SKIN Follow-Up Panel: The Impact of Embodied Presence in a Transformative Art Space – Neuroaesthetic, Therapeutic & Philosophical Perspectives

Friday, November 2, 2018, 1:45-3:15pm
*This follow-up discussion is based on a performance of SKIN on Thursday, November 1, 2018, 3:30-5:00pm

What is the meaning of an embodied aesthetic encounter, such as that between a performer and an audience – or among audience members? How does human presence effect the transmission of new ideas or the adoption of new behaviors? What happens when inanimate arts touch us with their presence? This panel will explore the implications and entanglements that arise between arts environments and their live participants. Attendance at the prior presentation (Thursday at 3:30) of SKIN, a frank and funny solo play with music by Hope Singsen, is recommended but not required. SKIN explores the resilience, creativity and vulnerability it takes to transcend sexual violence, and demonstrates the impact of embodied engagement in healing through the arts—for artists and audiences alike. Drawing on research to be conducted on-the-spot at a2ru, the panel will probe ways aesthetic experiences may be designed to enhance resilience and sustainability. In the process we will consider the body-brain itself as a creative space, guided by resilience and sustainability practices that inform every aesthetic encounter.


Hope Singsen is an artist and creativity researcher based in New York City. An actor, writer, singer/songwriter, and producer, Hope has appeared in numerous films and TV shows as well as on the national stage. Select credits include Disney’s College Road Trip (opposite Martin Lawrence), Law & Order: Criminal Intent, indie feature, Collar, and the New York Premiere of José Rivera’s Sonnets for an Old Century at The Barrow Group, where she is a frequently-contributing member. Hope developed her solo play with music, SKIN, with generous support from The Barrow Group, The Red Fern Theatre and Theaterlab. She has won Artist Residencies with the Mellon-funded Creative Arts Across Disciplines program at Vassar College, NYC’s IRT Theater and The Catwalk Institute in Catskill, NY, and is excited to present SKIN together with her research on embodied creativity and neuropsychology at a2ru. For decades, this research has investigated the mechanisms within creativity that may enable individual and cultural change. Hope’s exploration is grounded in traditional research, was fleshed out through practice in developing SKIN, and continues to expand in encounters with live audiences. In April 2019, Hope will further apply her research as the founder and Artistic Director of NYC’s first #HealMeToo Festival for Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The festival will present 3 weeks of multi-disciplinary works in development that foster resilience and growth, creating an intersectional space for conversation, learning and laughter. Workshops, panels and podcasts will invite the community to discover many approaches to healing: from the latest therapeutic advances, to activism, to bodywork, to creative writing, music and dance. Learn more, hear #HealMeToo podcasts and sign up for Hope’s newsletter at


Jill Sonke, MA, is Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine and director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF). She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. Jill is also an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow in the UF Warrington College of Business and a College of Fine Arts Teaching Fellow. Jill studied dance at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Florida State University, in London, Paris and Athens with teachers of the Horton and Duncan techniques including Bella Lewitsky, Lynda Davis, Milton Meyers, Joy Kellman, Lori Belilove, Julia Levine and Hortense Koluris. She has been a principle dancer and soloist with Lori Belilove & Company in New York and a guest performer and choreographer with Dance Alive! and Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre. She is a soloist and regisseur of the historic works of Isadora Duncan as well as a recognized teacher of the Duncan and Horton techniques. Jill holds an MA in Human Services from the University of Illinois. With over 20 years of experience and leadership in arts in medicine, Jill is active in research, curriculum and program development and international cultural exchange. Her current research focuses on dance and Parkinson’s disease, the arts and health messaging, the arts and epidemic response, and the effect of music on cost and quality of care in emergency medicine. Jill is the recipient of a New Forms Florida Fellowship Award, a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Award, an Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, a UF Internationalizing the Curriculum Award, a UF Most Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award, and over one hundred grants for her programs and research at UF Health and the University of Florida.


Chris Cuomo is a professor of philosophy and women’s studies at the University of Georgia, and a student of film production at Georgia State University. Her work in feminist theory includes a focus on ecofeminism, science, and ethics, and she has also written noteworthy essays on sexual freedom, climate change, and the politics of peace. Her books include Feminism and Ecological Communities: An Ethic of Flourishing, and the co-edited Whiteness: Feminist Philosophical Narratives. As a performance artist Cuomo has developed the character of the philosopher queen and the practices of feeding and soup-making. Her essays and film work-in-progress can be accessed at


Marni Shindelman’s collaborative practice with Nate Larson investigates the data tracks we amass through networked communication. Her work ties the invisible to actual sites, anchoring the ephemeral in photographs and immersive video installations. Her collaborative work has been in exhibitions at Crystal Bridges Museum, solo exhibitions Blue Sky in Portland, the Orlando Museum of Art, United Photo Industries in Brooklyn, the Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas. Light Factory in Charlotte, the FotoFestiwal in Poland, the Houston Center for Photography, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Moscow International Biennale in Russia, and Conflux Festival in NYC. Marni has been a resident at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Light Work in Syracuse, NY. Her work has been featured in Wired Magazine, GUP Magazine, The Picture Show from NPR, The Dish, PetaPixel, Fast Company, Gizmodo, Hyperallergic, the New York Times, Hostshoe Magazine, the Washington Post, Utne Reader, Flavorwire, Frieze Magazine, the British Journal of Photography, the BBC News Viewfinder, and on the radio program Marketplace Tech Report. Marni received her MFA from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami University (Oxford, OH).


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