Bodies, Identities, and Alternative Economies is a weekend of multi-disciplinary art and conversation that takes the work of Bay Area choreographer Keith Hennessy as a starting point and expands out in freewheeling, open discourse. It’s an update on the ancient sense of symposium for a pluralist culture. It welcomes all comers. It shifts away from the individual and embraces the collective. It’s driven by your involvement.

In late June, Hennessy and his company will spend a working residency in Portland developing his latest piece, Turbulence (a dance about the economy), for its US premiere at this September’s TBA Festival. Turbulence is a bodily response to the economic crisis, and this symposium is a shared response to his practice and thinking. Over the course of the salons, rehearsals, lectures, and performances, PICA will create a forum for artists and audiences alike to debate and discover and participate in the messy and thrilling moment of artistic creation. The weekend will foster an inclusive, all-on-the-table discussion of issues in contemporary art and society—ranging from identity politics to alternative economies—while also providing a window into live rehearsal excerpts from Turbulence, as well as a performance of Hennessy’s Bessie award-winning solo, Crotch. The symposium is an experiment in political participation and a search for the “queer” as practice, one that will help us reframe our current system.

Featuring Keith Hennessy, Neal Gorenflo of online magazine Shareable.net, and artists A.L. Steiner and AK Burns, who will be screening their sociosexual film, Community Action Center.

This program made possible in part by a grant from the Oregon Humanities, a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support from the National Performance Network and the Contemporary Art Centers (CAC) network, adminstered by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), with major support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. CAC is an initiative of NEFA’s National Dance Project.