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The Public School Berlin was initiated in September 2010.

Political Fiction: Minor Literature

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This Wednesday (19 September @ 19:00) we will be holding our first meeting of Political Fiction. The proposal and class emerged from discussions we had during The Aesthetics of Resistance reading group held last spring. For this week's meeting, "Rather than limiting the relation between politics and literature to a definition of Political Fiction as genre, I would suggest that we start our conversation from the more productive definition of 'minor literature.'" (from Federica who will be facilitating this week). Click here for the reading list. Also, we'll be planning out subsequent sessions at this meeting so if you have ideas on other things we can read in the future, please bring them! 

Hope to see you there.

Primal Mother-Phantasies

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Thanks for a great last class everyone!

To continue exploring the primal mother-phantasies we discussed refer to this text:

"From Proto-ethical Compassion to Responsibility: Besidedness, and the three Primal Mother-Phanasies of Not-enoughness, Devouring and Abandonment."

Philosophical Studies. Vol. 2 (Vilnius: Versus, 2006), 100-135

Discussion questions for Meeting #3

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  • Kester’s definition of “dialogical aesthetics” could be understood as a way of describing artworks that consist of more than one utterance made by different speakers. Bakhtin defines an utterance as a complete text/speech by one author/speaker, which is the appropriate unit of analysis in speech/art/literary communication, rather than structural linguistics which does not account for the role of context in meaning. Kester’s examples put forward the idea of plural authorship, as in more than one person involved in the production of one artwork/text. This seems to go beyond Bakhtin’s definition of an artwork as one utterance. Kester’s expanded idea of the artwork is, I would say, to use Bakhtin’s words a “sphere of communication”. What does it do to consider an artwork a “sphere of communication” rather than as a discreet text?

Notes on Meeting #2

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Last week we discussed Grant Kester’s thesis that certain kinds of art practice require a new understanding of aesthetics as “dialogical”. In contrast to the modernist avant-gardes’ emphasis on the idea of the aesthetic as a sudden somatic shock or epiphany that is then made sense of using a critical discourse, dialogical aesthetics occur over time, paralleling the continual performative constitution of subjectivity in discursive encounters.


This post was made to the blog for Lecture Performance

After the discussion in our second meeting, I am setting additional reading for the next class. Please read the Bakhtin as planned, but please also read these two short excerpts (and of course the rest of each article if you have time):

pp. 13-14  Amelia Jones, "Presence" in Absentia: Experiencing Performance as Documentation"


and then for further reference to the ideas she raises:

pp. 150-152 Peggy Phelan, Unmarked - The Politics of Performance, "The ontology of performance: representation without reproduction"

group 4

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sorry for the even more last minute contribution, but for the records…:

group 4

the proposed question was:

how does lecture performance operate in opening up the knowledge production?

First we had a discussion on "site specifity" which meant in the context of our discussion, that you have to be there, to encounter the actual performance, to be able to answer that question.

As an example of a lecture performance we were told about Zoe Laughlins performance at  performance platform in Berlin, which was dealing with the performativity of matter.

She was presenting materials (like for example the cotton produced by NASA to collect moon dust, paper clips, etc.). In a number of processes these materials transformed, according to (basic) physical laws.

Terence Koh, ART HISTORY, A LECTURE: 1642-2009

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Not attending remaining LP meetings

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Dear All, I am not able to attend the Lecture Performance class today, and in fact also next week as I am travelling for work as well as escaping this weather. So, have fun and greetings to all and thanks for initiating this very interesting class.

P.S. In case my group (number 4) needs to mention the Lecture Performance I described during our conversation last week, I spoke about Zoe Laughlin from the Institute of Making who presented the "Performativity of Matter" during the Performance Platform festival at Sophiensaele two weeks ago (as well as the ICA, Tate Modern and other places before that...not at the Science Musuem, Caleb, I am afraid :-)

group 1

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hi all - apologies for the last-minute notes.


group 1 (alicia, lauren, melamie, sidsel) :


the discussion surrounding our question, "can performance lecture create affective spaces and invite the audience to embody the theory?", and our example performance lecture by cally spooner (UK) resulted in more questions than answers, without a clear logical answer or result, prompting instead an enacting of corradi fiumara's idea about listening bucking with logocentrism.


the reading chosen from corradi fiumara's text spoke of "speaking at length about something does not offer the slightest guarantee that thereby understanding is advanced" and of a "sham clarity - the unintelligibility of the trivial" which, at first glance, happened to coalesce with the description of the performance lecture:


Notes from Meeting #1, Group #2

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Hi everyone,

Last week group #2 didn’t have a person Z (the scribe) either, so I’ve just written here what we each brought to our conversation and a short reflection on it afterwards. Please add to it!

See you all tomorrow,


Person W (asks a question):

If lecturing is always, already performance, what does that say about performance? Is performance generous in nature because it does not demand an answer?


Person X (chooses a lecture performance):
Jerome Bel Veronique Doisneau (2004)


Person Y (chooses a passage from Fiumara’s text):

‘On the ‘Primacy’ of Posing Questions’ pp. 33 – 34




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