Phil Smith is a performance-maker, writer and academic researcher, specialising in work around walking, site-specificity, mythogeographies and counter-tourism. With artist Helen Billinghurst, he is one half of Crab & Bee, who have recently completed an exhibition and walking project called ‘Plymouth Labyrinth (funded by Arts Council England), a short walking project in the Isles of Scilly and a residency at Teats Hill slipway. They are currently engaged in a series of walks across the UK researching their forthcoming book, ‘The Pattern’ (2020). With Tony Whitehead and photographer John Schott, Phil recently published ‘Guidebook For An Armchair Pilgrimage’ with Triarchy Press.
He is currently developing a ‘subjectivity-protective movement practice’ with Canada-based choreographer Melanie Kloetzel. As a dancer he toured with Jane Mason in ‘Life Forces’ (2014-15). With Claire Hind and Helen Billinghurst, he co-organised the recent ‘Walking’s New Movements’ conference at the University of Plymouth. As company dramaturg and co-writer for TNT Theatre (Munich), he most recently premiered ‘Free Mandela’, co-authored with TNT’s artistic director Paul Stebbings, about the end of apartheid in South Africa.
Phil is a member of site-based arts collective Wrights & Sites, who recently published ‘The Architect-Walker’ (2018). As well as ‘Walking Stumbling Limping Falling’ (Triarchy Press, 2017) with poet Alyson Hallett, Phil’s publications include ‘Making Site-Specific Theatre and Performance’ (Red Globe/Macmillan, 2018), ‘Rethinking Mythogeography in Northfield, Minnesota’ (2018) (with US photographer John Schott), ‘Anywhere’ (2017), ‘A Footbook of Zombie Walking’ and ‘Walking’s New Movement’ (2015), ‘On Walking’ and ‘Enchanted Things’ (2014), ‘Counter-Tourism: The Handbook’ (2012) and ‘Mythogeography’ (2010). He is an Associate Professor (Reader) at the University of Plymouth.
The book mentioned in the interview that Phil was reading is Embodying the Dead.
VLM (Virginia Lee Montgomery) is an artist working between Texas and New York, primarily in video, performance, sound, and sculpture. She received her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and her MFA from Yale University in Sculpture in 2016. VLM deploys an idiosyncratic visual vocabulary of repeating gestures like drilling, dousing, or reaching and recursive symbols like circles, holes and spheres as she interrogates the complex relationship between physical and psychic structures.
VLM also works as a professional mind-map scribe, a Graphic Facilitator. Recent exhibitions include: “SKY LOOP,” Lawndale Art Center, TX (2020), “SCREENS SERIES: VLM,” New Museum, NY (2019), “HONEY MOON,” Midnight Moment, Times Square Arts, NY (2019); “PONY COCOON,” False Flag, NY (2019); “The Socrates Annual,” Socrates Sculpture Park, NY (2018); “CRASH TEST: The Molecular Turn,” La Panacée-MoCo, Montpellier, France (2018); “An unbound knot in the wind,” CCS Bard, Hessel Museum of Art, NY (2018); “Material Deviance,” SculptureCenter, NY (2017); and “The Particle Accelerator Memorial Project,” Physics Department, Yale University, CT (2015).
Maria Liebana is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in New York City. Her practice involves collects pop-culture images and thrift-store finds to reassemble them with organic and abstract forms. Maria received her BFA from Pratt Institute and MFA from Maine College of Art.
She is a recipient of 2018 and 2020 Queens Council on the Arts New Work Artist Grant. Her work has been exhibited at Field Projects (NY), Trestle Gallery (NY), ICA (Portland, ME), and Local Project Art Space (NY).
Liebana’s solo show ¿Tres Marias, Donde Esta Mi Felicidada?, was exhibited at Local Project Art Space. Her work has been featured in Hole History: The Origins of the American-Style from Little Leg Press, Studio Visit + Interview with Gallery Gurls, Queens Courier and About Themselves. In 2019, she was part of the Every Woman Biennial (New York).
Caren Beilin is the author of a nonfiction book on gendered medical gaslighting, Blackfishing the IUD (Wolfman Books, 2019), a memoir, SPAIN (Rescue Press, 2018), and a novel, The University of Pennsylvania (Noemi Press, 2014).
Her writing can be found in Fence, LA Review of Books, Territory, and New Life Quarterly. She teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in the Berkshires.