Who are FAB?
The Future Advisory Board (FAB) is a collective body of international emerging and early-career performance studies scholars, artists, and artist-scholars. We bring together perspectives, strategies, tactics, provocations, ideas, visions, hopes, and dreams from our various practices of theory and performance. Officially launched in July 2016 at PSi#22 Melbourne as a new PSi initiative, the FAB aims to connect graduate students and early-career scholars and artists worldwide, and to increase the visibility of diversity within Performance Studies.
The Future Advisory Board intentionally avoids fixed membership and hierarchy amongst its members. In this way, it functions as a plural organism rather than a monolithic structure. It shifts and adapts depending on its membership, as the diversity of experience and perspectives within the board will inform its approach to the activities and initiatives it engages with. We recognize the fluidity and collective nature of this membership by referring to the Future Advisory Board and not any particular members. Its form is subject to frequent and radical transformation of size, scale, and scope. What remains in each iteration is a commitment to the collective. The Future Advisory Board acknowledges the vital support of the PSi board and the broader community, but also maintains a commitment to its autonomy, self-determination, and intellectual independence.
While recognizing the FAB as a singular collective, we also celebrate the unique perspectives and offerings of our individual members. In our work together and within the wider community of PSi, we strive to increase and foster an environment that is anti-racist, queer, feminist, creative, self-aware, and intersectional, and that foregrounds equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion. We recognize our community as multifaceted, and our goal is to listen to and prioritize the perspectives and needs of our present members and those yet to come.
How do you envision Performance Studies to evolve for the future? How does the FAB endeavor to materialise such visions?
The FAB represents new generations, iterations, and transformations of Performance Studies emerging in different ways in different places. The FAB advises the PSi board both with regard to the interests and concerns of emerging scholars and artists, and with regard to the future of the field from the perspective of new generations. To this end, the FAB initiates projects (both online and at conferences) that seek to demonstrate this diversity and contribute to the further development of Performance Studies in ways that acknowledge this expansive heterogeneity. This project is our laboratory for experimentation. Through it, we actualise the potentialities of many Future Performance Studies to come.
A crucial moment that led to the formation of the Future Advisory Board was the need for representation of emerging scholars and graduate students at the PSi Board but the problematic nature of a single representative. FAB was born out of the idea that, as a collective, we would commit to speaking in the ‘singular plural’, because diverging opinions are as important as converging interests. New board members are solicited from the community of emerging artists and scholars and selected by the current members for a nominal three-year term. Historically, membership has been malleable, and in the face of precarity, remains open to re-configuration.
How we envision the cohort of Future Advisory Board members?
Given that the FAB regularly re-generates as new members join and former members move in different directions, the composition of our membership shifts every couple of years. The FAB is actively seeking new membership from a range of contexts, such as the global south and non-English-speaking countries. We invite membership from minority and traditionally marginalized communities. We endeavour to create a supportive space for members with diverse experiences and capacities, and seek to include underrepresented voices. As we continue to enhance the way we were together and to better our contribution to the PSi community, we must continue to question the status quo. Accessibility for us means physical access for all our members to the spaces and places we occupy, access to the information and materials we engage with, access to the activities we participate in, and access to community and support networks. We envision our collaborations and activities as part of a journey to improve the ways we learn and work together. The FAB strives to create an environment that is respectful and welcoming, and we desire to continuously work to become more self-aware, more unsettled, more inclusive, more accessible, more multifaceted, more engaged, and more generative. Such is our collective ambition for our future, as the FAB, as Performance Studies scholars, as international artists, as global activists, and as a collective.