Running with Concepts: The Empathic Edition

March 9–11, 2018

Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga

With Joshua Clover & Juliana Spahr, Steven Eastwood, Nasrin Himada, Sheena Hoszko, Jakob Jakobsen, Carolyn Lazard, Robyn Maynard, Wanda Nanibush, Jeff Reinhart, Pelin Tan, and more...

Hosted by Christine Shaw


Image: Carolyn Lazard, The Undercommons (In Sickness and Study), 2017.
Digital photograph, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
Commissioned by the Blackwood Gallery for Circuit 5/5, Take Care, 2018.


Running with Concepts: The Empathic Edition

A three-day hybrid event

March 9–11, 2018
Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga

With Joshua Clover & Juliana Spahr, Steven Eastwood, Nasrin Himada, Sheena Hoszko, Jakob Jakobsen, Carolyn Lazard, Robyn Maynard, Wanda Nanibush, Jeff Reinhart, Pelin Tan, and more…

Hosted by Christine Shaw


The fifth edition of the Blackwood Gallery’s annual event will conclude Take Care, a year-long program confronting the crisis of care. Running with Concepts: The Empathic Edition recognizes that we are having a global crisis of empathy. Bringing together artists, poets, pedagogues, filmmakers, prison abolitionists, registered nurses, health care administrators, and others, the event asks:  If care is a connective issue across social contexts and struggles, what might a new “care coalition” look like? What practices of empathy might promote an ability to relate without identification, appropriation, or condescension? Running with Concepts: The Empathic Edition will highlight creative practices, policy proposals, public education models, and research strategies that challenge dominant assumptions about institutional forms of collective welfare. It will feature lectures, performances, screenings, and roundtable discussions exploring the limits and possibilities of detaching practices of care from their tendency to reproduce dominant gender, racial, and economic relations.

Foundational to the Running with Concepts model is the inclusion of practitioners from diverse fields at various levels of their careers. Running with Concepts always includes a roster of invited speakers—prominent international thinkers in their respective fields—and selected participants—emerging scholars and artists, including graduate students, in the early stages of their careers. The invited and selected participants and attendees spend the duration of the conference together, presenting their work, engaging in dialogue, and workshopping their research. Unlike traditional conferences, Running with Concepts prioritizes experimental and participatory presentations alongside academic ones, believing in the meaningful connections that can be built across disciplines through artistic practice. The event strives to bring presenters from around the world to the University of Toronto Mississauga, and to insert important international research and practice into a local conversation.

For information on previous editions, please see Running with Concepts: The Choreographic Edition and Running with Concepts: The Geologic Edition.


Joshua Clover is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at University of California, Davis. He is the author of six books, including poetry, cultural history, and political theory; his writing has been translated into a dozen languages. His most recent books are the poetry collection Red Epic (Commune Editions 2015) and Riot.Strike.Riot: The New Era of Uprisings (Verso 2016), a political economy of insurrection and renarration of capital’s history. He edits Studies in Revolution and Literature for Palgrave Macmillan along with Bruno Bosteels.

Steven Eastwood is an artist and filmmaker whose practice spans documentary film, installation-based moving image, media arts, and theory. He holds a PhD from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, and teaches film practice at Queen Mary University of London. He has held Visiting Lecturer positions at Harvard University, University of Greenwich, and University of Buffalo. His forthcoming feature-length film, Island, and multi-channel video installation, The Interval and the Instant, were made through close engagement with individuals with terminal illness and the involvement and oversight of palliative care professionals at Earl Mountbatten Hospice (Isle of Wight). His feature film Buried Land was an official selection at the Tribeca, Moscow, Sarajevo, and Mumbai film festivals. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include Fabrica (Brighton), QUT Gallery (Brisbane), Globe Gallery (Newcastle), KK Projects (New Orleans), ICA (London).

Nasrin Himada is a Palestinian writer, editor, and curator living and working in Tio'tia:ke (Montreal), in Kanien'kehá:ka territory. Her practice and research are driven by how the political is constituted by contemporary art practice, specifically focusing on experimental and expanded cinema, media art collectives, contemporary Arab and Indigenous art and cinema, and the militarization of urban space through prison infrastructure and police surveillance. Her most recent curatorial work has been exhibited at Bina and Leonard Ellen Art Gallery, and DHC/ART: Foundation for Contemporary Art. From 2011 to 2016, Nasrin co-edited the journal Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy, and has served as guest editor for FUSE Magazine and MICE Magazine. Her writings have been published in C Magazine, Critical Signals, The Funambulist: Politics of Space and Bodies, and FUSE Magazine, among others. Her upcoming curatorial program, The Dreams of Botanical Landscapes, explores the critical relation between contemporary botanical practices and neosettler motivations of reclaiming land. 

Sheena Hoszko is a sculptor, anti-prison organizer, and settler living and working in Tio'tia:ke (Montreal), in Kanien'kehá:ka territory. Her art practice examines the power dynamics of geographic and architectural sites, and is informed by her family's experiences with incarceration and the military. She studied at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design and obtained an MFA in Sculpture from Concordia University, where she received SSHRC funding for her research on feminism and post-minimalism. Selected solo exhibitions include Centre Clark and La Centrale (Montreal), A Space (Toronto), Artspace (Peterborough), The New Gallery (Calgary) and Forest City Gallery (London, Upcoming 2018).

Jakob Jakobsen is an artist and organizer who recently opened the HOSPITAL PRISON UNIVERSITY Archive, Copenhagen. He has developed the Antihistory project (2012-ongoing) investigating the Antiuniversity of London, established in 1968, as well as the New Experimental College established in Copenhagen in 1962. He cofounded the trade union Unge Kunstnere og Kunstformidlere (UKK) [Young Artists and Art Mediators], Copenhagen (2002), was professor at Funen Art Academy, Odense (2006-2012), and was part of the Copenhagen Free University (2001-2007). He edited Wages for Students (2016) and contributed to Contestations: Learning From Critical Experiments in Education (ed. Tim Ivison and Tom Vandeputte, 2013). With The Antiuniversity Research Project, he participated in And And And, dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, 2012. Other projects include This World We Must Leave, Kunsthalle Oslo, 2016 and Kunsthal Aarhus, 2010. Jakobsen lives and works in Copenhagen and London.

Carolyn Lazard is an artist working in video, performance, and text. Her work engages collective practice to address the ecology of care, dependency, and visibility. Lazard has presented work in various spaces including Light Industry, Cleopatra’s, Recess, Anthology Film Archives, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Slought Foundation, the New Museum, MoMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has published writing in the Brooklyn Rail and Mousse Magazine and is currently writing an Accessibility Guide for Common Practice. She is a founding member of Canaries, a healing and arts collective of chronically ill women and femmes. Lazard holds a B.A. from Bard College and lives in Philadelphia where she is completing her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeff Reinhart works as a registered nurse in the LGBTQ Primary Care program at Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto. There, the majority of his clients are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and other queer-identified people, and he provides nursing care to Sherbourne’s HIV Clinic—a low barrier, drop-in-based clinic for people living with HIV. He collaborates with community members and clinicians from across Canada through research, community mobilization, advocacy, and clinical care, on issues ranging from transition-related surgery to HIV medication access and delivery.

An award-winning poet, Juliana Spahr's most recent book is That Winter the Wolf Came from Commune Editions. She edits the book series Chain Links with Jena Osman and the collectively funded Subpress with nineteen other people, and Commune Editions with Joshua Clover and Jasper Bernes. With David Buuck she wrote Army of Lovers (City Lights, 2013) She has edited with Stephanie Young A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism (Chain Links, 2011), with Joan Retallack Poetry & Pedagogy: the Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave, 2006), and with Claudia Rankine American Women Poets in the 21st Century (Wesleyan U P, 2002). 

Pelin Tan is a sociologist and art historian based in Mardin, Turkey. She is Associate Professor of Architecture at Mardin Artuklu University and contributor to Silent University, a pedagogical platform for refugees and migrants. She was a visiting Professor of Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a past Art, Culture and Technology Program Fellow in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT. She is currently researching the Pearl River Delta as “territorial sea” (M+ Design Trust Research Fellowship, Hong Kong) and leading socio-spatial discursive research on refugee camps in Turkey and Palestine. She has participated in multiple biennials and triennials: Istanbul (2007, 2015); Lisbon (2013); Montreal (2014); Oslo (2016); and Venice (2016). Tan is a lead author on Cities for the International Panel on Social Progress (ISPS).


The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga.