Artistic Research PhD

Expanded Choreography: Shifting the agency of movement in The Artificial Nature Project and 69 positions

Mette Ingvartsen’s artistic research PhD consists of two books and a series of video documentations of live performances through which choreography is made into a territory of physical, artistic and social experimentation.

The Artificial Nature Series focusses on how relations between human and non-human agency can be explored and reconfigured through choreography. By investigating and creating a ‘nonhuman theater’ questions regarding material agency, ecology, natural disasters, the Anthropocene and non-subjective performativity are posed. The resulting reflections are closely related to the poetic principles utilized to create the performances, while also drawing connections to territories outside theater.

By contrast, 69 positions inscribes itself into a history of human performance with a focus on nudity, sexuality and how the body historically has been a site for political struggles. By creating a guided tour through sexual performances – from the naked protest actions of the 1960’s, through an archive of personal performances into a reflection on contemporary sexual practice – this solo work rethinks audience participation and proposes a notion of soft and social choreography. The contrasting performative strategies articulate a twofold notion of expanded choreography: on the one hand movement is extended beyond the human body by including the agency of nonhuman performers, and on the other hand, movement is expanded into an imaginary and virtual space thanks to ‘language choreography’.

This dissertation has been carried out and supervised within the graduate program in Choreography at Stockholm University of the Arts. The dissertation is presented at Lund University in the framework of the cooperation agreement between the Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University, and Stockholm University of the Arts regarding doctoral education in the subject Choreography in the context of Konstnärliga forskarskolan.