The books included in the series Choreography as Conditioning
are rooted in a cycle of work sessions entitled CASC at KASK
in which students work together with invited guests. They explore the
notions of choreography, understood as ways of organizing subjects in
their surroundings, and conditioning in both art-making and
society-making. Where, how, and by whom are things organized and what
kind of landscapes of experience are
made (im)possible by the practices we enact and encounter?
The Orphans of Tar – A Speculative Opera answers the question posed in the second book by transforming life into voices and presenting possible mindsets through co-authoring a factual fiction. As such, it constitutes a mental space in which fictitious characters find an almost disturbing expansion of their thoughts. Accordingly, the book can be considered as an alle- gory of human thoughts as (possible) actions: what could happen becomes what does happen. For better and worse.
Find an Introduction to the Book Series and to the Third Book below the credits.
The Orphans of Tar – A Speculative Opera
Julien de Smet, Ronny
Heiremans, Heike Langsdorf,
Vanessa Müller, Filip Van
Dingenen, Stijn Van Dorpe,
Clémentine Vaultier, Katleen
© 2019 Art Paper Editions
& editors (Alex Arteaga,
© 2019 of the texts and
graphics: the contributors
All rights reserved, including
the right of reproduction in
whole or in part in any form.
First edition of 500 copies
The Orphans of Tar – A Speculative Opera
is the third book of the series Choreography
Series concept: Alex Arteaga
of The Orphans of Tar –
A Speculative Opera: Julien
de Smet, Ronny Heiremans,
Heike Langsdorf, Vanessa
Müller, Filip Van Dingenen,
Stijn Van Dorpe, Clémentine
Vaultier, Katleen Vermeir.
Danielle van Zuijlen
(epilogue) and Gijs de Heij
Printed and bound
Choreography as Conditioning is produced
in the framework of the
research project Distraction
as Discipline—an inves-
tigation into the function
of attention and partici-
pation in performance art
and art pedagogy con
ducted by Heike Langsdorf
in association with Anna
Luyten at KASK / School
of Arts, University College
Ghent. The research
project is financed by the
Arts Research Fund of
Diversity College Ghent.
Special thanks go to Antony Hudek, Lars Kwakkenbos, Peter Westenberg and Emmanuel Depoorter for making this collaboration between the departlents at KASK, 'Curatorial Studies' and 'Autonomous Design', possible.
An Introduction to the Book Series and to the Third Book
Choreography as Conditioning is a series of five books conceived and realized in the framework of the artistic research project “Distraction as Discipline”. 1 Throughout the forty months in which this project has been realized, and as one of its constitutive components, different groups of artist researchers have been invited to write through their practices, that is, to depart from collective artistic practices and to let these practices generate reflections, ideas, concepts, and (written) material. ‘Choreography’
is understood here in its widest sense, as a way
of organizing subjects in their surroundings, while ‘conditioning’ refers to inducing states or situations we experience every day. Where, how, and by whom do things get organized, and what kinds of land scapes of experience are made im / possible by the practices we encounter in our (working) lives?
What ‘choreography’ points to, as well,
is both the collective character of these processes (“choreo”) and the generation of diverse kinds of signs (“graphy”). ‘Conditioning’ implies the same two semantic elements: collectivity (“con”) and
the production of, in this case linguistic, oral signs (“ditioning” from “dicere”: to say). Accordingly, each book in this series addresses different thematic fields on the basis of the collective, intertwined, connected performance of different artistic research practices in different constellations and the resulting generation of artifacts—in this case, texts. The ground on which this book series emerges is therefore an openended, dynamic network of relational practices. The books themselves become part of this network with the aim of keeping the processes alive, and thus open. To do so, the process should remain ’vague enough’ in order to assume an observational atti tude and to enable variable insights, trajectories, and inquiries, of people moving and being moved, sensing, thinking, and acting. This requires space and time for requestioning by remembering, and avoids that a given landscape of ideas is confirmed or consolidated too hastily.
This third book, which appears right in the middle of the series, coheres with this approach exemplarily: it is inconclusive. It presents, at once, the success and the danger of thoughts creating volumes, personalities, and possible courses of action. The Orphans of Tar – A Speculative Opera answers the question posed in the second book (Practicing Futures through Voicing) by transforming life into voices and presenting possible mindsets through coauthoring a factual iction. As such, it constitutes a mental space in which fictitious characters find an almost dis turbing expansion of their thoughts. Accordingly, the book can be considered as an allegory of human thoughts as (possible) actions: what could happen becomes what does happen.
Thoughts embodied through conversation cocreate realities. Whether it is wanted or not, they—both thoughts and realities—literally ‘infect’ each other. Through their interaction, they enable unforeseen and unforeseeable conceptions, imagi nations, and prospects. For better and worse.
We want to thank Katleen Vermeir and Ronny Heiremans for their always rigorous artistic way of proceeding; Antony Hudek, Lars Kwakkenbos, Peter Westenberg, Emmanuel Depoorter and Danielle van Zuijlen for supporting, hosting, and joining the workshop at KASK
and Kunsthal Gent in which this book is rooted; and Julien de Smet, Vanessa Müller, Filip Van Dingenen, Stijn Van Dorpe and Clémentine Vaultier for together processing a large number of concepts and possible directions that ended up becomthe speculative opera you can now “read”.
Alex Arteaga & Heike Langsdorf