Email follow-up and responses

Fra: Nigel Rapport
Til: Morten Nielsen, Morten Axel Pedersen
Emne: thanks!
Dato: 30. aug. 2014 kl. 17.24.33 CEST

Dear Morten and Morten,
Great workshop! The best I have attended.
I am safely back home now but also feeling a bit lost. Where is the company? Where are the cameras? What is my day’s schedule? When is the deadline? What earnest face can I look into next?
Thanks again for having me.
All best,

Professor Nigel Rapport
Chair of Anthropological and Philosophical Studies;
Head of School of Philosophy, Social Anthropology, Film and Music;
Founding Director, St. Andrews Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies.

Department of Social Anthropology,
University of St. Andrews,
St. Andrews,
Fife     KY16 9AL
United Kingdom

telephone: (0)1334-462978
fax: (0)1334-462985



Fra: Trine Mygind Korsby
Til: Morten Axel Pedersen , Morten Nielsen
Dato: 2. sep. 2014 kl. 15.42.46 CEST
Emne: Tak for turen i CoT-maskinen

Kære Morten og Morten,

Tusind tak for sidst: det var et fantastisk ride, som ingen af os nogensinde kommer til at glemme. Jeg var utroligt glad for at være med, og jeg er rørt og taknemmelig over alle de synergier og connections, der blev skabt. Der er noget helt særligt, følsomt og stærkt ved at underkaste sig den kollektive krop J

Tak for jeres mod og legesyge til at skabe disse nye former: jeg glæder mig til at opleve, hvilke forgreninger CoT vil få – i, fra og mellem os. Lige nu kæmper jeg (og resten af min gruppe) med at give slip på vores installation, hvilket er ligeligt glædeligt og ubehageligt.


Trine Mygind Korsby

Institut for Antropologi
Københavns Universitet
Øster Farimagsgade 5
1353 København K
TLF 35 32 34 81
MOB 26 13 20 03


Debbora Battaglia
To: Morten Nielsen, Morten Axel Pedersen
Re: The Comedy of Things…continues…!

Dear Morten and Morten,

A note here as I prepare for my first class of the term today (!), thanking you again for this remarkable project and for the openings it has made to new ways of thinking about placing anthropological questions at the armature of a creative commons.

I love the idea of a follow-up workshop – you’re so generous to extend the invitation! Falling mid-week (rather than, say, Friday and Saturday, this would require that I take off a full week of undergraduate teaching, at a crucial time in the term. Given that we are down 2 faculty members out of five without replacements, I’m going to have to think give this invitation serious thought and also consult my colleagues. When would you need a response?

But now there’s a student at the door.

I’m very much looking forward to the website! We all are!


On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 2:46 AM, Morten Nielsen wrote:
Dear all,

Four days have passed since we left Helenekilde and  we are both slowly beginning to regain our capacity for functioning in a world outside (or parallel to) the Comedy of Things. It has truly been an amazing and intense experience, which transcended all expectations (by far!) that we might have had and we are extremely grateful that we shared it with you.

As is probably the case with many of you, both of us have still only begun to reflect on the significance of the CoT even. We know, and indeed feel that the five days that we spent together at Helenekilde were very significant, but precisely wherein their significance (and indeed ‘meaning’) resided is likely to take several months to process (not unlike the situation one finds oneself in after an intense fieldwork, perhaps).

What is totally clear to us, however, is that CoT achieved what we originally set out to do, namely to conduct a genuinely anthropological experiment, which within the particular parameters, constraints and hypotheses that framed it generated an extremely rich and highly diverse set of experimental data, materials and outputs, ranging from analytical insights pertaining to anthropological theorizing to a wealth of more didactic and collaborative methods as well as, not to forget, all sorts of observations, sensations and reflections pertaining what it entails, in social and existential terms, to concretely participate in such an event.

It is precisely for this reason – that what we produced together essentially was full-blown, unique if not sui generis body of ethnographic data – that we would like to invite you all to a follow-up “After-CoT” workshop next year in AARHUS FROM 16-17 APRIL 2015. As already mentioned at Helenekilde, we imagine that this workshop might take on a more conventional format with prepared papers etc, precisely to give of all us an opportunity to reflect upon, analyze and theorize in a language and format more familiar to us precisely what actually took place during our five days together and what its wider theoretical, didactical, existential etc import and significance might be. Personally, we cannot wait to do that and we really hope that all or at least most of you will be able to come!

Now, as for the current status of CoT online: the situation is that we do not have an operational website for the time being and that it may take several weeks before we will have one. We do apologize for this, but, as also mentioned during our plenary session Friday morning, we also consider this as a golden opportunity to properly design a website including blog-function that actually corresponds to what our joint experiment was and what it produced, as opposed (as the original website design did) to what the two us originally imagined prior to the event! Ideally, we now have a great opportunity to create an online infrastructure that is perfectly suited for presenting and disseminating the different kinds of contents and outputs (textual, material, pictorial, audiovisual etc)  that the different groups produced (we emphasize that there will for obvious reasons not be any possibility for adding new content; the question only pertains to how already existing content may best be put online, also in relation to potential museum-guests who will have access to our website via laptops next to the displayed artifacts, etc).

Despite the currently absent blog, we would be very grateful if you would write down reflections and thoughts on the CoT experiment. Thinking ahead of the “After-CoT” workshop in Aarhus in 2015, it would be fantastic having a project logbook charting our ongoing thoughts and reflections – preferably beginning with the immediate after-event impressions.  When the website is up and running, we will find a collective project forum for sharing these.

Finally, for some of you who might be interested in accessing some of the amazing photographic material taking by Karen and Christian during the event, we have arranged with Christian that he is going to set up a closed., shared folder somewhere in the Great Unknown World of Online…Stuff from where each of us will be able to download materials through password access. More on this to follow soon.

Please do write to (or call) us if you any questions pertaining to the above or indeed any other question, idea or concern – we want our ideas and input!  Indeed, we are extremely with the way this whole thing turned out and we very very excited and we see a lot of different and very interesting potentials for future reflections, analyses and collaborations.

With the very best of wishes

Morten & Morten

Morten Nielsen
Associate professor
Department of Culture and Society
Aarhus University
Moesgaard Allé 20
DK – 8270 Højbjerg
Phone: +45 87162165
Skype: morten.nielsen3


Dato: 31. aug. 2014 kl. 10.00.32 CEST
Fra: Alberto Corsin Jimenez
Til: Morten Axel Pedersen
Cc: “”
Emne: Vedr.: Invitation: the Comedy of Things

My dear Motherfuckerians

What a wonderful spectacle you hosted ourselves into – we will be eternally thankful. So much to think through. Hope we have a chance to go over it some day.

As you know the Comedy of Things website aint working. It is a real pity, guys. Everyone is asking on Facebook about the photographs and videos I posted. There is real excitement and curiosity building up. We really need to open Pandora’s box!

Hope you had a chance to rest and feel the liberation over the weekend.



Morten Axel Pedersen  escribió:

Dear Alberto,

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 come!

With the very best of wishes,

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