PERFORMANCE of “Urban Touch” by Edda Sickinger.
May 13th at 7:30 in The Segal Theatre
The lecture video performance Urban Touch understands the prolific practice of screening as a way of touching. ‘Touching’ holds a double character as (1) bringing something into contact and (2) to affect or be affected. One has to move in order to touch (Jean-Luc Nancy) and the action of screening means bridging the dichotomy of the visceral and the digital in performance (Johannes Birringer). While any surface can be transformed into a screen (AbdouMaliq Simone), the moment of screening creates an ephemeral social entanglement of movement, memory, relation and affect. Within the scope of her PhD research at the University of Cape Town, Edda examines dynamics of touch in public spaces by intervening in the urban environments of Cape Town and Hamburg. She intends to invent a language and find a vocabulary that describes the realities, encounters, relations, affects and movements of touch in urban everyday life. In doing so, she includes video as a tool for documentation, thematic reflection and artistic means during the performative presentations of the research.
Edda Sickinger (Germany) is a PhD student in Theatre and Performance at University of Cape Town, where she has been teaching performance as research and choreography. Her research focuses on the intersections among choreography, touch and intimacy, urban space and digital technologies. She has performed at festivals such as ICA Live Art Festival Cape Town, Tanztage Berlin, Performing Arts Festival Berlin, Hauptsache Frei Festival Hamburg. She is co-founder of PLATEAU, a web-based platform for performing arts in Hamburg, and part of the dance collective Die Neue Kompanie. She is based in Hamburg and Cape Town.
Interactive performance-as-research installation. All day May 14th
Matthew Tobin: “How Much Time Is Left? The Digitally Alluring Future and the Fear of Present Boredom
Matthew Tobin is a New York City based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Holding performance degrees in Violin from Boston University and Florida International University, he is also in demand as a pianist and vocalist in NYC and across the country, and has significant performance experience in Europe and the Caribbean. He has done extensive work as a studio musician, transcribing and arranging for many artists over the past decade. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Mandarax Music Ensemble, a chamber ensemble with specific aims towards informational lecture/performances in non-traditional spaces. www.matthewjtobin.com
NOT A PANEL: Performances in the Segal Theatre from 1:30 to 3:30 on May 14th.
Ashley Marinaccio. The Graduate Center. CUNY
“18 Years Later: Voices of Post-9/11”
In her book, The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust, Marianne Hirsch proposes the notion that traumatic memories are passed down through generations. She writes, “Children of survivors and their contemporaries inherit catastrophic histories not through direct recollection but through haunting post memories – multiply mediated images, objects, stories, behaviors, and affects passed down within family and the culture at large.”1 In the spirit of Hirsch’s work, this performance explores the September 11th terrorist attacks through the lens of youth who were born in the years following 9/11. 18 Years Later: Voices of Post-9/11 is a documentary theatre performance created through testimonies and interviews with young people regarding how and what they have been taught about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and how the events that day has impacted their lives. The purpose of this performance is to create conversation around how we pass history, defining events and memories onto the next generation and explore how media, specifically social media “creates memories” and distributes knowledge. For the sake of this conference, we will be showing a short 10-15 minute excerpt of this performance.
Performers: Emma Kotkin (age 16), Jason Wang (age 18), Ceila Elliott (age 12), Quill Cavanah (age 13)
Ashley “Ash” Marinaccio is a theatre artist and scholar who creates work to challenge the status quo. She is dedicated to documenting the socio-political issues that define our times. As a director and playwright, her work has been seen off-Broadway, at the White House, United Nations, TED conferences across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Currently, Ash is working on her Ph.D. in the Department of Theatre and Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she is focusing on theatre and war. Learn more: ashley-marinaccio.com.
“Ni Aquí, Ni Allá” (Neither Here, Nor There)
Paulina’s project emerged from a desire to reconcile the deep fragmentation of identity she experienced upon leaving her native country. Meaning “Neither Here, Nor There,” her project explores the boundaries of Latin American identity and the pervasive sense of loss the immigrant feels upon leaving home. Upon departure, the idea of home becomes splintered, it is splashed across time zones and geographical locations, and sealed in memory, pictures and screens. The exile feels a perpetual nostalgia for a life that can never be again.
Paulina Olivares is an art director and stylist. Born in Santiago, Chile, Paulina relocated to a small town in the United States at age nine. After receiving a First Class Honours degree in Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 2012, Paulina moved to New York to begin her fashion career freelancing in a variety editorial and commercial projects. This December, she completed a Masters with Distinction in Fashion Communication and Promotion from Central Saint Martins. Interested in the narrative power of visual storytelling through set design and dress, her work explores the themes of power, representation and identity. The question at the heart of Paulina’s research is how performative practices can be used as a form of disruptive resistance against the hegemonic narrative.
The Hyper Present – The Manipulation of Time and Space
This performance navigates the act of being present in the contemporary social-political capitalistic structure of the West. The impetus of the performance is to explore how to depart from the universally understood state of being present to engage with something else. As a researcher, my practice is about creating speculative post-identity spaces that provide rest for identities as they operate within the monotonous identity system of performance and validation. As an Afro-Caribbean American woman, I often confront the challenge of situating what does it mean to participate without assimilating into a system that is not designed for me. How can I separate from this system without creating more trauma to my already precarious and damaged identity? In order to explore this idea I enact performances as the GUIDE of the post-identity space. The GUIDE does not have a gender, race, or other ethnic identifying markers. In the Post-Identity space identities become essence. A sort of you without “you”. In the performance GUIDE takes on the earthly representational body of the Black woman, which by social definition and treatment is a marginalized identity. The GUIDE uses the problematic body to critically dispense research and social commentary. The GUIDE suggests there is the possibility of an othering that can happen through the process of what is called in African American vernacular being Woke. The performance of the GUIDE uses research and a body in order to provoke the catalyst of being Woke by exposing problematic issues and thinking through the process of separating from the bodily demands of being present to experience a Post-Identity othering.
Clareese Hill is a Brooklyn native. These days she splits her time between Fort Green Brooklyn and London. She comes to her practice-based research from backgrounds in filmmaking and broadcast journalism. As a journalist, she enjoyed storytelling but wanted to expand on the stories that she told. Her perspective is rooted in her heritage, the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. Her work with identity is first informed by the autoethnographic aspect of her practice and then explored using various materialities and technologies. With her work, she attempts to speculate about the role the word identity plays in contemporary Western society and creates instances that attempt to disrupt the role of “identity” and its operation. Clareese has shown her research internationally at Sullivan Galleries in Chicago, SVA galleries in New York, Ugly Duck in London, UK and Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, UK. Clareese holds a Masters in Fine Arts from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and she is currently studying in the Ph.D. program at Goldsmiths University of London between the Art and Computing departments.
Michael Harrington and K.B.Thors
“Running Lines: Screening on the Casting Couch”
How are bodies screened for the big screen? How does Hollywood, as a system of institutionalized power, shape both private and public performances? How does the proverbial casting couch exist in the public imagination, especially in the wake of #metoo? In this performance arts piece, we will bring our audience to the casting couch, acting out a sardonic interview between executive and actor. The performance will invite viewers to examine how a question’s meaning—for example, “What were you wearing?”—changes dramatically in different conversational contexts. Multiple meanings of the word “screen” will be introduced, from the visual translucence of certain clothing and the myriad of screens used as sexual barrier methods to the Duboisian veil. How do Hollywood and other spaces of institutional power produce a gendered double consciousness? Finally, given both the casting couch as symbol in sexual assault scandals and its appropriation as pornographic trope, how has the once-private casting couch become a space fit for the screen? In utilizing both life performance and video, this performance will aim to blur and contest lines between public and private, screen and façade, performance and unscripted event.
Michael Harrington is a Brooklyn-based writer and massage therapist. He is currently completing an English doctoral degree at Princeton University, where he researches queer heterotopic spaces and the phenomenology of gender fluidity in poetry, fiction, and performance art.
K.B. Thors holds an MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Teaching Fellow in Poetry. Her debut collection Vulgar Mechanics is forthcoming from Coach House Books in fall 2019 (Canada/U.S.) and Partus Press (Iceland/U.K.). Her translation of Stormwarning (Phoneme, 2018) by Icelandic poet Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir won the American Scandinavian Foundation’s Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize and is currently nominated for the PEN Literary Award for Poetry in Translation. She currently teaches at the University of Toronto and the Nordic Languages Initiative.
Carrie Sijia Wang
Set in a futuristic, fictional world, “The System” presents the process of The Content Generator Qualification Test. The test loops in between three sections: Content Generation, Integration Reinforcement, and Subject Realignment, with each cycle getting progressively more intense than the previous one. The projection screen plays an integral role in the performance. The performer cannot see the screen as it’s behind her back, but the screen can “see” her—it displays her image and the data generated by her activities as she performs the tasks following instructions from the system.
Carrie Sijia Wang is an NYC-based multimedia artist, designer, and creative technologist originally from Shenzhen, China. She is a master’s candidate at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, and the managing editor at Adjacent. She has shown her work at venues including New York Transit Museum, Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Spokane Public Library, and CultureHub. The juxtaposition between the real and the fictional, the rational and the absurd is a recurring theme in her work. She believes that the fictional can serve as a mirror for the real, and the absurd can often bring out the most honest thoughts and reactions.