The Dripping Web: water as container, companion, record, guide

Cory Tamler & Alex Viteri
The Dripping Web: water as container, companion, record, guide

Block seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Saturday/Sunday, 28./29.10. and 4 /5.11.2023, each 10-17 h, Hardenbergstr. 33, room 110

Registration on Moodle starts 16.10.2023 / Anmeldung auf Moodle beginnt am 16.10.2023:
Moodle Enrollment Key / Einschreibeschlüssel: dripping

Waterways, watersheds, cycles of evaporation and precipitation, melting, and flooding weave a dripping web across faraway landscapes and seemingly distant geographical locations. From the poisoned fish in the Oder to the flooding in Pakistan to the disappearance of lakes in Germany and the drought of rivers in Colombia to all the world’s rainwater being pronounced unsafe to drink—water insists on our interconnectedness whether we want to listen or not. If we decide we do want to listen, what are our options? In this seminar, we will experiment with performance and art techniques as possible answers, looking for ways to work with bodies of water as creative collaborators and thought partners. Together, we will develop a theory of water dramaturgies (drawing on writing on water, First Nations and (settler-)colonial cartographies, deep time, Native guiding, queer ecologies, and hydrofeminism). Then we will take our theory for a test voyage through embodied encounters with Berlin’s urban bodies of water. What possibilities open up to our artistic research when we listen to how we are intertwined with water?

We engage with this year's theme, Amnesia, through the story of the disappearance and subsequent daylighting of the Südpanke, and by letting water guide us through deep time to Berlin’s swampy Urstromtal origins. How does water trouble our land-bound perspective, our cartographic imagination, the nostalgic shades of our rememberings/forgettings? How does artistic research in collaboration with the watery worlds transform our understanding of dramaturgy? Cruising Berlin’s watershed, we will ask how global water networks affect the city and vice versa. We will explore embodied techniques to encounter the watery community, moving through different locations in the watershed and attuning to how the lake co-shapes our bodies. We will consider water our collaborator, an interlocutor, teacher, creative partner, and, why not, a dramaturge.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit points: To be considered active participators, students must share their creative process throughout the class and are expected to present a final artistic project solo or in groups. These final presentations will require outside class work (around 3h).

Alex Viteri and Cory Tamler share a desire for watery dramaturgical pressures to destabilize our physical and mental constructions. In 2019, we co-conceived and facilitated an artistic research/writing residency in Pittsburgh that explored bodies of water as dramaturgical inspiration. Since, we’ve explored forms of artistic research in collaboration with multiple rivers in Wabanaki/Maine, the Südpanke in Berlin, and the Helenesee, a lake in Frankfurt (Oder).

Cory Tamler ( is a Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and visiting faculty in Theater at Bard College Berlin. Her academic work has been supported by Fulbright and DAAD. Cory also makes research-based performances with “In Kinship” (Wabanaki/Maine, USA), and was the dramaturg for “The Market for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge: End of Repetition” (Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin 2022). Her first book, “A Permanent Parliament: Notes on Social Choreography”, was published in 2022.

Alex Viteri is a Berlin-based Andean performer and scholar. Viteri is a member of dance collective MaCA and collaborator of choreographers Juliana Piquero and Marion Budwig. In 2019, they premiered "Fan de Ellas" at the Sophiensaele (restaged 2023, Uferstudios). In 2021&22, they co-hosted the forum “About Dance" (Lake Studios Berlin). They are recipients of Saison's Air Partnership, Japan and a DIS-TANZ-SOLO and RechercheStipendium. An associate artist at BAS, UdK, Alex is currently writing their Ph.D. on the authentic ways mountains, plants, and other living organisms participate in a dance’s meaning-making and composition at CUNY.