– On the Temporality of Making (Lecture)


work-is-disease_web (“Work is a disease” Karl Marx)

In recent decades, probably one of the most commonly used words among artists, producers and other cultural workers is the word project. Artists, scientists, politicians, producers and all others who work in the so-called creative sector all are united through one word with which they/we often name what we do: we do projects. This word seems to be not only endlessly extensible and abundant (it can describe whatever), but also overwhelming and overflowing: we are all involved in projects, probably several of them at the same time and in different places, we are implementing the finalisation of old projects and starting new ones, continuously taking part in the relentless projective movement of production (and creation). Of course, the plain banality and everydayness of the use of the term project speaks to the fact that this term is often used as an empty signifier, a concept that doesn’t imply anything in particular, denominating nothing, adding nothing to what we actually do. It could be said that this term is being used pragmatically for a myriad of makings and doings. Am I then not inclining to squeeze too much out of a sheer pragmatic application of this particular word to artistic work? I’m not so sure about that. Project always denominates, not only as a specific term, but also a temporal attitude or temporal mode, where the completion is already implied in the projection of the future. A lot of what artists and workers in the field of culture do today seems to be caught in this un-addressed and never approached projective time which I would like to analyse in the lecture and expose the intriguing relation between work and the future.


BOJANA KUNST is a philosopher, dramaturg and performance theoretician. She is a professor at the Institute for Applied Theater Studies in Justus Liebig University Giessen, where she is leading an international master program Choreography and Performance. She is a member of the editorial board of Maska Magazine, Amfiteater and Performance Research. Her essays have appeared in numerous journals and publications and she has thought and lectured extensively at the various universities in Europe. She published several books, among them:  Impossible Body (Ljubljana 1999), Dangerous Connections: Body, Philosophy and Relation to the Artificial (Ljubljana, 2004), Processes of Work and Collaboration in Contemporary Performance (Ur)., Amfiteater, Maska, Ljubljana, 2006, Performance and Labour, Performance Research 17.06. (ed. with Gabriele Klein), 2013, Artist at Work, Closeness of Art and Capitalism, Maska, Ljubljana, 2013.

–> WEDNESDAY 19/11 @ 19.30 – 21.00

* The lecture is also the final event of the study group: Scenkonstens produktionsvillkor.