Methodologies in Motion: Manifesto, Workshop & Public Performances
for a Political Aesthetics of Affective Attention
March 26-29, 2014

Join us for a part or all of a four-day collaboratorium for developing methods that vibrate with the motion and vibrance of performance and resound the spectacular, the aud-actular, and the multi-sensory.

Email the CVC at cvc@education.wisc.edu or lead organizer Jill H. Casid at jhcasid@wisc.edu in advance if you are interested in participating in the workshops and performances. Please find the full description of the events below.

1.  Public Manifesto and Conversation
Wednesday, March 26, Elvehjem Building, L140, 6:00 PM
(No RSVP required)

This public manifesto sets the stage for public conversation that is at once demonstration, provocation and practice in the cultivation of “attention.”

2.  All that Fell and A Workshop in Physical Radio

Two-day Workshop:
Wednesday, March 26, 3:00 – 5:00 PM and Thursday, March 27, 3:00 – 5:00 PM, Center for Visual Cultures, Memorial Library, Room 218
(RSVP required)

Public Performance:
Friday, March 28, 8:00 PM, Elvehjem Building, L160
(No RSVP required)

This two-day workshop will explore the art of physical radio: an oxymoron in some sense, physical radio takes its name from physical theatre, an equally odd pairing since it seems impossible to have ‘unphysical’ theatre. And yet the physical stands in here for the reanimation of a form of media that should have according to cyberlogic died in the wake of new technologies. Instead radio remains a vital form of communication. Live radio then turns the acoustic inside out as the first priority over drama made for sight. The workshop will focus on techniques in the making of physical radio and the construction of a performance score; the workshop ends with a performance of Skantze’s All That Fell and of the performance score created by participants.

3.  “What the Ear Can Bear,” Workshop Discussion and Rehearsal and Public Performance of afterKLEIST anORATORIO

Two-day Workshop and Rehearsal:
Friday, March 28, 12:00 – 2:00 PM and Saturday, March 29, 12:00 – 2:00 PM, Center for Visual Cultures, Memorial Library Room 218
(RSVP required)

Public Performance:
Saturday, March 29, 6:00pm, University Club Reading Room
(No RSVP required)

The workshop associated with the performance of afterKleist anOratorio will focus on the interesting, complicated, knotty challenges of sounding out writerly text in performance. We will play with notions of acoustic framing, of choral surround sound, of verse and poetic dialogue. The oratorio itself figures visual cues as part of its seemingly plain performance style; we will be exploring the collaborative pleasures of looking and listening, of the motion made between the two in performance. We will be discussing Four Second Decay’s decision to explore amplification without electric aids: a decision consciously made against the grain of the influence of “clean” sound, sound cleansed of the human elements in sound which has become the standard for written and sung forms of theatrical performance.

Conceptual Framework for Methodologies in Motion:
In this moment often characterized as one of media-saturated bewilderment, data-drenched distraction, and attention deficiency, the Center for Visual Cultures with the support of the Anonymous Fund and co-sponsorship support from the Mellon Workshop on Art & Scholarship, the Department of Art, and the Department of Theatre and Drama, invites all those who chafe at the borders between history, theory, and practice to join us for a four-day engaged performance event with international guests P.A. Skantze and Matthew Fink, culminating in two public performances that emerge out of the workshop process. This four-day participatory collaboratorium is dedicated to developing the mobilization of a political aesthetics of affective attention. A public manifesto sets the stage for public conversation that is at once demonstration, provocation and practice in the cultivation of “attention.” The workshops and public performances aim to energetically re-enliven what might seem the deadening or inert questions of “research methods,” moving past the hide-bound and binding divisions of the grounded and practical how-to and the seemingly abstruse and airy speculations of the theoretical and the aesthetic. Skantze and Fink provocatively prompt us toward methods that convey and embody the motion and vibrance of performance, of the spectacular, of the aud-actular, and more. While funders and publishers espouse the idea of the interdisciplinary, often the fixed categories of methods and fields re-describe fences and no-go areas. If as so many institutions suggest, we need new methods for our new times and technologies, then how do we make and appreciate and develop them together?

P.A. Skantze is Reader in Performance Practices and Director of the Centre for Performance and Creative Exchange, Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance, Roehampton University, London. Skantze has been teaching across the disciplines of theatre history, theatre practice, writing and performance since her postgraduate experience at Columbia University. Her method has always been one of engaged translation between practice, practitioners and theorists influenced by her traditional training in an English department that required study from 1600 to contemporary performance, from Dante to Angela Carter. Her first book Stillness in Motion in the Seventeenth Century (Routledge 2003) explores the aesthetics of the collaboration of stillness and motion in performance historic and contemporary, and her second book Itinerant Spectator/Itinerant Spectacle (Punctum, 2013) suggests thinking of being a spectator as a practice which the work offers through a methodology of suggestion. She is a founding member of the performance group Four Second Decay. Her musical “Stacks” which is an homage to the New York Public Library where the heroine saves New York by entering five famous books about the city and retrieving the necessary elements for New York’s survival will have a work-in-progress showing in New York this spring.

Matthew Fink, co-founder of Four Second Decay, is a writer and photographer. He lives between London and the village of Cupi in Tuscany. His most recent work includes the verse cycles afterKLEIST and The Tattered Canopy of the Velodrome. The former is the foundation of Four Second Decay’s afterKLEIST, an oratorio. As a photographer Matthew Fink has concerned himself mostly with rubble, fragmentation, decay and illegibility.

Sponsored by the The Center for Visual Cultures and organized by Jill Casid, Professor of Visual Studies with the Department of Art History and Coordinator of the Visual Culture Cluster. Co-sponsored by the Mellon Workshop on Art and Scholarship, in Theory and Practice, the Department of Art, and the Department of Theatre and Drama. Funding courtesy of the Anonymous Fund and the A.W. Mellon Workshop: Art and Scholarship, in Theory and Practice.

Methodologies in Motion

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