Mapping the City with the Body

Our bodies help us recognize, understand, navigate, and even create the urban space. Traces of bodies in space, like the blue dot on Google Maps, provide us with clues about our own movement, metaphors that we use to talk about the city and its systems, and even measurement units. At the same time, cities can have a particularly interesting effect in bodies’ self-awareness and their interactions with the environment, other bodies, and themselves (i.e. sidewalks, elevators, benches in public spaces, workspaces, supermarkets, and spaces for prayer and meditation).

If we use our bodies as mapping tools, how does it transform our knowledge and experience? In this workshop, led by Vanessa Vargas and Nelesi Rodriguez, we will use cartography as a framework to explore corporeal and social practices.

This event will take place off-site at Governors Island, Nolan Park 8B, which is accessible via ferry from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Price: Free ($10 Suggested Donation)

Audience: Open to performers, dancers, and anyone interested in performance practice and body-based research.

Materials: None.

Vanessa Vargas is a Venezuelan, Brooklyn based dancer, performer, dance educator and researcher. Her dance works examine liminality in the body by exploring sensory thresholds, the ambiguity and disorientation of intermediate states, inter-body encounters, the transitional status associated with migratory practices, deterritorialization, and the ephemerality of the body in exile. Vanessa holds a BFA in dance from the Escuela Taller de Danza de Caracas, a BA in Mass Media and journalism from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, an M.A in Mass Media and Social Research from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, and an M.A in performance studies from Tisch School of Arts.

Nelesi Rodriguez is a Venezuelan-born media educator, researcher, and practitioner. Her research examines understandings of the body as a site for knowledge production and a medium for learning, as well as their potential impact on pedagogical practices. She is interested in public scholarship, informal learning, and how creative practices are used/adapted as research and teaching methodologies. Before joining the PhD Program in Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh in 2017, she came to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship and completed a MA in Media Studies from The New School.


Please contact if you have any questions regarding this workshop.