Conjuring the Archive: An Artist Talk and Conversation with Jess Dobkin 


Thursday, April 25, 2019
12:30-2:00 pm

Hemispheric Institute
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

*Live video broadcast will be available here starting at 12:30 pm (EST). 
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In this conversation, Visiting Artist in Residence Jess Dobkin approaches the archive as both site and material to investigate the lifespan and spirit life of performance art. Building on her ongoing research in performance archives around the globe, Dobkin interrogates the relationship between live performance and documentation to explore the dynamic ways that performance can exist before and beyond the live event.

As she works with the Hemispheric Institute to finalize a digital collection of her materials, Dobkin invites us to consider: What happens when boundaries blur and the documentation becomes the performer? What happens when an audience creates an archive, or when an archive becomes a space for performance? How might artists use physical, digital, and energetic archival materials in the creation of new artworks?

Jess Dobkin is an internationally acclaimed artist. Her performance and curatorial projects are presented at museums, galleries, theatres, universities and in public spaces internationally. She was active in the downtown performance art scene in New York City before moving to Toronto in 2002. Recent projects include her 2017 Dora-nominated performance, The Magic Hour, which was developed through The Theatre Centre Residency program with support from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. She created The Artist-Run Newsstand (2015-2016), a one-year artist-run newsstand that operated in a vacant subway station newsstand kiosk. Her Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar (2006, 2012, 2016) continues to receive significant scholarly consideration and media attention. Her photographic images, created to accompany her performances, are also published and exhibited as stand-alone works. 

About the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library (HIDVL) 

The Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library (HIDVL) is the first major digital video library of performance practices in the Americas. Created in partnership with NYU Libraries and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this growing repository guarantees historical preservation and free, online access to almost 900 hours of video through the Hemispheric Institute website. A trilingual profile (English, Spanish and Portuguese) is created for each collection, contextualizing the videos with detailed production information, synopses, image galleries, texts, interviews, bibliographies, and additional materials. Artists and organizations always retain the copyright to all their videos, as well as the original material, which is returned after digitization. With video documentation spanning nearly five decades, the collections seek to promote dialogue and a deeper understanding of performance and politics in the Americas.

Photo: David Hawe. Image provided courtesy of the artist.

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings. 20 Cooper Square is a wheelchair accessible venue.