Naked Lot

Observations on the Collectivity of Bare Bodies
Kai van Eikels
Theory
© Kai van Eikels 
Kai
van
Eikels

combines philosophy, theatre and performance studies, and literary studies in his work. His research topics include: collectivity and politics of participation; synchronisation, time and matter; art and labour; series and seriality in different artistic disciplines; the workshop format and notions of practice in dance and performance.

He has been a Visiting Professor at Justus Liebig Universität Gießen, Universität Hildesheim, and Freie Universität Berlin, and he is currently teaching at Ruhr Universität Bochum. For publications visit his academic profile at and his theory blog.

Kai van Eikels
Sat26. 
Oct
18.00/
Kunsthalle Wien

Moderation: Janez Janša. Moderator and speaker will be naked.

In English

Sometimes our bodies know how to organise collective movement in a crowd, sometimes not. Here we are, relaxed and self-confident when passing through each other at a public square, barely noticing neighbours. Here we are in a club, each one dancing on their own, yet all indirectly connected through the beat, the sweaty heat, the supposedly shared excitement, even if no one really knows what the others feel. Here we are, freaking out in mass panic, which leaves hundreds injured and dozens dead, although nobody wanted this.

Apparently, a small deviation from normality can be enough to effect great changes in crowd behaviour, for the better or worse. In behavioural science experiments, a few individuals in a huge number of people walking around randomly were equipped with coloured caps. Immediately, others would start following them, elevating them to the rank of leaders. What happens if a few of the many people walking around are naked? What if the number of naked people keeps increasing until they might constitute a majority? How does nakedness affect the self-organisation of crowds? Does nakedness have any political potential – one that is not just symbolic, expressing the liberty of “uninhibited” minds, but material: will our bare bodies communicate differently, and congregate into a different “together”?

Kai
van
Eikels

combines philosophy, theatre and performance studies, and literary studies in his work. His research topics include: collectivity and politics of participation; synchronisation, time and matter; art and labour; series and seriality in different artistic disciplines; the workshop format and notions of practice in dance and performance.

He has been a Visiting Professor at Justus Liebig Universität Gießen, Universität Hildesheim, and Freie Universität Berlin, and he is currently teaching at Ruhr Universität Bochum. For publications visit his academic profile at and his theory blog.

 
Loading