London 2012

Download the Conference Pack here!

How Performance Thinks
An international, two-day conference co-organized by
the PSi Performance and Philosophy working group
and Kingston University’s practice.research.unit

April 13th-14th 2012

The London Studio Centre, London
Online registration:
£42 waged / £22 unwaged for the 2 days
[NB. No one day rate is available]

With plenary speakers:

Vida Midgelow
Joe Kelleher
Freddie Rokem

A work-in-progress showing of a new performance by

Every House Has a Door
(Lin Hixson, Matthew Goulish, Bryan Saner, Stephen Fiehn, and Tim Kinsella)

And presentations by:

Stephen Bottoms / Jennifer Duffy / Thomas Richards / Simon Jones / Tender Buttons Theatre Company / Joana Craveiro / Broderick Chow / Esa Kirkkopelto / Theron Schmidt / Julie Solovyeva / Tero Nauha / Stefanie Sachsenmaier / Kelina Gotman / Josefine Wikstrom / Augusto Corrieri / Moritz Gansen and Elisabeth Schilling / Charlie Saffrey / Katja Hillevara / Jessica Walker / Joa Hug / Bernadette Anzengruber / Stefanie Husel / Elena Cologni / Rosanna Irvine / Shaun May / Peter Boenisch / Rebecca Hillman / Joao Florencio / Nik Wakefield / Gabriella Calchi-Novati / Alice Lagaay / Franziska Schroeder / Shimon Levy / Simon Bowes / Helmar Schramm / Mark Greenwood / Michelle Graves / Sophia New and Siegmar Zacharias / David Levin / Rebecca Groves / Noyale Colin

The conference will run from approximately 9.30-8pm on the 13th and 9.30-6pm on the 14th.

For further information:||lluc.arual


Draft Schedule

Friday 13th April

9.15-9.45 Registration

9.45-10 Welcome: John Mullarkey, Laura Cull & Helen Minors

10-11AM Keynote 1: Vida Midgelow

11-11.15 Coffee

11.15-12.45 Parallel Sessions

Track 1
The Know-How of practice-led research
Duffy / The International Theatre/Performance Festival: Gaps, Interruptions and Unpredictable Crossovers.
Walker / Total Practice: putting the professional into practice-led performance research
May / Mental Predicates and Intelligent Performance: The Ontological Primacy of Know-How and its Implications

Track 2
Labouring, working, living
Chow / Work and Shoot: professional wrestling and embodied politics
Wikstrom / Performance as Labour: When Thinking and Doing Meet
Nauha / Life in Bytom: neoliberal contamination, mess and performance

12.45-1.45 Lunch [not provided by the conference]

1.45-3.15 Parallel Sessions

Track 1
Dancing Thinking
Hug / Disturbing Thoughts. On the Relationship between Sensory Perception and Reflection in Performance
Irvine / Performing processes: thinking worlds into being
Sachsenmaier / On ‘thinking’ and ‘not-thinking’ in performance-making: a cross-cultural philosophical investigation

Track 2
Directing Thinking
Boenisch / Directing & Dialectics: Re-thinking Regietheater
Gansen and Schilling / Thinking Performance: René Pollesch’s Interpassive Theatre and Beyond
Levy / Title tbc

3.15-3.30 Coffee

3.30-5 Parallels Sessions

Track 1
Making it together: Rehearsal and collaboration
Husel / Watching the(m) play. Re-Thinking rehearsing practices
Hillman / Acting on Behalf of Thought: thinking on intimacy and distanciation during performative expression in rehearsal and performance.

Track 2
Thinking performance with contemporary philosophy
Gotman / L’objet singulier/Singular object: The trials of Clément Rosset’s philosophy of the “Real”
Richards / Non-performance of philosophy, non-philosophy of performance: what is François Laruelle’s non-philosophy and what does it have to offer performance studies?
Florencio / “Staging the World: Performance, Object-Oriented Ontology, and that thing called Knowing”

5-6PM Keynote 2: Joe Kelleher

6-6.30 Drinks

6.30-8PM Every House Has a Door work in progress
Followed by post-show discussion

Saturday 14th April

9.30-10.30am Keynote 3: Freddie Rokem

10.30-10.45 Coffee

10.45-12.45 Parallel Session
Track 1
Spaces and durations
Wakefield / 'How Long a Thing Takes: an invitation to think duration'
Hilevaara / When theatre becomes: active spectatorship and Bergsonian remembering
Schramm / Houses, Towers, Islands: On Notable Spaces in Philosophy and Performance

Track 2
Theatre-making as thinking
Denman-Cleaver / Title tbc
Bowes / Kings of England: On Staging The Parrot That Thinks
New & Zacharias / thinking together - a teaching method in hospitality
Corrieri / In Place of a Show

12.45-1.45 Lunch
including 'How Long a Thing Takes: an invitation to think duration' – a slow-motion performance by Nik Wakefield

1.45-3.15 Parallel Sessions
Track 1
Choreography, dramaturgy
Groves / "Dramaturgies of Thinking: In/Of Performance"
Levin / Choreographing Opera: How Ballet ReThinks Operatic Performance
Colin / Choreographic Presence: Thinking in Time

Track 2
Hiding and appearing
Kirkkopelto / An actor never deals with elements smaller than a world
Lagaay / Secrecy vs. Revelation: Reflections on the Dramatics of the Hidden in Performance and Philosophy
Schmidt / The state of images

3.15-3.30 Coffee
3.30-5 Parallel Sessions
Track 1
Speaking, listening, writing
Anzengruber / "ENACT: speaking nearby your tongue"
Schroeder / Network[ed] Listening – towards a de-centering of beings
Soloyeva / RSVP Editions – Paper and Virtual Performance Project

Track 2
The body politic
Calchi-Novati / Performance in the Age of Biopolitical Ideology: Testing the Factuality of ‘Post-abyssal Thinking’
Saffrey / Thinking in the stand-up comedy club: deindividuation or the leadership of anarchy?
Greenwood / Title tbc

5-6PM Roundtable / Closing remarks
with responses from Stephen Bottoms & Ceri Sherlock

6-7.30pm Drinks

Additional contributions:

Michelle Graves will be showing documentation of her performance DEATH -> HEART -> BREATH.

Craig Smith will be providing delegates with a CD of THE PARASITE: A SOUND AND TEXT COMPOSITION

Rajni Shah will be offering delegates the text Thinking through salt, thinking through bark, thinking through cables - an exploration of the ‘stuff’ of performance in relation to a trilogy of Shah’s own works (Mr Quiver, Dinner with America and Glorious)

This conference will bring together practitioners and scholars concerned with the question of how performance thinks from a wide range of overlapping perspectives and contexts including practice-as-research, professional practice and the emerging sub-field of ‘performance & philosophy’. Can performance be understood as a kind of thinking in its own right? What value might such an understanding have for performance and philosophical research, for academia and for practices operating outside the academy?

The idea of practice-as-research has achieved a growing institutional acceptance in international Higher Education institutions over the last decade, with funding councils, government bodies and academic institutions increasingly recognising the capacity of arts practices, as well as text-based research, to produce new knowledge. Likewise, in his recent book, Philosophers and Thespians, Freddie Rokem argues that the question of how, or in what ways, performance and theatre “think”, constitutes one of ‘the most urgent issues on the agenda of today’s institutions of higher education’ (Rokem 2010: 5). And yet, the tendency to treat performance as the mere application or exemplication of pre-existing ideas (for instance, from philosophy) remains a feature of scholarship in both Performance and Philosophy. In contrast, this conference will question: Can we extend or democratize, perhaps, our conception of what counts as ‘thought’ without rendering the term meaningless? To what extent can performance be understood as a way of thinking rather than as the illustration, application or demonstration of existing ideas – including philosophical ideas?

Presenters will address topics and questions including, but not limited to the following:

• Performance practice-as-research, performance as a contribution to knowledge
• Performance practice as a kind of thinking, including dance, theatre, performance art, Live Art, music, applied theatre, performance in everyday life etc.
• Practitioner knowledge and its dissemination: knowing-how and knowing-that
• Thinking as the process of making performance and/or performance as thinking through/with the audience

• Can performance be understood as a kind of thinking? If so, what are the benefits and risks of doing so, for performance and/or for philosophy?
• How does performance present ideas, create concepts or produce knowledge in itself?
• Do current definitions of ‘practice-as-research’ effectively capture how performance thinks?
• What do we mean by thought or thinking? How does including performance within the category of thinking affect other disciplines such as philosophy?
• Is thinking something that only humans can do? Or can we speak of non-human thinking?
• What, if anything, is distinct about how performance thinks? What are the forms of thought that are native or indigenous to performance (in contrast, perhaps, to those that belong to other disciplines)?
• How, specifically, do different kinds of performance think? Through the body? Through participatory experiences? Through duration and liveness? Through improvisation and devising?
• Is there a difference between the ways in which thinking occurs in and as solo and collaborative forms of performance?

Information about how to register for the conference, delegate fees and a full programme of presenters will be available shortly.

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