Liberation Economics as Performance Art-Life

(Song of Capitulation. Adapted by PPL from John Willet’s translation of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, music composed and sung by Brian McCorkle with Nick Joseph.)


There are plenty of articles about the lies that educational institutions are telling art students about making “a living.” Artists with MFAs complain about debt, research projects (artistic, institutional, and otherwise) display pie charts and demand bigger pieces of it. Not-for-profits offer “business of art” training for a fee, artists are taught to consider themselves entrepreneurs. Performance art, when it considers itself an “art form” like any other plastic arts discipline, spends community time and energy on panel discussions framing commodification as advocacy. Others bemoan commercialization. How are we to sell our work? How are we to make this living work?

How are we to “make living” is a good question, the question “what is the good life” is ethically, ideologically, and practically answered to in waves, movements, missions and media across most human performativity that can be called “culture.”

In euro-centric contexts of academia, so they say, after post-structuralism and post-post-internet, beyond speculative realism and plateaus of authenticity, there is wholesale capitulation to capitalism in answers to the how, if not to the why, we are able to make our lives “work.” Work, works, and exchange of labor-hours, ideas, artworks, and other objectified products/productivities comprise all individual and social performance according to even the most vehement anti-capitalist conceptualizations of the socialist, communist, or democratic; we understand capitalism as physically, cognitively, emotionally post-consensual, beyond our control. We feel that we no longer have the ability or the burden to make our own lives, we must whip/work it.

When life is seen not as something to be made[1] by persons experiencing/performing it, but rather as a “natural” product of systems so much stronger and more ingrained than can possibly be changed, we capitulate our body-minds themselves as a matter of conscious and unconscious rationalization of capitalism.

I choose the word capitulation carefully, not just in reference to Dialectical-Marxist Bertolt Brecht but also because of its economic definition and usage:

Investors are said to “capitulate” when they suddenly and radically sell off stocks or other assets in judgment that current risks and liabilities outweigh any future gain or interests. Capitulation is not only a rationally calculated as escape from financial danger, it is also an emotional response, induced by panic or “cold feet.” Through this term, we acknowledge that capitalism is emotionally and psychologically reinforced as much as it auto-poetically makes our everything; human sensations and perceptions determine ability/disability to work functionally/successfully, at least.

Capitulation, though often seen as an “irrational” behavior, does mediate the internal patterning of local and global economies, just as a single artist “selling out” can generate interpersonal and cultural effects ranging from resentment amongst friends through pop culture’s ability to assimilate subcultural aesthetics and rhetoric.

Additionally, wherever there is capitulation, is the possibility of failure/refusal to capitulate. There are perhaps only two consequences of this negational performance whether it is intended or not: 1.)bankruptcy or severe devastation (lost gamble) 2.) re-formation of value-assignment/gain of greater value (won gamble). Within trade economies, capitulative gambles can result in loss of money and other equities, just as capitulative gambles such as trading 40 hours a week for $12.95/hr can cause loss of pleasurability in lived experiences. In terms of the second consequence—reformation of value-assignments—capitalism and its economies constantly work against the possibility of this consequentiality; capitalism is most threatened by any re-assignment of forms of value. It is, in short, threatened by “values” that drive human action outside of existing markets without that market’s consent; while capitalist values remain locked within metaphysical conceptualizations of capital evaluation as such, evaluation of something like “risk” can be[2] contingent on/moved by valuation as a performative process.


Art, even though it is largely defined by “normative economies” of attentions and markets, has conceptually embedded within its self-conception[3] the perception that value is subjective and that risks are worthwhile in and of themselves, or at least subjected to evaluation empirically.[4] Some artists are thus permitted (no matter how naively) to, as persons and communities, make “decisions” about whether or not to capitulate.

Here in Brooklyn NY in 2015, most artists desire and plan to participate in free market economies, be these “creative class,” “artworld” “academic” or otherwise. Their assets and interests include recognition, money, visibility, power, which they accumulate and trade through recommended mutual investment-schemas. These artists are deferential, concessionary, accomplice, happy to “have the opportunity” to even participate in “art industries” as capitulant within global economies.

While it is unthinkable (perhaps literally) to artists-as-such that they should do anything other than make works and accumulate capital/assets, such modes of ascquescient behavior is not capitulation in the sense of a sudden sell-out induced by panic. Most “middle-class” investors and “professional” artists never even have the choice of capitulation because they do not take risks or gambles in the first place (conceptually, formally) and rarely have enough capital (authority, sense-distribution-ability) for it to be threatened with loss. These artists don’t take risks because they operate in fear of extreme poverty (and possibly imprisonment, or other physical discomfort) even though/because they have usually never experienced it. It is most likely that their capitulation would be a caused by a lowering of their “quality of life” below a certain threshold, prompting their capitulation to a more mainstream life-style “outside of art.” Here, “soft” capitulation is an irrelevant slither away into management of a commercial gallery, grad school, or a “regular” job.

There are some artists, on the other hand, who do not desire or plan to participate in free market arts economies in “safe” participatory ways, or at all. Our lives involve deliberate construction of the decision “to capitulate or not;”

We construct situations in which we choose not to wherein current risks and liabilities do not outweigh any anticipated future gain or interests. We construct situations in which we choose to capitulate when there is a possibility to re-form values and forms of valuation themselves, i.e. we trade away that which we want to lose value, thereby reforming valuation schemas themselves around intended losses and assignment of other schemas to asset-values themselves. We forcefully fabricate choice where there is none, perpetrating artistic practice as an area of free action and value-form subversion.

The former choice to not capitulate is fairly easy to explain and construct; we self-organize in context as parallax/autonomous ideologues and zealots who are psychotically willing to risk everything dominantly perceived-as-valuable. Future gain (towards whatever idealistic agenda) and fulfillment of interests (in whatever impossible future utopian situation) are worth far more to us than any immediate loss of assets or safety. More simply, we do not find the threat of homelessness, being ignored, having bedbugs, never being able to have kids, going to bed hungry, being stuck in one place, etc as enough of a loss to justify a sell-out. We operate in states of romantic delusion, political rage, and though we may panic constantly, we still refuse to sell our bodies or our minds into valuation schemas bent on de-valuing bodies into identity-objects, homogenizing conceptualizations, and capitalizing-upon our very processes of moving, thinking, feeling, being. We do not objectify ourselves or our “workings” into asset-products at all, we grit our teeth and keep intentionally performing in time-space, directly real-izing our values/valuations.

The latter choice, to capitulate towards re-formation of value-schemas, is more complicated to construct, and can easily become a sort of “but I’ll change things from the inside!” kind of selling-out if existing constructed systems (such as institutions, non-profits, etc) are depended upon to facilitate/support activity. In an economic sense, however, here is where we intentionally and specifically “sell ourselves short” as a way of removing and re-assigning value across forms (our own and those needed by capitalist systemics). Here, we may, for example, be choosing to work as unbranded anonymous collectives by trading off individualism. We may make uncommodifiable work that trades long periods of time (high equity risk) in exchange for the initiation of low prices on the traded-off stocks. We may demand to work for free when others are being paid. We attempt to cause something like a “run on the bank” or a “confused frenzy” that crashes it all. We make-up buzzwords and hashtags, infecting capitalist visions of what art should and does “look like,” who should and does make it, and so on. Personally, I find the most extreme forms of capitulation working most powerfully as a giving up of stakes and as directly work against our own “best interests.” We may find ourselves intentionally making “bad/unstylish art,” or giving up the claim that we are artists at all, rather “amateurs” or “cultural organizers” other value-less persons. We do not apply for grants or have an elevator pitch. We do not have a “bio.” We capitulate our “roles” as “cultural producers,” rather we give away our work for free, selling out the paradigms themselves into confusion and an un-grounding of capitalist valuations/values.

A liberation economy values and maintains such capitulations and non-capitulations, despite capitalism’s insistence that such choices themselves are neither possible nor desirable.

Performance art communities in Brooklyn, as a “micro-undercommons”[5] identified by participants’ traditional resistance to commerciality and as a gatherings magnetized by shared experiences and needs, designs and carries with its modes of action and production themselves such ability to “make decisions about how to live.” This ability exists in very concrete mutual support performed between human beings through their self-determinate and “irrational” makings-of-lives. Further, as auto-poetically-framed “free action” in the economic sense, we position our performance art-life as non-valuable, as alter-assessment, as actual “sub-version” that fevers forth as an “subtext” “multiverse” or “counter habitus” to capitalist ways of living, thinking, and feeling.

“Privileges,” as “individually held assets” are not welcome here, processes of organization themselves seek to repurpose and deconstruct these, in non-correlative parallel to capitalism’s systemic maintainance its own construction. Through conflation of performance-of-life and performance-as-art we merge the investor and the investment, replacing the systems with persons, using risk-taking and fears of failure to motivate large-scale de-liberations of capitalist calculations of personal worth and enculturations of “worthwhile cost-paradigms” for (loss of) human lives.

As performers of liberation economics, we embody how and why we value our own lives and those of other human beings, not as workers, victims, or as cells in a metabolism so virally infected that our species-being has become un-re-cognizable, but as temporary locations of infinitely complex perceptions, sensations, and as carriers of the very forces of terror and panic that can destroy investment-schemas by positioning decisions. The liberation economy performs its own terrible, frightening freedom: we are not subjects but poltergeists.[6]


The two following sections involve some statements. Alignments/recognitions may be personally possible, but it is unlikely that any of us agree with all of them, I merely use “we” because I personally can’t/don’t perform all of these constructivities all of the time simultaneously, I can only identify/gather/write them as some ways in which I perceive liberation economics being performed in and around and as my (personal-as-political) life in/for performance art.

How do we concretely perform anti-capitulation in construction of liberation economics?

First, we are valuing time over money and refusing to be threatened by loss of everything, via re-framing of what “everything” is.[7] The experience-state of “performing free action/thought/feeling” is of deep value to us, as is work towards the health of our bodies and our planet, and realization of intentionally-constructed situations freely sharing/open-sourcing energies, bodilies, and socialities.

We value volunteer/unpaid labor and do not schedule/take “gigs” based on payment or “reputation” within economies of capital-value-based attention. We do not perform for audiences of only wealthy people, become or pander to people with high levels of privilege, we do not accept golden-tickets; we are not court jesters at private parties or artworld galas, we are not entertainers who perform material(ization) on cue.

We do not seek “the broadest audience possible,” instead relating personally to participating witnesses, passers-by, and co-performers. We seek non-normativity of situation and substantiation, evading expectations for when, where, and how “art” should occur.

We work other jobs for money and do not allow our artistic processes to be influenced/formed into capitalist modes of production by the timelines or framing devices of commercial spaces and institutional structures and their funding cycles. If we do accept money, it comes as voluntary resource re-distribution; any and all payments of money must be voluntary and no experience is “worth” a certain amount in money. Where a 20-minute action might make sense for the $50 artist fee, we may perform instead for 7 hours. We spend time sewing, sculpting, planning, testing, preparing, meeting, because it is the cultural constructivity that matters, not production of valuable commodities. We often perform for free, in public.

We make, spend, and pay as little actual money as possible, living as low-footprint as possible despite the threat that the suffering will kill us.[8] Our efforts here are often interpersonal; we seek to relieve one another’s’ panic and the “cold feet” that causes capitulation on the largest scale to participatory capitalist paradigms by creating community of resistance and a dialogic of relational determination.

How do we concretely perform and assist only constructive/re-formative capitulation?

We do not compete, we collaborate, relieving emotional and psychological pressure and dialogically developing capitulative processes as intentional art-formations.

Intentions, ideologies, ethics, and values are considered resources, not as competing mutually-exclusive models for “objectively good” living. We do not force our ideas on others, we situate the formal activations of ideations and engage interpersonally with any interested participants. We recognize that capitulations can be performed positively, as (panicky) trade-in of high-risk participation in capitalism as so-called “future gain” becomes increasingly experienced as progressive destruction of selves, natures, and societies.

We affirm and critically evaluate processes and practices of other bodies, even when we may not precisely share experiences or even have the ability to communicate; we ignore “works” as products to focus on persons and our relationships and acts as systemic re-conditionings of who “we” are together. We respond to the processes of others in conversation, writing, and enthusiastic reactivity, embodying the affects and consequences of processes intended/recommended. We perform respect for the ways valuations are performed by others and allow our own “assets” to be re/de-valued. We remain open to perspectives, sensations, ideations, and reformations that are not generated solely by our own “selves,” instead operating as colluders within value-driven larger-scale movements, our “social body” reaching beyond our subjective horizons and needs.

We give our time, manual labor, resources, assistance, and attention when we value how performative processes are making life something we want to be temporarily a part of: we are capitulating our own freedom into the service of the freedom of others, without any expectation of personal gain.

We also fail to make “art” as such. We lose, break, destroy, and give away art, re-valuing commitments and forms of action. We make anti-art, we protest art, we surrender our claim to authority as artists or academics, we make irrational claims and say stupid shit. We act up, in transgression and also as emotional outletting, capitulating to our emotions and allowing them to drive us.

Further, we construct the possibility to capitulate (a problem when we are seen as having no “assets” as such to risk) by emphasizing the value of things not valued by capitalism, such as ideas, bodies, weakness, vulnerability, and mistakes. We offer capitulations as reformations to those who are not offered any assets by white supremacist patriarchal norm-reinforcing capitalism, inserting our bodies into situations where we don’t “belong” and disrupting paths of least resistance, polluting asset-streams with non-valuable assets, selling “junk stocks” and intentionally flooding markets with explosively dangerous dysfunctional products. We take up class-action suit against forms of economy themselves, selling cheap and fast in attack of asset-natures themselves.


The concrete consequences of maintaining such choices to capitulate or not capitulate are lived as performance of life-as-performance arts and carried by our bodies through time-space. Such concrete consequences may be made visible, or seen as, performance art.

–Esther Neff

[1] Perhaps via processes similar to how “meanings” or “personas” are seen to be made, or “constructed.”

[2] Digitalization and algorthimicization of such processes are demanded by capitalism for financial performances intentionally participating in capital accumulation/condensation.

[3] Art is that which defines itself as art, so says Antonio Gramsci

[4] Further, we superficially frame “selling out” as a betrayal of subcultural economics, a use of smaller fish as bait for the sharks. Here, we echo earlier conceptions of an “us vs. them” paradigm, before capitalism ensconced all, and Others worked to involve their visions and include their bodies (then), rather than to subvert and subalternate at any cost (now).

[5] See Fred Moten

[6] See Achille Mbembe

[7] often by refusing positivist ontological and epistemic dialectics in favor of sensibilities.

[8] some may perform this “destitution” intentionally, for many of us, it has never been an option to have money, we have never experienced it and have no intention to experience it. Teeth rot, the actual pain of the tooth falling out vs. it being drilled out by a dentist is negligible, the drugs are the difference.

NOTE: I use the term “liberation economics” as a kind of satirical position, playing with connotations of historic “liberation theologies” and radicalizations of humanist neo-liberalism. If you google the term, you can find many more crackpots like me “inventing” the term.




PERFORMANCE FORUM QUINQUENNIAL is a 12-day conference October 8-25, 2015:

conference = a situation during which persons confer
conferance = a “con” like “comicon” for makers and fans
conference = a culmination of a period of labor
conference = states of being and becoming together


Thursday, October 8: N/A PARTAY
Saturday, October 10: FEELING TOGETHER
Grace Exhibition Space

Thursday, October 15: IN COMPLEXITY OF
Panoply Performance Laboratory

Thursday, October 22: TRAUMA SALON
Friday, October 23: CORRUPTING FLESH
Grace Exhibition Space

╳╳open to the public every day╳╳
╳╳sugg. donation $10-30/day, no one turned away╳╳
Beverages lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery


Adriana Disman, A Feminist Collective, Alex Romania, Alice Vogler and Jessica Gath, Angela Freiberger, ANGELI, Anja Morell, Anya Liftig, Baxton Alexander, Ben Bennett, Bobby English Jr, Britta Wheeler, Butch Merigoni, Chloe Bass, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Daniel Larkin, David Ian Griess, Dolly Dharma, Édgar Javier Ulloa Luján & Laura Blüer, Emily Oliviera, Emma-Kate Guimon, Esther Neff, Florence Nasar, Grace Exhibition Space (Jill McDermid and Erik Hokanson), Hiroshi Shafer, Hoesy Corona, Honey McMoney, Hrag Vartanian (Hyperallergic), Ian DeLeon + Tif Robinette (aka AGROFEMME), Ivy Castellanos, Jenna Kline, Jon Konkol, Julia Croft/Future Husband, Kaia Gilje, Kerry Cox, Kikuko Tanaka, Leili Huzaibah, Lital Dotan and Eyal Perry (Glasshouse Life Art Lab), LJ Leach, Lorene Bouboushian, Marcelline Mandeng, Matthew Gantt, Meli Sanfiorenzo, Michael Newton, Naked Roots Conducive, Nathanial Sullivan, Nicole Brydson, Panoply Lab, Quinn Dukes, Rae Goodwin, Raki Malhotra, Rebecca Beauchamp, DIVERSITY FELLOWS, Robert Lisek, Shawn Escarciga, Social Health Performance Club, Soufïa Bensaïd, Sura Hertzberg, Thomas Albrecht, Valerie Kuehne/The Super Coda, Fauziya Sani, Zhenesse Heinemann, Alex Romania, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Tsedaye Makonnen 


PERFORMANCY FORUM QUINQUENNIAL marks 5 years of the platform PERFORMANCY FORUM, a project supporting and debating performance practices since 2009, organized by Panoply Performance Laboratory’s Esther Neff and the anonymous, flexible entity known as “Brooklyn International Performance Art Foundation (BIPAF)”


Performance of organizing the conference is in three layers, beginning as a series of diagrammatic interviews 
12 AGENDAS were synthesized from these diagrams.
Presenters made responsive abstracts to these agendas, which can be found HERE.
Finally, from October 8-25, 60+ responsive presenters self-organize and produce three weekends of a public conference.

Please e-mail or with any questions or inquiries.


Saturday, July 25
7:30pm-11pm Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle at Gowanus Ballroom during the opening for Borrowed Paths, Broken Rules.

Tuesday, August 18
7:30-8:30 at Dixon Place
1.) fill out the survey:
2.) experience presentation of you, performed by PPL ensemble Ellen O’Meara, Valerie Kuehne, Matthew Gantt, AnaÏs Maviel, Cory Bracken, Brian McCorkle, and Esther Neff at Dixon Place:

Saturday, August 22
all day! Visit here for details:
TIME BODY SPACE OBJECTS, SPECTACLE ISLAND, MA – Part 4, as part of the Isles Art Initiative 2015 curated by Alice Vogler and Vela Phelan.

Time to have some serious discussion about what and how to do…

(photo by Paul Waters North)


In other news…
Esther’s initiation essay for Embarrassed of the Whole was just published on The Experimental Music Yearbook. It is here:
PPL the space will be closed in August with the exception of Valerie Kuehne’s Trauma Salon on August 27.

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 12.44.28 PMThis summer PPL (Esther Neff + Brian McCorkle) are thrilled to be working with Kikuko Tanaka and Momenta Art as a “job site” for the DYCD Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Through daily sessions, we will apply processes from our current social/opera project Embarrassed of the Whole to co-construct a small one-time-only opera with participants aged 14-24. The project is sub-titled Performancy Factory, and will deal with the politics of art “skilling,” training, and labor-preparedness, conceptions of art-as-work, and abilities, accesses, and motivations surrounding how a young person decides to “become” an artist and why (or why not).

+++++ “Performancy Factory is performance-making and social arts practices as creative labor. SYEP participants will learn concrete skills such as sewing and fabric arts, videography and editing, public interviewing, vocalizing and public speaking, but they will also be using performance training from theater, music, dance, and visual arts to deepen self-awareness and communication skills. By collaboratively devising and performing a full-scale public performance at Momenta Art, Performancy Factory pays and values participants as they seek deeper connections with their own creativities and visions for a better world” ++++

July 6-August 14, 2015


“Embarrassed of the Whole (EotW)” is an opera of operations.


(above: project overview diagram)

Each process has its own context-specific form, researching, generating, and designing forms of social engineering and social construction via methodological practicing. Throughout “Embarrassed of the Whole,” PPL are researching and practicing HOW “social constructions” are consciously and intentionally engineered through interfacings, communications, and embodied relationships. We are interested in conflicts between the online and the in-person, the ontological and the epistemic, the physicalist and the affective. Tentatively, we posit embarrassment as the only sure symptom of a moment of social agency (if not “free action”), of being somehow “outside the whole.”

EotW is a hole, a cut, or sort of tunnel burrowing across three categories:  ONE:  PPL publically gather groups of individuals to collectively philosophize and research “social engineering and social construction” in workshops and focus groups. TWO: PPL gather, chart and index input online through a website of surveys and quizzes, and THREE: PPL form interpretation-schemas to turn “data” from both the publically-gathered groups and the online interfaces into scores, using these scores to engineer live, public, performances.


Coming up:

#9 Workshop 2: Methodologies between the OntoEpic @ PPL space, 04/19/2015. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, RSVP to

#10: Theories of the Anti-Sight, during PPL-organized exhibition “sounding the alarm: theories of the anti-sight” @ Liebig12 and Meinblau e.V. during Month of Performance Art Berlin (MPA-B), Berlin, DE. 05/03/2015 and 05/05/2015

#11: Curating as Performance Conference presentation, during Month of Performance Art Berlin (MPA-B), Berlin, DE, 05/24-26/2015

#12: Workshop 3/Performance/MART, Dublin, UK 05/30/2015

Also (un-numbered): Resistance & Resilience: Do I Do? Collaboration as performance through a series of durational acts, initiated by Grüntaler9 & Panoply Performance Laboratory @ Grüntaler9, Month of Performance Art Berlin (MPA-B), Berlin, DE, 05/07-11/2015

265546255-eotw_boston(above: #2)


#1 Embarazo of/with ya @ PPL and participants in person and online during Bushwick Open Studios (June 2014)

#2 Assess your Performance Art Practice FREE Online Generator during Petrichor Exchange, online and @ School of the Museum of Fine Arts (November 2014)

#3 Workshop: The Anti-Sight @ Massachusetts College of Art and Design (December 2014)

#4 Critical Eye Contact @ New Museum in response to Anya Liftig’s A Very Something or Other during the AUNTS for Camera exhibition (January 2015)

#5 The Violence of 5: 1-10, sequence of performances @ Brooklyn Fireproof during Quid Pro Quo @ Eden’s Expressway, and @ Tandem Bar (January 2015)

#6 EotW: Alternatives to Now @ [performance s p a c e], London, UK (February 2015)

#7 EotW: Preferences, during MAD Theory 2, online streaming during Performance Philosophy symposium in Madison, WI (March 2015)

#8 Workshop: Sphere of Definable Conditions, Consequences, and Contexts @ PPL space (March 2015)


(above top: workshop, #8. below: Kaia Gilje performing #6, photo by Daniella Vg)

Rae Goodwin: 'calling ancestry' Artpotheek, Brussels, 2014. Photo by Eva Campos Suarez

IMAGE: Rae Goodwin: ‘calling ancestry’ Artpotheek, Brussels, 2014. Photo by Eva Campos Suarez. DON’T MISS RAE’S PERFORMANCE ON VALENTINE’S DAY, along with performances by Nabeela Vega, Tif Robinette, Sylva Dean and Me, and Claribel Jolie Pichardo

January marks the 5-year anniversary of PERFORMANCY FORUM, a platform for performance art and interdisciplinary practices!

Bad weather (or human fear of it, at least) has foiled some of PPL’s January 2015 operations, but this February we have an intense number of public situations going on! Click HERE to see the schedule, join our mailing list HERE, or “Like” the space’s Facebook Page to get invited there and stay updated on events coming up!

We also have a framing text and report to share HERE
and some revised guidelines for proposals and space usage HERE (and posted below)


PPL invites projects that constructively consider situation, context, and consequences of performative socialization and enculturation. The site will be adapted to each project, aiming for explicit realization of social forms.

PROPOSALS can use this ONLINE WORKSHEET, or be emailed in other forms to: on a rolling basis.


A framing of performance and social practices as “art” implicates us in markets, histories, criticisms and theoretics, individualist and institutional hierarchies, valuation and evaluation schemas, competition-based cultural systemics, expectations for rituality and metaphysical experience, etc. This call is open to “artists,” who navigate lives as “artists” and create “art” within and/or across defined artistic disciplines, as such, problemetizing and considering art-paradigms.

Proposals can be for individual performance processes/performances relating to one of the following forms-of-exhibition (ongoing), OR proposals can frame an entire exhibition with multiple artists, taking on a form that “curatorially” relates involved artistic processes and performance(s) of any length or design.

PERFORMANCY FORUM. A semi-monthly platform since 2009 for auto-criticality of show-forms and performance-as-art practices. Each exhibition involves interdisciplinary performance(s), and some form of public dialogue, usually focusing around an aesthetic, politic, personal, social issue or conceptual area. PERFORMANCY FORUM often involves exchanges between Brooklyn artists and artist collectives and groups from elsewhere in the world. Longer-form exhibitions, as well as conferences and festivals are also organized as part of PERFORMANCY FORUM, by Esther Neff and collaborators. Proposals can be for individual performances/processes and/or conceptual frameworks for an installment of the series. email:

SuperCoda (curated by Valerie Kuehne) is accepting submissions for Trauma Salon, an ongoing attempt to define the nature of Trauma as a Performative Phenomenon. Submissions should both consider Trauma as you understand it (have been exposed to, seen/felt) and how and why that understanding might change if Trauma becomes the focus of a performance/experiment. This call is open to all disciplines. The following questions are to be addressed in your submission:
1. How does Art change you? Radically speaking, how does one lose oneself (as audience/performer) in witnessing/engaging in a performance and become someone completely different? Under what conditions do you think this internal shift might transpire.
2. Why is Performance necessary/urgent? How can this necessity be internalized and expressed? Why should it be? How can this necessity be used as a tool for perpetuating/embedding Performance as a social practice (or collective spirituality, modern catharsis, insert at will). In essence, why must we, as performers (as well as human beings) do what we do?
3. Why the the hell do you make art/performance/music? What is important in what you do? Why continue doing so?
Your proposal may suggest a means to inflict Trauma in performance. You may attempt to physically disclose and permanently lose/change yourself. You may find a way to be traumatized by the audience (or simply sign up for this). You may simply perform as a means to uncover the essence of Trauma as performatively expressed. You may make an enormous noise. You may tell us what you are truly afraid of. You may injure yourself. You may terrify everyone and no one. You may grow a second head. –curator Valerie Kuehne

Trauma Salon will take place on the last Thursday of the Month, January – April. Visit thesupercoda! email:

Post-dance 4X4: To be “post” is to come after, proposing some reflection, perhaps, or some meta-physicality. Works-in-progress are shown as public experiments, situations emerge from dance and movement theory, history, and current dance/movement practices; the construction of a “post-dance community” is embodied, as participatory social choreogaphy. This series also welcomes curators and co-curators, all participants are paid from donations at the door, artists tend to “gather” over time and events emerge from need to operate as dance. The term “post-dance” was coined by Lindsey Drury for BIPAF, at PPL the series has been curated and co-curated by Lorene Bouboushian, Li Cata, Kaia Gilje, Paige Fredlund, and Esther Neff.

Post-drama 4X4: text-based performance forms, dramaturgy and anthropology-located and theatrical forms emerging from “the theater” are removed from theater, challenging theater’s metaphorical and allegorical (historic) relationships with “society.” There is no stage or backstage, all elements of the situation and production values are operated by and as part of the “play.” Durational, participatory, aleatoric, improvisational, environmental, site-specific, and other “post-dramatic” forms are investigated, theater is framed as theoretics. Propose a form of play, a theater-work in-process; forms involving speech, sound, and music especially welcome.

No Wave Performance Task Force: queer and feminist public performance, sculpture, activist, and movement practices, from the concept of a “task force” formed over time through meetings and exhibitions. NWPTF can be initiated by any, and should take task-based form(s). Visit NWPTF website HERE for more information.

OTHER: many many other forms and modes are welcome. PPL has hosted platforms and curatorial projects by many others, including performance art exhibitions, potlucks, video and visual arts exhibitions by independent curators, public meetings and gatherings, research and social arts practices, workshops and lectures, etc. It is impossible for us to totally predict all and any operations for the space: anything “outside” any of these areas is perhaps of even more interest.

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