Created by PPL (Panoply Performance Laboratory)
for The Exponential Festival, released November-January 2021 
Text, sound, editing, direction by Esther Neff
Performance by Kaia Gilje and Esther Neff
Videography by Esther Neff and Kaia Gilje 

All video fragments (1-12) and the final work may be viewed as a Playlist on YouTube @PanoplyLab titled HEIDEGGER’S INDIANA. The final work as edited for the January 2021 festival is shown on  January 28, 2021 and is thereafter accessible on the Exponential Festival YouTube channel. A final  “postmortem” or “excess” video (10/12) will be released in February, 2021. 


General Project Description
12 text frames/extant libretto  


Martin Heidegger was a German metaphysical philosopher in the idealist tradition,  predominately inquiring into what being means and what it means to Be. During the third reich,  Heidegger acted as a sympathizer and maintained his University position. Previously, he had a love affair with his student, Hannah Arendt, a Jewish philosopher of mind and meaningfulness who would later theorize relationships between fascism and metaphysical conceptualizations of  nature, self, and society. Heidegger’s context and his philosophical ideas are the basis of this  project, although his complex positions are read through Arendt (and subsequently Butler and  other influential poststructuralists influenced by Heidegger; Badiou has remarked that Heidegger  is the last “universally known” e.g. imperial Western philosopher). More absurdly however, this  project attempts to perform its own metaphysical problems both as “transcendent” and as “empirical,” as inherently imbricated with political ideation, geography, and subjective fears,  memories, decision-making faculties, mentalities, and meaning-makings.  

Indiana” is a US state mapped across Pawnee, Miami, Piankashaw, Potawatomi, and Wea territory. The land has been occupied by a steady stream of European colonizers, migrants, and  refugees, including Amish and Anabaptists (Mennonites, Quakers, Brethren) through German  Catholics. In the 20th century, Jewish refugees were prevented from settling in many small Indiana towns, especially those which have been known as “sundown towns,” with historic municipal laws or at least threatening signage prohibiting Black (and sometimes also Chinese, Latinx, and other POC) residency, entrance, or (hence the name) warning against public  movement after dark. Indiana is currently a solid “red state;” Mike Pence was the governor  before becoming vice president under Trump. As a little personal context, perhaps it’s worth  sharing that I (Esther) grew up on a small farm outside of Goshen, Indiana (historically a  sundown town) and is of Swiss German (Brethren) and Jewish descent. Although Brethren are fundamentally pacifist (and unlike other neighbors have participated in abolitionist movements, similar to the Quakers), my grandfather broke with his family’s pacifist values to fight in WWII,  where he was injured in a vehicle accident.  

Heidegger’s Indiana emerges as a disintegrated treatise on the desirata of conceptualizing  meaningfulness in the face of nihilism and connecting philosophical beliefs with behaviors. 

Through layers of found footage, stacks of citations, and the dense physicalities of social  isolation, the videos mark and unmark passages, stare (back) into the arbitrary terror(ism)s of  Midwestern rural whiteness and Euro-phallic philosophy, and theatricalize disessentializing  (Verwesung, decomposition + deposing of the suprasensory world and its “essences”) towards  (non)enduring in particular, ethos-and-eros-driven ways. Of particular deconstructive focus is  Nihilism, which Heidegger calls “a historical movement, and not just any view or doctrine  advanced by someone or other. Nihilism moves history after the manner of a fundamental  ongoing event that is scarcely recognized in the destining of the Western peoples.” (Heidegger,  Martin. 1977. “The Word of Nietzsche” in The Question Concerning Technology and Other  Essays. Translated by William Lovitt. New York: Harper & Row. p. 62) 



Martin Heidegger romanticized rural life and the Volk, believing that “mechanization” or  “technological” modes of thinking-being needed to be transformed into more “essential” states of  Being. He connected these essential states with Greek ideas of poesis and drew on Nietzsche  to claim these ideas as the roots of Western (and specifically German) history, culture, and  language. He believed that the German people—due to language—were best suited to prepare  humanity for a state of “god,” which is not a deity but a divine artistic “dwelling” or mode of  “fourfold Being” (re)uniting humans and (“our”) true nature. While Heidegger did initially speak  out against scientific/genetic categorization of race, he was deeply bigoted in that he believed  that peoples outside central Europe were less a part of history and did not have the “poetic”  prerequisites to cause or “prepare for” his version of sacred essential nature, which he  sometimes calls “the mystery.” This bizarre form of nativist linguistic nationalism (Heidegger saw  Jews and Roma people—as immigrants and transient peoples—as contaminants of or  impurities in the sacred essential spirit of human Being) is contradictory with other white  supremacist/white nationalist and colonial mentalities that locate “Others” as closer to nature,  more primitive, etc, and remains a conflict within contemporary “thought” in the US and Europe  (that is, who and where people “belong,” who is “native” to where, and who is “replacing” or  “occupying” whom as well as who is “closer to nature.”) Here, Heidegger’s ideas connect the  most violent mentalities that may be currently seen in the geo-ideological state(s) of Indiana with  ideas complexly and diffractively embedded in the poststructuralist thought of which he is  considered the “grandfather,” (as well as in almost every political and legal debate over  personhood and human rights, from trans rights through citizenship structures) through the sense of distinction between “natural” or “essential” Being and “technological” or “constructed” being.  

Desire for and faith in a “natural order,” a turning away from “construction” has many different  implications. When these desires and faiths are correlated specifically with idealist philosophy  and interpreted through white/Euro nationalisms (as Nietzsche and Heidegger have been), they  historically tend to entail a search for god-like mythical leaders from basketball coaches through  confederate generals through QAnon; Heidegger was a great admirer of Hitler the man,  participating in a fervent hero worship similar to that which has accompanied Trump. This hero  worship stems from belief that “man” (e.g. the projected overman, a living corporealization of the  superman, the spirit of manifest destiny and pure culture embodied) must be saved from  replacement and mechanization, that he is being divested from “rightful dwelling,” which is  described as sacred, pastoral, as small-scale, small-town agrarian, and thus “poetic,”  “essential,” “ideal,” involving the cabinet-maker, the milk producer, the river sans hydroelectric  plant, the local poet.  

For Heidegger, “the danger” is in “Enframings” that are technological/mechanistic,  homogenizing, nihilistic, including technology as colloquially understood and technological  modes of thought and being. At first, Heidegger did blame “the Jews” for “technology,” but he also made a speech (in 1949) that conflated the Final Solution with factory farming (he was  opposed to both, at least, though the comparison of human corpses to corn is bristle-worthy at  the very least). Heidegger often discusses plants, animals, and people as if all are the same sort  of raw material (“standing reserve”), in order to speak much more “metaphysically” about  Technological (or “constructed”) modes of Being that prevent natures to be revealed in their  essential meaningfulness.  

Sometimes, this type of brutal abstraction, his metaphysical “transcendence,” can be useful in attempts to discuss the autonomous conceptual structures of political situations wherein the  “enemy of that deemed essential” is always in co-constructive flux; when seen solely as a  metaphysical inquiry, this idea is somewhat banal and basically a spiritual view, even an  “environmentalist” view, definitely an accepted “poststructuralist” view. When politicized however, Heidegger’s thought designs and demands problematic inquiries into who and how and which groups of people, are most “natural” and who and what is seen to be advancing technology, i.e. who is holding the views that challenge the “safeguarding” of so-called pure  “fourfold dwelling” of essential Being. 

One can see how this thought and inquiry is “dangerous” when the role of “obstruction to  essence” is filled by a group of people Enframed as such by orders of white supremacy,  transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. Through insertion of these contemporary terms  (which were not available to Heidegger) we can understand why he calls Enframings,  Technological modes, or orders (what we might now call “paradigms” or “systems”) for value  and totalities “the danger.” Additionally, one may also see how it can be “dangerous” to maintain  faith in “essential Being” in any case. Heidegger does in fact encourage wariness of such  paradigmatic modellings themselves, especially when they are used in blanket ways to reduce  human Being to political conditions. He is, after all, discussing metaphysical Being in ways that  (failingly, impossibly) attempt to transcend “the political.” His various arguments for the  “integrity” of human essence, or soul beyond or above Enframings, are contingent with context,  scale, and modality, and multiplicitly imbricated with language itself and how language produces, reveals, conceals, and crafts meanings and “truths” of and for being “itself.”

Often, in any case, Heidegger seems totally unconcerned with “actual people,” and prefers to  discuss poetry rather than anything so “vulgar” as politics or human suffering. While Heidegger  apologists will argue that this is because he was not a political philosopher at all, and others  have already pointed out that this project’s mixing of fragmented metaphysics, political theory,  psycho-epistemology, and poetry can only result in frustration, my feeling is that Heidegger’s  poetic abstractions (and hopefully poetic abstractions of Heidegger) express and represent  embedded and mimetic mentalities, positions, fears, and fundamentalisms which are inherently  participant in political being. On the most concrete narrative level, Heidegger is also a prime  example of a citizen who chose complicity with fascism, which makes him an emotionally fraught phantom character for a “play” unfolding in this particular moment (January, 2021). He  also frequently changed his mind and can be located on many different “sides” of history,  providing readers through time with different ways of seeing “virtue” as a kind of “technê” or  “craft of life,” a matter that much concerned Heidegger conceptually but not so much practically. His forms of thought in context thus are weirdly fit to contents and become an affective cipher,  with almost every statement he makes causing either a shudder or an epiphany, sometimes  both simultaneously, and sometimes switchily upon different readings from hour to hour. 

Finally, in terms of appropriating Heidegger’s philosophical inquiries themselves in and as “art,” I  would argue that his most important position is not a position at all but a useful explication of a dramatic conflict. Basically, he is debating between two modes of being both differently seen as  part of “human nature:” A) the idealistic need to transform being into the Nothingness of true,  essential Being (which is natural, physical, non-metaphysical, the nihil itself) and B) the  empirical “essential nature of ‘man’” to produce totalizing logics (technological thinking,  mechanization of being, meaningfulness, metaphysics itself). The former Being is an  unintelligible plentitude of potential ways of thinking, being, seeing, becoming (insights), while  the latter is the conclusory, deadening project of “the machine” (oversights). While the former is  “freedom” because it allows sacred, chaotic, and essential states of care and being-with to  emerge, the latter is “the danger” because it establishes a singular essentialist clearing that  obscures true Being, excluding all truths that are not shaped or shaping its own ideals while also  producing the only sorts of meanings a subject may know. Through this conflict, Heidegger  generates questions about “natures of human being” on multiple levels, many of which are  difficult to cognitively access. Such generativity and access is, I believe, deontologically the  project of philosophy, as such (further debates about why and if “philosophy” is valuable or  useful at all, likewise art, may also ensue). It seems to me (the maker of this project) however,  that certain core questions must be perpetually phrased and re-phrased, conflicts staged and  re-staged, because the assumptions pursuant to any stable position on them or articulations of  them have massive political, ideological, and material implications.  



Oral history rural interview project 
this is the correct translation of basketball statistics 
this is an uninhabited subdivision 
there are rooms for binaries and a firepit 

signage is already in place 

what we are trying to understand here though is not what or how but 
Why Is
anyone a “culture” or “cultured”
like corn?


You played so good son you almost transcended 

It’s almost as if fate placed you here and not as if 

Fate itself has been designed 

By your existing state 


This is the doll my grandmother always wanted me to have upon her death yet She is not dead (yet) and I have it anyway 

I broke off its porcelain foot when I was five and my grandpa made a new one with putty  His attitude generally was 

Do things right the first time but 

If within your best effort you make a mistake 

Don’t be sorry, just fix it 

Decomposition is more important than deconstruction 

Don’t forget the past but digest it, each body is already compost 

Just in case, a whistle is placed  

Inside each casket 


Kaia writes: what do we do with the stumbling half-being who is defined only by words we hate?  


I am not a pocketknife 
I think I misunderstood the part about “dwelling” 
I forgot that “nothing” was a really formal concept 
And I tripped over it 
Blunting the blade in the gravel: 

The fact remains, that Being is a problem for some people 
Being is an issue, for some people, maybe for most people 
Being seems inordinately cruel and unlikely, to people 

A person has these subjective experiences however while a subject is solely set within the  problems, issues, cruelties, and likelihoods or orders of their conditions 

A person is a legal and political subject but subjectivity must not be reduced to conditions Sometimes a person is not a representative  

No person’s actions are wholly symbolic or politically preventative 

Our subject matter therefore should not only concern subjects but also their essences untold Subjectivities therefore should not be solely subordinated to the coordinates of cruel corridors Rather persons in particular must be permitted to think forward and to dwell in themselves fourfold 

1) Being is an event in that it takes (appropriates) place (where one is at home, within one’s  own sense-making) 
2) One must be capable of anticipating death as death, expecting to drink of it as easily as  if from the cup of the womb 
3) Being must be felt as if one is figured into and configuring culturally-determined  knowledges, which in-form open vessels of intelligibility from the sacred, thrown like clay  pots on the wheel of time to hold human-ness
4) One must be held by no-thing, the positive matter of mystery and meaning, safeguarded  by it and neither fight against it nor embed it in orders as a means of control 

Martin, is it worth complicity to get across these thoughts 
Who knows this sort of thing already, who needs to hear it 

Does the “ear of our thinking hear the cry” or does 
the fact remain that Being is not a problem for some people 

Being is not an issue, for some people, maybe for most people, almost no people That thinking about Being seems complicated and unnecessary to most people A person has experiences, but does not question them because conditions already contain them 

A person is a legal and political subject and subjectivity is fully and solely secured by these  conditions 
Sometimes, a person must act as a representative 

Any person can sacrifice themselves symbolically or appear as a dissident, argumentative Our subject matter therefore should only concern subjects and their 
Subjectivities subordinated to the coordinates of cruel corridors 

Persons in particular must be subjected to the fetters of safekeeping that those And that 
Deemed immoral 

Should be banished from the homebase the main state, released into death as easily as smoke  from a furnace, formed into functions or else… 


This is an Amish man talking about waking up in the morning 
Eating pancakes, he doesn’t listen, something about mashed potatoes 
He works in a factory 
Sometimes the daily is interrupted by nightmares 
An Indiana man would never mention these 
Yeah, it’s appropriated footage 
One time an Amish boy called my breasts “pancakes” 
So there is a bit of an inside joke here lost in the steam 
Created by pouring boiling water into pans inside a walk-in cooler 
Steam, unlike gas, can be quite a spectacle and 
Culture, unlike labor, is an especially productive technology 
“This placement has a kind of imaginative manufacturing”  
“Anyone and Anything can become a spectacle at any time” 

(Amish German or “Pennsylvania Dutch” is a High German + English pidgin or “creole” language) 


May world, in all its worldings near 
Essentially unfold 
As far from me as possible


Featuring: small-scale milk farmer John Davis and former Indiana governor Mike Pence A translation and interpretation of Heidegger, 1944: 

Inauthenticity, the impossibility of really being there, or here, in relation to death, is also realized  in thrownness, through fear, and in projection, through expectation. Fear, as a mode of  disposedness, can disclose only particular oncoming events in the world. To fear my own death,  then, is once again to treat my death as a case of death. This contrasts with anxiety, the form of  disposedness which discloses my death via the awareness of the possibility of a world in which I  am not.  

There is the fear-anxiety dimension and there is the expectation-anticipation dimension. A  mundane example might help to illustrate this generic idea. When I expect milk to taste a certain  way, I am waiting for an actual event—a case of that distinctive taste in my mouth—to occur. By  contrast, when I anticipate the taste of that milk, one might say that, in a cognitive sense, I  actively go out to meet the possibility of that taste. In so doing, I make it mine. Expecting death  is thus to wait for a case of death, whereas to anticipate death is to own it, to be authentic with  it. 

Thus, for me, to cause death is to fulfill my own expectations and anticipations, I am made  authentic through my ability to cause the deaths of others. My fears and my anxieties are disposed via the deaths of others, and my true being is disclosed.  


Most do not choose the distance between themselves and atrocity 
Either one is right inside it, made of it or making it 
Or one is far away from it, watching it 
Yet this is a strange conception because if all is ordered by the political 
(which means ways in which peoples are organizing)  
(which means power play) 
(which means governance) 
(which means conditions of resource distribution and deprivation) 
(which means hegemony) 
(which means judgements and speech acts) 
(which means bodies) 
(which means power) 
(which means) 

Then nothing anyone does or is  
Can by anything other than innocent or guilty 

If this is the case, then one can only beg for mercy 


TBD (based on responses and responsibilities) 


Imagine this bad a capella choir thing as a high school anthem 
Imagine you live here 
This imagination has a kind of manufacturing of placement
This placement has a kind of imaginative manufacturing 
Imagine you never read Heidegger 

Why would one, really? The reading is going on all around Us anyway, every time you say something is a ‘construction’ His corpse rolls like your best friend’s eyes  

When you tell her about your crush: 

The last plank was on the fire, blackening  
I was all worked up for a reckoning 
You saw him elbow me in the face through the smoke but spoke of salmon runs  
 with a fake accent  
appeasing the Indiana boys while my blood hopped into dusty crowns  as it touched the ground 

Martin says the essence of history is a fight against nothingness I say why is there a fight at all 
Let it take me 
I am both responsible and at your mercy 

because of the drinking, I woke up  
just as the angels drained my cup 
the sun shot coronas over the river, saw 
them deliver 
an orb just off the canoe bow  
like a phosphorescent jellyfish but somehow glassy 

Martin says the essence of history is a fight against nothingness I say why is there a fight at all 
Let it take me 
I am both responsible and at your mercy 

Please please understand, resolution 
I desire, in sacrifice, an absolution 
You saw him take the path of least resistance 
These ways of burning up inside define my 
Base existence 
Seize my arm and tell me now, if you can change 
Or disavow, the very ways that brought us here n 
Force my decision 

Martin says the essence of history is a fight against nothingness I say why is there a fight at all 
Let it take me 
I am both responsible and at your mercy


incessantly crying 

I seek god! I seek god! 

He scatters pancakes in the alleyway 
Hides in his university office all day 
Puts his boots on the traintracks, scurries back 
To watch the mothers throwing their babies out the windows
Do their mouths look like little O’s, clay
Greek masks of the theater Killed onstage like prisoners
enacting the deaths of seditious orators
How noble, Sympathizer, do you think they really are inferior 

incessantly crying  

I see god! I see god! 

He is deranged, dislodged, disowned 
From the “level” of  
The Body, the body politic, political embodiment 
A metaphysical mote, whistling higher, higher 
Floating on delusions of grandeur like a sour note 
Above the staph that charts the graph of 
Ongoing man-made disaster 

Incessantly seeking an 

Essence! An essence! 

Without defense it may disappear  
He asks what Being is Not what should a Being do,
there is no subject here

where and how is “live performance”? between the hot summer street and the cold flat screen is there potential for an arena of excess, a collective inquiry, a stage, a site for appearances and activations that move, motivate, and share e-motion? ALL SUMMER 2020…


Produced in collaboration between the Operating System/Liminal Lab, and PPL (Panoply Performance Laboratory).

September 19: IV Castellanos & Amanda Hunt
August 31: Polina Riabova curates group show: Raki Malhotra, Jazzmyn Coker, Jenna Kline, Polina Riabova
August 24: Anya Liftig
August 17: Simone Johnson
August 10: Verónica Peña 
August 3: GOODW.Y.N
July 27:Lorene Bouboushian
July 20: Geraldo Mercado
July 13:Sierra Ortega 
July 6: SUPPER (esther neff)
June 29: april vendetta
June 22: Matthew Gantt

Conscientiously-assembled corpora account for and value affects, presences, and perceptions, countermanding the “lawfully inevitable” tragedies of free market (un)incorporation. As the corpses stack up, (in)sensible embodiments, spectacles, and documents must appear to (re)(de)compose and (re)present specific sorts of immortalities in the form(s) of rituals, representations, and self-recognitions, contributing to the construction of immediately habitable situations (if not [im]potential futures). 

A: participatory rituals marking, mourning, or intentionally burying ways of seeing and perceiving. Just as we mourn our humxn dead and dying and grieve our ability to assemble without fear, we long and labor for the death of capitalism, an end to colonialism, and the fall of empire with its white supremacy, patriarchy, and other complexes of mass conception and corporeal control. These rituals suspend disbelief in energetic efficacy, staging collectivities that blur the lines between private and public and between either 1) those gatherings which memorialize, grieve, mourn the dead & difficult and/or 2) those demonstrations which demand, call for, declare the deaths of particular ways of seeing, ordering, and performing realities & selves. Rituals take place over the internet or dispersed throughout bodies in different locations, those “present” may be involved in the action(s) or processes undertaken, presences and absences are hereby emphasized.

B: durational (3hr+) or short-form (-1hr), high-affect performances-as-art, intentionally attempting to materialize shared states of emotion (or “affective space”), researching potential for moving each other, touching each other, through composed spectatorships, staged theorizations, and active testimony; each score involves the “artist” presenting “a performance” and interpretive instructions, response-forms, or questions for witnesses to pursue/answer. Ways of receiving images, actions, expressions, and communications are specifically addressed as we research the capacities (and optimistically/desperately search for any potentially-interesting allowances) of “live” performance art. Artists rigorously consider frames, mediation schemas, and “platform” (e.g. “where” and how performance can unfold/how it is mediated, accessed, etc)

C: taking forms of moderated discussion and debate, these sessions focus on forms of tragedy, what it means to “garden,” biotic sublimation vs. systemic capitulation, glitch tactics, and more, as thinker-practitioners step out of imperial (academic) and industrial (artworld) contexts in order to move more fluidly and directly between theory and practice. Grounding subject matters and opening up “one to the many” modes of address, these formally-democratic conversations dig into the hard labor of adapting and designing methods, modes, and strategies rooted in perspectives, values, ethics, and beliefs (and vice versa, to analyze the consequential/implied perspectives, value, ethics, and assumptions inherent in particular methodologies, ideologies, and ways of acting).

* CORPORA, plural “corpus;” body or embodiment, subject matter, work by an author, metabolic and digestive parts of the body. CORPUS CALLOSUM, the nerves connecting the two hemispheres of the brain, COLISEUM, an ampitheatre or site for public spectacle, most famously The Colosseum (Flavian Ampitheatre) at the center of the city of Rome, Italy.

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January 7, 14, 21 at Vital Joint as part of, Brooklyn, NY

Forming a new cast of “actors” for each evening, PROTAGONY combines forms of high school debate with king drag and “Theatrum Mundi” oratory theatricality. How each actor or subject sees themselves as a protagonist in their own life informs and structures ensuing abjective inquiries into self determination, civil responsibility, self-characterization, and construction of personal narrative. PROTAGONY stages conflicts between self and social narrative, between recognitions and presentations, and between “actors” and withdrawn “spectators.” How do narratives construct selves and vice versa? Who decides what is really going on here? How does what and who is centralized within visions of “Theatrum Mundi” materialize world(ing)s? The narrative “protagonist” position is agonizing yet powerful, dramatically saturated in suffering. 

Vital Joint Instagram posts -

February 15 as part of WHAT REMAINS ARC Gallery (Defibrillator), Chicago, IL

PROTAGONY: I am a broom who sweeps**  Kaia Gilje and Esther Neff work on wearing down the ridges of perception that divide inanimate objects from humxn bodies. “Performance art” often deals with animation and the vibrancy or liveness of matter/materials, both from ancestral perspectives and from contemporary theoretical physics perspectives. This work approaches “What Remains”? As a question about what and who and how is “alive,” inquiring into the qualities of liveness and deadness, use and function, enlivening, and being enlivened by. Relics used in this performances are a bell & a pair of underwear, broom, chain, clock, clothes pints & eyelashes, green paintballs, ironing board & tiles, red folding chair, sharpener, and broken stones.

Esther Marveta Neff – projects/performances

An opera of operations transforms concepts into observable conceptualization procedures.

This requires two primary and interrelated operations: One, “operationalization” transforms the kind “concept” into a kind of “conceptualization” to the extent that “concepts in themselves” as kinds (e.g. natural kinds, concept kinds, containing respectively h20 and “smoothness,” say) are obscured or replaced by performative (specifically “theatrical”) conceptualizing procedures which are apparent and staged as such. Second and thus, ways of (methods for) reasoning, theorizing, or conceptualizing and their involvement of axiomatic, logistic, affective, valuative, and aesthetic (etc) in-formations are materialized or substantiated by operating procedures.

A much simpler and more Platonian (but much less accurate and even hindering) way of describing operationalization, is that it represents concepts as process-forms. It is only partially helpful to think about it like this because “representations” are usually seen as things themselves, which have attributes and qualities, while operations here are rather using or materializing through attribution and qualification schemas. There may be no “concept” as an object or set description at either “end” of the procedure. [1]

In classical philosophy and science, concepts are objects, or matters of attention. They are the constituencies of classification systems. Within this way of thinking about how philosophy is done, a thinker might choose a concept, say “virtue” and then pursue a process of reasoning to define and describe (represent in language) their conclusions on which behaviors make a person virtuous. Of course, a contemporary worldviews are deeply critical of this “bare” process, and many have shown how classification involves shifting performative debate and theorization processes and how classification systems do construct and are constructed by subjective and socially-imbricated logics performed by participants in scientific or philosophical practice.[2] That is, the thinker here is inexorably bound up in what they, specifically, as a locutor of a particular self in society, place in time and space, and so on, holding particular beliefs and values, mean by “virtue.” There is, in essence, no way of defining this particular concept in a way that “satisfies” our own (my own) reckonings with what makes a conceptualization “true.” From a scientific point of view, this type of relativity makes philosophy irrelevant. I do not come to that conclusion, rather opera of operations is arguing for a focus on and an aesthetic interest in the very locative, enunciatory, or conceptualizing processes that may be used as heuristic or systemic logics for arrays of or different conclusions and beliefs. In other words, we may not be able to, or even value any stable definition of “virtue,” however, we may remain interested in the ways in which this concept operates.

Aristotle argues that any conclusion expressed or represented always “mirrors” the process through which the thinker pursued their processes of reasoning, conceptualizing, theorizing. Thus, an ability to focus on the procedures through which concepts are made (broadly) is not new, it is called method. A method is a way of reasoning or conceptualizing. It is 1) a conceptualizing procedure with its own structure that is aligned with certain values or beliefs (this “level” of exoskeletal reasoning about what structural elements of reasoning procedures makes them reasonable or truth-producing is called doxastics) and  2) methods must be believed appropriate or qualified to/for the concept being conceptualized.

Plato discussed many methods for reasoning, including diairesis as a method of definition. Diairesis is specifically the division of definitions into parts, separating one conceptualization or description from another until a satisfactory classification system is in place. We might claim now that diairesis is an example of an operational procedure.

An opera of operations requires other and more such procedures. In fact, it requires factorial discrete procedures correlated and in co-production with conceptualizations. Opera of operations is constituted by methodological conceptualization procedures; these are the substance of the “work” of an opera of operations, perceptible as sonic, visual (etc) materialities.

Operas of operation are not in search of descriptions, definitions, or representations of concepts projected independently from the operating systems of conceptualization and theorization through which they have been realized. As theatrical practice, operations as opera are realizing aesthetic, epistemic, doxastic, hermeneutic (etc) procedures themselves (conceptualizations) as ways of (methods for) staging and observing themselves (as such).

[1] this requires practice to determine; and I suspect that each “project” or opera of operation itself may need to define its own internal logic for where to locate or how to avoid locating “concepts” as objects, items, units of information, or at least nominally-produced references

[2] Nelson Goodman, Helen Longino, Catherine Elgin, Robert Schwartz, Hilary Putnam, Loren Graham, John Rawls…

METAMORPHOSIS.jpgNovember 16, 17, 18, 2018

Panoply Performance Laboratory (re-opening as IV Soldiers in 2019)
104 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

104 MESEROLE STREET has been Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL)” organized by the collective of the same name since 2012. As of January 1, 2019, the site will be renamed “IV Soldiers,” organized by IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt.

Under the name PPL, the site has operated as a laboratory for the performance art communities of Brooklyn and beyond, home to hundreds of events, gatherings, meetings, exhibitions, thinktanking sessions, projects, and performances. METAMORPHOSIS celebrates the movement mentalities and states of constant adaptation and (intra)relationality that (in)form our practices and projects, culminating 7+ years of work by artists with practices centralizing liveness, presence, and social situation/interaction and activation.


Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow and Kanene Ayo Holder
Shawn Escarciga
Anya Liftig
Miao Jiaxin



6pm: performances begin:
Honey Jernquist
Anja Ibsch
Dominique Duroseau
Geraldo Mercado
Ayana Evans
IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt


Rafael Sanchez
Lorene Bouboushian
Maria Hupfield
Julia Santoli




According to Brooklyn Historical Society there are currently 83 Brooklyn streets named after slavemasters (of which Meserole Street is one.)
Jodie and Kanene’s project, Joncanooaacome at the Crossroads deals with gentrification and lost traditions of Africans in the Americas. During this public performance, the artists will perform ritualistic dances while inviting participants to tell their Brooklyn street addresses and shred clothing that they’ve brought while incorporating our materials to complete their own Junkanoo costumes.

Kanene Ayo Holder (b. Brooklyn) is an award winning educator, activist, satirist and performance artist based in Harlem. Holder works with interactive street theater and performances to encourage discussion about social issues. Her satire Searching for American Justice: The Pursuit of Happiness which highlights the ineffective systems that benefit the 1% and continue to put #profitoverpeople was covered by the New York Times and Village Voice. Holder has performed at various venues including Brooklyn Museum (2011), The New York International Fringe Festival (2005), La Mama ETC (2008), Aaron Davis Hall (2009), Symphony Space (2003), University of Granada in Spain (2009), QMAD Festival (2012), and NYU Low Lives Festival (2012). She recently received a fellowship from Yale’s Thread program for non-fiction storytelling . Holder is also a recipient of grants including from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2006), Franklin Furnace (2007) and NYFA/UAI (2005) and was a finalist for Creative Capital in 2012 to support her artistic practice. Holder blogs for the Huffington Post and has contributed political commentary on CNN and BBC, among others. Holder also lectures on race, media, literacy, art history and African Diasporic history at various institutions including Studio Museum of Harlem, Museum of Art and Design, Columbia University and NYU. Holder received her B.S. in Speech Pathology from Howard University and research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2009 and 2016), The Colin Powell Center for Policy Study (2008) and Bard College (2010). She received her M.S.Ed in Childhood Education from City College. Holder is a recent recipient of a Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship from the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute while becoming the Art Department Chair at Broome Street Academy High School. At BSA she supervises art teachers and oversees internships, a talent show and trips for over 300 underprivileged and LGBTQA youth, emphasizing creativity and critical thinking.

Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow (b. Manchester, Jamaica) holds a BFA with honors in Painting from New World School of the Arts, University of Florida, (1996) and an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College, CUNY (2006). Lyn-Kee-Chow often explores performance and installation art drawing from the nostalgia of her homeland, the commodified imagery of Caribbean primitivism, folklore, fantasy, consumerism, spirituality and nature’s ephemerality. Exhibitions of note include “Queens International 4”, Queens Museum of Art, NY (2009), “10th Open Performance Art Festival”, Beijing, China (2009), “Guangzhou Live 5”, Guangzhou, China (2014), “Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora”, Royal West Academy of England, Bristol, U.K. (2016), a special project commission at “Jamaica Biennial”, The National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, J.A. (2017), and Live Action 12 Performance Art Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden (2017). Solo exhibitions include Rush Arts Gallery (2008), New York, N.Y. and Boston Children’s Museum (2015), Boston, M.A. Her work has also been exhibited at Exit Art, New York, N.Y, Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at S.U.N.Y. Old Westbury, N.Y.,  MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts), Brooklyn, N.Y., Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, N.Y., Lehmann Maupin, New York, N.Y., and Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D.C. Lyn-Kee-Chow’s work has garnered the following; NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) Fellowship Award in Interdisciplinary Art (2012), Rema Hort Mann ACE (Artist in Community Engagement) Award (2017), Franklin Furnace Fund (2017-18), and Culture Push’s Fellowship for Utopian Practice (2018). Her work has been reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Diplomat, Daily Serving, Hyperallergic, Artinfo, The New York Art World, Super Selected, and Newsday.  She also lives and works in Queens, N.Y.


Shawn Escarciga (Brooklyn, NY) is an “experimental” “performance” “artist” whose work is steeped in Butoh and the creation of new movement paradigms, particularly around their deep capacity to feel things and the queer body. Their work has been shown throughout New York City (Panoply Performance Lab, Glasshouse ArtLifeLab [Performeando], Queens Museum [], MIX NYC, Triskelion, Grace Exhibition Space, Chinatown Soup [Performance Anxiety], The Clemente, Real Estate Fine Art), domestically (Boston, Chicago, Lexington, New Orleans, Miami, Fayetteville), and abroad (Berlin and London). They think a lot about classism, queer visibility, how to light patriarchal structures on fire effectively, intimacy amongst faggots, and what it would be like to live in a country that supports non-commercial artists which might look something like eating a 2000 calorie diet regularly and owning a Shiba.


Anya Liftig’s work has been featured at TATE Modern, MOMA, CPR, Highways Performance Space, Lapsody4 Finland, Fado Toronto, Performance Art Institute-San Francisco, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, The Kitchen at the Independent Art Fair, Performer Stammtisch Berlin, OVADA, Joyce Soho and many other venues. In “The Anxiety of Influence” she dressed exactly like Marina Abramovic and sat across from her all day during “The Artist is Present” exhibition. Her work has been published and written about in The New York Times Magazine, BOMB, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, Next Magazine, Now and Then, Stay Thirsty, New York Magazine, Gothamist, Jezebel, Hyperallergic, Bad at Sports, The Other Journal, and many others. She is a graduate of Yale University and Georgia State University and has received grant and residency support from The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Atlantic Center for the Arts, The New Museum, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Flux Projects, University of Antioquia and Casa Tres Patios-Medellin, Colombia.


Beginning in Shanghai, where his photography works expressed the universal theme of urban angst, Miao Jiaxin then immigrated to New York, expanding his view of urban streets towards a more conceptual public stage. Among his performative practices across different media, Miao has blended his naked body into the bleak streets of a midnight New York City, traveled inside a suitcase hauled by his mother through urban crowds, made live-feed erotic performances on an interactive pornographic broadcasting website, and dressed as a Chinese businessman for an entire year when working towards his MFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. More lately, he converted his New York studio into a jail and charged $1 per night as accommodation on Airbnb and Facebook. Miao’s works often express the ambivalent and sometimes antagonistic tension that always exists between the individual and governing or cultural authorities, questioning assumptions about power in relation to identity politics. He posits the artist’s nature as one who transgresses boundaries, challenges consensus, and stays distance from authorities.



Anja Ibsch (Berlin), born in 1968, has been actively working as an artist and curator in the areas of performance and installation since 1993. Currently based in Berlin, she creates intense works that explore personal, cultural and social aspects of human presence while researching the endurance and tolerance levels of her body. Frequently inspired by myths of sainthood, sacrifice and release, her work emphasizes and extends connections between her body and the earth. Her varied actions have included eating dust, offering the surface of her skin as a nesting ground for worms, and melting ice on her eyes. She has performed primarily in Europe, Asia and Canada and South America.

In her work, Anja Ibsch characteristically tests her bodily limits, creating images that combine conceptual concerns with tasks of endurance or physical strength. For the audience, these images work to transform the way we view or understand the performer’s physical identity. At the same time, the works engage the performer in a changing perception of her relationship to the world around her. Ibsch creates her work in response to the circumstances that present themselves, adapting to local environments and situations.


Statement from the artist: “I create narratives. I document, cross-examine, create cultural hybridizations. I de-contextualize/re-contextualize texts, topics, and issues on Black Culture’s constant striving within today’s society. I work within the cusp of her cultures as Haitian, American, and African Diaspora, then link unresolved issues across time as a political strategy.  This takes into account the nuances of language and mannerisms, while illuminating social issues and injustice; depicting contemporary struggles against indifference, coded vernacular, and entrenched economic dispositions. The issues addressed in my works may at first seem outdated and irrelevant, but instead have actually remained persistent, and morphed. The work folds in residuals of colonial influence, women’s issues, and criticism of imperialist white-supremacist patriarchal cultures.”


Geraldo Mercado is a Brooklyn based Performance and multimedia artist. Born in Yauco, Puerto Rico and raised in Westfield, Massachusetts; Geraldo moved to New York City in 2008 to work as the Video Production Manager at Exit Art, a pioneering Manhattan Art Space that closed its doors in 2012 after thirty years. Having complete access to their digital archives introduced him to the world of performance art. Since then, Geraldo has performed nearly non-stop.

As a performance artist Geraldo creates kinetic pieces of art using his body. A good artist uses all of the tools at their disposal, and having been born with a high tolerance for pain, he pushes his body to the limit as a means of exploring identity, empathy, and the cultivation of understanding. His aesthetic is punk rock in its ethos and in the way that he incorporates music, dance, theatricality, and storytelling while not being trained in any of those disciplines at all. Geraldo aims to tell stories with his body and reveal the underlying machinations of performance art as a medium.

Geraldo is a member of the Social Health Performance Club, a loose collective of artists creating performative works that directly confront systematic social issues. In 2013 Geraldo was one of the artists-in-residence at Animamus Art Salon: A Living Gallery London. In 2014 his non-narrative short film “The Land Scape” was a part of El Museo Del Barrio’s retrospective show “MUSEUM STARTER KIT: Open With Care”. Geraldo’s first solo show In The Universes Where I Died took place in 2015 at Gallery Sensei in Chinatown, New York in conjunction with Animamus Art Salon. His second solo show…And What Will We Do When We Get There was held at cloyingPARLOR in 2016. Geraldo holds a Bachelors of Science in Communications Media with a concentration on Directing for Film from Fitchburg State University.


Ayana Evans is a NYC based artist. She frequently visits her hometown of Chicago whose Midwestern reputation is a major influence on her art. Evans received her MFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University.  She has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and the Vermont Studio Center.  In 2015 she received the Jerome Foundation’s Theater and Travel & Study Grant for artistic research abroad. During Summer 2016 Evans completed her installment of the residency, “Back in Five Minutes” at El Museo Del Barrio in NYC. She completed a series this Summer 2017 “A Person of the Crowd” at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA; as well as FAIP an international performance festival, Martinique; “Light Happenings II” presented by Lab Bodies, Baltimore, MD; and Rapid Pulse Retrospective, Chicago, IL. Evans also performed at Ghana’a Chale Wote festival in August 2017.

Evans’s on-going performances/public interventions include: “Operation Catsuit” and “I Just Came Here to Find a Husband.” She has curated and co-curated performance art shows throughout the U.S and worked in arts education for a decade. She is Editor at Large for  Her recent press includes articles on New York Magazine’s The Cut, Hyperallergic, the Huffington Post, and CNN.


Amanda Hunt is a Brooklyn based performing artist. Amanda has performed solo work at Judson Church, AUNTS, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Larkin Arts (Harrisonburg, VA), Segundo Piso (Puebla, MX), and Open Engagement at the Oakland Museum. Hunt has attended the Old Furnace Artist Residency (Harrisonburg, VA) and has worked with Kira Alker + Elke Luyten, Sam Kim, IV Castellanos, and De Facto Dance, and Kathy Westwater (2013 – present).

IV Castellanos is an abstract performance artist who has performed at the Queens Museum, Gallery Sensei, dfbrl8r (Chicago), Gruentaler9 (Berlin), and Grace Exhibition Space. Castellanos and Hunt performed their newest work 04.14-15.17, “SurForm i & ii”, as a part of Work Up at Gibney Dance Center. They have been on the curatorial committee and performed regularly at Panoply Performance Laboratory 2017 and past.

As a duo, the artists IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt explore the continuous catching and falling of one another’s bodies, and through this idea that takes many aesthetic forms, aim to define arrival as reciprocity. This work of jumping, catching, holding, climbing, falling and/or dropping, and dragging one another on repeat, is juxtaposed with task based labor driven work. Using moulds of utilitarian objects (hammers, saw blades, deformed objects) casts from plaster, the work aims to render the execution of “simple” and “everyday” tasks, just as hammering or cutting, as possibly without goal and possibly other(ed). The artists wear work suits and work boots, both for the proposition of viewing functionality and ordinary-ness as art and as a nod to the long history of Queer folx that have worn these outfits before them. We are very Queer and non Cisgender-men which all aspects of the work, non-negotiably, exudes. Our work sets the stage for the Queer and Feminist utopia we’d like to live in and would like to invite you into. The set choreography is built on the idea that holding and being held requires different (and often metaphorically overlapping) skill sets/strengths, which is why we consciously choreograph each performer doing many types of both holding and catching. An equal distribution of labor gestured by different bodies.


Rafael Sanchez (b. Newark, New Jersey, 1978) is a performance artist who often takes his work to the streets and other unconventional spaces. In his performances, Sanchez frequently subjects his body to extreme stress and pain to materialize ideas of memory, spirituality and endurance. In an early work titled Back to Africa (2000), Sanchez wandered around New Jersey in white face, carrying a suitcase and waiting for a bus that never arrived. In 2007, for Calienté/Frio, the artist traced the migration process of two women from Cuba to America during the 1960s. Sanchez has been deeply influential on performance art in the NJ/NYC metro area, from the days of Exit Art and English Kills Gallery through the days of Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, Grace Exhibition Space, and up through the present. He lives in Newark with his wife and young daughter and works as a teacher and counselor at a local High School.


Lorene Bouboushian works within dance, experimental music/noise, and performance art. They build a rhizomatic practice through visible forays into performances and workshopping, and less visible forays into writing, dialogue, modes of care and support, and resource sharing. They utilize “self-exposure and vulnerability in real, risky ways” [CultureBot, 2011], and produce “thought-provoking commentary on social limits” [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2016].

They have shared their work in galleries and theaters in Seattle, Madison, Athens, and Beirut, performing in festivals including New Genre Festival (Tulsa), Miami Performance International Festival, QueerNY and Queer Zagreb, Inverse Performance Art Festival, and Month of Performance Art-Berlin. They have shared their interdisciplinary teaching practice at universities in Kentucky, Beirut, and Mexico.

They have collaborated with Forced Into Femininity (as missdick vibrocis), Kaia Gilje, Lindsey Drury, Matthew D. Gantt, Valerie Kuehne, and Panoply Performance Lab, and performed for Yoshiko Chuma, Yvonne Meier, Melinda Ring, luciana achugar, Daria Fain, and Kathy Westwater. They are a former member of NYC based collectives XHOIR (organized by Colin Self), Feminist Art Group (organized by IV Castellanos), and Social Health Performance Club.

They are currently in process as a dancer with Jill Sigman/Thinkdance, working with a think-tank through 9 PROPOSITIONS (Panoply), and a member of the Civic Reflex cohort (also Panoply).


Based in Brooklyn New York, Maria Hupfield is a member of the Anishinaabek Nation from Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, Canada. Her first major institutional solo exhibit The One Who Keeps on Giving, is currently traveling and is a production of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto in partnership with Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; Galerie de l’UQAM, Montréal; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax; and Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris. She is a current Triangle Artist in Resident 2018, the first Indigenous Fellow at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, ISCP in New York 2018 and finishing a residency with Native Art Department International at DTA/FABnyc in the Lower East Side.

Together with her husband artist Jason Lujan, Hupfield co-owns Native Art Department International based out of China Town New York, a project focused on presenting artwork by artists with demonstrated ongoing commitment to Native American communities alongside and on par with international artists. Hupfield also sings with  Nishnaabekwewag Negamonid a three-member Anishinaabe women’s hand drumming group based in Brooklyn, NY committed to language and cultural revitalization, using song to disrupt colonial spaces and speak to prior, persisting Indigenous presences. The group was born as part of an Anti-Columbus Day action in the American Museum of Natural History in 2016 and 2017.

Like her late mother and settler accomplice father, Hupfield is an advocate of Anishinaabek Womanism, Indigenous Feminisms, Accomplice building and Activism.

Maria Hupfield is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal Quebec Canada.


ohai, i’m 3dwardsharp. can we listen/talk/dance together? like, IRL?

a fucked-up scan from the back-section of a willa cather novel, um, literally, umm, as aesthetic codex that we could {un}pack, now or later or never. i mean, maybe it already happened, i looked again, and saw something else.
IF YOU ARE READING THIS: then my performance has already started. a small gesture wedged in-between.

in this performance @104 meserole i’m trying to see you more clearly but visibility is low. however, intentional, it, be.
NO PAIN, BABY, NO GAIN [let’s get physical]


Julia Santoli is a multi-media artist based in New York. Her work synthesizes image, gesture, and sound while navigating memory and presence—how past experience manifests in the present as ruins, and how these traces transform through mediation to/from the body within the ghost-nature of sound. Her explorations take the form of vocal performance and body-generated audio feedback, sonic installation, video, and prints. She completed her BFA from the School of Visual Arts (Visual and Critical Studies), and has presented performative and visual work throughout New York.

PPL (Panoply Performance Laboratory)

PPL the collective’s current configuration is lead by Esther Neff with Brian McCorkle, Kaia Gilje and many others. Working across spheres of visual arts, dance, theater, music, and cultural activism to research (e)motion and social movement, mentalities, forms of collective ideation, and modes of organization, PPL makes “operas of operations,” performance art, installation, tours, and social projects. Past and ongoing projects includingEmbarrassed of the Whole (EotW), Any Size Mirror is a Dictator (with Lindsey Drury), NATURE FETISH, and The Transformational Grammar of the Institutional Glorybowl I, II, & III have been performed at LMCC (14 Wall St.), chashama (42nd St, 37th St, Harlem site), Danspace, ISSUE Project Room, Dixon Place, Grace Exhibition Space, and ABC No Rio to name a few places in NYC, and across the USA (D.C, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Tulsa, Toledo, Columbus, Lexington, Detroit, etc) and in Berlin, Copenhagen, London, and elsewhere. PPL has also released recordings through Gold Bolus and organized conferences, exhibitions, and events all over the world.


PERFORMANCY FORUM: CIVIC REFLEX is a collective performance/social art project involving: 1) the formation of a self-reflexive collective of 20 artists/groups 2) a series of 5 public forum events and 3) an online blog substantiating and framing “civic” “civil” and “reflexive” performance practices and performative theoretics. PERFORMANCY FORUM: REFLEJO CÍVICO es un colectivo de arte social y performance  que consiste en: 1) la creación de un colectivo de 20 artistas/grupos que se comporte de manera auto-reflexiva 2) una serie de 5 eventos/foros abiertos al público 3) un blog online dedicado a proveer contexto y enmarcar teóricamente prácticas de arte performático, civil, cívico y auto-reflexivo.

The 20 artists/groups will meet on each of the five Saturdays for collective forum discussion and interaction, followed by performances/presentations/situations on each date starting at 8pm, FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

April 21, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by: Diane Dwyer, Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez, Rina Espiritu

May 26, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by: Pei-Ling Ho, Daniel Gonzalez, Nana Ama Bentsi-Enchill

September 29, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by: Aditi Natasha Kini and Amin Husain, Leopold Krist, Megan Livingston, Feminist Art Group (F.A.G.)

October 20, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by:  Amelia Marzec, Samantha CC, Sierra Ortega, Verónica Peña

November 10, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by: Ada Pinkston, Lorene Bouboushian, Arantxa Araujo, Helen Yung, David Ian Bellows/Griess

CIVIC REFLEX/REFLEJO CIVICO is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). The project is administered/conceived by Esther Neff, participant selections were made by the PERFORMANCY FORUM committee via an Open Call.

Please visit PPL on Facebook and the PPL Website for Event information

salis_performance30Embarrassed of the Whole (EotW) Phase III (click HERE for Phases I [tour] and II [usership operations]) culminated through a series of engagements, August-October 2017:

Focus Workshop at Salisbury University
Movement I performance at Salisbury University (images)
Interactive Exhibition at the Electronics Gallery (Movement II) (images)
Movement III interactive/relational performance at W.O.R.K Gallery


Thank you so much to Tara and David Gladden for hosting/curating us!

IMG_0571(image above: PPL during “Constance Vigilance/Our Social Eye(s)” at Glasshouse, June 23, 12am-12pm, photo by Brian McCorkle)

June 28: PPL as punk band “Grout Pomade” generated by Geraldo Mercado’s usership of Embarrassed of the Whole @ the new Secret Project Robot, organized by Gold Bolus Recordings:

up next after that…

July 13-23, 2017 @PPL + Grace Exhibition Space,  JUST SITUATIONS: a performative convention (organized by Esther Neff, Leili Huzaibah, Kaia Gilje, and situating artists/active citizens)

Friday, July 29, 8pm PPL at Le Petit Versaille as part of Karl Cooney’s PERFORMANCE SERIES

August – October, 2017
PPL in residence at the Cage House in Chance, Maryland and solo visual exhibition at the Media Gallery at Salisbury University, performances and workshops with students and presentation of opera-of-operations at WORK Gallery

OPENCALL.jpgJUST SITUATIONS will take place across two weekends in July, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York:

Thursday-Sunday July 13th-16th
Thursday-Sunday July 20th-23rd 

Justice, it is said, must not only be done, it must be seen to be done (Homi K .Bhabha)

JUST SITUATIONS hosts artists, activists, and active citizens who are working in performative ways, moving beyond the trending commercialization of art “about” politics, instead seeking modes of performance which directly construct, position, and posit political, social, and embodied forms of human being and becoming.

Those gathered to perform this convention are ideally enabled to situate and posit some space-time-frames, modes, ethical (en)compassings, arbitrations, motivations, and social (as)semblance for situations in which justice may be done, seen, and seen being done.

We are directly constructing some situations in which, in and as small diffractive social groups, “we” imagine “we” may actually survive. This convention and forum aims (with no small feeling of embarrassment, naiveté and other emotive symptoms of outsiderness) to envision performance art, civic performance, and social art practices as theoretical and actual materializations of in-context equities, reparations, respectfully agonistic relationships, post-capitalist orders and economies, socio-ethical philosophies, self-realizations, and perhaps, liberations and so-seen justices.

JUST SITUATIONS is organized like an inventor’s exhibition or science fair. By framing everything occurring during the time-space of these eight days as just situations, or situation of justices, acts and social behaviors which are often seen as casual, common, as mere entertainment or luxury product, as dysfunctional, dangerous, foolish or impossible, as parasitic, private, and/or worthless within dominant schemas for value, are given primacy, seen as scientific breakthroughs and transformative political vehicles. Traumas are worked through instead of commodified, intersectional recognition of identities is practiced rather than merely hashtagged, constructive ideation is performed as a common, daily intra-activity, natures for human being are performatively reconfigured, dreams are staged as news, our bodies are on fire, our eyes glow in the dark.

We’ve shown you ours…if you’re interested in engagement, please make a proposal (in any form) responding to (agreement, disagreement, re-phrase, dialogue, reaction, etc) one or more of the following INQUIRIES, or propose an inquiry of your own (in any form) and e-mail to us at by May 15th


1. How can situations be said and seen to be “just”?
2. How are we practicing experimental metaphysics?
3. How are we practicing queer(ing), Black, indigenous/native/authorized/originating, female/femme, trans(formative), migrant/itinerant, ethically-oriented, alternative, (re)constructive, and (e)strange(d) ways of thinking/feeling/sensing/perceiving/becoming/being, are “ways” autonomous from persons in any way?
4. How are we theorizing forms of entanglement, intersection, and relationship?
5. How do we resist reductive inscriptions of/upon our bodies, enabling our actual(izing) presences to materialize in far more complex and particular ways?
6. How does performance art activate (as “activism” and as “affective influence”) actual political activities and conceptual transformations of human cultures, polities, institutions, and systems?
7. What do we mean when we say “the personal is political”?
8. Performance art is not “about” politics, it can not be “about” anything; there is no material schism between “real conditions” and “performance artifice:” all that is seen, heard, tasted, smelled, touched, emerges from embodied cognition, location, and positioned performance.
9. Because we are not universalists, essentialists, righteous fundamentalists, or objectivists, we do not suppose that our performances are inherently “true,” “right,” or “of quality to everyone,” is this the reason to distinguish modes of performance—for example “social” vs. “art” performance—? Does the sphere of “art” maintain some meaning and/or use? For example, do we add the word “art” to involve senses of intentionality, aesthetic and ethical decision-making, agency, dysfunction, radicality, and/or autonomy?
10. How do performance artists make sense? (full stop)

Here is a list of forms we are welcoming (in no way is this a complete or mutually-exclusive list):

-de-hierarchized forms of social performance
-constructive institutional critiques
-imaginary and proposed projects
-impossible projects
-participatory and interactive performances
-personalized and intra-personal performances
-environments and installations
-proposals for travelling actions, “art-form” marches, demonstrations, protests
-interventions and intervening projects
-performances of research, inquiry, investigation
-presentations of independent research and social knowledge-constructing activities
-discursive performances i.e. panels, workshops, roundtables, with performative forms
-social arts projects and “community arts” work (performed directly or performatively presented/described)
-presentations on projects happening already “elsewhere” and “outside” arts spheres and institutional spaces, “non art” projects
-magic(k), chaotic transformations and abreactive expressions
-rituals, prayers, ecstatic and generative performances
-metaphysical experiments (i.e. time travel, architecture, invention)
-performative technologies
-readings of texts and lectures
-AI and digital performances
-critical performances (framing and criticism)
-public interventions (including those in legal and governmental spheres)
-interrelative projects, daily practices, private performances, dinners, chores, etc
-travelling actions, tours, multi-site connections and corridor-formation
-domestic performance


Deadline for proposals: May 15
Dates of the convention: July 13-16 & July 20-23, 2017

Some deadline have been set in advance to make it possible for those involved to organize this thing together and in practical conjunction with jobs, travel, childcare, etc: please be advised that if you do this with us, we will need to have all public information about this project gathered and finalized by May 22 for PR and online presence. Full conference schedule will be released no later than June 1. All tech needs, requests for housing, requests for childcare, requests for formal letters of invitation etc to the initiating organizers by June 15.

Notes on money and power:

This convention is all-volunteer and there is no institutional support. Mutual support between this project and those involved is performed on a relative and situational basis. In short, there is no funding for materials, travel, or honorarium right now, but we are doing a crowd-sourcing campaign to fund travel and performers/presenters. Proposals for economic frames/structures for this project are also welcome. In addition, there will be a “default DIY” pay-what-you-can-at-the-door situation with proceeds going to the performers/presenters/participants that day.

Initiating organizers (Leili Huzaibah and Esther Neff) reserve the right to determine which proposals and persons will be formally involved with this project via an open call and invitations, based on subjective judgments and intra-personal relationships and experiences. In this case, investment and labor equals power, not an ideal situation but an intermediary one.