Performative Objects and Spaces

Rodrigo headshot and book cover

Join the Department of Performance Studies as we welcome PS Alum Rodrigo Tisi (Ph.D. '11) for an Alumni Lecture Series event to discuss his book, Performative Objects and Spaces. This presentation will navigate the explorations of Rodrigo Tisi's work as he combines ideas of performance with architecture. His argumentation elaborates on a methodology that highlights different factors in designing performative objects and spaces. The book presents the case of Plaza Italia in Santiago to explore ideas of the performative and of performativity that insist in his argumentation. This book incorporates the voices of other colleagues that also also work with ideas of performance such as Brandon LaBelle, Kristine Samson, Shauna Janssen, and Charles Renfro partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Fellow PS Alum Marcela Fuentes, Associate Professor of Performance Studies, Northwestern University (Ph.D. '08 M.A. '02) will join Rodrigo Tisi for a Q/A session following his presentation. 


Rodrigo Tisi, Ph.D. in Performance Studies, New York University (2011); architect and master's in architecture from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (1999). He is an Associate Professor, director of the Master's degree in Design Sciences and the diploma in Design of Exhibition Spaces at Adolfo Ibáñez University, where he teaches courses at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. His work explores the relationships between architecture, design, arts, public space, society, culture and performance, in a broad sense. He has worked in the studios of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group in New York. His recent practice has focused on the world of exhibitions, where he combines curatorial practice with the design of exhibition spaces. Highlights include SCL2110, an ambitious exhibition that was part of his dissertation presented at PS, NYU. The exhibition aimed to link different areas of culture and academia in Chile. In 2017, he was creative director and curator of special projects for the XX Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism of Chile "Diálogos Impostergables". In 2019, he curated and designed the exhibition: "Santiago: destination city" to make immigration issues visible in Chile. Recently, in 2022, he did "Shamanism: visions out of time". Tisi has taught and published various articles on architecture, design, museography and performance design in Chile and abroad.

Marcela A. Fuentes is a performance theorist and practitioner whose work tracks how notions that are central to studies of performance such as embodiment, liveness, eventness, and site-specificity are redefined in the era of digitally mediated communication. Her latest book, Performance Constellations: Networks of Protest and Activism in Latin America (University of Michigan Press) maps out the entanglement of street protests and digitally mediated mobilizations in response to state violence and neoliberal exploitation. An expanded version that includes a chapter on transnational feminist mobilizations, Activismos tecnopolíticos. Constelaciones de performance, has been published in Spanish by the Argentine press Eterna Cadencia. Fuentes has been awarded national and international fellowships and grants such as the Fulbright Fellowship and the Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral research grant. Her work has been published in Text and Performance Quarterly, e-misférica, the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Conjunto, LatFem, Moléculas Malucas, Página 12, and edited volumes on transnational and activist performance. Her research and teaching interests include feminist theory and performance, theories of embodiment, affect theory, queer of color critique, hemispheric performance, practice-based research, and the digital humanities. From 2016 to 2018 she was a member of the Argentine feminist collective Ni Una Menos. She has also served as External Consultant for the Buenos Aires Performance Biennial and Council Member of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. Her lecture performance Sujeto Transnacional has been presented in Argentina, Brazil, and the US. Her latest performance #Mar. A Nomadic Lecture opened the academic track of the 2021 Performance Biennial in Buenos Aires.

Celebrations of the Book:

"In our age of ecological and societal crises, it’s essential to understand how we activate environments that reciprocally activate us. Such performativity of spaces and things is central to Rodrigo Tisi’s theoretical practice as an architect, curator and interdisciplinary artist, here expressed through an impressive body of work in which he generously involves colleagues and students while engaging with diverse communities. This very notion of ‘generosity’ – a form of political love – is inherent to Tisi’s design equation and the valuable contribution he makes to the field of performance design as a critical and empathic voice from the global south" - Dorita Hannah

"Plaza Italia, in Santiago, is a space that has been radically transformed by body movements, and altered, both physically and conceptually, by a choreography of life and death. This transformation of the historic plaza is the focus of Rodrigo Tisi’s brilliant publication. Through this fascinating case study, at a historic moment when a new constitution is being drafted, he attempts to respond to the essential challenge of our times: how do we live together? The publication itself becomes a space of resistance, as well as a space of hope, a shared space for a vibrant local community of artists, architects and a diverse group of intellectuals that are all working together with one simple but fundamental objective: to build a better world" - Alfredo Jaar


Rodrigo Tisi


Rodrigo Tisi

Tisi and Fuentes

Rodrigo Tisi & Marcela Fuentes