Reading Immanence


  • Alice Lagaay Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen
  • Susanne Valerie Granzer University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna


immanence, Deleuze, Agamben, contemporary arts, Spinoza, Bergson, Laruelle, Artaud, Nietzsche, Roland Barthes, secrecy, creative indifference, whatever


The following text opened the conference, “The Concept of Immanence in Philosophy and the Arts”, held in Vienna in May 2016. It is a reader consisting of key passages on immanence by Gilles Deleuze, Baruch de Spinoza, Giorgio Agamben, Henri Bergson, François Laruelle, Antonin Artaud and Friedrich Nietzsche. The reader was put together by Arno Böhler and Elisabeth Schäfer, and a collage of its content arranged by Susanne Valerie Granzer, who read out these text fragments at the start of the conference. Her reading was sporadically interrupted by Alice Lagaay, whose comments served to draw lines of connection between the dense theoretical texts and the performative immanent context in which they were being read and digested—the context of the conference. We present here the readings and their lighthearted—and at times deadly serious—commentary as performed. Readers are invited to imagine and re-enact the live-ness of this event, letting their own comments, questions and musings interrupt the proposed interruptions of reading.

Author Biographies

Alice Lagaay, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen

Alice Lagaay is currently Interim Professor for Media Theory and Cultural History at Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen. Her background is in philosophy, her current research focuses on the notion of “creative indifference,” and she is actively engaged in the interdisciplinary field of Performance Philosophy. She is a founding member and core convener of the Performance Philosophy international research network, and co-editor (alongside Laura Cull O’Maoilearca and Will Daddario) of the Performance Philosophy book series, published by Palgrave Macmillan. Recent publications in English: “Performance in Philosophy/Philosophy in Performance: How performative practices can enhance and challenge the teaching of theory” (co-authored with Jörg Holkenbrink) in: Performance Matters 2 (1) (2016): 78–85.

Susanne Valerie Granzer, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

Since 1989 Susanne Valerie Granzer has been a Professor of the artistic discipline of the performing arts at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Max Reinhardt Seminar.

She was trained for being an actress at the MRS in Vienna. Then, for 18 years she had important parts at Theater in der Josefstadt, Volkstheater Wien, Theater Basel, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Schauspielhaus Frankfurt am Main, Schillertheater Berlin and Burgtheater Wien. Parallel she studied philosophy at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main and the University of Vienna. Doctorate in 1995.

In 1997, together with the philosopher Arno Böhler, she founded wiener kulturwerkstätte GRENZ_film. Many “Philosophy on Stage” lecture performances. Co-founder of BASE (research centre for artistic research und arts-based philosophy, India) and the head of the residence programme there.

FWF research projects (as a cooperation partner): 2005–2007 „Materialität und Zeitlichkeit performativer Sprechakte“ (P17600). 2010–2013 „Korporale Performanz/Generating Bodies“ (TRP12-G21), 2014–2017 „Artist-Philosophers. Philosophy AS Arts-based-research” (AR 275-G21). Publications (selection): Schauspieler außer sich. Exponiertheit und performative Kunst, Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld März 2011, second edition 2014. Actors and the Art of Performance. Under Exposure, Palgrave Macmillan 2016.


Agamben, Giorgio. 1999. “Absolute Immanence.” In Potentialities, translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen, 220–239. Stanford University Press: Stanford 1999.

Agamben, Giorgio. 2009. The Coming Community. Translated by Michael Hardt. Minneapolis/London: University of Minnesota Press.

Bergson, Henry. 2007. The Creative Mind. An Introduction to Metaphysics. Translated by Mabelle L. Andison. New York: Dover Books.

Dale, Catherine. 2001. “Knowing One’s Enemy: Deleuze, Artaud, and the Problem of Judgment.” In Deleuze and Religion, edited by M. Bryden, 126–137. London: Routledge.

Deleuze, Gilles. 1988. Spinoza. Practical Philosophy. Translated by Robert Hurley. San Francisco: City Lights Books.

Deleuze, Gilles. 1990. Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza. Translated by Martin Joughin. New York: Zone Books.

Deleuze, Gilles. 1994. What is Philosophy? Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell. Columbia University Press: New York.

Deleuze, Gilles. 1994. Difference and Repetition. Translated by Paul Patton. Columbia University Press: New York.

Laruelle, François. 2008. Introduction aux sciences géneriques. Paris: Pétra.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1989. Genealogy of Morals. Translated by Walter A. Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1999. Sämtliche Werke. Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Einzelbänden. Herausgegeben von Giorgio Colli und Mazzino Montinari. 3. Auflage. München/Berlin/New York: DTV Walter de Gruyter.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2002. Beyond Good and Evil. Translated by Judith Norman. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2005. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Translated by Graham Parkes. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Spinoza, Baruch de. 2000. Ethics. Translated by G. H. R. Parkinson. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.




How to Cite

“Reading Immanence”. 2017. Performance Philosophy 3 (3): 650-70.



Artist-Philosophers—Philosopher Artists: Writing Immanence

How to Cite

“Reading Immanence”. 2017. Performance Philosophy 3 (3): 650-70.