (34). Yet neither dance, nor science should be reduced to a real project of mastery (Ibid.). In Power and Invention, Isabelle Stengers powers against such a reduction of science. Before the techies, we must crusade for dance. Yes: contemporary development in choreography offends the hierarchical structures that induce replication and mechanization of bodies and movement. Lets instead recognize that in both fields, the study of material and the study of dynamics are coupled. The history of physics cannot escape fundamental questions, similar to these in choreographynamely the relationship of being and becoming, permanence and change, unities vs. interac282

tions (Stengers 48). So lets ask: What is the material from which a choreography is constructed? When, in what case, and how much is there? How do we designate that material, as different from the material of the body? What precisely becomes animated in the act of choreography? What about these enabling constraints facilitate reproduction? How does the Dance exceed the enabling constraints of animation? It is our collective project, in Dance Engaging Science, to consider both the materiality and the dynamics of choreographic action, and in doing so further develop tools for the analytics of process, change, and emergence. We must avoid brutal simplifications that dont generate etwas interesting. Choreography is approximately but not precisely reproducible. Fragile and alive, it exceeds capture. To say its approximate or arbitrary would be to belittle the complex phenomena of its invention. Choreography can be a practice at the margins or limits of presence and memory, rather than something defined by these limitations. Obviously not all choreography is built deliberately about this, but changes in technology (like the personal video camera), choreographic tools, and discursive practice change whats capable of being remembered. Science too, evokes at the limit of what we can possibly think or measure; the practice involves constructing apparatuses to capture, whether they be notation forms that drive theory, computer power that feeds models, or sexy experimental configurations and instruments. I find the engagement of choreographic and scientific thinking is most promising in the study of presence and emergencein negotiating or orienting future. Words of futurity include speculation, prediction, betting, modeling, hypothesizing, and contingency. They include outcomes that are improvised and outcomes that are organized, planned, or choreographed. They include outcomes that are by chance. And, if we are lucky, they include outcomes beyond any measure of interpretation, the moment of creation.

Science often futures through simplifying complexitythrough thinking that evades circular logic and rather thinks things forward. mile Meyerson describes science as, the need for an explanation that reduced the diverse and the changing to the identical and the permanent, and as a result eliminates time (Stengers 41). The control of science, is the definition of valid, often causal difference, or the reduction of situation to determine effect. Choreographic research, as Ive experienced it, works differently towards the deadline of the performance. Knowing when it will end, but with loose constraints as to what will be, creative process can invent itself into being. The ways of working are as diverse as the people who work with them. Choreography may be more aligned with speculation than science. In choreographing the future, we may wager to make an event somewhat reproducible. But what do we really wager in performance? How far we will stray from possibility? How free we are to follow potential? How may we loose or gains someones respect, fascination, or admiration? How we might swell up into a project or a production with a bigger budget? Collaboration, let alone interdisciplinary collaboration, is tricky business. I fear outcomes that are not relevant. I fear work that sticks to disciplinary process and takes no risk. Science has a history of negotiating research through written debate of evidence. Dance spreads more like contamination. Norms, both in science and in dance, make criticality tough business. In the no mans land between dance and science, I have no idea what the standards are, let alone the outcome. In this territory, we must be specific about our audience and the goals of our communication, perhaps offering translations and guides for different entry. Contexts (as well as objects and subjects) of study, standards of evaluation, and outcomes should be the mantras in initial brainstorming of engagement.

One risk of collaboration is compromise. Another is Frankenstein. Are we prepared for the initially unpalatable taste of collaboration that meets neither fields standards of operation? Do we deliberately stay away from that territory? Can dance be rigorous and not to cower in front of science? Good science, like good choreography, does not silence the actor. Rather the sciences involve dialogue, not as an exchange between subjects, but explorations and questions whose stakes are not those of the silence and submission of the other (Stengers 34). Yet I fear that dance may cease its own animations, dancing differently in the spectacles of sciences powerful engagement lens. Will we be brave when we feel stupid? Did we invite scientists here to choreograph us? Dance Engaging Science offers the opportunity to be self-critical about methodology: an opportunity to rework styles of thinking and modes of performing or communicating knowledge. I suggest a meta-focus on research itself: on creation, innovation, methodology, and sharing. The opposite would be taking existing resources, and in an exercise of creative management, seeing what can be done with expensive assemblies of brains and instruments. I ask what initial limitations, production structures, methodologies, and outcomes can make such an engagement meaningful work, not only political leveraging and entertainment. I question what type of collaboration to support: interdisciplinary, neodisciplinary, or perhaps even the passage from much to little collaboration. Im a skeptic, but deep at heart I feel the rupture between these disciplines as fertile: a place of innovative conflicts and productive controversy. I dream of neodisciplinary creation, a fantastical and surprising co-production that runs forward as critical adventure. Whats important is the unimaginable; support only risk and relevance.



Nestor Garcia Diaz and his alter ego
Im in the middle of a new piece, and Im in a crisis, I dont know if this is going to be the worst piece of shit you have ever seen or if it will be masterpiece. I mean, that what its is about, isnt it? About asking yourself questions to which you dont have the answers. Either this or you lie to yourself, saying that you will make something new even though youll do exactly what you did last year. If dramaturgy is a friendship of problems, you were left alone a long time ago. So, you go out with the intention of having new experiences and you end up swinging by your usual partners place instead of harassing the first dog to cross your path. Surprise yourself by your own piece; lets work on things that you dont know anything about so you cannot project what it should be. Making a choreography should be like having sex with a body without organs, like engaging with something that has endless possibilities of actualization, is in constant becoming, is pure potential. Of course its a risk, and there is

Zo Poluch


no guarantee of success: you could easily find yourself fucking an average beautiful body, a body that reproduces the aesthetical canons and the accepted divisions of genre. It could turn out to be missionary-style in all the comfort and boredom of the bedroom. Nothing illegal. In the words of Iggy Pop: No fun my babe no fun. In fact, it is about the body itself. It is not enough to have group sex if no ones involved who cant be referred to as he or she. And if someone can, at least let them not be the size, shape, age or physical constitution widely accepted by society. Let the virtual dimension of your sexual partner explode, let the vast reservoir of potential traits, connections, affects, and movements actualize, dont repress any of them, find yourself with any kind of human, animal, object, or thing that can not be categorized. (Living or not). Be strict with the process and accept what is coming, erase the I from the equation, the I doesnt exist; the I is made up out of the interests of others. Dont let them choose what should excite you. To fuck a body without organs requires that you make yourself a body without organs. After all, how can you get excited with all the potential forms evolving in front of you if you are not able to get rid of your own patterns of perception and behaviour? It is a hard task, nobody said that it would be simple. Change requires an investment of time, and until you stop thinking about time in economic terms and questioning these values, you will only spend your time in reaffirming the static idea of yourself, in activities that you already like, because this is the most profitable way. It is basically something that generates satisfaction on the short-term for a minimum amount of effort. Why would you get involved in activities or experiences that can distort your safe and constructed reality? Activities that require a further involvement, that asks to develop a critical view? Why would you

spend time watching boring European films, going to art galleries or reading difficult books that are not accessible? Accessible is an incredibly boring word, what would you learn from that? Nothing. Any activity that doesnt require a minimum of struggle is a waste of time. I would like at this point to make a distinction: the amount of struggle is not a matter of taste. It is not proportional to if you like it or not. It is just about accessibility. I detest excessive accessibility. And I hate it because everything is accessible if you put a minimum of effort to it, or if you think it through two, three or four times. I only listen to music that I dont get. As soon as I like it then I stop listening to it. I like it, I understood, why insist on it? Give me something that gets me in trouble! But why would you change your modes of production if they work? Why would you take the risk and put your status in danger? Your audience will be happy to see that nothing has changed, you gave what they expected, it is safe, nothing is put into question, you reaffirm yourself and they do the same in relation to you, everything remains exactly how it was I see a little parallel to something Oh yes! We are in a crisis, everything is going to hell, but we should be busy trying to save the same system that fooled us, because anything associated with the world change drives everybody nuts, because change requires change, we wont be the same individuals anymore. For gods sake, thats exactly what we need! Anything but stability, anything but fixed identities, anything but repetition. Wake up! Lets all behave like schizophrenics, in unpredictable ways, make them not able to know who you are, what your preferences and desires are, what you need today or what you would need tomorrow. In fact, we are already in constant change, we live in a liquid modernity, we are asked to be flexible, to adapt ourselves to any kind of situation in order to be more efficient, we are constantly asked to quickly learn and quickly forget,

to learn the virtues of the new and to forget the virtues of what you have. We need change, but not flexibility. As the definition of flexible says: ready and able to change so as to adapt to different circumstances. Fuck flexibility, fuck adapting to different circumstances, we need change not in order to fit somewhere, but in order to never fit anywhere, so the structures have to be reformulated for these new shapes. And fuck efficiency, even more in economical terms. I claim an efficiency of happiness in a global and long term. Yes to learning but no to forgetting. Once by chance I was reading about poker and I found a nice comparison, they say that the best players are called sharks because they can adapt their game in opposition to any of the other players: if you play conservative they will go wild, if you play like a maniac he will become a solid rock they are unpredictable, and I claim that this could be a solid solution. Nowadays we are reaching tremendously absurd levels of political correctness within the already accepted structures, tremendously conservative positions in other terms, and a crazy fever for technological and economical improvement and efficiency. Fuck that. Right wing parties have plundered and reformulated the progressive discourse for their benefit while the left is stuck in the same discourse. No left party has been able to articulate an effective answer to it. We are alone against Goldman Sachs. We have to be sharks, we have to adapt to the circumstances to not fit them, change your discourse from liberal to conservative, from revolutionary to reactionary as soon as needed to produce some chaos and shake some pillars. Be a BwO, a BwO ready to join the guerrillas.

Cut up Fill up Sew together

Minna Wendin



TSDH day of editing set up @ MDTSTHLM


Anders Jacobson
Translation from Swedish by Louise Hjer
The ambition with this text is to think through changing perspectives and positions within contemporary art production more specifically dance and choreography as well as arts relation to the bordering fields of cultural politics, economy and organization. With the starting point as contemporary dances changing forms of production and a parallel expansion of the concept of choreography, I aim to discuss how several concepts are currently being re-appropriated, in particular autonomy and artistic freedom. I wish to problematize in the forthcoming text how influential practitioners use these concepts in todays cultural debates. Many still speak about art and cultural politics as if nothing has changed since the 1970s and base their arguments on conceptions that are no longer useful. I claim that art practitioners at present have an opportunity to dive into a stream of change and redefine arts contemporary relevance and social consequences, rather than marginalize them294

selves in a quest for freedom and linger sentimentally in a time long gone. This text is a collage of filtered thoughts borrowed from friends, thinkers and people around me. I will refer to thoughts advocated in the contemporary Swedish cultural debate, to thoughts that are not heard loud enough, and to my own experiences as a dancer and cultural producer in the past ten years. In order to situate these ideas, I begin by giving a brief outline of how I understand the conditions and development of the dance fields modern history. Dance and Choreography: role-play and playing field Traditionally, within western stage based dance art there is a conceptual division between doer (the dancer) and the maker/instructor (the choreographer). The dancer is regarded as the material, tool and interpreter for the cho-reographer, who in turn has been dubbed the Artist. Within the dance field, just as in society at large, we are currently undergoing an overwhelming individualization process, which in a positive reading is about empowerment of the individual that leads to more participation and responsibility in decision-making processes. This has within dance, for instance, been manifested in an increase in the number of practitioner-run collectives and networks. These are often cross-disciplinary and consist in loose constellations where terms like dancer and choreographer lose their meaning. This stance could be described according to a DIYT attitude (Do it Yourself Together) influenced by direct democracy movements, queer feminism, postmodern theory and popular culture. In the new millennium these cooperative working methods take new forms and gain new meaning in comparison to the collectivist efforts and independent 1 groups that formed in the 60s and 70s. In broad strokes, one could say that western, stagebased dance art has developed from institutional models

with large companies, ballet maestros and artistic directors to an emergence of independent groups. These independent groups often had the ambition to renegotiate power structures and relations in ways that were explicitly socialist and 2 critical of institutional models . Concerning forms of production and organization of independent dance artists in relation to emerging Swedish cultural politics, some dance historians have pointed out the significance of the formation of independent groups in the theatre field (most often in the form of non-profit associations). This way of organizing around artistic aims or economic resources were then imported by, or perhaps rather forced upon dance groups by way of obliging certain types of legal formation due to cultural political frames. However, this was not always in accordance with the specific aims, contexts, working methods or ambitions of dance artists. In 2010 most independent choreographers remain organized as non-profit, member-based associations, despite the actual incompatibility of such an organizational structure with the practice. A parallel concern with the organization of dance has to do with it being an artistic and professional field dominated by women. The fields relative lack of resources as well as its looser and more changeable and dynamic structural configuration, in comparison to theatre, could have some connection to its particular gender order. The feminist research group Fosfor has shown how women have somewhat better opportunities to establish themselves and gain influence in network based organizational models than in traditional masculine hierarchical3 forms , which in turn could be one of many explanations as to why dance more often than theatre co-produces, builds networks rather than institutions, shares spaces and operates in a more international market. Since the 80s and 90s the dominant form of production within non-institutional dance has been individual choreog296

raphers engaging dancers on a project basis. The way I see it, the independent groups both within dance and theater have, since their establishment, taken on the form of mini-institutions, with clear hierarchies and factory-like modes of production. The business is clearly influenced both by cultural political frames and market economic discourses. Professional dance educations, for their part, have continued the tradition of feeding the existing though minimal labor market, resulting in a few dominant aesthetic expressions and production ideologies that have been prioritized and thereby reproduced. The field has not educated dance artists who have the relevant tools to create their own labor market, take on different types of roles and broaden the understanding of what dance and choreography could be in the future. It moves, of course Change occurs, naturally, even within the fields of dance, choreography and artistic education. Dancers today no longer aim, in as high degree, to find jobs within the existing market but rather want to do their own thing, according to for example the director of the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm, Efva Lilja. From the more or less adolescent and anti-authoritarian upheaval against the choreographer as dictator, that I myself was a part of in the end of the 1990s, I experience that newly educated dancers today move more seamlessly between different forms of production developing their own strategies to realize their ambitions and move more comfortably in the global market. Many would rather take other types of jobs in order to make a living than take on artistic work that does not coincide with how they wish to work. As a brief summary, one could say that the independent group is no longer the dance fields smallest (cultural political) unit. Rather it is individuals that co-produce and seek new forms of organization, community building and types

of relations. I am convinced that these changes in models of production are closely connected to the complaint from older dance practitioners and critics of a lack of regeneration of choreographers; they simply can no longer be recognized as choreographers. These new forms of production are to a high degree influenced by new communication technologies, user-based peer-to-peer4 ideology and people-powered production. The ideology of Open Source has quickly become a tool for the expansion of the concept of choreography and its applications5. The University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm now describe Choreography as follows:
Choreography is a proactive, artistic dimension of society. The subject choreography offers and researches tools for move-ment production, for processes and analysis of opportunities for artistic and culture creation in different contexts. Choreography makes visible different forms, expressions and spatial as well as conceptual rooms in dialogue with contempo-raneity as well as tradition. The concept of choreography is an open as well as an inclusive order that comprises a broad field of production. It operates multi-medially and multi-lingually; inter-disciplinary, dialectically and discursively; it changes, nurtures and transforms. Choreographic practices therefore function as movement in the words original meaning6.

This description gives a good picture of the seemingly radical change that we are currently part of. That development, which I try to describe above, where the dancer as a professional category and symbol makes greater demands to be seen as an artist and social agent through cooperative action, runs parallel to a fundamental re-conceptualization of cho-reography as a concept. Or rather, a multiplication of the concepts many meanings. The formal or classic meaning that is sometimes used as a political metaphor, is that of a choreographer/leader who decides or manipulates how a group of dancers/workers/bodies should move, primarily in unison. For example, think about the opening ceremony of

the Beijing Olympics in 20087 and how impressed we often are by the power of many bodies in simultaneous movement. A change from this formal understanding happened, amongst many other things, thanks to the postmodern dance of the 1960s, where the aesthetic conventions were challenged when everyday movement and stillness were claimed as dance. This is in turn connected to a discussion as to the difference between dance and movement and in turn to a discussion as to what extent that choreography can be understood as a tool for producing, organizing and making movement possible (and that need not necessarily result in something that we recognize as dance). When the concept movement, with its point of departure in dance, is used as something generally applicable, that is to say, in its physical as well as its social and political sense, it also increases the possible applications of choreographic practice. We can see a parallel development in how the use of the concept performance has developed since the 1990s. That is, it functions both as a metaphor and an analytical tool and thus provides a perspective for framing and analyzing social and cultural phenomena8. The connection to todays discussions of Open Source and (file) sharing has led us to a situation where we can talk about choreography not merely as means to create dance art, but also as a tool to produce and analyze movement of many types. Contemporary choreographic practices are more about producing possibilities of difference and potential for multiple directions rather than unified movement and harmony. I see these parallel narratives new forms of collective action together with the expansion of concepts as clear ex-amples of the impossibility to separate art from the way in which it is produced, and also that working methods and forms of cooperation are not only definitive of the aesthetics on stage, but also in themselves create arenas for ac299

tive ideological production and movement. This insight and development is of course not particular to dance as a field, but rather a generally prevalent social change. Most consumers today know that having a cup of coffee at the local caf has an effect on people on the other side of the world. As an extension of this we today hear more and more art practitioners concerned with what art does, how it is produced as well as for whom rather than its expression or what it says. I believe, without exaggeration that these factors together, could be called a paradigm shift in how we look at and practice art, and even how we perceive our work, sense of social belonging, economy and politics. We can clearly see and feel how a number of dichotomies that we habitually base our reasoning on are dissolving or taking new forms. Freedom, autonomy, and integrity Cultural practitioners often claim art as a place where one is allowed to think and act freely, that is without demands of conforming to market, politics or correctness, and that the artist is essentially free. In contrast to this standpoint I find it very problematic to try to localize free thought in a particular field, in this case the cultural sector and the types of people that work there, that is the artists. If we draw the argument to its natural extension, it is being claimed that people in other areas are less free, imprisoned, and incapable of thinking for themselves. It tends towards a romantic view of art that ignores the fact that art has been prescribed and prescribes itself as a powerfully dependent sector in the type of social structure we have today, not only economically but also in terms of recognition from the political and artistic establishment insofar as fitting into aesthetic conventions. I have, for example, spoken to people that have worked within The Swedish Arts Councils expert groups who suggest whom should receive funding, and they are often surprised by artists lack of integrity in relation to cultural political

guidelines and buzzwords, market economic discourse and tem-porary aesthetic trends. It seems as if most artists turn themselves inside out in order to get their projects to fit into the publicly formulated mold. The most important is simply to get your hands on the money to later practice your freedom on stage. I understand the thinking behind the public cultural political goals, but I seek greater problematizing, articulation, risk-taking and integrity on the part of artists. Freedom is a complicated concept; some would claim that the entire idea is a myth. Of course it is important to strive toward the greatest possible self-rule, but my point remains: free thinking individuals and milieus (whatever that may be) exist everywhere, in every field, in the same way as engaged, tired or rigid persons and milieus exist everywhere. And according to my line of thinking, the free are not more prevalent in the arts than anywhere else, maybe even less so. The ceiling is not particularly high within Swedish cultural life when one talks about equality or cultural pluralism, questions the use of artistic quality, cultural heritage and canonized concepts, utilizes theoretically complicated arguments or for that matter has ideas that cannot be classified as conventional mainstream leftism. The trust in the level above us and the kind, strong state is palpable within the cultural sector, and when The Swedish Committee of Inquiry on Cultural Policy9 presented their report in 2009, many art practitioners called out in strong opposition to practically every suggestion of change. The past suddenly looked so appealing! With a certain sharpness of tongue, one could say that many artists, with an inherited belief of themselves as societys first battalion, are in fact the systems most uncritical defenders. This I believe, in part, has to do with the dominant artistic and cultural political discourse that still rests safely in modernist conceptions of society and how art functions therein, that in many ways are in disharmony with what society actually looks like today. Amongst

some of the strongest ideas from the modernist tradition stands, alongside that of the avant-garde, the idea of arts autonomy, for example in the shape of artistic freedom. A clear example that has made the rounds in recent years with regard to the striving for artistic freedom the idea that artists need to be subversive of power and in totally misguided ways claim their freedom concerns equality. The question of gender equality in relation to artistic expression and artistic freedom has become a cornerstone for the equality debate within the Swedish art world. Some mean that demands for equality limit artistic means of expression and that they basically function as a form of censorship that, with equality guidelines, attempt to influence how an artistic project is managed. Others claim that to speak of artistic freedom mainly has to do with a male creation myth and male privilege, and that one, precisely through equality work, can broaden the freedom concept to include groups that are currently being discriminated against. Many big players within performing art seem to think it honorable to counteract demands of equality with the motivation that an artist should revolt against that which is prescribed from above. Therefore it may be useful to remind oneself that the struggle for equality for much of history has, in actuality, been driven from below by activists with minimal political influence that it now, rather late, has reached a publicly sanctioned level implies that it is not automatically subversive to want to do the opposite. However, it does seem, as the journalist and gender specialist Vanja Hermele has effectively argued, not to be overly problematic for institution directors to, in line with state guidelines, maintain a (male-dominated, Western middle and upper-class coded) cultural heritage, and at the same time render others invisible through active non-choices.

Autonomy and marginalization According to the literary scholar Andrew Hewitt, in his book Social Choreography, art in the 18th century was offered a certain amount of autonomy in exchange for a more limited direct political influence:
As the bourgeoisie sought ideological and political liberty from the tutelage of absolutist states in the eighteenth century, art was guaranteed a degree of freedom at the cost of its disempowerment as a social force. Within limits one could reason freely in art because it was agreed that art was without direct social consequence. Obviously, the emerging class utilized this free-dom to rehearse ideas that would only subsequently be set free into a truly political bourgeois public realm10.

It is of course open to discussion what we mean with political influence as concerns art, depending on what way we want to use political. But Hewitts argument around arts autonomy freedom at the expense of influence and art as a place to rehearse ideas is productive as a model of thought when we try to understand those changes that are now occurring. From the period that Hewitt describes, via the time leap to 1974 when Sweden articulated its first cultural policy, to 2010s cultural political rhetoric, much has of course happened. Many economists and cultural theorists today speak about cultures economization and economys aestheticization. David Karlsson, resigned secretary of 2009s Committee of Inquiry on Cultural Policy, describes in his book A cultural policy investigation money, art and politics how a previously marginalized cultural politics is closing in on the center of politics (economy), not least since the discovery of free, non-instrumentalized art as a fundamental core to the growing economic system referred to as cultural economy, experience economy, or cultural and creative industries. Karlsson argues, which even The Committee of Inquiry on Cultural Policy did in their report, that art of course has both an intrinsic value and a fundamental economic exchange value. Without wanting to lose myself in a Swedish cultural political discussion around the ongoing processes of


aspect politics and regionalization, I would like to suggest that the time which is now implies an extremely interesting possibility for arts players and agents to take charge of these discussions, formulate its problems, and suggest possible solutions. Far too many influential cultural players today express a deep concern for all types of change, in a manner that mostly produces sentimental passivity and hopelessness. The earlier the better I sometimes hear nostalgic stories of the 1970s, when art was still completely free and non-instrumental, when art was for its own sake but still had the possibility to be included in the building of the peoples home11 and in the ideals of availability for everyone, as well as being a weapon against commercialisms stupefying effects on the public. That was a time when the principle of political arms lengths distance still meant something and when there were still direct channels of communication to the Ministry of Culture. At this time there were no political demands for Business Intel-ligence or an analysis of the world at large, internationalization, entrepreneurship, increase in own revenues, equality, diversity, or accessibility for people with disabilities, but the art that was being produced was still in some magical way more a part of the social debate. And at this time there was also more room in arts arena there werent as many taking part. In this manner of thinking crowding, narrow competition and opportunism rule today. Egoism and cutback mentality reigns supreme. Uneducated enthusiasts can freely download cracked programs and production tools and via internet become appreciated artists overnight. A long higher education is not a guarantee for an occupation and artistic quality is struggling for air. Contemporary art has become entirely instrumentalized and is understood as navel gazing, commercialized postmodern ramblings that have lost both

their integral value and social relevance. The contemporary artist occupies herself with questions around economy and organization in such a way that can only mean that art has become totally economized, entered the neo-liberal trap of widened job markets and broad financing and in this way lost the battle. This undoubtedly sounds like a sorry development; but for myself born in the 1980s, a true homo-zappien, it is a bit difficult to relate to this lost paradise era. This probably makes me sound like a cynical, non-idealist pragmatic within the narrow cultural debate. But if we can suggest that the functions of concepts such as autonomy and freedom are undergoing a transformation and at the same time believe in arts different and multiple functions what values and strategies do we then practice contemporaneously? Are old values like autonomy, quality, responsibility and solidarity dead? Have we become valueless? Post-autonomous practice and mutual dependence I have recently been playing around with the invented concept of post-autonomous. The concept did, in fact, exist for a short while as a Wikipedia article, but was recently taken away due to the lack of references and relevance. But anyhow, what could a post-autonomous practice mean? In its traditional definition autonomy, has for me, connotations of a conscious choice of being outside outside the system, society, institution, market, capitalism, and outside rigid thought-structures. Today, when these borders are almost impossible to detect, when it is no longer surprising at all that the state and the capital find themselves together in the same boat, when the key to commercial success lies in thinking outside the box, we must, most probably, reformulate our strategies. One conclusion would be that we leave models of thought that are based on an inside and outside, either or. We have to leave models of thought that suggest

that self-realization and mutual dependency are in direct opposition. Somewhere here perhaps a post-autonomous practice could emerge in a situation where we, convinced about possibilities of change, and with integrity march forth straight to the centre of politics; organization, policy production, lobbyism, economy and administration the everyday backstage of ideology. In other (antiquated?) words; striving for freedom and space for action within the system, in a continuous process where we constantly re-evaluate our contemporary relevance as art practitioners in a dynamic society. In this process the artist, civil servant, minister, producer, economist, programmer, researcher, student, audience member, amateur, semi-professional and professional build more and new types of relations to each other; as colleagues, friends, advisors and consultants, ideological opponents and critics. Here arises the possibility for new forms of cooperation, knowledge production, influence, and productive conflicts. New alliances, temporary groups of affiliation and loose networks are formed, that are no longer necessarily based on field legitimacy, art form, academic status or geography but rather on shared values and the cooperations activist potential. I am convinced that it is here, interwoven by a multiplicity of relations that do not care for power structures in terms of political status or artistic and academic prestige, that we can foster freedom toward action. Here we can afford integrity, conflicts and mobile loyalty12. Here we can own our own questions and act towards change through new alliances. But in order to reach this point we have to take the risk to question and reformulate the dichotomies upon which we build our world view. Granted, I am still convinced that as people we need to produce definitions, divisions, contrasts and a certain amount of antagonism in order that we in the long run pro306

duce engagement and the possibility of mapping and action. I do not mean that everything should be a big soup of whatever.13 Another model of thought around autonomy has been brought forward by Frederic Jameson in his essay The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, namely that arts semi-autonomous position hasnt disappeared, but rather exploded in and with societys aesthetization and massification of cultural images. The autonomous space potentially exists everywhere, in ways that we are perhaps not yet capable of articulating:
What we must now ask ourselves is whether it is not precisely this semi autonomy of the cultural sphere which has been de-stroyed by the logic of late capitalism. Yet to argue that culture is today no longer endowed with the relative autonomy it once enjoyed as one level among others in earlier moments of capitalism (let alone in precapitalized societies) is not necessarily to imply its disappearance or extinction. Quite the contrary; we must go on to affirm that the dissolution of an autonomous sphere of culture is rather to be imagined in terms of an explosion: a prodigious expansion of culture throughout the social realm, to the point at which everything in our social life - from economic value and state power to practices and to the very structure of the psyche itself - can be said to have become cultural in some original and yet untheorized sense.14

Jameson is also, with reference to Marx, exploring the idea of the necessity of a and-with way of thinking. Something that can be linked to the question of art and economy:
In a well-known passage Marx powerfully urges us to do the impossible, namely, to think this development positively and negatively all at once; to achieve, in other words, a type of thinking that would be capable of grasping the demonstrably bale-ful features of capitalism along with its extraordinary and liberating dynamism simultaneously within a single thought, and without attenuating any of the force of either judgment. We are somehow to lift our minds to a point at which it is possible to understand that capitalism is at one and the same time the best thing that has ever happened to the human race, and the worst. The lapse from this austere dialectical imperative into the more comfortable stance of the taking of moral positions is inveterate and all too human: still, the urgency of the subject demands that we make at least some effort to think the cultural evolution of late capitalism dialectically, as catastrophe and progress all together. 15

Precisely this, to gain the capacity to think development, change, and in this case societys economization

as the best and the worst at the same time, is undoubtedly both an exciting and difficult thought experiment. About the relations between art, organization and politics In line with those arguments that I have hereto proposed, it is impossible to draw clear borders between artistic expression and the ways in which arts production is organized. I also wish to suggest that administration, economy and organizational structures are fundamental for those movements which are generated, for example on a ideological level, parallel and in harmony with the artistic process and the (art) work itself. When does choreography begin and when does it end? Artistic intentions and their expression often oppose their own production processes and thereby weaken their political potential through many aspects of their production process not being made conscious or accessible. Economic and political positioning in everyday organization could thereby be said to stand in direct relation with artists capacity to intervene in society. In the dominant discourse around art and culture there is however the tendency, on the part of many art practitioners and in their defense of arts integral value, to separate art from the social context. The clear and often simplified separation between different social and productive areas, which we most often use to build our world view on, are transforming. A closely related discussion that pinpoints the problem, here within the frame of public administration, is put forth in the political anthology Politik som organisation (Politics as Organization):
In the modern welfare state politics largely becomes a question of organization. The administrations organizational form plays an important role. It is an old myth that there is a difference between politics and organization. Rather most often the borders between political and administrative decisions cannot be separated. 16

So how do we organize artistic life today? How are administration and economy dealt with? What long-term ideo308

logical consequences do our organizational practices have? Is organization treated as the mobilizing force it could be, or is it mostly a necessary evil for artists that would rather think about other things than administration? I think that an important starting point is to encourage art practitioners, to a greater degree, to utilize the organizations potential. Most dance artists start their organizations in order to seek production resources and do not really take the time to think about which organizational or administrative choices would be most suitable in line with the specific goals of their production. The choice of organizational form is most often the result of common sense myths or an organizational culture than it is active choice. The boards composition is mostly a result of the rules of the current social benefit system rather than a clear professional vision. Most are more or less messy; few have an understanding for rule structures and accounting. Organization is for the most part a burden that is being towed around hateful administration. Put simply, investments are needed in order to recognize that organization can empower individuals, not least eco-nomically, through increased knowledge, re-allocation of time and cooperative solutions. We also need to acknowledge new forms of organization, where contemporary, often informal and rhizomatic, network structures provide new forms of political, economic and cultural cooperation rather than traditional strategies with clear, strong organizational hierarchies, brand focus and so forth. We need both theoretical and political efforts in order to achieve expedient, enabling and transformative structures and strategies. To bring forth an exciting and, I believe, rather unusual example of conscious organizational attitudes and structurally strategic art production, I would shortly like to provide an example of an artist cluster named Inpex (International Performance Exchange). During the years 2006 2009 Inpex has had as its mission from the Swedish

Arts Grants Committee to work towards dance and performance internationalization:

Inpex grew out of a need to rethink established internationalization strategies and sales tactics (such as fairs, showcases, na-tional lobby organizations and sales agents) as these in the 90s tended to have saturated the market and thereby lost its generative potential. With this in mind a strategy was chosen to build networks based on particular shared interests and engagements rather than a national or professional alignments. In that the Swedish Arts Grants Committee was the owner of the initiative, it appeared as obvious to provide a vague organi-zation that could act as a springboard for the individuals interests17. In other words each individual member forms the organization rather than the organization its members. Inpex was inspired by contemporary organizational models, which support the individuals mobility within a dynamic organization, which reacts to changeable trends and interests. Besides extensive international work, Inpex has functioned as a forum for discussion and strategic development as well as contributed to knowledge production as regards new perspectives on choreography and dance. Inpex is no castle, but as a tent it has given artists significant support and provided a place for development. Inpexs organization and practice, allows it not to be prescriptive, which in turn means that every individual member uses the organizations activities according to their specific needs. 18

sive, internal and structural complications, which of course can also be seen as the point, since we need complications and confrontation in order to be able to articulate ourselves. On a purely organizational level the relation to The Swedish Arts Grants Committee has not been very easy, primarily because The Arts Grants Committee is not supposed to fund organizations but only individuals. So what does one do with a cluster of individuals? Even the Committee of Inquiry on Cultural Policy, in its section on civil societys players, concludes that the cultural political systems are not developed enough to handle the new ways in which people are cooperating. Bureaucratic forms thereby make organizational transformations difficult and in turn, artistic pluralism20. Cultural opportunity structures? The organization researcher Rosabeth Moss Kanter introduced the concept opportunity structure in the late 70s. Kanter speaks of opportunity structures in relation to gender equality, where men in corporations know that they have greater opportunities than women and therefore act as if they have greater opportunities. This behavior leads to self-confidence and engaged behavior through positive recognition and of course leads to real opportunities. In direct relation, a negative spiral functions in the same way for those who are or understand themselves as discriminated against.21 I think that these models of thought around spiral mechanisms could be useful to apply also to areas outside gender equality and discrimination. What happens if we discuss the opportunity structures within the cultural field? Maybe the connection feels rather forced, but I believe that many art practitioners understand themselves, sometimes justifiably but most often not, as marginalized within society. Regardless, if it is real or not, this feeling of being unable to enter into the cultural political financial system, as well as the homogenous and exclusive world of art as such,

The organization is necessarily a political arena. One could say that Inpex provides a rather typical example of an anarchic network structure19, where free negotiations between individuals create the basis for cooperation. That which most captures my interest in the organizational description above is the word vague. The point in this description is the opposite of what most organizations express, that is the wish to build a strong and clear organizational identity and easily communicable brand. My interpretation is that Inpex has as its goal to be fuzzy to such a degree that it becomes clear that it is about a free heterogeneous collection of individuals in collaboration. As a result, completely new possibilities, challenges and problems arise both internally and externally. This fuzziness means that the function of Inpex is rather difficult to understand, but most probably this is also the point, a part of the strategy towards a space to act. However, that which is unclear is often confused with something that is not thought through. This can lead to discur310

contributes to hopeless behavior by many artists that may be young, dealing with non-European artistic expression, are missing the right contacts, the right education or are simply too knowledgeable and too well-articulated to be understood in Swedens rather anti-intellectual cultural milieu. This hopeless behavior is a much larger concern for social and democratic consideration than that concerning whether or not an artist is an entrepreneur or not. So how do we create positive opportunity structures? I would here like to combine the concepts of culture, organization, and entrepreneurship. In my understanding an opportunity structure is not primarily a structure, but a question about culture. We must continually nurture a culture within the artistic field. I sometimes experience that our art world has a very poor culture. Luckily there is much happening on this front; increasingly people are talking about empowerment, conversational cultures, critical solidarity and political engagement. Networks and collectives like WISP, FA and Plural, whose primary aims are empowerment, coaching, possibility creating and pats on the back, are making great investments. The conversation around art finally seems to become a central part of art. Regarding todays discourse around entrepreneurialism, I wish that we would sometimes exchange the word business-minded with organizational. Of course most art producing organizations are to be seen as businesses. Of course many small-scale art practitioners need to become better at managing their economy and legal issues in a correct and efficient manner. Of course many artists could become better at creating greater demand and broadening financial backing, whilst keeping their integrity intact. But I would also like to propose that knowledge about organization is more urgent. Actually, perhaps, it is just another word for a similar process, but it rings very differently and is more ambitious. For me it is far more inspirational to ask

questions from another direction: How can we strengthen a multitude of small-scale artistic endeavors in such a way that it makes it possible for these to expand and handle more resources and political responsibility? How can the economy be reorganized in order that even a small dance company can be a co-producer within a large EU cooperation, without needing protection or a borrowed legitimacy from a larger organization? How can our organizational practices produce a more inclusive and sound political accountability and foster greater cultural pluralism? I have heard examples of smaller groups that have received offers to enter into collaboration or projects with much larger economies than they are usually responsible for, but have been forced to decline due to underdeveloped adminis-trative and economic routines within the organization. Many interpret this as an economic lack of resources, but I believe, more often than not, that this is a about an organizational lack of resources. These organizational lacks can of course be referred back to a general lack of resources but maybe more to a lack of competence and engagement in administrative questions. Many groups and artists could become much better at managing their economies cleverly, for example through outsourcing, and maybe thus also, as part of the package, become more trustworthy in the eyes of funding bodies and authorities. I truly understand that as a funding body one does not wish to give large amounts of money to someone who collects their receipts in a shoebox and pays their employees through the exchange of clothes receipts. I am convinced that most artists do their very best to keep correct bookkeeping and salary management and I do not mean that there would be more cheating in the cultural sector than anywhere else but I dont think it is such a type of shortsighted overlook freedom we should fight for politically. To the contrary, I believe that we should take the current political climate in hand and formulate the types of in313

vestments that can best strengthen the field and its cluster of players in such a way that can create opportunities in the long run and, not least, create cultural opportunity structures. Attempts at re-thinking/re-doing Recently, I have come across two different directions of thought that I think postulate the most attractive, ambitious and radical suggestions of structural change with contemporary relevance; organizational neutrality and crowd funding. The first comes from David Karlsson in the previously mentioned book En Kultur-utredning: pengar, konst och politik. Karlsson suggests that the entire, or extensive parts of the cultural political field, should be structured like the support scheme for Swedish literature:
There is one aspect of The Support Scheme for Swedish Literature that is often ignored. Today Sweden has a vibrant book market with many small and young publishers. These play an increasingly important role for the distribution of quality litera-ture. Two factors have been decisive for these companies emergence. One is digital technology, that from the 1980s DeskTop Publishing revolution drastically reduced production costs of books. The other factor is The Support Scheme for Swedish Literature. It has made it possible for small actors to compete on equal terms with larger actors for cultural funding. Few other examples exist within cultural politics. Imagine if the independent Theater Bhopa had been allowed to compete with The Royal Dramatic Theater purely on grounds of quality. If no consideration had been taken to the organizations age, reputation, need for renovations, over head costs, pension schemes, but purely on what was produced on stage; would the difference in funds be so great then? The Support Scheme for Swedish Literature functions just in such a way. The result has been that new players have had decent means to emerge and establish themselves. All of us are winners who have received a more dynamic publishing sphere and access to high quality literature. One problem with many of todays cultural political orders is that they tend to conserve existing structures. Renewal is mini-mal. The Support Scheme for Swedish Literature is an example of a type of support that stimulates change and development. It is an example of what Nicholas Garnham and others in the Greater London Council described in the beginning of the 1980s as a cultural politics that functions through the market rather than against it.

This leads Karlsson to the quite radical and elegant statement:

It doesnt matter from the state or the populaces perspective if it is Bonniers or Anthropos that publishes the poetry collec-tion. A cultural political principal of organizational neutrality should be called upon22.

The suggestions of organizational neutrality would, if realized, necessarily create turbulence to begin with. Probably the principle is not as applicable in all areas of art and their different organizational cultures, but to my ears this seemingly simple suggestion is perhaps the most interesting, inspiring and well-formulated cultural political idea I have heard throughout recent debates. Three other current examples are worth mentioning in terms of financing and its organization; Flattr, Crowd Culture and Fundme. All three are currently being developed and all are private initiatives that in different ways have taken on the assignment of finding new forms of member-run micro financing. Flattr is a word play of the words flatter and flat rate. Every user pays a fixed fee every month. Cultural producers with material available online can add a Flattr button on their site. The member fees are distributed to the producers in direct relation to how many have clicked their button. Crowd Culture and FundMe, on the other hand, function according to crowd funding or micro-patronage, which, for example, is used in citizens journalism. In such cases, it is about a journalist being able to say that she wishes to write a certain story and that it costs X amount of money to produce. Readers can then chip in with money and when the amount is reached, the story is considered to be commissioned by the readers and through solidarity they have shared the responsibility of paying the journalists fee. The more people who support a story, the less each individual


has to pay. Crowd Culture is built on the same principle, but focuses on the funding of cultural projects. The idea is that members, who can be individuals such as producers or audience members, organizations, institutions, and companies, can suggest and support projects. If dance group X needs SEK 50,000 to develop a new concept, money will be be transferred to X when the Crowd Culture members have collectively invested that amount. The principle is similar to Flattr but operates on an investment where the member subscription is dependent on time rather than number of clicks. A monthly subscription becomes, say, a 1/1000 of a Swedish krona per minute. As a user you direct the economic flow through prioritizing those projects that you wish to realize. The aim is that Crowd Culture will eventually be connected to Stockholm citys cultural funding system and function as a complementary source of support. In certain ways one can argue that there is nothing new in either of these financial models. Arent Flattr, FundMe, and Crowd Culture simulations of the commercial market? The more people that like you, the more money you get? Maybe, but in their new context, I believe these initiatives mean something radically different. The combination of market thinking, DIYT, decentralization and individualized user-directive and solidarity a type of social engagement that works through capitalism rather than against it in further combination with the technology that makes this possible, is, to say the least, exciting and will undoubtedly play a large role in how the cultural political field will play out in the near future. These initiatives, just as David Karlssons suggestion of organizational neutrality, will hopefully also have healthy effects on the discussion of artistic quality and the serious lack of a multiplicity of qualities that dominates Swedish cultural life today.

Conclusion We have probably, in all historical times, presumed ourselves to be in the most radical of transformative processes. Without making claims about which of contemporary societys transformations, dispersals, movements and shifts would be historically the greatest, they are all, in any case, specific and necessary to consider. Many of them depend on information and communication technologys effects on our life and behavior, others on discursive development that to an increasing degree undermine traditional dichotomies and categories in favor of more complex, dialogical, mutable, interactive, and-with models of thought. Art finds itself in the middle of this process and thereto also cultural politics and arts organization. It is my absolute conviction that players in the arts arena, during this overwhelmingly exciting and transformative process, must actively participate in social development both generally and specifically in terms of culture. This may sound obvious, but to my ears these cultural players are schooled foremost in re-acting to change rather than being pro-active. If it now is so that culture, as a field, is moving closer to the centre of politics, it would be fun if cultural practitioners came along, took themselves seriously and took responsibility for formulating problems and solutions. I dare suggest that this work needs to be done with a much higher level of ambition and contribution than most would like to take or make; political work in the future should not primarily concern itself with defending structures, job opportunities and economies that have been accumulated over time, but with finding democratic, open and equitable mechanisms for distribution, production and organization. The big picture is not even about art or culture, but about striving for means that can create a fair and democratic global society. It is about the necessity of relinquishing ones privileges and a re-allocation of such privileges, and to make influence and opportunities more


accessible and basically re-articulate our very needs and desires. In order to achieve this, it is necessary that we take a critical view of ourselves, our self-image and world view, our environment and societys movements, that is to say questions that are bigger than our own field of production and our artistic needs. Perhaps art no longer has mandate or even cause to act avant-garde or pretend to be autonomous in its traditional sense, but we who act within and close to the art field should never lose the ambition to be a field that tests the notyet-thought, where we pose crazily difficult and ambitious questions, where we insist on not understanding where we think, experiment, articulate, propose, reject, act, allow in, and share in one and the same practice. I dont think we need which is now done to a great extent within business economics to search after formulations of the way in which arts essence differs from other social/knowledge/ political/business areas, as these attempts often result in the fastening of old, romantic, categorical, generalizing, narrowing and exclusive manifestations; rigid images, that contrary to their ambitions, make it more difficult to maintain open-minded perspectives and practices. The manifestation of the connection between art and creativity is just one such example23. Art is, like any other practice and paradigm, unique and at the same time completely impossible to unify. As with other practices and paradigms, it is also true here that we have more likenesses than differences, in the same way as the differences within one gender are greater than between genders as biological categories. The differences between dance and theatre can, so to say, be bigger than between dance and agriculture, not to speak of the cultural, ideological, aesthetic and economic differences between dance and dance. During this process of renegotiation it will be unfortunate if we, within the art field, once again claim exclu318

sive and self-marginalizing forms of pseudo-autonomy, get defensive with our resources applying arguments that have lost their relevance and legitimacy. It will be a shame if we deny critical voices that make our lives complicated.

A warm thanks to Louise Hjer for the translation, and Zo Poluch for proofreading. A special thanks to Johan Thelander, co-director of Hybris Konstproduktion.


1. In Swedish, independent or non-institutional groups are called free groups (fria grupper) 2. See, for example, Danscentrums statutes from 1974. Danscentrum is a memberbased organization for independent players in the Swedish dance field, organizing daily dance practice, workshops, distribution of works and more. 3. Det ordnar sig - teorier om organisation och kn, Fosfor: S. Linghag, P. Hk, A. Wahl, C. Holgersson, Studentlitteratur, 2001, page 90-91 4. Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or work loads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application. They are said to form a peerto-peer network of nodes. Peers are both suppliers and consumers of resources, in contrast to the traditional clientserver model where only servers supply, and clients consume. Wikipedia 5. See, for example, the web platform Everybodys Toolbox (www. everybodystoolbox.net), that works towards articulation and Open Source within performing arts. At Everybodys anyone can upload tools and choreographic scores to be used and developed by others. 6. www.doch.se, April 2010 7. Search Opening Ceremony Beijing 2008 on YouTube 8. Performative turn article on Wikipedia 9. Kulturutredningen, a governmental investigation with the task to revise Swedish culture politics, that has been more or less the same since 1974. 10. Social choreography, A. Hewitt, Duke University Press, 2005, page 16. 11. The Swedish peoples home (folkhemmet) is a fundamental concept in the history of social democracy, referring to the Swedish social democratic politics of a national vision of the welfare state, especially in the mid-1900s. Wikipedia article on Folkhemmet 12. With mobile loyalty, I mean that there is today a tendency to identify and be loyal towards spe.cific and dynamic issues, factual and changeable circumstances, shared values and interests rather that statistical opinion-poll-packages, political parties, nation states etc. 13. As political theorist Chantal Mouffe effectively argues in her book On the Political, society must appropriate mechanisms for legitimate political opposition with shared rules, formulated out of collective identities. She means that politics must be built on the thought of a political agonist, in order not to end up in a supposedly neutral and often moralistically defined struggle against antagonists or enemies. She claims that todays consensus and discursive driven politics makes this an impossibility and that it gradually undermines democracy through underestimating the need for collective identities and that leaves the playing field open for populist forces that utilize politics affective dimensions and make claims to represent the people, with enemies like, for example, the establishment, immigrants, etc. The challenge, I mean, lies in finding a way to deepened democracy that can both work with fundamental processes of change and at the


same time insist on presenting clear ideological alternatives. 14. Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, F. Jameson, Duke University Press, 1991, page 48. Originally published in New Left Review, issue 146, 1984. 15. Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, F. Jameson, Duke University Press, 1991, page 47. Originally published in New Left Review, issue 146, 1984. 16. Politik som organisation - Frvaltningspolitikens grundproblem, Editor B. Rothstein (1991), SNS Frlag, 2008. 17. The Swedish Arts Grants Committee (Konstnrsnmnden) only supports individual artists. 18. Excerpt from Inpexs project description, 2009 19. A network is an arena for collaboration and negotiation. It is an anarchic form of organization that - unlike an association - does not make binding decisions, only voluntary agreements. The fundamental value is freedom: no one is obliged to participate in joint actions or projects against their will. A network is not a legal entity; it is not in a position to make binding contracts, represent anyone apart from the collaborators or make statements on behalf of others. Neither can a network be held accountable for its collaborators actions. From www.democracy.se. (However one should point out that Inpex, out of cultural political necessity is a legal person in the form of a non-profit association.) 20. Here, for example, cultural politics could be inspired by other sectors applications of temporary co-productive constellations, such as the business form partnership (enkla bolag) that is often used in Government Procurement. It would be exciting to contemplate similar forms of temporary legal constructions on the cultural organizational level, to which individuals and small groups could belong and where the allocation of responsibility is still clear and democratically legitimate without risking any individuals private economy. 21. Men and women of the corporation, R. Moss Kanter (1977), BasicBooks, 1993, page 158-161 22. En kulturutredning: pengar, konst och politik, D. Karlsson, Glnta, 2010, pages 134-135. 23. Another idea that has recently been brought forward in the Swedish cultural debate is the idea of art as gift. This is just another example that refers to identifying an aspect of Arts essence that no longer fills any function. Art is constituted by a boundless multitude of paradigms and practices that fill completely different type of functions. Most of these function, more or less, as commodified products in some market or other and cultural policy is for good or bad principally labor market politics. Other artistic practices function like different discursive processes, so called immaterial performance and doings that in the immediate now dont have any other receiver than a desired future. The gift thought is also based on a romantic notion of the unique artist, creator and ownership, and on the idea that culture, in some magical way, exists outside the capitalistic system.


Sanna Sderholm


Kajsa Sandstrm





Tova Gerge

I recently had a dream about two authors who chose very similar titles both containing the word swan for their books. In the dream, I also had a rather clear idea about the content of each book. The whole dream was set in a dance context, which made the reappearance of two different swans very loaded. In The Black Swan (funnily in the dream it had the same cover as the Hollywood movie, but it was absolutely not the same), Nassim Taleb argued that any type of forecasting in economy is futile, since the appearance of the unimaginable event i.e. the black swan is an ever present possibility that mainstream economic theory tends to deny. But he took the metaphor not from The Swan Lake, but rather from the in a colonialist point of view unimaginable discovery of the black swan in Australia. In the mirror-book The Blank Swan (not the same cover as the film, more abstract), Elie Ayache suggested that


the market makers who worked mainly with derivatives should somehow become swans themselves and move in the same irrational pattern as economy. As the title in the dream indicated, it was still not a reference to Odette and her companions these were not des cygnes blancs. Nor were they des signes vides, or even floating signifiers. They were simply blank swans, which meant that they had no expectations. They just moved empty-headed through the market making and tried to feel the next second trend: they were the in-between and the waiting that made the market. When I have a strong animal dream, I always consider that there is some deeper meaning to it. Just to do a quick recap of what more traditional interpretations would suggest, the swan might be an omen of economic wealth, a recommendation to take care and act with dignity and grace, a sign that the dreamer is happy with their personal life, or even a phallus symbol (just think of its long neck and the rape scene between Leda and the Zeus-swan in Greek mythology). The relation to the water is also of importance. If the swan is black and close to clear water, this could denote illicit pleasure or feelings of discord with sexuality. If the swan floats the surface of a swimming pool or a little pond, this could mean that spirituality is restricted. On the other hand, if the swan dives, this is a sign that the dreamer is really getting into life. If the dreamer is a believing Christian, the swan might be a representation of the Holy Ghost. Now, it would be easy to assume that the ballet relationship between a black and a white woman-swan was according to dream logic transposed and distorted, so that the story about the two male authors is actually about working with issues such as mirror stage, narcissism and lesbianism. This is quite an obvious reading and very much derived from recurring themes in my spiritual life: integrating different sides of myself, taking pleasure in the illicit, and so on. This doesnt make the interpretation unimportant, but

possibly, it is too simplified. For what truly intrigues me with this dream is not the relationship between the two authors, but rather, how the dream partly emptied the swan symbol of traditional cultural meaning. In the dream, the swans somehow insisted on being inconsistent. They were certainly not woman swans. They were not even swans. For example, the black swan could take form as a violent event, but it could just as well be a nice surprise, or just something. The blackness had nothing to do with dark sides. It was more an image for improbability. The blank swan (aka the market maker) was maybe slightly more inscribed into a dream story in the sense that it had a spacial and corporal aspect to it. The blank swan was floating (possibly in a pond that was the pit could this stand for an experienced restriction of spirituality in economy?) and it interacted with other swans, blank and black ones. So in a way, they made the black swan which was not really a bird-swan behave more like a bird-swan: at least when they encountered each other. The blank swans thus had more of a subjectivity, but their actions were not individual, spacial or temporal. They were not enemies or lovers: they didnt plot. They just were a mindset. If I would have to force them into a Swan Lake-setting, they would probably be a chaotic corps de ballet, guided by unknown impulses. I think I could like a Swan Lake with black and blank swans. Maybe that is how this dream was a wish fulfillment: a feasibility study for an unimaginable project.


Sven-Olof Wallenstein

Imagining otherwise Located in Frontera Corozal, Chiapas, a settlement on the border between Mexico and Guatemala, the two-year project Frontera asks a plethora of questions relating to the possibility of art to intervene in life, to imagine alternative futures, and it points to the enigmatic link between the places, the topoi, of utopia and heterotopia. These works should be seen as an act of indirect sabotage, or as an attempt to rely on reality as the most disloyal ally, as the curatorial statement reads. Intervening in a place characterized as a limbo, severed from past and future, the curators wish to exorcize the classical fantasy of the bon sauvage in order to come closer to the vitality of unexpected situations. The desire to invent art practices that would affect everyday life is as old as the avant-garde itself, and probably even older, and it has often been deemed utopian, but then
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only in order to be just as quickly dismissed in the name of a return to the safe haven of established artistic institutions. And yet the question refuses to go away: Could the place of encounter be considered as a site for engaging in alternative ways of world-making, of communication and meaning production that would not follow pre-conceived protocols, and to what extent can art practices become a vehicle for this? Perhaps we need to invent some other vocabulary than that of utopia to discuss these problems, perhaps we need to free the imagination from the alternative between the utopian and the real, in order to think the work done by work, the action performed by art works on our perceptual habitsin short, imagine otherwise, which may indeed be tantamount to a profound rethinking of the domain of the imaginary as the realm in which art is supposed to be located. In many of these projects there is a concern for linking the actual place to a certain double, a virtual place in the sense of an undefined possibility of transformation (which obviously may, but need not, involve representation in digital media, which rather tends to impose a reified and technological idea of the virtual, as it has been understood in the philosophical tradition from Bergson to Deleuze). Freeing practices, things, and situations from their normal use, perhaps by rendering them inoperative, might be a way to allow art to act as a transformative power that does not rely on a defined projection of the future, but determines the place to be reached as a site constituted in a now-and-here that is also a now/here, or, if we read this term backwards, as Samuel Butler once proposed in a visionary novel, as an erewhon. References to the various theoretical ramifications of these ideas of site, space, and virtuality could undoubtedly be multiplied infinitely. But instead of this, let me turn to a reference that would allow for an initial articulation of the place as same and other, as a no (ou) or other (heteros) place (topos): the idea of heterotopia, which may prove useful for

circumventing the classical dead ends of utopia. This concept appears in the early work of Foucault, which I believe can be taken as an implicit subtext for many of the investigations and projects proposed in Frontera, but also, beyond this particular series of interventions, for an important part of contemporary art practice in general. The work of Foucault overlays present concerns and a both distanced and passionate archaeology of the past, and it has become something like a site that can be excavated in many different ways, and from which many current intellectual movements and critical practices can draw energy. Foucaults quest was for a different form of materialism that would cut through the divisions between body and mind, an overturning of established conducts and disciplines, a different understanding of the eventperhaps that of an event infiltrated by other events, as Molly Nesbit says in an essay, where she connects Foucaults work from the late 1960s to the counter-cultural practices of the period, evoking a time when philosophy and art stay separated, sharing a situation shaken by incongruity and shift, but in this also suggesting that we are in the midst of such an incongruous and shifting moment today. Heterotopias The concept of heterotopia plays a complex and even contradictory role in Foucaults early work, and some readers have been mesmerized by what at one level appears as simply a homonomy. There are at least two different senses of the term, and they should not be immediately identified. But beyond such initial distinctions, we need to ask whether these different senses are knit together at some other level, which is surely not identical to the surface of the texts, but lies somewhere else, within the space of a problem that requires an act of invention on the part of the reader. Perhaps it would be rewarding to see the tensions that this concept dis331

plays not just as resulting from the fact that Foucault in the early years was trying various avenues of thought that did not necessarily coherethis he in fact pursued throughout his life, and few thinkers would to such an extent live up to the motto of another great historian of the present, the architectural critic Reyner Banham: To prove you have a mind, you have to change itbut rather as resulting from the matter of thought itself, from the dense interplay of language, space, and site that seems to have been one of his constant themes. The attempt to tear us away from the present, which Foucault later came to understand in terms of a history of the present or an ontology of actuality, was meant to resist what he felt to be the all too facile themes of utopia and transcendence. But this is obviously a complex and delicate task; it requires that we somehow free a virtual becoming, or a becomingvirtual, inside the present, that we release a swarm of pasts and futures that constitute a proliferation of doubles, without ending up in a historicist version of the past as a burden that necessitates an already formed future. But in addition to this, it also requires that the archeology of discourse, the painstaking attention to what has been said, does not shut us off from the space and time of actions, and that the work on the order of discourse also comes to interrupt a discourse that issues orders that we are assumed to obey and accept. In Foucaults later work, the analysis of power and resistance, of processes of subjectivation and the whole complex of governing that came to the fore from the mid 70s onwards, obviously takes on this task, which means that the earlier work in some sense may be retroactively understood as an impassean impasse that would trap us in discourse as opposed to things, which would amount to a highly sophisticated form of modern idealism, from which Foucault in fact always sought to break away. Tracing the concept of heterotopia would be one way to see how these problems were already germinating in the early texts, but also, in a certain

sense, to understand the extent to which this impasse (if it is one) remains valid even for us, todayfor, as Deleuze says somewhere, in Foucault the impasses are objective, they are forced upon us by the mechanisms of power, and we need to traverse them, not avoid them as if they were merely subjective mistakes. To some extent it is even futile to ask whether Foucault succeeds in undoing, traversing, or overcoming themfor in this case success would inevitably imply failure, in the sense that the solutions would congeal into precepts that we would be called upon to repeat. The task must always be begun anew, just as Nietzsche once said that each thinker must pick up an arrow shot from some obscure past and pass it on into some equally dim future, not on the basis of knowing what future time means, but by reaching out into the dimension of the untimely, that which suspends meaning by unhinging time from its repressive and depressive cardinal axes. So let us pick up one such arrow: the concept of heterotopia. The idea of a systematic analysis of other places, what Foucault not without a certain irony calls a heterotopology (for what could a science, a logos, of the other, of the heteron, possibly mean?) first appeared in two radio talks, Les Hterotopies and Le Corps utopique, in December 1966. The two talks were part of a series of radio shows entitled Utopia and literature, and in the first of these two brief excursions Foucault presents the idea of heterotopia as a spatial otherness, which is the idea that would be further developed in a public lecture from 1967 known under the name Des espaces autres. The second radio talk takes a different route, and in addressing the utopian body in terms of an inner ego-oriented space it retrieves many of the phenomenological themes that Foucault was struggling with at the time. In close parallel to Merleau-Ponty he analyzes how a utopian desire emerges out of the body riveted to an irreducible an ineluctable facticity, in a fantasy of an other and

glorious body, or a soul that wholly escapes it; from within a certain phenomenology, but also by brushing it against the grain, Foucault here provides what we could call a genealogy of transcendence. The same year, 1966, the idea of heterotopia had in fact already appeared in rather different way in the introduction to The Order of Things. Although the concept as such plays no part in the subsequent analysis carried out in the book, where Foucault proposes an archeology attempting to uncover the rules (the episteme) that have organized knowledge in the Renaissance, the Classical age, and post-Kantian modernity, it occupies a highly strategic place in the introduction, in pointing to that which makes thinking itself possible, to an experience of order and structure as a groundless event that itself must remain somehow extra-epistemic. And finally, the term occurs in the lecture presented before a group of architects in 1967, Des espaces autres, where Foucault picks up the thread from the first radio talk. For a long time this text remained unpublished, although its delayed and sometimes confused reception has not prevented it from eventually becoming a frequent reference in contemporary theoretical work on art and architecture. The second of the radio talks has many important connections to Foucaults other essays from the period that would deserve close attention, and a full treatment of the theme of heterotopia would require a detailed analysis of Foucaults use of certain forms of literature as resistance, his rethinking of the idea of the imaginary, and his complex and tortuous relation to phenomenology. In this context I will however leave this aspect aside, and focus on the presentations of the theme that we find in The Order of Things and in the 1967 lecture. Heterotopia and archeology Foucault famously opens The Order of Things by citing Borges imaginary Chinese encyclopedia, a text which seems

to defy all normal logic, although I believe that the precise function that this amusing literary example has in Foucaults argumentor better, the tension that it both acknowledges and helps to concealhas not been sufficiently acknowledged. Animals, it says, should be divided in categories like: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies. In juxtaposing categories that are not simply incongruous but also involve classical set-theoretical paradoxes (included in the present classification), Borgess text, Foucault suggests, creates a self-reflexive and impossible taxonomy that can only exist in the non-place (non-lieu) of language. It destroys the table upon which, since the beginning of time, language has intersected space (9/xvii), i.e., that surface on which categories could meet and co-exist; it produces a certain disorder, which however, as we will see, proves to be the condition of possibility for the very experience of an order of things, words, and the link between them. This is why Borges encyclopedia should not be understood as a utopia, which Foucault here understands as a place located somewhere else beyond the vicissitude of time, a space where myths and fables can unfold in the eloquence of discourse, but as a heterotopia that runs against the grain of language (desiccates it, Foucault says), in advance destroys that syntax that holds words and things together, and allows the other to irrupt inside the same. This experience of otherness is also where Foucault finds the point of entry to his own archeological project, i.e. the possibility to uncover a dimension that lies between the basic codes of a culture that determine what can be understood as empirical, and those scientific or philosophical theories that account for the existence of order in general.

Emma Tolander

This archeological space, Foucault says, is the obscure region, at once intermediary and fundamental, where a culture deviates from its codes in such a way that they become visible in their naked existence and contingency, and come to form a limit of culture. Thus it is also the place of critique and transformation, he continues, and it is the most basic level situated before words, perceptions, and gestures, as well as before the subject that would comprehend or constitute them. But in spite of this rejection, or better, this bracketing of the subject (which is carried in a non- or counter-phenomenological fashion: it is a reduction of meaning, and not to meaning), Foucault proposes that archeology approaches this limit as a kind of experience, a pure experience of order (13/xxiii) that would allow us to unearth the historical a priori that makes it possible to see and enunciate in an orderly and regulated fashion. Archeology lays bare a certain ground (sol), but neither in terms of a stable foundation or of an ontology (here, we are both close too and far from Heidegger), nor of a relation to an ideality or objectivity, which is the essential difference from Bachelards analysis of the epistemological breaks. This ground is a set of rules that on the one hand remain fixed, on the other hand, when seen as a limit, indicate the cracks and fissures that provide mobility to the historical conditiond. The silent ground of our culture, the same ground that is once more stirring under our feet (16/xxvi), is shout through with displacements and fault lines, but there is a possible experience of its ungrounded nature, although it that needs to circumvent the form of the subject, which encloses this experience in a form that neutralizes it in advance. In this sense, the experience of heterotopia that we encounter in Borges impossible Encyclopedia would be the impossible site, the Outside, from out of which thought emerges, that which opens the possibility of thinking the Other (lAutre) and not the Same (le Mme). This topos would be neither dialectically nor logically opposed to the topology of everyday

language, instead it forms the very condition of (im)possibility of a stable signifying order. It is only on basis of this nonground, or a ground that immediately breaks open, the archeology can begin to articulate itself as an experience in search of a subject and an object, and for the always tenuous and instable link that for a certain period will bind them together. Other spaces If we now pass on to the third instance of heterotopia, presented in the public lecture from 1967 on different spaces, we immediately notice that it opens up a rather different perspective. Heterotopia now appears as connected to the production and reproduction of social space as discipline, and to order in the sense of command. These two themes, discourse as structure and command, will be joined together a few years later, and it becomes an explicit theme in the inaugural lecture at the Collge de France in 1970, Lordre du discours (somewhat misleadingly translated into English as The Discourse on Language). Here the order of things appears more as an ordering, a relation of power where inclusion and exclusion are not just classificatory, but also institutional, relations. Ultimately this order rests on the exclusion performed by the will to truth, or will to knowledge, as Foucault would later call itwhich is the most enigmatic of exclusions since it makes truth itself into a problem, a result of a battle or struggle rather than something emanating from the good will or spontaneous rectitude of the subjects faculties. The 1967 lecture begins by noting that if the 19th century was obsessed with history and chronology, with the problem of the originary and the derivative, today we imagine ourselves in a space of simultaneity, networks, and interlinkings. And when structuralism acknowledges this, Foucault notes, this is not simply as a negation of temporality in the name of some frozen eternal orderwhich at the time were

commonplace accusations in the wake of the debate between Sartre and Lvi-Straussbut a way to rethink the interlacing of time, space, and event. Space indeed has an entangled history of its own, and Foucault parenthetically gives us a few hints of what such a history might look like, from the ancient and medieval hierarchy of places (topoi, as Aristotles Physics says), which remained operative in everyday life as well as on a cosmological level, but then was pried open by the intrusion of the infinite, in a series of upheavals leading up to the Cartesian extensio that renders all sites indifferent equivalent in the mathematical projection of the coordinate system. Today, Foucault claims, we however tend to think more in terms of sites, nodal intersections understood in relation to series, networks, and a vocabulary derived from information theory. In a non-Aristotelian way, our space has once more become a relation between sites, which also forms the basis of our modern anxieties. Bachelard and phenomenology has indeed taught us that space is not simply a homogeneous extension, but fantasmatic and projective, Foucault notes, but there is also another type of space, which is what will introduce us to the third definition of heterotopia: a place that eats and scrapes away at us, where the erosion of our life, our time, and our history takes place, places that resist the operations of consciousness, even subvert it; places that relate to all other spaces in the sense that they suspend, neutralize, or reverse the set of relations that are designated, reflected, or represented by them (EW 2, 177f). It is true that these spaces could be called both utopias and heterotopias, and now Foucault proposes that we should differentiate them in the following way: utopias are inverted or perfected imaginary forms of present society, and they cannot be localized inside of it; heterotopias, on the other hand, are real places that are formed in the very founding acts of society; they are contrary locations that on

one level represent, question, and invert all other spaces, but in this they also form a coherent system together with their opposites (and here we may recognize a typical feature of the cybernetics views to which Foucault referred earlier, namely the idea of self-regulation). One could even imagine a heterotopology, Foucault says, a systematic description, if not a science (and here he retracts the claim in the radio talk the year before) of such places, and he proposes six principles for this type of analysis. 1. They exist in each society, but can be divided into two major groups: heterotopias of crisis, as in the case of sacred or forbidden places, or places of passage like the boarding school, military service, or the honeymoon trip, and heterotopias of deviation, as in the case of rest homes, hospitals, and prisons, places which, he notes, may have become more common today. 2. Their functions may change due to the structure of society, for instance the cemetery, whose location is dependent on the varying perception of death; once at the center of society, it has today been pushed to the margins and rendered invisible. 3. They may juxtapose incompatible sites in one place, like the theater, the cinema, or the garden. 4. They are linked to particular slices of time, heterochronies that break away from the flow of everyday events, as in the case of museums and libraries that accumulate past time, or fairgrounds and festivals that are connected to the transitory nature of time; and finally there is the case of the vacation village that brings together both of them in a time that stands still. 5. They constitute systems of opening and closure, they are not generally freely accessible like public space, and require a gatekeeping function. Some may even include and exclude at the same time, and create a kind of spatial pocket (for instance the Brazilian bedrooms where the visitor could

enter without meeting the family, or the American motel room). 6. Finally, they have two extreme functions: either to expose all of normal life as illusory, or to create another and more perfect space. In this they are places of if illusion and compensation; the first can be exemplified by the brothel, the second by certain colonies, for instance Puritan societies in North America. This is obviously a rather loose and improvised description of different spaces, which takes us from graveyards and libraries to museums and brothels, from cinemas and motels rooms to rites of passage and initiation. It would be easy to criticize Foucault for certain inconsistenciesbut maybe, just like Borge, he is making fun of our desire to classify, of our desire to create precisely a logos of the heteron. This notwithstanding, the fundamental feature of all these places is that they have a productive and a subversive relation to everyday spaces. A heterotopia is a place where we can find rest and withdraw (the holiday resort, the convent, the library), but it also allows for a certain overturning of the rules of everyday conduct. It operates as an integrated and functional part of the spatial cycle of (re)productionto go on holiday means to return to work in a better shapebut it also produces fantasies of subversion. What is this division of time that organizes our lives? What is the sense of work, why do we perceive it as such an important part of our lives, and what would it mean to experience time and space otherwise? Heterotopias thus function both as an instrument for the reproduction of the social order, and as a constant source of disorder and contestation that has to be contained within precise limits. They can be taken as materialized instances of order as ordering, but also as materialized experiences of the contingency of orderthey are the condition not of an archeology of epistemic rules, but of spatial and temporal boundaries that in any given culture determine what should

and what should not be done, when to do or not to do it. In this their otherness is perhaps less radical and further away from the non-ground of the epistemic orders excavated in the archeology of knowledge, but they are also what provides these orders with a physical instantiation and practical application: the heterotopias of language and space are different, and yet knit together in the fabric that binds words, things, and actions together. Now, in many respects, contemporary visual art, especially in its claims to intervene into the fabric of everyday life and to detach our perceptual and mental habits from an unquestioned anchoring, aspires to release a heterotopic energy belonging both to language of space, and particularly that interstitial element that articulates them upon each other. Foucaults inclusion of the museum as a heterochrony that accumulates past time points to one aspect of this process, in which the horizontal flow of events is folded back upon itself, twisted out of joint, and laid out before us. The estranged gaze on the contemporary moment made possible by the museum and similar institutions of accumulation shows our current practices in a different light, reveals the contingencies and necessities that permeate them, and in this it also asks to what extent we could do things otherwise. The sitespecific practices that emerged in the 60s (and more generally, modern visual art such, from the avant-garde onwards) were not on Foucaults horizon when he gave the lecture in 1967, but they have surely made the questions he posed even more relevant. What does it mean to inject the heterological into the familiar, to what extent can art practices that intentionally situate themselves outside of the divisions between aesthetics and politics, institutional heterochrony and everyday repetitions, still function as works of art? What happens when art abandons its pretenses to utopia, and asks for that which is other in the same, that which ruptures the present without being simply elsewhere?

The crucial issue seems to be one of mobility, of inventing a capacity for displacement that would not simply congeal into objects of appreciation, but release a similar energy in whoever encounters such events. And perhaps it is not coincidental that the last example Foucault provides us with at the end of the lecture is the boat. It is presented as the heterotopia par excellence that condenses all the ambivalences of the preceding examples, and it is difficult not to recall the glorious description of the Ship of Fools, the Narrenschiff, at the outset of The History of Madness, located at the moving frontier between inner and outer, as the inner of the outer and inverselyas a figure of freedom and enclosure at once. In the final words of the lecture this limit begins to resonate even more with the idea of movement and displacement, with the oneiric and the imaginary, and it points to the possibility of a heterotopia of resistance: In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police takes the place of the pirates.

Leslie Manns

Manon Santkin




- How does one not end up in so called circular arguments? - How much can everything is ideological and inscribed in... stop us? - Why should I practise to want or desire? - Are desires the only thing enabling us to act? - Do we always act from our understanding and conception of our history and our past? - Is whether or not you can remember something a valid measuremt for whether or not that something was structured in a recognizable way? - Can restructuring of how we can structure our present change how it becomes history and how we then act upon it in the future?

Questions I would love some answers to: - Can the cause excuse the means? Or is there always also an ideology in the means that no cause can do away with? - Is there a need for idealism, and what can it add? - What is the relation between idealism and speculation? - What is the relation between guilt and an old conception of division between work and private life? - What is the relation between career, class, identity as commodity and blurring of private and work? - What does it add to, politically and in a wider perspective, when we try to create specific individual desires in an unspecific and floaty surrounding? - What would be to not adapt to this logic? And is that even possible when any desire to not do this is also a desire?

Yours sincerely, Rebecka Stillman



Ric Allsopp
Second: was a list of times, hours and minutes, each subsequently crossed out as if he was trying to balance time, to set the clock, or as if he was making a final act of navigation, trying to hold onto something certain and ordered, to re-impose time itself in a world where time (which is memory) and the rhythms of the familiar had become strange and distant, in order to go beyond. Situation: I fall in love. I fell in love. I will fall in love. I have fallen in love. I will have fallen in love. I fall. I fell. I will fall. I have fallen. I will have fallen. I love. I loved. I will love. I have loved. I will have loved. Skin: this text is not mine, its form and repertoire departs from the skin, from the skin of this land, these striations, marks, lines. Slip: at the moment of loss, of being in between gently to slip out of time, to let go of his own time, to become the time of others.

Stains: permanent, semi-permanent caused by friction and contact with other porous or contaminated surfaces, or by spillages, and other forms of absorption. Stains might be differentiated from ephemeral marks. Both have a wide variety of causations ranging from the biological and metabolic, the emotional and psychological, to the accidental and contingent, the social and cultural. Stream: feeling in the stream of time how things wash over us, how we stain the future, passing on our feelings, our ways of moving, speaking, writing, how we are stained by a past which passes these things to us until by mouth, by foot, by hand we arrive. Surface: this olive grass, the date of the green tree or the ramifications of her. I sometimes put it to work when I desire lightness. These items might be described as soft three dimensional objects with continuous surfaces that can enclose and enfold, exclude and protect. Each item can be turned inside out. The grass, the green leaves. Whilst the surfaces are continuous, they are differentiated with interior surfaces being perhaps more porous absorbent, exterior surfaces more resistant, non-porous, desiring light.



Tea Tupajic

Peter Witrak 1 : Meet your future company members in a gay dive bar

Is this an attempt at democracy? A FICTIONAL SCRIPT FOR A POSSIBLE LAB, PANEL, SEMINAR, ORWith the shift of the ideas of labour and the working modes of the artists, various arenas of thought exchange have established themselves as independent sites of production. The articulation of the problem in language no longer operates merely as a postdescription of the artistic product adding a surplus value to it, but as a vehicle for creation of the problem itself. Since the discursive processes happen in relations among people, they produce a contingent social space whose features and capacities offer the possibilities of rethinking the architecture, terms, consequences and promises of assembling today. C: I agree with what you said before and I think it would be interesting to discuss it in the context of the crisis of political representation.



A: I just think that as long as we continue thinking of discursive practises as modes of production, as long as we stay focused on our labour and all its consequences we are neglecting the crisis of political representation. And that one is connected to the tendency of political philosophy towards object-avoidance. B: How do you then relate to the ideas of community and to conversation as its mode of self-realisation and selfpreservation? A: Here I am not interested in conversation as a social behaviour but as a form that creates and disseminates issues, that matters in a different way than art production does. C: Is this then the promise of the discursive? That it can deliver content without wrapping it up in a form? A: That is also to say that if we want to understand not only the events and streams in art today, but also its potential, the way how it can operate not as an autonomous sphere of experience and existence, but how it engages in social life, we have to analyse the structures that enable the sharing of ideas, namely conditions, promises and consequences of the discursive processes. No to autonomy! F: So here you see the potential of stepping out of the autonomy of art? A: Yes, which is not to say lets open the doors so that people from the street can also come in and share their knowledge and issues at stake, but maybe this is our chance. Autonomy of art is based on the translation of the problem or concept into an aesthetic circumstance or medium. It is based on the shift of the battlefield if we can say that there is something we are fighting for. D: The optimistic way of looking at it comes with the heritage of conceptual art and it is that the statements are events. That they exist not as a supplement or a side product of the art work, but that they are as independent and real. That if you rearticulate the world, it changes.

I: And the pessimistic? (laughter) D: The pessimistic way of looking at it goes with Badiou when he describes our social space as worldless, sorry, wordless. The revolutionary subject emerges and outbursts irrationally, without in discourse elaborated agenda. B: To put it broadly, the question would be How do people assemble and what do they produce when they assemble? Or, how do we assemble and what do we produce when we assemble? C: Is a lab situation really an assembly? B: I would say that it has the potential of becoming one. Or we shouldnt lose the opportunity into making it one. When more individuals gather in a space/context, it is their task to rewrite the rules of the game of that context. A: Bruno Latour in his call for object-oriented democracy distinguishes matters of fact from matters of concern. Matters of fact, great narratives that resolved peoples differences and positioned them on the basis of their relation to them, have now been replaced by their relation to objects, to issues. What happens today is that the techniques of political representation no longer seem capable of absorbing the multiplicity of positions and, in any case, they are no longer capable of standardising them. Lets say that parliament is completely inefficient today. I: To translate this problem into a theatre circumstance. Lets try to perform this in a chorus part. See, its not working. Because chorus as a machine is not any more appropriate. There is no unison, no common cause. The only thing there is are contaminations, traces, interpretations. And of course, there is rhetoric. J: How does parliament translate into a chorus? C: This is what we are trying to avoid, I would say. We claim that the discursive process can be another kind of arena of thought exchange and production. And consequently of action. It is exactly not about translating one machine into

another, but we are trying to see if the discursive processes can offer a way of art operating in social life. A: Yes, I said parliament doesnt satisfy us because there we can see in the simplest way where the problem lies. We dont say anymore We are concerned that the rain doesnt fall. And we for sure dont all gather in a circle to discuss it. I am concerned about too much rain, you about airport security measures, his concern is swine flu, hers kindergarten regulations. P: When I was a child I thought global warming was something that was happening in America. And why was that? Because we had more urgent problems to deal with. M: When I say that we should reinvent the architecture of the theatre, I dont mean building crazy buildings, taking chairs out of theatres or some instant solutions like that. Id try to think of how we can create such a conceptual architecture that absorbs our experience. The multiplicity of concerns and the multiplicity of positions we take towards them. Theatre as an apparatus has a certain way of distributing the public space. I would be curious how we can redistribute it in order to make voices emerge. G: There is the question of how and there is the question of what. Dealing with how requires unfolding of the techniques of assembly. How do we make the issues talk. It would mean to analyse the mechanisms, relations and structures of, for instance, this lab. To understand how the machine operates. Dealing with what would mean to analyse the content of what we are talking about (if there is any). Why? Because when I am talking I am creating an issue. And this is, as he said, an event. I am making something public. So to deal with what would mean asking why. Why am I making this issue public and not the other. Im not saying any of them are better, on the contrary I want to find out how are they interdependent. P: When you look up the word concern in the Oxford

dictionary, here is what you get: One- anxiety, worry (such unsatisfactory work gives cause for concern), a cause of anxiety or worry (the new techniques raise some safety concerns). Two- a matter of interest or importance to someone (oil reserves are the concern of the Energy Department, the survival of an endangered species is of concern to wildlife biologists), (concerns) affairs; issues (public awareness of Aboriginal concerns). Interesting examples, no? So it presupposes an object. I am concerned for this or that. And it also presupposes an urgency. Couldnt we try just as an experiment, as we are in a lab, to formulate each of us his or her concern. Because I am interested in not only what these concerns could be, but in what happens with them, how do they interrelate, how they contaminate each other, do they merge into groups or the opposite, do they become more specific. D: Yes, but to return again to what I said before. Today we have the emergence of the non-assembly. People gathered outside of the organised social space. They are not at all interested in giving voice to any kind of problems. Opposition to the system can no longer articulate itself as a possible alternative or even as a utopia, as a different organisation proposal. In fact, it doesnt articulate itself at all it just smashes and shouts. C: Why is this interesting to talk about in the lab? Is this the real WHAT? As I can see it, the only thing we can talk about is this what is happening here with us. The only content we can provide is the analysis of the relations and structures formed here and now. We are taking so much for granted the parole everything is political that we will never act politically. In other words, what can we talk about and is there a point in asking the question what is to be done without sounding like an old school Marxist? N: No, there is a what and there is a how. We can no longer satisfy ourselves with claiming that how is a what. F: For once, I am happy we are in the Museum of Con355

temporary Art and I am happy we are not talking about the war. A: What would it mean to act politically? I think it is interesting that a lab is a structure we appropriated from science. Lets see whats happening. Say I am a scientist in a lab and I am examining the molecule of oxygen. I will come to certain conclusions, which I will then make public. So I will create the voice for the molecule of oxygen and I will deliver it as a fact. What is similar is that we too are here giving voice to certain problems/issues. C: Isnt what we should aim at, as you said, the reinvention of the lab/gathering/assembly? Since the old ones seem to be inappropriate to what we are talking about. To use your metaphor, we have not all assembled here to make the molecule of oxygen speak, to deliver the truth about it. We are here to first of all create issues/concerns that we could examine. And then to, by creating knowledge about them, make them speak. And that requires a different apparatus of assembly then the one we inherited. D: Is this now an attempt at democracy? Who says theatre has anything to do with democracy? J: Maybe we can attack this question of democracy if we try to analyse how this deals with the notion of contemporaneity. It is no longer contemporaneity in relation to time, but rather contemporaneity in relation to space. Multiple juxtaposed contemporaneities. D: Where do you see the relation between democracy and contemporaneity? E: I wonder if this problematics of assembling is so easily applicable to all contexts. Can we say sinus infection patients, immigrants, agricultural workers, artists they all assemble with the same things at stake? Because I am wondering isnt it so that today discursive production is a production the same as any other production is a production. In this sense isnt this context also a market? Can we talk about

creating concerns, gathering around them without having in mind that in this place we are also trading them? Can there exist something as the sharing of ideas? Or to stretch the point to the extreme, can we say that in the situation of idea sharing the best thing to do is to shut up and simply absorb/ steal other peoples ideas and sell them afterwards as yours? F: So we return to what we discussed this morning? E: I think we should acknowledge the historical moment of which we are subjects. C: So is this our concern? P: Thats just too easy. We cant just form some kind of immaterial labour union and go on strike. E: Would this change the conditions of this assembly or, how you put it, reinvent the conceptual architecture? C: That we reshape this space into a labour union meeting? P: Couldnt we try tomorrow with this formulation the concerns I proposed before? That we individually formulate a concern. One concern each. G: Sure, we formulate it at home but we keep silent about it? (Laughter) B: Ok, this thing is evaporating, lets finish and move on tomorrow. A: Sure, thank you all. G: Thanks, see you. C, P, I, J, M: Great, see you!




Stefan Hlscher

Peter Witrak 2: Theory-laden choreographic study results in dilettantism. Let critical discourse come in through the backdoor. Seek no justification whatsoever.

First of all I want to apologize due to two different reasons. Firstly because I cannot be here in Nafpaktos and join our gathering personally, although I really would like to do so. That is why you are now looking at a video showing me as I am reading the text you are listening to. The setting I have chosen does not allow communication as a reciprocal exchange of thoughts or perspectives on something that might potentially become common to us once. Since we do not meet each other in order to encounter things together the situation we are in already implies a little crisis in itself because it somehow reproduces the well-known conflict between display and creation, product and process, and, on a larger scale, a world-wide and still unsolved tension between relations and forces of production which, in our case, produces a rather spectral affect between us. What you see from my making has nothing to do with what I saw while I was doing it. Your experience takes place


in another sphere than mine now. Or, to put it more tangibly, what you will get from my side in a few weeks is just a form of estranged (immaterial) labor, recorded with a digital camera, burned on DVD and sent to you via post afterwards. Karl Marx once wrote:
So through estranged labor man not only produces his relationship to the object and to the act of production as to alien and hostile powers; he also produces the relationship in which other men stand to his production and product, and the relationship in which he stands to these other men.

As to me his utterance from 1844 seems truer than the one Antonio Negri and Flix Guattari in their mutually written Communists Like Us from 1985 enthusiastically made when, inspired by former Marxist reflections on and their own reading of an assumed real subsumption of living labor under capital, they were all too sure that after a few centuries of socialist and/or capitalist domination, production and society have become one and the same thing. Are we really living in a social factory? Is there actually no longer a boundary separating the spaces of production from the political field? I filmed my talk a few weeks ago in Frankfurt, Germany, the city in Europe where I live. This circumstance hints toward the second occasion for my excuse. While since almost two years now folks in Greece have to go through very tough financial cuts and a general downsizing of their social system, a deregulation of the whole economic sector in their country, and even a wider dissolution of the public sphere that, as far as I know, also has a couple of impacts on your cultural fonds and the cultural field in its entirety, the banks here in Frankfurt, especially the very German ones, are allowed to continue with their overly serious games. Not the fusion, but the melting of various spheres, those of production and those of politics as well, are caused at least as much by the IMF and certain rating agencies in the US as by the depts greek banks owe to other banks abroad. All of them are continuing to speculate in an utterly literal manner at this very moment, producing depts and, only for their own sake, drawing even more surplus out of peoples activities, desires, and libidinal investments than before the official crisis started, not only in Greece.

To such an extend speculation at its very core aims at a storing of nothing less than our (life)time and a capture of precisely the dimension of life whereby human potential might unfold so as to develop something else: Other and different worlds in our one and only world and an environment thanks to which financial dept could potentially be replaced by the excess not the lack of, to borrow a maybe too oldfashioned word, living labour, an excessive surplus of our activities, desires, and libidinal investments. These themselves can never be fully exploited without a living rest yet remaining, although they are subsumed under exchange value and separated from the ways how we can deal with our capacities and use our time as the very dimension through which we make... not only in art, but art, too. Of course, concerning artistic production in the widest sense, the traditional Marxist distinction between superstructure and infrastructure becomes problematic and however prone to what Guattari, in one of his later texts, dating back to the 80ies, had pointed at when his idea of a production of subjectivity emerged for the first time.
For Marxism, questions such as those of desire, art, religion, and the production of ideas belong to the domain of superstructure that depends dialectically on the infrastructures of production. But once the production of subjectivity is found precisely within these infrastructures of production, and with ever greater importance, it is impossible to maintain the opposition between infrastructure and superstructure. It is impossible to confine ourselves to a reading of political economy in order to understand and question Integrated World Capitalism.

What Guattari briefly calls IWC is not identical with the IMF or the WTO, although all three are closely linked to each other. In what follows I will to ask for the consequences the current crisis of IWC has for art and in how far, as its symptoms, economical impacts can be diagnosed in the field of artistic production, if we are willing to consider the activities taking place there as specific forms of praxis. This includes as much the way how and the modes through

which art is produced and, as such a product, exchanged and distributed as a commodity on the market afterwards. In that context I want to investigate two artistic strategies that have been developed in the field of choreography during the last years. Firstly everybodys (www.everybodystoolbox.net), a loose and quite unconventional alliance between several European choreographers and secondly PAF, the Performing Arts Forum (www.pa-f.net) in St Erme, France, an exceptional place for artistic creation and research. Both of them deal with the highly precarious situation we are undergoing right now on their own. Both of them were launched already some years before the official crisis started. On the one hand based on the foundation of an alternative institution which, quite evocative of former La Borde in some of its aspects, distances itself from the accelerated circuit of production, and on the other hand by means of new forms of collaborative procedures which define choreography rather as open source than as a set of already fixed techniques. Both thus intervene in the public sphere in order to reconfigure the production and distribution of values, the ones related to the exchange as much as those having to do with the use of art as a form of living labor in our daily lives. Whereas during the 80ies, not inconsiderably due to the cheerful budget of European cities, new theatre houses and funding structures, public ones as many as private ones, popped up everywhere with the result that programmers, festival curators, artists, and innovative theoretical discourses could join the economical boom all around during this time, celebrate what later would be called a postdramatic aesthetics, and on the level of production invest in multilayered networks and tradeoff systems between different freelance theatres and cultural fonds, we are now going through quite a different, if not opposite, process. Some pessimists even forecast the old Marxist problematic of overproduction

swaying on artistic production and proclaim that there were, at its center as much as in its many peripheries, too much choreographic productions going on in the freelance scenes and that the market could not deal with them. Every year dance schools or even schools for choreography all over Europe set free almost a multitude of well-educated workers knocking at the door of the cultural sector and its restricted economical scopes. Indeed there is a lot of them. Every bigger city now wants to conduct its own MA program, being able to specialise students on various aspects of freelance production, supporting a wide range of their creative and performative skills even more than the technical ones. But nowhere the freelance structures are really preperated for that quantity of good quality. While in the booming 80ies there were only a few more than a dozen of fistful of lucky faces around and the programmers usually good friends with their protgs, nowadays on the contrary it seems that each morning after New Years Eve, when besotted traces of the former celebration are still sensible effectually, the whole cycle of production has to start from the beginning. A cycle has to readjust that is not sustainable and quite wasteful as all other cycles of production. Everywhere. Times got both faster and more transient since for the first time Berlin and Brussels had a co-productive rendezvous. Today more and more and always new faces are needed to enter stage for a while, a metaphorical day maybe, and then leave for some of the many other promising ones standing in line and waiting outside the entrance door of cultural economy. This development does not remain without any influence on our contemporary subjectivity as well. It deeply touches on the production of subjectivity that Guattari, at the beginning of the 90ies in his Chaosmosis, considered to be the product of individuals, groups and institutions although derivable from no dominant or determinant instance guiding all other forms according to a universal causality.

In addition to his observations what Franco Berardi predicts in his Precarious Rhapsody is equally valid for the ways artistic production, that of programmers and curators as much as that of theoreticians or the choreographers themselves, more and more changes during the crisis, the one of money as much as the one of our togetherness, when boom turns into boomerang whilst capitalist valorisation is aiming directly at the surplus of everybodys activities, desires, and productions, be they libidinal investments in the many fields and scenes of choreography or somewhere else. He supposes:
Capital is a cognitive framework of social activity, a semiotic frame embedded in the social psyche and in the human techne. Refusal of work, temporary autonomous zones, open source and freeware, all this is not the new totality, it is the dynamic recombination allowing people to find their space of autonomy, and push capitalism towards progressive innovation.

Therefore one question is becoming more and more necessary nowadays: In how far are there alternatives to the given relations of production? In which sense can the forces of artistic production escape an encompassing appropriation of their potential, although always only particularly and temporarily? Dealing with the recent crisis of financial capital does not necessarily mean, as some exponents of former postoperaism put it, a revolutionary exodus of living labor away from capital absolutely but rather hints at the potential of postfordist virtuosity itself and its alternative modes of production its potential to reconfigure their relations instead of overthrowing them. The concept of exodus in Paolo Virnos political thinking first of all means an exodus of human potential from capitalist appropriation and accumulation and calls for activities which contain their own outcomes, activities which blur the borderline between action and production. Although it seems that no absolute exodus from capital is possible, in the case of everybodys and with respect to

PAF, it becomes thinkable at least. Related to such choreographical formats and art production environments, the problematic of exodus can well be confronted with the precarious time in which peoples desire for exodus is as much urgent as difficult to be performed as a praxis. Among the initiators of everybodys are Alice Chauchat, Krt Juurak, Mette Ingvartsen, and Petra Sabisch, who in 2005, when they started their first gatherings at PAF, originally named themselves The Open Source Group. From the beginning on their idea behind this longterm project has been to produce and circulate scores and choreographical ideas independendly from their exchange in and evaluation by already constituted structures of the international freelance market and its usual frames of presentation (theatre houses, co-producers, festivals, and stages) in order to redefine the general conditions of work and the parameters of exchange, to produce heterogeneous works, to escape from the restricted accessibility of work, and to deviate from the traditional conceptions of authorship. Since 2006 they are running an online platform, based on the principle of open access, where literally everybody can share not only choreographical tasks and scores, but also append her own modifications of already existing ones. Therefore everybodys concept of choreography cannot be understood as an already constituted form or language we have to refer to if we want to dance, but offers us a toolbox which we have to evolve by our use of it as part of specific practices. One of its driving motivations is our constituent power to change and restructure not only the environments in which choreography takes place, but even choreography itself as a procedure. In a joint issue of Le Journal des Laboratoires (Paris) and TkH Journal for Performing Arts Theory (Belgrade) entitled Exhausting Immaterial Labor the initiators write:


Moreover, the Open Source model provides a research tool for learning about each others work methodologies, which everyone can then implement in their own work. Open Source strategies allow us to share the work practice itself, and not merely its product; this provides an alternative to the authority of the artists signature and the economic abuse of the romanticist genius-artist image.

Thus everybodys rises the problem of making choreographies as a matter of living labor of bodies, as something deeply connected to our potential to produce something common to us via a common praxis we are involved in. Up until now a few book publications have resulted out of this strategy as well. In one of them, everybodys scores, we can find a huge amount of not yet realized pieces, scenes, and bodily activities. Choreography here seems to hint at a multitude of potential propositions and ways how to constitute it differently than through the already existing frames and also implies another understanding of how to exchange and distribute these propositional sketches. Not within the already established structures of the freelance market, where competition and relentless plotting between the ambitious contenders for a place on the other side of the rigorously guarded entrance door to the international show of a never ending story are swamping away any sociable unfolding of creativity more and more, but by inventing a new and other public, a public gathered around common problems, always on its way only to temporary solutions and procedures which have to be negotiated openly as such between all who care. One place for such negotions is PAF, where not only everybodys started, but where also inimitable residencies for artistic creation can be found and where people can rehearse on their own projects while exchanging with other people and encountering their projects on another standard than that of pure competition. There is a striking anecdote which somehow summarizes quite well what this little and rare paradise

in the middle of nowhere in France is about: During the Official Spring Meeting in April 2011 a daily newspaper had been published by Mrten Spngberg and his choreography students from Stockholm only four days long in and for the Performing Arts Forum. During this time various events taking place at PAF, resembling some sort of experimental incidents in a microscopical laboratory, reflecting on broader social landscapes, became documented and translated into outlined datums of such a social assemblage. One of these is a speech Jan Ritsema, the original initiator of that institution and since then one of its main organizers, gave about his idea of a new currency: Fora The New Bucks! an article on april, 6th 2011 was entitled. There we can find a paraphrase of the following statement by Ritsema:
We think we need money in order to live, but we dont. I propose here at Paf Fuck Money! The no-money economy would be called the economy of preferences. In it your preferred action would decide what you do.

How can we imagine such an economy of preferences and in how far would it support an exodus from the structures which make us suffer? According to Ritsema to live in and with an economy of preferences would not mean to still only follow our own interests, although without a monetary currency mediating between our wishes and their objects, and not give a shit for anything else. An economy of preferences in the best case would result in another system of exchange and sharing and to a potential circulation of our collective desires. It would mean to become active neither for the sake of an already constituted common nor for the idea of a social consisting of institutions that are separate from their production across our bodies and their capacity to engage in a common praxis. Nobody can know beforehand where this praxis would lead to or what we prefared if we joined an economy of preferences.

For sure our prefernces had to be negotiated, not to say choreographed, between us in a continuous process of libidinal investment. Maybe this is also, contracted to some kind of non-modernist essence, what art is about: The infinite search for some common preferences, without any destroy mission, but driven by our desire to produce a world we can inhabit... differently. PAF and everybodys seem to prove that Guattari was wrong when he drew a rather dead-end image of our contemporary situation and stated that
The capitalist order claims that individuals should only live for an exchange system, a general translatability of all values so that their slightest desire is felt to be a-social, dangerous, and guilty.

of valorization integrates all the fragments of capitalist production not only (not simply) through the abstract functioning of the laws of value, but also through the concrete, direct action of the technologies, allowing the instantaneous movement of information.

Just to remember: Desire, in Deleuze just as in Guattari, had always been a productive, constitutive, and constructivist force field and as such a diagrammatic assemblege quite on the opposite side of any apparatus of capture recording and accumulating - in short terms: banking our activity on its already layered strata. For them desire as a never fully actualizable human potential, especially in their two volumes on Capitalism and Schizophrenia, from shortly after 1968 till the New Philosophers took over, had been quite adjacent to the Marxist notion of general intellect. Nevertheless, in Guttaris later reading of Marxs The Fragment on Machines, the one he undertook in the winter years during the 80ies, there cannot be a place for the autonomy of general intellect from capital and therefore no simple exodus of living labor from the recording surfaces of the capitalist socius. On the contrary, according to him, what happened in IWC would be a total integration of all lines of flight into its calculus, their axiomatic recoding and absorption by capital as the most powerful semiotic operator ever. This problem is taken up by Franco Berardi as well when he writes
that while the labour process is fragmented, extended, recomposed and decomposed through deterritorializations of all kinds, the process

Nevertheless, I still believe, while I am sitting in front of a camera recording me while I am saying so, projects like everybodys and places like PAF remain little islands of resistance, where maybe no absolute exodus from capital can take place, but at least a temporary relaxation from its destructive power. There might be no escape from World Integrated Capitalism, but at least there still is the potential and it lies in our hands to produce another world. Here and now and based on our own capacities to act, desire and invest libidinally: If not in art, than for arts sake, please, just to make reality as it is impossible.
Karl Marx, Estranged Labor, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/ works/1844-epm/alt/labour.htm (6 of 9) [23/08/2000 18:58:38] Flix Guattari/Antonio Negri, Communists Like Us New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Liberty, New York: Autonomedia Press, 2010, p. 85. Flix Guattari/Suely Rolnik, Molecular Revolutions in Brazil, New York/Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2008, p. 197. Flix Guattari, Chaosmosis An ethico-aesthetic paradigm, Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995, p. 1. Franco Bifo Berardi, Precarious Rhapsody Semiocapitalism and the pathologies of the post-alpha generation, New York: Autonomedia Press, 2009, p. 72. Alice Chauchat, Mette Ingvartsen, Krt Juurak and Petra Sabisch, everybodys everybodys, in: Exhausting Immaterial Labor in Performance (Joint issue of Le Journal des Laboratoires and TkH Journal for Performing Arts Theory), 2010, p. 40. Ibid. Helena Stenkvist, Fora The New Bucks, in: Vrrullen, PAF, St Erme, April, 6th, 2011, p. 1. Flix Guattari, Capital as the Integral of Power Formations, in: Soft Subversions Texts and Interviews 1977-1985, New York/Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), p. 257 Flix Guattari/ric Alliez, Capitalist Systems, Structures and Processes, in: Flix Guattari, Molecular Revolutions Psychatry and Politics, Middlesex: Penguin, 1984. Franco Berardi (Bifo), Flix Guattari Thought, Friendship and Visionary Cartography, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, p. 20 et seq.



NOvEmBER 29Th 2011

Torvald Silver

When the director of the Local Goethe Institute says in an informal meeting We do not emphasize the products, we care much more about the process, I feel like running very fast out of this room and starting caring about products, a lot. By the way, for those of you who did not know, Western Balkans is not in use anymore, because of crisis in eurozone they decided to try again with Southeastern Europe. Lack of innovation or what a farce.

Emma Kim Hagdahl and Luis Miguel Felix @ Christian Tpfner, Graz Agora - As You Like It



Josefine Wikstrm

II. It is high time that choreographers, dancers, artists and makers should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of TSDH with a manifesto of the party itself. To this end, choreographers, dancers, artists and thinkers and makers of various nationalities have assembled in Stockholm and sketched the following manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.

A spectre is haunting Europe the spectre of The Swedish Dance History. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies. Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as choreographic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of TSDH, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries? Two things result from this fact: I. TSDH is already acknowledged by all European powers to be itself a power.



Kaja Kann

I hate manuals, or I hate schools. I would like to know things, but I cannot learn it from the book. When it is written down or it is some kind of manual or some rules which are on paper and I have to learn them, and later on use it in my life. My experience from school is that this is not working. The books are lying. I can believe love stories. But when I read the rule: in Forests the moss is always on the north side of the stone and I am going in the Forest and fuck the moss is everywhere. It is not in the north side. Why do I have to learn this, if it is not truth. Now i am not reading manuals at all. I studied at school how to make wine. It was interesting. A lot of formulas. How long do I need to keep it open and how warm must the room be, and how much sugar is there in
374 Lenio 375

this years berries. It was all written in the tables. Following the rules I would know how strong the wine will be. But now i start to make wine and I do not know how much sugar is there inside of the berries which are now in my garden. There are no numbers written to the berries. ----------------------------------------------------KNITTING is not art for me. I use many colors if I do not have a taffy working period, then my socks becoming really stripy and colorful. But if my head is full of thoughts, I use only one color. Then i prefer to make it red. One sock is totally red. I do not change it in the middle. No stripes. Knitting is not an art for me. With gloves I do not do strips. There will be a pattern. Gloves must be beautiful. The patterns I would look up from a book. I use Estonian national folk costumes patterns. Different regions have different patterns. It is interesting to decide which will be the one this time. It depends on which region I have connection to at the moment. Like when my sister moved to the west of Estonia. At this moment it was interesting for me to use the pattern from the west of Estonia. I cannot do patterns while I am watching TV or listening to the radio, or if there is somebody else in the room. I should be alone there. Then I can follow the chosen pattern. This is quite tough for me to read this pattern and then knit it. The result has to be beautiful. I chose two colors: strong green and not so strong green. When the pattern was almost there I understood that you can not see the difference between the two colors. Then in the middle I changed it. I changed this light green to the yellow. Because of the green and the yellow, you can see the different and the pattern will drive out very well.



Marcus Doverud

This text is a choreography, and there is no way of understanding it without also making it. Just as it is not possible to perceive a staged performance without also making it as it is made, or better still, be made by it. In the following, Id like to draw attention to the relation theory example in order to highlight some mechanisms that can be said to constitute and condition the possibility for the production of meaning due the assemblage of staged performance. I would also like to try to instigate this relationship on the basis of the following written text, this text, since it proves the medium active for the current choreographic aspiration. This text is an attempt to show the performative as an active component in all reading, and at the same time, through that gesture, perform the possibility of doing choreography otherwise. The thought tension between a theory and its example,
Alissa Snaider 378


has something in common with the tension between a staged choreography and what it can be said to do to those attending it. All during a choreographic staging present is part of how the staged event is constituted and conceived, all with different experiences, attentively perceiving present. How the choreographic composition is perceived sensuously forms an example of the theory that the choreographic composition at hand suggests. For Example: A Format A format means a prerequisite. A specific spatiotemporal distinction rather than the extension something happens to gain. All types of communication depend on formats in order to articulate meaning. For example: How we, you and I create conditions for a reading like this to take place to make an essay possible. The term theory holds the etymology of Greek: therein to see, thertos that which let itself be seen and theros spectator. It is therefore already on an etymological level difficult to distinguish the gaze that we construct from the things that let themselves be seen. Through this background of the word theory it is easy to understand the intermingling of theory and the assemblage of staged performance, the conjunct nature of the way of seeing we make use of, and that which there is to bee seen. When we demand example, it is to guide. For example: Give me an example because I do not know where to look! or I do not understand how you see, to see what youre talking about, exemplify! or How can I think of an example that clearly shows how this abstract concept can work? The example is one way to shape theory, to create contexts and narrow down the field to be able to catch sight of the current vision, the gaze we construct as at380

tempt to see something new. For example: A new pair of glasses, are only useful if they make us see something we did not see with our old glasses, or if they make us look different. The seeing always sees something, and this something confirms sight as an act and phenomenon, but the gaze itself is difficult to see, the kind of gaze that chooses what to see, that detects examples rather than just seeing what the eye happens to fall on. A lookout construct called theorizing. The relation theory example become even more strenuous when we enter the attempts of formulating theories trying to trace an object of art in contemporary art history, an object of philosophy in terms of wisdom, truth and being, or an aesthetic object in the sprawling that the aesthetics field entails, and so forth. All these disciplines and theoretical discourses evolve through a movement in which theory cant be separated from what it sees (discourse) where the examples a theory exploit is always caught up in the theorizing at hand. The movement theory example thus break up the duality practice theory forcing the seeing of theory to recognize itself as a practice caught up in the discipline it seeks to behold. Scripture that these theories generate as document is not necessarily performances, but through and through performative i.e. the scripture change what it speaks about through how its written. Theory is (in)formed by format. In order to be seen as vision theory needs to be exemplified. The status of example The example is no analogy, metaphor or metonym. The example is part of the composition that for a moment place itself outside the composition to make it possible to grasp, a pull through. The example never exists autonomously, outside the theory, but always as part of it.

To pose a question using an example as an initial gesture to a lecture, speech or pitch is an effective way to give a direction of gaze, a line of sight, to guide the theoretical attention toward what the coming expose will try to reveal, a way to stir anticipation, sketch a terrain and create a context. An example, in this sense, outlining the circumstances in which we find ourselves, or inventing circumstances in which we could find ourselves, in order to show or hide the position of the speaker, listeners, and in particular the theory. The example as a means of seduction, as well as an attempt of clarification. The means to create a world to inhabit. Speech and petition activate. The relationship theory example is activated when we argue, or try to think something, through example. The format for the type of theoretical representation, which deals with the aesthetics are often made up of an example in the form of image, event or text accompanying the approach sought. So I wonder: To what extent can a theory be dissociated from its example and to what extent can a text or choreographic staging make up its own example, exemplify itself as a theory? The example works through that, that it is something else than what it exemplifies, the example is not an analogy - more of the same in another form, but a difference - almost but not quite the same for furthering. The example may be said to exist as the known part of that unknown that a theory suggests. Thus it can work as a kind of opening to start building an understanding of the unknown the theory at hand tries to behold. The example is that something which the present in the theory seem to be, and therefore is. I.e. The example does not differ from theory in how it generates its argument by the way in which it is pursued. This is something, which makes it possible and fruitful to rethink the role of spectators in relation to a staged performance where theory-example conditions what the staged

composition can be, can become, can be said to have been. A theory arises only to the extent that it has something to target, tack down or inquire. The example is always made up also by an unconditional retrospection as the example look back on what it intends to exemplify. Then the distance that the example has allowed us to travel folds back over what was already there, when we started, in order to fundamentally change it. For Example This is not an experimental line out, but a text, that like all texts are also a staging in the sense of a formatted number of characters arranged on a specific surface in a specific order. The text will in turn generate new designs produced by the various readings, by being read quickly, by being read verbatim, skipped through, read with one eye that wanders over the page to read or not read a special note, etc. ... 1

1 Footnote (by the foot of the page are useful when the author want to have the reader look away or stipulate another speaker in the text, A way to become another speaker


Previous page can be perceived as a text choreographic oxymoron or performative contradiction, which shows that something is not there by being there, which contributes to a further example of how writing functions performative. With the allegation (that the page is blank) the alleged becomes thwarted (the page is no longer blank because the statement in question occupies it). An example that can be said to account for performative contradiction: What something shows can contradict or rather undo what it attempts to do. For example: An Event The simple relationship between written text and choreography, that; khoreia- (unison dance) + graphia (writing) is not what Im interested in here. I am talking about the text as event why it has something in common with the choreographic staging as event. This page has been left blank intentionally A text allies itself with the staging through which it becomes again when it is read anew. Becomes again each time it is read, by the same person or another person, or the same person that is new. The text is performative for what it does to them and that coming into contact with it. This text has an intention as written and another as read. Whenever it gets read a new intention is supplemented. When it was written it was to be written. As it is read, it is written again by the reader to be read. All intentions of a text inevitably influences what new intents can be generated from it. In the first instance the scripture works as a display that lets the writer see how the lines and planes of which her/his meanings are made up are represented graphically by the letters, images of sounds phonemes, that represent the sounds that the writer recognizes. Second the scripture as a communication, a contact that can be shared across time and space. Scripture extends the space/time. This extension, delay, is something that differentiates the first and the second room. The second room contains the first, creating a third when the scripture is unpacked/read by the same individual who wrote it in the first place or another.
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The seeing (theory) always turns itself toward something (example) whatever example, but the way in which theory is exemplified is determining what can be seen.



Angela Goh

We are visionaries. But if we are so concerned with who we are, then where is the vision for what we could be? Not what we could be in some naive sense of thinking one performance can alter the state of humanity at large and fix society.. Absolutely, we do change the world, but we do it by changing the moment, and hoping the momentary will have a lasting effect. Being human defines us. But just because we are people doesnt mean we have to dance about it. Inherently any dance we make carries traces of us in it, but we dont have to dedicate dances to ourselves.. but humans are vain. It seems we like to dance about humanity as much as we like to talk about humanity. Humanity is stagnant in its cyclical repetition, so too then in making dance about it, the dance will also be stagnant. Of course people will have a pleasant time watching it because people are vain and they like to watch something about themselves. But we wont change the world with pleasantries. What we should address

now is an elevation above what we are. Our potential for expansion beyond intellect, the potential we have as creators of experience for effecting sensibilities. We have been calling for social change as long as society has existed, now we need to call for illumination. People should come to escape. Not to be reminded. The beauty is in the escape, the magic in the momentary. The possibility. We dont need to remind people of themselves. The gift of being part of an audience is the gift of anonymity. Becoming anonymous and being taken on a ride is the opportunity to become something other, perhaps something enlightened. It is the opportunity to see yourself anew, to search the anonymity for the individual you might be in that moment. Evolution has all but ceased now, with science and medicine and political correctness no longer allowing us to move forward through natural, or any induced selection. The only way left to evolve is to enlighten, and certainly not through repression in the present in promise of enlightenment in some future and other world, but by illuminating our experience of the present. As dance or performance makers, we deal in the experiential, so we have the power to lead this revolution. But it is not about politics anymore. Politics and art have been so entwined for so long that neither knows which is which anymore. Of course we need people to fight and rally for political and social change, as much as we need people to clean our public buildings and drive trains and buses and stamp papers, but this isnt our job anymore. Through what we create we can allow people access to an enhanced experience of their individual present, without playing to the accessible art obsession, which has led people to create dance accessible to everyone and special to no one. We need to think of access as an invitation without any attachment or care for if it will be accepted. After all, change only comes to those who are curious and willing. We have the power to create potential. To transform the world through moments of experience beyond the approximation of words. 389


Nicolas Siepen & Tea Tupajic
What happened? The day started quite ENTERTAINING: Zizek, Negri and Badiou grappled like little boys about the future of COMMUNISM. Badiou the silent and reasonable old brother, Negri angry and loud and Zizek the hyperactive ill-bred hysterical one. The Volksbhne am Rosa Luxemburgplatz in EAST Sweden was packed with COMMUNISTS looking like you and me and every Tom, Dick and Harry. TWENTYFIRST CENTURY: Talk after talk, panel after panel, performance after performance the good old question of future left politics - since MARX made the term communism popular moved the people to the sunny meadow in front, like a herd of sheep. A lot had to be discussed on this and other occasion. Frank Castorf prepared of course early BB for the evening and BADco a very charming piece about the league of time called THE LEAGUE OF TIME and another piece called 1 POOR AND ONE 0. What an Astronaut! East Europe was in the house as if commu390

nism still lives at the same address... STALINALLEE 1917. Whats to be done? Or like we use to say: Chto delat? Ah da, the Russian collective CHTO DELAT was also in the house! Falling night, sunset and a light breeze. Next performance, the bell rings, back into the theater, small back stage. On the chairs each audience member finds four papers with the letters A B C D on it, could be an interactive piece - lets see. We finds seats it the last row: we like it inter passive - pure reception. What we are about to watch soon is PUPILJA, PAPA PUPILO AND THE PUPILCEKS (funny title) from 1969 as a reconstruction under the same title directed by one of the four Janez Jansas who has stolen his NAME together with three COLLABORATORS from the Slovenian Prime minister with the same name was an ART PROJECT. My eyes are jumping from the historical performance on the screen to the replay on stage. Back and forth back and forth back and forth why are the people on screen looking so much better then the ones on stage, not in terms of good looking or pretty individuals, more the handsome, elegant and fresh appeal of this young group of people in black and white with a light purple touch. The image is a little blurred and the movements have this strange unnatural video time and space effect. I guess the 1969 performance was filmed on 16mm or even 35mm and was then copied on VHS and then on DV (dont forget DV means Dziga Vertov). Can this analog/digital copy erosion be called PATINA? I dont know yet. The piece goes on, music is played live and I realize for the first time that the footage is silent but Im not so sure anymore the shock has blown away the details of the setup. I could try to reconstruct them back and forth. NO its too late, I can not remember, I will never REMEMBER. Two women kissing on stage, one guy is sucking the naked breast of a woman probably a scandal back then.

One sees faces of the audience on screen, only men, they are concentrated. The screen tells a lot historical details as if the film and the actual performance is knitted together with a written discourse ... multiplicity of voices, arbitrary of the archive The recording of the performance must have been done for the TV. It is the only and most famous radical vanguard performance of Slovenia EVER. So there was no choice: Who is Pupilja? Who is Papa Pupilo? Who are the Pupilceks? from time to time there are the images of the audience back then again. I watch them watching. Maybe one is the father of one of the performers and his friends, they are laughing and commenting. They seem proud of their children. ARTIST ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE SOCIETY. I wonder why are they not in the dark and who recorded it? I look at other spectators now. They have the same giggling look, except different hairstyle. Are we also part of the reenactment? I realize Im floating in the empty space in between the past (the performance back then) and the present. Whom were these sixties performance against, whom are we against now, who is against us? Did the original performance ever happen? Is the only moment when we realize that the past existed the moment when we try to reenact it and thereby turn it into a fiction? And at the same time, while enacting it DEfictionalize it and make it alive again? Were the performers back then communists, are these performers communists, is this performance a communist? All this stupid question are blown away now show down the real thing ... The last scene. The theater prohibited Janez Jana to

reenact the scene for many obvious reasons. One was money. So far we still live in CAPITALISM. In the search for the solution he did the following: he offered the spectators the chance to choose themselves between several endings by raising the A B C or D letter on the papers. Theater and democracy always had a flirt. A was something uninteresting, B was to see the recording of the last scene, C was to read the excerpt of the animal rights, D was to enact the original chicken scene I vote B, Kolja misunderstood and voted D. The whole audience sits there with the papers in their hands. One performer counts. Because it is permitted to lie in the theater he says that most of the people voted for D, even though it is apparent that most of us voted for B. WE LAUGH! The performer says Ok, now we need someone from the audience to do it and brings: one chicken, one knife and one light gray plastic apron. We still laugh! The guy in the third row sitting next to Hannah raises his hand and goes on stage. Later on Hannah told us that he said: Someone has to do it. Im perplexed that he made his decision so fast and I think of course it is because he is part of the piece, and actor - fiction. He wears a stupid and ugly shirt and a stupid and ugly cap and with this military-leisure outfit he looks like a mix of a US gun nerd and Papa Pupilo. Later on he we tell Hannah, who screams at him in a friendly way, in front of Volksbhne, that he DID IT always with his grandmother when he was young. The performers are looking at each other. One performer is giving him the knife and the apron. He puts the apron and now he looks like a butcher or a bit like a NAZI, although I never saw a Nazi with an

apron so far. This is all fiction I think (we all think?). One spectator screams silent: NO dont do it! Another one shows the paper with the A again. I say to Kolja: Now you will see, he will kill the chicken and all the actors. He says Ah bullshit, nobody was ever killed in the theater? I ask How about Abraham Lincoln?, He says Yes, but not on stage, thats different. I say True, He says Except that one Jewish actor, but that is also different I turn around to Janez, he is picking up the camera and recording the TRUTH EVENT. I remember now that of course nor BADIOU, nor NEGRI, nor ZIZEK are in the audience not even in the house. I think they are in the hotel: sleeping or WRITING or having BAD GROOPIE SEX. But we are here, trapped in fiction. The guy takes the big knife (it looks now very big), puts the trembling chicken in the prepared tin bucket and cuts its throat: no blood, no noise, no movement, NO DANCE, DEAD SILENCE. This is how the EMANCIPATED SPECTATOR must feel like: betrayed by fiction, knocked out by reality A chicken was killed for communism - KILLED BY DEATH. Killed by the audience, killed by the guy, killed by the actors, killed by Janez ... killed by ME but YOU voted D! Its night above the meadow. All the people are outside and twittering: what was this? Was this real? Was this fiction? No no, I saw the blood, the actors are shocked etc. It never happened before not even in Belgrade! Some people nearly cry and we all can not STOP MAKING SENSE. I see the guy walking alone in the house and I think he now realized that he did it in front of an audience and he looks ashamed. After hours Sergio comes and says: The chicken is alive! It only played dead. Next day Hannah asked me: why Sergio lied? Of course the chicken is dead! And I ask her: how do you know? And she said: Its clear or?

I: No. The whole three days of the conference THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM people talked about the questions of possible use of violence, good and bad violence etc. and Zizek may have told his shocking JOKE he told a million times before: that Hitler was not violent enough (second of shock) and Gandhi was more violent them him in the sense that HITLER produced all these violence and millions of dead people just to prevent real change and SAVE CAPITALISM from dying and GANDHI the peace full one let the whole British EMPIRE collapse just by eating nothing and meditation. Death can not be reconstructed, death is always real, the end of all fiction. So was the CHICKEN killed?

Poem for a maybe dead chicken and maybe alive communism:





Perrine Bailleux : COIL

Milka Djordjevic in San Fransisco with Moriah Evans and Emma Kim Hagdahl in New York

Milka: So hi guys. Moriah: Hi Milka. Milka: Hey. So do you guys want to start by telling me about the Swedish Dance History--how it started and how you guys got involved? Moriah: Well, I can go first about my involvement. Milka: Sure. Moriah: I was invited by Emma and other people from Inpex to partake in the second version of the Swedish Dance History last summer, but I first heard about the Swedish Dance History when I got a mysterious email last year from a friend named Marten Spangberg. He was asking people to send in texts that they had written about their own dance practice or something that they had read in relationship to their art practice, or just an image--anything that was not self-promotion, that was actually dealing with the system of knowledge that informs our production of contemporary

dance and that is also produced through our practice of contemporary dance. It was asking for all of these things to be sent in and accumulated and they would spend one day to make a book in Stockholm. Emma should talk about that. Emma: I became involved in Inpex, a Swedish-based organization that is working for the internationalization of dance and choreography. That was in 2008. Then in 2009, we had a meeting with Inpex (which consists of 12 people, all artists in the dance field), and we spoke about what types of activities or projects that we wanted to do for that year because we had a budget that we could use. One of the projects that came out of that meeting was to encourage people in the dance field to articulate their practices in written text and to find a way to share that with each other--to not just work in the studio quietly and then have a premier and have two performances and then go back into the studio or apply for more funding, but never really sharing what they were up to in a way in terms of their discourse, or what their interests are, what it is that makes them keep doing work. I think it came out of both a curiosity to hear what people had to say and what they were up to, but also as a question or an encouragement to push our colleagues and ourselves to actually articulate ourself around dance and choreography. Its something that I, and many of us, feel like the dance field often gets accused of not being able to do. The visual art world maybe has a longer tradition of writing and articulating their discourses. The title, I remember, I was in school at that time, and I was being very obnoxious with who decides what history or what information that it is that we learn in school, in dance institutions--how that is being authorized by certain people. In the discussion about inviting people to write, ourselves as well, its not only the people who have high degrees about writing about dance and history and theoretically that are allowed to write, but that anyone is invited to write. In that

conversation, I felt we also encountered questions of authorization and thinking about claiming that space, saying we are the ones who do it. We are the practitioners of dance and choreography, so we should have the right to our own history. In that same time, when we claim the right to our own history we are also taking the future in our hands. That became a little bit of a mantra for the production. It isnt a history in the linear sense. Its very much a book that is reflecting whats happening right now, and also projecting into the future. Moriah, for example, got the invitation from Marten, but there was me, Johan Thelander, Anders Jacobson, Marcus Doverud, Jessyka Watson-Galbraith, there were plenty of people. Maybe we can have all the names of the people who have been involved in Inpex from the beginning: Anders Jacobson, Anna Koch, Emma Kim Hagdahl, Halla Olafsdottir, Jessyka Watson-Galbraith, Johan Thelander, Josefine Wikstrom, Malin Elgan, Marcus Doverud, Marten Spangberg, Moa Hanssen, Tor Lindstrand. But basically 12 people sending out invitations through all of their networks, and asking people who they sent their invitation to pass on the invitation to other people. In this way, spreading the invitation through the networks that we engage in. Milka: I was also curious about this idea (when Moriah was first talking about the open call). The idea is that people submit work, and anyone will have the work published as long as it isnt self-promotion or marketing. I remember last summer when you guys were working on the book. In Vienna, this was a big question. There were teams put together to vote whether or not thats true for a particular writing. Its one of these things where I feel like the line between marketing/self-promotion and not, in art, is so fine. Its so clear that different artists get more well-known or more well-written in history based upon how their work is contextualized, or if its published, how their work is described or written. Im curious about how in The Swedish Dance History you ap402

proach this division, and the idea that this is a different version of--I dont know how to say it. I feel like its definitely broadening it, so its not just an academic population, but its still a narrow population in the distribution of ideas or contextualization. Moriah: In terms of the book, or the opportunity to even contribute to the book? In terms of how the book circulates or how the book creates its content? Milka: In how the book creates its content, and how it circulates as well. Moriah: I think both are totally narrow communities. First of all, the book is structured to be a conceptual art project, in a sense. It doesnt have a isvn number. You can never buy it; you should never sell it. It only circulates through hand-to-hand handoff, or being in a certain place at a certain time. Obviously, you can only contribute to it if you know that it exists, which for example, many people in a certain experimental field of dance located in Europe know about the Swedish Dance History. I would say that a lot fewer Americans know about it--certainly fewer dance practitioners in places like Senegal, whatever, Mozambique, China, Japan know and care about the Swedish Dance History. Furthermore, other types of dance communities internationally in Europe and in the United States probably have no conception of what the Swedish Dance History is--like New York City Ballet, a divide between uptown and downtown dance, if we want to use that idiom. Emma: But it never aimed to be a democratic publication, like touch base all over the world. Its very much a community-building project. It is aiming to empower practioners, doers and makers that are in a certain network, using the structures that exist. There are contributions from 35 or 40 countries, so its not only a European dance context to start with. Therere more than 200 people that have been writing and contributing with material for the book.

Minna Wendin Foto: Robert Eklund

In terms of criteria for the book, this thing about selfpromotion, thats a very interesting issue, something we could discuss further and think about how to work with. In this particular case, the only two restrictions were that only texts in english, images in jpg format, and then that there is no pure self-promotion. We didnt want to have people sending out their bios or their full CV, but you could write a piece on what youre doing at the moment. Its up to yourself to take that invitation to see what that means to you. Its not a big issue really. Its more to have a little--what do you say when you cant have the right edit, a parenthesis, or like a small text below? Moriah: A parenthetical notation? Emma: Yeah, in a way. I think.. Moriah: --with the idea of no self-promotion. Emma: I think that we didnt want to have people sending in their CVs or their bios. But then obviously everything can be considered self-promotion just by being part of it. I also appreciate your contribution, Milka, which you did last year, without signing it. You just wrote big I am in the book. Milka: That wasnt me, by the way. Emma: That wasnt you? Milka: That wasnt me. Emma: Ah! I thought it was you. Thats also funny! Moriah: She was just submitting it because the person who submitted it did so anonymously, and didnt want to have their name. Emma: So obviously Ive been walking around for a year telling that it was you Milka. Milka: Its brilliant. I wish I was bold enough. Emma: There was an interesting comment about what does it mean to submit something to the book? Moriah: What does it mean to submit something to the book, and not put your name on it? I submitted something to

the book and I did not put my name on it. In part because, as did this person who wrote, I am in the book. I think your point about there being this tricky line between selfpromotion and context or whatever, using theory to justify your practice, is absolutely accurate. Emma: Yeah, but it also is exactly what a book is, which is fun. Here we have a chance to set up the conditions for our own self-promotion in that case. We have a book and we put it in there. Moriah: Also, people are given the chance to know about it or contribute because it is so open. It isnt really edited at all, (i.e. many mistakes are made accidentally, sorry), and oversights. Its not perfect. It doesnt have the same kind of production mechanism of other publications. Its not precious like that. The lessons we learned from the book, with the book, is that you can create your own self-promotion in the right kind of way. You authorize yourself, arbitrarily empower yourself as a dance practitioner to say, This is what Im about. This is what Im interested in. Listen to me. Dance hasnt done that, historically, as much. Emma: I think the book is like an invitation for an opportunity to claim space to say whatever it is that you need to say, or want to say, or want to do, want to produce with the book. Its an open call in that sense. A lot of people, including myself, can get really scared and a little bit intimidated by such a proposal, because you want to know, How do I do it right? What is right? What is wrong? Its up to you. If you want to write a shit text and put it in the book, just to have your name in there, then its gonna be there. Thats what you did for the book. Its really up to yourself. No one else is going to be there to tell you to do it better. Thats the hard lessons of life, in some ways. Maybe the difference here is that theres actually a possibility for you to claim this space. We invite you to do it. Milka: I also was thinking about not only claiming

your own self-promotion in the one way you see artistically to put yourself in the book, but then Im also really fascinated by the energy and marketing and attention that the team that puts the book together, to draw attention to the book and to give it a lot of--almost like giving it power to be an important thing. I think last years an interesting example in having the book be put together during ImPulsTanz, which is set up to be like this hyper-market of dance, that has many negative aspects to it, but that also draws a big population of European dance community together, and of course the DanceWEB community, with all these artists from around the world. To sort of piggy-back on that and then use the Swedish Dance History within that mechanism to help perpetuate the energy around it and to get people more involved, and to capitalize on that marketing strategy that that festival has for the book. I think its interesting because its simultaneously participating in it, but its also doing it in this very smart and alternative way. Emma: Maybe say something about last year, the year before that, in 2009. Just briefly, would you mind about the newspaper? The reason we came to Vienna in 2010 was because Inpex got invited after we came there in 2009 uninvited, and during the last week of the festival we made a daily newspaper of eight pages. Basically, we crashed the party in Vienna, it was a rogue operation. We were a team. We had Will Rawls with us from the states, Louise Hjer from Stockholm/Berlin, and we had Egle Obcarskaite from Lituania, Jessyka Watson-Galbraith from Australia/Sweden and myself. We came down there uninvited and we set up an editorial in an apartment that we borrowed from our friend Berno. We produced a newspaper that we spread all over the festival. It was sort of a parallel proposal to the festival--not there to oppose or to react against the festival as something bad or positive, but just to be there as another type of vehicle or catalyst for conversation or activity. The newspaper made

a lot of people who were in the festival, especially DanceWEBbers involved in the production. The year before I had been a DanceWEBber and had the experience of feeling a little bit captured in this festival as some sort of happy, spoiled kid that is supposed to run around and just be grateful and enjoy the situation kind of with an ImPulsTanz logo on your forehead, which is great, but is also a little problematic sometimes in terms of how you can air out, ventilate and be critical in the situation. The newspaper became something that could facilitate a type of reactions or whatever it was that you wanted to air. Through the newspaper a lot of danceWEBbers wrote articles. ImPulsTanz is a very cool place in that that they recognized and appreciated the presence of the newspaper that we did there, it was during the last week of the festival. They invited us back to propose something for the next year and would help us a little bit financially. They gave us a place to stay. They paid for our trips and they gave us a room that we could have editing in. Then we decided, lets go there and do the book next year. The thing about many Inpex activities is really to create a very social environment around the production of something. To gather around knowledge production is sharing. Its not so much self-promotion, but its really about sharing things together, communality, doing things together, empowering eachother not to be scared to articulate. Lets be ridiculous. Lets be stupid. Lets just try this out. Lets write something this year, and then next year we write something else. To not be so precious with our own thoughts and minds. Moriah: As a New York-based artist, I feel like we can get so precious as thinkers or makers. Like oh my god, my piece. This has to be so perfect, and it isnt. Youre afraid. Especially when youre young, and theres nothing to lose, because you dont even have a show. Nobodys going to review your piece. Nobodys even going to talk about it, except for maybe your friends. Thats exactly who should be talking about it.

We need to, as young artists, be working together to articulate ourselves, to think about what were doing, to propose and insert ideas into the world. And also have a certain kind of politics to that. Dont just be like Oh, I need to produce this in order for the marketplace to understand it, so that it goes around the globe or whatever so I can pay my bills. I think actually its better to be like, Okay this is what Im really, deeply interested in. This is how its interesting to me in terms of the frames of production around the work. Its not just interesting as an aesthetic project, but its also a commentary around the apparatus through which work gets received and understood. I want to talk about this with my friends and colleagues, and try to understand these things together. I feel like the book last summer, had the potential, in terms of if youre talking about the relationship between the Swedish Dance History crew and ImPulsTanz as two different types of structures that were producing experiences for people and giving people agency, or different types of privilege in terms of access to information or exposure... Emma: Yeah, I think because also the project is really-we dont come there and we say this is ...Obviously now I want to give some credit to editorial team, who was there and so on, but theres also apart from that, its really a project that we give away to everyone. We want to share with everyone. Its not one persons project. Moriah: Yeah, its no ones project. Emma: Many times this project gets mentioned as being one persons project, but its not. Everyone who is involved, its their project. Its a chance if you want to. Its not that its imposing. Maybe we should say about the format of the book... Moriah: Theres no table of contents. Theres a list of contributors. Theres no index. Essentially, you open the book and youre lost. You cant be like, Oh, who wrote this,

or let me find what this important person wrote. You have some major thinker, say Elizabeth Gross right next to someone that nobodys ever heard of like Nang Xuo or John, and theres a tutu on that page. The meaning that is made is the subjective meaning that the reader is going to make. Its not the editorially-controlled vision of the book. Milka: So when you guys are ordering the contents of the book, is it basically whatevers writing is first is the first thing thats in the book? Moriah: Last year we had flimsy structures set up. I dont know how theyre organized. Emma: From the beginning, what we said is that who ever considers himself or herself a practitioner or maker related to dance or choreography in whatever way, and who feels that they have something to say, heres your chance. Take the chance. Do it in your own ways. The concept of the book is basically that its going to be produced every year for twenty years. Its always going to have the same title. Its always going to be 1,000 pages. Its always going to be written by who ever. Moriah: Everybody and nobody. Milka: I guess what I mean is, in a very practical way, when you guys actually format the book and design it, when youre making the order of how things are flowing, is it just done very randomly? Like, Oh we have these ten things ready and we put them together. Emma: Partially, but in a good mix. Its not so much about putting all the danceWEBbers contributions, which were last year, next to each other. We try to spread people out so that it becomes this high and low. Milka: Its more of an intuitive distribution. Moriah: You were there in terms of how the book was produced. It happened in basically two days. For 1,000 pages, its insane. We get all this material and then we read through it and put it into some categories like process-based

writing, theory. But then all of that got moved out of their categories because we were just trying to keep some kind of flow that wasnt all the theorists in the middle or at the very beginning, and then all the danceWEBbers are in the middle. We tried to have images speckled throughout, different things balanced so that it didnt seem organized, and it wasnt organized. Emma: In terms of the editorial team, its minimum creativity. Were not trying to come up with funny ideas of how to put the things together, because thats not important. There is a strive, an attempt with having no index that is trying to break down hierarchies in terms of who is a good writer or not, or who has a name or not. No, you just open the book and you see what you get. Take it or leave it. Moriah: I think something to think about in terms of a parallel with the festival or with life, lets say. You stumble upon something interesting, or you meet a person who changes your outlook. You just happen to meet this artist who then changes everything for you. I feel like the book is organized a bit like this. The collapsing of boundaries and divisions is kind of like you experience the book as randomly as we all experience our lives, as randomly and chaotically, and being honest about that. Its not some organized activity that were controlling all the time that is moving us through the world. The book has this kind of politics to it in terms of how its organized. Milka: I think when you guys were saying that nobody owns the book, and everybody owns the book, it seems pretty clear to me. I think in being there when you guys were putting the book together and helping out, I never felt like there was a sense of ownership by anyone involved--even with people who were maybe more involved or whatever. I think it feels super fluid when youre there directly in relationship to the process of it. I think what I observe is that any boundaries that are put around the book has to do with

time and distribution. Its a matter of who is spreading the information out to people and who do they know. What are those networks? Emma: I know what youre touching upon a little bit. I think in terms of fairness, or whats right or juste (I think Im speaking for myself and my own attitude towards Inpex), I think that there is almost an attempt to not be too polite and not try to be too juste, and not try to be too fair, which doesnt mean the opposite. It doesnt mean were trying to be impolite or unfair. Theres a certain amount of anarchistic disrespect to, instead of focusing on egos or peoples feelings here and there all the time, we try to focus on making the book happen. Of course we care, but a little bit of like a disrespectful care, in a weird way--some sort of contradiction between politeness and impoliteness. Milka: Irreverent or something like that. Moriah: Reverence or irreverence, inclusion or exclusion. Its all hyper-inclusive but only if you know about it. Emma: You need to include yourself. Dont sit and wait around and wait for someone to drag you in in the perfect way and introduce you. Its fucking barbaric. You have to claim space. No one else is going to do it for you. We initiate something, but theres no amazingly beautiful, huge, idealistic ideas about including everyone and having the perfect editing, and working with this for a year. No. Its supposed to happen really fast. Its supposed to be a publication, because there is no money to pay people who are working with the book in a decent way whatsoever. Basically, all the work being done is done with volunteers, with the minimum. Food and shelter. Were working for free, which is the case in a lot of productions. Therefore, lets not try to claim everything. Its more important that we do this book, and then we do a new one next year. Theres no numbering of the books. We did one in 2009. One in 2010, but it doesnt say the year anywhere. We just do a new one every year, thats the ambition.

Wild Life Take Away Station Photo: Ibrahim Quraishi

We got half of the funding for this year, so this year its probably going to happen again. We just hope that its going to continue year after year. Theres maybe another thing that maybe we should talk about, which is the title, no? Milka: That was my one question. In having this conversation, I think its so easy with the Swedish Dance History, for people to--my first thought is, why is it called the Swedish Dance History? But then I get over it very quickly because the ideas around it are so interesting. Maybe you guys could talk a little bit about why its called the Swedish Dance History. Moriah: When we were speaking a bit about the contradiction involved with it, I think that the notion--the fact of the matter is like Sweden is basically paying for the book. It is the Swedish Dance History, because theyre creating the opportunity for the production of the book, and the initiative and Inpex is a Swedish group, but its international. At the other time, theyre quite accepting and generous with their resources. Theres something enlightened despot about it maybe. Its contradicting because its about Sweden and then its totally not. The assertion of the self, and then the simultaneous erasure of the nation-state--I shouldnt say self--the assertion of Sweden, but then the erasure of Sweden as a nation-state. It deterritorializes a certain kind of power structure or identity mechanisms than what were used to. The fact of the matter is that Sweden does have a more, lets say friendly, system of funding the arts, than the United States. Just because Emmas Swedish, Im American, which is just-Emma:--which, by the way, is disappearing. Moriah: ..which is disappearing as the world enters its burgeoning apocalypse, side note. Milka: I think this is interesting because often I feel like when different arts organizations, especially because theres so much privatization in the United States, when or416

ganizations get big donations from important people that may have some sort of conflict of interests, or for whatever reason theres so many people who donate anonymously and theres often this thing like, Oh you got money. Theres some sort of bias towards the person who donated money to an organization. For instance people dont like Cedar Lake Ballet, because the Wal-Mart heiress is donating the money. Theres this thing about anonymity when it comes to people who have wealth, because of the ghettoization of dance. What I appreciate is that the Swedish Dance History is being really up front that this is where money is coming from. I think it is highlighting what everyone already knows, but putting it out there in a very honest way, because thats how the world works. I think its really important, and also I think with what you were saying with this sort of contradiction with insularity and non-insularity is a very important thing. Thats a big thing in this dance and performance community, no matter where you are, if youre in New York or Sweden, or where ever. Youre always struggling with, No one knows who I am. I only care about the people around me. Theres this struggle between not being known and then everybody knows you because the community is so small. I think that that acknowledgement, and that duality and struggle is super important to acknowledge, and not to create some sort of facade. I think this idea of democracy, and what youre saying Emma that if you want to do something, you have to initiate it yourself. I think thats a big aspect of my frustration often with the arts community. People have this struggle with ownership and ego and identity and acknowledgement. Moriah: Thats because the marketplace asks us to label ourselves as single authors. Milka: Yeah. Moriah: This is how you have to get an artistic identity and move it through the world. This is where value lies. Is that where value lies today? Is that what we should be think417

ing about as young artists? Our identities? Our name? Our stamp? Is that going to produce anything different in the world or produce a discussion? Maybe its going to get you a show. Emma: Its also very male behavior. I feel like in Inpex, were equal amounts of women and men, and we all have this strive to move away from this single author, but then at the end of the day, everyone wants to boil it down to one, single male author. Moriah: The world is asking for the label. Emma: This is definitely an attempt to try to move away from that. I also want to say that its not only called Swedish Dance History because the funding comes from Sweden. It started in Sweden, and because we knew we wanted to do something for the International Day of Dance, which is the 29th of April. There were several events going on in Stockholm and they were all very national and not international. Theyre very local, and its the most common people that were showing their work. We wanted to do something that was an actual international project that would invite the world to write the Swedish Dance History together with us. The Swedish dance history for real, right now, as we speak, what is that actually? Its not only what is being presented in the theaters. Swedish dance practitioners are spread out all over the world. In Sweden, theres dance practitioners from all over the world as well. Who are actually those people who are making the Swedish dance history? Where is it? Lets find out. Lets open it up, as a question in a way. Lets write that together. Theres also a real claim. When we came up with this thing, I remember that meeting when we were sitting there, and we kind of said -well, once this book is done, even after the first year, no one else in Sweden will be able to write a book called the Swedish Dance History. There will always be one. Whenever a young dance practitioner, like me ten years ago or something, will search for the Swedish

dance history they will encounter this book. They will find articles about the book, as well as audio recordings that we did on the first book last year, and so on. The book inscribes itself into the actual Swedish dance history inherently. After awhile, even if it doesnt have to do with Sweden, or even if it doesnt have to do with dance, or even if it doesnt have to do with history as we knew it before, the content of the book fills the title rather than the title fills the content. Maybe we can say that the title invites for a content and then that content makes the title. Does it make sense? Milka: Yeah, that makes sense. Were going a little over, but this is getting really good. Moriah: Another thing thats really important to think about with the Swedish. We have to think now in complex operations. I think that the title is a lesson in how you can mess with meaning and agenda in interesting ways. Its about Sweden and its not. It includes people outside of Sweden and it doesnt at the same time. Im sure more people in Sweden know about it than in the world. Also, its history, but its the future. Its these kinds of paradoxical relationships. Emma: And also in terms of nations. Im from Sweden, so in a way its like maybe I didnt ask myself this question in the same way of my participation, as a person who is nonSwedish would do, but anyways its like, do I want to be part of it, what does it mean? How do I care about nation-states, and how do I belong or not belong? I spend not so much time in Sweden at all the past two-three years. Moriah, Im hanging out with her. Everyone has their own connections and ideas of why they participate or not and it doesnt even have to be related or connected. I think its also an interesting thing in terms of nations. We still do apply for funding through nations. People can go, Lets move to Europe because theres funding there. Norway has more funding than Sweden, and so on. Theres still these systems, but we use the money all over and we share it. We invite each other over

and so on. I think thats an important part of it. Also who the fuck knows about swedish dance history? Lets say it will be called The American Dance History. I think most of the people, dance practitioners, or people who know about art, they would know a little bit about American dance history. They would have an idea at least. Even German dance history. They have a history, but what do people, in general, know about Sweden? It was also a claim on our own before someone would write the big book about the ones that they think should be the Swedish dance history. Its like, lets fill this space because we are doing things and this is real and this counts even if maybe the people who are contributing to the book arent the people who are being programmed the most in all of the theaters in Stockholm or Gothenburg or Malmo or in Sweden at all, or in Europe. We are doing stuff, but we are using more unconventional ways to produce artistic discourses and art practices, but its equally important. Moriah: Also theres this idea that perhaps history can be obliterated, that history is written by those who want to do it. The simple fact of the matter is that history always has an ideological agenda in its writing. In terms of returning to the question of self-promotion or not, European history, American history, in a bigger structural sense, academic knowledge hierarchies, it always has some kind of agenda behind it. The winner of the war gets the spoils and writes the story. There is this happening with the book that maybe makes it unfair, but on the other hand it has integrity because its transparent about its irony. Emma: Whatever. I think its unfair, but it doesnt really matter. Make your own book. Theres no patent on the book, that this is a concept that only we can do or something. Now we have the Romanian Dance History. They made their own. Its not a book; its a performance. Its a derivative from this proposal. Of course it can be understood as kind of stupid and provocative and who cares or not but then its like;

react, use it. Whatever comes out of that as a catalyst, thats great. Milka: What I propose is that history and the idea of nationality can never be shaped or described in isolation. I think that theres some, maybe Americans who could trace a lineage of modern dance into contemporary dance and how it traveled to Europe and influenced Europe with that in relationship to Germany and blah blah blah. One can maybe create some sort of fascist argument that contemporary dance in Europe would be nothing without American dance, which is total bullshit because American contemporary dance also came from Europe. It came from other cultures. Its one of these things thats like to codify, isolate, and pull out sources of things is not how the world works, or how history works. I think what the proposal, by calling something so specific as the Swedish Dance History, (which is a smaller country, doesnt have a very familiar dance history), and then making it a book that has information from people from all over, I think that that in and of itself is already enough for people to question and to think about how history is created and constructed. Emma: Im thinking what is it that influences us dancemakers to do the dances or choreographies or art works that were doing, so in the book theres also plenty of text and images that for example my mother, who has a narrow idea of what dance is, she would never recognize that as having anything to do with dance. Maybe those texts are the texts that, for example, have been inspiring me to do the dance works that Ive been doing, and therefore I want to share these texts in the book. Also, good to know, is that theres many people who have contributed with material that come from all other fields. In terms of you mentioning if American dance would be nothing without European dance and vice versa, and everything else, its also important to acknowledge that the dance or choreography field is not an isolated field from the

rest of the world of texts, discourses, literature and so on. Milka: Yeah, I think thats really important because I think that its easy for people to think in isolation about dance and I actually think that that creates many problems. This idea of compartmentalizing things is so boring and back-pedaling to me. This really frustrates me, and I feel like I see that a lot when it comes to dance. This idea of the purity of dance. Its such B.S. because its come from so many different sources. Moriah: Should we return--we could go off forever, but I think somewhere in the interview-Emma: Is there anything else that we need to say about the book? Moriah: Yeah, about the book. For example, I have some books in my apartment. People can call Moriah Evans if they want one. Milka: Oh yeah. You kind of mentioned this. The idea is that theres a limited amount thats actually printed, which means theres only so many people that can get the book. There were two editions--one two years ago, and then one last year, 2009 and 2010. Then, during the production period of the 2010 edition, there was also this audio version of the first book that was being created. Can you guys talk about that? Emma: We ran out of the first book, so theres no more copies. Moriah: Of the original. Emma: Not the original. Moriah: Just kidding. Its a joke! Emma: My god Moriah, I dont get you. Moriah: Oh my god. It was irony, bitch-ass! That was supposed to be funny. Emma: So we made an audio version anyway. Moriah: Because that book was absent. It was really

fun. We did all these readings from everybody. We would go up to Meg Stuart and be like, Will you please read for the Swedish Dance History?, and we recorded everybody reading, every single fucking page of the book. It is insane. Emma: Its completely incomprehensible, but theyre all on the blog. Milka: Whats the blog that its on? Moriah: The whole book exists as oral history, which is kind of beautiful. Emma: The initial idea was to record 1,000 dance people/makers reading this 1,000 pages of text written by dance-makers. Its like 1,000 voices for 1,000 pages, but its not one page each. Moriah: People read like one article each. Emma: Some people read with, like, extreme French accents so some of it is hard to get. Some people read when theyre, like, half-asleep or something. The whole book is read and recorded. Moriah: The images--I dont know. Emma: Some of them describe the images. We did it in a marathon in the apartment that we had during ImPulsTanz, and so people would come over. We had made Chili Con Carne or Chili Sin Carne... Moriah: We had all-night sleepovers and we did it at ImPulsTanz. Emma: We did it during one night, from 10 in the night until 10 in the morning. Moriah: It took us a week. Emma: We did the first 500 pages in a week and then we had one night to finish the last 500 pages. Moriah: Also, people were at PAF doing it too. Emma: Yeah, I was at PAF for awhile in between when this was going on. I was reading in the kitchen while I was chopping tomatoes. The book has this thing. It activates communities and people, not only in the location where its

being done, which I think is very sweet. I think this years book is going to be done only in that way. Its not going to be one big location where its happening. Its going to happen through peoples own initiatives to engage their local communities. Less carbon footprint this year. Milka: I think well end there. I think thats good.


Joseph Michael Patricio



Josefine Wikstrm

Tove Sahlin

We have been up all night, my friends and I, beneath mosque lamps whose brass cupolas are bright as our souls, because like them they were illuminated by the internal glow of electric hearts. And trampling underfoot our native sloth on opulent Persian carpets, we have been discussing right up to the limits of logic and scrawling the paper with demented writing. Our hearts were filled with an immense pride at feeling ourselves standing quite alone, like lighthouses or like the sentinels in an outpost, facing the army of enemy stars encamped in their celestial bivouacs. Alone with the engineers in the infernal stokeholes of great ships, alone with the black spirits which rage in the belly of rogue locomotives, alone with the drunkards beating their wings against the walls. Then we were suddenly distracted by the rumbling of huge double decker trams that went leaping by, streaked with light like the villages celebrating their festivals, which the


Po in flood suddenly knocks down and uproots, and, in the rapids and eddies of a deluge, drags down to the sea. Then the silence increased. As we listened to the last faint prayer of the old canal and the crumbling of the bones of the moribund palaces with their green growth of beard, suddenly the hungry automobiles roared beneath our windows. Come, my friends! I said. Let us go! At last Mythology and the mystic cult of the ideal have been left behind. We are going to be present at the birth of the centaur and we shall soon see the first angels fly! We must break down the gates of life to test the bolts and the padlocks! Let us go! Here is they very first sunrise on earth! Nothing equals the splendor of its red sword which strikes for the first time in our millennial darkness. We went up to the three snorting machines to caress their breasts. I lay along mine like a corpse on its bier, but I suddenly revived again beneath the steering wheel a guillotine knife which threatened my stomach. A great sweep of madness brought us sharply back to ourselves and drove us through the streets, steep and deep, like dried up torrents. Here and there unhappy lamps in the windows taught us to despise our mathematical eyes. Smell, I exclaimed, smell is good enough for wild beasts! And we hunted, like young lions, death with its black fur dappled with pale crosses, who ran before us in the vast violet sky, palpable and living. And yet we had no ideal Mistress stretching her form up to the clouds, nor yet a cruel Queen to whom to offer our corpses twisted into the shape of Byzantine rings! No reason to die unless it is the desire to be rid of the too great weight of our courage! We drove on, crushing beneath our burning wheels, like shirt-collars under the iron, the watch dogs on the steps of the houses.

Death, tamed, went in front of me at each corner offering me his hand nicely, and sometimes lay on the ground with a noise of creaking jaws giving me velvet glances from the bottom of puddles. Let us leave good sense behind like a hideous husk and let us hurl ourselves, like fruit spiced with pride, into the immense mouth and breast of the world! Let us feed the unknown, not from despair, but simply to enrich the unfathomable reservoirs of the Absurd! As soon as I had said these words, I turned sharply back on my tracks with the mad intoxication of puppies biting their tails, and suddenly there were two cyclists disapproving of me and tottering in front of me like two persuasive but contradictory reasons. Their stupid swaying got in my way. What a bore! Pouah! I stopped short, and in disgust hurled myself vlan! head over heels in a ditch. Oh, maternal ditch, half full of muddy water! A factory gutter! I savored a mouthful of strengthening muck which recalled the black teat of my Sudanese nurse! As I raised my body, mud-spattered and smelly, I felt the red hot poker of joy deliciously pierce my heart. A crowd of fishermen and gouty naturalists crowded terrified around this marvel. With patient and tentative care they raised high enormous grappling irons to fish up my car, like a vast shark that had run aground. It rose slowly leaving in the ditch, like scales, its heavy coachwork of good sense and its upholstery of comfort. We thought it was dead, my good shark, but I woke it with a single caress of its powerful back, and it was revived running as fast as it could on its fins. Then with my face covered in good factory mud, covered with metal scratches, useless sweat and celestial grime, amidst the complaint of staid fishermen and angry naturalists, we dictated our first will and testament to all the living men on earth.


MANIFESTO OF TSDH 1. We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness. 2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity and revolt. 3. Choreography and Dance has up to now magnified pensive immobility, ecstasy and slumber. We want to exalt movements of aggression, feverish sleeplessness, the double march, the perilous leap, the slap and the blow with the fist. 4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. 5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit. 6. The choreographer must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements. 7. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Choreography must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man. 8. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and

Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed. 9. We want to glorify war the only cure for the world militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman. 10. We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice. 11. We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work, pleasure and revolt; the multi-colored and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capitals: the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals and the workshops beneath their violent electric moons: the gluttonous railway stations devouring smoking serpents; factories suspended from the clouds by the thread of their smoke; bridges with the leap of gymnasts flung across the diabolic cutlery of sunny rivers: adventurous steamers sniffing the horizon; great-breasted locomotives, puffing on the rails like enormous steel horses with long tubes for bridle, and the gliding flight of aeroplanes whose propeller sounds like the flapping of a flag and the applause of enthusiastic crowds. It is in Stockholm that we are issuing this manifesto of ruinous and incendiary violence, by which we today are founding TSDH, because we want to deliver the world from its gangrene of professors, archaeologists, tourist guides and antiquaries. The world has been too long the great second-hand market. We want to get rid of the innumerable museums which cover it with innumerable cemeteries. Museums, cemeteries! Truly identical in their sinister juxtaposition of bodies that do not know each other. Public dormitories where you sleep side by side for ever with beings you hate or do not know. Reciprocal ferocity of the painters

and sculptors who murder each other in the same museum with blows of line and color. To make a visit once a year, as one goes to see the graves of our dead once a year, that we could allow! We can even imagine placing flowers once a year at the feet of the Gioconda! But to take our sadness, our fragile courage and our anxiety to the museum every day, that we cannot admit! Do you want to poison yourselves? Do you want to rot? What can you find in an old picture except the painful contortions of the artist trying to break uncrossable barriers which obstruct the full expression of his dream? To admire an old picture is to pour our sensibility into a funeral urn instead of casting it forward with violent spurts of creation and action. Do you want to waste the best part of your strength in a useless admiration of the past, from which you will emerge exhausted, diminished, trampled on? Indeed daily visits to museums, libraries and academies (those cemeteries of wasted effort, calvaries of crucified dreams, registers of false starts!) is for artists what prolonged supervision by the parents is for intelligent young men, drunk with their own talent and ambition. For the dying, for invalids and for prisoners it may be all right. It is, perhaps, some sort of balm for their wounds, the admirable past, at a moment when the future is denied them. But we will have none of it, we, the young, strong and living choreographers! Let the good incendiaries with charred fingers come! Here they are! Heap up the fire to the shelves of the libraries! Divert the canals to flood the cellars of the museums! Let the glorious canvases swim ashore! Take the picks and hammers! Undermine the foundation of venerable towns! The oldest among us are not yet thirty years old: we have therefore at least ten years to accomplish our task. When we are forty let younger and stronger men than we throw us in the waste paper basket like useless manuscripts!

They will come against us from afar, leaping on the light cadence of their first poems, clutching the air with their predatory fingers and sniffing at the gates of the academies the good scent of our decaying spirits, already promised to the catacombs of the libraries. But we shall not be there. They will find us at last one winters night in the depths of the country in a sad hangar echoing with the notes of the monotonous rain, crouched near our trembling aeroplanes, warming our hands at the wretched fire which our books of today will make when they flame gaily beneath the glittering flight of their pictures. They will crowd around us, panting with anguish and disappointment, and exasperated by our proud indefatigable courage, will hurl themselves forward to kill us, with all the more hatred as their hearts will be drunk with love and admiration for us. And strong healthy Injustice will shine radiantly from their eyes. For art can only be violence, cruelty, injustice. The oldest among us are not yet thirty, and yet we have already wasted treasures, treasures of strength, love, courage and keen will, hastily, deliriously, without thinking, with all our might, till we are out of breath. Look at us! We are not out of breath, our hearts are not in the least tired. For they are nourished by fire, hatred and speed! Does this surprise you? it is because you do not even remember being alive! Standing on the worlds summit, we launch once more our challenge to the stars! Your objections? All right! I know them! Of course! We know just what our beautiful false intelligence affirms: We are only the sum and the prolongation of our ancestors, it says. Perhaps! All right! What does it matter? But we will not listen! Take care not to repeat those infamous words! Instead, lift up your head! Standing on the worlds summit we launch once again our insolent challenge to the stars


Christina Vantzou

Take dance to new places and let people you meet there be your audience. Anyone can be a dancer, even a fork lift (and its driver). Truckbalett av Veera Suvalo Grimberg. Photo: Lars Lundberg

Terence Kemp McKenna was an Irish-American philosopher, psychonaut, researcher, teacher, lecturer and writer on many subjects, such as human consciousness, language, psychedelic drugs, the evolution of civilizations, the origin and end of the universe, and alchemy. In his book Food of the Gods, McKenna proposed that the transformation from humans early ancestors Homo erectus to the species Homo sapiens mainly had to do with the addition of the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis in its diet - an event which according to his theory took place in about 100,000 BC (this is when he believed that the species diverged from the Homo genus). He based his theory on the main effects, or alleged effects, produced by the mushroom. One of the effects that comes about from the ingestion of low doses, which agrees with one of scientist Roland Fischers findings from the late 60s-early 70s, is it significantly improves the visual acuity of humans - so theoretically, of


other human-like mammals too. According to McKenna, this effect would have definitely prove to be of evolutionary advantage to humans omnivorous hunter-gatherer ancestors that would have stumbled upon it accidentally; as it would make it easier for them to hunt. In higher doses, McKenna claims, the mushroom acts as a sexual stimulator, which would make it even more beneficial evolutionarily, as it would result in more offspring. At even higher doses, the mushroom would have acted to dissolve boundaries, which would have promoted community-bonding and group sexual activities-that would result in a mixing of genes and therefore greater genetic diversity. Generally McKenna believed that the periodic ingestion of the mushroom would have acted to dissolve the ego in humans before it ever got the chance to grow in destructive proportions. In this context he likened the ego to a cancerous tumor that can grow uncontrollable and become destructive to its host. Another factor that McKenna talked about was the mushrooms potency to promote linguistic thinking. This would have promoted vocalisation, which in turn would have acted in cleansing the brain (based on a scientific theory that vibrations from speaking cause the precipitation of impurities from the brain to the cerebrospinal fluid), which would further mutate the brain. All these factors according to McKenna were the most important factors that promoted evolution towards the Homo sapiens species. Selected quotes: We have to recognize that the world is not something sculptured and finished, which we as perceivers walk through like patrons in a museum; the world is something we make through the act of perception. My notion of what the psychedelic experience is for is that we each must become like fishermen, and go out on to the dark ocean of mind, and let your nets down into that sea. And what youre after is not some behemoth, that will tear through your nets, follow them and drag you in your little

boat, you know, into the abyss, nor are what were looking for a bunch of sardines that can slip through your net and disappear. Ideas like, Have you ever noticed that your little finger exactly fits your nostril, and stuff like that. What we are looking for are middle size ideas, that are not so small that they are trivial, and not so large that theyre incomprehensible. That middle size ideas that we can wrestle into our boat and take back to the folks on shore, and have fish dinner. And every one of us when we go into the psychedelic state, this is what we should be looking for. Its not for your elucidation, its not part of your self-directed psychotherapy. You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do, is to bring back a new idea, because our world is in danger by the absence of good ideas. I remember the very, very first time that I smoked DMT. It was sort of a benchmark, you might say, and I remember that this friend of mine that always got there first visited me with this little glass pipe and this stuff which looked like orange mothballs. And since I was a graduate of Dr. Hofmanns, I figured there were no surprises. So the only question I asked is, How long does it last? and he said, About five minutes. So I did it and... [long pause, audience cheers] there was a something, like a flower, like a chrysanthemum in orange and yellow that was sort of spinning, spinning, and then it was like I was pushed from behind and I fell through the chrysanthemum into another place that didnt seem like a state of mind, it seemed like another place. And what was going on in this place aside from the tastefully soffited indirect lighting, and the crawling geometric hallucinations along the domed walls, what was happening was that there were a lot of ahh.. beings in there, what I call self-transforming machine elves. Sort of like jewelled basketballs all dribbling their way toward me. And if theyd had faces they would have been grinning, but they didnt have faces. And they assured me that they loved me and they told me not to be

amazed; not to give way to astonishment. And so I watched them, even though I wondered if maybe I hadnt really done it this time, and what they were doing was they were making objects come into existence by singing them into existence. Objects which looked like Faberg eggs from Mars morphing themselves with Mandaean alphabetical structures. They looked like the concrescence of linguistic intentionality put through a kind of hyper-dimensional transform into threedimensional space. And these little machines offered themselves to me. And I realized when I looked at them that if I could bring just one of these little trinkets back, nothing would ever be quite the same again. And I wondered, Where Am I? And What Is Going On? It occurred to me that these must be holographic viral projections from an autonomous continuum that was somehow intersecting my own, and then I thought a more elegant explaination would be to take it at face value and realize that I had broken into an ecology of souls. And that somehow I was getting a peek over the other side. Somehow I was finding out that thing that you cheerfully assume you cant find out. But it felt like I was finding out. And it felt.. and then I cant remember what it felt like because the little self-transforming tykes interrupted me and said, Dont think about it. Dont think about who we are... Think about doing what were doing. Do it! Do it! DO IT NOW!!! And what they meant was use your voice to make an object. And as I understood, I felt a bubble kind of grow inside of me. And I watched these little elf tykes jumping in and out of my chest; they like to do that to reassure you. And they said, Do it. And I felt language rise up in me that was unhooked from english, and I began to speak... What blinds us, or what makes historical progress very difficult, is our lack of awareness of our ignorance. And [I think] that beliefs should be put aside, and that a psychedelic society would abandon belief systems [in favor of] di438

rect experience and this is, I think much, of the problem of the modern dilemma, is that direct experience has been discounted and in its place all kind of belief systems have been erected... If you believe something, youre automatically precluded from believing in the opposite, which means that a degree of your human freedom has been forfeited in the act of this belief. Some kind of dialog is now going on between individual human beings and the sum total of human knowledge and...nothing can stop it. More and more the imagination is where we spend our time. Theres a lot of talk these days about virtual reality. An immersive state of the art technology in which you put on goggles and special clothing and enter special environments and then you are in artificial worlds created by computers and this is thought to be very woo woo and far out but in fact, if youre paying attention, weve been living inside virtual realities for about ten thousand years. I mean what is a city but a complete denial of nature. We say no-no. Not trees, mudholes, waterfalls, and all that. Straight lines, laid out roads, class hierarchies reflected in local geography meaning the rich people live here surrounded by the not so rich people all served by the poor people who are so glad theyre not the outcast people. So you know urbanization is essentially the first of these impulses where society leaves nature and enters into its own private idaho. And the growth of cities and the growth of the immediacy, I guess you would say, of the urban experience has been a constant of human evolution since urbanization began. Now the only difference that the new technologies offer is that were gonna do this with light, not mortar, brick, steel, aluminum, and titanium, which are incredibly intractable materials. I mean its amazing to me. We started with the toughest stuff and of course it costs enormous amounts of blood and treasure to work with such intractable materials. Its always been amazing to

me that the largest buildings that human beings ever build are in a sense the first buildings humans ever built because the pyramids of Egypt are enormous even by modern scale, and yet they were among the earliest buildings ever built. In virtual reality the difference between a hundred story building and a ten story building is one zero. What this should tell us is that in the domain of light, the intractability of matter is overcome. And so we are on the brink of a time. We have arrived, we are at the time where the human imagination now need meet no barriers to its intent. And so we are going to find out who we are. We are going to discover what it means to be human when there is no resistance to human will. A conclusion of that same era was that language is alive. I experienced this very concretely on acid. English as an animal, a kind of amoebae, extending its pseudopodia of description into every nook and cranny of reality, a kind of syntactical Los Angeles, ever growing, expanding and including more and more empty or natural territory into its grid of meaning. Wasnt it Burroughs who observed that Language is a virus from outer space? What does it want with us, and how can we tell if it wont tell us? And then how can we trust its message since even the act of deconstructing it involves a total commitment to it as both means and end? ETs and countless other almost realities or wannabe realities seem to be the minor flora and fauna of a purely linguistic domain. And then there is the ambiguity of memoryIt is more and more amazing to me that we can sustain the hallucination of any meaning at all.



Rene Copraij
Dark, cold, cool..... A sharp crack - two more - I smell gunpowder I look to the right - I see this neat expression on his face Screaming voices - I am shouting He has his hand out - I could see a piece of his skull coming of And I can see this perfectly clean piece detaching itself from his head Black out I dont remember - I saw pictures Its hot, Im sweating Screaming voices - He s dead, hes dead He slumps in my lap - his blood and brains are in my lap I keep holding the top of his head down - trying to keep the brains in Can you hear me? Can you hear me?

Jackie: Screaming voices - I barely hear anything Vaguely - I see words - Please stop and shake our hands Black out Its dark, its hot, Im sweating A big blue Lincoln Convertible Its hot, Im sweating - my wool suit is sticking to my skin The sun is right in my eyes - I put on my dark glasses He tells me to take them off - The people are here to see you I keep sneaking them on - when he isnt looking Darkness - cool I hate the sun in my eyes It hot, Im sweating Screaming voices - You sure cant say Dallas doesnt love you Take of those glasses - The people are here to see you Black out Im getting roasted riding in this blazing sun Its hot, Im sweating The sun is right in my eyes Thank God, how pleasant that cool tunnel will be


Krt Juurak

A: Hey, kids, enough of smalltalk! Lets do something! B: Yes! C: Yes what shall we do. A: Thats a good question. B: I have an idea! Lets play. Lets play something. C: Oh but we are already playing something. D: Something called performance. B: But this performance game seems to exhausted itself. We cant just play as though we are smalltalking for the whole evening. I mean its a great idea and makes me think of many things regarding the audience and the performance, and the politics of the relationship between them or whatever - but lets face the fact - its getting boring. D: Yes - you might be right. B: So play What shall we play? A: How about some game? C: How about for example --- (pause)

- the self-interview game its where one person is having an interview with oneself, while the others listen. A: Very interesting. B: Or how about imagination game? A: Imagination game? B: Yes: imagine a small group of people (performers) entering the performance area. It might be the same space we can see here. They enter the performance area one after another and move towards. There are chairs in the performance area. A: They sit on the chairs next to each other and behind one another. C: Then one of them stands up and hands out papers with scripts written on them to the others. They start reading A: Oh- but this is not a good game. Its already happening. B: Yes hey - you guessed it. Its the ghost game. D: I dont get it - I just dont get it. Why should I want to imagine myself? To imagine what is already happening? The only thing I can think of when I see myself reading a script out loud is how embarrassing it is. A: Yes - lame. D: Sadistic. B: It is. Its like to make us feel that there is nowhere to get out to. That everything is scripted so to say. C: I agree. Its quite clear. But what I dont get is - what is the point in trying to convey such an image to us? A: Perhaps, perhaps its how things are? C: Of course - I could agree with that. But still I dont quite agree that because this is how things are - that then one should necessarily try to reproduce that as a performance. I might be stupid but I go to performances hoping to get an idea of how things could be otherways -- otherways from what they already are. A: Yep you got a point there. B: But I wanted to continue the ghost game. There is

also a script for it. We should read it. A: Yes, lets get back to it. So, one person says to the others happily: (pause) time passes quickly when one is with like-minded people! B: The other one answers: Indeed - we are a great audience, arent we? I mean really, all of us, both those that read and those that dont read, those that listen and watch. D: Replies the third one: D: Its those that dont speak that are actually the important ones. B: Indeed - the listener, so to say, make it all happen, they are the ones in the backstage, They run the show, so to say. Cause they let the speakers speak. D: Oh I dont know if thats really true. I mean the 99% like to think they are important but in reality who cares about their statistics. B: Right and here too - the listening person is still quite insignificant. I mean, they dont even have a script maybe theyre not even here. A: Yes, they are excluded, and invisible like ghosts. B: They have no say so to say C: But hey - thats the point with listening A: What C: To have no say otherways they are --A: To say nothing? C: I mean to listen is --- ah whatever. Maybe we should let the ones that are listening now say what they think! B: ok PAUSE 10 sec. B: Standard response! A: So the ghost audience is actually the listening audience? C: What do WE know! Are we still in the GHOST game?

B: What do I know! (pause) A: What now? B: Yes, what now? A: I dont know. Re-start? B: OMG. Are we in an endless FEEDBACK loop? C: Calm down everybody! A: But isnt it quite nice that instead of some kind of well It is more complex and so the audience has to make quite an effort to understand and decipher the performance which is a script which is about the deciphering de-ciphering of a script that then becomes the B: Performance -- that becomes the D: Manifestation of self-referenciality -- and thus... C: Yes, as it says in every program text: performance as such, the B: Exactly -- it serves as the so-called focus. Focus. Focus. D: Yes, it is so hard to focus on things these days. And that is quite important for a performance I guess. C: Exactly. But isnt it that the, that the B: That the question remains the same or even grows with every measure. And this is because C: Because its contagious. A: Yap, youre able to catch it from others. C: This is the mimetic turn. B: This is what? A: Mimetic behavior occurs when people run in the same direction where the others are running not knowing why they are running and where the others are going. They trust that the others know as the others trust that they know.... C: And of course if mimesis is defined as the deficit of information, then mimetic action and the new mimetic methods grow out from the crisis of transmitting information!!!

B: But are we lacking something? A: No. Are we? C: Ehm. Well. Its clearly... B: You have to be of a certain age to realize that you will never know where youre heading. What you have to understand is youre doing things and they are all deviations. But you keep doing them in order to avoid being attacked by the fact that you have no idea where youre heading. C: You mean existential torture and collapse. B: Exactly. In the meantime however while youre doing all the deviations you also come to understand where youre heading - even if where youre heading is down down down into the abyss of the disaster. C: The so-called False choice in spectacular abundance, a choice which lies in the juxtaposition of competing and complimentary spectacles and also in the juxtaposition of roles (signified and carried mainly by people) which are at once exclusive and overlapping, develops into a struggle of vaporous qualities meant to stimulate loyalty to quantitative triviality. Triviality triviality tri. C: How many ADD kids does it take to change a light bulb? D: Lets go ride bikes! A B C D: Music! (music: Introduce A Little Anarchy by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard )

Johanna Wernmos

I dance because I love, apart from the movement, power and honesty in dance, the feeling of constantly trying to reach something, something that is outside of me and my abilities. A condition, a feeling, a thought, an idea, a logic, an illogic - things that I dont fully understand but still want to capture, just to see what happens when I put them in motion. because in dance, the only person setting your limits is yourself, no matter conditions, rules or techniques. I dont think one can be freer than that, even though being your own regulator of restrictions sometimes is the hardest. when I want to loose myself, find myself or create myself (with other words, I can not not dance!)



A leap into the void-coefficient (of reactivity), Experiment #001 - #004 + diagram The void-coefficient - a quantity - use it to estimate how much the reactivity of the space changes around objects - as the object change, the void takes new forms around them in coherence with the object - in the museum, the gallery, the studio or other institutions. Guidelines; re(stage) * ob-scene * de_compose

Johan L Ekenberg


Jan Ritsema

In order not to be alone, the soloist looks for sparring partners, sparring objects. To counter oneself with, like to a table, music, a costume, light... To have options for in and out, to and fro, fast and slow A solo is like drawing with one line. That positions the maker in: what can I do with this one line? Instead of in the position: what is really at stake (what am I problematizing here together with the honorable audience) ? The maker of a solo puts her/himself in the position of: how can I solve this problem (of making a solo). Because, as I said, the difficulties are piled high and because of this with coping with the despair of: can I do it, will I succeed. The Irish/French author Samuel Beckett wrote: there are three diseases most artists suffer from; 1. The disease Can I Do It (can I be a good dancer, a good choreographer, a good painter, make a good solo) 2. The disease of What Will It Be About (about gender, or counterpoint, rhythm, or aggression) and 3. What Can I Do? All three are drives that have nothing to do with the main problem that is at stake, and that is the artist and its materiality (its matter of flesh, its materials, its paint and canvas). The three diseases cover up this main, this artistic problem, by these two opposite positions of Can I Do IT, which derives from: no, I cannot, and, because you know you cannot (because you dont try by focussing on this main problem) you put yourself under the roof of a theme or any other external problem, under the safe umbrella of What It Is About. The problem of painting is painting The problem of filming is filming The problem of dancing is dancing But, just like most films are not about filming but about situations, they are mere literature, and paintings not about painting but about representation (also storytelling), so is many dance (and for sure most solos) not about dance, about movement (the organization of objects or subjects in time and space) but about can the psychological body do (storytelling again).

The rain of solos that is poured upon us....... It is the most difficult form Yet the theaters love it For economical reasons They can refresh their programmation with cheap products Of the ever renewing source of young emerging artists, Who confronted with the difficulties Easily limit themselves to some formal patterns In which they express themselves A solo is a difficult task Making a duet or a trio offers at least a. more perspectives of two or three bodies in space b. more connections c. more discourse d more geometry and form e. more situation f. more counter positions g. more complexity


This produces all products of art that are centered around and expressing the artists personal problems or interests. I am not interested in ones private concerns. Dont steal my time with these human-centered and ego-driven products that look like the art they represent. Paintings that look like painting and dance that look like dance, but that escape from the beginning their core business, their main problem: the matter, the materiality that it is made from. I am not interested in a house that looks like a house, I am interested in someone that opens up this principle of shelter, not only that (s)he wants to think about how to organize shelter differently, but above all one that wants to problematize the mere concept of shelter and with this the concepts derived from the need of shelter that of privacy and property. So am I not interested in dance that looks like dance. That takes the concept of dance for granted, but in one that wants to problematize the mere concept of dance and with this the concepts derived from the wish to dance and move, that of joy, sex and society (the gathering of bodies). To question these concepts it seems to be quite necessary to undo us from the artist. From the artist, (s)he who is the source and surface of its art. And it is exactly in the solo that this is the most difficult as there is mainly the artist that is the source and surface. If we consider art as a material-driven process of production, then we could consider these materials as autonomous in such a way that their autonomy interferes with the artwork regardless of the decisions of the artist, regardless of whether the artist is open to their autonomy. (When the artist is open to them then the materials are still dependent of his/her capacity in how far (s)he can or wants to be open. There is then still the artist as the boss, the master of the artwork.) (Read about this in Reza Negarastanis The Medium of Contingency.) To rethink or reconsider the concept of dance/movement it seems to be necessary to undo from the dancer. That means it is no longer about me and about if I can do it, but it is about this very horrible and difficult problem called movement/dance. Not about what movement is, but about movement, about moving as such. Not about which movements for what reason whatsoever you can make, but solely about

movement. Read for movement in the above sentences any other word and you will get it, take for movement walking, eating, driving, cultivating, smoking, light, love, imagination, violence, beauty..... So the question is can Dance or Movement make the dance and not the dancer? For this to be successful the dancer has to step down from his enlightened dictator position as the master or mistress of the art work. It is no longer about his/her capacities to make successfully a solo, but what is at stake are the autonomous capacities of the paint, the picture, the body, the objects and space and time. You erase yourself as the master of the product and you become part of it. You are no longer under the roof of the aboutness (gender, speed, loneliness or whatever) and driven by the proof that you can do it, but you are there, in the studio with empty hands, and emptied out and you will think what movement implies, as movement and movement only, and then you will see what movement will do, as the profession you chose to work in is that of movement and dance and not the profession called after yourself, that of being a professionalist in Elizabeth or Alex or Jan. Can we try to make a dance solo that no longer looks like a dance solo and that no longer is identical to yourself. Then we have to forget dance and forget the dancer and think movement. Then we have to forget that you are the maker, and on the contrary realize that movement makes you as much as you make the movement. I eagerly want to be part of a solo that tries to do this. But as I said, making a solo is very difficult. They only serve the market. They promote to be driven mainly from yourself, your hopes and fears. I wish I could stop the making of solos.



sgerur G. Gunnarsdttir

Throughout the history, the body has been the subject and the instrument of different ideas within the dance form. It has not changed biologically, but the ways in which the body has been trained certainly has. Dance performance is the art of the here and now. As an art form that only lives in the moment, it has become a genre within the contemporary dance scene to work with performances from the past, by using re enactments, reconstructions and appropriations of dance which is no longer available in performance. Two examples of blasts from the past(s) , are the pieces A Mary Wigman Dance Evening by the Ecuadorian choreographer Fabian Barba, and Powered by Emotion, by the Swedish performance related artist Marten Spangberg. In both of these performances, the artists restore to life canonical performances from the past by using their own body. They choose different methods in doing so, but in both cases
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there is a gap in the interpretation between the past and the present. A gap between the historical body of the performances of past and the body of today. Thus, it is interesting to look at these performances side by side and wonder; what do these historical performances of the past do to the body today? To start the journey of wondering, I will look at the context of these performances, the method of the choreographers as well as its connection to dance history. From that departure point, I will compare the bodies and wonder what kind we are confronted with in these performances. But, to start our journey, we should ask; what does it mean to go back and forth in time? And what ideas are surrounding those kind of courageous travels? Before our time travelling, it is important to take a look at some notions regarding ideas regarding the ontology of performance in relation to concepts surrounding the idea of history. 1. When trying to remember.. Peggy Phelan, in her book, Unmarked; the Politics of Performance, claims that the only life of a performance is in the present and it cannot be saved in any way. Once it has been documented or in other ways participated in the circulations of representations of representations, it becomes other than a performance. It can surely be performed again, but this repetition marks it as different. A document of a performance is therefore only a spur of moment, an encouragement of memory to become present. A description does not reproduce the object either, but it helps to remember what is lost, when restaging the effect. This disappearance of the object is fundamental for a performance, for it rehearses and repeats the disappearance of the subject, who longs to be remembered. What performance does, according to Phelan, is that it implicates the real through the presence of living bodies. Live performance dives itself into visibility and then

disappears into memory (146 - 148). According to Phelan, the performer in a performance disappears and represents something else, a dance, movement, sound, character or art. Therefore, performance uses the body to frame the lack of being promised by and through the body (150 - 151). Thus, a performance can never be repeated, and once it has been performed and documented, it has become another thing. It can help to remember what is lost, when it comes to restaging the performance, even though we can never understand how it really was, as Walter Benjamin states in his essay The Concept of History. To articulate what is past does not mean to understand how it really was (3). History is an object of construction, whose place is formed not in a homogenous and empty time, but in the here and now. It can be described by an image of a tiger leaping into what has happened before and bringing it into the present (7). But that does not mean that what has happened in the past and is brought back into the present is not affected by things that happened with what came after it. Burt Ramsay states in his article, Undoing Post-Modern Dance History, that any form of representation is inevitably engaged with what came before it, and that engagement is an active reworking. A work performed by later images obliterates the older images as they were before that intervention and creates new versions of the images instead. Ramsay states that this is particularly true of dance. A dance performance that was created in the past is viewed with the standards of contemporary technique of the today. And when it is re-performed, it is executed by dancers whose training and expertise is certainly different from the dancers that initially performed and created it (6). Some theorists claim that we can still make contact with the geniuses of the past choreographer, in the present. Burt argues on the other hand, that by accepting the differences of the past and the present, we can gain access to what they can tell us about the nature of our contemporary

experience (6-7). What we can draw from these ideas, is that if we accept that when it comes to articulating the past, it does not mean that we understand how things really were. It is a construction, created in the here and now, by tiger leaps into the past. We view things from the past with all the knowledge that we already have. And to be able to see what the past can tell us about our contemporary, we need to accept and be aware of the differences of the past and the present. When it comes to bringing back a performance from the past, these ideas become even more intriguing. What does that then mean, when it comes to reconstruction? Phelan states that a performance implicates the real through the presence of the living bodies and a performance makes a performer disappear into a representation of something else than its own body. A performance from the past, which is recreated in the present, can thus make the body represent something else than its own living body on stage. It implicates the real of something else than its own body and can thus tell us something new about our contemporary. With these ideas regarding ideas surrounding history, the body and performance flying around in our backpack, it is now time to go on a trip between the past and present and meet Barba and Wigman, Spangberg and Paxton. 2. The story of Fabian and Mary The choreographer Fabian Barba is born in Ecuador in 1982 and was educated at different Ecuadorian dance and theatre companies until he joined P.A.R.T.S. During his last years of education there, he started researching the work and career of Mary Wigman (under the collective Busy Rocks). According to description of A Mary Wigman Dance Evening on the webpage of Busy Rocks, Barba uses the performances of Mary Wigman to research Ausdrucktanz. The performance is the staging of a dance recital as it could have taken

place in the early 30s. Its model is the program Wigman presented for her first tour through the United States. The performance is composed of nine solos from different dance cycles. By acknowledging the alterations a reconstruction work entails, the interest lies not on mourning a lost original or a gone past, but on turning the unavoidable modifications into the very expressive matter of the work. According to Barba, in his text Waging Mary Wigman, he was interested in what would happen if a dance audience at the beginning of the 21st century would be confronted with representational codes, that are not a big part of history of dance. He asks if it is a possibility that the strangeness of the reconstruction might contaminate the codes and expectations we actualize nowadays and of which we are not always fully aware. And to what extent, will such an experience inform further reflections on current representations of the body and conceptions of dance (1). He uses re enactment as a tool to visit and study the particular dance tradition and technique of the Ausdrucktanz, which Wigman was one of the pioneers of (1). As one of the leading figures and prominent pioneers of modern dance, Barba considers her an obligatory point of reference when trying to understand the development of this expressive dance form throughout the century. His work focuses specially on the corporeality of the performances. He wishes to posit himself in a way that his performance can benefit and add to current reflections on the topic (4 - 6). Thus, Barba entered what one could call a research phase, where he was interested in researching how the representational and quite unknown codes of Ausdrucktanz could reflect on our understanding of the body. But before going into the methods of Barba, it is necessary to pack our bags again and take a leap into the past to meet the source of his research, Mary Wigman.


2.1 Mary Wigman; the Urge to Communicate Around the 1900s a physical culture, Krperkultur arose on both sides of the Atlantic, which encouraged fitness and new sort of bodily expression of emotion. That is the era when Mary Wigman (1886 1973) started to dance. Since she came to dance in her late twenties, ballet was never a possibility, but she also did not desire learning it. She wanted to make dance art in order to express the experiences and conflicts of her age (Newhall 29). She spent her early years of training with two twentieth-century systematizers of movement: Emile Jaques-Dalcroze and Rudolf von Laban (Newhall 24). Wigman was a principal founder and transmitter of the Ausdruckstanz, which can be described as an expressive dance movement. The key to her philosophy is found in the very name Ausdruckstanz, a dance that is meant to express a dance as embodied language (Newhall 85) For Wigman the drive to dance came from an overwhelming urge to communicate (Newhall 66). Her development of the Ausdruckstanz was fundamental to the development of dance and theater in Germany and beyond. Among her innovations were her already mentioned rejection of the ballet technique, her concept of space as an invisible and truly sensual partner in the dance and her development of Labans ideas for solo works, mass movement and group composition (Newhall 6). Wigman and the practitioners of Ausdruckstanz chose to look within and explore and present the mind, spirit and imagination. These artists were aware that humanity inhabits a number of complex, overlapping worlds and that these worlds, which are not seen by the eye, must be explored through the moving body. Their goal was the revealing of a new world of emotion and the mysterious motivations underlying human behavior. Ausdruckstanz sought to produce a finished product that unsettled the viewer while finding a performance mode that took the dancer and her audience to the realm of transcendence and ritual (Newhall

16). Wigman was thus a big pioneer at her time, with strong expressionistic ideas about how to communicate through the body, which was new at that time, and for Barba as well. 2.2 Barbas methods. (Or; you move thinking youre pressing the air in front of you) As already mentioned, Barbas method of reperforming Wigmans solos is reenactment. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a re-enactment means the action or process of reproducing, recreating, or performing again (re-enactment def. 2). That means, that to re enact a movement implies more than copying shapes and rhythms. A movement and quality are produced through a certain technique to be able to re-perform it as it was. Barba makes use of three different methods in the process, according to his document, Working Notes. The first one is visual material, such as videos and photos. That gave him a clear, detailed and complete movement score. But in pictures and videos, the image of Wigman gets flattened into two dimensions, which turns the body into an icon and the body loses its three dimensional corporeality. According to Barba, videos and photos helped greatly to recreate a movement score, but they failed to convey a most important feature of movement; the muscular quality (1). Second method he used was a person to person transmission. By using the pictures, he could create a vocabulary of bodily positions, but working with Susanne Linke, Irene Sieben and Katharine Sehnert, he understood how those body positions had been created. Small instructions such as you move thinking youre pressing the air in front of you were invaluable sources of information in the quest to embody the specific corporeality of Ausdrucktanz. The solos of Wigman in the 30s were presented as abstract dances, but at the same time, they were supposed to communicate something to the audience. That something did always remain vague; it didnt need to be pointed out, explained through

words and served as a subtext. By working with dancers who had learned these solos, he was able to see and experience through the body how that subtext could be created and articulated through the control of the breathing, or through the suspension of a movement or through a sharp muscular accent (2-3). He wanted to posit his work in a way that it could both benefit and add to current reflections on the topic. To do this, he conducted what he calls a research on corporeality. When he began this project, still a student at PARTS, he realized he was dealing with a totally different physicality than what he had learned and that his contemporary training was not sufficient to perform the solos. That means, he had to seek for different technical tools in order to perform them. In a workshop with Susanne Linke, he was introduced to a consistent system that proposed clear technical tools, which he could use to reconstruct the solos. These tools were for example the control of the breathing and stressing the relation of inhalation and exhalation to different movement qualities. These classes made it evident for him, that an important source on which to base the work of reconstruction, the research on corporeality, is a crucial addition to archival and textual sources (Waging Mary Wigman 7). It is thus clear, that Barba created a thorough research. A visual, textual and not to mention physical research to be able to re-enact her solos as close to the originals as possible. And to do so, his work focused on the specific corporeality developed by Mary Wigman. He does not aim to describe, he aims to be and by doing so, trying to get back from the performance what is missing in the theoretical formulations and can only be found in the live event. He wants to add to the theoretical material that already exists and bring back to life the bodyliness of her work. Here, we have one way of pulling the past into the present. But when it comes to the method of Spangberg, there is another journey to go on.

3. The story of Spangberg and Paxton Marten Spangberg is a performance related artist that lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. His interests concern choreography in an expanded field, something that he has approached through experimental practices and creative process in multiplicity of formats and expressions. Powered by Emotion is described by Spangberg as:
A corporeal exercise of interpreting with diverse variations for body, voice and a black Coca-Cola T-Shirt, composed for dance, performance and other lovers to refresh their spirits (Petra Sabisch 87).

According to a decription of the piece on Spangbergs homepage, he explores two artistic materials, Walter Verdins film of Steve Paxtons dance to J.S. Bachs Goldberg Variations and the songs of Buena Vista Social Club. And the piece originates from a desire to dance and sing without having access to skill and technical capacity in to do either one technically well. The piece is therefore a reconstruction of a dance improvisation, by Steve Paxton captured on film, and one could even say since Spangberg is reconstructing an improvisation that has been saved by the film. Thus, he is creating a choreographic interpretation of the dance improvisation. But what does it mean, to take on Steve Paxtons Goldberg Variations? And what does that add to our understanding of this piece? 3.1 Steve Paxton the Elegant Machine. According to Sally Banes in her book, Terpsichore in Sneakers, where she collects together the pioneers of the post modern dance scene, Steve Paxton makes dances about the ordinary, physical things. In their close attention to pedestrian activities and the bodies of everyday people, the dances have at times served extraordinary functions; they have assaulted theatrical conventions, commented on the history of dance and questioned its aims, examined social hierarchies and political acts. He is also most famous for being instru465


mental in organizing and disseminating a new dance form of Contact Improvisation in the mid 1970 (57). Paxton studied with Martha Graham, Jos Limn and Merce Cunningham. He went on to study further with Cunningham and danced with Limns company and took Robert Dunns composition course at the Cunningham Studio in the 1960 1961. He also danced with Merce Cunningham Company, from 1961 1964 (58 59). He was also active in his own experiments and performances and realized that walking was crucial element, which opened up a range of non- dance movements, which were prominent in his work. Banes writes that Paxton dancing reminds us that;
For all its problems, dangers, inconsistencies, and clumsiness, the human mechanism is also a grand and elegant machine. He reminds us that the bodys grace is rooted in its extraordinarily varied repertory of capabilities (70).

In 1986, Paxton started out a project of dance improvisation based on the two famous Glenn Gould recordings of Goldberg Variations from 1955 and 1982. Paxton performed the improvisation over many years in various situations, from theatre venues, festivals to the woods in nature. In 1992 Walter Verdin filmed one instance of the improvisation and made it into dance video (Cvejic 23). Paxton describes his approach to the improvisation in the following way;
Being a dancer, I naturally listened with my whole body, rather than listen only with my ears and perhaps let one foot tap out the rhythm...As I dance I am fascinated with this new reality. I try to dance every performance differently - new spacing, new directions, new relationships to the notes... (The Goldberg Variations).

Thus, it is clear that that his dancing is considered something special or as Banes puts it, an elegant machine. 3.2 Spangbergs methods. (Or; how can we make do with what we have?) As Bojana Cvejic states in her article, The Way to Make something Yours is to Fuck it up with your own Body, the perfor466

mance by Spangberg was classified in an after talk in 2004 by Steve Paxton as Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach, played by Glenn Gould, improvised by Steve Paxton, filmed by Walter Verdin, and reconstructed by Marten Spangberg (23). The method Spangberg makes use of in his reconstruction, could be identified as the method of appropriation. According to Nicholas Bourriaud, in his book, Postproduction, the art of appropriation infers to an ideology of ownership, and moves toward a culture of used forms (4). This is a movement that has been increasing since the early nineties, and specially within the visual arts. More and more artists interpret, reproduce, re-exhibit, or use works made by others or available cultural products. According to Bourriaud, the artists who insert their own work into the works of others, they contribute to the eradication of the traditional distinction between creation and copy, readymade and original work and the material they manipulate is no longer primary. It is no longer a matter of elaborating a form on the basis of a raw material but working with objects that are already in circulation on the cultural market, which is to say, objects already informed by other objects (6). In this new form of culture, which one might call a culture of use or a culture of activity, the artwork functions as the temporary terminal of a network of interconnected elements, like a narrative that extends and reinterprets preceding narratives (9). Spangberg takes the improvisation documented by Verdin and learns it, just as one would learn a song in a karaoke. He learns Paxtons improvisation from the video as steps and executes them in the performance with the music of Goldberg Variations and improvisation by Keith Jarrett. He does not claim to be or trying to reenact the piece, and therefore does not undergo as detailed research as Barba, in his reconstruction of Wigmans solos. He executes the steps with his own body, without trying to execute them in the same way as Paxton with his highly trained body. While Paxton

danced to the music, Spangberg dances to Paxton. He executes them as Marten Spangberg, a non- trained body of a performance related artist and thus brings back to life the set improvisation of Paxton. As has been shown, in our quick journey through these two stories, both Barba and Spangberg take on choreographies from the past that carry a certain history, a certain meaning within the dance history, and thus a certain historical body of their choreographers. While one re-enacts it, the other appropriates it. There are two different methods at play here, but when watching these performances, there is something uncanny that takes place in both of them. Something familiar, but yet foreign. 4. Time to look at the body Both Barba and Spangberg take a leap into the past, retrieve an object, (the choreography), and bring it back by performing it in the contemporary with their own body in a performance. As according to Phelan, they are bringing them back to the real. Spangberg by reconstructing the documentation of Paxtons solo driven by the desire to dance and sing without having access to skill and technical capacity to do either one technically well by using appropriation. Barba by re- enacting meticulously Wigmans solos by using the methods of person to person transmission, and documentations of writing and visual sources, with the aim to see what if such an experience would inform further reflections on current representations of the body and conceptions of dance. But if we take on Phelans argument that a performance makes a performer disappear into a representation of something else than its own body, then what it means, is that by performing choreography from the past, they represent not their own bodies, but the bodies that come with the choreography. It is clear that Barba and Spangberg take dif468

ferent methods towards reconstructing the performances. Spangberg learns an improvisation as choreography from a video recording, in a similar way as one would learn a karaoke song. Barba on the other hand learns set choreography and uses different methods in retrieving similarities as close as possible by using video material, photos, oral and mimetic methods. As has been discussed in relation to their different methods, Spangberg works within the idea of appropriation, when the aim is to create something new from something pre existing, while Barba works within the form of re-enactment, where the aim is to recount an event, as close to the original event as possible. This becomes even more interesting when zooming specifically at what this does to their bodies. Spangberg is not a trained dancer. His technique is inadequate to be fully competent in recounting Paxtons improvisation that now has become a performance. Even though Paxton uses non-dance movements, such as walking, his body is trained in dance techniques, that are visible in his movements. While on the other hand, Barba is a trained dancer and has the capacity to embody and learn the acquired technique of Wigmans Ausdrucktanz in his quest for the physicality of Wigman. But even though they differ, and what they produce is different, they both deal with the same problem of the body. Their bodies can never become what they aim for. They can never represent fully the historical bodies of the choreographies of the past. The improvisation of Steve Paxtons trained body (his body bears with it for example the techniques of Limn and Cunningham) that performs the improvisation, Spangberg will never be able to redo as an untrained dancer. And Barba will never be able to become Mary Wigman, no matter how meticulously he learns her choreographies from her students, images or videos. The body that appears on stage will always be an Ecuadorian mans body, performing a choreography made and

originally performed by white, female, German body of Mary Wigman. What Spangberg and Barba do have in common is that they take on canonical choreographies that were created within certain ideas regarding the body, at a certain time and a place (USA in the 80s and 90s and Germany in the 30s). They are on the other hand artists living and working in Europe, living in bodies that carry with them other ideologies, other trainings, other notions, another history that is not possible to erase. Thus, as Ramsay states, they cannot go back to the past and disregard what has come after it. They can never get rid of their own body. What thus one could say appears in front of the audience is not as Phelan states, a representation of something else than their own body. In the gap of interpretation there appear two bodies. The body of the performer and the historical body of the choreography. Within mdicine, there is a term called a foreign body. The term is described as something that is introduced to the body from the outside (foreign body, def. 5) but inserted into one body. Lets identify the performances of the past as an object. An object that is introduced to the body, from the outside, and by deciding to perform the object, Spangberg and Farba stick the object to their own body and thus inserted into one body. An object which is unknown to their bodies. In Barbas case, a technique that he tries to learn and acquire and being a man dancing a role of a woman. In the case of Spangberg, learning a set improvisation, created by a highly trained body, that has been described as an elegant machine, being himself an untrained body not capable of executing the choreography. While watching A Mary Wigman Dance Evening, one can see the body of Mary Wigman within the steps of the choreography, and the body of Fabian Barba in the execution of the choreography. At the same time, there is the male body and the female body. What we see, at the same time, is

the body of Ausdrucktanz, the modern body, the male body, the female body and the trained body of contemporary technique. In the Powered by Emotion one can in the same way see the movements of Paxton executed by the body of Marten Spangberg, a dancers body trained in Graham, Limn, Cunningham and practiced contact improvisation versus an untrained body of today. Watching the performances, and being aware of these twofold representations that are in front of us as viewers in the gap of interpretation, between the choreography of the past and the body of today and the melting of the body of today and the choreography of the past, what thus appears in front of us, is a foreign body. If we end our journey by going back to Phelans statement that a performance can only happen in the present then we can in relation to these reproductions say that perhaps there are some other ideas. We can agree with Phelan on the one hand, since the liveness of the performance and its corporeality can only be experienced in the here and now. But when it comes to performing again choreographies from the past, what we see in the case of Barba and Spangberg, it is clear that it can never be the same performance as then. But the performance of the choreography still exists, through the reproduction of the original, with the whispers of the voices from the past and the forgotten. The performance exists again and is brought into life in a meeting of the body of today and the historical body of the past choreography, embodied in the gap of interpretation by aforeign body. And who is not curious to meet a foreigner ?

Works Cited A Mary Wigman Dance Evening. By Fabian Barba. Busy Rocks, Belgium. Performance. (Film). Banes, Sally. Terpsichore in Sneakers; Post Modern Dance. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 1980. Print.


Barba, Fabian. Waging Mary Wigman. Busy Rocks. Web. 3 Nov 2011. ... Working notes. Busy Rocks. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. Benjamin, Walter. The Concept of History. Trans. Dennis Redmond. Creative Commons, 2005 (1974). Web. 10 Nov 2011. Bourriaud, Nicholas. Postproduction. Lucas & Steinberg, New York. 2002. Print. Burt, Ramsay. Undoing Post Modern Dance History. 2004. Web. 19 Oct 2011. Busy Rocks. Busy Rocks Homepage. Web. 14 Nov 2011. Cvejic, Bojana. The Way to Make Something Yours Is That You Fuck It Up By Giving It Your Body; Powered by Emotion, medium specificity or situation? TkH no. 5 (2005/2006). 21-26. Print. Foreign body. Def. 5. The Oxford English Dictionary. Web. 16 Nov 2011. Goldberg Variations. Steve Paxton about the video. Web. 15 Nov 2011. ten Spangberg. Homepage. Web. 13 Nov 2011. Phelan, Peggy. Unmarked; The Politics of Performance. Routledge, New York. 1993. Print. Powered By Emotion. By Marten Spangberg. Sweden. Performance (film). Re-enactment. Def. 2. The Oxford English Dictionary. Web. 15 Nov 2011. Sabisch, Petra. Powered by Emotion The Spangberg Variations on technology Frakcija, Performing Arts Journal, Nr. 39/40. (2006). 85-92. Print. Newhall, Mary Ann Santos. Mary Wigman. Routledge, New York. 2009. Print. Mar-

Julia Holmgrd kerberg

When Im happy - I dance! When Im miserable - I dance! When Im angry - I dance! When Im anxious - I dance! When Im insecure - I dance! When Im excited - I dance! Who said I needed a therapist?



Sebastian Schulz


Take a step Take a stand Go there Go left Go right Dont avoid representation Cause its bad For you Respect the rainbow Dont hide behind concepts Think fat, flesh and bones Like what you do Aestetics exist Every stone shall cry Stay here Stand tall



Mara Villalonga

In June 2009, died Pina, I started to buy the newspaper every day ,needed to collect daily home for my cat poop. My daughter had just gone home. I was full of melancholy. The first cut was to Pina. Who has not ever felt the joy of dance and view dance? - Francisco Calvo Serrales wrote that time. There began a craze for cutting impressions of reality, save for a while in boxes and see what happened. Do the dance? Hold the event, as if I could turn the clock every time you lift the lid of the black plastic boxes, which started to collect the notes without any order or guideline. As No Jitrik says, this is what the word, the language does elsewhere, beyond or this side of speech and representation of his empire of domination. Pina, death , after Michel J, Merce C, all in 2009. After a frantic collection, which never ceases, the weather in Buenos Aires in the Rio de la Plata, to know the temperature

that cherishes Catherine to 14000km away from deefe. Today Ive collected over a thousand recortecitos of those, and Im realizing that the sky is repeated in the images that describe and define us as seeing, I think if we finally are that, like the sky, though it may seem that we renew and we do new things all the time ... cloudy, sunny, thunderstorms, wind, winds, cloudy, rain, intermittent rain, wind, cold front, warm ... oh ... After a fascination for the pictures of the sports section. The cut out every day since. One should make a duel in front of these pictures, finally a subject monumentalize anyone who has already lost the human sphere is made vulnerable and trophy force and effect. A super hero. I have many, to do any lengthy piece if I get cut or who can dance troupes as well as those arising from the court without the intention of being more than a beast after a ball, bodies twisted and brutal gestures perfect, made, looks huge , isolated from its context provoke anger in me that I start to dance. How will we dance? Or how to dance to that land? As a tangent and write vectors or paths from a given voltage, a look the thousand possibilities of action from a one-goal attempt or failed, a drop of a suspension. Stop time as the films of Zhang Yimou in which the actress or the warrior are suspended in the air for a while and could go or come or fall o. .. Then distilled, fragmented bodies hanging from this reality our own. I hate to acknowledge this compulsion became unaware of it: I began also to head off notes. Trim the holders of the notes sport and economy. Sandra Massoni, race director of the Communication University of Rosario - Argentina Consumers know that the data traffic means some or all of these dimensions and in doing so join us in our adventure to compute the world every day, pushing us to tell it, they encourage us, inspire us to nurture a particular version of the matter is treating the article or the interview and thats what connects us as we connect or disconnect with reality from our actions (page 12

Argentina) What words used to describe the flow and backflow of the system? I like that word, TRAFFIC Data What we read when we are seeing these super heroes entering the goal area? If we took them out of their texts? Where is located that word, as a floating island? I could see more clearly the evil in the communication system. I made a collection of headers give me reference to the state of things in the world, as the economy, finance, the chances of war, nuclear threat, and sports. I placed one by one in an endless string. A Map of situation from which I thought to dance. What is happening in Mogadishu while we dance? Its good to be so committed to the global reality to say something in the Dance? How Global is the reality? , From where an idea comes, that is innovative, which in turn has the degree of outrage enough that you can plant something and writing along with the viewer?. What are the mental resources that can make some change in our lives? How do I create a piece that has an emergency, my personal grounds and place it in a hidden struggle of all or a complaint or an idea of all without trying to make a banner, but to make it, while in Kenya continues to hunger, outraged Spain, the Middle East the fire delay democracy in Chile gas pumps up the dollar Buenos Aires, Mexico killed a militant of the peace march, premiered The skin I live, my street and asphalted landfill does not happen. Present three short texts, which I set up with the titles of the notes in economics and sports for 2009 2011 cut daily. The constructs were made at random, the prayers are the titles are so messed up.



Richard Dyer
In Defence of Disco by Richard Dyer was first published in the magazine Gay Left, Issue 8, in 1979 All my life Ive liked the wrong music. I never liked Elvis and rock n roll; I always preferred Rosemary Clooney. And since I became a socialist, Ive often felt virtually terrorized by the prestige of rock and folk on the Left. How could I admit to two Petula Clark LPs in the face of miners songs from the North East and the Rolling Stones? I recovered my nerve partially when I came to see show-biz music as a key part of gay culture, which, whatever its limitations, was a culture to defend. And I thought Id really made it when I turned on to Tamla Motown, sweet soul sounds, disco. Chartbusters already, and I like them! Yet the prestige of folk and rock, and now punk and (rather patronizingly, I think) reggae, still holds sway. Its not just that people whose politics I broadly share dont like disco; they manage to imply that it is politi480

cally beyond the pale to like it. Its against this attitude that I want to defend disco (which otherwise, of course, hardly needs any defence). Im going to talk mainly about disco music, but there are two preliminary points Id like to make. The first is that disco is more than just a form of music, although certainly the music is at the heart of it. Disco is also kinds of dancing, club, fashion, film- in a word, a certain sensibility, manifest in music, clubs, and so forth, historically and culturally specific, economically, technologically, ideologically, and aesthetically determined- and worth thinking about. Second, as a sensibility in music it seems to me to encompass more than what we would perhaps strictly call disco music, and include a lot of soul, Tamla, and even the later work of mainstream and jazz artists like Peggy Lee and Johnny Mathis. My defence is in two parts: first, a discussion of the arguments against disco in terms of its being capitalist music and, second, an attempt to think through the- ambivalently, ambiguously, contradictorily- positive qualities of disco. Disco and Capital Much of the hostility to disco stems from the equation of it with capitalism. Both in how it is produced and in what it expresses, disco is held to be irredeemably capitalistic. Now it is unambiguously the case that disco is produced by capitalist industry, and since capitalism is an irrational and inhuman mode of production, the disco industry is as bad as all the rest. Of course. However, this argument has assumptions behind it that are more problematic. These are of two kinds. One assumption concerns music as a mode of production, and has to do with the belief that it is possible in a capitalist society to produce things (e.g., music, such as rock and folk) that are outside of the capitalist mode of production. Yet quite apart from the general point that such a position seeks to elevate activity outside of existing struc481

tures rather than struggles against them, the two kinds of music most often set against disco as a mode of production are not really convincing. One is folk music - in the United Kingdom, people might point to Gaelic songs and industrial ballads - the kind of music often used, or reworked, in Left fringe theatre. These, it is argued, are not, like disco (and pop music in general), produced for the people, but by them. They are authentic peoples music. So they are -or rather were. The problem is that we dont live in a society of small, technologically simple communities such as produce such art. Preserving such music at best gives us a historical perspective on peasant and working-class struggle, at worst leads to nostalgia for a simple, harmonious communal existence that never even existed. More bluntly, songs in Gaelic or dealing with nineteenth-century factory conditions, beautiful as they are, dont mean much to most English-speaking people today. The other kind of music most often posed against disco, and pap pop at the level of how it is produced, is rock (including Dylan-type folk and everything from early rock n roll to progressive concept albums). The argument here is that rock is easily produced by non-professionals- all that is needed are a few instruments and somewhere to play whereas disco music requires the whole panoply of recording studio technology, which makes it impossible for nonprofessionals (the kid on the streets) to produce. The factual accuracy of this observation needs supplementing with some other observations. Quite apart from the very rapid - but then bemoaned by some purists - move of rock into elaborate recording studios, even when it is simple and producible by non-professionals, the fact is that rock is still quite expensive, and remains in practice largely the preserve of the middle class who can afford electric guitars, music lessons, and the like. (You have only to look at the biographies of those now professional rock musicians who started out in a simple

non-professional way - the preponderance of public school and university-educated young men in the field is rivalled only by their preponderance in the Labour party cabinet.) More important, this kind of production is wrongly thought of as being generated from the grassroots when, except perhaps at certain key historical moments, non-professional music making, in rock as elsewhere, bases itself, inevitably, on professional music. Any notion that rock emanates from the people is soon confounded by the recognition that what the people are doing is trying to be as much like professionals as possible. The second kind of argument based on the fact that disco is produced by capitalism concerns music as an ideological expression. Here it is assumed that capitalism as a mode of production necessarily and simply produces capitalist ideology. The theory of the relation between the mode of production and the ideologies of a particular society is too complicated and unresolved to be gone into here, but we can begin by remembering that capitalism is about profit. In the language of classical economics, capitalism produces commodities, and its interest in commodities is their exchange value (how much profit they can realize) rather than their use value (their social or human worth). This becomes particularly problematic for capitalism when dealing with an expressive commodity such as disco - since a major problem for capitalism is that there is no necessary or guaranteed connection between exchange value and use value. In other words, capitalism as productive relations can just as well make a profit from something that is ideologically opposed to bourgeois society as something that supports it. As long as a commodity makes a profit, what does it matter? Indeed, it is because of this dangerous, anarchic tendency of capitalism that ideological institutions - the church, the state, education, the family - are necessary. It is their job to make sure that what capitalism produces is in capitalisms

longer-term interests. However, since they often dont know that that is their job, they dont always perform it. Cultural production within capitalist society is, then, founded on two profound contradictions - the first between production for profit and production for use; the second, within these institutions whose job it is to regulate the first contradiction. What all this boils down to, in terms of disco, is that the fact that disco is produced by capitalism does not mean that it is automatically, necessarily, simply supportive of capitalism. Capitalism constructs the disco experience, but it does not necessarily know what it is doing, apart from making money. I am not now about to launch into a defence of disco music as some great subversive art form. What the arguments above lead me to is, first, a basic point of departure in the recognition that cultural production under capitalism is necessarily contradictory, and, second, that it may well be the case that capitalist cultural products are most likely to be contradictory at just those points - such as disco - where they are most commercial and professional, where the urge to profit is at its strongest. Third, this mode of cultural production has produced a commodity, disco, that has been taken up by gays in ways that may well not have been intended by its producers. The anarchy of capitalism throws up commodities that an oppressed group can take up and use to cobble together its own culture. In this respect, disco is very much like another profoundly ambiguous aspect of male gay culture, camp. It is a contrary use of what the dominant culture provides, it is important in forming a gay identity, and it has subversive potential as well as reactionary implications. The Characteristics of Disco Let me turn now to what I consider to be the three important characteristics of disco - eroticism, romanticism, and materialism. Im going to talk about them in terms of what it seems to me they mean within the con484

text of gay culture. These three characteristics are not in themselves good or bad (any more than disco music as a whole is), and they need specifying more precisely. What is interesting is how they take us to qualities that are not only key ambiguities within gay male culture, but have also traditionally proved stumbling blocks to socialists. Eroticism It can be argued that all popular music is erotic. What we need to define is the specific way of thinking and feeling erotically in disco. Id like to call it whole body eroticism, and to define it by comparing it with the eroticism of the two kinds of music to which disco is closest- popular song (i.e., the Gershwin, Cole Porter, Burt Bacharach type of song) and rock. Popular songs eroticism is disembodied: it succeeds in expressing a sense of the erotic that yet denies eroticisms physicality. This can be shown by the nature of tunes in popular songs and the way they are handled. Popular songs tunes are rounded off, closed, selfcontained. They achieve this by adopting a strict musical structure (AA BA) in which the opening melodic phrases are returned to and, most important, the tonic note of the song is also the last note of the tune. (The tonic note is the note that forms the basis for the key in which the song is written; it is therefore the harmonic anchor of the tune, and closing on it gives precisely a feeling of anchoring, coming to a settled stop.) Thus although popular songs often depart from their melodic and harmonic beginnings - especially in the middle section (B) - they also always return to them. This gives them- even at their most passionate, as in Cole Porters Night and Day- a sense of security and containment. The tune is not allowed to invade the whole of ones body. Compare the typical disco tune, which is often little more than an endlessly repeated phrase that drives beyond itself, is not

closed off. Even when disco music uses a popular song standard, it often turns it into a simple phrase. Gloria Gaynors version of Porters Ive got you under my skin, for instance, is in large part a chanted repetition of Ive got you. Popular songs lyrics place its tunes within a conceptualization of love and passion as emanating from inside, the heart or the soul. Thus the yearning cadences of popular song express an erotic yearning of the inner person, not the body. Once again, disco refuses this. Not only are the lyrics often more directly physical and the delivery more raunchy (e.g., Grace Joness I Need a Man), but, most important, disco is insistently rhythmic in a way that popular song is not. Rhythm, in Western music, is traditionally felt as being more physical than other musical elements such as melody, harmony, and instrumentation. This is why Western music is traditionally so dull rhythmically - nothing expresses our Puritan heritage more vividly. It is to other cultures that we have had to turn - above all to Afro-American culture - to learn about rhythm. The history of popular songs since the late nineteenth century is largely the history of the white incorporation (or ripping off) of black music - ragtime, the Charleston, the tango, swing, rock n roll, rock. Now what is interesting about this incorporation or ripping off is what it meant and means. Typically, black music was thought of by the white culture as being more primitive and more authentically erotic. Infusions of black music were always seen as (and often condemned as) sexual and physical. The use of insistent black rhythms in disco music, recognizable by the closeness of the style to soul and reinforced by such characteristic features of black music as the repeated chanted phrase and the use of various African percussion instruments, means that it inescapably signifies (in this white context) physicality. However, rock is as influenced by black music as dis486

co is. This then leads me to the second area of comparison between the eroticism of disco and rock. The difference between them lies in what each hears in black music. Rocks eroticism is thrusting, grinding - it is not whole body, but phallic. Hence it takes from black music the insistent beat and makes it even more driving; rocks repeated phrases trap you in their relentless push, rather than releasing you in an open-ended succession of repetitions as disco does. Most revealing perhaps is rocks instrumentation. Black music has more percussion instruments than white, and it knows how to use them to create all sorts of effects - light, soft, lively, as well as heavy, hard, and grinding. Rock, however, hears only the latter and develops the percussive qualities of essentially non-percussive instruments to increase this, hence the twanging electric guitar and the nasal vocal delivery. One can see how, when rock n roll first came in, this must have been a tremendous liberation from popular songs disembodied eroticism - here was a really physical music, and not just mealy-mouthed physical, but quite clear what it was about - cock. But rock confines sexuality to cock (and this is why, no matter how progressive the lyrics and even when performed by women, rock remains indelibly phallocentric music). Disco music, on the other hand, hears the physicality in black music and its range. It achieves this by a number of features, including the sheer amount going on rhythmically in even quite simple disco music (for rhythmic clarity with complexity, listen to the full-length version of the Temptations Papa Was a Rolling Stone); the willingness to play with rhythm, delaying it, jumping it, countering it rather than simply driving on and on (e.g., Patti Labelle, Isaac Hayes); the range of percussion instruments used and their different effect (e.g. the spiky violins in Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancocks Tell Me a Bedtime Story; the gentle pulsations of George Benson). This never stops being erotic, but it restores eroticism to the whole of the body and for both

sexes, not just confining it to the penis. It leads to the expressive, sinuous movement of disco dancing, not just that mixture of awkwardness and thrust so dismally characteristic of dancing to rock. Gay men do not intrinsically have any prerogative over whole-body eroticism. We are often even more cock oriented than non-gays of either sex, and it depresses me that such phallic forms of disco as Village People should be so gay identified. Nonetheless, partly because many of us have traditionally not thought of ourselves as being real men and partly because gay ghetto culture is also a space where alternative definitions, including those of sexuality, can be developed, it seems to me that the importance of disco in scene culture indicates an openness to a sexuality that is not defined in terms of cock. Although one cannot easily move from musical values to personal ones, or from personal ones to politically effective ones, it is at any rate suggestive that gay culture should promote a form of music that denies the centrality of the phallus while at the same time refusing the nonphysicality that such a denial has hitherto implied. Romanticism Not all disco music is romantic. The lyrics of many disco hits are either straightforwardly sexual - not to say sexist - or else broadly social (e.g., Detroit Spinners Ghetto Child, Stevie Wonders Living in the City), and the hard drive of Village People or Labelle is positively antiromantic. Yet there is nonetheless a strong strain of romanticism in disco. This can be seen in the lyrics, which often differ little from popular song standards, and indeed often are standards (e.g., What a Difference a Day Made by Esther Phillips, La vie en rose by Grace Jones). More impressively, it is the instrumentation and arrangements of disco music that are so romantic. The use of massed violins takes us straight back, via

Hollywood, to Tchaikovsky, to surging, outpouring emotions. A brilliant example is Gloria Gaynors Ive Got You under My Skin, where in the middle section the violins take a hint from one of Porters melodic phrases and develop it away from this tune in an ecstatic, soaring movement. This escape from the confines of popular song into ecstasy is very characteristic of disco music, and nowhere more consistently than in such Diana Ross classics as Reach Out and Aint No Mountain High Enough. This latter, with its lyrics of total surrender to love, its heavenly choir, and sweeping violins, is perhaps one of the most extravagant reaches of discos romanticism. But Ross is also a key figure in the gay appropriation of disco. What Rosss records do - and Im thinking basically of her work up to Greatest Hits volume 1 and the Touch Me in the Morning albums - is express the intensity of fleeting emotional contacts. They are all-out expressions of adoration that yet have built on to them the recognition of the (inevitably) temporary quality of the experience. This can be a straightforward lament for having been let down by a man, but more often it is both a celebration of a relationship and the almost willing recognition of its passing and the exquisite pain of its passing - Remember me / As a sunny day / That you once had / Along the way; If Ive got to be strong / Dont you know I need to have tonight when youre gone / When you go Ill lie here / And think about / the last time that you / Touch me in the morning. This last number, with Rosss unreally sweet, porcelain fragile voice and the string backing, concentrates that sense of celebrating the intensity of the passing relationship that haunts so much of her work. No wonder Ross is (was?) so important in gay male scene culture, for she both reflects what that culture takes to be an inevitable reality (that relationships dont last) and at the same time celebrates it, validates it. Not all disco music works in this vein, yet in both some

of the more sweetly melancholy orchestrations (even in lively numbers, like You Should Be Dancing from Saturday Night Fever) and some of the lyrics and general tone (e.g., Donna Summers Four Seasons of Love album), there is a carryover of this emotional timbre. At a minimum, then, discos romanticism provides an embodiment and validation of an aspect of gay culture. But romanticism is a particularly paradoxical quality of art to come to terms with. Its passion and intensity embody or create an experience that negates the dreariness of the mundane and everyday. It gives us a glimpse of what it means to live at the height of our emotional and experiential capacities - not dragged down by the banality of organized routine life. Given that everyday banality, work, domesticity, ordinary sexism, and racism are rooted in the structures of class and gender or this society, the flight from that banality can be seen as a flight from capitalism and patriarchy as lived experiences. What makes this more complicated is the actual situation within which disco occurs. Disco is part of the wider to and fro between work and leisure, alienation and escape, boredom and enjoyment that we are so accustomed to (and that Saturday Night Fever plugs into so effectively). Now this to and fro is partly the mechanism by which we keep going, at work, at home- the respite of leisure gives us the energy to work, and anyway we are still largely brought up to think of leisure as a reward for work. This circle locks us into it. But what happens in that space of leisure can be profoundly significant; it is there that we may learn about an alternative to work and to society as it is. Romanticism is one of the major modes of leisure in which this sense of an alternative is kept alive. Romanticism asserts that the limits of work and domesticity are not the limits of experience. I dont say that romanticism, with its passion and intensity, is a political ideal we could strive for - l doubt it is

humanly possible to live permanently at that pitch. What I do believe is that the movement between banality and something other than banality is an essential dialectic of society, a constant: keeping open of a gap between what is and what could or should be. Herbert Marcuse in the currently unfashionable One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society argues that our society tries to close that gap, to assert that what is is all that there could be, is what should be. For all its commercialism and containment within the to and fro between work and leisure, I think disco romanticism is one of the things that can keep the gap open, that can allow the experience of contradiction to continue. Since I also believe that political struggle is rooted in experience (though utterly doomed if left at it), I find this dimension of disco potentially positive. (A further romantic/utopian aspect of disco is realized in the non-commercial discos organized by gay and womens groups. Here a moment of community can be achieved, often in circle dances or simply in the sense of knowing people as people, not anonymous bodies. Fashion is less important, and sociability correspondingly more so. This can be achieved in smaller clubs, perhaps especially outside the centre of London, which, when not just grotty monuments to self-oppression, can function as supportive expressions of something like a gay community.) Materialism Disco is characteristic of advanced capitalist societies simply in terms of the scale of money squandered on it. It is a riot of consumerism, dazzling in its technology (echo chambers, double and more tracking, electric instruments), overwhelming in its scale (banks of violins, massed choirs, the limitless range of percussion instruments), lavishly gaudy in the mirrors and tat of discotheques, the glitter and denim flash of its costumes. Its tacky sumptuousness is well evoked in Thank God its Friday. Gone are the restraint of popu491

lar song, the sparseness of rock and reggae, the simplicity of folk. How can a socialist, or someone trying to be a feminist, defend it? In certain respects, it is doubtless not defensible. Yet socialism and feminism are both forms of materialism - why is disco, a celebration of materialism if ever there was one, not therefore the appropriate art form of materialist politics? Partly, obviously, because materialism in politics is not to be confused with mere matter. Materialism seeks to understand how things are in terms of how they have been produced and constructed in history, and how they can be better produced and constructed. This certainly does not mean immersing oneself in the material world - indeed, it includes deliberately stepping back from the material world to see what makes it the way it is and how to change it. But materialism is also based on the profound conviction that politics is about the material world, and indeed that human life and the material world are all there is; there is no God, there are no magic forces. One of the dangers of materialist politics is that it is in constant danger of spiritualizing itself, partly because of the historical legacy of the religious forms that brought materialism into existence, partly because materialists have to work so hard not to take matter at face value that they often end up not treating it as matter at all. Discos celebration of materialism is only a celebration of the world we are necessarily and always immersed in. Discos materialism, in technological modernity, is resolutely historical and cultural - it can never be, as most art claims for itself, an emanation outside of history and of human production. Discos combination of romanticism and materialism effectively tells us - lets us experience - that we live in a world of materials, that we can enjoy them but that the experience of materialism is not necessarily what the everyday world assures us it is. Its eroticism allows us to rediscover our bodies as part or this experience of materialism and the possibility

of change. If this sounds over the top, let one thing be clear - disco cant change the world or make the revolution. No art can do that, and it is pointless to expect it to. But partly by opening up experience, partly by changing definitions, art and disco can be used. To which one might risk adding the refrain, if it feels good, use it.




Marika Hedemyr
London March 1999

Introduction Postmodernism, as the overall character or direction of experimental tendencies in Western arts, architecture etc., is often associated with pastiche, parody, quotation, self referentially, and eclecticism . As the debate on postmodernism has developed, the following question has emerged: Does this style have a critical political meaning or effect, or is it - in Frederic Jamesons words - merely blank parody, a neutral practice devoid of any critical impulse or historical consciousness? (Rubin-Suleiman 1990: 323). This essay will highlight this question by outlining how postmodernisms concerns with aesthetics have intersected with feminisms political concern with social criticism. It will be argued that a postmodern artwork that at first might appear nonpolitical may reflect a political agenda, even if not explicitly intended. As an illustration thereof the work of the German

choreographer Pina Bausch and her Wuppertal Tanztheater will be discussed. At a first look her work can be said to fit well into the category of postmodern eclecticism, with her cinematic mixing of dance, theatre, speech, song, music, film etc. However, by examining her work through feminist theory it becomes apparent that her work also has a political edge, serving a feminist agenda. The discussion of Bauschs work will therefor also serve as an example of, as Ana Sanchez-Colberg (1993a: 153) puts it, a work that successfully exemplify aspects of feminist discourse within the dance at a structural level. how feminist discourse can be put into practice through dance. It should be noted that Bausch does not appropriate the emblem of feminism, but as Ana Sanchez-Colberg (1993a: 153) has expressed in her essay on feminism and Bausch: Whether or not [Bausch] uses the term feminism to name her work is irrelevant. What is of interest here is that certain performance/production/stylistic traits of Bauschs work are akin to aspects of feminist theory. Before entering into the discussion of postmodernism and feminism, it must be acknowledged that the both isms embrace a variety of theories and concerns. Within the realm of this essay, however, the scope will be selective to mainly focus on aspects of postmodernism and feminism that can assist in examining Pina Bauschs work. Postmodernism Theorists concerned with postmodern cultural practices (culture being understood as including a whole way of life) holds different opinions on postmodernisms ability to be political; Theorist Frederic Jameson, arguing from a Marxist perspective, presents postmodernism as the cultural logic of late capitalism which constitutes both a new cultural dominant and a new socioeconomic stage of capitalism (Kellner 1988: 258). To him postmodernism can not contain any political action but only ahistorical, empty

parody. The French theorist Jean Baudrillard holds a similar negative view on the political potential of a postmodern culture, but for different reasons. To Baudrillard postmodern society marks the advent of the era of a postindustrial postmodernity constituted by simulations, hyperreality, implosion and new forms of technology, culture and society. Furthermore, to him postmodern society is the site of an implosion of all boundaries, regions and distinctions between high and low culture, appearance and reality, and just about every other binary opposition maintained by traditional philosophy and social theory (Kellner 1988:242). For Baudrillard simulations dominates the social order to such an extent that there is no difference between the simulacra and the real. In this society, Baudrillard argues, the masses solely concern themselves with spectacle: Messages are given to them, they only want some sign, they idolize the play of signs and stereotypes, they idolize any content so long as it resolves itself into spectacular sequence (Baudrillard 1983:10 cited in Kellner 1988:245). To Baudrillard the postmodern scene is a scene of nihilism and meaninglessness, without joy, without energy, without hope for a better future and all that art can do is to recombine and play with the forms already produced (Kellner 1988:247). A different and more positive view on postmodernisms ability to be political is held by the French post-structuralist Jean-Francois Lyotard. He sees the postmodern as a cultural condition, defined as the breakdown of a single worldview, incredulity toward metanarratives, the rejection of metaphysical philosophy, philosophies of history and any form of totalizing thought be it Hegelianism, liberalism, Marxism or whatever. (Kellner 1988: 249). To Lyotard (1984: 26), lamenting the loss of meaning in postmodernity boils down to mourning the fact that knowledge is no longer principally narrative. Instead of engaging in total496

izing social theory and critique, Lyotard proposes more localised, heterogeneous microanalysis with little narratives (ibid.: 60), approached through language games. Yet, for Lyotard, even if these language games are the social bond (ibid: 10) holding society together, participation in language games involves conflict and struggle. Douglas Kellner sums Lyotards model of a postmodern society up as: one in which one struggles within various language games in an agonistic environment characterised by diversity, conflict and the difficulty even undesirability and diversity of an unforced consensus. Furthermore, postmodern knowledge for Lyotard involves knowledge of local terrains, and tolerance of a variety and diversity of different language games. (1988: 251)

A Political Potential: Postmodernism and Feminism Referring back to the initial question of postmodernisms political potential, an eventual political effect seems to be more likely in Lyotards version of postmodernism than in Jamesons or Baudrillards pessimistic world of passive masses. According to Lyotard, people are contrary to passive, seen as actively engaged in new ways of dealing with their world. Their methods differs from earlier methods of meta narrative, but these little narratives, tolerance of variety, and new language games are by no means less political. For example, engaging in local little narratives implies letting previously unheard voices tell their version of the contemporary world and its history. Craig Owens in his 1983 essay The Discourse of Others outlines how it is precisely at the legislative frontier between what can be represented and what cannot that the postmodern opera497

tion is being staged not in order to transcend representation, but in order to expose that system of power that authorises certain representations while blocking, prohibiting or invalidating others (1983: 334). At the end of the day representation is a question of politics, because it comes down to who has control over the representational systems. A challenge of the existing representational systems can therefore not be seen as anything else than a political act. Through the work of postmodernists it has become clear that the representational systems of the West admit only one vision that of the constitutive male subject - or, rather, they posit the subject of representation as absolute centred, unitary, masculine (Owens 1983: 334). Consequently, as this subject has been challenged, the previous unheard voices of the so-called Others (women, gay rights activists, ethnic minorities, etc.) have become heard . Since women belong to the Others, their visions have been blocked and invalidated. This is what feminism argues. But for feminism this is not only a question of aesthetics. It is actually a question of politics. Moreover, as the feminist writer Toril Moi (1985: 148) points out, feminism is not simply about rejecting power, but about transforming the existing power structures and, in the process, transforming the very concept of power itself. Feminism Feminism takes its starting point in the patriarchal structure of society, referring to power relations in which womens interests are subordinated to the interests of men. Feminists argue that patriarchal power rests on the social meanings given to biological sexual difference. These power relations take many forms, from the sexual division of labour to the internalised norms of femininity by which women live (Weedon 1987: 2). The internalised norms have received special attention from feminists, and as outlined by Judith

Butler, it has thus become clear that the personal is implicitly political inasmuch as it is conditioned by shared social structures, but the personal has also been immunized against political challenge to the extent that public/private distinctions endure. For feminist theory, then, the personal becomes an expansive category, one which accommodates, if only implicitly, political structures usually viewed as public (1990: 273-4) From within feminism, there is a range of ways of understanding the meaning and implications of patriarchy, resulting in different forms of feminist politics liberal, separatist and socialist (Weedon 1987: 4). The range of contemporary feminism offers different ways for women to see themselves as women and implies different long-term strategies for change, but all of them involve assumptions about sex, gender, femininity, masculinity, lesbianism, identity and change. Feminists holds that gender, as fixed sexual identity, has been established as a social construct to maintain patriarchal order and interest. Gender identity and constitution have therefore come under scrutiny, feminists making an appeal for gender as difference instead of binary oppositions. According to feminist writer Chris Weedon, for a theoretical perspective to be politically useful for feminists, it should be able to recognize the importance of the subjective in constituting the meaning of womens lived reality. It should not deny subjective experience, since the ways in which people make sense of their lives is a necessary starting point for understanding how power relations structure society. (ibid.:8)


Furthermore, in both American and French radical feminist theory, language is central. In rewriting the meaning of feminine or of femaleness, feminists make language the site of struggle over meaning which is a prerequisite for political change. Feminisms concerns do echo much of Lyotards characteristics of postmodernism; the little narratives (or the histories of the Others), acceptance of variety and difference, and the engagement in language games. It must be noted though, that even if feminism and postmodernism share these concerns, they arrived there differently. Fraser & Nicholson in their 1988 essay Social Criticism without Philosophy explores how both feminism and postmodernism have sought to develop new paradigms of social criticism which do not rely on traditional philosophical underpinnings. But, as Fraser and Nicholson points out, feminism and postmodernism have proceeded from opposite directions: Postmodernists have focused primarily on the philosophy side of the problem. They have begun by elaborating antifoundational metaphilosophical perspectives and from there have gone on to draw conclusions about the shape and character of social criticism. For feminists, on the other hand, the question of philosophy has always been subordinate to an interest in social criticism. So they have begun by developing critical political perspectives and from there have gone on to draw conclusions about the status of philosophy. (1988: 373-4) As a result of the difference in emphasis and direction, the two tendencies have ended up with complementary strengths and weaknesses. Fraser and Nicholson proposes that an encounter between the two might integrate their re500

spective strengths while eliminating their respective weaknesses, proposing that this is the prospect of a postmodernist feminism (ibid.). Another aspect that must be accounted for when discussing feminism and postmodernism is, as Susan RubinSuleiman (1990: 322) points out, that with postmodernism for the first time in history of avant-gardes (or in history tout court), there exists a critical mass of outstanding, innovative work by women, both in the visual arts and in literature. She raises the question of how the specificity, whether sexual or political, of womens work within a larger movement affects ones understanding of the movement itself (ibid.: 321). With the above outlined intersecting interests of feminism and postmodernism, together with the large number of active women in art, Rubin-Suleiman is partly answering the question herself by maintaining that feminism; provided for postmodernism a concrete political edge, or wedge, that could be used to counter the accusatory pessimism of a Baudrillard or a Jameson: for if there existed a genuinely feminist postmodern practice, then postmodernism could no longer be seen only as the expression of a fragmented, exhausted culture steeped in nostalgia for a lost centre (ibid.) Systems of representation as well as representations of the body and gender are from a feminist perspective not only a question of aesthetics, but can also be used to contest the patriarchal order by challenging the traditional representations of body and gender. Feminist theorists have both forwarded and employed a number of strategies, but this study will focus firstly on gender as constructed and performative. Since the human body is known as gendered (we know the body as her or his body), it can be argued that every representation

of the body is political. Writer Toril Moi (1985: 14) further points out that a theory that demands the deconstruction of sexual identity is indeed authentically feminist. Secondly, this study will focus on the French feminist theorists suggestion to use language as a subversive tool. Finally, how these theories have an influence on the meaning of a postmodern artwork will be taken into consideration. In relation to these feminist concerns, the work of Pina Bausch will be discussed. The effect of the discussion of Bausch can be said to be three-fold; firstly it can illustrate how a non-overtly artwork might serve a political agenda. Secondly it can be said to illustrate feminist theory in practice, and lastly, the feminist theory can help to clarify certain features of Bauschs work. Feminist Theory and Bausch Ana Sanchez-Colberg (1993a: 153) points out that one of the first parallels between Bauschs and feminist theory is their concern for the nature and shades of human experience. Bausch is primarily concerned with the body (as opposed to movement) and explores how experience is transmitted via the body. This has been described as a typical feature of Tanztheater, together with, as Birringer (1986: 96) puts it, its deliberate insistence on questioning the conditions of social performance themselves those gender-identified roles and behaviours that determine our relationship to each other and to other culture at large. Birringer outlines furthermore how in Bauschs works we are confronted directly with the gestus of conventions and internalized norms we no longer see. For example, in Dont be Afraid (1976), the seducer repeatedly sings Look at me dont be afraid in a soft voice before he throws the woman to the ground and rapes her. The woman, who resisted the seduction for a long time, then gets up and joins a whorish company of men and women in colourful

slips and corsets. They dance the hilarious, crossdressed dance of victims who have grown tough and professional (1986: 87) By proceeding from the insight that social conditions manifest themselves just as much via body control, Pina Bauschs work, even though she may not directly intend it, make an essential contribution to the Feminist agenda. Gender as Constructed and Performative Feminist writer Judith Butler, in her essay Performative Acts and Gender Constitution (1990: 271), elaborates on gender as performative. She does not deny the biological dimension of the body, but reconceives it as distinct from the process by which the body comes to bear cultural meaning. Contrary to theories claiming that behaviour, postures and gestures are expressive of the biological sex, Butler suggests that gender is in no way a stable identity or locus of agency from which various acts proceed; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time an identity instituted through a stylized repetition of acts. (ibid: 270 emphasis in original). Butler stresses that the body suffers a certain cultural construction in two related ways. Firstly through conventions that sanction and proscribe how one acts ones body, and secondly in the tacit conventions that structure the way the body is culturally perceived (Butler 1990: 274-5). Over the last decade, that sex, gender and heterosexuality are historical products, which have become conjoined and reified as natural over time, has become exposed and criticised. But Butler maintains that unless the mundane manner in which these constructs are produced, reproduced, and maintained within the field of bodies (ibid: 276) is challenged, the critique will not have a real radical edge. She therefore advances a view of gender as performative, claiming that in its very character as performative resides the possibility of contest503

ing its reified status (ibid: 271). Pina Bausch often takes her point of departure in stereotypical roles of male and female. Throughout the work, however, these gender classifications are made to disintegrate. This is mainly achieved through cross-dressing, but a cross-dressing that goes beyond mere transvestism. For example, as Sanchez-Colberg describes (1992: 240), in Carnations, Arien, Two Cigarettes in the Dark, and Dont Be Afraid, men give up their suits and put on gowns similar to the womans. But the men do not stop doing manly things; they continue to partner the women, they do not attempt to hide moustaches, hairy chests. The result is that aspects of the other (the female) which were excluded from the original representation of the male are superimposed. The audiences conventional meaning of male and female shift via the juxtaposition created by the layering of seemingly incongruous visual signs. The boundaries between male and female are diffused, and the gender roles lose their fixed values. It can also be argued that the deliberate use of costumes, something that is put on, illustrates feminisms view on gender as something constructed and superimposed, not biologically determined. But it is not only the outer visible appearance that matter in the constitution of gender roles. Feminist theory has also shown how language plays an important part in upholding the meaning of male and female as polarised and fixed gender roles. Language as Subversive Tool As mentioned earlier, in both American and French radical feminist theory, language is central as the site of struggle over meaning. French feminist writing especially, has been concerned with language as a location from where to contest the patriarchal order. French feminist writer Luce Irigaray has pointed out that when it comes to written discourse, as a woman under patriarchy, she has

no language of her own but can only (at best) imitate male discourse, her own writing must inevitably be marked by this. She cannot pretend to be writing in some pure feminist realm outside patriarchy: if her discourse is to be received as anything other than incomprehensible chatter, she must copy male discourse. (Moi 1985: 140) Over the years, feminist writers and thinkers have both suggested and employed a number of different tactics to negotiate this problem. For example, Luce Irigaray has forwarded overdone mimicry, and Mary Ellman has suggested an ironic discourse. These tactics will here be used to examine Pina Bauschs representation of the body and gender on stage. Furthermore, Julia Kristeva have made an appeal for the poetic language, and the structure thereof can be seen as an analogy to the structure of Bauschs work Overdone Mimicry and Ironic Discourse Luce Irigaray, in her doctoral thesis Spculum de lautre femme (Speculum of the other woman, 1974), whose style owes much to the techniques of deconstructive criticism, suggests that one way of disturbing and disrupting the patriarchal logic of how the feminine finds itself determined in discourse is through mimeticism, or the mimicry of male discourse (Moi 1985: 139). Irigaray, as mentioned above, holds that the only way for a woman to be heard in the patriarchal order is by mimicry of the male discourse. But, if the mimicry becomes a conscious acting out of the mimetic position allocated to all women under patriarchy, the mimicry doubles it back on itself, thus raising the parasitism to the second power. Toril Moi outlines how Irigarays mimicry is a theatrical staging of the mime: miming the miming imposed on women. She further outlines how Irigarays subtle specular move (her mimicry mirrors that of all woman) in505


tends to undo the effects of phallocentric discourse simply by overdoing them. (ibid: 140) But as Toril Moi points out, the political efficacy of female mimicry depends on the context provided by the womans miming. If the mimicry fails it is because it ceases to be perceived as such: it is no longer merely a mockery of the absurdities of the male, but a woman speaking like a man: Margaret Thatcher is a case in point (ibid: 142-3). Irigarays tactic can be used to examine Bauschs representation of ideal bodies on stage. When watching Pina Bauschs dancers, one is struck by how astonishing beautiful they are. Moreover, the heels are impossibly high, the make-up impeccable, the suits knife-sharp and the frocks [ever so] elegant (Bartlett 1999: 6). However, as Ana Sanchez-Colberg (1993a: 154) points out, while the work unfolds, the dramaturgy of the Bauschian body does not reinforce this official image, but is rather at odds with it; More often than not the dancers appear uncomfortable with the roles they inhabit: the woman dresses are too tight, too short, they brush their hair a little too hard, the brassiere straps show, heels are too high, shoe sizes too small. In addition to this, Bauschs physical treatment of the body on stage shows the hidden, close to the skin, subconscious, psychological, repressed aspects of the marginalised body (ibid.) - a treatment that goes against the ideal image of the body both in life and in dance. On centre stage, bodies kiss, pinch, pet, slap, stroke, spit, cry, eat, sweat, pant, dress, undress, show their ticks, scars and habits, play with peat, leaves and water. (ibid.) The result, when the dancers impeccable appearance are set against the marginalised physical treatment of the body, is that their appearance, initially perceived as an ideal, stands out as mimicry of the ideal, or what is best described as Irigarays overdone mimicry of the ideal body. A strategy similar to Irigarays overdone mimicry has been suggested by Mary Ellman in her 1968 essay Think506

ing About Women. In this work Ellman both forwards and employs an ironic discourse to deconstruct the concept of gender. Writer Toril Moi (1985: 38) outlines how the result is a deconstructive and decentring style and how it is precisely through the use of satirical devices that Ellman manages to demonstrate first that the very concepts of masculinity and femininity are social constructs which refer to no real essence in the world, and second that the feminine stereotypes she describes invariably deconstruct themselves (ibid: 36). Furthermore, she demonstrates that such stereotypes only existence is as verbal constructs in the service of ruling patriarchal ideology (ibid: 38). As part of her deconstructive project, Ellman therefore recommends exploiting the sexual stereotypes for all they are worth for [feminisms] own political purposes. (ibid: 39, emphasis in original) Exploiting the sexual stereotypes - this is actually a key element in Pina Bauschs work. In an interview with Norbert Servos 1978 she describes how in her work the themes are always to do with man-woman relationships (Servos 1984: 227). In his interpretation of Bausch, Jay Kaplan (1987: 76) argues that Bauschs treatment of gender does reflect the biologically deterministic or radical feminism that predominates among German feminists. He further argues that Bauschs feminism is a grim world-view which proclaims biology is destiny. It is male nature to dominate women, and love is a continuation by other means of the battle of the sexes. He also outlines how Bausch presents these circumstances not as historical forces or local conditions, but as timeless and rootless, apparently eternal verities. This argument may be valid for certain aspects of Bauschs treatment of gender, as for example in Rite of Spring and Bluebeard,

which both present men and women as separate, agonistic groups (Sanchez-Colberg 1992: 239). Johannes Birringer (1986: 92) describes how in Rite of Spring the ritual dance was constantly repeated to the point of total exhaustion as a metaphor for the well rehearsed behaviour of men following the rules of society and selecting women as sacrificial victims, even as the women themselves envision and anticipate the selection. Nevertheless, Bauschs treatment of gender deserves further consideration. Bausch does, as mentioned above, take her point of departure in the pre-determined roles of male and female. However, as has been outlined earlier, these initial stereotypical gender classifications often disintegrate through the unfolding of the work, especially through the use of cross-dressing. But if one stops for a moment to return to Ellmans theories, one might, instead of following Kaplans view of Bauschs work as pessimistic representation of an eternal fixed situation, read Bauschs work through Ellmans theory; the exploiting of the sexual stereotypes might then instead be read as mounted to an almost ironic level, and thereby becoming obvious to the viewer. If the construction of these stereotypes becomes obvious to the viewer, a first step might be taken in the feminist project of undoing the fixed stereotypical gender roles. The use of a Poetic Language Yet another subversive use of language, as a tool to contest the patriarchal order, has been forwarded by French post-structuralist Julia Kristeva; the use of a poetic language. In her essay Word Dialogue and Novel she outlines how the poetic word, polyvalent and multi-determined, adheres to a logic exceeding that of codified discourse and fully comes into being only in the margins of recognized culture. She describes how the poetic language is read as at least double; both as a dialogue between the subject and addressee, as well as an ambivalence between the text and

its context (its history and society). Hence, the notion of intertextuality replaces that of intersubjectivity (Kristeva 1966: 36-37). She goes on to outline that the logic of poetic language (which she also calls dream logic) is to be found in carnival, since carnivalesque discourse breaks through the laws of language censored by grammar and semantics and, at the same time, is a social protest. She maintains that there is no equivalence, but rather, identity between challenging official linguistic codes and challenging official law. (ibid.: 36) Kristeva sees carnivalism as a space where texts meet, contradict and relativize each other through extensive use of repetition, illogical constructions and non-exclusive oppositions (Moi 1986: 34). Ana Sanchez-Colberg in her 1993 essay on feminism and Bausch (1993a: 157-8) elaborates on the use of a poetic language of the body within dance, outlining how Bauschs manipulations of dances spatio/temporal dimensions are analogous to the structures of the poetic language as defined by Kristeva. She outlines how in Bauschs work the action occurs in a non-sequential parade of scenes of no chronological order. It makes no attempt to develop a monologic narrative containing elements such as character, subject development, exposition, climax, development and denouement. Time in the context of Bauschs production ... contains paradox inasmuch as the physical imagery repeated through time carries a dialogue between change and continuity. (ibid.: 158) Sanchez-Colberg further maintains that Tanztheaters choice of a poetic structure rather than a logical one guarantees the communication at an emotive level and moreover, allows for plurality and multiplicity of the bodys narrative which it aims for (ibid.). Julia Kristeva insists on the

subversive political effects of such language, because of its ability to escape the dominant tradition of Aristotelian monologism (Moi 1986: 35) or any logic, binary discourse since each text is a mosaic, an infinity of pairings and combinations (Kristeva 1966: 37, 40) between the subject, addressee, and context. Instead of creating a specific signification, the result is an accumulation of meanings. This is the consequence of taking the intertextuality into account. The Meaning of a Postmodern Artwork When Julia Kristeva introduced her concept of intertextuality, it led to an understanding that the meaning of a text or an artwork is no longer to be found in its immanent structure, but in its context. Since the meaning in an artwork, according to these theories, are no longer hermeneutic but contextual, to find out what it does (its meaning) the whole text must be taken as ones object. This implies studying its ideological, political and psychoanalytical articulations, its relation with society, with the psyche and - not least - with other texts (Moi 1985: 156). Rubin-Suleiman (1990: 320) has proposed that if postmodern practice in the arts has provoked controversy and debate, it is because of what it does (or does not do), not because of what it is. In other words, she suggests that it is an object to be read, an intervention in the sense of an action or a statement requiring a response, rather than as an object of descriptive poetics. Norbert Servos (1980: 436), elaborating on Pina Bauschs dance theatre as a theatre of experience, is addressing this shift from hermeneutics to intertextuality when he writes that the irritatingly new element in Pina Bauschs works demands a new understanding of dance. He sees Bauschs work as a starting point for an expanded definition of dance that is based on two aspects: first, the impossibility of a hermeneutic scheme of interpretation; second, the changed receptivity that these works presume. For feminism, whose focus is

mainly political, the shift from hermeneutics to intertextuality has the effect of displacing an eventual political effect of an artwork from the work to its readings and readers, which has the advantage of moving the debate from the question of what the artwork is to the question of what it does in a particular place, for a particular public ... at a particular time (Rubin-Suleiman 1990: 324). The politics of intertextuality is displaced to the reading and the readers. To take an example, Bauschs bodies on stage are recognised as contemporary and beautiful. Neil Bartlett (1999: 7) describes his reaction to these bodies: Here are bodies I recognise, not bodies from the dance museum. I feel, while the show lasts, that these are our bodies, my body, in my time, moving in a way that no one has ever moved them before, speaking to me, speaking for me. Despite this, through Bauschs treatment of these bodies, she: takes away the pleasure of recognition which gives us the economy of physical and emotional expenditure which is associated with classical aesthetic contemplation. ... The pieces elude a classical hermeneutic approach to meaning. Once Bausch opens the signifier, it remains open and mutable (Sanchez-Colberg 1993a: 160). Interpretation of her work thereby remains personal and individual. Bausch herself is aware of these multiple readings of her works, suggesting that: You can see it like this or like that. It just depends on the way you watch. But the single stranded thinking that they interpret into it isnt right. You can always watch the other way. (Bausch cited in Hoghe 1990: 71)


Bauschs work is constantly re-interpreted, and could be labelled as truly postmodern in the sense that she rejects both a single view and a single author in favour for a more local and personal reading of the story. Conclusion As has been outlined, an eclectic, fragmented artwork in the postmodern genre is not necessarily devoid of political potential. Neither is postmodernism (as a general movement) when its concerns are examined from a feminist perspective. From a feminist perspective, systems of representation and representations of the body and gender are not only a question of aesthetics, but also a question of politics. Through the examination of the work of German choreographer Pina Bausch and her Wuppertal Tanztheater from a feminist perspective, it becomes clear how an artwork, which at first might appear non-political, can be interpreted to reflect a political agenda, even if not explicitly presented as such. It is interesting to note that Pina Bausch does not only, as earlier mentioned, reject the emblem feminism, but in fact resists any labelling of her work. Definitions can certainly be constructive, but they can also be constraining. Writer Toril Moi (1985: 159) points out how many French feminists reject labels and names, and isms in particular - even feminism and sexism - because they see such labelling activity as betraying a phallogocentric drive to stabilize, organize and rationalize our conceptual universe. This analogy is not to be taken as a proposition that Pina Bausch is a feminist behind the surface, but rather to highlight the conscious choice of refusal of labelling, as it would be contrary to an oeuvre which is fundamentally about the dissolution of classification (Sanchez-Colberg 1993a: 152). In describing her point of departure, Pina Bausch offers herself an alternative understanding of her work:

Basically one wants to say something which cannot be said, so we make a poem where one can feel what is meant. You see it, and you know it without being able to formulate it. (Pina Bausch cited in Birringer 1986: 92) The key to understanding Pina Bauschs work is not to be found in a single ism, a single explanation, or from a single viewpoint. It is instead to be found in the work itself and in the effect it creates in the viewer by his or her own reading. And therein lies its political potential.

For a discussion on postmodernism in arts and architecture, see Charles Jencks in Jencks, Charles (ed.) (1992) The Postmodern Reader. London; Academy Editions The concept of the Other was coined by feminist Simone de Beauvoir as early as 1949 in her seminal work The Second Sex. Her main thesis in this work is that throughout history, women have been reduced to objects for men: woman has been constructed as mans Other, denied the right to her own subjectivity and to responsibility for her own actions. Beauvoir outlines how these fundamental assumptions dominate all aspects of social, political and cultural life and, equally important, how women themselves internalize this objectified vision. Beauvoir, arguing from an existential perspective, sums her view up in her famous statement One is not born a woman; one becomes one (Moi 1985: 92). From a psychonalaytic perspective the concept of Other was then introduced in the mid sixties by Jaques Lacan in his post-structuralist reading of Freud. Lacans theories have been picked up by the new generation of French feminist theorists (Moi 1985: 99). Today, both in feminist and postmodern theory, the concept of the Other is generally used to indicate the one(s) who are not the speaking subject. It is particularly used in conjunction with little narratives, histories which are also named histories of the Others.




Michael J. Shapiro

Cormac McCarthys Deformation of John Fords West Theres a striking moment of ambiguity in a scene in John Fords film My Darling Clementine (1946). Its time for the famous showdown at the O.K Corral. As the scene opens the viewer is looking down the street toward the Corral. Its dark, and as the dawn sky begins to lighten, a shape that looks like one of the large buttes in Monument Valley (where eight of Fords westerns have been shot) begins to emerge. However, as it becomes light enough to discern the figure with that shape, it turns out to be the hat worn by the patriarch of the Clanton gang, Old Man Clanton (Walter Brennan). Lest the viewer has forgotten how that shape has been impressed in her/his memory bank, as the camera cuts to Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda), Doc Holiday (Victor Mature), and Wyatts brother, Morgan (Ward Bond), approaching for the decisive gun battle, the butte whose shape the hat repli514

cates precisely can be seen in the background, over Wyatts left shoulder. The homology between a synecdoche of the human (the hat) and the landscape is central to the Ford effect, which Gilles Deleuze captures in his remark about Fords western milieu as an encompasser. In his words, Fords West is a place where the milieu encompasses the people. (1986: 146). Cormac McCarthys novel Blood Meridian (1992), which offers a darker, more violent West than is created in John Fords cinematic corpus, also provides a radical entanglement between peoplescapes and landscapes. Fords landscapes, mixed with ultimately hopeful collective becomings, are softened by an idealized transition that is spoken by another character in My Darling Clementine, the eponymous Clementine (Cathy Downs), who refers to the changing of a wilderness into a garden. Although McCarthys Blood Meridian contains numerous wilderness references, his wilderness is not softened with agricultural tropes and the prospect of civilized settlement. Rather than a space of expanding settlement, McCarthys western landscape is a killing field, a nature, which as Nietzsche famously put it, has no opinion of us. It is without sponsorship, divine or otherwise - anti-Edenic as Susan Kollin puts it (2001: 562). And in McCarthys rendering, it has Gothic overtones, in contrast with the pastoral yearnings that Fords landscapes attract. As is well known, the Gothic genre abandons the rational individualist desire to draw strong boundaries between self and world. However, unlike Fords inter-articulations between territory and character, McCarthys Gothic mood leaves no one or thing benefitting from the personspace encounters. Rather than a paean to Euro-American nation-building, Blood Meridian provides a critical countermemory to the narrative of modern political development, which represses violent encounter and dispossession. While Fords cowboys, nomadic and unsettled though they are,

function primarily as vehicles for legitimating (white) settlement, McCarthys function as vehicles for disclosing a history of cynical violence and exploitation. Unlike the ideals, expressed by Fords characters, which provide the political imaginaries through which the West-as-becoming shape his cinematic narratives, McCarthys writing as Robert Penn Warren puts it, has, line by line, the stab of actuality (1992). That stab of actuality has a historical basis. While most of Fords characters are invented idealizations (even the historical Wyatt Earp bore little comparison with Fords version), many of McCarthys are based on actual historical personages, whose character and actions closely resemble McCarthys novelistic reproductions (Sepich, 2008). In what follows, I pursue the Ford-McCarthy contrast to treat the critical political insights and ethical injunctions that McCarthys Blood Meridian provide as alternatives to the more familiar Ford versions. While Fords films, which also have their dark sides, ultimately deliver regulative ideals that affirm and even celebrate a Euro-American ethnogenesis, a whitening of the North American continent (Boelhower, 1986), McCarthys novel offers critical versions of the violence attending the euphemistic trope of nationbuilding, while at the same time offering a philosophical meta-commentary on Americas inter-ethnic western experience, especially in the contested border areas where Spanish, Native and Euro Americans conducted geo- and biopolitical struggles. Among other things, Blood Meridian offers both another powerful version of Melvilles The metaphysics of Indian Hating, (in his The Confidence Man) and a glimpse of another form of violent enmity, a metaphysics of Mexican or Hispanic hating. Two characters in Blood Meridian are the primary vehicles for McCarthys deformation of Fords West, the kid, whom I will designate as the primary aesthetic subject, and the judge, who functions as the primary philosophical subject, or conceptual persona (Deleuze and

Guattari, 1996). Well before John Fords cinematic Western dramas became the most familiar popular culture narrative and set of images of Euro-Americas expanding possession of the North American Continent, genres generated earlier - paintings, stories and histories - held favored places in the public imagination of the taming of the West. Land- and peoplescape canvases collaborated with a variety of other genres in legitimating the completion of the Euro-American control of the continental United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For example, the novels of James Fenimore Cooper and the juridical discourse issued by Chief Justice John Marshall both addressed the problem of translating American claims in the face of the nations Revolutionary origins and the Indians prior claims (Scheckel, 1998: 19). They used the categories of race and patrimony to locate the English and the Indians in a narrative of kinship and inheritance as ancestors willingly bestowing their authority and property on their rightful American heirs (Ibid.). And Euro American novelists collaborated in the appropriation of native American provenances by relocating the Indian as an anachronistic presence. As Teresa Goddu points out, nineteenth American novelists, lacking the Gothic props of the English tradition (gloomy castles, antiquities, hoary mysteries), gothicized the Indian. This aesthetic gesture solved two problems: The translation of the Indian into a Gothic form solved the problem of how to create a uniquely American literature and also provided a discourse that justified the nations expansion (1997: 56). Thereafter, various writers and artists collaborated in the process of symbolically clearing the continent of a Native American presence, while infectious diseases, the destruction of Buffalo herds, and the US army were largely effacing their physical presence. Three textual productions, a historical epic by Theodore Roosevelt, a series of cowboy stories by Owen Wister, and the paintings

of Frederick Remington collaborated in constructing a deserved Anglo presence in the West. Their texts constituted much of what the U.S.s Euro-American population came to know about their continental acquisition. As I have noted elsewhere, in his epic, The Winning of the West, Roosevelt:
alternatively depopulates and repopulates the West. He justifies the expansion of white America in some places by claiming that they are occupying waste spaces visited only a week or two every year and in others by having ;savage and formidable foes fighting heroic settlers with fierce and dogged resistance, virtually every step of the way. Adding a biopolitical corollary to his romantic soldatesque and reproducing the anti-Spanish sentiment that was integral to English imperialism, Roosevelt praises the English race for maintaining its ethnic integrity by exterminating or driving off the Native Americans rather than, like the Spanish in their colonial venues, sitting down in their midst and becoming a mixed race (Shapiro 2004: 187).

Roosevelts friend, the writer Owen Wister, helped to popularize Roosevelts view of the superiority of the English race in much of his fiction. For example, in his story, The Evolution of the Cowpuncher, he features an English nobleman who, after ending up in Texas, adapts rapidly because of his superior horsemanship and marksmanship (188). The painter, Frederick Remington, a friend of both Roosevelt and Wister supported their biopolitical conceits by depicting their invention of the cowboy as a legacy of the English aristocracy. Among the paintings with which he lent visual support to their narrative of the Anglo legacy is his Last Cavalier (1895), which shows a cowboy in the foreground against a background that consists of a faded panorama of historical horsemen, of which the most prominent are generations of English knights (189). In addition, Remington did the illustrations for many of Wisters stories in Colliers magazine, which represented the West as an evolving (and whitening) social order. By the mid twentieth century, the role of the art historical paintings of Remington and others in the legitimating of Euro-Americas western expansion was being rapidly

displaced by cinema, especially the films of John Ford. His first notable western was Stagecoach (1943), a film in which the narrative suggests that the white occupants of a westward traveling stage coach demonstrate the level of superior moral worthiness that suits them to displace a menacing Indian presence and a capricious Hispanic one in the West. In that film, as in subsequent ones, Euro Americas continental ethnogenesis is figured as the locating of the (white) family on the land. Stagecoach (1939), Fords first film starring John Wayne (as the Ringo Kid) is among his less critical versions of an increasingly Anglo-dominated West. As a legitimating cinematic narrative, what is central is a sorting process, a selection of character types that are to become part of the dominant national culture. In Stagecoach, the West is presented as an evolving social order that is to become assimilated into the Euro American, geopolitical and social space. The occupants of the stagecoach journey, which supplies the primary narrative and image spaces of the film, a disparate and often feuding group of types, are a microcosm of that evolving social order. While constituting a tribute to the historic expansion of a tolerant social democracy, the films Anglo characters, a southern gentleman gambler, a prostitute, a soldiers pregnant wife, an outlaw, an alcoholic Doctor, a liquor salesman, and a banker are, despite their lack of social cohesion, a group of types represented for all their flaws as part of a Euro American-dominated future. They are represented as destined to displace unreliable Hispanics and dangerous savages, who are depicted, during the stagecoachs various stops, as characterologically unfit to negotiate a shared political order. While the romantic part of the story, in which the Ringo Kid and the ex-prostitute, Dallas, become a couple, is one aspect of the films resolution, its more general historical resolution involves the successful incursion of white society into Indian country. Nevertheless, the film conveys some

ambivalence about that success, primarily through its use of irony - for example the exaggerated fright reactions of the travelers when they encounter an Indian woman, who is the wife of a Mexican managing one of the stagecoach stations. For the most part, however, the Indians are simply a menace in the western landscape. Their attack on the stagecoach is repulsed, thanks to the heroics of the Ringo Kid and the lastminute arrival of the cavalry, which is depicted as an effective arm of the reach of white governance. The Searchers (1956), arguably Fords most significant western (also shot in Monument Valley), rearticulates the Ford trope of the family on the land. The opening scene of is both cinematically powerful and narratively expansive. It is shot from inside the cabin of Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) brothers cabin, providing a view of a vast expansive of prairie, from which Edwards is approaching. Edwards, a loner who is headed west after having fought on the Confederate side in the Civil War, is part of a historical migration. He represents one type among the many kinds of bodies that flowed westward after Euro America emerged from the fratricidal conflict of the Civil War and was then free to turn its attention to another venue of violence, the one involved in the forced displacement of indigenous America. Edwardss approach is observed by his sister-in-law from her front porch, which, architecturally, plays a role in designating the house as a refuge from outer threats. In a lyrical soliloquy by a character in an Alessandro Baricco novel, the porch is aptly described as being:
inside and outside at the same timeit represents an extended thresholdIts a no mans land where the idea of protected place which every house, by its very existence, bears witness to, in fact embodies - expands beyond its own definition and rises up again, undefended, as if to posthumously resist the claims of the open...One could even say that the porch ceases to be a frail echo of the house it is attached to and becomes the confirmation of what the house just hints at: the ultimate sanction of the protected place, the solution of the theorem that the house merely states (2003:158-59).

Shortly after the opening shot, we are taken inside the cabin of the resident Edwards family. They are part of an earlier movement westward that established what Virginia Wexman identifies as part of an American nationalist ideology, the Anglo couple or family on the land (1996: 131). The couple (Edwards brother and his wife) and their children are participants in the romantic ideal of the adventurous white family, seeking to spread Euro Americas form of laboring domesticity westward in order to settle and civilize what was viewed from the East as a violent untamed territory, containing peoples/nations unworthy of participating in an American future. By the end of the film, after the five-year long search for Debbie, who has been abducted by Comanches, the relationship between the searchers, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) and his nephew Martin has softened. Early in the film, Ethan expresses contempt for Martins part Indian heritage (at their first meeting he says, Fellow could mistake you for a half-breed, even though Martin is, by his account, only one-eight Cherokee). However, by the time they are sequestered in a cave being attacked by Comanches, Ethan has come ambivalently to accept his family bond with Martin, even though he continues to insist that Martin is not his kin. Given Ethans change in attitude, the scene in the cave becomes an instance of family solidarity. The implication seems to be that Native America can be part of Euro America if it is significantly assimilated and domesticated. Ethan effectively supports that domestication by ultimately bequeathing Martin his wealth. He has apparently discovered that part of himself that craves a family bond, a part that has been continuously in contention with his violent ethnic policing. And on his side, Martin fulfills all of the requirements of a family-oriented, assimilated Indian. He becomes affianced to the very white daughter of Swedish Americans, after he has rejected an Indian spouse he had inadvertently acquired while trading goods with Comanches.


By becoming part of a white family, Martin is involved in a double movement. He is participating in one of Euro Americas primary dimensions of self-fashioning, its presumption that a Christian marriage is most significant social unit (that such legal monogamy benefitted the social order (Cott, 2000: 10), and he is distancing himself from the Native American practices for whom the nuclear family was often not a primary psychological, economic, or social unit (and was often viewed by settlers as a form of promiscuity (Ibid: 25). Fords West continued to be domesticated as his cinematic corpus developed. Because at least one of his other films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962), is exemplary in this respect, I visit that film briefly below in what follows, in connection with my reading of Cormac McCarthys West. McCarthys Blood Meridian While Fords West becomes increasingly striated with new boundaries, coercively and administratively imposed as the Euro American ethnogenesis becomes consummated, McCarthys is more smooth. It remains a place of violent contact or encounter in which moving bodies are involved in radically contingent encounters that render a West that cannot be easily assimilated into a grid of institutionalized, proprietary relations. It is a West that is perhaps best conceived in Neil Campbells terms as rhizomatic (2008), a West that (after Deleuze and Guattaris famous distinction) defies the rooted tree-like structures applied to institutionalized hierarchies and is more grass- or rhizome-like. In Campbells terms the West is a hybrid, performative space, a staging place for myriad intersecting and constantly changing identities (2008: on the book jacket). In keeping with this more open and contingent model of the development of western space, McCarthys Blood Meridian mobilizes subjects and stages encounters to supply a radically different geo-history than the one that emerges
522 523

in Fords westerns. Two analytics shape my reading of the novel. The first is the concept of deformation, which is central to Gilles Deleuzes study of the painter, Francis Bacon. In his analysis of Bacons canvasses, Deleuze suggests it is wrong to assume that the artist works on a white surface. Rather, everything he has in his head, or around him is already on the canvass, more or less virtually, before he begins his work (2004: 71). To resist what Deleuze calls psychic clichs and figurative givens, the artist must transform or deform what is always-already on the canvass (71-72). Elsewhere I have noted the way Robert Altmans film McCabe and Mrs. Miller effects a deformation of Fords West. As I put it, inasmuch as the familiar West was John Fords vast open prairies, Altman needed to find a different kind of landscape, filled with characters other than the heroic types, in order both to deform the classic western and to achieve a different, more complicated and politically perspicuous West in his McCabe and Mrs. Miller....Altmans film is not a story about the importance of establishing a stable, Euro American domesticity in the West. The contrast between McCabes opening ride and Ethan Edwards overturns the Ford clichs in various modalities. First, as John McCabe (Warren Beatty) rides toward the town of Presbyterian Church in the opening scene, the soundtrack begins with a ballad, in this case Leonard Cohens Stranger Song. While the ballads by The Sons of the Pioneers in The Searchers and Leonard Cohens in McCabe manifest the typical ballad style - they are both narrative poems with repeated refrains - Cohens portrays a very different kind of character. Rather than a heroic wanderer, Cohens stranger is a anti hero, a hustler looking for shelter rather than a tough loner, the typical western hero who is unfit for domesticity, even though he helps those who are weaker achieve it (Shapiro, 2006: 83-84). And certainly Samuel Peckinpahs western films,

which are intended as critical commentaries (in the form of parodies) on the classic versions, effect deformations of John Fords West. Richard Slotkin provides an effective summary of the Peckinpah aesthetic:
Deadly Companions was a dark and ironic reworking of Fords Stagecoach; Ride the High Country was as much a homage to old Westerns as to the Old West; Major Dundee is in continual dialogue with Fords cavalry films (1992).

The second analytic is the concept of the aesthetic (as opposed to the psychological) subject, which I adapt from Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoits reading of Jean-Luc Goddards film Contempt (1963). Bersani and Dutoit suggest that Goddards focus in the film - a drama in which a couple becomes estranged when the wifes feelings turn from love to contempt - is not on the psychic origins of contempt but on it effects on the world, which are conveyed by what contempt does to cinematic space...how it affect[s] the visual field within which Goddard works and especially the range and kinds of movement allowed for in that space (2004: 21-22). Adapting the Bersani-Dutoit analytic, I am suggesting that rather than seeking to interpret the psychologies of Blood Meridians characters, we are best served by noting what their drives and interests do to novelistic space - in short, how they render Blood Meridians critically mapped western landscape. With these two analytics in mind, we can appreciate the primary aesthetic subject that we meet in Blood Meridian, the kid, whose mother is dead and whose father never speaks her name (3). Unlettered and with a taste for mindless violence, he runs away from his Tennessee home, as his initial wandering renders him as a solitary migrant upon that flat and pastoral landscape (4). Certainly (at least initially) the kid, whose origins are become as remote as is his destiny(4), bears a resemblance to western heroes who, as Will Wright has famously noted, are loners and outsid525

ers who briefly enter society to right wrongs and then leave because they are not suited to domestication within a social order (1977). However the kid deforms the model of the heroic outsider in two respects. Rather than righting wrongs, he participates in them; his taste for mindless violence suits him well when he joins Captain Whites marauders, who hunt and kill Mexicans and then the Glanton gang, a group of violent scalpers who are paid for Indian scalps by the governments of Mexican towns (and often just harvest Mexican scalps and sell them as Indian ones). Moreover, and even more significantly, the kid is illiterate. As a result, he functions as an effective anti-type to Fords Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart), the reluctant hero in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the man who (in the words journalist Dutton Peabody speech to an election commission) came to us not packing a gun but a bag of law books..a lawyer and a teacher.. and who, early in the film, teaches literacy to a generational mix of the white citizens. Stoddards heroic identity is undermined because the reverence for words and books, for which he is an avatar, is undermined by the moral ambiguities afflicting his identity (he is falsely credited as the man who shot Liberty Valance). His heroic status is ultimately ironic because, as Alan Nadel puts it, of his chronic inability to give authority to his assertions until be becomes the man who shot Liberty Valance...until he becomes the person hes not (1995: 195). Nevertheless, Ford privileges the word over the gun in his cinematic narratives of the winning of the West. The issue of words and the West arises again in what is Fords most sympathetic treatment of Native Americans, his Cheyenne Autumn (1964), based on a historic, futile trek by what was left of a branch of the Cheyenne nation, as they attempted to defy the U.S. government and leave their arid southwestern reservation to return to their homeland in the Dakotas. In his earlier Fort Apache (1948) Ford also treats white injustice toward the

Indians, but there, as Tag Gallagher points out, the dramatis personae are white, never red; Fords focus is on the traditions and community values that render otherwise decent individuals into willing agents of imperialism and genocide (Gallagher, 1998: 273). But in treating the Indian with more ethnographic depth in Cheyenne Autumn, Ford emphasizes the Cheyennes inability to have their words count and includes scenes in which they have decisive, within-nation conversations about their options. The film foregrounds the disjuncture between white and red systems of intelligibility and ultimately represents the Euro- American victory as not simply an example of superior fire power but also as a discursive one. As it is put in the film, it is white words, white language that have been our potent weapon against Indians. McCarthys Blood Meridian contrast sharply with Fords reliance on the discursive aspect of the inter-nation struggles in the West. The kid is not the only aesthetic subject that undermines the significance of words. Throughout the novel there is a disjuncture between words and reality. Judge Holden, a massive, violent yet learned character, who also becomes part of the Glanton gang, first appears bearing false witness. He speaks up in a revival tent, claiming intimacy with the sexual transgressions of the evangelist and subsequently admitting to an assemblage in a bar that he had never met the man. Thereafter, the Judge uses words not to alter the structures of racial dominance in the West but to personally take charge of the world. Writing ceaselessly in a ledger, he responds to the inquiring witnesses of his task that whatever exists....Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent (198) and adds shortly thereafter, that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate (199). Ultimately, the Judge regards

words as unreliable. They are presented not as windows into a shared, consensual world but as weapons of appropriation. In this respect he, like the Kid, is an anti-type with respect to Fords Ransom Stoddard, who brings law books to the West in order to have the printed word displace an anarchic culture of the gun with lawfulness. Books lie, the Judge says and goes on to suggest that God doesnt: He speaks in stones and trees, the bones of things. However, once he has turned his listeners into proselytes, he laughed at them for fools (116). At times, the judge seems to be McCarthys alter ego because McCarthy also speaks [or in his case writes] in stones and trees, the bones of things. McCarthy, like the judge implies (in his various meta commentaries) that whatever may be the human conceits about proprietary investments in the landscape, nature has a voice that endures irrespective of the ways it is screened by interest-based human voices. What McCarthy offers throughout the novel is a poetics of landscape that, like Fords, encompasses the characters - at one point the kid and another character, Sproule, moved very slowly in the immensity of the landscape (56) - but, unlike Fords has an awe-inspiring aesthetic impact (akin to Kants sublime):
That night they rode through a region electric and wild where strange shapes and soft blue fire ran over the metal of the horses; trappings and the wagonwheels rolled in hoops of fire and little shapes of pale blue light came to perch in the ears of the horses and the beards of the men. All night sheetlightning quaked sourceless to the west beyond the midnight thunderheads, making a bluish day of the distant desert, the mountains on the sudden skyline stark and black and livid like a land of some other order out there whose true geology was not stone but fear....(47).

overtones, for example describing it in one place as a purgatorial waste (63). Ultimately, McCarthy does not allow the landscape to privilege anyones history. It is a space of encounter in which many of the events of encounter never find there way into history. For example, at one point Glanton, on horseback, looks out over a scene: Sparse on the mesa the dry weeds lashed in the wind like the earths long echo of lance and spear in old encounters forever unrecorded (105). What is ultimately afoot (or mounted) in McCarthys West cannot be incorporated in a narrative that privileges particular destinies, Euro-American or otherwise. For example in this rich passage, describing the movement of the Glanton gang, McCarthy likens optical illusions to the illusions that a peoples destinies are transcendently sponsored: They ate and moved on, leaving the fire on the ground behind them, and as they rode up into the mountains this fire seemed to become altered of its location, now here, now there, drawing away or shifting unaccountably along the flank of their movement. Like some ignis fatuus belated upon the road behind them which all could see and of which none spoke. For this will to deceive that is in things luminous may manifest itself likewise in retrospect and so by sleight of some fixe part of a journey already accomplished may also post men to fraudulent destinies (120). The Judge as a Counter-Ford, Philosophical Subject As I have suggested, the judge serves throughout the novel as a philosophical subject. He is seemingly attentive to Nietzsches gloss (in The Birth of Tragedy 2008) on the self as an inter-animation of the Apollonian and Dionysian energies, the former being detached and form-giving and the latter being both creative and destructive. In Nietzsches view that productive tension was lost when philosophy became inflected by Platos Socrates, whose mission was to suppress the tension in order to make existence appear ratio529

Moreover, rather than a place of invitation for the EuroAmerican expansion, McCarthys landscape is a deathscape: Bone palings rules the small and dusty purlieus here and death seemed the most prevalent feature of the landscape (48). And he often lends the land/deathscape theological

nally intelligible and thereby self-justifying. What a Nietzschean ontology offers, as it is articulated throughout Blood Meridian, is a frame that resists legitimating ontologies that offer conciliation. Fords West ultimately becomes pacified as wildernesses are turned into gardens and the landscapeas-deathscape is displaced by one of cultivation. McCarthy effectively restores the tensions and enigmas to a landscape that contains a history of encounters that are exorbitant to the ones chronicling Euro-American triumphalism. One trope in particular serves to demonstrate the sharp contrast between Fords and McCarthys Wests, the dance. To return to the film with which my analysis began, Fords My Darling Clementine, I want to point to a dance whose significance in the film looms much larger than the famous gunfight at the O.K Corral. Toward the end of the film narrative, there is a celebration of the building of a church. In the scene, it is only partly built; it has wooden beams and an open framework with a wooden platform as its base. Onto that platform, the two key characters, Wyatt Earp and his intended, Clementine step to begin a dance whose significance is underscored by a musical soundtrack that conveys the promise of a happy conjugal/familial future. The effect of the scene - as is the case on so many of Fords familial bonding scenes - is to moralize a West that is being incorporated into the Euro-American ethnogenesis, to positively sanction the Euro-American expansion rather than, for example, pondering the costs of the violence associated with that expansion (as he does in his Cheyenne Autumn). McCarthys Blood Meridian is a thoroughgoing riposte to that moralizing. McCarthys primary aesthetic subject, The kid, a feral character rather than an innocent youth on his way to becoming enlightened, begins his western life by joining a rogue army band that is out to kill Mexicans. And in a passage reminiscent of Melvilles gloss on the metaphysics of Indian hating (displaced onto Mexi530

cans), Blood Meridians Captain White, the leader of that rogue army says, What we are dealing with, he said, is a race of degenerates. A mongrel race, little better than niggers. And maybe no better. There is no government in Mexico. Hell, there is no God in Mexico, never will be.... (34). And in contrast to the illusion that the U.S. version of America is constituted through peace-fostering treaties, Blood Meridians treatment of treaties emphasizes how they are ignored. At one point the kid asks about the treaty (referring obviously to Guadalupe-Hidalgo) only to learn that his troops killing spree is unaffected by it. Apart from giving us a West as a deathscape that endorses no ones hating or self-serving legitimations, McCarthys Blood Meridian also enlists the trope of the dance, but with a very different valence from Fords. His character, Judge Holden, is figured as a dancer when at one point, as the Glanton gang is seated around a fire, one character, the expriest, says, God, the man is a dancer (123). Just as Nietzsche, in many places, affirms the value of the dance - e.g., I would believe only in a god who could dance (1960: 153), - the judge himself valorizes the dance: What man would not be a dancer if he could, said the judge. Its a great thing, the dance (327). Subsequently in a soliloquy, the judge has more to say about the dance, as he ponders the rationale for the orchestration of events:
This is an orchestration for an event. The participants will be apprised of their roles at the proper time...As the dance is the thing with which we are concerned and contains complete within itself its own arrangement and history and finale there is no necessity that the dancers contain these things within themselves as well. In any event the history of all is not the history of each nor indeed the sum of those histories.

The point of this passage - as Nietzsche would have appreciated - is that subjectivity is epiphenomenal to creative action. To invent a preexisting subject is to moralize by inventing and privileging a subject behind the action. How531

ever distasteful the judges violent actions may be, his point articulates with McCarthys: There is no privileged historical agency. The landscape has witnessed violent encounters, driven by enmities. It contains numerous unrecorded histories and privileges none. Contrary to Fords embrace of legitimating legends, McCarthy offers reality. In place of fraudulent destinies, he offers the contingencies of encounter. In place of moralizing what has already been institutionalized, his novel invites ethical reflection, where ethics is opposed to morals. As I have put it elsewhere, morality, as traditionally understood, is about deriving imperatives from fixed moral codes, while ethical imperatives are invitations to negotiate meaning and value, given situations of either competing and incommensurate value commitments and/or alternative perspectives on what is the case (2008: 196). To extend that suggestion, I want to note that McCarthys art, his aesthetic version of the West, articulates well with ethical reflection, especially if we heed Jacques Rancires version of the politics of aesthetics. In Rancires perspective, the problem of the aesthetic is compatible with ethical and political judgment, even when it is focused on beautiful objects (or horrifying ones) because the politics of aesthetics involves reconfiguring the way the sensible is partitioned, revealing new objects and subjects and rendering visible that which has not been hitherto visible (2004) Certainly that is what McCarthys Blood Meridian does.

Baricco, A. (2003), City (New York: Vintage). Bersani, L. and Dutoit, U., (2004) Forms of Being (London: BFI). Boelhower, W. (1986), Through a Glass Darkly: Ethnic Semiosis and American Literature (New York: Oxford University Press). Campbell, N. (2008), The Rhizomatic West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press). Cott, N. F. (2000), Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). Deleuze, G. 1986, Cinema 1 trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). ____________ 2004, Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation trans. Daniel W. Smith (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1996) What is Philosophy trans, J. Tomlinson and G. Burchell (New York: Columbia University Press). Gallagher, T. (1998), Angels Gambol Where They May: John Fords Indians, in J. Kitses and G. Rickman eds. The Western Reader (New York: Limelight). Goddu, T. (1997), Gothic America: Narrative, History, and Nation (New York: Columbia University Press). Kollin, S. (2001), Genre and the Geographies of Violence: Cormac McCarthy and the Contemporary Western, Contemporary Literature 42: 3 (fall), 557-588. McCarthy, C. 1992 Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (New York: Vintage). Nietzsche, F., (1960) Thus Spake Zarathustra trans. Alexander Tille (New York, Dutton). __________ , (2008) The Birth of Tragedy trans. Douglas Smith (New York: Oxford University Press. Penn Warren, R. (1992) Promotional lines at the beginning of McCarthys Blood Meridian. Rancire, J. (2004), The Politics of Aesthetics trans. Gabriel Rockhill (London: Continuum). Scheckel, S. (1998) The Insistence of the Indian (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Sepich, J. (2008) Notes on Blood Meridian 2nd edition (Austin: University of Texas Press). Shapiro, M. J. (2004), Methods and Nations: Cultural Governance and the Indigenous Subject (New York: Routledge). ________________ (2006), Deforming American Political Thought: Ethnicity, Facticity and Genre (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky). _________________(2008), Slow Looking: The Ethics and Politics of Aesthetics, Millennium 37: 1: 181-197. _________________(2010), The Time of the City: Politics, Philosophy and Genre (London: Routledge). Slotkin, R. (1992) Gunfighter Nation (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press). Wexman, V. W. (1996), The Family on the Land, in Daniel Bernardi, The Birth of Whiteness: Race and the Emergence of U.S. Cinema (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press). Wright, W. (1977), Six Guns and Society (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press).





Jan Gunnar Sjlin
Between the Visible and the Invisible in Dance Performance Painters in the 16th-18th centuries wanted to inscribe their motifs in three-dimensional geometric patterns. Such devices are no less frequent in moving performances in modern times. We meet them both in dance compositions and in systems of dancers training. Remarkably, these devices seem to bring us close to the core of certain choreographers endeavors, at the same time as they focus attention on striking differences between their various times. I intend to concentrate on the importance of cubes for two choreographers, separated by half a century, Rudolf Laban and Trisha Brown. While only skimming the surface, I think that the relevance of their ideas is obvious still today. Rudolf Labans use of the cubic form as a space for dancers training (principally 1913-37) is influential and has

been passed on to many later practitioners. This is how he presents this imaginary space for the dancers work in the small but widely read book Modern Educational Dance from 1948, rev. ed. 1963. The following should be read together with the illustration of space orientations (see figure)

which like the quote is easier to understand in the version of the book from 1963, revised by Lisa Ullmann:


Therefore, briefly summarising the division of space thus created in relation to an imaginary cube within our personal sphere of movement, we can discern the three-dimensional cross which radiates from the center to the central points of the surfaces of the cube. The four diagonals connect the opposite corner points of the cube, while the six diameters are directed towards the edges of the cube which they bisect. All these twenty-six space-directions radiate from the space-centre, which is the twentyseventh point of orientation. (Laban 1963) Everything in such a description seems to have its origin in one of two elements: the cubic space and the points which define the position of the lines inside it. Much in life is enacted in relation to places or points and the space in which they are found. They may both be self-evident in our own time, but this has not always been the case. According to the art historian Michael Camille, during the Middle Ages people in Europe related their lives and travels to places or points, but not to space. One did not possess any concept of space, except in the meaning of distance from one place to another (Camille 2000). You may even ponder the question if there were some remnants of this way of conceiving the world in early court dances, which were mainly related to invisible and visible patterns on the floor, and not to the three-dimensional space in which one moved, and which is a matter of course in dance today. Characteristically for Laban, the cube is presented as subordinate to the personal sphere of each human, which we always carry with us, and which demarcates the volume inside which everything is within our reach. But for Labans topical needs a sphere does not work, as there are no fixed points, nor any lines on its smoothly curved surface. So, inside the sphere, he imagines a cube, as it has a surface which

is not continuous but presents the desired qualities of points and straight lines. With the distinction between straight and curved lines, implicit in the contrast between cube and sphere, Laban brings to the fore a systematic concern of his, which he develops in his work Choreutics, sketched out just before the outbreak of World War II (Laban 1991). This distinction will also mark this expos of his ideas. He distinguishes between four basic trace forms, which he maintains are characteristic of all human body movements. First among them he mentions the straight line, which he calls droit, that is a term used in classical ballet. As a cube relates to a sphere, a straight line relates to a line which is slightly curved, or ouvert with the ballet term. This is his second category of line (see figure).

But Labans systematic zeal does not leave him content. He continues to build a complete system of lines. The third type is a line which is curved first in one and then in the opposite direction, that is a waveform with two curves. It corresponds to the ballet term tortill. Finally, the system includes a line which displays two rounded curves, all the way following the same direction, and joined by a small loop. This is covered by the term rond. You will notice that most of what follows here in respect to Labans theories is related to questions of straight lines versus the three types of curved lines.

In order to convince the reader, Laban suggests that we scribble on a piece of paper, without lifting the pencil from it. If we examine the line, which is the outcome of this, we will discover that it consists of parts which remind of the Arabic numerals 1, 2 and 3. The proportions of their segments may differ, but as a whole they are composed of three elements, that is the single line, either straight or curved, the waveform and the open or closed circle. I myself am convinced by this simple test. Still, it is important to ask oneself exactly what Laban refers to in his statement. This is especially critical in the case of an author like Laban whose texts have often been revised or completed by followers. I for one cannot find that he has lines in general in mind, as he explicity refers to them as trace-forms, that is for instance the visible lines made by a hand writing on a piece of paper or the invisible lines made by a moving body, lines which evaporate as soon as they are created. The human faculty to perceive such invisible lines was of paramount importance to Laban. Already in his very first published book, Die Welt des Tnzers (The World of the Dancer) from 1920, one takes notice of this forceful sentence: Unser Auge sieht die unsichtbare Schwerlinie (Our eye perceives the invisible line of gravity). In dance, it is important to distinguish between the use of a cube for static postures and for movement training. The first case seems to be important, by way of example for the purpose to demonstrate the proportions of the human body. Leaning against a side of a big cube, a person may reach for its four corners with hands and feet, but in such a case a standing rectangle is often better adapted to the human body. In the three-dimensional space inside an imagined or real cube, one can find a corresponding position with the legs straddling diagonally across the floor so that the feet reach into the opposite corners, and the arms reach towards the corners above. It is a trying posture which corresponds to

four of the twenty-six space directions which Laban singles out. In such a position the human body is spread and stretched out in a two-dimensional plane. At this point, I want to make a comment on the question of how we examine a view like this, using our eyes (Sjlin 2011). One might believe that exposing the torso, arms and legs at their greatest extension would invite an observer to let the gaze follow them in their respective directions. However, it is physiologically impossible for the eye to follow the lines of any stationary object without interruptions. You can make sure of this by trying to make your eyes continuously follow the contours of a door or that between the ceiling and the wall. You will discover that it is impossible, and you may even experience a certain discomfort in your eyes. Instead, these make a series of rapid movements or leaps between fixation points along the line in question. Such leaps are called saccades, and they are the normal way to move the gaze between points within an object or from one object to another. However, the gaze does not follow a completely straight line from one point of fixation to another, as we are used to see it represented in eye movement graphs. Actually, the eye behaves in a ballistic way, which gives the saccades a curvature. These eye movements are very fast, in effect the fastest movements found in the human body. As they last only between 20 and 200 milliseconds, it is unlikely that they give us any information, as they are making us effectively blind as long as they last (however, opinions are divided on this). Be that as it may, looking at stationary objects is of course not the only way to observe a world full of motion; I will soon resume this matter. Laban has much more to suggest regarding the use of a cube for the training and demonstration of movements. Standing securely with the feet somewhat separated in the middle of an imagined (or in exceptional cases real) cube, the

dancer should be able to touch the centers of the sidewalls, the back wall and the front wall as well as that of the ceiling, without moving the feet from their position. This means that the cube must have measures related to the reach of a human being. It would be out of place to state them exactly, for humans come in different sizes. And the measures of imagined cubes can of course always be made appropriate. A cube, such as it is illustrated in a line drawing, may be said to have the quality of simplicity, in spite of being composed of as many as 8 elements. That is because it has very few constitutive features: All these elements are identical; they are straight lines of one and the same length. They are divided into two groups with four parallel lines in each, so that they also have the same orientation in space. The lines in each group all meet the lines in the other group at right angles. This sparsity of distinguishing qualities makes it easy for onlookers and users to remember what cubes look like and also to depict them. In spite of the simplicity of cubes, the proposition to use them for the training of human bodies does not seem promising. The human body itself does not really present any straight line or flat surface. And while its joints are very adept at describing curves, to make straight lines in free space demands a cooperation between at least a couple of joints, which is a much more complicated enterprise. It is time to see how Laban manages the marriage of abstract cubes with creatures of blood and flesh. Labans use of the cubic space for training reached its most developed state in his movement scales, which for him are the closest equivalents in dance to the scales of music. Standing inside an imaginary cube as described, the dancer performs the movements, not only in a certain order but in a prescribed manner, which is exacting for the body. Take for instance the diagonal scale, the characteristic attributes of which are illustrated here in its flowing version for the right

side of the body as worked over by Jean Newlove (see figure).

In this, no position can be held because it is so fleeting and every point reached finds the body at its most unstable (Newlove 2004). One must retain ones frontal position, while bringing ones right hand from the upper right corner in the front across the body down towards the lower left corner at the back, and then upwards again, across the bosom and down towards the lower right corner at the back. It requires a great limberness. Against this background, it is easy to see that there is no question of marriage. The function of the cube is to

indicate as exactly as possible the positions of its corners and other cardinal points in space, so that the dancer can be guided by them in the training. It would be quasi-impossible to learn these positions if we did not know their origin in the cubic volume with its six sides. It is certainly also a kind of psychological help to feel oneself on all sides enclosed by sheltering walls, just like inside any other indoor space. Through its cardinal points, the cube guides the dancers movements, but the result does not at all remind a viewer of a cube. Instead of straight lines, the traces of the body form curves just like those that Laban has arranged in his system: ouvert (open and slightly curved), tortill (with a double waveform) and rond (rounded). A total transformation takes place, from the rectilinearity of the cube to the curvature of the moving traces. The function of the cube may be compared to that of a catalyst; it starts and accelerates the process, but it is not present in the final product. In a case like this, when a dancers body is continuously moving, there is another way to follow it with the eyes. When fixating a point on a moving body, the gaze may follow the body along, seemingly being transported forwards by it. In principle, the movements made by the fixated body part are transferred to the eye, so that the gaze moves in the same direction. The movement may be more or less rapid, more or less smooth. In effect, the term for this kind of eye movement is smooth pursuit. To simplify, one can say that the eye follows the movements of the dancers. When I tell a dancer or a dance aficionado about this, they usually show a great interest in the phenomenon. There is something satisfying for a spectator to participate in this way in the very dance movements. However, this way to follow moving people with the gaze is perhaps not as frequent as one might believe. In a test of mine some years ago, a group of subjects was to look at a short dance piece with two dancers. They saw it both live

and documented in video. Their eye movements were filmed and the traces were transferred to videos of the performance. The analysis of the material is time-consuming and still not finished, but so far I have not found any clear example of a smooth pursuit. Still, there is an exception, but it is outside the dance itself. When one of the dancers walks across the stage in order to leave it, a majority of the subjects follow her with their gaze, for a while using smooth pursuit. In this case, what is needed to activate this kind of looking seems to be a) an individual dancer, detaching herself from stage props and other dancers, b) moving at a right angle to subjects gazes. As an example of smooth pursuit, this does not fulfill the expectations of subjects w ho wish for an experience of the dance proper, common to dancers and audience. But if the dance piece in itself had been different, for instance presenting passages across the stage for one or more dancers, there might well have been examples of smooth pursuit in the real piece. Let me return to the training in the cube. Laban also gives more detailed advice for how the movements are to be performed: The performance of any kind of shapes or patterns must become so automatised that they are conceived in the mind and felt in the body as a whole phrase of movement and not as a composite of lines. A valuable means of achieving this is the rounding of the corners so that the movement does not stop at the points of orientation. In other cases, and especially in the beginning of the use of orientation themes, such stops are instructive. It is useful to introduce changes of front turns of all kinds, somersaults, et cetera, when following directions leading backwards. But directions and shapes lying behind the back should also be performed without changing the front position. The flexibility of the spine is increased through the bendings and twistings of the trunk needed for such movements (Laban 1948). A comment like this presents the training as closely

related to the public performance of dance. Even if the exercise is not meant to be part of a performance proper, it should prepare the mind and the body for it, in this case through conceiving its separate parts as forming one continuous flow. Laban clearly understands the expression point of orientation as denoting not only a point towards which the dancer reaches, but a point that is physically touched by the hands or some other part of the body. Evidently, he intends the movements to reach all the way into the corners, up to the ceiling or down to the floor, at the same time as they are completely fluent. But it is evident that he also regards it as important from an educational standpoint to train dancers to make a definite stop between two movements. A contemporary of his, the Russian theater pioneer Vsevolod Meyerhold, also emphasised the significance of very clear starts and stops in an actors phrasing of movements (Kubik 2002). Together with this, Labans movement training inside a cube is also a practical example of how to develop the flexibility of the body. Most of Labans pronouncements on dance have little bearing on his own practice and preferences. He rather intends to create systems which are valid for all kinds of body movements and for all practitioners of dance. In his case as well as that of his contemporaries, the guiding principle is to give both choreographer and dancer tools for training and performance according to an orderly system. It would be ineffective to look for passages, indicated to be performed in a diffuse or undecided way, or even ad lib, that is without previous preparation. No indeterminacy is involved. If any aesthetic tendencies should be associated with the practice of Labans cube and other three-dimensional volumes, it might be expressionism, or Ausdruckstanz. Laban and his most influential pupils have not only been associated with this concept, but Labans methods of training in a

cube easily adapt to an expressionist way of moving. * The general principle of movement notation is to preserve by notating in graphic symbols a piece of dance. I want to approach another way to use a graphic notation of movements in a cubic space, which does not confine the dancers to definite patterns, by examining an example from the choreographer Trisha Brown. The example is a sketch from 1975 (see figure on next page), linked to her piece of the same year, called Locus. This example is chosen because it offers itself very conveniently for comparison with Labans use of a cubic space. The sketch has several times been reproduced and discussed, for instance in Laurence Louppe (ed.), Traces of Dance (1994). It delineates a transparent cube through its contours, rather like the cubic space used by Laban for his movement training. With its use of open forms and open aspects of movement creation it is a contrasting alternative to Rudolf Labans ideas with their preordained fluency and expressiveness. The sketch is almost self-explaining, but I want to demonstrate a couple of fundamental issues with it, so I must of necessity take some pains to explore it. This is an overview by Trisha Brown of her piece Locus, to which the sketch is linked: Locus is organized around 27 points located on an imaginary cube of space slightly larger than the standing figure in a stride position. The points were correlated to the alphabet and a written statement, 1 being A, 2, B (Brown 1975). This description is authoritative but certainly too short to be quite comprehensible. Still, it is clear that the 27 cardinal points of the imaginary cube are the same as those upon which Rudolf Labans training system is based. Trisha Browns presentation proceeds to consider the practical application of these devices: I made four sections each three minutes long that move through, touch, look at, jump over, or do something about each point in the series,

either one point at a time or clustered. There is spatial repetition but not gestural. The dance does not observe front, it revolves. The cube base is multiplied to form a grid of five units wide and four deep. There are opportunities to move from one cube base to another without distorting the movement. By exercising these options, we travel. The choices of facing, placing and section are made in performance by the four performers. This describes the structure of the dance you have to fill it in with the kinds of movement mentioned before (Brown 1975). The sketch that accompanies this description (see figure) is made in a parallel perspective, that is the measures are not influenced by position in space.

As we are used to see objects in the surrounding world


in a decreasing scale towards the distance, it may have the effect to create more space in the rear region of the cube, but it may also seem to make its backside advance towards the viewer. In the sketch, positions in the cube are indicated through points and corresponding numbers. These numbers are those not enclosed within circles. The count starts at the back with the upper left corner which has number 1. It continues clockwise at the same level, marking the upper corners and the middle of the upper outlines, ending with number 8. The same procedure is followed midway between the upper and the lower surfaces and in the corresponding positions on the bottom of the cube. This leaves the three points of the vertical axis in the center of the cube. Here, the center of the lower surface, the center of the upper surface, and, finally, the central point of the whole cube receive numbers 25 to 27. The fact that exactly 27 numbers together cover the most clearly defined positions in the cube proves to be of special importance for Trisha Browns system. Quite a few other numbers are also shown in the cube. These are derived from another system. Trisha Brown builds it upon an autobiographical phrase, of which this fragment is shown in the sketch: BorninAberdeenWash. The last word is obviously a fragment of Washington. The letters in the phrase are numbered in a row beneath; they start with the number 18, and continue up to and including number 38. In a third row, still lower, the position of each letter in the numerical order of the alphabet is indicated. The first letter of the phrase, B, is the second letter of the alphabet, so the number 2 is assigned to it. The next letter, O, is in the same way given the number 15. And so it continues. The English alphabet comprises 26 letters, to which is added the dash as a necessary means both to keep together and to separate consecutive words. This is decisive, as the number 27 also distinguishes the cardinal points of a cube. This correspon549

dence might be the very germ of this specific project, its sine qua non. The explanation may seem to be an exercise in longwinded thought, but far more it is a specific plan for bodily performance. Each vertical row, built on the personal phrase, is related to a movement of the body, indicating what point on the cube it is connected with. The first movement is determined by the letter B. Its position in the alphabet as the second letter connects it with the center of the upper contour line in the rear of the cube. Likewise, the second movement is determined by the letter O, the fifteenth in the alphabet, which connects it with the center of the left vertical contour line of the front side. What is determined by this system is the approximate positions in space that should be activated by the respective movements, and the exact order in which this happens. Other aspects of the performance are left out of the system. Some of them were evidently settled in advance, or were decided by the performers when dancing, but this may vary. We may suppose that the dancer is always moving inside a cube, but in which of the 20 cubes imagined on the stage is not at all times evident. There are various ways to activate its cardinal points, like directly touching them with hands or feet or other parts of the body, including the head, or else by pointing at them, which can also be done in many ways, standing, sitting or lying on the floor, with a hand or a foot or even with whole parts of the body. The dancers act of looking at one of the invisible points must be especially hard to discover for the audience, unless the dancer should do it in an ostentatious way. Even if one has agreed on the dimensions of the invisible cubes, it is in practice not possible to indicate the exact position in space of their cardinal points, with the exception of the level of the 9 points situated on the bottom of each cube. Between the different moments of activation, the dancer may have to change posture or to

move in space, which may be done in various ways. There are obviously different kinds of indeterminacies involved when the system is put into practice. This brings a question to the fore, namely what we mean when we say that something is indeterminate, by chance, or random. Let us suppose that I am washing up, and then I am suddenly disturbed by a nearby telephone signal. Unfortunately, I drop a plate onto the ground, and it smashes into pieces. I pull myself together, thinking that it was pure chance that the accident happened. Still, I understand that it was not without cause, that it was rather an inevitable result of something that had interfered with my washing up, and that could not have been foreseen. So, to talk about chance may be another way to express that an irrelevant or unknown causal chain interferes with one in which I am an active agent myself. On a personal note I may add that I knew about Trisha Browns cubes before I read about that of Rudolf Laban. One reason is that I had been researching automatism in art, and I had an old admiration for John Cage, not least as a moral example in art. But another reason probably is that while Labans cube is an affair between him and dancers (and I am not one), Trisha Browns cubes do not affect dancers to the same degree, but are part of a general trend in art. So far, we have been talking about one cube, on the tacit understanding that only one dancer is to activate it at a time. In the case of Rudolf Laban it is adequate to talk about only one cube, as he thought of each such volume as a space not only for each dancer, but for each and every individual in life. In effect, he would then rather talk about a sphere, of which the cube is a part. But, as is evident from the quote above, the base of a cube is multiplied in Locus as to form a grid of five units wide and four deep. A performance that I have studied on video is for a group of four dancers. It was filmed in 1977 at Mills College, Oakland, and published on

video in 2004. One should add that the length of the piece as indicated by Trisha Brown, 4 x 3 minutes, is approximate; the 1977 performance that was filmed takes 14 minutes and 4 seconds. The choreographer herself is the main source for the information given above about Locus. On the other hand, what follows is based on my own experience of the filmed performance from 1977. The movements, performed by four dancers at one and the same moment of the piece, have much in common. They start and they end at the same time with all four dancers, and they are more or less similar. However, for different reasons, this is often not very evident. Take the beginning of the piece. All four dancers are standing in erect position, their arms hanging down at their sides. The first movement they do is to direct a short kick towards their right side with the right foot, all at the same time and in the same way. Still, these movements look quite different to us in the case of each dancer, because they stand in different angles on the stage. Trisha Brown is the only one who is seen en face; the other three turn either the left or the right side towards the camera, which means that they kick in three different directions in the room. Still, we perceive that it is in principle the same movement, seen in different perspectives. At the same time, the piece has an additive character, as each movement is fairly independent of what goes before or comes after in each dancers sequence of movements. These are performed in a hasty and not very thorough way, with a minimum of effort. Each movement reaches an evident end, before the dancer makes a new move. Movements which are performed after each other are often essentially different from each other in kind. It may be movements like walking, jumping, kicking, lying down etc. The duration of each movement is brief, usually about a second, even if changes of posture and position in space may take some more time. This additive and cursory character, with marked stops

and starts, is worth comparing with the express ambition of Rudolf Laban, that the movements inside the imaginary cube form one long, continuous moving phrase in space. His advice to round the corners to reach this aim contrasts with the way in which Trisha Brown and her dancers perform each movement as a separate entity. In addition, it is very likely that Laban encouraged dancers to reach for the very corners of the cube, which makes for a much clearer spatial experience in the mind of a viewer. From Trisha Browns sketch and explanations we know that there is more in the dancers movements than we can directly perceive. The sequence of points which the dancers indicate is, as we understand, determined by a verbal phrase. The positions of the points on the cubes originally belonged to the sphere of chance, meaning that they have once and for all been decided on by a system which is exterior to the happenings on stage. The intended location of these points is, however, very difficult to see or to unravel for a spectator, nor is it usual to perceive the position of an invisible point when a dancer is giving it a hasty glance for just a moment. To jump over a point is another technique that gives vague indications as to its existence and position. The dancers methods to indicate a point is seldom precise enough to permit an exact identification of position. There does not seem to be any clear pinpointing. So, it is not likely that a spectator would notice that the dancers are indicating the locations of specific points in a cube, without having previously read the commentary by Trisha Brown. It is still more difficult to experience the stage as filled by 20 invisible cubes. If one does, this also seems to be the result of reading Trisha Browns explanation. What is not so difficult to see, however, is that two or more dancers are standing on or close to one and the same invisible line across the stage, or on the same line pointing straight towards the back of the stage. But this has nothing to do with a percep553

tion of the characteristic limits in space of a cube. What is then viewers experience of Locus? They see a group of dancers, making movements with their arms, trunk and legs in the free space of the stage (fig. 5). These movements seem quite independant of any external motive forces. They are rather emanating from the individual dancer and her body. One notices that the dancers movements are correlated in time, and this seems to have been practiced in advance. One also catches that all four dancers sometimes make the same movements at the same time although in different directions and with individual variations. This also seems to have been planned in advance. However, this needs not be what all spectators experience. I for one have a quite contradictory impression. The composition of the whole seems like a hard strung series of unrelated acts, leaving no scope for improvisation or indeterminacy. At the same time, the individual acts give the impression of an admirably casual, even nonchalant manner (certainly typical of the epoch). The presentation, made by Trisha Brown, mainly concerns her own preparatory work with the piece. The dancers need not bother with how the locations of the points on the cube or the order in which they are invoked are decided upon. That would rather be a complicating moment, as soon as locations and order have been committed to their body memories. It is important in the choreographers work but is not to be seen in the resulting piece of dance, and it need not in itself bother the dancers or the audience. So, both in the case of Rudolf Laban and in that of Trisha Brown, the cube can be thought of as a catalyst. In the case of Rudolf Laban, however, the cube is still more or less clearly implied by the dancers movements, while in the case of Trisha Brown it completely withdraws, together with most of the points on its surface.

RUDOLF LABAN The invisible cube used for physical work, for dance training, for the training of human bodies. The cube becoming visible when dancers mark out the limits of its space. The cube existing as one continuous flow, no stops, no gaps. The cube into which no one else enters than yourself, always available when you need it. The cube, one link in an unchanging system of perfect crystals outside history. TRISHA BROWN The invisible cube, a playground for the choreographer, used to program an unpredictable liberty of body movements. The cube which totally disappears as one among many. The cube as immersed in contemporary life, existing only in the here and the now. The cube filled with an amount of finite events. A cube to throw away after it has been used.

Sources Brown 1975. Trisha Brown, A Profile. In Brunel, Brown, Mangolte & Delahaye, Trisha Brown. Latelier des chorographes, Paris 1987. Camille 2000. Michael Camille, Signs of the City. In Barbara Hanawalt & Michal Kobialka, Medieval Practices of Space, Minneapolis 2000. Kubik 2002. Marianne Kubik, Biomechanics. Understanding Meyerholds System of Actor Training. In Nicole Potter (ed.), Movement for Actors, New York 2002. Laban 1920. Rudolf von Laban, Die Welt des Tnzers. Stuttgart 1920. Laban 1948. Rudolf Laban, Modern Educational Dance, London 1948.



Laban 1963. Rudolf Laban, Modern Educational Dance, Second edition, rev. by Lisa Ullmann, London 1963. Laban 1991. Rudolf von Laban, Choreutik. Grundlagen der Raum-Harmonielehre des Tanzes. Wilhelmshaven 1991 (1966). Louppe 1994. Laurence Louppe (ed.), Traces of Dance, Paris 1994. Newlove 2004. Jean Newlove & John Dalby, Laban for all. London 2004. Illustrations Fig. 1 Space orientations. After Rudolf Laban, Modern Educational Dance, Second edition, rev. by Lisa Ullmann, London 1963. Fig. 2 The four basic trace forms. After Rudolf von Laban, Choreutik. Wilhelmshaven 1991. Fig. 3 Flowing version of the Diagonal Scale. After Jean Newlove & John Dalby, Laban for all. London 2004. Fig. 4 Trisha Brown, Locus, pencil on paper, 1975. After Laurence Louppe (ed.), Traces of Dance, Paris 1994. Fig. 5 Trisha Brown, Locus, performance photo (not the same performance as described in the text). From Google images.


Where has the performance gone? 557


Ingrid Cogne with Cecilia Olsson
2008, I initiated a project in // and in correlation to my artistic proposals: The position and positioning of the spectator(s) in between black box and white cube. Spectator(s) in between interaction, activity and activation. Sept. 2010 June 2011, I collected Data during a residency, at the house of dance Stockholm, that I entitled SPECTATOR. I will now present here the transcription of several conversations I had with Cecilia Olsson, end of November 2011. I play with the dramaturgy of conversation through the parameter: time. The conversation is divided into 10 parts with durations from 1 to 15 minutes. In the following transcription, CO refers to Cecilia Olsson whilst IC corresponds to Ingrid Cogne. 1 min ON - [5 seconds of silence] CO the rest for silence IC/ja. CO so IC so it was like last time we met it was about
558 559

Nadine Byrne

6 months ago CO even more IC even more and we wanted to work on that CO yes and my memory is one of my best memories of the conversations is that we first really came to talk about spectatorship IC aha, in which sense, I mean what do you mean with that? like: what it is to have a relation to a work of art CO/yes IC or what it is to have a relationship to artist? CO/both of them and also hum not just a relationship to a piece of art. This is also a relationship to the full art field IC/ja CO so it is like because I remember when we discussed questions around - OFF 3 min ON - CO it is ok to do that IC it is ok to continue or to shift. It is actually the 2 alternatives we have: to continue or to shift CO and maybe we just shift due to the fact that something pops up hein-hein IC hein-hein CO and I would like to talk about that IC ja CO but I would like to go back to what I thought was interesting in terms of how you define one) the spectator, what is the definition of a spectator and also our discussion around how, I mean, from the artist point of view, you always refer to the public. It is like you have 800 people in an audience but you look at that as one body and you do not look at the individual IC oh ja CO I think we had an interesting discussion about that IC ja. You know it could be possible to use the notion of poly, of polysemic potentiality of an audience CO mmh-mmh IC There is as many types of spectators as persons constituting the group present in the room CO and also you - as a part of the group - how you identify yourself with the group IC or not CO or not. Can you avoid being part of the group.. IC and how the behavior influences your relationship CO exactly IC to the work. CO We also discussed the problem how sometimes how people can just stand up and praise IC just because CO the power IC of the group, ja. CO and when you sit down and everybody is standing up, clapping their hands, we almost have to put on the safety belt not to raise if you do not want to express that feeling IC ja because you do not like the work, or you are not interested in

that and you do not have to stand because all the others CO exactly! It is that force. IC it is the question to stand on your on feet, you own positioning as a person and in that case as a spectator in that context. CO we also discussed the idea of acting the spectator, acting an audience so that is not in that way, how to say, authentic. Because you enter a role, just as you have a role on stage. IC I do not know if it is a role or if it is a conditioning CO I think it is a combination because actually you do play role depending on just firstable - OFF 1 min ON- IC so we were both in the conditioning and the acting CO acting both as a group and as an individual in the group IC is that important for you to have your own identity in the group CO I think identity I do not have to say it is important but I think it is interesting when you are in different circles and you discuss relationships like this. When you are on the stage side, performing side and always refer to the audience like this big black mass of non-individual. IC but what will be the reference of the audience if you look at all those works that are a little bit more interactive or like - OFF 5 min ON - IC So I was about to go in the position of the individual, its relation to the group in a situation, I mean situation, not situation in a work where the people are in a kind of interactivity with artists and dancers. Where the spectator is personalized and where for the spectator the artist is also personalized. CO it is a good question. Now I am just thinking what happens is that you really create a difficult relationship and it is interesting in terms of how much and how safe you do feel as a performer and as an audience. And I think the importance in those situations is that you create, is that the artist-performer somehow is the one to take the initiative, of course, for the opening and opening up this kind of interaction IC but he-she also the one who is taking care CO but as an artist you might have to be prepared that maybe IC it might not go the right way. But this attitude of being the one who takes care creates also a specific relationship that

actually invites the spectator to think he/she is entering a kind of cure, in Sweden behandling, what is it in English? CO Treatment IC treatment and the artist becomes a kind of therapist and he/she will inject a bit of culture or a bit of connection between the body and the mind CO oh ja IC what I want to mention with that is that the welcoming of the artist directly connect to the representation the person can have to the one and one relation they usually have with a therapist, physiotherapist. CO It is that you have to come to an agreement very fast. I am not at all thinking at it as a treatment. It is just how quick you can come to an agreement: ok I am with you and I will watch you at the same time because I know I am sort of participating in your idea if you are the performer it is like IC but it questions the autonomy of the spectator in that situation CO ja exactly IC and it is not only the autonomy on a intellectual level but it is also an autonomy on the physical one CO and it is also on the emotional level, it is really interesting in terms of how you can often watch and see like for instance performance that are done here at Weld when you have interactive performances and sometimes I just think it is interesting to lean back and look how other people are acting and performing and participating, interacting. A lot of people are always en garde, maybe not 100% visible but it is a little bit like ok, I need to be prepared to some kind of surprise IC but that is the same when you visit the dentist CO no it is not the same IC for me, I can completely compare the different relationship CO no no no if you go to the dentist IC ok dentist is a little bit special but if we take a naprapath and you know this person will not hurt you CO but then you walk into a kind of treatment but you would like to look, just to I get you right, so you think that, would you like to translate this situation into situation when you go to treatment IC No , I am saying that it is problematic when the one and one situation can lead to a relationship patient-therapist. It is what I have often noticed CO ok!

That is interesting IC not in the works I do but in other interactive proposals. Its - shit OFF 2 min ON CO it is the problem when you have the break suddenly when you want to say something psssit! IC so maybe chin first! CO chin-chin! IC ok hum CO I would like to hear you develop what you started to say about this, that you see a time of this patient relationship IC it is the same when we were talking about this text where someone who is responsible for communication use a vocabulary a kid could write with the idea that it has to be accessible, it has to be easy to take and I have a bit the same feeling when you take the hand, the arm to guide someone CO ok, I am with you, in that perspective IC it is for me really reducing, narrowing the capacity of the people! You do not know the people who come and visit you work! How can you narrow their capacities, knowledge, their relationships to Art, society, politic or whatever that is for me a problem CO I see what you mean and it is euhpfuff, I would like to draw a map one of the questions is what your intentions as an artist or a performer and how secure you are as a performer. It is like are you ready to meet a person who will maybe challenge you as a performer? - OFF 10 min ON CO ja, we try to continue the conversation and go back but I think it is: the mapping and I am thinking about the different levels of challenge because it also could be as you as a audience, as a person, an individual. Often audiences are well it is interesting when we talked about this patient-therapist and maybe you go in that situation because you are so use to be the one to decide every time I do not want to decide anything it is like. And then it becomes a therapy in a way IC it makes me think about this work I did 2008, the one with CO Poudre IC Poudre with the foot choreography in flour CO I remember I was there IC and one of my friends, he is not an artist, I mean he worked as a photographer at one period, anyway he came, and he is, was a really stressed person and he said - you know he is this super black guy from

Guadeloupe - you know what Ingrid you should sale that as a therapy CO laugh IC because he was doing this with his own rhythm, he was not trying to do actually I do not know what he was doing and somehow I do not care so much, I was more interested in the situation, bref. But those, like 25-30 minutes were for him a really intense to recreate energy because he got this time for him. I was not trying to take over him, but I proposed him a situation where he could decide his own position and how he could invest, engage him in that. CO I am trying to get back to what we were talking about in the beginning IC but the patient is not something negative but it could be negative CO it also depends of the situation and the interpretation of the situation in the moment, I also think it could be different depending on where do you do this, it would have been really different if you had done Poudre in like, lets say the foyer at Dansens Hus because somehow this is, I mean in a way you are both unprepared and you are prepared when you come here and simple things like entering a space and you are standing in there and it is like no small place and you stand close to people and you seat close to people or you walk around you are already in a situation where you can like or you can not like it but I think most people here, coming here dont mind participating IC at least not at that time CO and also may be even if you do not want to go up because I remember it took a while before people really started to get engaged into because people were unsure about what is behind this, is that a trick? Is that a kind of illusionary? Will you make fool out of me? And it is like euh IC but no CO That is why he could also allow himself to take this time. Ok, I am safe and I remember both from my own point of view and watching others it was this kind of testing and people used to performance or maybe performing themselves sort of pretty quickly got into it while you could see how first some people were first standing by the wall looking and ok I want to try when they noticed that

there was no one else watching what was going on, people walk down with the I would love to test this, I want to do it IC it is also related to the question of creating a context, I mean, I was alone in the room, nobody else, no technician, we were 11 persons in the room, that is it CO but I think what happens in those kind of situation, it is a little bit like a power relationship that you it was very ... oh I am searching word very subtle but it is also really scary thin who is in power, it starts you seems to be the person in power because no one really know what is going to to happen but when people start to move, the crowd is in power and put you in a knew situation. IC I do not know if I was so much in power because I am used to place myself in difficult situations in order to remove this power relationship, I was so busy with so many things that I could not actually take care so much of the people CO but you have the power as a performer the first second so to say it is like you are here and the people are walking down here and do not know what is going to happen. This beginning is I guess as we talked before is how to create an atmosphere that makes certain things possible IC and you do not limit them CO exactly it is your power to do that IC I think there is a difference between setting a context or a situation where you are not afraid to let it go where it has to go and when you create a situation where you want to take the people by the hand, I mean mentally not physically, and you want to lead them from the point A to the point B. those are 2 completely different things. CO absolutely IC it is also related to the question of performativity. Like what is it to perform? What is it to meet an audience? Is it a dialog? Is it a conversation? CO are you showing something? IC do you teach something? I mean it is really CO or you entertain IC but entertainment is not a problem for me. CO no but it is like those questions are followed. You have a lot of definitions about both context situation euh intention, and expectation. Expectation is also playing a huge part in what you are

Emma Kim Hagdahl

doing. We are moving away this is interesting because we are thinking about spectatorship talking about it and we move into IC the choice of the artist. But it is also something we were discussing a lot last year, it is also why I invited you, because I was really trying to all the time keep me enough distanciated to the situation of being involved in those conversations. Those people became the filters, they became my eyes and how I could relate to their purposes and still know where I am and aware of my relation to the artist presenting or to the work do I know the artist, do I know the work? We were talking about that, depending on if I have seen the work, if I knew the artist, if I have a position regarding the politic or artistic statements of this artist I will not have the same relationship in the conversation with the people of the group of spectators who do not have anything to do with my positioning. So how I could enter and respect them and they did not become kind of tools. CO right IC in that tricky situation. CO I remember we talked about actually their roles and what they had Jesus Christ OFF 1 min ON IC I like what you just said in the break, because we have break, it was actually that it does not matter if we have 10 minutes or 1 minute because a conversation needs its own time and it does not speed up or slow down depending on CO ja exactly you need a space and time does not exist and should not exist in quotation marks . ja it is this format is quite interesting as well because you try to think ahead a little bit and catch back, look back oh, what did we talked about IC ja, can I shift something, can I be a good performer in that situation? How can I manage and lead where I want to lead? Laugh CO I was thinking about I wanted to lead that discussion into that question and tried to catch up something you said, like Laugh OFF 7 min ON - CO look such a long time! IC mmhmhh CO we should not look at it, that is really stressful. Silence I have this kind of pictures of pictures of pictures because that was one of the persons you interviewed who

describes pictures he got from the performance and then we intend to discuss those pictures and now I try to recall what was the pictures we ended with. This is like the picture in the performance, it is about IC/ using the different layers CO ja IC I think it was in relation to Trisha Brown, if I am not wrong and it was one of the first discussions I had CO yes it was the first one IC I think you saw those works in the past but long time ago and I am not sure I know the works and we talked about that, this is interesting because, I do not know what I know, but Trisha Brown has a specific signature and he was, that was a guy, he was describing this effusion of movement like it was appearing everywhere but what was CO I think IC /it was the word he used, the one we used, what do you mean with the different layer of pictures? CO there were different layers due to the fact he described sort of really precisely what was on stage. And then he described how this picture, image, literarily image so to say on stage, how that was transformed in a totally other dimension in his mind IC mmhmmh I think he was comparing with a film or a movie CO it was a film, it was a movie but it was also going back to the eighties century, it was kind of a grand lip to.. that we discussed wow it was kind of interesting, what was the connections? so we tried to catch the movement in the picture he created and somehow we created a third picture. IC do you remember the picture? CO I am trying to I have it in my notes, somewhere. IC Ja, but this is not possible CO ja I know but I though if I put my though maybe you will remember IC I remember the situation, the context, like the protocol, like the elements but I am not able to remember the picture. This is quite interesting because, maybe it is also, euh interesting to notice how we relate to the notion of creativity and to what is the most important, and for me at that time it was to be as analytical as possible to do not influence or get influenced by the things. And you had a complete other position because you could look at the content, you could let you

be taken over by the perception of the person and that I did not want to allow me. That is maybe why I cannot remember. CO It could be. But in term of that we also, now I am jumping a little bit, but we also talked about how, how your transitions through listening and discussing, talking, we were discussing what kind of questions you asked as well IC mmh CO Rather you let in something or and of course some of them were talking all the time so you did not say anything so it became very talkative with hardly any direction. IC I think also it was this relation of taking care of someone you invite in a tricky situation and I remember this guy, I mean it was really honest from him, and that is why I invited him because he directly had this statement well I do not know anything about Art, and I cannot afford to go and see dance but I can help you I would like to do it CO because I want to see IC because I want to see CO no because I want to do what you are doing but I want to see these performances IC no, I want to see Art and actually for me, somehow, I mean I took it as a kind of honesty CO it was IC and invited him directly, it worked for me and ja it was this particular relationship with this guy, because I noticed he was really trying, trying so much, his engagement in the conversation was so huge, he really wanted to participate the best he could. This was actually difficult for me to manage because it creates a kind of strangeness in the relationship. CO That was one of the parts, I mean being part of it afterwards, that was interesting to follow just as a next performance, because I could really listen to it as, ok this is a performance or some kind and what is going on? What are the relationships? How the roles are changing? And also just hearing the voices, that was quite of interesting as well but that brings you into: ok, experiences but also prejudices and also how do you define people from the way they are talking, the voices and it is like IC and in which point is you relationship to the person, when it is the first meeting or the second meeting, the third one or the

fourth it is really different. CO Exactly - OFF 15 min ON IC But actually, rich of those different experiences, in between the projects SPECTATOR and CONVERSATION and other things I started to think a kind of dramaturgy of the conversation and how you can, this really tricky, how you can manipulate it, but not it a negative way, just in the sense of modeling something, euh to act or perform it in a way, I am now using only superficial words but it is not what I want to say, oh but you can be in it. And how it is interesting to just listen to the rhythm of a conversation in a group of persons and find the right moment for entering or just to say to yourself no, not now, wait wait, now you can, it is the right moment to do it. For me it is really close to choreographic improvisation, composition in improvisation, when you have a structure CO right IC so you take, and you know all the element of the situation: on my left I have this and on my right I have this, this person has this kind of profile, ok I can move this way or this way and then you have a lot of rules, written or not, that you can play with, I think it is more and more exciting to play with that. I was invited for this, I did not want to go in that but I was working with a group of 5 people and I had this role of facilitator and it was so interesting to create situation where people could be themselves but just like to keep in mind or play with time and space. So simply to displace us from a context to another, to let this open in order to create another rhythm another time in the group in the conversation in the circulation of knowledge in the accumulation or organization of knowledge which is for me choreography. As stupid as it is. And you can apply that everywhere. CO Of course. Everything has somehow some kind of organization. In one way you could immediately use the word choreography. IC ja, that is a bit clich and so many people use this word, I was now reading a sociologic text on the relation between gaze and photography CO/I am not thinking in that way. It is like as soon as you have human beings in a

space and you want some kind of interaction; if you want to be a director of an interaction you can really talk about choreography in that perspective. But it is very very. This is very loose but you made me think about the situation when you think choreography in a conversation, a talk and choreographing people in a room it is, I think it is much harder to choreography people in a conversation in terms of euh I mean, how you control yours thoughts and how you control your body is, now I am really getting in something I have not being thinking through I think it is much easier to play and understand me right in what I say to play around without thinking, it is much easier when you are moving around with the body. It is like you connect, I am not taking it away from the intellectual, you look and you can respond very quickly and do it right or do it wrong depending of what happens. But it is much harder when you should organize your thoughts because you are taking in: someone is saying something and at the same time you have: ok I have to work this out what this person it actually saying and what is this person thinking and do I get the structure of those thoughts and the time spent, her is time and space interesting again, it is like, I do not know if you can follow me because I am thinking and talking at the same time IC I am following but I am not sure why you are making a difference in between the intellectual CO I am not in that, that is what I said I am not doing intellectual IC no no, but just like you said it is much difficult to organize as the same time you are in the situation when it concerns the mind CO it is not the mind because as I thing it is the thought, laugh, because I think your muscle is a mind, but it takes so much longer time, it is one thing, let say that we do an improvisation and I give an impulse, you can follow that IC/ but I think it is a question of perception. For example, with my eyes I have a control over your movement, the eyes is the sense organ we use the most, I cannot see your thought CO no and here we are back to the relationship be572

tween time and space and how important time and space are in the situation of a conversation. Like we were talking before, suddenly, what is time? What is space? And I come to the conclusion every time time is not an issue but within movement time is an issue because if you can read time and space IC but I think in the conversation time is a big issue, because if you do not give time CO but not in the beginning when you are thinking in term of choreography and if you want to direct IC I think I understand where you are now but I am more thinking of a situation of improvisation that choreography and it is more choreographic improvisation and choreography of a conversation so it is like when you have the toolbox and you know the structure and then you can find your way in that. And it is the same with the body, you know how the body works CO this time concept is really interesting because even if you know you are given a frame and you are given some kind of position and then you are free to improvise but at the same time. As you can so much quicker see something so much quicker in relation to the time, then you can hear and transform but dont you think most conversation are quite improvisational in terms of, depending on if you have subject you decided before hand or if you are seating around a dinner table IC I think it really depends of, I mean, I could really do the parallelism: when I meet an audience and I give this but I do not know if the person will take 5 cm or 10 cm of my arm and do not want to control that. But I want to offer my hand in order to make it possible, I do not know if I am clear. It is not about leading somewhere so it is not in between the point A and the point B. for example the point A is there because I offer my hand and I said welcome or whatever but I do not know if it will be a point B. Maybe it will not be anything but it is ok. CO this could be as well in a conversation. You open up and you are very interested in something and it just pffff IC I think it is a question of engagement, there are people I do not try to be in a conversa573

tion with, I am completely silent because I know they are not interested CO I know what you mean, but returning back to meeting an audience, what we were talking about in the beginning that you still have some kinds of contract which is different from seating like you and I are doing or more people would be. IC where is the difference? CO the difference is like, because if you enter, I am the audience, I am one person in the audience, the difference in one perspective is that, ok, I have seen this is gonna happen, I come and buy my ticket and I go to this event and something happens so from that perspective you are not, sort of I do not want to say equal terms, because I do not like that word. You still have a relationship but when you have a conversation, it is like, if it had been that euh ok, I am invited to have this conversation do you see where I am heading? Do you see these parallels or otherwise you have to explain. I mean I have a big difficulty because of the people, because they engage themselves and they pay a ticket they will not leave if they do not like the situation CO I do, if I can, if I am crowdy IC I have been talking with many people in the group and even if they got free tickets through this project they put a contract on them that they have to stay until the end and some of them told me, I will stay because I want to see if something will happen and I am someone like this I want to give as much chance as possible. But sometimes it is really a waste of time. So why do I do not take the decision to give me back the time I engaged in something? There is no verbal contract. It is just myself, me, who put some weight, pressure on myself that I have to fulfill the role of something. CO that is what I was going to say but then it is different in different parts. That is what I meant in the beginning you play the audience and for instance you are IC/ but I think there is a difference between being the hostage of being an audience because you are conditioned to be an audience and playing the game of being an audience. For example someone who come and just say ja I

know that I am sitting here, I know that I am applauding that, I know that I am mingling CO / I was more thinking about the situation of, that you are acting an audience not as an individual but you want to belong to the group and this group we are, we want to be the best audience for this group performing, if it is a group. IC it is completely utopic to think, I mean, how a group that has never met before, that has just one common element, CO that is my feeling when sometime the guest performance was like this pprruuuh and you come to a situation you have the feeling that everyone in this room are not applauding something that has been on stage IC ja they are applauding, celebrating the fact of being an audience CO exactly and you will remember us as an audience we had such a good audience when we were playing there. That does not really matter what you will do on stage, but suddenly all the focus is put on the audience and it is like, I am searching my words, it is like there is no differentiation, everything goes and sometimes you feel that you have an agreement this is something everybody think it is good, it is confortable, and it is really conformist, euh this is OFF a big famous group, we heard about them and we never seen them and we are such a good audience here so we have to show that wow this is an audience and then you have other group, like norrdans, oh this is not dance, we cant, even if it is even better than les ballets C de la B. so as an audience you group together and have a decision and we gonna give you this or this. That fascinates me. IC for me it is more problematic that fascinating. 2 min ON IC, ok it is the last 2 minutes CO there is so many threads we have been talking about it would be great to continue just to IC ja but there is no pressure on us, it is just a proposal to step in so it is great CO it is just sort of interesting when you start to talk and have a conversation and to see how pchuuu thought just sort of spin off and you do not really know where you are going. I do not know what I am talking about; I do not know

where is my goal because you just think out load. So it is not something you have pre-formulated or pre-articulated. And that is a conversation. IC I like also when people talk alone, I noticed people in the train they are just talking to themselves and I talk to myself CO/ me too and you should listen to my mother, Laugh she has quite interesting conversation or comments IC related to time? I was thinking about we have so many small things we would like to continue with and it is what I think the most important when you as a spectator or as an artist and you create a situation together, I am not talking about interaction, I am just talking of the situation of being two persons or 100 persons in the same room and then you just by proposing something push on the button of something and let it continue its - OFF own way, I had to finish this sentence. The end. of 47 minutes.

Efva Lilja



Daniel Israelsson & Emma Kim Hagdahl @ PAF



FASTER! Hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap, clap, snap, hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap. 5,6,7,8. IrmaMarit. We are family; (yeah yeah yeah) i got all my sisters with meeeee. Plocka pplen, slnga p farbrorn. Kra bilen, studsa p bollen. Plocka pplen, plocka svamp. Kasta kasta lasso, pumpa herion. Kka kebaben, g i trappan. Hacka hacka lken, hammra med hammrarn. Sga sga sga, shyffla shyffla shyffla shyffla. Ge pizza, ta pizza, ge pizza, ta pizza. Lsa meteron, mla tavlan. POPP! Du har EN ny vnnerfrfrgan, Ni har 26 gemmensamma vnner. Facebook POKE, facebook LIKE, facebook TAG. Where are we, where are we, where are we OOOH! You you you you you CHECK IN! Elvisp, elvisp elvisp, elvisp Knppa BH Fakis, fakir, fakir, fakir. Dalkulla, dalkulla, dalkulla, dalkulla. Pistoler, pistoler, pistoler, pistoler. FridansFridansfridans.fridans See the actual movment on youtube LOVE PLOCKA PPLEN We love you.

Rami Jawhari Jansson & Oscar Pierrou Lindn (Irma Marit)

Hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap, clap, snap, hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap. SCCHHH! BOTH! Hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap, clap, snap, hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap. BOUNCE! Hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap, clap, snap, hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap. SLOW! Hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap, clap, snap, hit, snap, clap, hit hit, snap.



Artistic Statement by Pavle Heidler

actually is able to experience only objectively. ?!

sidenote: Since when, in the history of arts, have makers been queens and kings of objectiveness? Since yesterday, maybe, when the pressure became unbearable..

part Two Logic The dictionary says that objective is, amongst other things, not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations or prejudice. Now take a moment and imagine any of the words I wrote/you read so far. No need to point out, once again, which I am doing anyway, that all of these words are codes of agreement made by history so we could keep trying to communicate. Let me point out that, even though there is a code, we can not deny that more than half of us involved with TSDH project, to take what youre holding in your hands as an example, are not in fact native English speakers. Which basically means that at the time we were trying to learn how to speak English, we already had a language stored in our brain, a language that English was constantly compared to as it entered into our capacities. Next to that, slightly on the right, hovering in the air of your imagined perception, is the fact that if I say TABLE, we both have an idea of the purpose of the object the word table refers to and the general idea of what it could look like; but if I ask you to describe a table, the first table you imagine upon hearing the word needless to say, our tables will most likely not match. And that might be because the first table you had in your home in the late sixties was much different that the one I had in the early nineties, on the other side of this planet. It also might be because you have no desire to put any time into imagining a table, while I sit here, and write an essay about it. It finally might be that you are one of the rare examples of people who were brought up away from tables,

part One Reaction I wonder if this is specific to the dance making realm quite a number of makers today, successful makers nontheless, seem to be really convinced that objective is the way to go. I found myself very passionately engaged when, not so long ago, one of my partners in conversation went so far as to say that personal experience is of no importance, because it carries no value for anyone apart the person (implied the narcissist) involved. I was sitting on the edge of my chair, ready to disagree when the argument developed even further. First it went on to disconnect the importance of personal experience from the inspiration that eventually seeks the creation of the objective in any one person interested in this process; and then it made an attempt at stating that one

because their parents believed tables were aliens trying to steal their child and though this sounds reasonably impossible, I assure you, weirder things have happend. Like us, still trying to communicate. part Three Questions I could imagine that the problem of objective and subjective came, and I am thinking now of making dances in particular, with the attempt of releasing oneself from the chains of aesthetics. Because what is aesthetics but a form given to personal feeling/interpretation/prejudice, a form that works as an objectifying catalyst which is basically an artist making his idea readable. Which brings me to yet another question How readable does one need to get? And as I trace my thinking process backwards, counterclockwise, what does it actually mean readable. That aside (place it right next to your drink) why is it that we still call binaries like subjective and objective and by doing that, support binaries as such. Because what is aesthetics but a form given to personal feeling/interpretation/prejudice, a form that works as an objectifying catalyst which is basically an artist making his idea readable. And what is objective but an aesthetics put on subjective an aesthetics that, because of its potential distance from i.e. emotional involvement, makes us feel that we are not only working for our own sake, but actually have our fingers on something i.e. socially valuable. Another question worth mentioning here, mostly so I can trace my own lineage of inspiration that culminated into this text who is the Author that makes all these decisions for and by her or himself. Who is the Artist?

part Four Who is the Artist? Cecilia Bartolli Eleanor Bauer Haruki Murakami Slavoj iek Deborah Hay Madame Martine Susan Sontag Robert Steijn Stefan Milenkovic Jesse Ash Joka and Branko Milakovic Sylvie Guillem Xavier Le Roy Judith Butler Antony Hegarty Obviously, with this list I ask what is Art. We can agree that these people produce very elaborated and virtuosic work. Works that take up very different aesthetic approaches, include very different philosophies and attract very different audiences. What is my point? These people wake up every day and work. These people make it about the work. The work works. part Five Utopian Finale I have to be careful here, because my goal is not to convince anyone of anything. And I dont really want to get you all into my boat, because my boat is not that big anyway. Though, there is always a possibility that you bring your own boats, and then we just row together, for as long as we want.

Because, another great thing about being subjective is that you can always change your mind. And let me tell you the ugly truth. No body really cares, anyway. As long as the work works.

Krt Juurak




Luca Naser

ghosts? specters? are they rogues? are they living or being something? is their time the present or are them still to come? why calling dance to that that they are doing? why not? is dancing writing? it writes with steps, with shapes, with experiences, with sensorial attentiveness? no expectations but a lot of perhaps. if choreography is a bodily statement, is improvisation an embodied question? ghostly appearances, unknown apparitions, sudden disappearances. continuous presence. continuous present. are we saying something that is not sayable? are we dancing something that is not documentable, describable, apprehensible? is it just experienced? just happening? just being? unjustly undetermined? not happening yet? already over? about to begging? promising to come? coming promisingly?

how would it be to dance with an other to whom i am linked by a dissymmetric dissymmetry, that links us through an unaccountable and undecidable something. how might be the tracing of a difference, of a sexual difference, of a incommensurable difference that keeps us moving around dance, looking for something, raising questions or even distracted by the same task of asking. questioning with no worries about the chance of them being answered. distracted by the chance that opening the question may open. we stop opposing one another and simultaneously we are a third space, a different time that cant become from the previous coupling because it was born in the very moment that our singularities met. do they share space? contiguity? they talk to each other? they are enemies? friends? hostages? guests?



Jens Strandberg & Sam Kennedy

Earlier this year we were invited to make a work for a group exhibition that will take place in Leeds in mid November. The invitation was made to us by two friends who had been working collaboratively for a period of time, but at a distance, corresponding through letters. The act of correspondence, for them, had become a crucial part in developing ideas for the exhibition as well as setting its parameters and structure. We had both played some role in their letters leading them to invite us to produce a work specifically through collaboration. We had never before collaborated, in fact our work seemed to completely lack any obvious relationship. As we see it an invitation is always a challenge, it sets forward a trajectory and forces one to formulate and define ideas that otherwise would remain undefined. At the same time as struggling to find a direct connection between our practices we were also struggling to form
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a relationship to the site of the exhibition, Leeds College of Art. Both of us felt a similar lack of enthusiasm for making a work which did not in some way deal with the context of the college. How could one relate to the college without ever having attended it, or without having been there? One thing we could relate to was what it was like to go to an art school. We had both been trained in colleges like Leeds College of Art, before progressing on to Batchelor of Art (BA) and now Master of Art (MA) level. To a certain extent we are both products of the art education system, something which became clear to us through this invitation. Simply put, the objectives of Leeds College of Art are to prepare people from across the UK to enter into a BA program in art or design like the ones here at Konstfack. If, then, preparation was the context, how could we prepare ourselves to work together? As we said earlier our fields of interest were seemingly fairly separate. Sam studies in the interior architecture department and has a practice centered on the physical object. Jens meanwhile had seemingly stopped making work of physical material, instead choosing to make work based around organization and discussions. He is now studying in art department on the course Art in the Public Realm. It was in this limbo of different forces that we began to define a common ground where we thought we could meet. In other words we began discussing not only what could combine our work and the site of exhibition but also how we could use this invitation to develop a side of our working process that was latent. Our discussion came to rest on our different ideas of what we meant by object and what this could mean in the context of an exhibition at Leeds School of Art. This word, which is both a verb and a noun, which has both a physical and notional character, which is both objective and subjective, seemed to take in much of what we are both concerned with. This essay is structured as a conversa596

tion between the two of us and how we relate to this word. This conversation is completely influenced by the time we have spent together, the reading we have done together and the discussions we have had. This essay is our attempt to map out a ground on which we will stand, a support structure which we hope will allow us to make a response to the invitation we received to produce work for Leeds College of Art. Before beginning we would like to make our process a little bit more transparent. Working together is always difficult, especially when the constellation is imposed. Through our method we hoped to find a common language. One of our initial attempts at this was to establish a reading group, in which we began by reading Bruno Latours We have never been modern. Each section of this book was read prior to our meetings, during which we would take it in turns to read aloud for the other. This book, which might seem to have been plucked out of thin air, became a crucial reference point for our discussions, which have developed alongside its slow reading and re-reading. It has consequently lead us to other essays that have helped us expand our relationship to the subject. In this way one can say that the reading group has become a mediator between us, a tool for discussing a complex topic. Other texts have also influenced us and been important in creating a shared language, e.g. Jacques Rancire, Chus Martinez, Martin Heidegger, Chantal Mouffe, Michel de Certeau, Merleau Ponty, Doreen Massey, Raymond Williams, Maija Timonen, George Caffentzis, Nina Power, Simon Sheikh and Celine Condorelli. It is from this agonistic ground that we set out to challenge ourselves and our working method. It is also from here that the following conversation originates. 1. OBJECT Noun It is hard to describe ones immediate environment without using the words object or thing. An example. Most people are so familiar with the computers keyboard that

they can type without thinking about the position of the keys. If we stick to the letters we know well, the end of the text might arrive without us even having noticed the keyboard at all. If, on the other hand, one of the keys gets stuck down, or if say, we want to introduce a semi-colon; all of a sudden the keyboard transforms. Something that was felt only through fingers and which went largely unnoticed by the rest of the consciousness, comes precisely into view. The keyboard becomes defamiliarized. All of a sudden we dont know it in the same way. This defamilarization and representation for a subject is how a thing is transformed into an object1. But keys rarely get stuck down. More commonly things work quite well whether we notice them or not. Our world is composed of these things that do not need to be noticed, in order to exist. A wall is a wall, whether or not one is there to see it being a wall. Similarly a floor is a floor whether or not we walk over it. The world of things is everyday, it exists despite us but it is also, at all times around us. It shapes every action we make, affecting every part of our lives. If we were to trace the writing of this text back to the beginning we would encounter a huge heap of these things which were necessarily taken for granted, so that we could think only about writing. Similarly if we were to thoroughly investigate the story of the paper on which this essay should be printed, we would come into contact with an every expanding network of things; trees, water, machines, chemicals etc. In philosophy, one usually refers to a subject as a being that has subjective experiences2. According to the etymological definition of the noun object it is a thing which is thrown in the way3 of the subject. The separation of the object from the subject arrives at the beginning of the history of Modernity.4 Modernity was built one separation after another. The first was modern from pre-modern, or now from then. The moderns aimed to define what came from us and what came from the world. Hence modernity was a splitting up,

categorization and purification of everything in the natural and social world.5 This was followed by further separations within these two categories. To cut a long story short, one can say that the story of the object and the subject in modernity is also a story of private property and in the long run of consumption. It is the story of what is mine and what is yours. If the object is defined through separations then things are defined through their combinations.6 The etymological root of the word thing means a gathering together of matters of concern.7 Things are defined by their nearness and fuzzy borders. To call something a thing is to not have the complete image of it in ones mind. The thing exists in a state of support, it stands beside, on top of, under, to the left or right of, it exists in relationship with other things. As humans, when we come into contact with things it is with all our senses. What would it take to re-imagine the Modern world8 of detached objects as a world made up of connected things? The problem with thinking about things is that as soon as we give them our attention we, in some way, perform an extraction. We separate the thing from its environment, turning it into an object in front of a subject. Instead of looking at things and turning them into objects one can look between them. What are the nature of the connections that tie things together? In asking this question we may be able to get to a better understanding of things. A brief return to the computer. It now stands on top of the table a certain height above the ground, a height proven comfortable to work at provided there is a chair. The chair, the table, the computer, all these things support each other and are needed.9 Going unnoticed through all of this is the floor, without which everything would be falling down to who knows where? Or gravity which keeps everything from floating away.10 In order for the dependency of a thing to be satisfied, support must be consistently and unremittingly provided.

The need of one relies on the generosity of the other, as soon as one side is removed the fragile relationship that makes up the thing collapses. In this analogy things are continuously being made and remade, never static always changing.11 This is where it could be interesting to think about things in relationship to time, not as in the Modernist idea of time as an irreversible trajectory12. Instead as a relational time, a thing as a collection of moments when need is felt and support is offered. 2. OBJECT verb This section of our conversation will focus on the verb to object. A quick look in the etymological dictionary shows that both the noun and the verb come into use in the 14th century. Although they appear distinct from each other, one defined as something thrown in ones way, the other as a declaration of a disapproval,13 they do etymologically connect. Both the verb and the noun stem from Latin word objectus, which means to put or throw before or against. This interpretation implies a person making an act in opposition to something or someone. Before continuing our conversation around the verb to object, we would like to return to the context for making this work, the common conditions which allow connections between two distinct colleges, Leeds college of art and Konstfack. This educational system, which both academies are part of is the working condition within which this text exists, as well as premise for the art work we will make. Instead of thinking about the keys that are stuck down on the keyboard we want to refocus on the larger context. Both Leeds college of art and Konstfack are signatures to a reform that is called the Bologna process. This can quickly be summed up as a European attempt to make it easier for students to move between universities, by standardizing the educational system and insisting on an efficient way of evaluating degrees e.g. BA and MA degrees. Although this is not

particularly the place to dwell on this reform, one can say, based on the evidence so far, that the Bologna process has had a largely negative effect on education, particularly on art education.14 Our own experience is that universities have not become more efficient, instead administrative work seems to have increased, leading to additional costs. At Konstfack it now takes at least three board meetings to change or develop a course15 potentially leading to the stagnation of programs. The initiation of the Bologna process was soon followed by the introduction of tuition fees for students in most European universities. In the last few years one could witness students demonstrating against, both the Bologna process and the tuition fees. These are some of the conditions that we, as students at Konstfack, share with those at Leeds college of art. Another thought: Our intuition is that material objects are swallowed up by an art market, no matter how hard an artist tries to radically break with the current conditions. Works are formed only as reforms of the current trend. Even the most radical art works or the most avant-garde artists have been absorbed by private collectors and companies, or made into museums artifacts. The role of the art institution is only to organize them and insert them on a chronological axis and into a narrative trajectory. The art institution becomes a place for legitimating objects. The curators and historians are the police,16 the police that polices the organizational system, that defines the law, which divides the community into groups, social positions and functions.17 This law decides partitions and distributes those with rights to take part and those that are excluded.18 One could imagine us together with our friends in Konstfack having wild discussions about how we will change the world we live in. Explaining to our Professors, we would tell them how our designs or art works will make the world less capital driven or more gender equal, or simply more fair for

everyone. This is what many artists, including ourselves, strive for with their art work. How far away are we from change when all our objects do, is to confirm the tradition of the trajectory. The choice seem to be limited, one either confirms the tradition or stops making work. What if, instead of explaining to our Professors how, we exchange it with when. When do we change the world? When do we make it less capital driven? When does it become more gender equal? To try to relate these questions to art, we paraphrase the title of Raymond Williams short essay When was Modernism? and ask when is art? In this line of thought it seems to us that when objects reach the public institution the art has already happened. The exhibition is only a public declaration of a completed thought, an object, the evidence of a private experience had by an artist. What if we replace objects with unfinished thoughts? What if we replace completion with fragments? What if we look for temporariness instead of the permanency? Never becoming standardized by a reform but always contesting and aiming to re-form. The question of public and private is thus a crucial one. Most exhibitions and art schools including Konstfack want to deal with the notion of public.21 It is a buzzword within art, it sounds great! it implies transparency and democracy. A brief look at the writings about public shows that it is seen not just as property accessible to common people, generally owned by the state or aristocracy, but also as a relational notion, i.e. as an arena where one meets, engages and discusses.22 This is a place that is always becoming a place, a public sphere23 where one practices democracy and can agree or disagree on a subject in conflictual consensus.24 An art exhibition implies a public display, but what is public about that display when the art work is speaking and not listening? How can one discuss, engage and contest what is being said in public when the declaration is made from the private space, e.g. the artist studio or the artist bedroom? If art is ways of

doing and making25 in the world, should it not also include ways of listening? This is where we can return to our conversation around the verb to object. One can break with the police order by objecting, extracting oneself from the dominant trajectory. In order for this objection to also be emancipatory,26 one must also listen. Emancipation is the process of verification of the equality of intelligence... It is the equality of intelligence in all manifestations.27 Because an objection requires, as we earlier said a disagreement with something or someone and that disagreement should be public. How and when should one object? The answer is easy, one should continuously object! Not by extracting oneself from the dominant order in an antagonistic way but instead by continually contesting the established frame in an agonistic way.28 The agonistic object should be a disagreement made public with agreed upon principals.29 It should share a symbolic space of listening and talking to each other. An object should not be made in the private and transferred to the public, nor should the object be made in public while moving to the private. It should be formed and re-formed continuously through conversation. In this way the educational system can be shaped by all levels of knowledge and power. Thinking is always unfinished, objects should be always re-formed, scribbles are just another way of writing, people never stop learning. One should not assume that we, the students, should just listen to the monologue of our Professor, or sit waiting for a verdict. Instead we should continually contest these structures and not allow our working conditions to remain a standardized stagnant reform. By allowing space for agonistic objection and equal transmission of knowledge, separation can remain within and transform the system.


Conclusion We began this text by stating that it was written as a conversation. The idea of writing in conversation is not only a political statement but has also become a tool which has allowed us to continually form and re-form our opinions. In the reading group, which we began this research with, it was important that we read out loud, listening and sharing thoughts in a public way. The slow progress of reading and rereading that has happened over a period of a few months, allowed us to developed a shared language which has informed this essay. The process of writing and rewriting an essay through agonistic debate has enabled thoughts to alter, develop and become more embedded in our minds. From the initial challenge we were faced with when asked to collaborate together, a feeling of a complete lack of interrelations, we hope that this text shows that a gap has been bridged. The conversation we have had around the object within this essay forms a base from which we hope to collaboratively produce an artwork. For this reason we are not aiming to sum up or conclude within the space of the text, rather to pose questions. When do we practice what we have learned? When can we best support each other? When can we re-form the reform? When do we relate to Leeds College of Art, the end point for our art work? When will we form our object? These are questions which we will continue to discuss through conversation and through our making and doing. But one thing we will take with us from the experience of writing this text is that all thoughts should remain equally important at all times and spaces, from the scribbles in our notebook to the conversation at dinner. We will continue to contest the objects ahead of us, as it is only through these discussions that our support for objects will form and grow.

Annick Bureaud Art and Weightlessness, given as a lecture at Jan Van Eyck Academy 2011 www.annickbureaud.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/AIR_ Bureaud.pdf Michel de Certeau The Practice Of Everyday Life, University of California Press [1988] Cline Condorelli & Gavin Wade Support Structures, Sternberg Press [2009] Stephan Dillemuth Old and New Monsters, [2006] http://www.societyofcontrol. com/pmwiki/k2ao/k2ao.php?n=Main.Dill2MonstersFrieze 23/09/2011 Martin Heidegger The Thing, ed. Fiona Candin, The Object Reader (In Sight: Visual Culture) [2009] Bruno Latour We Have Never Been Modern, Harvard university press [1993] Bruno Latour A cautious Prometheus? A few steps toward a philosophy of design (with special attention to Peter Sloterdijk), Keynote lecture for the Networks of Design meeting of Design History Society 03/09/2008 www.bruno-latour.fr/articles/article/112-DESIGN-CORNWALL.pdf Chus Martinez in a lecture at Tensta Konsthall 13/09/2011 Chantal Mouffe Politics and Passions, the stakes of democracy, Centre for the Study of Democracy, [2002] Chantal Mouffe Articulated Power Relations - Markus Miessen in conversation with Chantal Mouffe, [2002] http://roundtable.kein.org/node/545 23/09/2011 Mute Magazine Dont Panic, Organise! a mute magazine pamphlet on recent struggles in education, Mute Publishing, [2011] Maurice Merleau-Ponty The Primacy of Perception and Its Philosophical Consequences, ed. Ted Toadvine and Leonard Lawlor The Merleau-Ponty reader Northwestern University Press [2007] Doreen Massey For Space, SAGE Publication Inc [2005] Nina Power http://infinitethought.cinestatic.com 23/09/2011 Jacques Rancire The Politics of Aesthetics, Continuum books London, New York [2006] Jacques Rancire The Emancipated Spectator, Artforum 45:7 March [2007] Florian Schneider (Extended) Footnotes On Education, [2010] http:// worker01.e-flux.com/pdf/article_128.pdf 23/09/2011 Simon Sheikh In the Place of the Public Sphere? Or, the World in Fragments [2004] http://republicart.net/disc/publicum/sheikh03_en.pdf 23/09/2011 Maija Timonen The Operation was a Success but the Patient Died: a short progress from self-suspension to self-sacrifice, a presentation part of As The Academy Turns organized by EARN (European Artistic Research Network) for Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain 02/12/2010 Raymond Williams When Was Modernism?, [1987] http://work.colum. edu/~zfurness/theories/williams-when-was-modernism.pdf 23/09/ Endnotes



1. For Heideggers tool analogy, see: Martin Heidegger, The Thing, ed. Fiona Candin, The Object Reader (In Sight: Visual Culture) 2009 2. To play with this concept we took this definition from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, a resource that allows any individual to edit a subject from their own point of view. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subject_(philosophy) 23/09/2011 3. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=object 23/09/2011 4 Bruno Latour, 2.4 The Mediation of the Laboratory We have never been Modern , Harvard university press [1993]P.20 5. Bruno Latour We have never been Modern , Harvard university press [1993] P.11 6. Bruno Latour A cautious Prometheus? A few steps toward a philosophy of design (with special attention to Peter Sloterdijk), Keynote lecture for the Networks of Design meeting of Design History Society 03/09/2008 www.bruno-latour. fr/articles/article/112-DESIGN-CORNWALL.pdf 7. Martin Heidegger, The Thing, ed. Fiona Candin, The Object Reader (In Sight: Visual Culture) 2009 8. See discussion on Modern world in Bruno Latour We have never been Modern , Harvard university press [1993] e.g p.32. 9. According to Beatrice Gibson in Celine Condorelli Support Structures p.77 Support is the tragic double of the pre-fix. Support cant spend time alone with itself but is condemned to existence only in relation to something else. 10. Annick Bureaud Art and Weightlessness, given as a lecture at Jan Van Eyck Academy 2011 www.annickbureaud.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/AIR_ Bureaud.pdf 11. Celine Condorelli Support Structures p.21 Support continuously reveals the occurrence of a point of jeopardy and how it causes a rupture in the autonomy of the object 12. Raymond Williams When Was Modernism?, [1987 http://work.colum. edu/~zfurness/theories/williams-when-was-modernism.pdf 23/09/2011 ] Modern began to appear as a term more or less synonymous with now in the late sixteenth century, and in any case used to mark the period off from medieval and ancient times. In the nineteenth century it began to take on a more favourable and progressive ring 13. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=object 23/09/2011 14. There is a large amount of literature surrounding the negative effect of the Bologna Reform within the educational system. See for example Florian Schneider (Extended) Footnotes On Education, [2010] http://worker01.e-flux.com/ pdf/article_128.pdf 23/09/2011 or Stephan Dillemuth Old and New Monsters, [2006] http://www.societyofcontrol.com/pmwiki/k2ao/k2ao.php?n=Main.Dill2MonstersFrieze 23/09/2011 15. Since he began at Konstfack, Jens has been a student representative on the KU board (Konstnrlig Utveckling). The KU board is a deciding committee for Konstfack, consisting of professors from the different departments. It can incredibly heartbreaking to see the progress of errand, as it is slowly passed through and watered down by the administrative system. The brief for this course, that this text is part of, was passed by the KU board after a long meeting earlier this year. As I remember it there was a disagreement around the word essay and its suitability.

16. See glossary in Jacques Rancire, The Politics of Aesthetics 2006 Continuum books London, New York p.89 17. Ibid p.3 18. It also divides the visible from the invisible, the audible from the inaudible, the sayable from the unsayable Ibid p.3 19. Raymond Williams When Was Modernism? 1987 http://work.colum. edu/~zfurness/theories/williams-when-was-modernism.pdf 23/09/2011 20. Chus Martinez in a lecture at Tensta Konsthall 13/09/2011 21. Jens program is called Art in the Public Realm 22. There are tons of writings on the notion of public including texts by Jrgen Habermas, Alexander Kluge, Ernesto Laclau or Chantal Mouffe. Instead we suggest Simon Sheikhs essay In the Place of the Public Sphere? Or, the World in Fragments [2004] http://republicart.net/disc/publicum/sheikh03_en.pdf 23/09/2011 23. Ibid. 24. Chantal Mouffe Articulated Power Relations - Markus Miessen in conversation with Chantal Mouffe 2002 http://roundtable.kein.org/node/545 23/09/2011. This is how I envisage the agonistic struggle, a struggle between different interpretations of shared principles, a conflictual consensus: consensus on the principles, disagreement about their interpretation. 25. Jacques Rancire The Politics of Aesthetics 2006 Continuum books London, New York, Artistic practices are ways of doing and making that intervene in the general distribution of ways of doing and making as well as in the relationships they maintain to modes of beings and forms of visibility. p.13 26. See Jacques Rancire The Emancipated Spectator Artforum 45:7 March 2007 27. Ibid. 28. Chantal Mouffe Politics and Passions, the stakes of democracy, Centre for the Study of Democracy, [2002] what is important is that conflict does not take the form of antagonism (struggle between enemies) but of agonism (struggle between adversaries). p.9 29. Chantal Mouffe Articulated Power Relations - Markus Miessen in conversation with Chantal Mouffe, [2002] http://roundtable.kein.org/node/545 The major difference between enemies and adversaries is that adversaries are, so to speak, friendly enemies in the sense that they have got something in common: they share a symbolic space. Therefore there can exist between them what I call a conflictual consensus. They agree on the ethico-political principles that inform the political association but they disagree about the interpretation of those principles 23/09/2011




Lilin Pineda

work to change the proportions of the sizes in a certain moment. It also means that we can decide, in reference to an established relation, where and how these limits are. First you should decide what space to belong to. If you dont decide it, some other tendency will inevitably decide that space and time for you and as a result your function or role inside this imposed system (consider the 2nd law of thermodynamics). When you assume this you have the awareness that you affect and are affected by others. Lets consider then, that consciousness generates a larger force than tendency. Awareness allows you to move the limits that you assume that divide you from something else in a defined moment. This will generate an approach to your understanding and capability of feeling what seems to be your own and what not. 2. The mobility of the limits. We discover and learn through limits, but we dont necessarily have to look for them too far away. We can search for the ones that are closest to us and in ourselves. Lets suppose that when you place yourself as part of a space, the relation with the rest of its parts transforms. If we decide that belonging to a space is to belong to a system, then you and the other are part of the same and create a network to share a total amount of useful energy to generate movement (consider the 2nd law of thermodynamics again). This initially means two things: a. That you and the other share a fundamental interest in this space and b. that you no longer have complete control over the space, but you can infer probabilities. In this case you a. have more force than if you were not aware that you are a part of something else and b. generate a direct and intense confrontation. This confrontation and the difference in the space between you is proportional to the knowledge that you can generate in this relationship (consider the Mathematical

A practice of 3 spaces. 1. To place yourself in a limited space is to create a new one. It also means to decide where you are in this space, differentiate yourself from it, temporarily inhabit the unknown and search for new relations. Lets situate ourselves in a specific space and ask the question in this way. The studied image consists of 3 spaces: one inside another and another inside that one. These spaces are mobile, flexible and they affect each other. If we suppose that there is a total capacity of the space then when one becomes bigger the others become smaller (consider the 1st law of thermodynamics). This means that the limit zone between these spaces can also change. If we consider then, that spaces are the interpretation of our perception that means that we can

Theory of Communication). Now, to assume that the other interprets the space in the same way that you do limits the level of specificity in the communication and the capacity of generable knowledge in the relation (it limits the movement possibilities in the space between, because it limits the difference). To think that all interpretations are unique and different opens up a space of undetermined learning possibilities, in a determined moment, between what you can consider as the limit between you and another. If the system in the space keeps on transforming by understanding the relation between its parts as unpredictable, the motive and the conflict will generate a movement motor to discover these relationships. To live in a limited but undetermined space, as well as making an effort to relate to it in different ways will highlight habits and patterns. Discovering habits and patterns will allow you to approach an understanding of your own rhythms. 3. The space inside the spaces. If we agree that the knowledge is inside the difference, the more you can understand the other (the closer you can get to the limit that divides from the other) the more you will know about yourself. To be able to perceive this more clearly, we have to amplify the space between you and the other. By making the space bigger because of the differences and by amplifying it to see it with more detail, we affect the other spaces. The assumption of the internal space must become smaller. Lets suppose that to be able to be more sensitive to this moment we have to try to balance the space with the time. Then the temporal capacity between yourself and yourself also becomes shorter. In this way we are referring to an attempt to be in a present state or in other words to be present. In this state there is no space for long term past or fu626

ture. Predetermined thoughts and expectations dont fit in the capacity of this state. All preconstructed thoughts and feelings like judgment or insecurity, which are not generated by the stimuli of the researched moment, can make distance between the limits between you and the other. Examples of movement capacity in a present state: respiratory system, perception - interpretation process, muscular memory and intuition. These are examples of open systems that exhaust their movement capabilities in a short term and have adapted because of their need of constant new energy resources. These systems organize themselves from hereto genius to homogenies or go from disorganization to organization to disorganization in a high level of speed (in the case of the perceptioninterpretation process and intuition, faster than we are able to acknowledge) and manage to sustain an equilibrium in the movement generating exchange, constant transformation and creativity. Prolonged routines are an opposite example of the above systems; in this case the tendency has determined the space. In this case, when the movement possibilities have been exhausted, a new space should be considered to continue learning and creating. This is another subject (consider the 3rd law of thermodynamics). If the receptivity work (effort to understand differences) is intensified by the attempt of being in the present state, there will have to be trust in the capability of a few of our systems to organize themselves at an incomprehensible speed. Something must happen. On the other hand placing yourself in a consciously vulnerable situation sharpens your senses. In this ways the amount of uncertainty is proportional to the sharpness of your senses. In this state you will be able to see your movement in relation to the other reflected in the other. If we consider that a present state is the simultaneousness of a movement in relation to space and time, then the

balance between the intangible and the tangible, or the movement of the perception to the memory or the ideas (thoughts, feelings, emotions, senses) and the movement of the body in a breath, will help to approach to your own rhythm.




Nadja Hjorton
For awhile now practice has been a hot word in the dance circuit. It has offered people an escape route from constructing pieces vis a vis a notion of strong dramaturgy. These pieces are busy doing in relation to time and prioritize experience as a mode of production. But what happens when we ask ourselves what we practice in our social lives? I have commissioned myself to write a text about whiteness in PAF. PAF is white, very white. We all know it and we also know that it is problematic to do something about it. How could we change it? We all invite our Facebook friends that are black or non-white? How many non-white friends do you have on Facebook? And if you have any are they performing blackness or whiteness? Of course we all know it is not about the color of our skin but about what kind of discourse we produce because of who we are. Or maybe not from who we are but from what we practice. I, for example, am practicing womanhood, heterosexuality, whiteness, func630
Xavier Le Roy @ PAF


tionality, motherhood, artistness, mindlessness, and that of course is part of everything I produce. What is PAF practicing? What is PAF producing? PAF can not practice anything else but what is practiced by its doers and makers. But maybe we can be more transparent about it. What comes to my mind during Stefano Harneys lectures is how we in Europe sometimes act as if we are past identity issues. I get the feeling that the discourse around us often assumes that people who deal with identity politics only work with representation and subjectivity. In Europe, since we apparently have stopped talking about race (quite weird if we think about the history of Europe and what is happening in politics in almost all countries in Europe with extreme right wing parties in the parliaments) we have bigger things to deal with. Economy, capitalism, general intellect, immaterial labour and potentialities is what keeps us busy most of the time. And we all know it is connected to race but we dont want to talk about it. In February I was with my class in New York, and among a lot of things we had a workshop with the visual artist Tania Bruguera. She is doing a project in Queens, where she works with the local Ecuadorian community without papers and also follows the neighborhood politicians. It is a political art project and she wants to change the situation for the immigrants in the area where she is working. She is doing the project for one year, living in an apartment with eight paperless people and she has strict rules for herself. For example she cant go to New York city on the week days, has said no to several big exhibition opportunities that would interfere in this year-long project and pays herself minimum wage. This project is problematic in many ways. Tania is trying to disconnect herself from the art scene for a year and, in contrast to many other socially engaged artists, she will not make an exhibition out of the project in the end. But she is also, and will always be, the artist who is invited to the big

biennials and Documenta. This is one of the reasons she can do the project in the first place. She also gives some interviews, latest was Artforum, to make sure she has something to come back to after this year. And, of course, this will not save the immigrants in Queens and if she does make some difference for them she will also gain from that and become more famous, successful and earn more money. So, in a way it is probably her artist ego that will benefit most from this project in the end. But maybe some of the immigrants she explores will also gain from it, its hard to tell. Should she do the project or not? For me, the complexity of this issue became very actual and tangible when Tanias roommate Segundo asked her out to dance and she brought our whole crew. The party was kind of a family party, young teenage girls welcoming us and we each paid 10 dollars. Coming into the room we were apparently very exotic but at the same time, the situation was crazy exotic for us too. Here we were, a group of choreography students, coming directly from an opening of Rirkrit Tiravanija in Chelsea, to this Ecuadorian family party in the most dangerous part of Queens (according to statistics). There was a dance floor, they played up tempo latino music and people were dancing in couples. I became so incredibly aware of myself in every possible way. When I looked at my friends, how they were moving on the dance floor, their bodies were so different, they used much more space on the dance floor cause they were not doing the couple dance, they were drunk, laughed loudly and made fun of themselves. I started to worry that everybody at the party would be insulted how we came and kind of trashed their party. But then, on the other hand, that perspective was also strange. Why should they become intimidated, they can of course also tell us if they think we are acting wrong. And indeed it seemed that most of them thought we were funny. And it was actually quite disgusting how this context made me take for granted that everyone at

the party would think as much as me about the whiteness I was practicing in the party. Did they even care about me? My uncomfortableness in this situation actually made me think about everybody as victims of their class, color of skin etc. And why was it not possible for me to think outside of us and them and why cant I focus on the similarities instead of constantly putting things in contrast? And here I think we have a crucial problem. As soon as I get confronted with my whiteness, my heterosexuality, or my functionality, because I belong to a well educated middle class, I become so aware of my position that it makes me unable to act in the situation. Or not to act. And precisely because we are so aware of our position, it also makes it easy to dismiss any attempts to actually work with identity politics. And does this change anything at all? Isnt it so that we then actually argue for pure separatism? If everyone anyways must fight their own battle, we can not do anything about the situation, and if that is the case, we might as well be transparent in what we are. PAF is: - a forum for producing white knowledge in critical exchange and in ongoing discursive white practice - a place for temporary white autonomy and full concentration on white work - a tool-machine where white people can work on developing methods, tools and procedures, not necessarily driven toward a product - a place for experimenting with other than known modes of white production and organization of work, e.g. white open source production









Marilou Craft and Jacob Wren


This interview between dramaturge Marilou Craft and Jacob Wren took place in relation to a production of Families Are Formed Through Copulation that took place at LUniversit du Qubec Montral from November 17 26, 2011.

Marilou Craft: What do you stand for? Jacob Wren: I would like to stand for something but I dont know if I really can. I will try. Here is a partial list: paradox, doubt, conviction, struggle, questions, feeling lost, sadness, the idea that the way things are is perhaps not the way they will always be, an idiosyncratic, personal cannon of art works and works of literature that have meant a lot to me over the years, a humane form of eccentric contemporary performance, speaking what I think I think rather than what someone else thinks I think, wanting to quit art every fifteen seconds but somehow not being able to, stubbornness, wondering why I find it so difficult to change and if that means I dont really want to, wondering, etc.
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MC: What world do you believe we live in? JW: The world we live in makes me feel very sad and hopeless. What I dont know is how much of this feeling comes from the world and how much comes from my own melancholy and neurology. I know there are many acts of evil in the world and, probably, just as many acts of kindness. I think the evil is winning but it is difficult to say this with any certainty, everything could change in a second. Whatever kind of world it is, what I do know is that we have to find ways to continue to fight and resist. To keep fighting against stupidity, cowardice, corruption and hypocrisy. To fight against these things within ourselves and to fight against these things in the larger world. And also to never lose our sense of humor (if we had one to begin with.) MC: Do you read/watch the news regularly? Why? JW: I stopped watching the news. It made me too depressed. And I dont like being lied to. Instead, I try to read books about things that have happened. MC: Do you think you contribute to society? How so? JW: I would like to contribute to society but I genuinely dont think I do. I would like to be able to say: with my work. But I just cant bring myself to believe its true. It is arrogant for an artist to say his or her work is important, it is better if other people say it long after he or she is dead. I wish I was a better citizen. It is impossible to be a good citizen when you travel seven months a year. MC: Does your family believe you contribute to society? Why? JW: My parents are extremely supportive. They seem

to be amazed by all the places I go and all the things I do. I dont exactly know why. They dont know much about art. They are just blindly supportive of me out of unconditional love. The are very positive people so they would most likely say I contribute to society through my art. They could probably come up with some reasons why, but it is unlikely I would find their reasons very convincing. MC: Do you believe you are cynical? Do others believe you are cynical? Why? JW: I dont think Im cynical but other people constantly tell me I am. To me, my perspective simply seems like a normal view of the world. I think the reason for what other people perceive as my cynicism is that I dont really experience pleasure. But I have said this before in public and really regretted it. So maybe I should put it another way: I seem to be in complete denial that I experience any pleasure. For me Hollywood films are cynical and, in comparison, I am bursting with genuine emotion and hope. MC: Do you have children? Do you want children? Why? JW: No, I definitely do not want children. It is the only thing I am sure of. I am so afraid of it I almost cant bring myself to have sex. The idea of bringing a child into this world makes me very, very sad. It terrifies me that children have to grow up into adults and live in this world we have created. MC: What would you like the audience to know about you? JW: In an ideal world, I wouldnt want to the audience to know anything about me. I want to make a work of art that

is autonomous. Paradoxically, I believe the way to do this is to make something that is extremely personal, that is situated at the exact point at which I currently find myself. Nonetheless, if I do it right, I will die and the work will continue. On the other hand, the people who read my work probably do know quite a lot about me and I find this embarrassing. I dont know exactly what they think they know. I only hope it is inaccurate. MC: Some stories in the book complete themselves, some overlap, often it is unclear whether or not it is a work of fiction... How did the book happen? JW: I dont completely remember now how the book happened. I think it happened more or less in chronological order. I wrote the first page, then wrote the next page, etc. At first I was wondering if it was possible to have some new kind of melodrama on stage, a kind of theoretical, anti-melodrama melodrama. Then 9/11 happened and I became quite obsessed with conspiracy theories. I became so obsessed I even began to question my own sanity a bit (so thats all in the book as well.) And then in the middle I remember I took some other, unrelated writing I was doing and folded it into the book. (For example: the page about being in the shower.) I wanted the book to contain everything. It was written over four or five years and often I didnt think I was going to finish it, couldnt think of what could come next. The fragmented structure is probably partly due to these large gaps in the writing process, almost like when you black out and cant remember what happened the day before. Sometimes it is almost like one page cant remember what is on the page before. MC: Why show this on stage?

JW: I no longer go to the theatre very often. I wish I did, but generally when I go it makes me too depressed. There are many, many reasons for this, but perhaps one of the main reasons is that I dont like the way in which the world is spoken about. I want to see the world spoken about in a somehow larger way, with all of its complexities and contradictions. So maybe one answer is that Im struggling to see if its possible to speak about the world in a larger sense and put it on stage. And, of course, I have no idea whether this will succeed or fail. I want to see the world spoken about in different ways. I believe the old scripts no longer serve us. And, to state the obvious, it is also a kind of provocation. The purpose of a provocation is to make people think. MC: How do you feel about someone else using your book as raw material for a play? Especially after performing it on stage yourself? JW: In 1997 I participated in a conference in Bergen, Norway entitled TextConText. It was a conference about how to write different kinds of texts for the stage. It used as its starting point Dr. Faustus Lights The Lights by Gertrude Stein. It was a conference about how you could write a text for the stage that might be completely different every time it was staged, or that could be used as material for a collective, etc. I would like to see more freedom in theatre. Theatre that is not loyal to a text but rather takes in entire world as its anarchic material. My texts might be one of the many things such a theatre could use. Apart from that, my feelings are extremely conflicted. In some sense, I am definitely happy it is happening. MC: Will you come see the results? Can you/would you like to? Why?



JW: Strangely, no one has even told me when it is happening. (Please send me the dates.) If I am in Montreal I will come out of curiosity. I am looking for a kind of radical authenticity in theatre that most theatre is unable to satisfy, so on that level I will most likely be disappointed. But Im sure I will learn something about the world, and about theatre, from the production. (As well, I dont really understand French so my experience of the production will be limited.) MC: Is there anything specific you wrote that you hope will be left in the play? JW: I only hope to be surprised.


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Moa Hanssen

This makes any kind of research complex in a way of trying to objectifying its outcome, the closer to the understanding of its context the more subjectified it gets but further away from any kind of autonomy. Fore the closer we get the intertext the more borders will show outside the phenomena closely high jacked with its different context and discourses. In this way any closed kind of circuit is impossible to find, no autonomy, no intertexts standing alone, no happening or phenomena objectified and no research coming to definite results. Its all winding on the more we see to its spaces. Time is a lie and so is autonomy.

Since analysis of a happening is a construction and a production of meaning to the happening from outside and therefore a cognitive activity the happening can never be autonomic. All happenings have this relationship to everything outside the happening and therefore one can say that nothing can ever have an autonomic reality. In order to analyze the happening further one can search for some kind of core of the happening and there bump into details that charge an autonomous understanding of the fact, although on this level the analyzer can never charge any appropriate model to confine with her/his whole being. In search for autonomy it therefore gets even more non-autonomous. One can say that in a deeper intertextual search for knowledge the happening presented above gets more complex and more objectified as time goes by.



Zloty van Dijk

Can there be Life on Earth? This question is bothering intelligent creatures ever since the last civilization broke down. We have done our time in our dungeons of virtual reality, playing the same computer games over and over again. There are no more higher levels to reach. It is time for a gigantic coming out. SovRex is in the narrow sense of its core business a company specialized in terraforming. We provide all the necessary tools and methods to make the earth inhabitable again. Unlike earlier concepts of terraforming we are not relying on the production of complex information by transforming matter but on the production of an agency we call sov648

ereign existence (SE). SE are intelligent units that consist of a particular mode of actualizing the three relationships of being in the flesh, living on earth and living with people. In entertaining those three modes SE are operational units or agents. SovRex has developed a new operational model abstaining from any centralized technocratic effort of terraforming; a model we consider responsible for apocalyptic breakdown. Instead we proposes a bottom-up strategy by training units who prove to be willing and able to become SE. Any SE unit, be it individual or collective, human, bio or artificial, can then be entrusted with one or more particular task(s) of terraforming. The act of specialization SovRex leaves to the already sovereign decision of each SE. Therefore it only provides a program of meta-learning leading to a general potentiality of SE that is then able to specialize according to necessity, demand, talent and taste. SovRex is a multi-dimensional training program transforming units of raw intelligence (URI) into competent agents of terraforming. The program of SovRex demands extreme commitment as a large part of its program is dedicated to de-programming dysfunctional patters of URI. SovRex is strictly self-learning, autopoietic program that is only relying on learning by doing. The situation we are facing today the task of a new terraforming is unprecedented in history. Neither can we rely on any known program nor can we reject any seasoned knowledge. So we are learning as we go, rejecting old patterns but always taking on knowledge that proves to work. We are not only pragmatic, we are hyper-pragmatic. We welcome anyone to join the program in order to create it. An SE can in principle only be created by itself. An SE that is created by someone else is by definition not

sovereign. On the other hand we are facing the dilemma that the surviving units we are today are far from being SE. Therefore we provide the principal incentive to help each other to become SE. We provide help for self-help and, paradoxically, at the same time a profound de-programming that in fact demands the temporal surrender of former autonomy to the program. To solve this dilemma we propose a program of several distinct steps. What do those steps look like? Step 1: A Unit of Raw Intelligence (URI) makes the decision to become a SE. It agrees to being dismantled of its old ideas of freedom, autonomy, subjectivity, individuality, rationality and such that proved to be disastrous in the past. Step 2: In a preparatory course the basic ideas of SovRex are being taught to the candidates by the first-phaseinstructors (FPI). Those ideas circulate around the notions of flesh, people, being, time, agency, the Earth and cannot be elaborated here. Step 3: At the moment we are in the phase of producing Second-Phase-Instructors (SPI) out of willing and able URIs. As there is no trained SPI yet, we encourage the URIs of the program to undergo a first auto-poietic bootstrapping process consisting of mutual and individual training to become a SE. We, as FPIs, are willing to monitor the process, but do not consider ourselves to be the authority of the process. We are not trainers but meta-trainers in a process of meta-learning. In a paradoxical formula we could consider ourselves to be the mere observers of an experiment; yet the goal of the experiment is to produce an SE that by definition will not comply to any experiment that has been designed by someone else but will only be willing to create itself as its own

experiment. Step 4: Step 4 will lead to a selection process by which one part of the SE who have achieved a preliminary maturity within the program will go out into the world to perform the concrete tasks of terraforming whereas another part will be appointed SPIs. Any SPI has to agree to the process of being always transformed by the next URIs to be trained. Each training will always be a process of mutual transformation and not a one-channel process of hierarchical teaching. In the train of the first generation of SPIs coming into maturity the first generation of FPI will retreat into the storage of collective memory (SCM) as the program of SovRex is strictly practical and rejects any non-productive theoretical reflexion that is not being fed back into the program. FAQ Is SovRex a company or a state? The last years brought a seemingly unsolvable dilemma: shall we found a state of an enterprise? SovRex tries to propose a solution by taking the best of both options to go beyond them: SovRex is a state of enterprise or a sovereign company. SovRex is defining itself as a preparatory endeavor that will lead to the overcoming of the traditional institutions of the state and the capitalist enterprise alike; if we do our job right we will finally overcome and dissolve ourselves; a self-abandonment that will lead to the foundation of the Diffuse States of the Earth (DSE). Is SovRex a NPO (Non-profit Organization)? SovRex is neither capitalist nor non-capitalist but is another capitalism, thus in its sovereignty proving that there can be more than one.

We intend to produce a surplus-value that cannot be re-appropriated by anyone the Earth. By risking an absolute investment we promise a profit without any particular person to profit from it. One could say that SovRex is one way to overcome historical, relative capitalism as a system of exploitation of many by a few by absolute capitalism, a system in which everyone is profiteering from anyone elses production of surplus value. It goes without saying that absolute capitalism is homologous to absolute communism. What does SovRex financial policy look like? SovRex is an extreme global start up without any external funding. URI willing to be trained have to pay a fee according to their income. Wealthy URIs have to spend their whole possession on the program; not because we are greedy but because freeing oneself from the greed for possession is a necessary step to SE. The more a person claims that she has earned her money by her own hard work the more this URI has to donate for the program. From those fees we will pay our FPIs and SPIs. The higher a person is in the hierarchy the less she will be paid. A person who feels the need to get prove of her personal value by being paid higher wages is by definition not a candidate for becoming SE. As the global process of terraforming goes on we hope to get rid of money economy entirely. We favor a system of credits that will imprint a temporal economy of gratitude into everyones memory, leaving open the time and condition of the pay back. Is SovRex like one of those old school therapies promising freedom but never providing a clear date when the subject can consider itself to be liberated also of the therapy itself? SovRex strongly rejects any therapeutic model working with the installation of an oedipal authority that in a logic of

double bind promises to emancipate the subject as long as the subject lets itself be guided by the authority of the therapist. We can, however, not promise any due date when the process of becoming of SE will be finished and also no precise criteria when an URI has truly become a SE. Still we can provide a number of solid criteria indicating that a URI is not yet an SE. One of the best criteria being the simply truth that an SE is a URI turning itself into an SE. We do not promise a moment of perfection, but a process of several well-defined stages leading to the point after which the SE will, with the help of others, create its own program of becoming SE. We can also promise that this process will be irreversible, will not fall prey to complete regression and will only be finished by the act of voluntary exit from existence that is an essential trait of an SE. How does one know that one is finally an SE? In fact one does not. An URI is always in the process of becoming an SE. If there will ever be a point after which one is decidedly more SE than before one will only know retroactively. We do not believe in singular breakthrough moments or epiphanies we consider being a retroactively made-up narrative in most cases. We do not encourage any striving for such an experience but we do not deny them if they happen. In general becoming an SE is per se more sovereign than claiming to be one. An SE is by definition a mode of existence that cannot be defined as it can only be defined, or indeed not-defined, by itself. In the classical fear of any URI of anything that cannot be defined we have a clear indicator for the progress or lack thereof an URI has made on its path of becoming an SE. SovRex does, however, also not support any completely solipsistic endeavor to reach a higher plane by strictly in653

ternalized and lonesome practices. On the contrary, we even hold the opinion that the more an URI is approaching that state of SE, the more it will be endangered by severe psychological conditions if it does not share the experience. An URI who sticks to its old individualist arrogance of making it alone will have to pay a bitter prize. Therefore SovRex is upholding a strict policy of companionship and collective work, be it with one or more instructors. Like in old practices of trance there always needs to be someone who can catch you when you, possessed and moved by the gods, fall. So we also recommend, as a preliminary rule, the good old empiricist wisdom: I cannot describe it, but I recognize it when I see it. And only an SE can recognize another SE. In that sense a person already advanced on the path of becoming an SE will be the best one to judge if an URI has advanced as well. Erratic behavior, weird habits and apparent madness that might shock the average URI will be no criteria whatsoever to judge a particular SE. We can compare the process of transformation from URI to SE to the acquisition of a much larger metabolism. An SE is taking part in a game that an URI cannot even properly perceive. To uphold ones functions in an economy that one is only part of which is the overall task of terraforming is going beyond the small metabolism of the historical individual. Therefore an SE will not at all resemble an upgraded superhuman version of the bourgeois individual a vision flattering to the adolescent narcissism of the average URI , but will much rather be the weird, erratic fragment of a whole that cannot be measured or described. A whole that actually does not exist at all as it is always in the process of transgressing itself. Therefore we can finally offer a clear and strict cri654

terion what an SE will and cannot be at all: a person that represents an image, be it phenomenal or mental. Is SovRex one of those holostic ways of thinking? If you have read and understood the above, you know the answer: No. Not at all. SE and terraforming are concepts of becoming that will never sum up to a whole. The whole is never given; and to reach a whole in linear time is neither doable nor desirable. We consider the fashion of holistic thinking in late humanity as a weak effort to make good for the brutal and dumb atomism and individualism of former centuries. But as always: a late and desperate inversion of wrong values does not make it right. Can SovRex be practiced alone? We strongly advise to not violate our open source code by hijacking it for strictly private and esoteric purposes. The program has been designed for the public goal of terraforming. Any effort to privatize SovRex will prove to be lethal to the idiotic URI. The program has been imprinted with a particular code that will cause any URIs who wants to appropriate the SE for a private process of self-realization to self-destruct. SovEx can only be successful as a collective endeavor of mutual help and commitment. The aim is of course to render each single URI a SE that will be fully functional in their particular task of terraforming. Yet to achieve this goal regular exchange, regular gatherings and multiple activities of shared training and experiences are mandatory. SovRex encourages the formation of braids of training (BoT); meaning that an URI who has already achieved a certain level of becoming an SE can, under the monitoring authority of an FPI, already start training a fresh URI. We encourage this risky concept because we consider training

others as a powerful tool to advance and accelerate learning. The BoT can also be accompanied by the principle of strong complementarity (PoSC), that indicates that each URI has a basic resource it can offer another URI in exchange for his. SovRex considers an URI to be a rich material of basic resources. Still an URI cannot make proper use of its basic resources because they have been rendered dysfunctional by old formal systems of subjectivity, individuality, rationality and such. Out motto is therefore: Destroy the form to save the material. Does SovRex encourage the formation of enclosed training communities such as orders or m