13 Oct 2018 – 17 Nov 2018


Berlin, Germany


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Dada is black, duh! * Mad Vibrations * Many-Dancing the Digital Ornament * Choreographic Unrest


A collaborative and performative space, this project appears under different titles across the months of October and November 2018 at School Without Center / District and Archive Kabinett. Dada is black, duh!, Mad Vibrations, Many-Dancing the Digital Ornament and Choreographic Unrest offer collective forms to undo Dadaism and other white Eurocentric avant-garde narratives. The gatherings, workshops, performances, rituals, broadcasts and editing room connect so-called modern aesthetic techniques with their ignored origins and influences.

Dada is black, duh!
Classes in Afro-diasporic applied knowledges by niv Acosta and Fannie Sosa

13 October
2 – 5 pm class 1: Body work based on Free’M Technique and Consent Improv
5 – 8 pm class 2: Critical movement and dance history
20 October
11 am – 2 pm class 3: Body work
2 – 5 pm class 4: Critical movement and dance history
3 November
2 – 5 pm class 5: Critical movement and dance history
5 – 8 pm class 6: Body work

The workshops are for Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and Migrant People of Colour. The number of participants is limited to 30. Participation for all the 6 sessions would be ideal. Fee: 60 € for the 6 sessions, 5 – 25 € for single sessions (based on what you can afford). We can offer 5 free places for people in need. All workshop times contain breaks. Food and drinks will be provided based on donation. Please register until 9 October at school@district-berlin.com.

Join us for a critical reading of dada retracing its Black & Afro-diasporic influences, intersections and insurrections. What ignited some social and artistic movements between 1918-1926, beyond the extensively documented white-European contribution? Who are the forgotten voices, faces and bodies of such a relevant period for dance and movement? Using embodied methodologies, niv Acosta and Fannie Sosa will unpack various aspects of interwar Black insurrection, and formulate why this rich cultural material goes widely unacknowledged in the European canons of movement and dance history.

Free’M Technique is a somatic practice aimed at educators, activists, artists and community builders who are interested in deepening their relationship to their core and centering pleasure in their practice. Based on Afro-diasporic applied knowledges, we will use playfulness and consent as tools to negotiate reparations. A deep core awakening practice based in afro-somatic pleasurable methodologies, the workshop centers the experiences of those who are existing/thriving in the margins.

Consent Improv is improvisation using consensual methodologies. These classes will be accompanied by live musical accompaniment.The idea that everyone is equal in a contact improv jam is a myth. This space offers the opportunity to work with a hands on/body centered tasks of spacial redistribution.

niv Acosta is a multi-media artist & activist from New York City. Being transgender, queer, and black-dominican has inspired his community based work. niv’s written work is featured in Performance Journal, VICE, Brooklyn Magazine, Apogee Journal, BOMB Magazine. niv’s performance works have debuted at Matadero Madrid, Tate Modern, Tanz Im August & Kunst-Werke Institut, MOMA PS1 and others. niv has collaborated with Alicia Keys, Dr. Fannie Sosa, BEARCAT, Lyle Ashton-Harris & Ralph Lemon.
Fannie Sosa is an internationally applauded Afro latinx interdisciplinary artist, scholar and activist. Sosa’s work focuses in developing pleasurable methodologies using vibrational & sonic therapy, movement practices to liberate the core and transformational social justice centered publications. Sosa’s current artistic projects include Black Power Naps, Pleasure is Power, Consent Improvisation and Platonic Play Parties. Through her social justice work, Sosa provides professional development trainings and consultancy.

The spatial setting for Dada is black, duh! is a continuation from the performative installation I was told I chop wood like a ballet dancer by Freja Bäckman, that happened in the same space earlier this year. And it contains textures from knowbotiq’s performance b(l)ack dada: drone nonperformance.

Mad Vibrations
A Humming Ritual for Untrustworthy Narrators by Amal Alhaag and Maria Guggenbichler
20.10. 7 pm School Without Center /District

Mad Vibrations: A Humming Ritual for Untrustworthy Narrators side-steps the cruelty of colonial modernity, and focuses on the radical, renegade voices of decolonial struggles who demand different realities for themselves through various forms of self-care and exchanges via diasporic and pan-african networks, connections, echoes and re-sonances.

These decolonial vibrations and voices found their waves and ways while experiencing prohibition and criminalization. By using improvised or coded language, dance, music or non-verbal communication, which was often read as inaudible, made from scratch, unreliable, inconsistent, mad and incomprehensible forms of exchanges between enslaved and colonial subjects people managed to move below the radar of the systems of slavery and colonialism. “Certain kinds of madness, deliberately going mad… in order to not loose your mind. These strategies of survival made the truly modern person. They’re a response to predatory western phenomena.” (Toni Morrison)

For this evening, sound and vibration, vibrating as well as listening, within and beyond the scope of what can be heard carefully and deciphered or lost within the quiet, the unruly and improvised forms of resonances will guide us through a patchwork of sonic, decolonial counter realities and their poetics and politics. Mad Vibrations is an invitation to dance, feel, sit, embody, mourn, moan, laugh, vibrate, improvise, shout and be quiet(ly) together.

Maria Guggenbichler and Amal Alhaag are friends. They met over a shared love for music; hyperactive organizing of gatherings, programs and events of many formats and shapes and a deep investment in critical, ex-centric or counter cultural practices and thinking. Since 2014 they have collaborated on events, programs and pranks, together with other friends and people who became friends. The gatherings always involve bodies and minds coming together,listening and sharing (sometimes difficult and uncomfortable) conversation; and are very often full of laughter, dancing and joy. www.sideroom.org

Many-Dancing the Digital Ornament
Rehearsals of a prosthetic collective body by knowbotiq and Alesandra Seutin
10. + 11.11. 4 pm workshop, 8 pm performance Archive Kabinett

Many-Dancing the Digital Ornament aims to reflect on what it means to form a collective body today, to activate and produce body knowledge through dance-like movement, and to develop a vocabulary (repertoire) of undisciplined collective movements. In the performative workshop and public performance we want to ask how we could deal today with the excessive demands of confrontation with technologization/digitization, anonymization, `otherness`, and the resulting disorientation. And whether undisciplined collective dance could play a role in this.

To make this more tangible, we draw references to the “epileptically dancing white European bodies” that in the 1920s had to deal with the nihilism and insanity in the aftermath of the First World War. We establish links to the experiences of colonialism’s construction of the “Other” and look at the phenomenon of the “hysterically shaking masses” (dance rage and dance addiction), which we interpret as a reaction to the manifestations of industrialization and automation in the world of wage labour. Post-slave dance forms that conquered the variety and music halls of Berlin and Paris as urban, animal or epileptic dances promoted for us queer lines of subjectivity informed by blackness, femininity and class consciousness. Many-Dancing the Digital Ornament aims to combine these metropolitan body practices of the early 20th century with the crisis-like experiences of a present in which algorithmic governmentalities and biotechnologies fragment the bodies, molecularize them and translate them into data sets.

We believe that a lot of knowledge is stored in body movements and dance, which can be used to engage with the current hybrid and posthuman body concepts (body optimizations). Despite that the integrity of the individual body is emphasized strongly in Eurocentric culture, the situations in which it has to adapt, transform, dissolve or to accept algorithmic and molecular access determined by others are increasing. Individual borders become more and more obsolete and dividualized. Symbiosis with algorithms, bots, affects, drugs, hormons in urban mass event events or political demonstrations emerge.

knowbotiq are interested in how social and political conditions as well as historical knowledge and theories can be activated with the means of art. The focus is often on the (working, the political and the gendered) body with its ability to (re)act, camouflage, to dissolve, but also to (re-)assemble. We outline various situational scenarios that position these bodies in the context of quotidian, technological and scientific developments.

Choreographic Unrest
Open editing room with contributions by Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Paolo Caffoni, Zasha Colah, Chiara Figone, Lamin Foufana, Joerg Franzbecker, Suza Husse, knowbotiq, Astrid Kusser, Shanti Suki Osman, Alesandra Seutin, Yvonne Wilhelm
13. – 17.11. Archive Kabinett

Which mundane choreographies animate the interfaces between bodies and things, desires and disasters?

Dada is black, duh! * Mad Vibrations * Many-Dancing the Digital Ornament * Choreographic Unrest

niv Acosta, Amal Alhaag Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Paolo Caffoni, Zasha Colah, Chiara Figone, Lamin Foufana, Joerg Franzbecker, Maria Guggenbichler, Suza Husse, knowbotiq, Astrid Kusser, Shanti Suki Osman, Alesandra Seutin, Fannie Sosa, Yvonne Wilhelm 

Rehearsing the roles undisciplined body and movement practices could play in challenging revenant hauntings of patriarchy, fascism, coloniality and capitalism, the proposed encounters take up the threads of a historical multiplicity: embodied knowledges and political dissonances that found expression in metropolitan entertainment and information industries, in dance (sub-)cultures as well as political movements in Berlin between 1918 and 1926. Nervous urban textures and states of choreographic unrest articulated the traumas, desires, conflicts, and new socialities formed in the realities of German and European colonialism and the aftermath of the First World War.

How does body knowledge move through time?
How do we connect to and through our historical corporealities?

Approaching absences and resistant derivatives through situated and intersectional knowledge production the presented propositions are open invitations – to weave somatically vibrant collectivities and to enter the rhythms and measures of today’s alienations and technologization, rhythms and measures that connect us and that tear us apart.


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