I get asked often if I would move to Montreal, or consider continuing research (after the next….hopefully six years of my degree) in London or the UK where disability studies and performance studies are easily converging, where interesting art and performances are being developed with innovative tactics and my answer will probably be no. I want to go, and experience them, take notes, learn, ask questions, contribute, but they are asking because there is little traction in a large way here in Toronto, and that is why I need to stay.
It is also why I need to make more art. I am working on a conference paper and looking up a website of a considerably further along artist-academic in Montreal who ahas an entire page of art pieces that combine her art and research, and I want that now. I do not have time for much more right now, but as I move forward I need something that gives me the opportunity to create art that is engaged and charged with my research.
Where do I find this? Do I find it in a Working Group that I am on the verge of creating? Do I find this in an already existing group? Do I find it within myself? My friends? My colleagues? Peers? Theatres? At this point I am lost, maybe because my time is taken up by the multitude of things that a first year PhD student is drowning in: coursework, comprehensive exam preparations, finalizing (ish) a thesis proposal (ish), finding a supervisor (check!), committee (in process…ish), and for me a lot more out of degree commitments that are wonderful but little give me much presence in art.
I want to be creative and charged. I want to be illuminated and have something to create for, to do, something to do it for. Its there, its at the brim of my visual horizon (which isn’t farther than a metre really), but just out of reach. For now I will be patient, but whatever I do I know it will be here, in Toronto, developing grounding roots in a community that needs it.