Projects + Publications
PuSh Critical Ideas Series
In 2016 IPS launched an initiative to partner with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival on a "Critical Ideas" series that brings together, as part of the PuSh Assembly every January/February, artists, critics and scholars in a series of critical conversations on formal, social and ideological issues affecting performance practice and reception today.
Video documentation from the 2016, 2017, and 2018 PuSh Critical Ideas series can be accessed via our Video Archive or our YouTube channel.
PUBLIC 53 (Spring 2016): "MEGA-EVENT CITIES: Art/Audiences/Aftermaths." Edited by IPS Director Peter Dickinson, IPS Associate Member Kirsty Johnston, and Keren Zaiontz.
MEGA-EVENT CITIES brings together leading scholars, artists, and activists to examine the role of the arts in articulating the social agendas of urban mega-events like Olympic Games and World Expos. As mega-events circulate from one city to the next, they leave complex (often ruinous) infrastructural legacies for artists and communities, with scenarios of national celebration transiting swiftly to austerity measures and socially cleansed urban cores. The contributors to PUBLIC 53 engage with the exhilaration and sober aftermaths of the “mega” by taking stock of the fluid politics of officials who seek to commemorate mega-events through public art programs, and activists who choose to question the same events through creative acts of resistance. With particular focus on Vancouver and London—but ranging beyond to Sochi, Rio, Milan, Calgary, and Baku, Azerbaijan—this issue asks how art and culture can intervene in the pressing security, human rights, and environmental issues that shape mega-events. Mega-Event Cities addresses the local politics of global placemaking and shows the shared artistic practices, performative interventions, and resistant acts that can be found across host city sites.
More information here.
Canadian Theatre Review 164 (Fall 2015): "Vancouver after 2010." Edited by IPS Director Peter Dickinson, IPS Associate Member Kirsty Johnston, and Keren Zaiontz.
A startling correspondence across former Olympic and Paralympic host cities is that aggressive social welfare cuts have followed the event. These cuts have serious material consequences for those very artists and minority groups that proved so central to winning bids and staging Opening and Closing ceremonies. Five years after the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, with the city’s arts communities still recovering from a series of provincial funding cuts that actually began in 2009, and with post-Olympics development projects encroaching on artist live-work spaces, this special issue of Canadian Theatre Review brings together scholars, artists, and cultural producers to ask what kinds of resources remain after a mega-event has left town? How do artists and companies adapt to new economic circumstances and leverage audience attention for and investment in new projects? And what might a reading of the specific aesthetic, social, and affective legacies of different Olympics- and Paralympics-related performances tell us about the state of arts and culture in Vancouver today? From public art and sound walks, to hockey games and real estate speculation, this issue reveals the pervasive power of the Olympics to continue to shape how Vancouverites move through and live within the city. Fix, the published script by award-winning playwright Alex Bulmer, demonstrates how citizens of host cities from Vancouver to London must continually renew the fight to the right to the city. Bulmer’s “audio provocation” seeks to engage youth in the deep questions of citizenship, particularly concerning disability and inclusion. Her script is one of many battle cries in this issue that show art and performance to be more than a stage for official culture, but a political force with which to be reckoned.
Click to read the introduction here.