DISCOURSE:PROJECTOR:PLANT:FILTER by MEGHAN MOE BEITIKS is an attempt to facilitate a conversation between a laptop, a can of air, a plant and a projector through acts of respiration.
CHOOSE YOUR GRIZZLY by DEKE WEAVER is a hybrid of the original March 2015 performance-lecture and some very early workings of TIGER which was developed as part of Perform Midwest: Incubating Collaborative Research, a project funded by the Humanities Without Walls consortium.
DISCUSSION | JGV/WAR | DEKE WEAVER | MEGHAN MOE BEITIKS
SUN 15 NOV | 3PM
The day following their performance-lecture double bill, the artists and JGV/WAR (J. Gibran Villalobos and Wil Ruggiero) will embark on conversations regarding commonalities in the recent work of Weaver and Beitiks. Both artists explore new materialism, object-oriented ontology, ecological stewardship and political activism as they call into question the responsibility of artists in the face of ecological crisis. What is the unique role the artist can play in revaluing ecologies, and how is that different from or similar to activism? How does one make “effective” ecological art that is not propagandistic (or should it embrace propaganda)? What role can vital materialism play that isn’t overly romanticised? These issues and others will arise in conversation on Sunday afternoon.
MEGHAN MOE BEITIKS is an artist working with associations and disassociations of culture/nature/structure. She analyzes perceptions of ecology through the lenses of site, history, emotions, and her own body in order to produce work that analyzes relationships with the non-human. She received her BA in Theater Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her MFA in Performance Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a Fulbright Student Fellow, a recipient of the Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, and a MacDowell Colony fellow.
Part of her “Discourse” series, the performative lecture DISCOURSE:PROJECTOR:PLANT:FILTER is an exploration of communication and its effect on ecologies through art. In her book “Vibrant Matter,” Jane Bennett asserts, “We need . . . to devise new procedures, technologies, and regimes of perception that enable us to consult nonhumans more closely . . . for these offerings are profoundly important to the health of the political ecologies to which we belong”. Beitiks sees performance as one of these “regimes of perception,” influenced by Karen Barad’s theory of “Agential Realism” and Foucault’s idea of discourse. In Barad’s thinking, all matter is mutually entangled, defined by its “intra-actions,” and for Foucault, it is within discourse that power is created. The question within “Discourse” then becomes: how are we unconsciously communicating with the non-human– with plants, objects, bacteria? How do human conventions, cultures and memes construct this communication? What impact does this communication have on our relationship to landscape? In Discourse:Projector:Plant:Filter, these questions are explored through breath and respiration.
DEKE WEAVER is a writer-performer, designer, and media artist. His life-long project, The Unreliable Bestiary – a performance for each letter of the alphabet, each letter represented by an endangered species – has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital, the Illinois Arts Council, the University of Illinois, and residencies at Ucross, the MacDowell Colony, and Isle Royale National Park. The project has staged MONKEY, ELEPHANT, and WOLF. 2016-17’s BEAR will be presented in three parts. Weaver is currently an associate professor with appointments in the School of Art & Design and the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). unreliablebestiary.org. WOLF by Deke Weaver, photo by VALERIE OLIVEIRO
CHOOSE YOUR GRIZZLY PERFORMANCE NOTE: Because of the firing of Steven Salaita and the subsequent boycott of the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), artist/activist Claire Pentecost was not able to accept the invitation from UIUC art history graduate students to give the keynote speech for the March 2015 New Terrains: The Landscape Reviewed symposium. The University’s attack on academic freedom and free speech has revealed a patronizing contempt for art and the humanities. No surprise there. Although it is not protocol to have a faculty member be the keynote at the institution sponsoring the event, the boycott has required flexibility. The students asked me to give the talk. The past year and a half has had me searching for ways to articulate how art can matter in the midst of slow moving catastrophes such as climate change, mass extinction, and cultural meltdown.