june 2018

21jun10:1510:45Annalaura Alifuoco: The Cry that Tears the Ocean: Bas Jan Arden and the Search for the Miraculous10:15 - 10:45 B: Studio 1

Event Details

This paper takes conceptual artist, performance artist and filmmaker Bas Jan Ader’s small oeuvre as a starting point to reflect on the leakages and blockages intervening between the human and the elemental world. The corpus of Ader’s artistic engagement, in fact, spills over into a series of destabilising acts in which the subject attempts to extend the material limits of ‘man’ into (often liquid) the material limits of ‘man’ into (often liquid) environments.

In 1975, Arden disappeared into the Atlantic whilst trying to cross it with the smallest boat that ever tried to sail the Ocean. The gesture of putting oneself at the mercy of the sea ‘in search of the miraculous’ (this was the title the artist gave to his last known feat) painfully reverberates with more recent stories and histories of being at sea, at large, and literally overcome by the waters. In the language of Braidotti’s nomadic theory, these movements express both the crisis of the ‘majority’, who spill over, and the patterns of becoming of the ‘minorities’, who overflow. The challenge of this study is to discern between some of these different ebbs and flows.

Hence, I will read Ader’s cool anti-subjective aesthetics alongside Braidotti’s passionate quest for a radically immanent philosophy of relations to explore experiences that would seem to overpower the subject, and the subjective, with the simultaneously tragic and miraculous condition of being in a liquid scape or state of immersion, in the incontrollable flow of things inhuman.


Annalaura works across performance and academia. In 2014, she completed an AHRC funded PhD at the University of Roehampton on notions of the anarchival in relation to performance events and wounded bodies. She is a lecturer in Drama and Performance Studies at University Liverpool Hope. Her current practice explores performance as a framework for meaningful collaborations between the so-called human, non-human life and immaterial agencies. The ensuing critical and physical forms focus on anomalous or fragmented bodies in relation to affective politics, radical activism and cosmopolitics. Always passionately seeking meaningful collaborations and participations to further these concerns, together with others.


(Thursday) 10:15 - 10:45


B: Studio 1

Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EN