Theory-Practice Collaboratory #1: Philosophy in the Performative

Friday, September 26, 10:00am-3:00pm

Elvehjem L166


A mini-symposium exploring performativity and philosophy as dynamically intermeshed sites of serious play.


Frederic Neyrat, “Nietzsche Machine Metaphor”
10:00am – 12:00pm


Chris White, Bridging the Void

Chris White, Bridging the Void


Traditionally, a metaphor is conceived as a trope grounded on analogy or substitution. In this workshop, we will investigate a different proposition of metaphor, one that has nothing to do with analogy or substitution. Maybe a metaphor is nothing but the rise of a form and the creation of a form of life. Leaning on philosophical essays (Nietzsche), literary texts (Hugo, Coleridge), art works (Hiroaki Umeda’s “Adapting for Distorsion,” Under the Skin [J. Glazer, 2013], and my own video attempts), I will try to shed some light on what I call the metaphorical, which is not a trope, but the imaginary load by which every organic or inorganic life form gets its singularity. The metaphorical is a bridge above the void.

Reading (email art.scholarship.mellon@gmail.com for access):

  • Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense”



F Neyrat_Bio

Lecturer in Comparative Literature at UW-Madison, Frederic Neyrat is a member of the editorial board of the journal Multitudes and the author of several books on images (L’image hors-l’image, 2003), Heidegger (L’indemne. Heidegger et la destruction du monde, 2008), eco-politics, immuno-politics and catastrophism (Biopolitique des catastrophes, 2008), Antonin Artaud (Instructions pour une prise d’âmes: Artaud et l’envoûtement occidental, 2009), capitalism and ecopolitics (Clinamen: Flux, absolu et loi spirale, 2011), and Jean-Luc Nancy (Le communisme existentiel de Jean-Luc Nancy, 2013). Atopies, his last book, offers a new existentialism that revives the place of the outside that contemporary theory underestimates (http://atoposophie.wordpress.com).



[12:00-1:00: Lunch/Break]




Jill H. Casid, “Doing the Deformative”
1:00 – 3:00pm


Jill H. Casid, “Off in the Dunes” [LEFT] and “Never in Time” [RIGHT] from Cherry Picking in the Pines, Polaroid, 2014.

Jill H. Casid, “Off in the Dunes” [LEFT] and “Never in Time” [RIGHT] from Cherry Picking in the Pines, Polaroid, 2014


Situated in what might seem the ditch and not just pitch of conflicts over triggers and trigger warnings—the risky, unprotected field of heightened hurt, loss, and exhausted hope— this workshop takes the practice of the negative (from necropolitics to throwing shade) as not just an immediate pedagogical and political imperative but also a resource for practice. Exploring the power and possibilities of the not, the no, and the dis in the wake of what the never or never again of “don’t trigger me” has yet to banish or resolve, let’s experiment with ways of bearing the unbearable from within the very scenes of what appears beyond and even directly threatening to our capacity to show up, stay, participate, and engage. Grappling in a let’s-get-into-it way with the powers and possibilities of doing not merely the performative but also and especially the deformative, this workshop re-opens consideration of the work of negation as both an incisive, critical gesture and a range of powerful tactics in the negotiation and even transformation of the everyday sites of damage.

Readings (email art.scholarship.mellon@gmail.com for access):

  • Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman, “What Survives,” in Sex and the Unbearable
  • Sigmund Freud, “Negation”



Jill H. Casid photographing Susan Sontag’s Grave, Cimitière du Montparnasse, Paris, June 2013, image courtesy of Anna Campbell.

Jill H. Casid photographing Susan Sontag’s Grave, Cimitière du Montparnasse, Paris, June 2013, image courtesy of Anna Campbell


An artist, theorist, and historian, Jill H. Casid is Professor of Visual Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her queer feminist work in performance and photography is exhibited both locally and internationally and is discussed in such surveys as Harmony Hammond’s Lesbian Art in America and Deborah Bright’s The Passionate Camera. Her publications range from Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization (Minnesota, 2005) to Scenes of Projection: Recasting the Enlightenment Subject (Minnesota, 2015). Her current projects explore the volatile potentials of public intimacy, the deaths and afterlives of queer theory, and the practice of what she calls “care for death.”



This event is presented by the Art + Scholarship A.W. Mellon Workshop, generously supported by UW-Madison Center for the Humanities, and co-sponsored by The Center for Visual Cultures.


Frederic Neyrat & Jill Casid Collaboratory



Facilitating conversations between experimental scholarship, creative writing, performance, new media, digital text, and visualization studies, Art + Scholarship A.W. Mellon Workshop’s Theory-Practice Collaboratories engage a richly interdisciplinary nexus of questions, practices, and possibilities for unsettling generic and medium-specific boundaries. Collaboratories provide opportunities to engage in collective exploration of playful, creative scholarship through such practices as performance-making, sensory awareness, digital remediation, public discourse, and relational aesthetics.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s