Bojan Anđelković (YugoTranslate Institute/Radio Student Institute)
“Philosophy and Its Double: On Nietzsche’s and Deleuze’s Theatrum Philosophicum and the Theatre of Repetition of Živadinov’s Noordung Cosmokinetic Cabinet”
Not the sheer simple repetition without difference, but rather the complex repetition, which produces small internal difference – this is the basic mechanism of the true theatre, which can be detected in virtually all performances signed by Slovenian retro(avant)-garde theater director Dragan Živadinov. Živadinov's theatres of repetition – The Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre (1983–1987), The Red Pilot Cosmokinetic Theatre (1987–1990) and The Noordung Cosmokinetic Cabinet (1990–1995–2045) – that again have find the primary ritualistic-mythic sense of the theatre, are positioning itself strictly against the bourgeois theatre of representation – trough the endless play of simulacrum, of difference and repetition. The dispositive of difference and repetition is also the essence of Živadinov’s life project Noordung:: 1995–2045, which is conceptualized in the manner of the complex 50-year theater repetition process, which every 10 years produces its own difference, which is a generic part of the repetition itself. In this way, it stages Nietzsche’s mysterious idea of the eternal recurrence, which, however, is nothing but another name for difference and repetition. The Noordung thus represents nothing and no one but itself and thus repeats the drama of the cosmos – cosmodrama, biodrama, technodrama, politdrama, autodrama … – which is also its deepest meaning: the postgravity art as the anti-mimesis or the »gravitation zero for absolute zero«.
Bojan Anđelković, PhD, is an independent radio and interdisciplinary artist, writer and philosopher. He received his degree in Serbian language and South Slavic Literature (University of Belgrade, Serbia), finished his MA thesis on Subject and Technology: Technosubject (Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis, Ljubljana) and PhD thesis on theatrical and postgravity art of Dragan Živadinov, analyzed trough the philosophical conceptual apparatus – theatrum philosophicum, of Giles Deleuze, Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault (FHS, University of Koper). He has served as editor of culture and editor-in-chief at Radio Student Institute (2007–2012). He is the founder and coordinator of RADAR Open Radio Investigative Platform and the founder and managing director of YugoTranslate Institute, Ljubljana.
Dragana Alfirević (Artist) & Engin Can (Performer)
"Are Made of This: An episode on Repetition and Transformation" (performance)
"Are Made of This" is a performative/movement practice developed by Dragana Alfirević and the project team. This episode relates to the question of repetition as basic prerequisite for change and transformation. The performance is based on the presumption that repetitions can only be executed by a human being, as humans can make decisions and can make repetitions lead to another level – in this way repetition is always repetition only if it is related to the change, to the shift and transition. On the contrary, the machines and non-human entities (even with the better probability of precision) have no possibility to really make transition and therefore, instead of repeating, they stay in one place and remain in the status quo.
Dragana Alfirević is cultural worker in the field of performing arts ~ obed.federacija.net ~ nomaddanceinstitute.tumblr.org ~ nomaddanceacademy.org ~ cofestival.si ~ nda.si
Engin Can has studied physics at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, and since he has become certified practitioner of Plasma, mainly works as a performer in Turkey, Switzerland and Slovenia.
Tilman Andris (Magician) & Emilie Gallier (University of Coventry)
“Trouble Wit: Magic and Choreography at the Table” (performance)
The performance ‘Trouble Wit’ applies repetition as tool to investigate relational mechanisms at stake in magic, and the implication of the spectator (defined as a quality of participation for performing arts that employ an expanded temporality for performance and the iterability of the spectator’s experience). ‘Trouble Wit’ is a theatrical paper folding demonstration performed by magicians since the 17th century. Where this performance usually takes place on stage in front of its audience, we invite spectators to sit around tables and we perform close-up for them at those. No dinner is served, but food for thought. The spectator’s status of co-creator fascinates us and we wish to make our audience more aware of the nuances of their participation (from physically helping, to reacting with ‘aaah’ ‘ooooh’, or to mentally and silently imagining tricks). To achieve this, we structure the score of our performance with repetition. Repetition performs on our relation with spectators (Austin, Wills).
Furthermore, in the aim of expanding temporality for performance and the iterability of the spectator’s experience, our practice involves the ‘Performativity of Performance Documentation’ (Auslander). Performance Documentation refers both to the paper object that is at the core of ‘Trouble Wit’, and to the magic scripts (the score). The live event takes place at lunchtime, teatime or dinnertime. It inscribes itself within the intrinsically repetitive ritual of eating together in order to build from codes of behaviour that we might share, and to use this situation as a ground for encounters.
Tilman Andris is a philosopher turned magician. MA in philosophy (Leiden, 2005) after studies in Freiburg im Breisgau, Oxford and Leiden. Additional training in drama (Prep Class Fontys Academy of the Arts Tilburg, 2006/07) and mime/physical theatre (classes at CREA, Amsterdam and Prep Class at Amsterdam School of the Arts, 2005/06). Professional magician since 2007. Interested in bringing new modes of performance to the classical repertoire of magic. Regularly exploring themes related to knowledge, cognition, deception and the history of magic in performances and lecture presentations. In 2010, one of my solo acts was featured in the 'Circus of Thoughts' in Royal Theatre Carré (Amsterdam). In 2013, I gave a talk on ‘trust’, as seen from the perspective of the deceiver, for TEDx.
Emilie Gallier is a Choreographer-Researcher, director of the PØST Cie, currently PhD Candidate at the Centre for Dance Research (University of Coventry) and member of THIRD! (pilot research group of the AHK Lectoraat, Amsterdam University of the Arts). Her work investigates the writing and the reading of movement together with questions of spectatorship. She develops projects that expand the format of choreography and probe exchanges of knowledge between spectators. Her dance performances, installations, scores, books, lectures, and workshops have been presented in The Netherlands and Europe. Today PhD Candidate at Coventry, she graduated from the Master of Choreography at ArtEZ (NL) in 2012. Before that she explored choreography at the PRCC (Myriam Gourfink, FR) and learned Laban notation at the Conservatoire de Paris.
Stefan Apostolou-Hölscher (Academy of Fine Arts, Munich)
“Non-conceptual Differences, Intensity, and The Idea of Genesis in Deleuze´s Difference and Repetition and Kant´s Aesthetics”
In his early essay The Idea of Genesis in Kant´s Aesthetics from 1963 Gilles Deleuze presents one of the most interesting readings of Kant´s Third Critique in the 20th century. Already five years before the publication of Difference and Repetition he develops the idea that difference is produced by repetition, though at this point for him it is mainly related to the dissonant interplay of the Kantian faculties both in the beautiful and the sublime. In contrast to e.g. Lyotard´s later split between two aesthetics in Kant, Deleuze proposes a conjunction of the beautiful and the sublime, involving both an undetermined play between understanding and imagination (the beautiful) and an overwhelming collision between imagination and reason (the sublime). According to Deleuze every accord of the Kantian faculties is grounded in their fundamental discord. For him the dissonance between concepts (understanding), intuitions (imagination) and ideas (reason) leads to a genesis not only of our forms of experience, but also to processes of individuation on an ontological level. Therefore, I would like to argue that what in his essay from 1963 he calls crystallisation and what later on he will connect to transcedental problems, the distribution of intensities, and the body without organs as a philosophical concept, rests on dissonant repetitions of what we see, how it affects us, and what it makes us think.
Dr. Stefan Apostolou-Hölscher published his PhD entitled Capable Bodies: Contemporary Dance between Aesthetics and Biopolitics in 2015 at transcript (Bielefeld). He works as a research associate for the Chair of Philosophy and Aesthetical Theory at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. His position is connected to the part project Inferior Mimesis of the DFG research group “Media and Mimesis“ (http://www.fg-mimesis.de/info/).
Rachel Aumiller (Villanova University, Oxford University)
“Twice Two: The Repetition of Nothing in Tetradic Dialectic”
Hegel points out at the end of his Science of Logic that (if one insists on counting) dialectic can be counted in sets of three or four stages (G.W.F. Hegel. Science of Logic. Trans. A.V. Miller. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1969. 836). In the traditional triadic dialectical structure, the emphasis is placed on the repetition of the first term that passes into its negative double before returning to itself concretely as the third term. Counting to three renders dialect as a waltz in which the positive term is transformed as it is spun by its negative double: Being – Nothing – Becoming. But Hegel reminds us that dialectic can also be set to a four-step beat, counting the double twice. The form of double is repeated and inverted: one – two – two – one / Being – Nothing – Nothing – Becoming. As Slavoj Žižek stresses, the tetradic dialectic shifts the focus from the transformation of the first term to the transformation of the negative, which is repeated in two discrete stages. In the dialectic repetition of the double nothing changes. “Nothing changes” contains three senses: 1) There is no formal change in the process of redoubling. 2) Nothing itself undergoes transformation. 3) Nothing is the agent of change and the position of the counter or subject. My presentation will trace the tetradic structure of Hegel’s dialectic in his formal logic. I animate the repetition of the double through the example of the classic comic double in American cinema, Laurel and Hardy. The famous comic duo are enactments of the first Hegelian double, Being and Nothing. In order to explore the transformation of the negative in the repetition of the double, I will look at three films in which Laurel and Hardy redouble themselves appearing as four on stage. What exactly changes when nothing is repeated twice two?
Rachel Aumiller is finishing a PhD in Philosophy at Villanova University and starting a DPhil in Theology at Oxford University. She was a 2014-15 Fulbright scholar to Slovenia where she worked with Alenka Zupančič, Mladen Dolar, Lev Kreft and Slavoj Žižek. She specializes in German Idealism, political theology, aesthetics and psychoanalysis.
Lucas Ballestín (New School for Social Research, New York)
“Hipster Politics: Retreat, Repetition, and Disavowal”
From grooming to vestiment, political positions to artistic flair, the hipster is decidedly ‘outside’ her native culture. Given no safe quarter in the external world, the
hipster has become a symbol of ignorance or willful disengagement, arrogance, and comical lack of self-awareness. Haunted by a debilitating irony, the hipster has become a whipping boy for everything
that is wrong with the youth of postmodernity. Some have even dared to refer to the hipster as “the end of Western civilization.” They are privileged and apathetic, diverse yet colorblind, creative
but incestuous. Attacked with especial vehemence, the hipsters are taken as the ultimate mark of popular ironic disposability, of narcissistic oblivion, and, perhaps even as the bleeding edge of
contemporary nihilism. In the face of everything that is broken, the hipster caparisons herself within a protective nest of pre-packaged identities, material creature comforts, and a peculiar sense
of ornamental superiority. It is never clear how distant from the mainstream the hipster is supposed to be found. Or whether the struggle the hipsters signify is native to them or belongs to us all.
Are they faulted for a form of life that is in fact vastly more common than is supposed? My intention in this piece is not to offer an opinion on the essence or merits of this object. My disposition
is not normative, nor is my approach sociological. Rather, I approach the issue with an psycho-analytical intuition, seeking to ask searching questions, whet existing presumptions, and finally to
provoke an open discussion about a series of unrelated issues which may find their intersection under the name of the hipster. To that end, this piece will appraise the phenomenon of ‘hipsterdom’
through the frame of the psychic retreat.
Lucas Ballestín is a Ph.D. student in Philosophy and Historical Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York. His interests center on political philosophy, political economy, and psychoanalysis. He is currently at work on a project that clarifies the stakes of Lacan’s critique of ego psychology and traces some of the implications that this critique has had on political applications of Lacan’s thought.
Nina Bandi (Lucerne School of Art and Design / Zurich University of the Arts)
“Non-Representation and Repetition: a Perspective on Algorithms, Derivatives and Dance”
At the heart of Deleuze’s work Difference and Repetition lies a critique of representation understood as that which subordinates difference to identity and which is epitomized by the (dogmatic) image of thought of the I think. Instead, Deleuze proposes a philosophy of difference which is thought outside the relation of identity (and of opposition, analogy, resemblance, which all belong to the identical thinking). Repetition, as repetition of difference being opposed to the self-identical is central to this understanding. The question I want to look at in my presentation is thus, how repetition relates to non-representation, understood not only as a critique of representation, but as a concept that relates to current debates within the artistic and political fields. There has been a growing interest over the last couple of years into dance as a non-representative practice of movement. Also, there have been ongoing debates about how digital technology and computation are changing the ways we live and interact, not least via economic governance and surveillance technology. Thus, starting from a philosophical discussion about non-representation and repetition I would like to link dance as a non-representative practice with questions of the materiality of algorithms (e.g. in the sense of their (non-)computability as suggested by Luciana Parisi) and the sociality of derivatives (as done by Randy Martin). Elements that come up in this regard are the relations of visibility and opacity, knowledge and non-knowledge and questions of attribution of value, risk and debt. Looking at these different aspects from the perspective of repetition as that which differs from itself, I want to critically investigate the potentialities but also the problems that relate to such an affirmative understanding of repetition.
Nina Bandi is a political philosopher at Lucerne School of Art and Design and at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). She is part of a research project on the relevance of political art practices funded by the Swiss National Research Fund. In her PhD she focuses on a non-representational thinking of the relation between arts and politics. At ZHdK, she teaches within the design department. She is part of the editorial collective of kamion (http://diekamion.org), a journal at the intersection of political theory, social movements, and artistic practices. In 2012, she co-edited the book: “Kunst, Krise, Subversion. Zur Politik der Ästhetik,” which was published by transcript.
Andrew Benjamin (Monash University)
"Gesture and Expression: Interrupting Lament’s Repetition"
The project of this paper is to take up and explore the differences at the heart of gesture. At stake here is the relationship between gesture and normativity. In other words, the project pertains to a relationship between interruption and repetition. The central figure guiding this approach is Walter Benjamin, and specifically his engagement with Brecht on the topic of Epic Theatre. Benjamin’s claim made in relation to ‘epic theatre’ is that it ‘is gestural’ (ist gestisch). This description creates one of the parameters within which gesture is to be understood. Gesture in Benjamin’s engagement is recast in terms of ‘the interruption’ (die Unterbrechung). Interruption stands as the counter measure to normativity, where the latter is understood as the repetition of the same. The context within which this argument will be staged is Sophocles’ Elektra.
Andrew Benjamin is Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Thought at Monash University in Melbourne, and Distinguished Anniversary Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities at Kingston University in London. His recent books include: Virtue in Being (SUNY Press, 2016), Art’s Philosophical Work (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015), Towards A Relational Ontology: Philosophy’s Other Possibility (SUNY Press, 2015) and Working with Walter Benjamin. Recovering a Political Philosophy (EUP, 2013).
Susan Bernstein (Brown University)
“Reading and Writing in Kierkegaard – Repetition with Difference”
This paper traces practices of reading and writing in Kierkegaard’s Repetition and Fear and Trembling, practices which disrupt any hermeneutics of meaning that would make collective interpretation possible. Instead, the singularity of reading follows a model of repetition according to which each repetition does not unveil a previously existing modality, but instead itself constitutes a performative experience that is always new. Reading leads not to understanding, to a clarified reiteration of content, but instead performs the abyss between language and what lies beyond it. The repeated readings that the narrator performs on the story of Abraham serve not to clarify, but rather to make incomprehensible. Understanding Hegel, the narrator says, causes him little difficulty, but thinking about Abraham leaves him “shattered, paralyzed” (Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling – Repetition, trans. Hong and Hong. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983, 33). The young man in Repetition reads and rereads Job with a view not towards a meaning, but towards the materiality of writing which elicits repeated performances. The young man reads repeatedly and joyfully copies out the text in different formats and scripts (204). Reading understood as the repetition of writing – the differentiation of a presence which points beyond itself – is a material practice. Each repetition is singular and new: “Although I have read the book again and again, each word remains new to me. Every time I come to it, it is born anew as something original or becomes new and original in my soul” (205). The reading of repetition is thus differentiated from the repetition of reading that would merely reinforce a tradition as a community of understanding. “Whatever one generation learns from another, no generation learns the essentially human from a previous one. In this respect, each generation begins primitively. . . “ (121).
Susan Bernstein is Professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. She is the author of Virtuosity of the Nineteenth Century – Performing Music and Language in Heine, Liszt and Baudelaire (Stanford UP, 1998) and of Housing Problems – Writing and Architecture in Goethe, Walpole, Freud and Heidegger(Stanford UP, 2008). She is currently working on a book project entitled The Other Synaesthesia. Her interests include German, French, English and American literature and philosophy from th 18th-21st centuries, the relationship among the arts, lyric poetry, literary theory.
Pamela Bianchi (University of Paris 8)
“The Repetition of Difference: Time and Space in Contemporary Performance Art”
In 1997, Elmgreen & Dragset, for their first painting performance, paint and wash down the walls of a gallery for 12 hours. In 2015, the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam presents Tino Sehgal’s live works, nonstop for 365 days, from opening to closing time. Since 14 January 2015, Nadia Vadori-Gauthier starts to dance one minute a day, everywhere she is. The performance is yet in progress. In 2014, Luca Resta covers, for 12 days - 10 hours a day, the gallery space with the adhesive tape of paper, through a manic gesture of overlapping. Through the analysis of these four performances (in which greater attention will be paid to the two young artists) the contribution intends to highlight the relationship with temporality and repetition in contemporary performance. According to the role that repetition takes on in their gestures, the four artists exploit the concept of time and temporality differently: one year, 12 hours, one minute, 12 days, etc. The performance's duration is therefore a constitutive parameter, both for the importance given to the repetition and for the constant presence of the gesture in the time. That which is repeated in the time is not the identical, but the identical is a repetition of what that is repeated: the difference. Said this, the reference à Deleuze and his text Difference et Repetition 1 is clear. For these performances, the repetition should not be conceived as a generality, but rather as a creative process, which comes back to affirm the difference as uniqueness, as creative act, as an affirmation. In this way, the comparison of the artists in relation to the philosophical concept of Deleuze will offer a gaze on the contemporary artistic and museographic practice, and on the links that it can build with philosophical reflection. In addition, the fourth artist, Luca Resta, will be present during the days of the conference to realize the performance. This will allow for a concrete analysis and the development of a dialogue with the artist.
Pamela Bianchi is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory at the University of Paris 8. Her research interests include the history of the "presentation" of the exhibition space in the years 1960 - 1970; contemporary exhibition space; spatial aesthetics of contemporary arts; spatial and aesthetic experience, museographic and curatorial studies, spectatorial experience; performance, dance, theater and installation; instrumentalization of live performances by the system of contemporary art. In addition to numerous articles, she is the author of Espaces de l'oeuvre, espaces de l'exposition. De nouvelles formes d'expérience dans l'art contemporain, Paris, Connaissances et Savoirs, 2016.
Nadia Bou Ali (American University of Beirut)
“The Fate of That Which is Written: or How Literature Is Transformed Into Debris”
The talk will discuss Lacan’s later text Lituraterre in relation to Seminar 23 and the sinthome. Literature uses up the leftovers of society and becomes a piece of trash by making the name survive forever: Joyce “slips from a letter to a litter, from a lettre to a piece of trash” and his text “reads itself because one can sense the presence of the jouissance of he who wrote it.” Psychoanalysis in its understanding of waste and surplus as jouissance carries the key to save literature from its own endless repetition of symptomatic compensations for the lack of knowledge. Writing reconfigures every time the incommensurability between knowledge and truth. However, this endless cycle of repetition must be halted and replaced by an acknowledgement of ignorance. Ultimately, the sinthome that succeeds in setting a limit is not tragic but is about the re-symbolization of the symbolic, and that, which succeeds in individuating the lack in the symbolic.
Nadia Bou Ali is Assistant Professor at the Civilization Studies Program and is currently completing a book entitled “In the Hall of Mirrors: the Nahda and the question of language” forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press. Her research interests revolve around Arab thought, Critical Theory, and Psychoanalysis.
Geoff Boucher (Deakin University)
“Hysterically Funny: Austin after Lacan”
In this paper, I investigate the contribution that Lacanian psychoanalysis, which I propose involves a dramaturgical theory of language, can make to the understanding of the perlocutionary consequences of speech acts, before exploring some of the implications of this for communicative reason. Although Lacanian engagements with speech act theory exist, I want to begin afresh by looking at a problematic category within Austin’s speech act theory, and Searle’s subsequent elaboration of it: the category of perlocution. Perlocution refers to effects of shock, surprise, humour, persuasion and so forth, that is, to consequences of the speech act that go beyond the illocutionary (i.e., “performative”) and locutionary (i.e., “constative”) dimensions of the utterance. Now, perlocution is widely acknowledged to be a problem for speech act theory, but generally speaking, this is attributed to the peculiarities of individual psychology, said to determine such surplus responses by the interlocutor. But this is absurd: manuals of rhetoric indicate that generalisations about perlocutionary consequences are perfectly valid and, indeed, that the reaction of the interlocutor can in general be anticipated. The real problem is not the idiosyncrasies of psychology, but the assumption that perlocution is a supplementary category, one that deals with an aspect of the utterance that is external to the communicative content of speech acts. That is where Lacan helps: I propose that Lacan develops a dramaturgical theory of the utterance, one in which rhetoric is intrinsic to communication because every speech act minimally involves an effort to persuade the interlocutor. More simply, every speech act is an overture to a kind of seduction. As Freud realised, it is jokes and slips, that is, misfires, which illustrate how this is the case. Sharing a smirk with Freud, I point out the proximity of jokes to hysterical symptoms, and draw attention to the ways that Freud himself found aspects of his case studies highly amusing. This “hysterical theatre,” which happens to be hilariously funny, is a miscommunication that is its own perlocutionary success. Taking Lacan’s understanding of parapraxis as my clue, I then propose a Lacanian interpretation of perlocution as a surprising relation between speaking bodies, conventional authorisation and the gap between locution and illocution, by telling a joke. I conclude by asking what the implications of such a dramaturgical theory of the speech act are for communicative reason.
Geoff Boucher is a senior lecturer at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia) whose research concerns the intersection of post-Marxist theory and Lacanian psychoanalysis, especially on the terrain of cultural formations. His most recent books are Understanding Marxism (Acumen, 2012) and Adorno Reframed (ibTauris, 2012). He is also the author (with Matt Sharpe) of Zizek and Politics (Edinburgh, 2010) and a book on neoconservatism in Australian politics, The Times Will Suit Them (Allen & Unwin, 2008). His work on post-Marxism is published as The Charmed Circle of Ideology (Re-Press, 2008). He is currently working on the four cornered game between Theodor Adorno, Thomas Mann, Arnold Schoenberg and the Devil.
Alfie Bown (HSMC, Hong Kong)
“The PlayStation Dreamworld: Automatism and Videogames”
I am currently working on a book on the psychoanalysis of videogames and this paper will be the first presentation of one of the book’s main ideas: an analysis of the ‘repetitious automatism’ found in the enjoyment of videogaming.Three contemporary philosophers stand out for me as proving that technology and consciousness can no longer be discussed separately and that the resonances of not recognizing this could be politically disastrous. These writers are Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Srećko Horvat and Steven Shaviro. All three have tried to show that what we think of as the virtual world – computers, simulated AI, VR, the internet, etc – have not just successfully copied, emulated and replaced ‘real’ humans but that human consciousness, identity and subjectivity is ‘mutating’ (Bifo) ‘evolving’ (Horvat) and being ‘disrupted’ (Shaviro) by technological advances. In short, this paper argues that the repetitious patterns found in videogames disrupt, mutate and evolve consciousness. Gaming, no longer the realm of youth and alternative cultures, is now part of the formation of consciousness. The number of users of PC, console and mobile games combined is expected to reach 1.65 billion worldwide by 2020, which is considerably more than 20% of the global population. This data is very conservative, and it is probably reasonable to estimate that over half of the world’s population is already gaming in some form. Of course, the rates are even higher among the next generation – a generation who will have a consciousness very much constructed by videogames. This paper explores this political re-structuring of consciousness via Lacanian discussions of repetition, showing how it is that videogames, a unique form of art and performance, affect the future of cognition.
Alfie Bown is assistant professor of literature at HSMC, Hong Kong. He is the author of Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism and his PhD was on laughter and was examined by Mladen Dolar. He is the editor of the Hong Kong Review of Books and the series editor of the Everyday Analysis book series.
Micha Braun (Leipzig University)
“Repetition and Recurrence: On Artefacts and Bodies as Agents of Differentiation in Contemporary Polish Visual Arts”
The Polish installation and performance artist Robert Kuśmirowski is well known for his intriguing museum-like settings and re-enactments of historical spaces that evoke rich, and sometimes nostalgic, atmospheres of the sublime past whilst they are mostly falsified and (re-)constructed out of random and poor materials. His fascination for the ruin-like remnants of history, the mock-ups and allegoric artefacts that constitute our memory as well as our identity, remind us not by chance of Tadeusz Kantor’s mnemonic ideas on a theatre of (endless) repetition. Within the video works of another Polish artist, Artur Żmijewski, repetition becomes a pivotal practice for “making things visible that are usually not” (to quote himself). In his experimental setups and documentations of provoked events he looks out for recurrences of trained behaviour, implicit assumptions, or patterns of perception – on the side of the participants as well as at the viewer’s side. Interestingly, these reactions are often triggered by medial representations or artefacts that refer to the human body as an instrument of political socialisation and community building. In times of late globalisation that increasingly seek for originality, authenticity and unambiguousness in terms of cultural identity and historical derivation, such an ambivalent handling of facts and fictions have of course to seem highly suspicious. By analysing central works like “Double V” (2005) and “Träumgutstraße” (2014) by Kuśmirowski or “Repetition” (2005) and “Democracies” (2010) by Żmijewski, my paper will investigate how artefacts and artificial fragments of the body, against their representative function, can be read as agents of a repetitive aesthetic strategy that aims for differentiation rather than for the (re-)construction of identity and history. In Deleuzean terms, I would expect in the cited works an observation of what he calls a ‘principle become’ – a certain experience of the fundamental non-identity of oneself and the secondary character of any historical narrative.
Micha Braun, Dr. phil., is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Theatre Studies at Leipzig University, Germany, and is part of the DFG-funded project “Das Theater der Wiederholung” (led by Günther Heeg). Micha earned a four year-stipendiary at the DFG Graduate School “Critical Junctures of Globalisation” and in 2011 finished his dissertation thesis on a practice of history and storytelling in Peter Greenaway’s artwork (“In Figuren erzählen,” Bielefeld 2012). His main research areas are strategies of repetition, narration and remembrance in the arts, theatre and film of the 20th and 21st century with a key focus on Central and Eastern Europe, medium and (inter-)mediality in contemporary cultures, as well as medial representations and spaces of knowledge since the 17th Century. Micha is member of the IFTR/FIRT, Association of Art Historians and Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft. His newest publications comprise: “Die Praxis der/des Echo. Zum Theater des Widerhalls” (Frankfurt, Bern, New York 2015, with Veronika Darian, Jeanne Bindernagel and Mirosław Kocur); “Reenacting History: Theater & Geschichte” (Berlin 2014, with Günther Heeg, Lars Krüger and Helmut Schäfer).
Pia Brezavšček (University of Ljubljana)
“Repeating the Unrepeatable Presence in Dance Improvisation”
Of all theatre forms contemporary/modern dance has grounded itself the most in the notion of presence in opposition to representation. Isadora Duncan found the source of all movement in the solar plexus – modern dance as autonomous art form was discovered exactly through the discovery of movement as being the essence of dance. The dancing body was thus considered as a self-propelling wheel of subjectivity which was expressing itself through its every move. Modern dance became, with Badiou, “a metaphore for thought,” an event before naming, a possibility for all other art. The phantasms of “presence” and “ineffable sublime” of the dancing body are the most uncritically reproduced in the practice of dance improvisation. In the contribution, a will tackle the Model, the very inventor of contact improvisation: Steve Paxton and his famous Goldberg variations. Through three other well-known dance pieces which deal with the “repetition” of (this) dance improvisation, I will show three different modes of repeating. The first repetition is the search for the authenticity of the dancer's very own movement, which can be found only through the most exact embodiment of the principles of the Model, the teacher. This is what Jurij Konjar does in his own Goldberg Variations. This is not yet a deleuzian simulacrum, as it does not question the role of the Model. Marten Spångberg's in his Powered by emotion is on the other hand copying Paxton's moves in the manner of karaoke (without mocking). His untrained body is thus opening important questions dealing with the very status of the Model. The repeting of the unrepeatable is becoming something different than the original. But it is Johnatan Burrows and Jan Ritsema's Weak dance strong questions that is changing the very sintax of the dance improvisation and is perhaps a piece that shows us a creation of a different kind of dance that escapes the habits of simpler repetitions.
Pia Brezavšček has graduated in Philosophy and Art History and in the Faculty of Arts (University of Ljubljana) and is currently self employed as a theater reviewer and theatrologist. She is mostly interested in contemporary dance and theater theory, contemporary philosophy and feminism. She is the author of bradcasts on Radio Študent and has written articles for Dnevnik, Delo, Večer, Tribuna, Šum, Dialogi, Maska, Performance Research and other publications. She has attendet the Performance Studies International conference in Leeds 2012. She is in the editorial board of Maska. Her recent work includes dramaturgy for Bara Kolenc and Atej Tutta's performance Metamorphisis 3: The Retorics and the initiation and organization of the contemporary theater theory seminar Sic! In the Slovenian Theatre Institute.
Anna Bromley (Artist, researcher & writer) & Michael Fesca (Artist, researcher &
“Sharing Jokes, Laughing, Grooving - Awkward Repetitions” (performance)
Comedians could be viewed as virtuosos of speech, voice, tact, and rhythm. They seem to have an implicit sense of split-second-timing in applying minor deviations from normative etiquette. In other words: they are capable of speaking off the beat. In this way, the comedic joke shifts the anticipated beat just enough that the alteration can be distinctly perceived, but without entirely breaking with the frame of reference. Delivering a joke`s punch line and initiating a processual groove both rely on playing slightly off the beat in comparable ways. Our proposal is to complement widely discussed semantic notions of joke sharing with hitherto lesser perceived aspects of processual pulsing speech performance renegotiated as a form of implicit knowledge.
Clemens Risi, in his rhythmic re-reading of Bergson`s “Le Rire,” draws attention to the complex temporal processes of an audience’s laughter by which expectations are activated whose fulfilment or disappointment generates comical effects only in the course of split-second-timing. Split-second- timing means executing skillful breaks with and transgressions of the expected – breaks which overwhelm our perception in ways that either result in the boredom of aversion or in amazement and – sometimes – in laughter.
Anna Bromley is an artist, cultural researcher, and writer based in Berlin. Her scenic miniatures connect qualitative social research methods with partly fictionalized re-enactments. Based on typical speech cultures in the markets of culture, science, and politics, her delegated performances, context specific installations, and essays explore subtle manipulation in speeches and negotiations and their theatrical aspects. Most recently, she received the Clara and Eduard Rosenthal grant and the Schöppingen Foundation grant for projects, intersecting art and sciences. In 2013 she co-curated the Project IRREGULAR – ECONOMIES OF DEVIATION at the New Foundation of Fine Arts Berlin. Currently, she is involved with artistic and theoretical examinations of humor (Redemption Jokes, 2014/15, with C. Buck, M. Fesca, S.Husse, J. Sotzko; Epistemic Dudes, Hamburg, 2013/16) and norms/counter-norms (Therapeutic Alliances, Hamburg, 2014, with M. Fesca; on the move, Schöppingen, 2014, with L. Milanova, FXPO, Milano, 2015 with M. Fesca, Exposed Project). http://www.annabromley.com/
Michael Fesca is an artist, cultural researcher and curator based in Berlin. The starting point of his self-deprecating performances are overly long production times and self-initiated, seemingly impossible tasks. For him, the phenomena of time, beat, and synchronization are of particular interest. In 2013, he was co-curator of IRREGULAR – ECONOMIES OF DEVIATION at the New Foundation of Fine Arts Berlin. 2014 Lucas Cranach fellow and nominated for Istanbul scholarship Berlin. He has published essays in the “Glossary of inflationary Terms” (“uncool”) and in “What is the future of architecture II” (Crap is Good Press, the article, “Coolness for Trees”). His theoretical and artistic practice applies the potentiality of humor (Redemption Jokes, nGbK 2014/15, with C. Buck, A. Bromley, S.Husse, J. Sotzko), the question of timing and rhythm in his project Abstruse Timed (with Prof. Kai van Eikels, FU Berlin) and norms/counter-norms (Therapeutic Alliances, Hamburg, 2014, with A. Bromley, FXPO, Milano, 2015 with A. Bromley, Exposed Project, Excess Sharing Jokes, Laughing, Grooving, Awkward Repetitions, 2-3 and Austerity, with P. Bonino, I. Kannegießer, N. Küchen, A-K. Strecker). PhD candidate at The University of Art and Design Linz (Prof. Dr. Karin Harrasser) http://www.michaelfesca.de/
Erik Bryngelsson & Karl Sjölund (Yak Kallop)
”Unless Hamlet” (performance)
Deleuze saw in the works of the italian machina attoriale Carmelo Bene an example of a minor author who worked on the virtual underside of the homogenous and invariable structure of a major language. Through his ”subtractive method”, Bene’s theatre moved towards a perversion of the surface of the represented world in a ”continuous variation” of stuttered utterances and hindered and amputated gestures. For instance, in Bene’s Romeo and Juliette, Romeo, the organizing principle and the locus of the original conflict, is subtracted from the story. His absence permits, according to Deleuze, the unleashing of "a new potentiality of the theatre, an always unbalanced, nonrepresentative force”. This nonrepresentative or ”terrible force” set loose on the represented world projects itself into the future as a pure ”power of becoming”. But is this method of substraction producing continous variations? Lorenzo Chiesa has pointed out Deleuze’s all too vitalist interpretation of Bene’s work. Instead of the repeated subtraction producing something new, Bene’s method deindividualizes the representations of the stage, it brings forth the underlying mechanisms of the performance, that at the same times annihilates it by every subtraction. In this way, the obscene, that which is outside of the scene invades the scene, and unmakes representations from within. Following this line of enquiry, we wish to ask what would a ”theatre of the future” be that does not take a philosophical idea of repetition as its point of departure, but instead begins from obscene theatrical presentations and maybe even unmakes our conception of repetition from the inside of representation?
Yak Kallop (Erik Bryngelsson & Karl Sjölund) is a performance and theory collective based in Stockholm, Sweden. Since 2015 we’ve been producing stage works, situation based performances, essays and performance lectures dealing with questions of identity and representation. In ”Portable heterotopia” (2015) a 9x4 metres wide tent was carried through the city centre of Gothenburg inside of which two actors repeatedly performed the dialogue and execution of Barabbas that could’ve taken place between Barabbas and a roman soldier after his release and disappearance from the account of his life in the New Testament. In the stage play ”You should only lick the asses of the one’s you love” (2015) we expounded on the link between the repetitive habits enacted by the franciscan monks according to the monastic rules and theatrical gestures. In ”Ego boy going chronos” (2016) we used the many iterations of the death of the father in Hamlet as a machine that would break down the chronological narrative, reversing it, and little by little, reducing the play to the pure form of the stage, as if, e x post facto, the original murder and even the story itself never even happened.
D. Graham Burnett, Lucy Partman, Matthew Strother & Nathaniel Whitfield (The Enacted Thought,
"Pulling Imaginary Teeth" (performance / workshop)
Repetition introduces a “presentness, amounting, as it were, to the perpetual creation of itself.”
Michael Fried, ‘Art and Objecthood’
“Repetition does not abandon itself to that which is past, nor does it aim at progress.”
Martin Heidegger, Being and Time
‘Pulling Imaginary Teeth’ is the culminating performance project of “The Enacted Thought,” an experimental graduate seminar on theater and pedagogy taught in the Spring term of 2016 at Princeton University (https://enactedthought.wordpress.com). This collaborative exercise takes the form of an improvised conversation built entirely from the language of Michael Fried’s 1967 essay “Art and Objecthood.” Performed for the first time at the Princeton University Art Museum, this extemporaneous, but mimetic, conversation will take on a new form in the City Museum of Ljubljana. Visitors are encouraged to come by and engage with the work as they deem appropriate.
D. Graham Burnett works at the intersection of historical inquiry and artistic practice. He is interested in experimental/experiential approaches to textual material, pedagogical modes, and hermeneutic activities traditionally associated with the research humanities. Recent (collaborative) performances and exhibitions include: “The Pomagello Document” (2013; Dairy Arts Centre, London) “The Work of Art Under Conditions of Intermittent Accessibility” (2014; Palais de Tokyo, Paris); “The Rülek Scrolls and the Practice of the Door” (2014; MoMA PS1, NYC); and “Schema for a School” (2015; Ljubljana Biennial). Several of these projects emerged in association with the speculative historiographical collective known as ESTAR(SER). Burnett trained in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University and currently teaches at Princeton University. He is an editor at the Brooklynbased C abinet magazine, and the author of a number of books and essays.
Lucy Partman is currently a PhD student in the Art & Archeology Department at Princeton University. She graduated from Yale University in 2014 where she majored in both the History of Art and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. At the Yale Center for British Art she participated in paintings conservation and research. She also curated exhibitions at the Slika Center at Yale University and continues curatorial work at the Jewish Museum in New York. Her graduate research focuses on probing the many intersections of art and science in American art during the nineteenth century.
Matthew Strother is currently a Master’s Student in the Liberal Studies Program at the New School for Social Research. He graduated from Yale in 2008, where he majored in English Literature and directed many plays, including The Importance of Being Earnest at The Yale Repertory Theater. As a theater director, his work has also appeared at The Flea Theater, the Williamstown Theater Festival, the Hangar Theatre, and the Edinburgh Fringe. As a scholar, his generalist sensibilities have led him to specialize in the history of academic specialization’s rejection of the generalist. As a combination of the two, he is very excited about his recent discovery of Performance Philosophy and its hybrid horizons of thinking, scholarship, and creative practice.
Nathaniel Whitfield is a performance and video artist whose work focuses on the sites existing at the peripheries of modernity; engaged with an ‘urban aesthetic’ or ‘spatialcultural’ discourse, that which combines art, architecture and urban design, with theories of the city, social and public space. He has recently been a Leverhulme Scholar on the Each/Other residency (2015, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge), holds a BFA in Fine Art from the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford and is currently at Princeton University as a William Alexander Fleet Fellow. From September he will be part of the Whitney Independent Study Program.
Keti Chukhrov (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)
"Repetition as the Performative Syndrome of Crisis"
In his “Difference and Repetition” Deleuze reveals an aporia: repetition is singular, solitary, it is torn away from any original or source; nevertheless it preserves a genetic tie with certain event to which it is a repetition. This solitariness of the repetition is not however confined to mere difference between the act of repetition and the repeated source that cancels the original just to differentiate two performative procedures. An act of repetition is solitary only when it evolves in specific time-regime, which even ontically diverges from the regular ontology of time. Deleuze calls such temporality “empty”, Nietzsche defines it as amor fati, Heidegger sees in it convergence of eternity and an instant. The stake in this case is a specific kind of repetitive regime which unfolds as the performative syndrome of ‘dying’ – a “repetition into death” (Deleuze) which paradoxically executes itself as performative plenitude. But who is the Subject undergoing such a syndrome and what should have happened to her/him so as to impose the regime of dying on any act of repetition?
Keti Chukhrov – ScD in philosophy (RSUH), associate professor at the Department of Cultural Theory at the HSE, visiting professor at the European University at St. Petersburg. Head of the theory department at NCCA. Her research interests are the ontology of performing, comparative epistemologies of socialism and capitalism, art-systems and post-human studies. She authored numerous texts on art theory, cultural politics, and philosophy, published in Afterall, Moscow Art Magazine, Artforum, Brumaria, Documenta magazines, e-flux journal, Voprosi Philosophii, Stasis, etc. Book-length publications include: To Be – To Perform. ‘Theatre’ in Philosophical Criticism of Art (2011); Pound &£ (1999), and a volume of dramatic writing: Just Humans (2010).
Justin Clemens (University of Melbourne)
"‘End of History, End of Art’; or, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe"
So much End, it’s hard to get started. Or even stopped. Things just keep going, despite a certain quality of aftermath. So somebody like Giorgio Agamben urges the return of a kind of injunction to messianism in the name of a real End; somebody like Alain Badiou declares we must end with the End through a fidelity to an event that reveals the void of our situations; somebody like Ray Brassier thinks that universal extinction is already an accomplished Fact of Reason. So it’s no wonder that so many vicissitudes and varieties of repetition come to take up the slack. In his technical papers on transference, Sigmund Freud notes that love, arising spontaneously within the context of an analysis, there becomes — in distinction from everyday life — at once the goad, the guide and the obstacle to analysis’ success. It is a triple deadlock of inheritance — subsistence through a pleasure that constantly tropes away from survival, the enforced inculcation of action through mimetic antithesis, and the achronia of the sexual aftershock — that transference at once exemplifies and enacts….possibly interminably. In this zone, any putative End becomes simultaneously, indissociably, passive, undead, destructive, and indiscernible: an impossible restoration of what never-was, a restaurant at the end of the universe.
Justin Clemens is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His books include Psychoanalysis is an Antiphilosophy (Edinburgh UP 2013), Minimal Domination (Surpllus 2011), and, with A.J. Bartlett and Jon Roffe, Lacan Deleuze Badiou (Edinburgh UP 2014). He is currently working on a project titled ‘Australian Poetry Today.’
Tone Dandanell (Aarhus University in Denmark)
“The Wonder of Repetition”
Kierkegaard’s Repetition is a pseudonymous investigation into the new philosophical category of repetition. As Kierkegaard’s perhaps most fictional work, this investigation also deals with a story of a failed return trip to Berlin and a story of a young man's failed love affair. In the observations on this failed love affair, the description of the intimate relation between repetition and the category of the wonderful is revealed: “He still firmly believes that, humanly speaking, his love cannot be realized. He has no come to the border of the marvellous (Det vidunderliges Grændse).”The category of the wonderful designates the double movement of faith in Kierkegaard. It is most prominent in Fear and Trembling and in Repetition, but present throughout the pseudonymous and the upbuilding authorship. However, the identification of the wonderful and the repetition of faith has mostly been overlooked by Kierkegaard scholars. One reason for this is that English translations have veiled the importance of the category by rendering it in several different ways – as the marvellous (see above), the miraculous, the sublime, etc. In the original Danish texts, however, it is the category of the wonderful alone that is intimately connected to the movements of faith. So what does it tell us about the category of repetition that the young man unable to believe in repetition is standing at the border of the marvellous (det vidunderlige)? In this paper I will argue that repetition in Kierkegaard is a repetition of faith in the wonderful. Important to stress, the category of the wonderful has nothing to do with a noumenal realm, accessible only to a religious few. On the contrary, the wonderful is that which, by exciting wonder, bears witness to the lack of ground at the heart of existence. The wonderful in Kierkegaard is faith’s owns miraculous possibility in the world; just as the event of incarnation itself, faith is a repetition, a movement of finity in which the sublime expresses itself in the world. The movement of faith consists in a fracture in reason, a break with the probable and the expected, which is why it for Kierkegaard produces and becomes a wondering [undren] that dismantles the defined certainty, religious interpretations of Kierkegaard presupposes in the distinction between a sacred and a profane realm.
Tone Frank Dandanell is a Ph.D. student in Philosophy at Aarhus University in Denmark. Her project focuses on the category of wonder in Kierkegaard. She has previously published the article “RadikalateismeiØieblikket”(Radical atheism in the Moment) (Philosophia 2013) as well as several articles in Danish newspapers.
Gareth Davies, Thomas Henning, Eloïse Mignon & Eryn-Jean Norvill (The Collective)
Could not He who first made all creatures perfect, remake us...?
It is the first day of rehearsals of a theatrical remake of the Andreï Tarkovski film Stalker (1979). Four performers perform the ritual of self-introduction. They then perform a read-through of a scene from Stalker, in which each performer reads for one of the film’s three principal characters— writer, professor, stalker... and a fourth. This scene is captured (video) and subsequently replayed (projected). A game begins. Each performer interprets the self-introduction of another; retaining and repeating elemental information of the others’ self-(re)presentation—and then performing it. The four performers set out to remake Stalker, but end up remaking each others’ self-representations again and again and again.
A set of rules will be established whereby the role assumed by each performer in the remake, in the (technological) reproduction and in the representation (of self and others) will be, in each new remake of the (original) scene, passed on to another performer. We seek to explore the metamorphosing effects of the repetition of the structure of remake on our representations of self. During this time the four performers will thrust themselves into a cycle of scenes that will explore ‘Remake’ as a proposition and a process within artistic and personal modalities. We seek to question whether or not there is anything left to (re)present (of ourselves, and each other) when the roles we adhere to, as performers and social beings—the roles that we remake and that remake us—become utterly and maddeningly confused.
The Collective is an Australian group of performance makers, actors, writers and video artists.
Gareth Davies is an actor, writer, and theatre maker from Sydney, Australia, and a member of The Black Lung Theatre and Whaling Firm. With the Black Lung he has collaborated on the writing and performance of Rubeville, Avast I & II: the Welshman Cometh, I Feel Awful (with the Queensland Theatre Company), Pimms, and Doku Rai – a show devised and performed in collaboration with artists from East Timor. His other theatre credits include performing in The Cherry Orchard (Melbourne Theatre Company), the Government Inspector (Malthouse Theatre), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, And They Called Him Mr Glamour (a one- man show which he also wrote), and The Seagull (Belvoir St Theatre), As you Like It and the Literati (Bell Shakespeare), 3 x Sisters and The Suicide (Hayloft Project). He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Sydney Theatre Awards for The Only Child (Hayloft), and as writer for Masterclass (Red Line) he was nominated a Smack Award for Best Show as well as the Philip Parsons Award for Best New Writing.
Eloïse Mignon has performed in theatres across Australia, Europe and Asia, including Belvoir St Theatre (Sydney), Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz (Berlin), Théâtre National de Chaillot (Paris), National Theatre of Taiwan (Taipei), and at international festivals in Vienna, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Oslo. She has worked with auteurs Simon Stone (The Wild Duck; The Cherry Orchard; Strange Interlude), Benedict Andrews (Every Breath) and Falk Richter (Complexity of Belonging; Je Suis Fassbinder) and collaborated with The Black Lung Theatre (Rubeville). Mignon most recently performed in Je Suis Fassbinder, directed by Falk Richter and Stanislas Nordey - created at Théâtre National de Strasbourg in March 2016 and playing at Théâtre de Vidy in Lausanne and Théâtre National de la Colline in Paris. Mignon holds a B.A. (Hons 1) in English and French from The University of Melbourne. Her thesis concerned Alain Badiou and theatre as a process of thought. Academic merit awards: Dean’s Honours List; R.G. Wilson Scholarship; The Dwight Final Examination Prize (2015); Richard Gunter Prizes for English (2013).
Thomas Henning is the co-artistic director of The Black Lung Theatre and Whaling Firm. He has written and directed several of the Black Lung’s works, including: Glasoon (2009), Rubeville (2006-07) and Avast (2004-08). He has collaborated on the writing and direction as well as performed in various other productions including A Ramble through the Wooded Glen (2007), Sugar (2007) and Avast II: The Welshman Cometh (2008). He has performed in and collaborated on the writing of various productions with the Hayloft Project including 3xSisters (2009 Arts House), The Only Child (2009 Belvoir) and Thyestes (2010 – 2015 Malthouse/Belvoir). Henning is co-creator of The Blind Date Project for Ride- on Theatre. From the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2014 Henning has lived in Timor-Leste, working with Arte Moris, Timor's primary arts organisation and TERTIL, timor's major independent theatre company. In august 2014 he served as a producer on Arte Publiku, Timor's first multi-discipline public art festival. Henning has also worked as a professional writer over the last decade, producing works ranging from fiction to fact. He is also a practicing celebrant.
Eryn Jean Norvill is an actor and theatre maker from Sydney, Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Dramatic Art from Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. She is also a graduate from the prestigious L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier in France and The Groundlings School in Los Angeles. She has been working in theatre in Australia for the last ten years. For Sydney Theatre Company: Cordelia in King Lear, Catherine in Suddenly Last Summer, Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. For Belvoir Theatre Company: The Government Inspector. For Melbourne Theatre Companies: Ophelia in Hamlet, Angie in Top Girls. For Griffin Theatre Company: Nola in The Boys. For Q Theatre Company: Sam in Truck Stop. For Hayloft Project: Marya Grekova in Platonov and Irina in 3xSisters. For Complete Works Theatre Company: Margaret Moore in Man for All Seasons. For Red Stitch Company: Dawn in Lobby Hero. She has received several theatre awards: Sydney Theatre Award for Best Female Actress in a Main stage Production: Suddenly Last Summer (2015), Green Room Award Government Inspector (2014), Sydney Theatre Award The Boys (2012), Green Room Award Top Girls (2012), Sydney Theatre Award Truckstop (2012). Eryn Jean is also a writer and theatre maker. She most recently collaborated with Emily Tomlins to create A Tiny Chorus. A Tiny Chorus toured around Australia and went on to receive the Adelaide Fringe Festival Award for Best Theatre Production & Best Theatre Performer (2010), Melbourne Fringe Festival Winner of People’s Choice Award (2009). Eryn Jean is the recent recipient of Marten Bequest Theatre Scholarship (2015) and the Gloria Payten Travelling Scholarship (2015).
Timmy De Laet (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
“Variations of Repetition A Philosophical Reading of Jérôme Bel’s Citational Practice”
In the course of his career, the French choreographer Jérôme Bel has developed a citational practice by exploring distinct types of repetition that also bespeak a specific stance towards the historicization of dance. In this paper, I will trace this trajectory by singling out three exemplary performance projects: Jérôme Bel (1995), The Last Performance (1998), and the dancer portrait series (2004-2009). Through a brief discussion of these pieces, I identify three consecutive stages in Bel’s use of citational repetition by showing how he gradually moves from a postmodernist form of quotation to a reliance on the deconstructionist principle of reiteration to a more straightforwardly embodied kind of repetition that foregrounds the body as a living archive. References to Jameson, Lyotard, Derrida, Butler, and Merleau-Ponty will theoretically flesh out the different meanings of how Bel turns repetition into a recurring but variable choreographic principle. These readings, then, provide the background for my main claim that the variations of repetition, as they can be observed in Bel’s performances, keep pace with the major currencies in late twentieth-century philosophy and critical theory. The citational practice of Jérôme Bel more specifically reflects, albeit with a certain delay, a move from postmodernism to deconstruction and the subsequent revival of phenomenology. I will elucidate how these shifting paradigms made themselves particularly felt in theory of history and the manner in which the possibility of reviving the past became restored – without, however, disregarding the historical distance that separates the past from the present. This perspective not only allows me to clarify how Bel’s relationship with the history of dance changes over the years, but also to articulate how a philosophical reading of his variations of repetition show to what extent theory and dance mutually illuminate one another.
Timmy De Laet is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp and the Research Centre for Visual Poetics. He had an actor’s training at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, graduated in Theatre Studies at the University of Antwerp, and studied Dance Theory at the Freie Universität Berlin. He obtained his PhD in 2016, for his dissertation titled “Re-inventing the Past: Strategies of Re-enactment in European Contemporary Dance.” Timmy is currently working as a researcher on the project “The Didascalic Imagination” (funded by FWO – Research Foundation Flanders), which examines director’s notebooks as genetic documents of creative processes in contemporary performing arts. His research interests include the reiterative nature of live performance in relation to archivization, documentation, and reenactment. He was the 2011 recipient of the Routledge Prize for excellent research paper at the PSi#17 conference in Utrecht.
Mladen Dolar (University of Ljubljana)
The purpose of the lecture is to propose some lines of thought on the relation between philosophy and theatre. Both share their origin in the same historic constellation, the Greek polis in the 6th century BC, but they pursue their courses by completely different means – philosophy by concepts, abstraction, theories, theatre by the magic of staging, by provoking terror and pity, by enchantment, to make it quick. Yet the two courses are intertwined, there are numerous intersections and overlaps. Staging concepts is essential, but what I am interested in is not the procedure by which staging would provide illustration and demonstration of concepts, but the ways in which philosophy inherently needs and requires staging concepts as the inherent moment of their deployment. By staging concepts have to be translated into a dimension different from their abstraction, yet it is only by espousing this heterogeneous element that concepts can be concepts at all. A number of examples will be briefly scrutinized (Pythagoras delivering his lecture behind a curtain, the status of theatricality of Plato’s dialogues, the status of philosophical anecdotes in Diogenes Laertius, Hegel’s method of staging concepts in his Phenomenology of Spirit, Deleuze’s ‘method of dramatization'). Furthermore, by scrutinizing the old rhetorical figure of prosopopoia (lending and borrowing a voice, personification) and its philosophical usage, the lecture will pursue the question of why in some crucial instances philosophy has to ventriloquize another voice in order to present a philosophical thesis (Parmenides ventriloquizing the goddess, Plato ventriloquizing Socrates, Socrates ventriloquizing Diotima, Marx ventriloquizing the commodities etc.) Different lines of approach that the lecture will propose don’t quite add up to a consistent theory of the connection theatre/philosophy, but they all aim at a basic gesture that perhaps can lead us to the core of both.
Mladen Dolar is Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana. His principal areas of research are psychoanalysis, modern French philosophy, German idealism and art theory. He has lectured extensively at the universities in USA and across Europe, he is the author of over hundred papers in scholarly journals and collective volumes. Apart from ten books in Slovene, his book publications include most notably A Voice and Nothing More (MIT 2006, translated into five languages) and Opera's Second Death (with Slavoj Žižek, Routledge 2001, also translated into several languages).
Serap Erincin (Louisiana State University) [2 contributions - see below for performance]
“Phenomenologies of Performing Repetition: The Real, the Mediated, and the Multiplied in TWG’s Poor Theatre”
In this paper, I explore theories of repetition through The Wooster Group’s use of digital and new media archives in making performance. I focus especially on how performers repeat copies without originals through the use of media; the media and technology exist to repeat in film what happened and The Wooster Group repeats film to make it happen as they also repeat each and all previous performances with every repetition. What they are trying to achieve is not an exact copy but to capture the soul of the performances; they inhabit the essences of the images they copy. Both the live and the dead performer are present during this process of “becoming,” that is the process of physical and emotional metamorphosis. To clarify, when Kate Valk, an actor of the US experimental theatre company The Wooster Group, copies the performance of Rena Mirecka from a video recording of the Polish director Grotowski’s play Acropolis from 1968, the person on stage is not Valk or Mirecka, it’s someone between the two. This repetition is the being – and this being through repetition is the essence of live performance. Here I argue, that live performance is an artistic “ontology of the present.” In order to be performance, an event has to be at the present and ephemeral—and it needs to happen through repetition. An event can be both present and ephemeral only through repetition. During this repetition that is the event, performers are “living archives” of the dead performers, connecting the present to the past through ephemeral, live performances. I discuss how artists construct new phenemenologies for the concepts live, archival, and virtual through the use of digital and new media in repeated -- that is disappearing and ephemeral -- performance.
In this performance I use mine and others’ Magnetic Resonance Images and X-ray films in various media as well as recorded and spoken word to investigate ideas of repetition of affect through somatic acts. I juxtapose, distort, and offer an alternative narrative for the MRI films and video of my various body parts that attempt to capture the present self through sound and light waves. If our bodies are in constant flux, what does repetition mean? If the self is never the same, every gesture, every performative, and event is repetition of affect. This piece is part of a series of installments I’m developing for the multi-media performance project Suppression of Absence.
Serap Erincin is a performance artist, director, and Assistant Professor of Performance Studies as Louisiana State University. She received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University. The recipient of various awards, her work also focuses on performance philosophy and phenomenology. She has published on experimental performance and human rights performance and is the editor of Solum and Other Plays from Turkey and the forthcoming special issue of Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies. She is also the writer and director of plays such as Atrocity Boulevard, Inside “Out”, and Connected, and has been the curator of several symposiums and the Neurohumanities Salons at Penn State.
Claire Foster (University College London)
This paper, part of forthcoming book of the same title, argues for a paradigm shift in approaches to culture, from seeing a sequence of objects or events, to seeing the performance of values the repetition of those objects and events makes possible. Values like continuity, authority, participation, status, and collective memory all negotiate social identity, as has been observed - but these processes become especially important in a digital era, where a thing is who knows about it (‘how many hits’). As traditional distinctions between the immaterial and material become obsolete, and the distinction between copy and original is no longer recognised by law (Capitol Records failed lawsuit against MP3 resale in 2011) questioning the philosophical relationship between repetition and recognition is timely. This paper compares examples from music, live art, the performance of Greek drama, and the adaptation of Shakespeare to suggest the extent to which ‘capacities to recognise’ are constitutive of the work. It proposes a concept of the artwork - or other forms of public statement - as the audiences it implies. Rather than seeing commercially-driven engagements with culture as distinct from the morally-improving or edifying, both usefully illuminate the extent to which any repeated thing is 'who it is for’: its entity a function of the agencies which control the processes of framing and reframing of such imagined collective constituencies. Whether called adaptation, brand, fashion or tradition, a particular ‘we’ is brought into being by any recourse to the ’resource of the recognisable.’
Clare Foster writes and teaches writing and directing for both theatre and film. She is a founding co-convenor of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network, a Mellon-Newton Graduate Group at CRASSH and a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCL’s Department of Greek and Latin, researching the history of the concept of adaptation in Britain c. 1814-1945. From 1994-2009 she was a full time screenwriter based in Los Angeles.
Zohar Frank (Brown University)
“Rehearsing Petitioning: Repetition and the Potential for Sovereignty”
The notion of repetition, as it appears in Nietzsche and in Freud’s work, is both unpleasant and affirmative. For Nietzsche, the confrontation with the eternal recurrence of the same arouses nausea, but it also has the potential to lead to an affirmation of life (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “The Convalescent”). Similarly, the compulsion to repeat, as it is employed in Freudian psychoanalysis, is both the experience of the return to the traumatic and the process by which life is reaffirmed, once unconscious material becomes conscious and repetition becomes remembering (“Remembering, Repeating and Working Through”). Yet what would make the thought of the eternal recurrence into one that, in paraphrasing Nietzsche, will ‘transform you rather than crush you’? (The Gay Science, §341) How can the compulsion to repeat and the practice of eternal recurrence turn into a transformative experience? Or in other words, what can repetition perform? In this paper I argue that Nietzsche and Freud’s repetition is a performance practice which is performed by oneself and for oneself, and has the potential to become a practice of sovereignty. Through an interpretation of repetition as both a rehearsal (répétition) and a petitioning that is presented again and again (re-petitioning), I argue that repetition as a practice is an ongoing process of rehearsing petitioning: a continual coming back to oneself with a claims and a request to do something. Repetition, or rehearsing petitioning, presents this claim to oneself as an authority: performing a coming back to oneself that renders one sovereign. In thinking with Nietzsche and Freud, this paper suggests that repetition can be a transformative performance practice of sovereignty, and as such, a practice of an affirmation of life.
Zohar Frank is a PhD student in the department of Theater Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. She is interested in continental philosophy, phenomenology, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, shamanism, and the philosophy and practice of yoga. Her research revolves around notions of transformation, rapture, effacement, and death. Zohar has also been involved in dance making as a performer, choreographer, and dramaturge. She holds an MA in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University.
Michael Friedman (Humboldt University in Berlin)
“On a Repetition Inscribed on a Torus: Beginning of a Lacanian Mathematics”
A year before his celebrated paper “Beyond the pleasure principle”, which is thought as defining the logic of repetition, Freud – in his 1919 essay “Das Unheimliche” – already contoured the phenomena known as repetition compulsion. What is clear from Freud’s examples, e.g. finding oneself in the same street or stumbling upon the same number (62) over and over again, is that repetition crosses the modus of representation. Not only repetition operates against the pleasure principle, but moreover it cannot be represented and repetition itself has no relevance to what is repeating. It functions, as Freud shows, as what carriesonly a retroactive effect and affect. As such, it undermines the spherical space(which the subject is supposed to establish), where the uncanny feeling, emerging from the unrepresentable outside, lies in the “inner” core of the subject. What Freud hints, is conceptualized in 1961 by Lacan during his 9th seminar: L‘identifaction, three years before the 11th seminar and the discussions on the automatisme de répétition. Against this spherical conception, Lacan proposes that repetition – now exemplified via the repetition of the unary trait – is shown via the Torus. Contra to the sphere, certain loopson the torus – modeling the repeating trait – cannot be shrunk to a point, which indicates that the topology of the subject is not at all a Cartesian-sphere, which might have delineated a clear distinction between the inside and the outside. This toroidal repetition for Lacan does not only lay the grounds for the topological conception of the modern subject; it also discovers the mechanism behind representation itself. Therefore, it may be claimed that representation, being based on the imaginary, is only possible via a missed encounter with a certain un-counted loop on the toroidal subject. As the 9th seminar is considered to be the first seminar where Lacan dealt seriously with topology, the lecture aims to ask how repetition and the topological-modern subject are interweaved together.
Dr. Michael Friedman is a research associate at the “Image Knowledge Gestaltung. An Interdisciplinary Laboratory” at the Humboldt University in Berlin. He obtained his PhD in Mathematics from Bar-Ilan University and his MA in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University, investigating the relationship between Lacan and Heidegger. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the MPI for Mathematics in Bonn, Germany, and a researcher at the Fourier Institute, Grenoble, France. Coming publications: On Folding (ed., with Wolfgang Schäffner. 2016: transcript), Psychoanalysis: topological perspectives (ed., with Samo Tomšič. 2016: transcript), Heidegger: die Falte der Sprache (ed., with Angelika Seppi. 2017: Turia + Kant).
Mauricio Gonzalez (Goethe-University in Frankfurt)
“Benjamin on Repetition and Freedom”
What does Benjamin have to say about this “new category of repetition that is to be explored” (Kierkegaard)? Here are 3 indications: (1) At moments, Benjamin’s thinking is traversed by the tensions between two distinct but related motifs: “repetition” and “eternal return.” This last gained new importance in the Passagenwerk, whose constellation with 'boredom' exposes an archi-phenomenon of modern life and the pseudotemporality of myth in it (in ambiguous kinship to Blanchi and others). A hypothesis: in dialectical tension with the motif of “eternal return of the same” (in its more Nieztschean inflection), Benjamin’s crypto-category of “repetition” (in its more Kierkegaardian coinage) can be spelled out: as the unconditional demand obliquely operating within his crucial methodological categories (Vor-/Nach-Geschichte, dialectical image, interruption, etc.). (2) In counter-relation to the dominant trends of political-theology, Benjamin’s ‘political unfolding’ of repetition is intimately interweaved to the para-teleological structure of historical time. His “Copernican turn” regarding time demands the task of rethinking repetition out of a paradoxical ‘coming’: whose messianicity is tensed against the grain of the most profane layers of history, exposed to the extremes of contingency, failure, the impossible, atheological and 'ammessianic'. (3) If “repetition is the task of freedom” (Kierkegaard), to what extend does Benjamin’s repetition open up a path that runs against the too humanistic, social-democratic, (neo)-liberal ideological trends in politics (today’s still dominant)? Does it achieve to nourish not only (thinking) with a ‘weak force’ for critically grasping its perverse legacies in the present, but also (acting) with the kernel of a ‘revolutionary chance’ of resistance against them? How does Benjamin’s repetition respond to the demand of another “experience of freedom”? The purpose of this intervention is to focus on the 3rd indication.
Mauricio Gonzalez is a Colombian philosopher. He taught in Philosophy and Arts at Los Andes University in Bogotá before leaving to Germany. He’s currently finishing his dissertation in Comparative Literature at Goethe-University in Frankfurt, entitled: “The instant – of Repetition. Fore- and After-history of a Kierkegaardian Motif.” He also works on a project on teleology, technology and mimesis – and as free-lance translator (momentarily, a collection of technological essays from Fr. Kittler into Spanish).
Kristina Hagström-Ståhl (Gothenburg University)
“The Talking Cure” (sound installation)
The Talking Cure is a sound installation, which combines critical reflection, poetic writing and personal narrative to explore the repetitive nature of the experience of loss as it is conceived in psychoanalytic terms. Invoking the Freudian concepts of Wiederholungszwang and Trauerarbeit in tension, the piece investigates the role that repetition, repression, and return play in pathologized responses to loss as well as in idealized dramaturgies of grief and mourning. The Talking Cure draws on the musical as well as psychiatric sense of fugue – a canonic form of contrapuntal composition in which themes and figures unfold through a process of transposition and return, and a period of reversible amnesia – to explore notions of flight and chase (the etymological basis of the term fugue) both as formal principle and as a question of content or subject matter. Playing to an audience of one, it dwells on the act of listening, exploring intimacy and solitude as aspects of the relationality of grief.
Kristina Hagström-Ståhl is PARSE (Platform for Artistic Research Sweden) professor of performative arts at the Academy of Music and Drama, Gothenburg University, and also a freelance director. She works at the intersection of critical theory and performance practice, with research interests in feminist performance, cultural and psychoanalytic theory, and interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts. Kristina has a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Romanie Harper, Brian Lipson, Aaron Orzech & James Paul (The Family)
"The Collected Works of Victor Bergman" (performance)
Once upon a time in Romania, performance maker Aaron Orzech and his girlfriend met a strange and powerful man named Victor Bergman. The next day, Victor married them in the small village of Voronets. By the third day, he was gone, but for days and weeks and months afterwards he haunted Aaron's life.
Using live, in-ear playback feeds of interview recordings, text fragments and photographs from the real events, The Collected Works of Victor Bergman is an unconventional performance that examines in minute detail the conditions, evidence, clues and mysteries surrounding the wedding, the days leading up to it, and the immediate fall out. It is a cyclical and paranoid dissection of mentorship, masculinity and mind control.
Through repetition the performance seems to approach a ‘traditional’ theatrical (re)enactment, but gradually mutates into something much stranger and less easily definable – a conjuring ritual, a summoning, an exorcism; a simulacrum in which the copy becomes increasingly unstable, revealing a volatile undertow of emergent and insistent difference through its play with repetition.
Romanie Harper is a Melbourne-based theatre designer and maker. She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in 2010. Recent design credits include M+M by Daniel Schlusser Ensemble, Madonna Arms by I’m Trying to Kiss you, This Is Eden by Emily Goddard, Directed by Susie Dee, Jurassica by Dan Giovanonni, directed by Bridget Balodis at Red Stitch, META, Judgement directed by Samara Hersch, Triumph by Louris Van De Geer Directed by Mark Pritchard and Splendour by Abi Morgan, directed by Jenny Kemp. She has co-directed and designed The Collected Works of Victor Bergman by The Family, and Calamity by ZLMD Shakespeare.
Brian Lipson studied Theatre Design in London; designed for Lindsey Kemp, Ballet Rambert, etc. In the 1970s and 80s he was a key member of three important English experimental companies. He later acted regularly at National Theatre, Old Vic, Royal Court, etc. He moved to Melbourne in 1997 and acts often at MTC, Malthouse, STC, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare etc, and with many independent companies: The Family, Hayloft, Eleventh Hour, Stuck Pigs Squealing, Chunky Move, etc. He also directs. His solo show A Large Attendance in the Antechamber which he wrote, designed and performed – toured widely and was acclaimed at festivals in Australia, UK and USA. He has been nominated for 8 Green Room Awards and won 4. He received an Australia Council Fellowship in 2011. His new solo show EDMUND. THE BEGINNING premiered at Arts House last year and is soon to tour. He received an Australia Council Fellowship in 2011.
Aaron Orzech is a Melbourne-based theatre-maker. Most recently he co-directed and performed in The Collected Works of Victor Bergman by The Family and performed in Adena Jacobs’ production of Antigone (Malthouse, 2015). As a dramaturge Aaron has worked on shows including Adena Jacobs’ On the Bodily Education of Young Girls for MTC Neon 2013, and as an outside eye on Nicola Gunn’s In Spite of Myself for Melbourne International Arts Festival 2014. Recently Aaron has been a co-creator and dramaturge of A Singular Phenomenon with Lara Thoms and Aphids, and The Bacchae with Fraught Outfit and St Martins for Melbourne International Arts Festival 2015/Dark Mofo (MONA, Tasmania) 2016.
James Paul is a sound designer, artist, composer and motion designer. James investigates perception, cognition and multimodal experience. Through his body of work James attempts to hoodwink the senses into believing in an artificial reality state. He received a Greenroom award in 2014 for his collaboration with Darrin Verhagen & Michael Pulsford on Daniel Schlusser Ensemble’s M+M, presented by Melbourne Festival and Theatreworks. Recent works were presented by MTC (Menagerie, 2013; Calamity, 2015) Speak Percussion (Cephalopoda, 2011; Mikros and Makros, 2014), RMIT Gallery/Goethe-Institut (Einstürzende Neubauten’s Klangbewegung Maschine, 2015), White Night (Poroz and Procoz mk.II, 2014; Merle, 2016), fortyfivedownstairs (The Collected Works of Victor Bergman, 2014), RMIT University (V: Five Rooms, 2014), Malthouse Theatre (META, 2014), Liquid Architecture/West Space (Procoz, 2013), The Slim Dusty Centre and The Ian Potter Gallery, NGV (Procoz mk.IIb, 2014).
Martin Harries (University of California, Irvine)
“Repeating Beckett’s Play”
“The repeat may be an exact replica of first statement or it may present an element of variation.” Beckett’s note on producing Play allows the freedom of an implausibly exact repetition, or some minimal variety. The difference between these modes of repetition, which this paper will consider, is consequential. But it will also ask a preliminary question: Why repeat at all? “How often, in Beckett’s work,” writes Hugh Kenner, “a two-part structure has suggested an indefinite recurringness”: repetition, then, points toward a “recurringness” that falls outside of the artwork’s duration. The fact of that duration, indeed, becomes a problem for an art designed to “suggest” that “indefinite recurringness”: repeating Play once is the performed allegory of a more generalized repetition that marks some other space. This paper will put Kenner’s and other readings of repetition in Play in dialogue with some of the theoretical coordinates of the conference, paying particular attention to the links between repetition in Beckett and in mass culture. Given the importance of Beckett to a range of contemporary aesthetic practices, and across several media, close scrutiny of a particular example of repetition in his work may disrupt assumptions about repetition in/and performance.
Martin Harries is Professor of English at UC Irvine. He works on twentieth-century theater, modernism, and theory. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews, and of two books, Forgetting Lot’s Wife: On Destructive Spectatorship (2007) and Scare Quotes from Shakespeare: Marx, Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment (2000). He is now working on a third book about mass culture and postwar drama, “Theater after Film,” relevant pieces of which have appeared in or are forthcoming in Theater and ELH.
Ben Hjorth (Monash University)
“The curtain must eventually fall: from Kant’s theatre to Hegel’s performance”
This paper examines the way in which both Kant and Hegel employ specifically theatrical, or performative, metaphorics in the construction and working-through of their competing philosophical schemas. The Kantian critical philosophy constructs what we can identify as a ‘classical’ theatrical arrangement, in which spectators (subjects) are irremediably separated from the essential truth of the objects of their perception (the Dinge an sich) by a fourth wall or ‘curtain of appearance.’ Furthermore, the spectre of bad (theatrical) repetition haunts Kant's epistemological scene - in the later political writings, he remains vexed by the image of the theatrum mundi of human history as a ‘never-ending play,' an ‘eternal monotony’ of tragedy heaped meaninglessly upon tragedy. This anxiety forces Kant to the resolution that ‘the curtain must eventually fall’ (On The Common Saying...). For Kant, this bad repetition must come to an end, meaning that phenomenal and noumenal realms must remain absolutely separate, and that a divine spectator must be posited as inhabiting this noumenal non-space, outside time, from which vantage point (sub specie aeternitatis) the apparently endless Trauerspiel of human history can be dramaturgically and morally resolved via recourse to a transcendent ‘end’ or ‘goal’. This shadowy, inaccessible 'backstage' behind mere appearance is precisely what Hegel never ceases to deride as the ‘absolute beyond’ occluding a true conception of the Absolute. Hegel’s attempted overcoming of the Kantian ‘limit’ of the knowing subject, I want to argue here, takes the form of a revelation of this schema as a theatrical construction - the exposure of that limit as constructed and ‘performed’ by the subject itself, rather than transcendentally imposed: 'it turns out that behind the so-called curtain which is supposed to conceal the inner world, there is nothing to be seen unless we go behind it ourselves, as much in order that we may see, as that there may be something to be seen' (Phenomenology §165, Hegel's emphasis). Behind, or beyond, the 'so-called curtain' or fourth wall of phenomenological appearance, and in place of this absolute separation paradigmatic of Kantian 'theatrical' thought, Hegel moves to what I want to characterise as a more 'performative' conceptualisation of the absolute – a move from the metaphor of theatre as mere phenomenal spectacle, towards that of performance as the mode, or movement, of the life of the concept.
Ben Hjorth is a postgraduate student in the Literary and Cultural Studies program at Monash University, where he is working on a thesis examining the role of performance in Hegel's thought. He is a member of the editorial committee of the journal colloquy: text theory critique. His writing on performance and philosophy has appeared in Performance Research and Senses of Cinema. He also works occasionally as a performance maker and dramaturg.
Noah Holtwiesche (Neue Wiener Gruppe/Lacan-Schule)
“To be announced" (performance lecture)
"Good day, my name John Searle. You might have heard about me, I am a philosopher. And I declare this session to be opened. — I announce … that I declare the session to be opened! Huh — got it?“
When performative utterances run astray and appeals are consumed by frantic iterations — „To Be Announced“ is a lecture performance that unfolds itself in the proliferation of declarations that speech act theory faces when trying to grapple with explicit performatives.
It explores this peculiar silence, when communicative acts are uttered, but remain without an addressee or any resonance in the Symbolic. Cumulating attempts to persuade the Other, that he exists, the performance relentlessly indulges in that certain nervousness which arises from the suspicion that he might not exist at all.
Noah Holtwiesche lives in Vienna and works at the intersection of performance art and theatre. He is a founding member of the Sektion Logik of the Neue Wiener Gruppe/Lacan-Schule and is writing his PhD thesis on the performativity of the signifier "performance“. http://notherenotnow.at
Amanda Holmes (Villanova University), Jan Sieber (Berlin University of the Arts) and Alexi Kukuljevic
(University of Applied Arts Vienna)
“Repetition and the Act: Identity, Incision, and Failure” (panel)
To think repetition requires a supreme refinement of thought. Repetition, like the concept of becoming or difference, is structurally evasive even though it is integral to the very notion of structure. For we normally say, as a matter of philosophical doxa that it is only that which is the same that repeats and in so doing we identify repetition with that which is repeated. As such, it is not then repetition itself—the act of repetition—that is thought, but that which is repeated. Lacan hones in on this problem when he argues that “an act, a true act, always has an element of structure, by the fact of concerning a real that is not self-evidently caught up in it.” Repetition thus marks the act that has to be thought at once as incision and registration, marking the site of an inclusion (within the structure) of that which evades (it). And repetition conceptualizes this very duplicity, whose abstract formulation entails that the mark of a one implies its duplication or splitting, the division of the site of inscription, for the mark is at once the act of imprinting and the print. This panel approaches this problem of the act of repetition in three different ways. First, by rethinking Kant’s account of transcendental apperception as the act of repetition in which the I is always split and can only retroactively rendered a unity. Second through an analysis of the logic of material inscription as incision and registration, repetition is thought as original multiplicity. And third, through the relation between repetition and failure in Adorno’s aesthetic theory.
Amanda Holmes is a PhD student in Philosophy at Villanova University and is currently a visiting Doctoral Student at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her dissertation, “ As I Appear to Myself: Kant, Lacan, and the Reflective Subject ,” establishes the central importance of Kantian critical philosophy for psychoanalytic theory, focusing on the role of transcendental reflection as central to a theory of the subject.
Alexi Kukuljevic is an artist and a philosopher based in Berlin. His work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Palais de Tokyo, Paris and the ICA in Philadelphia. He is a lecturer at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and is currently finishing a book entitled Liquidation World addressing various forms of dissolute subjectivity that will be published with MIT press. He recently curated the three-person exhibition (Krone, Kukuljevic and Sillman) entitled the collapse of the mind’s ordering system leads to some rather wanton developments at Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.
Jan Sieber is currently writing his PhD in Philosophy at the University of the Arts Berlin, where he holds a position as a teaching and research assistant in cultural theory as well as history and theory of art, architecture and design in the 19th and 20th century. His dissertation, “Aesthetics of the Real. Kant, Adorno, Lacan,” critically examines modern aesthetics from the perspective of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. He has widely published in the fields of Critical Theory and aesthetics and is co-founder and editor of the international peer-reviewed online journal “anthropology&materialism”. He is the editor of the forthcoming collection of essays: “Discontinuous Infinities. Walter Benjamin and Philosophy.”
Eszter Horváth (Université Pázmány Péter, Budapest)
“On Performance and Representation”
Judith Butler chooses the term “performativity” and Gilles Deleuze opts for “repetition” in describing an involuntary activity of becoming-something (that is, something
else, something different, other than before). When Butler opposes performance to performativity, and respectively, Deleuze opposes representation to repetition, they struggle against the common
image of “classical” theatre, as it masks its inner reality, the evidence of “as if,” of play (the most “serious” thing ever, one is tempted to say), just as if theatre wouldn’t assume its “reality”:
theatre is the phenomenon of pure multiplicity, the evidence of multiplicity; in its space, representational dynamism, the way this space is occupied by the play of differences.
Butler stresses that a culturally determined conscious subject can never be subversive – that’s why performance in the “classical” sense, as she understands it (as the conscious act of a subject who wants his act) is out of her interest. Subversion is not a question of will or self-control, it’s not a voluntary liberation of itself, it’s a question of openness, given by the very process of becoming. Subversion is not a “revolutionary act”, we’ll see, it’s all about contingency. But a contingent “happening,” if it’s not an “act,” is always an event, and we’ll have to reconsider the notion of performance in order to understand this event. Performance, as we understand it, as coming to presence is never a single, conscious act of will, it’s a process of quasi-conscious becoming.We must then reconsider the very notion of representation as performance: as the “Eternal Truth” cannot come to presence (that is, repeat itself) in its metaphysical wholeness or essence, its representation will be its differentiation. Culture then turns to be a kind of representation in becoming, a kind of “coming to presence” in a performative or affirmative, that is, creative sense. Thus its structure will be destabilized by its own, inner difference. We’ll see: Performance and Re-presentation, both forms of repetition (that is, difference, always-other in itself) are subversive – not as voluntary acts, but as processes that unavoidably change the performed/represented: a performed/represented structure is inevitably altered by its very becoming.
Mark Horváth & Adam Lovasz (Absentology Collective)
“Absentology Collective: Programming the Vicious Circle”
Software has taken command of social space. Today, in the age of "smart cities" and uploaded exteriorized memory, sociability as such has become a function of algorithmic disincarnation. As Arthur Kroker has written, "the organic body shatters into mirrored fractals." (Kroker 1994) This fractality, we assert, a fundamental and primordial condition, an aspect of dynamic (re)integration, a process of negative entropy whose temporality is of unhuman dimensions. It is what Jean-Francois Lyotard has termed "the inhuman." (Lyotard 1991) Disappearance, the dissolution of corporeality, as effectuated through inhuman negentropic acceleration and complexification, is never simply a case of simple death. Rather, corporeal collapse feeds into the "digital aura" of exteriorized memory. (Betancourt 2013) Paradoxically, one cannot really escape from repetition. The exteriorization of memory perpetuates this repetition, the Eternal(ized) Return, what Pierre Klossowski termed "the vicious circle" (Klossowski 1998). Eternalization, the rendering and reintegration of memory, correlates with externalization. This circle, this space of disappearance, is haunted by the return of that which refuses to disappear. It is precisely because disappearance is never total that digital temporality and digital memory are haunted by traumatic multiplicities. Through the analysis of concrete examples of Internet hauntologies, we seek to illuminate the many and variegated aspects of haunted digital archivality. As Lev Manovich has written, the Internet as such is characterized by copresence and hybridity (Manovich 2015). Copresences make possible a kind of blending, a deep remixing that "messes up" conventions and categorizations. Digital hauntology, we argue, is fraught with ambiguity and transgressivity. Agents of multiplicity, such as glitches and bugs, breed new layers of meaninglessness, spreading chaos throughout networks, blending various strands of code, injecting ruination into coherence. It is our view that the vicious circle as an ontological concept can be of use in helping us come to terms with the many subversive forms of repetition that may be found among the interstices of networks.
Absentology Collective seeks to be a new social scientific approach and also functions as a working group. We are based in Budapest, Hungary. The central focus of Absentology is the dialectics of presence and absence, specifically the role absences and negativities play in social life.
Mark Horvath is an independent researcher based in Budapest, Hungary. He has written extensively on various topics. He wrote his dissertation on Guy Debord’s theory of the spectacle and Jean Baudrillard’s simulacra. Mark is especially interested in media studies and aesthetics, in particular the various complex interplays between virality and virtuality. In addition, he has written extensively on pessimistic philosophy, negativity and the work of Georges Bataille.
Adam Lovasz is an independent philosopher and researcher based in Budapest, Hungary. His interests include phenomenology, speculative realism and comparative philosophy. He has published three philosophy books. A number of his essays have appeared in various journals and online. Most recently, Adam’s The Isle of Lazaretto, co-written with Mark Horvath, was published by Schism Press. Adam’s latest book, entitled The System of Absentology in Ontological Philosophy, will be published in Autumn 2016 at an academic publisher.
fil ieropoulos (Buckinghamshire New University)
“Quotedious” (video installation)
“‘Can there be a world which is neither happy nor unhappy?”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-philosophicus
Quotedious is a series of videos filmed between 2011 and 2016, viewed either one-by-one in a randomly generated sequence, or simultaneously as a multiscreen installation, featuring the same person doing – largely – one thing each time, in each frame. The shots chosen are mostly of reworkings/rethinkings of daily routines, twisted and creatively transformed through the repetition of ‘boredom’ and/or the moment of self-realisation of performativity.
Through an almost obsessive mechanical enactment, and oscillating between the trivial and the surreal, the videos discuss our relationship with the uncanny comfort of daily repetition, and tread the thin line between the delightfully automatic and the scarily self-reflexive. Pleasure and passivity coexist at all times, and the viewer cannot fathom whether the performer on screen is in any way emotionally affected by the actions he is performing, or at what exact point actions are signifiers of impact/change. The shots either wrap around themselves in loops or develop geometrically; in all cases they eschew the traditional satisfactions of narrative sense or closure, resisting the presentation of any sort of cause-and-effect connectivity. To invoke Kierkergaardian terms, in this video it is impossible to tell whether repetition is aiming backwards toward melancholy or forwards toward transcendence and happiness.
What constitutes an acceptable, ‘sane’ enactment of routine action? How many brushes of the hair are reasonable before one is accused of OCD? How many Haribo Bears eaten in one go underline clearly enough the turn from a set-up of boredom to an act of celebration? Can a face be wrapped in cling film nonchalantly? And if so, how can a viewer be sure the same lack of joie de vivre is maintained as the repetitive layers of cling film defocus the performer’s face? Does the danger of deafening oneself become serious as the number of inner-ear cotton bud spins increase? Is this question even remotely valid, and is the overall work meant to be understood as bearing any resemblance or relationship to real life acts in the first place? These are some of the thoughts and questions that might come into your mind while browsing through this video collection. Feel free to add your own.
fil ieropoulos is an [anti]artist living between London, Berlin and Athens. His work swings between the performative and the found, the lyrical and the mundane. He received his PhD in 2010, investigating (post-)structural and conceptual poetics within the moving image. His work has been shown in the UK, Greece, Germany, Switzerland and around the world, while he also teaches experimental video at Buckinghamshire New University, UK. fil is also half of the conceptual audiotextual art duo FYTA (www.f-y-t-a.com), as well as an occasional curator of events of a queer nature in Athens such as the annual sound acts performance festival (www.soundacts.com).
Sigi Jöttkandt (University of New South Wales)
"’By a route obscure and lonely’: Repetition and Inscription in Europe's Dream-Land”
In Against the Double Blackmail, his recent collection of essays on the contemporary global crisis, Slavoj Žižek argues that what we need is a Wiederholung of Europe. He writes, "through a critical engagement with the entire European tradition, one should repeat the question, 'What is Europe?', or, rather, 'What does it mean for us to be Europeans?', and, in doing so, formulate a new vision." In this paper, I explore how such a retrieval-through-repetition of "Europe" is already taking place in the set of traits, marks and other traces carved by the footsteps of refugees and asylum seekers in their passage from the south to the north. If, in Žižek's book, the "European tradition" is synecdochically presented as the twin figures of Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley, this is because, in foreclosing in advance all possibility of escape, these writers staged the original Northern fantasy to which today's refugees assert their rights. It turns out that "Dream-Land" or Ultima Thule was, from the outset, a logic of inscription. From this perspective, the act of seeking refuge would be a form of "thinking through one's feet", as Lacan once scandalously put it, with the text being emplotted as "Europe" the unconscious of that thought.
Sigi Jöttkandt is a Senior Lecturer in English at UNSW, Australia. She is the author of Acting Beautifully: Henry James and the Ethical Aesthetic, First Love: A Phenomenology of the One and numerous articles on literature and psychoanalysis. A co-founding editor of S: Journal of the Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique (www.lineofbeauty.org) and of Umbr(a), she is also a co-founding co-Director of Open Humanities Press.
Leja Jurišić (Choreographer / artist)
Duration and Repetition (workshop)
The body, together with the process of developing its potential and expressive abilities and with reflections on the phenomenon of human embodiment, is the primary medium, inspiration and material for a contemporary choreographer and dancer. The cells of the body store the past, evolution, memory, knowledge. The path travelled by human beings throughout their evolution. Physical, mental and emotional processes are intertwined and inseparable. Individuals and their personalities are perpetually being reaffirmed through the acknowledgment or negation of physical patterns.
It is our bodies where the temporally organised accumulation of economic capital, the accumulation of decision-making power, and the accumulation of defining and giving meaning are reflected on and where they unfold. The perception of time as a measurable line dotted with single moments, time running forward and moments emerging in the here-and-now, only to disappear into the past, bears a distinct relation to the ideological language of capital, one which expatiates on progress and development, as if these were invariably linear, successive processes as implied by clocks and calendars. In this sense, time is an invention aiming to discipline, and becomes a tool of subordination.
In contemporary performing arts, the role of the time “borne” by the body, and the role of the body “borne” by time are subversive precisely in their mutual relation to the issues of succession, consecution, linearity. The successive nature of time desolates cyclicality, repetitiveness and perpetuity in repetition, something Jorge Luis Borges celebrated in his writings on time.
The workshop will look into repetition and duration as poetic and aesthetic means in the field of performance art. Repetition in an expanded time interval will be treated within the categories of deceleration, perseverance, and originality. In addition to an expanded time interval, duration will be proposed to be used and perceived as a phenomenon of distilling content from time. Content may be provided, experienced in time and through the body alone. Without time, content has no space to occupy. Without the body, content has no transmitter or receiver. Time is in the body and the body is in time. The body is not a vessel; time is a vessel. Duration as distilling content from time and duration as decelerating the efficiency-driven pace of today’s society and culture, resulting in a direct revolt against the system. Through lengthy repetitive patterns, we can practice 'a world full of discoveries, innovations, inventions, continuous failures, continuous struggles, efforts, and continuous flow.'
 Todd E. Mabel: Misleče telo, Emanat, Ljubljana, 2014,
 Jurišić Leja, Divji zahod: Trajanje v sodobni plesni umetnosti, Dialogi št. 7.-8., Založba aristej, Ljubljana, 2015.
 Bulc Gregor: Trajnik, Pekinpah, Projektni razpis MZK, Ljubljana, 2016.
 Forced Entertainment, Durational Performances, LIVE, Tate Publishing, London, 2004, 10.
Leja Jurišić, in reaching beyond the everyday understanding of liminal corporeality, occupies various positions of radical performative expression - as if naturally, and almost effortlessly, belonging to the realms of dance, performance art, and political art at the same time. She moves the spectator’s attention from corporeality as such towards a boundary between a body in motion (text) and, what might be termed, a body within a commotion (context). No stranger to critiques of the social, economic and political distortions of individual and collective liberties, Jurišić perceives the human body as a powerful emancipative mechanism for creating experiences of revolt - for the dancer(s) and the audience member(s) alike. The holder of the title of the (last) National Champion of Yugoslavia in artistic gymnastics and a BA in Law, Jurišić’s works have been shown at numerous institution from Europe to Mexico and U.S.A. As a performer she has been collaborating with the likes of Tim Etchells, Janez Janša, and Meg Stuart.
Kseniya Kapelchuk (European University in St. Petersburg)
“Repetition and Historicity: Change, Cycle, Revolution”
As we learned from Kierkegaard, Deleuze, Lacan, and other theoreticians of repetition, there is always more than one repetition: one refers to the order of similarity and identity, while another opens the field of the difference, the new, and the singular. And as Deleuze justifiably notes, the idea of cyclic history concerns the repetition of the same and consequently turns out to be excluded from the sphere of the modern problematics of repetition that produces difference. But what is no less important than the distinction between the types of repetition is their connection. The paper focuses on the overlapping and intertwining of the two basic lines: the history of the concept of chance, and the theory of repetition. The point of departure here is the famous Aristotelian thesis that history deals with the singular and the actual, which according to the analysis of the Metaphysics and Physics can be specified as chance (tuche). At the same time this comprehension of history is opposed to the theory of history as a lawful cyclic process. The paper aims to consider the notion of tuche in this context not as something opposed to repetition but as a kind of repetition through analysis of its later transformation to Fortuna and eventually to revolution, which consequently gives rise to the explicit conception of repetition as the production of difference.
Kseniya Kapelchuk graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy of St. Petersburg University with a Specialist degree in 2007 and obtained an M.A. degree in Philosophy at the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the European University in St. Petersburg in 2016 (thesis: "Repetition: Socio-philosophical Analytics of Historicity"). She has been taking part in a series of scientific projects of St. Petersburg University since 2007 and has become associate researcher at the Research Center for Cultural Exclusion and Borderland Areas of Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences in 2016.
Kate Katafiasz (Newman University, Birmingham)
“Repetition Beyond, Or Behind, Representation”
The paper will consider the visible and invisible aspects of the skene, a painted wooden wall which bisected the ancient stage, to explore how drama uses repetition in politically and personally radical ways. As Mladen Dolar observes (2006: 78), watching separates us from events while listening makes distance collapse. The painted side of the skene gives us the captivating pleasures of semblance; but these are punctuated by inchoate encounters with ‘another scene’, beyond the pleasure principle. The paper will propose that the bisected stage functions in the manner of Lacan’s ‘cut’: pulling sound and thought together to form the repeating patterns and associations of social discourse; but also highlighting their irreducibility, so that audiences experience the subjective uncertainty of souffrance, ‘between perception and consciousness’ (Lacan 1998: 56). As Alenka Zupančič points out, the Deleuzian conceptual project abolishes this boundary, so that ‘symbolic relations appear as real – like “nerves” and “cosmic rays” in the case of President Schreber’’ (2008: 161). The paper will offer examples from Edward Bond’s recent work of contemporary drama that understands how to use the ‘cut’; demonstrating how it positions us on a cusp between things we can, and cannot identify (generating fear); from which we can, and cannot differentiate ourselves (generating pity). The paper will argue the ‘cut’ to be a critical component of Tragedy and Comedy, decisive in theorising a distinction between drama and post drama.
Dr. Kate Katafiasz is Senior Lecturer in Drama at Newman University, Birmingham, UK. Her research explores the radicalising effect of drama on the relationship between words and bodies in ancient, educational, and poststructural contexts. Her latest article ‘Dramatic jouissance’ is online at: https://erea.revues.org/3940
Sami Khatib (American University of Beirut)
“Anti-Sisyphus: Capitalism and Repetition”
The dimension of repetition appears on both sides of the historical “coin” of capitalist modernity: repetition as revolutionary difference and repetition as reactionary repression. Already in Marx’s Capital we can detect at least two dimensions of temporal repetition: a homogeneous, cyclical, and ultimately ‘time-less’ time of capitalism and a disruptive, revolutionary opening-up of historical time. Whereas for traditional orthodox Marxism history was immanently driven by ‘objective’ historical forces towards its historical telos (classless society), critical Marxism aimed at an a-teleological, utopian or messianic blast of the horizon of history itself, opening a dimension of non-farcical repetition. Relying on Marx, my paper revisits this theoretical battleground through the lenses of Benjamin, Deleuze, and Lyotard. (1) Benjamin defined eternal recurrence as the essence of mythic happenings. Its basic formula is the eternity of the world as punishment and its figure is, of course, Sisyphus. Criticizing 19th century historical thought, he diagnoses the return of the ancient world of eternal return in the age of high capitalism. (2) Contrary to Benjamin, Deleuze defended the specifically modern dimension of repetition. Deleuze argues that the eternal moment in Nietzsche’s “eternal return” is not stasis, stagnation or identity. What is repeated is repetition itself, not the repeated. In this sense, repetition affirms the difference of being. (3) Such a differential repetition could also be read as the basic formula of capital accumulation (Money – Commodity – More-Money). Already Lyotard in his notes “Sur le Retour et le Kapital” (1973) argued that “the regulated Return is Kapital.” In fact, the time of capital alludes to a cyclical time. However, the circulation of capital is neither affirmative nor cyclical in the strict sense. But what is repeated in the repetition of capital?
Sami Khatib teaches at the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut. He was a researcher at the Theory Department of
the Jan van Eyck Academie Maastricht (2012) and earned his PhD degree in Media and Communication Studies from Freie Universität Berlin (2013). His main research interests are in Critical Theory, Art
Theory, Modern Continental Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and German Studies. Recent publications include a book on Benjamin's figure of the messianic and articles on Benjamin, Marx, Brecht, and
Nietzsche. More at https://fu-berlin.academia.edu/SamiKhatib.
Peter Klepec (Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)
“Badiou on Repetition”
While his willy-nilly partner in 'paradoxical tandem,' Deleuze, is known as one of the major thinkers of repetition today, Badiou himself never used the concept in a systematic way. And yet one can speak of an important role of repetition in Badiou’s opus at least at two levels. First there is a strange kind of repetition on the level of his very opus: the major book of Badiou, Being and Event, seems to have sequels (Logics of Worlds. Being and Event 2etc.), the similar logic is presented at the level of Manifestos (Badiou wrote two manifestos for philosophy exactly two decades one after another, he wrote also Manifesto of Affirmationism, etc.). At the second level repetition is presented through his analysis of contemporary capitalism which for him resembles the situation of the 1840s. So, what is Badiou's concept of repetition, if there is one, and how does it relate to his thesis that theatre consists in orienting us in time, in telling us where we are in history?
Peter Klepec works as Research Adviser at the Institute of Philosophy at Research Centre of Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia. His main areas of research are French contemporary philosophy, German Idealism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, critique of ideology. He has published two books in Slovenian: On the Emergence of the Subject, 2004 and Capitalism and Perversion, 1. Profitable Passions, 2008.
Urban Ksaver Kmet (Researcher & artist) Kai Simon Stöger (Dancer & choreographer) & Jasmina Založnik (University of Aberdeen)
"B-mapping" (performance / workshop)
We invite working groups and/or public to experience a cartography of certain ideas and groups, that either exist in the moment or in a larger scale of time, inspired by the concept of “bodily horizons” of Sarah Ahmed. Bmapping is a project to foster creative processes of thinking things through, or to thing through them. It is playful and demanding at the same time, requiring a constant mobility in thoughts. At Bmapping everything is visible in space or can become a position, it allows one to understand what is there and how many levels are actually negotiated at the same time. It fosters thinking against current logics, it is a laboratory, where new connections can emerge. The idea is to be invited to projects and/or to spontaneous groups, suggesting tools to help reflection processes or to open a process up and to find new possibilities for project or group to function. BMapping can also help to engender desires of collaboration that were hard to imagine before.
At REPETITION/S we will map all the papers and performances/events of the conference, archiving any kind of repetition (patterns of word, notion, structure, methods, as well as the thoughts on repetition ...). After the mapping of a paper/performance/event, we will integrate the gathered words, notions, structures, methods into the threedimensional map by connecting words, notions, structures, methods to a certain object (that we decide on spontaneously) and place object with the word into the spacial map.Everyone at the conference will be invited to work on and in the map at any point in time during the conference. The map can be entered and any object can be repositioned in space.
B-mapping is a research project devised within the framework of Nomad Dance Institute.
Urban Ksaver Kmet is researcher of playfulness, certified practitioner of Plasma (http://plazma.upri.se), devises a play Bside (http://bstran.tumblr.com/) with Senka Anastasova, the head of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Research and Humanities in Skopje, Macedonia
Kai Simon Stöger is a dancer*/choreographer* based in Montpellier/Berlin and has presented her* work in Tanztage Berlin, Werkstueck (TQ Wien) and Sophiensaele Berlin. Kai is currently studying in the Master program “exerce”, a program in collaboration between the Choreographic Center of Montpellier (http://www.ccnmlr.com/) and Paul Valerie III. University. In 2016 she* presented as Task Reactor at Platforma Festival/TASK Zagreb.
Jasmina Založnik is PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Aberdeen, dramaturge, curator and writer in the field of performing arts. She completed her MA in Philosophy at SRC SASA (Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts), under the University of Nova Gorica, and BA in Sociology of Culture and Pedagogy (Faculty of Arts) at University of Ljubljana.
Bara Kolenc (University of Ljubljana)
“The Four Matrices of Repetition: Deflation, Reformation, Inflation, Production”
I will initially present the theory of the four matrices of repetition: deflation, reformation, inflation and production. The basic presupposition of this theory is that repetition does not imply a multiplying singularity but a fundamental duality, a relation between two things determined by their difference. The seriality at work in repetition is not the seriality of individual units, but the seriality of this duality, of the relation between the two determined by their difference. The notation of the basic scheme of repetition is repeated <> repeated. From this basic scheme, four matrices of repetition are derived according to two fundamental relations: firstly, according to the relation between both objects (or events, moments) of repetition, so according to the difference between them, and secondly, according to the relation of the fundamental scheme of repetition (which is repeated <> repeated) to the movement of repetition itself, so according to the difference between both objects (or events) of repetition and the structure or system in which they are inscribed and which they thereby also determine. The four matrices of repetition are further elaborated according to two criteria: the criterion of the exclusion or inclusion of the difference and the criterion of wholeness or unwholeness of the structure. Further on, I will present the thesis that the four matrices of repetition can be thought of as four basic ontological perspectives. From this point of view, particular ontological conceptions can be read through the prism of repetition, whether the conceptualisation of repetition is explicitly expounded within the related philosophy or not. From this perspective, I will give a couple of examples (Plato, Kierkegaard, Hegel, Deleuze, Lacan) but focus mainly on the question of the difference between Lacanian and Hegelian ontology: ali Heglova dialektika realizira (lacanovsko) označevalno logiko ali pa med logiko označevalca in heglovsko dialektiko kot realizacijo ponovitve vendarle obstaja kakšna strukturna razlika? Lacanian theory of repetition belongs to the matrix of production - and the main question here is: can we think Hegel's dialectics within this matrix as well or shall we rather claim that it realizes the matrix of reformation?
Bara Kolenc (University of Ljubljana) and Atej Tuta (Artist)
"Retorika - The Moment After”
Retorika is a multi-year modular project exploring the field of language and communication. It enters the field through research, consideration as well as artistic articulation of a certain skill that was referred to as “the art of persuasion” by Aristotle.The project began in 2014 with the #Rhetorical Body research, continued in 2015 with the visual installation Rhetoric on the Web and the performance Metamorphoses 3: Rhetoric, while in 2016 it will be presented as a series of visual and sound installations as well as performances in galleries.
The gallery installation focuses on the moment of direct or indirect rhetorical effect: how words echo through space and time and how one uttered word can change the course of events, where its political power lies, what its appeal is, how it engages, how it activates. What traces does public speech leave in one’s mind, memory and subconscious reworking? And, on the other hand, what sedimentations does exploring rhetorical principles create within the artistic process itself? How does art enter the field of rhetoric, how intensely does it transform it and, especially, how is it itself rhetorised within this field?
Bara Kolenc is a researcher and performing artist from Ljubljana. She is currently employed as a researcher at the Department of Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Her Ph.D. thesis was recently published as the book Repetition and Enactment: Kierkegaard, Psychoanalysis, Theatre by Analecta, DTP, Ljubljana. Her research interests range from ontological and structural questions of repetition, difference and the new, to theoretical psychoanalysis, German Idealism and Kierkegaardian philosophy, as well as Marxist critique of economy. As a conceptual and performing artist, she has conducted numerous full-length performances, solos, public improvisations, visual installations and lecture-performances. For her work, she has received several awards, most recently the Theatertreffen Stueckemarkt Commission of Work 2016. www.barakolenc.com
Atej Tutta (1981) is a Slovenian artist and filmmaker. He holds an M.A. in Mixed Media from the Venice Fine Art Academy. From 2009 to 2014 he worked as an Associate Professor at the same institution, with a major contribution in the implementation of exhibitions’ program at the “Magazzino del Sale 3”. He developed and took part in several international and trans-disciplinary projects, such as “Divided God-Project of Intercultural Dialogue”, “Threshold”, “Metamorphoses 1-5”. The most recent project “Retorika” was presented at the “Theatertreffen Stückmarkt” in Berlin.
Katja Kolšek (University of Ljubljana)
“Repetition and Redoubling”
In this paper we shall tackle the question of reduplication as “jammed repetition” as the main feature of the so called “female libido” in Julia Kristeva, which is devoid of duration and outside of time, as an “echo to death-bearing symbiosis with the mothers, passion between two women represents one of the most intense images of doubling” (Kristeva, Black Sun, Depression and Melancholia, 1989) and consider the structure of the feminine Symbolic and the repetition, iteration and redoubling.
Katja Kolšek is currently employed as a scientific researcher in Philosophy at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana. She received her Phd in Philosophy from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana in 2007. She was the fellow at the Institute of Philosophy SRC SASA in Ljubljana, lectured on Philosophy and Theory of Ideology at the Faculty of Humanities in Koper (Slovenija) and was a research fellow at the Theory department of the Jan van Eyck Academie, a post-academic institute for research and production in the fields of fine art, design, and theory in Maastricht, Netherlands. She has published a monograph entitled The Other of Democracy. The Concepts of Immanence and Otherness in Contemporary Theories of Democracy (Annales, Koper 2010) as well as the following book contributions: “The Shift of the Gaze in Žižek's Philosophical Writing” in: Repeating Žižek, Agon Hamza (ed.) (Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2015), "The Repetition of the Void and the Materialistic Dialectic" in The Structure of the Void, Dolar, Mladen (ed..), et al. (Filozofski vestnik. Vol. 34, No. 2, Ljubljana), and "The Parallax Object of Althusser's Materialist Philosophy" in Encountering Althusser. Politics and Materialism in Contemporary Radical Thought (Bloomsberry Publishing, London, New Delhi, New York, Sidney 2012). She also translates modern and contemporary Chinese poetry and fiction into the Slovenian language.
Mirt Komel (University of Ljubljana)
“Repeating Touch in the Town of Goga”
This paper deals with Slavko Grum's famous theater piece An Event in the Town Goga (Dogodek v mestu Gogi) through the concepts of touch(ing) and repetition/s. Avoiding the usual interpretations of Goga as the locus of (Slovenian) psychopatology that, mutatis mutandis, reflect Grum’s own psychoprofile and his interest in early psychoanalysis from the beginning of the 20th century, the paper rather focus on a series of minor themes concerning touch and touching of the many phobic and fetishistic characters of the play. The main thesis here is that touch is actually not a subsidiary topic, but rather lies in the very conceptual center of Grum’s Goga and that its repetition/s – or rather the impossibility of its repetition/s – function as the true drive of the play.
Mirt Komel, philosopher and writer, assistant professor at the Department of Cultural Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, and researcher at the Center for the Research of Religion and Culture. Co-founder of the International Hegelian Association, and of the Seminar for Political Theory at the Peace Institute of Ljubljana. Research interests include theoretical psychoanalyses, political theory, Hegelianism and Marxism, cultural studies of games, comics, films and TV series, and haptic studies. Monographic publications: An Attempt of a Touch (2008), Discourse and Violence (2012), Twin Peaks and Postmodernism (2012), Socratic Touches (2015).
Bojana Kunst (Justus Liebig University Giessen)
''The Loop of Time: Rhythm Politics and the Poetics of Performance'
Dance has an intricate, rather problematic relationship to rhythm, which originates from the temporal complexity of the rhythm itself: the conflict between the meter and the flow, the repetition and heterogeneity. Historically, due to its docile relationship to music, rhythm in dance was mostly understood as meter, ordering the calculation of steps and enumeration of choreographic structures. As a reaction, in the beginning of the 20th century, contemporary dance discovered a rhythmical body, where rhythm vibrated as a vital force, an expression of heterogeneous however continuous time. The notion of rhythm became a crucial concept through which it was possible to describe the immediate presence of the dancing body and its autonomous aesthetic capacity to create forms, but also an ideological concept, which brought the liberated body of modern dance in close connection to the totalitarian anesthetization of body politics. In my talk I would like to reflect on the rhythm with the help of some recent performances, which are exploring the relationship between time and movement and radically changing the notion of dance and choreography. In this relationship between time and movement, rhythm plays a crucial role, being either a meter, neither a flow, but rather a manner of poetic production: a suspension of movement and its resumption. The poetic production is rearranging the experience of movement and strongly challenging what does it mean today to attend the dance event. Movement is explored in its temporal capacity to enable environment, atmospheres, surroundings, which are not necessarily originating in the body, but can belong also to the things, materials and matter. Another important side of such poetic production is a thorough questioning of the immediate political relationship between performance and an act, liberating the poetic capacity of movement as withdrawal and disclosing the rhythm as a critical force, demanding new chronopolitical interventions.
Bojana Kunst is a philosopher, dramaturg and performance theoretician. She is a professor at the Institute for Applied Theater Studies in Justus Liebig University Giessen, where she is leading an international master program Choreography and Performance. She is a member of the editorial board of Maska Magazine, Amfiteater and Performance Research. Her last book is Artist at Work, Proximity of Art and Capitalism, Zero Books, Winchester, London, 2015.
Jingchao Ma (Villanova University)
“Return with the Other: Primary and Secondary Narcissism in Freud, Lacan, and Kristeva”
Psychoanalysis has given a different meaning to the word “narcissism,” other than its quotidian meaning of one’s love for oneself. According to Freud, narcissism is
the ego-libido, or the “great reservoir” of libidowhere the libido flows out when we invest our libido on object-cathexis and returns when we withdraw our love for others. However, as a constitutive
structure of the ego, narcissism is not a love of the exact same self. In this essay, I will examine Freud, Lacan, and Kristeva’s analysis of the role of others in the narcissism of ego,
especially in the concept of primary and secondary narcissism. For Freud, as we grow up, narcissism becomes impossible when we discover that we are not perfect, and it becomes possible again when we
invest out libido on our ego-ideal, or a perfect ego, instead of the inadequate, self-same ego; in Lacan’s theory of the mirror stage, the individual identifies with their own specular image (imago),
which in turn is constituent of the ego; Kristeva argues that a third person as the object of mother’s desire has to break the undifferentiated, narcissistic dyad of mother-child, for the narcissism
of the child to be possible. In all three formulations, the ego’s return to narcissism is a return via/with the other. I argue that the return of narcissism offers us a way to understand ego
formation and how the ego is opened up for others in its constant libidinal formation. Contrary to a repetitive model of self-preservation or the love of the same self taken to be the object,
narcissism is a repeated process of bringing the other’s libidinal investment back to the ego itself, and therefore opens up the circle of ego formation to the desire of others.
Jingchao (Chris) Ma is a current doctoral student in Philosophy at Villanova University. She is interested in forming a feminist understanding of subjectivity, social power, and bodily experience, and thereby creating new ways of imagining political futures. For her dissertation project, she reworks the Freudian concept of narcissism and brings psychoanalysis and phenomenology together to offer a new understanding of gender, sexuality, and the gendered body and argues that other people and society are fundamental to the formation of desire and identity. In addition to her academic work, she is also involved in queer activism. She participated in a feminist theater work in her college in Shanghai, and currently serves as a board member of Chinese Lala (LBTQI) Alliance.
Thomas Mercier (King’s College, London)
“The Force of the Event: Queer Performativity and Repetition in Austin, Butler and Derrida”
A lot has been written on Derrida’s deconstructive reading of Austin’s concept of performativity (such as found in “Signature, Event, Context” and Limited Inc). However, one aspect has been neglected: why does performativity rely on the notion of ‘force,’ and which force are we here talking about? Here, I analyse Derrida’s articulation between performativity and eventness, and show that his emphasis on force covers very different significations than Austin’s. For Austin, the force of the performative operates as an enforcement, and thus implies a repetition and validation of prior conditions of legitimation. In other words, the force of the performative replaces the notion of truth (attached to constatives), resulting in what Austin names the ‘felicity’ or ‘success’ of the performative. According to Derrida, this association of force and success through performative repetition already supposes a subsequent reconstruction, that is, an ontologisation of the performative (thus conceived as performative power). But the performative, if it is to truly produce an event, must by definition exceed prior conditions of validation, and thus transform, in its performance, the conditions of validity that it was meant to repeat. Derrida’s notion of iterability implies a transformative repetition, a differential mimicry, through which repetition and différance are co-implicated. In later works, Derrida clarifies that the force of the performative must fail in the face of the othering force of the event. The force that Derrida speaks about is thus non-ontological: it violates the ontological position of the performative, suggesting its fallibility and self-inadequacy. The performative succeeds by failing, and thus involves its own resistance — as self-resistance. Finally, I analyse what this self-deconstructive force implies concerning gender-performativity by elaborating on Derrida’s notion of a queer ontology — a nonontological excess internal to ontology. This distinguishes Derrida’s notion of performativity from Butler’s, which maintains an ontological dichotomy between success and failure by reintroducing a (Foucauldian) distinction between power and resistance.
Thomas Clément Mercier is currently in the writing-up phase of his PhD at King’s College, London (War Studies Dpt.). His interests are located at the intersection between political theory, deconstruction and psychoanalysis. His current research presents an analysis of Derrida’s reflection on violence with respect to International Relations theory and political theory: how do the notions of “arche-violence” or “force of law” affect the concepts of ‘power’ and ‘violence’ such as defined in social sciences and social theory? How does it differ from the traditional force of the performative defined by Austin? How does it alter the traditional dichotomy between legitimate and illegitimate force or violence? And what does this alteration entail regarding the definition of a specifically democratic legitimacy? This analysis draws on readings of Marx & Engels, Weber, Schmitt, Foucault, Bourdieu, Mouffe and Balibar. It calls for a more originary articulation between violence and legitimacy, located in the archi-performative force of différance. This implies the elaboration of a nonontological ‘concept’ of violence, now understood as an essentially differential force of deconstruction. The title of the project is “The Violence of Legitimacy: Thinking Democracy beyond Power, Antagonism, and War”; it is supervised by Vivienne Jabri and Mervyn Frost. His article “Resisting Legitimacy: Weber, Derrida, and the Fallibility of Sovereign Power”, which offers a deconstructive reading of Max Weber’s concepts of domination and legitimation, has been published in March 2016 in the journal Global Discourse.
Gregor Moder (University of Ljubljana)
“Hegel’s Logic of Pure Being and the Rhetorical Repetition”
Dieter Henrich argued that there is a certain imbalance between the amount of scholarly discussion about Hegel’s logic of pure being and the relative simplicity of the argument, at least if compared to the much more complex logic of reflection. We will follow some newer analyses, especially those of Stephen Houlgate, Frank Ruda and Mladen Dolar, and argue that the confrontation with the opening of Hegel’s logic is nevertheless, to paraphrase Hegel’s famous declarations about Spinoza’s philosophy, a necessary task for every beginning in philosophy. We will argue that the transition from pure being to determinate being has the structure of a performative act, insofar as it produces what it declares. We will analyze this operation as a paradoxical operation of ‘repetition without the original.’
Gregor Moder works as a researcher and teaches Philosophy of Art at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a member of the editorial board of Problemi, a prominent Slovenian journal for philosophy, psychoanalysis and culture, and also the author of Hegel and Spinoza (Vienna: Turia+Kant, 2013, in German) and Comic Love: Shakespeare, Hegel, Lacan (Ljubljana: DTP, 2016, in Slovenian). The English version of Hegel and Spinoza: Substance and Negativity is forthcoming with Northwestern University Press in Spring 2017.
Ramona Mosse (Free University Berlin) & Anna Street (University of Paris–
“Repetition in Tragedy and Comedy: Un/Masking the Surface”
While essential to both tragedy and comedy, repetition occurs in remarkably different ways within these polar genres, often serving as the tipping point between opposing interpretations. Tracing the various mechanisms that repetition puts into play through the optic of genre, we will demonstrate how tragedy and comedy employ repetition in order to serve distinctly separate ends. From comic stock characters to complex tragic heroes, the repetition of self-reflexivity can be claimed as an eminently authentic or a laughably inauthentic philosophical pursuit. Indeed, as a dramaturgical device, repetition both reinforces and undermines the ontological grounds of being, just as it questions while affirming the dubious nature of language. Approaching repetition via its practical employment within the underlying framework of genre shifts the emphasis from signification to the performance, uniting thinking and embodiment. We will explore how Beckett’s ambiguous use of repetition in particular allows for his plays to be staged along a spectrum of genre distinctions. By proposing different interpretations of how Beckett employs repetition in his theatre, we will explore how repetition inscribes itself as an integral part of dramatic structures, further reinforcing philosophy’s reliance upon performance.
Ramona Mosse is a Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the Free University Berlin. She is the co-editor of Erika Fischer-Lichte’s Routledge Introduction to Theater and Performance Studies (Routledge 2014) and has published various book and journal articles on topics such as tragedy, metatheatre, hip hop performance, and contemporary drama. She is currently working on her book Tragedy and Utopia in Cold War Culture. Ramona holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. In her practical theatre work as a dramaturg and translator both in the USA and Germany, Ramona has focused particularly on the staging and adaptation of classical tragedies.
Anna Street is a double-doctoral candidate at the University of Paris - Sorbonne and at the University of Kent. Her thesis traces a parallel between the development of theories of comedy and philosophy’s increasing reliance upon dramatic techniques. Focusing on the rise of serious comedy in post-war European theater, she demonstrates how comedy’s challenging of ideological principles engages in practices that are both essentially self-reflective and necessarily dramatic, implicating performance as integral to the act of thinking. Member of the Sorbonne research laboratory VALE and co-convenor of the working group “Genres of Dramatic Thought” within the Performance Philosophy network, she actively organizes and participates in international conferences and is particularly devoted to the promotion of intercultural and interdisciplinary exchanges related to philosophical reflection and performance.
Michael O’Neill Burns (University of the West of England, Bristol)
“What’s the Diff’rence? Repetition and Fracture in Kierkegaard, Lacan, and J Dilla”
Kierkegaard developed a concept of repetition in response to the problematic Platonic notion of recollection. For Kierkegaard, human existence has to do more with a dialectical development that occurs within the contingency of both time and reality than it does with any transcendental notion of truth as an eternal category. Rather than the sort of recollection that annihilates difference, time, and contingency, Kierkegaard’s repetition is constituted precisely on the basis of creating a difference, and this difference serves as the basis of the task of becoming a self. To explore the significance of Kierkegaard’s conception of repetition (which itself is a creative repetition of Hegelian mediation), my presentation will consider this repetition via Jacque Lacan’s psychoanalytic reading of Kierkegaard and through the music of hip-hop producer J Dilla.Starting with Lacan I will argue that within his own repetition of Freud, he risks a return to the sort of recollection that Kierkegaard sought to move beyond with his own conception of repetition, and will challenge his own reading of Kierkegaard. With J Dilla, I will highlight the way in which his style of sample-based and jazz influenced production embodies the creation of difference through the act of repetition. I will claim that Dilla’s music embodies the creative difference that occurs in repetition via the contingency of individual appropriation. While a majority of hip-hop producers create tracks by laying drum samples into a quantized track (a more-or-less logical/mathematical repetition), Dilla insisted on playing his drum samples in real time, which led to tracks that were slightly ‘off,’ representing the creative non-identity of a certain form of repetition. Through this Lacanian re-inscription of Kierkegaardian repetition, read through the hip-hop production of J Dilla, my presentation will highlight the philosophical, aesthetic, and political importance of the minimal difference inherent to any real act of repetition.
Michael O’Neill Burns is Senior Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of the West of England, Bristol. His research is focused on questions of subjectivity, ontology, and the political, all considered in the context of philosophical materialism. In 2015 he published the book Kierkegaard and the Matter of Philosophy: A Fractured Dialectic and he is currently at work on a monograph with the working title “Materialism is a Humanism.” He is the co-founder of the Working Group on Contemporary Materialism.
Katerina Paramana (Brunel University London)
“Returning to The Show: Repetition and the Construction of Spaces of Decision, Affect, and Creative Possibility”
The contemporary moment, if we are to intervene in and radically change the current social and economic system, demands that we return to, rearticulate, reimagine and redefine concepts, goals, desires and relations. Returning to performance works that continue to haunt us, that have left us with the feeling that something has not been articulated about their importance, might help us rearticulate our relation to the world, to others, our place in and the function of current systems. In this paper, I return to Jérôme Bel's The Show Must Go On and specifically to its first presentation in 2001– a time when a great deal of participatory work began to be made – to offer a different articulation to those offered so far. Drawing on the thinking of Wendy Brown, Gilbert Simondon, Jeremy Gilbert and John Protevi, I examine the work's economy of relations, its consequent production of the social and the potential that emerged from it. I focus my attention on the sociality produced in a specific moment in this presentation and the role of repetition in it. I suggest that, in that moment, a ‘disequilbrium’ caused by the work's dramaturgy resulted in a shift in the system of the work which afforded the spectators’ repetitive intervention in it and allowed for the work's potential to emerge. Using Simondon's theory of individuation (2005) and Gilbert's (2014) articulation of it, I argue that the work's production of sociality created a space of decision, affect and creative possibility, that enabled practices of thinking, relation and action, that any democratic institution should be informed by, enable and repeat. I suggest that it is such practices that constitute what I define as ethical encounters. While The Show is not conventionally considered to be a participatory or socially engaged work, I maintain that it achieves some of the claimed or intended, but often not delivered work of contemporary participatory performance.
Katerina Paramana is a London-based scholar and artist from Athens, Greece. She is a Lecturer in Theatre at Brunel University London. Her current research is concerned with the limits and potentials of socially concerned contemporary performance. Her performances have been presented in the US, UK and Europe and her writing has been published in journals including Contemporary Theatre Review and Performance Research (www.katerinaparamana.com).'
Gary Peters (York St John University)
“Contraction and Contemplation: Deleuze and Malabou on Habit within the Context of Improvised Performance”
The proposed paper will consider the place of habit within the domain of improvisation. Rather than thinking of habit(s) negatively as that which needs to be avoided in order to preserve the necessary space of improvisatory novelty, this paper will engage with Deleuze’s and Malabou’s more positive take on the habitual. At the centre of this will be two key moments: Deleuze’s consideration of habit within the A-Z Interviews, where, under K for Kant he draws attention to the necessity of contemplating the habits we contract, and (in Difference and Repetition) how such contemplation can become (passively) creative; secondly Malabou’s reading of Hegel and habit, where she proposes the idea of the self as the product of ‘being’s improvisations’ and the habitual essence this assumes. Together, the above propositions will be fed into a distinction being made between rehearsal (repeter) and practise as they relate to improvised performance. Practise allows the practitioner to develop a practice that is stable enough and recognizable enough—habitual enough—to allow an improvisation to take place; practise is a form of preparation. As such, the practice is a given at the moment of any improvisation, but the practise necessary to produce and maintain this practice must cease before the commencement of the performance itself. This is not at all the case with rehearsal. Indeed, it is as a work of re-hear-sing that the live event attains to the very live-ness and event-ness that is so cherished by performers and audiences alike. In other words, rehearsing is not the preparation for, but the preservationof an event: the transition from Being to beings (Heidegger), or from the virtual to the actual (Deleuze), or from being’s improvisations to habit (Malabou). All of those days, months and years of practising are fixated on the fixing of the unfixed in order for a performance to take place; but the live-ness and the event-ness of a performance are directly related to the sense in which the fixity of creative practise and practice is unfixed as a moment of repetition. Not the repetition of technical skills (episteme) as a public spectacle, but the repetition of an act of knowing (techne) that clears a space-time within which truth (Heidegger) or the sensible (Deleuze) are dis-closed.
Gary Peters is Professor of Critical and Cultural Theory and Head of Research in the Faculty of Arts at York St John University. His main area of research is continental philosophy and aesthetics with particular reference to improvisation and performance. His book Irony and Singularity: Aesthetic Education from Kant to Levinas was published in 2005 by Ashgate. His second book, The Philosophy of Improvisation was published in 2009 by the University of Chicago Press. His latest book: Improvising Improvisation: From Out of Music, Dance and Literature is in press and will be published by The University of Chicago Press late2 016. Other recent publications include: ‘Improvisation and Time Consciousness’, in The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016); and ‘Certainty, Contingency and Improvisation’, in The Journal of Critical Improvisation Studies (2013). He has also co-edited with his wife Fiona Peters Thoughts of Love, CSP (2013). He is a multi-instrumentalist, improviser and composer working across a broad range of genres from free improvisation, to jazz, to country music and bluegrass.
Richard Pettifer (Artist & writer)
“Artist Development” (performance lecture)
The question of artist development is connected with unrealised potential for authentic inter-generational change, and in this sense a kind of repetition. Our capacity to build new communities, ideas or communications depends on interpretation of the past and future, and a process of remembering/forgetting which occurs on a personal and collective level through learning. In former states of the Soviet Union and its satellite countries, this takes the form of a conscious forgetting and dismissal of tradition with embrace of the shiny fresh EU, whereas in post-colonial Australia it may constitute an inability to say unsayable but commonly-known truths. In a global sense we face a situation where the ethics of representation are circumvented by the tendency to follow familiar pathways and recreate former narratives. In this sense the potentially emancipatory concept of development remains trapped between representation and repetition - following the stagnant continuity of an age-old craft, or the immediacy of the static loop.
Richard Pettifer is an Australian writer, director, critic and monologist based in Berlin. He writes criticism of Berlin and European theatre at his blog Theaterstück, and for online publications such as ArtSlant (US), A Younger Theatre (UK), Exeunt (UK) and Spook (AUS), as well as writing and directing plays and performing solo work. He also runs criticism/activism workshops regarding consensus dialogue, dialectics, pedagogy, and critical practice. www.richardpettifer.blogspot.com
Vanessa Place (Artist, poet, lawyer)
“Botched Execution” (performance)
In Botched Execution, American artist and criminal defence lawyer Vanessa Place reiterates two reports of the “botched execution” of a death row inmate, one by the State, the other by a journalist-witness. The moment-by-moment accounts are interspersed with anti-lawyer jokes. First performed in conjunction with the exhibition AV: Andrea Fraser, Vanessa Place (2014), Botched Execution restages the iterable and uniterable nature of the death penalty, which, like a joke, reveals itself in its punchlines. Place’s physical presence complicates the piece, her voice and body prompting a demand for interpretation or resolution, for an end that is a terminus. Place’s vocal sound performances, including Botched Execution, cast her as the dummy among a number of ventriloquists, including her audience. As a defence lawyer, she acts as a “mouthpiece” for both her clients and the criminal justice system. As an artist, she often deploys the language of the Law in the gallery or museum, a repetition of performance and performed repetition that suspends the usual functioning of both spaces. Like Echo, the repeated statement becomes a singular question.
Vanessa Place has been called “the spokesperson for the new cynical avant-garde” (Boston Review), the Huffington Post characterised her work as “ethically odious,” while philosopher Avital Ronell said she is “a leading voice in contemporary thought.” Vanessa Place was the first poet to perform as part of the Whitney Biennial; a content advisory was posted. Her last Whitney performance was cancelled as a result of controversy over her work. Recent performance venues include Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art; Andre Bely Centre, St. Petersburg, Russia; Kunstverein, Cologne. Place also works as a criminal defence appellate attorney representing indigent sex offenders.
Julie Reshe (Global Centre of Advanced Studies, USA)
“Peculiarities Pursued with Fatigue and Passion”
In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze criticizes psychology for making a fetish of activity. It observes, he claims, only that which moved. It wants to explore how we
acquire habits in acting. But according to Deleuze the entire theory of learning is misdirected so long as it is not doubted if it is through acting that we acquire habits. For Deleuze we exist only
as series of habits. Habits are “the thousands of passive syntheses of which we are organically composed. It is simultaneously through contraction that we are habits, but through contemplation that
we contract” (Deleuze 1994, 74). We modify ourselves, that is to say we learn, through contracting habits. Contraction is not a repetition of action; it is a fusion of repetition in the contemplating
mind. To contemplate is to question and to draw a response.
Stated differently, learning (acquisition of the new) takes place as “Habit draws something new from repetition – namely, difference” (73). But how does this drawing of difference happen? Repetition does not change the repetitive element; it modifies a contemplative mind: “The repetition [...] changes nothing in the object or the state of affairs. On the other hand, a change is produced in the mind which contemplates: a difference” (70). Fatigue is the fundamental component of contemplation. 'Fatigue marks the point at which the soul can no longer contract what it contemplates, the moment at which contemplation and contraction come apart' (77). Fatigue is an affirmative process for Deleuze; it produces freedom. Fatigue releases the pure susceptibility; it makes self open for modification. The modification of self is manifested through modifiability of habits, which embodies as a continuous shift from restless passion to fatigue. Being a set of habits, we are a collection of “peculiarities pursued with fatigue and passion” (Deleuze 1994, 79).
Julie Reshe is a professor of philosophy at the Global Centre of Advanced Studies (United States), visiting professor at Alma Mater Europaea (Slovenia) and director of the Institute of Psychoanalysis and Neurophilosophy (GCAS). Reshe completed her PhD thesis under the supervision of Alenka Zupančič at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Drawing from philosophy, psychoanalysis, neuroscience and art, her multi-disciplinary approach is focused on issues of cultural posthumanism. Articulating the non-human, the trans-subjective and the modifiable, her critique disputes traditional ways of life. Her research interests also include evolution of language and culture, education, childhood studies, mothering studies, gender and sexuality. Reshe publishes regularly in both mainstream magazines and refereed academic journals.
Luca Resta (Artist)
“Superposition” (installation performance)
“Superposition” is a performance in which I cover, with layers of adhesive tape of paper, a particular architectural space (walls, ceiling, radiator, door, steps, etc.). It is a decorative technique exasperated, the manic overlapping of strips of tape stretched out horizontally, starting from the bottom and going up slowly upward. Each strip is overlapped (with 4/5 mm distance) to the previous one, so as to create a membrane, a wallpaper, a second skin that adapts and redesigns the architecture. A kind of moving wallpaper. The performance connects the action and the time, is a mechanical and repetitive action that does not have a point of arrival, the action could ideally go on indefinitely. Only the time of the exhibition can put an end to the performance. The work focuses on the idea of repetition and monotony, it is a slow and steady movement that mimics the action of a printer: through horizontal lines, the machine prints gradually an image on the paper, whereas I "print" a membrane on the space. Furthermore, the mechanical and rhythmic noise, produced during the action, marks time and articulates the action. Even if the idea is based on the repetition of the gesture, each repetition of the performance is however different because different is the place of the action, and its architecture. It is thus a creative repetition, unique and different, every time.
Luca Resta is an Italian visual artist based in Paris. www.lucaresta.com
Freddie Rokem (Tel Aviv University)
Repetitions of Violence: Benjamin, Kafka and Brecht
What, has this thing appeared again tonight? (Shakespeare, Hamlet)
How has the recurrence of violence been conceptualized in philosophical and performative discourses? And what is this thing that appears again when violence occurs? Besides their (apparently always) current relevance, attempts to answer these questions echo powerfully within and between the creative and theoretical writings, as well as the artistic practices, of Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka and Bertolt Brecht. Each demonstrated, in a variety of ways, that in order for violence to be understood it must be inscribed in a narrative, at the same time as it reflects on and re/presents its own reoccurrence. My points of departure for this presentation will be Benjamin's formulation of "The Laws of Repetition" in his short essay on toys and play from 1928, on the one hand, and his 1921 essay on violence, "Zur Kritik der Gewalt", on the other. The critique of violence can be read as an accumulative 'scenario', finally staging what Benjamin terms 'mythical' and 'divine' violence in order to transcend the inherent contradictions and shortcomings of the more formal, legal discourses on violence. I want to suggest that this (notoriously difficult) essay serves as a focalizer for the interactions between the work of Kafka and Brecht, as well as the repetitive echoes of the Classical Greek and Hebrew sources with which Benjamin ends the essay. I also want draw attention to how the notion of Darstellung (which means both presentation and representation, and can be seen as a combination of both) activates these discourses of and about the repetitions – the re-presentations – of violence.
Freddie Rokem is Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Theatre Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel. His recent books are Philosophers and Thespians: Thinking Performance (Stanford UP, 2010), Jews and the Making of Modern German Theatre (University of Iowa Press, 2010, co-edited with Jeanette Malkin), Strindberg's Secret Codes (Norvik Press, 2004) and the prize-winning book Performing History: Theatrical representations of the past in contemporary theatre (University of Iowa Press, 2000). He is co-editor of the Palgrave/Macmillan book series Performance Philosophy, has been a visiting professor at universities in the United States, Germany, Finland and Sweden, and is a translator and a dramaturg.
Jakob Rosendal (Aarhus University, Denmark)
“Serial Girl – On the Repetition Compulsion of an Art Historical Motif”
Why are some images repeated again and again across centuries? How can we best account for the temporal success of certain images, but also for the way such images persist and recur after their widespread diffusion has receded? It will be the aim of this paper to explore the seriality of images from the vantage point of Freud’s concept of Wiederholungszwang (repetition compulsion). My hypothesis is that the child constitutes the Real of a traumatic event, which sets in motion a cultural repetition compulsion. This Real of the child will be explored in two ways: by seeing the child in its ignorance, indifference, or resistance to the socio-symbolic world of adults as a particularly pressing instance of the Lacanian subject and by looking at the potentially troubling nature of infantile sexuality. Certain artists and image-makers have been sensible to these dimensions of the child, whereas others have tried to avoid them, essentially highlighting them in the attempt at obfuscation through various fantasy formations. The specific series of images on which this paper focuses occurs with the art historical motif of a girl-in-a-mob-cap repeated across the last two and half centuries. This series runs from Joshua Reynolds’ portrait Penelope Boothby (1788) over Lewis Carroll’s photographic paraphrases (1875/76) and John Everett Millais’ Cherry Ripe (1879) and its many reproductions, up to the motif’s recurrence in Woody Allen’s Match Point (2005) and Del Kathryn Barton’s photography Eye land of Kell (2010).
Jakob Rosendal is a PhD-scholar in Art History and Philosophy at Aarhus University (Denmark). He is currently finishing his PhD-project “Overlooked Signs – On the Ideological Fantasies of Everyday Visual Culture.” He is a board member at The Society of Theoretical Psychoanalysis (Denmark), and his publications include articles on the photography of Nobuyoshi Araki and Lacanian analysis of advertisements.
Søren Rosendal (Aarhus University, Denmark)
“Poetico-Scientific Repetitions: What Hegel talks about when he talks about Truth”
The concept of representation is deconstructed in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. But how is truth then represented if representation has been shown to be invalid? In this paper I want to analyse the way Hegel uses language in its poetic register as a means of scientific expression. Poetic language can be defined as language that uses language against itself to create novel means of expression. In the Phenomenology Hegel repeats the breakdowns of various forms of implicit and explicit claims to true knowledge. The only way to "represent" their truth is to repeat them and their breakdown. Otherwise one takes an illegitimate transcendent position that fails under sceptical scrutiny. This means that exposition of truth is the repetition of the breakdown of a false position within conceptual language. Repetition is to immanently deduce the true from the false. Through a careful analysis of Hegel's linguistic practice especially in the Science of Logic I hope to show that Hegel's scientific language is essentially poetic. This does not mean that it is fanciful but is necessitated by his strict adherence to science. Going through contradictions, paradoxes, ambivalences, layerings, syntactic reversals, shifts in semantics, impossible expressions, linguistic folding, and so on, I want to both highlight the precision, expressivity and the beauty of Hegelian language. In doing this I will be using resources from classical structuralist linguistics (Saussure, Jakobson, Hjelmslev) and also the later expansion of structuralism in France in the 60s (Lévi-Strauss, Deleuze, Derrida, etc.) and Patrice Maniglier's recent work on structuralism.The unity of thought and being can only be expressed in the form of a repetition that outlines the true structure of the collapse of truth.
Søren Rosendal is a Ph.D.student at Aarhus University (Denmark) who is working on Hegel, language, structure and science. His latest article is called "The Logic of the Swamp World: Hegel with Kafka on the Contradiction in Freedom" in the anthology Kafka and the Universal (forthcoming, De Gruyter). His most recent talk was on Darwin and the concept of a natural order from a Hegelian perspective at a workshop in UWE Bristol with and on Catherine Malabou. He is the co-founder of the Aarhus Structuralism Circle.
Sandrine Rose Schiller Hansen (KU Leuven, Belgium)
“Juggling the Necrotic Bone: A Meditation on the Fate of Repetition and the Death Drive”
In “the Dawn of Man,” the first act of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the birth of Homo Faber coincides with the first act of killing. A death immanent in birth. The simultaneity of destruction and creation linger in the necrotic bone thrown into intergalactic space and the future of man. Throughout his therapeutic work, Sigmund Freud was perplexed by the reoccurrence of what he Analysis Terminable and Interminable envisages as “fragments of necrotic bone”. Again and again Freud saw the linearity of cumulative time disrupted. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle Freud appears to suggest that phenomena of compulsive repetition cannot be reduced to mere conflicts in the psychological development of the subject. The pathogenic material reappearing in compulsive circularity casts the finite in doubt. In the midst of life, beneath or beyond the symptoms of growth is the rigid echo of an untouchable residue, an inorganic deadweight Freud named the death drive. If the concept of fate still bore an air of divine ordainment Freud punctures this. Fate and destiny are according to Freud intelligible on a rational basis, like our character or our character-traits, these are nothing more than a symptom or an effect of an inert obstinacy (or a monolith?) at the core organic life. In a universe of unbound unfolding, the question why we should choose to repeat resonates with the tragic, the unknown of boundaries. In consideration of different phenomena of repetition, I propose a meditation on Freud’s materialistic transmutation of the destiny of man.
Sandrine Rose Schiller Hansen is a PhD fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven, Belgium. Her research project “Habituating Selves, an Investigation of the Limits of Plasticity” is funded by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO).
Angelika Seppi (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin)
“Quasi-mimetics and the economy of exchange”
In The Double Session Jacques Derrida addresses the history of western philosophy as the primordial fold between literature and truth, between what is imaginary, fictional, fantastic etc., and what is true. While literature would always have been involved in some kind of shady double play, truth would always have been to be searched for in light of the simple. Juxtaposing two text-excerpts, one from Mallarmé's Mimique, the other from Plato's Philebos, the opening scene of The Double Session is nothing but another, though exceptionally explicit repetition of how thought would always have been working anyway: by repetition, replacing, supplementing, doubling, mirroring etc. Derrida's operation thus consists in explicating the implicit by redoubling the ever-haunted double haunting philosophy since its beginnings. The quasi-mimetic logic set at play by Derrida has nothing to do with somebody imitating something, and everything with an endless process of exchanges and substitutions of every possible one with every possible other, of the one as the same and the other as the other to the same, starting with the primary ontological exchange between being and beings, the logical exchange between the two sides of the principle of identity, the phenomenological exchange of presence, absence and appearance etc. Following both Derrida's and Catherine Malabou's metabolic reading of metaphysics my contribution finally addresses the question of the possibility for another change beyond the circulation of exchanges constituting a system of generalized equivalence - "ontological capitalism" (Malabou), where everything is exchangeable, while nothing ever really changes.
Angelika Seppi is a research associate at "Image Knowledge Gestaltung: An Interdisciplinary Laboratory" at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She studied philosophy and art history at the Universität Wien and the Universidad de Chile. Her research interests include metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics and art theory. Currently her research is focused on processes, conditions and limits of formalization in modern science, art and philosophy.
Dorota Sosnowska (University of Warsaw Institute of Polish Culture)
“Halka/Haiti - White Archive, Black Body? Reenactment and Repetition in the Polish-Colonial Context”
My speech would focus on the artwork prepared for the Polish Pavilion during 2015 Venice Biennale. Two Polish-American artists: C.T. Jaspers and Joanna Malinowska with curator Magdalena Moskalewicz realized a project that consisted of bringing a Polish 19th century opera entitled Halka to a “Polish” village in Haiti. In 1802 Napoleon sent soldiers to crush the revolt of black slaves in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). Among them – a Polish squad. The legend says that they refused to fight. In result they stayed in Haiti and their descendants (black people with blue eyes) are called Poles till today. They live in the small, mountain village called Cazale. Halka/Haiti. 18°48’05”N 72°23’01”W project, inspired by Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo movie, have brought first Polish opera to Haitian Poles as a kind of gift.Analyzing the project and its contexts I would like to address the issue of the relation between performance and repetition. The whole project can be interpreted as a kind of reenactment of Polish and Haitian history. But in fact in the archive we can find another version of events. Polish Napoleonic soldiers in majority were fighting against Haitians. Few of them – and none of the officers – changed sides. I would like then to ask what is performed in Cazale? What is enacted and reenacted when Polish opera signers in Polish traditional costumes sing Polish opera in the Haitian village, for the Haitian villagers and with their small input? The theoretical background would be Rebecca Schneider’s conceptions of reenactment and repetition.At the end I would like to address another issue: how the relation between the history, repetition and performance can be analyzed when it is seen in the colonial and post-colonial context? What would be the relation between this artwork, the story held in the archives, the document it produces and the notions of blackness and whiteness it uses? How the document reenacted by the body changes itself depending on the skin color? I would refer to the concepts of blackness provided by Fred Moten in his writings.
Dorota Sosnowska is a Post-Doctoral Teaching Assistant at the Department of Theatre and Performance at the University of WarsawInstitute of Polish Culture.
Kiri Sullivan (University of Melbourne)
“Repetition and the Temporal Double in Cinema”
This paper investigates the filmic figure of the double and its relationship to cinematic repetition and self-reflexivity within a Deleuzian framework. Repetition is interrogated as both a cinematic technique and an aesthetic. This paper posits the figure of the ‘temporal double,’ which is a specifically cinematic figure. I define it as a filmic figuration of repetition, produced by the Deleuzian processes (or syntheses) of time. I argue that films are syntheses of time, or rather syntheses of images of time, and that they participate in broader circuits of repetition and intertextuality across cinema. Deleuze’s Cinema 2 is cross-read with Difference and Repetition to show that the double is a self-reflexive visual manifestation of repetition that functions not only as a time-image but as a tool that allows us to interrogate cinematic time and repetition. This paper explores Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958)in relation to Chris Marker’s LaJetée (1962), which he called his ‘remake in Paris.’ Vertigo is identified as a turning point in the cinematic portrayal of the double, an early iteration of the ‘temporal double’, a blend or synthesis of a classic double and a Deleuzian double, whose relationship with temporality becomes increasingly complicated. LaJetée, a repetition-with-difference of Vertigo, effectively actualizes the virtual temporal double proposed by Vertigo through cinematography, narrative, genre, and structure. This paper considers how we re-turn to texts (such as Vertigo) which are re-read with the tools provided by subsequent films to give new meanings to this earlier film. For example, La Jetée’s repetition of Vertigo allows us to return to Vertigo and re-classify it as a time travel film.
Kiri Sullivan is currently completing a Master of Arts in Screen Studies at the University of Melbourne focusing on temporality, repetition, and the figure of the double within a Deleuzian framework.
Alireza Taheri (HamAva Psychoanalytic Institute, Iran)
“From the Law as Representation to the Law as Repetition: Breaking the Spell of the Slave Revolt in Morality”
In The Notion of Authority, Kojève (2014) argues that the political defends the exercise of authority while the sphere of ethics critiques it. In this light, we may argue that the contemporary late modern disparagement of the notion of (paternal) authority is symptomatic of the waning of the political and, concomitantly, the obliteration of the dimension of conflict. To counter this tendency, Kojève and, most recently, Žižek (2012) argue for “a political suspension of ethics” rather than the aforementioned ethical deferment of the political where authority is weakened, for instance, by the nagging petulance and subterfuge of political correctness (a paradigmatic case of what Kojève would call “private ethics” deployed to eradicate the political dimension of conflict). Nietzsche’s (1998) critique of a “slave revolt in morality” points towards a similar discontent with the waning of authority and the elimination of conflict in favour of notions emphasizing harmony. In various fields of scientific research, Nietzsche argues, the slave revolt has led to the triumph of the “democratic prejudice” emphasizing “homeostasis.” A revival of notions accentuating strife and discord may be hoped for in what Althusser (1996) christened the “conflictual sciences,” namely psychoanalytic theory and Marx’s critique of political economy. Combining Foucault (1998) with Nietzsche we may argue that in the sphere of law, the “repressive hypothesis” – according to which the law merely forbids a pre-existing natural tendency – is the result of a “slave” mentality that cannot appreciate the productive powers of law. Psychoanalytic theory may here help undo the nefarious effects of the “democratic prejudice” in science by paving a path away from the idea of the law as mere “dead letter” to a conception that takes into account what Žižek (1998) has called the “obscene supplement” of the law. The transition away from a conception of law tarnished by the slave revolt in morality will benefit not only from the theoretical edifice provided by the aforementioned conflictual sciences but also from a deepened engagement with Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition where the seeds for a conception of law as repetition rather than mere representation may be found.
Alireza Taheri wrote his doctoral dissertation on Nietzsche, Freud and Lacan at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor John Forrester (dissertation examiners: Professor Renata Salecl and Professor Raymond Geuss). Presently, he does psychoanalytic work in private practice in Toronto where he is also actively involved in teaching Lacanian theory. Alireza is a permanent faculty member of HamAva Psychoanalytic Institute in Iran where he teaches psychoanalytic theory and practice. He is also engaged in writing articles on psychoanalysis and philosophy and is presently the book review editor of Psychoanalytic Discourse (an independent international journal for clinical, theoretical and cultural discussion of psychoanalysis). The main focus of his current research is contemporary Lacanian developments of psychosis. Alireza is presently working on a book project based on this research entitled “Spectres of Madness: From the Contradictions of Subjectivity to the Impasses of Modernity.”
Tomaž Toporišič (University of Ljubljana)
“The tensions between repetition and representation in contemporary theatre and drama (Oliver Frljić and Simona Semenič)”
The paper will discuss the tensions between repetition and representation in two cases of contemporary theatre and drama. Our starting point will be the artistic procedure of the theatre director Oliver Frljić in the performance Damned be the Traitor of His Homeland! According to him the inflation of death, the incessant repetition of the unrepeatable emphasize a theatrical mechanism that always remains the representation of a certain external reality. It challenges the theatrical representation of death as well as the idea of theatrical representation itself through compulsive attempts to stage collective death. The repetitions of death, occurring on stage in almost regular intervals and after which the performers ‘come back to life’, reveal a standstill of theatrical representational mechanisms. It is these mechanisms, producing fiction and most often remaining hidden, that oust any framework in terms of content and theme, thus remaining the only ones visible. We will proceed with Simona Semenič, probably the most outstanding representative of the Slovene (no longer) dramatic and postdramatic theatre and drama, that explores in her texts (e.g. the feast or the story of a savoury corpse or how roman abramovich, the personage janša, julia kristeva, age 24, simona semenič and the initials z.i. found themselves in a puff of tobacco smoke) verbal repetitions, pauses and silences, as well as language and sound effects, such as interjections in order to create a specific tension between repetition and representation in which the first undermines and challenges the second and produces a specific poetic or aesthetic device: an effect ofostranenie or defamiliarization (Shklovsky) or différance(Derrida).
Tomaž Toporišič (PhD) is a dramaturge, translator, theatre theoretician and critic. His primaryresearch interests are the contemporary performing arts and literature, specifically the interaction between the two fields. From 1997 to 2003 he was the artistic director of The Mladinsko Theatre, Slovenia. In 1995 he co-founded Exodos Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, has published numerous papers on literature, aesthetics, cultural studies and performing arts. Currently he is a dramaturge of the Mladinsko Theatre in Ljubljana and a professor in Sociology of Theatre and History of Drama and Theatre at University of Ljubljana. He is author of the following books: Between Seduction and Suspiciousness (Slovenian Theatreof the Second Half of the 20th Century), 2004; The Vulnerable Body of Text and Stage, 200; Ecdyses of Drama and Theatre, 2008; Readers Drama, Text, Scripture, co-edited by PetraPogorevc, 2008 and Occupying Spaces: Experimental Theatre in Central Europe (2010). His latest essays include: “The new Slovene theatre and italian futurism: Delak, Černigoj and thehistorical avant-garde in Venezia Giulia” (International yearbook of futurism studies, 2014), “(Re)staging the rhetorics of space” (Neohelicon, 2014) and “Deconstructive readings of theavant-garde tradition in post-socialist retro-avant-garde theatre” (Aesthetics of Matter, 2013).
Naomi Toth (Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre)
“Echoing Last Words”
What is at stake in the repetition of public statements as an artistic gesture? This paper seeks to explore one aspect of this question by comparing three contemporary artistic projects that reprise the last words of death row prisoners in the state of Texas, the transcriptions of which are all available on public record. The projects are that of the Uruguayan/American visual artist Luis Camnitzer (Last Words, 2008), the American poet and performance artist Vanessa Place (Last Words, performance, audio/artist book, 2015) and the French poet and video artist Frank Smith (Fin de mots, 2015). It will suggest that the figure of Echo, the mythological repeater of the last words of a sentence, is a useful framework for such a comparison. As literary historians have shown, the meaning effects of Echo’s voice have traditionally been considered in terms of subtraction, primarily when she is associated with Narcissus, or in terms of augmentation, primarily when she is associated with Pan. These two traditions may be revisited, the paper will argue, in light of the status accorded to repetition as a generative practice in the thought of Derrida and Deleuze respectively. Echo emerges as a figure whose reprisals creatively disrupt, but also disruptively create, identities, origins, propriety, responsibility and a certain kind of ideal. The discussion of Echo prepares the ground for an examination of the relationship each project establishes to the source documents, and the way each frames, through practices of subtraction and augmentation, its own reception. For the three artists reconfigure concepts of identity, origin, propriety, responsibility and the ideal in diverging ways. They thereby stake out distinct political positions concerning the practice of repeating the words of another, more particularly, the words of a condemned other.
Naomi Toth is a lecturer in English literature at the Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre, France. Her first book, L’Écriture vive : Woolf, Sarraute, une autre phénoménologie de la perception (Paris, Classiques Garnier), will come out later this year. In April 2016, she participated in a symposium in Paris on the work of Vanessa Place.
Polona Tratnik (Alma Mater Europaea - Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis)
“Hansel and Gretel: Repetition – Event – Context”
For six years, the Brothers Grimm collected fairy tales (for children and home), which originated from oral traditions, and published them by themselves for the first time in 1812 (Kinder- und Hausmärchen). In their lifetime, seven editions were published. Translations of their work into variety of languages followed and several interpretations by different writers have appeared. In the presentation the author will pay attention to one of the best known fairy tales, Hansel and Gretel, and to the processes of repetitions, which appear in a very complex manner: first the fairy tale was being repeated in the oral tradition, then it was repeated when it was written down by the Brothers Grimm, then when it was published in new editions, as another level of repetition appears with translations. Writers’ interpretations present one more level of repetitions. Last but not least, the fairy tale is being repeated in the illustrations. And furthermore, the fairy tale is being repeated for several times by the storyteller or in contemporary oral tradition. Each repetition is an interpretation. Already the first seven editions published by the Brothers Grimm contain great differences in details. The translations and writers’ interpretations differ much as regards the (political) context in which they appear – in the presentation the author will pay attention to the Slovenian context. Furthermore, illustrations establish their own rhetoric and each edition distributes its own visual discourse, which contributes a lot to the story of the fairy tale. In the case of Hansel and Gretel, however, there is no genuine original version, as each version is repetition and each is interpretation. The fairy tale is not a text, but always already a text-subject. Yet, the structure-in-relations is actually even more complex because of the several levels of interpretations that take place simultaneously. The so far existing approaches to analysing fairy tales disregard the relevance of interpretation at any level. The presenter will draw attention to the contextual or relational study of these communication systems.
Polona Tratnik, Ph.D., is vice-dean for research at Alma Mater Europaea – Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis and the principal investigator of the research program Investigation of Cultural Formations. She is Associate Professor at the University of Ljubljana, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Maribor, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Primorska, Faculty for Design, and Sigidinum University, Faculty for Media and Communication. She was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar and Guest Professor at University of California Santa Cruz (2012), and a Guest Professor in Bejing, China, Helsinki, Finland, and Mexico City, Mexico. She is the president of Slovenian Society of Aesthetics. She is the author of five monographs, among others the Hacer-vivir más allá del cuerpo y del medio (Mexico City: Herder, 2013) and Conquest of Body (Springer, 2016).
Mischa Twitchin (Queen Mary, University of London)
“What Gets Differentiated – Or Repeated – In an ‘Ontology of Performance’?”
Peggy Phelan’s essay, “The ontology of performance: representation without reproduction,” has been an extraordinarily successful point of reference for the anti-theatrical prejudice of “performance studies,” with its claims concerning all things “re-” (reproduction, repetition, rehearsal) widely taken up as a kind of manifesto. Despite its suggestive polemic concerning a liberation of production from reproduction, or presentation from representation (as if these terms were separable), Phelan’s essay nonetheless offers a curious echo of “pre-modern” philosophy – that is, if one adopts Kierkegaard’s proposition that what is “modern” in philosophy is characterised by a new understanding of repetition. Paradoxically, much of this philosophy (especially in claims about “immanence”) has also often associated itself with the figure of a “reversal of theatre,” as if it were itself a mode of “performance” analysis. The apparent wish of some performance artists, however, to return to the cave (which was once imagined to have been blown up) – albeit now as an allegory of the Museum of Modern Art – is a curious symptom of what perhaps remains repressed in this scenario. With reflections on Abramovic’s strange appropriation of Beuys’ “How to explain pictures to a dead hare,” my presentation will discuss the active displacement of her claimed re-enactment’s own supplementarity. Here the sense of art might be conceived of not so much as a question of (the celebrated) “performance,” but of (the reviled) “distance.” My paper will explore how seeming orthodoxies concerning difference and repetition might inform a revaluation of this “survival” from traditional aesthetics, questioning what might have been meant by “the present” in Phelan’s still influential advocacy of an “ontology of performance.”
Mischa Twitchin is a British Academy Post-doctoral Fellow at the Drama Dept., Queen Mary, University of London: http://www.sed.qmul.ac.uk/staff/twitchinm.html. His book The Theatre of Death: The Uncanny in Mimesis will be published by Palgrave Macmillan this summer. Besides his academic work, he also makes performances, examples of which can be seen on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/user13124826/videos.
Rasmus Ugilt (Aarhus University, Denmark)
In this presentation, I investigate a category in Hegel's Logic that has often been overlooked: Das Maßlose, which is normally translated as the measureless, but which I instead translate as the excess as I believe that this term better captures what Hegel is trying to say at this point in the Logic. I argue that focusing on this category can bring about some key insights into the mechanisms of Hegel's dialectic. In particular, I believe it can tell us something about the transition from the first to the second book of the Logic, which has previously been put under famous scrutiny by Dieter Henrich and more recently Slavoj Žižek. Both argue that this is the point where Hegel reveals the fundamental function of his dialectical logic. Henrich explicates this as autonomous negativity, whereas Žižek focuses on retroactivity. I argue that a focus on the excess can show us a third way in the transition from the first to the second books of the Logic, but furthermore that it can help us make sense of a Hegelian notion of repetition. What repeats itself in Hegel's Logic is precisely the element of the excess; the element that de-stabilizes every category in the dialectic and pushes its forward towards its own sublation (Aufhebung).
Rasmus Ugilt teaches philosophy at the Departement of Educational Philosophy and General Education, Aarhus University, Denmark. He has previously published the books The Metaphysics of Terror (Bloomsbury, 2012), Giorgio Agamben: Political Philosophy (HEB, 2014) and severeal articles on Hegel, Schelling, Kierkegaard and others.
Goran Vranešević (University of Ljubljana)
“Of Dreams, Dogmas and Speculations”
A remembrance of Hume interrupted Kant's dogmatic slumber and inaugurated the modern era which brought forth a reinvigorated speculative philosophy. Kant made this argument in Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, where he questioned the premise of the possibility of pure sciences. His enlightened stance namely rested on a theological premise, that men of his time are reconciled with belief that the established mode of knowing is undoubtedly true. The dogmatic presumption being, that it is possible to make progress in pure knowledge by strictly following the realization of concepts, without any previous criticism of reason itself. At least in the formal sense, Kant articulated a contrasting framework which rested on the exposition of conditions of possibility of knowledge or appearance, yet interestingly the path that led him there was knitted out of dream material. In this sense, it could be hypothesized that Kant dreamt of certain speculations on Hume, which led him to the articulation of his unconscious desire.In the same vein that Lacan reinterpreted Freud's Dream of Irma's injection, we should likewise look at Kant's supposed dream as a response to the research questions that occupied him throughout his life, while approaching dreams as though they were a sacred text, where “the author comes second, only as a pen-pusher” (Seminar II). At first, it may seem that for Kant the problematic core of metaphysics rest in its dogmatism, but interestingly enough, he himself remarked, “science is only possible by being developed dogmatically, according to the strictest demand of the system” (Prolegomena). If we are content to use the idea of dogma only as an authoritativeprinciple pertaining to a certain community, then the dream wouldn't need Hume's intervention. However, following Hegel's insight, that dogma is immanent to the process of thought, or strictly said, the theoretical part of truth, one is obliged to practice it: an insistence on discipline and fidelity to the word. By constructing his dream in a way that would prolong his sleep, Kant dogmatically dreamt the same dream over and over again. He continued to repeat the dogma and followed it to an unbearable end, a failure to apriori link cause and effect (Hume). In the last instance, the catalyser for Kant's awakening wasn't a break with dogmatic thought, but a fidelity to dogma itself.
Goran Vranesevic is a PhD student of Theoretical Psychoanalysis and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana and occasional visiting lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. While he has written on diverse topics ranging from subjectivity, law, modernity, education and ontology, his principal areas of research are philosophy and psychoanalysis, more concretely, the immanent development of concepts. He is also a translator of various German literature.
Katarina Peović Vuković (University of Rijeka, Croatia)
“Repetition and a Machine”
Uniformity, automatism, and repetition characterize the communication of machines, which nevertheless brings something live and vitalistic into the mechanical communication. This paper elaborates the short circuit present in the understanding of contemporary subjectivity, in the phenomena of artificial intelligence, both as a material technology that struggles with the concept of consciousness and as a representation present in popular culture. Alice (The Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity), Eliza (the chat bot of the Rogerian psychotherapist) and other artificial intelligence programs do not point to some monstrous capability of the machine to repeat the human, not even to the mechanisation of thinking or imposition of the machinic model, but rather to something far more profound – the fact that mechanical reproduction is to be found in the heart of human subjectivity itself. This repetition/reproduction of the human, the pure imitation of the living person, reveals a gap in the human as such. This Lacanian theorem serves as a point of departure from the Heideggerian critique of mechanisation of subjectivity, which begins with cybernetics and which is today reinforced by religious beliefs and antimodernist impulses. On the other hand, it is a point of a departure from transhumanist definitions that insist on the production of differences - and even on the subjectivity of machines - but within, of course, the existing framework of capitalo-parliamentarism.
Katarina Peović Vuković is an Assistant Professor at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Cultural Studies, Rijeka, Croatia where she teaches graduate and postgraduate seminars on critical theory. She holds a BA and Masters degree in Comparative literature and MA and Ph.D. of Faculty of Philosophy Zagreb. She earned her doctorate under the supervision of N. Katherine Hayles in 2010 on the problems of new media literacy and sociality. She also teaches at the Department of Comparative Literature at Faculty of Philosophy Zagreb and at the Centre for Women’s Studies in Zagreb. She is an editor of the Croatian literary and theoretically magazine Libra Libera and part of the collective ATTACK! (Autonomous cultural factory, Zagreb). Currently, she is the visiting fellow at the Karl Franzens University of Graz.
Christopher Wallace (Monash University)
“A Mouthful of Dissonance: The Way-Out [Ausweg] of the Way-Out [Ausgang] in Hegel”
Schönberg warned against ‘nibbling at dissonances.’ To nibble is to take the ‘middle road,’ which, he claims, is the only one that does not lead to Rome. As a bad form of
Hegel’s Aufhebung, the ‘middle road’ sublates difference into dialectical flux, what is preserved a truncated version that allows for easy digestion. Conversely, there is also what can be named
the problem of fanaticism. The fanatic, intent on being up-to-date, disavows the past, severing him or herself from that which nourishes the present. One way marked by moderation, the
other by starvation, but both ending in Hegel’s ‘bad infinite.’ To be argued for is a notion of repetition that involves dwelling in what can be named the in-between, which is a passage that
traverses the gap between nature and culture, passivity and spontaneity, metaphysics and its dissolution, as well as Kant and Hegel. In either the moderate or fanatical disavowal of the past,
movement is reduced to that between fixed points that remain unmoved. Indeed, for Hegel, refusing to consume the past’s extremities effaces difference such that beginning and end prove
indistinguishable, the Ausgang instilled as both.
Drawing on Hegel’s description of the dialectic as a ‘formative movement’ [bildende Bewegung], and the sense in which conceptual labour is always retroactive, the ‘way-out’ [Ausweg] of the dichotomies of the Kantian philosophy is, the argument will run, predicated upon what Hegel refers to as spirit’s ‘working-through its passage.’ To repeat the past necessitates recovering the in-between, which is not merely given, but must be inhabited.Central to this dwelling is both a notion of performative contradiction, as found in Žižek, and the parable of indigestion that populates Rebecca Comay’s reading of Hegel. What these authors set out to do, in repeating Hegel, is refuse the affirmation of the present, the possibility of which necessitates undoing what was done by traversing the passage of the in-between. In contrast to the Ausgang, the Ausweg figures as a ‘making-way’ that interrupts the circuitry of the vicious circle by recovering both what the dialectic secretes and what it cannot digest.
Christopher Wallace is a PhD candidate at Monash University in Australia working on temporality in Kant and Hegel and the relationship between them.
Patrick Ward (Artist / University of Leeds)
"Possibility of Foam” [audiovisual performance]
Combining moving-image technologies with elements of concrete sound, field recording and vocal performance, Possibility of Foam is a live re-presentation of video works that explore the movement of subjects, identities and cultural objects through technical media as they are constructed, defined and configured. Using techniques borrowed from Foley sound design, this audio visual performance explores the configuration and rendering of sound and image. Whereas Foley tends to reinforce what we think we see (or understand within the narrative diegesis), Possibility of Foam sonifies elements that are hidden or obscured, both in and out of frame. Through the repetition of images and sound, their coupling, synchronisation and decoupling, Possibility of Foam explores their coordination and covariation, as a self-reflexive and affective gesture. Between the screen and the audience objects amplified with contact microphones, effects pedals and a mixer are used to perform elements of the soundtrack. Through the manipulation of synchronised sound and image it becomes unclear what is live and what is prerecorded, producing an ambiguity between onscreen and offscreen space and the place of the performance. The repetition of technical conventions, designed to facilitate cinematic immersion, are undercut by the discrepancy between the dynamics of post-production and the gestures of live performance. It is in the space revealed through repetition that the mediation of the physical body and the gesturality of the virtual are perceived.
Patrick Ward is an artist working primarily with sound and moving-image technologies. He is an associate lecturer at University of The Arts London where he is head of the Moving Image Research Group based at Camberwell College of Arts. He is a graduate of The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (MFA) and The School of Cultural Studies, Sheffield Hallam University (BA). His works have been shown at CCA, Glasgow; Centre des arts actuels Skol, Montreal; Mala galerija, Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana; Holly Bush Gardens, London; Shift Festival of Electronic Arts, Basel; ACC Gallery, Weimar and Site Gallery Sheffield. His writing on sound, music, film and contemporary art is published by The Wire magazine.
Philip Watkinson (Queen Mary University of London)
“‘I will feel like the only keeper of the past’: Postdramatic Repetition and Deborah Pearson’s The Future Show”
In The Future Show, Deborah Pearson performs an account of what will happen to her from the end of the performance until her death. Each morning, before the show is performed, she rewrites the script, removing what has become irrelevant and including her latest predictions. Placing herself in ‘the tension between retrospection and hypotheticality’ (Pearson 2015), Pearson explores notions of perception, memory and habit through the sharing of a repetitive process with an audience. This 20-minute paper presents a reading of The Future Show which combines the lenses of Žižekian philosophy and postdramatic theory, both of which draw on Hegel and emphasise the importance of repetition as an aesthetic and political phenomenon. Hans-Thies Lehmann argues that in the dramatic tradition, repetition was ‘employed for structuring and constructing a form,’ whereas in postdramatic contexts it is often ‘used for the destructuring and deconstructing of story, meaning and totality of form’ (2006: 156) I argue that Slavoj Žižek offers an alternative frame through which The Future Show’s postdramatic character may be rethought. For Žižek, repetition involves sublation, where ‘somethingis idealized, transformed from an immediate contingent reality to a notionaluniversality(Caesar dies as a person and becomes a universal title)’ (2012: 455). But what happens when this death never arrives ‘in reality’ but is built up to time and time again through performance? I argue that the performativity of repetition reveals how the ‘negative postdramatic version of the sublime’ (2006: 156-157) functions in relation to the spectator, where repetition discloses the ways in which we habitually structure and destructure stories and meanings.
Philip Watkinson is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate and Teaching Associate in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary University of London. His doctoral research examines the interrelations between space and affect in postdramatic performance contexts, and seeks to develop an affective-materialist approach to performance research. He is currently co-editing an issue of Performance Research entitled ‘On Dialectics’ (forthcoming June 2016).
Eleanor Weber (Writer)
"Seeing Her Voices: Rehearsing Alejandra Pizarnik"
This text-lecture-reading-performance works with the words of Argentinean poet Alejandra Pizarnik in order to extract, not just the stone of madness, as the title of her recently published anthology avows, but the terminally displaced essence of her poetic oeuvre. Recently translated into English from Spanish, which I cannot speak, I approach Pizarnik from the presumed position of something always being missed – someone always being missed. I believe it is how she saw language, by the way, as a deathly construction to which she belonged in a manner excessively proportionate to her actual lack of belonging (for who belongs in language?). Language, words, her voices; that which would never fulfill their mandate but which nonetheless compelled her to undertake to make sense. “Where does this writing lead her?” Pizarnik asks, “To blackness, to the sterile and the fragmented.” And it’s not nonsense. Rather, being confronted with her writing forces me to recognize, by way of her, what I am in turn lacking, which is precisely the source of my desire for her, that is to say, for her writing – terminally displaced. It is a sort of Eros, as Anne Carson would describe it, or an exemplary form of Minimal Difference, as Žižek notes. The subject will always be found, thus, in its own negation. For Repetition/s, I seek to convey Pizarnik’s language, poetry, and voice as precisely vital because impossible (paraphrasing Jame Rodríguez-Matos). Recording, delay, citation, and repetition, trying to make sense; a rehearsal of sorts – if to rehearse is to endlessly prepare for the inevitable.
Eleanor Ivory Weber is a writer and curator based in Brussels, Belgium. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) (Honours, class 1) in art history and theory at The University of Sydney in 2012 with the thesis, ‘A process without end: autonomous art structures and the politics of self-organisation’. Eleanor was Assistant Curator, Photographs at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2012–14, and has since worked as a freelance art writer, curator and editor in Australia and Western Europe. Taking the form of experimental essays, readings and sound pieces, her independent research concerns non-dominant histories and art practices, particularly in relation to women, the voice, law, and morality. In 2016 she had her first solo exhibition, No Private Problems, at M.I/mi1glissé, Berlin. She is currently director of the feminist curatorial platform EFFE.
Joel White (King's College London)
“Le Théâtre de la cruauté et la clôture de la représentation”
At the end of “Le Théâtre de la cruauté et la clôture de la représentation” (L’Ecriture et la différence) Derrida writes both of repetition and of representation. Thinking through their relation, Derrida draws the limits of a circular stage upon which deconstruction takes place. This stage is the stage of the Theatre of Cruelty. Derrida writes, “Theatreas repetition of that which does not repeat itself, theatre as the original repetition of difference within the conflict of forces…Such is the deadly limit of a cruelty which begins by its own representation…But we can think of the closure of that which does not end. Closure is the circular limit within which the repetition of difference infinitely repeats itself. That is to say, closure is its playing space. This movement is the movement of the world at play.” The purpose of this paper is to question the generative relationship that the philosophical field of deconstruction (particularly in its Derridean form) has to the Theatre of Cruelty. To achieve this, it will return to Artaud’s philosophical texts (primarily Le Théâtre et son double) in order to interpret deconstruction’s Artaudian origins. It will also look to Derrida’s published works on Artaud (such as those in L’Ecriture et la différence) as well his unpublished 1968 seminar “L’Ecriture et le theatre: Mallarmé/ Artaud” (archive work conducted at IMEC). The interpretation at work in this paper therefore necessitates the productive re-positing of deconstruction in Artaudian terms. Instead of just writing a philological treatise of these origins (if this was at all possible), the strategy at work is to begin to unblock the self-evidence of certain claims made by deconstruction through a return to Artaud. A short performance of two of Artaud’s spells will begin and end the paper.
Joel White completed a Double European masters in Contemporary European Philosophy at Kingston University (CRMEP) and at Paris VIII under the supervision of Andrew Benjamin. He is currently completing a PhD at King's College London with the title, "Artaud and Philosophy: Plato, Marx, Nietzsche." His interests include European philosophy, 20th Century French philosophy, and the philosophy of theatre.
Morey Williams (Villanova University)
“Repetition and Docility’s Undoing: The Failure of Disciplining Practices Performed Upon the Female Carceral Subject”
In this paper, I first explore the theme of repetition as it emerges within the creation of the docile bodies that Michel Foucault presents in Discipline & Punish. The paragon of Foucault’s docile body is the male, malleable carceral subject that we encounter within Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. The creation of this docile body becomes possible through a process of repetition whereby the carceral subject repeatedly internalizes the possible presence of the guard. This movement of repetition eventually becomes a form of self-discipline performed by the subject himself. I argue that the repetitive process that constitutes the self-discipline of the male carceral subject fails to discipline the female carceral subject due to the cyclical nature that constitutes her biological make-up. Here, I trace another movement of repetition, but one specific to the female body—the repetition of menstruation. I maintain that the menstrual cycle shocks the female carceral subject out of the repetition of self-discipline and repeatedly jettisons the gaze of the (male) guard. I conclude my paper with a repetitive gesture, turning back toward the very roots of the panoptical subject. If we (1) return to Bentham’s Panoptical model and the Enlightenment philosophy that shaped it, and (2) examine the docile bodies that Foucault investigates in Discipline & Punish, we witness that female bodies were never taken into account within the panoptical model of discipline. Nevertheless, the carceral technologies meant to render men’s bodies docile are the very same technologies deployed against the bodies of women trapped within correctional institutions in the United States today. Thus, in failing to examine the origins of their own disciplining practices, carceral institutions repeatedly set the conditions for their own performative failure when attempting to discipline female carceral subjects.
Morey Williams is a fully funded Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Villanova University. She is currently working on her dissertation, entitled “Zones of the Flesh and the Unlived Bodies of Confined Women,” which applies the philosophies of Michel Foucault and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to the contemporary context of correctional institutions for women in The United States. In addition to teaching at Villanova University, Williams has been teaching in prisons and has been engaged in prison activism for nine years. She currently offers classes once a week in the Maximum Security Unit of the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton, New Jersey, USA
Bree Wooten (European Graduate School)
“Nietzsche: The Antichrist, After The Eternal Return”
The highest formula of man, within the economy of Nietzsche’s eternal return, is his Zarathustra. Of his works, he tells us, this book stands apart from the rest. What
happened after this book was a self-described physiological crisis of his post-Zarathustra condition, the rancune of the great he called it, with one fundamental ingredient being that of his ability
for a decision [Entscheidung] that broke consciousness into two pieces. Leaving aside the price of this decision as his madness, Nietzsche’s Antichrist was the first book of independence from his
Zarathustra where he goes on the sporting hunt for a priest in the consideration of a different system of values than that of his eternal return, the value of the priest [Priester-wert]. But why did
Nietzsche have to return to the question of Wagner before this book?
“I kept everything decisive in the matter behind my back. I loved Wagner.” He also finds it appropriate to tell us his point of departure was written in a letter of apology, and that, ultimately, the price of completion of his Zarathustra was Wagner’s death. Might this have something to do with Nietzsche’s inevitable return to Wagner, in his post-Zarathustra condition, now with the ability of the decision at his disposal? We must not forget he considers Wagner in a way that touches him quite close to home: it is his first book, The Birth of Tragedy, which he now tells us created the miasma of Wagnerians, a Christianized German consciousness and the order of man upon whom he vents his hatred.The gestural distance of humor seems to be at odds with the precision of his decision, as a debt owed to Wagner, all of which is sustained within the ambivalence of his love for Wagner and his hatred for man as Gesindel. It is in this triangulation of the gesture of humor, his love of Wagner, and the debt of his decisional ability of thought, that a thread can be woven into to Freud, specifically the character of repetition as correlate of the drives. But the element of repetition is only the mode of eternal return when it is being carried out as a type of physiological dependency on his Zarathustra style, that it could begin to work with the precision of the drives.But in the Antichrist, there is a remarkable maneuvering on the part of Nietzsche: a conversion of guilt into shame. This conversion of guilt [Schuld also means debt] to shame touches a delicate issue in Lacan with respect to his difficult position in relation to the imperative he offers to the Marxists in his seminars, namely, to have some shame, re-hegelate yourselves (Seminar XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis). And, if one were to continue Nietzsche’s thread through Lacan and into Badiou, there is a remarkable shift in the status of the symbolic order of thought that is themathematician’s unconscious as a peculiar lack of shame. This is far outside the scope of what I will present, but we can find in Nietzsche, particularly at the junction of his two different economies of value, the eternal return and the Antichrist, a good point of entry.
Bree Wooten is currently a graduate student at the European Graduate School pursuing a PhD in philosophy under the supervision of Alenka Zupančič.
Michaela Wünsch (University of Vienna)
“Repetition, Memory and Remembrance in Psychoanalysis and Art”
This presentation will discuss the - already questioned and ambivalent - opposition between repetition and remembering in psychoanalysis. In “Wiederholen, Erinnern, Durcharbeiten” Sigmund Freud suggested that the repetition of a traumatic incident is resistance to remember and work through in analysis and devalued the compulsion to repeat. Later he admitted that repetition might have similar effects as conscious remembering: through repetition the subject is able to activate and reconstruct her relation to the traumatic incident. Freud even speculates through the term ‘Nachträglichkeit’ (belatedness) if this ‘first’ incident happened or is a reconstruction. Gilles Deleuze’s critique of the psychoanalytic concept of repetition attacks the secondariness of repetition that always refers to a ‘first term.’ This critique is due to the concept of belatedness not overall justified.Jacques Lacan questioned this already ambivalent opposition between repetition and remembering in Freud and referred to Søren Kierkegaard to differ between reminiscence (rémininiscence) and reremembering (remémoration): only the second allows the subject to reconstruct the master signifier in the history of the subject in analysis. Lacan further investigates unconscious modes of repetition in his chapter on tyche and automaton which points to the relation of gap and surplus in repetition, a relation that Mladen Dolar and Alenka Zupančič elaborated on.Even from a Lacanian perspective repetition always produces a surplus, in psychoanalysis repetition is still partly associated with a conservation and preservation of habits. In art repetition means always to refer to a canon while producing not only variation, but critique and innovation, for instance in the work of Sturtevant. The presentation will ask after the critical impact of repetition, while questioning the imperative of the ‘new’ and ‘change.’
Dr. Michaela Wünsch received her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Humboldt University Berlin and currently teaches at the University of Vienna. She published several articles on repetition, in relation to comedy (“Comedy, Repetition and Racial Stereotypes in Television” in CINERGIE. Il Cinema e le altri Arti. #9,Spring 2016 ), seriality (“Seriality and Repetition in Audiovisual Media” In Kunst der Serie [The Art of Series] Edited by Christine Blättler, Fink 2010), and aesthetics (“Beyond Death. On the Aesthetics ofRepetition in Television”, In Waking Life. Kino zwischen Technik und Leben [Cinema between Technique and Life] Edited by L. Akervall et.al., b_books 2016). Her recent research project REPEAT, funded by a Marie-Curie Fellowship, investigates repetition in media, arts and psychoanalysis.
Alenka Zupančič (Philosophical Institute, Scientific Research Centre)
“Repeating the End”
The talk will focus on the (often) very close relation between repetition and an idea of the end, examining the possible structures of this relationship. One example is the structure at work in many phenomena of addiction: in addiction the repetition of an action is very much sustained by the idea that one can stop whenever one wants. The perspective of “ending it” is what makes repetition possible and actively sustains it. Then there is the fantasy of ending which intensifies the experience of what one is doing (like, for example, in the case of love relations with a necessary end in view). Through these and other examples, we will work our way to a more general understanding of the function of ending in repetition, as well as of the function of repetition in ending. This last point will lead us to consider that ideas such as “the end of history” or “the end of art” derive not so much from the perspective of what is (supposedly) ending here, but rather from the perspective of what exactly is being repeated in these (alleged) endings.
Alenka Zupančič is a research adviser at the Institute of Philosophy of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and visiting professor at the European Graduate School. She is the author of numerous articles and books on psychoanalysis and philosophy, including The Odd One In: on Comedy; Why Psychoanalysis: Three Interventions; The Shortest Shadow: Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Two and Ethics of the Real: Kant and Lacan.
We, Dragan Živadinov, Dunja Zupančič and Miha Turšič, with the help of high technology tools and the logic of suprematism and constructivism, are engaged in research into postgravity art. We make cosmokinetic blank-body directing and telelogical mechatronic machines, biomechatronics and art satellites - umbots. In 1995 we began the 50-year theater projectile NOORDUNG::1995-2045. The premiere performance, featuring fourteen actreses and actors, took place in Ljubljana at 10.00 p.m. on 20 April 1995. Five reprises are planned over the next 50 years. Should one of the actors die, he or she will be replaced by a remote-controlled sign; male actors and their speech will be substituted by rhythm while female actors and their speech will be substituted by melody. The first reprise took place at 10.00 p.m. on 20 April 2005 inside the model of the International Space Station (MKS-ISS) in the hydro-laboratory at Star City-Moscow. Next repetitions will be on a same day, same hour in a year 2015, 2025, 2035 and 2045. During the fifth and last reprise, scheduled for 20 April 2045, I Dragan Živadinov, since 1998 a candidate cosmonaut (Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center, Star City), will use a spacecraft to convey 14 satellites/umbots into geostatic orbit, from where they will transmit to Earth signals representing the roles played by deceased actors, while at the same time sending high-resolution 3D syntapiens projections of their faces into deep space.
We seek the abstract, abstract theatre in gravitation zero for absolute zero.