Non-Humans and Performance: A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog) - II Memo of Time

Non-Humans and Performance: A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog) - II Memo of Time

Tuija Kokkonen
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A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog) – II Memo of Time is a pair of performances where the basis of the presentation is weather, time, potentiality and non-human co-actors. A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog) was performed on the ancient shore of the post-ice-age Yoldia Sea in the northern suburbs of Helsinki. A Performance with an Ocean View (for a Dog) took place on a potential future seashore on the roof top of a city centre department store. It was created and performed for a dog as its main spectator, though human spectators were present part of the time. The performances moved in the space between live art, environmental art and conceptual art. They were performed in May and August 2008 in Helsinki in Finnish and in English as part of the program of Kiasma Theatre / Museum of Contemporary Art and Baltic Circle Festival. Memos of Time is a performance series, which forms a central part of my artistic research at the Theatre Academy, Helsinki: ‘The potential nature of performance. The relationship to the non-human in the performance event from the perspective of duration and potentiality’. The underlying question in my research as well as in the exposition for JAR, is the role of art and artistic research in an age of ecological crisis. What does it mean if we begin to perceive nature, its beings and phenomena, as agents or actors - and how will that perspective possibly change our understanding of the human, of performance and the question of duration. These issues were explored through the practice of working with non-human agents - as co-actors and as spectators - and with non-human durations and rhythms. The questions were/are examined in a dialogue with Bruno Latour’s notion of non-human actors, Giorgio Agamben’s notion of (im)potentiality and with animal studies.

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