Symposium on Interspecies Performance 16. – 17.9.2013

Renegotiating ”Us”: In Performance with Other Species

What are non-humans, the other species able to become? What are humans and performances able to become together with them in the age of eco-crises?

16.-17.9.2013 Performing Arts Research Centre, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki

Through various art, performance and thinking practices, this international transdisciplinary symposium of artistic research, live art and fine art focuses on our relationships with the non-human, especially with other animals and plants. The main aim of the two-day symposium is to explore the possibilities and implications of the interspecies performance – understood as social collectives including humans and non-humans – for performance, art and human in the age of eco-crises. For the first time in Finland, this symposium introduces and explores an emerging field of study into the relationships between performance, humans, other species and “nature”. The animal turn (animal studies (human-animal relations), animal ethics) along with the wider environmental/ecological/ earthly turn in our culture and the posthumanistic theories questioning the anthropocentrism prevalent in several disciplines have all been drawing attention also to this field of interspecies performance.

The keynote speaker, Professor Alan Read is a pioneer on the question of performance and animals, and the author of Theatre & Everyday Life (1993), Theatre, Intimacy & Engagement (2008), and Theatre in the Expanded Field (October 2013). He is currently Professor of Theatre at King’s College London where he directs the Performance Foundation.

The keynote speaker, Professor Carl Lavery is a specialist in the relationships between performance, ecology and environment. His publications include i.a. Walking and Autobiography: Performance Writing, D. Heddon, C. Lavery & P. Smith, ed. R. Mock, (2009) and Site-Specificity and the Practice of Location: Processes, Performances, Writing (with A. Filmer, 2013/14). He is currently Professor of Theatre and Performance at the Aberystwyth University.

Speakers of the symposium:

o Keynote: Alan Read (Professor of Theatre, King’s College London, UK)

o Keynote: Carl Lavery (Professor of Theatre and Performance, Aberystwyth University, UK)

o Hanna Johansson (PhD, Researcher in Art History, University of Helsinki)

o Essi Kausalainen (Performance Artist, Helsinki)

o Esa Kirkkopelto (Professor of Artistic Research, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

o Tuija Kokkonen (Live Artist, Research Associate, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

o Susanna Lindberg (Professor of Philosophy, University of Tampere)

o Tuula Närhinen (Visual Artist, Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki)

o Erika Ruonakoski (PhD, Researcher in Theoretical Philosophy, University of Helsinki)

Warmly welcome!

Registration now open: (by 9.9.)

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The symposium is organized by Tuija Kokkonen, whose artistic research project (since 2006) explores the questions of the symposium.