2013 iLAND Symposium

2013 iLAND symposium web-03

April 5th | A Conversation about Art + Science | 3-5 pm | Lang Building at The New School | Invitation Only

April 5th | Plenary | 6:30 pm | Theresa Lang Center at The New School | 55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor

April 6th | Breakfast + Panel Presentations | 9:30 am to 12:15 pm | Kellen Auditorium at The New School | 66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street

April 6th | Lunch, Workshops + Performance | 12:15-5:30 pm | Studio 001 (Basement) at The New School | 66 West 12th Street

Admission is $5-$25, sliding scale.*
Click here to purchase your ticket

*Free for New School Students

About the Symposium

Adaptability + Flow: Water and Weather over a Changing City is iLAND’s fifth annual symposium on dance, movement and the environment. The two‐day event in the heart of New York City brings together dancers, choreographers, designers, ecologists, advocates and scientists for interactive panel discussions, field workshops and networking opportunities. This year’s symposium features an in‐depth review of 2012 iLAB residencies Higher E.D. and Follow the Water Walks. These two resident teams engaged in collaborative processes and creative methodologies of data collection from both a scientific and choreographic perspective. Higher E.D. explores different forms of mapping New York City’s weather systems and Follow the Water Walks examines relationships between sewer and river systems and the local community near the Bronx River. Joining the discussion are Philip Orton, a research scientist studying storm surges in NYC; Victoria Marshall, Assistant Professor of Urban Design at the New School; John Waldman, Professor of Biology at Queens College and an expert on New York City’s waterways; and Meredith Ramirez Talusan, a scholar and artist dedicated to interdisciplinary practice.

The Schedule

Friday, April 5

3-5 pm A Conversation about Art + Science | Lang Building at The New School | ** Invitation Only **
Introduction & Welcome: Jennifer Monson, Artistic Director/Founder of iLAND
Cooperation in the Land of Heroes: Nature and Improvisation on the Islands: Meredith Ramirez Talusan, Artist, Scholar
Building a Better Fishtrap: Performance by Paloma McGregor, 2012 iLAB Resident

Saturday, April 6

Understanding Urban Weather Systems and Designing for Climate Change
 11:00am BREAK
Micro to Macro Movements in New York City Waterways from East Tremont to Newtown Creek
 12:15pm LUNCH
A discussion and exploration on Mapping with Rebecca Boger and Liz Barry
Higher E.D. and Follow the Water Walks share the interdisciplinary practices that they developed during their residencies.
 4:00pm BREAKOUT GROUPS – Creating the iLANDing Archive
soften, bubble, and preen
Performed by Lailye Weidman and Emily Drury

The Details

The Plenary

Cooperation in the Land of Heroes: Nature and Improvisation on the Islands
By Meredith Ramirez Talusan, Artist, Scholar

Integrating embodied discourses from a number of disciplines, this interactive talk adapts the presenter’s childhood experience in the Philippine islands to think about the islands of New York. Historically Filipinos have often been depicted as improvisational and undisciplined when in fact they have developed sophisticated cultural practices and strategies adapted to the changing environmental and cultural phenomena of the islands. How might the nature of these improvisational strategies across disciplines and cultures influence how we understand the rapidly changing phenomena of  the islands of New York City?  This presentation uses cooperation as a theme to activate both embodied conceptual frameworks for defining and problemiting interdisciplinary collaboration through a thoughtful cultural lens.


A discussion and exploration on Mapping
with Liz Barry and Becky Boger, 2012 iLAB Residents

Liz Barry and Becky Boger will lead a lecture/demonstration on the use of Geographic Information Systems(GIS) from their distinctive points of view. How can various mapping strategies empower community action related to urban planning and environmental issues? Drawing on their experiences with Public Laboratory for Open Technologies and Science(PLOTS) and Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) they will discuss mapping strategies with local and global communities.


Higher E.D. and Follow the Water Walks share the interdisciplinary practices that they developed during their residencies.

Higher ED: Weather scores, Wind scales, and Scattered Dances
In these two hours we will enact and create dance scores that grow and shift our understanding of weather in the city. We will also learn how to assess wind speed by observing the movement of objects and trees around us. We will seek out micro-weather factors around the New School such as buildings that protect us from wind or redirect it, temperature differences in areas of shade or sun, and the effects of nearby traffic or street trees.If there are the right conditions for gathering aerial imagery by kite, we will fly a camera as well.  It is our hypothesis that the body is a highly tuned weather-sensing instrument, come test this with us!
Read more about Higher E.D.’s iLAB residence here.

Follow the Water Walks 

Using choreographic, scientific and cultural research Follow the Water Walks developed interactive movement structures for a model that offers people an embodied experience of the storm water routes and the Bronx River, with attention to what was, is and will be part of that living landscape. Read more about Follow the Water Walks iLAB residency here.

The Panel Discussions

Understanding Urban Weather Systems and Designing for Climate Change

Moderated by Elliott Maltby, Partner, the thread collective & iLAND board member
Presented by:
Philip Orton, Research Scientist, Stevens Institute of Technology
Victoria Marshall, Assistant Professor of Urban Design, The New School
Higher E.D. (Ecology + Dance), 2012 iLAB Residents:
Liz Barry, Public Laboratory for Open Technology & Science
Jessica Einhorn, Dancer, Scientist
Lailye Weidman, Choreographer

Micro to Macro Movement in New York City waterways from East Tremont to Newtown Creek

Moderated by Carolyn Hall, Dancer, Historical Marine Biologist & iLAND board member
Presented by:
John Waldman, Professor of Biology, Queens College
Follow the Water Walks, 2012 iLAB Residents:
Rebecca Boger, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth &
Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College
Damian Griffin, Education Director, Bronx River Alliance
Paloma McGregor, Choreographer

Specifically addressing the study of and relationship to the rivers and sewers of New York City, this panel serves to highlight how interdisciplinary strategies can broaden our understanding and embody a sense of a waterway’s past compared to its present through changes in the landscape, inhabitants’ migrations, and the communities that border its shores. Can such interdisciplinary studies enable us to find more flexible ways to address rising water levels, dense coastal populations, and increased frequencies of hurricanes? We will also discuss how the panelists’ efforts to renovate, restore, study, and discover such integrated water systems, native species, and human communities challenge them to physicalize, reinterpret, and seek collaborations to better understand their subjects. Moderated by dancer and historical marine ecologist Carolyn Hall, the panel features Queens College Professor of Biology and author John Waldman speaking on the health of the greater waterway ecosystem of NYC and specific studies on Newtown Creek and the Bronx River, and the iLAB residency fellows of Follow the Water Walks that explored East Tremont’s relationship to the Bronx River and the sewer ways that service the community through dance, education, and mapping.

The Performances

Building a Better Fishtrap by Paloma McGregor
April 5th at the Plenary

Building a Better Fishtrap

Conceived and choreographed by Paloma McGregor
Performed by collaborators Nia Austin-Edwards, Ebony Noelle Golden, Damian Griffin, Stephanie Mas, Keisha Turner and Ricarrdo Valentine
Music by Philip Glass
Text by Ebony Noelle Golden, Paloma McGregor and Patricia McGregor, Damian Griffin

Building a Better Fishtrap is a developing process-based performance project that uses collaborative research and the evolving Fishtrap Method to devise work exploring the themes of water, memory and home, as well as examining what we take with us, leave behind and reclaim. The project was inspired by the fishing tradition of Paloma’s 87-year-old father and her memory of building a small, functional  trap one summer when she was 7 or 8, perhaps the genesis of her cultural production.

soften, bubble, and preen by Emily Drury and Lailye Weidman
Saturday April 6th at 5pm

soften, bubble, preen

This dance responds to weather and wind and carries with it records of other times and places. Conceived, performed, and adapted through the seasons by Emily Drury and Lailye Weidman.

soften, bubble, and preen was first developed during the iLANDing retreat at Mount Tremper Arts in September 2012.


The 2013 iLAND Symposium is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the Lambent Foundation of the Tides Foundation.