A Lecture-Performance about the Practice of Lecture-Performance (No more representative theatre, a thousand desiring machines, let a thousand flowers bloom)
The lecture performance as a performative art practice is situated in multiple coordinates that cannot correspond to any genre, let alone a school, and goes right past pedagogical manners and mediation as techniques of signifying and control of the public or older methods of
discipline imposed by the assembly line of the school institution or the factory of knowledge itself. A Lecture Performance about the Practice of Lecture Performance investigates the appearance of this form in the field of art by applying its own methodology, being itself a lecture-performance, in order to escape existing categorizations both in the system of art and in academia. The lecture performance is a process-oriented practice exploring and complicating the semantic codes
Performance about the Practice of Lecture Performance, composed of living assemblages of fragments, raises the question of what this field of affects is, what is affective life, itself creating a dynamic and unstable situation which is the condition of being of this artistic practice, difficult to define in its aesthetic and knowledge forms as an animating principle of machinic and living forms. The practice of lecture performance strives to overcome
coming from different signifiers and creating rather a field of noise than of clear statements. It thus aims to provide some insight in the method of dramatization, which is always a politics of time, taking into consideration the social and political context where it takes place, oriented to new relations with its public to blur normative forms of recognition and organization of the production of knowledge.
Through a variety of non-linear examples and appropriated matter from artists like Robert Morris, Andrea Fraser, Adrian Piper, Yvonne Rainer, John Cage as well as more recent examples, A Lecture
Robert Morris, 21.3, 1964, performance. Photograph: Bruce C. Jones. © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2013. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers, London; Leo Castelli Gallery, New York; and Sonnabend, New York.
the split between the gesture and the linguistic machine which disconnects the corporeal from the consciousness and unknown, by incorporating representative and non-representative particles from different sources in order to call forth the curiosity of the public (not its attention, nor its ability to judge, which always derives from molar relations). The practice of lecture performance is no longer the theater of actors, not the lecture of a visiting professor. Its roots go back to conceptual art and institutional critique, as well as the performance and dance practices of the 1960s and 1970s. It 14 draws the field of knowledge and the aesthetic field back to the unknown, as an inventive practice and act of creation rather than a representational theatre of knowledge, and manifests itself as a formal discontinuity. It is rather a trail of questions, fumblings and stumblings in a dynamic field of affects and expressions, aimed at opening a box of transversal tools. The practice of lecture performance, as every form of knowledge creates a place of “objectivity” – a way of posing questions that appear out of a new ontology as a manifestation of new forms, poking into the invisible as well as the visible, molecular and molar, outside of any historical determinism or distinction between fictional and historical material, maintaining that every aesthetic form is the expression of singularities.
It enters the two-fold space of a choreography of knowledge and a choreography of the body, the patterns of an ecological mind, creating an intensive field of individuation in a state of creativity. There is no scenario. But rather streams of narrative patterns, and the embodiment of a character producing the mystical figure of an author without separating what is produced logically from what is not. This is neither a form of knowledge, which would have the tendency to produce a total system, nor a form of representation. A lecture performance is the closest one can imagine to a philosophy of art – a philosophy of both the body and the mind. A philosophy of art could not possibly be a systematic discipline, or a genre. A philosophy of art can be an idea investigating how movement is animated, because it is itself a form of organization which animates its own movements, a principle of composition and re-composition of materials of various sources and research in a transdisciplinary field, which no longer allows a distinction between theory and practice, meaning and non-meaning, the event and its documentation.
The lecture performance creates a dynamic situation in a particular space and time, its own spatio-temporal dynamics retranslating the time in which it is happening, incorporating a lot of footage and sound bites besides real-life language. It lies at the heart of fields of individuation, where the politics of space and politics of time meet to coalesce to a politics of becoming which animates invention and machinic forms of aesthetics and knowledge. The lecture performance is a practice critical of the production of an automatic space of attraction and reflection, reconsidering the process of affirmation they imply, in order to invent a new relation with its public. The lecture performance is a self-reflective practices, but not as an auto-poietic repetition of opening and closing by which to signify the public. The lecture performance is thus even more so a self-inventive practice, a multiplicity of aesthetic and living forms, reducing the distance between itself and its public, between master and apprentice. It is therefore a multiplicity of ideas and their field of individuation where the vectors of singularization stretch through space and time – as opposed to the concept, which is a form of representation, or the statement, which is always a form of group enunciation, as of the choir of ancient tragedy.
(Text: Dimitrina Sevova)