2 Adelheid Mers

Performative Diagrammatics evolved from early work with modular sculptures and light installations, respectively shaped by my fascination with architectures of grammar and rhetoric, and performances of belonging in social contexts. Explicitly diagrammatic works appeared after several encounters I staged and provoked within light installations that, like cloud chambers, served to track otherwise invisible art world behaviors, merging with and morphing into curatorial projects, both as subsets of installations and as full exhibitions. (~1980 - 2000) (Keywords: installation, spatial diagrammatics, performativity, discursivity)

Early diagrams then similarly traced arts discourses, and later also cultural policy discourses, by condensing conferences and other convenings. Several conversation games followed that encouraged infrastructural play, along with a series of Organograms that emphasized conditions of emergence within institutional structures, also addressed through research on Cultural Ecologies. Starting with the conversation games, and including organograms and public art pieces, most works were accompanied by small print flyers that reproduced the works, available for audiences to take along. The Fractal 3-Line Matrix Diagrammatic Instrument emerged from the diagrammatic drawings that preceded it. (~2000 - 2010) (Keywords: curation, diagrammatics, performativity, deliberative ecologies)

While I was exploring organization, as in a counterpoint, I had also begun to lead conversations with artists, drawing on experiences during studio conversations and art school critiques. Initially in conversation with visual artists, I was introduced to experimental musicians and performers through a project at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, continuing similar conversations upon my return to Chicago. I think of my visualizations of artist's idiosyncratic methods as snapshots of their 'epistemic engines'. Here are repositories of conversations in Vienna, conversations at the Chicago Cultural Center, and conversations with musicians in Chicago. Also by using the Fractal 3-Line Matrix, my first Diagrammatic Instrument, to capture these conversations, this strand of inquiry condensed into The Braid Diagrammatic Instrument. Drawing on both of these instruments, and the performative engagements that were part of light installations, curatorial and community projects, Performative Topologies, and Micropractices for a New Gentleness emerged, along with a pilot project for the Intra-view. (~2010 - 2020) (Keywords: facilitation, performative diagrammatics, affirmative critique)

Micropractices for a New Gentleness adapted particularly well to continuation online. During the pandemic, publications bloomed. Dialogic, online projects are underway, using The Braid to further explore the nature of diagrammatic instruments and facilitation as method. (~2020 - ) (Keywords: tba)