Body as Barometer – Live Arts Workshop 2022
Sharanya Ram Prakash
More information here
The Live Art Workshop (LAW) project is a series of collaborative professional exchange workshops in the field of performance art. Following the first edition in Cape Town in 2019, and the second at Kaserne Basel in October 2020, LAW returns in 2022 with its third edition in New Delhi.
Taking place from 2-14 October, 2022, the LAW program at Khoj is envisaged as a 10-day workshop with 2 days of Open Studio/public showing of the practices developed through the workshops. The participants in the workshop will comprise of 4-5 Provocateurs and 7-8 Respondents, a writer- observer, and institutional observers
See event schedule here.
See livestream here.
For the New Delhi leg, Live Arts Workshop 2022 locates the body as central to the making of live arts, and thus simultaneously locates the quality of liveness that emanates from the body. In this framework, the body emerges as an ever-sensing tool, interacting with atmospheres, architectures, materials, technologies, interfaces and communities, mediating affect. The body becomes a barometer – a measure to understand the many lived ecosystems that fabricate the identities that we embody– negotiating the ecological and the technological, the natural and the built, the physical and the digital, the individual and the collective, where the body is central to the negotiation.
Looking at the hyphenated history of performance practices in South Asia (and many other regions in the Global South), the above articulation of the body is bound to be juxtaposed with tradition, as the body has historically served as an archive for traditional performance practices. What do we learn from them and what do we denounce? As engagement with traditions are married into the contemporary space, a shift occurs. This transition, of taking culturally specific thinking into the contemporary is moderated through the body as medium, the same body that becomes the interface in our hyper-digital immersive engagements, and that negotiates changing natural and built environment through constant calibration.
The Live Arts Workshop will be a space for performance practices and contemporary creative practices across mediums to interrogate “liveness” and locate the body in the above framework.
The LAW program at Khoj is envisaged as a 10-day workshop with 2 days of Open Studio/public showing of the practices developed through the workshops. The participants in the workshop will comprise of 5 Provocateurs and 7 Respondents, a writer- Observer, and institutional observers.
As the term suggest, the Provocateurs will offer prompts, provocations, and skillsets drawing from their expertise and knowledge in their respective fields. Their showcase can be part of an evening session in the 10-day workshop, or a public lecture demonstration, or a presentation or performance.
The Respondents are the participants who will end up showcasing their practice developed over the course of the workshop with the Provocateurs, as part of the Open Days at the end of the workshop.
The workshop will also host one Observer. They will be a recordkeeper – a hybrid writer and/or new media documenter who will be translating and transmitting context while building archive of the happenings and discourse generated through the workshop.
All the Institutional Observers are expected to come together and do presentation on Live Arts and the Institution – the global and the local.
This workshop is imagined without an inherent mentor-mentee hierarchy. Instead, it is a discourse and context first approach, similar to a Thinking and Making Lab, where both the Provocateurs (to prompt) and the Respondents (to respond) will be at par with each other.
Given that LAW is taking place in India, it is likely that it will have heavy borrowings from the diffracted contemporary contexts of the region.
For more information, visit Body As Barometer – Live Arts Workshop 2022 – Khoj (khojstudios.org)
The Live Art Workshop project was initiated and conceptualised by Jay Pather, Director at the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The first edition of the project took place in Cape Town in March and April 2019 under the direction of Jay Pather.