Touching Time: Bodies/Writing/Histories. A practice-based research symposium
April 19th/20th, 2008
Dance Building, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Touching Time is a small invitational workshop environment, with scholar/practitioners from the US, the UK and Canada.
Conference Advisory Team:
Amy Carroll, Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies
Amy Chavasse, Assistant Professor of Dance
Aimee Meredith Cox, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for the Education of Women
Yopie Prins, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Conference Director and Contact: Petra Kuppers, Associate Professor of English, Women’s Studies, Theatre and Dance, email@example.com
Touching Time invites participants to explore methods of merging art practice and critical writing in the exploration of time. The symposium’s main focus is with innovative methodologies, writing-as-practice, archival embodiment, timespace poetics, repronarrativities, heirlooms/legacies, frottages with his(hiss)/her-stories, myth movement, touching textures.
We will be in research practice together: this is not a conference to share the results of previous research, it is a place to share methodologies.
In 2007, the University of Michigan hosted the Anarcha symposium, an Olimpias performance research project: an event where black culture and disability culture activists, medical historians and performance scholars came together to approach a particular medical historical case-study through performance means. Touching Time builds on the methods explored in the Anarcha, and invites scholars and artists to engage in experimental historical writing and art practice.
11- 1 Introduction (Petra Kuppers, Aimee Cox, Amy Carroll, Amy Chavasse),
followed by Kate Elswit (PhD Candidate, German Studies, University of Cambridge, Thesis: Framing Bodies: Physical Dramaturgies in German Dance Theatre (1915-1933) workshop: Dance/Memory/Movement
2-3.15 Walk in the Arboretum:
Virginie Magnat (Assistant Professor, Performance Studies, University of British Columbia, Research Project: Meetings with Remarkable Women. Analyzing women’s contribution to Grotowski’s cross-cultural performance research) Workshop and Instruction:
We will work with the call and response and "bourdon" structure of traditional songs from Occitanie and engage in a site-specific expedition in the arboretum - a quiet procession meandering through nature and punctuated by moments of collective singing. Please wear comfortable shoes and clothes and, if you know a traditional song that you would like to share with the group, this will be a good opportunity to do so.
Emily Orley (PhD Candidate, Theatre and Installation Art, Roehampton, Thesis: The Expectant Space: towards a Theatre of the Invisible.
Workshop: Site-Writing. The idea for this session was inspired by architectural theorist Jane Rendell’s concept of site-writing: writing a place as opposed to writing about it. After spending time closely observing the arboretum in any way they wish (sight, smell, touch), participants will be asked to transcribe it on paper.
3.30-4.30 Video Festival. Host Stefanie Cohen (independent dance artist, Ann Arbor) Videos introduces and interspersed with movement and writing responses.
Video by Sarah Adams (Visiting Scholar UM, Art History), 10 mins.
Two Igbo artists in southeastern Nigeria painting a mural in a compound. Adams shot the video over about 5 days in 2000, and the mural painting (called uli) is based on a form of body painting that these artists also practice. The mural painting is an ephemeral art. The women paint on clay walls using paints that have no binder, so the murals usually fade within a season.
Nano Banana and TIN Y PLURI-BUS[+ UNAM Illuminated Nanoscripts by Amy Carroll (Assistant Professor, American Culture/English UM) et al. 9 mins.
San Diego Museum of Art (Contemporary Art Gallery, part of Inside the Wave), 2008
Tiresias by Petra Kuppers, Sadie Wilcox (UM MFA in Art and Design). 7 mins.
Disability culture reclaims an ancient story.
Barbara Neri. 5 mins. (TBA)
Homeland (Stefanie Cohen). 12 mins. Homeland is the video documentation of her participation in a site-specific, interactive, community oral history performance/installation project entitled Touchable Stories: Central Square. The soundtrack includes both live accordion accompaniment and edited excerpts of interviews with the neighborhood’s residents on the subjects of emigration, memory, and their grandmothers. The movement score is slow and minimal highlighting the voices of the community’s residents and accommodating the close proximity of the audience and performers.
4.30-5.30 Lisa Biggs (PhD candidate, Performance Studies, Northwestern University. Thesis: Performance of black women’s community organizing in the US and specific sites in Africa)
Workshop: We will look at configurations of ‘Africa’ through writing and movement, influenced by Liz Lerman’s processes.
5.30-6.30 Evie Shockley (Assistant Professor, Department of English, Rutgers University, Research Project: Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry)
Workshop: Poetry workshop around issues of historical and contemporary displacement of people (post-Katrina New Orleans, Cape Town District 6, etc). Writing exercise which will also include movement.
7.30 - 8.30 Keynote Provocation (Ann Cooper Albright, Professor of Dance, Oberlin College, most recent book: Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loie Fuller, Wesleyan University Press, 2007)
10-11 Melissa Rolnick (Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College) Authentic Movement Session: This workshop involves an exploration of an area in one's body that is a source of emotional and physical tension. The exploration will involve an internal listening in order to create a movement sequence or "circuit" that will allow the tension to become a catalyst for movement invention.
11- 12 Zachary Dorsey (PhD, University of Texas, Austin, Research Project: Embodied Resistance: A Historiographic Intervention into the Performance of Queer Violence)
Workshop: In this session we'll learn how to produce and then experiment with ways of using the knap - the stage combat technique that creates the sound of a slap or punch - as a method of investigating the aural and the tactile aspects of each of our own historical projects.
12-1 Kelly Rafferty (PhD Candidate, Performance Studies, University of California Berkeley. Thesis: Connective Tissues: Feminist Experiments with Biology, Technology, and Performance)
Workshop: In small groups we will create short performances that critically engage images and texts about technologies of reproduction such as Frida Kahlo's Henry Ford Hospital (1932), Denise Duhamel's poem "Barbie as Religious Fanatic" (1997), or an excerpt from the script of Deb Margolin's Gestation (1991). All are welcome to contribute in whatever way is most comfortable -- through text, movement, sculpture, sound, etc -- to our investigation of what performance, as a methodology, might teach us about a specific constellation of objects.
2-3 Petra Kuppers (Associate Professor, English, Women?s Studies, Theatre and Dance, UM, Research Project: Touching Time: Disability/Culture, Body Histories and Performance) + Neil Marcus (Independent Artist, Disability Culture Activist, Berkeley. Research Project: The Nature of Fear) Workshop: Using performance and poetry writing, we will address alchemy, disappearance and transformation. Spiraling outwards from a poem that addresses eugenics, we ask how historical memories lodge in our bodies.
3-3.45 Aimee Cox (Anarcha collaborator, from September: Assistant Professor, African-American Department, Rutgers University)
3.45-4.15 Ending and goodbye
Funded by the Global Ethnic Literatures Seminar, with additional support from the Dance Department, the English Department and the Center for the Education of Women