If we are being-of-the-world, how can we ever avoid participation? From this question Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_ action) unfolds. It invites to engage in an ongoing continuum of entanglements, where the moment of connection is unavoidable. This invitation demands that we are attentive to our mutual co-constitutiveness, that we take responsibility for what gets excluded as well as what comes to matter.
Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action) introduces, purposes and explores a specific format, the live dissertation, an academic instance that demands performative responses during the public defense. It is a dissertation in choreography written through space-time-language-matter with and for human and more-than-human bodies, and other discursive-material becomings. By this Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action) recognizes the force of what Karen Barad conceptualized as ethico-onto-epistemologocial engtanglements through intra-action. It engages a posthumanist and agential-realist reworking of the notion of performativity, in which all bodies (not only human bodies) come to matter through the world’s performativity—its iterative intra-activity. In this framework, knowledge is made as a direct material engagement, a cutting together-apart—a process by which cuts enact violence but also open up and rework agential conditions of possibility.
During Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_ action) diffractive choreographic methods and techniques, which had been developed through diverse intra-active studies—actions, collaborations, and works that span throughout 2010-2016, were re-activated, applied, manifested, and experienced. These practices were made present through specific agential forces that enacted them—such as breath, text, touch, voice, vegetation, spatial proximity, motion, distance, asphalt, material walls and material voids (the reactor hole), pain, and disgust. These practices also enacted processes of queering causality, agency and relationality, and dislocating authority, while (my / the / our) human and more-than-human body / bodies pursued embodied affinities, and a state of becoming-with. Through these re-activated intra-active studies Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action) examines and articulates choreography and performance as ever-present negotiations of vulnerability, intimacy, force, and power as enactments that are of-the-world.
As part of the choreographic practice Sugar Rush Productions | Maria Åkesson together with Tsomak Oga, Sooz Romero, and Debora Vega were video documenting Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action). This documentation together with other remains (as a non-representative residue) will be made available after the defense here: dissertationthroughaction.space