16 Work/Chop/Group: Risus et Panis, Urbis et Circenses


The normative perspective of urban space is directly linked to the maintenance of power: displacements for work and consumption, spaces domesticated and optimized by a functional urbanism for capital. In this context, the ideas of laughter—nervous, naughty, libertarian, scandalous—and noise, ranging from irony to sarcasm, are configured as possibly disruptive of the norm and can be understood as effective artistic and activist practices through direct contact with the citizens, in which strategies, tactics and techniques are negotiated to disrupt the orthodox use of space. The second edition of the work/chop/group (after the successful experience in Santiago in 2016) invites scholars, artists and/or activists interested in experimental urban practices that combine theory and practice to propose urban disruptions that affect the city through laughter—nervous, naughty, liberarian, scandalous—and noise, ranging from irony to sarcasm. As in the first edition, the observation and intervention activities will be cyclically experienced by the participants, so as to promote experience and reflection in the urban environment of Mexico City.

Format and Structure:

This group will be “chopped" into two different roles: observers and interveners. Each group will perform through the streets of Mexico City. The interveners are supposed to propose daily actions that disrupt the ordinary uses of a previously-chosen urban space, considering the possibilities of laughter and noise. After observing these actions, the observer group will generate an analysis that will inform their own practice as interveners (a re-action) the following day. Through this possibility of shifting roles each day, participants are asked to destabilize the distinction between performance theorists and practitioners and to engage with the urban environment and its multiple interaction possibilities.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Co-conveners are native Portuguese speakers and proficient in English, Spanish, Portuñol, Spanglish and other cross-border languages. They also try hard to speak French.


Fabio Salvatti is a performer, theater director and Associate Professor at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, in the Program of Performing Arts. He was a 2015 Visiting Scholar of Performance Studies at NYU / Hemispheric Institute. Salvatti holds a PhD in Performing Arts from USP (Universidade de São Paulo, 2010) and an MA in Theater from UDESC (Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, 2004). His research interests are focused on humor, activism and pedagogy. His research on radical performance pedagogies encompasses artistic and activist practices, without the possibility of disciplinary distinction into separate fields. Since 2016, he has coordinated Estúdio de Arte Rebelde (“Rebel Art Studio”), where he has developed performances in the intersection between art and activism.

Pedro Bennaton holds a BA and an MA in Theater from UDESC. He is a researcher, performer, director and author and a member of ERRO Grupo, a street theater group and art collective focused on urban interventions. He has directed and written several plays which have a place in Brazilian’s theater and urban art scene. He has performed in Brazil, South America, Europe and in the U.S.A. and has been awarded a series of national and state art prizes. Bennaton currently attends the third year of his doctorate program at UDESC, where he taught from 2009 to 2012 as an adjunct professor of Acting Techniques and Performance Studies. He has also taught workshops offered by ERRO in the urban space. His research dialogues with Augusto Boal’s Invisible Theater proposals and techniques and also with the Situacionist’s political and artistic possibilities.


  • Bertie Ferdman
  • Catarina de Morais Gama
  • Christopher Mendoza
  • Geovanni Lima da Silva
  • Jiordi Rosales
  • Líria Morays
  • Lúcia Helena Martins
  • Mara Leal
  • Piedad Lorena Guerrero Coka
  • Rachel Brown
  • Rebecca Pappas