By Alison Cooley
Welcome to the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art Blog. I’m Alison Cooley, a Toronto-based writer, curator and educator, and over the course of the next five days, I (along with Jenn Snider) will be covering, cataloguing and processing the festival events. What stands to remain here once we are done is a partial, subjective, and experiential record of the festival, and (hopefully) some thoughts on where that gets us.
In sitting down to introduce myself and think through my role as an immersed and embedded critic, I tried to record a short list of things that might prove useful in cataloguing what I am about to witness. The list sat somewhere between expectations (of performance in general, of the festival in particular) and a grab-bag of contemporary concerns and clichés about performance that I thought might crop up, for better or for worse. It quickly became ridiculous. Trying to make notes about what I am about to see proved difficult.
Frustrated and excited by the nature of responding to a festival in process— as the actions and occurrences that will shape my experience emerge over the course of several days— I chose to arrange some of the elements on my list into a bingo card. This is a half-joke (and maybe says more about my flip use of and simultaneous mistrust of art language than anything else), but you are invited to play along. It is here.