Workshop Operation | Performance

11th-12th February, 2021 (Thursday/Friday)  

organized by Gerko Egert, Institute for Applied Theatre Studies, Justus-Liebig-University, Gießen

The workshop will take place online.
Please register by sending an email to: You will receive a link to the Webex meeting before the workshop.

The workshop addresses the relation of two concepts: Operation and Performance. Performance made its advance into theory mainly from the analysis of human action, be it in ritual, speech-acts, theater or everyday performances, esp. the performance of gender. The concept of operation has its appearance mostly in system-oriented approaches such as cybernetics and management theory. By discussing the two concepts together, the workshop asks, how the analysis of performance can profit from the concept of operation and how the analysis of operations changes, when addressing it through the lens of performance theory. The aim of the workshop is to discuss the political dimension of operation and performance by bringing the concept of operations in the field of performance studies and its engagement with gender and postcolonial theories, with questions of bodies and movement, with art and its relations to politics. How do politics operate in performance and how are the operations of performance political? 

The concept of operation offers new perspectives on algorithms, affect, sense perception, logistics, mechanics, choreography, and many more to the analysis of performance. How do operational politics function in activities of capital, labor, care, education, family-living? What operators are at work in performative politics and how can one (counter-)use them (e.g., hormones as operators of gender performance (Preciado); architecture as operator of every-day living; fabulation as operator of shared collectivity)? What are the operational modes of oppression, and what are the ones of resistance? What modes of operational politics are at work in theater, performance-art, dance and other art forms?


Thursday, February 11th, 2021

14:30 – 15:00 Gerko Egert: Introduction
15:00 – 16:00 Valeria Graziano/Giulia Palladini: Against a logic of scarcity: reverse strike, striking in and operations of militant abundance  
16:15 – 17:15 Georg Döcker: “Struggle for life.” On operations and practice (working title)
17:30 – 18:30 Valentina Desideri: Performance ♾ Operation

Friday, Februrary 12th, 2021

15:00 – 16:00 Dennis Pohl: Simultaneous Governing: Speech and Textuality in the European Council
16:15 – 17:15 Julia Bee: Film as Operation: The politics of filming together
17:30 – 18:30 Erik Bordeleau: “Like a Tropical Storm”: Exfoliating the operations of value