Performance – Philosophy Symposium on Body Politics and Nonhuman Thinking

January 29/30.01.2016, Munich, Germany

The symposium examines the relation of thinking and the body in Performance Philosophy – specifically in terms of Nonhuman Thinking (NT) and Body Politics (BP) – by presenting performances, video installations, workshops, lecture performances and an experimental panel discussion, asking questions such as: What happens at the “fringes of our consciousness” (William James)? What is “becoming animal” (Deleuze/Guattari) like? When does a gesture become subversive? Is thinking always parasitic?



Friday, 29.01.

16:15-18:30, LECTURE PERFORMANCES: Martin Dornberg (Freiburg), Katrin Felgenhauer (Berlin), Veronika Reichl (Berlin),Rainer Totzke (Magdeburg), u.a….

19:00-19:30 GREETINGS: Aurelia Baumgartner (München), Heidi Salaverría (Hamburg), INAUGURAL TALK: Matthias Kaufmann (Halle)

19:30-20:15 TALK: Human and Nonhuman Thinking and Conscience, Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe (Lincoln/UK)

20:30-22:00 PERFORMANCE: Dancing Horses – Different Others, Aurelia Baumgartner (München)

Saturday, 30.01.

10:00-11:30 WORKSHOP I: The Parasite-Projekt, Martin Dornberg und Daniel Fetzner (Freiburg)

11:45-13:15 WORKSHOP II: Ole Frahm (LIGNA): Notes on Gestures, Ole Frahm (Frankfurt)

14:15-15:15 PERFORMANCE: Syncopated Freedom. Rhythms of Post-Colonial Thinking, Ariel Flórez (Cartagena,Columbia) und Heidi Salaverría (Hamburg)

15:30-17:00 EXPERIMENTAL PANEL DISCUSSION, with : Ole Frahm (Frankfurt), Martin Dornberg (Freiburg), Alice Lagaay (Bremen), Rainer Totzke (Magdeburg), Rainer Totzke, u.a. (Concept: Heidi Salaverría)

Fr. and Sa.: INSTALLATION: Catch me if you can…, Aurelia Baumgartner


Panels of the Symposium

The aim of the “Experimental Panel Discussion” (BP) consists in bridging the still existing binary gap between philosophical discussions about performance on the one hand and performance itself on the other, challenging the gap between the “what” and the “how” of talking. Thereby it also addresses the political problem of the still prevalent hegemonic structures in (academic) communication, seeking to subvert them by establishing dadaistic rules, e.g.: How does it feel to listen anti-territorially? (Participants: Alice Lagaay, Ole Frahm (LIGNA), Rainer Totzke, Martin Dornberg, Heidi Salaverría (concept))


The problem of binary western thinking is also explored in the Performance “Syncopated Freedom. Rhythms of Post-Colonial Thinking” (BP). It particularly exposes the rhythmic impact of binary thinking, claiming that it follows the phantasm of certainty, which rhythmically translates into the “Down-Beat” of 1 and 3, whereas Afro-Caribbean rhythms populate the regions of the “Off-Beat,” thereby articulating a specific kind of freedom. Tracing back the formation of Afro-Caribbean music to colonialism and slavery, the dialogue between congas, piano, body movements, and words shows the political impact of syncopation by opening up spaces, which colonizers didn’t even know existed. (Ariel Flórez, Heidi Salaverría)

The Workshop “Notes on Gesture” (BP) examines Agamben’s claim of the bourgeois loss and reappropriation of gestures in public space, reflecting the significance of dance and the question of to what extent gestures are capable of producing new forms of body politics, of making hegemonic structures want to dance (Ole Frahm, LIGNA).

The WorkshopBuzz – the Parasite Project” (NT) explores issues relating to embodiment theories, observational practices of social insects and entanglements of human and animal societies (Daniel Fetzner, Martin Dornberg). http://www.metaspace.de/Dokumentation/BuzzE How to dance a thought: The Performance “Dancing Horses – Different Others” (NT) inquires into the communication between Human and the Other, between Human and the ‘Other than Human,’ thereby questioning the primacy of anthropocentrism, exploring instead the possibilities of encountering the other and of acknowledging otherness, without reducing it to a mirror of sameness. The performance is built around the autistic boy Christos Tsodious dancing with the Arab Grey, Pegasus. (Aurelia Baumgartner, Miguel Rivero Parra

The Video Installation „Catch me if you can! – Eurydice 2012 reloaded“ (CTLA Conference, New York 2015) (BP and NT) was developed as an interlaced reflection by different media and layers, deconstructing the overvaluation of rational understanding. Dance, words, video, and ModulArt are interlinked, in that way creating an open semiotic structure and a non-linear reflection in motion. (Aurelia Baumgartner)

Several Lectures and Lecture Performances (NT and BP) (Katrin Felgenhauer, Matthias Kaufmann, Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Veronika Reichl, Rainer Totzke)