Hiving: Living Forms, Forms of Living

Hiving Symposium

Co-sponsored by the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research and the Department of Performance Studies

Studies of bee life in the natural sciences have emphasized the entanglement of hive and honeybee, with the social life of bees (elaborate communication, egalitarian labor, collective interdependence, and altruism) evolving in tandem with the hive (Seeley, Thomas. Honeybee Ecology: A Study of Adaptation in Social Life. Princeton University Press, 1985). The hive in turn becomes an infrastructure and body; an organism and repertory; a thing to be defended, reproduced, and preserved; an activity and space; and an ongoing, collective, highly aesthetic collaboration. “Hiving: Living Forms, Forms of Living” assembles performance artists and scholars, anthropologists, and beekeepers to imagine the hive or nest. In considering hives by bees and others, we are driven by a beyond-human interest in what social homes teach us about the intersections of performance studies, animal studies, anthropology, and life sciences. Together, we’ll explore how social forms of life and their infrastructures exceed and instruct the political, examining how this could expand a conventional performance studies understanding of ethics and aesthetics, reproduction, collectivity, assembly, domestic space, and organizing.

We ask that guests and participants feel free to bring food and drink to the studio for a collective potluck.

This event was convened and imagined by Sarah Richter.

Accessibility info: This event is can be accessed by two elevators. There are two wheelchair accessible, all-gender bathrooms down the hall.


11:15-12:30pm - Sarah Richter and Michael Thiele 

12:45-2:00pm - Georgia Sagri and André Lepecki 

2:00-3:00pm - Potluck 

3:00-4:15pm - Che Gossett and Barbara Browning 

4:30-6:00pm - Elizabeth A. Povinelli and Fred Moten 


Barbara Browning teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at NYU. She's the author of three academic books (Samba: Resistance in Motion, Infectious Rhythm: Metaphors of Contagion and the Spread of African Culture, and Caetano Veloso: A Foreign Sound) as well as three ficto-critical novels (The Correspondence Artist, I’m Trying to Reach You, and The Gift (or, Techniques of the Body)). With Sébastien Régnier, she co-authored a work of auto-fiction à quatre mains, Who the Hell is Imre Lodbrog? She also maintains a performance practice, both solo and collaborative.

Che Gossett is a Black non binary femme writer, an archivist at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and a Ph.D. candidate in trans/gender studies at Rutgers. They are the recipient of the 2014 Gloria E. Ánzaldúa Award from the American Studies Association and an NY 2018-2019 Queer Art Mentor. 

André Lepecki is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. He is editor of several anthologies on dance and performance theory including Of the Presence of the Body (2004), and Dance (2012). An independent performance curator, he created projects for Haus der Kunst Munich, Hayward Gallery, HKW-Berlin, MoMA Warsaw, and the Sydney Biennial 2016, among other venues in Europe, Brazil, and the US. He is the author of Exhausting Dance: Performance and the Politics of Movement (2006) (translated in 11 languages), and Singularities: Dance in the Age of Performance (2016, Spanish Translation forthcoming 2019). In 2008 he received the AICA award for Best Performance for co-curating and directing the authorized 2006 redoing of Allan Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, a commission by Haus der Kunst Munich, later presented at PERFORMA 07.

Fred Moten is Professor in the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts. He holds an A.B. from Harvard and a Ph. D from the University of California, Berkeley. Moten teaches courses and conducts research in black studies, performance studies, poetics and critical theory. He is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota Press, 2003); Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works, 2009); B. Jenkins (Duke University Press, 2010); The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2014), The Little Edges (Wesleyan University Press, 2015), The Service Porch (Letter Machine Editions, 2016) and a three-volume collection of essays whose general title is consent not to be a single being (Duke University Press, 2017, 2018). Moten is also co-author, with Stefano Harney, of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2013) and A Poetics of the Undercommons (Sputnik and Fizzle, 2016) and, with Wu Tsang, of Who touched me? (If I Can’t Dance, I Don't Want to be Part of Your Revolution, 2016). Moten has served on the editorial boards of Callaloo, Discourse, American Quarterly and Social Text; as a member of the Critical Theory Institute at the University of California, Irvine; on the board of directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York; and on the advisory board of Issues in Critical Investigation, Vanderbilt University.

Elizabeth A. Povinelli is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She is Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, New York and one of the founding members of the Karrabing Film Collective. Povinelli’s writing has focused on developing a critical theory of late liberalism that would support an anthropology of the otherwise. This potential theory has unfolded primarily from within a sustained relationship with Indigenous colleagues in north Australia and across five books, numerous essays, and six films with the Karrabing Film Collective. Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism was the 2017 recipient of the Lionel Trilling Book Award. Karrabing films were awarded the 2015 Visible Award and the 2015 Cinema Nova Award Best Short Fiction Film, Melbourne International Film Festival and have shown internationally including in the Berlinale Forum Expanded, Sydney Biennale; MIFF, the Tate Modern, documenta-14, and the Contour Biennale.

Sarah Richter is a Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at New York University and recipient of the Paulette Goddard Award for Innovative Scholarship. She is also the managing editor of Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory.

Georgia Sagri is a performance artist based in Athens, Greece. Her work has been presented internationally at documenta 14, Kassel and Athens (2017); Manifesta 11, Zürich (2016); SculptureCenter, New York (2015); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014 and 2015), Kunsthalle Basel (2014), as well as the 14th Istanbul Biennale (2015), the Lyon Biennale (2013), and the Whitney Biennial (2012). In 2011 she was one of the main organizers of Occupy Wall Street in New York and since 2013 has been a member of the occupation of the Embros Theater in Athens. Her artwork persistently engages aesthetic sociality, political assembly, and collective embodiment. In 2014, she founded the semipublic, semipersonal project space ‘ΥΛΗ[matter]HYLE.

Michael Thiele’s radical approach to apiculture as a platform for global renewal has appeared in national and international magazines, books and films. He has presented his work at Harvard University, consulted for the USDA, and developed the organization Gaia Bees to advance biodynamic practices in apiculture.  Michael received lay-ordination within the Zen Buddhist tradition and pursues apiculture within a socio-cultural and spiritual dimension. He is an edge-walker within the biodynamic and holistic apiculture field and researches the relevance of the apian consciousness for our life as human beings.  Michael has been involved in the creation of honeybee sanctuaries for over two decades. In 2017 he created Apis Arborea (, a platform for a multidisciplinary approach towards rewilding, conservation, and protection of honeybees in the Anthropocene. He currently lives with his family, and an infinity of bees, in the oak woodlands of Northern California.