My work, which I summarize as Performative Diagrammatics, functions as a mobile laboratory: a place to work things out. Audiences are invited to participate in facilitated workshops, using and altering pre-made tools to model own ways of making sense, including connections between civic and cultural concepts, and embodied values.

Tools range from verbal prompts to pre-printed diagrams on whiteboards, fabricated objects, and live streaming, custom-coded 360° video. This work develops by carefully observing how lay and professional cultural producers animate the systems through which they operate; and by creating tools collaboratively, with volunteers and other contributors, who share experiences and ways of knowing.


Bio: Adelheid Mers is a visual artist who has developed and works through Performative Diagrammatics, a practice that includes elements of notation, consultation, carnivalesque, installation, and video. Her research draws on close work with others, exploring cultural ecologies at multiple scales. Educated at the University of Cologne, University Düsseldorf, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the University of Chicago, she is Associate Professor and previous chair of the department of Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Contact: adelheidmers (at) More:  archive list view,  SAIC faculty bio