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© Kai van Eikels

Cuteness is the effect of a schema: it pulls everything into the two-dimensional and sends it back from there into the respective extension. Queer 'crossplay' and artistic experiments that take up formats like Live Action Role-Play or Real Life Game show how this effect can liberate bodies. Cuteness suspends gender and species categories into which our social norms of interaction otherwise sort bodies. What seems cute, adorable, kawaii, triggers affects that assert a power of drawing and thus change our orientation in three-dimensional space. This talk will explore the reconfiguration of space through cuteness effects - and ask whether it is possible to create cute spaces in which we interact in a less physically normalized way, with each other and with ourselves.

Kai van Eikels is a philosopher, theater and literature scholar. After visiting professorships in Giessen, Berlin, and Hildesheim, the is currently a senior academic advisor at the Institute for Theater Studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum. His research focuses on anarchic, self-organized collective forms; art and labor; politics of the performative; synchronization, time and materiality; queer cuteness. Publications include The Art of the Collective. Performance between Theater, Politics, and Socio-Economics (Fink 2013); Art works - Aesthetics of Postfordism (with the Art + Work Network, bbooks 2015); Synchronizing. An Essay on the Materiality of the Collective (bbooks 2020); Theory Blog:

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