An online evening course which is offered in the style of a study group, considering the space of ZOOM as an artistic one and discussing livestream as an emergent artform which changes our relationships, attention, and culture. The focus is on watching and witnessing – both discussing impressions and views as an audience and allowing creative practice to influence how discussion happens. We Zoom (the app) and Zoom (the cameras) and Zoom* (our consciousness).
This course draws on Witnessed in Translation, a project initiated by Mary Pearson and collaborators Ava Riby-Williams, Carolina van Eps, Michael Kaddu, pavleheidler, Elvan Tekkin and George Maund. Over the past months they have been developing a practice of improvising together live online, collaborating remotely between four different countries and presenting live performance broadcasts, one of which featured in our International Festival of Learning last December.
Each week of this new online course will be facilitated by Ava Riby-Williams joined by George Maund and another member of the collaborative team. The course will include watching video clips from Witnessed in Translationlive improvisation broadcasts to stimulate discussion and sharing sensory and relational practices in preparation for watching material, noticing virtual and physical spaces inside our bodies and in the domestic, local, and geo-political environments that we are part of.
Discussions will expand beyond verbal language into expressions using body, image and sound, questioning and considering what we notice, or don’t notice, as individuals and as a group, and how that is particularly shaped by our lived experiences. How does working with or against the restrictions brought about by ZOOM affect this? How does the interruption create an opportunity for relation, for relating, for making relationship?
Ava is a queer, British Ghanaian/Indian visionary living in London. She is a creative facilitator, artist and wellbeing guide who celebrates diversity and finds divinity in all of life. She uses arts and healing based practises to guide groups into deeper contemplation of issues concerning identity, oppression and liberation- on personal and collective levels.
Ava calls us into deeper self inquiry about our lives and participation in our society, planet and cosmos. She prompts us to get curious and ask…
Why are we here?
In what way is our liberation all entangled?
George Maund is a artist-adjacent x-musician, broadcaster and performance maker based in Liverpool, UK since 2005. His most recent set of work is subtitled ‘Psych Capital’ and deals in forms of (subtly subversive) mixed-media interventions into and concerning the realm of neoliberal encroachment on ‘the counterculture’, taking inspiration (or lack thereof) from billionaire wellness retreats and late-stage capitalism’s strange fixations and newfound excesses. In working life George has moved from touring musician to programming ‘in-person’ live music venues to facilitating online iterations of performance and hybrid digital events. This has fed into specialising in remote audio-visual broadcasts that retain an air of play with room for creative manoeuvre from collaborators and audiences alike, which has been described his live streaming as ‘an emergent artform’. George has been part of the team behind the Popular Music Show (UK radio’s longest-running alternative music programme) at BBC Merseyside since 2017, currently presenting on a bi-monthly basis. He also co-hosts several programmes on Melodic Distraction, Liverpool’s internet radio station, and is producing podcasts for the Bluecoat and Heart of Glass, as well as his long-touted foray into that medium: ‘0151 Overtures’.
Mary Pearson is a performance maker, re-claimed dancer, former entertainer, and co-organiser based in Liverpool, and originally from the US. Her multi-disciplinary practice is rooted in improvisation and collaboration. Her projects ask complex and troubling social questions. Between 2012-19, she made and toured 3 solo works and led ‘FAILURE lab’ workshops. Recent collaborations with mayfield brooks and Alena Kudera. As a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (SEP), she facilitates one-to-one sessions to release bodily held trauma and supports artists creating work that speaks to difficult lived experience and identity.
Carolina has various interests, from gardening to cooking and from dance to politics. Living between Colombia and Belgium made them start thinking about the place of belonging. This idea grew and resulted in works such as Travesías Des_orientadas, Travesías Calle_Jeras and Caminos Sin Reparo. However, for years Carolina has been wondering how we form ties with the places that we inhabit, how we create community and how we take care of our spaces. They do this from the Habitat workshop or works such as Kermesse or Tránsito. They like living with people and that has allowed them to understand what is necessary to care for interpersonal relationships and also our relationship with the earth. Reflections that came from encounters with others and time spend in nature led them to weave what they call today practices of care, e.g, the laboratory Laughing and Crying, cries that soothe the body, where they propose to empower ourselves as empathetic recipients in the face of our own pain and that of others.
pavleheidler is a movement-and-word artist and activist, an educator, and an amateur scholar (i.e. lover of scholarship). Their work-ing is meant to be encouraging of the continual re-form-ing in and of the emergent field of queer critical practice.
They think that the practices they are developing are first and foremost embodied practices, which necessarily makes them liberatory practices, which necessarily makes them emergent practices in as much as working with the body, creating space for the body, or: body, is requiring critical observation and the re-thinking of the existing structures that currently create spaces for bodies.
Michael is a Ugandan dance Artivist, who uses dance to deal with issues that affect people socially, politically and economically in the community. In their creative ideas and throughout the creative process, curiosity and playfulness guide them. As an artist from a traditional diverse background, they deconstruct movements to let the body create and transfer information, secrets and rhythms to build up the body’s own movement vocabulary. Michael has a strong base in Ugandan traditional dances and urban African dances. Living and working in Berlin since 2019, they now work with Company Christoph Winkler and performing:group/ Theater Strahl and Mirjam Gurtner.
Elvan Tekin is an artist working with dance, performance and choreography living in Berlin. Her artistic practice deals with the entangled and fluent notions of one’s body, language, and identity deriving from her upbringing as a Kurdish woman in the geography of Turkey. As a dancer, she has worked among others with Jose Vidal, Eyal Dadon and Edan Gorlicki in venues such as Kampnagel, Thalia Theatre Hamburg, NAVE in Santiago Chile and Uferstudios Berlin. She is currently studying for her masters in Choreography at HZT/ Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch, Berlin.