Thinking through Practice seminar series: Lecture by Stacey Sacks

31.10.2017 - 10:00 to 13:00
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STACEY SACKS (Stockholm): Performing whiteness // animating complexity.

Stacey Sacks is an actor/writer/director/clown born in Zimbabwe currently doing a PhD in performing arts at Stockholm’s University of the Arts. Using drawing, sculpture, film, music, text, political satire and her extensive work in the art of clownery - particularly 'Clowns Without Borders' - this artist from Zimbabwe explores what is to be 'white' when wishing to be an agent of change.

Stacey Sacks’ doctoral project "The Improvising Trickster" interrogates notions of whiteness, entitlement and authorship through clownish explorations of privilege. Via ‘doodled’ visual poetry and performance it attempts to think through current post/neo-colonial narratives and recurring cycles of victimhood and abuse. What does looking at the remnants and residues of colonialism produce?


THINKING THROUGH PRACTICE is a seminar series at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art around the question of what constitutes an artistic research, or research through art. Every practice concerns a mode of thought (Massumi, 2014), however a mode of thinking defined by the singularity of each research-creation. The development of each artistic investigation is an individual – and perhaps non-replicable – process-oriented way of working, which involves a distinct, and hybrid assemblage of methodologies and critical tools for thinking through making. It is a push-and-pull, give-and-take activity of creating, articulating, revising, reflecting, and sharing. (Hannula, 2013) Scribbles, sketches, drawings, failed work, models, studies, thoughts, and conversations – as proposed by Sol LeWitt's list – while common attributes related to artistic activity can also be useful tools for placing a work within a context, by providing insight and a roadmap to the artist’s intentions, reasons, and processes. (Bärtås, 2013)

Yet much of the research coming out of an artistic practice challenges the language of research and its expectations implied by such a term. A question arises: How can art, as a tool for thinking with, be used to generate new knowledge, while at the same time not promising easily predictable and quantifiable results?

Rather than abridge or simplify, the THINKING THROUGH PRACTICE seminar series shifts towards complexity. Through the introduction of critical and innovative approaches to artistic research, the seminar series looks at art as a thinking, theorizing process.

The Thinking through Practice seminar series is conceived and organized by Associate Professor Michelle Teran.

Unless stated, each seminar takes place at the 3rd Floor MFA Hub, from 10:00-13:00.


FRANS JACOBI (Copenhagen and Bergen): Synsmaskinen
Tuesday, September 26th

MAGNUS BÄRTÅS (Stockholm): Microhistories and Work Stories
Tuesday, October 17th

STACEY SACKS (Stockholm): Performing whiteness // animating complexity.
Tuesday, October 31st

Tuesday November 28th

Postal address:
Kunstakademiet i Trondheim
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
N-7491 Trondheim

Visiting address:
Innherredsveien 7 (Industribygget)

Contact form
adm [at]
Tel. +47 73 59 79 00
Fax. +47 73 59 79 20