Academy of The Sacred

On Saturday 13 January between 13:00 – 16:35 at WORM Rotterdam you can join the Academy of the Sacred, where we will explore the theoretical and social implications of our project with lectures and talks.

Spider, Spit and Broken Bells -PART 2- Haperende Mens Festival started as an attempt to create a dialogue between experimental music and media art/theory cultures. The Festival’s very aim became to create a multidisciplinary event to explore from different perspectives traces of the relevance of Bataille’s notion of the Sacred as a form of community formation in the context of an ever-increasing technologically mediated culture.

Following is a brief introduction to our theoretical starting points – our own, so to say, traces of the Sacred – as well as a list of speakers and lectures.


“Men, assembling for a sacrifice and for a festival, satisfy their need to expend a vital excess. The sacrificial laceration that opens a festival is a liberating laceration. The individual who participates in loss is obscurely aware that this loss engenders the community that supports him.”

– George Bataille, Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-1939, p.251

George Bataille’s own criticism of technology is ruthless. In a divided world (world of things vs living beings) men is not only responsible for this split, but also finds itself on the wrong side of the divide. The Symposium takes this challenge as its very starting point, asking: could the form of ‘loss’ at the basis of the ‘sacred community’ come to resist the determinism of a technologically mediated culture? Through an eclectic selection of theoretical investigations from the most disparate of backgrounds, the Symposium proposes a research into aesthetical experiences and social bonds that are not subject to recuperation, accumulation or production, but able to question both the normative humanist subject and the very expenditures of capital which he co-creates.

List of lectures and speakers:


Nathalie Houtermans (NL)

“Spider, Spit and Broken Bells: introduction”

A research advisor for Haperende Mens, Houtermans is an experienced curator and art & culture theorist, with a special interest in Bataille’s work and its (possible) influence on contemporary art and society. Also a passionate musician, Nathalie is a vocalist and songwriter, developing collaborative projects with music varying from punk blues and noise to lo-fi experimental techno. Currently she is Research Tutor at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam.


Jan Robert Leegte (NL)

“On Eva & Franco Mattes”

Jan Robert Leegte lives and works in Amsterdam. He is among the first artists who were involved in the 90s NetArt movement. A recurring theme in his work is the sculptural materiality of interfaces of computer programs. Recent exhibitions include, amongst others, ‘Electronic Superhighway’ at Whitechapel Gallery in London, and ‘Open Codes’ at ZKM Karlsruhe.


Nicola Masciandaro (US)

“Inner life / inner death: On The Sonic Threshold of The Sacred”

Masciandaro (professor at CUNY Brooklyn College, NYC, US) is a writer and theorist in the spheres of medieval literature and mysticism. Some principal themes of his work are: individuation, sorrow, decapitation, commentary, metal, alpinism, love, anagogy, and paradise. His essays have appeared in a variety of journals (Qui Parle, Cyclops, Collapse et al.) and his recent books include ‘Floating Tomb: Black Metal Theory’ (Mimesis, 2015) and ‘SACER’ (Schism, 2017). In 2018, Mimesis will publish his current project, ‘On the Darkness of the Will’.



The usefulness of Lectures on Saturday 13

Since 1979: one hundred and seventy-two performances in forty-six cities in twelve countries; twenty-eight exhibitions in thirteen cities in seven countries; one hundred and twenty-two group exhibitions in thirty cities in nine countries; two hundred sixty-two articles in seventy-four magazines and newspapers; sixty-six catalogues by forty-seven publishers; one hundred and eleven videos on; sixteen dj-sets on; two thousand nine hundred and eleven posts on; six hundred and forty-seven posts on; two hundred and forty-six posts on; two hundred and eleven posts on; sixty-five posts on;


Menno Grootveld (NL) [moderator]

Grootveld started doing pirate television in Amsterdam with PKP TV and Rabotnik TV in the early eighties. In the mid-80s he contributed in organizing major media-conferences, such as the European Media Festival in 1985, followed by the Wetware Convention (1991). Menno currently works as a translator and a journalist, and runs his own publishing house in Amsterdam.



Saturday 13 January – 17:00 WORM – UBIK

Free Entrance

Participants t.b.a.

Moderators: Andrea di Serego Alighieri, Bence Meijer

Deel dit met meer haperende mensen!