You are most cordially invited to an intimate preview benefit on Saturday, March 23 at Glasshouse Projects (246 Union Ave, Brooklyn) featuring a lecture by Dr. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, an excerpt of G. Douglas Barrett‘s Hence Where Labor performed by Fahad Siadat and Robert Ashley‘s Public Opinion Descends Upon the Demonstrators, performed by Varispeed. As part of this extraordinary evening, we invite you to contribute your written reactions, impressions, and notes from the lecture and performance to be sold at our silent auction at the end of the evening, allowing the ideas and events of the evening to circulate past the walls of the gallery.
This night benefits the production of Theorems, Proofs, Rebuttals, and Propositions: A Conference of Theoretical Theater, a conference framed-as-performance that will culminate in September, 2013 in NYC. This experimental conference theorizes that performance is not just an artistic medium, it is also a vast and complex conceptual structure reaching into every atom of society. We will be raising funds to facilitate the development of performance projects by four “plenary” artist-theorists, Kikuko Tanaka (Japan/USA), Amapola Prada (Peru), Mike Taylor (NYC), and Reality Research Center (Finland).
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Preview and Benefit for ‘Theorems, Proofs, Rebuttals, and Propositions, a Conference of Theoretical Theater’
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Lecture by Dr. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Performances by Varispeed and other guest artists
246 Union Avenue , Brooklyn, NY
(M to Lorimer, G/L to Metropolitan-Lorimer)
Suggested donation $25 (donations over $250 tax deductible)
or reserve a seat online by donating $30 at http://previewtheaterastheory.bpt.me
If you can’t make it, please consider donating to the project via Panoply Lab’s fiscal sponsor HERE
Space is very limited!
A preview of and fundraiser for the upcoming Theorems, Proofs, Rebuttals, and Propositions: A Conference of Theoretical Theater, this evening draws together artists, scholars, and also theorists working outside institutions. The lecture by Dr. Spivak, on imaginative training for epistemological performance, will act as a provocation and catalyst for further discussions and, alongside music and theatrical performances, a live auction of critical theories written in the moment by the audience.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a celebrated critical theorist whose work has been particularly influential to the field of post-colonialism. Her research interest is the humanities as an instrument of gendered social justice. Spivak is University Professor at Columbia University. University Professorships are the highest honor awarded to faculty by the President and the trustees of the University. There are currently eight University Professors among the nearly 4,000 full time faculty at Columbia. Spivak is the only University Professor in the Humanities and the first and only woman of color to be raised to this rank in the University’s 258-year history. Indeed, there is no other Asian woman in the humanities who holds comparable rank in the United States. Spivak was the first woman of color with an endowed professorship at Emory University in Atlanta, and the first Mellon Professor in English at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1976, Spivak introduced the work of Jacques Derrida to the English-reading world through her translation of De la grammatologie. Through her 48 years of full time teaching at universities around the world, Spivak has taught literary reading as a way of preparing for the unconditioned (ahaituka) ethical, rather than rational choice utilitarian decisions, encompassing feminism as well as the intuitions of democracy. Since 1986, Spivak has expanded this effort among the children of the rural landless illiterate by establishing small elementary schools in Purulia and Birbhum districts of West Bengal, training teachers chosen by the community. These schools are subsidized by her own salary, because Spivak believes that the evaluative standards of the international civil society are too restrictive for the training of a democratic electorate. With the help of the Tarak Nath Das Foundation and the enthusiastic support of the community and the Beej Nigam of the Government of West Bengal, she is launched on an ambitious project of ecological agriculture. She was born in Calcutta, India, in 1942. She is the author of many influential works such as In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (1987), Outside in the Teaching Machine (1993), “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1985), A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present (1999), Death of a Discipline (2003), and Other Asias (2005). In 2008 Seagull Books (Calcutta) published Who Sings the Nation-State? a conversation with Judith Butler. Her more recent works include Nationalism and the Imagination (2010) and An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012). She has translated from the Bengali extensively, including 18th-century hymns.
Varispeed is a collective of composer-performers from experimental theatre group Panoply Performance Laboratory, ensemble thingNY, and Why Lie? that creates site-specific, sometimes-participatory, oftentimes-durational, forevermore-experimental events. Founded by Aliza Simons, Dave Ruder, Paul Pinto, Brian McCorkle, and Gelsey Bell, Varispeed came together in June 2011 to perform a twelve-hour celebration of Perfect Lives Brooklyn before they were invited to perform the critically-acclaimed Manhattan version in November as part of PERFORMA ’11. Their new arrangements in Perfect Lives Manhattan made Time Out New York and New York Times’ critic Steve Smith’s “Best of 2011” list. Subsequently, Varispeed presented on Perfect Lives at Performers Forum and began a series of 1-minute recorded operas, each dedicated to a supporter of the collective. In August 2012, Varispeed presented their second full scale project, an over-night, 12-hour arrangement of John Cage’s Empty Words, which was presented at Roulette, Exapno, and across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Theorems, Proofs, Rebuttals, and Propositions: A Conference of Theoretical Theater is an experimental conference based on the premise that performance is not just an artistic medium, it is also a vast and complex conceptual structure reaching into every sphere of society. Scheduled for September 2013, the conference recognizes, frames, and authorizes performance-making as a constructive theorizing and envisioning act with the agency to escape autonomous artistic spheres and participate in co-construction of public discourse. Significantly, the conference begins with four theoretical positions, each presented via performance. The conference is structured to allow participants to respond to, rebut, and extend the views presented in the four initial performances, through discussions, talks, and conference publications. The four theoretical performances that provide the core of the conference will be presented by Mike Taylor (USA), Reality Research Center (FINLAND), Amapola Prada (PERU), and Kikuko Tanaka (JAPAN/USA). This benefit primarily funds air travel for international participants.
Theorems, Proofs, Rebuttals, and Propositions: A Conference of Theoretical Theater is conceived and organized by Esther Neff (Panoply Performance Lab) and Yelena Gluzman (UCSD), and supported by a grant from Culture Push’s Fellowship for Utopian Practice.
To contact conference organizers, please email email@example.com
We are pleased to announce the four theory performances that will provide the core of Theorems, Proofs, Rebuttals, and Propositions: A Conference of Theoretical Theater. As you may recall, these four performances will be the basis of all further formal and informal responses, talks, and panels within the conference. The four projects were chosen from a large number of proposals, and we are looking forward to some very interesting provocations.
Mike Taylor (USA) will present IDEA MACHINE: Experiments in Theatre Techniques for Audience Transformation, a work reflecting on the conditions of theater itself, and focusing on instances of compression and transformation.
Reality Research Center (FINLAND) will perform MYSTERIES OF LOVE, a monumental performance series in the form of an esoteric school in which repeated lessons on eros guide the pupil toward an experience of absolute beauty.
Amapola Prada (PERU) will show REVOLUTION, a piece that posits methods for relating ideologic structures to the body via the artist’s own pessimism.
Finally, Kikuko Tanaka (JAPAN/USA) will present POULTRY PARADISE AND ITS DISCONTENTS to investigate the constructed nature of revolt/resistance, intertwining sexuality, and artistic production.
The conference will take place in early September, 2013 in New York City. Moderators and plenary speakers will be announced in March 2013. A pre-conference fundraiser will be held in NYC, date TBA.
The new deadline for proposals is AUGUST 15, 2012
This durational conference is foremost a collaborative performance project between the conference organizers and conference participants. The conference will begin with four performances/propositions, and will proceed in an outward dialogic spiral, with events structured to allow participants to discuss and respond to these initial presentations.
The initial four performances will be chosen from proposals submitted via an open call. Over the course of three months, organizers provide time, space, and resources to four theorizing performance-makers. Performance-makers/theorists need not have any theater or formal artistic background, but must propose to use the form of performance to enact a theoretical position or question. The process of performance-makers/theorists is likely to resemble the following:
1.) Theorist approaches a question, hypothesis, or problem/paradox
2.) Theorist researches the question, tests the hypothesis, or re-creates/makes evident the problem/paradox
3.) Theorist answers the question, proves or disproves the hypothesis, or formalizes the problem/paradox AS A PERFORMANCE.
Each project will be paired with a critical writer (an arts writer, philosopher, cultural critic, etc), who will observe the process of creating the presentation and be in dialogue with the theorist, becoming the first formal respondent to that work. This first stage of production will culminate in a conference weekend in New York City, during which conference participants will gather and the four projects will be performed. In Stage 2, panel discussions lead by the four critical writers will follow each performance, and conference participants will be invited to consider and discuss the presentations via various political, theoretical, and analytical contexts of their choosing. All participants in this public weekend conference will also be invited to submit written responses to be published in a hard-copy Gazette and online; these written documents constitute the third stage of the project. Stage 4 will consist of a final day-long public discussion that will consider the written responses and previous discussions. The entire process will be documented and excerpts made available via online or print publishing after the event.
Theorems, Proofs, Rebuttals, and Propositions: A Conference of Theoretical Theater began with the simple conception of “theater” as a public site for insight (in Greek, theater means ‘seeing place’), tied intrinsically to theory or ‘ways of seeing.’ This conference is based on the premise that performance is not just an artistic medium, it is also a vast and complex conceptual/ philosophic structure (multiplicitous, logarithmic, exponential, quantum). We posit performance as an “uncanny social science,” a way of researching human social experience by being it, by encompassing, constructing, simultaneously causing and being caused-by business, community and kinship conceptions, systems of definition like gender and race, political and intuitional constructs, and so on. There is no praxical division between academic fields of inquiry. Modes must be researched and developed by everyone, across artistic mediums, across social and “hard” sciences, across daily living patterns, across conversations and other communications.
The project seeks both to recognize, theorize, and authorize performance-making as a constructive theorizing and envisioning act that may have the agency to escape autonomous artistic spheres and participate in co-construction of public discourse and, as a performance project itself, to invent, theorize, test, bend, expand, and corrupt the conference’s own overarching theory and mode of production.
Open Call out April 15, 2012
Proposals due August 1, 2012
Theorists and Writers notified October 1, 2012
March-June, 2013 Fundraiser and open rehearsals
July 12, 13, 14, Public Conference is held in New York City
July 30, Gazette released
Mid-August, TBD, 2013, final critical panel in New York City
This process and the emergent conference will be organized in 5 stages.
Stage One: Open call for theoretical performance proposals. All proposals due AUGUST 1, 2012
Successful applicants will be notified by October 1, 2012. In some cases, conference organizers might ask for revisions to develop proposals for possible inclusion.
Stage Two: The chosen proposals are developed.
During the development, we provide at least 10 hours of rehearsal space, as well as access to Materials for the Arts, web-hosting, and assistance with publicity and marketing. Contracts will be tailored to each project.
At least one open rehearsal will allow theorists to share their process with each other and the public.
Theorists will also participate in interviews and post research online. Each project will be assigned a critical writer (who may be an arts writer, performance theorist, art historian, or other cultural critic whose primary mode of response is through writing), who will in later stages will be asked to provide a critical perspective on that work and will lead the post-performance discussion.
Stage Three: A weekend-long conference, during which all works are performed.
Each performance will be followed by an open discussion, each one moderated by the critical collaborator paired with that project in Stage 2.
Stage Four: All conference participants are invited to respond to any one of the performances (including their own) in writing, either with a critical response, or with a theoretical/performative response.
A number of these responses will be published in a hard-copy Gazette form and made available to participants. Other responses will be available online.
Stage Five: A final panel discussion will be held to discuss the works presented, documentation, and the critical responses the exponential theories generated.
This panel discussion will take into account viewpoints theorized in the published written responses. The panel will be comprised of conference participants, both the featured theorists and others, who, after Stages One – Four, express a strong interest in discussing the preceding presentations.
Applicants need not be artists or performers, nor have experience with creating performance, but may also be historians, philosophers, cultural critics, activists, scientists, or thinkers in any discipline. Similarly, theories need not be specifically theories of performance, but can be theoretical positions dealing with any aspect of time, space, causality, communication, morality, mind, body, society, being, aesthetics, politics, arts, sciences, knowledge or other major theoretical concerns that can be activated in the situation of performance. Successful applicants will propose the active mode, form, or medium of their theory, instead of simply describing their theory in a theatrical style. It is expected that given conditions of performance (not limited to venue, audience, authorship, shared temporality, etc.) will be utilized or subverted in order to instantiate a theoretical position.
Prospective theorists/performance-makers should request the materials and resources they need to develop and perform their project, and be as specific as possible in describing their intended project. Applicants must be available during the times specified in the timeline.
Four proposals will be chosen by a small interdisciplinary panel of jurors based on cohesion of vision and feasibility.
To apply, please follow the guidelines below. The deadline is August 1, 2012.
1. On the top of the first page, please include the following information: Name, Address, E-mail, Phone number, Website (if applicable)
2. Please send a proposal (less than 2 pages) for a theoretical performance. Please be as specific as possible. Proposal guidelines are purposefully vague in order to allow for a multiplicity of approaches.
3. In a separate paragraph, please attempt to foresee technical requirements, spatial/architectural needs, and other anticipated necessary materials for your proposed project.
Please email your proposal as an attachment, along with a CV, resume, or narrative biography (up to 500 words).
Both individuals and groups are welcome to apply. Send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 1, 2012.
The form of this conference is unusual, and it seeks to engage an interdisciplinary community of thinkers. Therefore, you may have questions about one or more aspects of the conference or the call for proposals. Please do not hesitate to e-mail us with your questions, requests for clarification, or comments.