Energy, Imagination and Courage

“Moral and ethical questions get stirred to the surface because ethnographers of performance explode the notion of aesthetic distance…

Instead of worrying about maintaining aesthetic distance, ethnographers try to bring ‘the enormously distant enormously close without becoming any less far away’…

When one keeps intellectual, aesthetic, or any other kind of distance from the other, ethnographers worry that other people will be held at an ethical and moral remove as well…

There is no null hypothesis in the moral universe…

Never has a sense of the other seemed more crucial for our own humanity…

When we have true respect for the difference of other cultures, then we grant them the potential for challenging our own culture. Genuine dialogical engagement is at least a two-way thoroughfare…

But what are the qualities one absolutely needs before joining the conversation? Three indispensables, according to Glassie: energy, imagination, and courage.”


These exerts are taken from a paper called “Performing as a Moral Act: Ethical Dimensions of the Ethnography of Performance” by Dwight Conquergood (2003) EBSCO Publishing


This is where I want to go – Art, Magic, Tango



Hiromi Tango,  responds gently to her environment… creating intricate public installations are made from familiar, everyday materials, bringing to the surface memory and emotion in those that encounter them…

Her practice is often collaborative and site-specific. She weaves together vibrantly coloured materials and emotions to create participatory art projects.

Tango encourages an engagement between art and the public, creating spaces which reflect not only her own influences and voices, but also the situations and communication that occurs in those in between spaces.


Above is Tango’s work for the busway project ‘1000 Stitches’ is a collection of love stories and associated ephemera that have been collected throughout the past three years from friends and anonymous figures, both in Australia and overseas. From the changing public art project developed by art+place Queensland Public Art Fund 


Writing about her most recent work ‘Art Magic’

Art Magic explores the meditative act of wrapping through sound, aroma and physical movement. It is an extension of my interest in working with textiles, particularly around the potential for creative processes and arts engagement to support emotional and social development. The Art Magic workshops are suitable for everyone, with opportunities to participate regardless of skill level or abilities. It is joyful, easy, fun, and inclusive.

Collaboration through public workshops, where the local community members are invited to bring personal fabric and clothes to be converted into “collective chords” that are added to the forms and continuously evolve the larger artwork, is an organic process, and outcome is unknown.

These workshops are places for meeting, for sharing and for exchanging individual wrapping and weaving techniques, as well as the occasional performance together. I see this aspect as an Art Magic process that gently brings people together with their personal material, memory, history and movement. The quiet and gentle human connections and interactions that take place through these workshops inform my interest in learning more about the scientific basis for Art Magic.

hiromi-tango-insanity magnet