Happy Fluid States - A Message from PSi President Maaike Bleeker

Dear all,

A New Year is about to begin. Not just another New Year but the year of Fluid States, PSi’s  year-long, world-wide program of events. As a New Year’s wish, I present you this image:

This is a picture taken by Dutch artist Piet van der Kar on the occasion of a protest. An occupation. Not of a square or a building but of water. The text (in Dutch) claims this water to be ‘my water square’ and the playful occupation was meant to draw attention to this water as a meaningful and valued part of public space, instead of it being a mere non-place between buildings ‘My’ refers not to a particular individual owning this place, but to how this piece of water is being appreciated as part of someone’s life-world, like in ‘my favorite bar.’ Describing it as a ‘square’ furthermore suggests this water might be considered a fluid alternative to the more conventional agora as gathering place at the center of public life.

My water square is what Fluid States organizers around the world invite you to visit. Drawing attention to the fluid rather than the fixed, to the sea as that what connects rather than separates, to islands of knowledge rather than grand narratives, they set the stage for performances of unknowing. Information about what they have to offer and how you can participate (in real life or online) can be found at http://www.fluidstates.org/

The program starts on the 1st of January with the launch of a documentary film of the performances on the breakwater in Rijeka (Croatia) during the final planning meeting of the organizing committee. The documentary will be freely available on our YouTube channel. (check http://www.fluidstates.org/article.php?id=89)

The first Fluid States event will take place in Panama from 5-9 January 2015. Panama joins PSi-2015 Fluid States with a series of performance interventions on and about the Panama Canal, the country’s emblematic marker. The two-day event will begin with performance work that addresses the history and politics of Panama by using the canal as a performance site. The second day will convene artists and scholars in panels and round tables to discuss the relationship between the canal and questions of sovereignty, developmentalism, empire, ocean trade, engineering, and ecology. (check http://www.fluidstates.org/page.php?loc=25&id=30)

I wish you wonderful Fluid States!

Maaike Bleeker

President, Performance Studies international (PSi)

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