EROGATE/SURROGATE PERFORMANCE SERIES (2013), Month of Performance Art, Berlin. curated by Ilya Noe

becoming with by Kevin O’Connor


erogation n. The act of giving out or bestowing. (From erogare; e out + rogare to ask, to propose, to stretch out)

erogate performer n. One who asks for, gives, proposes a performance. A starting point, not ‘the orgin’.

surrogation n. The act of putting into the place of another (From subrogare; sub in place of + rogare to ask, to propose, to stretch out)

surrogation n. A person who carries and delivers a performance piece for another thus keeping it performing and making it anew

errogate surrogate 2

Notes from the Curator:

For the third edition of the Month of Performance Art, I invited three performance artists living and working in North America to present their solo work in Berlin under one condition: that they trust other artists they’ve never met to perform it on their behalf. During the two months leading up to the event, erogates Kevin O’Connor, Shannon Rose Riley and Joanne Bristol and their appointed Berlin-based surrogates worked together while keeping detailed records of their transatlantic conversational exchanges and instruction/learning processes. A selection of e-mails, chats, audio recordings, videos, photos, notes, sketches, doodles, clippings and any other resulting documents were put in exhibition with the intention of attending to if, how, when and where the ‘erogation and surrogation flows’ change direction; tracking moments of crisis, negotiation, resolution, elucidation and/or elaboration; and building points of reference to think about and around notions of (shared) authorship and ownership, authenticity, translation, mediation, collaboration, openness, trust, reciprocity, generosity and the general ramifications of such an experiment. Although such a curatorial device allows erogates to be as open they want to be to having their piece composed, re­composed and/or de­composed by their surrogates – who in turn can decide what and how much to offer and risk for what at the end of the day might still be referred to as “somebody else’s work” – the project reveals the possibility that erogation and surrogation are not two separate activities or roles, but rather two different stages of all creative processes. Erogacy as a starting point (rather than as ‘the origin’) and surrogacy as the act that keeps it performing, thus making it anew. Surrogation becomes erogation becomes surrogation becomes erogation…


E/S Performance #1 becoming with by Kevin O’Connor (erogate/surrogate) & Moritz Geiser (surrogate/erogate)

Informed by Donna Haraway’s multi-species storytelling and practices of being in companionship, this piece turns towards pigeons. Pigeons, co-domesticated with people, have a very old history of becoming with human beings. They are creatures of the empire. They are working food animals traveling with European colonists and conquerors all over the world. Everywhere they have gone, these cosmopolitical pigeons occupy cities with gusto, where they incite human love and hatred in equal measure. Called “rats with wings,” feral pigeons are subjects of extermination, but they also become cherished opportunistic companions who are fed and watched avidly all over the world. What would a modest game in which people and pigeons tangled together look like?  How can Moritz and I become with pigeons across time and space.  How can the pigeons choreograph this piece in ways that we cannot imagine?  How do we cultivate response-ability so that both the pigeons and ourselves can respond in this entwinement? What will a multispecies worlding story (re)enact? (O’Connor)