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Vourloumis’16 (Hypatia Vourloumis holds a Ph.D in performance studies from New York University. Her dissertation on the performance of postcolonial paralanguage in Indonesia received the NYU Deena Burton award for outstanding research. She is currently completing a monograph entitled ‘Murmur Nation: Decoloniality, Paralanguage, Performance’ based on this thesis. For the last few years she has been living in Athens, Greece, critically engaging with the social and cultural movements proliferating there. She teaches at the International Centre for Hellenic and Mediterranean Studies and is currently a research fellow at the Research Centre for the Humanities in Athens working on a second monograph on contemporary art, culture and activism in Greece titled ‘Performancescapes: Fugitive Athens and the Arts of the Possible.’ Her teaching and research interests focus broadly on performance studies, modern Greek and SE Asian studies, critical de-colonial, queer, race and feminist theory, cultural studies, and philosophies of language. Hypatia was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Interweaving Performance Cultures research centre at Freie University, Berlin (2012-14). Recent publications include essays in Theatre Journal and Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, and she is the editor (with Gigi Argyropoulou) of a special issue ‘On Institutions’ for Performance Research Journal. “INTRODUCTION TO THE SYMPOSIUM “NON-PERFORMANCE AS METHOD” 29 October 2016) NAE

I write here with performance art making where through this act I veer away from writing about art works as fixed object of study. Rather, the motions of my writing alongside arts’ passages seek to escape scholarly conventions by emphasizing the simultaneous coconstitutiveness and dissolution of subjects and objects in their encountering and compositions, and vitally, to the ways in which performance art practices are also always philosophical and theoretical ones. Therefore, following Deleuze and Guattari, my project here is not to “bring these arts to philosophy, but to bring out the philosophy already in them” (Massumi 1987, xiii). I want to think of how certain attempts at fractal thinking, poethics flee outwards into an acting out with others. In other words, I think through and with the ways in which performances as cocreated compositions are historical and ongoing escaping processes produced through, and thus never outside, constant dynamics of performance as simultaneous acts of becoming and unbecoming with others. According to Andrew Culp, for Deleuze “subjects are only interesting when they cast a “line to the outside” – in short, when they stop being subjects (with a double emphasis on ‘being’ and ‘subjects’)” (Culp 2016, 28). Such attempts, the infinite acts, imagined and real, of escape from and across those powers that “build walls” , the ways in which the desire of fleeing the institution to be with others is bound up to the desire for a dispossession of the self, a dissolution of subjectivity made possible in the act of escaping. Culp, continues “[B]ecoming… has nothing to do with ‘subjects developing into more of themselves.’ Becoming is really a process of un-becoming. In “undoing the givenness of the given,” unbecoming exercises undoing, a process that works to “undo the stabilities of identity, knowledge, location, and being” (Culp 2016, 28). A way out marks a necessary unbecoming into becoming, we must undo in order to do, do so as to undo. As Massumi writes in his prelude to Erin Manning’s book Always More than One, “Process is process because it is forever deferring its own completion in the dynamic form of more becoming. Process is always in the process of exceeding itself in its own carrying forward… It is always moving into its own beyond” (Manning 2013, xii). A constant deferral of processes’ completion through constant becoming performance is at once an event and limitless process “always more than one” where escape and becoming are articulated as possible through something shareable yet immeasurable. And this leads back to what is implicit in Ranciere’s question: if he is interested in describing the landscape where political and artistic practice meet this presupposes that there is a difference between political gestures and art making and that sometimes they meet. Whether we agree or not this binary does produce some interesting questions: is this division one between means and ends? Is political gesture for Ranciere here an act with a specific function, a specific end? Is art then an activity that has no instrumental ends? Is this a question of communicability and commonality through a new terrain of the sensible? A communicability that is a means without ends would shake up modes of perception and this is why perhaps Ruddick ends her essay on how to engage difference and alterity within our collective creations through Deleueze’s writing on the figure of the monstrous scream: an expressive affective force that has no meaning but has value, at once refusal and creation – an affect produced by encounter and how thought emerges from this fear and discomfort with difference. Let us stay here in the realm of the scream. Where the scream is a social act. Let us stay here, perhaps all silently screaming inside right now, because we know that these questions are far from academic ones. And that even if they were merely academic ones they are still dangerous questions to ask for certain people from certain places. This is about struggle and sometimes it is about the absolute necessity for nonperformance. Non-performance is a legal term used in contract law. When you enter into a contract you are legally obligated to perform your contractual duties—that is, do what you promised to do in the contract. Nonperformance is the failure to fulfill your obligations under a contract. And so to end here with some of Moten’s thoughts, what he calls preliminary notes on nonperformance at his talk “Balckness and Nonperformanace.” I paraphrase some of these preliminary notes here. Nonperformance is the withdrawal from everything we’re supposed to want, that falls under the rubric of the normative. A withdrawal from a very specific understanding from what it is to want in the first place. It is the refusal of a logics of value that both degrades and exploits at the same time. Nonperformance refuses contracts that are the condition for relation by undoing the subject. An avowed dispossession of subjectivity that refuses to re-state. A dissonance as radical insolvency which resists the power that solves, determines, makes sovereign subjects. Sovereignty is where relation operates. If relation is figured through the logics of contract then art shiftingly reconfigures insovereign social work (Moten 2015).

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