Residency Unlimited

Aseman Sabet and Veit Stratmann in Elastic City Talks – Sunday, September 28, 2014

Since 2010, Elastic City has been working with artists to rigorously investigate and interrogate the participatory walk. Through this work, we have helped to pioneer a new genre within the performing arts. In partnership with Pratt Institute’s new MFA in Writing, Elastic City is thrilled to present four talks featuring renown visual and performance artists, curators, scholars and critics on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at Pratt Institute’s Higgins Hall Auditorium (61 St. James Place, Brooklyn) from 11am to 5:30pm. Each talk will hold approximately 75 people and will last about 90 minutes.

11:00am – 12:30pm: A Genealogy of the Participatory Walk
Featuring: Matt Green; Jeffrey Hogrefe; Aseman Sabet (moderator); Andrea Williams and Moira Williams
The junction of creative thoughts and walks has its western roots in Aristotelian philosophy, where the act of walking was directly related to constructive ideas and actions. One immense historical lap later, the Surrealists, the Situationists, artists working on soundwalks, walking tour guides and artists that have solo or collective walking practices have deepened the concept of creative ambulation. The four presenters will explain their walking practices in the context of their respective artistic and historical backgrounds, pinpointing the varying levels of participation and inspiration involved in their work, and where they think the walk form is moving.

12:30pm – 2pm: Politics of the Walk
Featuring: Christian Hawkey (moderator); Rachel Levitsky; Eve Mosher and Ryan Tracy
This talk will question and explore the political implications of walking as a form of cultural production. How has the walk (wandering, strolling, getting lost) been figured as political resistance in previous eras? What types of engagement or resistances are made possible by singular or collective somatic movement in urban spaces? What new bodies and bodies of knowledge are made possible by—and necessitate—taking to the streets? What damaging ideologies can be overturned by bodies claiming public space? Does the increased interest in the walk as an art form articulate a necessary gesture of resistance against a speed-obsessed techno-capitalist machinery? To the disciplinary and bureaucratic regimes of urban planning? The talk will investigate these questions, and more, with lots of opportunity for dialogue and exchange with the audience.

2:30pm – 4pm: The Participatory Walk as a New Performative Framework
Featuring: luciana achugar; Miguel Gutierrez; Todd Shalom (moderator); Jillian Steinhauer and Pamela Z
Artists who have led walks with Elastic City will talk about how their other work has been informed by leading a participatory walk. How does the walk function in harmony with and in contrast to the artists’ primary discipline and their ways of working? What makes for a successful walk? Is this a viable form? Hyperallergic Senior Editor Jillian Steinhauer will provide context for the walk in relation to the growing trend of participation in art.

4pm – 5:30pm: Impossibility in Participatory Performance
Featuring: N.D. Austin; Ayesha Jordan; Nancy Nowacek; Niegel Smith (moderator) and Veit Stratmann
N.D. Austin, Ayesha Jordan, Nancy Nowacek and Veit Stratmann will join moderator Niegel Smith in a living room style conversation that questions the limits of what is possible in participatory performance. The artists will respond to real-time prompts and think on their feet as a way to expose their individual methodologies. Join us as we consider the motivations and intentions behind participatory performance and perhaps provide some inspiration for those who dare to dream big.

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