University of California Los Angeles, CA
Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, School of the Arts and Architecture
How do bodies and materials work together to create a generative tension in the discussion around the rights and responsibilities of minority representations in order to re-shape our world? How can we imagine revised physical models of choreographic form, gesture and movement that contributes towards an evolving and sophisticated language, knowledge, and politics of complex embodiment? How might the interventions of bodies in public space be directed towards various forms of social justice? How might the landscape of signs, symbols, banners or “disobedient objects,” intermingled with the semiotics of visible and invisible corporeal differences, be made strange, ruptured or destabilized, so that we might think about the body differently? This interdisciplinary course explores how bodies, gestures, materials, and places together reflect and reinforce collective ideas about the rights and responsibilities of both majority and minority individuals. By interrogating and creating physical models of dance, gesture, design, and representation, as well as evaluating issues of access and participation, students will explore how embodiment can be deployed to promote social justice. Together we will develop a new rhetorical framework for the “choreopolitics” of complex embodiment, and we will build a new vocabulary and methodology around disability and access in challenging and stimulating ways. We will engage primarily with work that interrogates the social, political, and philosophical stakes of complex embodiment, drawn from fields that have a history of interrogating embodiment in visual culture, such as within the discourses of dance, choreography, performance, architecture, and more. We will also examine how we might trouble the ostensibly normative narratives in museum and gallery spaces, and consider how access might become a dynamic conceptual and curatorial tool for destabilizing reductive categories. The overarching goal is to engage in dialogue that centers on the creative potential of disabled bodies to generate social transformation within visual culture at large. This interdisciplinary school-wide course provides an amazing and very unique opportunity for students in the School of Art and Architecture to experiment with other students from across the School, forging new connections and deepening their research and creative potential.