COOP ACADEMY ~ OPERA CORRUPTION. On Tricks, Tricksters and Charms from Month to Month

Seminar 7

During our week in Barcelona we will shoot all the scenes of our movie in various locations of the city. We will also prepare for the final presentation in Athens. 

Seminar 6

On Plotting 

Our film, which we haven’t met yet, is around the corner. We will start smelling it in Arnhem. We will anticipate its face, manners, and voice pitch, its size, style, humor, its split personalities and its very own ‘degeneration'. In one word, Arnhem is our plotting session. We will plot, plot, plot, and PLOT, in all possible ways, namely throughout all aspects that are necessary to make a film.

In a clearer language that is not proper to us, we will discuss the content and purpose of this operatic film project, sketch characters and anti-characters, think of costume design, props (graphic and object-based), distribute roles and tasks, define our working methodology in Barcelona. If time allows we will start writing the script as well. 

We will make sure to have time and space for face-to-face meetings as well.

In the meantime, please make your own trailer of the family psycho-drama we shot in Epen, and expect to hear from us with updates of this bulletin.

Seminar 5

This session explores the corruption of identity and social roles through a series of exercises that are conceived, proposed and led by the participants as if they all were ‘Sara Giannini.’ Exposing the making and masking of the self, we will engage with the politics of performativity and masquerade.

In preparation for the final movie, many of the proposed activities will employ audio-visual language. This is an occasion to experience how both the camera and montage can affect (‘corrupt’) sense and self-production. The outcome of the session is a trailer of our identity-corruption-week.

The week opens with a talk by philosopher Aaron Schuster about “Pleasure and Corruption.” Schuster’s research intersects with important philosophical and psychoanalytical notions of our COOP. He is the author of “The Trouble with Pleasure” (MIT Press, 2016), in which he examines desire and drive in Deleuze and Lacan, and has also researched and lectured on the ‘debt drive’ in philosophy, psychoanalysis, and neoliberalism.

Seminar 4

Let’s dive deep into the OPERA CORRUPTION world again and together, at this beginning of the year, somewhere in the south of Europe in this place called Thessaloniki.

And let’s sing – finally, seriously.

During this session we will be conducted for 48 hours by Anna Pangalou (Tuesday, 23 January and Wednesday, 24 January)  through the secret of the production of voices. She has promised to tell us her tricks, and to trick us endlessly. She promises not to wear a mask this time, though she has the secret of the tragedies.

Here is her voice: 

"When we reach a production of voice, it comes from the inside, from the anatomic part of our body, when we are able to see ourself as bones and muscles and nothing else. I will be the guide of the space inside the body, a great way to cancel any form of criticism. Once concentrated on our feelings, then you’re not checking yourself all the time. I will cancel your ears." 

Be ready with your comfortable clothes, and your ribs and your blood under it.

Seminar 3

For our third DAI week we will delve into theories, imageries and anecdotes of the operatic subconscious. Aspects of operatic divaism will be interrelated to the tragic in opera. In particular we will discuss how the flamboyant and apparently naïf voice of the opera articulates subterranean desires, becoming a potential medium for the eruption of the collective and individual unconscious. We will think together about how this baroque and outdated “mouth of the unspeakable” could represent an affective function to be employed in cinema and more broadly we will discuss how to potentially de-territorialize and re-territorialize opera and its (perhaps deceased) cathartic/psychoanalytical function. The underpinning question is also, certainly, what unites opera and corruption?

- We will start the week on Monday evening with the screening of the movie The death of Maria Malibran by Werner Schroeter (1972).

- Between Tuesday and Wednesday we will closely read and discuss selected passages/texts from The Queen’s Throat. Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire by Wayne Koestenbaum (1993) and from Opera’s Second Death from Mladen Dolar & Slavoj Zizek (2013). (We will approach other texts too, but these are our main focus and reference. You will receive the texts soon).

- On Tuesday or Wednesday Clara Saito will treat us with a Lady Dada divaism training, so please wear comfortable clothes!

-…. And we might have a special guest too. TBC soon!

P.S. This time only Sara will be present.

P.P.S. Expect some additions/variations

Seminar 2

The main focus of our second DAI week will be given to the presentation of your RITUAL NUMBER 2. Like last time, Sara and Pauline will be together on Tuesday, and we will spend the whole day and evening in Amsterdam. Susan and Frederique from If I Can’t Dance will be with you the whole day for face to face meetings in Heemskerk on Wednesday, and then Sara will come back on Thursday morning for face to face meetings as well. We will start the week with a special screening organized by Pauline on Monday evening.


For this second session together, we would love you to present something that you can prepare over 3 weeks: A STAND UP COMEDY

The only constraint you have is that your character shall be shaped by a radical obsession for money.



>>Watch this video clip:

or this one:

>> As the psychoactive drug of our ritual number 2, eat a bit of hot chili, enough for your mouth to feel it.


>> Start to imagine, compose, and improvise as your money-obsessed character




Space: 3 m2 + but possibility of coming in and out from the stage.

Length: between 8 and 15 minutes maximum

Costume of your choice, the one that will make your character exist.


If that can help, some tricks :


-recurrent freudian slip


-make up

Seminar 1: 23-26 October 2017

Our Opera Corruption year starts with a series of reflections on the voice and a small initiation ritual. As it is our first DAI week Pauline and Sara will be together for the official kick off of our activities on Tuesday.

 During the days we will practice, think, read about these interrelated phenomena: deviation of the mother tongue, glossolalia or speaking in tongues, voice vs discourse vs text, Carmelo Bene and his philosophy of the “phoné”.

 Here’s a day-by-day breakdown:

  1. Monday evening (after dinner): face to face meetings with Pauline
  2. Tuesday: all day with Sara and Pauline. Initiation ritual, collective listening sessions, face to face meetings with Pauline and Sara (evening)
  3. Wednesday: all day with Sara. Close reading of Marcel de Certeau’s essay Vocal Utopias: Glossolalia, screening of Salomé by Carmelo Bene, presentation of Bene’s philosophy of the “phoné”, discussion.
  4. Thursday morning: face to face meetings with Sara.

For this session, please bring:

- A recording device (a phone is ok) and a device to transfer your recording file on a computer. For those who don’t have anything we could lend you our personal phones.

- Drawing materials that you are the most comfortable with: paper and clips, pencils, pens, paint, marker etc. All formats and colors welcome.