Programme series: Life Choreographies – infrastructures for a livable life #2

15 August, KL 16:00 - 19:00 Open arrangement

While the social sphere is under rapid changes, the livable life alters within. This programme series explores what life choreographies that emerge within today’s infrastructures of the social. Part of Choreographies of the Social.

Time: August 15, 16.00–19.00
Place: Reaktorhallen R1, Drottning Kristinas väg Campus KTH, Stockholm
Language: English
RSVP: No later than August 12 to

Participants: Philosopher Jason Read (USA), performance researcher, curator and dramaturge Gigi Argyropoulou (GRC) and artist Malin Arnell (SWE).

16:00-16:15: Introduction by Public Art Agency Sweden and Frida Sandström
16:20-16:45: Josefine Wikström, lecture: Choreography and the social, some notes
16:50-17:15: Malin Arnell, performance, Becoming-with – knowledge making/sharing through the liveness of collective performative actions
17:20-17:40: PAUSE
17:45-18:10: Jason Read, lecture: Auto-Mobiles: On the Spontaneous Anthropology of Capitalism
18:15-19:00: Panel discussion moderated by Frida Sandström
19:00 END

While the social sphere undergoes rapid changes, the livable life alters within. This programme series explores the life choreographies that emerge within today’s infrastructures of the social. It is part of Choreographies of the Social on three occasions and includes performance, film screenings and conversations that further develop the questions from which this project departs. Intertwining theory and practice, each contribution provides an interdisciplinary use of the concepts of life and the social. For this session, philosopher Jason Read, researcher and writer Josefine Wikström and artist Malin Arnell bring individual contributions and meet in conversation with Frida Sandström.

1. Contributions

Josefine Wikström: Choreography and the social, some notes
Since at least two decades one has within contemporary European dance spoken about choreography in an expanded sense beyond art. During roughly the same time an idea about artistic practice as socially engaged has been institutionalised within contemporary art. While ‘choreography’ was coined within the context of 16th century French court dancing – from the Greek word khoreia, “dance” – and then played a significant role for the development of Western artistic dance, the ‘social’, a notion invented during the same century after the Latin term socialis, came to mean life together with others. Both were central for what later came to be known as modernity. But what does it mean when life is understood in choreographic terms and art as a part of, rather than a break with, the social? What might ‘choreography’ and the ‘social’ tell us about today’s contemporary capitalist modernity and the role of art in this?

Malin Arnell: Becoming-with – knowledge making/sharing through the liveness of collective performative actions
In 2016, Malin Arnell performed a live dissertation Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action) carried out in R1 and supervised within the graduate programme in Choreography at Stockholm University of the Arts. It departed from the question: ”If we are being-of-the-world, how can we ever avoid participation?” During 72 hours, diffractive choreographic methods and techniques – which had been developed through diverse intra-active studies—actions, collaborations, and works that span throughout 2010-2016 – were re-activated and made present through each specific agential forces that enacted them: breath, text, touch, voice, vegetation, spatial proximity, motion, distance, asphalt, material walls and material voids (the reactor hole), pain, and disgust. With Becoming-with – knowledge making/sharing through the liveness of collective performative actions, Arnell revisits the site and departs from the experience from Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action), three years later.

Jason Read: Auto-Mobiles: On the Spontaneous Anthropology of Capitalism
We are repeatedly told that we are self interested and competitive by nature. This is the ultimate bedrock on which our social order rests. According to Jason Read, individual self interest must be understood as an effect as much as a cause. It is something which is paradoxically produced by our social order so that it may be claimed as its natural basis. It is by grasping the quotidian production of isolation and competition that we can imagine the possibility of other productions. During his lecture, Read will expand on what productions these might be.

2. Bios
Josefine Wikström is a writer and researcher focusing on questions concerning work, value and autonomy in the framework of contemporary art, dance and performance. 2017, she presented her doctoral thesis in philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy. She has been published in, amongst others, Kunstkritikk, Afterall and Mute – and is a returning dance critic in Dagens Nyheter. Together with Maija Timonen, Wikström co-edited the book Objects of Feminism (2017) and she is currently one of the editors at Philosophy of Photography. Her forthcoming book, Towards a New Concept of Performance in Art will be published by Routledge in 2020. Wikström is senior assistant master in dance theory at Stockholm University of the Arts and has previously been teaching aesthetics at Södertörn University, and at Goldsmiths University in London.

Malin Arnell, PhD in Choreography, works as an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and educator within a participatory, performative, ecologically and socially engaged art field. With the help of spatial and architectural interventions, choreographic structures and pedagogical models, Arnell processes materialities of objects, languages, time and bodies. In “Forest Calling – An Infinitely Contaminated Collaboration or Dance is a Form of Forest Knowledge”, Arnell and artist Åsa Elzén explore artistic legal interventions to secure agency and survival of the forest in an infinite future. With “In Each Other’s Company” Arnell and artist Mar Fjell map out opportunities and needs in order to establish sustainable and long-term artistic involvement for collective healing, learning and support for queer and trans bodies, making timespacematerialities for trauma through a collective doings is given.

Jason Read is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine. He is the author of The Micro-Politics of Capital: Marx and the Prehistory of the Present (SUNY 2003) and The Politics of Transindividuality (Brill 2015/Haymarket 2016) and a forthcoming collection of essays, The Production of Subjectivity: Between Marxism and Post-Structuralism. He has published essays on Spinoza, Deleuze, Marx, and The Wire among others. He blogs on popular culture, philosophy, and politics at

Production: Life Choreographies – infrastructures for a livable life is developed by Frida Sandström in collaboration with Annika Enqvist, Elena Jarl, Andria Nyberg Forshage and Edi Muka/Public Art Council Sweden and is part of the public program of the project Choreographies of the Social. In memoriam of Alina Popa.
The programme series started on June 4 and ends with a final session on August 21, 2019.

In the photo: Malin Arnell, Slow Dancing With Two Fans (2014/2018). Foto: Carolin Lange.