Cover of Thomas Norton's Tractatus Chymicus

The New Athanor, or Philosophy for the Future Nature

2019. Lecture at the symposium by Boyan Manchev

accompanied by

Metheor, Roadtrip to Hell, 2017. Photo: Svoboda Tzekova

Theater of the Elements. A Diptych by Metheor
1. Hades: Mineralogy
2. Eros: Demonology

2019. Performance by Metheor (Ani Vaseva, Boyan Manchev and Leonid Yovchev)

What is the Last Philosopher baking in his furnace? He is baking the egg for the first day of the future.

His responsibility towards nature is not the stewardship of its survival; it is the adventure of its metamorphosis. The metamorphosis of nature: the very nature of nature. Philosopher’s duty is to be prepared to face the future nature. To endorse the metamorphosis of nature, in order to transform its transformation.


Boyan Manchev is a philosopher and theatre author. His current research, which proposes the perspective of a radical materialism and dynamic ontology, is in the fields of ontology, philosophy of art and political philosophy. Manchev is the author of nine books and around two hundred book chapters, catalogues and other publications in twenty languages, among them: Meteor. Texts for Theatre (co-authored with Ani Vaseva, 2018), Clouds. Philosophy of the Free Body (2017), Logic of the Political (2012), Miracolo (2011), L’altération du monde (2009), La Métamorphose et l’Instant – Désorganisation de la vie (2009), The Body-Metamorphosis (2007), The Unimaginable (2003). The effort to devise new philosophical form and to mobilise new expression of ethical, aesthetic and political experience is central to his teaching and research work, which has been taking place in Sofia (New Bulgarian University and Sofia University), Paris (Collège international de philosophie and EHESS), Berlin (Universität der Künste), Vienna (Akademie der bildenden Künste), Frankfurt/Roanoke (Hollins University) and Tokyo (University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy) in the past twenty years.

Ani Vaseva is theatre director and theorist of performative arts. She is the author of theatre plays, of critical and theoretical texts on dance and theatre and holds a PhD degree in performance studies from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Among her last performances are A Play For Us (2018), Roadtrip to Hell (2017), Lovecraft (2016), Total Damage (2016), Maldoror (2015). Her book What is Contemporary Dance (2017) explores the complex processes and conflictual ideologies that stand behind the concept of contemporary dance. Among her visual projects are Still Here. On The Meteor Archipelago (together with Georgi Sharov, Museums Night, Plovdiv, 2015), Gorgons in the Depot, or Apocalypse Now (exhibition curated together with Monika Vakarelova and Boriana Rossa, part of The Other Eye project of Maria Vassileva at the Sofia Municipal Gallery, 2013), Power Fridge Points (together with Natalia Todorova and Ivana Nencheva, Tanzquartier Wien, 2011), The War of the Little Girls (together with Ivan Donchev and Boyan Manchev, Vaska Emanuilova gallery, 2010) etc. Between 2015 and 2018 she has been teaching history and theory of theatre and literature at New Bulgarian University and the Luben Groys  Theatre College, where together with Leonid Yovchev she was leading an acting class 2017-2018.

Metheor: Boyan Manchev, Ani Vaseva and Leonid Yovchev

Metheor is artistic collective working with stage, visual and textual forms, elaborating a radical poetics, described as Theatre of Disorganisation. The central figures of Metheor during its ten-years existence are the playwright and director Ani Vaseva, the philosopher Boyan Manchev and the actor Leonid Yovchev. Metheor's projects include 15 written and staged theatre plays and performances, which toured internationally, as well as visual works and performative installations, realised in Sofia, Vienna, Berlin, Porto, Leipzig, Plovdiv etc. Each Metheor performance aims to invent a unique form, based on experimental work with the text and productive critical use of theatrical techniques, leading to elaboration of new counter-techniques. Ani Vaseva and Boyan Manchev’s book Meteor. Selected texts for theater was published in the beginning of 2018.