What is Refugee?

A collective article published at the Performance Philosophy Journal, Vol 4, No 1 (2018), with Will Daddario, Janhavi Dhamankar, Milton Loayza, Jon McKenzie, Yana Meerzon, Theron Schmidt, Aneta Stojnić and Tero Nauha.



Regurgitated Perspectives – SAR 2018

A performance by Annette Arlander, Hanna Järvinen, Tero Nauha and Pilvi Porkola
At the 9th SAR – International Conference on Artistic Research
University of Plymouth, April 11th 4 pm – 13th 6 pm 2018


This performance in four parts included A Sermon, A Wake, A Communion and A Hymn. We were dealing with the issues of sympoiesis, anthropophagy and necropolitics as forms of creation to play with critical approaches to artistic research.

In her revisiting of “Day and Night of the Dog and Year of the Dog,” from the video series, Animal Years (2003-2014) Arlander explored whether a process of regurgitation as an artistic method would produce something equally valuable as the production of honey?

A Wake included four different speeches, where gathering around the urn including the possible remains of the deceased did not reveal, who the deceased might have been? A white, male authority, a friend or an unknown heretic?

In a Communion, all four of us consumed a portion of Finnish delicatessen ‘mämmi’, while Järvinen and Nauha discussed the possible alternatives to questioning colonialism and racism in performance practice. They introduced the concepts of anthropophagy, perspectivism, necropolitics; cultural appropriation, philosophers, bears and jaguars.

At the end of a Wake, Porkola leads an intervention, where four different performance scores were written on paper, and send to the audience as paper aeroplanes. The utopian thinking is demonstrated by using event scores when asking one to do something that is more or less impossible.

As the finale of the performance there was a Hymn. The music was based on the traditional Finnish folk song, “Taivas on sininen ja valkoinen”, with new words in English proposing if and how artistic research would eat itself. With this hymn accompanied by synthesizer and Theremin, we asked, if the world will notice, when artistic research may eat itself, and proposed that only united performers and artists will guarantee that art will matter in the future.

An excerpt of this performance was presented at the TUTKE – The Spring Research Day event at Kiasma Theatre, Helsinki on April 25, 2018.



Presentation at the “Digital Humanities in Nordic Countries”, March 7-9, University of Helsinki


In this presentation, the process of learning performance art is articulated in the contextual change that digital archives have caused starting from the early 1990s. It is part of my postdoctoral research, artistic research on the conjunctions between divergent gestures of thought and performance, done in a research project How to Do Things with Performance? funded by the Academy of Finland.
Since performance art is a form of ‘live art’, it would be easy to regard that the learning processes are also mostly based on the physical practice and repetition. However, the origins of contemporary performance art are closely connected with the 1960’s and 70’s conceptual art and video-art. Therefore, the pedagogy of performance art has been tightly connected with the development of media from the collective use of the Portapak video cameras.

Digital archives and the learning processes of performance artDigital Humanities in Nordic Countries, March 7-9, University of Helsinki

Panel Teaching and Learning the Digital, Friday March 9, 11-12, at the Helsinki University, P674.


Research Day II: Materiality of and in Performance

The research project How to do things with performance? organises a second research day with Rick Dolphijn as keynote speaker, on 2 March 2018 at University of the Arts Theatre Academy.


The research project How to do things with performance? organises a second research day with Rick Dolphijn as keynote speaker, on 2 March 2018 at University of the Arts Theatre Academy, Auditorium 1.

What is the matter of performance?
What is the matter with performance?
What matters in performance?

Performance studies, performance research and performance-as-research can be understood as the study of various practices and processes besides cultural and artistic performances. As art making in artistic research, performance or performing can function as a central research method or as one way of presenting research results. (Allegue et al. 2009; Hunter & Riley 2009; Kershaw & Nicholson 2011; Nelson 2013; Arlander et.al.2018) In this context, we are especially interested in the materiality of performance.

In her influential text “Posthumanist performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter” (2003) Karen Barad wrote: “The ubiquitous puns on ‘matter’ do not, alas, mark a rethinking of the key concepts (materiality and signification) and the relationship between them. [–] There is an important sense in which the only thing that does not seem to matter anymore is matter.” (Barad 2003, 801) Today, the situation has changed. Feminist theorizing has turned to matter with a vengeance (Alaimo & Hekman 2008; Coole & Frost 2010) New materialist research (e.g. Barad 2007; Dolphijn & Van der Tuijn 2012; Van der Tuijn 2015) has emphasized the inseparability of materiality and discursivity. Through posthumanist research (e.g. Ó Maoilearca 2015; Braidotti 2013) performativity widens to concern more-than-human dimensions; performance is not only a human activity.

The main speaker of the day is Dr. Rick Dolphijn, who has a background in philosophy and art theory and is interested in the theoretical humanities at large, media and performance theory in particular. He wrote (with Iris van der Tuin) New Materialism: Interviews and Cartographies (Open Humanities Press 2012), has written on new materialism, ecology/ecosophy and art and is interested in the developments in continental philosophy and speculative thought. His academic work has appeared in journals like Angelaki, Rhizomes, Collapse and Deleuze Studies. He edited (with Rosi Braidotti) This Deleuzian Century: Art, Activism, Life (Brill/Rodopi 2014/5) and Philosophy after Nature (2017).

In the research project How to do things with performance? (2016-2020) funded by the Academy of Finland we have looked at the materiality of and the material-discursive practices involved in the performance, by engaging with a wide variety of materialities, like historical performance descriptions, with laundry, with scores, with a Theremin, with vinyl records, with old video works, with plants… These are of course not the only matters that can be crucial for performance and performing.

We invite everybody interested in performance-as-research or research on and in performance, performance art and live art to debate these questions and ponder how and in what way materiality matters in performance.

Please send abstracts (max 250 words) of proposals for 15 min. presentations and a brief bio, no later than 15 February 2018 to annette.arlander@uniarts.fi

Annette Arlander, Hanna Järvinen, Tero Nauha, Pilvi Porkola

Artikkeli julkaistu Mustekalan numerossa “Taide, työ ja kritiikki”

Mustekala “Taide, työ ja kritiikki”
4/2017, Vol 69

Mustekalan vuoden viimeisen teemanumeron aihe on ”Taide, työ ja kritiikki”. Taiteesta, työstä ja kritiikistä keskusteltaessa kohdataan kysymys siitä, mikä on taiteilijan tehtävä, mitä hän tuottaa, kenelle ja miksi. Voiko taidetta enää olla olemassa ”pelkkänä taiteena”, ja miten taiteen tulee toimia epäkohtien edessä?
Tero Nauha “Ajattelun mahdollinen talous”: http://www.mustekala.info/node/37945

A thought of performance

Published in the Performance Philosophy online journal, Vol. 2, No 2 (2017).


In this article I attempt to trace the path of my artistic research, which began from the application of schizoanalysis in performance and which now explores the possible limits of thought in order to regard how performance thinks in specifically different ways from discursive forms of thought, such as philosophy. The main argument starts from the notion – borrowed from French thinker, François Laruelle – that philosophical thought does not tell us more about the Real than any other gestures of thought. I begin from a speculative relationship between the apparatus of cognitive capitalism. I conclude by superpositioning the post-humanist thought of Laruelle and Karen Barad with the concept of ‘non-standard’ performance as fictioning. As a whole, the article aims to propose a performative approach to artistic research in these terms.

Kick Off, abridged thought.

First Theremin Orchestra  at Carnegie Hall, New York, April 25, 1930.
First Theremin Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York, April 25, 1930.

Briefly said,  a presentation with a voice pressed on vinyl records and theremin. A text in progress. 

The performance is not a copy of the original. The thought of performance is a mutation itself. It is performing mutation of the real. The performance do not represent a body. The performance is not anti-art or anti-philosophy, but subtraction of attributes. A body in performance is not a representation, but matter in the process of subtraction. The performance is mutation of the real, it is a fiction. Fiction is a clone of the real, the only way how we approximate with the real. Performance is real, it is not real and it is not-not real. This is not a project, which produces more predicates of subject, like militant, activist, leftist, ad nauseam. Not more philosophy, but less. Not more dialogue, but polylogue and a shift from agon or oikonomia to a heretical choice without a reason. A heretical practice has no superior identity, system, or absolute, but it is without reason. It is an advent of practice. It is fiction, which is the fiction is a counter-creation of the World. The fiction is not an analysis of the world, but it is a organization in advent… The art is not creation for better world, or for better fiction, but art is the end of the world. A body remains foreclosed in the radical immanence and it is performed. Art already thinks, without the representatives of the archbishops of philosophy. It does not think for or through the philosophers.