Event Archives

11th Organ II

April 11, 2024 - April 12, 2024
von der Heyden Studio Theater

Presented by Duke Arts Presents

11th Organ

“There is always a dark precursor that no one sees, and then the lightning bolt that illuminates, and there is the world.”

Gilles Deleuze

Performed in the round, the second part of the 11th Organ will be an immersive social choreographic situation centered around a group of performers, who temporarily envision themselves inhabiting a shared imaginary space. The metaphysical space will be initially obscure to the spectator–wholly constructed out of thoughts that resonate into the body. Slowly and inexplicably, the invisible vision will expand to absorb the audience, inviting them into a radically different world of possibilities. The core of the work – a matrix of shared imaginations – will produce a mysterious and alien relational realm, a thick wild mind, cultivated by the performers over the period of a year.


A group of performers gathers in a large, empty space to establish and act upon an entirely imagined dance floor that holds the deepest hopes, fears, and desires of each individual. Over weeks, without words, they cultivate, in physical proximity, a communal, shared Imaginarium that is as diverse, multilayered, and complex as the individuals inhabiting it. It contains their imagined abilities, relations, ghosts, dreams, and archetypes. To the outside, their physical bodies appear like strange avatars, shaken and alert, mysteriously enacting traces and initiating movement in an entirely invisible reality. The state of the metaphysical realm is governed by one rule only: the dignity of the other is sacred. This adapted line from the post-Holocaust, German constitution sets the scene for a stunningly different world to unfold – an individual, collective and relational reality that is simultaneously a radical ethical framework of community, unbound from the entrenched logics that govern our daily interactions. Refined potential seeps out of a meticulously matured social imagination into the performers’ bodies and interactions. The audience is welcome to witness the process. Eventually, individual observers will be able to actively move into, and seamlessly integrate themselves in the situation’s emergent topography of the imagination.

This work is part of a new project: “11th Organ: Equipping the Imagination for the Project of Social Reconstruction”

11th Organ is an open matrix of intellectuals, artists, and concerned citizens dedicated to fundamentally reimagining our wounded world. The 11th Organ engages a poetics of relations, an intimate weaving of diverse minds to churn the psychic soil. Fearlessly embracing the unknown, the 11th Organ expands the social imagination to envision and reveal new ways of being.

Michael Kliën Website | Facebook

CONSTITUTION (Excerpt 4/2023)

Production Credits

Concept and Choreography: Michael Kliën
Artistic Team: Steve Valk, Vitoria Kotsalou, Alexander Strecker
Performers: 10-15 performers from Duke University and its immediate community drawn from a Performance Praxis class
Sonic Environment: Volkmar Kliën
Lighting: James Clotfelter


  • Thu, Apr 11, 2024 at 7:30pm
  • Fri, Apr 12, 2024 at 8:00pm

Event Duration: 90 minutes


von der Heyden Studio Theater
2020 Campus Drive
Durham, NC 27708


General Admission.

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