Research Labs: Pedagody and Performance Workshops

Performance class students at UBC, Copyright 2016 
In 2016 my research takes the form of the Embodiment Lab, in collaboration with Carolina Bergonzoni and Catherine Soussloff.

With the support of the British Columbia Arts Council Early Career Development Program I am able to develop a course syllabus and independent workshops that are framed as a collaborative space for exploration and academic research. Together with Bergonzzoni and Soussloff we work in developing a methodology for movement workshops that integrate theories of embodiment with pedagogies for contemporary performance art practices, awareness and perception. Inside and outside the context of the Academic Institution.

We attempt to navigate the relationship/gap between theoretical and actual embodiment: the labs-workshops invert the paradigm of academic/artistic research as a process that often follows the order of reading, studying, thinking, and embodiment is a posterior result. This exploration is stemmed in a shared passion for theories of phenomenology, pedagogy, and performance.

Latin American artists and theorists such as Brazilian artist Lygia Clark, Uruguayan artist and writer Luis Camnitzer, and Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire have inspired this interest in the relationship between art and pedagogy. But our most significant influence has been rooted in phenomenology, specifically Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s notions of perception and inter-subjectivity.

We consider this space to be of great value to students, educators, artists, cultural and spiritual practitioners, to team leaders, and social activists. We believe that a practice of embodiment as we understand it enhances personal and social awareness fostering self-reflection and empathy.

Over the past year we have brought the workshop to the context of academic studies. We have had fantastic experiences teaching at local universities such as Emily Carr, UBC, and at local Symposiums and Conferences. And in Buenos Aires, Argentina at UMSA, Universidad de Museo Social Argentino.

We are eager to share this investigation and looking forward to extending our networks and spirit of collaboration.