The Builders Association: Performance and Media in Contemporary Theater
Shannon Jackson is Associate Vice Chancellor of Arts & Design, Cyrus & Michele Hadidi Professor in the Humanities, and a faculty member in the Departments of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies and Rhetoric. Her research interests include collaborations across visual, performing, and media art forms, and the role of art in social institutions and in social change.
The Builders Association: Performance and Media in Contemporary Theater (MIT Press, 2015), written by Shannon Jackson and founder and artistic director of the company, Marianne Weems, traces the evolution of an intermedial aesthetic practice and tells a story about a group’s risky decision to make art in the first place.
The Builders Association is an award-winning intermedia performance company founded in 1994 that develops work in extended collaborations with artists and designers through performance, video, architecture, sound, and text, to integrate live performance with media. The work is cross-media and cross-genre—fiction and nonfiction—unorthodox retellings of classic tales and multimedia staging of contemporary events.
Jackson will also address her co-edited book, Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good (MIT Press, 2016). This volume gathers essays, dialogues, and art projects, some previously published and some newly commissioned, to illuminate the ways the arts shape and reshape a rapidly changing social and governmental landscape. An artist portfolio section presents original statements and projects by some of the key figures grappling with these ideas.
After an introduction, Jackson will speak briefly about her two works and then open the floor for discussion.