7. On conserving performance art: A response to “Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field” (May 29 – 30, 2021 online colloquium)

I recently attended a free conference (hosted on Zoom and livestreamed on YouTube) examining the conservation of performance works. “Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field” was addressed primarily toward the art conservation community, and expressly aimed at

locating the discourse of conservation within a broader field of the humanities disciplines concerned with the theories and practices of performance—performance studies, anthropology, art history, curatorial studies, heritage studies and museology. We propose to contest the common-sense understanding of performance as a non-conservable form and ask questions concerning how, and to what extent, performance art and performance-based works can be conserved.


from the conference’s public announcement

The conference was organized in the context of a larger 4-year research venture, the Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge project hosted by the Institut Materialität in Kunst und Kultur.  The brief for this ambitious research project describes its objectives this way:

Unravelling the complexities involved in the conservation of performance-based forms, Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge aims to expose the theoretical and practical apparatuses of conservation, its attachment to traditional paradigms, and the resultant shortcomings in the sphere of the intangible.


from the Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge webpage

For anyone with an interest in the idea of conserving performances as art works, the calibre and thoughtfulness of the conference was outstanding, perhaps reflecting more general values attached to the field of conservation: methodologies that demand particular attention to (a) what one aims to achieve when one focuses on a particular object of “care,” including the question of what, exactly, is being or needs to be conserved, and (b) how to facilitate the best possible display conditions for one’s defined “object.” Thus, the presentations tended to be very clear in their intentions and meticulously articulate in their execution. This is not to say that there were no gaps or shortcomings in the conversation. What quickly became apparent was the absence of artists’ voices among the roster of speakers, a deep irony when one is considering the life cycle of performance as an art “object” that is distinguished at least in part by the imperative of including the artist’s body (which, of course, also already includes the artist’s mind, agency, desires, etc.) as an essential element of the work!

This, however, is not meant to be a review of the conference so much as a consideration of how many of the concepts explored at the colloquium intersect with the thinking that supports the KinesTHESES digital toolkit. For those interested in the conference presentations, unedited livestreams of the two days have been archived (resulting in what Margaret Dragu has rather drolly referred to as dead livestreams) and can be accessed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFb8HOb73L6CP9rdW3ZHTyA. Individual presentations can be pinpointed and searched by referring to the timeline of the published schedule.

I have attempted to contextualize the KinesTHESES digital toolkit in relation to (and as distinct from) the logic of the archive—considering how this hybrid assemblage of curatorial notes and embedded documents might offer tools for (re)animating the projects featured in the KinesTHESES series rather than functioning as static documentation or recollection. The colloquium gave me the opportunity to consider whether the specific framework of conservation might be useful for highlighting this shift of approach. Is the aim of the digital toolkit to conserve the performances rather than to document or represent their instantiations as particular events that occurred and ended in a previous time and place?

At the colloquium, participants tended to situate their discussion in a tension between two different paradigms of art display: the theatre (traditionally focused on mounting live performances) versus the museum (traditionally focused on the collection and display of objects and documents).[1] How, they asked, could performance works be understood and cared for as “objects” that last beyond the time of their initial staging? This also prompted some interrogation of a corollary concern: how might this rethinking the lifespan of a performance work also lead to a re-examination of objects as other-than-fixed—that is, as implicated in ongoing processes of coherence, decay and possible recoherence?[2] Or, put another way, what if objects were understood not in terms of an idealized materiality that takes up space yet is somehow transcendent of time, but as “slow performances”? This critical reframing has broad implications for determining what constitutes both the materiality and the integrity of an artwork.

Within the Western model of the museum, a paradigm that is both capitalist and colonial, processes of conservation are closely bound to notions of ownership. Preservation is intimately tied to purchase, and the institutional conservation process begins at the point of acquisition.[3] A museum is only charged with the responsibility of caring for the objects that are part of its collection, objects over which it claims a right of ownership, even if held within a broad notion of public trust. If this museological imperative of ownership is taken as given, then the KinesTHESES digital toolkit is difficult to frame in terms of conservation, since TPAC holds no claim of ownership over the works it presents.

In fact, TPAC does not even maintain any direct ownership of the recorded documents produced as a result of a performance, even though we as organizers are the ones who generally take responsibility for hiring documenters to produce video and photo records of our events. Canadian copyright law identifies the person behind the lens—the cameraperson—as the rights holder of whatever is recorded unless otherwise specified, already an implicit determination that the photo or video is not the same thing as the performance. TPAC’s documentation contracts provide for the documenters to cede or at minimum share their legal rights with the creators of the performance. Documenters are paid by TPAC for the service of recording performances on behalf of the artists, and the artists receive copies of the documentation as part of their compensation for presenting their work. TPAC negotiates separately with the presented artists for the right to freely and publicly display some or all of the documentation of their work on our website, paying a licensing fee to the artists who accept. If they do not agree, then TPAC cannot make the material publicly accessible, although we generally retain an archival digital copy of any recorded documentation in our private records.

Already, several complex issues are at play. While the documentation of a performance is not a performance per se, many artists treat photo and video documentation as exhibitable and marketable artworks in their own right. Others treat them as promotional materials, encouraging their promiscuous circulation and duplication. For many performances, however, these are often the only tangible remains; they therefore function, to a large degree, as part of the artists’ “work,” as evidenced by numerous exhibitions that have featured such materials in recent years.

On the question of ownership, a number of the colloquium presentations pointed to the ways in which performances trouble an institutional practice focused on acquiring objects. What, exactly, does the museum need to collect in order to secure the viability and possibility of future display of a performance, and what is it that they end up owning and caring for? Some artists, for example, choose to license particular conditions of display while retaining copyright and perhaps even holding works in their own repertoire. Some outline various requirements that are necessary to maintaining the continuity and integrity of a work—not just scores, props, set pieces, costumes and/or recordings of previous iterations that can then be displayed, reactivated or replicated, but also detailed performance manuals that set out relational conditions, or even the maintenance of communities of trainers who can teach specific physical and choreographic elements of the work to new performers.[4] Some works require museums to grapple with how they function not just as material iterations, but as networks that require collective efforts, resources, and conditions to be successfully mounted. Does this mean that in order to preserve the work, the collecting institution must also take responsibility for maintaining and nurturing an extended social and relational structure? In such cases, it may be important to understand the performance as being held collectively by an invested community rather than owned exclusively by a museum, a situation in which the terms of “ownership” are expanded to encompass multiple agents and partners.[5]

Of course, many performances are conceived by their creators as ephemeral, one-time events for a specific set of nonreplicable conditions. If time, space, and relationship are all essential elements of performance, is it at all possible to preserve the environment and conditions that are often determinate of not only a performance’s texture, but also its meaning?[6] Not all performances are amenable to collection or to the possibility of repetition/reproduction.[7] The idea of a “conservable” performance presents specific philosophical and aesthetic challenges, a context that often prompts artists who develop performances specifically for institutional acquisition to design works that pointedly interrogate the underlying perspectives and structures that support the very possibilities of collection, reproducibility, and activation.

Although TPAC is not a museum, these concerns are also at play in the development of the KinesTHESES digital toolkit. The KinesTHESES works are, essentially, commissioned projects that were developed in the context of a short artist residency. In my curatorial brief to the invited artists, I asked them to think about the question of documentation and reanimation, framing the challenge in terms of how the performances manifest not as spectacle, but as experiences in the bodies of the audience:

One of the key ideas here is to turn the focus of the project away from the spectacle of the performer, and toward the bodies of the audience, where the work is experienced and animated. An important part of my curatorial dialogue with the artists will be considering how these works manifest in the bodies of the audience, and how to make visible that emphasis on the audience members’ bodily experiences. One thing I want participating artists to think about is how the work can best be documented so that what remains is not simply a “dead” archive of a lost moment of contact, but as something that carries the possibility of being reanimated, of flaring up as fresh gestures in new contexts and contacts with new audiences.

Some of the works are being designed to address audiences whose first context are not likely to be the aesthetics of performance art (activist communities, for example), which will inflect the discourse about what is significant in terms of the works’ outcomes or remains.


From my initial email correspondence with invited artists

Like performance itself, however, the process of curating performance is an open dialogue. Mobilizing and presenting a work is a collective effort that brings together agents with different objectives, concerns, desires, abilities, and responsibilities. The vision and concerns of a curator—even an artist-curator—do not always match those of the invited artists. For KinesTHESES, some artists were more engaged than others by the question of how to preserve the liveliness of their work via its documentary remains—and the project’s modest budget did not permit a sustained involvement by the artists in their performances’ post-event life. As a result, the digital toolkit is evolving as a specifically curatorial labour (or conceit)—though it is possible that the participating artists may be compelled to reassert their vision as the digital “tools” generated in conjunction with individual projects are formatted and come online.[8]

Certainly, the artists retain veto power over my descriptive contextualization of their individual works, and over what documentation and remains are made public. This much seems critical to the ethics of care that must be brought to the process of representing a work.[9] Yet the labour of conserving a performance and making it replicable almost always plays out as distinct from the initial creative process of developing and mounting the work. Paying attention to what might make a performance durable, or even to what, of the work and its conditions, can be productively recorded for posterity, may not be part of an artist’s concerns surrounding that work. After all, artists cannot predict or control how audiences (or even curators) will take up their works, and artists may also find that their attitudes toward a particular work and its ongoing manifestations shift over time. Ultimately, a performance’s lifespan—which enfolds its reception and ongoing relevance—depends on how audiences respond, and how the work’s textures and ideas get woven into a larger cultural fabric. Still, if the residues and outcomes of a performance are also potential carriers of its ongoing life, it is perhaps useful to be aware of the relationship between such documents and both the artist’s and curator’s intentions.[10]

My own concerns and methods as a performance artist, as well as my thoughts about documentation, have evolved hand-in-hand with my curatorial practices. As a curator who has specialized in producing site-specific performance art events involving non-local artists, I have always understood my roles to include determining the time and location of the events, and soliciting an audience that might best serve an invited artist’s imagined objectives for their performance. Caring for a performance’s production has often required extensive dialogue with an artist over months or even years in advance of the actual project dates in order to develop a clear understanding of the artist’s intentions and optimal conditions. It has also often entailed being present as a witness to a performance’s development for a longer and more continuous period than most audience members, expanding my sensitivity to the notion that a performance has a lifespan that opens up beyond its moment of presentation. Over time, my intimate involvement in the logistics and contextualization of performance works has also come to include a concern for how a performance—still conceived as a unique instantiation—should be documented. Nevertheless, given my commitment to and investment in the way the shared presence of the live moment determines a performance’s meaning, prior to working on the digital toolkit project, I have never thought of recordings and ephemera as having the capacity to “conserve” a performance or to convey its essence across time. Documentation might offer some insight into what a performance is, but it cannot capture what, to me, are crucial relational elements that make a work what it is as a performance.

The digital toolkit seeks to expand the continuum of what counts as a performance’s lifespan, but not by ensuring its exact replicability or capturing its essence. Instead, it seeks to frame the recordings and other produced documents in a way that might allow for the possibility of new and multiple trajectories to unfold. The digital toolkit project proposes that a performance be understood as an event that can open onto cross-temporal audiences and situatednesses, each instantiation determining a distinct and ephemeral set of conditions and relations that can collectively contribute to or constitute the overall lifespan of the work.

Is this conservation? This is a question that many of the colloquium participants found themselves grappling with. Some envisioned the museum as a work-site for a performance’s reactivation—or, perhaps more radically, simply its periodic activation, deemphasizing the logic that dictates that any new staging can only be understood as a simulation or revisiting of the original. Others suggested that a performance’s iterativity is its materiality, repetition acting as manifest form and substance. Whether one thinks in terms of an object or a performance, however, conservation is inevitably an intervention into the life cycle of a work, as Rebecca Schneider and Hanna Hölling emphasized in their closing keynote. If nothing else, conservation is, as Hélia Marçal has parsed it, a moment where the materiality of the work gets defined.[11]

Clearly, what survives any particular instantiation of a performance—the records and recordings of its occurrence as action and activity; the records and recordings of its spatial, temporal, material, and relational conditions; its material, textural and affective residues; the echoes, reverberations, resonances, and repetitions it triggers—all play a role in determining how and to what extent that performance can be activated as a work going forward.[12] At the same time, each player, participant or witness who comes to a performance, each agent that gets swept up in its activation, brings new resources and horizons to that performance’s unfolding, connecting it to multiple trajectories, implicating it in multiple histories and futures

Performance, as Rebecca Schneider and Hanna Hölling reminded us, is gestural—a form that is by definition relational and open to response. In thinking through the precariousness of conserving performance, many of the colloquium participants also sought to consider how preserving a performance’s authenticity might also mean attending to the ways in which performance is precisely a/the matter of change and transformation—not so much ephemeral as porous and open-ended. Thus, to preserve a performance might require working against the impulse to fix its place, its time, its relations, its meanings, too securely. Conservation might demand a process that not only listens to performance’s call, but also supports the possibility of multiple as-yet undetermined responses.

I am not sure that the KinesTHESES digital toolkit is a means for conserving the performances in the KinesTHESES series, but neither is it simply a model for representing or reflecting on those works. It is, or aspires to be, a strategy for maintaining and extending some of the performances’ liveliness, and it is also a bid for another urgent imperative that Schneider has suggested that we might wish to concern ourselves with in the face of a culture deeply implicated and invested in colonial and capitalist structures: redistribution.

NOTES

[1] See, for example, Barbara Büscher’s presentation, “From the Work to the Performance and its Documentation: Performance-based Arts at the Intersection of Visual Arts and Theatre/Performing Arts.”

[2] This question was particularly evident in the final keynote presentation featuring Rebecca Schneider and Hanna Hölling, “Not, Yet: When Our Art is in our Hands. With Antiphonal Interludes by Hanna Hölling.”

[3] Anna Rebeiro and Louise Lawson offered a detailed breakdown of the collection lifecycle of a performance artwork at the Tate that outlined the process and attendant concerns from pre-acquisition, through acquisition, and alternating phases of activation (i.e. display) and dormancy (their reframing of the notion of storage) in their presentation, “Caring for Performance Art in the Museum: From Acquisition to Activation.”

[4] Erin Brannigan and Louise Lawson describe this model in their presentation “Precarious Movements: Contemporary Dance as Contemporary Art,” as well as outlining various other potential and sometimes even simultaneous transmission/conservation models for performance that run the gamut from ongoing live presentations staged by the initial creator to recorded versions of the work, as well as authorized materials and resources for facilitating archival restagings.

[5] Pip Laurenson’s presentation, “Charisma, Desire, and Understanding in the Conservation of Performance Art,” offered an actor-network theory inspired examination of some of the agents and motivations involved in the assemblage of Tony Conrad’s Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain. Her presentation framed the desire that facilitates the ongoing investment required to sustain interest in a performance in terms of the artist’s charisma, reflecting the institutional imperative of canonization that underlies the Western art museum as a project. Outside of this context, however, one might think in terms of the charisma of a work itself. There are many instances of cultural conservation and replication that do not rely on the aura of authorship, from the passing down of anonymous folk songs to the technological commons of viral memes.

[6] In “Conserving the Unconservable: Documenting Environmental Performance for the 21st Century,” Gabriella Giannachi offered a consideration of what might be involved in documenting the “environment” of a work, unpacking three distinct ideas related to a performance’s spatial, temporal, relational and contextual conditions. First, she considered the term “Nature” as denoting materials and processes that find their meaning in a differentiation from the notion of a human-made and anthropocentric “Culture.” Citing Tim Ingold, however, she noted that particular notions or configurations of the idea of “nature” as it is culturally perceived also emerge within the category of “Culture.” Giannachi contrasted this broad notion of Nature with that of Environment, drawing on Jacob von Uexküll’s exploration of Umwelt, which hones in on the subjectively perceived world that manifests for an individual or species. As Giannachi parsed this difference, “while Nature is here now for all of us, the Environment is our individual perception of that here and now.” She quoted Julien Knebusch for a definition of a third term, Climate, which lasts over a period of time, as “a multidimensional phenomenon in which are combined the contributions of nature, culture, history and geography, but also the imaginary and the symbolic.” For Giannachi, what is significant about all of these terms is the way they weave among notions that are positioned both inside and outside of culture—just as a work may be positioned both inside and outside of a museum context and setting—in ways that are also influenced by the perceiving subject (or, addressing the particular concerns of a performance, the participants, including the audience). In the Q and A session that followed her presentation, Giannachi offered an anecdote from a recent conference organized by LIMA in Amsterdam that illustrated the problematic of addressing the challenges brought on by changes of environment. Participants were discussing the activation of a particular work from the 1960s that lasted 20 minutes. One of the questions asked was, “Is 20 minutes in the ’60s the same as 20 minutes today?” While everyone agreed that the two were not the same, defining and addressing that perceived difference offered a somewhat unanswerable conundrum.

[7] Farris Wahbeh’s “A Continuum of Instances: Archival Strategies for Performance-based Artworks” offered a useful distinction between the performance as a lasting and possibly repeatable “work” and specific performance instances—i.e., a performance’s individual iterations. His presentation focused on what records and information might productively be gathered and kept by an institution in relation to each. As a project-based organization that focuses primarily on festivals and performance series, TPAC tends to direct its interest toward the notion of performance-as-instance. This approach privileges the specificity of an individual event; that is, the particular relational interactions and ephemeral conditions that make it unique and unrepeatable.

[8] Various questions of labour were foregrounded at the colloquium, where participants interrogated what labour needs to be undertaken to secure the viability of a performance; who needs to do this labour; and what resources are necessary to support this labour? Lizzie Gorfaine, Ana Janevski, Martha Joseph, and Kate Lewis discussed the cross-departmental thinking demanded of large institutions that seek to tackle the acquisition and restaging of performance works in Intellectual Gifts: Case Studies in Collecting Performance,” in which they outlined the Museum of Modern Art’s approach to two complex works, Tania Bruguera’s Untitled (Havana, 2000) and Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions. At the same time, other presentations, in particular Rachel Mader and Siri Peyer’s “Interfrictions (a rubbing together). The ‘Ephemeral’ Meets the ‘Static’,” which drew from their experience with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts’ ongoing research project Collecting the Ephemeral: Prerequisites and Possibilities for Making Performance Art Last, asked how conservation efforts and concerns might be scaled to smaller institutions.At least one presentation, Sooyoung Leam’s “Festivalising Performance: Communication-Art Group (Un)archived,” described an effort by the artists themselves, in this case Com-Art Group, a Korean performance art collective producing events in the 1990s, to document the live works they were creating in ways that could then be used for promotional, pedagogical and dissemination purposes, including screenings at subsequent festivals. This kind of ad hoc, hybrid, and multipurpose life of documentation reflects an artist-driven approach that would be familiar to performance artists around the globe, and reflects some of the unforeseeable ways in which documentation might end up being mobilized. While part of such documentation’s capacity may certainly be to preserve records of specific works, these recordings can also end up inflecting gaps in personal memory and collective histories in unanticipated ways. Watching Sooyoung Leam’s presentation, I was surprised to see an image from Korean artist Lee Bul, presented as a projection on the wall of a retrospective exhibition of her work, that I immediately recognized as being from a performance and exhibition by Lee Bul that I curated at A Space in Toronto in 1994.

[9] Brian Castriota and Claire Walsh’s colloquium presentation, “In the Shadow of the State: Collecting Performance at IMMA and Institutions of Care in the Irish Context” discussed their development of an ethics of care in relation to the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s acquisition of Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones’s work The Touching Contract. The performance itself is a heavily researched, multifaceted, collective and collaborative work that “proposes new ways of understanding the political gesture of touch” as it explores issues of consent, care and the embodied experience of the (legal and medical) “touch of the State” (see https://www.sarahbrowne.info/work/in-the-shadow-of-the-state/; the quotes cited here are from the project description for the Dublin iteration of The Touching Contract, retrieved from https://www.sarahbrowne.info/work/the-touching-contract/). Given the project’s inherent attention to protocols and an ethics of care in relation to potentially traumatic or triggering experiences and issues—including a specific focus on the care of the performers, the care of the audience and of their responses to the work, the socio-political contexts of the particular sites where the work is staged, and how the work is represented (eschewing live recordings in order to protect the privacy of participants)—acquiring The Touching Contract has necessitated the ongoing development of a “bespoke” ethics of care that reflects the unique concerns and challenges of the work, and that requires its own extended timeline and resources to be established.

[10] Iona Goldie-Scot’s presentation “An Experimental Acquisition: Conflicting Conventions and Infrastructural Barriers (Ralph Lemon at the Walker)” offered an interesting cautionary tale about the Walker Art Center’s acquisition of Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room. In a conversation published in Histories of Performance Documentation: Museum, Artistic and Scholarly Practices, curator Philip Bither outlined a grand curatorial vision for how Scaffold Room would be collected. While Bither was not focused on having the Walker Center acquire the elaborate technical apparatus used to stage the work, he did envision producing a map of memories that would include extensive interviews with those who encountered the work in various ways at the Walker—not just the artists and performers, but also visitors, staff, and security personnel. Intrigued by Bither’s description, Goldie-Scot contacted and visited the Walker Art Center to learn more about this process, only to discover that while there was indeed ample recorded material of the work itself and interviews with the artist and performers, the audience interviews envisioned by Bither had never been conducted. It appears no one within the institution was ever charged with the responsibility and accompanying resources to achieve this aspect of the acquisition project. It is also unclear how much, if at all, the originating artist was invested in the vision of a public memory mapping in relation to this particular work.

[11] In her presentation “Vitality and the Conservation of Performance,” Hélia Marçal suggested that we might want to shift our understanding of performance away from a concern for its liveness in favour of a consideration of performance’s vitality. For her, this difference is marked at least in part by thinking not only in terms of what a performance (or object) is or is becoming, but also in terms of what it could have been. I understand her recourse to the ambiguous, conditional past tense of the “could have been” as opening up our understanding of a performance’s lifespan not only to something that, because we are in a continually evolving now, is no longer possible, but also to still-possible futures where we discover a performance’s prolific and promiscuous pasts in ways that are currently not legible.

[12] Of course, what gets documented of a performance or practice can also play a role in determining how richly we are able to perceive and appreciate it within its historical context. In her presentation “Maintenance is Never Done: Care and Presentation in Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s Performances,” Karolina Wilczyńska argued, using Ukeles as a case study, that while the photographic documentation often favoured by art historians for representing an artist’s work may provide a “manifest image” that can provide or fit into an easily graspable social and political narrative, other kinds of materials—process notes and documents, writings, and recordings that are constitutive of an artist’s social practice—may offer a “deep image” that permits a thicker and more nuanced reading of an artist’s work.


WORKS CITED

Brannigan, Erin & Lawson, Louise. Precarious Movements: Contemporary Dance as Contemporary Art. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Browne, Sarah. The Touching Contract (Dublin) with Jesse Jones. [Webpage.] Retrieved from https://www.sarahbrowne.info/work/the-touching-contract/
Büscher, Barbara. From the Work to the Performance and its Documentation: Performance-based Arts at the Intersection of Visual Arts and Theatre/Performing Arts. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Castriota, Brian & Walsh, Claire. In the Shadow of the State: Collecting Performance at IMMA and Institutions of Care in the Irish Context. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Couillard, Paul. E-mail correspondence with invited KinesTHESES artists. 2018-2019.
Giannachi, Gabriella. Conserving the Unconservable: Documenting Environmental Performance for the 21st Century. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Goldie-Scot, Iona. An Experimental Acquisition: Conflicting Conventions and Infrastructural Barriers (Ralph Lemon at the Walker). Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Gorfaine, Lizzie; Janevski, Ana; Joseph, Martha; & Lewis, Kate. Intellectual Gifts: Case Studies in Collecting Performance. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
HKB Bern University of the Arts. Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge. [Webpage.] Retrieved from https://performanceconservationmaterialityknowledge.com/
Hölling, Hanna. “PERFORMANCE: THE ETHICS AND THE POLITICS OF CARE — # 1. Mapping the Field.” [Announcement.] International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art, 2021, April 15. Retrieved from https://www.incca.org/news/performance-ethics-and-politics-care-%E2%80%94-1-mapping-field
Laurenson, Pip. Charisma, Desire, and Understanding in the Conservation of Performance Art. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Leam, Sooyoung. Festivalising Performance: Communication-Art Group (Un)archived. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Mader, Rachel & Peyer, Siri. Interfrictions (a rubbing together). The ‘Ephemeral’ Meets the ‘Static’. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Marçal, Hélia. Vitality and the Conservation of Performance. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Rebeiro, Anna & Lawson, Louise. Caring for Performance Art in the Museum: From Acquisition to Activation. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Schneider, Rebecca & Hölling, Hanna. Not, Yet: When Our Art is in our Hands. With Antiphonal Interludes by Hanna Hölling. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Wahbeh, Farris. A Continuum of Instances: Archival Strategies for Performance-based Artworks. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.
Wilczyńska, Karolina. Maintenance is Never Done: Care and Presentation in Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s Performances. Presented at Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field, Bern University of the Arts, Institute Materiality in Arts and Culture, Switzerland, May 2021.

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