CONVERSATIONS/ KEYNOTES

The conference departs from a series of conversations, divided in two main trajectories: Aesthetics as Practice and Aesthetics as Organisation. Parallel to the conversations, some of the central notions will be elaborated in keynote-dialogues (follow the schedule).
Thursday and Friday morning we begin with an open round-table conversation between the invited team of artists and theorists, followed by a Q&A. Friday afternoon and Saturday morning we expand the conversations to be continued and elaborated between all participants in 10 groups, each moderated by one from the team.
For each day we would like to ask all participants to prepare a reflection, question or concern addressing the respective thematic point of departure of the conversation groups.

AESTHETICS AS PRODUCTION
“The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned. Its sole message is: ‘What appears is good; what is good appears.’ The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances.”
The quality and long-term sustainability of any society or community is dependent on its ability to reflect on the relation between that what-is and what-is-not, on its collective strategies to imagine and negotiate with its inherent abjects, the subjectivities only possible as absence. In todays economy of accelerated exhibition - where the constant stream of appearances and displayed imagery of subjectivity, differences and multitudes is the key propellant of an apparatus operating in the paradigm of an instrumentalized desire of “the new”; where time is understood as a continuous and linear progress, inevitably inscribing and projecting all our fantasies and dreams into the immanence of a prefigured future - we maybe begin to experience the full meaning of Guy Debord’s central notion “What appears is good, what is good appears” In its simplicity, this worm-hole logic of the self-representational spectacle constitutes a contemporary paradigm of the present re-presenting itself as presence. 
Whatever can be rendered appearance is part of what is present, of what “exists”, and this self generating repression of the presence over the absence is pushing all positions of abjects even further into invisibility. In this context, aesthetic strategies to address the invisible, i.e. tools and means to create collective imageries of that what can only appear as absence, become a central challenge.
What is the relation between my aesthetic practice and the world? And in what way does my practice inscribe itself in a symbolic order of power, as defined by the interaction between aesthetic and political representation? What tools - aesthetically and politically - do we have at our disposal to fantasize and produce collective imaginaries of that what can not appear as presence in our present reality? And, not the least: How does a subject (re-)present itself, make itself appear and gain agency in the present, without being subjugated to the symbolic order guarding the territory of that presence? 

AESTHETICS AS ORGANISATION
In his text Production into Presence, Sergej Pristas describes contemporary art institutions as manufacturing the promise or anticipation of art and politics rather than works of art: “In project logic, institution must become a factory, but not a factory of works of art or of interruptions; it has to be a factory of continuity, labour, and production, or rather anti-production.“
A recurring figure in Hannah Arendt’s work is the description of public realm as a space of appearance - a space where I appear to others as they appear to me. The institution understood as public space in this logic would be a venue where my subjectivity is negotiated in the encounter with others. 
Contrary to this, the task of contemporary cultural institutions increasingly is to provide “the audience”, mainly defined as a consumer target group based on the majority culture, with recognisable and identifiable representations of their reality. The aesthetic apparatus is there to simultaneously educate and confirm the taste, ethics and interest of this majority; a process of identification and affirmation, based on the idea of common sense as the lowest common denominator - that on what we can agree without discussion. 
This is the opposite of the “enlarged mentality” as described in Kant’s notion of sensus communis, where common sense is understood as an agreement reached only through a negotiation between a multitude of independently thinking, critical subjects. Whether we talk about institutions and public space in the context of education, art or politics, this sliding of meaning, the gradual turning inside-out of the function inherent to the notions of common sense and spectator, is at the core of what could be described as a current crisis of public space.
In this anti-production of aesthetics, to use Pristas’ phrase, artistic labor is instrumentalized in the continuous manufacturing of art and politics as objects of desire, following the logic of economy in which fundamental social functions and needs can generate capital insofar that they are not satisfied.

GUEST PARTICIPANTS

Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester (UK). He is the author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (2000), The Culture of Death (2005), The Persistence of the Negative (2010) and Malign Velocities (2014). Professor Benjamin Noys, Professor of Critical Theory. MA English Literature Coordinator:  http://www.chi.ac.uk/ma-english-literature
Benjamin Noys is interested in addressing problems of neurosis, fantasy, and subjectivity.

Bojana Cvejic, publishes and lectures in performance theory, philosophy, and dance. She studied musicology (BA, MA, University of Arts, Belgrade) and philosophy from which she received a PhD at Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy in London. Cvejic has made more than twenty theater and dance performances since 1996 as (co)director (five experimental opera stagings, performances with Jan Ritsema) or dramaturg (in choreographies by among others Xavier Le Roy, Eszter Salamon, Mette Ingvartsen, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker). She is author of several books, most recently Choreographing Problems: Expressive Concepts in Contemporary Dance and Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Public Sphere by Performance, (co-written with A. Vujanovic, Bbooks, 2012) and Drumming&Rain: A Choreographer’s Score (co-authored with A. T. De Keersmaeker, Mercatorfonds 2013; third volume of A Choreographer’s Score) and videos “… in a non-wimpy way” (with Steve Paxton) and “Yvonne Rainer’s WAR” (co-authored with L. Laberenz). She teaches at contemporary dance school P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels since 2002, and is visiting Professor of Philosophy of Art at FMK Belgrade. As a co-founding member of TkH/Walking Theory editorial collective and performing arts theory magazine, Cveji engages theoretical-artistic research projects, currently an investigation of performance of the self and transindividuality. In 2013, Cvejic curated the exhibition Danse-Guerre at Musée de la danse, Rennes (in collaboration with C. Costinas). In 2014, she devised a choreography and lecture program titled Spatial Confessions for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Her areas of interest include expressionism in Western (continental) philosophy, social choreography, critique of individualism, rhythms of intensified work, and contemporary performance poietics. 
www.tkh-generator.net
http://www.b-books.de/verlag/publicspaceperformance/index.html
http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/choreographing-problems-bojana-cvejic/?sf1=barcode&st1=9781137437389

Goran Sergej Pristas is a dramaturge, co-founder and member of BADco., performing arts collective. Associate Professor at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, University of Zagreb. First editor-in-chief of Frakcija, a magazine for the performing arts. With his projects and collaborations (BADco., Frakcija) participated at Venice Biennale 2011 and 2016, Documenta 12, ARCO and numerous festivals and conferences.
www.badco.hr
www.dramaturgija.adu.hr

Katya Sander is an artist living and working in Berlin and Copenhagen, exhibiting widely internationally. Her main artistic interests are about production and circulation of social imaginaries, i.e. ways and forms in which we imagine ourselves in different spaces and contexts, and how we take part in these imaginaries and their circulation. Or resist. She often investigates instances, spaces and contexts of spectatorship: Systems and structures of production, presentation and circulation of images, as well as the bodies these images address, depict, produce and exclude. Sander is Professor in Fine Art at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, where she teaches artistic practice for visual artists – methodologies and processes for learning and working as an artist. She has lectured and led workshops at numerous art- and educational institutions worldwide. Since 1995 Sander has edited and published in a wide range of magazines, books and articles on contemporary art.

Efva Lilja is an Artist and Professor of choreography, working with performances, visual art, film and writing. 1985-2005 Artistic Director E.L.D., Vice-Chancellor DOCH, Stockholm 2006-2013, Expert Advisor artistic research, Ministry of Education and Research, Sweden 2014. 2016 Director of Dansehallerne in Copenhagen.

Anders Paulin (SE) has been directing 30+ productions at theatres as Nationaltheatret in Oslo, Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen and Backateatern in Gothenburg. Since a number of years a recurring thematic figure has been non-mimetic performative tools, with a focus on story and performer as interfaces and an idea of the stage as platform for exchange and production of agency, rather than representations. Anders Paulin is currently working with the accumulative archive/performance Three White Soldiers with Johan Forsman, and is finalizing the research project Non-Mimetic Peformativity at the Danish School of Peforming Arts in Copenhagen.
anderspaulin.com,
Paula Caspao: Researcher/lecturer and transversal artist based in Paris, merging fictional, choreographic and theoretical modes of composition and presentation. She founded T-Fi Cabinet [Paris/Lisbon], an exploratory field of miscegenation between artistic, geographical and theoretical practices (T-Fi stands for Theory-Fiction). She holds a PhD in philosophy (epistemology and aesthetics) from the University of Paris-10, and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in performance studies and contemporary history at the University of Lisbon.

Docu-Ricochet, Paula Caspão and Sara Gebran
The bodies, (f)acts and other filtering apparatus that will gather forces, weaknesses and capacities to document this conference are to be situated in a field of methodological contamination between experimental choreography and documentation practices. To be more accurate, both the conference and the process of its documentation will be approached as choreographic endeavours. We intend to use previously drawn scores of attention that will guide our perceptive machineries (and chosen fellow-accomplice technologies) as situated filters to assemble (disassemble, re-assemble) the mattering ISSUES and related (or un-related) GESTURES. Set out as a drawing journey, ongoingly producing maps and diagrams, this guided tour of inter-mediation aims at remembering (read: re-member-ing) future spaces of re-existence for the issues and accompanying gestures‘spotted’ all along the way – speaking, waving, distancing, listening, circulating, (un-)occupying spaces, searching for words, getting up, calling and responding, gathering, hailing, disseminating, looking (away), pointing, re-turning. In short: document production understood as a practice of RICOCHET, listening and responding to the constant reverberation between the live and the document. Exploring nonlinear continuities of duration that go beyond the usual imaginations regarding the temporality of animate and inanimate matters.

Mette Edvardsen. The work of Mette Edvardsen is situated within the performing arts field, also exploring other media or other formats such as video, books and writing. With a base in Brussels since 1996 she has worked for several years as a dancer and performer for a number of companies and projects, and develops her own work since 2002. She presents her works internationally and continues to develop projects with other artists, both as a collaborator and as a performer.

Frédéric Gies is a dancer and a senior lecturer in choreography, head of the Master programme in choreography at DOCH-UNIARTS. He creates his performances alone or in collaboration with other artists. His work addresses political questions in relation to movement, and is anchored in strong physicality and movement research processes linked to somatics. His most recent work is deeply connected to his relation to techno clubs and raves and their micropolitics.

Johan Forsman works as the artistic director of the platform and venue Skogen in Göteborg, Sweden. For the last 15 years he worked in the field of performing arts, as artist, programmer/curator and initiator/facilitator. In his work, Johan Forsman aims at developing platforms and archives where experiences and knowledge can be negotiated and shared. Understanding performing arts as a field of knowledge, rather than a format, he is interested in developing tools and notions to rethink the formats of production and presentation, as well as the relations between artist/audiences/venues/institutions that are reproduced in these formats. Before moving into the arts Johan studied philosophy and literature at the Gothenburg University. www.skogen.pm

Rodrigo Sobarzo de Larraechea (CL/NL) studied at the SNDO in Amsterdam and was a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His work seeks to envelope its viewer into visual introspection. Furthermore he possesses a strong interest on subculture and sub-cultural production by digital means of connectivity throughout various Internet sites, networks and social media. @autisticmo (twitter)

Sara Gebran has been working in the past 4 years as Head of Choreography, teacher and researcher at the Danish National School of Performing Arts, before that as choreographer, performer and teacher. Through the work at the school she created a network of exchange and support between the local dance and art community and its institutions, aiming to find new structural forms of relations and exchange, between communities, for a new sense of creating work and being in common. Choreographically she creates own work and in collaboration with other artists. Her current artistic research is centered around modes of sharing and being artistically, breaking isolation, competition and hierarchy of the distribution of resources and knowledge. website

CONVERSATIONS/ KEYNOTES

The conference departs from a series of conversations, divided in two main trajectories: Aesthetics as Practice and Aesthetics as Organisation. Parallel to the conversations, some of the central notions will be elaborated in keynote-dialogues (follow the schedule).
Thursday and Friday morning we begin with an open round-table conversation between the invited team of artists and theorists, followed by a Q&A. Friday afternoon and Saturday morning we expand the conversations to be continued and elaborated between all participants in 10 groups, each moderated by one from the team.
For each day we would like to ask all participants to prepare a reflection, question or concern addressing the respective thematic point of departure of the conversation groups.

AESTHETICS AS PRODUCTION
“The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned. Its sole message is: ‘What appears is good; what is good appears.’ The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances.”
The quality and long-term sustainability of any society or community is dependent on its ability to reflect on the relation between that what-is and what-is-not, on its collective strategies to imagine and negotiate with its inherent abjects, the subjectivities only possible as absence. In todays economy of accelerated exhibition - where the constant stream of appearances and displayed imagery of subjectivity, differences and multitudes is the key propellant of an apparatus operating in the paradigm of an instrumentalized desire of “the new”; where time is understood as a continuous and linear progress, inevitably inscribing and projecting all our fantasies and dreams into the immanence of a prefigured future - we maybe begin to experience the full meaning of Guy Debord’s central notion “What appears is good, what is good appears” In its simplicity, this worm-hole logic of the self-representational spectacle constitutes a contemporary paradigm of the present re-presenting itself as presence. 
Whatever can be rendered appearance is part of what is present, of what “exists”, and this self generating repression of the presence over the absence is pushing all positions of abjects even further into invisibility. In this context, aesthetic strategies to address the invisible, i.e. tools and means to create collective imageries of that what can only appear as absence, become a central challenge.
What is the relation between my aesthetic practice and the world? And in what way does my practice inscribe itself in a symbolic order of power, as defined by the interaction between aesthetic and political representation? What tools - aesthetically and politically - do we have at our disposal to fantasize and produce collective imaginaries of that what can not appear as presence in our present reality? And, not the least: How does a subject (re-)present itself, make itself appear and gain agency in the present, without being subjugated to the symbolic order guarding the territory of that presence? 

AESTHETICS AS ORGANISATION
In his text Production into Presence, Sergej Pristas describes contemporary art institutions as manufacturing the promise or anticipation of art and politics rather than works of art: “In project logic, institution must become a factory, but not a factory of works of art or of interruptions; it has to be a factory of continuity, labour, and production, or rather anti-production.“
A recurring figure in Hannah Arendt’s work is the description of public realm as a space of appearance - a space where I appear to others as they appear to me. The institution understood as public space in this logic would be a venue where my subjectivity is negotiated in the encounter with others. 
Contrary to this, the task of contemporary cultural institutions increasingly is to provide “the audience”, mainly defined as a consumer target group based on the majority culture, with recognisable and identifiable representations of their reality. The aesthetic apparatus is there to simultaneously educate and confirm the taste, ethics and interest of this majority; a process of identification and affirmation, based on the idea of common sense as the lowest common denominator - that on what we can agree without discussion. 
This is the opposite of the “enlarged mentality” as described in Kant’s notion of sensus communis, where common sense is understood as an agreement reached only through a negotiation between a multitude of independently thinking, critical subjects. Whether we talk about institutions and public space in the context of education, art or politics, this sliding of meaning, the gradual turning inside-out of the function inherent to the notions of common sense and spectator, is at the core of what could be described as a current crisis of public space.
In this anti-production of aesthetics, to use Pristas’ phrase, artistic labor is instrumentalized in the continuous manufacturing of art and politics as objects of desire, following the logic of economy in which fundamental social functions and needs can generate capital insofar that they are not satisfied.

GUEST PARTICIPANTS

Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester (UK). He is the author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (2000), The Culture of Death (2005), The Persistence of the Negative (2010) and Malign Velocities (2014). Professor Benjamin Noys, Professor of Critical Theory. MA English Literature Coordinator:  http://www.chi.ac.uk/ma-english-literature
Benjamin Noys is interested in addressing problems of neurosis, fantasy, and subjectivity.

Bojana Cvejic, publishes and lectures in performance theory, philosophy, and dance. She studied musicology (BA, MA, University of Arts, Belgrade) and philosophy from which she received a PhD at Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy in London. Cvejic has made more than twenty theater and dance performances since 1996 as (co)director (five experimental opera stagings, performances with Jan Ritsema) or dramaturg (in choreographies by among others Xavier Le Roy, Eszter Salamon, Mette Ingvartsen, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker). She is author of several books, most recently Choreographing Problems: Expressive Concepts in Contemporary Dance and Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Public Sphere by Performance, (co-written with A. Vujanovic, Bbooks, 2012) and Drumming&Rain: A Choreographer’s Score (co-authored with A. T. De Keersmaeker, Mercatorfonds 2013; third volume of A Choreographer’s Score) and videos “… in a non-wimpy way” (with Steve Paxton) and “Yvonne Rainer’s WAR” (co-authored with L. Laberenz). She teaches at contemporary dance school P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels since 2002, and is visiting Professor of Philosophy of Art at FMK Belgrade. As a co-founding member of TkH/Walking Theory editorial collective and performing arts theory magazine, Cveji engages theoretical-artistic research projects, currently an investigation of performance of the self and transindividuality. In 2013, Cvejic curated the exhibition Danse-Guerre at Musée de la danse, Rennes (in collaboration with C. Costinas). In 2014, she devised a choreography and lecture program titled Spatial Confessions for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Her areas of interest include expressionism in Western (continental) philosophy, social choreography, critique of individualism, rhythms of intensified work, and contemporary performance poietics. 
www.tkh-generator.net
http://www.b-books.de/verlag/publicspaceperformance/index.html
http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/choreographing-problems-bojana-cvejic/?sf1=barcode&st1=9781137437389

Goran Sergej Pristas is a dramaturge, co-founder and member of BADco., performing arts collective. Associate Professor at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, University of Zagreb. First editor-in-chief of Frakcija, a magazine for the performing arts. With his projects and collaborations (BADco., Frakcija) participated at Venice Biennale 2011 and 2016, Documenta 12, ARCO and numerous festivals and conferences.
www.badco.hr
www.dramaturgija.adu.hr

Katya Sander is an artist living and working in Berlin and Copenhagen, exhibiting widely internationally. Her main artistic interests are about production and circulation of social imaginaries, i.e. ways and forms in which we imagine ourselves in different spaces and contexts, and how we take part in these imaginaries and their circulation. Or resist. She often investigates instances, spaces and contexts of spectatorship: Systems and structures of production, presentation and circulation of images, as well as the bodies these images address, depict, produce and exclude. Sander is Professor in Fine Art at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, where she teaches artistic practice for visual artists – methodologies and processes for learning and working as an artist. She has lectured and led workshops at numerous art- and educational institutions worldwide. Since 1995 Sander has edited and published in a wide range of magazines, books and articles on contemporary art.

Efva Lilja is an Artist and Professor of choreography, working with performances, visual art, film and writing. 1985-2005 Artistic Director E.L.D., Vice-Chancellor DOCH, Stockholm 2006-2013, Expert Advisor artistic research, Ministry of Education and Research, Sweden 2014. 2016 Director of Dansehallerne in Copenhagen.

Anders Paulin (SE) has been directing 30+ productions at theatres as Nationaltheatret in Oslo, Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen and Backateatern in Gothenburg. Since a number of years a recurring thematic figure has been non-mimetic performative tools, with a focus on story and performer as interfaces and an idea of the stage as platform for exchange and production of agency, rather than representations. Anders Paulin is currently working with the accumulative archive/performance Three White Soldiers with Johan Forsman, and is finalizing the research project Non-Mimetic Peformativity at the Danish School of Peforming Arts in Copenhagen.
anderspaulin.com,
Paula Caspao: Researcher/lecturer and transversal artist based in Paris, merging fictional, choreographic and theoretical modes of composition and presentation. She founded T-Fi Cabinet [Paris/Lisbon], an exploratory field of miscegenation between artistic, geographical and theoretical practices (T-Fi stands for Theory-Fiction). She holds a PhD in philosophy (epistemology and aesthetics) from the University of Paris-10, and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in performance studies and contemporary history at the University of Lisbon.

Docu-Ricochet, Paula Caspão and Sara Gebran
The bodies, (f)acts and other filtering apparatus that will gather forces, weaknesses and capacities to document this conference are to be situated in a field of methodological contamination between experimental choreography and documentation practices. To be more accurate, both the conference and the process of its documentation will be approached as choreographic endeavours. We intend to use previously drawn scores of attention that will guide our perceptive machineries (and chosen fellow-accomplice technologies) as situated filters to assemble (disassemble, re-assemble) the mattering ISSUES and related (or un-related) GESTURES. Set out as a drawing journey, ongoingly producing maps and diagrams, this guided tour of inter-mediation aims at remembering (read: re-member-ing) future spaces of re-existence for the issues and accompanying gestures‘spotted’ all along the way – speaking, waving, distancing, listening, circulating, (un-)occupying spaces, searching for words, getting up, calling and responding, gathering, hailing, disseminating, looking (away), pointing, re-turning. In short: document production understood as a practice of RICOCHET, listening and responding to the constant reverberation between the live and the document. Exploring nonlinear continuities of duration that go beyond the usual imaginations regarding the temporality of animate and inanimate matters.

Mette Edvardsen. The work of Mette Edvardsen is situated within the performing arts field, also exploring other media or other formats such as video, books and writing. With a base in Brussels since 1996 she has worked for several years as a dancer and performer for a number of companies and projects, and develops her own work since 2002. She presents her works internationally and continues to develop projects with other artists, both as a collaborator and as a performer.

Frédéric Gies is a dancer and a senior lecturer in choreography, head of the Master programme in choreography at DOCH-UNIARTS. He creates his performances alone or in collaboration with other artists. His work addresses political questions in relation to movement, and is anchored in strong physicality and movement research processes linked to somatics. His most recent work is deeply connected to his relation to techno clubs and raves and their micropolitics.

Johan Forsman works as the artistic director of the platform and venue Skogen in Göteborg, Sweden. For the last 15 years he worked in the field of performing arts, as artist, programmer/curator and initiator/facilitator. In his work, Johan Forsman aims at developing platforms and archives where experiences and knowledge can be negotiated and shared. Understanding performing arts as a field of knowledge, rather than a format, he is interested in developing tools and notions to rethink the formats of production and presentation, as well as the relations between artist/audiences/venues/institutions that are reproduced in these formats. Before moving into the arts Johan studied philosophy and literature at the Gothenburg University. www.skogen.pm

Rodrigo Sobarzo de Larraechea (CL/NL) studied at the SNDO in Amsterdam and was a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His work seeks to envelope its viewer into visual introspection. Furthermore he possesses a strong interest on subculture and sub-cultural production by digital means of connectivity throughout various Internet sites, networks and social media. @autisticmo (twitter)

Sara Gebran has been working in the past 4 years as Head of Choreography, teacher and researcher at the Danish National School of Performing Arts, before that as choreographer, performer and teacher. Through the work at the school she created a network of exchange and support between the local dance and art community and its institutions, aiming to find new structural forms of relations and exchange, between communities, for a new sense of creating work and being in common. Choreographically she creates own work and in collaboration with other artists. Her current artistic research is centered around modes of sharing and being artistically, breaking isolation, competition and hierarchy of the distribution of resources and knowledge. website