Performance and Place (architecture, environment, material culture)
Performing City Resilience (performing cities, resilience, hazard mitigation, artists and cities)
There are two key strands to my research. Firstly, I publish on performances of architecture and environment. In 2017, I addressed the performance of ‘elements of architecture,’ an entirely unexplored area in the arts, but critical in architecture. In 2019, Matthew Wagner and I published The Dramaturgy of the Door (Routledge), the first book length study of the performance of the door – a key architectural ‘element’. In this, we explore the importance of doors in stage and place-based practice, and thereby issues of borders, thresholds, bodies, environments and practices of access and limit (project funded by British Academy/Leverhulme). In December 2019, I published Performing Home (Routledge), the first book to consider performances of home in domestic dwellings. This book speaks to research and practice in installation, performance and architecture, and looks directly at practices of enquiring into, making, adapting, mobilising, and being resident in domestic dwellings. It considers artists’ responses to place and to the possibilities, but also difficulties, of practising home. The second strand of work focuses on surveying and enhancing strategic management of urban environments. I am a Co-Director of Performing City Resilience, an internationally focused research-led consultancy that asks how performance and arts/culture can inform ideas and practices of resilience, and how understandings of resilience might advance thinking and practice in arts/culture. Having surveyed arts and resilience practice in New Orleans (2018), we were invited to contribute to the development of the City’s five year Hazard Mitigation Plan and the grassroots Cultural Masterplan in 2019. In June 2019, we delivered bespoke workshops for key city stakeholders including New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) – together with departments across City Hall, the Arts Council of New Orleans, and the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans. As a direct result of our work, NOHSEP are engaged on ‘a long-term path of embedding arts and cultural practices in our strategic planning’
I would be interested to hear from potential applicants whose work speaks to my research interests.