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May 24, 2023: Reasonable adjustments: Movements of care by Anna Macdonald

This talk explores the relationships of movement, time, and care in the participatory dance practice of Anna Macdonald. It focuses on Anna’s recent work with people who live with chronic health conditions.* This body of work uses a somatic lens to examine the small continuous adjustments that chronic health conditions often require, such as the movement of relapse and recovery, or the constant reparative shifting of weight often demanded by pain. Drawing on Baraitser (2017), these movements of self-care are examined here as an attentive means of ‘staying where you are’ that resist teleological models of time, cure, and endpoint. They are also explored as sources of kinaesthetic irritation that can create what Doane describes as ‘an overly present body’ (1985:206), that unsettles others because it remains too much where it is. One of the key points to emerge from this discussion is the idea of responsivity, as a core element both of dance practice, and the spatio­ temporal movement of care. Responsivity is explored here, as a creative and enduring response to contingency: a choreographic form of embodied maintenance that works to provoke and negate an affective sense of precarity in the body.

*Examples will be discussed from two key projects: http://www.circlingartproject created as part of an Institute of Liberal Art and Sciences fellowship (2019: Keele University) examining chronicity, pain and movement in collaboration with Prof Ceri Morgan, and Ways of doing things, working with organ donor recipients, led by Wellcome Sanger and funded by Wellcome trust in 2021.

Anna Macdonald is a dance and moving image artist who focuses on the relationship between the body, time, and affect. She specialises in participatory research that foregrounds embodied experience and her work has generated interdisciplinary findings in the fields of health, science and law, within large-scale projects funded by AHRC, Arts Council England and Wellcome Trust. Anna is based at UAL: Central St Martins, where she is the course leader for the socially engaged practice masters course, MA Performance: Society.

Virtual attendance:


March 29, 2023: Jan Erkert, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Authentic Movement – A Practice grounded in Healing and Creativity. In this workshop, Jan Erkert, dance artist and Professor Emerita of the Department of Dance at University of Illinois, will share her practice of Authentic Movement as a space for healing and creativity. Authentic Movement was founded by dancer Mary Starks Whitehouse in early-mid 20th century and has been continuously expanded by contemporary practitioners such as Joan Chodorow (Jungian Analyst) and Janet Adler (Dance Movement Therapist). Authentic Movement is a practice that combines developmental psychology, somatic practice, Jungian thought/theories, dance and mystical studies. The practice utilizes movement and witnessing to access dream states and active imagination. Mary Stacks Whitehouse says, “The body is the physical aspect of the personality and movement is the personality made visible.” The workshop will begin with a discussion about the history and formation of the practice, followed by a guided practice. 10 AM EST/3:00 PM UK/4:00 PM CET, Zoom.

October 5, 2022: Nisha Gupta, Georgetown University. Nisha is a liberation psychologist and arts-based phenomenological researcher who disseminates research about lived experiences of oppression and empowerment through the media arts for social advocacy and community healing. 10 AM EST, Zoom.

November 16, 2022: Petra Kuppers, University of Michigan.
Petra Kuppers: Eco Soma: Disability Culture Perspectives on Arts and Care. Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a disability culture activist and a community performance artist. She creates participatory community performance environments that think/feel into public space, tenderness, site-specific art, access and experimentation. Petra grounds herself in disability culture methods, and uses ecosomatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. She teaches at the University of Michigan, and is also an advisor on the low-residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College. Her third performance poetry collection, Gut Botany, was named one of the top ten US poetry books of 2020 by the New York Public Library, and she has published award-winning academic studies on community performance, disability culture, and arts and medical environments. Her latest book, Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters, appeared in 2022 with the University of Minnesota Press (open access). Petra is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, with her wife, poet and dancer Stephanie Heit, from their home in Ypsilanti, Michigan. November 16, 10 AM EST, Zoom link follows.

May 27, 2022: Chronic Uncertainty: Sweetening the Search Process in Self-Diagnosis with Ryan Woodring, 10 AM EST, watch recording here. Harboring an undiagnosed chronic nausea has forced artist Ryan Woodring to contend with culturally calcified beliefs in legibility and locatability in patienthood. Neolibeal health care in the U.S. engenders individualized searching and self-diagnosis, highlighting asynchronous temporalities between a search engine’s results and a human’s ability to metabolize them. Woodring’s practice valorizes this chronic uncertainty by recognizing it as the main stage where playful and subversive meaning-making takes place.

Art & Care, study day (resumed)‘ is the second conference event of this kind for the Art & Care network, to be part of the Cambridge Festival. 8 April, 2022, 4 pm UK time.

Including a series of thematic conversations across care ethics and arts, considers how we can look at the world from new, acquired critical, creative and poetic perspectives. The event aims to collect, share and learn from best practices from the perspectives of creative research and care ethics, in physical and digital realms. These will be discussed in terms of impact in society through social responsibility, mutual support, and cooperation, as applied to the care for the environment, society, heritage and art.

Contributors include: Gustaaf Bos; Dr. Rachel Epp Buller; Pieter Dronkers; Mother Art (Deborah Krall, Suzanne Siegel and Laura Silagi); Prof. Dr. Elke Krasny; Keren Moscovitch; Dr Gabi Scardi; Dr Giulia Taurino; Truus Teunissen; Natalie Pace; Julia Johnson; Ryan Woodring; Marta Stefanyshyn.

The exchange will aim at consolidating the new post-disciplinary context for Care Ethics and Creative Research.

The event is led by Dr. Elena Cologni, Artist and Senior Research Fellow, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University, Associate Member of the Royal Society for Public Heath (Art and Health Interdisciplinary Group), Dr. Merel Visse, Director Medical and Health Humanities at Drew University (US) and Associate Professor at the University for Humanistic Studies in The Netherlands, and HR Mag eveline wandl-vogt, exploration space at Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), and in collaboration with Director of Ars Electronica Research Institute Knowledge for Humanity, Austria.

Download the Full Program and Abstracts:

Selection of Past events:

Wednesday 10 November, 14.00-15.30 UK-timeArt & Care seriesCurating as Phenomenological History of Everyday Life by Kisito Assangni (Curator Film, Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow) online (chaired by Dr Elena Cologni, CSA, Anglia Ruskin University).
Art has always reflected, articulated and interpreted global transformations of socio-political conditions and cultural relations. The ways in which we take care of each other might be the vector through which we can bridge the seeming void between theory and praxis in the art world.The idea of the ‘transcultural’ is currently gaining momentum in academic, curatorial and artistic contexts, providing a framework for thinking through non-hegemonic global exchanges and knowledge production. Highlighting entanglements between and within cultures, the transcultural provides a new set of care ethics, methodological and theoretical concerns, as well as a timely platform for curatorial and artistic practices in the globalised art world.In this context, with what kinds of political imaginaries can curatorial research and practice reassess the significance and possibilities of caring? More information.

ART & CARE, study day – 2 April 2021 16.00-18:30 (UK time) Cambridge Festival

image credit: ‘mother’s tools’ (2018), Elena Cologni

A study day, part of the Cambridge Festival program, including a series of thematic conversations among academics and professionals, who will consider new ways in which we can look at the world from a ‘caring’ perspective.Contributors include: Lorenzo Balbi (director, MAMBo, Italy), Papa Baiden (WikiAfrica, UK/Italy), Gustaaf Bos (researcher, Care ethics, University for Humanistic Studies, NL), Elena Cologni (artist, UK/Italy), Barbara Lehtna (theatre artist, Estonia/NL), Karen Thomas (community officer Kettle’s Yard, UK), Aleyda Rocha (AI artist, Austria), Zsuzsi Soboslay (dance artist, Monash University, Australia), BOB Stake (professor, University of Illinois, US), Merel Visse (Drew University, US), Eveline Wandl-Vogt (director of Ars Electronica knowledge for humanity Research Institute, Austria), Els van Wijngaarden (professor, Care ethics, University for Humanistic Studies, NL).
The exchange is part of an effort to establish a new post-disciplinary context for Care Ethics and Creative Research.The event is led by Dr. Elena Cologni, Artist and Senior Research Fellow, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University, Associate Member of the Royal Society for Public Heath (Art and Health Interdisciplinary Group) and Dr. Merel Visse, Director Medical and Health Humanities at Drew University (US) and Associate Professor at the University for Humanistic Studies in The Netherlands, where the International Care Ethics Research Consortium is based lead the session. In collaboration with Kettle’s Yard.

CARE MANIFESTO – The Politics of Interdependence , The Care Collective- 2 December 2020, here , and video link

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