Bay Area Performance Studies Platform – 2012

Organized around exchange, connection, and dialogue, the first annual Northern California Performance Platform brought together scholars from five different institutions as well as independent artists working in the Bay Area. This symposium featured a graduate student plenary focused on temporality, time, and history; a devised piece entitled “Home in Five Parts;” working sessions organized around the topics of dialogue, praxis, and performance; and an evening of performances from five different Northern California performance studies programs. The aspiration of this gathering was to bring together emerging and established scholars and artists to share work and develop networks in Northern California as well as disseminating information and inviting conversations about PSi 19, which will take place at Stanford in June 2013.

Fifty artists and scholars attended the event. During the plenary, Giulia Vittori (Stanford) presented “Digging into Jasper Ridge: History’s Presence,” Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa (California College of the Arts) presented “Implicated Spaces,” Naomi Bragen (UC Berkeley) presented “Re-Presenting the Passed: Turk Dance, YAK Films, and the Oakland R.I.P Project,” and Sampada Aranke (UC Davis) presented “Looking for Nothing, Filled with Objects: Fred Hamptom’s Murder and the Coming Revolution.” Professor Tanya Augsburg (San Francisco State University) responded to these excellent papers, drawing connections across them on subjects of memory, activism, and race.

The working sessions generated rich discussions about the status of performance and performance studies in relation to the economy and dwindling resources. Attendees discussed the nature of collaboration and what it would mean to productively work together across institutions. Representatives from Stanford and UC Davis agreed to create a list-serv connecting Bay Area artists and scholars and it seems likely there will also be a blog created for us to continue communicating.  

The afternoon and evening performances spanned a variety of styles and topics. Raegan Truax (Stanford University) devised duet, a movement piece without words which tackled the way two people try to protect each other from dangerous cycles. Nina Galin (US Davis) and a partner performed Talking and Listening at the Same Time (About Race), a work that addressed the way people miss each other when they try to communicate about race. Jarrell Chua (UC Davis) invited the audience to participate in the ordering of his whimsical series of short performances about performance, Coffee and Cigarettes. Jonathan C.Hoefs (UCSC)  offeredDNA, Artificial Intelligence, and the Mystery of Oneness, which combined movement, sound, visual art, and spoken word. Chia-Yi Seetoo (UC Berkeley) performed punctuation, a touching dance piece.

Throughout the day, artists, teachers, and scholars shared information about their background and work, and over coffee, snacks, and wine forged new connections. Many expressed an interest in finding and sharing a workshop space in San Francisco. A number who attended hope to develop collaborative proposals for PSi 19.

We are already looking forward to the Second Annual Northern California Performance Platform in April 2013 at the University of California, Davis.

Last modified Wed, 19 Sep, 2012 at 16:37