Krisis as the Scene of Non-Decisional Judgement: A Performance Fiction for the Generic Human

Hannah Lammin


François Laruelle’s non-standard aesthetics proposes a framework for ‘conjugating’ philosophy with the arts to articulate new models of thought (2012a). This posture of thinking is posed as a defence of man against the presuppositions that ground philosophy, which conceptually overdetermine the human and condemn thought to a perpetual state of crisis (Gracieuse et al. 2012). Laruelle’s epistemological approach holds a certain potential for the field of performance philosophy because it brings performance together with philosophy in a non-hierarchical arrangement that combines their respective means, producing an ‘art of thought’ (Laruelle 2012a, 5). This article examines the effects of bringing performance into thought in this manner, by putting Laruelle’s pragmatics into practice. It enacts a non-standard re-description of two sets of theoretical materials: one ‘philosophical’, the other from ‘performance theory’. The first, a deconstruction of the performativity of human rights declarations (Hamacher 2006), resonates with Laruelle’s concerns about the conceptual overdetermination of the human; however, it appeals to the Platonic scene of krisis as an alternative paradigm for presenting the human—which remains an event with a crisis-structure. The second, an aesthetic theory of performance conceived as a liminal event (Fischer-Lichte 2008), has a similar structure. By articulating these materials together, I will show how terms can be extracted from performance theory and used as a means to radicalise the scene of krisis, producing a stage on which the ‘human’ can be presented in an underdetermined mode. This allows us to achieve a non-predicative theorisation of the human that eludes Hamacher, whilst demonstrating through practice the abstract procedure by which ‘performance’ is utilised in the context of non-standard aesthetics.


non-philosophy; krisis; human rights; performativity; myth

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