Institution? Intervention!


How can we alter the institutions - our schools and working places, the way we do politics, the dominant structures and discourses - that we are part of, or are engaging with, and why should we? When in 1969 in Amsterdam real tomatoes were thrown at a symbolic institution of theatre, it was as an expression of protest against the antiquated institution of Dutch theatre. This intervention arguably became recuperated and turned - possibly - into an institution itself? When is a fierce intervention of this type (still) desirable, possible and effective? Has our relationship with (the critique of) institutions changed and might we not, where it concerns our thinking on intervention, be stuck in the 1960’s? How can we conceptualize new aspects in strategies of intervention?

Intervention? Institution!

If a single drone can temporarily disable the heavy Christmas traffic of a London airport, what does this render visible about the power relationship between small (imagined?) acts and the entire machinery or institution of what an airport is, can do and cannot do?

In 2019, what we might call an intervention might not - as well as not always has to -  be intentional, revolutionary or even human. In this Biennial, we are looking at instances, practices and theories, emphasizing the dizzying potential of intervention against the background of our different (embodied) relationships with institutions. Those backgrounds can - amongst many others - be the context of a globalized world, a post-humanist perspective, an activist agenda or the sonic realm beyond representation.

Intervention? Intoxication!

Next to the symbolic powers of an institution in line with the well known Institutional Critique, and together with the potentials of a range of possible interventions, we therefore propose to enter new territory through a particularly Performance Philosophical inquiry. In having written a call for contributions more than a year ago, the organizers of this four day event, have suggested “intoxication” as a productive way to think intervention differently. “Altered states” or “altering states” might be central metaphors for an intoxicating turn of interventions into, within or beyond institutions. Subtle subversions? A change in perspective! Artists embracing, transforming and revaluing new forms of institutions instead of rejecting them altogether…

Intoxication? Intervention!

What are these altered states of the institutions in which Performance Philosophy intervenes? Which modes of engagement does intervention, or intervention as intoxication, offer? Can Performance Philosophy intervene in the logocentric character of philosophy? In which ways can Performance Philosophy offer alternative ways of intervening, of working through intervention, and of thinking intervention itself?



INTERVENTION! INTOXICATION? is the 4th Biennial of the Performance Philosophy network and it takes the shape of a research festival and conference. Academics and makers explore the ways in which intervention brings about ideas that were impossible to think before. We ask ourselves: What are the possibilities and forms of intervention today? Can the arts bring about social change?

Performance Philosophy Biennial
March 14-17, 2019
De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam

More information on the program and tickets will be published soon. Keep posted via Facebook! ︎