The Portal

Embodiment: Practice as Research

Photograph by Cori Olinghouse.

Photograph by Cori Olinghouse.

Photograph by Cori Olinghouse.

Photograph by Cori Olinghouse.

Considering questions of embodiment within curatorial practice, this course situates the body in proximity to politics of display, architecture, and design to develop new methods of embodied practice as research. Dedicated to hands-on, experiential learning, this foundational course teaches the theory and practice of various modes of embodied perception through physical exploration and somatic practice. Taking up methods of deep listening through a multiplicity of perspectives: experientially, theoretically, and historically, the course touches upon the following sensorial registers: visual, aural, tactile, spatial, temporal, and social, while surfacing unconscious biases specific to materials and experiences. Bringing attention to the curator’s own body, which includes notions of subjectivity and positionality, we pursue an ethics that maintains a vibrancy between objects and bodies, where artificial distinctions between object/subject and knower/known are dismantled. Students work with guest artists from a range of disciplines. Critical writings include texts by Sara Ahmed, Donna Haraway, Vijay Iyers, Laura Marks, Fred Moten, and Kathleen Stewart, among others. Out of this course, students learn to perform close readings of embodied practices and histories in motion, while attuning to multi-sensory modes of perception that have formal, architectural, design-oriented, communicative, and ethical ramifications.