Following contemporary philosophers such as Agamben, Braidotti, Haraway, Latour or Stiegler, we have entered the posthuman era. The anthropocentric age is over. As humans, we need to think of ourselves as a geophysical force that is part of a larger constellation. Instead of trusting our so-called common sense, a capacity that supposedly distinguishes us from animals and objects, we need to cultivate our desire to connect, with other beings as well as with the so-called non-human.

In this international conference, we take as a point of departure a posthumanist perspective on the performing arts. We adopt the notion of a posthuman community as an entangling mesh of interdependent objects, technologies and beings (Latour) as the basic constellation of a performance context. The encounters at stake in a performance are hence not only encounters between the people involved (performers as well as spectators); they are considered as encounters between composite bodies, consisting of so-called human as well as non-human composites. We therefore propose to expand the Spinozist notion of composite bodies as ever-shifting constellations of bodies acting upon one another to non-human and technological composites.

The contemporary stage renders interesting configurations of composite bodies and posthuman prototypes. This international conference invites performance scholars and philosophers to reflect on the different ways in which posthuman performance practices matter with regard to aesthetics, ethics and knowledge transmission. Do only bodies matter (Butler) on the stage, or does ‘it’ matter as well? This international conference seeks to unfold the many features of posthuman performance practices along the notions of co-creation, response-ability and knowledge transmission.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Mylène Benoit; Maaike Bleeker; Matthew Causey; Peter Eckersall; André Lepecki; Jean Paul Van Bendegem; Kris Verdonck