Location: Studio 5 (top floor), Jubilee Building, University of Roehampton, Roehampton Lane, London SW15 5PU
Curated and organised by Helena
Botto, Tim Cowbury, Georg Doecker, Will Osmond, Jonas Schnor, Jenny Swinger,
and Siegmar Zacharias.
With the support of TECHNE
(AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership), Roehampton University, and the Department
of Drama, Theatre and Performance.
This one day workshop aims
to contribute to the ongoing discourse on social practice in performance by
suggesting and putting up for discussion the conjunction of the nonpolitical
and the nonperformative, or nonperformance. The nonpolitical here is understood
in the terms outlined by Cedric J. Robinson in his seminal study The Terms of Order from 1980, whereas
nonperformance refers to Fred Moten's more recent coinage from 2015. Both
notions invoke the critical potentials of the prefix of the “non” or negation,
a rhetorical strategy that might be perceived, against the backdrop of a
Nietzschean genealogy, not so much as a reactive tendency, but much rather as
the destruction of the nihilism of the reactive forces working in and through
dominant concepts of the political and performance. The nonpolitical, in this
sense, refers to the conceptual as well as experimental affirmation of social
life forms able to maintain themselves without recourse to the political order
of power, the modern state and its institutions, including its complicity with
capital, antiblackness, colonialism, and patriarchy. In a similar vein,
nonperformance articulates the “presence of the flesh” and “'bare' materiality
and sensuality” (Moten), a mode of perceiving and being perceived that
operates, if only in precarious moments and interstices, outside the logics of
performativity, recognition, and subjectivity.
In bringing together the
nonpolitical and nonperformance—and thus social theory, Black Studies,
philosophy, and performance studies—the workshop proposes to collectively
sketch out the conceptual and experiential spaces shared by other than
political sociality and other than performative performance. What social modes
of relation might nonperformance exclusively bring forth, and inversely, what
nonperformances might emerge from social forms of togetherness? Can we think of
(non)performances of primordial incompleteness, of relationality and kinship,
and if so, what would be the technologies and procedures capable of sustaining
them? How might nonpolitical social arrangements change the apparatus of
performance, the creating and producing, the presenting and sharing of
performance? But also, and against an innocent embrace of the proposed notions:
what are the battle lines and weapons, the conflicts and resistances
corresponding to nonpolitical nonperformance?
These and further questions
shall be addressed and discussed in an intimate setting of 15 participants
facilitated by the organisers and guest speaker professor André Lepecki from
NYU. André Lepecki's current research investigates (non)performances of
sociality, with a particular focus on Hélio Oiticica’s oeuvre, which he analyses through Black Studies, as well as through
authors such as Roland Barthes, Paul Preciado, Sara Ahmed and José Quiroga. He
will be present for the entire day, presenting a lecture in the morning and
chairing a close reading session in the afternoon. More details on the schedule
for the day are listed below.
This event is made possible
through the generous financial support of TECHNE consortium and the logistical
support of Roehampton University and its Department of Drama, Theatre and
10.00 am: Registration
10.30–11.00 am: (Non)political (non)performance –
Introduction by the organisers
11.00am–12.30pm Gimme Shelter - sociality in the nest –
Lecture by André Lepecki and follow-up discussion
12.30–1.30 pm: Lunch
1.30–3.30 pm: Cedric J.
Robinson's The Terms of Order and
Fred Moten's Some Propositions on
Blackness, Phenomenology, and (Non)Performance – Collective close reading
3.30–4.00 pm: Coffee break
4.00–6.00 pm: Methods, Outlines and Perspectives –
Collective open discussion of the raised issues with respect to the
participant's individual research projects and interests
André Lepeckiis a leading
scholar in international dance and performance studies. A full professor and
chairperson of Performance Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the
Arts, his research is situated at the intersection of critical dance studies,
curatorial practice, performance theory, contemporary dance and visual arts
performance. André Lepecki is the editor of the anthologies Points of Convergence: alternative views on
performance (MoMA-Warsaw and Chicago UP, 2016, with Marta Dziewanska), Dance (Whitechapel, 2012), Planes of Composition: dance, theory and the
global (Seagull press, 2009, with Jenn Joy), The Senses in Performance (Routledge 2007, with Sally Banes), and Of the Presence of the Body (Wesleyan
UP, 2004). His single authored books are Exhausting
Dance: performance and the politics of movement (Routledge, 2006),
currently translated in 10 languages, and Singularities:
dance in the age of performance (Routledge, 2016).
Helena Botto, Tim Cowbury,
Georg Doecker, Will Osmond, Jonas Schnor, Jenny Swinger, and Siegmar Zacharias
are PhD students from Theatre and Performance Departments at the University of
Roehampton, University of Surrey and Royal Holloway, University of London.In 2018, they formed a self-organised study
group in the context of which they investigate the nexus of politics and
performance. The study day with André Lepecki has been designed on the basis of
their collective interests and discussions. Tim Cowbury, Georg Doecker, Will
Osmond, Jonas Schnor, Jenny Swinger, and Siegmar Zacharias are funded by TECHNE
consortium; Helena Botto is funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia,
If you are interested in
participating in the event, please sign up via eventbrite. The event is particularly
designed for TECHNE students, but all are welcome to join.
There is a maximum capacity
of 15 participants for the event. Places will be allocated to the first 15
people to sign up. When registering, please indicate whether or not you are a
TECHNE student (full member or associated). Since the event is funded by
TECHNE, we will have to ask all non-TECHNE participants for a five pound
Please note that the event
will be documented via audio recording and photography. By registering, you
consent to being audio recorded and photographed during the event. Photography
may be used for the TECHNE and Roehampton University's websites.
André Lepecki. “The
Non-time of Lived Experience: The Problem of Color in Hélio Oiticica’s Early
Works.” Representations 136.1 (Fall
Angeology. The Dancer as Worker of History (or, Remembering is a Hard Thing.”
In Singularities. Dance in the Age of
Performance, 143-169. London/New York: Routledge, 2016.
Fred Moten. “Some
Propositions on Blackness, Phenomenology, and (Non)Performance.” In Points of convergence. Alternative views on
performance, edited byMarta Dziewańska and André Lepecki, 101-107.
Warsaw/Chicago, IL: Museum of Modern Art/Chicago UP, 2017.
Cedric J. Robinson.
“Introduction” and “The Order of Politicality.” In The Terms of Order. Political Science and the Myth of Leadership,
1-6, 7-38. Chapel Hill: North Carolina UP, 2016 (1980).
Sylvia Wynter. “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom.
Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation—An Argument.” CR: The
New Centennial Review 3. 3
(Fall 2003): 257-337.
Participants will be
forwarded PDFs of all texts after registration. Please read all texts prior to
the event and prepare questions, comments, concerns, objections for the
Lunch is not included,
however there will be coffee, tea, and snacks, and there are affordable lunch
options available on campus.
Unfortunately, the location
does not have free access for anyone with reduced mobility, but if you would
like to participate and do have special accessibility requirements, please do
contact us here.