The Use of Uselessness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


Within a modernist economic framework, there is a lot of inconvenience that needs
to be minimized in order to maximize profit and to secure the desired outcomes.
In economic terms, production is what it’s all about, or, as Peter Sloterdijk would
say, the production of productivity (Sloterdijk 1989). This chapter describes the developmental process of a performance practice that seeks to resist this modernist credo of production and wealth creation. Performance, it seems to me, should not be part of this machinery. Instead the work presented here advances a deliberate deployment of the notion of uselessness as an antidote and as an attempt to challenge the ubiquitous imperative to work and to always be useful. The chapter also explores how the research material, circumstance and moments of inspiration, became part of that which is performed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerforming Process
Subtitle of host publicationSharing Dance and Choreographic Practice
EditorsHetty Blades, Emma Meehan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781783208951
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018


  • Choreography
  • Practice
  • Dance
  • Performance Art

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  • Cite this

    Kappenberg, C. (2018). The Use of Uselessness. In H. Blades, & E. Meehan (Eds.), Performing Process: Sharing Dance and Choreographic Practice (pp. 251-271). Intellect.