The Maya Project

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THE MAYA PROJECT is a somatic-based artmaking methodology that can be employed to create video installations; practice-based investigative workshops; live performances in virtual space, galleries, and cinema spaces; and full courses or guest lectures.

In this iterative work, dancers act as both camera operators and movement practitioners, using multiple cameras  to practice new ways of looking and creating imagery that are centered in the bodies of the subjects. Especially true with womxn, this practice is a radical act of participating in how we are being seen and foregrounding our bodily experiences. 

The methodology includes an in-depth tuning score in the style of Lisa Nelson that brings all practitioners into alignment with one another and the space. This tuning score acts also as a training procedure, in which practitioners bring their somatic experience into conversation with the camera frame. 

Participants engage in discussion and physical inquiry that considers the camera as a tool of archive, composition, communication, and inclusion/exclusion.The Maya Project is a practice of actively questioning the effects of human relationships with recording technology through the lens of bodily experience, agency, and emergence. Dance improvisation is utilized in this process as a way of privileging the moment of occurrence as opposed to an end product, which is complicated by incorporating the camera (a tool intended to be used to make a revisitable product) into the ephemeral act. Collaborators in this work are participants with the camera frame, as opposed to subjects of the camera frame, an act of democratizing the traditionally singular role of framing/capturing footage. 

Theoretical inquiry looks to: gaze theory; feminist tech; somatics and social justice; cyborg theory; visual perception; feminist unboxing; improvisation theory; emergence; framing theory

The Archive

In a tribute to the project’s ongoingness, all iterations of The Maya Project have been archived with descriptions, letters and/or numbers. Here is how to translate the archival names of each piece of this work:

The Maya Project_4_S_VisibleTime_1 translates (moving backward) to:
The 1st performance
of the “Visible Time” vignette
on the 19th (S=19th letter of the alphabet) gathering
in the 4th series of devising,
of this iterative art work, The Maya Project.

One-off sessions of The Maya Project like a workshop, installation, or single performance, include a description of that event: eg, The Maya Project_Virtual Lecture_Orientation

In addition to the iterations, all cameras used in The Maya Project have also been archived with a letter.  In some cases, the cameras used are included in the archival name: eg, The Maya Project_4_E_1_D, which is the footage from only the Camera dubbed ‘D’ during this iteration.




  • The Maya Project Workshop: Point-of-View, Representation, Power for Big Ten UniDance Hub Series, Rutgers University, 2021
  • The Maya Project_Virtual Lecture_Orientation at the University of Southern Mississippi, 2020
  • The Maya Project_Virtual Lecture_Acts of Framing at the University of Southern Mississippi, 2020
  • The Maya Project Workshop: Consent, Point-of-View, Representation, at The Ohio State Univeristy, 2019
  • The Maya Project Workshop: Power_Group Forms Composition, at The Ohio State University, 2019


  • The Maya Project_2_G_2:Witnessed, 2018
    performance for Cinema Expanded exhibition curated by Roger Beebe; Hopkins Hall Gallery, OH


  • The Maya Project_4_Installed, 2020
    The Maya Project_4_Installed is a video installation with four simultaneous projections of four separate iterations of each of four dance-with-camera vignettes. Each vignette is the performance of an improvised score with two cameras, intended to show two moving perspectives of the same happening. 
  • The Maya Project: Relics 2_C, 2_D, 2_E, 2018
    single-channel video, part of Cinema Expanded exhibition curated by Roger Beebe; Hopkins Hall Gallery, OH



Contributors to The Maya Project include:

Practice Sessions: (2022)
Momar Ndiaye

Second Working Group: (2019-2020)
Davianna Green
Yildiz Güventürk
Dian Jing
Laura Patterson

First Working Group:  (2018)
Brianna Johnson
Claire Melbourne
Katherine Moore

Workshop Participants: (2018-2019)
Hailey Armdaeng
Victoria Bell
Sarah Bodony
Jacqueleen Bordjadze
Demetra Chiafos
Sophie Claman
Jacqueline Courchene
Isaiah Harris
Caitlyn Higley
Taylor Hurd
Ishmael Konney
Abby Koskinas
Andrew Johnson
Brianna Rhodes
Miranda McGovern
Meledi Montano
Andrea Moses
Laura Neese
Michaela Neild
Maxi Riley
Sydney Samson
Jaquie Shoshaki
Michelle Sipes
Kylee Smith
Sophia Smith
Molly Stanton
Eddie Taketa
Sarah Wagenmaker

Additional Guidance:
Norah Zuniga-Shaw
Susan Kozel
Ginah Osterloh
Dani ReStack
Dave Covey

Artistic Support:
Bita Bell
Emily Craver
Josh Anderson
Sean Corey
Jeremy Stone

MFA Project Committee
Professor Daniel Roberts
Dr. Harmony Bench
Dr. Roger Beebe

Additional Collaborators:
Dreama Cleaver
Chris Cogell
Jazelynn Goudy 
Kaiya Gordon
Lynn Kim
Laura Rodriguez
Kat Sauma