Master’s Theses: Class of 2021

Sarah Conn

Layering Strategies: Interdisciplinary Performance Creation as Curatorial Act

Embracing aesthetics of independence and interdependence, this thesis traces a curatorial model of interdisciplinary collaboration which, I argue, positions artist-curators as forerunners of a new form of artistic relationship. I take as case studies art collective My Barbarian, musician and composer Jason Moran, and artist and writer Ni’Ja Whitson. These artists activate curation as a methodology of creation that builds layers of multiplicity and simultaneity, resists institutional hegemony and power structures, and crafts open systems of care for their communities, their ancestors, and their futures. All three create work that resists the traditional curatorial parameters of the performance space through the demands of their interdisciplinarity, a practice that is sustained by complex structures of collectivity and kinship. I outline the criteria of coexistence through which they imbue curatorial practices into their interdisciplinary artistic collaborations, resulting in curatorial acts that generate what I describe as a "third space." This is a fertile space of sustained difference that serves as a portal for the inception of new collective futures. Underlying this research are questions around the politics of self-identification, the ongoing impacts of the 1960s radical freedom movements, and the possibilities of these third spaces of dissensus, ambivalence, and hope.


Emma Clarke

Dance Retrospection and the Museum

“Dance Retrospection and the Museum,” considers the intervention of dance in the art museum by examining exhibitions engaged in the retrospection of a single choreographer’s work. My analysis is rooted in three areas of intersection between dance and the museum: history and the archive; spectacle and space; and time, memory, and authorship. Case studies of museum exhibitions root my investigation into these junctions. I explore history and the archive through Donald Byrd: The America That Is To Be, an exhibition held at the Frye Art Museum which focused on the career of Donald Byrd (b.1949). I analyze spectacle and space through the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2010 exhibition Off the Wall: Part 2 - Seven Works by Trisha Brown which centered on works by Trisha Brown (1936-2017). Lastly, my meditation on time, memory, and authorship is guided by the MoMA PS1 manifestation of Retrospective, a work/exhibition hybrid created by Xavier Le Roy (b.1963). By bringing various works and conversations into collision, I seek to chart what emerges and push against generalizations that dance and the art museum are in opposition, ill-suited, or that their relationship can only materialize in a handful of ways. This thesis does not argue that the gallery replace the theatre as a site of performance; rather, “Dance Retrospection and the Museum,” ponders over an expansion of dance’s presence in art narratives and cultural contexts.


Constanza Armes-Cruz

Arts Workers in Precarity: Organized Responses to the Gig Economy of Performing Arts Worlds

This thesis looks at the history and present of the gig economy in the arts, from its early days in the work programs of the New Deal through the precarious times of the Covid present. I identify the historical context of labor in the arts and the shifting qualities of the gig economy over time, name the hierarchies implemented by arts organizations that utilize a curatorial model of programming, and illuminate the ways in which individual artist, activist, and organizational experiments move towards an attempt at equity at the level of wages, labor, and distribution of power. Looking into the activities of artist-activist organizations working on and adjacent to issues of labor and precarity such as the Art Workers Coalition and Black Emergency Cultural Coalition of the 1970s, W.A.G.E., and the 2020 People’s Space experiment at Performance Space New York, I observe how different groups of arts workers have worked to address harmful conditions within the economy of the performing arts with urgency. Grounded throughout is the notion that the collective labor of arts workers - those who facilitate and support the presentation, interpretation, and archiving of artworks alongside artists - are essential to the making and presenting of performance and the imagining of more sustainable, equitable futures for the field.


Erin K. Donohue

Quiet protest: minor gestures in contested spaces


Molly Feingold

The Fabulous Possibility of Objects: cunning enactments of redress

This thesis examines the performed act of fabulation, a narrative construct that combines notions of fact and fiction, as applied to the creation of physical art objects. Within this territory, I focus on the contemporary practices of two artists, Azikiwe Mohammed and Gala Porras-Kim. I explore how each of these practitioners purposefully engages the objects they propose through the act of fabulation. With these examples and distinctions, I attempt to relate the nuanced interactions between narrative and objects, exposing the pair's performative role in constructing and validating collective history, memory, and culture. Taking this further, I query how these artists' speculative practices can function through fabulation as a form of redress and open up space and time for wonder in the movement of ever-shifting phenomena.


John Freeman

Mourning Horizons: Archiving the Present and Envisioning Post-Covid-19 Futures Through Performance

This thesis is an exercise in mourning, tracing the processing of loss amid a pandemic from the perspective of an individual who is trying to understand and find his place within a community still grieving and sore. Mourning is durational, tidal, scattered, and non-linear, pulling both from the past and potential future to try and make sense of the present. This text embodies that process, indexing events between February 2020 and April 2021 that upended the way live artists support their practices, while exploring live performance as a mechanism for performing individual and community grief work. Approaching the subjects of grieving, mourning and healing, the text explores observational writing as a means to archive the present, archiving the present as a means to process lived experience, and using lived experience to imagine both individual and collective survivable futures. Examining the activist efforts of the collective What Would An HIV Doula Do? and the community-based practices of curator Hector Canonge, in conjunction with performances created mid-pandemic by Pheobe Berglund Dance Troupe, Shara Nova and Helga Davis, this research notes the temporal nature of grieving, critiquing modern mourning and emphasizing a need for slowness in tender process. Moreover, it questions what it means to be a curator, and how expanding the role can aid in the facilitation of platforms that help make sense of the present for those that need to heal.


Jamie Gahlon

Commons-Based Approaches in Contemporary Theatre and Performance: Resisting Twenty-First Century Enclosure at Double Edge Theatre, the Latinx Theatre Commons, and HowlRound Theatre Commons

Looking at contemporary theatre and performance through the lens of the commons, this thesis theorizes commons-based approaches to artistic and organizational practice that push against conventional notions of authorship, ownership, and exchange. This thesis asks: What does commons theory bring to theatre and performance, and what does theatre and performance bring to commons theory? Employing activist and scholar David Bollier’s definition of the commons as “a shared resource plus a defined community and the protocols, values and norms devised by the community to manage it” while repurposing Bollier and Silke Helfrich’s “Triad of Commoning,” this thesis reveals patterns of commoning through three case studies that move from the local, to the national, to the global. First, it examines how Ashfield, Massachusetts based Double Edge Theatre’s 2017 participatory, site-specific community-based performance Ashfield Town Spectacle & Culture Fair enacted a temporary commons that led to the creation of the Ohketeau Cultural Center. Next, the thesis explores the aesthetic and programmatic impacts of the self-organized peer governance structures and practices of the nationally focused Latinx Theatre Commons. Finally, drawing from the author’s experience as co-founder of HowlRound Theatre Commons, this thesis examines the curatorial implications of commons-based peer production on this global digital platform. Through these lines of inquiry, this thesis illustrates the potentialities of a commons-based framework to enact alternative values that create new and expanded pathways for more equitable, relational, and sustainable arts and culture practices.


J. Alex Mathews

Alone Differently: Contemporary Solo Performance in Dance

Solo performances created and performed by American artists are the primary focus of this thesis. Twentieth century solo expressions in dance are typically seen through the lens of bodily autonomy and its fixation on present time—as well as the implications of individual authorship. To continue to analyze the solo form through the push and pull of the autonomous body and the lure of one author in a period of intense individuation under neoliberalism, however, obscures its fundamentally relational character. With this in mind, I offer a comparative analysis of the following contemporary, solo performances in dance: Narcissister's MAN/WOMAN (2009), Xandra Ibarra's Turnaround Sidepiece (2018), Faye Driscoll’s Thank You For Coming: Space (2019), Julie Tolentino’s Slipping Into Darkness (2019), and mayfield brooks’s Viewing Hours (2019).

Alma J. Quintana Lazcano

Anticolonial choreopolitics: feminist performative forces to rewrite archives and histories

My thesis researches the concept of choreopolitics from an anticolonial and feminist perspective. The choreopolitical is reconceived in relation to the colonial archive and reimagined as a possible strategy to (re)organize and liberate bodies and histories. The arena to delve into this perspective follows an enquiry in relation to the art practices of four artists: Carolina Caycedo, Nora Chipaumire, Scarlet Yu and Sandra Monterroso. The different strategies and performative forces that each of them assembles through the context of their works of art and their politics, their modes of producing and sharing, as well as their standpoint regarding the archive, I argue, enable a horizon to dispute cultural hegemonic ecosystems.  In an exercise in epistemic justice, I link the choreopolitical to two indigenous perspectives: Mayan and Aymara cosmologies, in order to widen our understanding of subjectivity and to reassess temporal and spatial perspectives. To know how to move politically it is necessary to question knowledge production itself and perceive multidimensionally the world as a corpus infinitum; it demands a radical reading and a reconfiguration of the sensuous. By reflecting on the constellation between the differences and intersections of the four artists' practices alongside with curatorial research, I argue that the field of performance curation can compose the plural and devise scenarios to rewrite histories and give the archive other conditions to resignify social and historical processes with justice.



Master’s Theses: Class of 2020

Beatrice Basso

Curating in Translation: Oblique Gestures of Repair

Advised by Rayya El Zein

This thesis looks at inter- and translingual moments in performance that break perceived monocultural registers. I argue that by playing with languages traditionally locked in asymmetrical power relations (Arabic and Italian; Spanish and English), these gestures repair, reshape, and reimagine the very asymmetry of those relations. I explore recollections-reflections-reverberations of a pop song by Italian Egyptian singer Mahmood and an open rehearsal by Venezuelan choreographer Veronica Santiago Moniello, supported by reflections on a touring piece by New York-based theater artist Kaneza Schaal and recent curatorial moments in my own practice. Through the artists’ oblique positioning, strategies of translation like imprecision, repetition, provisionality, and absence emerge as an anti-imperialist map. I argue that these operations of translation and non-translation disassemble the delusion of an audience’s unified receptivity, creating a process that carefully de- and recomposes the participants into a collectivity that includes and embraces specificities.


Raechel Hofsteadter

Mobilizing Dance Legacies: Curating Embodied Archives Through the Praxes of Jennifer Harge and Anna Martine Whitehead

Advised by Rebecca Chaleff


Candace Thompson-Zachery

Encounters in Caribbean Dance: Curating Beyond Display

Advised by Laura Harris

Looking at a history of various scenarios of Caribbean Dance in New York City, this thesis considers inherited methods of presenting and viewing, and offers a model for engaging with Caribbean performance informed by a genealogy of intertextual Caribbean philosophy. That is philosophy as it presents itself through both intellectual discourse and creative expression. This model for Caribbean dance constitutes an equalizing and dimension-creating move in addition to providing a framework for its analysis. Lastly, an approach to curatorial practice is proposed based on the values, philosophies and histories of embodied practices of gathering and transformation.



Master's Theses: Class of 2019

Victoria Carrasco

Gallery Manager/Events Coordinator at DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art in Montreal

Public Art As Performance: Curating the Utopian Sculpture In and Out of the Museum

Advised by Mechtild Widrich

This thesis examines the limitations of public art as performance as a utopian concept through notions of space, medium, and legacy. It analyzes public art as performance through art practices that negotiate their space and their limits and are displayed in certain environments, and through the multidisciplinary contemporary artworks of artists Thierry Marceau, Jasmina Cibic, and Isa Genzken, as well as the 1964 outdoor exhibition Montréal International Sculpture Symposium. It maps a transition from objecthood to performative practices, while attending to the challenges these offer to the structures of memory and legacy in art history.


Deborah Goffe

Founder/Director of Scapegoat Garden

Orienting Ourselves to See: Mapping Nested Dance Ecosystems as Curatorial Practice in New England

Advised by Sarah Wilbur

Organized around ethnographic portraits of artist-centered interventions that have emerged in two New England sub-regions in recent years—the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts and the Greater Hartford area of Connecticut—this research seeks to expand awareness of artistic activity emerging outside perceived cultural centers. Further, by drawing on existing scholarship related to alternative organizational structures, politics of perception, and practices of resistance, I imagine strategies of support that acknowledge the integral role these alternative structures play in the health and vitality of larger systems of local, regional and national cultural production.


Laura Paige Kyber

Curatorial Assistant in Performance at the MCA Chicago

Empathetic Rumblings: Curating Relations in Room 21 at the Barnes Foundation

Advised by Ashley Ferro Murray

By examining Room 21, a site-specific performance project by composer Jace Clayton, within the context of the Barnes Foundation, this thesis explores the function of empathy and how it manifests in curatorial practice. By presenting the role of the curator as one that sits within a network of interdependent relations, this research examines the impulse of using empathy as an institutional strategy for building relationships with diverse artists and audiences.


Jessica Williams

Government Grants Officer at Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Reimagining the Civic-Minded Institution with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Liz Lerman: A Social Justice Continuum of Performance Curatorial Frameworks and Social Work

Advised by Barbara Adams

This thesis investigates the relationship between social work and socially engaged performance through the lenses of community-based participatory research and commons theory to define and imagine new possibilities for civic-minded curatorial practice. Williams introduces a conceptual framework of community capacity-building (as adopted from social work) to examine how two leading socially engaged performance artists, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Liz Lerman, engage individuals through artistic and dialogic practice to respond to structural inequities. This research adds to the multidisciplinary social justice discourse on civic-minded institutions, which may be useful to community-based organizations and dance institutions exploring or assessing community collaboration around civic engagement. 



Master's Theses: Class of 2018

Michelle Daly

Director of Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Curating Performance at the University: A Rhizomatic Practice

Advised by Paul Bonin-Rodriguez

How can performance curators expand their own understanding of the role and its position at the university to actively contribute to education? Further, why should they? This thesis argues that the university performance curator should position their role to enhance the critical discourse taking place in the classroom, and provide opportunities to position the university performing arts center as a co-curricular space of learning. 


Katrina De Wees

Curatorial and Production Assistant at The Shed (NYC)

Curating the End of American Rape Culture: Racial, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, Power and Transformation in Institutional Landscapes of Cultural Memory

Advised by Shanté Paradigm Smalls

This thesis explores transformative critical pedagogies as applied in contemporary inquiry-based curatorial practice and gallery education within curatorial institutions as a means of intervention and healing the hegemonic pandemic strictures of the imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy which constitutes American rape culture. The systemic structures of violence are introduced and theoretical, art historical and communal contexts of curatorial practice with strategic possibility to end American rape culture are discussed. De Wees shares the methodology of black liberatory systems used in her research and as an emerging curator within a curatorial institution navigating rape culture.


Gillian Fallon

Associate Producer on Yo-Yo Ma's tour of The Bach Project

Eurydice Walking: Reclaiming the Curator as Flâneuse with Janet Cardiff's Her Long Black Hair

Advised by Nikki Cesare Schotzko 


Ellina Kevorkian

Director of Artistic Programming at The Soap Factory (Minneapolis)

Recasting Monumentality: Performances of Public Protest at Confederate Monuments

Advised by Rebecca Schneider

This thesis explores performances of public protest at Confederate monuments. The unveiling of a monument suggests its shared meaning with spectators. Civil War Confederates were memorialized for their sacrifice, as they fought to preserve a Southern way of life that included systems of slavery. White supremacists and alt-right groups recently have gathered across the country to protest what they see as the erosion of traditional Southern culture with monuments as the backdrop for their protests. However, this meaning is being challenged by acts of public protest. These monuments, cast initially as representing white sacrifice, are now seen to promote white supremacism and African American subordination.


Brian Hyunsuk Lee

Audience Outreach Associate at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago)

Hiding Your Present From You: Relating the Musical and Queer Contexts of Arthur Russell

Advised by Roger Grant

What relation might music have to queerness? The intention of this question is not simply to propose different or more ways in which queer modes of thinking should lend themselves to the scholarly study of music. It is more so asked in order to open up the possibility that music, as well as the multisensory experience of feeling and interpreting musical sounds and their extra-sonic contexts, is already and has always been related to queerness. The purpose of this thesis is, in part, to demonstrate those queer aspects of music through the examination of one particular artist. I lend my focus on the life, music, and archival ephemera of Arthur Russell, a contemporary musician and cross-genre composer of the downtown New York music scene who died of AIDS-related complications in 1992. In searching through these musical and extra-musical materials, I locate a queer pressure that emanates from within, surrounding, and enacted by Arthur Russell’s oeuvre by observing the music’s inability to be contained by genre, its disruption of normative time, and its enabling of a queer hope through its pleasure, sexuality, and reach towards the future.


Marsha Reid

Founder and Director, Kindred Arts

Harlem (1917-2017) Public Space: Culture of Exclusion, Exclusion of Culture

Advised by Barbara Adams

Harlem, New York’s first major black residential and business center and birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance, finds itself an increasingly polarized environment in the midst of its most recent wave of disruption. Over the course of a century, systemic political, economic, and educational inequities, engendered by pathologies of neoliberal proscription, have converged to create a new era in Harlem, one that is marked by spatial exclusions, cultural erasure, disenfranchisement, and relegation of a storied history to artifacts for consumption. Referencing concepts of kinship and reflecting on forums for communitas—spaces where people can exist together without strong hierarchy—this paper considers Harlem’s use of public space as an incubator for action and creation in the pursuit of happiness and freedom. 


Ali Rosa-Salas

Director of Performance Programs at Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement (NYC)

Knowing One's Power: Decolonial Approaches to Curatorial Practice

Advised by Jackson Polys

This thesis is a comparative analysis of Re(as)sisting Narratives (2016) and Kahatenhstánion tsi na’tetiatere ne Iotohrkó: wa tánon Iotohrha / Drawing Lines from January to December (2017), two contemporary art exhibitions that self-identify as engaged with decolonial politics.


Rachel Scandling

Co-director of Los Angeles Performance Practice

Curating Feminist Performance in Los Angeles: Alternative Practices

Advised by Andy Campbell

Using the lenses of phenomenologies and gender and queer theory, and by tracing alternative modalities, this thesis examines the work of Los Angeles-based contemporary performance artists taisha paggett and Gina Young. Through their practices, both artists engage with or center feminism as an anchoring approach to dismantling hegemonic systems of oppression.


Michèle Steinwald

Independent Dance Curator and Writer

slut, angel, animal, vegetable, mineral, water, light, love, god, spirit, dust, beauty, universe: an embodied inventory of elements at play in Deborah Hay’s choreography

Advised by Katherine Brewer Ball

This thesis develops vocabulary to define Deborah Hay’s choreographic strategies and movement choices in order to highlight her contributions to experimental dance. Hay has deviated from the traditional route of a choreographer. She has instigated change by unlocking dancers’ perceptions and efficacy in performance through written scores and mantra-like instructions. Meanwhile, audiences are left out of the conversation. This thesis takes the position of a highly sensitized and informed audience member, and uses choreographic logic to rhythmically layer information and overlapping notions—as repetition is a common choreographic strategy—to center elements of Hay’s approaches for greater identification. The resulting inventory isolates reoccurring aspects of Hay’s energetic material, its embodiment transmitted from stage to audience seats, and the revolution for which it has laid the foundation.



Master’s Theses: Class of 2017

Paige Blansfield

Program Manager at American Express

WORDS, LIFE, AND ALL: Language, Performativity and Engagement in the Theater  

Advised by Paul Bonin-Rodriguez

This thesis assesses the method and result of a linguistic approach for transmitting the qualitative impacts of new performance adopted by two New York City–centric theater companies. Drawing on the distinctly innovative curatorial models employed by the Public Theater’s “Public Works” program and the New Georges theater company to broaden community access to their works, Blansfield suggests both artists and institutions can use this method to deepen engagement and understanding beyond the in-person audience experience.


Christy Bolingbroke

Executive / Artistic Director of the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron 

Designing a 21st Century Dance Ecology: Questioning Current Practices and Embracing Curatorial Interventions

Advised by Colleen Jennings-Roggensack

This research, straddling the artistic and the administrative, mines the ecological roles of artists, presenters, and funders across dance. Anecdotal data and research is cross-referenced against the New England Foundation for the Arts' field-wide survey on the twentieth anniversary of the National Dance Project. This work explores the current condition of how dance is made and distributed in this country; highlights how and where its players interact; and inquires if we understand and truly see the goals we are trying to achieve, the problems we are trying to resolve.


Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

Curator, Poet, and Performance Artist

The Blood Was On Their Shoulders: Mapping Black Intersectional Identities within Curatorial Practice

Advised by Judy Hussie Taylor

This thesis examines the artistic projects that hold Black women, trans, and queer intersectional identities as the focal point for creative engagement, conversation, and study. Drawing from predominantly Black, queer, and feminist research materials and methodologies, Kosoko collects data through interviews, rehearsals, performance showings, readings, and personal reflections that give voice to the ways in which artists and artist-curators creatively render themes of societal trauma, loss, fugitivity, queerness, and trans perspectives as a strategy for survival and healing for self and community. To provide a critical lens into the art practices of selected artists, Kosoko introduces the Socio-Choreological Mapping ideology as a conceptual frame for creating more inclusive cultural spaces for people of color.


Cori Olinghouse

Founder and Director, The Portal Project

Mapping the Unruly: Imagining a Methodology for the Archiving of Performance 

Advised by Karinne Keithley Syers

This thesis develops an experimental framework for the archiving of performance, focusing on choreographer Melinda Ring’s 1999 work, "Impossible Dance." This graduate thesis describes a prismatic approach to the archiving of “Impossible Dance,” which manifests in three forms: a performance transmission structure, a digital publication, and a printed book. Each of these forms plays with the impossibility in archiving the unruly—a conceit staged to intervene in institutional approaches that privilege the codifying of form over the nature of improvisational experience. Additionally, this thesis asks how the archiving of the impossible might press against what is possible and legible in the field of archiving.


Jessica Wasilewski

Producer, Park Avenue Armory, NYC

Effecting Dynamic Cultural Exchange Through the Performing Arts: Three Case Studies of U.S. Exchange with Asia

Advised by Rachel Cooper

The concept of dynamic cultural exchange transcends the constraints of national and regional boundaries, histories, religions, and politics. It acknowledges, at once, the differences and commonalities of distinct cultures while recognizing the validity of each. This research identifies innovative practices for dynamic cultural exchange through the performing arts by way of a focused analysis of three cases of U.S. exchange with Asia: Festival of Indonesia In Performance (1990-1992), Dance, the Spirit of Cambodia (2001), and Season of Cambodia (2013).    


Master’s Theses: Class of 2016

John Andress

Associate Director of Performing Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston

Choreographic Transformations: Creative Documentation in Dance

Advised by Tim Griffin

Through an examination of archival photography and video, notational drawings and scores, non-documentary visual art works, and key works of contemporary choreographers, this thesis assembles myriad approaches of documenting and historicizing live dance from the 1960s to the present. In the past decade, dance and performance have experienced a resurgence in museums and galleries. Ephemeral by nature, performance exists in a fleeting moment, then resides in the memory of the viewer and the body of the performers. Utilizing the concept of liveness explored by philosophers and scholars such as Henri Bergson, Peggy Phelan, Philip Auslander, Jose Munoz, and Andre Lepecki, this thesis explores how dance as an ephemeral art form is preserved and historicized both in the body of contemporary performers and how that form may be preserved in the larger cultural sphere.


Megan Brian

Assistant Director of Education and Public Practice at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


Advised by Frances Phillips

An investigation into the changing models of arts organizations in San Francisco in light of economic pressures. Considered in dialogue with the frames of post-Fordism, neoliberal economics, the Californian ideology, creative placemaking, arts ecosystem and collaboration theories, the three case studies illustrate newly adopted and adapted models from other sectors. The models include variations on marketplace, land trust, and start-up approaches. Each organization is considered in situ of its particular challenges and opportunities, however the three examples offer creative solutions that have implications for informing institutions in a broader context. The case studies include Lost Weekend Video, CounterPulse, and Minnesota Street Project and follow their major transitions in the years 2015 and 2016.


Randal Fippinger 

Producing Director at Williams College '62 Center for Theatre and Dance

Practicing Community: Examining and Reimagining Community-based Performance Practice in Williamstown

Advised by Cathy Edwards

This thesis will examine historical and contemporary trends along with major community arts practices as a strategic investigation towards the creation of an artist- lead, movement-based project called Served to be developed in close connection with the students, faculty, and staff of Williams College. It will survey of community-based projects in Williamstown and the surrounding community as a springboard for an analysis of the major trends in community arts practice, contextualizing the project of this thesis within a larger history of community arts practice as well as demonstrating why this project is right for this community.


Julie Potter

Director at ODC Theater

Curating Encounter in the Public Square

Advised by Shannon Jackson

By studying a program of artist-driven think tanks at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts exploring issues of the urban future, labor, ecology and freedom, Potter examines the challenges and affective capacities of a call-and-response pedagogy for action research located at a civic institution. This research, in the expanded field of socially engaged art, mines the roles of the art center as public square, the artist as public intellectual and the community as a generative culture making entity. By observing research oriented working groups engaged in collaborative knowledge production for creative public intervention and exhibition, this work explores the conditions for increased equity and operations of a civic public practice, which employs participants in a relationship of partnership with the institution.


Image above: 
South Studio at night, Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University