Lecture ENCODS

Invited Lecture, Akademie Berlin-Schmöckwitz, 5-6 July 2018, ENCODS

The 21st century has been named the “Century of the Mind”. With two feet in the new millennium, the next generation of neuroscientists experiences exciting times. ENCODS 2018 is a pioneer conference, which creates a space for young doctoral researchers to engage with the use of technologies in neuroscience.

I was part of the Science & Society Session, together with Luc Nijs and Kalina Bertin. 

Goal of the session was to inspire neuro-scientists to reflect on how their own research can be incorporated into society. The Science & Society Session, entitled “Methods of an Embodied Mind” focused on sociological, philosophical and artistic applications of neuroscience, specifically the relationship between mind and body.  Curated and moderated by Dr. Lindsay Petley-Ragan, the panel  investigated the specific theme of embodied cognition as it relates to virtual reality, dance, mental illness and music. The session included e a discussion with Kalina Bertin (Montreal, CAN), Carolien Hermans (Amsterdam, NL), and Luc Nijs (Ghent, BEL). 

ADiE Chichester

Research intensives for artistic researchers and doctoral candidates in dance and body based performance.

June 25-29, 2018
Hosted by the University of Chichester


What are the feedback processes that might best support and/ or propel our personal research practices? How do we create the contexts/cohorts/conditions needed in order to contribute critically to the research practices of our peers, colleagues and fellow artists? How are we working to articulate, materialize and communicate our artistic research to the broader dance community, to other institutions, other fields, fellow artists and audiences?

The week consisted of exchanges, conversations, working groups, and presentations, inviting the participating artists and researchers to share concerns, test practices and to think, talk, move and question together.

Jane Bacon and Vida Midgelow introduced the CAP – Creative Articulation Process that contains 6 stages that do not follow each other in a linear but in an iterative way.

Opening: giving space and time
Situating: what I know today,  what brings me here, where I am
Delving: I wonder what interests me
Raising: working to render what I have and/or what I do
Anatomizing: working to expand, broaden, trial, clarify my practice
Outwarding: bringing my findings to fruition and newly noting future 

We worked on collecting key words of our own artistic research and then placing them in space (which concept sits close to me, which concept has  more distance).

In the workshop of Bob Whalley and Lee Miller we worked on ‘Thingness and Object Oriented Ontology’. At the end of this workshop we collectively made a map of our artistic research journey.

We did lots of other things too, such as a site-based research score, a live exposition of a group process (Claire French), a performance by Virginia Farman, a workshop on ethics and care (by Norah Zuniga-Shaw and Vida Midgelow) and finally lots of time was reserved for our working session groups. 

In the workshop of Bob Whalley and Lee Miller we were asked to ‘bring your body to place where its is not yet been in the space’ and  to register that action. I placed my feet inside the shoes of others, thereby inhabiting a space that is territorialized by others. 

Some loose thoughts and quotes: 

  • Paying attention to paying attention (Bacon, 2007)
  • The study of processes rather than events
  • Language elaborates our bodily sensation  (Binswinger in Frie, 2003)
  • I do not write to keep, I write to feel, I write to touch the body of the instant with the tip of the words (Cixous, 1998)
  • My body as a performer is more inclusive in the aftermath of writing a dance (Hay, 2000)

Score: Becoming Invisible (1966)by Nye Flarrabas

  • by hiding
  • by divesting yourself of all distinguishable mark
  • by going away
  • by sinking through the floor
  • by becoming some-one else
  • by concentrating so hard on some object or idea that you cease to be aware
  • by distracting every else of your physical presence
  • by ceasing to exist

We should no longer think of thought as something representing passive thing, but rather as something that things do themselves alongside us (Mullarkey, 2009, p.207).

Movement score of Vicky Hunter and Leslie Satin: ‘Translating Site-based encounters, recording and reflecting through Practice-led Research’.



Together with my daughter Lisa Scheers we participated in the conference ‘With Children: The Child as Collaborator and Performer’  Leeds Beckett University, 28thOf January 2017  with the provocation “Why do you think that you but not me should be on stage?”

Performed by: Lisa Scheers (10 years old) and Carolien Hermans (47 years old)

The provocation is a dialogue in words and movements centred on the question: What is the difference between a child and an adult in performing on stage?’ Difference refers here to the traditional binary and oppositional thinking (child versus adult, short versus tall, responsible versus irresponsible, serious versus playful, knowledge versus innocence). Difference, as traditionally defined, is in essence oppositional thinking based on fixed identities (Thiele, 201).  Deleuze suggests to look at the process of difference in itself: ‘Difference does not merely start between things/identities, but everything, has to be thought as always already differing with(in) itself’ (Thiele, 2011, p.5).

We propose here to see our collaboration/dialogue as “a pure movement of differences, a perpetual, unpredictable and open-ended becoming” (Grosz, 2005, p.49). We question our performativity, as well as the kind of imagery we project unto the audience.  Lisa and I have an open dialogue on our working process: we discuss what we like (aesthetically) and what we don’t like. We also discuss who is to make (political) decisions and how we need to deal with the power relationship between us.

We have five challenges (each of two minutes) in this provocation. The following questions are the starting point of each challenge between Lisa and Carolien.

(1) What can you do what I can’t do?
(2) Why should people look at you instead of me?
(3) To the child: what kind of an adult are you? To the adult: what kind of child are you?
(4) Give one good reason why you should be here today?
(5) What is essential of being a child? What is essential of being an adult? Show in movement.

The provocation is a combination of a live presentation and a video of our working process.

For video, see below:


Worlding The Brain

Performance lecture ‘Participatory sense-making: rhythm, repetition and affective resonance in dance’, Conference ‘Worlding the Brain’, Universiteit van Amsterdam,  19 maart, 2016, Compagnietheater.

During this conference I gave a  performance lecture ‘Participatory sense-making: rhythm, repetition and affective resonance in dance’, together with Sarah Abicht and Maxine van Lishout (students Modern Theatre Dance).

For the lecture: RhythmNarrativeRepetitionDef1

You can watch a small excerpt below:



















Amsterdam University of the Arts

Embodiment in Arts Education – Teaching and learning with the body in the Arts

Together with Melissa Bremmer, I organised a symposium 12 december 2015 at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Central theme of the symposium was embodied  teaching practices in dance and music.

From left to right: Shaun Gallager, Melissa Bremmer, Luc Nijs, Jaco van den Dool, Eeva Antilla, and me
Photography: Laura Kool

Keywords : multimodal learning,  ‘sensory attunement’, participatory sense-making, embodiment, enactivism, the role of intersensory experiences in learning. 

Organising partners: The Arts and Culture Education Research Group, the Music Lectorate, the Art Education Master’s degree program and the Music in Education (ODM) program at the Amsterdam University  of the Arts.

In this symposium I gave a performance lecture ‘Of Movements and Affects: Dance Improvisation as a Participatory Sense-Making Activity’ together with Sarah Abicht and Maxine van Lishout (students Modern Theatre Dance).

Link to the paper: LectureAHK

Link to the lecture performance:





Coventry – Lecture

Dance and Somatic Practice Conference, Coventry University, 6-9 July, 2017

Performance lecture: Carolien Hermans and Lisa Scheers

Where do the child and the animal meet in dance improvisation?

‘Take care of your animal body’ are the famous words of Steve Paxton. The concept of the animal body “refers to the presence of a being underlying the socialized self, a being underlying that part of the self which is expressed through verbal language, linear thought, and movement behavior appropriate to civilized spaces” (Lepkoff, 1998, p.1). In contrast to our culturally conditioned self, the animal self is a physical intelligence that consists of reflexes, instincts and primary movements – both learned and acquired. The animal body becomes accessible to us by play, as the energetic release of forces, weight and flow.

Paxton’s animal body resonates well with Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy (2005) . The animal body implies “a series of assemblages (agencements) between deterritorializing forces that are circulating on the edge of the human and the non-human, in order to make them indiscernible” (Beaulieu, 2011, p.7). It is in such a zone of proximity, of uncertainty, or of indetermination that becomings occur.

Children seem to be particularly sensitive to becomings (Deleuze & Guattari, 2005; Beaulieu, 2011): this is most noticeable in the way children try to be invisible and imperceptible (e.g. the seek and hide game) . During this performance lecture  my daughter, Lisa Scheers, hides herself in the space in such a way that she becomes invisible and visible at once. 

For more reading: 


ADiE Stockholm

Artistic Doctorates in Europe: RESEARCHING (IN/AS) MOTION

Research intensives for artistic researchers and doctoral candidates in dance and body based performance.

March 19-23, 2018
Hosted by Stockholm University of the Arts at DOCH and Weld

I took part in this research intensive that consisted each day of a morning practice circle, walking/talking, practice session, research practice and open PhD exchange.

Some notes:
* We discussed the three anchors of artistic doctorate research: the artistic process, documentation and knowledge production (= the framing through language or imagery). Documentation is more then the representation of the research process, it has its own experiental nature. It holds itself, it becomes an animated thing that points to itself as well as to that which it documents upon. 

*The complicated relationship between language/text (as a distinct thing) and dance (that is always in the process of articulation). And then again moving from language to the oral (to speech). To distantiate oneself, to detach, to leave behind. Even to mourn (Chrysa Parkinson). 

* The notion of adequacy (Paula Kramer)
Question: What is adequate in the context of each of our artistic research projects? We did an exercise where we mould our research process into clay. In the next phase we drew a geographical map of our research process. 


In the next phase I gave the map to another person who was asked to walked outside with the map in her hand, as a geographical drawing. This person was then asked to write down her experience:

* Each morning I joined in the morning practice circle. It was fascinating to see how easily we are drawn into play. Objects and materials, such as a table, offer possibilities for play. These objects/materials can be seen as affordances that guide and direct us into play.


Keywords: vitality affects, intensity and levels of engagement,  serious attention to having fun, release of energy, a sharpness, beging directed to, orientation (through rules), orientation both to the inside and to the outside.

*On one of these morning I engaged in a (small) duet with Paula Guzzanti. Suddenly I became aware of the notion of synchrony, rhythm and attunement within play. In other words: through play we synchronise our movements and we sense the same kind of flow/rhythm.

See the small excerpt below: