We’re excited to announce our Spring 2015 Calendar of Events!

We present two Theory-Practice Collaboratories, a series of participatory workshops integrating theory and practice, creativity and criticality. The series showcases exciting, boundary-pushing work happening across campus, and provides artist-scholars a space within which to experience each other’s work. Facilitating conversations between experimental scholarship, creative writing, performance, new media, digital text, and visualization studies, these Collaboratories engage a richly interdisciplinary nexus of questions, practices, and possibilities for unsettling generic and medium-specific boundaries. Collaboratories will provide opportunities to engage in collective exploration of playful, creative scholarship through such practices as performance-making, sensory awareness, digital remediation, public discourse, and relational aesthetics. We hope to collaboratively produce new conceptual and aesthetic possibilities, acknowledging disciplinary constraints and expectations while exploring ways that our research might take on new shapes, reveal assumptions, and prompt unexpected questions.

We’re also presenting two major visiting artists, Martha Wilson and Tehching Hsieh!

Martha Wilson is an artist, scholar, and curator whose whose playfully irreverent work with feminist, queer, and gender performance was pioneering and foundational to the history of performance art and conceptual art. In the 1970s she emerged as a major video and performance artist, making innovative work that challenged social conventions, expanded the role of art in society, and increased the visibility of women in the art world. In addition to working with photography, performance art, and digital video, she also co-founded DISBAND, a feminist performance art band. Her work is collected by MoMA (Museum of Modern Art in NYC) and elsewhere, and she has received many awards including the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship, Yoko Ono Courage Award for the Arts, a Bessie Award, and an Obie Award. In addition to her art practice she is committed to documenting and historicizing contemporary art practices as a scholar, writer, curator, and gallery director. An important force for arts programming and social engagement, she founded the organization Franklin Furnace in 1976, which champions avant-garde and experimental art practices and remains an important locus of arts programming currently supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Wilson’s explorations of identity and embodiment in visual culture and mass media continue to inspire investigation of subjectivity, relationality, and performance in everyday life, calling attention to and disrupting social scripts of gender and sexuality.

Tehching Hsieh is a foundational performance artist who enacted a series of durational works that bracketed everyday life as performance, testing the limits of blurring art and life. During Hsieh’s first three One Year Performances, One Year Performance 1978-1979: Cage PieceOne Year Performance 1980-1981: Time Clock Piece, and One Year Performance 1981-1982: Outdoor Piece, he confined himself spatially and temporally throughout the year-long duration of each piece, living in a cage in his gallery with very little human contact, requiring himself to clock in to a time clock in his gallery every hour on the hour, and living outdoors.  Each of these pieces radically changed Hsieh’s everyday life, as the demanding rules of each piece supplanted his ability to perform regular, everyday activities. Departing from the form of his first three year-long performances mapped onto the time-space of life, Hsieh’s fourth piece, Art/Life One Year Performance 1983-1984: Rope Piece, embedded the year-long performance into life. Throughout the duration of the piece, Hsieh and Linda Montano, a fellow performance artist researching life/art practice, were tied together with a rope of eight feet, literalizing the process through which subjects constrain and enable each other’s subjectivities. His fifth One Year Performance was a rejection of art-making, and this was followed by a thirteen year performance during which he would make art but not show it publicly. Formally disrupting the separation between art and life, Hsieh’s work imbues the temporal processes of daily life with aesthetic awareness and ethical attention to others.

Both artists will give a talk and a workshop, and we’ll screen their work in advance.

Finally, with Madison Performance Philosophy Collective we are presenting MAD THEORY 2: A Performance Philosophy Symposium, an experimental and dynamic time and space to demonstrate and discuss exciting new interdisciplinary work.

We invite you to join us for one or several of these events!


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