Span 2014 | Performance Space New York

Span 2014

Thank you to all that attended SPAN 2014. The below videos highlight some of the conversations that took place. We look forward to continuing the conversation and collaboration next year! Special thanks to Randy Martin, Annie Dorsen, New York University and the Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation.

SPAN is PS122′s conversation series partnering PS122 artists with luminaries from other fields in a dialogue of ideas addressing the intersection between the artist, artistic practice and the larger world.

Not your average talk back or debate, for COIL 2014, director Annie Dorsen and NYU’s Art and Public Policy Department Chair, Randy Martin have collaborated to create a durational dialogue, that takes off from a discussion of risk – in all its manifestations. Economists, social scientists, financiers, choreographers, and technologists will respond to each other in an improvised, round-robin style conversation.


Click icons to see participant bios.
Annie Dorsen is a writer and director who works in a variety of fields, including theatre, film, dance and, as of 2009, algorithmic performance. Most recently, her algorithmic Hamlet project, A Piece of Work, has been seen at On the Boards (Seattle), Brooklyn Academy of Music (NYC), Parc de la Villette (Paris), and others. In 2012 she made Spokaoke, a participatory karaoke project that uses political and historical speeches in place of pop songs. That work premiered as part of Steirischer Herbst’s “Truth is Concrete” marathon, and has also performed at Crossing the Line Festival (NYC), and at Black Box Theater (Oslo) and BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen). Her first algorithmic theatre piece, Hello Hi There, premiered at the streirischer herbst festival (Graz) in 2010, and has been presented at over 15 theaters and festivals in the US and Europe, as well as, in installation form, at Bitforms Gallery in New York. She is the co-creator of the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange, which she also directed. Spike Lee made a film of her production of the piece, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, and screened everywhere from the Tribeca Film Festival to subsequently screened at South by Southwest Film Festival and The Tribeca Film Festival, and was released theatrically by IFC in 2010 before being broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances. Also in 2010, she collaborated with choreographer Anne Juren on Magical (premiere at ImPulsTanz Festival Vienna) and with Ms. Juren and DD Dorviller on Pièce Sans Paroles (brut Vienna and Rencontres Choréographiques Internationales Seine-St-Denis, Paris). She has collaborated often with musicians, including Questlove of The Roots on Shuffle Culture (BAM), Laura Karpman and Jessye Norman on Ask Your Mama, a setting of Langston Hughes’ 1962 poem (Carnegie Hall) and with the string quartet ETHEL, on Truckstop, also at BAM. Her pop-political performance project Democracy in America was presented at PS122 in spring 2008. Her short film, I Miss, originally the centerpiece of Democracy in America, has screened at American Film Institute Festival (AFI Fest), SXSW Film Festival, The New York Film Festival’s “Views From the Avant-Garde” and the Nantucket Film Festival.

Randy Martin is professor and chair of art and public policy and director of the graduate program in arts politics at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He is the author of Performance as Political Act: The Embodied Self; Socialist Ensembles:Theater and State in Cuba and Nicaragua; Critical Moves: Dance Studies in Theory and Politics; On Your Marx: Relinking Socialism and the Left; Financialization of Daily Life; Empire of Indifference: American War and the Financial Logic of Risk Management; Under New Management: Universities, Administrative Labor and the Professional Turn. He has edited collections on U.S. Communism, sport and academic labor and, most recently, Artistic Citizenship: A Public Voice for the Arts (with Mary Schmidt Campbell) and The Returns of Alwin Nikolais: Bodies, Boundaries, and the Dance Canon (with Claudia Gitelman).
Dr. Martin holds degrees in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the City University of New York. He has studied, taught, and performed in dance, theater, and clowning in the United States and abroad. Previously, he served as professor and chair of social science at Pratt Institute, associate dean of faculty at Tisch School of the Arts, and as an editor of the journal Social Text.

Elie Ayache was born in Lebanon in 1966. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris in 1987, traded options on the open outcry floors of Liffe (London) and Matif (Paris) until 1995, co-founded ITO 33, a derivative pricing technology firm in 1998 and published The Black Swan: The End of Probability (Wiley) in 2010.

Carol Devine is a writer, researcher and humanitarian with an interest in global health, culture and climate. She is Project Manager for The Museum of AIDS in Africa, pan- African museum to collect, preserve, remember, interpret, share and exhibit the history of the origins, spread, and impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Carol led the first civilian clean-up in the Antarctic in 1995 as Director of the VIEW Foundation. She co-wrote the upcoming book, The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning, based on that experience. Carol worked in Rwanda, the Congo and Sudan for Médecins Sans Frontières. She spoke to the World Trade Organization and before Canadian parliament on access to medicines. For the Diplomacy Training Program at the University of New South Wales, Carol ran human rights and diplomacy courses in the Asia-Pacific. Carol did her first visit to the Arctic recently, investigating circumpolar health in Greenland.

Allen Feldman is a cultural anthropologist who has conducted ethnographic research on the politicization of the gaze, the body and the senses in Northern Ireland, South Africa and the post 9/11 global war of terror. His research and teaching interests include visual culture, political aesthetics, political animality, and practice-led media research. Feldman is the author of the critically acclaimed book Formations of Violence: the Narrative of the Body and Political Terror in Northern Ireland (Chicago UP 1991), and numerous essays on political violence as visual and performance culture. He is an associate professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU where he teaches visual culture and the philosophy of media.

Ashley Gilbertson’s imagery from Iraq, where he worked from 2002 until 2008, earned him critical acclaim from, among others, the Overseas Press Club which awarded Gilbertson the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal for his 2004 work in Falluja. His first book, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, was released in 2007 and went on to become a best seller, reaching the Top 100 on Amazon. Since then, Gilbertson has been producing Bedrooms Of The Fallen, a collection of photographs depicting the intact bedrooms of service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The work was given an ASME (National Magazine Award) in 2011, and will be published in book form by The University of Chicago in 2014. Gilbertson continues to concentrate on the two wars by examining veterans’ issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and War Motivated Suicide for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and other outlets.

Mariam Ghani’s research-based practice spans video, installation, performance, photography, and text. Her exhibitions and screenings include the Rotterdam, transmediale, and CPH:DOX film festivals, dOCUMENTA (13) in Kabul and Kassel, MoMA in New York, the National Gallery in DC, and the Sharjah Biennials 10 and 9. Recent texts have been published by Creative Time Reports, Filmmaker, Foreign Policy, Ibraaz, Mousse, the Radical History Review, Triple Canopy, and the New York Review of Books blog. Ongoing collaborations include the experimental archive Index of the Disappeared (with Chitra Ganesh), the video series Performed Places (with choreographer Erin Kelly), and the Afghan Films online archive (with Ghani has been awarded the NYFA, Soros and Freund Fellowships, grants from the Graham Foundation, CEC ArtsLink, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Experimental Television Center, and residencies at LMCC, Eyebeam Atelier, Smack Mellon and the Akademie Schloss Solitude. Ghani holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from NYU and an MFA from SVA. She currently teaches at Pratt and is an artist in residence at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.

Jigar Shah is author of Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy, 2013 Icosa Publishing. Shah unlocked the multi-billion dollar worldwide solar industry with a business model innovation (Power Purchase Agreement), not a new technology. This model created SunEdison, the largest solar services company worldwide. Jigar Shah has shown that business model innovation applied to the biggest challenge of our lifetime – climate change – will unlock a $10 trillion dollar new economy.
After SunEdison was sold in 2009, Jigar served through 2012 as the first CEO of the Carbon War Room —the global organization founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. SunEdison and Carbon War Room proved that we could make positive change through business and financial model innovation in many industries. Today, as CEO of Jigar Shah Consulting, he works with global companies in a multitude of industries to deploy existing clean energy solutions fueled by new business models.

Originally from Detroit, Jeremy graduated cum laude in Painting and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in New York, is a Fulbright Alumnus and trained at the Actor’s Studio. Since 2003 he has been the artistic co-director of the performance and film company CABULA6, which was voted “company of the year 2009” by Europe’s most prestigious performance magazine, Ballettanz, and awarded “Outstanding Artist of the Year 2010” by the Austrian Ministry of the Arts. CABULA6 has produced and presented work for both film and stage all over the world. Jeremy’s film directing credits include the feature documentary DEATH METAL ANGOLA, the six part CRIME EUROPE series, and the short documentary MACONDO in addition to several short fiction films. He is known in Europe as a performance artist with a unique artistic voice and approach to stage and film, blending emotionally gripping personal stories with the larger social contexts within which they emerge. Working as a dancer, actor and filmmaker, he has performed and presented work around the world on stage, TV and in Cinema. He speaks English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese and is based in New York City.

Kate Barnhart is a long-time AIDS activist and member of ACT UP/NY who has been arrested multiple times for acts of civil disobedience protesting issues related to AIDS, healthcare, and police brutality. She has worked with at-risk youth since 1994, including six years working with young felons at CASES, an alternative-to-incarceration program. Since 2001, she has worked with homeless LGBT youth. She spent five years serving as Director of Sylvia’s Place, an emergency shelter for LGBT homeless youth, and is currently the Executive Director of New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth, an organization she helped found. In her free time, Ms. Barnhart rescues and rehabilitates stray cats.

Barbara Lanciers is the Director of the Trust for Mutual Understanding (TMU), a private American foundation that funds professional exchanges in the arts and environment conducted in partnership with institutions and individuals in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe. Barbara is a former company member and choreographer for Two-headed Calf in NYC (2008 Obie grant recipient and a resident company at La MaMa E.T.C.). She was also a member of the Dyke Division of Two-headed Calf and served as one of the six producers and writers for the lesbian soap opera, Room for Cream. Her original theater piece, Leaves with a Name, based on her grandmother’s escape from Hungary in 1944, premiered at the Peabody Institute in 2007 under the artistic guidance of renowned choreographer Martha Clarke. Barbara was a 2007/08 Fulbright Scholar with the Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute and has written independent articles on American theater for Szinhaz Hungarian theater magazine and Didaskalia Polish theater magazine. Barbara studied extensively with the SITI Company and served as Anne Bogart’s assistant on the SITI production of Death and the Ploughman. As a performer, she was most recently seen as Baby’s Breath in Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge. Barbara premiered her staging of Hungarian Nobel Prize-winning author Imre Kertész’s novel Kaddish for an Unborn Child at the Jurányi Incubator House in Budapest, Hungary, in June 2013 and recently opened the piece in New York at the 14th Street. Y. Barbara sits on the board of Genda Mirembe/Go In Peace, a human rights NGO based in Rakai District, Uganda that focuses on increasing access to secondary education for Ugandan girls using soccer as a scholarship vehicle.

A contributor to the Nation, the Village Voice, New York Times, and Artforum, he is the author of many books, including Bird On Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City, Nice Work if You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times, Fast Boat to China–Lessons from Shanghai, Low Pay, High Profile: The Global Push for Fair Labor, No-Collar: The Humane Workplace and its Hidden Costs, and The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney’s New Town. His most recent book is Creditocracy and the Case for Debt Refusal, available from OR books at

Major support for SPAN is provided by the Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation. SPAN is a co-production between PS122 and New York University Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Art and Public Policy.

Dates: Jan 18, 2014

Type: Conversation

Premiere Status: COIL

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