The Live Art Forms Performative Practices Master Program situates artistic work as acts of making public, digital launches and releases as well as any shape of performative practice in a multidimensional space structured along three axes — TECHNE, SOMA and GEOS.
TECHNE, as “that which concerns technology” is to be seen as the open context of all technical, mediatized acts of production that use digital tools and media as well as digital platforms, technological complexes and infrastructures. This axis is specifically concerned with the contemporary, digital media that transmit performance, such as computational tools, (social) networks, databases, and algorithms, as well as mixed and virtual reality. However, forms of speech and language, artistic writing, and theoretical questions are also part of the reflection of the given circumstances, that is itself increasingly understood in technological terms.
Courses along the axis of TECHNE teach all of the techniques, processes, and theories that enable students to develop and deepen a cross-disciplinary and cross-media artistic practice on a variety of platforms. They provide an expanded and holistic understanding of technologies and their applications in art and society that were previously perceived as disconnected from each other. Instead, students will be enabled to understand performative and aesthetic practices as interwoven with and brought forth by a multiplicity of technological complexities and histories. They learn to navigate their own artistic-performative work as individually positioned and at the same time as embedded in the defining technological conditions of all human and planetary life. The courses enable students to understand themselves and their own artistic work as fully immersed in global and technological complexes, while they both produce and anticipate these circumstances by means of their practice.
Such an expanded notion of technology consciously includes artistic reflection, the (coded) production of language(s), artistic conceptualization, and contemporary (digital) theory production. The two main theory seminars, taught by Prof. Kerstin Stakemeier, expand on an understanding of theories of digitalities, publics, and globalities as a sum of textual, discursive, and narrative techniques. Students will be enabled to understand these theories as technologies of reflection and production of complex artistic and social contexts, and thus as artistic work in and with language, rather than separating them as theory and philosophy from artistic practice in disciplinary terms.
SOMA is “everything concerning the body” and is to be understood as a methodologically specific extension as well as an updated delineation of performative action. By relating abstract notions of world, society, and art directly to the body — the digitalized but also globalized body, its choreographies and movement practices, and its roles and identities — we re-center it as a prerequisite for studying the complexities of diverse publics. As a basis for community and society, the very material and carnal body becomes an organizational system. It is from the perspective of its metabolism of nourishment and care, its biological condition and ecological endangerment that concrete and particular individual practices are constructed in the first place.
Courses along the SOMA axis are a concretization of artistic acts and take place as body-based practices and their notations as (extended) dramaturgy. Here, students are enabled to relate areas and disciplines of the digital and technological, the theoretical and contextual directly to their own bodies and the social body of the group. By studying in these courses, students acquire competencies to consistently establish the body as the origin of their own acts and expand the psychological, aesthetic and metabolic conditions of their own navigational processes.
GEOS is to be understood as “world-measuring acts”, by which we specifically do not mean extending a local public sphere to global space, but instead the mapping and subsequent positioning of each individual artistic action in its specific mediatized, linguistic, and cultural public sphere. We understand the resulting multiplicity of performances and instances of making public, of artifacts, theories and texts, of history and stories, instructions, manifestos, but also digital posts as moments in which artistic actions become public. At the moment of their publication, often rather a launch or a release than an exhibition or a performance, these digital and ephemeral gestures interweave with cultural conditions, with specific contexts, with places and with materializations, and at the same time establish a course that leads through them.
Courses that are grouped along the GEOS axis enable students to understand their artistic practice as a positioning before a multiplicity of diverse publics extended to / dispersed within global space, and to situate their own work as a sequence of artistic disseminations in a variety of mediated, technological, linguistic, social, and cultural contexts. Students learn to expand and sharpen their existing artistic practice set against this reframed contextualization. Already acquired conceptualizations of “one’s own” medium, genre, or discipline, as well as the temporalities, (bodily) forms, and materializations produced by one’s own artistic actions are re-evaluated and re-linked in a sequence of moments along complex, hybrid, and even contradictory lines of direction over the two years of courses.