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  • 1.
    Jonathan, Priest
    Stockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department.
    KNOTCIRCUS: Or ‘Being the Adventures of Happy Down-River’2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This is an investigation of the trick as it relates to three fields; gravity, language and capital.

       I will fully break down and unpack what I mean by ‘trick’ later in this introduction, in the mean time I refer to it as something that refutes the systemic validity of the system through which it proceeds.

       It is a proposal of how circus physicality might be structurally related to a method of ‘circus thinking’ that likewise moves through restrictive fields in order to refute the authority of those fields. In this way the trick is offered as a tool.

       This is an investigation of how that thinking might operate in any field.

    Three distinct kinds of trick are discussed in each of the three aforementioned fields:

    TRICK ONE: exposes the limits of a system.

    TRICK TWO: conceals the limits of a system.

    TRICK THREE: jumps out of the system entirely.

    The approach I have taken is to think of these three tricks as occurring within fields of value; in which there are two separate registers: the qualitative and the quantitative.

       For me then what is exposed, concealed or jumped out of is something I feel is inherent to the subject’s position within a field of value. This is the conflation of incompatible registers of value.

       This conflation, or false union, is discussed as a cause of tautology within the field that can lead to either subjective or systemic compromise, depending on how the trick is performed.

       As such the main internal relation of the trick for me, and its place in relation to the formal limits of the system through which it proceeds, is one of contradiction, paradox, impasse, bind or knot.

    The trick is therefore is proposed as a tool for reconfiguring systems of value; in that its relation to exposing or concealing tautology define how the system of value is perceived; ether as limited or total, respectively.

    The work speculates upon systemic restriction and interrogates, through its transposition as a mechanism of tautology, what the trick is supposed to ‘do’. This is done in awareness of what circus practice supposes about itself as well as the way circus is embedded in fields of value as it makes proposals about mobility, agency and individual freedom within them.

    Parts of this text are marked in red as ‘additional reading’ and in this regard I think of the entire work as an encampment of sideshow booths. You will not have time to visit them all. I have clearly marked in red those that cannot be read, and are outside your temporal economy.

  • 2.
    Skjönberg, Andreas
    et al.
    Stockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department.
    Damkjaer, CamillaStockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department.
    Documentation of CARD: circus artistic research development2012Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    CARD consisted of a dense program with 27 different presentations and activi­ties. The hope was to address artistic research in circus in the intersection be­tween physical practice, reflections on practice and theory. The event therefore consisted of keynote lectures, performances, presentations of methods, presen­tations by emerging artists, and not least: a four day workshop led by 4 invited group leaders.The key note speakers were: Tilde Björfors, John-Paul Zaccarini, Jean­Michel Guy and Rolf Hughes. They all presented their point of view on artistic research in circus and at the same time put forward a specific question that the participants would continue working on during the workshop in the afternoon.The workshops were guided by four group leaders: Ivar Hecksher, Nalle Laanela, Jean-Michel Guy and Maksim Komaro. The group leaders guided the groups in their work on the question as they transformed it into discussions and physical experiments.CARD also contained sessions where artists presented their methods. Thus Ilona Jäntti , Paola Rizza, and Daniel Gulko shared their methods with the par­ticipants. In addition to this, the emerging artists Marie-Louise Masreliez, Jacob Cold, Celso Pereira and Francesca Lissia presented their work.During CARD several performances were also presented. The Company La Scabreuse presented [ TAlTEUL ] created by Jean-Michel Guy, Nathan Israel, Julie Mondor, Tom Neal and Jordi L.Vidal. La Scabreuse also presented a work­in-progress: LARD -a creation project by Nathan Israel, Volodia Lesluin and Paola Rizza. In addition to this Hona Jäntti presented two solos: Muualla/Else­where and Footnotes. The performances were discussed by the participants of CARD, lead by Monica Sörensson, Cilla Roos and Nalle Laanela.

  • 3.
    Zaccarini, John-Paul
    Stockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department. Stockholms universitet.
    Circoanalysis: Circus, Therapy and Psychoanalysis2013Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    There is an object/artefact of circus and a subject/process that makes it. This research considers the subject of the circus-making in order to bring it to the foreground of future discussions about pedagogy, practice and production.  If the shift from Traditional to New Circus brought with it changes in education – the incorporation of theatre and dance – then the emerging Contemporary Circus may need a more refined set of tools to facilitate its creative growth. This thesis sets out how psychoanalytic theories can be adapted and its key practices adopted to bring about this shift from New to Contemporary Circus in pedagogic practice.

                                 The practice tends to the subject that is traditionally mute in the face of the demands of circus, to which it complies becoming an object with minimal agency. Psychoanalytic praxis is adapted to give the subject a voice in order to develop a methodology specific to circus; circoanalysis. Following Freud it starts with the analogy of the circus act and the dream, the proposition that both are productions of the unconscious and contain hidden meanings and desires disguised by the formal content. It continues with the analogy of the symptom, which must be repeated for the partial and ambiguous satisfaction of unconscious desire and is at the threshold of the somatic and the psychic. Winnicott's theory of play is utilised to examine how artists explore and work through certain aspects of anxiety provoking psychic content in their work. Anxiety, in its Lacanian formulation, present in both circus and the consulting room, provides the key to understanding the importance of the Other in the act. Circus, like psychoanalysis, needs its other to recount its story to. Over one hundred research participants, students and professionals, engaged in the practices of questionnaires, focus groups, consultations, interviews and extended periods of circotherapy.

                                 The thesis describes the development of a technique of talking through the manifest, formal content of the circus act in order to get to the unconscious desires that create it. The act is then seen as a symbolic compromise formation enveloping a kernel of real jouissance. In a series of case studies hysteria, obsessive neurosis, masochism, paranoid fantasy and melancholia are seen both as a series of subject positions with regard to circus and its spectator and as ways of managing an excessive enjoyment. Circus is put into a new context as a healing practice for its practitioners, whether in the form of repetition compulsion that turns bad objects into good ones or as a homeopathic self-immunisation against pain, anxiety and the relation to the Other. It casts new light on the problematic the circus has with the theatrical performance tropes of character and narrative which emerge as disavowals of this latent content and relation to the Other and suggests that a move forward, beyond this Other of the circus, implies a certain form of mourning.

  • 4.
    Zaccarini, John-Paul
    Stockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department.
    The Melancholy of Lost Movements2019Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    A report on the development project The Melancholy of Lost Movements which used video, circus, hip-hop and spoken word performance to develop visibility of coloured, queer themes and artists in the circus field. The following literary work is one of the outputs.

  • 5.
    Zaccarini, John-Paul (Artist)
    Stockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department.
    Falling: The Thought of Circus2017Artistic output (Unrefereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sex, death, seduction, trauma and an intimate yet distanced relationship to an amorous other: circus and psychoanalysis have much in common. This book looks to the story circus tells when it is on the couch; a love story of impossible desires, improbable fantasies deeply indebted to masochism and utopian longing. However, trapped as it is in its conservative and narcissistic aesthetics of infatuation – stunning, erotic and impressive – its queer core of anti-normative and anarchic desire has been co-opted as the poster-child for neoliberal success. This work looks to its fundamental and disavowed romance with failure to show how progressive its thinking could be.

  • 6.
    Zaccarini, John-Paul (Artist)
    Stockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department.
    The Socio-Political Dimension of Circus: How to get to ethics2014Artistic output (Unrefereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Some of these pieces were made to explain something. Some were made as therapies, as pieces of closure. So I could move on and make other things. Some of these pieces were made so that other things could be made, by others. Tools then, although they have the look of artifacts. Hidden in the artifact is a tool and that is the process, which is where the writing comes in, as a means to mop up the unwarranted excess that is not permitted at the site of performance. (Appendices 1 and 2.) Many of them, I hope, expose process. Since I’m not that interested in final product. Which means they have the texture of the unfinished, because it probably will not be me that will finishes them. There was an exhibition element which you experience on entering. There was a lecture element which I guess started the second I said hello. Also a performance element, and I'm not quite sure when that started, if at all, since part of the ambition of this project was to break down the barriers between artist and other. A writing element too, that informs it all but really only comes into being when you read and finally a fairground element which emerged slowly as spectators were asked to participate in our actions. These elements were sometimes not discretely parceled in this piece, a form of which you are reading now. They formed compounds, some of which were stable some of which are not and so continue to have life. This amounts to a 32-day research project taking off from the concluding paragraphs of my PhD in psychoanalysis and circus - in those paragraphs I hoped that within circus practice, within each circus practice there was an ethics at play that the circus itself, as an apparatus of the market repressed and excluded. That in the product, (this does not only go for circus) the ethical dimension was unwanted or unwarranted, an excess and therefore the possibility of any political dimension or potential was foreclosed. Let me be clear - I'm saying that ethics are the precondition for politics, they are meta-politics or proto-politics. So, an exploration of ethics, this comportment or orientation towards the other, came to be the focus, as if I could not even begin to explore the socio-political dimension of circus before I had dealt with its potential ethics. To get at this ethics one would have to phenomenologically bracket what one could term the manifest values of circus – the ones it proudly displays – to extract a practice that was no longer circus, whose central, organising motivation was not circus. What else could be that central organizational point that would draw into its orbit the appropriate signifiers with which to write an ethics? Well, the human beings that do it might be a good start, I thought. If some of this seems naïve to you, it could be that I have tried to cultivate a momentary wonder at what appears to us as simple things, simple processes. I place a lot of emphasis on child-like desire in circus, on a simplicity and directness of experimentation and reality-testing that is difficult to complicate or problematise due to the sheer gain of pleasure. So, having done the psychoanalytic account of that pleasure I decided to focus on the materials that get produced, the materials that get the thing produced. I became fascinated again with the human body, and the kind of ethics it might imply. The report that follows aims, like the presentation, at a popular readership and is the ground work for a Research application and is therefore not fully referenced.

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