Eric Peter: Economy as Intimacy. I I C / The Contract / Ellipsis / Emotion in Motion / Delbaram / U OK?

‘Aeroponic’ – root systems nourished by air – Acts is the name given to the nomadic Dutch Art Institute’s final & festive iteration of the two year long so-called Kitchen* trajectory. Aeroponic Acts are conversations-in-a-form. Each presenter addresses one question as a practice of engagement.

Here you will find the documentation of Eric Peter's presentation as filmed by Silvia Ulloa, followed by a written report, authored by Ayesha Hameed, which includes a summary of the spoken comments by esteemed respondents Anselm Franke, Rachel O’ReillyLaura Harris and Hypatia Vourloumis.

Introduction: The choreopoem ‘I I C / The Contract / Ellipsis / Emotion in Motion / Delbaram / U OK?’ is part of the long-term poetry project Economy as Intimacy. With currently a focus on bureaucracy, relationship and immigration law, this choreopoem orchestrates contingencies within the socio-political world of late capitalism through the value of love, permanent labour contracts, digital communication, bodily language, nation, and migration.

Question: How to account for a lover as ––––––– and a lover as –––––––––––? Or: Hey baby, remember the days we spoke about –––– and ––––––––?

Ayesha Hameed's report: The artist stands in a blue velvet dress and boots, holding his arm – a soft voguing pose, in a room filled with smoke; the lighting shifts from pink to blue. A large swing is suspended from the ceiling. They start dancing to techno music and remove the dress and boots, read a confessional text about mourning and intimacy – a postponed tryst. The artist breathes heavily as they take clothes down from a washing line and dress themselves in a blue shirt, black trousers and blue apron. It is silent and the space is now full of smoke. The artist waves two red-and-blue checked dishcloths and removes the apron, putting on black clothes taken off the line. More electronic music is piped in. Someone comes and attaches a Madonna mic on him. They pose on the floor, stand up and start moving again. The dance music is slower and then cuts out – ‘I want to do this with you,’ they say, repeatedly. The artist describes travel restrictions, lowered wages and precarious labour, capitalist virtues. They jump on the swing holding a yellow sheet of paper and read from their notes on it about queerness, desire and communication. It is an encounter – quickly delivered words that break into syllables and dissolve. The artist changes again into a dress, make a Skype call with its familiar ring and then the conversation breaks down. 

Hypatia Vourloumis related club sounds to economy; she spoke on how Kraftwerk was born out of the assembly line, and thought the performance redolent of their album The Man-Machine: ‘Clubs are also spaces of queer sociality, where voguing is tied in with a militancy.’ 

Anselm Franke suggested two references – Maya Andrea Gonzalez and Cassandra Troyan’s Disavowed Intimacy: Capitalism, Criminality, and the Girlfriend Experience and Kerstin Stakemeier’s exploration of the brutalization of life under capital – on social morphism that can’t be lived.

Laura Harris said the presentation explored the maze of rules, exemptions and restrictions to gay life. She was interested in the swing/text interface, an erotics of encounter that is mediated by fluids and texture – the Skype call as another mediation that links and separates. ‘The gaps in title and in the poetry make a place for what can’t be said and is lost,’ she said. ‘There is no moment of purity that can be disentangled. This presentation is poignant and full of gaps.’

Rachel O’Reilly notes the references to Lauren Berlant. She said that while the artist’s practice is usually more on paper, ‘this multimedia engagement to a poetics of exposure is powerful.’ 

Eric Peter's 'Economy as Intimacy. I I C / The Contract / Ellipsis / Emotion in Motion / Delbaram / U OK?' was presented before live audience at Silent Green in Berlin on the 22st of May, 2019.

Find the overview of all 28 AEROPONIC ACTS 2019 here: AEROPONIC ACTS  - growing roots in air

About Eric Peter