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Conversations after Performance Art

Organizing Committee:


With growing interest in performance art as as a form that relies on active audience engagement and as a strategy to engage social issues, I'd like to propose a class that organizes conversations after watching performance art pieces.  

As audience members, we rarely get the chance to share the thoughts we have after seeing a piece of work with those who experienced it with us. We are often placed as passive viewers of an art work, not as a participants in a living experience. As artists, we rarely have the opportunity to hear about an audience’s experience outside of thoughts from a close circle of friends or critiques from a written review or article.

This class can be an open space for conversations about performance art. The goal is not to critique or historicize a piece, but to further understand the artist’s intention and the varying interpretations of others. Some readings can be assigned to contextualize our conversation and to assist in developing a shared terminology. And there is a hope that the conversations lead to creation of new work, collaboration and platform. 

This November is the Performa biennial -- a good time to have this class because there will be many free events as well as large scale productions. We can also watch performance art in other artist-run spaces or public spaces, open to suggestion.

This class can be a continuation of interesting conversations that started at other TPSNY classes such as ‘Performing Participation’, ‘Spectator’s Performance’ and ‘Introduction to Sound Art’.  

Let me know if you want to be part of this conversation!

This class will be facilitated by TPS committee (Jackie, Maia, Taeyoon and few more:) 


tchoi8's picture

Next door, Paula Cooper gallery is showing Mark Di Suvero pieces called 'Paula's pleasure' It's a huge swing made of rusted H-beams. He is the artist who made 'the big red thing' in Zuccotti Park. It may be interesting to 'Occupy' the sculpture for our conversation, temporary and poetically it may be.

tchoi8's picture

Hi. great conversations going on here.
Just a note on logistics, there are some uncertainties regarding Occupied New School and we decided it is best to meet at Eyebeam in Chelsea. Ring the small bell on the graffiti covered wall. Please come in time as we need to open door for late comers. :)

As homework/ or cooperative teaching-learning, we decided next class to be reading/improvisational performance class. We will each bring short text by others (philosophy or news article and what not) and a piece of text/performance/what not that will lead into discussion. New students are very welcome.

The first class's topic revolved around OWS-occupation,protest etc, language of resistance&control etc. The second class topic is being brewed on this forum now. Hope others can participate through the forum and class.

Going off our discussions last weekend,I thought it might be a good idea to upload Foucault's 'Fearless Speech.' His understanding of parrhesia may be interesting to talk about, in relation to performance art.

The full text can be found here:

Great class last Saturday.

One thing I noticed in regard to Performa and performance art is the ambiguity of what constitutes a performance. Similarly, in our discussin of protest and OWS, its nebulous as to what this thing is. Is it a movement? Protest? Occupation (really, an occupation--in a physical sense or a military/governmental sense)? Is it a parade (as the NYPD interpreted it at N17)?

Reading Mao's text, I found a strange ability to substitute "guerrilla" for "protester" and have very apt descriptions of what's happening.

The full text can be found here:

See you Saturday

tchoi8's picture

Great class today everyone! We started with Blanchot's Unavowable Community (we only have part 1 on aaaaarg, which is too bad as part 2 is relevant to our discussion.
and went on to talk about N17 & OWS, some performa events, the space we were in- 60 Wall st. We then went to Zuccotti which was being decorated with Christmas lights now...

We will have another class this coming Saturday at Occupied New School. It will be reading+performance+discussion. Will update once we have a confirmation from the space.

tchoi8's picture

Hi! we have 10 people expressed checked for 'attending'. Let's meet at the 60 Wall st.
Btw, Fluxus concert was very fun. too bad Crazy english camp is cancelled, any inside info?

Occupy Wall St Day of Action N17 was FULL of performance art, intervention, spontaneous collaboration. Let's talk about some performance from Performa, and then connect it to all kinds of actions and performance happening in and out of OWS.

If you are a practitioner, feel free to share your website so we can see what we are up to.

tchoi8's picture

Hey y'all. I've been going to some gigs, Fujiwara's piece was fun, Burak's class was good too. I heard some of you went to Nashat's piece, curious to hear your experience. I will be going to Fluxus concert tonight, Laser's tomorrow, and Crazy English camp around 1 in Saturday.

Look forward to talking about performance art in this class. Is there some reading, article you want to share?

I've reached out to see if we can use a space at Performa Hub. I will update if it will happen. Otherwise, 60 Wall st is always welcoming.

I'm planning on attending the Crazy English Camp. Hopefully I will see some of you there!

I'm planning on attending the Crazy English Camp. Hopefully I will see some of you there!

sorry, I was looking at the wrong week on my calendar. I'll be at the Liz Magic Laser performance NEXT monday. If anyone else is planning on going let me know



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