Intimate Frustrations is a series of collaborative site-specific performances in response to a rural, natural environment. Sarah Berkeley and Regin Igloria engage in repetitive, futile actions in close proximity to one another. They mindfully struggle against the flow of a stream, the buzzing of insects, and the inertia of hay bales and their own bodies. These performances reference the simultaneous beauty and conflict in human-human and human-environment relationships.
“Doily Wars,” Felice Amato
“Doily Wars” is a tabletop material performance for adults that uses elements of toy and object theater, puppets and low-fi technology. It is a work in progress, part of a larger whole and a meta-exploration of “creating a performance.” It is autobiographical to the point of fiction. It is both utter bullshit and a deeply private, public confession. Inspired by the toy theater tradition, it also integrates old-school technology, my love of materials and figures, and my desire to entwine autobiography and myth and folktale in an overblown, ornamented, maximalist narrative. The performance drives an installation-like set that can be experienced before and after—transformed by the performance itself.
“2 Lights 1 Lens,” Kellie Bronikowski
“2 Lights 1 Lens” is a sculptural installation that started with my initial desire to have two projected light sources sharing one lens. The shadow imagery being thrown onto the wall is equally as important as the projected images themselves. This piece projects onto the wall what in general happens behind the viewer; bringing the mechanics of the medium to the forefront of the screen and the mind. The China Girl film leader is now made still and the skin impression able to move. This piece makes the lens the focal performer rather then the imagery be projected.
“Study in Poetics” is a generative, durational, score-based installation. The work is a collaborative project between the composer Ryan Ross Smith (NY) and the research-based storyteller Helen J. Bullard (WI). It encourages participation from the public in creating a new and ever-changing live performance poem. This new composition written by Smith takes its notational framework from his “Study no. 47 [Lecture 3],” but uses words instead of notes, taken from Bullard’s 2015 poem “Borderlands: Between Places and Landscapes,” originally written for the Center for Culture, History and Environment (CHE).
“Creative Writing Instruction Through Performance,” Jeff Casey
Last summer I taught a week-long creative writing class for advanced middle school students at the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY). In teaching the class, I found myself dramatically revaluating my extensive previous experience with creative writing classrooms, particularly the “workshop” format. In this presentation, I will quickly discuss how my views were shaped by this experience. I will demonstrate a few of the collaborative, performance-based, and embodied practices used in the class. During the Q&A I hope to have an open discuss about how we can rethink arts and writing instructors through performance.
Panopticon is a circular building of prison cells, with an observation tower in the middle. Occupants of these cells cannot see each other, or the observer in the tower. Foucault proposes that knowledge of such one-sided surveillance leads the subject to internalize the constraints of power. Participants are invited to experience a reverse-Panopticon by accompanying a dancer on screen, in a room with a camera directed at them. There’s a sign throughout the day stating whether the camera is recording, not recording, or maybe recording at the time. Being so conditioned to be watched at all times, we will explore what the brief chance of liberation brings.
“Bleeding to Life,” Ian Deleón
An essay-performance celebrating the revolutionary potential of recognizing and engaging with our collective, gaping wounds. Taking Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas as a point of departure, I construct a narrative that links the production of subjectivities in “post”-colonial contexts, with the technosexual networks of resistance and coded information exchange that grew out of the government-manufactured crack epidemic in oppressed neighborhoods.
“GOLEM: performance series,” Adam Gruba
1 [Golem is a writer, sitting in front of the desk chaos. Ordering chosen thoughts, using the method of constant-versus-method. All the time it seems to him that the mass / matter / object consists in what it produces, deriving their powers from a number of possibilities for actually touching “his own metaphysics” of random matching symbols of the armor. […] excerpt from the book, philosophy GOLEM, the characteristics of my work. GOLEM is a series of performances based on Adam Gruba’s own philosophy as an emerging powerhouse in its own way-against-the method of constructing a message to the space chosen intuitively as possible to adapt the situation of being a physical representation of the deduction inside the mind as the main representative of the context and its own traditions. The presented work is a summary presentation of the different activities in the area carried out in various places around the world.
“Remembering a Dance,” Charles Gushue
Using a series of creative process documents created both purposefully and accidentally, real and fabricated, Charles, in collaboration with dancers at University of Wisconsin, will recreate a sliver of dance work that never really existed. Following a performance of this work, participants will break into small groups and respond through an embodied practice to questions such as: what does it mean to look at documentation of an in-process physical based arts practice and imagine that we are reconstructing a work? How do we imagine a whole work from documents? We will conclude with a showing and discussion.
“AFAR,” Xon Henry
A.F.A.R. is a residency that operates congruently as an incubator, performance, and residency space. It only offers mico-residencies to participants; the preferred residency time is between 5-30 minutes. A.F.A.R. offers all the normal amenities of traditional residencies but encourages a rigorous, efficient, deep, and strategic examination of these resources, spaces, relationships, and environments. Elevator pitches are to be left in the elevator as we pursue a more authentic exchange of dreams, desires, and designs. A.F.A.R. has appeared in a variety of spaces: parking lots, churches, universities, conferences, museums, frat lodges, homes, fields, galleries, rest stops, mountain tops, and bank lobbies. All participants walk away with a stamped and signed certificate of participation and completion. A.F.A.R recognizes everyone as an artist.
“In (the Name of) Progress,” Nicole Fadellin King
How does progress as a discursive practice continue to influence, inform, and limit us? From personal identity to foreign policy, what do discourses of progress achieve, obscure, or obstruct? In this community brainstorming activity, spect-actors are invited to engage with others through words and drawings as we build a visual map of our experiences and thoughts related to time, progress, and change. By engaging with the temporalities and accompanying sensations of making progress or being in progress, we will explore the possibilities of the transitional or the in-between as well as the hidden violence of the “name.”
“The Kiss of Death No.2,” Karolina Kubik (with Ewelina Jarosz)
The Kiss of Death No.2 (2014) is a video work from the intersection of performance and live sculpture attempting to find new meaning in the relationship between two specific women’s bodies, to explore a geopolitical situation/role/symbol. The model for the work was the gravestone sculpture Kiss of Death (1930), located in the cemetery of Poblenou in Barcelona. During the performance, Barack Obama’s fiery speech on American solidarity with Poland, the Baltic countries and Ukraine delivered in Warsaw on 06.04.2014 is repeatedly interrupted. Voices overlap, and the artist’s intervention touches upon the fundamental issues of safety. It is by adapting the video’s structure and references to changing historical circumstances that the value of art is being investigated.
“AVOIRDUPOIS/goods of weight,” Karolina Kubik
AVOIRDUPOIS/goods of weight (2011) is a video work about balance. The avoirdupois is a system of weights (or, properly, mass) based on a pound of 16 ounces. It is the everyday system of weight used in the United States and is still used to varying degrees in everyday life in the United Kingdom, Canada and some other former British colonies despite the official adoption of the metric system. An alternative system of mass is generally used for precious materials. The word avoirdupois is from Anglo-Norman French aveir de peis (later avoir de pois), literally “goods of weight” (Old French aveir, “property, goods”, also “to have”, comes from the Latin habere, “to have, to hold, to possess property”; de = “from”/”of”, cf. Latin; peis = “weight”, from Latin pensum). In the United Kingdom, 14 avoirdupois pounds equals one stone.
“Dress of Culture,” Qiang Liu
The work shows the gap not only between two languages, but between two different cultures. There is a very famous song called “Ask Directions” (“敢问路在何方”), which is the song from a Chinese novel Journey To The West. There is a literal translation of English version. Because of the bad grammar, every English word is perfect to match the Chinese word, but the logic of the lyric is Chinese, thus English speakers find it is hard to understand, even when they read the subtitle. When I display the work, I will set a head and microphone made by neon light tubes to highlight the video content. English people have less interest in Karaoke than Asian people. This is one of cultural differences between eastern and western worlds. Therefore, language is “English”, but in Chinese way. It is like dressing an English coat on a Chinese body.
“Arnold Mueller: The Unknown Father of the Freeway,” Robert Lundberg
Little-known German-American engineer Arnold Mueller had a greater effect on your life than you might realize. As an important early proponent of Germany’s Autobahn and designer of the US highway system, he helped shape our modern transportation system. However even fewer know of Mueller’s ulterior motive in this realm: a vision of re-framing a traveler’s experience of the vast natural landscapes between our human settlements through the use of roadways as proto-land art pieces.
“Making Mirrors for Sirens,” Molly Mac
In this interactive performance lecture I will attempt to adapt advice from Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince as practical advice for navigating a dating app. Where Machiavelli’s reasoning doesn’t fit, I will amend his logic with ideas from Google searches, color theory, and other logic from Rebecca Solnit’s book Men Explain Things to Me. The audience will participate in this process by processing my “queries” on their smartphones. As I narrate my awkward conceptual struggle to make these concepts align, the process ultimately becomes a critique of my own authority as a narrator constructing a satire.
“Mind, Body and Tool are on Intimate Terms.,” Robert John Mertens
This sound, performance, installation piece is the re-broadcast of Lecture given by Donna Haraway in March 2014 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. The installation consists of woven panels made from 9-track magnetic data tape donated from the Women’s and Gender Studies Archive at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. To hear the lecture performers bite down on the wires to create the contact for the audio signal to make it to an amplifier for the audience to hear the lecture, any break along the chain will disrupt the sound. The chief inquiry in my developing this project includes questions such as: How do we relate to the idea of cyborg symbiosis? Where does the audience choose to locate the art in a performance like this?
“Raiders from Sherwood Forest Redistribute Authorship,” Mark Nelson and Elk Norsman
Group authorship is a given in many creative fields: most films, for example, list credits that might contain 100 or more names, in the tradition of ancient artisans stamping their mark on something that they have crafted. In some endeavors, however, such as Architecture, a single person often claims to be the sole creator, in spite of the fact that a huge part of the creative decisions are made by someone other than the author. What happens if we wrest credit away from someone who has already stolen that credit for themselves?
“The Oldest Program,” Frédéric Neyrat
The video shows how an owl is swept away by the virtual. By a very ancient program that Keats, according to Neo and Morpheus, totally ignored – is it true? Did Romanticists really believe in the Transcendental? Can we imagine an electro-Romanticism able to resist the Integral Reality (Baudrillard)? If you ask the owl, it would say: “Awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed.” But a storm, that we call “progress,” is blowing from Paradise, and the owl seems behind the eight ball.
Participants join Brian and Esther online to perform interactive exercises designing “symbolics” that communicate concepts emergent from their subjective spheres of definable conditions, contexts, and consequences, effectively building a collective philosophy of the performed moment. This workshop is one of many socially-constructive participatory processes, collectively called Embarrassed of the Whole, which is focused on experimentation with acts collectively philosophizing rather than on philosophies as functional, mimetic objects, we aim to practice and perform definition, ideation and dialectic as operational states. Visit http://www.panoplylab.org/eotw/MAD to join.
“Anything is a Text: A Practical Approach to Making Devised Work (A Participatory Workshop),” Jen Plants
How do you make a play without a playwright? What is a script? Can five words on a cocktail napkin be a script? How about a Craigslist ad? A business reply card? Using the methodologies employed in Jen Plants’ current project (the open-frame No Feedback, currently in development in London), this workshop offers participants a taste of how devisers make work. This workshop is designed to unleash performative possibilities in seemingly static language-based source material. Come dressed comfortably and bring something along that is text-based that seems to hold no potential as a spine for performance–a toothpaste box, an informational memo, an academic essay, etc.
“La Castagnade,” Barbara Roland
“La Castagnade” is a kind of return to a state of nature. It evokes the dangerous man’s relationship to the natural elements that gradually cover the face blending into the landscape. This language is that of an art in action whose function is to be cathartic. To be effective it causes the person performing the act to break free from the moral imposed by family, society and culture. The performance art breaks the mimêsis and raises the question of its cathartic experience not based on a representational system (representation and identification). The transformative power of the original action relies on a situation of liminality, a restoration of behavior.
“Organizing for Abolition: Exploring the Intersection of Prisons and Theory,” Brit E. Schulte and James A. Manos
Drawing upon the Prison & Theory Working Group’s “10 Key Points” we set out to interrogate the relationship between the prison and theory. As such, this workshop has three interconnected goals: 1) to center the theoretical work of people directly impacted by incarceration (i.e. incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons, friends and loved ones of incarcerated persons, etc); and 2) to ask about the relationship between theory and prisons outside of traditional academic structures, 3) to articulate self-reflective practices of community accountability for this work. The workshop facilitators will not present traditional philosophical or theoretical papers. Rather, they will cultivate a discussion about the current state of thought and practice, a discussion which ultimately aims to produce an on-the-ground plan for future philosophical activism and art practice.
“Q.Q,” Paul Sloan
There are questions we ask ourselves on a regular basis, and questions that we will ask that take up so much of our energy to consider. They are impossible, rare, shameful, quiet, taboo, and joyously curious questions. I would like to sit with you, speak with you, meet you, and then listen to your question. With your permission, I would like to write the question in my notebook. Later, I would like to read these questions aloud to an audience. I would like you, having read this far, to sit with me. Thank you, looking forward to meeting you.
“#ShutItDown: Black lives matter, higher education, and performance art as a lens,” Nicki Werner
Higher education is broken. It is overpriced, unsustainable, and often pretty irrelevant. This presentation intends to use performance art as a lens to look at the Black Lives matter movement. Performance art and activism have a long, messy history. Can looking at Black Lives Matter through the lenses of performance art reveal new possibilities for transforming the neoliberal machine higher education has become? I will look specifically at the case regarding Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee and its protest actions, as alternative examples of transmissions of knowledge, revamping of democracy, and embodied theory transforming social landscapes.
“If the Theatron is the Watching Place, Who’s Doing the Watching? The Audience’s Impossible Gaze at the Origins of Theatre,” Christopher William Wolter
The seeming commonplace of traditional theatre staging represents a strange and radical representation of our social life. In the division of the public into two distinct bodies we not only represent our activities (in the form of actors) but also represent the witnessing of those actions by an impossible gaze (the audience). The great innovation of the theatre is not the actor, we are all actors, the innovation is the audience, who take on the role of the primordial big Other, for whom we perform every day.
Using the materials of the everyday and unexceptional, “Proceed Naturally” is a durational art installation that spreads “broken” text throughout the space of the symposium. Attendees will come across these texts randomly, magically, accidentally, and mundanely, merely by going through the normal procedures of negotiating public space. The text will be handwritten on various objects throughout the space, such as on the bottom of a cup within a stack of cups, on a square of toilet paper in the restroom, or taped to furniture or other functional and “neutral” objects and spaces. Those who come across these texts have some options: 1) To ignore the text 2) To seek out more text by encountering more and different kinds of objects purposely 3) To seek out other participants who might have a text that “completes” (or fails to complete) their broken one 4) To not notice the text 5) To throw it away 6) To become delighted, bored, annoyed, etc. This is not an exhaustive list. This project explores Michel De Certeau’s theories of the potentiality of disrupting procedural movements as well as Rosalyn Deutsche’s theories of public space, public art, and democracy. This installation plays with the ways in which text specifically helps us to make or break democratic public space. No space or movement within a space is neutral or natural. “Public” does not necessarily mean “open.” By making participants aware of their procedural acts and connecting them to literature, discourse, and text, we hope to start a conversation about the sociality of space and language.
“Sonic Politics of Breath,” Justin Zullo
“Sonic Politics of Breath” is an interactive sound installation that explores the political and performative potentials of breathing. Participants will listen to original montages of various recorded breaths, and then record their own voices breathing. In so doing, this exercise in embodied listening and recording/performing asks: how might we hear and interpret the collectivity of (re)performed breath given the current state of US racial politics, particularly in light of the recent social protest mantra, “I Can’t Breathe”? Ultimately, the installation facilitates active ruminations on the precarious act of living/dying/surviving vis-à-vis human breath’s sonorous afterlife.