All human beings are born useless and equal in uselessness

Claudia Kappenberg

Research output: Non-textual outputPerformance


This performance is an artist’s response to the fact that much of today’s doing is contaminated by an ubiquitous credo of productivity and outcome. Any moving into doing is rendered problematic, even if underpinned by well-conceived, critical frameworks. Taking on the possibility embedded in the use of uselessness this intervention suggests that there is nevertheless something which Art can do. Taking the form of a speech this performance is based on a publication by Nuccio Ordine (2013), which traces the history of the debates on use and uselessness through a selection of quotes from the realms of philosophy and literature from Leopardi, Montaigne, Locke, Dickens, Lorca and so on. The speaker, an orator in the guise of a garden gnome, draws on this history as well as on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to make an almost serious claim for the human right to uselessness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2014
Eventother - University of Brighton 03/2014; Performance Space, London 03/2014 Leeds University 04/2014; Coventry University 06/2014; Circus Street Market, Brighton 07/2014; Centre for Applied Philosophy, UoB 09/2014; Middlesex University London 09/2014
Duration: 8 Mar 2014 → …


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