A Permanent Parliament: Notes on Social Choreography

By Cory Tamler

Publication date: December 2022
Hardcover, 179 pages, 5.25 x 8.3 inches
ISBN: 9781953892072
Design by Rafal Kosakowski
Retail price: $25

Published by special arrangement with the Laboratory for Social Choreography

To order this book, click here or email corytamler@gmail.com. Available for in-person purchase: Unnameable Books and Quimby’s (Brooklyn), b_books (Berlin).


A work of social choreography. A training ground for the imagination. A psychedelic experience without substances. A technology for cleaning social relations. A proposal for embodied civic duty. A journey into the realer real that gives back to the real—as if it were possible to bring an object from the dream world into waking life. A lifeboat.

Over the past decade, at least a thousand people (among them philosophers, office workers, professional dancers, scientists, students, artists, and the author-editor of this book) have participated in Parliament sessions from Athens to NYC. For all its potency, Parliament resists being written about, starting from any attempt to describe what it is. It resists authorship too. Choreographer and artist Michael Kliën prefers to say he discovered it, or wished for it, from within “a felt urgency that things are just not sustainable.”

In this book, Parliament writes out of itself. Artist and writer Cory Tamler holds the container, editing together her memories of her own experiences as a participant, excerpts from conversations with Kliën and from his personal archive, theoretical propositions for the way Parliament could go to work in the world, and reflections from other participants in Parliament over the years. An annotated bibliography makes visible the framework of ideas—from art and choreography to systems theory and political theory—within which Parliament sits.

This text is an experiment in writing about performance from the conviction that our entire beings (thoughtbodies) make theory and politics. It is meant for readers who, whether familiar or unfamiliar with Parliament, are interested in how the social is formed and in bodies as key agents in its formation.

Contributors: Michael Kliën with Catherine Cabeen, Mallory Catlett, Blythe Davis, Barbara Dickinson, Jeffrey Gormly, Floor Grootenhuis, Frank Hentschker, Vitoria Kotsalou, Steve Valk, Shuntaro Yoshida.

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