How are performing bodies assembled? How do dispositifs of theatre perform (through) actorly
bodies? How do bodies queer theatre?
.My research arises from my lived experience–as both a professional actor/performer and a gendered queer body–of bodies and “self” as malleable, porous, and capable of (per)forming differently in different kinds of assemblages. The project uses my positioning as an actor and performance maker to explore bodily plasticities within performative encounters, stagings, and intermedial translations. It points towards how performing bodies and selves are co-constituted within complex networks of power, and shows these processes of becoming as both political and poetic as they participate in the affective and aesthetic registers of sense made available by/on/as scene.
My approach is attentive to the performative and non-neutral relationships between human bodies and technology. By aligning human bodies with technological tools, the research draws attention to the mediality of the actorly body as/within the apparatus of theatre. Through suggesting queer alliances between metabolic and technological bodies the research seeks to denaturalise the subject position of “the actor” and deconstruct its material-discursive underpinnings.
My project’s scope is simultaneously political and artistic, emancipatory and speculative. Through specific attentiveness to the becoming of actorly bodies the research deconstructs and reimagines theatrical apparatuses and artistic/pedagogic regimes as actors moulding the affordances of speech,
experience, subjectivity and corporeality. At the same time the work explores the possibilities of
weird and queer bodies as lines of flight. It pays special attention to becomings that are marked by discomfort and failure, expanding the interrogation of bodies-in-formation into techno-socio-
metabolic ecologies. The research resists collapsing into technofobia or dystopian despair, and instead seeks out practices of queering relations and sidestepping fixed trajectories.
It takes place in and through artistic practice, materialising as discursively entwined
artworks which aim to question the implicit divisions between artistic practice and writing in
contexts of artistic research and art making. The project includes two pre-examined “artistic parts” as well as unexamined artistic/research endeavours and collaborations. These serve both as sites and
outcomes of research. The research “commentary” will be published as a digital exposition on the Research Catalogue. The digital platform makes it possible not only to compose with materials produced in the artistic processes, but also to perform (through) artistic strategies that emerge from the
research. Thus I will weave together video, sound and written text in a way that deconstructs and
reassembles “the actor” as a stage, reaching towards the audience-reader through sensory registers
in which the final authorial word is indefinitely deferred.
Prof. Leena Rouhiainen, Performing Arts Research Centre, University of Arts HelsinkiProf. Ray Langenbach, Live Art and Performance Studies, University of Arts Helsinki/Prof. Mika Elo (1.8.2018->) Kuva Doctoral Program, University of Arts Helsinki
Examiners:Prof. Adrian Heathfield, Performance and Visual Culture, Department of Drama, Theatre, and
Performance, University of Roehampton, LondonProf. Tiina Rosenberg, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University
The research has been funded by Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation and
Performing Arts Research Centre, University of Arts Helsinki.