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Body As Barometer - Live Arts Workshop 2022

The Live Arts Workshop - instituted by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and their network of global partners @prohelvetia_johannesburg@prohelvetia_southamerica@prohelvetia_cairo , is now being programmed at Khoj and will interrogate 'liveness' by locating the body as an ever-sensing instrument, interacting with atmospheres, architectures, technologies, interfaces and communities, mediating affect. 

The body is imagined as a barometer - a measure to understand the many lived ecosystems that fabricates the identities we embody. 

About this programme

For the Delhi leg of the Live Arts Workshop, Khoj wishes to locate the body as central to the making of live arts, and thus simultaneously locate the quality of liveness that emanates from the body. In this framework, the body emerges as an ever-sensing tool, interacting with atmospheres, architectures, materials, technologies, interfaces and communities, mediating affect. The body becomes a barometer – a measure to understand the many lived ecosystems that fabricate the identities that we embody– negotiating the ecological and the technological, the natural and the built, the physical and the digital, the individual and the collective, where the body is central to the negotiation.

When we look at the hyphenated history of performance practices in this region (and many other regions in the Global South), the above articulation of the body is bound to be juxtaposed with tradition, as the body has historically served as an archive for traditional performance practices. What do we learn from them and what do we denounce? As engagement with traditions are married into the contemporary space, a shift occurs. This transition, of taking culturally specific thinking into the contemporary is moderated through the body as medium, the same body that becomes the interface in our hyper-digital immersive engagements, and that negotiates changing natural and bult environment through constant calibration.

The Live Arts Workshop will be a space for performance practices and contemporary creative practices across mediums to interrogate “liveness” and locate the body in the above framework.


Workshop Structure

The LAW program at Khoj is envisaged as a 10-day workshop with 2 days of Open Studio/public showing of the practices developed through the workshops. The participants in the workshop will comprise of 5 Provocateurs and 7 Respondents, a writer- Observer, and institutional observers.

As the term suggest, the Provocateurs will offer prompts, provocations, and skillsets drawing from their expertise and knowledge in their respective fields. Their showcase can be part of an evening session in the 10-day workshop, or a public lecture demonstration, or a presentation or performance.

The Respondents are the participants who will end up showcasing their practice developed over the course of the workshop with the Provocateurs, as part of the Open Days at the end of the workshop.

The workshop will also host one Observer. They will be a recordkeeper – a hybrid writer and/or new media documenter who will be translating and transmitting context while building archive of the happenings and discourse generated through the workshop.

All the Institutional Observers are expected to come together and do presentation on Live Arts and the Institution – the global and the local.

This workshop is imagined without an inherent mentor-mentee hierarchy. Instead, it is a discourse and context first approach, similar to a Thinking and Making Lab, where both the Provocateurs (to prompt) and the Respondents (to respond) will be at par with each other.

Given that LAW is taking place in India, it is likely that it will have heavy borrowings from the diffracted contemporary contexts of the region.

This 10-day workshop will take place from 2-14 October, 2022.

The Live Art Workshop project was initiated and conceptualised by Jay Pather, Director at the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The first edition of the project took place in Cape Town in March and April 2019 under the direction of Jay Pather.

Live Arts Workshop is supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia @prohelvetia . Pro Helvetia New Delhi @prohelvetia_newdelhi is part of the Swiss Arts Council’s worldwide network of liaison offices. PHND supports and disseminates Swiss arts and culture in South Asia. It promotes cultural exchange, develops and nurtures long-term partnerships, initiates co-productions and supports residencies. For more information, visit


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