Bio / Statement
Michael Workman is an artist, writer and reporter, choreographer, dance, performance art and sociocultural critic. In addition to his work at the Chicago Tribune, Guardian US, Newcity magazine, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, and as the Movement Matters columnist at Art Intercepts, Workman is also Director of Bridge, a Chicago-based 501 (c) (3) publishing and programming organization. His choreographic writing has been included in Propositional Attitudes, an "anthology of recent performance scores, directions and instructions" published by Golden Spike Press, and his Perfect Worlds: Artistic Forms & Social Imaginaries, the first in a 3-volume series, will be released by StepSister Press in October 2018 with a day-long program of performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Workman’s work centers on analyzing and theorizing the outgrowth of new artistic forms in response to antagonism by systems and structures of inequality, and their sources in the socio-cultural forces that drive, legitimize and continuously perpetuate them throughout ancient history and into the modern age.
Often, Workman’s analysis of these structural biases reveals the influence of what urban planners refer to as “place identity,” a factor intrinsic to the background socio-cultural issues of the art, performance and dances that are currently his main subjects.
As a writer, the perspectival shifts that take place in the gap between these distinct concerns also constitute a zone of influence between writing, dance and contemporary art. Each overlap in definitions of art as made by living artists, whose perspectives are in some ways formed by the complexities of their place in a historical moment. In recent years, this has led him to a wider concern with the language-based, instructive aspects of choreography, and how its sociological dimensions may meaningfully be utilized to model precepts of equal treatment through movement-based social interactions.