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intervention of J Griffin Stewart's photograph

Hemispheric Institute Convergence 2015

Collectivities in Transmigratiion: Animating Bodies Across Borders

at The University of Texas at Austin

November 19-22, 2015


with Ana Carolina von Hertwig (Independent Arts from Brazil), Alexandra Santana (MA candidate at Tulane University, New Orleans) & Maybel Mesa Morales (PhD candidate at Texas A&M University)

This year’s convergence, Collectivities in TransMigration: Animating Bodies Across Borders gathered scholars, artists and activists to explore the concept of transmigration and collectivism through discussion panels, performances and workshops. As a co-convener for the workshop on Digital Collectivities, I explored along with my colleagues, the effect digital technology has on mediating the experience of the real. The space of translation between digital realms and physical ones parallels the sense of duality within a transmigrating body. Through collaboration and experimentation between co-convener and participants, digital media was explored as a tool of dislocation and as a self surveillance device that extends the body and parallels our consciousness. This workshop staged an exploration with theory, materials, technology, the body and space. A series of public interventions and an experimental performance allowed the digital collectivities group to make an installation, paralleling the dislocating sense of the mediation of digital media with the narration of a migrating body. Our objective was to connect different times and spaces through the web, as well as to include physical interaction with an urban environment, person-to-person engagements, and digital possibilities.



Our interaction with spaces and others can be experienced digitally as a “second life,” as an illusion of depth through stereoscopic technology, and as a network of multiple distant and digital spaces. Keeping in mind these digital realities, what effects should we expect in terms of how we inhabit, understand, and perceive architecture, space, art, and culture?


The workshop culminated as a blog showcasing this collaborative project:




The 2015 Hemi GSI Convergence is made possible by the generous support of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (NYU); Canadian Consortium for Performance and Politics in the Americas, funded in large part through Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); the Performance as Public Practice program (Department of Theatre and Dance, UT Austin); The College of Fine Arts (UT Austin); The Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (UT Austin); and JGS Photography.


With the support of Elastic Spaces

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