Susan Sgorbati: Creative Research
Susan Sgorbati’s original work in emergent improvisation in dance led to her concept of “emergent structuring” for collaborative, applied problem solving for political, social, and environmental issues. A key feature of this work has been dialogue with scientists on how complex systems dynamics in brain research and biological systems are reflected in improvisational ensembles in dance and music. For this six-week creative research residency, she brought together multiple perspectives on how groups can create collective meaning to enable structures that will solve complex problems. Sgorbati is a professional mediator and the Barbara and Lewis Jones Chair of Social Activism at Bennington College, where she develops and supervises the curriculum in conflict resolution; she also mediates for the Vermont Human Rights Commission.
TALK: May 9, 2012: Mirror Neurons and Our Capacity for Empathy, Marco Iacoboni and Susan Sgorbati. Iacoboni is a neurologist and neuroscientist who pioneered research on mirror neurons, the “smart cells” in our brain that are thought to illuminate our ability to interpret the feelings and intentions of others. Sgorbati joined Iacoboni after the talk to explore the role of empathy in any emergent collaborative process of creation, whether in dance or conflict resolution.
WORKSHOP: April 14, 2012: Emergent Improvisation, Susan Sgorbati. Visitors observed Sgorbati’s work with emergent improvisation; an ensemble of six dancers demonstrated Sgorbati’s concept of the emergent process and how patterns naturally emerge through improvisation in dance and music.
TALK: April 11, 2012: Biomimicry, Tim McGee and Susan Sgorbati. Through examples and stories, biologist Tim McGee shared where biological wisdom is changing the way we work, think, and create, and where increasingly our technologies have more in common with 3.8 billion years of evolution. McGee is a biologist who spends his time integrating the fields of biology, design, engineering, and business to create regenerative systems, products, and services that revitalize our relationship to the living world. "