I Becomes We

Join the Futurefarmers for the fifth gathering for

Fog Inquiry: Wandering Seminar:

Thursday, February 27


Laurie Palmer, Professor of Art, UC Santa Cruz
Marianne Weems, Professor of Theater Arts, UC Santa Cruz
Guest: Michael Swaine, Artist/Futurefarmers, 3d4m, University of Washington, Seattle

For I Becomes WE, meet at the Women's Center

This pairing stems from Laurie’s musing on one of five radical qualities of the lichen organism (and parallel considerations for human becoming) - Our “I” is also a “we”. Lichen(s) mess(es) with our grammar; each one is two, part algae, part fungus, in a mutually beneficial symbiosis. As biologist Scott Gilbert said, “we are all lichens,” not individuals but groups, constructed out of multiple relationships. And how could this distributed “self”-understanding change how we construct and navigate the world? Marianne Weems as theater director and dramaturge will reflect on how “stagecraft” (acting, roles, scripts, improvisation, set design, lighting, character development) and her staged mediatic events relate to this idea of the conditions for “I” to also be a “we”.

Laurie Palmer is an artist, writer, and teacher. Her work is concerned, most immediately, with resistance to privatization, and more generally, with theoretical and material explorations of matter’s active nature as it asserts itself on different scales and in different speeds. Her work takes various forms as sculpture, installation, public projects, and writing. She has been developing The Lichen Museum, a massively distributed, inside-out institution that considers this slow, resistant, adaptive and collective organism as an anti-capitalist companion and climate change survivor.

Marianne Weems is a theater and opera director and founder of the award-winning New York-based theater company The Builders Association, an influential ensemble that has created a significant body of work at the forefront of integrating media with live performance. Her works spans directing, crossmedia performance, post-dramatic theater theory and practice, documentary theater directing and dramaturgy.

Michael Swaine is trained as a ceramicist, but he works in a variety of materials, methods, and media and has had a long-time focus on collaborative work—in particular with international arts group, Futurefarmers. Michael's Free Mending Library Project involved him pushing an old-fashioned ice cream style cart on wheels with a treadle-operated sewing machine on it through the streets of San Francisco. This project became an on-going, monthly happening that took place in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco from 2002-2015.







Thursday, February 27, 2020