Laura Burns

Primary page content

Laura Burns's MPhil/PhD Art research project

Performing animism

A practice-based PhD traversing the performance and pedagogy of an animist worldview, as a response to environmental crisis. This project takes as its starting point the understanding that environmental crisis is a metaphysical and cultural crisis in consciousness, and therefore investigates the role of invocation in an ecological relationship with world.

Inherent in these encounters is the position of place (land) as primary collaborator in any piece of work. Using choreographies of encounter, I am building a set of practices that might be used, taught and performed as technologies of accessing virtual realms, memory embedded in place, bodies and word. The practice will sit across performance, installation, fiction/poetry, sound and film, and explores vision and myth as theory in an attempt to decolonise and deconstruct patriarchal and colonial relationships to material place, language and bodies.

I am currently exploring the invisible energetic work of maintaining relationship with place, the gendered politics surrounding the history of this work, and how it then enters a public contemporary art space. From witch methodologies, to finding ways of coding performance to entail hidden practices, the public/private work of decolonising mind and body and the echoes or traces of these gestures leaking through.


  • Kristen Kreider
  • Ros Gray