Designing Conversations: an embodied approach to an aesthetic practice

Pedro Henrique Risse
Designing Conversations: an embodied approach to an aesthetic practice

Intensive seminar/Workshop, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Saturday/Sunday, 10-18 h, 2./3.11. and 9./10.11.2019,
Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin (HZT), Seminarraum 2

This workshop is framed as an embodied research lab where we approach conversation as an aesthetic experience. The participants will be introduced to a broad range of relational tools coming from dance improvisation methods, participatory art, psychotherapy, and somatics.
Main examples are the Modus Operandi AND, a transversal method for investigating the micro-politics of collaboration and improvisation, developed by anthropologist Fernanda Eugenio; Authentic Movement, a somatic awareness method that emphasizes witnessing non-judgmentally the movements arising in your self and in others; and Non-violent Communication, a radical approach to compassionate dialogue. That knowledge and practice we will transfer into the design of Conversation-formats that we will be constantly trying out.
We will develop tools to sustain collaboration through difficult conversations – those conversations we need and want to have, but are made difficult because of its complexity, social-pressure, polarization, etc. The issues to be used in conversation will emerge during the practice of conversation-formats and in accordance to participants interests and needs. Here, art is explored in its potential for mediation and aesthetic experience is practiced as awareness of sensorial dynamics.
I will share the material of the practice-based research “Conversation as aesthetic experience“ ongoing since 2015. We will investigate together how self-organized systems and co-intelligence emerge, how an ethics of improvisation produces collaboration and community, we will practice an aesthetics of listening, analyze the phases of collective creative processes, and navigate conflict through somatic-aesthetic awareness.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit: regular and active participation, development of a Conversation-format.

Ausrichtung der Veranstaltung: kritisch, vorwärtsgewandt
Kompetenz/Aktivität der Teilnehmenden: artikulieren, transformieren

Pedro Henrique Risse has directed, edited and cinematographed documentary films since 2008 and co-founded the Brazilian production company Verte Filmes where he was active until 2014. That year, Pedro was awarded a DAAD scholarship and came to study in the 'Art and Media' Master program of the Universität der Künste Berlin. In 2016, he was granted the Danceweb Scholarship through which he did a mentored residency with Tino Sehgal and workshops from Pawel Althamer, Meg Stuart, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Benoit Lachambre and other references from art and choreography. Since 2015 he develops the practice-based research 'Conversation as aesthetic experience' that draws on knowledge and tools from improvisation, participatory art, somatics, psychotherapy, phenomenology and systems thinking. From this research emerges a method for understanding communication processes from an aesthetic perspective and for designing conversation-formats for pedagogical, community-building and artistic contexts. He also collaborates with AND-Lab, a research center for Art-thinking and Politics of Togetherness based in Lisbon. More information on