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Friday March 15 | Session 15:05 - 16:05 (20 min) De Brakke Grond | Grote Zaal
SEMESTER is the word-for-word and equation-for-equation delivery of a semester’s worth of relativistic quantum field theory lectures. The performer has no idea what he is saying: The lectures were memorized phonetically, choreographically. The lectures were originally delivered by Professor Alan Guth at MIT in the spring semester of 2004, as part of the course Relativistic Quantum Field Theory I.

SEMESTER exploits the academic lecture as a performance form, foregrounding the recombinant language and cadence of the lecture as poetry, the hieroglyphics of the equations for their visual aesthetics, and the conceptual value of "performing" knowledge uncoupled from conventional understanding, divorcing the symbols and language from their bundled informational content.

If embodied performance generally and choreography specifically can index a regime of discipline on the body--through compliant bodies' surrender to outside forces--SEMESTER proposes a choreographic mode of knowledge and its performance, devaluing conventional standards of expertise and mastery. The piece follows the logic of the standardized testing structure to a conclusion many students recognize and perform themselves: A perverse incentive to (re)produce the trappings of knowledge within a disciplinary scopic regime.


Billy Mullaney is a 2nd-year masters student at DAS theatre in Amsterdam.
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