Autumn Programme

Thought in the Act

3 October - 15 November, 2023, Parrhesia, Berlin

Three courses and 3 talks in-person and online via Zoom. For any questions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Payment may be made by credit card (via Paypal), Paypal, or offline Bank Transfer.

When: 3 Oct - 15 Nov 2023

Where:  Gerichtstrasse 45, 13347 Berlin-Wedding / Kastanienallee 91, 10435 Berlin Prenziauer Berg.

How: All courses are taught in hybrid format (in person and on Zoom). Video recordings are made available for those unable to attend. Course readings can be accessed online before the school begins. Links to the Zoom classroom are sent out prior to the course starting. All payment must be made via credit card or Paypal account during enrolment. Also it's worth noting that Berlin (CMT+1) is 10 hours behind Melbourne time and 6 hours ahead of New York.

Enrolment Fees

Courses Waged Unwaged/Student
1 x 10-hour course €89 €50
Both 10-hour courses €125 €75
Embodied Critical Practice €120 €80
1 x Talk €5 €3


10 Hour Courses (2 hours per week for 5 weeks)

5 Tuesdays, 7 - 9 pm

October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Method of the Scene: Jacques Rancière on Art, Politics, Philosophy as Logics of Revolt

Lecturer: Steven Corcoran

Venue: Kastanienallee 91, 10435 Berlin Prenziauer Berg.


5 Wednesdays, 7- 9 pm

October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15

The Psychoanalytic Act in Five Acts: The Direction of Treatment for Lacan

Lecturer: Leon S. Brenner

Venue: Gerichtstrasse 45, 13347 Berlin-Wedding



Embodied Critical Practice

Course runs over four sessions in October:

Sat 7th, 1-5pm
Sun 8th, 1-3pm
Mon 16th, 7-9pm
Sat 21st, 1-5pm

Acid Bodies: Rethinking Solidarity - Course in embodied critical practice

Lecturer: Grace Euna Kim

Venue: Gerichtstrasse 45, 13347 Berlin-Wedding

Please note that Acid Bodies is in-person attendance only - no Zoom access available.




Wed 4 October

Is the State still a Good Idea? Jewish Intellectuals in view of a Troubled Israel

Speaker: Elad Lapidot

Venue: Gerichtstrasse 45, 13347 Berlin-Wedding


Sun 8 October

Artificial Intelligence: Labour, gender, and mass surveillance (an off-INDL event)

Speakers: Paola Tubaro, Thomas Le Bonniec, & Antonio Casilli

Venue: Gerichtstrasse 45, 13347 Berlin-Wedding


Sat 21 October

Free Talk

Education and Freedom: Philosophical and Artistic Experiments in Pedagogy

Speakers: Joulia Strauss & Steven Corcoran

Venue: Gerichtstrasse 45, 13347 Berlin-Wedding




Courses and Talks

Method of the Scene: Jacques Rancière on Art, Politics, Philosophy as Logics of Revolt

5 Tuesdays - October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 7-9 pm

Lecturer: Steven Corcoran


If we live in times of consensus, of the pre-programming of audiences and publics, the scenes that Rancière stages are designed to weave another history of political and artistic engagement, shareable by anyone and everyone.

The work of Jacques Rancière is resolutely a-disciplinary, moving keenly across pre-established academic boundaries and genres, and attentive to a variety of forms of gaze, of speech, of writing, of action – all the better for gathering and assembling the heterogeneous elements – spoken, gestural, narrative, material – that compose political and aesthetic scènes. (The French word scène covers the English words ‘scene’ and ‘stage’, in their political and theatrical uses, all of which we will cover.) In so doing, the aim is to draw out, not a general theory of politics or art, but the singular political and artistic propositions that are being put forward and risked in each instance. In this course we will look at how the ‘method of the scene’ enables the emergence of an intricate web of events that stage what Rancière calls a ‘dissensus’ – a political proposal or artistic sensorium that stands in stark contrast to the world of consensus. Indeed, in our times of orchestrated insecurity, ecological crisis, and financialization, his work has been fundamental in shifting the debate on politics, on art and on pedagogy, toward their effects of emancipation, or logics of revolt.

The key operator of this method is the principle of equality. And Rancière is unparalleled in his discerning of the workings and interplay of logics of equality that work against stultifying logics of inequality (of consensus).

This course will plumb Ranciere’s alternative egalitarian histories, comparing them to other alternative accounts (Althusserian philosophy for communism, Brechtian distanciation, critical art, modernism, Debord’s society of the spectacle, and so on). And we shall view them, specifically, through questions of ‘strategy’. If Rancière excels in showing how the strategic thinking of the models he deconstructs has been invalidated, what approach to strategy does the method of the scene suggest by way of alternative?   

Week One - Politics

The scene of Althusserian philosophy/Logical revolts and the nights of proletarians

Week Two – Politics and pedagogy

Jamming the explanation machine – Jacotot, pedagogy and disagreement as political speech

Week Three – The three regimes of art

Three concepts: ethos, mimesis, aisthesis

Week Four – Art and theatre

Critical art, Brechtian distanciation, and Rancière’s Aisthesis

Week Five – Film, art, and recent politics

Connections and disjunctions  



The Psychoanalytic Act in Five Acts: The Direction of Treatment for Lacan

5 Wednesdays - October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 7- 9 pm
Leon S. Brenner


Jacques Lacan, a luminary in the realm of psychoanalysis, has notably shifted the conception of the psychoanalytic act within psychoanalytic thought. Attempting to provide an alternative to the conventional authoritarian and pedagogical trajectory in psychoanalysis, in his seminal work, "The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power", Lacan shed light on his triad of the psychoanalytic act, namely its tactics, strategy, and politics – pertaining to interpretations, transference, and the analyst's desire respectively. These have been incorporated in his further teaching and have formed what today is known as the Lacanian psychoanalytic orientation. This seminar is a journey into the intricacies of Lacan's elucidation of the psychoanalytic act, designed in five meticulous sessions. Each session offers a unique vantage point, dissecting contemporary Lacanian approaches to psychoanalysis. The seminar is an opportunity to delve into Lacan’s theory but also to engage with more “clinical” features in the work of Lacanian analysts today.

1. First Session: Who is an analyst?

2. Second Session: Subjective Rectification vs Adaptation to Reality

3. Third Session: Strategy - Handling the Transference

4. Fourth Session: Tactics - Interpretations

5. Fifth Session: Politics - The Desire of the Analyst

Participants are encouraged to immerse themselves in this rigorous exploration to gain a nuanced understanding of Lacan's revolutionary approaches to psychoanalytic praxis. No prior knowledge about Lacan’s teaching is required.


Cauwe, J., & Vanheule, S. (2018). On beginning the treatment: Lacanian perspectives. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 87(4), 695-727.

Freud, S. (1905). Fragments of an analysis of a case of hysteria. In J. Strachey (ed. & trans.), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 7, pp. 1- 122). Hogarth Press.

Freud, S. (1958). The dynamics of transference. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XII (1911-1913): The Case of Schreber, Papers on Technique and Other Works (pp. 97-108).

Freud, S. (1958). Observations on transference-love. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XII (1911-1913): The Case of Schreber, Papers on Technique and Other Works (pp. 157-171).

Freud, S. (1996). The Interpretation of Dreams. Gramercy Books.

Kris, E. (1951). Ego psychology and interpretation in psychoanalytic therapy. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 20(1), 15-30.

Lacan, J. (1943). The mirror stage as formative of the function of the I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience. In Écrits (2006), pp. 146-178. Norton & Company.

Lacan, J. (1958). The direction of the treatment and the principles of its power. In Écrits (2006) pp. 489–542. Norton & Company.

Further Reading:

Brenner, L.S. (2020). The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language. Springer.

Fink, B. (1999). A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique. Harvard University Press.

Fink, B. (2013). Against understanding, volume 2: Cases and commentary in a Lacanian key. Routledge.

Fink, B. (2017). A Clinical Introduction to Freud: Techniques for Everyday Practice. Norton & Company.

Vanheule, S. (2011). The Subject of Psychosis: A Lacanian Perspective. Springer.


Acid Bodies: Rethinking Solidarity

A course in embodied critical practice

7 Oct 1-5pm, 8 Oct 1-3pm, 16 Oct 7-9pm, 21 Oct 1-5pm

Grace Euna Kim

"Radical thought is at the violent crossing point of sense and non-sense, of truth and non-truth, of the continuation of the world and the continuation of nothingness. (...)

For reality is an illusion, and any thought must first try to unmask it. For this purpose, reality itself must remain masked and must shape itself as a decoy, without even thinking or caring about its own truth. (…) It is the world, not reality, that must be revealed not as a truth, but as an illusion. (...)

Radical thought is in no way different from radical usage of language. (…) Language gives an account of the very illusion of language as a definite stratagem and through that notes the illusion of the world as an infinite trap, as a seduction of the mind, as a stealing away of all mental capacities. While being a transporter of meaning, language is at the same time a supra-conductor of illusion and of the absence of meaning. (...) By its very force, it calls for the spiritual imagination of sounds and rhythms, for the dispersion of meaning in the event of language.”

Jean Baudrillard, Radical Thought



"Acid Bodies: Rethinking Solidarity" is an invitation to co-explore critical thought as a lived and embodied practice. The course is a psycho-phenomenological collective research that deconstructs the sociopolitical archive of the body, thereby questioning it as a site of implicit knowledge production and worldmaking. We will engage in immersive corporeal-, sense-, and perception-oriented approaches that manifest conditions for knowledge to emerge rather than be given or presupposed, and to be lived rather than objectified or consumed. 

What is at stake in moments of crisis and how we choose to react? In what ways does language fail, and therefore (re)produce conditions for social conflict and oppression?

The course proposes to think together about human beings' innate understanding, perception, and participation in the world as a "stage" of binaries of conflict. And to consider how this influences the performativity of social thought and movements – particularly today, as concepts like "resistance" and "solidarity" have become trendy, widely appropriated, instrumentalized, and even weaponized.

Our practice is thus guided by these initial questions: How and Why is it that even as we strive toward resistance, reparation, and reinvention, we inadvertently reproduce ideological violence that perpetuates repeating cycles of conflict? What is at stake when we are embedded in, dependent on, served by, and validated by constructed systems and economies of meaning, which produce us at the same time that they are (re)produced by us?

Furthermore, what is it that hinders or empowers us to critically act, instead of reacting? What does it mean to unlearn the historicized body? What does it mean to be ethical to the other?

Central to this is the question of individual agency and accountability, asking how we can activate our body as a site of resistance and thereby reinvent social and political consciousness. In dialogue with the Badiouian notions of "event" and "truth procedure", the course will conclude with our co-creation of an experiment in radical solidarity. This will be developed in response to the individual and collective issues and questions that emerge through our embodied critical process. It is very open as to what form this could take; we will decide together.

The course journey:

Day 1: Investigative Lived Praxis

Day 2: Critical Discussion

Day 3: Theoretical Discussion

Day 4: Collective Action and Co-Creation: Experiment in Radical Solidarity

Recommended pre-reading:

  • Slavoj Žižek, "Language, Violence, and Non-Violence", International Journal of Žižek Studies, vol. 2, no. 3, 1-12, 2008.
  • Alenka Zupančič, "The Apocalypse is (still) Disappointing", S: Journal of the Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique, vol. 11, 16-30, 2018.

In response to the issues that our investigations unveil, additional texts will follow.

Preliminal video encounter with Grace Euna Kim (required):

As Day 1 is an intense immersive process that activates our critical "unpacking", registrants will be invited for a brief video exchange with Euna, prior to the course’s beginning. She will fill you in on what is important for you to be prepared for, and respond to any questions or concerns you may have. 


Talk 1
Is the State still a Good Idea? Jewish Intellectuals in view of a Troubled Israel

Wed 4 October 7-9pm

Elad Lapidot


While a deeply troubled State of Israel celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary, Jewish intellectuals are rethinking exile. This talk reviews a series of publications from recent years by leading Jewish intellectuals from the US, Israel and Europe, that offer critical perspectives on the idea and reality of the Jewish state. Calling into question the modern project of Jewish sovereignty, they promote exilic, diasporic and stateless conceptions of contemporary Jewish politics. The talk stages a debate between the different positions put forward, reflecting on their significance for the current political crisis in Israel as well as for broader contemporary critiques of the state.


Talk 2
Artificial Intelligence: Labour, gender, and mass surveillance (an off-INDL event)

Sun 8 October 8:30-10:30pm

Paola Tubaro, Thomas Le Bonniec, & Antonio Casilli


Artificial intelligence (AI) is often depicted as a double-edged sword, promising remarkable opportunities while simultaneously posing unprecedented threats to humanity and the planet. Conversations led by influential voices, both from industry and policymaking, revolve around grand themes like the impending singularity, job displacement, and the emergence of potentially malevolent superintelligent entities. However, these discussions tend to overshadow more immediate and pressing dangers.

This panel seeks to present a fresh perspective on the AI landscape, one that delves into the "flesh and bones" of AI systems. Basing themselves on years of activism and research, these three speakers will explore how global labour flows, environmental resources, political centralization, and gender each shape the material conditions in which AI is created. The panel is organized in collaboration with the International Network on Digital Labor, whose INDL-6 conference will take place in Berlin 9-11 October, 2023.


The Speakers

Paola Tubaro is a research professor at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). She leads several projects on AI, labour, and globalization, including TRIA (Work and AI) and VOLI (Voices of Online Labor). She teaches social and economic network science and data ethics at the French National School for Statistics and Economic Administration (ENSAE). As of 2023, she's a By-Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge, UK, and a visitor to Minderoo Center for Technology and Democracy, also at Cambridge.

Thomas Le Bonniec is a sociologist and activist. In 2019, he played a key role in unveiling the extent of recordings illegitimately amassed by Apple through its voice assistant. He subsequently devoted himself to working on digital issues from a critical perspective. Since 2023, he has been part of a think tank for the French Senate focused on data and surveillance. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

Antonio A. Casilli is a professor of sociology at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris. He is the co-founder of the DiPLab (Digital Platform Labor) research program and facilitates INDL (International Network on Digital Labor). Among his publications, the book En attendant les robots (forthcoming in English translation in 2024 as The Hired Hands of Automation, University of Chicago Press). In 2020, he served as an editorial advisor for "Invisibles - Clickworkers," a documentary series based on his research that was made for French public television channel France Televisions.




Talk 3 (Free)
Education and Freedom: Philosophical and Artistic Experiments in Pedagogy

Sat 21 October 7-9 pm

Joulia Strauss & Steven Corcoran

zoom link: 


(Drawing: Joulia Strauss)


The swan hears a new rushing sound, without anyone having explained surfing to it.

‘You,’ the swan was always told, ‘will sing only your lament of death’. But, curious to understand this flow of sound, which seemed to come almost from within, the swan paddles attentively along it, seeking out stories of others who have broken with the eternal command of superiors: ‘stay in your place!’ Finding more crests of independent education to ride, the swan begins a twofold process: by observing, situating, comparing these crests, the swan also creates a thought-poem of its own process of self-learning – a shimmering manifestation of its own intelligence; and it thereby forges a wave, a memory whose power propels it toward unforeseen, sandy island shores, and, unexpectedly, the swan finds itself surrounded in chorus with an already existing, though motley, community of others.

This surfing swan metaphorizes a topology of the possible, one unseen by state-driven pedagogies.

For ten years, Joulia Strauss has organized Avtonomi Akadimia, an activist, free-access educational initiative and durational artwork based in Athens that weaves together conflicting epistemologies. In 2022, Steven Corcoran, together with others, founded Parrhesia, as a chapter of the MSCP, in Berlin. Together they will present some examples of pedagogical trailblazing that inform their own attempts. The lecture is free and open to all. Please come and share in the evening’s discussion with your own experiences.