Reality does not meet our expectations. 

Do we have the ability to adapt?

ICG is focusing on the role of discomfort in the introspective and creative process. How do we make sense of thoughts and experiences that are difficult and learn how to distinguish unproductive and productive discomfort?  This is a training program for re-integrating these experiences into a framework that allows individuals to meaningfully weave together (rather than reject) difficulty in Covid times.

All seminars are hosted on Zoom and run on Monday and Wednesdays from 6-7pm EST on Monday and Wednesday nights. 

Seminars participants are selected by application. For more information go here.  

Dr. Samuel Veissière Jan 18 + 20  

Indeterminacy, Resilience, and Anti-Fragility 

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, co-director of the Culture, Mind, and Brain program at McGill University, and Associate Member in the Department of Anthropology

As a metaphor borrowed from the material sciences, ‘resilience’ describes the properties of a material that bends back into its original shape after encountering a stressor.  The construct of ‘antifragility’ takes this dynamic further to describe the adaptation strategies of systems and organisms that grow and thrive from encountering uncertainty and disorder.  The notion of fragility, in turn, not intended here as a moral qualifier, but, descriptively, as a symptom of systems that lack dynamic cohesion and resilience, and are as such at high risk of collapse in the face of change. This first session will explore the ways in which humans forms of life can be both fragile and antifragile through different readings of our evolutionary history.  Students will be invited to reflect on what fragile and antifragile goals and strategies entail in their own creative process. 

Kathy Kennedy and Esin Gunduz   Jan 25 + 27

HMMM + Sense of Energy© Workshop

HMMM- The human voice has become even more important as a tool of expression during the pandemic era. We do not hear our own voice as it is outside of our own body. The workshop combines psychoacoustic information with playful exercises for better understanding our voice and how it functions. Goals are to explore:

affective intonation, melody of phrase, clear punctuation, inhabiting silences, putting words in relief, illustrating key phrases, and developing body language.

In the Sense of Energy practice, we imagine the bodily sensations of a certain type of energy. We imagine these sensations as physical vibrations in our bodies. Then, we practice how to translate these imagined physical vibrations into physical vibrations in the air (sound!). This practice renews the connection between our sensory awareness and voice. By focusing on the inner reflection -- rather than a desired output! -- it rewires the ways of what we most commonly use our voice for: communication and our habits around it. What we aim to restore are: freedom, suppleness, and flow.

Harold Rosenbaum Feb 1 + 3 

Conductor and Musician 

Anya Yermakova Feb 8 + 10  

​Impossible worlds logicking, in sound and body

Composer, Choreographer, Dancer

Doug Fitch Feb 15 + 17

Giants are Small 

Polymath, visual artist and director 

Alanna Kraaijeveld   Feb 22 + 24  

Inspire by Fighting Monkey

Dancer, Artist, Choreographer

Fighting Monkey movement situations - contextual, qualitative, and relational dances - will ground this physical workshop.  We will confront and direct our selves through dynamic and variable – irregular – dances.  Each dance represents a frame to determine and stimulate those areas where aptitudes such as mobility, coordination, perception, and communication are limited or less integrated.  Play, problem solving, and discussion will support experience of the individual in unpredictable environments.  New pathways to learn, understand, and to define what is important will be prioritized.

Jamie Currie  March 1 + 3

The Dying Art of Not Connecting

writer, performer, and Associate Professor in the Department of Music at the University at Buffalo 

The complexities, hopes, and fears of our disturbingly vexed historical and political moment have lead many into the assumption that ever increased forms of connection is what is needed: we need more community, more openness to others, more sensitivity, more acts of socialization; we need to be better informed, more engaged, more committed, more relevant. This assumption is so strong and certain of itself that it has, to a degree, become a form of non-thinking. This seminar seeks to challenge this assumption back into being a potential form of thought by considering the value of activities that, rather than integrating and connecting us further and more expansively with others, in fact, are as much concerned with disconnecting, breaking lines of social and communal dialogue, and isolating. Amongst other things, I will consider, the act of close reading, the very question of thinking itself, and also, perhaps, the form and function of the artist’s studio.

Liza Solomonova March  8 + 10  

Unproductive-productive daydreaming and mind-wandering

postdoctoral fellow at McGill University in the department of Psychiatry

In this workshop I invite participants to think about the role that dreams and other forms of spontaneous thought play in their practice. While in traditional neuroscience wake and sleep are seen as separate and discrete states of consciousness, recent advances in cognitive science, and especially in neurophenomenology, demonstrate that sleep-like phenomena are prevalent while awake, and wake-like arousal states are possible during sleep. Furthermore, research on cognition in sleep reveals a rich and complex life of the mind which is dependent on potentially hybrid states of consciousness: phenomena like lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis and sleepwalking reveal the many facets of what is possible when sleep and wake collide. In this workshop we will explore the boundaries between sleeping and waking cognition, and the role that dreaming and dream-like phenomena (hypnagogic hallucinations, dream incubation, and others) play in waking state creative activities.

Randy Schiff  March  15 + 17

Systems Theory, Romance, and the Wildly Stabilizing Feedback Patterns in Marie de France’s Lais.

Associate Professor, Department of English

Turbulent times can produce tremendous uncertainty, as competing regions and social classes vie for domination in various fields. What we in a proverb call the curse of living in “interesting times,” in which chaos and violence can seem absolutely overwhelming may actually invite us to reposition ourselves when facing highly charged worlds. Marie de France’s twelve lais—short stories of the ancient Celtic Bretons, featuring at least one magical element—allow us to see how analytic principles of systems theory can help us find both order and points of relatability in a rather wild and seemingly random world of medieval romance. While Marie’s stories of werewolves and otherworldly birds of prey might at first glance seem like chaos, our insistence on seeing class-based and other classificatory feedback loops can help us see such strange narratives as commentaries on basic understandings of social hierarchy and sexuality. What may at first glance seem like bizarre worlds of fairy-populated woods or exotic ecosystems across seas can, once we use the lens of system theory with its focus on feedback loops, show us how such literature pulses with the rhythms of the medieval social status quo. Systems theory will allow us to study the energy of the mechanisms Marie uses to build her powerfully interesting romantic worlds. ​

Wes Swing March 22 + 24  

Creative freedom and artistic interpretation: making the space for your own voice

cellist, singer, composer, and songwriter


In this seminar, we will explore ideas and practices surrounding creative freedom through improvisation and collaboration. How do we get out of our own way? How do we know and trust our own internal processes? How does collaboration with others allow us more artistic freedom? We will discuss theories and ideas of improvisation and body awareness, and discover ways to incorporate into one's own life. The goal is to make space for our individual, unique voices through discussion, practice, and collaboration. 

Spencer Parsons    March 29 + March 31  

Filmmaker and Professor at Northwestern University in the Radio T.V. and Film Department

Is it the end of the world, or simply the end of your world? What does that mean, and what would be the difference?   One thing is certain: here be monsters.  It's a tired truism that horror stories represent our fears of the unknown, but when we watch or tell these stories, how do we really confront the mystery of what's outside ourselves, the chaos within, and the indifference of the cosmos beyond? We will explore the traditions of Western horror cinema as a means of confronting, organizing, or embracing our fears of what we cannot control.

Sarah Rossy April 5 + 7  

Singer, Songerwriter, Composer

Joel Trudeau  April 12 + 14

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and S.P.A.C.E.  

Department of Physics, Dawson College