In the Winter of 2014 we were pleased to be invited to Trogen, Switzerland to take part in an academic workshop around Micropractice and Gender by the Institute of Critical Theory, Zurich University of the Arts. Here we took part in, documented, and later design an edition of Vapid Kitten about our collective experiences. The organisers/curators Sebastian Dieterich and Wiktoria Furrer offer a great introduction to the publication:
In our imagination we had developed the vision of «Micropractice.Gender» as an interdisciplinary and collaborative format in which to explore, through movement, questions concerning the urgent topic of gender and how it effects our practices and routines.
As we stated in our call for potentials, we wanted to literally
move through various forms of artistic research exploring these questions:
How do regimes of gender inscribe in our bodies and how can we become cognisant of them and make them visible? How can we bring gender roles into movement?
What kind of micropractices, understood as exercises, can we develop to become attentive to exploitations of gender discourses? What are potentials for our everyday lives beyond incorporated gender routines?
At the same time we were more and more disappointed with some aspects of traditional academic knowledge production, such as presentations of finite results, discussions that seemed to be shallow and not affecting anybody personally, self-referential and closed circuits of theory, and a separation or even tension between theory and practice. Since we began working together, first as a theoretic-artistic duo and later at the Institute for Critical Theory, we were experimenting with new forms of artistic and theoretic production in times of permanent crisis. In this regards the development of the workshop choreography was an attempt to try out new forms of collective work. This why we invited participants to experiment in the field of gender micropractice – without the applicants nor ourselves would know what this exactly could be. Therefore we have asked participants who are open to a collaborative process to apply with formats that we can try out all together during the workshop: for instance, techniques, exercises, artistic approaches, interventions, exercises and so on. Especially we encouraged performative approaches that were in the early stages of development as well as works in progress.
So, fifteen people from ten countries spent three and a half days in the remote Appenzell region, leaving behind their schedules and duties to work intensely on gender micropractice. This zine, initiated and realized by Anna Frew from Manchester and Betsy Lamborn from Stockholm from Vapid Kitten gathers in an intentionally unsystematic and impulsive way some of our impressions, reflections and experiences.
You can read the publication here.