If we want to come into contact with the world, then we have to let ourselves become involved with it. At the same time, we will not be able to give up our human form. Things are needed that will make this transition, this crossing of the border, possible. Oxygen tanks and diving masks, for example, in order to become acquainted with the world under the sea. Ayahuasca and sick buckets, in order to make ourselves receptive to the cosmic powers and spirits of nature. Camouflage and night vision devices so that the animals of the forest will show themselves. A smartphone and the internet in order to discuss things with people from other countries in forums. We are dependent upon all kinds of prostheses as a medium for making our journeys along the borders between cultures, species, comfort zones and the elements. And, when we put on these things, we somehow remain ourselves and yet still change – or even become something else.
In the theory café, we will investigate these wiggle rooms of transformation. The participants are invited to bring an object of their choice along with them that allows transformative encounters. Clothing for stepping into another role. A book that can be dived into. A perfume that attracts other people like magic and guarantees a series of acquaintanceships. The bicycle bell that stands for the big, life-changing bicycle trip back in the summer of 1999. Cables and carabiners for mountain climbing. The magnifying glass that one used as a child to take a detailed look at insects.
The exchange of personal experiences is followed by brief readings and discussions of texts that provide a theoretical framework for these experiences. Enriched by our joint discussion, the performance Eutopia can be attended following this event, where the topics we have reflected upon will be echoed.
By and with: Beate Absalon, Sebastian Köthe
Beate Absalon completed her B.A. in Education and Cultural Studies and, after an academic year at Goldsmiths University of London at the Department of Visual Cultures and a DAAD-funded research stay in Tokyo, completed her M.A. in Cultural Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin with a thesis on the aesthetic and cultural theoretical analysis of bondage practices. She was subsequently a Junior Fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Graduate Center for the Study of Culture at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, on the mediation of consensual practices through queer-feminist workshop formats. She is also active as a workshop leader and cultural mediator herself, including for the discourse program of the figure and object theater Schaubude Berlin.
Sebastian Köthe studied screenwriting at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) from 2009 to 2013. Subsequently, from 2013 to 2015, he studied BA. Cultural Studies and Philosophy at HU Berlin, and from 2015 to 2017 studied Cultural Studies in the MA. During his studies he received a Deutschlandstipendium and was supported by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, followed by a Humboldt Research Track fellowship. The short films he has written and the feature-length documentary he directed, à propos: philosophie, have been invited to over 50 festivals (including IFF Warsaw, Hofer Filmtage, Max Ophüls Prize) and have won several awards. He works as a freelance writer for Die Erklärerei, and directs the Gesichtsgespräche at the Berliner Figurentheater Schaubude. At the graduate program "The Knowledge of the Arts" at the UdK Berlin he is doing his PhD on the aisthesis of "clean" torture and its (re)construction in Euro-American arts.