PhD project

”This Untethered Buffoon...” by Stacey Sacks

Researcher: Stacey Sacks

Stacey Sacks successfully defended her artistic research project This Untethered Buffoon or The Trickster in Everything on 11 May 2020, within the doctoral programme Performative and Mediated practices. The documented artistic research project (doctoral thesis) can be found in Research Catalogue and DIVA.

Visit the project This Untethered Buffoon or The Trickster in Everything in DiVA and on the Research Catalogue.

Abstract – This Untethered Buffoon or The Trickster in Everything

This Untethered Buffoon or the Trickster in Everything is an artistic research doctoral project comprising a series of excavations and vivisections of W(w)hiteness through clowning, making and thinging.
This eclectic mash-up of history, memory and trauma unfolds from my original question: as an actor, which bodies is it appropriate for me to inhabit? Via hyper-disciplinary experiments of the impulse and what it means to be ‘on’ the moment, the research fabricates a series of clowters, performed entanglements of clown and character passing between various continents, temporalities and situated histories.
As experimentations with auto-ethnography and productive discomfort, the performing essays in SQUIRM animate and satirise questions of W(w)hiteness, privilege and colonial logic. At the intersections of histories, they dig through remnants of collective memory, personal genealogy and shame, in the hope of reassembling new, sharper ways of giving and receiving attention.
This work/play exists at the intersections of critical Whiteness studies, performing and clowning, visual and cultural anthropology and decolonial critique.
From inside the body of this performer SQUIRM is about TONGUE-ING, about soft licking the future, about reinvigorating ancient clown practices to poke at Whiteness in the current age. It’s about squirming and laughing through the discomfort of privilege in what feels like a crumbling time. But mostly it’s about feeling great in a beard.


Disputation 2020.

Final Presentation

Making Public, 18 March 2020
TITLE OF PERFORMANCE: SQUIRM (Live at the Museum, 2020): a simplosium of complicities. Go to event

Public Defence, 11 May 2020:
TITLE OF DOCTORAL PROJECT: This Untethered Buffoon or The Trickster in Everything. Go to event

TITLE OF PUBLICATION: SQUIRM (the book): performing essays compiled by a post-traumatic clown in the academy