Sat., July 23 2016
6:00 pm

within STOFFWECHSEL WERKSTATT (11th - 24th of July 2016)

23.7.16 / 18:00-22:00

Gaudenzdorfergürtel 43–45, 1120 Wien
Pay as you wish

Abstract zur Lecture von Martina Ruhsam

Distributive agency.
The political urgency of a new materialism and its implications for contemporary choreography

The theoretical concepts to which new materialists refer and relate to are as heterogenous as the philosophical conceptions that they outline. Karen Barad draws on Niels Bohrs quantum physics and on feminist theories and proposes an agential realism. Due to her conviction that subjects and objects are always already enmeshed, she develops a complex method of thinking (in) entanglements and encounters, in which all those who are involved are transformed by each other. What „new materialists“ such as Rosi Braidotti, Sarah Ahmed, Jane Bennett, Manuel De Landa and Quentin Meillassoux have in common with Karen Barad is the desire to transcend modern dualisms such as human-nonhuman, nature-culture, body-mind, materiality-meaning, social constructivism-realism. The attempt to rethink and revalue materialism beyond the Marxist (and anthropocentric) definitions of historic materialism springs from the desire to invent philosophies that might be able to really take into account why the materiality of heterogenous bodies really matters today and why it has to be conceived of as a political issue. Karen Barad´s realism is especially relevant for contemporary choreographers as it contains a posthumanist model of performativity. How can we conceptually and practically grasp the entanglement of the organic and the inorganic? And what is choreography if agency is not a privilege of human beings? New materialisms oppose philosophies in which the human subject is considered – detached from spatio-temporal and geo-specific questions. The subject is understood as a post-identitarian entity entangled with its material surroundings and inhabitants as well as with the imaginings and affects of the bodies it is in contact with. The concepts of new materialists are challenging the traditionally anthropocentric art forms of dance and choreography and are at the same time closely related to every embodied practice. How can and do artists confront these challenges?

Tools and working materials of this two-day workspace opening are the artistic and discursive settings of the artists of the Stoffwechsel project, who have been researching since February, 2016. The respective working methods, motivations, and inspirations provide the workbenches for a possible permeation and parasitation; the Own which opens up to the Other, finds itself in the Other and thus provokes the ever fragile boundaries of authorship and collective process, of deallocation and appropriation.


Alfred Lenz (AT), Anita Kaya (AT), Brigitte Wilfing (AT), Claudia Heu (AT), Sabina Holzer (AT), TE –R (Thomas Wagensommerer & Louise Linsenbolz, AT/DE)

& INPUT by Philosophy Unbound (AT/DE)

& Lecture Distributive agency. The political urgency of a new materialism and its implications for contemporary choreography by Martina Ruhsam (AT/DE)