Culturebot Conversations at Under The Radar

Culturebot is thrilled and honored that Meiyin and Mark at Under The Radar have graciously invited us to collaborate on and organize two discussions on contemporary performance during the festival. We will be engaging with some of the ideas that have garnered the most attention and discussion on CBOT lately: our article on Visual Art Performance vs. Contemporary Performance and the issue of Citizen Criticism and the Arts.

Full details below (updates to come as panelists are finalized and bios come in). Hope you will join us!

Can’t be there? Conversations will be livestreamed at

Under The Radar presents

Performance and Context: The Black Box and The White Cube
Sunday, January 8 at 1PM
LuEsther Lounge
@ The Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street

In today’s cultural landscape, contemporary artists are continuously blurring the lines between theater, dance, installation, performance art, visual art and live art. The work’s context comes from who curates it, where it happens, who writes about it and who is its intended audience. Performance is perceived and evaluated differently when presented in a gallery or museum as opposed to a theater. Why is that? What does it mean? And how can we move beyond the Black Box vs. the White Cube and devise new frameworks for genre-defying performance?

Philip Bither (Senior Curator of Performing Arts, Walker Art Center)
RoseLee Goldberg (Founding Director and Curator, Performa)
Liz Magic Laser (Artist)
David Levine (Artist)

Claire Bishop, “Unhappy Days In The Art World” (Brooklyn Rail)
Andrew Horwitz, “Visual Art Performance vs. Contemporary Performance” (Culturebot)

Everyone’s A Critic! Exploring the Changing Landscape of Arts Writing
Sunday, January 15 at 1PM
LuEsther Lounge
@ The Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street

As the mainstream media continues to cut its arts coverage, an increasingly diverse field of citizen journalists has filled in the gap. Some decry this as a disaster, proclaiming the death of criticism. Others characterize this as a long-overdue democratization of critical conversation. The truth is probably somewhere in between. What is the role of the arts writer in today’s society – either “professional” or “amateur”, what is the difference between a reviewer, a critic and a crank, and what does the future hold?

Randy Gener (U.S. editor of
George Hunka (Superfluities Redux)
Margo Jefferson (critic, author, professor)
Tom Sellar (Theater magazine (Yale) & Village Voice)

Michael Kaiser, “The Death of Criticism” (Huffington Post)
George Hunka, “Criticism dies, again” (Superfluities Redux)
Jeremy Barker, “Why Aren’t Audiences Stupid?” (Culturebot)
Andrew Horwitz, “Why Aren’t Audiences Stupid?(Andy Version)” (Culturebot)


Philip Bither has been Walker Art Center’s Senior Curator of Performing Arts since April 1997, overseeing one of the country’s leading contemporary performing arts programs. He has overseen significant expansion of the Performing Arts program, including the building of the McGuire Theater, an acclaimed new theatrical space within the Walker expansion (2005), the raising of the program’s first commissioning/programming endowment, the commissioning of more than 100 new works in dance, music and performance, and the annual presentation/residency support of dozens of contemporary performing arts creators, established and emerging. Prior to this, he served as Director of Programming/Artistic Director for the Flynn Center, later becoming Associate Director/Music Curator at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). He received the Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award in 2009. He sits on numerous federal, state, local, and national foundation arts panels and he speaks and writes about the contemporary performing arts nationally.

Randy Gener is the Nathan Award-winning editor, writer, critic and artist in New York City.  He began as a theater critic and staff contributor at The Village Voice from 1991 to 2001, as well as an entertainment writer for The Daily News and The Star Ledger.  A dramaturg at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Gener is the U.S. editor of Critical Stages(, an international journal; the Broadway editor of the New York Theatre Wire (, which he co-founded in 1996; and a contributing writer of American Theatre magazine. As a curator, producer and consultant of international festivals, Gener creatively collaborates with U.S. and European arts organizations, foreign institutes, consulate offices and NGOs to build, design and create artistic programs, strategic alliances, international tours in Europe, conferences and seminars, foreign-media partnerships and editorial content. Gener most recently served for four years as the curatorial adviser and co-creator of “From the Edge,” USITT’s USA National Exposition at the 2011 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. A 2003 New York Times critic fellow, Gener contributes critical essays and scholarly articles to books and anthologies, most recently in “Cambridge Guide to the American Theater” (Cambridge University Press), “The World of Theater” (International Theatre Institutes in Paris and Bangladesh), and “About the Phenomenon of Theater” (Namayesh in Tehran, Iran).  For his editorial work and critical essays for American Theatre, Gener has received, among other awards, grants and honors, the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the Deadline Club Award for Best Arts Reporting from the New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; and the NLGJA Journalist of the Year. Last year, Gener was among five artists from around the world conferred by His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III with the Presidential Award as “Pamana ng Pilipino (Legacy of the Filipino Nation).” Gener’s website is

RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa, is an art historian, critic, and curator whose book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, first published in 1979, pioneered the study of performance art. Former Director of the Royal College of Art Gallery in London and Curator at The Kitchen in New York, she is also the author of Performance: Live Art Since 1960 (1998) and Laurie Anderson (2000), and is a frequent contributor to Artforum and other publications. Recent awards and grants include two awards from the International Association of Art Critics (2011), the Agnes Gund Curatorial Award from Independent Curators International (2010), Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Warhol Foundation (2008), and Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government (2006). In 2004, she founded Performa, a non-profit arts organization committed to the research, development, and presentation of performance by visual artists from around the world, and launched New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05 (2005), followed by Performa 07 (2007), and Performa 09 (2009). In 2011, Performa presented its fourth biennial, Performa 11 (November 1–21, 2011). Since 1987, Goldberg has taught at New York University.

George Hunka launched the first version of his blog Superfluities Redux, under the title Superfluities, on 1 October 2003. An Albee Foundation fellow, he has written several plays and essays, as well as reviews, theory and feature stories about theatre for the New York Times, the Guardian (UK), Yale University’s Theater, Contemporary Theatre Review, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art and other publications. His first book, Word Made Flesh: Philosophy, Eros and Contemporary Tragic Drama, was published by EyeCorner Press in March 2011.

Margo Jefferson is a cultural critic and the author of On Michael Jackson (Vintage). She was a staff writer for The New York Times for 12 years, and received a Pulitzer Prize in 1995. Her reviews and essays have appeared in Bookforum, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Grand Street, The Nation, and MS. She has been anthologized in The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death (Norton); Best African American Essays, 2010, (Ballantine/One World); Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness (Counterpoint) and The Mrs. Dalloway Reader (Harcourt) and The Jazz Cadence of American Culture (Columbia). She also wrote and performed a solo theater piece, Sixty Minutes in Negroland at The Cherry Lane and The Culture Project. Currently, she teaches writing at Columbia University and Eugene Lang College.

New York-based artist Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981, New York City) is a graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and Columbia University’s MFA program. Laser has been a resident at the LMCC Workspace Program, the Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited internationally including The Pace Gallery, New York (2011); Casey Kaplan, New York (2011); Derek Eller Gallery, New York (2010); MoMA PS 1, New York (2010); the Prague Biennale 4, Czech Republic (2009); Galeria Horach Moya, Mallorca, Spain (2011) and the Ljubljana Biennale, Slovenia (2011). Her recent public performance project, Flight (2011), took place in Times Square with support from Franklin Furnace and the Times Square Alliance. In November 2011, Laser presented the Performa Commission, I Feel Your Pain at the School of Visual Art Silas Theatre, a former cinema in New York City. Recent articles discussing her work have appeared in publications including, Modern Painters, Frieze, ArtReview,, Art In America and The New York Times.

David Levine‘s work encompasses performance, theater, photography, installation, and video. Dividing his time between NYC and Berlin, where he is Director of the Studio Program at the European College of Liberal Arts, Levine has presented performance projects and other work at such international art spaces and surveys as MoMA, Documenta XII, Mass MoCA, Town House Gallery/Cairo, HAU2/Berlin, PS122/NYC, the Luminato Festival and the Watermill Center, and has directed at Atlantic Theater Company, the Vineyard Theater/NYC, and Primary Stages/NYC. David’s work has been featured in Mousse, The New York Times, Artforum, Theater, Art in America, Bomb, Cabinet, Theater Heute, Art Review, Die Zeit, TDR, The Village Voice, Time Out, and the Believer, and his own writing has appeared in Cabinet, Theater, and Triple Canopy. He has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Kulturstiftung Des Bundes, and Etants Donnés/French Fund for Performance. He is currently working with composer Joe Diebes, poet Christian Hawkey, and the Watermill Center/NYTW on an opera about Milli Vanilli. David will be presenting Anger at the Movies, a performance seminar, as part of PS122’s COIL Festival starting on Jan 10.

Tom Sellar is Editor of Theater magazine, a journal of criticism, plays and reportage published by Yale School of Drama ( His criticism and reporting appear regularly in national publications including the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and American Theatre, and he has been a frequent contributor to the Village Voice since 2000. Sellar received his doctorate in 2003 from Yale University, where he is currently Associate Professor of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

2 thoughts on “Culturebot Conversations at Under The Radar”

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