I began my artistic research project at the Theatre Academy Helsinki in 2006. The research is entitled “The Potential Nature of Performance. The Relationship to the Non-Human in the Performance Event from the Perspective of Duration and Potentiality”, and it incorporates a series of performances called Memos of Time – performances with and for nonhumans. I am exploring what does it mean if we begin to perceive ”nature”, its beings and phenomena, as non-human agents or actors of performance (performers as well as spectators) - and the ways in which that perspective can potentially change our understanding of performance, of the human and of the questions of duration and potentiality. My research is motivated by the question, what is and can be the role of art and performance in the age of eco-crises.

Art works of the research project

Memos of Time performances were performed (the last one still continues) in the program of Kiasma Theatre/ Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki.

Chronopolitics – III Memo of Time
(an endless performance since March 1st 2010)

An ‘endless’ performance began in March 2010. The starting points of the performance are our difficulties to perceive duration, the potential end or exterior of performance, and a vision of a world without animals, but filled with representations of animals. Chronopolitics branches into a web performance, a performance by nonhumans and a nomadic live performance.

Chronopolitics with Dogs and Plants in Hamburg (2014)

Nordwind festival/ Urban Species, Kampnagel

Chronopolitics with Dogs and Plants in Berlin (2014)

Nordwind festival/ Urban Species, Dock 11

Chronopolitics with Dogs and Plants in Helsinki (2014)

Esitystaiteen keskus, Helsinki

Chronopolitics with Dogs and Trees in Stanford (2013)

In collaboration with Alan Read, Performance Studies international #19 Conference, Stanford University, California

A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog)
— II Memo of Time (2008)

The two interlinked performances focus on weather, time, potentiality and nonhuman co-performers. (and a Dog) was performed on an ancient shore of a post Ice Age Yoldia Sea in a suburb of Helsinki. (for a Dog) was located on a potential future seashore on the roof of a city centre department store, and it was created and performed for a dog as its main spectator, though human spectators were present part of the time.

Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog) –
II Memo of Time (2012)

a video installation, performance platform. body affects –festival, Berlin

Mr Nilsson — I Memo of Time (2006, 2.version 2007)

The performance addresses humans’ relations to other animals and death through the imagination, the new knowledge of evolutionary ecology, and the everyday links between humans and machines. Mr Nilsson asks what is a human, at the age of global performance - and ends up to be an attempt to recall animals.

Publications

  • Esityksen mahdollinen luonto – suhde ei-inhimilliseen esitystapahtumassa keston ja potentiaalisuuden näkökulmasta. (The Potential Nature of Performance: The Relationship to the Nonhuman from the Perspective of Duration and Potentiality.) Doctoral Thesis. Acta Scenice 48. Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki 2017.
  • Tuija Kokkonen & Alan Read: ”Chronopolitics with Dogs and Trees in Stanford.” Performance Research 19.3, 2014.
  • ”Kun emme tiedä: Keskustelemassa ”meitä” uusiksi. Lajienväliset esitykset ja esitystaiteen rooli ekokriisien aikakaudella.” An anthology on posthumanism. Ed. Lea Rojola & Karoliina Lummaa. Eetos 2014.
  • “Muistioita ajasta: kolme näkökulmaa toisiin eläimiin ja esitykseen” (“Memos of Time: Three Perspectives on Other Animals and Performance”), Esitys 2/2013
  • ”Kronopolitiikkaa esityksessä robottikoiran, jäkälän ja tähden kanssa.” (“Chronopolitics in Performance with a Robodog, Lichen and a Star.”) Teoksessa Esittävien taiteiden metodologiset haasteet. Näyttämö ja tutkimus 4. Eds. Liisa Ikonen, Hanna Järvinen, Maiju Loukola. The 4th Yearbook of the Society for Theatre Research 2011.
  • “Non-Humans and Performance. A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog) – II Memo of Time.” Journal for Artistic Research 0/2011. http://www.jar-online.net
  • ”Esityksen mahdollinen luonto.” Nykyteatterikirja – 2000-luvun alun uusi skene. Ed. Annukka Ruuskanen. Helsinki: Like 2011.
  • Hanna Johansson and Tuija Kokkonen: ”Esitys merinäköalalla, paikan pysyvyys ja ajallinen moneus.” Ankaraa ja myötätuntoista kuuntelua. Keskustelevaa kirjoitusta paikkasidonnaisesta taiteesta. Ed. Lea Kantonen. Helsinki: Academy of Fine Arts 2010.

Events/Organizer

  • ”Renegotiating ”Us”: In Performance with Other Species.” International, transdiciplinary symposium on interspecies performance, September 16th-17th 2013, Performing Arts Research Centre/ Theatre Academy/ University of the Arts Helsinki.
    http://www.teak.fi/symposium_on_interspecies_performance_2013

Conference and other presentations

  • "When we do not know: Conversing with Other Species, renegotiating ´Us´". Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts, Helsinki June 2015.
  • "Performance, Ecology and Relationships: One history from the anthropocentric performance to the interspecies performance." A keynote lecture in Performance and Ecology: Case Finland seminar, Berlin April 2015.
  • "Interspecies Performances." A Lecture in the Visual Performance Seminar, Theatre Academy Helsinki February 2015.
  • "Performance and Ecology." A lecture and workshop, DISKURS festival December 8th, Justus-Liebig-Universität/ATW, Giessen. http://www.uni-giessen.de/cms/ueber-uns/veranstaltungen/sonstige/diskurs14-tuija-kokkonen-theatre-and-ecology
  • "Performance and Ecology." A lecture on my work in a seminar on theatre and ecology, Theatre Academy Helsinki September 2014.
  • "Live performance as an exploration and making of futures: the case of non-humans." Keynote, The Finnish Theatre Research Society May 16th 2014.
  • "On Conversing with Dogs and Plants." Animal Studies Event, Helsinki April 2014.
  • "Bodies, Stems, Trunks: On the Effects and Meanings of the Interspecies Interaction." Body and Society discussion series, Turku February 2014.
  • "Memos of Time – performances with and for non-humans." Theatre Studies, University of Helsinki February 2014.
  • "Conversing with Other Species, Renegotiating ‘Us’." Symposium on Interspecies Performance. Theatre Academy/University of the Arts Helsinki September 2013.
  • A presentation in the seminar on posthumanism, University of Turku, March 2013.
  • A lecture for Creative Sustainability students in Aalto University, February 2013.
  • “Performances with and for Non-Humans,” a presentation in the seminar of the research project Nature in Arts, Culture and History, University of Helsinki, November 2012.
  • Artist’s response in Change the Climate: Alternative Scenarios in Art, Ecology and Economy Symposium/ Homo Alibi Festival, Riga, August 2012.
  • ”Technologies of Belonging: Performance and Political Ecology.” A lecture in performance platform. body affets festival, Berlin, July 2012.
  • ”A Visitor amongst Millions of Non-Humans.” Performance Studies international 18. Conference, Leeds, June 2012.
  • “Muistioita ajasta: kolme näkökulmaa toisiin eläimiin ja esitykseen.” (“Memos of Time: Three Perspectives on Other Animals and Performance.”) A Seminar on Animals, The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, May 2012.
  • “Liveness, chronopolitics and performance.” Performance Studies international 17. Conference, Utrecht 2011.
  • ”On the third shore - Exposing artistic research”, key note, Society for Artistic Research, Bern 2011.
  • “Widening human time perspectives with a performance with/for nonhumans.” A presentation and an experiment/workshop in Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts, Theatre Academy Helsinki 2011.
  • “The ethics of performance and non-human co-actors". Art and Technoscience, A conference by the Academy of Fine Arts in Finland, Helsinki 2010.
  • ”Acting with the weather – performance and non-human actors.” Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts, Theatre Academy Helsinki 2009.
  • “The Question of Non-human and Exits from the Performative Society — A Misperformance for a Dog.” Performance Studies international 15. Conference, Zagreb, Croatia 2009.
  • ”Acting with the weather — challenge of perceptability, politics of (im)potentiality and time.” Performance Studies international 14. Conference, Copenhagen 2008, and Nordic Summer University, Winter Seminar, Tampere 2009.
  • ”Herra Tossavaisen inhimilliset ja ei-inhimilliset esiintyjät.” Finnish Association of Theatre Research. Helsinki 2007.