Current VPA News
Preston, Douglas

The College of Visual and Performing Arts will present two public performances in Syracuse by the Idleness Labouritory, a performance practice by artists Mick Douglas and Julieanna Preston with collaborators, Sept. 1-2. The Idleness Labouritory challenges modern ideas of labor and idleness to make propositions for an aesthetic ethos of co-creative experience.

On Thursday, Sept. 1, the Labouritory will perform “attending” from 4-8 p.m. at the Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., Syracuse. The performance explores the aesthetics of attentiveness that both support the institutional place of art and are practiced by art museum visitors.

Later that evening, the Labouritory will perform “attuning” beginning at 9 p.m. and lasting until 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, at Point of Contact Gallery, the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St., Syracuse. The performance broadcasts auditory traces from the human, non-human and material resonance emanating from a site-responsive, 24-hour immersive experience.

The Idleness Labouritory develops performative projects, practices and experiences that exceed narrow constructions of idleness as unproductive and labor as productive so as to reveal lucid, creative and critically enquiring modes of generative activity. The Labouritory plays with performative ways of questioning, exploring and attributing value in contemporary creative arts practices.

Often with the contribution of collaborating participants, Labouritory activities perform propositional relationships to exchanges of value and potential relations amongst communities of practice, economies, material conditions and ecosystems. The Labouritory research seeks to generate examples of practices that posit the kind of re-orientations necessary to engage with current challenges facing living systems, including human society.

Recent works of the Idleness Labouritory include “Reading Labours,” a 24-hour performance presented by Urban Dream Brokerage, Wellington, New Zealand, this past March.

Mick Douglas works in performance social practice and teaches in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University Australia. Julieanna Preston’s spatial and performance practice is informed by architecture, building, feminist and new materialist philosophy. She teaches at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University, New Zealand.

For more information, contact the artists at or