The Body and the Book: Artistic Research in Today's Academy

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Nazlıhan Eda Erçin and Ben Spatz. Still from video recorded by Agnieszka Mendel. Judaica: Embodied Laboratory for Songwork (AHRC 2016-2018). University of Huddersfield, 2017.

Artistic research — the idea that artistic and embodied practices not only draw upon but also generate knowledge — is increasingly common globally, but remains marginal in the United States. What is at stake in the claim that artistic and embodied practice can be research? What possibilities might be opened by such a claim and what legitimate resistances exist? This panel of scholar-practitioners and artist-researchers will discuss the relationships between practice and research in their own work, how they navigate diverse epistemologies across academic and artistic institutions, and what possible futures they envision.

This panel is an initiative of Dr. Ben Spatz (University of Huddersfield, UK) and the project ‘Judaica: Embodied Laboratory for Songwork’ (Ben Spatz, Nazlıhan Eda Erçin, and Agnieszka Mendel), with support from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Panelists Include: 

Ximena Garnica is a Colombian-born interdisciplinary choreographer, director and artist. Active as a curator and producer, she also previously taught at P.H.T.S, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Other teaching credits include master classes and lectures at Denison University, Skidmore College, DeSales University, and Muhlenberg College. She received a B.A. in Theater Arts with a minor in Multimedia Studies from the City College of New York. In 2006 she graduated from Akira Kasai’s Tenshikan Dance Institute in Tokyo. Garnica has been co-leading LEIMAY’s programs at CAVE since the year 2000 including international performance festivals, residencies and training projects.

Katherine Profeta is a NYC dramaturg who has worked with choreographer/visual artist Ralph Lemon since 1996; other collaborators have included Julie Taymor, Karin Coonrod, Frederick Wiseman, Annie Dorsen, Emma Griffin, David Thomson, and Theater for a New Audience. She is a founding member of the award-winning New York City theater company, Elevator Repair Service. Her most recent book is Dramaturgy in Motion: At Work on Dance and Movement Performance.

Ben Spatz is Senior Lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Performance at University of Huddersfield; author of What a Body Can Do: Technique as Knowledge, Practice as Research (Routledge 2015); editor of the new videographic Journal of Embodied Research; and 2016-2018 UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow with the project ‘Judaica: An Embodied Laboratory for Song-Action’. Recent talks and workshops include ‘What is a song?’ (The British Library), ‘Beyond Performer Training’ (University of Kent), ‘Reading Grotowski in the Anthropocene’ (University of the Arts Helsinki), and ‘Future Documents: Video Epistemology and Embodied Research’ (University of Manchester; University of Aberdeen).

Dana Whitco directs the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research, a new strategic initiative designed to catalyze, nurture and promote the research praxis of Tisch faculty, students and staff. Dana works with diverse Tisch stakeholders to formulate new opportunities for research, to deeply integrate artists into the intellectual life of the University, and to strengthen Tisch’s capacity as an incubator for innovation and collaboration. She is the Founding Director of the Center for Creative Research (Graduate School of Arts & Science, New York University) and Co-Founder of PositiveFeedback, NYC's first inter-institutional consortium dedicated to supporting collaborations between artists and scientists working on issues of climate change. Previous appointments in the performing arts include the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Dance Project (New England Foundation for the Arts) and Center Theater Group (Mark Taper Forum/Ahmanson Theater/Kirk Douglas Theater) in Los Angeles where she also completed graduate studies in dance at University of California, Los Angeles. Whitco is a frequent advisor and panelist for arts grant-making programs in New York City and across the country, and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences. She has taught dance and dance-related subjects at NYU, Temple University, UCLA, and Loyola Marymount University and at the elementary and secondary school-level, and currently serves on the boards of Movement Research, Bebe Miller Company and Culturebot.

Moderated by:

André Lepecki