loader image



In the recent months it was fully confirmed that not only humans have agency. Not only humans are capable of changing things, of influencing, of ‘performance’. We saw how one of the tinies things – a virus – can change behavior of whole nations and our daily lives and destinies very dramatically. And we understand and see very clearly that we, humans, are only an element in a network of things, where agencies are so intertwined, so complex that they are barely visible.

And it is time to rethink how we see agencies – what we see as passive, as ‘in service’, as merely present, what we see as in charge, as strong, as powerful. And to understand human as not separate to nature and objects and events, nor ‘in control’ in simple ways.

Costume, that ‘thing’ that takes a shape of a human body, that ‘thing’ that mimics and expresses and hides human behavior and character – is one of those things that illustrate the complexity of agencies the best. Always between materiality and behavior, between made and found, protecting and revealing… always in between human and non-human.

So, we, me and Christina, understand that there will be always agencies working for us and against us – but that one has to continue to work on what one believes in, despite things. And we decided to continue organizing Critical Costume 2020 despite the obstacles. Critical Costume is there mainly for people to meet, to exchange, to grow their thoughts and their creative efforts, to share… This years Critical Costume will take shape of:

  • The Video Library with presentations in critical and artistic thinking on costume design from all over the world. Available online, 60 videos, searchable on keywords, permanently available. We hope you will share it with your colleagues and students.
  • The Exhibition features artists working with costume as their main tool, often as a starting point of a performance, intervention or installation. The Exhibition opens August 21st online and presents the work of 35 artists. Permanently available online.
  • The Working Groups will discuss the topic of ´the agency of costume´ based on the 60 videos. Participators are more than 300 persons from all over the world, organized in 40 online groups in the period August 21st till 23rd The groups are small, intimate for close dialogue and exchange. The groups are all fully booked.
  • The Panel Discussion will follow online, one each in October, November and December 2020.
  • The Costume Agency Workshops are two week workshops: The workshop format involves three groups of each two stages, four designers and four performers for ten days of rehearsals, over a period of twelve days of explorations, dialogue and development.Due to their character are postponed and will be done ‘live’ in Oslo in August 2021

And we would like to thank our team and all the participants for the flexibility and the hard work invested in these events: everyone jumped in on short notice through media and forms not very well known to us! And we are grateful for all the courage and determination that followed the preparations!

We hope you will enjoy watching, following and joining our events!

Thank you for being with us!


Christina Lindgren and Sodja Lotker
Critical Costume 2020 Conveners

Video Library

The Critical Costume 2020 Conference Costume Agency Video Library is one of the main parts of the conference. It consists of recorded videos of paper presentations (15 minutes) and flash talks (8 minutes). The selection of the contributions includes a blind peer review process.

You can filter by categories or search by presenters name.
Some categories have numerous presentations. Please browse the complete collection by using the page numbers below.

Open Call + Peer Reviewers

Call for Contributions

Critical Costume 2020: COSTUME AGENCY

Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO), Norway

Workshops: 10-21 August 2020

Conference and Exhibition: 21 – 23 August 2020

We invite artists, researchers, scholars, designers to submit their proposals for workshop-, conference- and exhibition participation

Applications deadline: January 5th, 2020

“The veil is music because it is the artifice through which a body extends itself to engender forms into which it disappears.” 

Jacques Rancière

In his essay the Dance of Light (2011)about Loie Fuller’s innovative dance practice, and poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s infatuation with it, Jacques Rancière gives special focus to the role of dress in a redefinition of avant-garde art. Following Mallarmé, Rancière calls the dress a veil, in order to uncover its potential and says that “(t)he veil is not only an artifice that enables one to imitate all sorts of forms. It also displays the potential of a body by hiding it. It is the supplement that the body gives itself to change its form and its function.” Here the dress of the dancer enables her to disappear, it enables the body to be dislocated and to change. This is why the ‘veil’ is the ‘music’. It is an agent that provides new realities of the body to emerge; it performs.

A garment in contemporary performance goes even beyond an agent activating abstract abilities of presence of the body on stage. Costume interacts with the other performance elements in extremely complex ways. It is a carrier of stories, executor of political activism, it becomes an embodiment of conceptual thinking, a critical questioning. Costume does not only perform via the body; it extends to space, landscape, and audience. It is an actor in itself. Costume is communication and communicated, it is a tool for research, it dances phenomenologically, it affects us kinesthetically. It is an agent. It is a force field. Costume performs. It does things. And the costume designer becomes director, thinker, researcher and shaman – constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing realities, different ways of being, into the ‘unthinkable’.

Critical Costume 2020 will focus on the agency of costume in performance, costume as the main performer and the costume designer as the initiator of performance. Following Costume Agency, a three-year artistic research project by Christina Lindgren (KHIO, Oslo) and Sodja Lotker (DAMU, Prague), Critical Costume 2020 will explore different ways in which costume performs, different genres and formats it initiates, but also specific dramaturgical strategies that are ingrained in costume, and are probably yet to be used to their full potential.

Critical Costume 2020 (CC 2020) at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO) consists of workshops, a conference, and an art exhibition:

We invite costume designers, researchers, and other artists working with costume design as performance, as performative installation, as performative sculpture, as community gathering, as research, as a way of thinking, as a way to communicate, as music, as the bridge into the ‘unthinkable’ to submit their proposals.

CC2020 WORKSHOPS: August 10 – 21, 2020. Within four parallel workshops over the course of two weeks, designers and artists will have an opportunity to develop a performance from their already existing costumes and objects with local performers provided by the organizers. Each workshop will include rehearsals, dramaturgical consultations and group feedback sessions. The last day will offer a public presentation of workshop findings for the participants at Critical Costume 2020 Conference and Exhibition.

To apply for a workshop, please submit:

  • Presenter’s short bio up to 300 words.
  • Photo or drawings of your garments
  • Description of project up to 300 words: describe your visions for a performance embedded in the garments or/ and ideas for what to try out in the workshop.
  • 4 images, video links, links to your website.

CC2020 CONFERENCE: August 21 – 23, 2020. CC2020 CONFERENCE will comprise  scholarly and artistic presentations on current projects and/ or research. Presentations can have a multiplicity of formats:  academic papers, artistic presentations, short interactive workshops, Flash Talks, video essays and other formats will be accepted. Presentations will vary from 5-20 minutes. The exact length of your presentation will be decided after the confirmation of your participation (based on the final program).

To apply for the CC 2020 conference, please submit:

  • Presenter’s short bio up to 300 words
  • An abstract of your research/project up to 300 words
  • 2 images (for project-based presentations), video links, links to your website.

CC2020 EXHIBITION: August 21 – 23, 2020. CC2020 EXHIBITION will present artworks that focus on how costume shapes performance, where the costume initiates or is one of the main initiators of the performance. Please describe how a costume performs in your project, or how your proposed performance should be made accessible to the exhibition visitors (via text, video or other tools).

The exhibition may include (but is not restricted to): costume, sculpture, performative sculpture, (wearable) object, installation, performative installation, live performance; digital video, digital imagery, animation; research websites, web portals, web radio, blogs, vlogs, podcasts; interactive design for performance and new forms of interactive artworks.

To apply for the CC 2020 exhibition, please submit:

Artist’s short bio up to 300 words

Project proposal up to 300 words, max. 3 images/sketches of the proposed idea

Max.3 images, video links of your existing artworks, and links to your website

Technical specifications for the submission of materials for the exhibition:

  • Your video should be uploaded to Vimeo, and should not exceed 2 MINUTES in length (trailer).
  • 3 images of the proposed artwork for the exhibition. Please include title, materials, dimensions, year of production.
  • Images should be saved in JPG or PDF. Maximum data size of your entire application is 10 MB.
  • Do not send the original works.
  • CC2020 is not responsible for the production/shipment fees and insurance in case of damage and loss.


Prof. Christina Lindgren, Oslo National Academy of the Arts and

Dr. Sodja Lotker, Prague Academy of the Arts


Prof. Yuka Oyama PhD, Academy of Design & Craft University of Gothenburg


Camila Svingen, Oslo National Academy of the Arts


All proposals must be submitted via email to: criticalcostume2020@gmail.com

All proposals will be peer reviewed. We welcome you to submit your applications in more than one format.


January 5th 2020


Notification of acceptance: February 15th, 2020

Applicants to confirm participation: March 15th, 2020

Preliminary program: April 2020

For conference – deadline for uploading the presentations: August 19th, 2020

For the exhibition – last date for the arrival of your artwork: August 19th, 2020


All delegates attending this 3-day event will need to a pay a registration fee, which will include catering. Significant discounts will be available for postgraduate researchers and independent artists. There will also be a 1-day registration option available. Each participant is responsible for their travel and boarding expenses.

The event language is English.

The Call for Contributions was published on the webpage of Critical Costume and Costume Agency Artistic Research Project.


Donatella Barbieri, Emily Brayshaw, Jessica Bugg, Christin Essin, Sarah Gilligan, Veronica Isaac, Christina Lindgren, Drake Stutesman, Siobhan O’Gorman, Sue Osmond, Sofia Pantouvaki, Natalie Rewa, Marlis Schweitzer, Fausto Viana, Astrid von Rosen, Sodja Zupanc Lotker


About the Working Groups

The Critical Costume 2020 Conference Costume Agency includes almost 40 Working Group sessions online on August 21st – 23rd. Each working group is based on one or two presentations/flash talks from the Video Library. There will be a total of 12 participants in each Working Group. The small size of the groups is chosen to allow inclusion of all participants in the discussion. While the Working Groups should take the 1-2 presentations from the Video Library as the starting point, we hope that they will go deeper into the specific topic, beyond the specific videos. The group will allocate time to the main theme of the conference, the question ‘how costume performs’ in relation to the specific topic and presentations.

A report from the discussions in each group, will be published on this webpage two weeks after the conference.

Working groups overview

For your conveniance you can download the Working Groups overview here

Credit Artwork: Darius-Robin Dolatyari-Dolatdoust
Photographer: Manon Raoul
« WEARING THE DEAD », Costumes / Installation 2019



Panel Discussion # 1 Monday August 16th  2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm CET

Panel Discussion # 2 Monday August 23rd 2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm CET

Panel Discussion # 3 Saturday August 28th 2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm CET


About the Panel Discussions

The final part of Critical Costume 2020 Conference and Exhibition will be three panel discussions. Each panel will focus on topics that have arisen within the Video Library and Working Groups. The discussions will take place online.  

Critical Costume 2020 Panel Discussion # 1 Monday August 16th 2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm CET Costume Performance: what costume does?

In this panel we will talk about different ways the costume performs, how it sparks imagination, triggers references, but also how it moves the performers and initiates action. From cultural-identity reference to functional potential of the garment and to sensual experience of the material costume is part of the complex relationships on stage. Some of the relationships are semiotic, some compositional, some phenomenological but most of them are so entangled with each other that it’s hard to pin them down.


Together with the invited speakers – a choreographer, a designer, and a theorist, Sally Dean, Linnea Bagander, and Donatella Barbieri, – we will look at these relationships and explore specific ways costume performs.


Critical Costume 2020 Panel Discussion # 2 Monday August 23rd 2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm CET Costume futures: designing new materialities

This panel will discuss the role of costume in investigating (re)newed bodily materialities in an era of climate crisis, bio-technologies and theories of new materialism. In particular, the panel will share examples from their practice that explore the role of material in thinking though ideas of ‘body’ and the changing perspective on what costume offers as a field of study to interdisciplinary questions of appearance, embodiment, and human-technology interfaces.


Together with our invited speakers –   Charlotte Østergaard and Tanja Beer – we will share provocations on the future interrelationship between body, material and costume practice.


Critical Costume 2020 Panel Discussion # 3 Saturday August 28th 2021 at 4 till 5.30 pm CET Costume Performance: unfolding a vision embedded in a garment

This panel discussion will focus on costume as a starting point for a creative process towards a performance. The starting point is crucial for the development of any performance, as it sets the premises and the focus for the collaborative work. Costume is an untraditional initial material for a performance. If costume is present as the main element from the start, how does that set the premises for creative process? What are the approaches, methods, and tools to unpack the potential embedded in the garments? How to compose with all expressions as light, sound, spoken words, movement, and space when costume is the first element?  

Together with the invited speakers – three designers generating various forms of performative art, Fruszina Nagy, Fredrik Floen and Signe Becker, – we will explore and discuss approaches to the process taking costume as starting point. 

If you would like to attend, please send an email to: criticalcostume2020@gmail.com and we will send you the links. We hope to see you there! 

The panel discussions will be recorded and published after the event (here and on our Youtube-channel).

© 2020 Costume Agency Research Project | powered by 3C Group | Privacy Policy | TeamContact by mail


6a. The Body Tells a Story

Looking at two projects, including ‘freak shows with their dehumanization practices’, this session will explore work of Czech costume designer Simona Rybáková and how she creates through collaboration with directors, chorographers, performers and the stage designers. 

● Simona Rybáková: This Body Tells a Story: Two Different Approaches to Designing Costumes for Characters with ‘Othered’ Bodies (#107)

Keywords body, dance, collaboration

38. Ethics

Moderator Nadia Malik


This working group will explore how costume design might be approached through the application of personal ethics to the development process.


● Anat Mesner: Ethical Thinking Through Costume Design (#106)

Keywords ethics

37. Power of Costume

Moderator Rachel Hann

This working group examines the power of costume to shift, change or provoke new readings of performance, both historically and in the contemporary moment. With papers on Ellen Terry’s crimson costume and the postcolonial construction of the wedding dress, this session will ask what agency costume has as a fabric for remembering and speculating renewed looks at history and the abject in the Anthropocene.

● Veronica Isaac: ‘Masquerading as Portia’: Examining the History, and Highlighting the ‘Agency’, of Ellen Terry’s Red Silk ‘Legal Robes’ (#5)
● Dorita Hannah: ISLAND BRIDE: Costume and the ‘Abjectile’ in the Anthropo(s)cene (#64)

Keywords historical - contemporary, agency, anthropocene

36. Iconic Characters Indwelling in Body and Materia

Moderator Aby Cohen

Contemporary costume practices that combine design and execution based on the reciprocal relationship between body, materials and objects.

This panel explores the scenic intentions of the Costume in Performance, from the analysis of creative processes that shape iconic historical characters of Ester (Hadassah) and Salomé. Costumes that incorporate the protagonists' social, political and psychological behaviours, also, their powers – one to save lives and the other to kill ...

The costumes for Salomé's Opera are conceived from the fusion of the singers' bodies with the psychological aspects of the characters. While, to re-present and re-imagine The Ascension of Esther, the paintings by local artist Robert Lenkiewicz are used as a referential starting point for the creative process, since the performance took place on a specific site – the artist’s studio, and a former Anglican church.

● Veridiana Piovezan: Scenic Intentions and Costumes at the Opera Salome  (#35)
● Natalie Raven & Dagmar Schwitzgebel: Art History, Adornment, and Agency in The Ascension of Esther (#57)

Keywords body, material, social, agency

35. Rhetorical Costume

Moderator Jane Collins

The two papers in this panel discuss the ‘rhetorical’ capacity of costume as performance and its ability to challenge the status quo.  Though the types of performance described differ formally, one re-purposing traditional narratives and the other examining abstraction, both emphasise costume’s potential for subversion and its infinite scope for play.

● Susan Marshall: Insubordinate Costume (#70)
● Fruzsina Nagy: The Issue (#14)

Keywords play, abstraction, rhetorical, tradition

34. Masking and meaning

Moderator Aoife Monks

This working group examines the varying histories and practices of masking. Considering how the mask reorganises the meanings of the human face, this working group will examine both the ritual and cultural practices and traditions of masking, alongside the more recent meanings of the mask during the Covid 19 pandemic for political and public performance.

● Mateja Fajt: Masking as a Political Performance in Times of Covid-19 Pandemic (#41)
● Fausto Viana: The Costumes of the Afoxé Filhos de Gandhy from Bahia, Salvador, Brazil (#191)

Keywords mask, corona virus, public space, politics, identity

33. Black Dance Heritage: Body-costume Agency

Moderator Jessica Bugg

This working group explores how ‘coloured costume ecologies’ can help to expose and understand the complexity and impact of black dance heritage on dancing white costumed bodies and audiences in a European context. It unpacks the significance of  body-costumes as active agents in the crafting of felt and experienced, multi-sensory relations and atmospheres during performance, as well as before and after it.

● Astrid von Rosen: Coloured Costume Ecologies: Black Dances, White Bodies, Swedish Settings (#44)
● Caroline O'Brien: Symbiosis in Costume: Two Bodies Make One (#48)

Keywords ecology, dance, identity, multi-sensory

32. Costuming Non-normative Bodies

Moderator Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink

This panel examines how costumes act upon non-normative bodies and how these bodies in turn invite a closer understanding of the intimate relationships between bodies, materials, prostheses and physical objects. We will explore material and visual tropes of the non-normative, and ways in which costume allows for rethinking and resensibilizing diversity.

● Suzanne Osmond: Costuming Diversity (#71)

Keywords body, material, non-normative

31. Guided by Material

Moderator Sally Dean

In this working group we will discuss how the agency of material informs the costume making, designing and performance process.  How does the material inform the relationship between the costume and the performer and the movement, narratives, characters it generates? We will consider choices between fabric versus non-fabric materials, the affect of context (if the costume is designed for stage, gallery, public spaces, etc.) and collaboration strategies.

● Katarzyna Ogidel: Stage Costume. Between Fabric and Movement (#49)
● Daphne Karstens & Lorraine Smith: ‘The Material Directs’, a Reflection on the Visual Costume Research Project ‘SESSIONS’ (#6)

Keywords material, agency, collaboration

30. Processes of Costume Creation

Moderator Sofia Pantouvaki

This session brings to discussion creative processes of designing costume and ways of collaboration between costume and stage designers as well as the ways in which research can be incorporated into a creative process. The presentations address the agency of costume in creating communication between the stage and the audience, through bodies carrying complex (hi)stories or becoming a portrait of a whole city on stage.

● Tasos Protopsaltou: Blossom Peach Trees: Costume as a City Portrait (#31)

Keywords collaboration, agency, audience, body

29. Character

Moderator Christina Lindgren

In tradition Chinese opera, the masks and costumes are used to symbolize a character's role, fate, and illustrate the character's emotional state and general character, and the characters are given previous to each story. The characters are the fixed point, so costume expands the potential of text and the text expands the potential of costume.

● Alex Tam: Theatre Ronin – Children's Literature Theatre Project (#86)

Keywords character, text, visual dramaturgy

28. Resistance / Pop

Moderator Madeline Taylor

‘As an act of civil and social disobedience, the wearing of scents can make powerful statements about identity and bodily presence’ while ‘costuming the foot, shoes have the potential to deliver a psychological autonomy as well as a political status in performance’: following presentations of Viveka Kjellmer and Dr. Alexandra Murray-Leslie this session will explore how non-clothes part of the costume design use their performative agency politically.

● Viveka Kjellmer: Smelling Violet Chachki: Olfactory Costuming and the Act of Perfuming as Resistance (#30)
● Alexandra Murray-Leslie: Expressions of Shoes in Pop Music Performance, Mediated Through Humanistic Abstractions of Technology (#90)

Keywords political, scent, shoes, agency, performativity

26. Performance Concepts

Moderator Nadia Malik

This working group will explore the different ways in which costume designers interpret concepts for contemporary performance, from how a designer’s personal interpretation allows contemporary and historical social issues to connect through costume, to material-body / costume-performer interaction.

● Chryssa Mantaka: Aspects of Tragedy in Stage Costume Design and the True Story of the Designer-performer (#32)
● Olga Ntenta: Greek Precarious Body: Designing and Performing Through the Materials (#76)

Keywords historical - contemporary, material - body

27. Folk Costume As Performance

The role of Folk Costume will be explored in defining it as and creating boundaries within artistic performance.  The Milanese historical parade Palio di Legano is explored in an investigation seeking to define historical re-enactments as artistic performance.

While, through the lens of Brazilian popular theatre, the boundaries of folk costume in performance will be examined alongside the contemporary idea of costume design as a scenic signifier.

● Alessio Francesco Palmieri-Marinoni: Clothing Identity. The Costumes of the Historical Parade of the Palio di Legnano as an Expression of Artistic and Community Performance (#79)
● Tainá Macêdo Vasconcelos: Boundaries of Costume in Brazilian Popular Theatre (#39)

Keywords historical, public space, popular

25. Body Inheritance

Moderator Aby Cohen

A playful subversion of the body and materials, through the creation of costumes, to reveal the influence of normativity in relation to external and visible aspects of identification. Seeking a sense of belongingness, reformulating objects and materials, creating reimagined narratives to explore possibilities of multicultural nationality, community and coexistence.

The case studies on this panel (WG) are inspired by the collective creative process in the context of the Caribbean Carnival of Toronto and Circus; exploring how a lived or reinvented experience manifest visually and materially through the costume.

Caribbean Carnival costumes are analysed – based on Michelle Reyes’s 2018 award-winning D’Rise of de Cherry Blossom – as a way of thinking, feeling, and existing in a world that is challenging, especially for the raced, classed, and gendered bodies. 

Circus Costumes experience, analysed by the perspective of choreographer and mise-en-scène, is focused on artists’ interactive and collaborative costume-making processes with the designer Sara Torrie, in which three abandoned parachutes were transformed into costumes, used as prompts of suspension, risk and rescue; allowing the emergence of  reimagined narratives.

● Jacquey Taucar: The Beautiful and ‘Sweaty Concepts’ of Caribbean Carnival Costumes (#28)
● Michelle Man: Fraying Parachutes: Costume Agency and ‘Convivencia’ in Contemporary Circus Performance Making (#80)

Keywords body, material, normativity, politics, identity

24. The Monsters

oderator Sigrid Merx

Based on a project called the Shadow Tender, this session will explore the creation of monster via costume design and the ‘psychological mechanisms of dehumanization/demonization at the root of extreme nationalistic policy through costume, mask, fantasy, emerging technologies, and performance’.

● Natalya Kolosowsky: Haptic Tragicomedy: Contemporary Demon-tending Through Mask, Costume, and Design (#61)

Keywords mask, fantasy, politics, technology

23. Rethinking Costume Agency

Moderator Barbora Příhodová

Drawing on RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Violet Chachki’s online performance on Pinterest as a case study, this session will explore the potential of costume studies to discuss the politics of the body. We will discuss the concept of agency, as generated not by garments but by body manipulations, and its relationship to theatricality and embodiment.

● Jorge Sandoval: An Exploration of Agency, Embodiment and Theatricality in Violet Chachki’s Gestural Costuming (#2)

Keywords body, identity, agency

22. Kinetic Atmospheres

Moderator Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink

This panel investigates the close relations of costume, climate and bodies as expressive entanglements, in immersive dance and kinaesthetic  performance. We will look at costume as a co-existence of bodies, (upcycled) materials, spaces and affects, emerging through movement patterns of contagion and contamination.

● Michele Danjoux: Dance, Costume, Climate and Contamination: Expressive Entangled Relations in Immersive Dance Theatre (#67)

Keywords body, dance, material

21. Costume and the Politics of Identity

Moderator Sigrid Merx

Following the paper by Viju Kannur that ‘specifically looks at two costumes, purdah and hijab as an expression of Muslim self and practice of Islam’ this session will explore how film and specifically costume not only depict a specific identity (class, religion, gender) but also influences lifestyle in specific society negotiating local and transnational elements.

● Viju Kannur: Thattam and the Hijab: Intersections of Local and the Transnational in Muslim Women’s identities of Contemporary Malayalam Cinema (#1)

Keywords identiy, religion, film

20. Costume as Extended and Collective Bodies

Moderator Sally Dean

In this working group we will discuss how costume acts as extended and collective bodies.  Topics will include body architecture, the performative relationship between bodies and jewellery, and the affects, movement, spatial and perceptual shifts from this 'extended' relationship.

● Silke Kaestner: Costume as Painted Collective Skin (#42)
● Lavinia Rossetti & Elisa Zuppini: TPROJ Shapes in Transit (#38)

Keywords body, architecture, jewellery, movement

19. The New Materialism

Moderator Sodja Lotker

Agency of material is something very well known to artists working with material (costume designers, puppeteers, sculptors…), artists working through constant dialogue with material. The New Materialism is a theoretical movement that explores agency, performativity and even creativity of material in order to understand the humans and the world in more complex and de-centralized ways. In this working group we will focus on the relationship of costume and the maker (performers, designers etc.) – how the costume and it’s material perform (move, speak, trigger, resist) but also how it creates together with the makers.

● Katherine Gurnos-Davies: ‘That’s Me Over There!’: Corporeal Proximity and the Agency of Costume (#83) 
● Noemi Baumblatt: Costume Designing Performance (#47)

Keywords material, the making, performativity

18. Costume as Tactile Site for Communities of Sharing

Moderator Sofia Pantouvaki

This session discusses sites of community creation within performance-making, such as the fitting room and the rehearsal space. The discussion focuses on notions of gestuality and the ambiguity of the tactile dimension as a means for the designer to connect with the bodies of the performers from concept (thinking/designing) to realisation (production).

● Charlotte Østergaard: The Fitting Room: Communities of Practice and the Ambiguity of Touch (#10)
● Filipa Malva: From Skin to Presence: Sculpting in Rehearsal as a Process of Creation in Costume Design (#51)

Keywords body, touch, fitting roum, the making

17. Technology

Moderator Nadia Malik

This working group will explore the multiple ways in which technology and costume can come together. From the physical integration of electronics to digital costume with a performative life of its own, technology reconceptualises the potential experiences of both performer and audience.

● Katerina Athanasopoulou: Her Voice Through the Ghost Veil (#53)
● Iztok Hrga: Potential of Electronics in Costume Design (#92)

Keywords technology, digital, experience

16. The Performance of Archived and Historical Costume

Moderator Joslin McKinney

This working group will consider performance as a strategy for presenting and exploring the agency of archived and historical costume. Questions to consider will include: How does live performance offer new ways to engage the public with historical costume, and what can be learned through this approach? How might an archived performance costume have agency and perform in its own right?

● Emily Collett: The Fourth Persona: Archaeology of Costume (an experimental exhibition) (#91) 
● Matilda Pye: Construction of an Icon (#9)

Keywords archive, historical, agency, audience engagement

14. Costume Design in Collaborative Practices within the Contemporary Dance

Moderator Synne Behrndt

Starting from a series of case studies collected by Tua Halve in her doctoral research, this session will explore contemporary dance projects in Finland in order to trace collaborative work around costume design. Making and performing costumes is always collaborative work and it is important to understand the network of thoughts, actions and connections between people that are surrounding the act. Agency here is understood as dynamics or the potential – of the material, people and the connections. 

● Tua Helve: Interaction Invites Agency: “Costume Design Within Contemporary Dance Performance in the 21st Century Finland” (#15)

Keywords dance, collaboration

13. Costume Design at the Prague Quadrennial

Moderator Sodja Lotker

This session moderated by the artistic director of the PQ 2008-2016, and presenting the current artistic director, will look at the curatorial issues of the costume design project connected to this international exhibition of performance design. Over the course of the last decades there was a variety of attempts to approach costume design with more and less success, and in these two hours we will brainstorm about the curatorial potential of the field and ways to exhibit costume.

● Markéta Fantová: Costume Design Curation – Beyond the Separation of the Traditional Design Fields (#26)

Keywords curation

12. Make and Move

Moderator Christina Lindgren

Through movement, the potential of the costume garment is manifested as a multisensory experience for the wearer, the ensemble, the audience and the designer. The method of designing and moving (alternating) opens up opportunities that is to be found in an embodied approach to costume design.

● Berthe Fortin: Costume Making as Practice of Phenomenology: An Embodied Approach to Materiality and Movement in the Creation of Performance Wearable (#97)
● Donna Sgro: Morphic to BRIGHTNESS: How can Dynamic Cutting as a Costume Making Process be Explored in the Context of Dance Performance to Further Evolve the Method (#87)

Keywords material, the making, form, dance, body

15. Spectacular Failures

Moderator Madeline Taylor

Costumes performed via the body and extended to the space of the stage and to the social, cultural and economic landscapes they inhabited’, but what happens when they ‘behave badly’? this session will explore costumes agency that happened in unintended ways.

● Emily Brayshaw: Spectacular Failures: When Costume Goes Rogue (#93)

Keywords spectacular, performativity, pop

11. Rethinking Costume Traditions

Moderator Barbora Příhodová

This session will explore the significance of costumes in the traditional Yoruban Alarinjo theatre and in the transculturally and transnationally expanded form of the Japanese Noh. We will discuss how costume performs in the traditional, conventionalized theatre forms, and how it performs in their contemporary reiterations.

● Tunde Bakare: Dialectical Importance of Costumes in Performance of Traditional Alarinjo Theatre (#21)
● Jakub Karpoluk: Japanese Noh Theatre Costume Agency (#99)

Keywords tradition, performativity 

7. Pop and Politics

This session revolves around two presentations, both looking at popular formats (TV series, melodrama film), and explores the potential of a deeper cultural or even political level of pop. The first presentation looks at slavery, exploitation, and injustice towards African Americans in the film Superfly (1972). And the second explores ‘queerbaiting the audience’ through the use of costumes in the BBC Killing Eve series (2018 -  ).

● Drake Stutesman: Melodrama, Costume and Super Fly (1972) (#62)
● Sarah Gilligan & Jacky Collins: Fashion Forward Killer: Costume, Couture and Queerbaiting Camp in Killing Eve (#11)

Keywords pop, film, TV, power, politics 

10. Embodied Time

Moderator Patrick Du Wors

Two case studies will be presented, examining the essential dramaturgical role of period costume in mid-twentieth century Russia and the UK. The 1969 film Andrei Rublev, with costume design by Lidia Novi​, will be examined as evidence of a new historicism anchored in the immersive of the cinematic image that emerged in Russia during the Post-Stalin Thaw.  British post-war approaches to costumes designed for Shakespearean performance, and in particular a methodology that emerged from the Central School of Art, and the teaching of Norah Waugh, Jeannetta Cochrane, Margaret Woodward and the Motley Design group, will be will examined as the primary agent of dramaturgy in relation to communicating a period.

● Alexandra Ovtchinnikova: Thaw and the Physicality of Memory: Agency of the Historical Dress in the Film Andrei Rublev (1969) (#84)
● Amy Hare: The Phenomena of Costume in Historical Performance: An Exploration of Shakespearean Costume in Post-War Britain (#24)

Keywords agency, film, historical

9. Costume in Animation

Moderator Trond Lossius

Costumes in animated film are an inseparable part of the character; they make the character, but they are also ‘real-world references’. This session will explore developments in costume design for animated film by looking at the depiction of materials – textiles and textures that are crucial for this art. 

Maarit Kalmakurki: The Agency of Materiality in the Definition of Digital Characters' Costumes (#75)

Keywords film, animation, material, artists,  technology

8. Shared Agency

Moderator Markéta Fantová

The latest writing by Donatella Barbieri points to the complex network of agencies within contemporary dance, where one cannot clearly separate what or who ‘initiates dance’ – but it is all made through a collaborative dialogue. This session will discuss the shared agency of the costume, costume designer, chorographer and dancer within the practice of contemporary dance.

● Lorraine Smith: Who is Choreographing the Costume Performance? A Discussion on Shared Agency (#3)

Keywords dance, costume performance, collaboration, agency

6. Agency through Form

Moderator Nadia Malik

This working group will explore the multiple ways in which the form of a costume can initiate, lead and shape different types of performance design, from choreography and puppetry to fine art and multimedia spaces: meaning-making through the material reality of a costume’s ‘being’.

● Tamara Tomic-Vajagic: Colombe’s Folds and Balletic Topologies:  the Agency of Issey Miyake’s ‘one piece of cloth’ in William Forsythe’s The Loss of Small Detail (1991) (#18)
● Ivana Bakal & Martina Petranović: Costume Driven Explorations in Contemporary Croatian Performing Arts (#16)

Keywords material, form, performativity

5. Costume Thinking

Moderator Barbora Příhodová

This session will develop the concept of ‘costume thinking’ as a mode of critical thinking that applies processes and strategies of costume designing beyond the stage and screen. We will discuss how costume performs by reframing it as a discursive tool and a critical practice.

● Sofia Pantouvaki: ‘Costume Thinking’ as a Strategy for Critical Thinking (#101)

Keywords  criticality, theory

4. Performativity and Ethicality

Moderator Joslin McKinney

Informed by discussions about the materiality and agency of things and the implication for costume, this working group will focus on the notion of ethicality (Barad 2007) and its relationship to the performativity of costume. Key questions to address will include: How does an ethical approach re-configure anthropocentric views of the performance of costume? And what are the implications for designers and performance theorists?

● Donatella Barbieri: Costume as Archive of Gesture and Meaning: Its Methods and Ethics (#102)

Keywords  ethics, materiality, agency, performativity

3. Non-traditional Material

Moderator Trond Lossius

From biobased materials to sound created by material, this session will investigate how the new approach to materials and new research into materials have changed how we make costumes and how they perform. Understanding the specificity of a material gives costume a uniqueness that draws attention to its particular agency within performance.

● Ingvill Fossheim: Material Agency. Collaborating with Microbes in Contemporary Costume Design (#43)
● Rafaela Blanch Pires: Touching Sound (#7)

Keywords material, sound


Keyphrase: KEYWORD

Moderated by MODERATOR


  • ONE
  • TWO

2. Decolonizing Costume

Moderator Rachel Hann

This working group asks how, when, and if costume reinforces or transgresses colonial perspectives on power and appearance. With papers on the costumes of Black Panther and performing blackness in Brazil, the overall aim is to further examine the political, cultural and privileges inherent in costume as a vehicle for colonial representations and offer possible routes to decolonial perspectives.

● Lorraine Henry: The Power of Coloured Skin: Superheroes Costume, Masks and Reading Colour in Black Panther (#56)
● Andreina Vieira: How to Perform Blackness: Creating Possibilities Through Costume Design (#95)

Keywords power, appearance, politics, identity

1. Costume Agency


Moderator Aoife Monks

This working group examines the ways in costumes can articulate the agency and values of their makers. We will considering the ways in which the processes, values and commitments of the maker show themselves through the techniques and skill evident in the object. The group will investigate how the values of costume work emerge in the object of costume itself.

● Louise Chapman: The Extant Costume as Emissary (#63)

Keywords agency, the making, collaboration