April 19 – 24, 2017
People from all backgrounds are welcome to apply including musicians, curators, academics, social practice artists, writers, dancers, activists, cultural mediators, and educators who can propose and engage in creative structures for conversation such as scores, choreographies, prompts for dialogue, interactive interfaces, etc.
Many thinking and making practices use, shape and implicate conversation. Those that do, often involve intentionally structuring this conversation – setting how it happens, when, with whom and where. A symbiotic relationship develops between the content of the conversation and the structure that holds it. We are interested in experimenting with how creating a playful arrangement of conditions and context for dialogue can shape a conversation’s meaning within that relationship.
Each attendee, will be responsible for designing a 20 minute structured conversation for 1-4 participants and for deciding how their structure will shift from day to day. This will include determining: how many people will be involved in the conversation, where it will occur, what rules or structure will guide it, and what kinds of variables will they alter on each iteration? Throughout the weekend, the organizers will experiment with multimodal and asymmetric ways of generating material to transfer these conversations into archivable/recombinable content, which will then be compiled into a publication in the coming year.
CON/TEXT: A RADICAL RECONSIDERATION OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WRITTEN WORD IN ARTISTIC PRACTICE
May 22 – June 4, 2017
Conceived of through discussions between a philosopher, a poet, and a performer, this 3-week session occupies the space where artistic practices intersect with text in embodied ways. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we will mine territories where artists and writers have offered radical reconsiderations of the materiality and embodiment of language and the written word.
How does a text perform itself on the page? What happens if we put embodied practices in conversation with theoretical practices? What might it mean to read theory somatically? How can movement be a mode of philosophical analysis? How might we challenge our notions of what the primary meaning-making aspect of a text is?
Discrete disciplines – both in the arts and academia – offer isolated responses to questions of textual engagement. We will not ignore these answers, just politely hear them out and keep walking. We invite applications from all artists, writers, thinkers, and movers interested in pursuing interdisciplinary textual experimentation.
This session will involve three structured components:
SEMINARS Here we will explore theoretical underpinnings of the connection between the written mark and its embodied environment. Writing can seem to exist distanced from the lived world — unread, unseen, withheld from action, forgotten; however, this distance is always only temporary. As soon as we engage a text, we return it to the world. But exactly how do we do this? How is a text read? How are our bodies engaged? How is a text sounded? Where are we? Where are you? What is around us? Meetings will involve lecture, discussion of readings, and experimental ways of activating theoretical content (including: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jacques Derrida, Plato, Gayatri Spivak, Emile Benveniste, Judith Butler, Jacques Rancière).
CASE STUDIES A close investigation of works which involve experimentation around textual performance. Together we will take inspiration from various artistic practices to ask how text disrupts and is disrupted by embodied experience. From CA Conrad’s (soma)tic poetry rituals to Richard Foreman’s stream of consciousness notebooks to the danced philosophical inquiry of Miguel Gutierrez to Laurie Anderson’s performance poems, how does language live in space? Other artists to consider include Fred Moten, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Spalding Grey, Jenny Holzer, John Cage, Douglas Kearney, Velemir Khlebnikov, Edwin Torres, Tracy Morris, Samuel Beckett, Jackson Mac Low, Antonio Ramos and more.
WORKING SESSIONS Each resident will have the opportunity to perform regularly for an audience of fellow residents and discuss their discoveries. These sessions will involve prompts and structures to facilitate unique approaches to textual activation. Residents will also have the option of participating in a daily practice of guided free writes, movement, and morning readings.
Session Organizers: Aaron Finbloom, Alexandra Tatarsky, Rachel James
What captivates us about immersion? Why are encompassing aesthetic experiences, such as immersive theater (Sleep No More, Then She Fell, Doomocracy) and Virtual Reality (VR), so popular? What is it to be immersed, and why is it so compelling? In what ways does our inherent immersion — in our collectivity, and our sensual and sensing bodies — inform and complicate a more artificial immersion?
This session will explore at once the philosophical implications of immersive experience — as sensual, embodied, and social experiences — as well as in art making practices and art forms. During the first week of the residency, we will delve into these inquiries through theory, embodiment practices and group exercises. We will explore texts from David Abram, Sarah Ahmed, Caroline Jones, Matthew Ghoulish, and Brian Massumi among others. We will generate ideas and seeds of content through encountering and responding to our own and one another’s work. PLEASE NOTE: We will ask applicants to include source material in their application. We are particularly interested in material concerned with social justice and human rights. This source material can be a book, a body of research, a person of inspiration, artifacts, videos, fields of interest, or some other form you might use as a “source”, which will provide the groundwork for the content of the pieces made.
The second half of the residency we will produce immersive theater and VR pieces, drawing on our emergent culture and think tank of the previous week. Prior experience with VR cameras and technology will not be required. We will approach this work with a broad definition of what immersive theater means, and providing opportunity for invention within the young field of VR. Some, if not all, of the pieces will be realized in both mediums.
Session participants will have access to Virtual Reality cameras as well as technical support. Pieces created at the residency will have the opportunity to be submitted and shown at Cucalorus Film Festival 2017.
Session Organizers: Josephine Decker, Naima Ramos & Sophie Traub
The session will lessen the divide between playwriting and workshopping, and performance ensemble building and devising. We will invite up to five playwrights, who will apply with a project proposal or early draft of a script along with a rationale for how it might benefit from a collective approach to revision. Ten performers will also join the session, both as subjects and as active agents and interlocutors, to simultaneously contribute to the development of the written work and undergo focused performance training and ensemble building. Within a collective writing process, we will be exploring the autonomy of the actor as artist and author, as well as subject. Our session will examine and subvert traditional and historical power dynamics within rehearsals, audition rooms, and theater spaces.
Participants will consider the methodology of playwrights, directors, and ensembles that incorporate some form of collective writing into their work and performance (for example: Mary Zimmerman, The Civilians, Cornerstone, She She Pop), and experiment with applying various techniques to their own voice and practice. Workshops drawing on performance techniques (for example: Meisner, Viewpoints and Suzuki, Clown, Theater of the Oppressed, Applied Theater, Action Theater, Butoh, and Grotowski) will explore the process of turning text into action, the possibilities of performance as activism, and the actor as advocate for social change.
Mutual mentorship, deep workshopping of material, group staging, devising, re-imagining, and improvisation will lead to the development of pieces of theater and live performance over the course of the residency. The pieces produced at the residency will have the opportunity to be performed in New York in the fall of 2017 at a notable theater to be announced, hosted by the School of Making Thinking. **Residents will be responsible for their own production costs.**
Session Organizers: Cory Tamler, Ian Fields Stewart & Sophie Traub