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Now on View

2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Performing Peace in the North of Ireland
2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Performing Peace in the North of Ireland
2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Requiem for Rice
2014 Pittsburgh Biennial
Ghosts in the Machines




Causing A Scene

The CAS Performance Initiative
Co-organized by The Center for the Arts in Society

Aug. 19 - Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 31, 4:30-6:30pm: Reception + Performances

About the exhibition

The Center for the Arts in Society (CAS) is a collaborative research effort comprised of artists and scholars from the CMU faculty. Situated between the College of Fine Arts and of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, CAS aims to explore the role, place, and impact of the arts both in the workings of social power and in processes of social change.  CAS is dedicated to the exploration of the ways diverse forms of social and political engagement have shaped the history of the arts and might drive their transformation in the future. 

Every three years CAS reinvents itself with a new themed initiative, where two coordinators, an artist and a scholar, structure a topic and select projects that engage in a focused exploration of that topic. We approached “Performance” as an expansive form, looking beyond the traditional relationship between an audience and an actor to consider how people performatively frame their lives through social rituals, athletics, digital capture devices, and everyday acts. The rubric of "Performance" has also been a fruitful springboard for CAS's ongoing consideration of how the distinctions between the work and place of “artist” and “scholar” might be reassessed and transformed through collaborative work. Directed by James Duesing, and co-organized by Wendy Arons of the School of Drama and Kristina Straub of the English Department, the CAS Performance Initiative (2014-2017) has drawn together faculty members who undertook three major projects: Ghosts in the Machines, by Larry Shea (School of Drama); Performing Peace in the North of Ireland, by John Carson (School of Art) and Jennifer Keating-Miller (Dietrich Dean’s Office and English Department); and Requiem for Rice, by Edda Fields-Black (History Department). The three-year initiative has involved speakers, workshops, panel discussions, and an evening of performances titled "Drama Queens." The projects have developed courses that included field trips to Ireland and brought in outside experts to engage with students at Carnegie Mellon and constituencies outside the university. This exhibition presents selections from the scenes that have been caused over the past three years by the CAS Performance Initiative.