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gtf-Symposium 2018 "Tanz der Dinge / Things That Dance"

gtf - German Society for Dance Research has the pleasure to invite to a symposium dedicated to their annual subject „Tanz der Dinge/Things that dance“ at Karlsruhe University from 5 to 7 October 2018.


The current wave of new materialisms has brought attention to things that move or are moved, “vibrant matter,” objects, physical phenomena, machinic or animated agents and assemblages, the labor of apparatuses and intra-actions between human and nonhuman forces – passages in the “political ecology of experience” that link new dance philosophies (Erin Manning/Brian Massumi’s Thought in the Act) with choreographic, theatrical, sonic and media installation practices, and recurrent interests in hybrid material performance and puppetry with political theories (Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things), ethnographic and social science studies, as well as postcolonial and critical race theories (on the materiality of liquid blackness, for example, and historically specific and located sensorial experience and affect). 

Materiality and myth in dance are subject to a shift in meaning which privileges "epistemic things" (Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Experimentalsysteme und epistemische Dinge, 2006): before the object is charged with meaning, the inner dynamics of matter defines a new focal point for performance aesthetics. Object oriented, immanent philosophies of art and performance are part of this pressing concern with materials, plasticities, the lives and deaths of entities formerly known as passive objects, inanimate things, inert matter. The synthesis of sound, rhythm, movement and materiality returns us to a conception of choreography that recovers collective, symbiotic creativity of ritual dances.

Along with the traditional morphology of objects to dance and musical instruments the examination of danced things and choreographic / musical repurposed objects moves on to factors of artificial intelligence and sensor technologies in current dance aesthetics. Contemporary questions about the agency of objects and the forces of materialization have increasingly blurred the borders modernity had erected between the animate and the inanimate. 

Reviewing current dance research and publications intensifies the impression of a vibrant neomaterial / epistemic turn, a “call of things” in dance which in turn calls for critical reflection. The symposium addresses vibrant matter and lively materials, reconfigurations of human and inhuman forces, social choreographies and choreographic objects, animatedness and the agencies of assemblages as a means of thinking about performance experiences and movement potentials across a range of interdisciplinary practices and theoretical discourses. 

Curators: Prof. Dr. Johannes Birringer & Dr. Josephine Fenger

Organisation: Dr. Christiana Rosenberg-Ahlhaus, Sabine Karoß, Luisa Appelles, Alexa Junge