4.314 / 4.315
Advanced Workshop in Artistic Practice and Transdisciplinary Research

4.314: 4.301 or 4.302 or permission of instructor
Lab Fee: 
There will be NO lab fee for Fall 2020
UG: 4.314, G: 4.315 — limited to 20
Required of: 
Arch minor restricted elective (4.314)

The Choreographing The City class will look at an emerging lexicon (for movement in urban space) that connects to ideas shared across dance-making (choreography), to building/city-making (community). Developed in dialogue with Theatrum Mundi, prof. Richard Sennett and MIT visiting artist and choreographer Dr Adesola Akinleye the class asks the question: how do we become attentive to a community’s emotional, cultural and corporeal memory in order to move beyond the scripted spaces and codified routes? The aim of the course is to explore how transdisciplinary research and creative collaboration between choreographic and spatial practices can respond to the urgencies of this time and create new techniques, lexicons, and ways of engaging the community to produce more just spaces. Participants will look at how choreography (‘three-dimensional language’) can contribute to larger discussions across subject areas that engage with movement in space and the placemaking that the experience of choreography (dance) creates.

How do we make a Place for embodiment in our practices?
How do we inhabit the computer screen, the city and our own bodies?
Can we see design as an organic, collaborative entity of people’s experience?
What tools do urban designers and engineers have to develop to understand how spaces work as movement systems?
What tools do communities have to describe the experience of Being in the Places they live?
Where and How do we create space for the embodied in our practices?

Participants will use artistic research tools to design a score exploring somatic presence in space
; they will develop a collaborative dance that includes the notion of presence / stillness / silence in Place
; and will produce a research based artwork that discusses a set of principles for how one engages with the notion of embodiment in own practice.

In addition to lectures, class discussion, outdoor exercises and individual studio meetings the class will host Soma-sessions: special workshops facilitated by DancingStrong dancers that will involve the bodily (such as some group movement to begin a discussion, somatic practices including yoga breathing, being physically present in unexpected geographic locations beyond MIT campus, and etc.).  

Readings related to this subject include those by John Dewey, Katherine Mc Kittrick, Stewart Brand, Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Isabelle Stengers, and others. Visitors to the class will include Richard Sennett, sociologist; John-Binghman-Hall, director of Theatrum Mundi; Charles Aubin, curator at Performa NYC; Liz Lerman, choreographer; Arianna Mazzeo, designer and choreographer; dancers from DancingStrong Movement Lab; artists and scientists from MIT, Harvard, and other institutions.

NOTE: INFO session is slated on Sept. 2, Wednesday 10:00AM
First Class meeting is Sept.9, Wednesday 9:30AM

During Fall 2020, this course will be online using Zoom, Canvas, Slack, Google Drive, Doc, and other remote collaboration tools. 

Additional work required of students taking the graduate version.