How to do things with performance participated in the artistic research working group of PSi 23 in Hamburg and the researchers presented their projects briefly on Saturday 10 June. 

The proposals for the Artistic Research Working Group meeting Excess and Aundance of Artistic Research and the program of the meeting are available on the working group blog 


Extracts from the program:

Annette Arlander, University of the Arts Helsinki, Academy of Fine Arts.

How to do things with performance – Performing with plants (first attempts)

To perform and co-operate with plants and especially trees is an artistic research project, which develops and specifies the question How to perform landscape today?, a question I have worked with in various forms during several years. The question is not rhetorical; our relationship to the environment has dramatically changed due to global warming and other more or less manmade disasters, and demands new approaches. A posthumanist perspective prompts us to rethink the notion landscape and to consider how the surrounding world consists of creatures, life forms and material phenomena with varying degrees of volition, needs and agency. What forms of performing, realizing or activating landscape could be relevant in this situation? One possibility is to approach individual elements in a landscape, such as specific trees, and explore what can be done together with them, for instance how to perform for camera together. This presentation will briefly describe my first attempts within this project, look at the role of repetition as a key strategy in performance, and demonstrate how the simplest digital documentation produces an overflow of material over time.


Annette Arlander is an artist, researcher and a pedagogue. She is one of the pioneers of Finnish performance art and a trailblazer of artistic research. She is educated as theatre director, Master of Arts and Doctor of Art (theatre and drama). She was professor of performance art and theory (2001-2013) at the University of the Arts Helsinki Theatre Academy and professor of artistic research (2015-2016). At present she is visiting researcher at Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki and artist-researcher at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. See

Hanna Järvinen, University of the Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy.

Excess and Abundance in Documentation

I will present on a 2015-2016 choreographic research project based on archival materials – documents of not only a past performance but of plans for a past performance, documents describing a performance prior to its first performance. This performance about the re-performance of a past performance disturbs the chronology of what was first, event or its documentation, and questions how we define documentation and its role vis à vis performance. Although the archive is usually seen as insufficient for any re-creation of a past performance, in the process of re-imagining what might have been, the collaborators in this project found that even the few traces that remain create an over-abundance of possibilities. At the same time, creating a new performance of a performance about a performance inverts the relationship of document and performance asking what is the significance of past performance and documentation in the present and what is the role of the absences and silences in allowing for epistemological inquiry about performance, documents, and re-performance?


Dr Hanna Järvinen is a Senior Researcher in the Academy of Finland research project How to Do Things with Performance? 2016-2020 and a University Lecturer at the Performing Arts Research Centre of the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. She holds the title of Docent in dance history at the University of Turku and is the author of Dancing Genius (Palgrave Macmillan 2014) as well as articles in journals such as Senses and Society, Dance Research, and Dance Research Journal.


Pilvi Porkola, University of the Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy.

Performance and Institutions

This presentation explores how the performative turn can be understood in the context of public institutions: in a library, an elementary school, and an art museum. I am interested in what kind of performing, performances, and actions these institutions produce; how institutions can be understood as experimental places; and what performance art can do in that context. In this presentation I focus on my project Library Essays, a series of audio performances taking place at the Maunula Library, Helsinki, in 2016-17, and on questions of public and liminal spaces in real and imagined places.


Pilvi Porkola has a Doctor of Art (theatre and drama) and is a performance artist, writer and the founder of magazine Esitys. Among other things she has taught performance, contemporary theatre and performance studies as well as written and directed several performances and short films. 


Tero Nauha, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.

Thought of Performance

This presentation connects with schizoanalysis and posthuman philosophy. My aim is to investigate the non-philosophical reading of ‘the decision’ in relation to performance art practice and political theory. The decision is a gesture of thought, which cuts matter through analysis, reduction, and withdrawal. Through decisional devices jurisprudence and philosophy allocate meaning for the exception: a victim, refugee, migrant, etc. In short, a crisis is a decisional operation. The presentation focuses on 1) how a decisional cut produces an event and 2) how performance as a practice may produce excess and exception.


Tero Nauha, performance artist and visual artist, holds a Doctor of Art (theatre and drama). Nauha’s doctoral dissertation at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki took a critical look at the relationship between artistic work and immanent capitalism. Nauha’s artistic work has been performed at several theatres and festivals both in Finland and around Europe.