What Is DARE?

DARE is a series of biennial international conferences on Deleuze and Artistic Research first organized by ME21 at the Orpheus Institute in 2015. ME21 (Experimentation versus Interpretation: Exploring New Paths for Music Performance in the 21st Century) was a five-year research project (2013 – 2018), led by Paulo de Assis at the Orpheus Institute (Ghent, Belgium), and funded by the European Research Council (see the Project Timeline).

The ME21 artistic research programme was to explore and develop notions of ‘experimentation’ for new performance practices of Western notated art music. Considering interpretation as obsolete and focusing instead on the production of events ‘which exceeds our capacities to foresee’, Deleuze’s post-Kantian motto to ‘experiment, never interpret’ (DII 48) was at the core of ME21 activity and its team contributed regularly to the Deleuze Studies conferences.

It was during the 7th International Deleuze Studies Conference: Models, Machines and Memories (Istanbul Technical University, 14-16 July 2014) that Paulo de Assis and Paolo Giudici first came up with the idea of DARE. They noticed that almost all presentations about Deleuze and art consisted of texts, mostly written from a strictly philosophical point of view and occasionally illustrated by artworks. Although the conference was clearly open to them, the perspective of artist practitioners and artist researchers seemed missing and they began to imagine a conference that could speak directly to this community. The rest of ME21 and the Orpheus Institute met the idea of DARE with enthusiasm and on the 23 December 2014 we issued the call for proposals of DARE 2015: The Dark Precursor.


Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy has been increasingly productive and exemplary for artist operating across artistic, academic and non-academic fields of practice, especially since A Thousand Plateaus was first published in English (1987). For DARE, however, Deleuze is even more a ‘conceptual persona’ (WIP 131) dramatizing his concepts, writings, friends, collaborators, encounters, references, milieu. On one hand, DARE endeavours to offer Deleuze’s ‘tool box’ (Deleuze, Gilles and Michel Foucault, ‘Intellectuals and Power. A Conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze’ in Michel Foucault: Language, Counter-Memory, Practice. Selected Essays and Interviews, edited by Donald F. Bouchard, Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1977: 205-17, 208) to artists breaking or expanding the boundaries of discipline and material, and on the other, to offer a transdisciplinary platform to artist-researchers who critically problematise Deleuze, by using Deleuze within their practice.

DARE’s mission to identify, trace, map and expose Deleuze’s uses, appropriations and transpositions in artistic research and for art practices, represents a significant departure from other conferences. DARE upholds a principle of equivalence between Deleuze scholars, philosophers, artist-researchers and practising arts, ensuring the greatest possible inclusiveness to applicants from non-academic backgrounds and at the same time. At the same time, it singles out excellence as its only criterion for accepting a proposal by implementing a two-stage evaluation process beginning with a single-blind proposal review and followed by an open review of the final paper or extended proposal.

Continuing the ME21 legacy, we embrace Deleuze’s admonition to experiment, encouraging artists, artist-researchers and scholars to dare beyond conventional interpretation and self-contained hermeneutics, and to engage in genuine encounters between Deleuze and their practice. To facilitate these encounters, DARE offers a wide and flexible range of formats and in the programme, composes individual presentations into ‘plateaus’, seminar style sessions led by a keynote or invited speaker exloring a ‘continuous, self-vibrating region of intensities’ (ATP 24).

the archive

Why Archive?

The public success and encouragement gained in its first edition, allowed us to establish DARE as a regular Orpheus Institute conference, held there and in other venues every two years. From the beginning, DARE committed itself to video-record all presentations and make that material available open-access. The initial motivation, came partly from the European Research Council recommendation ‘to provide open access to scientific publications resulting from the research funded under the grant’ (FP7: Special Clause 39 ERC on Open Access), partly from the belief that the video-recordings were immediately useful to the conference delegates who either wished to keep documentation of their own presentation, or were interested in watching a presentation they might have missed. After editing and viewing hundreds of hours of video-recorded presentations, we realised that the value of that material exceeded the limits of the conference and could benefit a much wider online community that the conference event alone could never reach. Determined to continue video-recording every presentation at the conference, the need for a central archive became compelling.

This website fulfils the purposes of the DARE archive in the following ways:

  • constitutes a permanent online presence of DARE, offering documentation about past conferences and information about DARE as a whole and the future conferences
  • collects the video-recorded presentations across all conferences and immediately connects them with their abstract, author’s bio and other related presentations
  • enables advanced search and easier access to the DARE presentations stored on the Orpheus Institute video channel
  • complements the abstract with any material that was not published in the DARE book of abstracts
  • preserves ephemeral distinguishing features of the conferences, such as call for proposals, programme, visual communication, publications, etc.

Michel Foucault’s principles of heterotopias seem to apply to this site, as it memorialises past conferences and organises ‘a sort of perpetual and indefinite accumulation of time in an immobile place’ (Michel Foucault 1986/1967. ‘Of Other Spaces,’ Diacritics 16, Spring, 22-27, 26). Yet, the DARE archive transcends heterotopia by pursuing its vision of becoming a transdisciplinary platform for artists, artist-researchers and scholars, its line of flight, as it were. While we encourage to comment and discuss, reuse and rework the archive material, we plan to add more functionalities to the website, affording new encounters for research and creation, and ‘providing reference points for an experiment which exceeds our capacities to foresee.’ (DII 48) DARE sustainable future depends on its capacity for renewal and for calling forth a community of scholars, philosophers, artist-researchers and artists, ‘a people to come’ (WIP 218).

How Does It Work?

An overview of the main features seems appropriate here, although the archive was designed for fast and intuitive use, and detailed instructions can hopefully be dispensed with. The search functions of the archive are concentrated in the top navigation bar that displays six search criteria plus a full-text search.


Selecting a conference from the drop-down list, opens the conference page containing, among other sections, the full conference programme. The title of each presentation in the programme links to its presentation page that includes its abstract, author’s bio and video-recording.


The button opens a new page in which the presentations across all conferences are listed alphabetically by title. The filters in the top menu of the page can be applied individually or in combination to specify the list of presentations, according to the conference in which they were presented, their art and research practice, and their format of presentation.


The authors, co-authors and groups across all conferences are listed alphabetically by their last name. The letters in the menu at the top of the page can be used to restrict the list to that initial


The presentations have been keyworded by their authors and/or the editors using significant words from the semantic domains of Deleuze Studies and art. The word cloud displayed on the page is  generatedautomatically, listing all keywords in alphabetical order as links to the associated presentations pages. Personal names are alphabetised by first name.


The drop-down list displays nie wide areas of art and research practice. It goes without saying that these labels serve the practical purpose of classifying presentations, not the ideal of encyclopaedic knowledge.

  • ethics and politics. Includes: ethics, politics, activism
  • image. Includes: painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, cinema, video
  • music and sound. Includes: music, sound art
  • performing. Includes: theatre, performance art, happening, dance, circus arts, mime
  • space. Includes: architecture, installation art, sculpture
  • theory. Includes: philosophy, psychoanalysis, critical theory
  • things. Includes: design, glass, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery
  • text. Includes: literature, poetry, writing
  • transversal. Includes: trans-/inter-/multimedia, transdisciplinary research, artistic research

The drop-down list displays the twelve formats currently in use. Their description is deliberately fluid, and more formats may be added to accommodate new proposals. This search category may be useful for choosing a presentation format in which to apply.

  • coLab. A discussion panel, a collaborative presentation or workshop involving the conference public. Variable time
  • concert. A live music performance. Variable time
  • dialogue. A moderated round table with keynote and invited speakers, discussing a topic assigned by the chair. 90 min
  • encounter. An artist talk or informal presentation typically relating to work that is exhibited, screened, reproduced or performed at the conference. Max. 30 min
  • from afar. A presentation delivered using a video conferencing service
  • in absence. A proposal that was accepted at the conference but not actually delivered
  • in words. A conference paper with/out audio-visual support. 20 min + 10 min Q&A
  • keynote. An invited lecture or performance. 45 min + 15 min Q&A or variable time for performances
  • listening. Music or sound reproduced on a listening station. Ongoing during the conference
  • on screen. A film or video screening, or a digital artwork accessible from a computer station. Ongoing during the conference
  • on view. An exhibition of artworks, objects or posters. Ongoing during the conference
  • performed. A lecture-performance or performance. Variable time
  • plateau. Individual presentations composed by the organisers into seminar style sessions led by a keynote or invited speaker. They are designed to be highly intensive and participatory, with a minimum of formal presentation time and the maximum opportunity for dialogue, debate and analysis.
search the archive

Clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the right pulls down a search box. Type any word, phrase or sentence and press ENTER to search the archive. Results may differ from the other search functions.

You may help us improve the archive by reporting errors and mistakes or by sending us your suggestions.

the people


Paulo de Assis, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, BE


Paolo Giudici, Royal College of Art, London, UK

Advisory Board
  • Zsuzsa Baross, Trent University, Peterborough, CA
  • Arno Böhler, University of Vienna, AT
  • Henk Borgdorff, University of the Arts, The Hague, NL
  • Kathleen Coessens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE
  • Laura Cull, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
  • Lucia D’Errico, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, BE
  • Mika Elo, University of the Arts, Helsinki, FI
  • Emine Görgül, Istanbul Technical University, TR
  • Julian Klein, Institut für künstlerische Forschung, Berlin, DE
  • David Savat, executive editor of the Deleuze Studies Journal
  • Michael Schwab, Editor in chief of the Journal for Artistic Research
  • Kamini Vellodi, University of Edinburgh, UK
Organising Committee

Juan Parra Cancino, Daphne Ronse, Kathleen Snyers, Heike Vermeire

the institute

The Orpheus Institute (Ghent, Belgium), founded in 1996, is an international centre of excellence with its primary focus on artistic research in music: “research embedded in musical practice and primarily guided by artistic objectives.” The institute combines advanced education programmes, a high-quality research centre, excellent educational and research facilities for musicians and a broad and (inter)nationally oriented network.

The Orpheus Institute hosts the international inter-university docARTES programme for practice-based doctoral study in music. docARTES is a doctoral programme for performers and composers. It offers a unique environment for critical reflection on musical practice. Since 2004, docARTES has nurtured more than fifty gifted performers and composers to become equally talented artist-researchers through intensive advanced training within the Orpheus Institute.

The Orpheus Research Centre, home to around twenty-five artist-researchers, was launched in 2007. Its mission is to produce and promote the highest quality research into music, the processes of music making, and our understanding of them. Throughout the research centre’s activities there is a clear focus on the development of a new research discipline in the arts: one that addresses questions and topics at the heart of the artist’s musical practice. Research at the Orpheus Research Centre addresses long-standing and emerging issues that are of great significance to the artistic and artistic-research communities in both Flanders and abroad.

This close collaboration at the institute between doctoral students and senior researchers creates an inspiring research environment where artists experiment, exchange findings, and develop new initiatives/knowledge. Throughout the activities there is a clear focus on the development of a new research discipline in the arts, addressing trending questions and topics at the heart of musical practice. To promote and disseminate this knowledge, the Orpheus Institute organises seminars, study days, workshops, and masterclasses, an annual Academy and a Research Festival. Next to that, the Orpheus Institute also has its own publication series.

The Orpheus Institute not only is active in Flanders but also operates in a broader international context. Over the past years it has developed a wide-branched network consisting of renowned institutes and experts. By initiating important initiatives around artistic research and by playing a leading role in this, it is seen as the driving force behind artistic research. In this way the institute has become a “centre of excellence” and a beacon for research, conservatoires, and universities in Flanders, Europe, and the rest of the world.

All these aspects have made the Orpheus Institute what it is today: the leading European centre for artistic research in music and an influential driving force for new developments in artistic practice, with an impact that is felt worldwide.


Peter Dejans

Steering Committee
  • Jonathan Impett, Director of Research
  • Paulo de Assis
  • Tom Beghin
  • Luk Vaes
  • Peter Dejans
Research Advisory Council
  • Jo Bury, chair
  • Corina Caduff
  • Dame Janet Ritterman
  • Andreas De Leenheer