Practices of Nothing

Netta Weiser
Practices of Nothing

Analog block seminar, English, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Saturdays, 15.1., 10-15 h and 22.1., 11-16 h (Vierte Welt), plus 4 hours asynchronous preparations and mentoring,
12.2.2022, from noon till midnight (12 hours!) main event: 12 hours of Nothing (curated and facilitated by the students at Vierte Welt),
19.2.2022, 11-13 h, feedback and reflection

In his legendary “Lecture on Nothing”, composer John Cage claims that “what we require is silence, but what silence requires is that I go on talking”. In his unique and concise way, Cage points out that Nothing can only exist through specific modes of action, by demarcating zones of non-doing; in other words, Nothing is a practice.
Just before we return to the race (did we ever really stop?) of post-pandemic pace of life, this seminar aims to make space for lingering, collective reflection and public non-doing.

The seminar is held in four sessions, combining theoretical and practice-based approaches:
The first part of the seminar (2 Saturdays) discusses philosophical and artistic meditations upon the notions of nothing (e.g. Cage, Xiuzhen) and laziness (e.g. Barthes, Stilinovic) while critically examining the socio-political implications of the concepts at stake.
Following a phase of collaborative conceptualization and preparation, the seminar will culminate in a public event curated and facilitated by the students: 12 hours of Nothing at Vierte Welt Theater Berlin. (The event could be live-streamed in case of need).

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: Regular and active participation.


Netta Weiser is a choreographer, performer and lecturer based in Berlin. In her artistic practice, she explores collaborative research processes as choreographic artefacts and as affective setups for common thinking. Her works have been presented internationally in art galleries and performing arts venues such as Sophiensaele Berlin, Museum Kleines Klingental Basel and Suzan Delal Dance Center Tel Aviv. Weiser is the 2020 recipient of the NRW KULTURsekretariat Dance Research Award for her artistic research project “Radio-Choreography”. Since 2017, she has led workshops and seminars at the Klangzeitort joint institute for new music of the UdK Berlin and HfM Hanns Eisler Berlin, focusing on contemporary dance history and theory as well as mentoring interdisciplinary collaborations between choreographers and composers. In 2019, she was co-director of the “777 Projekt” collaboration between the MA program in Choreography of HZT Berlin and Klangzeitort. Weiser is also a member of the organizing team of “gesellschaften” discursive program at Vierte Welt Berlin. More information on