Sunaura Taylor, Untitled. Ink drawing on watercolor paper, in connection with the Disabled Ecologies project. [Image description: aa series of overlapping forearms with hands bent at different angles, emerging from an underground aquifer, reaching towards the roots of a tree, above and to the left.] Used with permission.

[a 6-week online program starting 7/13; Tuesdays from 7:30-9:30 pm EST]

[Psst: want a plain language explanation or to watch a video of Elæ talking about this workshop? Head to their medium page to read and/or link over to their IGTV to watch an introduction to “Becoming Plural” with the Autonomous Mechanics workshop.]

Drawing on over a decade of field study, installation, research, somatic and bio-hack experimentation, workshops and performance, Autonomous Mechanics :: Symptoms and Strategies of the Anarchist Body seeks to be a vehicle for speculative bodily/personal and collective/system transformation.

Like the popular Alter/Altar series,* Autonomous Mechanics is a genre defying space open to ALL regardless of experience or background. Over our weeks together, both in session and independently, you’ll be offered strategies / prompts to encourage and engage writing & documentary field practice, movement / somatics, visual work&play across a range of media, experimental procedures, citizen science, and sound. But: this isn’t a workshop whose goal is production, unless you want it to be. Our aim is one of dislodging, of self-recognition, of establishing patterns supporting transformation and abolition across infrastructures at the human, ecosystem, and cultural levels. 

Here we approach “poetics” as its etymological origin suggests (poiein, from *kwei “to pile up, build, make”): a practice drawing on an arsenal of exploration, documentation, and challenge, a strategy of the body and of the collective to assist in our evolution and speculative growth towards radical possible futures. 

We’ll be using a variety of protocol I’ve developed over many years of working in and with interpersonal infrastructures, experimenting with collective strategies to counter the impacts of structural trauma, as well as field practice and documentation using my own body, in particular in relation to disabling chronic conditions, as an interface for hacking the human experience.

In our shared space, each body present–with the cognitive mind understood as only one of a host of autonomous agents–will be encouraged in a process I call becoming plural, as we recognize, seek to disrupt, and establish new patterns for collective mutual aid in the self and the biome, from which we can build outwards, towards abolitionist, anti-hierarchical futures. 

We’ll draw on, as an entry point, the field strategies from the speculative Disruptor Mechanism Field Protocol, which will offer all participants a backbone for producing and accumulating a documentary record, supported by thematic weekly readings and intermedia prompts, all of which can extend beyond the program’s weeks into what I hope becomes a rich, healing practice for everyone involved. 

Supporting and grounding these practices, prompts and other strategies will be engagement with of a variety of media from artists, thinkers, movers and others, like (but never limited to) Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Chloë Bass, Sunaura Taylor, Quimera Rosa, bell hooks, The Collaborative Urban Resilience Banquet / Candace Thompson, Mariam Kaba, Jose Esteban Munoz, Moshe Feldenkrais, Gabrielle Civil, Body Mind Centering Technique / Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Adrian Piper, Joseph Beuys, Genesis P-Orridge, Michael Marder and Anna Tsing. 

Themes / points of exploration include:

  • Roots of (& Strategies Against) Structural/ Institutional Disembodiment  
  • Crip Time Travel & Disability Futures
  • Abolition & Anarchy across Body, Biome & Infrastructure
  • Autonomous Somatics / Becoming Plural: Enacting an Embodied Mutual Aid 
  • Speculative Kinship Systems and Collective Futurecasting

And, with all of the above, we will consider and enact / experiment with employing a variety of media practices (whether you are doing so with training or with none) towards (r)evolutionary re-writing of our stories, personal and collective.

Note: All materials will be provided online, sessions recorded and support will be offered for ongoing engagement / asynchronous participation during and after the synchronous workshop. 

* Selected Related Programs & Projects: Alter / Altar I: Memory, Mirror, Monument, Map at Bowery Poetry;  Alter / Altar II: Sigil, Soma, Score, Salve at Poets House, Alter / Altar III: Animal, Anarchy, Alchemy, Archive, for Liminal Lab 2020, Building Interpersonal Infrastructures, at SOHO20 & others,  How to Human: Disruptor Mechanism Protocol for Performing Knowledge / How to Human at the Next Edge Festival, Collaborative Precarity Bodyhacking (with Cory Tamler and Storm Budwig) at Target Margin, emBODY Work / Student emBODY :: The Radical Recentering of Somatic Experience in Practices and Pedagogy for the Feminist Poetics Emergent Pedagogies Conference, Cartographies of Erasure at Occidental College, programming & curation for [move_semantics]:Rules of Unfolding, co-curated at EFA Project Space with Jeff Kasper, etc. 


About the Facilitator:


ELÆ MOSS is a multimodal creative practitioner, curator, cultural scholar and educator. Their work employs text, installation, sound design, performance, digital tech and speculative theory in addressing the somatic, ontological intersections between persons, forms of language, and systems, focused on the study of resilient, open source strategies for ecological and social change. Recent projects include: [Move_Semantics]: Rules of Unfolding, co-curated with Jeff Kasper at EFA Project Space, the APRIORI Field Station at STWST/Ars Electronica, the Speculative Resilience Radical Practice Library for the Anarchist Bookfair at Judson Church & Bushwick Open Studios (re-imagined for MS:RU), How to Human: Disruptor Mechanism Protocol for the Segal Center’s Performing Knowledge Festival, Building Interpersonal Infrastructures at SOHO20, and Collaborative Precarity Bodyhacking with storm budwig and Cory Tamler for the Exponential Festival. Recent publications appear in Vestiges, Big Echo, Tagvverk, Matters of Feminist Practice, The Transgender Narratives Anthology, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion, and many more. Books include Ground, Blood Altas, Overview Effect, Sweet and Low: Indefinite Singular, Bodies of Work (with painter Georgia Elrod), and The Precarity Bodyhacking Work-Book and Guide. Elæ is Founder/Creative Director of The Operating System / Liminal Lab, a Professor at Pratt Institute, and R&D for the Brooklyn node of the Mycelium Network Society. Find them online via IG @thetroublewithbartleby, or at  [Image description: Elæ, a white nonbinary queer person with a dark brown overgrown mullet with greying temples, looks at the camera and smiles; they are standing in front of a yellow door, wearing tortoise wire aviator glasses and a grey sleeveless shirt. You can see black tattoos on their shoulders and forearm. Their hand is on their chest.] 


Liminal Lab is committed to providing a source of income for our collaborators and facilitators in an increasingly precarious time for culture workers and educators. However, no one will ever be turned away for lack of funds. We ask that those who can pay the suggested price, and/or help cover the cost of scholarship slots in each of our programs by sponsoring other participants. 

  • Compare the below to the cost for a similar accredited workshop in a university setting (where most of the $$$ goes to institutional bloat):  $1035  — we show you this so we can begin to think about wtf is happening in our institutions, where both students and faculty get the short end of the stick.
  • At a standard “Market Rate,” at arts orgs: $350*
  • Recommended Sliding Scale: $30-50/session → $180-300 for the series
  • Precarity Pricing: $10-20/session
  • Barter / Volunteer / No Cost Option Available 
  • Sponsorship: You may sponsor low or no fee participants in this workshop with a donation of any size.*if you have the funds to afford the “Market Rate,” we encourage you to support this facilitator by donating at that level, which will also support other students in this course who are unable to pay.

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