School for Temporary Liveness

Three days of collective study and experiments in practice, performance, and pedagogy


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Pedagogy
  • Performance

Organizing Institutions

The School for Temporary Liveness, Slought, and The Rotunda


Lauren Bakst


Laurel Atwell, Shannon Brooks, Alejandro Calcaño Bertorelli, Kris Lee, AJ Wilmore

Opens to public



4017 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

On the web


The School for Temporary Liveness (STL), Slought, and the Rotunda invite you to gather in Philadelphia from April 6–8, 2023 for three days of collective study and experiments in practice, performance, and pedagogy. Join us and participate in situations for collective study with Lou Cornum, FORTUNE, Jonathan González & Marguerite Hemmings, Adelita Husni Bey, Niall Jones, Kevin Quashie, Julie Tolentino, Simone White, Wilmer Wilson IV, and more. The school and its programming are free and open to all — anyone can be a student.

STL Vol. 3 operates as a para-site. If the university is typically understood as the place for proper forms of education, then STL offers a space beside the institution—a temporary zone for the unfolding of our improper and uneven assembly. STL asks: What if we approach performances as invitations to enter into study? Inversely, if we imagine the whole operation of a school as a performance, how does that change the ways we teach and learn, or what we think of as knowledge? For Vol. 3, a cohort of participants have been asked to generate situations for collective study that extend from their various practices. Learn alongside them and with each other through their generous and emergent offerings.

"Study perverts instruction" — STL is an occasion to partake of this perversion, a situation for gathering where "those who study do not improve but improvise" (Harney and Moten, 2021). When approached as a form that bears the excesses, instabilities, and ruptures of social life, performance renders the ways and means by which we come together, linger, exit, and do it all over again. What minor forms of life are brought forth through these passages? What tentative collectivities emerge in these interstices? Performance, like school, can be an excuse for taking part in dissonant communion.

STL is informed by the work of black feminist thought, critical pedagogies, queer theory, and performance studies. It is equally informed by the practices in life and art—namely dance, performance, and poetics—that circulate alongside and in conversation with these theoretical traditions. This project is in conversation with historical and ongoing attempts to produce alternative contexts for pedagogy and performance.

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Thursday, April 6

Pull Up, Simone White and Wilmer Wilson IV
4:00 pm (R)

What Might Live in a Word and a Sentence, Kevin Quashie
5:30 pm (S)

djamn, Jonathan González and Marguerite Hemmings
7:00 pm (R)

Friday, April 7

Thinking with Poems, Kevin Quashie
11:00 am (S)

Critical Infrastructures, Adelita Husni Bey
4:00 pm (R)

Making Life in the Wastelands, Lou Cornum
7:30 pm (R)

Hahaha, 2023, Niall Jones
10:00 pm (S)

Saturday, April 8

Critical Infrastructures, Adelita Husni Bey
1:00 pm (R)

ON TOUCH, Julie Tolentino
4:00 pm (S)

On Necessary Work + I Am Somebody, Adelita Husni Bey
5:00 pm (R)

8:00 pm (S)


The Water Fountain, FORTUNE (S)
Physical Education, Andrew J. Smyth (S)

(S) = Slought, (R) = Rotunda


Masks will be required for all indoor gatherings and we encourage attendees to bring masks with them. We will have extra masks available on site. We encourage taking a rapid test on the day of attending. If feeling unwell, we kindly ask that you stay home.


Slought is a wheelchair accessible venue, with no steps to entry. Please note that the bathroom at Slought is not accessible via wheelchair. The Rotunda is a wheelchair accessible venue. The ramp entrance to the Rotunda is located on the right side of the building. There is an ADA accessible restroom on the first floor. For any additional questions or needs regarding accessibility, contact us.


Support for School for Temporary Liveness, Vol. 3 has been provided by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Experimental Ethnography; English, Fine Arts, History of Art, and Theatre Arts Departments; GAPSA; Gender Sexuality and Women's Studies Program; LGBT Center; Poetry & Poetics Working Group; Wolf Humanities Center. With support from the Emily and Jerry Spiegel Fund to Support Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts and the Lise and Jeffrey Wilks Family Foundation Artist Residency. Special thanks to Sharon Hayes, Phoebe Osborne, Gina Renzi, and Deborah Thomas.

RSVP and Schedule

"We might think of studying as the special province of the academy, but here I mean studying as a human endeavor, the way that Lorde or Baldwin or Sula invites us to pursue intelligence by giving attention to what troubles and what intrigues." -- Kevin Quashie

"The officious nature inherent in the term "school" can be stolen, repurposed, brought underground—the mark and ethos of liberatory pedagogy is always prefigured as an assembly of accomplices committing some kind of transgression, and this transgression is the mark of political education." -- Adelita Husni Bey


LOU CORNUM is an Arizona-born writer and scholar now based in New York City.

FORTUNE (b. Year of the Earth Pig 2019) is a Philadelphia-based print collective, assembled by and for queer and trans Asian publics.

JONATHAN GONZÁLEZ is an artist, born and raised in Queens, NY, working towards the limit of discipline.

MARGUERITE ANGELICA MONIQUE HEMMINGS is a performance artist/educator currently based in Philadelphia, USA.

ADELITA HUSNI BEY is an artist and pedagogue interested in anarcho-collectivism, theater, law, and urban studies.

NIALL JONES is an artist based in New York City.

KEVIN QUASHIE teaches black cultural and literary studies and is a professor in the department of English at Brown University.

ANDREW J. SMYTH investigates the sociolinguistic, psychosexual, and choreographic registers of dispossession under global capitalism.

JULIE TOLENTINO is a Filipina-Salvadoran artist whose practices engage durational performance, movement, and sensual practices.

SIMONE WHITE is a poet and critic.

WILMER WILSON IV is an artist living in Philadelphia.