Welcome to the second edition of the e-journal
MAP - Media | Archive | Performance



MAP #2  Decision and Appearance



Artistic processes are the outcome of decisions. What is presented to the viewer is based on selection, arrangement, the inclusion and exclusion of elements, thoughts, issues. Basic powers of decision – whether fact-based or intuitive, systematic or random, arbitrary or methodical – are at the root of cultural production.

The construction of history (and histories) is based on decisions, those qualifying testimonials, organizing and arranging them, and on processes of portrayal and communication. Findings are classified and artefacts read as traces and transposed onto different media.

The content of exhibitions, stage presentations and data banks stems from decisions. Decisions are made with the aim of convincing the viewer, promoting understanding and making something visible.


The second edition of MAP - Media | Archive | Performance looks at these processes of selection, arrangement and association which come into effect in performances, exhibitions, artistic creativity and the consideration of history and theory and which formulate specific findings, interpretations and assertions.

Decision and appearance is the other side of the fluid access by which the dual action of selection, organization or articulation, and presentation, visualization, portrayal, is negotiated, which determines every instance of access anew.

The articles in this edition are arranged in four sections, each focusing on a different aspect of decision-making with reference to their individual contexts and objectives. MAP # 2 invites the reader to investigate appearance on two levels: in terms of the decisions which lead to a certain form of appearance as well as the condensed reality which is the result of complex selection processes.



is considered here in two senses: as a survey and arrangement of elements contained in a spatial or temporal fragment of history, as a record of paths and connections, evidence of gaps and blanks, but also as part of an artistic strategy.

In the first article, Ulrike Krautheim considers cartography in the latter sense. She points out the connection between artistic strategy and background research in the works of the Japanese performance group Port B and the blanks in history and parallel social worlds it makes visible.

The Slovenian artists’ group Irwin discusses the frame of reference and findings of its project East Art Map in dialogue with theatre studies expert Veronika Darian and describes how the idea of re-formulating Eastern European art history by multiple participation is being continued in other of their art projects.

Work on the exposure of hitherto inaccessible developments in the field of performance art and other forms of ‘non-conformist’ art is carried out in a project by Latvian art historian Ieva Astahovska. She elucidates the concept and ambit of this project in conversation with Zane Zajanckauska.

Britt Schlehahn examines recent exhibition projects on the history of art in the two German states for their blind spots, omissions and decision crises with particular regard to the portrayal of process-oriented art forms.


Transposing, transforming

describes approaches to the artistic examination of past works or phenomena and brings forms of performative access into focus. The motivations and objectives behind the phenomenon which is currently garnering much attention as ‘re-enactment’ are examined in three different contexts. Jana Horaková and Givan Bela / Michal Kindernay set out the basic conditions and requirements of a joint project which is due to be carried out in late 2010. It is centrally concerned – partly as a strike against a historicizing understanding of re-enactment - with transposing a theatre performance on to media, live and therefore in an equally ephemeral context. The different nature of their contributions is evidence of the intensive cooperation between the media theorist and two media artists.

The art project Replaced – Brno 2006 also situates the work of Czech artist Barbora Klimová in this field. Her appropriation and presentation of performances of the 1970s and 1980s as new productions is aimed at examining changes in the public, urban sphere.

In his article, dancer and choreographer Daniel AlmgrenRecén playfully encircles the ideas and motivations behind his performative appropriation of a standard work of twentieth century dance history.


Compiling, arranging for viewing

focuses on curatorial strategies and perspectives which are aimed at placing the complex interconnections between art market economy, intended statement, media technology and design in meaningful contexts, or elucidating such general defining structures.

The Berlin festival In Transit is concerned with how performance is created, the cultural, historical and social forces which play a part in it, and finding an appropriate way to talk about the peculiar within global homogeneity. The last edition took place in June 2009 under the artistic direction of André Lepecki and Silke Bake. The In Transit project will be assessed in an interview with André Lepecki and a text by Silke Bake.

Curator Christine Peters looks at how interest in procedural and performative art forms leads to decisions about presentation and working methods by the example of one of her own exhibition projects. Her observations culminate in a programme for decelerating the exhibition business and curatorial work. Gabriele Blome will discuss visualizations of digital archives as a form of access to complex facts in an article to be published in September. By two different approaches, she will examine how they function as instruments of knowledge production and whether the dictates and decisions inherent in them are made transparent to the user.

Oliver Klimpel elucidates a (his) current position in design theory and practice which, in dealing with the history of modernism in design, sees itself as a system of critical methods for investigating arts production.


Accenting history

examines the selection criteria which are applied and methodical precautions taken in documenting and summarizing historical developments. This section takes a certain ambiguity into account: every historiographic project claims to embody history, in which respect it is merely an audacious assertion of authority. On the other hand, history arranges itself and historiography according to accents and pointers which make discourse possible and are retrospectively developed by common consensus.

Heike Roms examines the special conditions which history-writing in the performing arts is subject to and how the discourses of recent years have considered the production and portrayal of testimonials. By the example of her own research project on Welsh performance art, she shows how and why history-writing itself makes use of performative forms and stages evidence.

Jeannette Stoschek looks at the handling of the history and materials of a group of photographers of the GDR in the 1950s and discusses possible forms of presentation in the context of a current exhibition, which in turn takes up and reflects the peculiarities of the historical exhibitions.

By means of an example of process-oriented art forms – the Intermedia festival which took place in the GDR in 1985 - Barbara Büscher raises the question of how concentrating on one event and the links between the persons involved thus revealed can be mirrored in the artefacts and texts concerning the event.

Franz Anton Cramer examines current problems in dance-historiography balancing aesthetic and taxonomic perspectives. To what extent is it necessary to establish a standard body of works and how can digital media help to preserve sources?

In his lecture given in May, 2010 at Berlin's Free University, Daryl Chin points out inconsistencies, omissions and fallacies in the historiography of the Judson Dance Theater and its tendencies to 'recuperate' certain facts and effects.

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We are delighted to be able to present an extensive second edition, despite financial difficulties, and deeply grateful to all our contributors for their cooperation and ideas as well as their willingness to participate without payment.

We intend to continue to report here on the project’s development and current editions of the e-Journal. Should you wish to receive regular updates please send us a short  eMail giving “Newsletter” as the reference.


We look forward to your reactions, suggestions
and further ideas.

Barbara Büscher, Franz Anton Cramer
Thomas Bitterlich, Gabriele Blome, René Damm



June 2010  | www.perfomap.de
Translation: Charlotte Kreutzmüller


ISSN 2191-0901