Isabel Lewis’s persistent experimentation and embodied research practices create formats for alternative modes of sociality between human and more-than-human agents in transdisciplinary ways. For the internationally renowned artist, dancer, DJ and theorist, any given format suggests ways of ordering the sensible. How to engage with format is a deeply political question. “Hosted occasions”, “open spaces”, “occurrences”, “arrangements”, “activations” “expanded viewings”, “sensory parcours” as well as workshops, lecture performances, listening sessions and party nights such as the nine-years-running Bodysnatch series in Berlin are to be found in the history of Lewis’s work.
Trained in literary criticism and philosophy, and with her artistic roots in dance, Lewis employs an expanded sense of the choreographic that centers its focus around generating affective bodily experiences that address all of the senses in her inherently collaborative practice. Lewis maintains long-standing collaborations with smell researcher and artist Sissel Tolaas, Berlin-based sonic entity LABOUR, painter and ceramicist Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, visual artist Dirk Bell, theorist and classics scholar Brooke Holmes, and Juan Chacón of the architecture collective Zuloark. Lewis has created works around such topics such as open source technology and dance improvisation, social dances as cultural storage systems, future bodily techniques, rapping as an embodied speech act, and sociologist Roslyn Bologh’s concept of erotic sociability. She has presented at Roskilde Festival, Tate Modern, Kunsthalle Basel, Frieze London, Liverpool Biennial, Serpentine Galleries, Palais de Tokyo, and Sharjah Biennial, among others.
As of August 2020