JUST SITUATIONS will take place across two weekends in July, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York:
Thursday-Sunday July 13th-16th
Thursday-Sunday July 20th-23rd
Justice, it is said, must not only be done, it must be seen to be done (Homi K .Bhabha)
JUST SITUATIONS hosts artists, activists, and active citizens who are working in performative ways, moving beyond the trending commercialization of art “about” politics, instead seeking modes of performance which directly construct, position, and posit political, social, and embodied forms of human being and becoming.
Those gathered to perform this convention are ideally enabled to situate and posit some space-time-frames, modes, ethical (en)compassings, arbitrations, motivations, and social (as)semblance for situations in which justice may be done and seen.
We are directly constructing some situations in which, in and as small diffractive social groups, “we” imagine “we” may actually survive. This convention and forum aims (with no small feeling of embarrassment, naiveté and other emotive symptoms of outsiderness) to envision performance art, civic performance, and social art practices as theoretical and actual materializations of in-context equities, reparations, respectfully agonistic relationships, post-capitalist orders and economies, socio-ethical philosophies, self-realizations, and perhaps, liberations and so-seen justices.
JUST SITUATIONS is organized like an inventor’s exhibition or science fair. By framing everything occurring during the time-space of these four days as just situations, or situation of justices, acts and social behaviors which are often seen as casual, common, as mere entertainment or luxury product, as dysfunctional, dangerous, foolish or impossible, as parasitic, private, and/or worthless within dominant schemas for value, are given primacy, seen as scientific breakthroughs and transformative political vehicles. Traumas are worked through instead of commodified, intersectional recognition of identities is practiced rather than merely hashtagged, constructive ideation is performed as a common, daily intra-activity, natures for human being are performatively reconfigured, dreams are staged as news, our bodies are on fire, our eyes glow in the dark.
We’ve shown you ours…if you’re interested in engagement, please make a proposal (in any form) responding to (agreement, disagreement, re-phrase, dialogue, reaction, etc) one or more of the following INQUIRIES, or propose an inquiry of your own (in any form) and e-mail to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15th
1. How can situations be said and seen to be “just”?
2. How are we practicing experimental metaphysics?
3. How are we practicing queer(ing), Black, indigenous/native/authorized/originating, female/femme, trans(formative), migrant/itinerant, ethically-oriented, alternative, (re)constructive, and (e)strange(d) ways of thinking/feeling/sensing/perceiving/becoming/being, are “ways” autonomous from persons in any way?
4. How are we theorizing forms of entanglement, intersection, and relationship?
5. How do we resist reductive inscriptions of/upon our bodies, enabling our actual(izing) presences to materialize in far more complex and particular ways?
6. How does performance art activate (as “activism” and as “affective influence”) actual political activities and conceptual transformations of human cultures, polities, institutions, and systems?
7. What do we mean when we say “the personal is political”?
8. Performance art is not “about” politics, it can not be “about” anything; there is no material schism between “real conditions” and “performance artifice:” all that is seen, heard, tasted, smelled, touched, emerges from embodied cognition, location, and positioned performance.
9. Because we are not universalists, essentialists, righteous fundamentalists, or objectivists, we do not suppose that our performances are inherently “true,” “right,” or “of quality to everyone,” is this the reason to distinguish modes of performance—for example “social” vs. “art” performance—? Does the sphere of “art” maintain some meaning and/or use? For example, do we add the word “art” to involve senses of intentionality, aesthetic and ethical decision-making, agency, dysfunction, radicality, and/or autonomy?
10. How do performance artists make sense? (full stop)
Here is a list of forms we are welcoming (in no way is this a complete or mutually-exclusive list):
-de-hierarchized forms of social performance
-constructive institutional critiques
-imaginary and proposed projects
-participatory and interactive performances
-personalized and intra-personal performances
-environments and installations
-proposals for travelling actions, “art-form” marches, demonstrations, protests
-interventions and intervening projects
-performances of research, inquiry, investigation
-presentations of independent research and social knowledge-constructing activities
-discursive performances i.e. panels, workshops, roundtables, with performative forms
-social arts projects and “community arts” work (performed directly or performatively presented/described)
-presentations on projects happening already “elsewhere” and “outside” arts spheres and institutional spaces, “non art” projects
-magic(k), chaotic transformations and abreactive expressions
-rituals, prayers, ecstatic and generative performances
-metaphysical experiments (i.e. time travel, architecture, invention)
-readings of texts and lectures
-AI and digital performances
-critical performances (framing and criticism)
-public interventions (including those in legal and governmental spheres)
-interrelative projects, daily practices, private performances, dinners, chores, etc
-travelling actions, tours, multi-site connections and corridor-formation
Deadline for proposals: May 15
Dates of the convention: July 13-16 & July 20-23, 2017
Some deadline have been set in advance to make it possible for those involved to organize this thing together and in practical conjunction with jobs, travel, childcare, etc: please be advised that if you do this with us, we will need to have all public information about this project gathered and finalized by May 22 for PR and online presence. Full conference schedule will be released no later than June 1. All tech needs, requests for housing, requests for childcare, requests for formal letters of invitation etc to the initiating organizers by June 15.
Notes on money and power:
This convention is all-volunteer and there is no institutional support. Mutual support between this project and those involved is performed on a relative and situational basis. In short, there is no funding for materials, travel, or honorarium right now, but we are doing a crowd-sourcing campaign to fund travel and performers/presenters. Proposals for economic frames/structures for this project are also welcome. In addition, there will be a “default DIY” pay-what-you-can-at-the-door situation with proceeds going to the performers/presenters/participants that day.
Initiating organizers (Leili Huzaibah and Esther Neff) reserve the right to determine which proposals and persons will be formally involved with this project via an open call and invitations, based on subjective judgments and intra-personal relationships and experiences. In this case, investment and labor equals power, not an ideal situation but an intermediary one.