Research Day II: Materiality of and in Performance

Perjantai, maaliskuu 2, 2018 - 10:00
Teatterikorkeakoulu, 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

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.

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.

Sign in here:

Download the Programme (pdf)

Download the Abstracts (pdf)


The keynote speaker

Dr Rick Dolphijn: How Art Objects

Michel Serres once called it the only thing that actually makes human societies different from societies of other species; the invention of the object. But be careful, Serres is highly sceptical about the object, whose only goal it seems to be, is to slow down history, to stop change, to keep the status quo. We can think of many examples of objects that have indeed served that purpose, from the totem in religion, to money in capitalism; every time the aim is to secure the position of those in power, and to make sure the rest of society does not find a way to object to this. The history of art is unfortunately very much entangled with the history of the object. Within the sacred spaces of the church, but also within the sacred spaces of the museum, the artwork is objectified, placed under a bell jar, where it is stewing in its own sour air, and worshipped.

In this keynote, I want to explore the way the artwork, and the artwork alone, refuses to be suffocated by the object today. And by objecting, by allowing matter its perpetual movement, it allows a burst of creativity to materialise itself. I want to study this materialist activism giving some examples from contemporary performance, the field that has, traditionally, always been uncomfortable with the idea of the object. The aim is to explore how performance gives rise to a new materialist theory of art that matters.    


The main speaker of the day Dr Rick Dolphijn 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.

The Call text in pdf.



10.00-10.10: Opening & Welcome: Pilvi Porkola, Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke)

10.10-11.15: KEYNOTE Rick Dolphijn: How Art Objects

11.30-12.35: 1st Panel

Taru Leppänen & Milla Tiainen: Trans-becomings in Western classical singing: An intra-active approach
Pauliina Hulkko: Materiality and Performance Dramaturgy Five Years After
Hanna Järvinen: On the Postcolonial Materiality of Dancing Bodies

12.35-13.30: Lunch (at own expense)

13.30-14.35: 2nd Panel

Tero Nauha: The interval between matter and perception of ‘something’ in a performance
Pilvi Porkola: A Study on Objects
Annette Arlander: Return to the site of the Year of the Rooster

14.50-16.10: 3rd Panel

Mirko Nikolić: apparatus x assemblage x common: minoritarian intersections
Jaana Laakkonen: Material(-Discursive) Strangers Demanding for Better (Material-)Discourses!
Max McBride: Becoming Fluid: a Performance Prospect
Julia Adzuki: Resonant Bodies – somatic and sonic ecologies

16.20-17.30: 4th Panel

Jay Mar Albaos: ”Becoming” through Artistic Immersion: The Bayanihan in Helsinki
Christiana Bissett & Josh Widera: The Truth of the Matter – Materiality and Inaesthetics
Olga Spyropoulou: Speculative dialogues with matter: being in Conversations


Let us know that you are coming by signing in here:



Annette Arlander, Hanna Järvinen, Tero Nauha, Pilvi Porkola


Siiri-Maija Heino, Project Coordinator, 050 3224428,