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The expeditions


The base camp for the academy is the Schauspielhaus Bochum. The six courses will be held in varied locations: in rehearsal rooms, at coal pits and halls, archives and studios of the City of Bochum. But the region of the Ruhrgebiet will also play an important part in the work of the academy - as a palpable metaphor for structural change of post-industrial societies. After the pit-closures, after the withdrawal of capital, what is left is a landscape used up by industry, with bare remnants of nature, which is trying to redesign itself following ecological and aesthetic, but by necessity also economical criteria. The era of industrialism has left artificial patterns which did not exist before. These cannot be deciphered by mere observation, but maybe through the analytical examination of philosophical field-researchers. Once a week, the Academy will go for excursions through the Ruhrgebiet. On these outings, internationally renowned theoreticians will act as guides and will accompany the walking and seeing with spontaneously improvised commentaries.

Dr. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
Professor for Criticism of Art and Culture at the Department of Performance Studies of Tisch School of Arts, and Professor for Jewish Studies at New York University. Studied English Literature and Folklore. Her fields of interest are Jewish social history, regional studies and heritage politics. "Cannibal Tours" in New Guinea, the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, a Maasai warrior village in Kenya, international art festivals, theme and adventure parks or a model mine in Saxonia, she describes as appearances of one and the same industry that markets "cultural heritage" as tourist attractions. "When a way of life disappears with the mining economy that once sustained it or is literally wiped out by the forestration enterprise that replaces it, tourism is ready to step in. The formula for revitalizing the economy of a depressed region is the resurrection theater of the heritage industry. While tourist attractions may seem like oases of time out, they are implicated in a larger political economy of transnational flows of money, people, and symbolic capital."

Mike Pearson
Director, Actor, Writer, Cardiff Originally trained as an archaeologist he has been devising performances since 1971 with a succession of companies including RAT Theatre, Cardiff Laboratory Theatre and most recently Welsh company Brith Gof which is best known for its site-specific work inspired by themes of Welsh history, literature and political and religious dissent. His is also working closely with artist/designer Mike Brookes on a series of performances which concern issues of personal narrative, biography, place and landscape and which use techniques as diverse as live radio broadcast and computer controlled multi-screen slide projection. This work examines the tensions and similarities between Wales' rural past and post-industrial present. He is also writing extensively on points of contact between the disciplines of performance and archaeology. Mike Pearson is currently a lecturer in performance studies at the University of Wales Aberystwyth.

Dr. Walter Siegfried,
Wanderer, Singer, Towndancer. Teaches at the Hochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung (Academy for Art and Design), Zurich Studied Psychology, Art History an Philosophy. From 1977, he has held lectureships on Perception as well as Dance as Aesthetic Behaviour at various universities. Since 1986, Walter Siegfried has been walking through Bombay, Potsdam and Munich and has organised "walks" with audiences. On these walks, he stages irritations to sharpen the eye of the spectator for normally invisible micro-structures of public order, for restraints of movement, for instructions for perception and other secret rules of our modes of communication. His "walking"-events work as astonishing signposts, which points the spectator's gaze at something new, where this gaze is not led astray by the given structures of frames, labels and pedestals, as it would be in the closed rooms of theatres and museums. Examples of his site-specific work are Die Stadttänzer (The towndancers) 1987, HeimwegFragmente (Fragments of the way home) 1989, Die Kabelseele (The soul of cable) and Soundtracks to Reality, 1991. Recently he has created radio plays together with Thomas Emmerling and Oliver Rauscher.

Dr. Klaus Tenfelde
Professor for Social History and Social Movement, Bochum He served his apprenticeship and gained his first experience of the work-place in the mining industry, then continued his studies through adult education. He took a degree in History, German Studies, Philosophy, Sociology and Educational Theory. Klaus Tenfelde is a profound expert in the field of the German Workers' Movement, of the history of economics and society of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the history of mining. He has published various works on these subjects, for example on Sozialgeschichte der Bergarbeiterschaft an der Ruhr im 19. Jahrhundert (The social history of mine workers from the Ruhr in the 19th century), Bonn/Bad Godesberg, 1977; or about Arbeiter im Deutschen Kaiserreich 1871 - 1914 (Workers in the German Empire 1871 - 1914), together with Gerhard A. Ritter, Bonn, 1992. After holding chairs at the Universities of Innsbruck and Bielefeld, in 1995 Klaus Tenfelde became Professor for Social History and Social Movement at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, as well as head of the Institute Labour History, which is located in Bochum.