Research Fellows 2020

Jonathan Osborn and Maikon K.

Jonathan Osborn is a Toronto-based choreographer, educator, and researcher. He holds degrees in English, Dance, and Dance Studies (PhD, York University). Jonathan focuses specifically on the solo form and his choreographic works have received support from municipal, provincial, and national funding bodies. His most recent creations - ARK (2017), ARCHE (2018), GARDEN (2018), and FOSSIL (2019) - have been based upon the movements, rhythms, and forms of diverse nonhuman bodies staged within different urban cultural forums including zoos, gardens, and museums.  Jonathan’s SSHRC funded dissertation, “Between Species: Choreographing Human and Animal Bodies” focused on kinaesthetic human-animal relations in a variety of quotidian and artistic contexts, and his academic research on zoological gardens and virtual bodies has been published in the collections Zoo Studies: A New Humanities (2019) and Narrative in Performance (2018). Jonathan is currently serving as contract faculty at York University in Toronto, Canada.

Maikon K is a Brazilian performance artist. He works on the borders between performance, dance and theater. The center of his work is the body and its ability to change perceptions, influenced by the shamanic worldview, in which the performer expands into different realities through specific body-based techniques such as song, non-verbal sound, dance, visual signs and ritualized activities. His training began in 2000 in Performing Arts and includes several areas of knowledge: a graduate degree in Social Sciences (majoring in Anthropology of the Theater) and since 2001 researching ways of modifying consciousness through bodily practices and  rites. In 2015, he was invited by performance artist Marina Abramović to present the piece "DNA of DAN" at the Terra Comunal exhibition, in São Paulo, Brazil. His interests are states of consciousness, dark humor, the relation between the sacred and the profane, sexuality, intensities, the grotesque, to provoke rituals and to test sensibilities. Among his creations are: Ancestral Body (2015), Terrarium (2015), The Solar Anus (2017), Cannibal Fog (2018), Ecstasy Machine (2020).


Here you will find an overview of the research fellows and their projects at the HZT Berlin. For details click on the accordion below.

Research Fellows

Jonathan Osborn (2020)
Maikon K. (2020)
Magdalena Hutter (2020)
Jonas Rutgeerts (2017)
Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt (2016)
Marlon Barrios Solano (2013-2016)
Carlos Manuel Oliveira (2013-2014)

Research Projects

[Translate to English:]

Jonathan Osborn | Grüne Welten: Choreographien des Lebens im Grünen Netzwerk Berlins


Jonathan Osborn ist Künstler und Forscher. Seine Arbeit ist vom Posthumanismus beeinflusst und steht an der Schnittstelle von Tanzwissenschaft, Tierstudien, Anthropologie und Philosophie. Jonathan produziert forschungsinformierte Choreografie und choreografisch informierte Forschung. Diese befasst sich mit den flüchtigen kinästhetischen Performances und anhaltenden materiellen Spuren, die durch die Beziehungen von Menschen, Tieren und Pflanzen innerhalb der Vorsehung spezifischer zeitgenössischer "Natur-Kultur"-Stätten (Fuentes 2010; Haraway 2003) entstehen. Die Absicht: kritisch-informierte Arbeiten in kreativen und etablierten Formen zu schaffen, in denen "Environments" konzeptualisiert, visualisiert und erfahrbar sind, nicht als Räume, die mit statischen, "verpackten" (Sheets-Johnstone 1999) Objekten gefüllt sind, die von Menschen benutzt werden, sondern als Orte, die von menschlichen und nicht-menschlichen Subjekten bewohnt werden, die "in und von der Welt um uns herum leben, sich bewegen und bewegt werden" (Sheets-Johnstone 2011).

Joanthan Osborn über sein Forschungsprojekt: „Berlin hat den Ruf, eine der grünsten Städte Europas zu sein, und verfügt über eine Fülle von Parks, Wasserstraßen, Seen und Wäldern. Trotz ihres gemeinschaftlichen Status als "Parkräume" besitzen die Naturräume Berlins - verteilt auf, innerhalb und zwischen den verschiedenen Stadtbezirken - alle unterschiedliche Dimensionen und Topographien. Alle weisen zudem einzigartige architektonische Entwürfe und materielle Merkmale mit besonderen visuellen und kinästhetischen Qualitäten auf, die eng mit geographischen, sozialen und historischen Naturauffassungen verbunden sind. Diese Naturauffassungen sind mit Aspekten romantischer, barocker, imperialer, pastoraler, idealistischer, kolonialer, moderner, nationalsozialistischer, kommunistischer, postmoderner, ökologischer und "umgestaltender" Sensibilitäten durchsetzt. Sie sind auch mit impliziten und expliziten Philosophien von Macht, Ordnung, Freizeit, kulturellem Gedächtnis, Geschlecht, Gesundheit, Rasse, Wissenschaft, Globalisierung und Biodiversität verflochten.

Der DAAD unterstützt meine Forschung „Grüne Welten: Choreographien des Lebens im Grünen Netzwerk Berlins“. In dieser konzentriere ich mich auf die konzeptuellen Ideen, materiellen Formen, physischen Bewegungen und lebenden Körper, die in Berlins riesigem Parksystem präsent sind. Dabei wende ich eine auf Sinnesethnographie basierende choreographische Methodik an, um Tänze und kritische Schriften zu schaffen, die auf den Berliner "Naturkulturen" basieren.

Die Choreographie will eine kinetische Visualisierung der in den Parklandschaften eingebetteten und historisch-konzeptionell bestimmten vielgestaltigen lebendigen Körper aushandeln. Das kritische Schreiben beabsichtigt, die Forschung, Kreation und Produktion der choreographischen Arbeit zu nutzen, um über den andauernden Dialog zwischen bestehenden historischen Formen und gegenwärtigen menschlichen und nicht-menschlichen Körpern und Prozessen zu reflektieren, als auch darüber, wie sich Orte und Lebewesen aneinander anpassen und angepasst werden.“

Performance and Representation of Fatness in Dance and Movement Art

Bodies that fall outside the societal norm are sanctioned and discriminated against. Fat people in particular are often perceived as lazy, unproductive, and morally depraved. Fat bodies cause discomfort because they don't conform. They disrupt ideas of productivity and work ethic as well as heteropatriarchal beauty ideals. Fat disrupts gender norms. Fat and its discrimination intersect with ableism, sexism, racism, and classism. 

All of these points would suggest that a fat perspective in any art reflecting on society might be very fruitful, even more so since the discipline itself is, just like being fat, so essentially linked to the body and physical experience. But because fat people are generally thought to not be fit for and therefore excluded from work in dance or physical performance, and because there is very little representation of fat dancers and performers as capable artists in their field, there are very few fat people doing this work and creating this art. 

How are the representation of fat bodies in film and video and the work of fat dancers and performers connected? Has the representation changed over the time since the beginning of the fat liberation movement? How does the image of the moving fat bodies influence those developing physical work with their own fat bodies? Which of the stereotypical narratives (if any) are they dealing with and/or challenging? Given the traditional representation (or the lack thereof) of fat people, how did these performers get to a place of being able to imagine themselves as fat dancers_performers? How do fat embodiment as performed and queered by fat dancers and the representation of fat people influence each other? Is there any representation specifically of dancing and performing fat bodies and if so, what does it look like? Is it possible to translate the physicality that is both essential to dance and the experience of being a fat person into an experience for an audience of dance_performance represented on film/video? How?

Magdalena Hutter is a documentary cinematographer and photographer based in Montreal and Berlin. Her projects have frequently dealt with themes of migration and belonging, ranging in media from documentary film to installations and interactive documentaries. As of September 2018, she is pursuing a research-creation PhD in the Interdisciplinary Humanities at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Her research about fatness in dance and movement art draws on her background in documentary film as well as on work in a number of fields, including performance studies, fat studies, queer studies, critical race studies, and critical disability studies.

Rhythm as an artistic and theoretical tool in contemporary choreography
In the last decades choreographers have issued a growing interest in the development of choreography as an autonomous practice. Choreography is no langer understood as a means to an end, a mechanism to create a performance, but as durational practice that surpasses the scope of the (next) performance. This shift redefines the relation between choreography and performance. The traditional choreography/performance dichotomy, where the choreography is pre-determined by the performance, is replaced by a holistic approach, in which performance is embedded in a choreographic practice that encompasses it. This repositioning of choreography has led to a discrepancy between theory and practice. Since the main research currents in the field of dance take the choreography/performance dichotomy as a starting point, they cannot think this holistic approach.

In this research I will explore the concept of rhythm as a way to both analyse the 'choreographic practice' and bridge the gap between theory and this practice. The idea behind this is that rhythm plays a defining role in the organisation of every choreographic working/thinking process. More specifically, I will adopt a dual approach. On the one hand I will examine the functioning of rhythm in specific choreographic working processes. On the other hand, I will enrich my analysis of these practices by referring to different theoretical discussions on rhythm.

Biography_ Jonas Rutgeerts is a dramaturge and performance theorist. Rutgeerts holds degrees in dramaturgy and philosophy (PhD, Institute of Philosophy, KU leuven). His research is situated at the junction between dance studies, philosophy and cultural studies and his main interests involve the shaping of temporalities through performance, the construction of social choreography and the development of choreography as research. As a dramaturge and artistic researcher Rutgeerts collaborates, among others, with Ivana Müller, David Weber-Krebs, Arkadi Zaides, Cécile Bally and Clément Layes. He is the author of the book “Re-act: Over re-enactment in de hedendaagse dans’ (Agent, 2015).

In her PhD, Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt is strongly informed by the years 2011-2016, where she taught in the BA Dance, Context, Choreography at HZT. The thesis examines temporality, measurement and self-accountancy in the work of young performance artists educated within the Bologna Process. Main concerns are contemporary forms of collective organisation and infrastructural performance as response to neoliberal demands and austerity politics. Published in 2019 as:

Everybody Counts: The Aesthetics of Production in Higher Artistic Education and Performance Art Collectives.

An economic rationality, dating back to the early days of capitalism in the 18th Century, has since the financial crisis 2007-08 reached new dimensions: across work and life, we are counting hours, optimising our profiles, investing in an uncertain future. In the arts, the production conditions have changed due to austerity policies, a thorough reform of artistic education – the Bologna Process – and an increasing number of professional artists in the field.The dissertation departs from an analysis of how, since the implementation of the Bologna Process, young artists in Denmark and its neighbouring countries are educated to become workers of the future. Based on a reading of assessments, schedules and documentation of ECTS-points given at higher artistic educations, the dissertation displays a rationality of self-accountancy and economisation of life, but also an expanded notion of what we can perceive as artistic work. Furthermore, the dissertation interprets the way performance artists currently organise in collectivesas a form of response to increased economisation and individualisation. Artists restructure their everyday together: make schedules for freelance lives, include ‘private’ maintenance work or redistribute money beyond the nation state. These art workers are here understood as both living in precarity and on the same time being politically agile subjects - especially when signing ‘in concert’. By synthesizing theory from both historical materialism and feminist theory about unrecognised work, the dissertation contributes to Cultural Studies with its own theory on a materialist aesthetics of production; it proposes that the artwork is co-created by economical, temporal and social circumstances. On the same time, the dissertation affirms that production conditions within the arts are performative; that artists are powerful worker subjects who do have influence on their own conditions.

Schmidt studied Comparative Literature and Modern Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen and was a guest student at Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen. From 2011 to 2016 she was artistic research associate and teaching at the BA-programme “Dance, Context, Choreography” at Inter-University of Dance /University of the Arts in Berlin. She has been a guest lecturer at the Danish National School of Performing Arts, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Danish writer's school (Forfatterskolen). 

Schmidt has published the book Who’s There? Subject on Stage in Reality and a number of peer reviewed articles in journals such as Danish Kultur & Klasse and Peripeti, as well asNordic Theatre Studies Journal. Furthermore, she has worked and toured internationally as a performance artist for the last decade, and from 2014–2016 she was the curator and artistic director of the international performance art festival WORKS AT WORK in Dansehallerne, Copenhagen. 


Research: Trans-media approaches to knowledge production and distribution. Networked platforms as co-learning environments. On-line video, social video, networked co-production and collaboration. Emergent dramaturgies, methodologies and performance practices in relation with networked technologies, cognitive science, cybernetics, systems theory and complexity. Curatorial practices for contemporary performing arts on networked environments.

Collaborative technologies and methods within organizational and educational environments. Mobile technologies for video production and display. Collaborative Creativity, organizational and social innovation in online and off-line spaces. Theoretical developments on networked environments and embodied cognition Counter-culture,cyber-culture and theories of the body/creative process.

Biography_  Marlon Barrios Solano is a Venezuelan-American Meditation Teacher, Interdisciplinary Artist, Educator and Researcher. With a hybrid background in movement arts, performance studies, new media and psychology he investigates the intersections of cognition, embodiment, awareness and social innovation  in healing, care and art practices. He is a Certified Vipassana/Mindfulness Meditation Teacher by Spirit Rock Meditation Center (USA). He studies and practices at Insight Meditation Society (USA) and Beatenberg Meditation Center (Switzerland) under the mentorship of Stephen Batchelor and Chas DiCapua. He is the creator and curator of and and the producer of the dance-tech interviews.
As a dancer in NYC, he collaborated with choreographers Lynn Shapiro, Merian Soto, Dean Moss and Susan Marshall and with musicians Philip Glass, John Zorn and Erik Friedlander. 

Marlon was a research associate at the Inter-University of Dance/University of The Arts (UDK/HZT) in Berlin (Germany) from 2013 to 2016. He was also a 2017 Hombroich Fellow (Germany) and ICK Amsterdam researcher in residency 2013-14. He has taught and developed projects in the US, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and South America. He has an MFA in Dance and Technology 2004 (new media, performance of improvisation and embodied cognition) from The Ohio State University, USA. 
Currently, he teaches  Vipassana meditation and somatic awareness locally and internationally. He is a student of the Somatic Experiencing Certification Program (NYC) and is enrolled in the Embodyoga 200 Hour Teacher Training Program with Corinne Andrews. Since March 2017, he works as a meditation retreat cook and lives at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA in the US.

Research_ The research I'm busy with inquires the conditions of possibility of choreography, to further develop an empiricist theory of choreographic techniques and a series of experiments which might realise them. Choreographic techniques are here hypothesised as non-representational practices that modulate relations of difference toward the concrescence of a movement-event and its associated milieu. Such process corresponds to what, in a Simondonian vein, can be called a transindividuation: the co­-composition of forces and forms in an evolving ecology of multiple dimensions. In it, the variation of movement making itself feit (the event) is a phase-shift corresponding to an incorporeal change. The conditions for the choreographic transduction of a such change are coded and codified milieus, in which the capacity for the event's transmission introduces a charge of indeterminacy that acts as a forcefield for creative advances. Along these lines, this research further explores the modes by which the transitivity of the movement-event, by means of technical distribution, complexifies the emergence of a new phase in the process. In other words, how does the implicit and explicit indetermination in the circulation of transitive events relates to choreographic transduction, collective individuation and the event of movement moving?

Biohraphy_ Carlos Manuel Oliveira (Santarém - Portugal, 1980) is choreographer, performer and researcher. He holds a Doctoral Degree by the UT Austin|Portugal Program with the thesis “Choreographic Objects: Abstractions, Transductions, Expressions”; a Bachelor Degree on Contemporary Dance and Choreography by the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT); and a Master Degree on Environmental Studies by the New University of Lisbon (by the inverse order). Also attended the “Interdisciplinary Performing Arts Course” at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the “Artistic Research and Scientific Creativity Course” at the AND_Lab – Laboratory of Anthropology and Dance, also in Lisbon, and the "Artistic Practices' Symposium" at the Mezzanine in Porto. He was associate researcher at the HZT and is currently associate researcher at the Performance and Cognition Research Group from the New University of Lisbon. Worked as: Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the Polytechnic Institute of Advanced Technologies, in Lisbon; Artistic Director of the “New Circus of Ribatejo”; and Theatre Curator at INATEL – The Portuguese Institute for Leisure. He is author of "Nexus at the Limits of Possibility" (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016) and various articles about choreography. He is recipient of prizes and fellowships from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Portuguese Foundation for Sciences and Technology, the Portuguese Artists' Management Foundation and the Berlin Senat. Amongst others, worked and studied with artists such as Nadia Lauro, Antonija Livingstone, Sabine Holzer, Jack Hauser, Alice Chauchat, Jennifer Lacey, Kattrin Deufert, Thomas Plischke, Boris Charmatz, Gill Clark, Franz Anton-Cramer, Hanna Hegenscheidt, Susan Klein, Brita Pudelko, Wojtek Ziemilski, Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Litó Walkey, Jonathan Burrows, Marcelo Evelin, Gustavo Ciríaco, Fernando Romão, Madalena Vitorino, Giacomo Scalisi, João Fiadeiro, Patrícia Portela, Vera Mantero. André Lepecki, Bruno Pernadas, Urândia Aragão and João dos Santos Martins. Highlights from his choreographic work are "Circus" (2004), "Ferloscardo" (2006), "ce que nous voyons, ce qui nous regarde" (2011), "Point to One End" (2013), "Triadic/Displaced and Perforated" (2012) "do desconcerto, por um lado / da aventura, por outro" (2017), “Proposições” (2018) and “I will create only what I cannot imagine” (2019). He is director of the Cultural Association COTÃO and an associated artist of the Associação Parasita. His practice focuses on the mechanical capacity of affects within theatrical frames of social choreography, as much as on the the general problem of how to choreograph such social settings with a focus on the relationship between body, knowledge, space and power. He’s a Klein Technique and Yoga practitioner, which grants him a concern with psycho-somatic processes in the training of performance, putting the body and dance at the center of his work.