The University in Ruins

written and performed by Steve Potter & Kélina Gotman
time-based work with music, performance poetry, dance rehearsal, critique of the university, and Killer Tomatoes


ADORENOSTORIES (The University in Ruins) is a performance-lecture that playfully takes apart concepts and histories associated with the academic tradition of “practice as research”. Exploring notions of practice, practicing, marking/judging, rehearsing, performance, laboratories, experimentation, research, outputs, and knowledge transfer through a variety of performative registers, it undoes various narratives while weaving these into new and surprising ones.

The oblique reference to Adorno’s legacy in the title gestures towards an underlying reflection on narrative histories and forgotten or marginal productions: the score is structured after Adorno’s much overlooked musical output, as well as his aphoristic literary mode. It explores virtuosity and the figure of the amateur through Kélina’s dance and Steve’s piano-playing, and draws from a heteroclite range of creative and philosophical traditions (including Chuang Tzu, Simone Forti, Shin’ichi Suzuki, Wittgenstein, Pessoa, and God).

Created for an academic conference, ADORENOSTORIES eschews argument and the work of ‘evidence’, and instead enacts the labor of thinking through practice, with humor and techniques such as collage, cut-ups, games/dares, and improvisation.