Performance Lateral Studio with Coco Fusco

Studio Activities

In this workshop we will consider how everyday life performances create invisible architectures in Boston. We will begin with some ethnographic exploration, carried out through what I call thoughtful walking. Participants will venture into unfamiliar public spaces and neighborhoods to observe how people who use the street for work and social activity create provisional spaces through gesture and speech. How does a tour guide produce the illusion of enclosure? How do pop-up preachers and salesmen turn sidewalks into theaters? How do we define social spaces in public areas? After conducting research we will return to the studio to devise project proposals inspired by those observations. These proposals can be scripted, drawn, choreographed, storyboarded, etc. The goal is to create a plan, not to finish an entire project. We will discuss everyone's plans as a group and will also reflect on passages from Rebecca Solnit's Wanderlust, peripatetic artworks by Francis Alÿs, Ernesto Pujol and Paulo Nazareth.

Coco Fusco is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist and writer. Her work combines electronic media and performance in a variety of formats, from staged multi-media performances incorporating large scale projections and closed circuit television to live performances streamed to the internet that invite audiences to chart the course of action through chat interaction. 

Fusco has received several awards including a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. Her performances and videos have been presented in biennales, events, and museums around the world. Her most recent performance, Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture by Dr. Zira, Animal Psychologist, revives the character from Planet of the Apes to offer a commentary on contemporary forms of aggression that is supplemented by multimedia illustration. Fusco received her B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University (1982), her M.A. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University (1985) and her Ph.D. in Art and Visual Culture from Middlesex University (2007). She’ll be MLK Visiting Scholar at MIT through the 2014-2015 academic year. For more information please visit her website at 

Images by Ana María León