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panic buttons: crisis, performance, rights Kuala Lumpa, June 9th-11th 2006

Posts: 11

Concerns over human rights and performance often find themselves located at the intersection of state and individual expressions of agency, authority and action. These junctures are themselves made yet more problematic still by conflicting notions expressed variously by states and individuals of art as both public and/or private practice. In June 2004, the 10th Performance Studies international (PSi) conference Perform: State: Interrogate: was held in Singapore. Along with a regional roundtable held in preparation for the conference in Penang, Malaysia, in 2003, PSi#10 represented an opportunity to assess the distinctive ways in which ideas and analysis intersect with cultural performances and artistic practices in the East Asian region. That this would be an on-going project was inevitable, and two years on, the conveners and co-ordinators of that conference, are hosting another regional-level event in Kuala Lumpur 9th-11th June which is itself intended to feed into this year’s PSi#12 conference Performing Rights. PSi#12 Performing Rights will engage similar and related questions and will see the dialogue and discussions begun at Panic Buttons brought to the attention of a wider audience meeting in London, June 15-18, 2006

Panic Buttons: Crisis, Performance, Rights gathers Asia-Pacific-based artists, writers, researchers and civil society activists with an investment in the theme of "Performing Rights". It aims to initiate an on-going project that is of both practical and conceptual use to its participants and their publics. As such, they have identified the theme of crisis to be of particular relevance to people working in this region, and this has led to the following questions:

1. What practical steps can be taken by artists and writers within the region to prepare for the crises that periodically erupt when artworks or their interpretations come into tension with vested social,
political or religious interests in a specific place, often at a specific time?

2. What conceptual frameworks can lend consistency to the project, and provide a resource for approaching new issues as they arise?

3. What aspects of artistic practice and engagement specifically can inform such strategies?

This discussion will include reports from observers inside the Kuala Lumpur event and encourage debate from those of us observing from a distance.

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Posts: 5
Hello there This is Paul Rae

Hello there

This is Paul Rae writing.

Greeting from the Valentine Willie Fine Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the roundtable event 'Panic Buttons: Crisis, Performance, Rights', has been on-going since this morning.

We've just come back from lunch, and have got the Dicussion Board up and running.

Right now, there's a discussion happening about the first panel of the day, which focused on different kinds of 'crisis events' that have occurred in Indonesia and Malaysia in the last few months. I'll come back to it, but first, a brief summary of what took place this morning.

I'm going to break this down into separate posts, for practical and structuring reasons.

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