Panoply Performance Laboratory

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.



PERFORMANCE FORUM QUINQUENNIAL is a 12-day conference October 8-25, 2015:

conference = a situation during which persons confer
conferance = a “con” like “comicon” for makers and fans
conference = a culmination of a period of labor
conference = states of being and becoming together


Thursday, October 8: N/A PARTAY
Saturday, October 10: FEELING TOGETHER
Grace Exhibition Space

Thursday, October 15: IN COMPLEXITY OF
Panoply Performance Laboratory

Thursday, October 22: TRAUMA SALON
Friday, October 23: CORRUPTING FLESH
Grace Exhibition Space

╳╳open to the public every day╳╳
╳╳sugg. donation $10-30/day, no one turned away╳╳
Beverages lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery


Adriana Disman, A Feminist Collective, Alex Romania, Alice Vogler and Jessica Gath, Angela Freiberger, ANGELI, Anja Morell, Anya Liftig, Baxton Alexander, Ben Bennett, Bobby English Jr, Britta Wheeler, Butch Merigoni, Chloe Bass, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Daniel Larkin, David Ian Griess, Dolly Dharma, Édgar Javier Ulloa Luján & Laura Blüer, Emily Oliviera, Emma-Kate Guimon, Esther Neff, Florence Nasar, Grace Exhibition Space (Jill McDermid and Erik Hokanson), Hiroshi Shafer, Hoesy Corona, Honey McMoney, Hrag Vartanian (Hyperallergic), Ian DeLeon + Tif Robinette (aka AGROFEMME), Ivy Castellanos, Jenna Kline, Jon Konkol, Julia Croft/Future Husband, Kaia Gilje, Kerry Cox, Kikuko Tanaka, Leili Huzaibah, Lital Dotan and Eyal Perry (Glasshouse Life Art Lab), LJ Leach, Lorene Bouboushian, Marcelline Mandeng, Matthew Gantt, Meli Sanfiorenzo, Michael Newton, Naked Roots Conducive, Nathanial Sullivan, Nicole Brydson, Panoply Lab, Quinn Dukes, Rae Goodwin, Raki Malhotra, Rebecca Beauchamp, DIVERSITY FELLOWS, Robert Lisek, Shawn Escarciga, Social Health Performance Club, Soufïa Bensaïd, Sura Hertzberg, Thomas Albrecht, Valerie Kuehne/The Super Coda, Fauziya Sani, Zhenesse Heinemann, Alex Romania, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Tsedaye Makonnen 


PERFORMANCY FORUM QUINQUENNIAL marks 5 years of the platform PERFORMANCY FORUM, a project supporting and debating performance practices since 2009, organized by Panoply Performance Laboratory’s Esther Neff and the anonymous, flexible entity known as “Brooklyn International Performance Art Foundation (BIPAF)”


Performance of organizing the conference is in three layers, beginning as a series of diagrammatic interviews 
12 AGENDAS were synthesized from these diagrams.
Presenters made responsive abstracts to these agendas, which can be found HERE.
Finally, from October 8-25, 60+ responsive presenters self-organize and produce three weekends of a public conference.

Please e-mail or with any questions or inquiries.


“Embarrassed of the Whole (EotW)” is an opera of operations.


(above: project overview diagram)

Each process has its own context-specific form, researching, generating, and designing forms of social engineering and social construction via methodological practicing. Throughout “Embarrassed of the Whole,” PPL are researching and practicing HOW “social constructions” are consciously and intentionally engineered through interfacings, communications, and embodied relationships. We are interested in conflicts between the online and the in-person, the ontological and the epistemic, the physicalist and the affective. Tentatively, we posit embarrassment as the only sure symptom of a moment of social agency (if not “free action”), of being somehow “outside the whole.”

EotW is a hole, a cut, or sort of tunnel burrowing across three categories:  ONE:  PPL publically gather groups of individuals to collectively philosophize and research “social engineering and social construction” in workshops and focus groups. TWO: PPL gather, chart and index input online through a website of surveys and quizzes, and THREE: PPL form interpretation-schemas to turn “data” from both the publically-gathered groups and the online interfaces into scores, using these scores to engineer live, public, performances.


Coming up:

#9 Workshop 2: Methodologies between the OntoEpic @ PPL space, 04/19/2015. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, RSVP to

#10: Theories of the Anti-Sight, during PPL-organized exhibition “sounding the alarm: theories of the anti-sight” @ Liebig12 and Meinblau e.V. during Month of Performance Art Berlin (MPA-B), Berlin, DE. 05/03/2015 and 05/05/2015

#11: Curating as Performance Conference presentation, during Month of Performance Art Berlin (MPA-B), Berlin, DE, 05/24-26/2015

#12: Workshop 3/Performance/MART, Dublin, UK 05/30/2015

Also (un-numbered): Resistance & Resilience: Do I Do? Collaboration as performance through a series of durational acts, initiated by Grüntaler9 & Panoply Performance Laboratory @ Grüntaler9, Month of Performance Art Berlin (MPA-B), Berlin, DE, 05/07-11/2015

265546255-eotw_boston(above: #2)


#1 Embarazo of/with ya @ PPL and participants in person and online during Bushwick Open Studios (June 2014)

#2 Assess your Performance Art Practice FREE Online Generator during Petrichor Exchange, online and @ School of the Museum of Fine Arts (November 2014)

#3 Workshop: The Anti-Sight @ Massachusetts College of Art and Design (December 2014)

#4 Critical Eye Contact @ New Museum in response to Anya Liftig’s A Very Something or Other during the AUNTS for Camera exhibition (January 2015)

#5 The Violence of 5: 1-10, sequence of performances @ Brooklyn Fireproof during Quid Pro Quo @ Eden’s Expressway, and @ Tandem Bar (January 2015)

#6 EotW: Alternatives to Now @ [performance s p a c e], London, UK (February 2015)

#7 EotW: Preferences, during MAD Theory 2, online streaming during Performance Philosophy symposium in Madison, WI (March 2015)

#8 Workshop: Sphere of Definable Conditions, Consequences, and Contexts @ PPL space (March 2015)


(above top: workshop, #8. below: Kaia Gilje performing #6, photo by Daniella Vg)

PRACTING_petrichorbannerPetrichor Performance Collective and Panoply Performance Laboratory present an exchange of ideas and performative works in Brooklyn and Boston entitled Practice, Practicing, and the Perpetual Becoming of Performance

Friday, November 7 
Roundtable Discussion: 6pm
Performances: 7pm-11pm

Saturday, November 8
Performances: 7pm-11pm

PPL Space
104 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11206

(L to Montrose, G to Broadway, M to Lorimer)
FREE (suggested donation $5-15 for the artists’ travel)

Participating Artists from Petrichor:
Danielle Abrams, Leah Rafaela Ceriello, Dell M. Hamilton, Tiara Jenkins, Ryan McMahon, Helina Metaferia, Cris Schayer, Bryana Siobhan, Kledia Spiro, Nathaniel Wyrick

Byana_petrichor(Photo above: Bryana Siobhán, azul negro, at Piano Craft Guild)

The following weekend, PPL will complete the exchange in Boston at the School for the Museum of Fine Arts:

Friday, November 15
Roundtable Discussion: 6pm
Performances: 7pm-11pm

Saturday, November 16
Performances: 7-11pm
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
230 The Fenway
Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Participating Artists Include: Chloe Bass, Ayana Evans, Anya Liftig, Kikuko Tanaka, Zhenesse Heineman, Future Death Toll (Edward Sharp and David Griess), Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle (PPL), Glasshouse Project (Lital Dotan and Eyal Perry), Ivy Castellanos, and Wild Torus (Amy Mathis and Mike Voztok).

s2590047(Photo above: Kikuko Tanaka, Poultry Paradise and its Discontents (2013), PPL Space, Photo by Hiroshi Shafer)


How does an artist design and practice a practice? More importantly, how does an artist practice within constantly fluctuating ways of learning? This performance exchange is meant to address questions of process and pedagogy and to interrogate collectivity and community as a part of the practices of artists operating in Boston, New York City, and beyond.

Performance art, termed as such, has experienced a major shift between 2006 and 2014 “inside” and “outside” art worlds. The “professional” artists from the NYC area and student artists alike will ask critical questions of themselves and each other to determine how the MFA program, the collective, the artspace, the panel discussion, and other forms of social learning, are integrated within performance art practices today. The artists will question pedagogy, community, collectivity, and how our organizational and pedagogical practices operate in conflux with our performance work. Group discussions in each location with be focused around making a practice and will be allowed to digress in any of these directions.  This exchange is curated/organized by Helina Metaferia and Esther Neff, respective members of Petrichor and Panoply.

 danielleabrams(Photo above: Danielle Abrams, video still: Quadroon)

About Petrichor Performance Collective:
Petrichor is a performing arts collective operating and performing in Boston, MA, founded by MFA students, alumni, and friends of School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Facebook: PetrichorPerformanceCollective

About Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) is a duo of performance artists, a collective involving anyone who participates in any PPL operations, and an investigative project space in Brooklyn, NY that hosts performance and social projects. PPL has initiated Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, conferences-as-mass performances, and organized PERFORMANCY FORUM (a critical platform for performance-as-theory) since 2009.

kerwinppl(PPL Space, a project of the Panoply Performance Laboratory (Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle). Photo by Kerwin Williamson)


Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary visual artist working in two dimensional, three dimensional, and time-based mediums. Born in Washington, DC to Ethiopian parents, Helina’s work is rooted in diaspora, migration and gender studies through an exploration of the body. Her work has been exhibited at Galeria Labirynt (Lublin, Poland), Emerson College Gallery (Boston, MA), International Visions Gallery (Washington, DC), Casa Frela Gallery (New York, NY), Williams College Gallery (Williamstown, MA), and more. She recently performed at the Guggenheim Museum with Afro-Cuban artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons in honor of the Carrie Mae Weems retrospective exhibition.

Leah Rafaela Ceriello: b. 1989. New Hampshire USA. What has come before you? what will remain after you’re gone

Tiara Jenkins is a Boston based performance artist. She was raised in Pittsburg, Missouri on a 40 acre farm. Since moving to Boston three years ago, she has been considering processes of acculturation and questioning how an individual’s life dreams and goals are formed, crushed, and reformed.

Kledia Spiro is an interdisciplinary artist experimenting with intense physical actions and understanding the internal dialogue and struggle that occur before, during, and after the action.  Kledia was born in Albania and is part of an Olympic Weightlifting team. She uses weightlifting as a symbol of empowerment and pain. Weightlifting becomes a vehicle for discussing women’s role in society, immigration and times of war.

Nathaniel Wyrick is a multidisciplinary artist born in East Tennessee and currently living and working in Boston. Working through performance, printmaking, photography, and installation he explores the fragility and imperfection of memory as it relates to personal history, identity, masculinity, and sexuality.

Cris Schayer, New Orleans artist currently based in Boston. Examining the perception of memory, language, and identities, she works with the ephemerality of time based durational performances yielding residual objects. The residue becomes a compulsive attempt to solidify the intangible.

Dell M. Hamilton is an artist, writer, activist and curator based in Boston. Born in Spanish Harlem and spending her formative years in the Bronx borough of New York, she was raised in a bilingual as well as a multi-racial Honduran family. Her work is grounded in the interdisciplinary contexts of the African Diaspora and she has most recently performed with Afro-Cuban artist, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons as part of MacArthur Genius Award winner Carrie Mae Weems’s retrospective show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Dell’s work has been shown to a wide variety of audiences at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Paragraph Gallery (St. Louis), Spoke Gallery/Medicine Wheel Productions (Boston), NK Gallery (Boston), Mobius (Boston), OKW Gallery (Boston), the Fort Port Artist Building (Boston), Atlantic Works (Boston), the Joan Resnikoff Gallery/Roxbury Community College (Boston), the Massachusetts State House (Boston) and at Perfolink: Maestros y Discipulos in Concepción, Chile.

Emerging artist Bryana Siobhan is currently a Masters Candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine art of Boston, and an Alumni of the Corcoran College of Art + Design with her Bachelors in Fine Art.  She has been living and working in Boston, MA for the past years as a performance artist, founder (a performance art archive), as a founding member of Petrichor Performance Collective and member of Que Lastima! Working in the topic of US-centric social politics regarding race, gender, and mental health, and spirituality, Siobhan draws cultural cues and signifiers from the Black American, Afro-Cuban and Indigenous American (NDN) cultures.

Danielle Abrams has performed for over 20 years as personae that emerge from her interracial family, and from a lexicon of figures in art history and popular culture. Her performances upend the limits of stereotype and representation.  As each of Abrams’ characters transfigure into new ones, prejudicial assumptions are traded in for complex and candid dialogues. Danielle Abrams has performed and exhibited work at galleries, festivals, and museums in New York including the Queens Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, Roger Smith Hotel, WOW Performance Café, The Kitchen, Rush Arts Gallery, ABC No Rio, and Dixon Place.  She has also exhibited work nationally and internationally at Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Queer Arts Festival, Labotanica at Project Row Houses, Annie Sprinkle’s and Beth Stephens’ Green Wedding, Art Gallery of Windsor, and The Geborgen Kamers Gallery in the Netherlands. She teaches Performance at The School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Ryan C. McMahon: “I was injured and hospitalized during the Boston Marathon Explosions with a major back injury and two broken wrists. “You’re Ok” explores my recovery and the healing process. I have been researching how other artists like Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, Stanya Kahn, Jon Rafman, Hannah Wilke and Liza Johnson uncover the effects of war, trauma and violent events. I’m also very interested in how groups, communities and cities grieve and heal collectively. Using texts from Trauma Studies I am exploring and documenting the impacts of psychological and physical trauma on an individual (myself), my family, my immediate community, and on the city as a whole while also looking at the contrasting methods that the mass media has used to process the event. The body’s healing time vs. media time.”


Chloë Bass Rehearsal for Regular Social Behavior” Chloë Bass is a conceptual artist working in performance, situation, publication, and installation. Chloë has received commissions from LUMEN, the Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival, the Bushwick Starr’s Bushwhack Festival, and 3rd Ward’s Moviehouse. She has received residencies from the Bemis Center (Omaha, Nebraska), POGON (Zagreb, Croatia), D21 Kunstraum/5533 art space (Leipzig, Germany and Istanbul, Turkey), and Eyebeam (New York). Recent work has been seen at the Neuberger Museum, Momenta Art, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Flux Factory, Kunstkammer AZB (Zürich), Akademie Schloss Solitude, Exit Art, Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, ITINERANT Performance Festival, Glasshouse, Panoply Performance Laboratory, and Agape Enterprise, among others. Selected profiles of her work have appeared in BOMB, Entorno, ArtInfo, Art Observed, and Hyperallergic. She is a the recipient of the 2014 Create Change Residency from the Laundromat Project, the 2013 Fellowship for Utopian Practice from Culture Push and is a 2011 & 2012 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Individual Artist Grant Nominee. From 2007 – 2011, Chloë served as the co-lead organizer for Arts in Bushwick, which produces Bushwick Open Studios, BETA Spaces, and Armory Arts Week performance festival SITE Fest, which she founded. She has guest lectured at Parsons School of Design, Sotheby’s Institute, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, and Brooklyn College CUNY. She holds a BA in Theater Studies from Yale University, and an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College.

Ayana M. Evans currently resides in New York, home base for her work as a performance artist and accessories designer. She frequently visits her hometown of Chicago, a city whose “all-American” and sometimes controversial reputation has been a major influence on her art making practices, either as ideals she challenges or as nostalgia for histories she cannot re-create.  Her own family’s roots in the South and her identity as an African American woman add another significant layer to her performance works, which are often presented as critical or banal queries that involve her body. Evans received her MFA in painting from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University.  She has also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture as well as the Vermont Studio Center.  Recent exhibits include: “Time Distortion and the Body” at Panoply Performance Laboratory, Brooklyn, “A Box in the World,” sponsored by Local Projects, Queens, “All that Glitters,” at The Gateway Project, Newark, “Operation Catsuit” video, screened at Panoply Performance Laboratory, Brooklyn, and “Everything Is Up For Grabs,” performance art piece choreographed by Whitney Hunter and shown at Judson Church, New York.  Evans’ accessories line, Yana handbags, was launched in 2007 and has been featured in EssenceNylonMarie Claire, TimeOut NY and the L.A.

Anya Liftig’s work has been featured at TATE Modern, MOMA, The New Museum, Trouw Amsterdam (collab with Stedelijk Museum, CPR, Highways Performance Space, Lapsody4 Finland, Fado Toronto, 7a11d International Performance Festival, 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 around the globe. 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 MagazineBOMBThe Wall Street JournalVogue ItaliaNext MagazineNow and ThenStay ThirstyNew York MagazineGothamistJezebelHyperallergicBad at SportsThe 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, Atlantic Center for the Arts, The New Museum, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Flux Projects, University of Antioquia and Casa Tres Patios-Medellin, Colombia. She is the recipient of a 2014-2015 Franklin Furnace Award for a series of interventions in museums throughout New York mimicking the gestures of animals depicted in Old Master paintings and sculptures. In November 2014 she will release her first self-published artists’ book, entitled Rejection, Just Over 15 years of Ambition, which was featured in the D.A.P. publication, On Art and Life, by Stuart Horodner.  Purchasers receive a one of a kind portfolio box with a copy of every rejection letter Liftig has received to date.  Every year, purchasers receive a packet with the rejection letters of that calendar year to update their collection.  Their purchases also fund the production of a duplicate edition of Rejection which is sent to an institution of their selection from an index of all the organizations that have ever rejected the artist.  Please contact the artist directly for more information or to purchase a copy.  Upcoming performances include performing in: Screening Room, or, The Return of Andrea Kleine (as revealed through a re-enactment of a 1977 television program about a ‘long and baffling’ film by Yvonne Rainer.) at The Chocolate Factory in Long Island City, Queens,  A performance/dance collaboration with Tess Dworman at Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn, NY, and AUNTS on Camera at The New Museum, NY.

Lital Dotan & Eyal Perry (aka: Glasshouse) have been a collaborative team since 2001. Their work is best described as interdisciplinary performative art, integrating elements of video, photography and installation into performance; challenging ideas pertaining to the role of art in society, the role of the audience in art and the very nature of art itself. In their performative pieces they often involve the public, seriously examining public morality and the deeper, more hidden motivations behind social interactions. In 2010 the Glasshouse project was hosted by seminal performance artist Marina Abramovic at her institute in San Francisco. In addition to their work as Glasshouse, Lital & Eyal’s works have been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries (the Israel Museum, the San Francisco Jewish Modern and the National Museum in Cracow among others) and can be found in public and private collections worldwide.

Future Death Toll’s David and Edward ask a lot of questions, like: how can we make performances with people not in the same room (would that also work for several performers in several different places)? is silence important? how far does our voice reach? how can this engage the public? what’s the most minimal amount of material required to conceptually encapsulate the relevant point? Answers become fodder for group collaboration and idea exchange through tools like open forum discussion, a/v recordings, and live video chat. Black trash bags, heavy breathing, sweat, mask, razors, and clothes are objects of ephemera & appropriated context; which may or may not be (or become) transcendental; which may or may not be well crafted; which may or may not really exist. What is seen? What is not seen? How is it that we can “see” what’s not there? And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you (to borrow from Nietzsche).

Kikuko Tanaka: Hybrid Research, Poetic Amalgamation and Communication ” Born and raised in JapanKikuko Tanaka is a frantic thinker and practitioner currently based in New York. Her ongoing series of tragicomic epic “A Tragic Bambi” is an open-ended investigation of psychical histories that inform and condition the present. She has performed and exhibited in various venues, including Smack Mellon, Momenta Art, NARS Foundation, Center for Performance Research, Amelie A.Wallace gallery at SUNY Old Westbury, Vox Populi, Arario Gallery and Panoply Performance Laboratory among others. Her work has been favorably reviewed in Art in America, Art Info, and Hyperallergic. She was a nominatee for a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Art Grant in 2010. She has an interdisciplinary background in her education. She holds a BS in Landscape Design from Chiba University, and has briefly studied fine art at School of Visual Arts, and has engaged in interdisciplinary studies at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, New York. She was a co-founder/ co-director of one-year artists’ project, Agape Enterprise, Brooklyn, New York, and is currently Administrative Director at Momenta Art, Brooklyn, New York.

Ivy Castellanos is a performance artist and sculptor. Castellanos is the founder of IV Soldiers.

Zhenesse Heinemann: “Ms Connections. Zhenesse Heinemann produces public programming, and curates and creates art in New York City and beyond.  She was born in Germany, grew up in Chicago, lived on the beach in Los Angeles, and has made a home in New York since 2004.

WILD TORUS (WT) is the eccentric brainchild of male and female counterparts, Vlady VØz Tokk and Mág Ne Tá Z’air, in addition to their collaborating spawn. WT creates chaotic, cult happenings within multi-sensory installations. Working out of Capitol Beltway inbreeding in a post-Cold War malaise between clashing Russian bloodlines; mental contortion in the American South; abandoned, Castilian wormholes; gradual suburban numbing; and urban hyper-stimuli, WT aims to create a shared, collective experience with audiences. WT utilizes a combination of digital and physical means, like projection art and kinetic sculpture, to communicate major events that occur in the universe. Through an ephemeral process, WT’s constructed interventions alter its participants’ consciousness, as well as their corporeal position in society. The rituals activate a liminal space-time to personally deconstruct events of our contemporary reality, those which have been distorted through media sources and the Internet. Ultimately, the coming together of WT’s clashing identities, invented tools, and cryptic symbols through ritualistic experience erupts into an extreme, dystopian spectacle.

PPL (Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle): “Embarrassed of the (W)hole: Exchange with Petrichor” Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) operates across disciplines and spheres, constructing and participating in live situations. Projects such as operas, conferences, exhibitions, a miniature museum, tours, a performance space, an international festival, workshops, and other forms have been supported through Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Brooklyn Arts Council, LaGuardia Community College, University Settlement, the cell, chashama,, Performer Stammtisch, University of Kentucky, and shown at Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery and High Concept Laboratories (Chicago), Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, The White Page (Minneapolis), ISSUE: Project Room, Grace Exhibition Space,  Flux Factory, English Kills, Momenta Art (NYC), Villa Victoria (Boston), La Casa del Popolo (Montreal), Gruentaler9 (Berlin) and many other spaces, in addition to public sites including a bowling alley, public libraries, bars, gas stations, etc. Outside of PPL, Brian McCorkle is a founder of composer ensemble Varispeed and has performed in PERFORMA 11 and 13, at The Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, and all over the world as a performer and composer. Esther Neff (almost always operating as “PPL”) practices contextual and conceptual work involving modes of institutional critique, curation-as-art, and social performance. She also writes about performance theory and has spoken on/at GritTV, Abrons Arts Center, CUNY, The New School, and published texts here and there on the outmost fringes of academia. Brian and Esther have been collaborators since 2004.


Within a situation that intentionally performs the shifting of frames and reflections, witnessing/participating is arbitration between conflicting dialectical images. Meanings can only be read by individually self-authorized interpretants; you will be a dictating mirror in the room, facing sets of ir-rational constructions performed into ad-hoc [1] repetition by a collaboration of nonrepresentative yet rigorously-rehearsed and methodologically-driven performers.


The totalitarian implications of reflective schemas for “reality” and “meaning” must be taken for granted (we have suffered the arrays of western imperialism long enough to know them as ourselves) but we struggle to put anything in place of these schemas or even see anything as other than they are: hegemonic discourses dictating a constant methodological agenda towards universality, understanding, and power-seeking within mythic paradigms of the politic, the personal, the rhetoric, the economic. The smell of the corpses laid in the wake of such schemas make every nourishment our bodies need taste bad.


Any Size Mirror is a Dictator forces us to wade down into the graves; we don’t “transcend” anything. We are not an elite few, we are pro-fessional culture workers. Holding our breaths, we focus on the acts themselves, taking as a principle of performance [2] that isolation of actions [3] are (at best) “interesting” attempts at ______ [4] becoming-states.


Unfortunately here, there are more complications. Acts are so various in mode, and so complex as modes, that performance focusing on the acts themselves must choose what kinds of acts to focus on. Via a long period of rehearsal, debate, and public performance, we become interested in how our focus alters what it focuses on, how it is dictating formality and constructing via its definition of acts and through formalization and definition as acts.


The process of acting as, and some actions, having been chosen via previous processes (remembering is also acting), is and looks like dancing. It also is and sounds like making music, and is and reads like speaking, building, socializing. Perhaps tragically, what we’re doing here is just an opera. It becomes more and more an opera the more consistent our ways of doing become (see: Kaprow): operations (making sounds, saying words, making movements, doing actions, touching things, becoming, becoming) formed into a work means “opera.” At last, as we approach 7-weeks of working it out via our operations, framed as an opera-dance-installation-art-thing by an art gallery, we surface back into the totalitarian air, aiming these (now seemingly absurd) “modal consistencies” or “systems,” or “scores,” into repetition in the face of your interpretation.


And we imagine that you will interpret our actions as opera. A star is easily recognizable by your eye as a star by the time it gets exactly to this point in time and space, somewhere else (or long ago) it was/is a molten mass of energies and everything. In western traditional dance, music, and theater, the most common modes are ways of doing something which are rehearsed to produce the same action every time, irrelevant to whether or not that is even possible: this is how you make a star, this is a star. Modern performance then is most dominantly “research”-based, seeking empiric answers to problems, or just reflecting problems themselves: what is the essence of star-ness? Can the most star-like star be made? Post-modern (or hyper-modern) performance shatters into myriad modes, but even here, ways of doing are often “reduced” to very small sized mirrors in performance-as-art so that a “somethingness” can emerge that is detached from any direct cause-and-effect, see Abramovic, see Rainer, see Cage: ★

“Post-modern” projects contain antitheses and reimaginations of Modernism’s reductive processes (primarily sight-based though also existing across sensorially-dilineated artforms) and are used to identify modal consistencies. Processes of reaction, reflection, reduction, reproduction, representation (and any other “re” which positions itself in relationship with something) can become objects in and of themselves; while actions focus on the way of doing rather than on what is done, the ways of doing themselves must be totally governed, simple, clear, essential, in order to apply to more than what they are, in service variously of “value” of acts as such. Even when processes are aleatoric/relational, they are parsable containers for bodies, operations which signify/represent consistent ways in which things can be done in projection of the things these ways of doing potentially produce. Objectives of many current modes of performance (among many others, any and all that have objectives) are those which might be described as becoming-objects. Objects/objectives act as particles/components in other systems (such as juxtapositional semiotic phrases and art markets) not as agents (lubricant or otherwise). For many reasons, the deathsmell is here too.


It is another assumptive principle of this work that un-reduction (i.e. synthesis, or “confusion” [5]) in terms of technique and in service of “virtuosity” (intentionality of the utmost utterance), is helpful in attempts to act complex actions such as thinking and other forms of resisting. In order to think about this, we have to draw diagrams, or move, or make noise; cognitive exercises prove embodiment just as somatic exercises do and Cartesian dualism finally doesn’t even feel right anymore. Because of this, performance-as-art has become deeply invested in subject-object relationships and so we have many examples of modal consistencies navigating different objectives and actions, as irreducible processes to steal and stitch together. We are now in the anythingplace, putting into repetition larger and larger mirrors that open exponentially in attempts to define each action. Any Size Mirror is a Dictator first attempted to find andprocess acts which were not possibly something, following perceived edges around artistic attempts and researching arguments throughout political science, cognitive science, social psychology, anthropology, phenomenology, and the annals of YouTube for acts which constructively act, but not consistently. All of this soon became re-cognizable as labyrinthine catacomb, reproduced almost automatically [6] as anything at all. The rooms get smaller and smaller, Aristotle haunts our nonexistent breakfasts. We explain ourselves to invisible aliens, startle at rabbit-shaped shadows. We find ourselves collecting attempts (mostly failed) into scores for action, forever mise-en-abymically making smaller and smaller attempts to resist objectivity and reflection until the attempts themselves are erased by what we can’t actually describe via all that which is indicated above, and is probably the “engine itself.”


We move as if each action of ours is another layer of matryoshka [7], size in both directions unlimited. Optimistically though, we might desire this feeling of big something else to prove that a.) there are subaltern [8] ways of becoming meaningful, that b.) simultaneity can be cognized, and c.) everything will be OK.

Otherwise, we might find that our selves (if such things exist) are Totally pinned inside regimes of “existing” meaning, or worse, ground into nothing by the nihilism of capitalism, systemic oppressions, and epistemological theology, all operations never failing to serve as reflections constructing that grand reflection itself, a fascism inherent to any historic/political/social “body” [9] itself.


We rest in repetition of materials, practicing social learning and cognitive parsing, procedural slowings of sense-based decision-makings, performance of sense-making/interpretation. What is and isn’t a part of this? How do I do? (see: Stein)


Sometime at the beginning of the project, we split into two teams fighting inside different sorts of cultural game-prisons: the Rehearsive team is lead by two dictators, a composer and a choreographer. These dictators build an experiential paradox (deathtrap) of rules and laws enforcing the idea that “any size mirror is a dictator” on the performers, and joining the work as performers themselves. Pushed away from the good-feeling ecstatic dancing and singing body by technical difficulty, all acts must be acted as acts, chosen immediately and performed as such for and in the moment. Reflecting opera as a relational aesthetic, a performance of performance, a structure about structures, labor is performed inside a holodeck programmed to simulate what it will be like, the materiality of material can be molecularly pulled apart by the hubris of attempts to “accurately reflect” what is not, in any sense of facts, there. This is, in a handful of ways, a negative reinforcement, but it has attempted the “self-destruct from the inside” approach with excruciating sincerity: the rules and laws are impossible to follow and open to interpretation, they contradict each other in exactly the ways we think we see that conceptual models must (our very problems with them).


The second team, a Recursive team, is lead by third dictator, a writer/theater director. We interpret “any size mirror is a dictator” from an “outside” position, working mostly alone to develop methodologies for making sense. These methodologies are subjective, beginning from the place of instability of significance, confusion of conceptual metaphor, and anti-naturalist “postmodern condition.” Our optimistic expectations are to create a situation like some “grand prehistoric time of tasting” wherein anything could potentially be food the moment we put it in our mouths, but hubris is in any attempt to start from scratch with all of the ingredients already baked into the dough of ourselves.


You are invited to this humble utopian feast of failures, it exists only as an index of the hunger that is interest, as meaninglessfull as you decide.


[1] “ad-hoc” means “for a specific purpose, non-generalizable”

[2] art itself is a semantic and capital-based construction operating though modes of production. This project does have a mode of production, existing weakly in relationship to itself via an “institutional critique” consisting of transparencies, written analyses, and embedded (content-based) reflections, see “Accepting Proposals,” Score #2, for example. Conflicts between artistic modes of production and “how art becomes” are our primary interest here. Antonio Gramsci writes that art is that which defines art: thus, art (even if it has, as an objective to become art, see process philosophy) must begin from a position (where?) that is “not” art. To an extent, this “non-art” remains to tied to becoming art as a product of its own co-constructive resistance of art: it is always art, but its conception of itself defines art as something itself/else/that is.

[3] extrapolate special relativity (see: Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen/Bohm experiment) first as a poetic proof for empirical inadequacy and next as a replacement of attempts at empirical adequacy with action-based diagrams: causes and effects can become equations but each equation relates with every other, infinitely and non totally.

[4] insert positive word

[5] see score #1 “confuse means to pour together”

[6] see scores #22, #23, #24, “artists and all individuals are products/conduits/producers”)

[7] a matryoshka is a nesting doll

[8]“subaltern” in PHILOSOPHICAL LOGIC may mean: “(of a proposition) implied by another proposition (e.g., as a particular affirmative is by a universal one), but not implying it in return” (Dictionary of Philosophy)

“subaltern” in POST-COLONIALISM may mean: “the social group who are socially, politically, and geographically outside of the hegemonic power structure of the colony and of the colonial homeland” (our friend Wikipedia)

[9] conceptual metaphors: “social body,” “world as stage,” our acts process in pursuit of alternatives to these, most constructively




Institute_Institut is the last piece in the Transformational Grammar of the Institutional Glorybowl trilogy, three works exploring relationships between institutions and embodied selves.


In December of 2008, PPL co-directors Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle began a process along “documentary” lines, using texts, ideas, and opinions explicitly written/stated by a de-hierarchized body of other humans as scores for attempts to directly perform/act out/embody epistemic currents. We began the trilogy with Schooled and Unschooled (Dixon Place and The West End Theater, 2008), followed in 2009 by Workforce/Forced Work (LMCC 14 Wall Street and chashama’s 42nd St. space, 2009).

By 2010, the research had swallowed us and the work became “operatic” in attempts to reconcile “sensible” institutional schemas with the all-consuming chaos and intersubjectivity of human engagement, participation, and construction, in and of institutions. Beginning to both formalize and destroy our own perspectives and methods (we currently maintain that these are simultaneous and inseparable intentions), for Institute_Institut we conducted a series of “Focus Workshops,” happening-type performances that were open to the public and used theater and movement therapy exercises to reenact emotional and psychological relationships between individuals and institutions. Interviews, in different forms, were also conducted with participants (off the street, invited, and as part of institutional and non-institutional gatherings).

Primary Focus Workshops were held at Surreal Estate in Bushwick, Judson Church in Greenwich Village (during the Anarchist Book Fair), Studio Maya in Prospect Heights, during FIGMENT on Governer’s Island, at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, and Force and Flow Studio in Crown Heights (and elsewhere). Moving through institutional constructs like “the theater industry” and organizations including schools, workplaces, hospitals, churches, government offices and stations (police), and of course our own “nation-state,” debating social institutions like marriage, kinship, religion, language, media, and pursuing “information about” many other areas of semantically tricky institutionality, we began to break down a matrix of considerations and communications which eventually resulted in the opera libretto and music. We then cast and rehearsed the opera over the course of 8 months. Public rehearsals and performances at BOB the Pavilion at Columbia University, during Superfront’s Public Summer at Industry City, LPAC, and incubation and a run of the opera (fully staged) at the cell concluded the project. PPL collaborators on this project included: Megan Cooper, Natasha Missick, Katie Johnston, Matthew Stephen Smith, Brian Rady, Hyatt Michaels, Michael Newton, Kristin Elliot, Ellen O’Meara, Adrian Owen, Andrew Whipple, Dave Ruder, Greg Loewer Jr. and Marie Weigl. Here is a video clip from documentation of that production:

Here is a video: 

Last year, Dave Ruder approached us about making a recording of this opera (operetta really). Thus began a process of individually recording each vocal and instrumental part. This took a few months. And then mixing took a few months. Finally, the recording is completed. You can listen to it by clicking:

SALLY: Jessica Jelliffe
MOMMY 1: Gelsey Bell
MOMMY 2: Lisa Clair
MOMMY 3: Brian McCorkle
GEORGE 1: Paul Pinto
GEORGE 2: Matthew Stephen Smith
GEORGE 3: Brian Rady
ANIMALS: Baxton Alexander, Jason Craig (documentary voiceover), Kristin Elliot, Ellen O’Meara, Esther Neff, Dave Ruder
GODBRAIN: Adrian Owen
VIOLIN: Daniella Fischetti
DRUMS: Cory Bracken

We are also participating in the launch party for this batch of Gold Bolus recordings! Join us next Saturday night, July 26 @ JACK. 


Celebrating the second batch of sonic realities being dispatched by the wee Brooklyn label Gold Bolus Recordings ( Featuring sets from four acts who’ve just put out new albums and one with an album on the way, as well as booze, and of course, tin foil. Admission $10 at the door. Performances by:

goldbolusposterellen o
Backed up by her horn section, Ellen O’Meara plays tunes from her just released synth pop instant classic, Sparrows and Doves

Why Lie?
Aliza Simons & Dave Ruder + some guests playing a wide range of songs from their freshly unveiled album Osoitos

Panoply Performance Laboratory
Two acts from Esther Neff & Brian McCorkle’s 2011 opera Institute_Institut, performed by a stable of the finest singers around

Woody Leslie
Premiering a live interpretation of his ambitious sonic and visual mapping of each state in the USA

Invisible Circle
Dave Kadden delivers heavy synth, voice, & oboe tunes from his record, coming this Fall

Thank you for reading, and for listening!!!!!

In ongoing dealings with performance art and its modes of production,  PPL release the Summer 2014 Open Call.



Can performance artists “emerge”? Are we looking to “establish” and “become visible?” (if so, what do we mean by this?) Are we trying to become famous? Is your cause an emergency? Do you need something? Do you have something you want seen? We coin a term, “EV” (“Emergency Visibility”) to describe, in general and in specificity, the ways in which live performance art problematizes these concerns and often subverts conceptual, economic, and other formal paradigms.

PERFORMANCY FORUM is a platform, it holds you up, but only so that you can be seen as part of an immediate situation by a living witnesses, who exist with you in the here and now. There is no visibility beyond the present tense, no life to the work beyond it’s liveness. There may be taken photographs or video. There may be post-performance discussion. But there will be only subjective schemas by which you may measure whether or not the performance you made became visible.

Please make proposals (ideally in debate with the above) for performances to occur on SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2014 at Panoply Performance Laboratory in Brooklyn, NY.


tech needs
links to past work

in an email to: PANOPLYLAB@GMAIL.COM

FIVE ARTISTS will be selected to create performance works for the evening at PPL.
Preference is given to artists who have not performed here before (NEW BLOOD).

Artists receive all donations from the door and free beer all night + a souvenir screenshot of the Facebook event page*


*Unfortunately we do not have funds to support travel to or housing in NYC, we are a studio space run by artists, not an institution.

This year, PPL and Drearysomebody, will conclude construction of a dance-opera called ‘Any Size Mirror is a Dictator‘ with a six-week installation and durational performances at Momenta Art, Sept 5-Oct 19, 2014. 

After much debate and consideration, we have decided to launch  HATCHFUND CAMPAIGN to bring in dollars and sense.  

An in-depth analysis of this small act, written in pseudo-political science jargon (as an act of writing-as-performance as part of her role of “recursive dictator” within the dance-opera) by Esther Neff, is below. 

The idea that there is an economic crisis in the arts at all hinges on the final and hegemonic establishment of a turn-of-the-century[1] conception of art: that it is a functional—moreover fungible—part and parcel of society.

As such, “the arts” undergo the same crises as “society,” crises which are caused and demonstrated by the increasing divide between rich and poor, by the prison industrial complex and by hyper-commercialization, privatization, and corporatization, et all. These crises do, oddly, bring artistic practices and their “value(s)” into much interesting and problematic question[2], spawning areas of art theory which, for example, return to essentialist humanist views in formal argument against perceptions of art as leisure, or formally confront economies as performative systems.

I am not here to argue for any specific relationship between “art” and “society” and I will not be using any symptomatic arguments for “the value” of art (I believe that “value” itself is both constructed and subjective). Instead, at the beginning of this expository recursion and introspective case study, I simply want to note that the establishment of this basic, fundamental theory of art’s fungibility, which underlies much of art theory today, is intrinsic on a doxic level, reinforced and demonstrated “scientifically” by the rise of experimental (scientifically moded) artmaking and the rise of the 501(c) 3 sector, as aligned with the tightening grip of post-consensual capitalism. As a paradigm (i.e. thoughts and ways of thinking which are constructed to be universal), this conception of a functional/fungible “role” for art in (an ecologic/economic) society, involves certain smaller, more concrete structures which model artmaking/art and our conceptions of what art is and who artists are:

1.)  Art being a functional/fungible part of society means that the artist is a worker, first and foremost. As such, the artist is subjected to the same valuation schemas for labor as any producer of forms of fungible goods and services. As entrepreneur, as worker, as producer of product. If the artist is not making money and not working as a worker in these ways, they are not a working (“professional”) artist and their artistic labor is not valuable.

2.)  This operates intrinsically with art’s subjection within, and consideration solely as, a set of objects, which are products, fungible within markets, as markets construct economies, which in turn construct culture, which in turn constructs art, which in turn is subject to markets (see: Jameson, in which culture itself is product). This cycle, many argue and feel, is not only economic, but ecological, an understanding of sustainability, a way of existing safely and freely. If art is not being bought and sold, it is not art as it does not functionally construct culture or participate in culture at all.

3.)  That it is the artist’s responsibility to operate functionally and fungibly within these paradigms, which ultimately serve as the only way to value their existences within a society dominated hegemonically (see Antonio Gramsci) by capitalism. If an artist cannot sell their art product, the art product is not valuable.

Figuring out how to actualize the third structure for artists and art dominates much of the dialogue about an “economic crises” for art; artists’ failure to fulfill such a critical component of the ultimate theory that art is a functional part of society burdens them with debt, guilt, humiliation, and fear of ostracization from this very society. Furthermore, any artist who doubts the intention of art to be fungible finds themselves relegated to the crazy camp of outsider artist, or just bad (invaluable) artist (i.e. not participant in society).[3]

On the other side of the same coin, arguments that art is valuable because it is transcendent, therapeutic, empathically stimulating, a part of human nature/essential, beautiful, that it allows for self expression, catalyzes catharsis, and raises consciousness, even that it is anti-capitalist and/or otherwise “politically relevant,” multiply and compound as they are developed and designed to insist why certain art (and programs which teach, fund, and otherwise support art) should be exchanged with money, and/or a lot of money. Thus, conceptions of the values of art are Totally formed by structures for capitalism-based valuation schemas.[4]

This is the point in roundtables about arts economies at which someone always says something reductivist (but “true”) basically stating that: Despite any objections to this vast paradigm (i.e. capitalism itself and its models for human existence), artists such as ourselves ARE, without a doubt, humans living in this society where all goods and services, including space (housing, land, essentially), food (less controlled but totally related with currency within urban areas, see land), health care (access to medicines and specialist members of society), water (see, housing, there are no more public drinking fountains and it is against city laws to open a fire hydrant) and all other resources are subject to currency-based capitalism. When we attempt to work for any reason other than capital gain, we soon find ourselves resourceless (homeless, hungry, sick, thirsty, naked, etc), not to mention deemed valueless as individuals. Capitalism is not a choice, its autopoetic many-headed modes perhaps dominate our very consciousnesses, (see Meszaros) perhaps especially in urban areas, and perhaps especially in New York City. The question we must ask ourselves thus becomes less about how to, futilely, as martyrs or nuns, resist fungibility and become ascetics (somehow) anesthetic to capitalism and more about how to functionally survive as participants, social animals, in society. Perhaps we can most agree: we would like to survive ethically, practically, with compassion and generosity, but we would also like to survive in society (with people, who are the sum, substance, subject, and source of all art as it is made by people), and so we seek ethical, practical, compassionate, and generous ways of dealing with some kind of monetization of art.

A sick hope remains, in me, that art itself will prove that some human agency and potential for something else is still possible (and maybe even help us act out what that something might be).

The first problem confronted, within ensuing, weakly hopeful little interventions within a functionalist (subsequently, capitalist) world, deals with the scale of any one project and its scope, first and foremost.

So what do we have, within our own techniques and methodologies that we can use to determine how to function? Free, or “poor” artworks, to borrow Grotowski’s term, are agit-prop, DIY, and do not require a lot of labor, abundant resources, or private space. These ways of working “poorly” are useful ways, in creating a dance-opera, to build set, costumes, props, and other elements of said opera. “Poorness” is a politics of aesthetics here, and a part of other ideological structures, like mutualism, and collaboration. In NYC, we have Materials for the Arts, dumpster diving, and opportunities to learn skills like sewing and carpentry to Do It ourselves. Many (myself included) also like hand-drawing, and the homemade, as purely pleasurable/aesthetic decisions. However, though these politics of aesthetics and action subvert dominant exchange models, they are also defined by their subversion, negatively reinforcing the very models they resist (this is a complicated idea, see Žižek for more on “negative reinforcement” and how modes designed in direct opposition to other modes serve to reinforce the dominance of that mode being opposed).

Also, the actual problem hits full force when low-level engagement of time and labor is detrimental to the work, which it often is when you’re doing it yourself: if the work is to be complex, detailed, and able to engage with multi-directional logics and somatics of contemporary human life, there are certain types of “poorness” which curtail and oppress the work, ultimately removing the necessity of its existence, at the very least dulling its impact (this is one of many ways in which poorness is oppressive across spheres, see a parallel in food wherein eating healthy requires time or money and cheap fast food is always unhealthy, functionally maintaining the dis-ease of those in poverty, and the entire paradigm, fossil fuels used in transportation and the whole of it, is ultimately the worst of all for health). In art, dis-ease happens in aspects of complexity, originality, virtuoso, and the ability of art and artmaking to “ease” and “dis-ease” existence in its own ways,[5] as the most detrimental poverty to these modes of artmaking is lack of time.

Case study, my collaborators and I have dealt with this problem by making work slowly, developing an opera over a few years so as to not take up too much of any one individual’s time at any given time, but it must take a lot of time regardless, in order to be both cheap yet be healthy and define health (of body, mind, planet[6]). In the end, time becomes more valuable than money, much time is spent, and time is still a tangible part of labor systems which demand that labor be compensated if the laborers are to survive (as one person only has so much time in which to labor).

Second, and very much interrelated with the above, emotional/political/ideological beliefs support the social aspects of a project of theater and/or dance, which involve more than one artist working together, often in larger teams. In addition to creating solidarity and better work with more heads put together, the need and desire to work collaboratively further links our practices into monetary economy; it is one thing for a single individual to separate the production of art from other modes of production, i.e. to work in another sector for money and to make art with this money (time as philanthropy, art as personal cause). When labor, however, is delegated, and groups of performers are asked to organize their lives so that they can work towards a larger-scale project (especially if the core of the project is the vision of a central dictating choreographer, director, composer, or the like) free labor becomes slavery else artists are paid fairly.

These first two problems have only one ethical response for a maker/generative artist such as myself (and I have attended so many panels to this effect, Lindsey Drury, the choreographer of this case study even founded a task force to deal with Rights for dancers, especially women dancers): performers must be respected, they must have reasonable hours, they must have healthcare, they must be paid for their time. There is nothing else (no “opportunity,” no “learning experience,” no “we’re all in this together”) that can be traded performers for their time that is worth as much as money (performers who each generate their own work as makers in their own right and face these problems when they do so, we all perform for each other, all need to be paid).

How to raise money to pay artists is the secondmost point on which most artists and cultural advocates are stuck. I might imagine a world in which institutions and generative artists provide the essentials, such as housing and food, in exchange for art, but this exists only in our imagination; institutions and “generative artists” are, of course, largely crippled themselves by the same structures outlined above.

Moreover, the absolute necessity of paying performers comes into conflict with another two problems when we start asking where we are going to get this payment money: Since this case-study is a dance-opera, the obvious answer seems to be ticket sales. Looking closely into this model however, we bear witness to a closure of access to art; if this is the way, then our art becomes a luxury product that is VERY expensive to buy if we rely solely on ticket sales to reimburse performers for their labor. I mean to say, that if the income from our product being purchased is directly correlated with the worth of the labor performed, only the wealthy could buy it, since we put a lot of time into it. A direct production model for art either decreases the quality of the work (it becomes fast, cheap, and unconsidered, see above) or limits access to individuals and groups living in poverty (for example, most of our friends and fellow arts community members). Not only does the sheer number of people who are subsequently barred from education, health care, and other necessities increase every day (as these things become luxuries), the number and kinds of people who are expected/able to pay us for our labor diminish and homogenize. Personally, I have absolutely no desire to make art for the wealthy only. Nor do I want to make art that is deemed valuable enough to buy only be extremely privileged sectors of a society. Against this last sentence, arguments that artists have always had benefactors bear some weight, and perhaps I/we would gratefully accept such support if such an angel appeared, a miracle.

More likely sticking around, is this problem of access and the position of art and who pays for it, a problem that leads us into the larger problem of free market economies in general. Another symptomatic problem of this larger problem of the free market is that when artists rely on supply-and-demand alone, the amount of supply (product) that is deemed valuable is limited. This may seem fine, maybe one can argue that the world doesn’t need that much art and that those artists who can’t become pop (on the level of Lady Gaga say, who can afford to pay her backup dancers fairly) should not make art at all. This argument about the free market and its effects on the art itself has always been a problem for “the avant-garde;” the complaint being that work that precedes (in time, supposedly) a demand for itself is unlikely to become popular on a large-enough level to support itself through its own sale alone. Also, not all art will ever be intended for a mass audience, and not all art is even recognizable as culture/a part of society before it constructs culture and society itself via its own existence. The free market has also always been a problem for community-based art, which serves those making it and those benefiting from the locality, energy, and other elements of its making, often not from any product. Another related consideration to be underlined out of the assumptive text above is that art is not only about the product of art, artmaking itself can be a “valuable” process that individuals should be able and allowed to participate in, across social strata and beyond any economic viability of their products.

Models attempting to resolve (make sustainable a solution to) these problems that work within capitalism include (across problems): lobbying/proposal writing/activism for government funding for art (actual funding of which there becomes less and less), philanthropy (i.e. asking those with money to pay for the making of the work), reversion to sale of objects and object-based work, and the artists working outside of the arts sector to fund the art.

Back to the “case study.”


PPL, the collective of which I am co-director with Brian McCorkle, is a loose and project-based team of poor artists making “avant garde” “performance art” “opera.” Driven by McCorkle’s and my “ethics and values,” PPL usually pursues few of these resolution-of-economic-problems models[7], relying instead on finding a balance between “poor” politics of aesthetics, conviction/martyrdom, small-group (duo) performances, making work in institutions and for higher-class artists that can pay us, and working day jobs in arts education. However, this project that we are making now, a dance-opera called Any Size Mirror is a Dictator, functions, and seeks to function in a very socially-dramaturgical manner. It is, in its own autopoetically insane way, forcing us to be “fungible,” as it evolves to inaccurately and psychopathically “reflect” the society it constructs and is constructed by. We have created reflective performance structures that we do not control, after many months of working towards this idea. As a project intentionally and systemically put-into-repetition, Any Size Mirror is a Dictator actually has no ethics, it seeks to become what it can see in the mirror, and sometimes it sees us seeing it: starving, angry, fools, enslaved to our own ideological romances with art history (before post-consensual capitalism), our own desires to be important and valuable in non-capital-based ways, and our own inability to truly function without being fungible. Simultaneously, our 3-year process of exhaustive reflectivity tells us, if we want to truly make ART, as art defines itself, and refuses to be defined by any dictatorship, even one formed, silently, of concept (“politics,” “society,” “mental health”), simulacra (currency=gold, culture=market) and values (the value of a human being, the value of a situation/experience, beliefs in rightness, beliefs in quality, beliefs and desires conflating and inflating), we must give the project what it wants, and see where we can go, NOT argue for the empiric value of something that we think we understand.

It is here, strangely torn between the very concrete empty savings account and the silver-lined clouds of civilization’s collapse, that crowd-funding (stupid name) becomes our best (i.e. most ethical, supported by the beliefs and suppositions espoused here) option. It has become important to us, and to this project, solely this project.

This may seem silly, but hear me out…Crowd-funding first deals with the immediate problem: it allows us a way to pay performers during and directly related to their processes of artmaking. Parallel, time becomes money, at least in an almost fair way (depending on how much money we can raise). Crowd-funding is also deemed our most ethical option because it allows the performances of the work to be free (i.e. we ask only for payment for the labor of the employed performers), and so people of all classes can experience the “product.” This freeness usually (has in the past) results in a high demand for our “product(ions),” audiences grow large (though not mass) and remain diverse (in many different ways). The freeness and availability of our work in product(ion) form then, is our second ideological consideration. Complicit with us in this freeness scheme, is Momenta Art, the gallery where we will hold this project’s six-week installation and durational performances. It is worth noting, in response to those who might suggest we relocate our demands to be paid, that Momenta is a not-for-profit space. Momenta disseminates and exhibits artworks and artworking that is certainly not meant for mass consumption, processes and art which often hold forms that are difficult to monetize (i.e. performance, social arts practices, documentation of community projects as visual art, meetings and panels, etc). We would like to support their organization as much as they support ours, we engage with Momenta on a mutualistic level, not as their employees. If you would prefer to support Momenta, please do so! Relatedly, Crowd-funding usually relies on small donations, not large chunks of money from wealthy patrons alone. This allows classes, communities, and cultural subsectors to work together to fund art, and allows individuals and groups throughout various “strata” to decide what art they want to support.

Crowd-funding is a form of free-market demand modelling, which attempts to trade the value of our product for your money, but actually it fails to model this alone, because your donations may also be driven by your love for one of the performers, or by a reciprocal relationship within our local arts community. In some ways, the crowd does not care if the product is “valuable,” and it may even use other evaluation schemas than those directly constructed by capitalism (if indeed there are any[8]). Finally, crowd-funding allows audience members to our work and supporters of us as people to perform their own agency, using whatever justifications they hold dear, perhaps using beliefs that there is value to art that is made grassroots, by people rather than by companies. Perhaps we can even believe that live events are valuable, that face-to-face relationships and shared situations are valuable towards cultural and social being-together, valuable enough to deserve money, which is the highest form of value, within economically-dominated post-consensual capitalism.

Click HERE to visit our Hatchfund Campaign

As an after-note, let it be noted that, we have chosen Hatchfund carefully. Maintaining the pressures of a time-sensitive campaign via requirement of a minimum earning, Hatchfund does not take the funds from unsuccessful campaigns, they distribute these funds as matches to other projects. They also take NO cut of artist income, rather inviting donors to pay for their administrative labor costs. Even further, they operate interpersonally, working closely with artists and paying close attention to each project they accept; you have to apply to Hatchfund, they choose based on experientially-developed conceptions of a reasonable budget, fundraising plan, and possibility of the project being completed. All donations are tax-deductible, and you will not have to pay for a ticket to experience the final work.[9]


[1] 21st

[2] Questions which, perhaps inform performative turning and actually bode quite well for the health of art as a self-defining way of becoming…questions such as, is there such a thing as universality? (towards deciding if something can be universally valuable, see the euro), what is the nature of nature? (towards determining if we are really all going to die at our own hands), and so on. This is a pretty great time for art and for philosophy, and for relationships between these (now global, finally diasporous and conflictual, performance especially becomes a way of thinking about existence, far beyond what is variously defined as “art.”)

[3] I’m not saying that functionality is the opposite of “art for art’s sake” (this, in many ways, is a great argument for the monetary value of an art object/product) I am saying that art is forced to function, before it is even deemed art, as a fungible thing/functions as a valuable thing.

[4] The implications of this forced relationship is evident within art criticism art history, academic spheres, and intellectualism at large, which have experienced the same subjections and capitulatory shifts as art and artmaking communities.

[5] Performance may deal in content, to follow the analogy, with foods such as carrots and hamburgers, but performing as actual acts is analogous to forming different human relationships with health as a concept.

[6] A jolt of embarrassment hit me as I wrote these three words like that. I am just coming to realize that this type of embarrassment means that I am being what may be perceived as uncool, uncouth, (fucking hippie!) “insensible,” just like the “woman,” “poor person,” “mentally ill person” that I am, etc. Maybe I should write towards this type of embarrassment…

[7] We do apply for some grants, but we rarely get them, we have difficulty participating in market-driven institutions, various and complicated particular situations here…

[8] Of course there are! Didn’t your momma love you when you were a baby?

[9] As per all crowd-funding campaigns, we are also offering “perks” in exchange for your money, which I guess is in case the art isn’t enough on its own, but more probably designed to assuage the artist’s deep fear that the art isn’t enough.


PPL poster


PPL are on tour with Future Death Toll (Edward Sharp and David Griess). Throughout the month, Esther will be diary-blogging the tour on Culturebot (HERE)

Check out our tour blog for more media and all the dates HERE


Feb 28: Climbing Through The Hole in the Sky, with Rachel Hrbek, Natalia Panfile, and Renée Regan, curated by Eames Armstrong, Hole in the Sky, Washington, DC

March 1: The Fold, Rockville, MD (

March 3: Skylab in Columbus, OH

March 5-7: Lexington, KY (University of Kentucky)

March 6: I.D.E.A.S. 40203 Contemporary Art Chamber of Commerce, Louisville, KY

March 8: The Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, St. Louis, MO (

March 9: Charlotte Street Settlement, “Let’s Make a Mess” with Drew Roth, curated by Danny Orendorff as part of his “Tyranny of Good Taste” exhibition, Kansas City, MO

March 10: Kent Bellows Studio, Omaha, NE 7pm w/Neil Griess

March 11: SPATIVM, Lincoln, NE w/Woven Symbol

March 12: PUBLIC SPACE ONE, Iowa City, IA w/ Curt Oren

March 13: Counterpath, Denver, CO
( Play-lecture by Esther Neff, performed by Ye Taik and Black Sheep Organization

March 15: Evolution Collective, Madison, WI

March 16: Bring in the Indigo: Performance from NY & MPLS curated by Fire Drill. Emily Gastineau and Billy Mullaney + Samantha Johns + Hiponymous, The White Page, Minneapolis, MN (

March 17: Center Street Free Space, Milwaukee, WI

March 18: MANA/High Concept Labs, Chicago, IL w/ Adam Rose and Alejandro Acierto

March 19: Three Rivers Public Library, Three Rivers, MI

March 20: Detroit Contemporary/C.A.I.D, curated by Spread Art, Detroit, MI (

March 21: Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 11:30am-5pm curated by Robert Derr

March 22: RCN Cave, Akron, OH

March 24: Experimental Music at the Library, curated by Steve Kemple, Cincinnati Public Library, Cincinnati, OH (
The Comet, Cincinnati, OH

March 26: Firehazard Studios w/ Submisstress, Dream Weapon, Daniel McCloskey and others, Pittsburgh, PA

March 30: Machines With Magnets, RI w/ ISLANDS + Ian Deleón and Anabel Vázquez (

March 31: 119 Gallery, Lowell, MA