Violet to perform at Open Embodiments Conference in Tucson, April 17, 2015

Violet will perform at the upcoming Open Embodiments Locating Somatechnics in Tucson Conference presented by Somatechnics Research Network and the University of Arizona’s Center for Critical Studies of the Body, Institute for LGBT Studies, Transgender Studies, Initiative Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, and the Poetry Center. Open Embodiments is an international conference marking the relocation of the Somatechnics Research Network to the University of Arizona’s new Center for Critical Studies of the Body. Founded in 2005 by Department of Critical and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, the Somatechnics Research Network is an international, transdisciplinary group of more than 500 researchers interested in the “always already” technologized nature of embodiment. Somatechnics conjoins an open-ended curiosity about embodiment in our contemporary techno-nature-culture contexts with an ethics of embodied difference derived from feminist, queer, transgender, disability, and critical race methodologies. Conference participants will have the opportunity to connect their scholarly, artistic, creative, and activist engagement with embodiment’s openness to the geophysical/geospatial location of Tucson, Arizona, in the U.S./Mexico borderlands.

Panel: From Trauma to Transformation
Location: Marriott Ventana
Time: Friday, April 17, 2015 at 2:15pm-3:30pm
Description: This panel explores loss, sexuality, movement, and trauma through the lens of performance art, dance, disability, poetry, and sex work. As intertwined artists, the bright light we stand in is that of transformation through embodied inquiry. Many elements of the panel will depend on audience participation. Panel presentations include:

“Portals to Transformation: Body, Art, Architecture and Sound”
Violet Juno will present the performance piece “Portals to Transformation” which literally, figuratively and performatively explores the concept of openings between states of being and concepts of self.  Through the lens of embodiment, Violet explores the risk/gain equation of disabilities/super abilities and the unfixed body in motion as it sheds skins and stories, changing shape and capacity while navigating landscapes of loss, trauma, dislocation and discovery through word and image. Trained as a visual artist, Violet uses layers of sculptural costumes that transform shape, giving lyrical and physical form to the body in dynamic flux. Additionally, Juno uses spoken word and a custom made, miniature stringed instrument that combines the low tech with the high tech to represent these shifts in the realm of sound. Juno believes that the artwork—and in particular, this piece—is not only about what is happening on stage but more importantly what audience members conjure in their minds from the multi-sensory experience they witness and what they take with them when they leave.

Violet Juno is a transdisciplinary performance artist who has performed and exhibited at 70 venues in 36 cities since 1990. Juno combines text, sound, visual tableaus, kinetic sculpture, movement and a unique form of three-dimensional mapping to create multisensory experiences for the audience. Violet’s work addresses issues involving disability/embodiment, trauma/transformation, and the poetic tension between language and languagelessness.

“Vivid Spaces: Movement as a Re-source”
Margit Galanter will present an experimental and performative lecture that draws from her practices in somatics and movement arts, as well as her long-term dance poetry performance project entitled, Relay. Working from the premise of the interconnectivity of self with the living environment and with others, she will enact a picture of the personhood that leans toward dissolving unnecessary enclosures and examine the lines necessarily drawn –how do we continually inscribe our being as a compositional act? For example, need we imagine ourselves (aka strive to) having “everything” when we are able to access from one another and our rich imagination? How do our images of alignment and capability alter through our intention and actions? Through the lens of embodied language, Margit will explore cross-fertilization, sound, and the modulation of presence as modes of liberatory action. These “physical” approaches have effects not only on our experiential understandings, but also on culture. As well, Margit will contextualize subtle and phenomenal practices as part of a socio-transformative-neuro-energetic-aesthetic, attuning to how we draw new spaces through inclusivity in our artful lives.

Margit Galanter is a movement educator, arts investigator, and dance poet living in Oakland, CA. Her fascination with the potency of movement — the multiplicity of tones, its cultural efficacy, the composing — has drawn her to embodied inquiry for decades. She has presented, performed, and taught her work throughout the US, and has a thriving practice in the Bay Area called Physical Intelligence Life Arts, where she finds the greatest understanding through the mysteries that emerge from the speculative nature of conversation, creative collaboration, and shared practice. PI Practice: * Arts:

“The Disabled Sex(ological Body) Worker: a Poetics of invisible, Intimate Performance”
Amber Dipietra will present from her ongoing poetic manuscript Vaquera (A Skeleton-Cowgirl Crosses the Dia de los Muertos River Endlessly). This “reading” from her manuscript will traverse the borders of trauma in slow motion and disability as the hyper-exposed island of degeneration and its inverse fecundity. The manuscript will be not so much read to the audience as co-explored with the audience through participatory body work and sex work modalities. It will call for radical open-ness and thus, give presence to failure, danger, or over-exposure.

Amber Dipietra, as a body and personality, has moved on an arc from socially-isolated child with a disability, to poet, to disability advocate, to escort, to intimacy coach. She recently moved from San Francisco to St. Petersburg, FL where she has started a a local chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project, swoptampabay,org.. Find her at adipietra.blogspot.comand

“Postcard Divinations, Embodied Loss, and the Poetics of Origin: A Grief Geography”
Through her multi-genre and collaborative presentation (including poetry, music, and video), Denise Leto will explore the embodiment of physical and emotional trauma via sites of disability, physical difference, loss, and grief. As such, Denise seeks to open lines of perspective and discussion into the narrative myth of embodied closure. She will address how trauma is often seen as a closed system of attributive meaning and examine how disability is also too often rendered as a fixed or depreciative annihilator of ability depending on its origin story. The somatic manifestation of trauma can re-define and re-order presence and meaning. The medicalization of mortality and death, through their ongoing placement outside the realm of daily discourse and experience, is directly equivalent to the exile and depersonalization of grief and trauma. In her presentation, Denise will seek to open lines of inquiry into the mapping of emotional and/or physical trauma, as well as disability and/or physical difference, within constructs of heightened embodied knowledge(s) and states of being. Specifically, she will locate grief processes within frameworks of correlative thought, expansive language, and embraced bodily sensations. In so doing, Denise intends to bring to the center how a cooperative locus of artistic expression, receptivity, and non-normative embodiment can unmask and engage creative collaboration.

Denise Leto is a poet, editor, and explorer of multigenre and collaborative forms of media and performance. She wrote the libretto for the performance piece, Your Body is Not a Shark, which examined the poetics of embodied difference and disability through music, text, and dance. Recently, she was awarded a Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Sicily and was the recipient of the Orlando Poetry Prize.

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