Performance Art and Theory (Live Art and Performance Studies)


Recent Submissions

  • Etkin, Shelley (2019)
    This text proposes various orientations towards a body of artistic research on the praxis of landing. Landing explores practices of mutual communicative exchange with land. The guiding curiosity in this practice is to shift from ‘land’ as a territorial entity, separate from the human, into ‘landing’ as a shared process. Thus far, landing has been practiced in the form of sessions, in private and group formations. Landing as a verb connotes processual movement and has been researched through embodied somatic journeying, practiced in several places, working with body and land as medium, proposing a morphing connectedness to address them as a whole. Landing offers a specific approach to journeying as a mode to potentially access a shared imaginary inclusive of humans and land. Through this, I ask how the practice might open into subtle aspects of colonization and de/territorialization and whether there lies potential for other modes of journeying. Landing as a praxis is discussed in relation to ecology, performance, healing, and pedagogy. This text seeks to enter into the research questions of landing as a multilogue; a whole composed of conversations, questions, and orientations. I have set the intention to experiment with attempts at deterritorializing practice through proposing a textual garden, in this case gardening through the medium of words, language, and text.
  • Bisset, Christiana (2019)
    The contested practice of dowsing is a technique for searching for underground water, minerals, ley lines, or anything invisible, by observing the motion of a pointer. Throughout this process of artistic research, I have developed my own relationship to the method of dowsing. This paper illustrates a landscape which has become through and with this method. The movement of dowsing rods is simultaneously an expression of your own knowing, as it is an indicator which you can analyse for new results. Information can be seen as multidirectional as it seemingly flows both from and into the body. As such it breaks down the linearity of knowledge production and reception, rather suggesting a form of fluidity. Throughout this paper, I will question what it might mean to know or believe, given the challenges which face us, in an age of fundamental change. Looking in detail, at the way in which dowsing is understood in popular culture, and layering with my own experiences, this thesis seeks to unpack the nature of a binary in which some knowledges are centralised in order to establish a realm where others might only be considered as 'alternative'. I will propose that the nature of this binary is both gendered and ableist, and that the exclusion of perceptual and bodily based knowledges, has a significance in how we might approach our ecological condition. After presenting this analysis on the state of knowledge and truth, with reference to the post-structuralist turn and the so-called 'post-truth' era, this thesis will explore how my own investigation in contemporary performance responded to the complexities of truth and fact in the age of climate crisis.
  • Nissinen, Vili (2018)
    This thesis analyzes hate speech from a performance studies perspective. The theoretical aim is not to justify hate speech, but rather to deconstruct it and discuss hate speech asa performance, and how it can be performed through language, prejudices and power relations. I will analyze the dramaturgy of hate speech and its performers, as well as the audience needed in order for this performance to happen. I will also reveal that there is a little racism inside us all. We can either let it take control over us, or we can try to deal with it and silence it when possible. In this thesis, I refer to this phenomena as the Charm of the Black Sun. Along with these theoretical issues, I'm also writing critically about my artistic thesis Vihapuhenäytelmä 2015 (Hate Speech Play). The style of this thesis is mostly autobiographical and the primary theoretical framework comes from the Cultural studies tradition from such writer as Sara Ahmed, Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek. Approaching hate speech as a performance in a theoretical view is a new approach to the issue. When observing hate speech through the performance studies lenses, we will find a performative, stating that someone is something, with a purpose of hurting the target. The symbolic violence of hate speech works through language: hateful language simplifies the target violently as a single feature containing our expectations and visions of the object. The linguistic injury, as Judith Butler puts it, can also build social constructions. The aim of the expression is many times intended to situate the target in a subordinate position against the speaker. The performative aspects of hate don't work only on the linguistic level, but also on a non-verbal symbolic level: different gestures and visual messages (such as a burning cross) deliver the same hateful messages.
  • MacDonald, James (2018)
    This thesis is a companion to my artistic work in stand-up comedy, comprising artistic-based research and approaches comedy from a performance studies perspective. The question addressed in the paper and the work is "How is the body of the comedian part of the joke?" The first section outlines dominant theories about humour-superiority, relief, and incongruity-as a background the discussion. It touches on the role of the comedian both as untrustworthy, playful trickster, and parrhesiastes who speaks directly to power, backed by the truth of her lived experience. It also provides some context for the contemporary comedian, whose work follows them off stage and into the thunderdome of social media, where trolling and speaking truth are taken very seriously. Another section presented as background to the discussion is on transgender bodies in performance, focusing on performance art and in stand-up comedy. I argue that embodied transgender performances are largely still situated in the act of encountering a trans body. Speaking of contemporary stand-up comedy, I discuss the ways in which an abject identity or body may be exploited by the comedian onstage for laughter and also for activism. The comedy of Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Hasan Minaj, Jess Thom, Eddie Izzard, Dave Chappelle, Cameron Esposito, and others come into play. Comedy is a complex and interesting site of resistance and social change, since it deals in mockery and non-seriousness, but precisely these qualities allow it to convey messages that are necessary and not polite elsewhere. Finally, I describe my final artistic work, a one-hour comedy show called Gender Euphoria, which is about my own experiences in transitioning from female to male. I describe the ways in which the space and experience were designed to mimic the conditions of a stand-up club inside an institution of learning, and to what aim. The arc of Gender Euphoria is described as an autobiographical work of discovering identity, encountering medical institutions with that identity, encountering new social norms, and travelling through wave after wave of certainty in identity towards more complication, ambiguity, and liberation. I also discuss the material that I was too afraid to do, or that I self-censored out of a sense of not being able to convey the message properly, and fear of backlash from a community I attempt to support. As a whole, this thesis attempts to provide a viewpoint towards the playful and serious contradictions in stand-up comedy, in a way that is informed by practice in the field, from the point of view of a subject whose identity has up until recently been the object of derision, rather than the subject of resistance.
  • Albaos, Jay Mar (2018)
    Migrant Filipinos are neither here nor there. It is from this blurry position where I drew inspiration for my research. Migration is more than just a physical movement; it also involves the creation and recreation of spaces and destinations. The state of precarity that migrants belong to makes them an interesting group of people to study with. Departing from the nuanced collaborative piece of Bayanihan, my research focuses on the question: How did the Filipino labor migrants perform 'becoming' during the Bayanihan 2017 in Helsinki? This research aims to contribute, if not to widen, the discourse on migration not only as political and/or economic occurrence but also as a performative phenomenon. The research introduced artistic immersion as a method of doing community work. Ethnography was the initial methodological foundation of my research, but its tenets were limiting the depth of that which I wanted to capture. Hence, I introduced the notion of artistic immersion, which is based on recognition, inclusivity, and participation. Artistic immersion challenges the notion of 'interpretation' and stresses the importance of recognition. By doing so, we not only arrive merely at an understanding, but a recognition of those who are in the peripheries and, hopefully, eventually nurture inclusive coexistence. The thesis surveyed how 'becoming' happened in different, yet almost simultaneous, nuanced vectors. The process of 'becoming' became reliant to the human, ecological, political, and geographical environments it was into. It also touched many layers of theoretical concepts like performativity, place and site, reconstituting, to mention a few. Through Bayanihan, I realized that 'becoming' was momentary. Materially, it was constructed and eventually got destroyed in a span of time or days. Such momentariness of existence strongly relates to that of labor migrants. The precariousness of their situation suggests that one day they might lose their grant to stay and work in a foreign land. The thesis also included feedback from the participants of the artistic immersion and Bayanihan. This showed how the project treaded along the hazy act of collaboration by deploying recognition. In many ways, the work should not be solely credited to the author alone but also to the body-minds who made the process and project possible. Finally, it is proper to state that as much as problems arise in community work, so was in artistic immersion and Bayanihan. Communities and/or groups constantly change and adapt to dynamic environments. Artistic immersion itself is not finite and is subject to changes. Further assessments on its ideological implications, especially in different contexts, is encouraged. Bayanihan and artistic immersion, reveal so much how humans perform complex relationships (towards each other, institutions, identities, and so on).
  • Konnaris, Petros (2017)
    Nakedness can mean not wearing any clothes but it could also mean not having your socks on. I see nakedness as a social construct that can shift meanings depending on the context, the culture and the subject(s) being or not being naked. In Approaching Nakedness and Its Problematics I use personal experiences I had in Europe and Thailand, the words Naked, Nude and Τίτσιρος (:Titsiros), borrow ideas from Donna Haraway, the trans philosopher Talia Mae Bettcher, and the indigenous scholar Irene Watson to introduce the multiplicity of nakedness. I present some of the problematics of nakedness such as objectification, male gaze, exhibitionism and voyeurism, toxic masculinity, gender binaries, and normalized body images. Afterward, I present queer and feminist theories of Judith Butler, Diane Ponterotto, and Talia Mae Bettcher on how to resist those problematics. I then contextualize my work in relation to other artists, their work and the mentioned problematics. I continue with my artistic project A Bathing Performance, a 1-1(one with one) happening of nakedness and care, presenting my methodology, my aims, my reflections and observation. In the project, I limit the spectrum of nakedness and focus on nakedness as an intimate, platonic act. Additionally, I introduce the term one with one and explore performance as a meeting, a mutual, interconnected exchange with another person. I approach both nakedness and the performance as a multiplicity, a range of options and choices that one can decide how, when and where he/she/they want to experience nakedness. The written part of my thesis includes an academic text and a handwritten book: a replica of the scorebook I used in the performances in June 2017 which includes the updated version of my 30 bathing scores/proposals.
  • Illukka, Kaisa (2014)
    Teatterikorkeakoulun opinnäytteeni taiteellinen osa koostuu kahdesta erillisestä, vuonna 2005 toteutetusta teoksesta: Pelto – ankara moraliteetti ja Studio 5. Pelto – ankara moraliteetti -esitykseen kuului kaksi osaa, esitysinstallaatio ja näyttämöesitys. Ensimmäisessä luvussa käyn läpi kirjoituksia siitä, kuinka teatterin käytäntöjen (tila, tekstit, esityskonseptit) on ajateltu vieraannuttavan suhdettamme luontoon kenties voimakkaammin kuin muissa taiteenlajeissa. Erityisesti ihmiskeskeinen aihemaailma ja passiivinen katsojuus nousevat ekokriittisessä luennassani esille. Toisessa luvussa tarkastelen tilallisia strategioita muuttaa esityksellisiä ja siten ehkä ylipäänsä havaintotapojemme ”ympäristöherkemmiksi”. Tilan, ympäristön ja sen tuottamien suhdeasetelmien pohdinta on tärkeää, koska tilan jakamisen tapa nousee keskeiseksi ympäristöeettiseksi kysymykseksi opinnäytteessäni. Kolmannessa luvussa kirjoitan Pellon ratkaisuista luoda toiminnan ja tekojen tilaa sekä työvälineiden käytön ruumiillisuudesta ja ajallisuudesta, kuinka ympäristö ja ruumis asettuivat vuoropuheluun niiden kautta. Studio 5 -produktio koostui kolmesta pääosasta, jotka olivat installaatio Teatterikorkeakoulun Studio 3 -tilassa Helsingissä, ympäristötaideteos Suitian tutkimus- ja koetilan maastossa Siuntiossa sekä verkkosivusto, joka dokumentoi projektimme kirjallisen ja kuvamateriaalin. Opinnäytteen keskeiseksi osaksi muodostui myös niin sanottu metsänvuokrausprosessi. Opinnäytteen kirjallisessa osiossa pohdin Studio 5:n taiteellista työtä erityisesti esityksen elävyyden (elävän tilanteen), vuorovaikutuksen ja kytkeytyneisyyden kautta. Lisäksi kirjoitan teoksestamme kokonaisvaltaisuuden käsitettä vasten, mitä kaikkia ulottuvuuksia ja näkökulmia se yhdisteli, millaisen suhteikon se loi? Tarkastelen tässä valossa myös Teatterikorkeakoulun tilapolitiikkaa, ja ylipäänsä kaupunkitiloja, ja pohdin, millaisia ulossulkemisen mekanismeja niissä harjoitetaan. Ensimmäisessä luvussa tarkastelussa on musta sieni/home-installaatio, ja sen esiintuoma Teatterikorkeakoulun ”piilevä luonto”. Pyrin ristivalottamaan installaatiomme ”elävyyttä” ja vuorovaikutusta sekä esitysteorian että elävän materiaalisuuden teorian ja ekologian kautta. Mitä lopulta ymmärrämme elävyydellä, elävällä tilanteella tai vuorovaikutuksella; voisiko niitä ajatella laajemmin kuin vain ihmisten, esiintyjän ja katsojan välisinä suhteina? Omistan omat alakappaleet myös kahdelle installaatiossa esiintyneelle perustavalle toimijalle: pimeydelle ja sienirihmastolle. Toisessa luvussa etenen kohti projektimme metsäosiota maanomistajuuden ja siihen kietoutuvien tilapoliittisten kysymysten kautta. Kirjoitan metsään tai ylipäänsä ei-rakennettuun ympäristöön menon tärkeydestä elinympäristöjen mentaalisen häviämisen eli luonnon kulttuurisen olemassaolon uhanalaistumisen näkökulmasta, sekä retkeilevän kävelemisen ja niin sanotun ympäristöherkkyyden yhteydestä. Kolmannessa luvussa käsittelen vielä ajatuksia ja näkemyksiä siitä, mitä voisi olla niin sanottu esitysekologia ja kokonaisvaltainen esitys.
  • Theurich, Ilka (2015)
    This scientific work concentrates on the question: How do relations between elements have to be set up so that a poetic encounter in public urban space can emerge? This thesis is based on two practical research projects Kallio my Kallio at the Theatre Academy Helsinki (held between 15th March and 15th May 2011) and The City of Dream and Futureii at Space MASS in Seoul (held between 1st September and 27th November 2011). Two answer the research question I examined also the following questions in this text: how does the recipient encounter performance art in public urban space and vice versa? How do people encounter poetic moments? When does such a moment start, when does it end? What is a poetic moment? Does one have to be prepared for such a moment in order to be able to see it? My first approach in this thesis is that of perception. For me perception as a ground and starting basis of all cognition finds its true supreme discipline in artistic research. My second approach is intervention as it is discussed under the term action in chapter two. I have defined this free space that is to be designed as a space of poetic encounter in chapter three. For this, I use a social-poetical performance practice as a design tool, which I would like to introduce here as a contribution to the discussion on the way to a possible open city. This thesis investigates visual prerequisites, eephemeral phenomena that enable a poetic encounter in public space to emerge and to be reflected in the mode of playing. I have tried to figure out that through serious play an energetic space will be constituted in the streets of a district and that bymeans of this energetic space, the passers-by will get one more possibility to read the action. Based on my personal belief that each human being is insular and cannot get out of that insularity, but that there are strog moments when somewhere finds an intersection with someone else, when an idea of something enters the space, poetic encounter is possible in any situation and for anyone. You do not have to be prepared for such a moment, to encounter.
  • Kucia, Karoliina (2014)
    Oops! Sorry, later just Oops! was a group practice of micro-events and animation for 4 persons that took place in 2009 in the public spaces of Helsinki. It was also staged as a performance production and presented at the Theatre Academy in November 2010. The entire process was circling around a situation of lapsus (a lapse, slip, faux pas). We used lapsus to experiment with cooperation, which is not based on sympathy or consensus. I chose lapsus for its sensual-emotional complexity and immediacy, to be an occasion for alternatives in self-organizing and collective co-emergence. I chose to do research, not through affirmation of any exact alternative or potentiality of alternative, but by inhabiting a state of disruption. I asked people who share my affection for moments of lapse or ones to whom those moments happen frequently to join the project. We were working through combining mechanical and organic processes of dialogue, exchange and production. Methods and tools used in this practice were: lapse, parody, mockery, inconsistency, reanimation and personal resistance. The main reason to initiate this research was to try out a process that would embrace a condition of fuzzy, fractalized and flexible precarious work structure in cognitive production with its possible collapses. As an event producer in an age of commodification of time, experience and event I decided to play with this structure and to invite a lapsus as a moment of disruption; to see how do we get out from there. Does a collapse produce stiffening or a reinvention of the norm? I see in a lapse an everyday practice of letting go of self-control. Letting go of the constant creation of my face, body and personality as something to be looked at. Letting go of one's own desire to look good. The event of a lapse never fails me. It always works. It always disrupts the consistency of emotions, production, play, drama and interpretation. I believe in tools that are not pretty. A lapse is anti-aesthetical. It disrupts aesthetics, any order and any structure of representation and meaning. In the written part of my thesis I write about the conceptual base for the Oops! project. The concept of Oops! relates mainly to Giorgio Agamben's idea of parody and it's coexistence with fiction, Paolo Virno's concept of joke as a diagram for innovatory action in public, Félix Guattari's minor notions of lapse in Chaosmosis, and Richard's Schechner's idea of dislocation (not-not-me) relating again with Agamben's concept of remnant. Through this theoretical background I try to make sense and formulate my idea of lapse as a fallacy, micro collapse and minor event of the every day, a momentary state of dealing with the possibility of becoming both, a joke or a failure. After that I depict what we intended to do with Oops! the plan I wrote before we started to work and during the practice. This part contains a description of the background for the work and the research, how did the group come together and how did it sustain itself for the period of the work. I also describe my main method of working, the method of reanimation and how I have created this sort of prosthesis to deal with the documentary results of live action and with the live action producing documentary results. Following that I talk about what actually happened in the process of Oops! I concentrate on the most interesting points. I describe the end result, the performance, and point out what was interesting in what we did and what I have found out conceptually and practically. I refer to Franco “Bifo” Berardi's writings on automatism, virtual time and the social consequences of increasingly immaterial labor, and describe surprises, reflections, touching moments and some tools or techniques developed and ready to be carried on. At the end I draw some conclusions and present a short plan for my next attempt to work with lapse; as an appendix I am attaching the script for Oops!, a collection of concepts, scores and structures we followed on the way. Throughout the entire text I relate to other artistic projects beside our Oops! project. In the case of the question of parody I refer to the piece by Jeremy Deller, Battle of Orgreave and the documentary of this work by Mike Figgis, both from 2001, also to a work by Yael Bartana from 2011, And Europe will be Stunned and to the film Attenberg from 2010, by Athina Rachel Tsangari. When talking about the method of reanimation and lapse I refer to Martin Arnold's Passage à l'acte from 1993, Jeremy Deller's piece again, my own previous works and Joan Jonas' pieces, Vertical Roll, 1972 and Reanimation, 2012.
  • Georgiou, Christina (2013)
    Mapping the Body, Embodying the Map: A corporeal taxonomy into a topographical transformation at the border of Nicosia is a project realized along and across the buffer zone within the Venetian walls of Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus. The focus of this project is the area that divides the city into two parts and it has been mentioned as buffer zone, green line, borderline, dividing line, dead zone and many more. This restricted area has activated not only physical barriers for people but also caused emotional and mental restrain. The motivation is my wish to reveal the significance of this area and uncover the impact it creates on the body: physical, mental and emotional. Also my intention is to deform and reconstruct the psychophysical perceptions of the dividing line through artistic means. The approach and method of working consists of artistic research, and a practical and theoretical framework. I have used live performance as my creative technique to realize a series of site-specific performance interventions along and across the Nicosia buffer zone in order to generate knowledge about that area, examined in my research. In addition, the written part of this project includes a description and analysis of my artistic work at the border, supported with theories focusing mainly on José Esteban Muñoz’s work, “Disidentifications” (1999) and Sarah Pink’s “Doing Sensory Ethnography” (2009). This thesis project questions: How the conventional idea of the border and its solidified historicity can be transformed to a new perception through performing, while bringing a psychophysical transformation to this experience? To come to an answer, the body is used as a tool to create live actions and the Nicosia border is used as a site to be experienced through non covnentional ways. Finally, the outcome is an experiential mapping, which is shaped while the body is used to measure, archive, experience and re-experience, and therefore memorize the border anew.
  • Palokangas, Satu (2012)
    Liikutuksen Tiloja on kokoelma tekstejä vuosilta 2006-2009 jotka käyvät läpi esitystaiteellisen ajatteluni kehitystä tältä ajalta. Se kuvaa kolmea taiteellista työtäni, alkaen Trio A rekonstruktio prosessista ja siitä kummunneesta ajattelusta, johon vaikuttivat mm. opiskeluni Anna Halprinin ja Ruth Zaporahin kanssa, esittellen ajatuksiani esitysekologiasta ja ekosomatiikasta esitystaiteellisina työvälineinä. Tässä tekstissä olen keskittynyt erityisesti The Game of Desire teokseen, jossa tutkin esiintyjän, tilan ja yleisön liikkuvia suhteita, sekä katsojaposition aktivaatiota ja uudenlaisen näkijä-toimija position mahdollistumista. Kirjoitan muutoksen imperatiivista ja taiteen tehtävästä tarjota meille ns. ontologinen paussi, tila, jossa näkemäni voi muuttua kokemukseksi ja liikuttaa havaintoani pois totutusta, mahdollistaen näin uusia neuromotorisia reittejä maailmassa toimimiselleni. Tämä havainnoinnin muutos voi ehdotukseni mukaan toteutua erityisesti keholähtöisen improvisaation ja somaattisten liikemenetelmien kautta ja olla osa taiteilijuuden harjoittamista. Esittelen tekstissä lyhyesti myös Ruth Zaporahin kehittämää Action Theater metodia ja tarkastelen somaattisia liikemenetelmiä taiteellisena praksisena, “ajatteluna liikkeessä”. Ehdotan kirjoituksessani myös, että osallistava esitystaide mahdollistaa mallien ja relaatioiden tutkimista taiteen kautta, purkaen silmän ylivaltaa ja rakentaen läheisyyden estetiikkaa.
  • Kivinen, Sari (2011)
    Spin-Fold-Spill is a solo performance, installation and written thesis that explores the Role-System, a system of roles that represents parts of a personality. The performance and installation took place during May 2011. This written component articulates and documents the performance whilst aiming to re-perform the live performance in a textual form. This body of work fits within the fields of live art and performance studies. Spin-Fold-Spill is about how to obscure autobiographical material through the fiction of roles. It is about exploring monologue, about speaking subjects, about telling ones own story and simultaneously playing with the certainty of whose story it is/ was. The body of the performance and this written component are structured in twelve parts that are represented by twelve colour combinations. The audience / reader can choose the order by selecting a colour order of their choice. Various overlapping themes are explored within Spin-Fold-Spill such as: multiple persona in artistic practice, compartmentalisation, melancholia and performativity, storytelling, and the function of the video camera in developing a role's fictitious history.
  • Alastalo, Marko (2011)
    Tämä kirjallinen työ perustuu opinnäytetyöni taiteelliseen osioon, aivomusiikkilaboratorioon, jonka esitykselliset ihmiskokeet järjestettiin Teatterikorkeakoulussa syksyllä 2009. Käsittelen tässä tekstissä Aivomusiikkilaboratorion interaktiota. Painopiste on yleisön interaktiokokemuksissa, joita on kartoitettu tutkimushaastattelujen avulla. Teoreettisena viitekehyksenä ovat peliä käsittelevät teoreettiset tekstit, joiden avulla pyrin hahmottamaan Aivomusiikkilaboratorion interaktiivisia prosesseja. Aivomusiikkilaboratorion katsoja-koehenkilöiden ruumiillisuuteen liittyvien interaktiokokemusten ymmärtämiseksi tukeudun myös Helena Erkkilän hahmotuksiin ruumiinkuvan käsitteestä, johon haen näkökulmaa kyborgiuden kautta. Lisäksi taustoitan taiteellista työtäni viittaamalla mm. John Cagen ja Alvin Lucierin teoksiin.
  • Tubin, Tuuli (2011)
    Some texts and a performance story. All motivated by the author’s interest in space, in this that surrounds, and that interest, in turn, originating from the author’s earlier studies in cultural anthropology, in observing and experiencing the surrounding animate and inanimate world. The texts in this thesis are alternating between academic and creative writing. They are texts written on a specific site on Suomenlinna island in Helsinki, Finland, as part of the performance ”Beyond the Wind in Front of Me / A Space Ship Journey” story or prologues to that, and the more academic ones supporting them or growing out of them, being accompanied also by the thoughts and practices of others. The main research questions and themes being How to perceive this that surrounds me? What is space, what does it consist of? Is it something that simply surrounds me? Am I a part of it or is it a part of me? How can a space be researched? How to activate a space? What kind of mental images do spaces/places create/uncover/open up in us? How to animate/make alive those images? Body giving meaning to space via actions created by the body. Physical environment contra emotional, imaginary, visionary one. Presence in a space/place. Physical and mental presence. Presence in memories.