Past Workshops
Art + Scholarship Year 1 and 2

Art and Scholarship: Collaboratory



  • Jill H. Casid (Art History)
  • Jon McKenzie (English)
  • Andrew Salyer (Art/Theatre)
  • Katie Schaag (English)

Contact: Andrew Salyer and Katie Schaag

Inspired by artist-scholars such as Anne Carson, Ann Hamilton, Fred Moten, Adrian Piper, and Avital Ronell, the Art and Scholarship Mellon Workshop is committed to investigating, inventing, and paying attention to unexpected possibilities in the praxis of scholarly research and artistic production. At the heart of our intellectual inquiry is creative experimentation—sensory perception, visual rhetoric, performative scholarship, serious play. When and how is knowledge-production a creative act? How can art theorize? What intersections do we notice between creative writing and scholarly writing?  We are captivated by the conceptual and aesthetic force of such hybrid forms as autoethnography, photo essays, artist books, experimental theory, montage, and conceptual art. View a selection of texts and objects that operate at the interstices of art and scholarship here.

Drawing upon the talents and expertise of our workshop participants – from Literary Studies, Creative Writing, Theatre, Visual Cultures, Art, Design Studies, Library and Information Studies, DesignLab, Cartography Lab, and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery – we plan to curate a series of “Collaboratory” workshops. Facilitating conversations between experimental scholarship, creative writing, performance, new media, digital text, and visualization studies, these Collaboratories will engage a richly interdisciplinary nexus of questions, practices, and possibilities for unsettling generic and medium-specific boundaries. Collaboratories will provide opportunities to engage in collective exploration of playful, creative scholarship through such practices as performance-making, sensory awareness, embodied meditation, freewriting, visualization, text collage, digital remediation, public discourse, and relational aesthetics. We hope to collaboratively produce new conceptual and aesthetic possibilities, acknowledging disciplinary constraints and expectations while conversing about the ways that our research might take on new shapes, reveal assumptions, and prompt unexpected questions.

Maintaining our commitment to the public humanities, we also plan to continue our partnership with The Bubbler at Madison Public Library as well as with Madison Performance Philosophy Collective. Additionally, in the spring semester, we propose to host another open call symposium building upon the model of our Spring 2013 event MAD THEORY. This symposium will provide the workshop participants and the Madison community at large with a dynamic time and space to showcase and discuss a wide range of practices and forms of performative scholarship, artistic research, and critical-creative collaboration.

For more information, visit and




All events are free and open to the public, but RSVP is encouraged for all workshops: email

To receive event updates and participate in related conversations, or to get the password for protected readings, please e-mail:


The Lifeworks of TEHCHING HSIEH
May 5 - 7, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 7:00pm
Elvehjem Building (800 University Ave.), Room L150

Thursday, May 7, 12:00pm
Elvehjem Building (800 University Ave.), Room L170
Email to RSVP

Lecture: Thursday, May 7, 7:00pm
Elvehjem Building (800 University Ave.), Room L150

All events free and open to the public.

Tehching Hsieh is a foundational conceptual artist who enacted a series of durational works that bracketed everyday life as performance, testing the limits of blurring art and life. During Hsieh’s first three One Year Performances, One Year Performance 1978-1979: Cage PieceOne Year Performance 1980-1981: Time Clock Piece, and One Year Performance 1981-1982: Outdoor Piece, he confined himself spatially and temporally throughout the year-long duration of each piece, living in a cage in his gallery with very little human contact, requiring himself to clock in to a time clock in his gallery every hour on the hour, and living outdoors. Each of these pieces radically changed Hsieh’s everyday life, as the demanding rules of each piece supplanted his ability to perform regular, everyday activities. Departing from the form of his first three year-long performances mapped onto the time-space of life, Hsieh’s fourth piece, Art/Life One Year Performance 1983-1984: Rope Piece with Linda Montano, embedded the year-long performance into life. Throughout the duration of the piece, Hsieh and Montano, a fellow performance artist researching life/art practice, were tied together with a rope of eight feet, literalizing the process through which subjects constrain and enable each other’s subjectivities. His fifth One Year Performance was a rejection of art-making, and this was followed by a thirteen year performance during which he would make art but not show it publicly. Formally disrupting the separation between art and life, Hsieh’s work imbues the temporal processes of daily life with aesthetic awareness and ethical attention to others.

Presented by Art + Scholarship A.W. Mellon Workshop and Visual Cultures Student Focus Group with generous support from Center for the Humanities and Associated Students of Madison. Co-sponsored by Art, Art History, Asian American Studies, English, Communication Arts, and Center for Visual Cultures.


MARTHA WILSON: Staging the Self

(Transformations, Invasions, and Pushing Boundaries)

April 22-24, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 7:00pm
Vilas Hall (821 University Ave.), Room 4070 (Parliamentary Room / Cinematheque)

We will screen Martha Wilson’s early video performance work, as well as rare footage from her proto riot grrrl conceptual art band DISBAND. Following the screening, we’ll discuss Wilson’s work in anticipation of her visit.

Thursday, April 23, 7:00pm
Vilas Hall (821 University Ave.), Room 4070 (Parliamentary Room / Cinematheque)
In this lively and engaging public lecture, Martha Wilson will discuss her artwork as well as her arts programming.

Friday, April 24, 12:00pm
Elvehjem Building (800 University Ave.), Room L170

This workshop will allow students and faculty to have a discussion with Martha Wilson in a more intimate format.
Email to RSVP.

Presented by Art + Scholarship A.W. Mellon Workshop with generous support from the Center for the Humanities and Associated Students of Madison. Co-sponsored by Art History, Art, English, Communication Arts, and Center for Visual Cultures.




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 Institute, The 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 Program here

View the full color Program Booklet here


Friday Collaboratories are a series of participatory workshops integrating theory and practice, creativity and criticality. The series showcases exciting, boundary-pushing work happening across campus, and provides artist-scholars a space within which to experience each other’s work. Facilitating conversations between experimental scholarship, creative writing, performance, new media, digital text, and visualization studies, these Collaboratories engage a richly interdisciplinary nexus of questions, practices, and possibilities for unsettling generic and medium-specific boundaries. Collaboratories will provide opportunities to engage in collective exploration of playful, creative scholarship through such practices as performance-making, sensory awareness, digital remediation, public discourse, and relational aesthetics. We hope to collaboratively produce new conceptual and aesthetic possibilities, acknowledging disciplinary constraints and expectations while exploring ways that our research might take on new shapes, reveal assumptions, and prompt unexpected questions.

Each Collaboratory event functions as a sort of mini-symposium, highlighting a particular topic and showcasing two models of exciting work. The one-hour break is intended to 1) separate the two workshops so that participants can choose to either attend both workshops or to attend just one, and 2) provide time for a lunch break and/or informal conversation for those who do attend both workshops. In some cases the break also provides time for a location switch. Each workshop is linked but distinct, such that, according to their schedules and interests, participants can attend as few or as many workshops as they like.

Since the workshops are participatory and interactive, we imagine that conversation and reflection will occur within each workshop. We also hope that the break after each morning workshop will provide informal opportunities for discussion, and depending on participants’ interest/energy we may also initiate an informal social gathering after each afternoon workshop.

RSVP is encouraged for all workshops: email


Theory-Practice Collaboratory #5: Conceptual Materialism Recap.

Friday, February 27, 2014
Humanities 6261 (Art Dept. 6th Floor)

A mini-symposium featuring two dynamic participatory workshops at the intersection of conceptualism and materiality.

Faisal Abdu’Allah, “Thinking & Making to Disseminate”

The workshop emphasizes the importance of memories, but more importantly demonstrates how to create a road map for critical enquiry and enlightenment. Individuals must think deeply about their practice, be able to express their vision in words effectively and understand the field of contemporary arts practice. They have to be able to develop a comprehensive, analytical and discerning eye. Understanding that process is not only a vehicle but also the vessel that contains the thinking, and both are reliant on each other. The interpretation of the work can be affected by the method of delivery – framed, unframed, performance, spoken word, participatory, sculpture, photography, etc. By following the process of thinking and making, individuals will create works that are powerful, meaningful and evocative.

12:00-1:00: Lunch/Break

Lex Lancaster, “Living Color”
1:00 - 3:00pm

This workshop considers color as a living element – an unruly medium with body, depth, plasticity, and animation – exploring its queer capacities to exceed representation and materialize alternatives beyond fixed binaries of difference. Contemporary queer and feminist art practices that utilize color as their medium also prompt a reconsideration of its political implications and alternative aesthetic possibilities. From gendered cosmetics to the racialized surface of skin, the blush of shame to the glow of toxic sludge, color not only evokes life but also plays on the edges and in-between spaces of the normative or expected. Color is both a marginal surface and excessive substance that produces its own feelings and sensations, corrupting the boundaries between constructs of inside and outside, subject and object, nature and artifice. Come explore the possibilities that may surface through the animate and messy medium of living color.


Theory-Practice Collaboratory #4: Queering Digitality Recap.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Megan Milks, "Open Channels: Slash Aesthetics and Queer Affect"
Location TBA

If slash fiction is typically understood as a genre of fan fiction that stages queer sexual encounters between characters from popular sources, this workshop stages a queer encounter between slash fiction and conceptual writing to theorize slash as a postconceptual queer appropriative practice, one that is interested more in performance, embodiment, and ventriloquism—in various forms of channeling—than in straight critique. Examining both fictional and poetic examples of slash, including Michael du Plessis’s The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker, Sarah Dowling’s Birds & Bees, and Leon Baham’s Ponyboy, Sigh, we will investigate slash as both a revisionary tool and a site of queer affect—and desire. Then we will try our hand at our own slash productions, composing love/break-up letters (written perhaps to Aaliyah, Jessica Wakefield, or Captain Kirk) and, returning to slashfic’s online roots, an interactive Hurt/Comfort slashfic using Twine.

12:00-1:00: Lunch/Break

Oliver Bendorf, "Gender as a Moving Image"
1:00 - 3:00pm
Location TBA

‘Moving image,’ ‘sequential art,’ ‘stop-motion animation,’ ‘graphic narrative’—it’s no wonder W.J.T. Mitchell asks, “Why is it not enough to say that the images move?” What if it were enough to say that gender moves? There are as many ways to make gender move as there are to make an image move, and we will draw, cut, paste, flipbook, narrate, rewind, remix, time-lapse, and animate our way through them. How does your gender move? What happens between the still frames? How does it maintain the illusion of a continuous sequence—or does it not? Creative practice and queer theory unite in this collective experiment to consider gender as a moving image technology of the body. No drawing or animation skills necessary but you must be willing to do both anyway.


Theory-Practice Collaboratory #3: Speech Acts Recap.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jen Plants, "Verbatim Theatre Master Class"
Humanities 6321

Verbatim theatre is the art of creating performance projects based on interviews, using the precise words, rhythms and cadences of the interviewees. (Popular examples in English include the ensemble-based Laramie Project, the musical Life and Times and the solo/multi-character work of Anna Deveare Smith.) The resulting theatrical events are almost always political and raise a number of theoretical questions about authorship, technology and truth. This workshop will examine the foundations of these questions through active experimentation within the form, allowing all participants to get a taste of being performers, interviewers and interviewees. Participants should come dressed comfortably and should bring smart phones (or a small recording device) with headphones if possible. No previous theatre experience is expected or required.


12:00-1:00: Lunch/Break

Helen Lee, "WORD"
Art Lofts Digital Lab + Glass Lab

In this workshop, Helen Lee will discuss her use of glass as a means for thinking about language and the body in her studio practice. Her approach to glass is shaped by the definition of glass—not as a material—but as a state-of-matter, and the notion of glassblowing as primarily a movement-based practice vs. an object-making practice. Participants will be asked to formulate a one-word response to her lecture. We will travel with these words into the hotshop, where participants will have the opportunity to inflate hot glass speech bubbles that will house these one-word responses.


Theory-Practice Collaboratory #2: Social Practice Recap.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Spatula&Barcode, "Cooking with…Spatula&Barcode
Private Residence

The collaborative known as Spatula&Barcode (Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson) will guide participants through an experience of cooking, eating, and discourse in their studio kitchen. Project details at

Come hungry and curious to the kitchen studio of the art and writing collaborative known as Spatula&Barcode. You'll consider the connections between food, art, and scholarship while cooking and eating a lunch designed to both provoke and satisfy. Spatula&Barcode's "Cooking with..." series always features interesting people talking and cooking at the same time, and this workshop version will focus on the intellectual satisfactions available in everyday life.

RSVP Required. RSVP no later than Oct. 15 to

12:00-1:00: Lunch/Break

Sarah Bennett, "I’ll follow your lead: experiencing and mapping our movement relationships"
Humanities 6321

In this workshop, we’ll explore relational movement through activities, games, and visualization. We’ll introduce tools for sensing the breadth of our own movement repertoires. Then we’ll see how we navigate relationships to objects and other bodies through our movements. Activities will involve giving in, causing surprise, attending, and answering, among other movement modes and postures. We’ll play with ropes and gyroscopes, and we’ll try new movements together in a relaxed atmosphere. Our goal will be to understand the geographies of gestural movement. What are embodied relationships like? When and where is our body bounded by movement? How is movement a form of relation?  We’ll use mapping and visualization to develop our answers to these questions, drawing on examples from cartographies of the body.


Theory-Practice Collaboratory #1: Philosophy in the Performative Recap.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Frederic Neyrat, "Nietzsche Machine Metaphor"
Elvehjem L166

Traditionally, a metaphor is conceived as a trope grounded on analogy or substitution. In this workshop, we will investigate a different proposition of metaphor, one that has nothing to do with analogy or substitution. Maybe a metaphor is nothing but the rise of a form and the creation of a form of life. Leaning on philosophical essays (Nietzsche), literary texts (Hugo, Coleridge), art works (Hiroaki Umeda’s “Adapting for Distorsion,” Under the Skin [J. Glazer, 2013], and my own video attempts), I will try to shed some light on what I call the metaphorical, which is not a trope, but the imaginary load by which every organic or inorganic life form gets its singularity. The metaphorical is a bridge above the void.


12:00-1:00: Lunch/Break

Jill Casid, "Doing the Deformative"
Elvehjem L166

Situated in what might seem the ditch and not just pitch of conflicts over triggers and trigger warnings—the risky, unprotected field of heightened hurt, loss, and exhausted hope— this workshop takes the practice of the negative (from necropolitics to throwing shade) as not just an immediate pedagogical and political imperative but also a resource for practice. Exploring the power and possibilities of the not, the no, and the dis in the wake of what the never or never again of “don’t trigger me” has yet to banish or resolve, let’s experiment with ways of bearing the unbearable from within the very scenes of what appears beyond and even directly threatening to our capacity to show up, stay, participate, and engage. Grappling in a let’s-get-into-it way with the powers and possibilities of doing not merely the performative but also and especially the deformative, this workshop re-opens consideration of the work of negation as both an incisive, critical gesture and a range of powerful tactics in the negotiation and even transformation of the everyday sites of damage.


  • Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman, “What Survives,” in Sex and the Unbearable
  • Sigmund Freud, “Negation

More information about Collaboratory #1.


Evelyn Reilly

Presented by the Felix Series of New Writing, co-sponsored by the Art + Scholarship Mellon Workshop

Thursday, September 11, 2014, @ 8:00pm
Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative
426 W. Gilman, Madison, WI 53703

Evelyn Reilly is the author of the brilliant book STYROFOAM (among many other works of experimental poetry and eco-criticism, including "Eco-Noise and the Flux of Lux").

Reilly’s booksof poetry include Apocalypso and Styrofoam, both published by Roof Books, as well as Fervent Remnants of Reflective Surfaces, from Portable Press at Yo Yo Labs, and Hiatus, from Barrow Street Press. Essays and poetry have recently appeared in Omniverse, the Eco-language Reader, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and Verse, as well as the &NOW Awards2: The Best Innovative Writing and The Arcadia Project: Postmodernism and the Pastoral. An interview with thewriter is included in Andy Fitch’s Sixty Morning Talks, published by Ugly Duckling Presse. Reilly has taught at St. Marks Poetry Project and the Summer Writing Program of Naropa University, and has been acurator of the Segue Reading Series in New York City.

In her work, Reilly is thinking about plasticity and creativity, ecological crisis, fabricated materials and language, and more. Read a selection of her work here.
This reading is free and open to the public. It is generously supported by the AnonymousFund, the English Department, and the Art and Scholarship Mellon Workshop.


Materialist Geography and the Knight’s Move

A lecture by Gregg Bordowitz

Thursday, May 1, 2014 @ 7:00pm
Elvehjem L150

Co-sponsored by the Art Department, Department of Art History, Department of Communication Arts, English Department, LGBT Campus Center.

Seminar with Gregg Bordowitz

Friday, May 2, 2014 @ 12:00pm

Co-sponsored by the Art Department, Department of Art History, Department of Communication Arts, English Department, LGBT Campus Center.


Screening and Discussion of Fast Trip, Long Drop (1993)

Film by Gregg Bordowitz

Friday, April 25, 2014 @ 4:00pm
L150 Elvehjem Building


Word is Bond: Performance and Poetry Reading

With Jill Casid, River Bullock, Anna Vitale, Lewis Freedman
April 17, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
The Curatorial Lab, Elvehjem Building


Mad Theory: A Performance Philosophy Symposium

Hosted by Performance Philosophy Collective, co-sponsored by Art & Scholarship Mellon Workshop

April 11-12, 2014
Madison Public Library


Workshop Discussion, Rehearsal, and Public Performance of afterKLEIST anORATORIO

Workshop Rehearsal with P.A. Skantze and Matthew Fink
Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29, 2014
Center for Visual Cultures in Memorial Library

Public Performance

Saturday, March 29 @ 6:00pm, University Club


All that Fell and a Workshop in Physical Radio

2-Day Workshop with P.A. Skantze and Matthew Fink

Wednesday, March 26 and Thursday, March 27, 2014, afternoons
Center for Visual Cultures in Memorial Library

Public Performance on Friday, March 28 @ 8:00pm
Elvehjem Building, L160


Methodologies in Motion: Public Manifesto and Conversation toward a Political Aesthetics of Affective Attention

P.A. Skantze lecture

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Elvehjem Building, L140, 6:00 PM


Word is Bond

A curatorial project by River Bullock

Works by Helen Hawley, Jeannine Shinoda, Anna Vitale. Co-sponsored by Art & Scholarship Mellon Workshop.
Open March 26-April 17th
The Curatorial Lab, Elvehjem Building


Warm-up to “Methodologies in Motion”

March 6, 2014 @ 4:30pm
Elvehjem L170

In preparation for P.A. Skantze and Matthew Fink’s four-day series of collaborative workshops and performances, we will meet to discuss Skantze’s Itinerate Spectator/Itinerant Spectacle (Punctum, 2013).



Workshop meeting

Discussion of The Undercommons

Monday, December 2, 2013 @ 4:00pm
University Club, Room 313

Discussion of Fred Moten & Stefano Harney’s The Undercommons (excerpt). We will discuss the Introduction by Jack Halberstam; Chapter 2, “The University and the Undercommons”; and Chapter 6, “Fantasy in the Hold.”


Collaboratory: Serious Play

Exploratory Workshop, with guest Jon McKenzie

November 18, 2013 @ 6:00pm
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Room 1160


Mapping and Overlapping Territories of Influence

Exploratory workshop

November 15, 2013 @ 4:00pm
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, room 1160    


What is the work of art and theory?

November 4, 2013 @ 4:00pm
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, room 1160

Reading/Discussion of selections from Michel Foucault “Las Meininas” and Coco Fusco interview