In partnership with Pratt Institute’s new MFA in Writing, Elastic City will present talks featuring renown visual and performance artists, curators, scholars and critics on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at Pratt Institute’s Higgins Hall Auditorium (61 St. James Place, Brooklyn) from 11am to 5:30pm. RSVP through the link provided in order to join us.

11:00am – 12:30pm:
A Genealogy of the Participatory Walk
The junction of creative thoughts and walks has its western roots in Aristotelian philosophy, where the act of walking was directly related to constructive ideas and actions. One immense historical lap later, the Surrealists, the Situationists, artists working on soundwalks, walking tour guides and artists that have solo or collective walking practices have deepened the concept of creative ambulation. The four presenters will explain their walking practices in the context of their respective artistic and historical backgrounds, pinpointing the varying levels of participation and inspiration involved in their work, and where they think the walk form is moving.
Featuring: Matt Green; Jeffrey Hogrefe; Aseman Sabet (moderator); Andrea Williams and Moira Williams

12:30pm – 2pm:
Politics of the Walk
This talk will question and explore the political implications of walking as a form of cultural production. How has the walk (wandering, strolling, getting lost) been figured as political resistance in previous eras? What types of engagement or resistances are made possible by singular or collective somatic movement in urban spaces? What new bodies and bodies of knowledge are made possible by—and necessitate—taking to the streets? What damaging ideologies can be overturned by bodies claiming public space? Does the increased interest in the walk as an art form articulate a necessary gesture of resistance against a speed-obsessed techno-capitalist machinery? To the disciplinary and bureaucratic regimes of urban planning? The talk will investigate these questions, and more, with lots of opportunity for dialogue and exchange with the audience.
Featuring: Christian Hawkey (moderator); Rachel Levitsky; Eve Mosher and Ryan Tracy

2:30pm – 4pm:
The Participatory Walk as a New Performative Framework
Artists who have led walks with Elastic City will talk about how their other work has been informed by leading a participatory walk. How does the walk function in harmony with and in contrast to the artists’ primary discipline and their ways of working? What makes for a successful walk? Is this a viable form? Hyperallergic Senior Editor Jillian Steinhauer will provide context for the walk in relation to the growing trend of participation in art.
Featuring: luciana achugar; Miguel Gutierrez; Todd Shalom (moderator); Jillian Steinhauer and Pamela Z

4pm – 5:30pm:
Impossibility in Participatory Performance
N.D. Austin, Ayesha Jordan, Nancy Nowacek and Veit Stratmann will join moderator Niegel Smith in a living room style conversation that questions the limits of what is possible in participatory performance. The artists will respond to real-time prompts and think on their feet as a way to expose their individual methodologies. Join us as we consider the motivations and intentions behind participatory performance and perhaps provide some inspiration for those who dare to dream big.
Featuring: N.D. Austin; Ayesha Jordan; Nancy Nowacek; Niegel Smith (moderator) and Veit Stratmann

We’ll also be celebrating the festival with an inventive Closing Night Benefit on October 7, 2014. This will be an open-bar benefit party for approximately 150 guests from 7-10 pm at Jack Geary Contemporary in SoHo. The event will bring together donors, artists, academics, creative professionals, sponsors and fans.

This will be no ordinary benefit! Elastic City artists will redefine our use of the gallery using sound and light. Expert bartender Tim Miner (Magic Touch Cocktails, Long Island Bar) will concoct a signature cocktail for the attendees. We’ll also have a unique photobooth for party guests, and a raffle.

All details can be found on our website