How to do things with performance? 

In this project, we ask what can be done with performance - what actualises when a performance takes place, when it is documented, and when it is written about. Through these epistemological questions, we address the ontology of performance: in what ways can we understand 'performance' today, as a new materiality, as presence, and in the international, multilingual context where words, documents, and practices connote differently but are shared in online environments. We seek to update the theory of performativity vis à vis new materialist theories of agential realism and non-philosophy. 

Miten tehdä asioita esityksellä? 

Projektissa kysymme, mitä esityksellä voi tehdä - mitä aktualisoituu kun esitys tapahtuu, kun se dokumentoidaan tai siitä kirjoitetaan. Näiden epistemologisten kysymysten kautta pohdimme esityksen ontologiaa: millä tavoin 'esitys' voidaan ymmärtää juuri nyt, uutena materiaalisuutena, läsnäolona, ja kansainvälisessä monikielisessä kontekstissa, jossa sanat, dokumentaatiot, ja käytänteet ymmärretään eri tavoin mutta jaetaan internetin välityksellä. Tavoitteenamme on päivittää performatiivisuuden teoriaa suhteessa uusmaterialistiseen teoriaan. 


How to Do Things with Performance? brings together four views on artistic research in performance. By asking what can be done with performance as research, the project partakes in recent discussions in artistic research, in performance philosophy, and performative and performance writing as well as in the emergent discussion of performance studies in Finland.
Through performing research, artistic research defines what is the context or the world where this performance takes place. Hence, a critical attitude towards the political, social, economic, and philosophical premises of research is inherent in the process – not as given, but as produced and articulated in and as the acts of research. Moreover, artistic research does not produce only postulations about the world; rather, its processes and performances will actualise in the world as real and material events.
By focusing on such material-discursive practices, the project tests and develops further ideas related to the agency of matter and to performance, refuting the separation of the material and the textual-discursive. The project therefore continues the critique and rethinking of the meaning of performativity developed by Karen Barad in the tradition from Foucault to Braidotti, albeit with a focus on practical investigations and experiments as well as texts and academic performances. An inherently collaborative project, the project seeks to enact changes in the institutions in which the project takes place: in academia, in art, in archives and museums, in public spaces like libraries, and in relation with the larger socio-economic changes, such as migration and labour. The practical working method of creating performative writing (in the expanded sense) together will lead to joint presentations as well as solo work, to performances and workshops as well as academic publications and symposia. 

How to Do Things with Performance? 

Miten tehdä asioita esityksellä?

The research team:


Annette Arlander


Hanna Järvinen


Tero Nauha


Pilvi Porkola



Annette Arlander:

“Agential Cuts and Performance as Research”.

In Annette Arlander, Bruce Barton, Melanie Dreyer-Lude, Ben Spatz (eds.) Performance as Research: Knowledge, Methods, Impact. London and New York: Routledge 2018, 133-151.

“Introduction to Future Concerns. Multiple Futures of Performance as Research.”

In Annette Arlander, Bruce Barton, Melanie Dreyer-Lude, Ben Spatz (eds.) Performance as Research: Knowledge, Methods, Impact. London And New York: Routledge 2018, 333-349.

kick off seminar 4th october 2016

First "hoppings" (internal working session) on Monday 10 October, led by Pilvi Porkola and Annette Arlander. 

  Jeux, uudelleen kuviteltu, re-imagined

  choreography Liisa Pentti, 

  advisor Hanna Järvinen

  Performances in Turku 19-21.10.2016

  Performances in Helsinki 4-6.11.2016

  see website

Research Day II: Materiality of and in Performance 2 March 2018

call for presentations

  Conference presentation on the Jeux

  project at Congress on Research in

  Dance & Society of Dance History

  Scholars Conference Beyond

  Authenticity and Appropriation,

  Pomona College, CA

Second "hoppings" (internal working session) on 14th November, led by Tero Nauha and Hanna Järvinen

Pilvi Porkola: Kirjastoesseet osa 1.

(The Library Essays, part 1.)

Thursday 15.12. 2016 at 6 pm and 6.45 pm

Thursday 12.1. 2017 at 6 pm and 6.45

Consept, text, performance, space: Pilvi Porkola

Technical realization: Pauli Riikonen

Place: The Old Library of Maunula

A Thought of Performance

Tero Nauha

Published in the Performance Philosophy online journal, Vol. 2, No 2 (2017).


Annette Arlander: "Mitä tekijä voi tehdä?" [What can an author-maker-factor do?]

published in Annette Arlander, Laura Gröndahl and Marja Silde (eds.) Tekijä - teos, esitys ja yhteiskunta [Author - Work, Perfromance and Society]

Hoppings 6.2.207 10 am - 12 noon

room 512 Theatre Academy

presenting: Tero Nauha, Annette Arlander

Annette Arlander:Performing Landscape – Swinging Together or Playing with projections”.

Body, Space & Technology Journal. Vol.16  

(NB. flash needed)

Tero Nauha: Article "Fictioning and Fabulating the Real" with Ilona Hongisto for the Emerging Affinities: Possible Future of Performative Arts, published by Jagiellonian University Kraków, Poland. Coming out in 2018.

 "Lentämisen alkeet" [Learning to Fly] 

TOTEM-teatteri, käsikirjoitus ja ohjaus [script and directing] Pilvi Porkola. 

Kouluissa kiertävä esitys 6-12 vuotiaille. Ensiesitys 17.1.2017 Kausi 2017.

A performance for children aged 6-12 touring in schools. First performance January 17, 2017.

Information (In Finnish)

Hoppings 6 March 10 am to noon at Theatre Academy, room 526.

Hanna Järvinen presented the working process of Jeux - re-imagined.

Mitä esityksellä voi tehdä? [What can be done with perfromance?]

short interview about the project on the Academy of Finland website by Suvi Ruotsi

Hoppings 24 April 10 am to noon at Theatre Academy, room 525.

Annette Arlander invited the participants to create a voice over to her video Year of the Monkey - Tomtebo. Hanna Järvinen invited to re-imagine and play with a historical photo from Jeux.

What is Given?

A three-hour collaborative session by Nauha, Porkola, Järvinen & Arlander at the SAR (Society for Artistic Research) Conference Please specify! at the University of the Arts Helsinki 28-29 April 2017 


See conference website

Ice Hole - Live Art Journal Issue # 6

edited by Pilvi Porkola, based on presentations at the kick off seminar in october 2016

Hoppings 8 May 2017 from 9 to 11 am at Theatre Academy, room 615

Pilvi Porkola presented her recent  works, Library Essays and Learning to Fly and invited a discussion about them.

Accessing Performance

A two-day event with contributions by Arlander, Järvinen, Nauha & Porkola at the Artistic Research Pavilion on Giudecca in Venice 17th and 18th May 2017

program research-pavilion-accessing-performance

schedule here

blog post on accessing-performance

more here: 

Annette Arlander: "Practicing Art - As a Habit?"

Ruukku Journal Issue 7, 2017.

Pilvi Porkola:

"Elephants Are Always Drawn Smaller Than Life"  Writing on a Performance Essay.

GENESIS Helsinki,  Helsinki University.

Tero Nauha: "A Critical Posture of Performance" at the Dialogues on Dance, Philosophy, and  Performance in the Contemporary Neoliberal Moment, June 1-2, University of Coventry.

Tero Nauha: “Fictioning a performance” performance and lecture, ADiE: Talking Thinking Dancing, June 6-8, Dance4, Nottingham.

Presentation at Performance Studies International PSI in Hamburg

As part of "Excess and Abundance of Artistic Research" organised by the Artistic Research Working Group. See program on the working group blog

Images, here.


Amir Aharon, Sara Zaltash (UK), Hilan Bensusan  (BEL), Will  Daddario, Milton  Loayza, Jon McKenzie (USA), Janhavi Dhamankar (IN), Yana Meerzon (CAN), Rima Najdi (DE), Tero Nauha (FIN), Theron Schmidt (AUS), Aneta Stojnic ́ (SRB)

Audio recordings: 

"How to do things with Performance?"

Presentation at the Sao Paulo Escola del Teatro 6.7. 19.00 

Pilvi Porkola: Library Essays ....

Hanna Järvinen: Jeux re-imagined ....

Annette Arlander: Performing with Trees? (introduction) with screening of The Tide in Kan Tiang

Tero Nauha: The unstable 'fictioning' in performance and philosophy

Performance by Pilvi Porkola Finlandia

12.7. 12.30 Prainha

at IFTR conference Sao Pauloão-paulo-10-14-july

Presentation at IFTR conference Sao Paulo

Performance Philosophy 11.7. 14.00 

Tero Nauha: The unstable 'fictioning' in performance and philosophy

Annette Arlander: How to do things by performing with plants?

Hanna Järvinen: On the Historical Materiality of Performance, Past and Present.ão-paulo-10-14-july

Presentation at IFTR conference Sao Paulo

Body, Space and Performativity 13.7. 14.00

Pilvi Porkola: "Library Essays - from representation of space to performative space."ão-paulo-10-14-july

New Perfomance Turku

7 October 2017

How To Do Things With Performance -seminar Annette Arlander / Hanna Järvinen / Tero Nauha / Pilvi Porkola  Titanik Gallery 4.30 pm to 7 pm

Pilvi Porkola, Nomad Library

Tero Nauha, An Advent of Performance

Arlander, Annette. "Data, Material, Remains”.

In Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Teija Löytönen & Mark Tesar (eds.) Disrupting Data in Qualitative Inquiry. Entanglements with the Post-Critical and Post-Anthropocentric. Peter Lang Publishing 2017,171-182.

Pilvi Porkola (ed.) Performance Artist's Workbook: On teaching and learning performance art - essays and excersises.

Theatre Academy Helsinki Publication series nro 61.


Press release here

On facebook, here

The Helsinki launch of the book at Muu Gallery on 11 October 2017, info here and here

The book is available as pdf:

Annette Arlander: Once Again - Video works from Harakka Island and Kilpisjärvi

Muu Gallery 6.10.-12.11.2017   See

Arlander, Annette. "Maisema, materia ja muutos. Harakan saaren luontokulttuuria dokumentoimassa." [Landscape, Matter and Change. Documenting the Natureculture of Harakka Island]

In Mari Mäkiranta, Ulla Piela and Eija Timonen (eds.) Näkyväksi sepitetty maa. [The Land Narrated Visible] Kalevalaseuran vuosikirja 96. Helsinki: SKS 2017, 23-39.

Hanna Järvinen: "On Archive and Repertoire, Reconstruction and Re-Imagining"

Congress on Research in Dance and Society of Dance History Scholars conference, the inaugural conference of Dance Studies Association 

Transmissions and Traces: Rendering Dance

The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

19–22 October 2017

How to do things with performance art: A conversation with Charles Garoian and Ray Langenbach

Muu gallery 26. October 6 pm

 More info here and here

How to do things with performance art, part II: A Conversation with Tero Nauha and Pilvi Porkola

Muu gallery 1 November 6 pm

more info here and here

video here 

How are things done, produced or effected with performance?

Research Day 8 November with Bojana Cvejic

University of the Arts Theatre Academy, auditorium 1

Call (see below) and here 

Program here and ---------- > 

Abstracts here and ----------------->

Full video here, opening & Bojana Cvejić

Full video hereKatariina Numminen & Natalie Waerden

Full video hereHanna Järvinen, Elina Seye & Lea Kantonen

Full video hereMieko Kanno, Elisabeth Belgrano & Susanna Hast

Full video here, Tero Nauha, Annette Arlander & Pilvi Porkola



Internal seminar in Riga 8-10. 12. 2017

"Miten tehdä asioita esityksellä - annetuissa (työpaja) olosuhteissa" [How to do things with performance - in given (workshop) circumstances] in TAHITI 3/2017

see whole issue here

the text in Finnish as pdf here


Tero Nauha: "Ajattelun mahdollinen talous"

[The possible economy of thinking] 

In Mustekala 4/2017, Vol 69.  Issue on Taide, työ ja kritiikki [Art, Work and Criticism]

Annette Arlander: “Calling the dragon - The five avant-gardes today?” Synnyt 3/2017, 1-12.

Hanna Järvinen & Liisa Pentti: Koreografian ja historiankirjoituksen uudelleenkuvittelua [Re-imagining choreography and history writing]. Tiede ja Edistys 4/2017, 318-334.

Annette Arlander & Mika Elo: Ekologinen näkökulma taidetutkimukseen” [An Ecological Perspective on Research in the Arts]. Tiede ja Edistys 4/2017, 335-346.


Annette Arlander: “Performing with the Weather”. Global Performance Studies Issue 1.2. Performance Climates

2018 continues here