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Public Engagement

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GIDEST Seminar with Tanya Kalmanovitch

Friday, December 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

University Center, 411 63 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

This seminar is a discussion of pre-circulated material that can be found on the GIDEST site for attendees to view in advance.

Tanya Kalmanovitch presents "The Tar Sands Songbook: Listening to Oil and its Effects" 

Tanya Kalmanovitch, Associate Professor at Mannes School of Music at The New School’s College of Performing Arts, works at the intersection of research and creation. She uses a layered set of methods — drawn from her work as a creative and performing artist, as an ethnomusicologist engaged with postcolonial and globalization theory, and as a historian of psychology — to build socially engaged intellectual and artistic projects that open new perspectives on stubborn problems, and offer new means by which we might imagine their resolutions.

While at GIDEST, Tanya will be working on the Tar Sands Song Book, a transdisciplinary research-creation project that investigates our intimate relationships with oil. In 2016, Tanya returned to her birthplace of Fort McMurray, Alberta, to gather stories from dozens of people whose lives have been marked by living and working close to the Athabasca Oil Sands. Their stories, joined with her own, will form the basis of a new documentary play and a body of musical works that make the causes and costs of energy impasse visible and audible from multiple perspectives.

The Tar Sands Song Book is based upon the premise that the stories we tell about oil shape how we perceive its problems and how we imagine their resolutions. Understanding these stories (and the complex social, cultural, political and personal factors that drive our relationships to energy) is essential to addressing energy impasse and energy transition. The urgency and complexity of the issues at hand, and the diversity of personal and disciplinary perspectives involved, make this project as complicated as it is pressing.

This event is part of the bi-weekly GIDEST Seminars presented by the Graduate Institute of Design, Ethnography, & Social Thought at The New School.

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