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CAPA Improvisation Archive: Cordelia Sand

Cordelia Sand Biography

Because I would like to see fundamental change enacted, I have been spending most of my time in the last several years trying to understand how matters of subjectivity, science, and social and planetary conditions interact and change. A feminist philosophy lens has emerged as my most useful framing for this complex research because, by definitional premise, it takes knowledge practices, power structures, and social justice to be indivisible political categories at both subject and collective levels.  Prior to these academic pursuits, I worked as a dancer-choreographer, movement-theater artist, puppeteer, publication design director, science education editor, corporate communications producer, information architect, environment protector, building super, and parent. This last one stands out as the most challenging, surprising, and demanding of improvisation skills.

Paper Topic

With the intent of teasing open discussion, my presentation introduces the idea that improvisation, theoretically considered, offers a robust worldview singularly at odds with the foundations of Western modernity and global capitalism which explain and assure that current trajectories of worsening economic and environmental crisis will continue. I understand improvisation as a skill that requires training and experience, as opposed to random, spontaneous reactivity. As an intentional, embodied practice by humans, improvisation provides an experiential education and skill development in processes of emergence and innovation. This training, in light of a dominant cultural context that promotes success in terms of hierarchical power, amounts to a practical method of political intervention critical to ethical political and social change.