(((sharing ))) a platform for performing theoretical activism…
Lists of references, inspirations, and challenges
Ana Vujanović, Alice Chauchat, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Virginie Bobin, Grégory Castéra
List 1: Contemporary artistic practices
Sasa Asentic, My Private Bio-Politics (Novi Sad, 2007-2010): http://www.perart.org/en/contemporary_dance/my_private_biopolitics.html ⎟
BADco, 1 poor and one 0 (Zagreb, 2008), Changes (Zagreb, 2007): http://badco.hr/ ⎟
Antonia Baehr, Un après-midi (2003-2009): http://www.make-up-productions.net/home/PRODUCTIONS/UN%20APRES-MIDI/ ⎟
Nina Beier et Marie Lund, History of Visionaries (London, Paris, Mexico, 2007-2008): http://www.ninabeier-marielund.com/image/nina-marie.pdf ⎟
Caycedo, DayToDay (Vienne, 2002-*): http://www.secession.at/art/2002_caycedo_e.html ⎟
Alice Chauchat, Sensations Collectives (Berlin, 2007-2009): http://www.praticable.info/ ⎟
everybodys, Générique, Impersonnation Game, Metaphor Game etc. (2007-*): www.everybodystoolbox.net/ ⎟
Minerva Cuevas, Mejor Vida Corp. (Mexico, 1998-*): http://www.irational.org/mvc/english.html ⎟
Annie Dorsen, Democracy in America (New York, 2008): http://www.ps122.org/performances/democracy_in_america.html ⎟
Maria Eichhorn, Money at Kunsthalle Bern (Bern, 2002): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Eichhorn_%28K%C3%BCnstlerin%29 ⎟
Andrea Fraser, Untitled (New York, 2003): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Fraser ⎟
MATERIALIST APPROACH TO IMMATERIAL LABOUR /(IN) PERFORMANCE, Re-materializing immaterial labor
TkH, Journal for Theory of Performing Arts and le Journal des Laboratoires are preparing a joint issue on immaterial labor in performance. While the topic of immaterial labor has been widely discussed in political theory by Italian thinkers of Postoperaismo such as Toni Negri, Paolo Virno, Maurizio Lazzarato, claimed to be by large the contemporary condition of post-industrial productive subjectivity, its critical relevance to performance hasn’t been examined thoroughly. Taking into account the struggle of intermittents du spectacle in France for rematerializing the unwaged intellectual and affective activities that make up the bulk of performance labor – all considered as ‘preparations’ of the worker to become ready for his/her contracts – we would like to investigate further the registers of immaterial labor that performance-making in Europe entails today. Several topics beg for problematization: the working conditions and formats in independent, freelance, self-employed production, such as residencies and performance-making process prior to the performance product; the recent ‘educational turn’ that co-opts performance practice as a special kind of knowledge production, organizing discourse around artistic research and methodology; strategies of self-organization as a kind of self-management and collaboration beyond institutional critique.
PUBLIC EDITING #1
Friday, May 21, 2010, 7.30 pm, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers
Immaterial Labor in Performance: Why only now?
With: Bojana Cvejić, Bojan Djordjev and Ana Vujanović, from TkH – Walking Theory, and Virginie Bobin, Grégory Castéra and Alice Chauchat, from Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, inviting Goran Sergej Pristaš, dramaturge and director of BADco., Zagreb.
The question of immaterial labor might be yet another concept whose currency forces it to be introduced and examined in performance. What do we mean when we speak about “immaterial labor” in performance now? Why only now (and not earlier)? How exactly do Postfordist modes of production regulate performance-making today? How have the modes of production in performance, and its very concept and practice, changed since the first wave of internationalization of networks in the end of 1980s? What are the political positions we can distinguish, and, furthermore, which among them do we consider pro-active, emancipatory etc.?
Can we reverse the usual transfer from philosophical to performance theory and pose a slightly different question: not only about what we have learnt from political theory, but what does performance practice say about, have to do with, and do to immaterial labor?
The editing expands to include invited participants and everyone else welcome to join the debate. These three texts will serve as the background for discussion: Prognosis on Collaboration by Bojana Kunst & What do we Actually do… When we Make Art ? by Ana Vujanović and In the Making of the Making of: The Practice of Rendering Performance Virtual by Bojana Cvejić. Feel free to comment on them on the blog.
Public Editing session #2 is planned for June 16, and session #3 for June 23, 2010.
IN THE MAKING OF THE MAKING OF:
The Practice of Rendering Performance Virtual
We don’t have money, so we have to think.
At the moment “education” is being addressed at this symposium, all opinion-making and discourse-leading centers in the artworld have had their say on the topic, from Documenta 12 or the cancelled Manifesta 6 to many conferences, festivals, magazines and laboratories in the performing arts, academies burgeoning all over. The topic may no longer be hot if it now begs for a timely historicization. Pages of critical analysis could be spent to prove that “education” was a reactionary curatorial device in the first place. I’d rather summarize that debate in two rationales explaining why “education” surfaced in recent art curatorship. The political one follows first. Curators have managed to make generally accepted their claim that the arts entail a specific form of knowledge production, being transdisciplinary, discursive, creative, experimental, critical, open in approach etc. The institutional transformation that the academy was striving for – and is, in a certain way, losing in the current neoliberal economization of knowledge, the process in which research is assessed by the viability/feasibility a project promises – is now reappropriated and championed in the arts. Being “transdisciplinary”, “creative”, “experimental”, “critical” are attributes of the atmosphere of the late academic cultural, poststructural theory. The only difference is that the artist lends a cooler image than an academic researcher: a trickster, a manipulator who has developped the skills of a “knowledge-pirate”, a methodological omnivore who can churp from as many areas of knowledge as the occasion suits her (a Dutch daily reports[i]). Driven by the free-market logic to constantly update topics, methods, tactics and language, the artist understood her advantage over the academic was (to use the jargon of technocrats:) to pick up speed –the speed of information, that is– or die:
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors […] and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”[ii]
PROGNOSIS ON COLLABORATION
“The absolutely desperate current state of affairs fills me with hope«
On the time left to live
In 2007, Carnegie Mellon University organised a series of lectures entitled Last lecture, for which several professors were asked to talk about what was really on their minds. If they had had to deliver the last lecture of their lives, what would that have been like and on what subject? The invitation from the university with the rhetorical implications of determinacy was clearly intended to challenge the lecturers and prompt their imagination to yield some additional value. The challenge got a totally different twist to it in September 2007, however, in the lecture given by Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science, entitled Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. After stating that he had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and only had half a year left to live, he began to talk in an optimistic and humorous way about his childhood dreams, giving insights into computer science and also giving advice on creating multi-disciplinary collaborations, group work and interaction with other people. All that was accompanied by enchanting life lessons and even push-ups on stage. His lecture immediately received media attention. The lecture video became an online hit at social networking sites such as YouTube, Google Video, etc., and within a few days, the promise of him publishing a book with his lecture was worth 6 to 7 million dollars.