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This summer at Kunstnernes Hus ☀️
Open today 11-17 (Restaurant 11-22)

Toward a Transindividual Self: A Study in Social Dramaturgy

By Ana Vujanović and Bojana Cvejić
Thursday 22.09.22
Skjermbilde 2022 09 15 kl 09 55 10

Oslo National Academy of the Arts is happy to invite you to the presentation of the book Toward a Transindividual Self: A Study in Social Dramaturgy by Ana Vujanović and Bojana Cvejić featuring Snelle Hall, Ilse Ghekiere, Mike Sperlinger and the authors in conversation.

About the book

Starting from a concern with the crisis of the social, which coincides with the rise of individualism, Toward a Transindividual Self examines the process of performing the self, distinctive for the formation of the self in Western neoliberal societies in the 21st century. It approaches the self from a transdisciplinary angle where political and cultural anthropology, performance studies and dramaturgy intersect, and thus critically asks: How is that which distinguishes me as an individual formed in the first place?

This question demands that we look into the process of individuation, which precedes and exceeds the individual. And that process encompasses biological, social, and technological conditions of becoming whose real potential is transindividual, or more specifically, social transformation. A ‘theater of individuation’ (Gilbert Simondon) captures the dramaturgical stroke by which the authors investigate social relations (like solidarity and de-alienation) in which the self actualizes its transindividual horizon. As with every horizon, the transindividual may not be closely at hand; however, it is certainly within reach, and the book encourages the reader to approach it through an array of tangible social, aesthetic and political acts and practices.

… the authors aim to show that a "transindividual formation of the self can bring about different courses of action and a more socially driven imagination." Transindividuation, they assure us, shows how "we form ourselves on the basis of interdependence, sharing, commonality, as well as indispensability of the individual as the agent of creativity/ knowledge, freedom, and change, who 'possibilizes' their own conditions of formation."

Janelle Reinelt, co-editor of Critical Theory and Performance (2006)

… Rather than ask the question is the individual imagined or real, an effect of social relations or their distortion, the focus on the transindividual makes it possible to grasp individuation as a process: “Instead of pondering how the passage from one to many occurs, individuation permits us to immediately trace a bidimensional process in which both individual persons and the collectivities they form are altered. Another meaning of the crisis of the social has brought about a perfect slogan of such a process of transindividuation: ‘No one will be left alone in the crisis.”

Jason Read, author of The Politics of Transindividuality (2015)

About the authors

Ana Vujanović is a cultural worker based in Berlin and Belgrade. As an independent researcher and writer she works in the fields of performance, culture and gender studies. She is also engaged as dramaturge in contemporary theatre, dance/performance and art film. A remarkable part of her work is cultural activism and she has taken part in numerous self-organized, leftist and independent organizations and initiatives in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and internationally.

Bojana Cvejić’ research spans performance theory, philosophy, and dance studies. Among several books, she is author of Choreographing Problems (2015). As a dramaturg, she has collaborated with many choreographers and collectives on performances and independent self-organized platforms for artistic production, theory and education in Europe and former Yugoslavia. Since 2017, she divides her time between Oslo, where she is Professor at the National Academy of the Arts and Brussels, where she teaches at P.A.R.T.S.

See also