Boris Nieslony & Gerhard Dirmoser.

Mapping 'Performance Art in Context'; a map work by Boris Nieslony and Gerhard Dirmoser. Curator: Sinead O'Donnell. Part 1: 17 February - 03 March 2012. Part 2: 12- 24 March 2012.

Time table of events / times/locations:

17 - 29 February @ PS²
University of Ulster Students on the ‘BA Fine and Applied Art’ are occupying PS² and will respond to the mapping work of Boris Nieslony. They will investigate their own concepts and manifestations of how to build a mapping system within their professional practices. The university course focuses each Friday on a studio seminar, involving a range of experiments, visits, projects, screenings, performance mornings and other explorations of contemporary art practice. In this case it has been an extended invite for the students to expand on the idea of mapping while the 'Performance Art in Context map' is live in the space.


Thursday 01 March @ Arts & Disability Forum, 109-111 Royal Avenue, 12am – 2pm:
ADF 'conversation series': Sinéad O’Donnell & Boris Nieslony.
The Arts & Disability Forum is a disabled-led development agency working towards cultural equity; delivering a cross-border arts grant scheme alongside a range of challenging and innovative exhibitions, and events, plus access, education and inclusion activity - Please contact the ADF for further information and access requirements.


Thursday 01 March @ PS², 6pm -9pm (Late Night Art):
Boris Nieslony – Performance.


Friday, 02 March, 10.30am- 12.30pm @ PS² :

Boris Nieslony & ‘STVP’ University of Ulster art students will stage a work session.


Saturday, 03 March: 11.30 am
@ PS²: bbeyond.
Boris Nieslony and guest Peruvian USA based performance artist Mariel Carranza  will lead a bbeyond monthly performance art meeting in Belfast. Admission to all events is free of charge and everyone is welcome.

This project, curated by Sinéad O’Donnell, investigates an existing A0 size map by the German performance artist Boris Nieslony and Gerhard Dirmoser. It is titled ‘Mapping’ Performance Art in Context’ and was researched and finally produced over a period of fifteen years. The map describes the layered categorisations, disciplines, methodologies and locations of Nieslony’s research toward the origin and definition of performance art. As part of a process of opening up this unique mapping system, the map will be viewable on the project space window.

Boris Nieslony has worked intensively as a performance artist, curator, archivist and independent scholar, staging installations, interventions and artist projects since the 1970s. The founder of Black Market International, a performance group that meets regularly in various configurations to realise group performance projects, Nieslony is also the instigator of the ASA foundation, the platform for a self-organising a rhizomatic network of performance artists and theorists. The artist is recognised as one of performance art’s most prolific and significant contributors, creating unpredictable and unrepeatable improvised performance works that manifest “an encounter and its effects”. Responding to local circumstances, he develops images attuned to the moment, rigorously searching for the truth of self-recognition at the intersection of history and live presence. His impressive performance style stems from the motto “life is art enough”.

Artist and curator Sinéad O'Donnell explains her intention:

'I wrote to Boris to say that although the map provides a huge landscape of information for the artist, performance artist and researcher, in terms of access, it's just not accessible. So I asked Boris if he would consider allowing me to expose his map and open it up in terms of access and communication. Not everyone has the ability to read this format of mapping, let alone understand an art form that is very young, quite abstract, interior in meaning, time-based and ephemeral. It is an art form that is very much about presence and energy and I want to share this excitement with a wider audience'.

Boris Nieslony, Belfast project
17 February 2012: mapping session with students.

This project was developed as part of the ‘curator in residence' project’ in PS², 2011 and selected for realization.
See also Ben Crother's:
The New Adventures of a Wonder Woman.

For more information on Boris Nieslony see:
For more information on Sinéad O'Donnell see:

Image top: Section of Mapping 'Performance Art in Context'; a map work by Boris Nieslony and Gerhard Dirmoser.
To read a review by Louise Younger about the project see visualbelfast.

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action  •
Action Object

action painting •
Agit Pop •
Agit Prop •
Art action •
Aktionismus •
Art Corporel •
Art Propaganda • 
Attitudes •   
audio performance •
Bahaviour • Beleuchtungsperformance •
Bewegungsperformance •
 Biologie-Performance •  
body arT •
body language •
body works •
building as  performance •
Cabaret performance •
 Camp •
celebration  art •
 Cabaret Performance •
 Camp •
Ceremony art •
Community performance arT
 cultural performances •
Cyberformance • 
dance performance •
 Direct Art •
economical and social plots
 Elektroakustische Performance •
events •
expanded performance •
Experimental Art •
Extended Performance •
Feministische Performance•
Fluxus •
film performance •
 formance •
gendertainment •
Gestures •
Groundwork •
 Guerilla Performance •
Happening •
Handlung •
Hardcore-Performance •
HumanSculptures •

• Informance
• Im-Performance
• Installaction 
• Inszenierung
• Intercultural Performance
• Inszenierte Ereignisse
• Intermedia 
• intervention
• Instant Intervention
• Interdisziplinäre Aktionen
• Invisible Performance
• daily Life  Koans  
• kinetic sculpture
• Kinetic Theatre
• Klangperformance
• Körper plastik
• Körpersprache
• Lautpoesie (Laut Gedichte)
• lectures
• Life Art
• Literatur Performance  
• Literarische Performance  
• living environments
• Live Works
• Manifestation
• Manoeuvre   
• mimikry of Life
• Moment art
• Moving Arts ( Dance )        
• moving sculpture    
• mudmans     
• Musikperformance
• Net-Happening    
• Net-Performance
• Neuro Performance
• Outdoorperformance
• Performatives Handeln
• performance art
• performing art
• Performance Clips
performances publiques
• Performclips
• PerfoTainment
• Permanent Performance
• Personal-Performance
• photo performance  
• plots
• poesie d' action 
• poesie sonore  
• Poetry in Action

• Poetic Theatre
• Pop Entertainment
• Practical Joke
• Prediction
• preformance 
• Primär Demonstrationen  
• Proto PerformaNCE
• public sculpture
• Public Performance
• Real-performance 
• rent an artist (Hire an 
• Retroperformance
• Ritual
• rituelle plastik 
• Seance
• seminars 
• service 
• Strassenhappenings
• street art 
• Soziale Performance
• Soap performance 
• sound performance 
• Sound Poetry
• Spiele 
• Spoken words performance 
• Still Life Performance
• Storytelling  
• Streetart
• tableaux vivants 
• theatre of the Conceptual
• theater performance   
• Time Based Art 
• trash art 
• traveling as performance
• TV performance
• Ultimate performnance
•  video performance
•  Vital Work
• Wahrnehmungs-performance
• Wiener Aktionismus
• Festival ART


The  idea  of  the  diagram

• The basic form was founded in the image of an eye. An eye as a mirror, as a theatre of sense, as a theatre of science as well.
• The theory of vision, the range ray of sight from inside to outside and flowing back
• The theory of time. Each movement has his own way in time and space. Its not a question of cultural representation. There are still a lot of different movements in acting. ( George Kubler: Shape of Time).
• The “Allotropy” – In the light of perception each acting grows up as an incomparable fact in the human being.
• In this case, ASA-European starts to find (all ? ) terms which people (artists, theorists) used  to describe his / her activity as a cultural, ethnographical or anthropological setting in any kind of society.
We have some special views in the dates 1880 and 1948.
• To each term we have to collect texts and statements. As soon as possible we set up this archive under this web-address 

Boris Nieslony, Belfast project
22 February/ 02 March 2012: Christopher Cambell/ Boris Nieslony- responses.

The structure of the diagram

The are different ways to look on the context-eye-diagram. From the middle to the edge you have 3 steps and 4 fields. The first field in the centre is empty. In the basics the act is the act and not more. The act is whole, the universe, the entirety and doesn’t need any interpretation.
On the border of this emptiness begins the inquisitiveness of the intellect He wants to know what happens, what it means, this act is occupied by his observation. He can enter each of the 32 sights, which are defined in terms for the first steps.
The 32 sights (formed as triangle) are all modes which are used in the human world as any kind of methods, models of thinking, meaning, considerations, science and so on.
The first step is emotional, physical, psychological, the first view. The second step (third field) is more abstract and the last field points out the literature, theory, abstracts, etc.

Detail: Boris Nieslony and Gerhard Dirmoser.

The goal

The diagram shows the difficulty in setting up basic rules in view of the question what performance is at all. 1st aim is to break the hierarchy of iconology, to break the hegemony of the “variability of the same”, to break the one-dimensional cultural views  and to open the richness in the difference of human acts.
Beneath this two kind of aspects of the structure we had include the terms (definitions), the names/concepts of hundreds of artists and theorists and some short paraphrases of the terms. To set up this names, terms, sights and steps builds up a complex field of relations and contexts. It builds up an overview which allows to understand how performance and performing arts develop any relations, networks, main- and by- and sideways.

Further on, the context-diagram enables to research the development of terms, the history of the ideas, the marking of key-emotions.
For example the activities in the field “Agit-Prop”. Founded in the time of Russian revolution, the idea influenced the theatre of Bert Brecht, later the worker-theatres in USA in the thirties, from there, the idea returns to Europe, used by the Situationistic Internationale and the Lettrists, had some influence onto the political actions 1968 in Germany and (more and longer in France), was used as a title for an exhibition by the early video artists from Germany and Canada in Banff / Canada (1981) and got some new sense in the nineties last century for example in such activities like “Büro Bert”.
This kind of research opens directions to perceive, to reflect, to see and hear, how the things going on and how they inter-act. We had found in the meantime around 140 terms like this.
Nothing is really new. Anything has his relation, influence and is part of the known or unknown context. Nobody knows the margins of this interdependecies – an the weaving on this net.
Such a context is always a diffusion or a fogchamber. As a frame of construction as well. It makes visible what under the viewmode of a linear VIP representation and anecdotes by university disciplines must be unvisible. A kind of paradigm turn.

To keep pace with this growing, net and research we create the

E.P.I. Zentrum
(European Performance Institute)

The E.P.I.-Zentrum is generally a nomadic and only temporary localised project. The cooperative artists, organizations, sponsors and other supporters come ad hoc together for researches and will connect their special projects in any way with their own or other institutions (universities, academies of arts, artistic or scientific projects etc.) In the beginning the preparatory committees are:
a) the two basic secretaries: ASA-European e.V. (Cologne / Frankfurt a.M.) and 
Maschinenhaus Essen / Zeche Karl (Essen)
b) Black Market International
The E.P.I.-Zentrum is international, intercultural and works independent from academic departments and their traditional borderlines.
There is no legal membership, artists and organizations can work together temporary or for a long time with the nomadic Institute.

- New ways of information, discussion, research and the development of education and mediation in Performance Arts
- Transformations from the theoretical and practical understanding of “acting” and practice in to a general contextual, field-research-based and medial / mediated “practice of action” (research as acting)
- Performance as a wide and widen ethnographic and anthropological mode of perception and acting
- Performance as a critical social instrument
- Performance as a social organ of communication and exchange (“Die Gabe”/ “The Gift”)
- Performance as a life-based mode of orientation and contextual / social statement of interests (Performance as the aim of E.P.I.-Zentrum)

Basic Researches I - Performance, Performance Arts and Performing Arts
Basic Researches II - Performance as social acting and a mood of practice
Image-Research in both subjects

Gerhard Dirmoser / Boris Nieslony / ASA-European

22 February 2012: Christopher Cambell - response to the mapping work of Boris Nieslony and Gerhard Dirmoser.

  1. The sights

Sichten II (zweite Schicht –

(zeitgeistiger u. etwas abstrakter als die erste Schicht)

Sichten I (erste Schicht – erster Ansatz)

Performance als ...
Theater als ...

  1. Theoriebezüge

01 Kulturtheoretische Sicht

Kontextuelle Sicht

  1. „Zwischenräume“

Performance als situative Produktion
Performance als situatives Experiment

cultural studies
kontextbewußte Theorien

02 Entgrenzungssicht

Konzeptuelle Sicht

  1. „Kunst ohne Personen“

Performance als offenes System
Performance als Übergangsform der Kunst

Das offene Kunstwerk
Spielregeln der Kunst

03 Interdisziplinaritätssicht

Sicht der künstlerischen Produktion

  1. „Kollaborative Environments“

Performance als personales Experimentierfeld

performance theory

04 Methodensicht


„künstlerische Metapraxis“

Dialogische Ansätze

05 Sicht der Innovation

Sicht der Kunstkritik

Performance als Profiliereinrichtung
Revolutionäre Performanceansätze

performance theory

06 Transportsicht
„Auflösung des Werks im Akt der Präsentation“

Sicht der Vermittler

Performance als Medium der Kunstvermittlung

Spielregeln der Kunst

07 Subversionssicht
Medienkritische Sicht

  1. „Underground City Utopie“

Sicht der Medien
(intermediale Ansätze)
„Oral, multimedial“ (1)

Performance als Kommunikationsguerilla
Kommuikationskonzepte der Performance
„it´s all about communication“


08 Psychoanalytische Sicht

Gustative Sicht (Geschmack; einverleibend)

Performance als Leistung

Psychoanalyse /
queer theory / gender studies / body theory / Körperphilosophie / Körpersoziologie / Tanztheorie / Ekeltheorie / Phänomenologie der Wahrnehmung

09 Identitätssicht


  1. „Lebenskunstwerk“

„Life ist art enough“
“Kunst als Lebensform”

Performance als Praxis der Artikulation von Identität
Performance als Leben 
Performance als Aufenthaltsort
Performance als „Übersetzung“

Soziologie (Bourdieu)
cultural studies
Spielregeln der Kunst

10 Emotionale Sicht

  1. „Emotions“

Taktile Sicht
„sympathische Vibrationen“

Performance als Handlung
Performance = Die Kunst des Handelns

Manifest des Taktilismus
Existentialismus (Primat des Handelns)

11 Feministische Sicht

Politische Sicht
Interkulturelle Sicht

  1. „Absicht und Absichtslosigkeit“

Interkultureller Austausch in der Performance
Performance als politisches Phänomen
(Performance in der Politik)
Performance als Demonstration
Performance als Praxis der Destabilisierung
Performance als Kommunikationsguerilla  s.o.

feminist studies
gender studies
anthropology of gender
Spielregeln der Kunst

12 Ethische Sicht
„sozial & minimal“

Ästhetische Sicht
Visuelle Sicht

  1. „Ereignis und Aura“

Performance als Aufmerksamkeit
„performative turn“ im ästhetischen Dasein


13 Intensitätssicht


„performative Kraft der Kunst“


14 Therapeutische Sicht

Sicht des Künstlers
Sicht der Künstlerin

Performance als gestalterisches Experimentierfeld
Performance als Handlungsform in der therapeutischen Praxis
Performance als Katharsis
Performance = bewußtes Träumen


15 Erkenntnistheoretische
„Kunst als Erkenntnissystem“

Sprachliche Sicht

Performance als Sprache

analytische Philosophie /
Rhetorik / Sprachwissenschaft /
Strukturalismus / Sprechakttheorie / Erkenntnistheorie

16 Sicht der Oralität

„Oral, multimedial“ (2)

Performance als ureigenste menschliche Sprache

Performative Theorien / Rhetorik / Sprechakttheorie / Ethnologie

17 Existentielle Sicht

Sicht des Kunstwerks
„Vom Werkhaften zum Performativen“

Performance als Werk

  1. „Kunst ohne Werk“ (1)


18 Sicht der Zerstörung


Performance als Praxis der Destabilisierung s.o.

Destruktionskunst (Buch)

19 Sicht der Repräsentation

Materiale Sicht
olfaktive Sicht (Geruch)

Performance als Ablagerung
Performance als Materialsammlung
Performance als bilderzeugende Handlung
Performance als Gegenkonzept zur “Repräsentation“  „Kunst ohne Werk“ (2)
Performative Skulpturen


20 Unterhaltungssicht

Sicht des Marktes

Performance als Leistungsschau


21 Ökonomische Sicht


Modeschau als Performance (u.u.) (@HOME)
Performance als Show
Performance als Ereignis

Spielregeln der Kunst

22 Machttheoretische Sicht
„Ereignen zw. Herrschaft u. Begegnen-lassen“

Sicht der organisierenden Institution

Die permanente Performance

Spielregeln der Kunst

23 Historische Sicht

Sicht der Sammlung

Performance als Relikt
Performance als Wandzeitung
Performance als ständige Sammlung
Performance als „totale“ Installation
Performance als Installation


24 Strukturelle Sicht
Strukturale Sicht

Sicht der Partitur

Performance als Zeichensystem
„Kollaborative Environments“ (1)

Strukturalismus / Semiotik /

25 Akustische „Sicht“

räumliche Sicht
(architektonische Sicht)
„Der Ort und das Werk“
„Der Ort als Performance“

Performance als ortlose Kunst
Architekturdekonstruktion als Performance
Performance als Vereinbarung
Die verborgene Performance

Wahrnehmungstheorien zur Architektur (B. Leitner)

26 Bewegungssicht

Zeitliche Sicht
„100 Momente ergeben eine Momenttheorie“

Performance als Inszenierung


27 Pragmatistische Sicht


Performance als Prozeß


28 Performativität als Sicht


„performative turn“ im ästhetischen Dasein
„Vom Werkhaften zum Performativen“

Performative Theorien
feministische Theorien (J. Butler)

29 Soziologische Sicht

Anthropologische Sicht
Ethnologische Sicht
„Anthropologie in Aktion“
„Tod als Performance“

Performance als gesellschaftlich geprägtes Rollenspiel
Performance als soziale Praxis
Performance als Ritual
Performance als Mimesis

Anthropologie / Ethnologie / Theologie / Theateranthropologie / Ethnographie /
Kulturanthropologie /
Spielregeln der Kunst

30 Philosophische Sicht

Sicht der Kunstwissenschaft
Sicht der Theaterwissenschaft

Performance als Sachverhaltsdarstellung
Performance als Theater


31 Magische Sicht

„Höhere Wesen“

Performance als Ritual  s.o.

„Manifest Jean Odermatt“

32 Mythologische Sicht

Inhaltliche Sicht

Peformance als Erinnerungstheater


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