Dr Schmidt teaches creative activism, performance writing, and collaboration, and has published widely on contemporary performance, participatory art, and political theatre.
Areas of research:
- radical pedagogy, forms of gathering and organisation derived from activist and social movements, planetary performance pedagogies
- writing for performance, performance writing, collaborative writing
- politics and theatricality, ‘theatre of real people’, ethics of representation and spectatorship
- live art, experimental dance and performance, art and agency in relation to marginalised voices and experiences
I live and work on unceded Gadigal and Bidjigal lands, where I teach creative activism, performance writing, and collaborative practice at UNSW Sydney. My academic research and my approaches to teaching are rooted in several decades of ongoing practice as a multidisciplinary artist in Europe, the USA, and Australia, as well as prior work supporting activist movements and art for social change. I am committed to modes of research, learning, and making that are collaborative and experiential, alive in the thick of things and responsive to the complex and contested entanglements of diverse bodies, politics, histories, and alliances.
I hope to make bridges between scholarly research and creative and activist practices, in the belief that creative perspectives can shift not only what but also how we know, as well as whose knowledge and experience counts and is heard. To this end, I have organised several international gatherings that bring together artists and scholars; edited and co-authored with a diverse range of collaborators; facilitated creative and critical writing workshops in a range of contexts internationally; supervised numerous Honours, Masters, and PhD projects in creative practice as well as traditional research; and produced a major publication AGENCY: A Partial History of Live Art in which I interviewed 35 artists from around the world on the theme of social and political agency.
I welcome proposals for Honours and postgraduate research in experimental performance, art and activism, contemporary theatre, and socially engaged practices, including both traditional theses and research by creative practice. I’m happy to have a conversation about what this might involve – do get in touch at email@example.com
Impact and engagement
I have published widely about contemporary performance for a variety of publications, including numerous academic articles as well as magazines and artist books, and also as part of innovative critical writing projects that foster interaction between audiences, artists, and critics. I have been a writer-in-residence and facilitated critical writing programmes in response to festivals such as Performance Saga (Bern), Spill Festival (London), Experimentica (Cardiff), and the National Review of Live Art (Glasgow).
My multi-part workshop for artists and practice-based researchers, “How we talk about the work is the work”, is designed to stimulate creative and multifaceted ways of responding to artistic practice. This workshop has been hosted by Nextwave Festival (Melbourne), RMIT University, Concordia University Montréal, AUT/University of Auckland, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have also given public talks and engagement as part of Liveworks Festival of Performance (Sydney), ArtsHouse Melbourne, and the Big Anxiety Festival (Sydney).
I am a core convenor of the interdisciplinary Performance Philosophy research network, and founding Editor of the journal Performance Philosophy, which champions Open Access and open source alternatives to for-profit publishing economies. I am an Associate Editor for field-defining journal Performance Research. As Assistant Editor for Contemporary Theatre Review, I created the public-facing Interventions website, which foregrounds innovative and responsive uses of digital media in relation to issues in contemporary theatre and politics.
Outside of my academic work, I have also presented solo and collaborative creative work as part of MONA FOMA in Tasmania, Arts House in Melbourne, Performance Arcade in Wellington, and Performance Studies International Performing Climates in Melbourne; and previously in the UK at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Nottdance, The Place, Chisenhale Dance Space, Chelsea Theatre, and Camden People’s Theatre, amongst others.