Episodes 2 – 8

The Philosophers, Performers and Poets**

Curated by Hayat Erdoğan

With Nate Hill (US), Ernestyna Orlowska (PL/CH), Tim Etchells (GB), Gayatri Spivak (IND), PRICE aka Mathias Ringgenberg (CH), Jacques Rancère (FR), Daniel Oliver (UK) and James Massiah (UK).

WORD UP! is a performance, poetry* and philosophy series focussing on the WORD and the basic idea of DOING THINGS WITH WORDS. 
With their uniqueness and radicalism of thought and expression the artists and philosophers invited for the series WORD UP! open up new worlds, alternative views and alluring horizons. Word Up! intermingles the boundaries between performance, poetry and philosophy, the boundaries between high and low art, between the old and the new. 

WORD UP! intermingles the boundaries between performance, poetry and philosophy, the boundaries between high and low art, between the old and the new. 

The internationally established and emerging artists and philosophers of the series WORD UP! are both thinkers and poets, artists and philosophers, teachers and performers, musicians and critiques. 

Though their works and practices are singular, there is something else that unites them: the aesthetically and critically acting-out of the word. The WORD as world-building, world-mirroring and world-reflecting is an important component that is used in the artists and philosophers differing genres and formats. 

WORD UP! explores the truth effects of the WORD, the immersive power of poetry, gaze and visual acts as speech acts, the performativity of speech acts, the potentiality of alternative knowledge production, the radicalism of thought, enchantments, rituals and rhetorical evocations of the performed words.

(*Literature, **writers)


Hayat Erdoğan (*1981 in Stuttgart/DE, based in Zurich/CH)

Erdoğan is lecturer for Performing Theory & Arts in Context at the Master Theater at the University of Arts in Zurich as well as postgraduate in the Art University of Linz at Prof. Dr. Robert Pfaller. She was author, inter alia, at Schauspiel Stuttgart, dramaturg, inter alia, at the Schaubühne Berlin and worked in the artists’ and research collective International Institute of Political Murder – IIPM. From 2010 to 2015 she was scientific associate at the Master Theater at the University of Arts Zurich. From 2014 to 2016 she was head of the artistic urban research project «Polytropos – Dada on Tour» at Connecting Spaces Hong Kong/Zurich and since 2014 she is commissioner of the fund for theater promotion of the city of Zurich.

Gayatri Spivak, in full Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, (*born 1942 in Calcutta/IN)

is an Indian literary theorist, feminist critic, postcolonial theorist, and professor of comparative literature noted for her personal brand of deconstructive criticism, which she called “interventionist.”
Educated in Calcutta (B.A., 1959) and at the University of Cambridge and Cornell University (Ph.D., 1967), she taught English and comparative literature at the Universities of Iowa, Texas, Pittsburgh, and Pennsylvania and at Columbia University. She was appointed University Professor at Columbia in 2007.
In 1976 Spivak published Of Grammatology, an English translation of French deconstructionist philosopher Jacques Derrida’s  De la grammatologie (1967). In a series of later essays Spivak urged women to become involved in, and to intervene in, the evolution of deconstructive theory. She also urged her colleagues to focus on women’s historicity. Critical of “phallogocentric” (imperialist as well as Marxist) historical interpretation, Spivak accused “bourgeois” Western feminists of complicity with international capitalism in oppressing and exploiting women of the developing world.
Her critical writings include among others In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (1987), The Post-Colonial Critic (1990), Thinking Academic Freedom in Gendered Post-Coloniality (1992), Outside in the Teaching Machine (1993), A Critique of Postcolonial Reason (1999), Death of a Discipline (2003), Other Asias (2005), An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012) and Readings (2014). 

Mathias Ringgenberg aka PRICE (*1986 in Rio de Janeiro/BR, based in Zurich/CH)

is a multidisciplinary performance artist working with live performance, music, video and installation. His work explores the emotional conditions of contemporary life, engaging questions of identity and affect in a disorientating age defined by globalization, neo-liberalism and the increasingly central role of the Internet in shaping communication, emotions and subjects. Whilst inhabiting the language of contemporary mass culture from pop music, reality TV and social media platforms PRICE seeks to probe the social impact and emotional fallout of the pervasive mediation of selfhood that typifies the present generation. The character PRICE believes in queer anonymity.
Performances, inter alia, at 1.1 Space for Zeitgeist, Basel; Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Le Bourg, Lausanne; Le Commun, Geneva; Vrankrijk, Amsterdam; STUK Theater, Leuven; Rosa Brux, Brussels; Human Resources and DIANA artspace, Los Angeles; Theater Arsenic, Lausanne; Helmhaus and KARMA, Zurich.

Jacques Rancière (*1940 in Algier/DZ, based in Paris/FR)

is a French philosopher and a professor of philosophy. In his philosophical work, he reflects on concepts of political discourse, such as ideology and proletariat, and questions whether the indissolvable dissent and disagreement between the poor and the rich as a matter of power distribution is something to be solved by politics or is rather the core of politics itself. He discusses human rights, develops theories of democracy and disagreement, he presents educational arguments on the emancipation of thought, and he discusses arts, the resistance and criticality of art and has furthermore developed an aesthetic theory that departs from a criticism of representational aesthetic theory.
Publications (selection): «The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation»; «The Names of History: On the Poetic of Knowledge»; «Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy»; «The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible»; «The Aesthetic Unconscious»; «The Emancipated Spectator; Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics»; «Aesthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art»; and recently «Modern Times – Essays on Temporality in Art and Politics».

Daniel Oliver (*1981 in Wiltshire/UK, based in London/UK)

is a performance artist, researcher and teaching fellow at Queen Mary University of London. In his performances Oliver investigates the efficacy of awkwardness in contemporary participatory performance. He focuses on moments of social awkwardness, DIY aesthetics and dysfunction, which lead him to researching neurodiversity and contemporary performance: «Embracing neurodiversity means celebrating the vast range of ways of emotionally and cognitively experiencing and describing the world, and not always trying to ‹fix› or dismiss modes of being and doing commonly understood as ‹dysfunctional›», he says. He has performed his own solo and collaborative performance art projects across the UK and overseas since 2003.
Performances (selection): Barbican, London; Steakhouse Live, Toynbee Studio; Duckie, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London; Colchester Art Centre; Norwich Art Centre; Reactor Halls, Primary, Nottingham; Live Art Bistro, Leeds; Lakeside Theatre, Essex University; Forest Fringe, Edinburgh; Žižek Studies Conference, Cincinnati; Peopling the Palace, Queen Mary University of London, Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, London; Whitstable Biennale; Lewisham Arthouse; Latitude Festival.

James Massiah (*1990 in Mitcham/South-West London/UK, based in London/UK)

is a poet and musician from South London, who shares his work via «The A & The E», a philosophy and arts project founded in 2012 to explore ideas about sexuality and ethics through performance, writing and visual media. He is passionate around pushing boundaries and encouraging his peers to advance the art form further, either by taking on more challenging topics or rethinking the mediums through which writers and performers deliver work.
He was commissioned to produce work for the BBC, the Guardian, Britvic and Nike, as well as featuring in campaigns for Levi’s, Selfridges and Dr. Martens. A regular on NTS radio James Massiah has successfully carved out a niche for himself as a versatile and technically gifted DJ. His sets include a vast range of dance music styles. On their single «Dear Friend» Massive Attack featured Massiah.
Performances (selection): Southbank Centre; Tate Modern; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; the Houses of Parliament; the V&A Museum.