The Circus Dialogues (continued) is an artistic research project (2020-present) in two parts at KASK & Conservatorium (Ghent, BE). The research team of the first part (2020-23) consisted of Bauke Lievens, Francesca Hyde & Vincent Focquet. Together, they built further upon two earlier projects, Between Being and Imagining (2013-2017, Bauke Lievens) and The Circus Dialogues (2018-2020, Bauke Lievens, Sebastian Kann, Quintijn Ketels, accompanied by Vincent Focquet).


Three themes which emerged in the last project, The Circus Dialogues—namely, sustainability, care, and violence—served as the anchor points to the first part of The Circus Dialogues (continued). But what really took center stage were renewed commitments to the questions: how to research these themes through circus, in the studio? And how to make our research as accessible as possible to the broader circus milieu, not only at the end point but throughout the research process?


The core of the project consisted in five research residencies (Rigged Dialogues), co-conceived with fellow artist-researchers Camille Paycha, Saar Rombout and Elena Zanzu. During these residencies (between 2020-22), we experimented with expanded research methodologies, delving into the themes of the project during long improvisations. Designing the space and the parameters of each improvisation—designing its ‘rigging’, literally and metaphorically—quickly became as much part of the practice as the improvisation itself. Likewise, the question of how to digest, notate, and communicate each researcher’s experience—and how to archive or otherwise preserve these unfolding experiences for posterity—was a core concern throughout the five residencies. 


Additional activities led by the research team included public book clubs and a symposium, which was held in January 2022 (Smells Like Dialogue: Queer Reflections).


The Circus Dialogues (continued) is financed by the Arts Research Fund of University College Ghent (BE). The first part of the project (2020-23) was co-produced by Circuswerkplaats Dommelhof/Theater op de Markt, Miramir0 and VIERNULVIER and supported by of Chateau de Monthelon (FR), Cirklabo, Universiteit Gent/SP:AM, Stockholm University of the Arts and Universiteit Utrecht.

Reading List

Adamczak, Bini. “On Circlusion”. 2022/2016. Translated by Sophie Lewis. The New Inquiry. Accessed December 10, 2023.

Barad, Karen. Meeting The Universe Halfway. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2007.

Barad, Karen. “On Touching–the Inhuman that I Therefore Am.” In differences 23, no. 3 (2012): 206–223.

Bellacasa, Maria Puig de la. Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Bleeker, Maaike. “Thinking No-One’s Thought.” In Dance Dramaturgy, edited by Pil Hansen and Darcey Callison, 67-83. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Care Collective, The. The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence. London and New York: Verso, 2020.

Cavarero, Adriana. Inclinations. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016.

Coole, Diana and Samantha Frost (editors). New Materialism: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

De Line, Sebastian. “All My / Our Relations: Can Posthumanism Be Decolonized?” Open! Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain. Accessed at onlineopen.org/all-my-our-relations, 2016.

Garland-Thomason, Rosemarie. Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017/1997.

Goldman, Danielle. I Want to be Ready: Improvised Dance as a Practice of Freedom. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2010.

Halberstam, J. Jack. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York: NYU Press, 2005.

Kafer, Alison. Feminist, Queer, Crip. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2013.

Kann, Sebastian. “The Assemblage” Accessed at circusdialogues.com, 2016.

Keeling, Kara. Queer Times, Black Futures. New York: NYU Press, 2019.

Debaise, Didier and Isabelle Stengers. “The Insistence of Possibles: Towards a Speculative Pragmatism.” In Parse, Issue 7 (Autumn 2017). Accessed December 10, 2023.

The Hotel.” Radio show. BBC 4. 2020. Accessed December 10, 2023.

Musser, Amber Jamilla. “Masochism: A Queer Subjectivity.” In rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, Issue 11/12 (Fall 2005/Spring 2006).

Nelson, Maggie. The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning. New York: WW Norton, 2012.

Oyèrónkẹ́ Oyěwùmí. The Invention of Women (Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses). Minneapolis & London: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.

Sharpe, Christina. In the Wake. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.

Todd, Zoe. “An Indigenous Feminist’s Take On The Ontological Turn: ‘Ontology’ Is Just Another Word For Colonialism.” Journal of Historical Sociology Vol. 29, No. 1 (March 2016).

Watts, Vanessa. “Indigenous Place-Thought & Agency Amongst Humans and Non-Humans (First Woman and Sky Woman Go on a European World Tour!).” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Vol. 2, No. 1 (2013): 20-34.

Wilderson, Frank B. Afropessimism. New York: WW Norton, 2020.

Winnubst, Shannon. Queering Freedom. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006.