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CFP - Dossier: ANTONIN ARTAUD AND REVERBERATIONS

Started by Luciana da Costa Dias Aug 21. 0 Replies

CALL FOR PAPERS Dossier: ANTONIN ARTAUD AND REVERBERATIONSThe Ephemera…Continue

Available Online IMAGINED THEATRES issue #03

Started by Daniel Sack Aug 13. 0 Replies

We are pleased to announce the launch of issue #03 of …Continue

Tags: imagined, writing, theatres, open, access

Workshop CFP: The Mimetic Condition: A Transdisciplinary Approach

Started by Daniel Villegas Vélez Jun 3. 0 Replies

Workshop CFP: The Mimetic Condition: A Transdisciplinary ApproachInstitute of Philosophy, KU Leuven (Belgium)December 5-6, 2019Keynote: Prof. Gunter Gebauer (Free University of Berlin)Since the…Continue

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Announcing the Performance Philosophy Crowdfunding Campaign!

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Blog Posts

Division of Labor - Denis Beaubois

Posted by Gabrielle Senza on February 23, 2018 at 0:36 0 Comments

I just came across Denis Beaubois, an Australian multidisciplinary artist whose work, Currency - Division of Labor might be of interest to researchers here.

It is a series of video/performance works that use the division of labor model in capitalism as a structural tool for performance.

From his website:

The Division of labour work explores…

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The School of Making Thinking's Summer 2018 Residency Programs

Posted by Aaron Finbloom on January 9, 2018 at 15:01 0 Comments

Hi everyone!

I help run an amazing interdisciplinary artist/thinker residency program called The School of Making Thinking based out of the U.S. and I wanted to share our summer programs and encourage Performance Philosophy ppl to apply (as I think many will find them quite interested :- )



see below!

best,

Aaron



~



The School of Making Thinking hosts Summer Intensives for…

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Playing with Virtual Realities - Performances and Symposium

Posted by Einav Katan-Schmid on November 18, 2017 at 13:14 0 Comments

PREMIERE Playing with Virtual Realities  
25. bis 28.01.2018 A research project of the Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung, Humboldt-University of Berlin   …
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'Theatre was born out of a universal, irresistible attraction to the new and extraordinary, a desire to feel oneself put into a state of passion'.

(Friedrich Schiller).

Can our attraction to the "new" and the "extraordinary", at times somehow push the limitations of what is considered socially and politically acceptable moral behaviour? By identifying the theatre as a moral institution, are we also simultaneously giving rise to an immorality within the theatre event?

Debatably, much of contemporary British and European theatre is framed in such a way to cause provocation or tension with its spectators.  

What deeply concerns me here is this relationality between the spectator and the event (theatre institution/ company, on a wider scale); if theatre can cause provocation to the extent of an animated reaction from its spectators, I'm interested in how this may alter the role of the theatre within wider society. What does this form of dislocation and disruption bring about that consensus and communicative work cannot?

After looking closely at this website and its, needless to say, inter-disciplinarian approach of performance and philosophy; I was slightly shocked that I could find little or no direct ties to Morality or Moral theory. This might be due to the extremely large nature of the discourse, and its seemingly never-ending ties to the wider world. By opening up this discussion, I am hoping to trouble/test the waters of the relationship between the (moral) theatre institution and human morality.

To begin to chip away at this large discourse I propose some initial questions:

  • To what extent does contemporary theatre continue to operate as a moral institution? It might be useful to draw on specific case studies, for example I have a keen interest in Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio.
  • To any extent does the theatre practice produce a mode of confrontation with morality?
  • What is the responsibility of the theatre-maker(s) in constructing the response-ability of the spectator?
  • To what extent  should the theatre-maker(s) be held accountable for the affects of their performance on audiences?

I would really like to hear your thoughts on the concerns that I have raised here especially concerning the matter of whether you think human morality has some grounded weight to be expressed in the Performance Philosophy domain.

Thanks,

Matt Hood

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Replies to This Discussion

Yes, towards thinking through the question of how the theatre practice may produce a mode of confrontation with morality, we might turn towards Nietzsche in The Birth of Tragedy on the role of sacrifice and redemption or look to Bataille on Artaud's Theater of Cruelty.

Also, taking up David Scott (literary theorist of black post-coloniality/decolonization) I would like to engage with performance philosophy to continue to think through the tragic aesthetics of colonization and U.S.slavery. Kara Walker's work insists that I return to her art again and again. More recently, I've been working on bell hooks and Judith Butler's readings of Paris is Burning and want to see The Agressives after reading Kara Keeling's essay. Any suggestions for theater/live performance that deal with sacrifice, cruelty, redemption, race and intersections with ethics are most welcome!

You know, its an interesting point, this connection between the idea of the "new" and provocation. Because they are connected to very interesting aspects in a globalized society. They are also, interestingly enough, pulled in two different directions by two philosophers I'm getting to know who are both very 'moral' in their own way. I am thinking of Adorno and Levinas at the moment. 

Adorno, to me at least, is interesting in this point because of his resistance of what you might call the "cult of the novel", which he identifies as a strand of enlightenment thought, which, caused by a kind of primordial fear of slipping back into primitivism, dominates nature. This includes, eventually, the domination of other humans by those in power. If you like, provocation, or causing deliberate discomfort in order to directly cause an effect in the spectator could be seen as another form of domination. This does not, however, get into what is always acceptable to show on stage or not. If shock and provocation is another form of domination, then it is only so when it does what it intends, which to my mind is a fairly rare occurrence. 

On the flipside, its also interesting to look at these proliferating forms, especially ones that attempt to introduce the spectator to a broader way of viewing the world, through the lens of the ethical that Simon Critchley teases out from Levinas in his book The Ethics of Deconstruction. His essential claim is that "being is exteriority", that the ethical occurs in connection to the encounter with the "other." The other is that which cannot, or should not be subsumed into the "same" of our everyday lives. The other demands something of us, that we re-evaluate our lives in the face of something that we cannot conquer, or bring into the same. The interesting thing is, a lot of contemporary theories of art hinge around a similar ethical assumption. Many companies (the one I am a part of included) seek to uncover the covered, to present their audience something which is "other" and thus cause a re-orientation of their perceptual spheres. 

Personally, I think this just ends up being kind of reductive. It is also a different form of a theatre that would attempt to perform a morally didactic play for the audience's benefit, albeit much more varied and exciting. Adorno also gives grounds to question whether a production can be entirely moral, or, on the other hand, entirely based on form. As for me, despite many of my collaborator's objections, I tend to shy away from being overtly moral or political. Yes, every play is in some way connected to both, but you don't necessarily have to highlight it. I do think that the theatre can function (though more so in contemporary europe) as a kind of moral institution, but it is one that must be careful of using force, on all sides. Even now I hesitate to use the word moral, because it tends to imply in contemporary philosophy a strict set of morals which are supposed to be universal. That's a very difficult position to maintain. But anyhow, I think that to perform for an audience, you have to think beyond presenting a message, shocking, or even, say in a humanist theatre, showing work that upholds human dignity. There is, if you like, more than one thread in the tapestry.

But, then again, these are merely my personal aesthetics. 

Have you read Tzachi Zamir's essay "Unethical Acts"(The Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 63, No. 251 April 2013)?  The essay would seem quite relevant to your concerns. 



Daniel W. Christmann  - 

Where can I find this discussion in Adorno?   



Daniel W. Christmann said:

You know, its an interesting point, this connection between the idea of the "new" and provocation. Because they are connected to very interesting aspects in a globalized society. They are also, interestingly enough, pulled in two different directions by two philosophers I'm getting to know who are both very 'moral' in their own way. I am thinking of Adorno and Levinas at the moment. 

Adorno, to me at least, is interesting in this point because of his resistance of what you might call the "cult of the novel", which he identifies as a strand of enlightenment thought, which, caused by a kind of primordial fear of slipping back into primitivism, dominates nature. This includes, eventually, the domination of other humans by those in power. If you like, provocation, or causing deliberate discomfort in order to directly cause an effect in the spectator could be seen as another form of domination. This does not, however, get into what is always acceptable to show on stage or not. If shock and provocation is another form of domination, then it is only so when it does what it intends, which to my mind is a fairly rare occurrence. 

On the flipside, its also interesting to look at these proliferating forms, especially ones that attempt to introduce the spectator to a broader way of viewing the world, through the lens of the ethical that Simon Critchley teases out from Levinas in his book The Ethics of Deconstruction. His essential claim is that "being is exteriority", that the ethical occurs in connection to the encounter with the "other." The other is that which cannot, or should not be subsumed into the "same" of our everyday lives. The other demands something of us, that we re-evaluate our lives in the face of something that we cannot conquer, or bring into the same. The interesting thing is, a lot of contemporary theories of art hinge around a similar ethical assumption. Many companies (the one I am a part of included) seek to uncover the covered, to present their audience something which is "other" and thus cause a re-orientation of their perceptual spheres. 

Personally, I think this just ends up being kind of reductive. It is also a different form of a theatre that would attempt to perform a morally didactic play for the audience's benefit, albeit much more varied and exciting. Adorno also gives grounds to question whether a production can be entirely moral, or, on the other hand, entirely based on form. As for me, despite many of my collaborator's objections, I tend to shy away from being overtly moral or political. Yes, every play is in some way connected to both, but you don't necessarily have to highlight it. I do think that the theatre can function (though more so in contemporary europe) as a kind of moral institution, but it is one that must be careful of using force, on all sides. Even now I hesitate to use the word moral, because it tends to imply in contemporary philosophy a strict set of morals which are supposed to be universal. That's a very difficult position to maintain. But anyhow, I think that to perform for an audience, you have to think beyond presenting a message, shocking, or even, say in a humanist theatre, showing work that upholds human dignity. There is, if you like, more than one thread in the tapestry.

But, then again, these are merely my personal aesthetics. 

What is given as my reply above is simply the duplication of a letter by Daniel Christmann. I clicked innocently on the word Reply and found David's letter reproduced with the note underneath saying 'you have 15 minutes to edit this.I had considerable trouble eliminating his letter and then took some trouble to explore my ideas on this subject. My 15 minutes must have run out and my letter was eliminated. I couldn't start all over again but may have another try when I have recovered my energy. I think I know better now what to do. Adorno says of philosophy - I will cal it thought as I'm not a fully-fledged philosopher - that it it tests itself on things with a certain spontaneity of reactions. This may be why even a few thoughts and even seemingly facile ones are something of a concentrated effort in me.

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