Out of Pure Curiosity: Aneta Panek
Aneta Panek

What qualities must a successful researcher possess?

Endless curiosity and creativity, perseverance and endurance, ardent desire and inner necessity to carry on and conclude the work.

What great thinkers would you have loved to work with? Or with whom would you like to work in the future?

Iggy Pop, Virginia Wolf, William S. Burroughs, Genesis P-Orridge, Hildegard von Bingen.

What would you be had you not become an academic?

Actually, I do not see myself as an academic sensu stricte, even though I am a positively accomplished and, by design eclectic researcher. My method of predilection is artistic research though. So, I am more of an artist than an academic, or maybe an artistic academic, a heretic, a witch. And I have a deep conviction that I couldn’t have become anything else.

What advice would you give to yourself if you were just starting out your studies?

Go for all of it; indulge your curiosity and appetite for wisdom. Follow every possible path you’re interested in, no matter if your choices seem eclectic or scattered. Cultivate experimentation and love for adventure. There is no such thing as one right way of acquiring knowledge. Find your own way. Be voracious. There is so much to discover.

What do you do to empty your mind? What do you do in your free time?

I go to the woods with my border collie Milo. We go for long walks every day, no matter the weather. This is when my mind is at ease. With my dog, far away from people, in the nature.

Which books have had an influence on you?

“Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë
“The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoevsky
“The Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann
“A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf
“The Accursed Share” by Georges Bataille
“The Theatre of Cruelty” by Antonin Artaud

All about alienation, otherness, obsession, wisdom and madness.

How important is a printed book for you?

Essential! The smell of it, the touch of the pages, its appearance, its weigh. The act of reading is physical, tactile, sensual to me. I pick a book, I carry it with me, I spend a certain time with a book, or within it. Certain books are covered with notes, signs and comments. This happens when a book speaks to me in an irresistible, suggestive way. I then respond and if I'm lucky, there is a dialogue taking place between me and the book.

Is book writing still relevant to today? / Why do you write books?

O yes! I like to think that I write because I have something to say, an inner drive and a desire to put to paper my thoughts, my inner world, my very own knowledge and my voice, before it all disappears. Delusions of grandeur, and fantasies of transmission I suppose.

Aneta Panek is a Berlin based film maker and performance artist, working in the fields of performance, opera, and film. Recurrent themes include alchemy, transmutation, subversion and rebellion as means of self-discovery. Her work, based on other knowledge and performative research, is about the necessity of visualization and associative speculation in formulating and deconstructing theories and questioning reality. She completed studies in art history and archeology at the Sorbonne in Paris with MA and DEA diplomas. She earned her doctoral degree (Dr. Phil.), summa cum laude, at the University of Arts Berlin, with a practice-based thesis entitled “Alchemy of Punk”. Her research is concerned with transgression, subversion, and poetry in the punk avant-gardes. While her practice culminates in experimental film, she also stages live performances and operas to challenge the existing norms of performing knowledge.
Aneta Panek, Alchemy of Punk: Transmutation, Subversion, and Poetry in Punk Avant-Gardes