Petra Kuppers

The Crip/Mad Archive Dances

Petra Kuppers
Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 6PM
EMPAC Theater

How can media technologies and live presence help us to think about embodied disabled and mad gestures in and out of the archive? What is an eco soma approach to engaging site, the elements, and time?

The Crip/Mad Archive Dances is a lecture by scholar and artist Petra Kuppers that draws on her prolific research integrating performance and disability studies to address disabled and mad presences in dance archives. The talk at EMPAC is rooted in Kuppers’s book Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters (University of Minnesota Press, 2022, open access), parsing what she calls eco soma methods and finding dis/comfort within participatory performances grounded in disability culture. Kuppers discusses the strategies and insights of the performance and archive project Crip/Mad Archive Dances, including a poetic documentary-in-progress.

Content note: some film clips focus on medical incarceration but offer survivor testimonies of artful and agency-full reclamation.

This presentation will include in-person live ASL interpretation. This event will be livestreamed, with live ASL interpretation visible on-screen.

For visitors with mobility concerns, please email John Cook or call 518-276-2822 (voice only) to see how we can best accommodate you in your EMPAC experience.

This is the first of three events with Petra Kuppers, and is followed by two workshops, including a wheelchair procession, to take place on October 12 at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist and a community performance artist. Kuppers grounds herself in disability culture methods, and uses somatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. In addition to Kuppers’s scholarly and performance work, she has published three poetry collections including her latest, Gut Botany (Wayne State University Press, 2020).

Kuppers is a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2022 Dance/USA Fellow. She is artistic director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, with Stephanie Heit. Kuppers is the Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Main Image: Petra Kuppers, Starship Somatics, video still, 2022-2023. Pictured: Petra Kuppers. Courtesy the artist. Image by The Olimpias.

Dates + Tickets

The Crip/Mad Archive Dances
Petra Kuppers
Wednesday 11
6:00 PM
October 2023

The EMPAC Lobby and Theater are accessible via the double doors facing campus with a vehicle entrance off College Ave.

This presentation will include live in-person ASL interpretation.

This event will be livestreamed, with live ASL interpretation visible on-screen.

Presented By

EMPAC Fall 2023 / iEAR Presents!




This engagement is co-presented by EMPAC and iEAR Presents! and is made possible in part by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.