This year’s Performance Studies International (PSi) conference is being held in Melbourne and is open to the public for the first time ever. Co-hosted by the University of Melbourne and City of Melbourne’s Arts House the conference will explore the theme Performing Climates by creating a space where scholars, artists and the public can come together and engage with the ideas of climate change and ecology. The PSi conference is currently in its 22nd year and has travelled around the world in an effort to promote exchanges between artists, academics and activists. It aims to promote sustainability by implementing eco-friendly designs and strategies within the conference.

A number of performances will take place as part of the PSi conference from the 5-9 July. Each performance aims to support the discussion around climate change and offer a number of perspectives on the issue.

Cut the Sky is one performance involved in the conference that seeks to demonstrate what is described as a “poignant meditation on humanity’s own frailty in the face of our own actions”. In creating the performance Marrugeku has combined performers from all around the world in order to reflect the nature of climate change and create a performance that intertwines dance, video, poetry and song.

Josephine Stars & Leon Cmielewski’s And the Earth Sighed is an installation focusing on the effect that humans have on the earth’s natural landscape. Utilising immersive audiovisual installations and soundscapes this is an installation that aims to contemplate the impact of climate change on natural ecologies.

Refuge is another of the program’s performative highlights that will aim to simulate the experience of being in a disaster in real-time. Six different artists will demonstrate how they would respond to the needs and functions of an Emergency Relief centre in this performance.

Each of the performances available aim to explore the notion of climate change and the way that performance can be incorporated within this discussion. They aim to support the ideas that will be explored by academics and activists within the PSi conference in an effort to engage the public in this discussion as well.

For more information about the times and venues of each performance and the conference itself visit the PSi Conference’s website. This is sure to be an innovative examination on the topic of climate change and how each and every individual can explore this notion through performance, engagement and discussion.

Cover image by Rob Corica.