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Mathematics and Performance Art: First Steps on an Open Road


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This paper concerns the presentation of a set of possibilities of connecting mathematical concepts and performance art pieces. These possibilities have their origin in a personal practice in performance art and mathematics but are presented here as connecting both areas, as well as connecting theory and practice, especially in a performance art context. Three main possibilities are discussed here: a model to connect with a performance art piece using mathematic tools, turbulence in mathematics and in performance art and some thoughts on how to understand a performance art piece as an intersubjective matrix. A case study is also provided.
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©2017 ISAST LEONARDO, Vol. 52, No. 5, pp. 461–467, 2019 461
General article
Mathematics and Performance Art
First Steps on an Open Road
Many connections between art and science have been made
in recent decades, especially within interdisciplinary con-
texts, where art is inspired by new developments in science
and science is inspired by artworks and art concepts to obtain
new ways of developing science and new scientic results.
In particular, considering mathematics and dance, there are
many authors searching for inspiration from one discipline
to nd developments within the other. For instance, Karl
Schaer and Erik Stern are scientists and choreographers
who create dance pieces inspired by mathematical theories
and who teach mathematics using dance movements [].
Also, Katarzyna Wasilewska uses mathematical knowledge to
approach dance pieces, using either probabilities, dynamical
systems or geometry []. In a performance art context, Esther
Ferrer uses such questions from mathematics as “What is the
largest known prime number?” or “What is the last known
decimal of π?” to create performance or visual art pieces [].
is paper presents three possible connections between
mathematics and performance art along with concrete per-
formance art pieces that showcase them in dierent ways.
e rst connection is an individual relation, where some
mathematical concepts are involved. Another connection is
the concept of turbulence, which is a concept intensely stud-
ied in mathematics and previously introduced in a performa-
tive arts context by Eugenio and Judy Barba [].
I also consider how a performance art piece can be per-
ceived as an intersubjective matrix, a concept introduced by
Daniel N. Stern in the context of psychology, and nally,
I present G.O.D., a performance by Flávio Rodrigues per-
formed by Bruno Cadinha, as an example of all the concepts
On Near Convergence
Mathematically, a function f (a map that for each element
belonging to a subset of the real numbers corresponds to
only one element of another subset of the real numbers) is
called convergent if the elements of its domain approach a
real number a and the values of the function also converge on
some real number b. We denote b as the limit of the function
f as the points in the domain x converge to a, or b =
lim f (x)
Connected with the convergence concept is the continuity
property, whereby the limit of a convergent function when
the domain converges to a is the value of the function at
that same point a: f(a) =
lim f (x)
. is concept is also an
important and widely used term in daily life. In both daily life
and mathematics, it concerns a function (that can represent a
situation, a path, an action, a movement) that does not jump,
or that does not have any disconnections from itself.
We can consider a performance art piece as a set of several
convergent functions to several limits, where the image at
the end of the performance becomes the set with all those
limits. However, taking into account the association of the
idea of uniqueness with that of limit (a limit, when it exists,
is unique), it is hard not to consider at least some discrete
set of numbers with the possibility of not belonging to the
uniqueness property; if the limit does not exist, we cannot
consider the uniqueness property to convey the openness of
a performance art piece—even if there is a concrete image
at the end, we should easily be able to construct other pos-
sible images.
This paper concerns the presentation of a set of possibilities of
connecting mathematical concepts and performance art pieces.
These possibilities have their origin in a personal practice in
performance art and mathematics but are presented here as connecting
both areas, as well as connecting theory and practice, especially in
a performance art context. Three main possibilities are discussed here:
a model to connect with a performance art piece using mathematic
tools, turbulence in mathematics and in performance art and some
thoughts on how to understand a performance art piece as an
intersubjective matrix. A case study is also provided.
Telma João Santos (educator, performer), Department of Scenic Arts and CHAIA,
Universidade de Évora, Antiga Fábrica Leões, Estrada dos Leões 7000-208, Évora,
Portugal. Email: Web:
See for supplemental les associated
with this issue.
462 Santos, Mathematics and Performance Art
Here, we introduce a concept that better suits our pur-
poses: the concept of almost continuity as described by Lebl
in the context of searching for removable discontinuities [].
We say that a function is almost continuous when it is con-
tinuous for almost all points in its domain, i.e. except on a
countable set of numbers. is concept allows us to consider
sets of discontinuity points. ese points are, in the context of
this article and that of the concept of almost continuity, called
cuts: A cut is a point where the almost continuous function is
not actually continuous—a point of discontinuity, but a point
that belongs to the domain.
On Turbulence
A ow is the continuous movement of a uid—liquid or
gas—from one place to another. ere are two types of ows:
laminar ows and turbulent ows. In a laminar ow, the mol-
ecules move smoothly, all in the same direction at a constant
speed; in turn, in a turbulent ow the molecules move in
many dierent directions at dierent speeds. ere are many
examples of turbulent ows in nature and in daily life. One
of the simplest examples of the transition from a laminar to a
turbulent ow is when we boil water using an electric cooker:
Aer some time, the water starts to move constantly and
forms a laminar ow, but if we wait longer, then bubbles start
to appear from the bottom to the surface, and the movement
of the water inside the electric cooker becomes very compli-
cated and not predictable, thus generating a turbulent ow.
A turbulent ow can also be seen as the solution of a
Navier-Stokes equation. In fact, a precise denition of tur-
bulence sets the “sensitivity to initial data” as an essential
requirement: “Turbulence is any chaotic solution to the -D
Navier-Stokes equations that is sensitive to initial data and
which occurs as a result of successive instabilities of laminar
ows as a bifurcation parameter is increased through a suc-
cession of values” []. Navier-Stokes equations were intro-
duced by Claude-Louis Navier and George Gabriel Stokes
by the mid-nineteenth century [].
A performance art piece is, in many cases, body-based, in
the sense that it uses the body to convey representations
of stereotypes associated to gender, race, social and cul-
tural behavior, and/or rituals that question identity and
self- determination. It can be related to body limits (as with
performers such as Ron Athey [], Marina Abramović []
and Angelica Liddell []), or changing ways in which we
perceive gender or race (see e.g. performers Coco Fusco [],
Guillermo Gomez-Peña [] or Esther Ferrer) or forms of
political and social intervention and action (e.g. Guerrilla
Girls [] and Pussy Riot [], among many others).
e mathematical concepts introduced in the section
above can be reformulated within a performance art context.
Here I briey review some examples of how these concepts
can be approached in performance art. e concept of an
almost continuous function is also considered in this con-
text, since performance art pieces do not have to be exactly
continuous; we can exclude some discrete points—moments,
actions, and so on—and treat them within a continuity ap-
proach, considering limits of dened functions between
those discrete points. Also, in performance art, if we consider
an action such as running around a stage, each hesitation
can be considered a cut of that function. A point then occurs
where we are still running but we can stop, analyze our per-
ceptions at that moment and change—or not—the eective
action of running around the stage.
In the context of performance art, considered an experi-
mental and practical eld in relation to concepts, I believe
that turbulence has always been implicitly embedded in cre-
ative processes. Only for some decades, however, have we
witnessed the emergence of theoretical texts around concepts
such as turbulence and methodologies, taking into account
emotions and “feelings” as part of its random appearance yet
deterministic nature, as well as eorts at theorization and
mapping and understanding around practical experiments
and possible connections and interferences among them.
In , Barba and Barba introduced the concept of turbu-
lence to describe, regarding their experiments and practice
methods, what “appears to be a violation of order; in fact,
it is order in motion” []. In the same paper, the authors
posit turbulence as a state that may be seen as a succession
generated by “the vortexes that upset the current of narrative
action” []. We can, then, observe that, moving back and
forth from comfortable constant states into turbulent states,
turbulence is a possible attribute with which to characterize
a performance art piece.
e connection presented here can be seen as the rst steps
on an open road, where global mapping remains to be done.
In this text I attempt to search for particularities and com-
mon points between mathematics concepts (theory) and
performance art (practice).
A Relational Model
I present here a relational model as a rst sketch of a possible
structure to consider artistic processes as an observer and,
in particular, within performance art pieces. is model was
presented previously [] and approaches the construction of
concrete performance art pieces using some mathematical
notions. is model can also be used within creation pro-
cesses, in rehearsals or as a tool to help an observer to create
a paradigm for understanding a performance art piece.
e model concerns three new concepts: Axiomatic Im-
age, Sub-Images and Dynamics. ese concepts are presented
in the order above but in fact can overlap one another and
may not be chronological. e Axiomatic Image is connected
with the informal idea of the main concept of a specic per-
formance art piece. It is not exactly the concrete departure
point from which we work on dierent directions. It has
an axiomatic nature. It needs to be part of a conscious and
creative process of research. Sub-Images, concrete, three-
dimensional, dynamic images, are part of the construction of
Santos, Mathematics and Performance Art 463
a paradigm involving mathematical concepts, together with
improvisation techniques. e Dynamics is associated with
the eective narrative and nal form of a performance art
piece. It is then possible to construct a model with three dif-
ferent but overlapping parts, where the idea of an axiomatic
origin is present, as several mathematical denitions, and
where it is possible to understand an artistic process along
the three parts, converging to the performance.
e Axiomatic Image can be understood as a cut in the
creation process of the performer: It is a point where the con-
tinuous ow of the performer’s life is stopped to change its
nature and direction. e Sub-Images are also cuts in the pro-
cess of constructing concrete dynamical three-dimensional
images, as the Dynamics is the process resulting of lling
several cuts within physical, body-related images.
e above model is a possibility within my artistic cre-
ation and also a possibility in discussing and characterizing
a performance art piece. In fact, it characterizes three phases
in any artistic process that are not chronological but, in the
end, map the process as well as characterize the concrete
nal artistic object.
I have previously presented an application of this model
[] to the construction of the performance art piece On a
Multiplicity [].
We may perceive a performance piece as a set of Navier-
Stokes equations that describe the several ows within the
performance having turbulent solutions. ese turbulent
solutions start, obviously, as laminar ows but become tur-
bulent ones and then become laminar again until some new
laminar ow appears and the process repeats.
Even if we consider, for instance, the performance e Art-
ist Is Present by Marina Abramović, we can perceive that,
with each spectator, a set of turbulent ows is created along
the performance, if the public outside observing it can per-
ceive the several states of Marina during the performance. It
can then be seen as a set of Navier-Stokes equations, some
of them having as a solution a turbulent ow starting as a
laminar one.
A Performance Art Piece as an Intersubjective Matrix
Finally I present the last possibility of interconnection be-
tween mathematics and performance art. Daniel N. Stern
was the rst author to coin, in e Present Moment in Psycho-
therapy and Everyday Life (), the concept of the intersub-
jective matrix:Our mental life is cocreated. is continuous
cocreative dialogue with other minds is what I am calling the
intersubjective matrix” []. In the same book, the author
also observes that this cocreation can occur within one single
mind. is concept is introduced in the context of the way
children connect or interrelate with others. is conception
is not one of a black or white way of performing or under-
standing but instead of a cocreation between minds, taking
into account the intersubjectivity present in the process.
e concept of matrix is also familiar in mathematics as
dening a rectangular array composed of a nite number of
elements disposed in rows and columns. ese elements are
part of the same structure—the matrix—and, even if they
are related, they are not interconnected and they are not
subjective. What Stern recovers then is this structure, where
the elements are well disposed, but adds the possibility of
intersubjectivity and interconnectedness. is structure is
somehow similar to that of the rhizome, a concept introduced
by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari as a set of interconnec-
tions with no center, no logical development, which generate
multiplicities []. But the intersubjective matrix has instead
an organized structure.
I propose here that a performance art piece can be seen
as an intersubjective matrix composed by the almost conver-
gent functions involved, their cuts and the turbulent ows,
where the Axiomatic Images, Sub-Images and Dynamics are
also included. In the creation process, we proceed from a
rhizomatic universe and create a set of almost convergent
functions, where their cuts are analyzed and the turbulent
ows are identied, creating the intersubjective matrix, or
the concrete performance art piece.
It is important to note that I am not referring to a per-
formance art piece as an almost convergent or almost con-
tinuous function, which has a limit—unique—except for a
set of measure zero. No, we are dealing with many almost
convergent functions and also considering neighborhoods of
several cuts within them, also taking into account the meta-
morphosis of their behavior—laminar to turbulent—along
the way. ere is no associated uniqueness, which, in fact,
conveys our desire of maintaining the openness that charac-
terizes performance art.
Finally I present a case study: G.O.D. (Goddess of Desire), a
performance by Flávio Rodrigues [], performed by Bruno
Cadinha [].
I have followed the work of Flávio Rodrigues since the
beginning of his performance career. However, for me it was
not enough to see his performances. I needed to understand
his body of work from a personal, biographical and creative
point of view, to integrate and analyze the several instru-
ments that make up this body of work: text, video, music,
debates, interviews, intentions, actions, etc. In , I pro-
posed to work with him at a distance, and we established
a partnership involving his performance G.O.D. (Goddess
of Desire), which premiered at the theater Campo Alegre,
Porto,  March , with coproduction by Porto’s Munici-
pal eater. I participated in this project, documenting and
researching during the creation process.
Manifest of Intentions for
, from Initial Texts
and Ideas by Flávio Rodrigues
Till the World Ends” is the title of a song performed by Brit-
ney Spears, the second single from her seventh studio album,
Femme Fatale (). e song was written by Kesha, Alexan-
der Kronlund, Dr. Luke and Max Martin, and the video that
promotes it was launched  April , under the direction
of Ray Kay []. e video shows Spears in an underground
464 Santos, Mathematics and Performance Art
party, with allusions to an apocalyptic environment, referring
to  December —the day on which the Mayan calendar
ended a cycle of , years.
It is with this event that Flávio Rodrigues begins a new
project, and a number of branches emerge from the idea of
building a particular family tree from its origins, which he
decided to call G.O.D. (Goddess of Desire). is tree is the
symbolism found to create new choreographic and sound
scores, in which are represented riller, by Michael Jack-
son, Wall-E by Andrew Stanton, the Bible, the last Coke in
the desert, the movie Anaconda, hyperconsumption, the so-
called gender paintings of JH Fragonard, Andy Warhol and
the supermarket, the hole in the ozone layer, and brilliant
dancing. ese are some of the connections projecting a
place for the creation of a soundscape (remix), which in turn
will be the basis for a body that moves and metamorphoses.
G.O.D. is the construction of a soundscape—made in
Homestudio—like a house where the body dwells and from
which territory mapping possibilities are generated: the
sound of whales, the music of Britney Spears and the sounds
of nature together in transport toward both urban and primi-
tive universes, where the demarcation of territory,
the search for an identity, and the use of makeup and
current pop music are factors also present.
In this project, the body is not at rst the body of
Flávio Rodrigues. e possibilities that allow map-
pings are clearly manipulated, thus resulting in the
interpreter as a metaphor/projection/narrative of
paradoxes, a recall and transformation of desire, in
continuous dialogue. ere is also another body of
writing, a documentary one, as another generator
of possibilities, which analyzes throughout the pro-
cess further layers of directions. is body is another
external view that notes, adds, cuts, contextualizes
and decontextualizes. It is descriptive, argumenta-
tive and a generator of interpretational possibilities.
Excerpts of
s Written Documentation
e written documentation of G.O.D. (translated
below) was developed over six months in the course
of several meetings, virtual conversations and video
recordings. In the process, I constructed, in addi-
tion to the ocial documentation (description,
synopsis), a personal connection that allowed me
to develop writing possibilities and approaches be-
tween the ocial documentation and the creation
of the piece.
G.O.D. is a piece where life is exploitation, desire,
ritual, animal, Britney Spears, territory, Mardi Gras,
intimate, global, referential, ethereal and yet real.
It is a universe of conquest, based on the emo-
tional complexity of an individual path, where an
individual language is present as one of the young
voices within performance art and dance context
in Portugal.
G.O.D. is me, is you, is the way of looking for leads in a
globalized world, where the references are edited, metamor-
phosed where you and I have become a constant search of
possible identities. To delimitate nobody’s territories, turn
this one into our own party.
We do not know his origin, we just realize that he is in this
place. We call it place because it is yet to be named. He was
lost and was le alone.
Loneliness does not kill, but gradually turns concrete ac-
tions into concepts and reections on them.
He is lost. He knows exactly how to react, but not knowing
where to arrive.
He is blue. Or, he brings the blue with him. Blue. Sad, from
another place, from another absent state, which becomes
present along the performance. A sh, a bird, the fragility
within the conviction of action (Fig. ). He is a hybrid, he
shines, he is the ritual metamorphosing his guts, he is Brit-
ney wanting more, languid and sexy with a weapon in his
hands (Fig. ). He is the nongender, where sexuality is put
Fig. 1. Flávio Rodrigues, G.O.D., moment of arrival. (© José Caldeira)
Santos, Mathematics and Performance Art 465
into constant tension over his concrete ac-
tions. e poetic lyricism as a place of refuge
and statement.
e universe stopped when the end hap-
pened to him. A lapse in space-place made
time collapse and he found himself there,
with us. He presents himself safely and looks
us in the eyes. He dees our view, waiting for
something to happen. No one predicted the
end. e end was blue. A blue party, a mardi
gras ecstasy. He is blue. He is sea. He is fragil-
ity. He is safety. He is saying hi. He wants to
settle down. He doesn’t want ex-planations.
He wants to research, to look for, to lose
himself, to mark and remark concrete ter-
ritories (Fig. ). In here, with us. He wants
to arm his existence, in a redenition of
materials that allow him to multiply ways of
being, to establish new ways of connecting
with place and space. He is an installation
of himself, not a proof or a characterization
of something that doesn’t belong to him. It
is him. In here, with us. Hybrid, sensual,
strong, ideal, open and concise (Fig. ).
and the Relational Model
In G.O.D., the Axiomatic Image represents
an imperative. at is, it is an Ode to Ex-
istence, where a body denes a space, a
territory, mapping it with the purpose of af-
rmation and self-presentation, instead of
a mission. is Axiomatic Image arises from
Rodrigues’s personal perspective, reecting
on the end of a love relationship that lasted
nine years and on the times of economic
crisis that some countries, such as Portu-
gal, go through. It is thus an ode to restarts,
to life reformulations. From this initial im-
age, several sub-images of much more con-
crete form, three-dimensional images, were
generated, which are part of a set of ideas
and experiments that Rodrigues was explor-
ing with Cadinha. I consider in this project
three Sub-Images: Presentation, Conquest
and Nest.
ere is, in this performance, a desire to
present the individual as a metaphor for
individual search for meaning within the
world around him: It is depersonalized and
is not intended to be interpreted or even
represented. It is presented as the search of
an individual, who can also metamorphose
himself through an idea of otherness, or
as an individual contextualized in a land-
scape that is not his landscape alone, with
Fig. 2. G.O.D., weapon moment. (© José Caldeira)
Fig. 3. G.O.D., territorialization moment. (© José Caldeira)
Fig. 4. G.O.D., coziness and metamorphosis moment. (© José Caldeira)
466 Santos, Mathematics and Performance Art
which the public can establish anities. is performance
is an identity search in a world without denitive references.
is individual wants to arm himself, not in his specic
individuality but in the possibility of his existence and in
his desire for territory where he will construct his nest, his
comfort space.
In each of the sub-images a dynamics was established,
where the rules of movement, the music and the sub-images
become concrete, eective and shared. In Presentation, im-
ages of immobility are interleaved with quick actions and so
metamorphosis. In Conquest, the movement is accelerated;
the performer runs around the stage, delimiting a specic
territory, installing it. Finally, in Nest, the performer searches
for comfort within the conquered territory.
as a Turbulent Flow and as an Intersubjective Matrix
Considering the performance G.O.D. a turbulent ow, or an
example of the existence of turbulence within performance
art pieces, seems a dicult task, at least at rst sight, since
it is not a violent performance, nor one with quick move-
ment, nor it is based on anger. In fact, we need to take into
account an essential aspect of turbulence within the perfor-
mance art context: It need not be obvious, like boiling water
before the eyes of spectators. In this performance, turbulence
exists within the performer, within the metamorphoses of
his perception states, from presence to absence, to a state
of conquering, to a state of almost giving up, to organizing
material, space. He is constantly rebounding between uid
and turbulent ows within perception.
e performance G.O.D. can also be seen as an intersub-
jective matrix between movement technique, autobiography
and performance. ese can be seen as almost continuous
functions, where some cuts are analyzed and worked on—the
cuts being the moments of change: of direction, of perception
state, of type of movement. e movement technique used in
this performance belongs to work that Rodrigues has been
developing over the years through his solos and also through
his work performing for others: the use of immobility, or al-
most nonexistent mobility interconnected with quick move-
ments or actions, the use of specic positions as the head
and the cervical spine slightly curved, with the feet en de-
hors, or positions where the body is on one leg, among many
One of the main features of Rodrigues’s work is autobi-
ography. is performer develops his artistic creation as an
extension of the way he relates with his own life, his daily
routines, his experiences, mainly through movement and
music creation. Performance art is, in this performer’s work,
a place of questioning, reformulating, exploring materials,
movement, images, meanings.
I acknowledge support from FCT through FCT PEst-OE/EAT/
UI/. I also thank the anonymous referees for their helpful
References and Notes
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Katarzyna Wasilewska, “Mathematics in the World of Dance”: www/bridges-.pdf (accessed 
January ).
Esther Ferrer: (accessed  January ).
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 Angelica Liddell:
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 Coco Fusco: (accessed  January ).
 Gomez-Peña’s La Pocha Nostra: (accessed 
January ).
 Guerrilla Girls: (accessed  January ).
 Pussy Riot: (accessed  January ).
 Barba and Barba [] p. .
 Barba and Barba [] p. .
 Telma João Santos, On a Multiplicity: Deconstructing Cartesian
Dualism Using Mathematical Tools in Performance,” Liminalities:
A Journal of Performance Studies 10, No. , – ().
 Santos [].
 Telma João Santos: (accessed  January
 Daniel N. Stern, e Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday
Life (New York and London: Norton, ) p. .
 G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, Mil Planaltos—Capitalismo e Esquizofre-
nia 2 (Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim, ).
 Flávio Rodrigues is a dancer, choreographer and performer, resi-
dent in Porto, Portugal. Trained by Balleteatro (), Dance Works
Rotterdam () and the Choreographic Experimentation Center
(), he has collaborated on projects with artists such as Isabel
Barros, Né Barros, Vitor Hugo Pontes, Tania Carvalho, Joana Castro
and Bruno Senune. Since , he has developed his own projects:
performances, lms, installations, soundscapes. He has also been
a DJ since , nishing a DJ professional course at Bimotor. See
www. (accessed  January ).
 Bruno Cadinha completed his basic training in contemporary dance
at Balleteatro, Porto, having Flávio Rodrigues as one of his teachers.
Santos, Mathematics and Performance Art 467
He completed a modular course with Olga Roriz dance company,
Lisboa, and is now a student of PEPCC in Fórum Dança, Lisboa.
He has been developing multidisciplinary work around queer and
gender issues.
 Britney Spears, “Till the World Ends”:
Barrett, E.; Bolt, B. Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts In-
quiry (New York: St Martin’s Press, ).
Carlson, M. “What Is Performance?” in A.G. Rayner, Género, Cultura
Visual e Performance—Antologia Crítica (Braga: Edições Húmus, J.P.
Ana Maria Chaves Trad., ) pp. –.
Damásio, A. e Feeling of What Happens: Body, Emotion and the Making
of Consciousness (London: Heinemann, ).
Goldberg, R. Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (London:
ames & Hudson, ).
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. “Performance Studies,in e Performance Stud-
ies Reader, Henry Bial, ed. (London and New York: Routledge, ).
Laws, K.; Sugano, A. Physics and the Art of Dance—Understanding Move-
ment (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, ).
Noë, A. Varieties of Presence (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, ).
Santos, Telma João. “Local Estimates for Functionals Depending on the
Gradient with a Perturbation,” Journal of Mathematical Analysis and
Applications 434, No. , – ().
Zakon, E. Basic Concepts of Mathematics (West Lafayette, IN: e Trillia
Group, ).
Manuscript received  May .
Telma João SanToS holds a PhD in mathematics (calculus
of variations) and a PhD in arts (performance art). She is a
professor at the Department of Scenic Arts, University of Évora,
and a researcher for CHAIA-UÉ. She is a performer and also
collaborates through performative and classic writings with
other Portuguese dancers and performers.
Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous
(LASER) Leonardo Special Section
Guest Editor:
Tami I. Spector, University of San Francisco Professor of Chemistry,
Member, Leonardo Governing Board, LASER host
In 2008 cultural historian Piero Scaruffi piloted the first Leonardo Art Science Evening
Rendezvous (LASER) in San Francisco, CA with the intention of bringing together artists,
scientists and technologists for presentations that foster cross/trans-disciplinary insights and
dialogue with their co-presenters and the LASER audience. Since that time the program has
grown to include a global network of more than 30 LASER programs, each of which is
inflected by the vision of the specific organizers, presenters and environs (www.leonardo
.info/laser-talks). With this special section we aim to expand the purview of the individual
LASER programs beyond their localities into conversation with each other and the larger
Leonardo community. To this end we seek manuscripts from speakers and organizers
highlighting work presented at the LASERs worldwide.
Manuscript subMissions
We seek Leonardo manuscript submissions of 1,500–2,000 words of the following types:
artist’s notes, short statements, general notes, theoretical perspectives and technical notes.
For detailed instructions for manuscript and art preparation,
To submit a completed manuscript, upload at
... In [11,12] I reconnect with the model as a relational one and not only as a creation methodological tool, using as case study the performance dance pieces G.O.D., by Flávio Rodrigues. 2 This piece was an important tool to question the model's implicit chronology, since I realized that Flávio had a different approach to creation: he starts with an initial desire to connect many different tools, ideas and sound landscapes and he discovers the axiomatic image and sub-images later along the creation process-the axiomatic image can be even settled only at the end of the process. ...
Full-text available
Connections between art and science are not a new landscape within contemporary research, especially in applications. In particular, connections between mathematics and art have been explored, settled, shared and developed by many authors in journals as Leonardo, Mathematics and the Arts, and conference books as Imagine Maths, among others. It is fascinating to witness the proliferation of intersectional works, where boundaries between artistic work and scientific research are blurred. It is in this blurring boundaries’ landscape that I enclose the work presented here, where autobiography is an important intersectional tool.
Full-text available
O que é a investigação Artística: Pressupostos, Práticas e Problematizações
Full-text available
Este artigo apresenta uma performance, Building Strength, como um estudo de caso para um modelo relacional em performance. Este modelo foi proposto há alguns anos no contexto da minha prática artística e também na relação com práticas de outros artistas. Neste artigo, o modelo, ao invés de ser usado na criação de uma performance, é proposto como ferramenta de investigação em Building Strength. Palavras-chave: Performance. Estudo de caso. Interseccionalidade. Modelo relacional.
Full-text available
This paper concerns minimization problems from Calculus of Variations depending on the gradient and with a linear perturbation. Inspired in qualitative properties that are valid for elliptic partial differential equations, it presents some local estimates near non extremum points as well as extremum points. These estimates are inspired on a class of functions given by A. Cellina in [2]. Also, a comparison result with respect to these functions is presented. Finally, some local estimates are obtained for the difference between the supremum and the infimum of any solution to the problems considered.
Full-text available
In this paper I present a methodology to video record auto ethnographic material and also to construct a specific performance art piece, On a Multiplicity. I also present how the method was used to construct a series of body movement improvisation videos. I will describe the process used to create this performance art piece as a real time construction of body movement improvisation and sound as voice, discourse, using the auto ethnographic video recordings, in order to create a multiplicity of (my)selves
Goldberg provides a survey of performance art of the 20th century tracing the tradition's evolution from futurism through constructivism, Dada, surrealism and the Bauhaus. The practice in the United States (beginning with Black Mountain College through the New York scene of the 1950s and 1960s to the influence of conceptual art and the work of "the media generation") is also examined. Bibl. 2 p.
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: TDR: The Drama Review 44.4 (2000) 56-66 [Figures] There exists an invisible revolt, apparently painless yet infusing every hour of work, and this is what nourishes "technique." Artistic discipline is a way of refusal. Technique in theatre and the attitude that it presupposes is a continual exercise in revolt, above all against oneself, against one's own ideas, one's own resolutions and plans, against the comforting assurance of one's own intelligence, knowledge, and sensibility. It is the practice of a voluntary and lucid disorientation in the search for new points of orientation. Apart from nourishing the work, revolt is also nourished by it. I do theatre because I want to preserve my freedom to refuse certain rules and values of the world around me. But the opposite is also true: I am forced or encouraged to refuse them because I do theatre. Storm and Meticulousness The choice to do theatre is often a difficult answer to a difficult situation. It is a way to live a freedom that is only free if the results of our own work succeed in influencing other people and winning them over to our side. It is a way of inventing our own identity, which is revealed to us through work that is both meticulous and stormy. Some people believe that storm and meticulousness belong in two separate worlds; that technical problems, professionalism, and the craftsman's precision have nothing to do with turbulence and with the impulse towards freedom, destruction, revolt, and refusal. This is not true. Extracting the Difficult from the Difficult Extracting the difficult from the difficult is the attitude that defines artistic practice. On this depend the incisiveness, the complexity, the dense quality of [Begin Page 58] the result, as well as the moments of difficulty, suffering and illumination, disorientation and reorientation that make up the process. This attitude illustrates the difference between the organic character of art and the organization of daily tasks which are all the better for having the easy extracted from the difficult. Scylla and Charybdis Order and disorder are not two opposing options, but two poles that coexist and reinforce one another reciprocally. The quality of the tension created between them is an indication of the fertility of the creative process. When we attempt to describe this tension, however, the discussion becomes hesitant. The more our explanations stick to what we have experienced in the work, the more they appear fantastic and exotic to the listener. And in trying to transmit experience, there is a risk of misunderstanding. The easiest way of escaping these problems is through silence. Otherwise we have to navigate between Scylla and Charybdis. On the one hand there is Scylla, representing the risk of straightening out the route, thus transforming the intricacy of the many paths into one direct line running in the right direction. Everything then becomes clear, even though it does not correspond to our experience. Within the reality of work, creativity is like a stormy sky. It is perceived as disorientation, doubt, frustration, discomfort. To be master of one's craft signifies above all knowing how to prepare for the storm that will threaten us, and how to resist without resorting to easy or familiar solutions. "Storm" also means that problems do not present themselves one after another -- as when we talk about them -- but all or many simultaneously. When the sea and the waves are merely images of the route, every step becomes comprehensible. Everything turns out to be true, yet so abstract that it makes a mockery of experience. On the other hand, there is Charybdis, with the risk of speaking only of storms and forgetting about the geometry of the compass and the sextant, which make the route possible. It is the risk of becoming anecdote or confession: the process is shown as a random path, confused and shadowy, like magma flowing almost involuntarily into a result without knowing how or why. This too is an aspect of truth, one of its profiles. To discover the true face behind the reality of the artistic process, you must focus first on one and then the other profile. The Secret Complexity of Bios In...
Mathematics in the World of Dance
  • Katarzyna Wasilewska
Katarzyna Wasilewska, "Mathematics in the World of Dance": www (accessed 20 January 2019).
Since 2006, he has developed his own projects: performances, films, installations, soundscapes. He has also been a DJ since
  • Tania Vitor Hugo Pontes
  • Joana Carvalho
  • Bruno Castro
  • Senune
Flávio Rodrigues is a dancer, choreographer and performer, resident in Porto, Portugal. Trained by Balleteatro (2003), Dance Works Rotterdam (2005) and the Choreographic Experimentation Center (2008), he has collaborated on projects with artists such as Isabel Barros, Né Barros, Vitor Hugo Pontes, Tania Carvalho, Joana Castro and Bruno Senune. Since 2006, he has developed his own projects: performances, films, installations, soundscapes. He has also been a DJ since 2015, finishing a DJ professional course at Bimotor. See (accessed 29 January 2019).
Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Inquiry
  • Bibliography Barrett
  • E Bolt
Bibliography Barrett, E.; Bolt, B. Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Inquiry (New York: St Martin's Press, 2007).
What Is Performance?" in A.G. Rayner, Género, Cultura Visual e Performance-Antologia Crítica (Braga: Edições Húmus
  • M Carlson
Carlson, M. "What Is Performance?" in A.G. Rayner, Género, Cultura Visual e Performance-Antologia Crítica (Braga: Edições Húmus, J.P. Ana Maria Chaves Trad., 2011) pp. 23-31.