Michael Jemtrud Receives SSHRC Insight Grant


Prof. Michael Jemtrud has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant in the amount of $493,000 (over three years). The title of his research is “Art and Ideas in Motion: Parkour Project.” The McGill University co-applicants on the project are Wendy Adams (Faculty of Law), Patrick Hansen (Schulich School of Music), Stéfan Sinclair (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Alanna Thain (English), and Paul Yachnin (English). The project includes several artist, institutional, and industry collaborators including Prof. Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Prof. Ricardo Castro from the School of Architecture. It is the founding project that establishes an original and significant area of scholarly and creative activity within the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI), McGill University.

The Art and Ideas in Motion Parkour Project (AIM) brings research and artistic creation together to develop an account of how artistic and intellectual works and ideas move among people and places. It will study how that movement creates new public spaces for collective discourse and action, and how it makes new communities, often across barriers of language, class, race, sex, age, and nationality. It accomplishes this by structuring an interdisciplinary research-creation project that simultaneously informs and is the object of speculation of three interdependent research axes (Tracing, Play and Artistry), all with explicit goals to articulate, and appropriately represent the movement of art and ideas as well as develop new methodologies in the humanities. AIM gathers diverse disciplines and aspires to disrupt and re-structure conventional expectations and boundaries of those disciplines. The research proposes to enact new methodologies and innovative modes of dissemination, and will construct and refine interdisciplinary languages and techniques through a process of active scholarship and participation in research-creation activity.

The AIM research program is anchored by a central project entitled the Mobile Urban Stage (MUSe) that brings together team members in the humanities and artists, performers, and architects to propose alternative disciplinary practices that engage the movement of art and ideas. The image conjured for creating the inaugural project is the urban activity known as parkour, commonly referred to as the art of movement. Those who partake in the art of parkour understand the city in a wholly original manner that overcomes commonly perceived constraints and limitations. The research program is aligned with activities within the Quartier de l’innovation, Laboratory of Urban Culture initiative. AIM will engage directly with a diverse participatory audience that will push the work of scholarly and creative research beyond the academy. Ideas resonate in and through works of art through dynamic and synergistic processes that draw together known and unknown forces, objects, people, and issues, and which have a multitude of determinations from serendipitous and contextual to instrumental and technical. As such, Arts and Ideas in Motion will make an original contribution to the advancement of knowledge concerning the way in which artistic practices, methodologies, and works proffer ideas that have specific political, social, epistemological currency thus creating hidden and overt economies through the creation of diverse publics.

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