Excess Swarm (Wild in the Wild)
Hypatia Vourloumis

The narrative emulates the errant path of the wayward and moves from one story to another by way of encounter, chance meeting, proximity, and the sociality created by enclosure. It strives to convey the aspiration and longing of the wayward and the tumult and upheaval incited by the chorus. – Saidiya Hartman, ‘The Anarchy of Colored Girls Assembled in a Riotous Manner.’

In ‘Soldier of Love’ Sade sings of how, in the hinterlands of devotion, she does her best to survive (in) the wild wild west. In Wu Tsang’s film Wildness Flawless Sabrina stands on the bar of the Silver Platter and celebrates the ways in which ‘the fist is still up’, echoing the collective choreographed stance and scene that closes Sade’s video. This one-day conference seeks to incite a tumultuous chorus made up of the encountering of differing yet correlating aesthetic, theoretical and militant resonances swarming across manifold times and spaces. An improvised gathering of diasporic thinkers and practitioners, the day of study will seek to critically reverberate fugitive senses, feelings and transmissions of an uncommon and unknowable in advance, ‘brown commons,’ in the words of José Esteban Muñoz. These staged chance convergences and divergences (including their particular geopolitical, regional, physical, material and sensorial conditions of possibility) explore wayward and errant paths, as Saidiya Hartman writes, to study how, ‘in a minor key,’ ungovernable experiments in the social art of life discrepantly exceed colonial orderings and framings of life and art. Presentations and performances will delve into the aesthetic practices and unruly visons of queer diaspora, sensual excess and brown jouissance, the poetics of emergent aberrations, the magic of science and the intertwining of neurodiverse sensory circuits, futurisms and distorted constellations, the love song, anticolonial time, and the dancing of things and nothingness.

Participants: Nwando Ebizie, Gayatri Gopinath, Malak Helmy & Janine Armin, Monsur Mansoor, Amber Jamilla Musser, Sandra Ruiz, Jackie Wang.

Hypatia Vourloumis is a performance theorist and received her PhD in performance studies at New York University. She was postdoctoral fellow at the Interweaving Performance Cultures research centre at Freie Universität Berlin (2012–14), Research Fellow at the Research Centre for the Humanities in Athens (2016) and lecturer at the International Centre for Hellenic and Mediterranean Studies in Athens. Her essays and experimental writing have appeared in Theatre Journal, Performance Research, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, ephemera, The Happy Hypocrite, art catalogues and edited volumes among others. She is co- editor of the Performance Research special issue ‘On Institutions’ and completing a monograph titled Paralinguistic Insurgencies on the politics and performance of Indonesian postcolonial paralanguage. Her teaching and research interests include: anticolonial theory and practice; feminist and critical race theory; queer of colour critique; music, poetics and language; sound studies and popular culture; and minor aesthetic theory and practice. She teaches critical theory in the MA Art Praxis at Dutch Art Institute.