photo credit: Tim Davis
Robert Kocik is a poet, prosodist, trans-disciplinary essayist, teacher, artist and designer/builder. In 2006, working collaboratively with choreographer Daria Faïn, Kocik initiated a field of research called the Prosodic Body, an experiential artscience that explores prosody (the tone, tempo, intention, intensity and total body language of speech) in relation to movement, bioprocesses and health. In 2008 he cofounded The Commons Choir, a multi-lingual/racial/generational performing group that draws on the findings of the prosody research and presents socially charged operatic and educational events. Kocik writes the scripts and librettos for the choir and constructs installations and sets to accompany choir presentations. Architecturally, he seeks out projects in need, projects with a purpose, social vision or beneficial mission, using methods that countervail the usual violence of construction and exclusivity of the architectural process by working regionally with local materials and crews, traditional skills, site-built furnishings, and with client involvement throughout all phases.
CURRICULUM VITAE selections:
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Traditional Tibetan Medicine, Sowa Rigpa Institute, 2022 (ongoing)
Sa Che (Tibetan Geomancy), Sowa Rigpa Institute, 2023
Hospice Care Program, Mayo Clinic Health System, Rochester, MN, 2009.
École Polytechnique Fédérale IBOIS, Wood Engineering Program: Lausanne, Switzerland, 1995-1996.
New College of California, Poetics Program: San Francisco, CA, 1980-1983.
Center For Archaic Studies: Franconia, NH, 1977-1980.
St. Johns University: Collegeville, MN, 1973-1976.
The Prosody Book, Auric Press, 2024
WHAT, Auric Press, 2023
Supple Science, ON Contemporary Practice, 2013. Mixed genre writings.
E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2013. Libretto/script.
Rhrurbarb, Field Books, 2007. Poetry.
Overcoming Fitness, Autonomedia, 2000. Poetry/Essay.
Even A Child, Burning Deck, 1997. French translation of the poetry of Alain Veinstein.
Aukso, Object, 1995. Poetry
Xbo, Sun & Moon, 1993. French translation of the poetry of Dominique Fourcade.
PERFORMANCES / READINGS
“AGOG,” Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn, NY, 2019. Commons Choir residency and performance.
“Invisible Matter,” Movement Research Fall Festival, NY, NY, 2017. Commons Choir performance.
“Mayday Heyday Parfait,” (commission) BRIC Arts Media, 2017. Commons Choir world premiere.
“Swale,” Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2017. Commons Choir performance for Mary Mattingly’s barge project (Swale).
“Brooklyn Rezound,” (commission) BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn, NY, 2015. Commons Choir performance.
“Brooklyn Rezound,” (commission) BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn, NY, 2015. Commons Choir performance.
“Last Wishes,” St. Mark’s Poetry Project, NY, NY, 2015. Concert and poetry reading.
“Ubiquitous Dividend,” Poets House, NY, NY, 2014. A day-long celebration marking the publication of Supple Science, including prosody workshops and a Commons Choir performance of the “Ubiquitous Dividend” libretto.
Woodland Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee, WI. 2014. Talk and poetry Reading.
“Poetry And/As Social Practice,” Gray Center, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Mar 2014. A colloquium on performance, prosody, Supple Science and the East Cleveland Salon des Refusés, presented with Julie Ezelle Patton.
“VIBE: Composing With That Of Which We’re Made,” Commons Choir presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum as part of their Moving Sounds Festival—New York City, New York, 2013
“E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E,” New York Live Arts, NY, NY, Feb-Mar 2013. World premiere of the investigative musical “E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E” co-directed and written by Kocik, presented by the Commons Choir.
“School Nite with the Commons Choir,” New Museum Festival of Ideas for a New City, NY, NY, May 2011. Choir performance, discussion and presentation of a film about the choir by Iki Nakagawa.
“Re-English,” St. Mark’s Poetry Project, NY, NY, April 2011. Choreographed and scored script performed by the Commons Choir.
“Garland of Letters,” Harlem Stage, NY, NY, 2011. Commons Choir performance.
“Re-English,” Dixon Place, NY, NY, 2010. Choreographed and scored script performed by the Commons Choir for a Belladonna Collaborative benefit.
“The Law Locks Up the Man or Woman Who Steals the Goose from off the Commons But Leaves the Greater Villain Loose That Steals the Commons from the Goose,” Roger Smith LAB Gallery, NY, NY, 2009. Commons Choir residency and performance, with murals and drawing exhibition.
“Commoning,” Governors Island, NY, NY, 2009. Exhibition, lectures and performance based on the history and future of the commons.
“All At Once,” Movement Research Spring Festival, Judson Church, NY, NY, 2009. Commons Choir performance of all the sounds of the alphabet spoken individually and at once at various volumes and tempos.
TEACHING / TALKS / WORKSHOPS
"Prosody and the Preciousness of Life," Prosody and Creative Writing Teaching, 2018 to present.
“Prosody, Privatization, Performance and Peace,” St. Mark’s Poetry Project, NY, NY, 2018. 3-month, intensive, extensive workshop on prosody.
“For Opacity: Visceral Poetics Now,” St. Mark’s Poetry Project, NY, NY, 2017. Speaker in a symposium focused on Eleni Stecopoulos’ book Visceral Poetics.
“Passage, a dialogue with doulas, dancers and caregivers.” Movement Research Studies Project, NY, NY, 2016. Dialogue moderated by Risa Shoup with co-panelists Anna Carapetyan, Devynn Emory and Iele Paloumpis.
Community Workshops for Voice and Movement, BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn, NY, 2016.
Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, 2015. Visiting artist, invitation by Pia Lindman.
“Body Building Project,” HIAP Gallery Agusta, Helsinki, Finland, 2015. Collective inquiry into embodied practices that respond to planetary emergencies; 3-week residency followed by weekend exposition; coordinated by Saara Hannula.
“Prosody and Performance,” Department of English, University of Chicago, Chicago IL, 2014. Lecture presented in the context of Jennifer Scappettone’s “Poetry Off the Page” series.
Residency/Workshop/Lecture-Performance, Laboratorio Alameda Mexico City, Mexico, 2014
New School for Social Research, NY, NY, 2104. Workshop for voice/movement/performance, invitation by Neil Greenberg.
New York University/ Arts and Politics Department, NY, NY, 2014. Lecture.
Residency/Workshop/Lecture-Performance at Bella Artes Cante San Lui Potosi and Laboratorio Alameda Mexico City, Mexico, 2013
“Producing Poverty Won’t Be A Crime Until Poets Make It Illegal (and the interrelated matter of the unformed field of prosody), ” Bay Area Public School, Oakland, CA, 2013. Lecture on the “missing” ubiquitous dividend.
“Prosodic Body Workshop,” Arts Building Consortium, San Francisco, CA, 2013. 3-day workshop introducing and practicing the prosodic body, co-taught with Daria Faïn.
Deep Listening Art/Science International Conference: EMPAC, Troy, NY. 2013. Presentation on the Prosodic Body in the context of Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening Institute.
“Poetic Blind Date,” Ithaca, Greece, 2013. Invited to Ithaca (by Adonis Volanakis) to explore poetry as a way of opening social relations with residents from the island of Odysseus.
“Poetics of Difficulty,” Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, 2010. Lecture on the subtle body in relation to prosody.
“Offering up the Body As Food,” Nonsite Collective, San Francisco, CA, 2010. A talk proposing “money” as the commons and “the market” as conscience.
“In Common,” Lower Manhattan Cultural Counsel, NY, NY, January 2010. A talk and conversation with Rob Halpern and Thom Donovan.
“The New Asklepion,” Poetry Center SFSU San Francisco, CA, 2010. Presentation on dream-healing, word-cure and the Greek Asklepion as part of a symposium series titled “The Poetics of Healing” collaboratively organized by Eleni Stecopoulos and the Poetry Center.
“Epigenetic Architecture,” Bowery Poetry Club, NY, NY, 2009. Presentation in the context of “Poetry and Architecture” with Vito Acconci and Benjamin Aranda. http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Poetry-and-Architecture.php
“Commoning,” Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY, NY, 2008-2009. Moderating monthly discussions focused on the de-financialization of democracy.
“The BodyBuilding Project,” Robert Wilson Watermill Center, Water Mill, NY. 2007. 3-week residency in collaboration with Alan Prohm and students from the University of Art and Design Helsinki to develop movement and material responses to the climate crisis; my specific contribution involved materials research and the design and development of the “Stress-Response Building.”
“Intimation,” Movement Research Festival, NY, NY, 2005. Month-long public research and presentation to introduce the new experiential field called the “Prosodic Body.”
“A Way In Which Space Works,” Movement Research Festival, Judson Church, NY, NY, 2004. Talk/demonstration on totipotent choreography and the fullness of space.
“Poetry May Take Any Substrate Including Poetry,” SUNY Buffalo and San Francisco State University, 2004. Lecture and demonstration presented to poetics departments on the untapped vicariousness of poetry.
Writing instructor at Hofstra University’s Summer Writing Conference: Hempstead, NY, 2002.
ARCHITECTURE / CONSTRUCTIONS / EXHIBITIONS
Theresa Smith Ecology, Choreography and Retreat Center, Woodstock, NY, 2018-2019. Design and construction documents for the conversion of a 6000 square foot former medical facility.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities home for Zak, Kerhonkson, NY, 2018. Consultant for developing a space safe for severe idiopathic environmental intolerance.
“Anechoic Naad Darkroom,” 14 Wall Street, NY, NY, 2010. Construction and programming of an open-to-the-public, financial district, sound-proof, light-proof space for contemplative experience and research.
Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI, 2008. Exhibition of architectural works as part of a group show, curated by Peter Dudek.
“ARCHICULE:,” Makor Gallery, NY, NY, 2006. Exhibition of sculptural and architectural works as part of a group show curated by Peter Dudek.
“Germ,” Chocolate Factory, Long Island City, NY, 2005. Set design and construction for a choreographic work by Daria Faïn.
“Coming Out of the Night with Names,” PS 122, NY, NY, 2004. Set design and construction for the dance-theater company humanfuturedancecorps.
Tabasco Health Care: Kerhonkson, NY, 2004-2005. Design and construction of an office for the family medical practiceof Lucinda and Kurt Grovenburg.
“Every Atom of My Body Is a Vibrascope,” 92ndStreet Y: NY, NY, 2004. Set design and construction for the choreographer Daria Faïn.
Lazzarini Furniture, 2003-2005. Fabrication of compound-distortion chairs and tables for the sculptor Robert Lazzarini.
“CONFABULATIONS,” Bertha and Karl Leubdsorf Art Gallery, NY, NY, 2003. Group exhibition, sculptural and architectural works.
Ursula von Rydingsvard Work Space: Alligerville, NY, 1999. Design/build 4,500 square foot workshop/storage facility for the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard.
Kentler International Drawing Space: Brooklyn, NY, 1999. Talk and Solo exhibition of furniture, sculpture and writings.
“ARCHTECTURE! ARCHITECTURE !ARCHITECTURE! Sculptors Engaging in 20thCentury Building,” Hunter College Gallery/Times Square Gallery; NY, NY, 1998.
CASINO CONVERSION: Alligerville, NY, 1997. Conversion of a dilapidated 3,500 square foot casino into a studio/residence for David Levi-Strauss and Sterrett Smith.
Capp Street Project: San Francisco, CA, 1993. 3-month residency for developing an experimental theater set for writer/director Fiona Templeton.
Prosodic Body: an experiential field or research and practice based on the sonic, somatosensory and fully connotative aspects of language. Co-founded, with choreographer Daria Faïn, 2006-Present.
Commons Choir: the performative aspect of the Prosodic Body. Co-founded, co-directed with choreographer Daria Faïn, 2006-Present. (For the record, after one year the choir’s name was changed from “Phoneme Choir” to “Commons Choir.)
Caregiver, Austin, MN, 2004-2014.
Bureau of Material Behaviors; Brooklyn, NY; 1997-Present. Establish a design/build, materials research and consultation practice, mixing regional resources, traditional skills and “advanced” materials.
Compagnons du Devoir, Paris, France, 1995. Year-long architectural drawing course with the traditional French guild.
Furnished Poetry Reading Series: Paris, France, 1992-1994. Curate and construct sets specific to each invited reader.
Atelier Trigon, Paris, France, 1990-1994. A multidisciplinary arts, trades and performance space co-founded, constructed and curated with choreographer Daria Faïn.
CRUX, Paris, France, 1987-1996. Establish a design/build atelier based on the integration of traditional French and Japanese wood joineries.
Traditional Japanese Joinery, San Francisco, CA, 1981-1984. 3-year apprentice period in the Bay Area within the network around master temple-builder Makoto Imai.
Art Editor and Instructor, Center for Archaic Studies, Franconia, NH, 1978-1980
GRANTS / RESIDENCIES
Gibney DIP Artist in Residence, NY, NY, 2017-2018.
Exploring the Metropolis, 2017. Residency and grant.
Hip Up Foundation, 2017. Grant.
New Music USA, 2016. Grant.
New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 2016.
New York State Cultural Affairs, 2016. Grant.
Artist in Residence, BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn, NY, 2016-2017. Residency to develop “Mayday Heyday Parfait” for the Commons Choir and to teach community voice and movement classes.
BRIC LAB Residency, BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn, NY, 2016.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY, NY, 2014. Residency.
James E Robison Foundation, 2013. Grant
Hip Up Foundation, 2013. Grant.
New York Foundation for the Arts Build Grant, 2012.
James E Robison Foundation, 2010. Grant
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY, NY, 2009-2010. Six-month residency to research the history of the commons.
Movement Research AIR, 2008-2010. Grant (with Daria Faïn).
James E Robison Foundation, 2008. Grant.
New York State Cultural Affairs, 2008. Grant
Marseille Objectif Danse, Marseille, France, 2001. Commission.
Foundation Cartier, Paris, France, 1996. Commission.
Ecole de Beaux Arts, Paris, France, 1996. Commission.
PRESS / INTERVIEWS
“Meet The Commons Choir—Brooklyn’s ‘Polylingual and Multiethnic’ Performance Collection,” Artspace, 2017. Interviewed by Artspace Editors. https://www.artspace.com/magazine/news_events/in-their-words/meet-the-commons-choir-54784
“A Dance that Moves to the Many Tongues of Brooklyn,” Hyperallergic, 2016. Article about the Commons Choir written by Alexis Clements. https://hyperallergic.com/335582/a-dance-that-moves-to-the-many-tongues-of-brooklyn/
“The Architecture of E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E,” Performa, October 2012. Article by Cassie Peterson.
“Commoning,” 2010. Film based on the work process of the Commons Choir by Iki Nakagawa. https://vimeo.com/20726807
“Are We Human, or Are We Dancer,” Journal of Performance and Art, Volume 31, Issue 3, September 2009. Article by Thom Donovan
“Choir Praxis,” The Brooklyn Rail, April, 2009. Article written by Thom Donovan
Critical Correspondence: 2008. Interviewed by Thom Donovan and Alejandra Martorell. http://old.movementresearch.org/criticalcorrespondence/blog/?p=1233