4.361/2 | Performance Art Workshop: Walking Anew

Instructor: Jesal Kapadia
TA: Ruth Blair Moyers

First meeting: Sept. 2, Wednesday 7:00pm


Synchronous meeting time: Wednesdays 7- 9 pm + Recitation: by appointment

Performance Art Workshop will study performance in relation to our body as a space of resistance, as well as the collective body and its powers. Exploring performance art in its expanded sense, we will enact gestures of care, commoning and conviviality, a call and response – in the tradition of Ivan Illich, Gayatri Spivak, Silvia Federici, Fred Moten and many others – through a collective praxis tied to the creation of decolonized ways of relating to the social and to each other. Constructing a space for an engaged playful dialogue around radical listening, retrieving attention to details of our dreams, reclaiming our sources, our here and now, and converting everyday acts in preparation for shifts in epistemic performances are the tasks we will perform.

Questions that guide us: how can we perform to unplug from the machinery of representations, undo the injurious colonial gaze, dismantle categories of identity and specializations that alienate us from each other, and interrupt the monologue of life governed by the logic of capital and patriarchy? Learning from fugitive aesthetics and feminist methodologies, we will use performance art as a link between our own singularities and between a common body – becoming a common-singularity, becoming more than our individual selves, becoming abundant, and walking towards friends across the border and destituting the city. Starting from the portals that we move through: the virtual classroom and its institutional corridors to the screens, the streets, the parks and the houses, the rivers, states, the very ground on which we stand – we will attempt to create a soulful walk across multiplicities and pluralities that would allow us to see (and resist) expressions of violence and micro-fascisms at work in different spaces.

Assignments and activities will involve: weekly walks, screenings and readings from texts by writers, theorists, artists; developing scores for several documented and undocumented performances; hosting conversations with invited guests; small exercises in language and narrating our dreams; composing our bodies differently through contact improvisation; searching through historical material, archives and active scholarship on participation and performance art.

During Fall 2020 this course will be online using Zoom, Canvas and other remote collaboration tools, such as https://pad.textb.org/p/walking_anew​​

If you are interested in taking this course, please pre-register by August 31st (Monday) so that you can receive the zoom invitations to join the class, or come to our first gathering. If you have any questions, please write to email hidden; JavaScript is required and email hidden; JavaScript is required

This class is open to undergraduate and graduate students. 

click to view full poster – 4.361/2 | performance art workshop: walking anew

Class meets regularly on Wednesdays from 7-10pm. Recitation will be by appointment.

This class is open to undergraduate and graduate students. 

Students from various disciplines are encouraged to enroll and to integrate media and genres including​ poetry, writing, dance, theater, acting, storytelling, drawing, video and other image-making practices, architecture, design, sculpture, etc. 

Additional work is required at the graduate level, which includes a variable unit option. 


  • Prereq: 4.301, 4.302, or permission of instructor
    Units: u 3-3-6, g 3-3-6/3-3-3
  • Credit: hass-a
  • Schedule: W 7:00PM-9:00PM
    Location: e15-001 e15-207