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February 13, 2018 - March 15, 2018

Irruptive Chora

‘(…) to imagine an autonomous, dynamic, temporalized space through which subindividual matters, vibratory intensities, and affects might cross and be altered through that crossing.

Rebekah Sheldon


IRRUPTIVE CHORA is an encounter between curator Agata Kik and artist Ania Mokrzycka, invited to host a series of events at the Royal College of Art and Chalton Gallery. The programme was conceived as a collective search for and an approximation of the ‘irruptive chora’; a dynamic and autonomous space where ideas have a potential and energy to generate and transmit themselves. Embracing the relation between the material form and content as well as the dynamic intensities that pass through them and transform each other, we will look at the penetrative potentialities of a materialised thought or action and affective spaces beyond the sphere of linguistics. We wish to initiate a conversation about what could be called the ‘internal workings’ of a material form, be it animate or inanimate. We do not aim to disconnect the artistic actions from their aesthetic, political, cultural and intellectual context, but rather to allow the possibility of observing how they also shape and transform their theoretical contexts and understandings. Together with invited artists, curators and musicians we want to explore the collapse of boundaries between the creative and the critical, body of work and the physical body itself, obtaining and performing knowledge or between the producers and receivers of knowledge-experience.

IRRUPTIVE CHORA investigates the interplay between human and non-human (animal and inanimate) forces and circulates around posthumanist ideas and ways of evading the anthropocentric reductivity. It takes up questions surrounding the idea of return to the body, while simultaneously embracing technology and the synthetic as more than simply human body’s inactivated prostheses. It looks at the morphing, intoxicated body, transforming matter and acts of transgression and search for understanding as an embodied experience. Privileging interiority, affect, excess, personalised and fictionalised semiotics, the sensory and the rhizomatic approach to receiving information, it is an exercise in destabilising, deconstructing and reconstructing our ways of knowing the world.

The project was initiated in accordance with the idea of diversification of academic study and it proposes a different model of creating discourses, researching and knowledge and art production and dissemination.


I. Composition

6-8.30pm, 13th February, Dyson Gallery

 /// An exercise in an embodied act of reading and an attempt of conjuring new versions and propositions for artistic, theoretical, curatorial, scholarly and scientific practices.  ///

In this session Nella Aarne (Of Animacy, ICA) and Olga Koroleva  (The Political Animal, The Showroom) share excerpts from Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect and The Second Body to be discussed in relation to the notion of Irruptive Chora. Irruptive Chora, named by Judith Butler and revivified by Rebekah Sheldon, points to a dynamic and autonomous space where ideas have a potential and energy to generate and transmit themselves. In Toxic Animacies, Inanimate Affections Mel Y Chen discusses lead as the toxic protagonist in US-China socio-economic historicity, while Daisy Hildyard puts forward her take on the blurring of physical boundaries in humans and non-human bodies through a series of essayistic investigations The Second Body. No preparation for the session necessary.


II. Movement

10-4pm, 14th February, Dyson Gallery (RCA students only)

/// An exercise in creating a space for experiences of collective encounters of material proximity and exploring body movement as dynamic and affective language. ///

A participatory workshop with Florence Peake incorporating different approaches to movement that have informed her practice. She brings practices that look at different modes of perception; opening new possibilities of sensory perception and shifts in experiencing our bodies, environments and others. The workshop includes touch based practices, Skinner Releasing technique (uses visualisation and soundscapes), voice work and drawing. Please wear comfortable loose clothing. No dance experience necessary.


III. Rhythm

6-9pm, 11th March, Chalton Gallery

 /// An exercise in materialising a territory of passing and amalgamating affects, exploring cognitive processes and creating their material versions in an interplay of sound, image, and performance. We welcome the audience to cross the plane of action and experience kinaesthetically as bodies how they can be altered through that crossing. ///

Luli Perez + Jan Petyrek present AROUSAL – a performative measurement of the collective consciousness of the audience. Utilizing empirical methods for measuring certain phenomenological true values, they break down the word/linguistic signifier ‘arousal’ into a collection of bodily fluctuations as well as a constellation of conceptual mental states later translated in audiovisual data. Philomène Hoël stages a performance that is a part of her ongoing project Linda, Linda, Linda,  creating a dialogue with the archive of the artist and cineast Stephen Dwoskin, particularly the polemic film ‘Dyn Amo’ produced in 1972.


IV. Sound

6-10:30pm, 14th March, Dyson Gallery

 /// An exercise in embracing the tensions between human and technology in an attempt to fuse the binaries of organic and synthetic, live and inanimate, order and chaos, intent and improvisation; creating an all-encompassing multi-modal erotic sonic fold. ///

An evening of of live experimental performances by Ewa Justka, Object Blue, Adam Christensen and Vindicatrix and Pel Bonheur (dj set), who explore sound in its penetrative, sculptural, generative and affective qualities. They will open up a fluid space allowing for multitudes of experiences, identities, desires and aspirations to be enacted, echoed and assimilated. Through echoes, delays, warps, flexes, loops, distortions, speech and multi-vocality invited artists investigate themes such as narrative and noise, optoelectronics, materiality of the invisible, hardware hacking, deconstruction, relation of sound and space, embodied interaction, perceptual phenomena, new forms of perception, the virtual and the spiritual.


V. Gesture

6-9:30pm, 15th March, Dyson Gallery

/// An exercise in looking at different ideas diffused, distracted and retracted in the new way of writing and artists speaking to each other and the audience. A gesture of self-affection, pointing inwards, privileging sensation and collapsing the hierarchical, systemic preconceptions. ///

An evening of performative readings and performances, observing how the body morphs, mutates, subverts and surrenders to discursive practices. Artists Martin O’Brien, Zoe Marden, Rebecca Jagoe, Jessica Worden and Daniella Valz Gen work at the intersection of installation, sculpture, sound, text and performance, collapsing and folding them into each other and creating layered experiences. They explore ideas around embodying liminality, contemporary forms of ritual-making, the body in live space, representations of and resistance to illness, the abject, speculative futures and unruly bodies. They will expand the limits of language through the body.


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February 13, 2018
March 15, 2018
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