Tag Archives: Lindsey Drury

IV Soldiers in 2011

IV Soldiers in 2011

While the commercial art world struggles to fit the performance practices of artists today into existing market models and performance artists struggle to fit their practices into existing market models and/or to resist existing market models, Ivy Castellanos, director and curator of IV Soldiers Gallery has come a long way in the past two years her storefront gallery has been open on Noll Street towards developing new modes for the presentation of Performance Art.

Slash and Burn is characteristic of Castellanos’ curatorial methodology, involving artists in a sequence of Thursday night performances and inviting them to create new performances following an action-based directive. In this case, artists have been encouraged to “resist resistance, succumb to violent impulse, insist, enforce, make space,” a directive that Castellanos identifies as a “representative aesthetic” of the gallery, drawing on her own military background and interest in the conflux between performance art and social justice. The action-based directive, the opportunity to work on a performance with a public audience over the course of three nights, and the presentation of the work in a visual arts context all provide a concrete platform for realizing performance art

IV Soldiers in 2012, 'Transformation' performance in progress

IV Soldiers in 2012, ‘Transformation’ performance in progress

blog3as a discipline. Past exhibitions at IV Soldiers have similarly provided a conceptual directive, from ‘to campaign, to advocate” for Campaign, the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, through public can collecting and social projects during iCan in October 2012, through ‘to collaboratively and improvisationally build a conceptual treehouse, to use a site, to perform using each other’ for Transformations in November, 2012.

For SLASH AND BURN: Performance Art, each night will present the performance work of Lindsey Drury, Hiroshi Shafer, Valerie Kuehne, and PPL (Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle). Performance exhibition nights are free and open to the public.


SLASH AND BURN: Performance Art

Thursdays, January 17, 24, and 31

IV Soldiers Gallery
184 Noll Street
Bushwick, Brooklyn


Valerie Kuehne

Ivy Castellanos at MANA Contemporary in Chicago, on tour with PPL and Valerie Kuehne

Ivy Castellanos


Lindsey Drury


Hiroshi Shafer at IV Soldiers

We can start over any damned time we want to. This seems as good a time as any to declare this world “new,” a slow-motion big bust passed and a new magnetism pulling matter together in ways that would have previously seemed absurd, or even impossible. There is a new odor in the air, be it the roasting of our skin cells as the sun rips through the ozone or the oozing perfume of carnivorous blooms as the foliage rapidly mutates, we keep sniffing it up like 6th graders in the craft supply closet.

Miao Jiaxin performs at PPL, 2012

Miao Jiaxin performs at PPL, 2012

PPL certainly has a new sense of itself, with a new space (Panoply Performance Laboratory, 104 Meserole Street) in which to host projects like Matthew Silver‘s monthly “Performance Art Open Mic,” (first Sunday of every month), PERFORMANCY FORUM, and the work of artists we find particularly rigorous, revelatory, and rich in substance, such as Chloë Bass‘ One-on-One Consultations for her The Bureau of Self Recognition (August 2012), a one-night exhibition with visiting artists from London’s ]performance s p a c e [Valerie Kuehne‘s curation and cognition of “performance music,” Miles Pflanz‘ book burning video-making, rehearsals for a piece by Yelena Gluzman, etc, etc, etc.

PPL bookshelf


The space, however, has only been one aspect of condensing and strengthening of an identifiable community, individuals diverse in practice yet singularly dedicated to mutualism, collaboration, non-homegenizing collectivity, shifting points of leadership, and methodological rigor in the curation, conceptualization, and creation of live, situational, social, and performance art. It doesn’t need to be controlled, it’s impossible to frame with any kind of “art historical movement” kind of insufferable pretense, it simply occurs, dare we say “naturally,” though a fetish for “naturalness” is quite certainly a false faith.

Screen shot 2012-08-03 at 1.09.20 PM

PPL’s ‘NATURE FETISH: A public opera’ in Art Review

As organically as shifts in tectonic plates however, IV Soldiers Gallery, directed and curated by Ivy Castellanos became a site for PPL’s core exploits this past year, during the iCan Exhibition and Social Project, and during the several month-long exhibitions that have radically reformed the way we work by allowing us to consistently perform short-form pieces in stimulating contexts.

participants play analog can instruments during one of PPL's  iCan exhibition performances at IV Soldiers

participants play analog can instruments during one of PPL’s iCan exhibition performances at IV Soldiers

Our practices have similarly been forcibly evolved by collaboration with Valerie Kuehne as PPL went on a tour across the Midwestern US, collaborating improvisationally with Kuehne and those present in bars, a bowling alley, a public library, at the MDW Art Fair, etc, developing modes for combining sonic art/music and object/body-based performance, improvising, and disseminating performance art using musician/band touring models. This national tour built on our experiences with Kuehne and Anya Liftig in May 2012, when we traveled to Berlin to participate in MPA-B, working reactively within dolanbay’s action installation at Grüntaler 9, participating in Performer Stammtisch, collaborating with Liftig, and doing workshops with Lioba Reckfort and the Intergalaktische Kulturverein. All of these cretaceous experiments multiply and mutate, appearing as (as a culmination of the US tour) a 12-hour “diner/opera” called You’re a Big Boy Now OR Rauschenberg ist Todlich 

You're A Big Boy Now OR Rauschenberg ist Todlich (photo by Sissie Strutt)

You’re A Big Boy Now OR Rauschenberg ist Todlich (photo by Sissie Strutt)

performed with Kuehne at Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics (the new gallery opened by Pflanz and cohort that pulled 14 artists/groups into an epic 14-day exhibition of “marathon” durational and relational performances), conceptions of performance as involving the acts of curation and organization that surround the public presentations themselves, and the initiating of The Compendium, a temporary collaboration between organizer-artists who produced Technics, a two-night exhibition dealing with technology/technique at Center for Performance Research in June 2012, and now a new unnamed but much larger group that is instigating the online and networked participatory, mass performance/festival Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival (BIPAF), which will culminate July 4-28, 2013.

Other events have seemed to effect PPL as shifts in weather, for example the projects involving PPL co-directors Brian McCorkle and Esther Neff outside of PPL, such as Brian’s work as part of Varispeed, the collective, which produced John Cage’s Empty Words as a sprawling opus spanning Roulette, Exapno, the Brooklyn Bridge, and 12 hours of sound, text, and music. More recently, Esther has become part of the No Wave Performance Task Force, instigated by Lindsey Drury (for whom Esther created a text/sound score for the dance Run Little Girl at Merce Cunningham Studios in February 2012 and with whom PPL are collaborating to create Any Size Mirror is a Dictator, our 2013 opera) and made concrete via collaborative, feminist-form durational performances (Transformation and Embody Explosion organized by Ivy Castellanos), and other events and meetings.

'PPL Help the Water' at the Gowanus Ballroom during 'To the Stars on the Wings of an Eel'

‘PPL Help the Water’ at the Gowanus Ballroom during ‘To the Stars on the Wings of an Eel’

The more chaotic the environment/situation, the more performance thrives as a way of experiencing existence; states of becoming, recognizing, cognizing, relating, and communicating compose the now, and there is no ideal or eventual position of stability expected or even desired…ideas, spaces, organizations and other collectives, books, all the individuals with whom we’ve collaborated this past year, been curated by, curated/hosted, organized alongside, met with, all combine to construct a relational ecosystem too complex and fragile to parse, too specific to identify as any version of the world we’ve seen before…


Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) and Grace Exhibition Space Present:


A Public Opera and Performance Exhibition

Thursday July 12, Friday July 13, Thursday July 19, and Friday July 20

8pm: NATURE FETISH: A Public Opera
9:30-11pm: NATURE FETISH Exhibition performances

Saturday July 14 and Saturday, July 21
4pm and 8pm:
 NATURE FETISH: A Public Opera
9:30-11pm: NATURE FETISH Exhibition performances

Grace Exhibition Space
840 Broadway, Floor 2
Brooklyn, NY, 11206
J/M/Z to Flushing Avenue
Tickets for the July shows including the performances as part of the exhibition after the opera are a suggested donation of $10-$20 at the door only.

Press Photos, Trailers: and

NATURE FETISH is a project conceived across social and disciplinary spheres. In its final state, it is a Public Opera, a hybrid, documentary, participatory, musical, situational performance of approximately 70 minutes.
The opera will be presented by New York City’s first and only dedicated site for conceptual, body-based and fluxist performance art, Grace Exhibition Space. As part of each performance, PPL-curated artists working in time-based performance across disciplines will deal directly with the “nature” of performance, operation of “nature” in performance, and conceptions of “nature” as such.

Thursday July 12:
The Call of Nature: bodily functions and fluids, embodiment, waste, want, meat, and human impact on natural environments. FEATURING: Elinor Thompson, Miles PflanzDave RuderMatthew Silver, and Lorene Bouboushian.

Friday July 13:
NATURE FETISH opera project collaborating artists, poets, composers, and performers show solo works dealing with their own projections of “the nature of nature.” FEATURING: Jessica BathurstCory BrackenBrian McCorkleEllen O’MearaEsther NeffMichael NewtonNatasha MissickKatie JohnstonArla BermanMatthew Gantt and others

Saturday July 14:

SIMULTANEOUS: Nature Fetish Edition: Ivy Castellanos of IV Soldiers Galleryworks with 4 performance artists simultaneously as an ecosystem or food chain or other emergent system. FEATURING: Felix Morelo, Ryan Hawk, Matthew Silver, and Miles Pflanz.

Thursday July 19:
The Natural Spirit: field recordings, indeterminacy, fluxus, improvisation and the influence of performance art’s “nature” on music and dance. FEATURING:Jason AnastasoffLindsey Drury, and Kyli Klevan.

Friday July 20:
Rituals and Totems: cultural semiology, feminism, naturalism, post-humanism, and the problematics of performance and anthropology. FEATURING: Lillie D’ArmonAnya Liftig, Kikuko Tanaka, and Quinn Dukes.

Saturday, July 21:
Video, Voice and the Nature of the Self: FEATURING: Alessandra Eramo (w/ David Grollman), Heather Warren Crow, Valerie Kuehne/Tuba?No Tuba and Joseph Keckler.

Thank you to the artists who participated in the two days of performance and the round-table during Compendium: Technics!

For Friday, the no-tech night, thank you to Alejandro Acierto, who built a web in the performance space all day with Compendium curator Paul Pinto, then made a complex labyrinth of white fabric tape on the ground. Thank you to Emily Wexler, who rubbed her hair in construction dirt at the end of the street, rolled on the sidewalk back and forth, pounded her chest as the rain began to fall, and was doused by 5-gallon buckets of water and two buckets of mud and water by Compendium curator/CPR techmeister Thomas Bell. Thank you the audience members who came on time and got to see this, and got wet in the process. Thank you to Ivy Castellanos, who undressed and had us draw marker circles around her “blemishes” then put herself in a black plastic trash bag and became another animal. Thank you to Lindsey Drury, who tried hard to erase her equilibrium and throw up, spinning around for 20 minutes, drinking salad dressing, jumping, and did not succeed. Thank you to Rafael Sanchez, whose piece about Ghazala Javed’s murder was interrupted by fire trucks, police cars, and an ambulance, all pulling up to deal with this performance, and thank you to Rafael for saying “can’t a man grind a brick to dust using his hands in peace?” and the fireman’s response: “good luck with that,” and thank you to that neighbor kid across the street who had been watching and shouted “IT’S PERFORMANCE ART!” as a balloon carrying fragments of the brick disappeared up into the white sky. Thank you to Sister Sylvester, the entire team, who presented an excerpt from a new work-in-progress drawing on Moby Dick and many other sources involving a live goldfish, small models of the larger set pieces in a terrarium, and a lobster claw cooking mitt, among other items of speech, action, and object. Thank you to Hiroshi Shafer for making a piece using music box guts attached to tin and plastic plates and a hand-drawn (by Derick Wycherly) series of story boards. Thank to Matthew Silver for telling us the story, it made us laugh hysterically. Thank you to Charmaine’s Names for performing an un-amplified version of their post-modern Philadelphia experimental lounge glory without microphones, without lights, and thank you to Toby Driver (and 2nd clarinetist? lost the name…) for performing virtuosically, of course still without any technical assistance whatsoever, and concluding a day of intensity and intimacy.

The video documentation of the 2nd “full tech” day should be posted by CPR soon, but in the meantime THANK YOU to the artists of June 23, including those who came to the round-table and participated in the discussion! Thank you to those who performed technical incarnations of their work (or had performed no-tech versions of these pieces the night before): Lindsey (who did throw up a little), Ivy (who got to wear her sculptural armor), Sister Sylvester (who live-fed the taking of a weather balloon out onto the street).

Thank you also to the hi-tech Saturday-only artists: Jorge Rojas taping his face over livestream, Whitney Hunter for giving a talk about two of his pieces and their use of technology, animator/video/visual artist Brian Zegeer and banjo-player Baby Copperhead for showing/performing their film/sound project Pull My Daisy, performance artist Anya Liftig and assistant Michael Newton for their cell phone communication, and thank you thank you to Robert Dick, for demonstrating the height of human technical ability, blowing our minds (glissando headjoint®!)

Finally, thank you the audience for participating in this experimental micro-conference/exhibition! Thank you to CPR, and thank you electricity!

Come visit PPL  at CPR two weekends in a row this month!

First, we perform in:

New Voices in Live Performance Curated by Anya Liftig
Dangling Modifier– After the Comma

Friday June 15 and Saturday 16 @ 8pm (PPL performs both nights)
Tickets: Free, Donations for CPR encouraged

Artists: Tess Dworman, Panoply Performance Lab (Jessica Bathurst, Arla Berman,
Devlin Goldberg, Katie Johnston, Brian McCorkle, Natasha Missick, Esther
Neff, Michael Newton, Ellen O’Meara), John Berdel, Stephen Van Dyck

Dangling Modifier brings together east and west coast artists who are
helping to define a new avant-garde. Brooklyn based Tess Dworman
investigates the sculptural potentials of the face in movement work. Los
Angeles artists John Berdel and Stephen van Dyck work with meditation,
subtle infiltration into public spaces, and intimate performance scores.
New York’s Panoply Performance Lab examines complex systems and
traces epistemic, emotional, and socio-political viewpoints/theories using
music, text, analog electronics, video, participatory elements, and found
materials. Click here for more information.


THEN we have co-curated and co-organized this micro-conference at CPR the following weekend:

Compendium: Technics
is a public micro-conference with performances taking place over the course of two days:

Friday, June 22, 6pm-10pm
Saturday, June 23, 3pm-10pm
Panel discussion: June 23 at 4pm

Suggested donation $5-15 at the door only.
All are welcome!

Center for Performance Research
361 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn
(L to Graham Ave.)

Performances by: Whitney Hunter, Jorge Rojas, Sister Sylvester, drearysomebody (Lindsey Drury), Anya Liftig, Hiroshi Shafer, Emily Wexler, Ivy Castellanos, Alejandro T. Acierto, Jessica Pavone, Charmaine’s Names, Brian Zegeer and BabyCopperhead, Toby Driver, and others.

The Compendium invites these artists to research their relationships with technology, technicalities, and technics. Artists across disciplines manipulate, access, and utilize objects and systems, interacting with technics that are present in performance situations, both as part of the technicalities of presentation, and as instruments, tools, devices, visibility and amplification aids, and as part of documentation, methodological means, and aesthetic and political vehicles.

We ask, how do artists use technical means to their ends? How are techniques and technology related and/or unrelated? How are technics/technology/techniques developed and chosen as part of artistic practice, using what kinds of concerns? Who has access to technology and techniques/technics and how do they commodify/become commodified and/or de-commodify/become de-commoditized?

In an exploration of these considerations, artists will present work to the public during two nights:

Friday June 22: Hiroshi Shafer, Alejandro Acierto, Lindsey Drury, Charmaine Names, Ivy Castellanos, Amy Wexler and Sister Sylvester will perform in the CPR spaces in the absence of colloquially-defined “technology,” sans electricity, sans amplification, stripping the work of all forms of technics, even in some cases, attempting to perform without “technique.” Audiences must be present in the space to experience the work. Documentation will consist of written descriptions.

Saturday, June 23: Lindsey Drury, Sister Sylvester, Jorge Rojas, Rafael Sanchez, Anya Liftig, Jessica Pavone, Ivy Castellanos, Whitney Hunter, and Alejandro Acierto have access to CPR’s “cutting edge” technological array, including multiple projectors, sound system, and lighting grid, and may bring in their own technological devices, set-ups, electronics, and mechanisms. Audiences may view streamed performances from computers all over the world and performances will be documented on digital video.

A public round-table discussion on Saturday, June 23rd at 4pm will allow us to reflect on the collective research performed, involving the artists from the project and including other voices in live performance. Come be a part and see these incredible artists present new work!

About the Compendium

Over the course of 2012, The Compendium initiative will experiment with hybrid modes of curation, exchange, and presentation, producing exhibitions, performances, publications, and more.

The Compendium is comprised of artists who are deeply engaged with their communities. Organizing both as artists and as directors of alternative arts spaces, curators, members of ensembles and collectives, arts writers, and as agents of cultural influence, we form a “living compendium” to channel multiple agendas, intentions, and ideas into concrete support for artists and grassroots arts organizations.

The Compendium functions via face-to-face meetings, sharing time, funding, space, critical analysis, materials, transportation, residencies, publicity, skills, and other resources.

The Compendium organizers on this project are (in alphabetical order): Thomas Bell (Spread Art), Ian Colletti (Vaudeville Park), Christina DeRoos (Spread Art), Valerie Kuehne (The Super Coda), Brian McCorkle (Panoply Performance Laboratory, Varispeed), Esther Neff (Panoply Performance Laboratory, PERFORMANCY FORUM), Paul Pinto (thingNY, Seven Immediacies Series, Varispeed)

Lately it seems all I’ve been doing is building contact mics for use in performance projects (Spilled Measures Dancing at my Feet, Run Little Girl, NATURE FETISH), along the way I have found that the usual method of using a 1/4″ cable with a small piezo (the much lauded RadioShack part #273-073 or equivalent) is not the ideal solution.

Thanks to the guidance I received from Ian M. Colletti of Vaudeville Park and the electronics collective NewBit (Aliza Simons and Gelsey Bell), I was able to supply 1/4″ contact mics for Zierle & Carter‘s performance of “Spilled Measures Dancing at my Feet” at Vaudeville Park. They had some of their own (thank goodness, there were so many sheets of metal) which had been made with XLR cable.

While testing the difference between the XLR and 1/4″ cables I found the XLRs were much more responsive (hot) and had a lot less noise in their signal.

This was something interesting to note, but has become a necessity since I’ve had the chance to work with Dreary Somebody, building contact mics for their upcoming performance of “Run Little Girl” at Merce Cunningham Studio (the last performance in the space before it is turned over to another company).

We attempted to install the contact mics upon our first arrival at the studio, only to find an extraordinary (to a musician/sound guy) lack of 1/4″ cable, and I didn’t have enough at home to run the mics (attached to paintings by Jillian Rose) to the sound system (we would have needed over 100 feet of cable).

Upon my return home I thought back to the wonderful XLR contact mics and our current predicament, realizing the best way to get good sound out of the paintings and the only feasible way to run them would be to build them with XLRs.

Because of the size of the paintings and the fact that location of the mics within them was important compositionally (the dancers had to be able to speak into them and “play” the paintings with the sound design by Esther Neff), each painting needed at least two microphones.

What follows is a brief overview of how to make two-headed contact mics:

1. Get your tools

As you can see I kept it simple:

  • soldering iron
  • needle-nosed pliers
  • rosin-core solder
  • clamp
  • electrical tape
  • scissors

2. Get your parts

  • piezo elements (only one pictured here)
  • XLR cable
  • XLR connector
  • wire (i used speaker wire I had laying around)

3. Solder the connector to the cable

Make sure to do this correctly, or your mics won’t work (check out this handy tutorial).

4. Solder the cable to the wire

Wind the wires that will be the ground for the mics together and attach to the ground of the XLR cable (the cable’s shielding), then attach the positive wires to the other two XLR leads (the “hot” and “cold” – shown here as the blue and white wires).

5. Solder the wires to the piezo elements

Make sure the ground wires are connected to the black wires of each piezo (they should be soldered to the outer ring of the piezo), and the others to the red.

6. Attach the mics to something and make some art!

I used electrical tape to isolate the exposed wire since if anything went wrong I wanted to be able to fix it fast. If you use heat shrink tubing your mics will look a lot more professional and be a bit more durable, but you’ll have to cut it off to get at any troublesome connection.

There you have it, an easy way to get a decent sound out of any surface. From the photos you’ll notice I didn’t shield the piezos from the elements (usually done with Plasti dip or a similar product). I wanted them to be as sensitive as possible to pick up the gentle scrape of nails or the rubbing of fingers.

Thanks to phase space’s tutorial on this, which lays this method out in more exact electrical terms, along with the trusty furious contact microphone assembly how-to. For the ultimate in contact mics, check out Zach Poff’s re-post of Alex Rice’s in-cable preamp design, brilliant!


The schedule is online!


NOVEMBER 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 2011
Open to the public ALL DAYS.
suggested donation sliding scale $5-$15

Organized/curated by the Panoply Performance Laboratory with:
Social Practices Arts Network (SPAN), Dimanche Rouge, Vaudeville Park, and Grace Exhibition Space

7:00pm: Beatriz Albuquerque
7:30: Felix Morelo
8:00: Anna Jane McIntyre
8:30: Maria Hupfield
9:00: Stephen Bracco
9:30: Dara Malina
10:00pm: SK Orchestra

While Grace Exhibition Space curator-owners Jill McDermid and Erik Hokenson are occupying in downtown Manhattan, PPL curates from the streets, from craigslist, from arts social networks, and by word-of-mouth, making a concerted effort to shatter the autonomy of established, medium-specific performance communities. Artists will be provided with lights, sound, running water, a formalized public platform, and the context of “performance art” by one of the world’s best-known dedicated performance art spaces. After the show, artists and attendees go down to Zucotti Park to experiment with what kind of spectrum exists between “art” performance and “political” performance, between street theater, action, demonstration, intervention, performance art, and other forms, and to continue exploration of how performance artists participate in public culture.

Opens at 3:30.
Social Practices Arts Network (SPAN) site: practice documentation
ONGOING: Fill out storycards for Anna Jane McIntyre

4:00-7:00pm: Dimanche Rouge Special Edition, Skype Exhibition and Simultaneous Performance: Alexandre Pombo-Mendes, Carmen R. Cruz with Florent Maton and dancer Karl Paquemar, Daniel Gaudard, Manuela Centrone, ETC (Julien Arnaud + Anthony Carcone + Emmanuel Rébus), Savio Debernardis, Vlasta Delimar.
Streamed live from Batofar, 7 port de la gare, 13e, Paris, FR. Exhibition link HERE skype

7:30: Discussion with Jules Rochielle, SPAN organizer, skype
8:00: Lindsey Drury, Love Letter to A Dance Artist you Don’t Know (nor Care to Know)

The private is political, the local is global. Via skype, PPL and Dimanche Rouge join forces to present a simultaneous performance, as well as video, dance, and multi-media work streamed live across the Atlantic from Paris, France to Brooklyn NY, and vice versa. Participants, audiences, and attendees are also invited to fill out hand-drawn storycards for Canadian artist Anna Jane McIntyre, to be performed live via skype one week later, to co-create with Urban Layers, to engage with global practice-documentation project SPAN (Social Practices Arts Network) and create dance work to be performed and filmed by the choreographer/performer.

Anna Jane McIntyre's Fill It In Yourself story cards

Welcome! drinks, introductions
7:30: Ann Hirsch
8:00: G Douglas Barrett
8:30: Anya Liftig
10:30: Gretta Louw’s Controlling Connectivity skype

Five individual artists working in music composition, performance art, and interactive/internet forms describe, perform, and present projects that maintain artistic authorship and vision while experimenting with modes of participation, demonstration, and intervention. Come ready to partake in the bar, bring an instrument, bring a dry erase marker, bring a powerpoint presentation, bring an anecdote or joke, bring mittens.


Angela Washko (depicted) on Being in Residence

Opens at 3:30
ONGOING: SPAN site/listening station
Urban Layers
4:00pm: Open Discussion: documenting, proposing, and theorizing social practiced, engaged processes, and performance art.

Nate Hill's personalized video game. Launched 2011

5:00: Gelsey Bell
6:00: Christina de Roos and Thomas Bell (Spread Art)
7:30: Aliza Simons (radio transmission)
8:00: Nate Hill  (play online game here)
8:30: Angela Washko
9:00: Anna Jane McIntyre
skype performance of Fill It In Yourself story cards

10:00pm: Hector Canonge
11:00: Dave Ruder’s Why Lie?

Artist-curators, theorist-artists, and inter-disciplinary performers who wear “many hats” and come from many different performance backgrounds come together to share their work. Live participatory performances, talks, open bar, hands-on radio broadcasting from the space, and more!


Open Discussion: Politics of Aesthetics meet Practice
5:00: Carrie Dashow
5:30: Valerie Kuehne, Dream Zoo
6:00: Alison Fleminger from the Performance Project @ University Settlement
6:30: Douglas Paulson
7:00: Urban Layers Presentation
Closing and Afterparty (9pm: Organizations and artists planning meeting)

How do artists work in a public sphere? How do artists become political agents, and how can create work, cultural organization, and social sculpture operate in socio-politically? What does ‘responsibility of form’ mean to us now? What are the political concerns of “avant-garde” theories and forms? Diverse artistic practices, from notarization of public statements during Occupy Wallstreet through co-creative urban mapping, through conceptualized musical improvisation are juxtaposed, discussed, experienced, and documented.


These November weekends will bring together performances, workshops, and discussions that deal with the operations (social, political, aesthetic, economic, etc) of participatory, interactive, aleatoric, and other “open source” forms in the practices of artists, curators, and cultural organizers.

Vaudeville Park
26 Bushwick Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

(Graham stop on the L train – Walk two blocks East on Graham Avenue and turn right onto Bushwick Ave.)

Grace Exhibition Space
840 Broadway
2ND Fl.
Brooklyn, NY 11206

(Flushing Avenue Stop on J-Z Trains – Walk 3 blocks East on Broadway)

For more information, e-mail  Esther Neff at

This weekend,  September 21th-24th at 8pm at the Collapsible Hole you can find Science Project‘s School for Salomés,  directed by Tokyo-based performance maker Yelena Gluzman. Reservations are limited, go to the website to make one.

I am excited to see this tonight. It’s not very often that someone describes their performance work as “designed to enable greater awareness of the elements which constitute specific social systems” but  Gluzman has a very specific theory/philosophy of science and art stemming from her background in neuroscience that combines parts of anthropic mechanism, perdurance theory, and behaviorism/functionalism into what seems like an extraordinarily cohesive performance practice.

I’m currently working on transcripting a discussion between her and Lindsey Drury, which is pretty intense. You’ll see it soon enough. In the meantime, get ye to the ‘burg for some Salome.


After the Conference of Works at University of the Streets this past weekend I feel the need to write some kind of “assessment,” so here it is.  During the Conference, Ben Spatz (Urban Research Theater) used this term, “assessment” in his discussion of technique and transmission/education, as did Dave Thrasher in his discussion of his situational, interactive project, and I think it’s a very interesting word/concept in terms of live performance. Yes, much has been made of performance’s “liveness,” its transient, temporary state and the impossibility of concrete or “scientific” assessment.  Having dissipated several days ago now, how can this Conference of Works, which included around 60 participants (most of us played multiple roles of participant/audience/performer/presenter) over the course of the two days and amassed a multiplicity of concepts and concerns, be assessed? How can its effect be charted or analyzed?

Many artists over the course of the weekend (especially those who hope for socio-political operation in some way) said that they can’t assess how their work is operating, how it’s taken by an audience, assess whether or not it’s been “effective,” and if their choices in terms of Mode, Method, and Medium have been the “right” ones.  Carrie Dashow expressed a desire for documentation and review after a participatory process, notarizing material forms as Yesiree The Notary for the Conference attendees that swore to their self-assigned artistic identities.  Towards additional permanence, Amapola Prada makes haunting videos of her staged actions, which allow the works to travel internationally and last beyond the sunny Lima days on which they are shot. Other artists participating in the Conference expressed a rejection of assessing their work and practices at all, choosing to “feel through” audiences and their reactions in order to determine if and how performance modes are effective. Chance and Melanie of The Nerve Tank said they sometimes measure the success of their work by “walk outs,” knowing that it’s literally affective when individuals can’t handle it in some way. The project Nate Hill shared often produces active responses of offense, as his website selling milk gargled by “pretty white girls” rubs salt into more than one exposed cultural wound.

But do reactions to our work control our practical experiments in the “scientific” sense, or assist any direct cause-and-effect assessment? “Science,” they say, relies on an index, something left behind where there was once the thing, while offense, or amusement, or trains of thought, quickly dissolve into life itself and can’t be indexed at all, other than by the individual to which they belong.   How can we follow through on the research aspects of our practices and put performance research towards the development of our modes and methods?  During the course of the Conference, we experienced Martín Lanz Landázuri, William Bilwa Costa, and dancers researching resonance, embodying the concept and examining  how resonance can be used in performance and performed as such.  We also experienced part 2 of Handan Ozbilgin’s 3-part Maids project,  which jumps off from the “research” text of Jean Genet’s Maids, Hyatt Michael’s  Syb’L Vane piece, drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray, and  Hector Canonge‘s Immigrant 101, a performance-context lecture on immigration, incorporating found research images and statistics. The idea of “scientific” exploration, research, and “problems” (especially in Lindsey Drury’s intense, improvisational and site-specific dance work and Angela Washko‘s performance in which she attempted to disrupt two men building cardboard boxes), and the place where these intersect with participation and collaboration kept coming up, at times fusing into related concerns, and other times breaking apart into concrete statements about reasons for working in a certain way.

Several artists expressed during the conference that they consider the analysis and assessment of our work, and the choices we make during the process of creating work, a completely subjective task, which can’t be performed in a scientific or even articulable manner, as no unified or communicable, objective analysis or set of decision-making criteria can be constructed.  On this note but in a different key, J.J. Lind of Immediate Medium spoke during the Sunday round-table about how his collaborators, coming from varying mediums, backgrounds, and fields, working immediately and in the moment together, can build a stronger aesthetic and conduct powerful experiments. This idea perhaps suggests that collaboration is inherently a form of constant analysis that negates the need for formal assessment. Collaboration across disciplines seems to provide an anodyne in this way to the “problem” of subjective analysis, as multiple artists can walk away from a collaborative with something subjective learned or explored, or they can create a kind of “meme-plexic” index, that pools subjective responses outside of the individual selves involved. Jason Andrew, founder of NORTE MAAR for Collaborative Projects in the Arts has found that co-creation between artists from different disciplines produces new modes of expression and experiment, as have experimental music ensemble thingNY’s Paul Pinto and Gelsey Bell. With collaborative and participatory processes in mind, I believe that the inherent “subjectivity” of an analytic process does not make such a process of assessment or analysis less useful; “subjective” sometimes becomes a buzz-word that means we don’t have to talk about it in public, but perhaps it means that when something is seen as subjective, we simply must perceive it in a different way, through the convergence  of a wide range of subjective perspectives.  Perhaps we need to collaborate on experimenting with analysis itself.  In my mind, this was the task of the Conference, to get a multiplicity of subjectivities out of a private sphere and into an analytic public one.  In the organization of the conference, the attempt to combine a number of subjective perspectives and analyses wasn’t about getting closer to “objectivity” by finding the similarities/common denominators between subjective perceptions, rather it was about gathering and being able to see more than one perception at a time, gathering perceptions outside one’s own, and considering them as a range of assessments.  Perhaps one could also say that this goal (of seeing more than one subjective perspective) is one of the primary operations of performance arts, performance research, and the subsequent experimentation that these modes catalyze.

I can only say for certain that the experience overall with this conference, for me, was consuming, overwhelming, at times confusing, and powerfully moving, and that the plethora of subjective goals, assessments, tasks, and conclusions took me closer to knowing how to research, through my own practice, the multi-dimensional reality that we all experience from such difference angles. I am incredibly grateful to all who participated, for their generosity, articulation, expression, communication, recognition, organization.  Thank you to those I mentioned here, and to the many others who came, participated, performed, perceived, and practiced (esp. Paul Pierog, who was the only person other than Brian and I who attended the entire conference, both days, first to last).  I hope we do it all again soon!