Email invitation and respones

From: Morten Axel Pedersen
Subject: Invitation: the Comedy of Things
Date: 3 Jul 2013 13:47:00 GMT+2
To: Debbora
Cc: “morten.nielsen

Dear Debbora,

We hope that this email finds you very well. We are writing
to you to ask whether you would be willing to commit one full week of your
life to partake in an experimental ethnographic event that is going to take
place from 21 to 29 August 2014.  For the first three days, you will be
expected to allocate your time working at your office/home on a preparatory
work package assigned by us, which you will receive at 12 am on the 21st. On
the eve of the 24th, you, alongside with the nineteen other anthropologists
and four invited ‘wild cards’, will arrive at a small beach hotel north of
Copenhagen (, which has been
booked for the occasion. Here, all 24 of us shall spend the next five days
working together on the coming into being of a creative commons entitled
“The Comedy of Things”, which will be made available online at noon on
Friday, 29 August 2014. (After all, as we like to mock ourselves with
ludicrous hyperbole, if it took God seven days to make the world, it is
probably going to take us eight days to unmake it).

We cannot promise you
that the event will meet the normal expectations of academic gatherings. And
we cannot guarantee that it will be immediately relevant to your own work.
But if our collaborative endeavor during those days is going to have any
merit at all, it may precisely be by distorting whatever we are currently
doing, or think we are doing.

All expenses, including travels,
accommodation, meals, and beverages will be provided for via funding from
the following projects: “Optimal Distortion: Ethnographic Explorations of
Paradoxical Connections” (Sapere Aude Research Leader Grant from the Danish
Research Council of the Arts and Humanities, PI Morten Axel Pedersen) and
“Experiments and Exhibitions: The Power of Imagery as Research and
Representation” (AU Ideas research grant from Aarhus University Research
Board, PI Morten Nielsen)

We really hope that you will be able to

With the very best of wishes,

Morten Nielsen (Aarhus University) &
Morten Axel Pedersen (University of Copenhagen)

Morten Axel
Professor of Social Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
Farimagsgade 5
University of Copenhagen
1353 Copenhagen K
Tel. + 45
Dept. website –

Not Quite Shamans –
Times of Security –


From: Debbora Battaglia
Subject: Re: Invitation: the Comedy of Things
Date: 3 Jul 2013 14:58:51 GMT+2
To: Morten Axel Pedersen
Dear Morten,

Who On Earth could say “no” to such an altogether ex-centric, creative, and engaging invitation! It feels like an intellectual vacation and by some miracle, it even works with my schedule. I’m wondering if your invitation was prompted by this paper, just out in a special e-flux journal issue crafted by the mad and utterly loveable acceleration aesthetics people (acceleration politics don’t work but acceleration aesthetics are interesting and makes them feel as if they can do something about capitalist speed):

I can think of nothing nicer than to join you both/all. Will you be arranging the transportation? If so, I would ideally fly from Hartford/Springfield (BDL).


Debbora Battaglia, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology and
Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor


From: “Holbraad, Martin”
Subject: RE: Invitation: the Comedy of Things
Date: 3 Jul 2013 13:34:54 GMT+2
To: Morten Axel Pedersen, “morten.nielsen

I’m there guys, ready to be manipulated