The project seeks to investigate the ethical and aesthetic implications of Gilles Deleuze’s concept of becoming-imperceptible in the dual context of subjectivity and performance production. It intends to do so through a combined theoretical and practice-based research, which in conjunction establishes the concept of performative imperceptibility.
The theoretical track will show that there is a hitherto unexamined face of Deleuze and Guattari’s cry for desubjectification: Desubjectification implies an immanent (bottom-up) form of resistance against the impersonal, micro-political mechanisms of control, which confine every subject to a fixed and regulated social being. Whilst most of Deleuze and Guattari’s writings point towards a schizophrenic scattering of subjectivity, becoming-imperceptible implies a resistance that does not dissolve the self-structure – one that is capable of widening the self without giving up cohesion.
This form of resistance can be understood as performative imperceptibility: a subtle but solid affirmation of life. Whilst there is existing scholarship on the relationship between Deleuze’s philosophy of immanence and contemporary performance (Cull 2012, Lepecki 2016, Cvejic 2015), the practice-based aspect of this project will unfold performative imperceptibility as an experimental form of dramaturgy through my work as dramaturge and/or performance philosopher in a number of collaborations with contemporary choreographers and theatre-makers.
The project will examine dramaturgical work as an immanent philosophical capacity: an imperceptible, caretaking force of thinking, which facilitates the release of the philosophical forces of a given performance. Lastly, the research will reflect on the capacity of these forces to challenge the production of subjectivity in the neo-capitalist era, conjoining the theoretical and practical parts of the project into a shared field of problematization. Overall, the research wishes to advance the emerging field of Performance Philosophy through the articulation and enactment of performative imperceptibility as a specific way to do philosophy as performative research – and vice versa.