LISBON – SAO PAULO 25.11.2011 – 9.12.201

“KAFKAMACHINE travels to America with a Transatlantic ship from Lisbon to Santos, Brazil.

It was 50 years ago when Michel Foucault published The History of Madness in France. Since then, it has not been possible to look in the same way at the exclusion and institutional admission of the ones said to be crazy. The asylums and psychiatry itself have been put in check and there was a turnaround in the cultural and clinical status of madness. Foucault showed how the lockdown of the crazy was the result of a historical process that had begun with an abrupt onset in the seventeenth century: the Great Internment.

Two centuries earlier the crazy were already being removed from social relations and entrusted to the sailors in isolated vessels, sent adrift on the seas. It is the Ship of Fools, or Stultifera Navis, as Bosch’s painting shows.

To return to this oneiric but also historic image where the division starts, throwing it into an entirely different context can produce an interesting shift: in KAFKAMACHINE it is no longer the city that sends the crazy to the high open sea, but a group of “insensate” who decides to embark. Our ship is not a Ship of Fools, but a postmodern cruise, a cruise of our life, where we try to desperately escape from boredom. We have difficulties in believing what is happening to us, because nothing seems to happen. We are tired of being ourselves because the self-evidencies and refrains of our lives don’t work anymore. We know they don’t, even if we still try to pretend that they do. We need a reinvention of ourselves, but have no strength nor appeal for it. That is why we all sound like déjà vu, that is why we have already been there, already seen that, already done that. The realm of possible at our disposal is exhausted, as if everything had already been tried, as if we had exhausted our possibilities. Nothing else seems possible.

How do you invent a way out, when there is no way out?

KAFKAMACHINE is testing a device, a network of affectations, a way of combining singularities, crossing a “sea of ​​feelings” in conjunction, to produce a contagion of a normally indifferent environment, to imagine other possibilities of language, of insertion and desertion, connection and disconnection. Can this experiment of cooperation and organization create processual openings that bring back the belief in the “possible” – which is what has been withdrawn from us: “nothing” is possible – opening other meanings of future, of construction of affectation, of “sensitivity” kidnapped by entertainment and semiocapitalist information overflow.

Our journey on this ship is not about bringing eccentric people together, but about building an “agency”, a machine, where the sensitivities are engaged and forcibly deterritorialized of their habits and places, making a cartography them, of their production, of the forces that disturb them.

For the end of the trip can we imagine a kind of “inconclusive synthesis” of an experience where some of the participants, as in the Kafkaesque form of  Report To an Academy (in which a ape describes how it has turned into a man), will disclose what has provoked that inflection, as well as the tools that were developed collectively and what this confrontation with the postmodern ship as a laboratory of our life might have revealed. Just like scientists, when they leave a laboratory, to share with colleagues their meager conclusions and findings, or hesitations, or new questions that arose, or ideas for new necessary experiments. Not the clandestine debarking of madness, as in Foucault’s Ship of Fools, but the proclaimed debarking of unreason and even extreme yet resistant sensitivities, surviving and true. The debarking of the dream, the fragment of the possibilities for the future of other agencies. Of cooperations to come.

KAFKAMACHINE’s transatlantic passage to America will start with a recruiting event in Lisbon on the 24.11.2011 in which everyone will be hired for the great Theatre of Oklahoma, following the closing scene of Kafka’s novel Amerika, originally published as The Man Who Disappered.

To think about the work of Kafka, its processes, its animal becomings and American becomings, is to consider madness: the reports that the academy has generated and still is generating, a series of sketches, doodles (just like Kafka understood his work – only sketches and drafts) which also are attached as gears to this Machine that will be put to work in a ship terminal setting, real or imaginary. Moving images, text, objects, furniture and utensils will be added to this space, creating openings for the knowledge of all the many series made before and during the Atlantic crossing. K., the Kafkaesque hero who arrived in America, brings with him his territorialized and deterritorialized dreams and desires. As the unfinished book which is source of inspiration, this KAFKAMACHINE will become during 8 hours, on 9 December 2011, a “great natural theater” as in one of the chapters of the book, a place for all practices and the emergence of knowledge open to new connections. A landing, this time not of illegal madness, but the landing of proclaimed madness, unreason, the extreme sensibilities yet strong, true, survivors. Landing of the dream, the fragment, the possibilities for the future of other agencies. Of coming cooperations.”

(From KAFKAMACHINE Manifesto #2)

KAFKAMACHINE is a collaboration between :

UEINZZ Theater Company, Säo Paulo
Presque Ruiunes, Paris
Mollecular Organization, Helsinki


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