MAD THEORY 2 is this Saturday!


MAD THEORY 2: A Performance Philosophy Symposium
Madison Public Library Central Branch, 3rd Floor
Saturday, March 21st, 2015 

MAD THEORY 2 is an exciting and dynamic art-theory-action event at the intersection of performance and philosophy.  The symposium features diverse approaches to theory and practice: experimental lectures, live performances, digital media, interactive installations, and participatory workshops.

We invite you to investigate conversation as performance, relational power dynamics, social sculpture, and navigation of public space in everyday life. Dance like no one is watching, record the sound of your own breath, take part in a micro-nomadic artist residency, and cultivate your own style of disruptive spect-actor-ship.

The day is action-packed with live presentations and participatory workshops, concurrent interactive installations, and a video program. With mediums ranging from sound, dance, and film to magnetic data tape, neon, and light, the programming features experimental happenings such as collaboratively produced scripts and scores, opera of operations, and real-time poetic/musical composition; physical theatre, devised theatre, and toy theatre; and teleconferencing, Skype performance, and smartphone-based audience participation.

Activating the politics of aesthetics, projects explore urgent issues such as #BlackLivesMatter and activist performance art, incarceration and embodied abolitionist theory, and “I Can’t Breathe” and the sonic politics of breath. From queer reproduction and feminist satire to human/machine interface and cyborg consciousness; from persona, myth, and fiction to documentation, remix, and reappropriation; and from geopolitics, surveillance, and liminality to cultural and linguistic (mis)translation and (mis)communication, the programming showcases an exhilarating range of critical approaches, perspectives, and methods at the interface of theory and practice. MAD THEORY 2 is not to be missed!

This event is presented by the Madison Performance Philosophy Collective with generous support from UW-Madison Arts InstituteThe Bubbler at Madison Public Library, and Center for the Humanities, and co-sponsored by Art + Scholarship A.W. Mellon Workshop, UW-Madison English Department, UW-Madison Art Department, and Performance Philosophy.

Free and open to the public.

View the At-A-Glance Schedule here

View the full color Program Booklet here

Claim a spot to visit installations or participate in durational projects here

Registration:  Please confirm your attendance at MAD THEORY 2.  Register here:

Suggested Donation: MAD THEORY 2 is free and open to the public, and our plan is to provide coffee, snacks, and lunch. However, we are not receiving institutional support for our food budget, and so the members of our collective are self-funding the food for the conference. Thus, while the conference will remain free and a donation is entirely optional, we would really appreciate a donation if you can afford it, to contribute to the conference lunch and coffee/snacks throughout the day.  We are suggesting a donation of $0 to $20. Please donate as much as you are able to — any help will be greatly appreciated!  Donate here:


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Call for Proposals
MAD THEORY 2: A Performance Philosophy Symposium
Madison Public Library Central Branch, 3rd Floor
Saturday, March 21st, 2015 

Madison Performance Philosophy Collective invites individuals and groups to propose lecture performances, experimental talks, live art, interactive installations, roundtable discussions, collaborative praxis-based workshops, site-specific work, durational work, relational aesthetics, and digital media at the intersection of performance and philosophy or theory and practice more generally. We welcome a diversity of approaches, styles, and methods. Some sessions may be more heavily weighted toward either scholarship or live art, while others may attempt to strike a balance or produce a hybridization between performance and philosophy. Regardless of a project’s format, an emphasis on participation – such as audience interaction or response structures – is encouraged.

Submit your work in one of the following formats (indicate if your work is multi-format):

  • Live Talk / Paper Presentation
  • Live Performance
  • Participatory Workshop (the majority of the session involving the physical engagement of participants in activities)
  • Durational Installation (ongoing throughout the day)
  • Durational Performance (ongoing throughout the day)
  • Video screening

Beyond the basic set-up of the space (built-in digital projector with sound system, touch-screen TV), any other technical needs will be the responsibility of the presenter. Early set-up can be negotiated.

Proposals Due Monday, February 2nd
Include your name, brief bio, title of your submission, format, time and space requests, technical requirements, and a 300 to 500-word description of your proposed project.

Read the full CFP here.

New Members!

We’re excited to welcome five new members into our collective!  Art History and Visual Studies Professor Jill H. Casid, who is a historian, theorist, and practicing artist in photo-based media; Spanish & Portuguese Professor Paola Hernandez, who specializes in contemporary Latin American theatre and performance; Design Studies Professor Mark Nelson, who specializes in conceptual design, 3D environments, and multimedia installations; English Professor and Carl Djerassi Playwriting Fellow Jen Plants, who is an actor, director, deviser, and playwright and whose interests include devised theatre, physical theatre, and verbatim theatre; and Christopher William Wolter, a playwright, director, and critical theorist whose works often perform political philosophy. We look forward to working with these fantastic performance philosophers!

MPPC in Paris, France!

Next up for Madison Performance Philosophy Collective: in June we will present a durational, site-specific, participatory performance at the Theatre, Performance, Philosophy conference at the Sorbonne in Paris, France!  Our project, entitled “From the U.S. with Love,” is created and performed by Andrew Salyer, Dijana Mitrovic, Erin Briddick, Katie Schaag, Tomislav Longinov, and Tom Armbrecht.  Learn more about the performance here:

The conference keynotes include Judith Butler, Catherine Malabou, Avital Ronell, and our own Jon McKenzie!  Learn more about the conference here:


MAD THEORY went smashingly – what an exciting inaugural event!  Our warmest thanks to our presenters for sharing their innovative, inspiring, transgressive, gorgeous, provocative work with us, and to our audience/participants for their curiosity, energy, and contributions to the collaborative durational performance that was the symposium itself!

We estimated a total of 70 – 80 attendees throughout the day, and noticed a tangible sense of community-building between scholars and artists of UW-Madison and the larger Madison community.

And the Library as Incubator Project is going to do a publication about the event!

View a selection of photos by Paul Andrews and Angela Richardson here. We’ll post a larger selection soon.

View the conference website here:

View the full color program booklet here:

View responses to and documentation of the symposium here:

And check out the Twitter feed for #madtheory2014:

Speaking of documentation:  we are planning to put together a small publication (probably an e-book) documenting the proceedings of the symposium.  We’d very much appreciate it if you could send us:

1. Any photographs you took

2. A reflection about the day – about your own project, someone else’s project, and/or the day as a whole.  Long or short, whether a sentence or a page – we’d love to include your response in the e-book!  Feel free to use mixed media if you’d like to extend beyond text in your reflection!

Whether you were a presenter or an audience member, we’d love to hear from you!

Thanks again for being a part of MAD THEORY!


Embodiment Conference at UW-Madison

Several members of Madison Performance Philosophy Collective are involved with UW-Madison Theatre Department’s conference this weekend! On Friday evening the keynote speaker is Harvey Young, who is doing really interesting work on race and performance. And on Saturday afternoon, the Arts Institute’s fantastic artist-in-residence Rhodessa Jones is teaching a workshop!

See more information about the conference here:

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