The 2012 iLAND Symposium

Moving Into the Out There

Indeterminacy & Improvisation in Performance & Environmental Practice

2012 iLAND Symposium Transition, a response blog/resource-comment basket

Visit this blog basket to join the continued conversation post-symposium


A symposium on movement, science, and the environment in New York City.

March 23rd & 24th 2012 @ The New School

Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street
$5-25 sliding scale fee 

See below for a schedule and event details

*3-D photograph by Gerald Marks

About the Symposium

Moving Into the Out There is iLAND’s fourth annual symposium on dance, movement, and the environment. The two-day event in the heart of New York City brings together dancers, choreographers, designers, ecologists, advocates, and scientists for interactive panel discussions, field workshops, and networking opportunities. This year’s symposium features an in-depth review of PARK, an environmental performance project at Fresh Kills Landfill supported by the 2011 iLAB Residency. Moving Into the Out There will also highlight iLAND’s recent efforts to synthesize insights and discoveries from the past seven years of iLAB collaborative residencies. Detailed event descriptions are attached.

Moving Into the Out There is an open forum for exploring new methods of understanding urban ecosystems through innovative collaborations between practitioners of movement, dance, science, and environmental management. iLAND cultivates a deeper engagement with urban environmental issues through its cross-disciplinary approach, and the annual symposium invites the general public to experience and explore recent works emerging from the iLAND community. Moving Into the Out There features the work of iLAND’s 2011 iLAB Residency, opening up the results of that collaborative experience to a wider audience for discussion.

Throughout the Symposium, participants share in the process of searching for shared language and collaborative processes that cut across the arts and sciences, focusing on dance and the body as primary mediators of experience, imagination, and knowing. Through Moving Into the Out There iLAND aims to generate conversation about collaborative practice throughout communities of art and science, instigating new ways of understanding and intervening in contemporary environmental problems – particularly those related to over-development and climate change.

Throughout the symposium Gretchen Till will be blogging about it at

Schedule of Events

Friday March 23rd

Time Event
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm Pre-Symposium Workshop: John Cage & The Art of Indeterminacy
3:15 pm to 4:30 pm Open Space Discussion: Moving Forward with Science + Performance, by invitation only
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Plenary: PARK iLAB Residency Presentation & the iLANDing Method

Saturday March 24th

Time Event
10:00 am to 10:30 am Breakfast Snacks & Making Connections
10:30 am to 12:00 pm Panel Discussion: Indeterminacy, Ecology, and Urban Design: The Performance of City Ecosystems
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Lunch & Making Connections
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Thrown Outside: Balloon Aerial Mapping + Movement
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Thrown Outside: Transect – As Language / As Music / As Movement
3:00 pm to 4:30 pm Panel Discussion: Performing Queer Ecology
4:30 pm to 5:15 pm Performance: Lectures For Weather
5:15 pm to 6:00 pm Closing Plenary + Facilitated Discussion

The Details


March 23rd, 6-8pm
Presented by: The 2011 iLAB Residents: PARK, Jennifer Monson, iLAND Board Members and Danielle Goldman.

iLANDing is a method to make a method.  Click here to download the presentation on iLANDing.

PARK 2011 Residency At Fresh Kills, New York

Collaborators include choreographer Kathy Westwater, poet Jennifer Scappettone, architect Seung Jae Lee, and trail-builder Leigh Draper. Their research includes exploring the translation of wilderness practices to the urban landfill-to-park site.

PARK is about what we destroy in order to create. Existing as both process and performance, it expresses forms of making and unmaking that engage wilderness, post-industrial spaces, and everyday landscapes. PARK locates the convergence of nature, industry, and individual experience of the wild and mundane daily life at large at Fresh Kills, New York. Learn More about PARK…

March 24th, 4:30-6pm
Moderated by Kyle De Camp, director and performer 


Indeterminacy, Ecology, and Urban Design: The Performance of City Ecosystems
March 24th, 10:30-noon

Presented by: Erika Svendsen, US Forest Service; Victoria Marshall, Professor, Parsons School of Design; Susan Sgorbati, Choreographer and Professor, Bennington College; Philip Silva, Program Director, iLAND

Urban design and landscape architecture are two applied disciplines that have generated important knowledge about urban ecosystems – knowledge that has only recently been scientifically assessed in recent years by the growing field of urban ecology. How can design play an intermediary role between science, art, and performance? Is design the “missing link?” How can art and performance change design that is inherently concerned with creating urban landscapes? What does improvisation teach for designers and scientists working around the environments of cities?

Click here to download a copy of the presentation on Indeterminacy and Imagination given by Victoria Marshall.

Performing Queer Ecology
March 24th, 3-4:30
Presented by: Jennifer Monson, Artistic Director, iLAND; Ivan Raykoff, Professor, Eugene Lang College; Robert Sember, Professor, Eugene Lang College; Philip Silva, Program Director iLAND

What does queer theory have to offer the fields of Urban Ecology? Queer Theory has powerfully influenced the field of performance studies. How might this overlap with urban ecology practices and perceptions? What does this have to offer our critical views of urban ecology? As we learn to keep an open mind to cities as ecosystems worthy of the name, are we “queering” ecology away from a normative view of wilderness and nature? Panelists will explore the relationships between queer theory and the emerging field of urban ecology.

Jennifer Monson: Bewildering Desire
Ivan Raykoff: Queer Hands in Music Land
Robert Sember: 7 Miles A Second: David Wojnarowicz’s Appeal to the Force of Nature 

*To see a full description of each panelist’s presentation click on their names and titles above.

Open Space Discussion: Moving Forward with Science + Performance
A conversation about blending environmental science, dance, and performance. By invitation only.

Participatory Sessions

John Cage & The Art of Indeterminacy
March 23rd, noon-3pm
Presented by: Ben Leeds Carson, Associate Professor of Music at UC Santa Cruz, Ivan Raykoff, Professor, Eugene Lang College & Philip Silva, Program Director, iLAND

This workshop will look at the unique role that John Cage’s interest in environmental phenomena played in his aesthetic practice and the powerful space he created for the evolution of new music and technology. Cage’s “Experimental Composition” classes at The New School are an important part of the institution’s history – not to mention the history of 20th century art and the Fluxus movement in particular – and are celebrated this year at The New School.

Thrown Outside: Research & Improvisation on the Street

Balloon Aerial Mapping + Movement
March 24th, 1-3pm
Presented By: Liz Barry, Public Laboratory for Open Technology & Science and Jessica Einhorn, Dancer, choreographer

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (“PLOTS”) has developed a groundbreaking kit of tools that allow “street scientists” to collect aerial images of urban environments. The images help researchers, advocates, and policymakers understand and interpret complex environmental systems. Using simple DIY helium balloons and “hacked” digital cameras, researchers are able to get an unprecedented view of the urban landscape. This session will pair PLOTS-trained volunteers with dancers and performance artists to explore the relationship between movement and balloon aerial mapping. Participants will work with the collaborators through the process, collecting visual data and learning to “dance” with a floating balloon.

Transect – As Language / As Music / As Movement
March 24th, 1-3pm
Presented by: Clarinda Mac Low choreographer, new media artist (iLAB 2010) and E.J. McAdams, iLAND Board Member

Participants will walk a transect – a path along which a scientist records and counts occurrences of the phenomena of study. The phenomena will be words found in the urban habitat and the  manner of recording them will be the mesostic – a poetic form created by John Cage in which he hoped “to let words exist, as [he] tried to let sounds exist.” A TRANSECT is a poem that can only be written while moving and it is a poem that can generate movement.


Lectures on Weather is a performance work choreographed and performed by Athena Kokoronis in collaboration with dancers Carolyn Hall, Julia Handschuh, Hazuki Homma, HanaKyle Moranz, Katie Schetlick, and Meredith Ramirez Talusan. The piece utilizes a 1975 John Cage score called Lecture on the Weather, and incorporates ideas about mushrooms, appetite, protest, and a barter economy to create a work that explores not only an individual body’s relation to society as a whole, but also society’s relation to the individual body. With a video by Jan Mun, and sound constructions by Sandy Gordon.