i have been invited to take part in a discussion of performative practice in the creative arts at the WAAG Society in Amsterdam on June 14th. WAAG – an organization I confess I had never encountered before – provides a multi-faceted workspace that brings together engineers, scientists, artists, schoolchildren, teachers and the occasional academic to engage in practical projects and discussions. Basically, it looks suspiciously to me like a bunch of very happy people getting paid to muck about and have fun – which was always my career plan. The WAAG Society takes its name from the building it occupies in the centre of Amsterdam, which originated as a medieval weighing house (hence ‘waag’) for the adjacent market. The WAAG site includes a history of the building and details the many performances and rituals that have evolved with it over the centuries. It seems a highly appropriate place to discuss performativity.
I’ve been asked to talk about both Headless as a collaborative and performative project and my other random views on performativity as a research method. Quite apart from looking like enormous fun in itself, I get to talk in WAAG’s extraordinary theatrum anatomicum in which I will probably be dissected. More interestingly, I will be joined on stage (or dissection table) by Eric Joris from Crewonline, artist and performer Marloeke van der Vlugt, and Maaike Bleeker from Utrecht University’s Theatre Studies Dept.