Nobody’s Business and Nobody’s Dance

An ongoing project initiated by Eleanor Bauer, Alice Chauchat and Ellen Söderhult, see nobodysbusiness.info

NOBODY’S BUSINESS IS AN INITIATIVE FOR LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE OF PRACTICES AND METHODS IN THE PERFORMING ARTS. THE AMBITION IS TO FACILITATE NON-EXCLUSIVE AND COLLECTIVE PRODUCTION­ AND DISTRIBUTION OF KNOWLEDGE THROUGH SHARED PRACTICE AND ITS DOCUMENTATION.

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MISSION STATEMENT

Nobody’s Business is an open-source platform for the sharing of artistic practices in the Performing Arts. Nobody’s Business exists to create space for lateral exchange, outside of the economies of workshops (wherein the information is generally unidirectional) and creations (which are usually supported via single authors and pieces). Nobody’s Business is a format in which professional artists can meet on equal grounds to share our practical tools and knowledge, to inspire and feed each other, to foster the proliferation of information and thereby support each others work and the general advancement of the field. Diversity is a criterion in our gatherings, in order to create a catalytic environment wherein frictions between different ways of working and thinking can support the discovery of new forms and expansion of each participant’s own artistic horizons. In contemporary art, where the “new” is in demand, we seek confrontation with what each of us does not already know, in order to bring all participants farther together. As in an academic or scientific conference, we recognize that the advancement of knowledge is necessarily supported by thinking together, rather than alone. In order to foster continuity and community within our freelance, volatile, individually organized and precarious conditions, we seek sustainable and sustained sharing of practice and knowledge by regular doing-together which is supported with equal pay for all participants and regular space and time for meeting.

Nobody’s Business is “Nobody’s,” as a deliberate negation of the individualism that contemporary neoliberal and hyper-capitalist economic realities impose upon our lives. We want to affirm that the performing arts, movement, speech, dance, action, are all things that belong to Nobody, but rather are activated by and pass through each of us. We choose to sign the event anonymously as “Nobody’s” in order to emphasize the non-ownership of ideas, knowledge, or practice, but we do not intend to erase history. To the contrary, we are interested in elucidating and mapping the movement of information within the field. Documentation is therefore an important aspect of the project, for us to begin to trace and accredit the genealogy of sources and influences within contemporary performing arts. Emphasizing the necessity of shared time and space, Nobody’s Business is about presence, but also supports the sharing of knowledge with those absent via an online database of the documentation of practices shared in each meeting.

Nobody’s Business also reaches beyond the walls of the studio by considering each meeting a “publication” (as the act of making public) within its own medium (performance), with an open-studio policy wherein the public is invited to attend the practice sessions as observers. We do this to affirm that performing always implies an audience and that performing is always happening on various registers, and to include this in our concept of practicing performance together. The live-publication of Nobody’s Business also allows that the practices and ideas are adapted by other disciplines, from the potential of visitors watching and transposing practices into their own media. Finally, public viewership of the sessions is a form of audience development, whereby the public is invited in to the discourse and process of how we work and move and think together.

We have so far initiated week-long sessions of Nobody’s Dance in Stockholm, Brussels, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Milan, and are in conversation with spaces in Oslo, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Essen, Athens, Vienna, and more. In the future we are also interested in organizing sessions within other disciplines, such as Nobody’s Theater, Nobody’s Text, Nobody’s Performance, Nobody’s Music, and Nobody’s Indiscipline (for the sharing of practices across disciplines).

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