CREATIVITY AND AUTHORSHIP IN WARFARE

- SEMINAR -

What is the relationship between art, philosophy and warfare? Are artists and thinkers the co-producers of military strategies of tomorrow? Can criticality be protected and shaped against misuse? The one-day-seminar on “Creativity and Authorship in Warfare” at Kunsthalle Göteborg invites for thought on the employment of creative strategies and critical philosophy in contemporary warfare and presents performances dealing with the invention of catastrophes and documentation of violence.

PROGRAMME

13:00 – 13.30: Welcome by Skogen & Framing Statement by Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt
13:30 – 14:15: Lecture by Natalie Alvarez  – “Performance and Its Genealogies of War”
14:15 – 14:45: Coffee
14:45 – 15:15: Eva Meyer-Keller: “Von Menschen gemacht?”
15:30 – 16:45: Lecture by Eyal Weizman – “A New Theory of Holes”
16:45 – 17:15: Questions on first half moderated by Edda Manga
17.15 – 18:00: Vegetarian buffet
18:00 – 19.00: Rabih Mroué: “Pixelated Revolution”
19:30 – 21:30: Conversation moderated by Edda Manga

BOKA BILJETT: Hela programmet, kl 13.00 – 22.00 + fika och vegetarisk buffé. 200 kr
BOKA BILJETT: Kvällens program, kl 18.00 – 22.00. Ej Bufé. 150 kr
BOKA BILJETT: Dagens program, kl. 13.00 – 17.15 + fika. 50 kr

The seminar is curated by Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt and Skogen. It is presented in collaboration with Göteborgs Konsthall and Glänta with support from Västra Götalandsregionen and Goethe-Institut Schweden.

Note that this seminar will be located at Göteborgs Konsthall.

NATALIE ALVAREZ

Natalie Alvarez

Performance and Its Genealogies of War

Natalie Alvarez moves through several sites of her field research at military bases in the US, Canada, and the UK to observe the ways in which the performance paradigm has been taken up by the military-industrial-academic complex as it attempts to advance training methodologies nimble enough to take on a new frontier of irregular and asymmetrical warfare. Each site raises a particular set of concerns that, when taken together, trace the genealogies of performance and war. In her studies of scenarios at an insurgent training camp for US Special Forces in Utah, USA, and mock Afghan villages at CFB Wainright, Canada, and the Stanford Training Area in England, Alvarez raises questions concerning how the affective entrainment of soldiers through large-scale immersive improvisations converges in unsettling ways with histories of performance theory. She examines the instrumental use of empathy in military strategy and queries how the immersion of soldiers in the mise en scène of an Afghan village designed to foster Cultural Intelligence (CQ)—positioned by military strategists as a “force multiplier”—prepares soldiers to engage in an irreconcilable paradox of punitive, yet culturally “sensitive,” militarism.

Natalie Alvarez is an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University, Ontario, Canada, where she teaches in the Theatre Praxis concentration. She holds a PhD in Theatre Studies from the University of Toronto. In 2010, she received a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her current book project on immersive simulations and intercultural performance in military training and dark tourism, which allowed her to conduct field research at military bases and tourist sites in Mexico, the US, Canada, and the UK. Her research on performance and simulation, performance theory, and contemporary experimental performance in the Americas has been published in a variety of periodicals, as well as national and international book collections. She is the editor of the first two collections on Latina/o-Canadian performance, which establish the field of Latina/o performance studies in Canada. She is the recipient of the 2013 Richard Plant Essay Prize and the Robert G. Lawrence emerging scholar prize, both by the Canadian Association of Theatre Research.

EYAL WEIZMAN

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Eyal Weizman (born 1970 in Haifa) is an Israeli intellectual and architect. He is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture – a “laboratory for critical spatial practices”- which he created, within the Department of Visual Cultures, in 2005.

Since 2011 he directs the European Research Council funded project Forensic Architecture – on the place of architecture in international humanitarian law.

Since 2007 he is a founding member of the architectural collective Decolonizing Architecture (DAAR) in Beit Sahour/Palestine. Weizman has been a professor of architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and has also taught at The Bartlett (UCL) in London at the Stadelschule in Frankfurt and is a Professeur Invité at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris. He lectured, curated and organised conferences in many institutions worldwide.

He has worked with a variety of NGOs world wide and was member of B’Tselem board of directors. He is currently on the advisory boards of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, the Human Rights Project at Bard in NY, as a jury member for architecture in the Akademie Schloss Solitude and of other academic and cultural institutions. Weizman is the recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize for 2006-2007, a co-recipient of the 2010 Prince Claus Prize for Architecture (for DAAR) and was invited to deliver the Rusty Bernstein, Paul Hirst, Nelson Mandela, Mansour Armaly and the Edward Said Memorial Lectures amongst others. Weizman studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London, and completed his PhD at the London Consortium.

Involved in political theory through the case of Palestine and other places, Weizman’s most known theoretical work describes the acts of the Israeli army as founded upon the post-structuralist French philosophers and a reading of them. He also conducted research on behalf of B’tselem on the “planning aspects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank”.

His recent books include Mengele’s Skull: The Advent of Forensic Aesthetics, with Thomas Keenan and The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence From Arendt to Gaza. Weizman is also the author of the book Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation,which has been translated into German, French, and Italian, and attracted over 40 reviews including The Financial Times, Harpers, The independent, The Nation and The London Review of Books. He is author of À travers les murs: l’architecture de la nouvelle guerre urbaine (La Fabrique, 2008), A Civilian Occupation (Verso, 2003), the series Territories 1,2 and 3, Yellow Rhythms and many articles in journals, magazines and edited books.

RABIH MROUÉ

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Rabih Mroué, born 1967, lives and works in Beirut. Mroué is an actor, director, playwright, visual artist, and a contributing editor for The Drama Review (TDR) and the quarterly Kalamon. He is also a co-founder and a board member of the Beirut Art Center (BAC), Beirut. His complex and diverse practice, spanning different disciplines and formats in between theater, performance, and visual arts, has established Mroué as a key figure in a new generation of artistic voices in Lebanon. Employing both fiction and in-depth analysis as tools for engaging with his immediate reality, Mroué explores the responsibilities of the artist in communicating with an audience in given political and cultural contexts. His works deal with issues that have been swept under the rug in the current political climate of Lebanon, connected to the enduring marks left by the Lebanese Civil War as well as more recent political events.

He is a fellow at The International Research Center: “Interweaving Performance Cultures”/Freie Universität- Berlin, 2013/2014.

His works include: Riding on a cloud (2013), 33 tours et quelques seconds (2012), The Pixelated revolution (2012), Photo-Romance (2009), The Inhabitants of images (2008), How Nancy Wished That Everything Was an April Fool’s Joke(2007); Make Me Stop Smoking (2006); Looking for a Missing Employee (2005); Look into the Light… (2004); Who’s Afraid of Representation? (2003), Biokhraphia (2002); Three Posters (2000) and others…

EVA MEYER-KELLER

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Eva Meyer-Keller is working at the interface of performing and visual arts and has presented her work in the context of festivals, art galleries and theatres throughout Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Before she graduated from the School for New Dance Development (SNDO) in Amsterdam she studied photography and visual art in Berlin (HdK) and London (Central St. Martins and Kings College). She lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Eva Meyer-Keller’s work is versatile: she shows her performances internationally develops projects with other artists, performs for other choreographers and realizes video works. In addition to her own work she was involved in projects of Baktruppen, Jérôme Bel and Christine de Smedt / Les Ballets C de la B.

CECILIE ULLERUP SCHMIDT

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Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt performs, curates and writes in the field between cultural critique, philosophy and performance. She studied Comparative Literature and Modern Cultural Studies in Copenhagen and Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen. Since 2011 she is teaching at the BA in Dance, Context, Choreography at the Inter-University of Dance (HZT) in Berlin.

Often Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt is occupied with power, money and time. Her artistic work is at home in galleries, theatres and discursive seminars; format and production conditions change dependent on the specific performative investigation. She is collaborating with the performance artists Ana Berkenhoff, Matthias Meppelink, Ida-Elisabeth Larsen and Boris Nikitin and the collectives Monster Truck and deufert+plischke. With Lucie Tuma she holds the artist duo named Chuck Morris.

EDDA MANGA

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Edda Manga is a historian of ideas, writer and editor at Feministiskt perspektiv (www.feministisktperspektiv.se). On the theme of war she has among other things written an awarded essay on use of the concept of “just war” in legitimating global dominion (http://www.historisktidskrift.se/documents/Edda_Manga_Historisk-tidskrift_2008-3.pdf). Her current area of research is the intersection between racism and armed conflict in postcolonial Colombia.