Research Day II: Materiality of and in Performance

Friday, March 2, 2018 - 09:30
Theatre Academy, Auditorio 1
The research project How to do things with performance? organises a research day with Rick Dolphijn as keynote speaker, on 2 March 2018


The Call - open until 15 Feb 2018

Call text in pdf.

What is the matter of performance?
What is the matter with performance?
What matters in performance?

Performance studies, performance research and performance-as-research can be understood as the study of various practices and processes besides cultural and artistic performances. As art making in artistic research, performance or performing can function as a central research method or as one way of presenting research results. (Allegue et al. 2009; Hunter & Riley 2009; Kershaw & Nicholson 2011; Nelson 2013; Arlander In this context we are especially interested in the materiality of performance.

In her influential text “Posthumanist performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter” (2003) Karen Barad wrote: “The ubiquitous puns on ‘matter’ do not, alas, mark a rethinking of the key concepts (materiality and signification) and the relationship between them. [--] There is an important sense in which the only thing that does not seem to matter anymore is matter.” (Barad 2003, 801) Today, the situation has changed. Feminist theorizing has turned to matter with a vengeance (Alaimo & Hekman 2008; Coole & Frost 2010) New materialist research (e.g. Barad 2007; Dolphijn & Van der Tuijn 2012; Van der Tuijn 2015) has emphasized the inseparability of materiality and discursivity. Through posthumanist research (e.g. Ó Maoilearca 2015; Braidotti 2013) performativity widens to concern more-than-human dimensions; performance is not only a human activity.


The keynote speaker: Dr Rick Dolphijn

The main speaker of the day is Dr Rick Dolphijn, who has a background in philosophy and art theory and is interested in the theoretical humanities at large, media and performance theory in particular. He wrote (with Iris van der Tuin) New Materialism: Interviews and Cartographies (Open Humanities Press 2012), has written on new materialism, ecology/ecosophy and art and is interested in the developments in continental philosophy and speculative thought. His academic work has appeared in journals like Angelaki, RhizomesCollapse and Deleuze Studies. He edited (with Rosi Braidotti) This Deleuzian Century: Art, Activism, Life (Brill/Rodopi 2014/5) and Philosophy after Nature (2017). 


In the research project How to do things with performance? (2016-2020) funded by the Academy of Finland we have looked at the materiality of and the material-discursive practices involved in performance, by engaging with a wide variety of materialities, like historical performance descriptions, with laundry, with scores, with a Theremin, with vinyl records, with old video works, with plants… These are of course not the only matters that can be crucial for performance and performing.

We invite everybody interested in performance-as-research or research on and in performance, performance art and live art to debate these questions and ponder how and in what way materiality matters in performance.


Please send abstracts (max 250 words) of proposals for 15 min. presentations and a brief bio, no later than 15 February 2018 to annette.arlander(at)

If you want to participate by listening and discussing the presentations, let us know that you are coming by signing in here:



Annette Arlander, Hanna Järvinen, Tero Nauha, Pilvi Porkola


Further information:
Siiri-Maija Heino, Project Coordinator, 050 3224428,