Relational and Performative Abilities of Things

Relational and Performative Abilities of Things


Yvonne Dröge-Wendel (GRA)

research question(s): How do we deal with things? What do they mean for us for themselves? How do things come about? How do you make them? How do you work together?


Dutch artist Yvonne Dröge-Wendel’s work revolves around two closely interwoven subjects, in a broad sense. The drive behind her work is tangible and visible in her playful, philosophical studies of how objects influence human behaviour. She is concerned with the relationship between people and objects, and the quest for challenging new ways of relating to things. Her research sets up experimental encounters and aims to capture what it is that objects actually do. Rethinking the subject-object distinction and reworking our understanding of what it is for humans and non-humans to constitute a world is the main focus point of her artistic research.


Dröge Wendel examines object studies as conducted in various research fields and investigates if and how the concepts developed in these fields can be applied in collaborative art practices. The PhD project will develop a communicatory toolbox for thinking and discussing what things do and can do. It will deliver tools and material knowledge that can be applied in the artistic process and its products. Research results will be both spatial (built environment) and textual (a book). Texts will elaborate on analysing the workings of objects in different stages of the artistic process. In support of the theoretical achievements, her artistic practice will further develop built environments that evoke dialogue, inform and help formulate essential questions concerning (the future of) things.


Supervisors: Sher Doruff (UvA), Peter Paul Verbeek (University of Twente)