Visiting Experts: Petra Kuppers
Eco Soma Methods: Tuning into our Worlds
In this talk, Petra Kuppers will explore contemporary performance from the perspective of co-experienced embodiment in unequally distributed power fields. Most traditional somatics teach us how to fine-tune our introspective senses and to open up the world of our own bodies, while eco soma methods extend that attention toward the creative possibilities of the reach between self, others, the land, and history. Eco Soma proposes an art/life method of sensory tuning to the inside and the outside simultaneously, a method that allows for a wider opening toward ethical cohabitation with human and more-than-human others. Using both video examples (including a piece called Journey to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin) and gentle participatory exercises, let’s explore together what this can mean for us as witnesses of our own lives.
Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a disability culture activist, a writer, and a community performance artist. Petra grounds herself in disability culture methods, and uses somatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. Her latest academic study is Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters (University of Minnesota Press, 2022, open access). Her third performance poetry collection, Gut Botany (Wayne State University Press, 2020), won the 2022 Creative Book Award by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Petra is Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and she co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio. She is the Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
The open lecture is part of the Visiting Experts series where international experts in the arts and sciences, invited by the Theatre Academy, share their knowledge.