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As part of the conference, Berlin-based performance artist Jens Reulecke will offer a performative workshop.

+++Shifting Weight: the production of space as an act of trust+++

October 31 – November 1, 2013
The Graduate Center, City University of New York,
Rooms 5409 and 5414

The workshop Shifting Weight experiments with a certain potential of intuition while getting in contact with public space. The process deals with that which is hidden rather than which catches the eye. There is no obvious or explicit performative attitude, since the center of the process is formed by an attitude of restraint.
The workshop leader supports participants in entering a state of mind where increased focus brings to the fore a force hardly noticeable to the public. That force develops a powerful presence with the result of shifting weight away from the spectacular and the well-known. The overall movement is a turning away from the familiar; it goes beyond mere understanding, like a removal from certainty, so that possibility moves beyond the present. This kind of production of space is an act of trust.

Four workshop sessions are offered:
Monday, October 28th – 10:00- 2:00
Tuesday, October 29th – 10:00-2:00
Wednesday, October 30th – 10:00-2:00
Thursday, October 31th – 10:00-1:00

The participants will engage in connecting with the public sphere through their body while moving or not moving in order to facilitate sensitivity and imagination. Using their voices the participants produce hardly locatable sounds thus transforming each scene.
Participants attending all four sessions will experience the most intensive process. It is also possible to attend only one, two or three sessions, since each session is prepared in a way that allows newcomers to connect.
The participants are asked to bring snacks for lunch if desired.

Venue: Graduate Center, City University of New York (365 5th Avenue at 34th Street, NYC) in room 5409 or 5414.

Workshop presentation: Friday, November 1st – 3:15 – 4:45 – Graduate Center, City University of New York (Room 5414).
All the workshop participants are asked to attend the presentation, if possible.

No experience is required.
Please register by email to by October 21th. – All the participants will be listed for permission to enter the building.



Shifting Weight – Performative Workshop

My idea is to gather a group of interested people on a casual level and see what‘s possible to do while focusing on personal and group issues as well as various situations that present themselves as we move through the openness of the city space. My role is to facilitate a process, to inspire the group to move along, to connect, to experience, to receive, to imagine, and to allow shared visions to develop.

My aim is to support the group so that trust can grow—trust in oneself, in others, and in various situations that the group will face during their inner and outer pilgrimage. I focus on trust because trust allows us to enter into a dialog, which takes an important part in personal growth, freedom, and transformation of the social relations in which we live. The dialog has its own temporality depending on the nature of each relation while stepping out of our rushed existence.

The fragile utopia presented by NYC itself, and Manhattan in particular, provides a perfect setting. At first glance it appears static with the impenetrable facades of its buildings and its inhabitants. Nevertheless there is the strong desire towards a spirit associated with a personal space for the act of living, a way of life existing below the norm of everyday life.

Imagination marks an important center of a process where each participant allows the inner and outer world to appear in new ways. Since this “emergence” is about presence than rather representation, it frees every participant from the temptation of obvious performative acting. I am interested in shifts of reality, a destabilization of the moment that is almost unnoticeable while another certainty is not yet established. The attention focuses on the transition itself, a state of instability, a fluid field, generating a new stability, a process provoking a new awareness and sensitivity.

The ”audience” can hardly tell what is going on, because he is not experiencing an obvious event. What might strike them is a subtle sensual experience, a possibility to relate differently to reality. This setting allows the participants to form a group of conspirators respecting boundaries but at the same time transforming various powers by releasing new possibilities. While the inner and the outer space is getting changed things start to appear slowly, a process releasing energy, an inner shift away from the already known to the unknown, like a view of the unseen.

Jens Reulecke

Assistance: Florian Erdle