A photograph of a long wooden dock on a frozen lake. On the far right, a large factory is depicted. The lake is covered in frost smoke and the sky is a light blue with whisps of white clouds.

Living Waste:

A roundtable on material performance and ecology amidst the climate crisis

Friday, June 11,  2021 | 09:00 - 10:30

Live panel on Zoom; spoken in English. No ASL interpretation or translation will be offered for this event.


Join Now in Room C

Situated at the intersection of ecology, puppetry, object-based performance, decolonial desires, and trash, this roundtable gathers object-based artists working with the ever-growing material debris of global capitalism and colonialism, but who due to geographic distance and differing fields of practice don’t usually get to exchange notes. Specifically, we want to bring together conversations around material performance, waste, and ecology happening in puppetry, installation, processional art, and the broad umbrella of performing objects and ask, what can we learn from each other? From our different locations, how are we finding, arranging, caring for, moving, intervening, and thinking with the materials we choose (or that choose us) to work with? How are we interpreting and implementing sustainability in each of our practices? What questions emerge in our practices around human relationships to matter in local and global ecosocial crises? 

The conversation will be structured as a 90-minute online roundtable, facilitated by the convenors. Participants will have the opportunity to present their projects and selected objects, live on Zoom, followed by a structured discussion.

Given the possibilities of a virtual format, the conversation will extend beyond Canada and will be considered through a global lens. This is also relevant because the urgent issues of climate change, neo/colonial extractivism, and waste accumulation are shaped by transnational trade agreements and aspirational modes of living historically set by the Global North and wealthy colonial powers.



Denise Rogers Valenzuela (Santiago, Chile) is a PhD candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University. Her dissertation-in-progress is entitled Stages of the Box: the lives of corrugated cardboard in puppetry and material performance. Denise is also performer and puppeteer who mostly works in ephemeral duos (The Trinkettes, Sisters of the Soaking Rag, Socorro and Bloody Mess) with scavenged objects and abject materials. She has performed on and off with Bread and Puppet Theatre since 2017, partaking in the spring tours of 2018 and 2020.

Gabriel Levine is a writer, teacher, musician and theatre artist living in Toronto. He has released numerous recordings on Constellation Records and other labels, and his puppet-theatre projects have toured to festivals in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. He co-edited Practice (2018), published in the MIT/Whitechapel series Documents of Contemporary Art, and his book Art and Tradition in a Time of Uprisings (2020) was recently published by MIT Press. His writing has appeared in the journals Performance Research, Journal of Curatorial Studies, Canadian Theatre Review, and others. He is co-curator of Toronto’s Concrete Cabaret, and is currently Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Drama and Creative Arts, Glendon College, York University. www.gabriellevine.net

Marlon Griffith’s (Trinidad/Japan) work is a reciprocal dialogue between ‘Mas’ (the artistic component of the Trinidad Carnival) and Art as a means of investigating the phenomenological aspect of the embodied experience: it is situated at the intersection of the visual and public performance. It is informed by the consequence of the movement of people, customs and commodities driven in the Americas by colonialism—and subsequent converges: traditions, symbols and strife. Griffith’s performative actions are stripped down and abstracted to create new images and narratives that respond critically and poetically to our socio-cultural environment. 

Annie Katsura Rollins is a theatre and performing object creator, designer, and performer. Rollins incorporates ethnographic research and apprenticeship into her work, with particular interest in traditional puppet forms in Asia and their intersection with ritual practice and community building. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to canvas Mainland China for the last remaining shadow puppet artists in 2011 and was named valedictorian for her doctoral dissertation on the possibilities of preserving intangible performative culture at Concordia University. More info at www.anniekatsurarollins.com.

Tintin Wulia is a Senior Researcher at the University of Gothenburg, and an internationally-practising artist who has been examining the complexities of borders for more than two decades. She has published over eighty artworks in nearly two-hundred peer-reviewed exhibitions in over thirty countries, including in major international exhibitions such as the Istanbul Biennale (2005), Jakarta Biennale (2009), Moscow Biennale (2011), Sharjah Biennale (2013), and a solo pavilion representing Indonesia at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017). Her works are part of significant public collections worldwide including at He Xiangning Art Gallery, China, and the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, the Netherlands. She is currently Principal Investigator for the Swedish Research Council funded project Protocols of Killings: 1965, distance, and the ethics of future warfare (2021-23), drawing aesthetic links between the protocols surrounding the Indonesian 1965-66 massacres – as a form of hyperdistant killings – with those of drone warfare’s technologies of the future.

Poncili Creación (Efraín and Pablo Del Hierro) is an experimental puppetry ensemble which have dedicated their life to the study of objects and their impact on reality. From the streets of Santo Domingo to the schools of Chicago to an art fair in Taiwan to a spooky basement in France, it is the group's creed to never say no to a show. Utilizing discarded materials and raw creativity, the group seeks to entertain and awaken inner childs internationally, with the goal of aiding humans to question and evolve past the parameters of modern day society, one show at a time.