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March 30, 2013
PIFA 2013 Panel Discussion
Gedney Barclay, John
Muse, Piotr Szpunar

Please join us for a 7pm panel discussion featuring Gedney Barclay from No Face Performance Group, artist and filmmaker John Muse, Annenberg PHD candidate Piotr Szpunar, and moderated by Kelsey Halliday Johnson. Topics of conversation will include utilizing history and cultural memory as part of creative practice, media culture, and American socio-political shifts. This event is in conjunction with No Face Performance Group’s From the Swamp to the Stars (an original play debuting as part of PIFA 2013). Performances at 3pm and 8pm that evening. Panel discussion is free and open to the public.


Gedney Barclay is a performing artist currently based in Philadelphia. She is a co-founder and co-artistic director of No Face Performance Group, and the director of Alluvium. With No Face, Gedney has directed six original performances, including From the Swamp to the Stars which will premier at AUX at Vox Populi as a part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in March 2013. In 2011, she assistant directed Pig Iron Theatre Company’s production of Twelfth Night for the Philadelphia LiveArts Festival. In addition to Pig Iron, she has worked with other notable Philadelphia companies Headlong Dance Theater, Swim Pony, and Team Sunshine Corporation. In 2010, Gedney was an artist in residence with the Italian cultural association Orma Fluens, developing her own solo performance and training with fellow resident artists Ang Gey Pin and Amaranta. In April 2013, she will be creating a performance as an artist in residence at Joshua Tree National Park for Alluvium’s inaugural project.


John Muse is currently the Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Studies at the John B. Hurford Center for Arts and Humanities. From 2009 to 2012 he served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and the Center’s Exhibitions Faculty Liaison. He was the Center’s 2007-2009 Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow.

In 2006 he received a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley. His dissertation, The Rhetorical Afterlife of Photographic Evidence, co-chaired by Judith Butler and Kaja Silverman, analyzes Roland Barthes’ numerous writings on photography, an artwork by Roni Horn entitled Another Water (the River Thames, for Example), and an essay by Avital Ronell on the videotaped beating of Rodney King, “TraumaTV: Twelve Steps Beyond the Pleasure Principle.” Muse shows how these works use photographs to promulgate rather than reduce a crisis of the evident.

His single-channel videotapes and multi-media installations have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. In 2009 he and frequent collaborator, Jeanne C. Finley, were featured artists at the Flaherty Seminar curated by Irina Leimbacher. In 2001 Muse and Finley received a Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellowship for their experimental documentary project, Age of Consent. In 1999 they received a Creative Capital Foundation Award. In 1995 they received Artist in Residence fellowships from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. The Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco represents his installation works, and the Video Data Bank distributes his single-channel works.



Piotr Szpunar is a doctoral candidate at both the Annenberg School for Communication and the Political Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Broadly, his research and work focuses on how collectives structure and use past events and figures to buttress their political aims (collective memory), the politics of exclusion, the philosophy of communication as well as journalism and political/cultural theory in so far as they relate to the aforementioned topics.

Piotr’s dissertation interrogates “Homegrown Terrorism” as an assemblage which facilitates the transformation of a broad array of citizens into “terrorists.” The project also traces the origins of this practice to the (late) Cold War and uses it as a productive comparison regarding a collective’s fear of “infiltration” and how the past is rendered useful in the anticipatory politics that characterizes “risk society.” Lastly, the project addresses the particular forms of policing, surveillance and war that this assemblage facilitates and interrogates the consequences of these processes for the nature of collective belonging and citizenship in contemporary America.

Piotr is also active in Philadelphia’s music scene, playing in a variety of groups and composing.


PIFA 2013 Panel Discussion
March 30, 2013 @ 7:00 pm
March 30, 2013 @ 8:00 pm
319 N 11th Street, Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107 United States