Performative Diagrammatics: Studio Stream

** January 11, 2019.  Workshop: For an Art of Emigration: ‘Many Figures Make A Ground’, at the annual conference of the Fachverband Kulturmanagement. University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.

Culture shock happens when a traveler returns home. To make the familiar seem strange is part of the role of art. What this workshop can do is to make familiar ways of thinking strange, by drawing on embodied knowledge. An art of emigration considers the value of de-familiarization to audiences, and ultimately to communication among co-located, but disparate constituencies. The workshop ‘Many Figures Form a Ground’ takes participants through a series of transpositions that mimic artistic processes of making things strange, through multimodal experimentation.

A team of facilitators will lead a 45-minute narrative and performative sequence that opens with a brief introduction, operates through facilitator prompts and mutual counsel among participants, and culminates in a simultaneous performance by all participants. The game sequence is to be followed by discussion and joint assessment of the experience, along with a theoretic contextualization that will elucidate diagrammatic concepts at work.


*November 16, 2018. Performative Topologies at the Hyde Park Art Center Gala. The game was facilitated by Vero D. Orozco, Joseph Lefthand and Caroline Ng. Giannella Tavano served as resident choreographer. Robert Woodley live transformed a 360º camera stream. Social Media feed by Gabriel Chalfin-Piney. More stills and video at:

There’s also more at the Continuum Tab on this blog.

*November 10, 2018. Back in Chicago, a meeting to get ready for the first public presentation of the game at the Hyde Park Art Center Gala. Robert Woodley’s topological video transformations will be applied and streamed live. Judith Leemann and Billie Lee happened to be in Chicago and joined us.

IMG_9021 2_Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 7.34.49 AMin torusJudith_Gabriel_small planet18-11-11 at 8.09.32 AM

*In October 2018, research continued in Vienna with gender studies theorist Doris Ingrisch. As part of a project funded through a grant from the University of Music and Performing Arts through which we are learning more about artist conversations, we met with two performance artists, Doris Uhlich and Gabri Einsiedl, and with two composer/musicians, Maria Gstättner and Stefan Heckel. (Next steps in January.)

*For two weeks, also in October 2018, the studio moved to the Bauhaus University Weimar, on the invitation of Professor of Media Environments, Ursula Damm. Here, a seminar was the context for continued work on the game. While the game had emerged and developed intuitively in Chicago over the summer, in Weimar we used the block seminar structure with its daily meetings to formalize the sequence of game prompts, observe performance iterations and bring in readings. We experimented with drawing the game figures, and started to dig ‘in between’ the steps of the sequence. With Sandra Anhalt, Maud Canisius, Tamara Conde,  Laura Giraldo Diaz, Vanessa Engelmann, Regine Elbers, Lara Hann, Sarah Hermanutz, Yen Ruo-Jin, Margarita Valdivieso.


We are beginning to dig into the transpositions that appear to occur in the gaps between steps.

*With Vero D Orozco, Joseph Losinski, Sergio Mantilla, Laura Cardozo, Ed Diaz Trujillo, 8/3/18


We’re working out language – playing a game, making a game, devising game figures


Taking a bow


Later, playing with composites

With Vero D Orozco, Ed Diaz Trujillo, Giannella Ysasi, 7/16/18

With Vero D Orozco, Joseph Losinski, Ed Diaz Trujillo, Caroline Ng, 6/18/18

*With Kenneth Bailey, Judith Leemann, Billie Lee, Poor Farm after party, 6/30/18


Link to work we do together

*With Tracie Hall and DeAmon Harges, Artist as Problem Solver Convening, comparing notes follow-up, 6/6/18

_IMG_6117_IMG_6126DeAmon was at the convening as “Roving Listener” and shared his observations and responses at the end. Here he reacts to a visual element of my response, one of a series of layered drawings. More about DeAmon’s work here.

The Gaze – this set of 20 drawings on transparent backgrounds is part of the response to the Artist as Problem Solver Convening. Here, digitized versions are randomly superimposed in groups of four each time the site is refreshed. The number of possible combinations is 20!/16! = 20 x 19 x 18 x 17 = 116,280. (Tap/click/Command R to refresh after clicking through to site)Screen Shot 2018-09-30 at 10.55.08 PM

Artist as Problem Solver Convening, Joyce Foundation, Indianapolis, March 2018

IMG_5405 (1)

summary of convening notes


Convening notes as Fractal 3-Line Matrix

Read linear notes here

Convening participants and topics

*Wearing the Braid

*With Asha Veal, Nicolas Melo, Dio Aldridge, Walking the Braid, 12/9/17

*With Asha Veal, Greg Ruffing, Walking the Braid, 11/11/17

*The Talking Whiteboards Studio Project, Summer 2016

Most participants in this project engaged The Braid whiteboard, exploring their own modes of working while taking cues from the categories it displays. The Braid diagram emerged earlier this year from my ongoing conversations with artists about their practices.


Posts 1, 2, 3, 4

Final Talking Whiteboards edits on vimeo channel 

*How do you work? Conversations with experimental musicians, composers, and visual artists about their practices, followed by my visualizations of the conversations. In turn, artist’s respond to the visualizations. Since conversations happen in many different places, some of the responses later take place long-distance. Included here are responses that took place in my studio, and in one case, at a studio I had use of during a residency.

Visualizations, seen on the wall behind the artists or musicians, come in two versions – a freely composed scenario (left), and text entered into a Fractal 3-Line Matrix (right). Responses tend to be offered in the artist’s own medium.

05_Mers_James Falzone feedback session

With James Falzone, who responded to visualizations of our How do you work? conversation. Shown is a composite image of documentation.

09_Mers_Ken Vandermark feedback session

With Ken Vandermark, who responded to visualizations of our How do you work? conversation. Shown is a composite image of documentation.

02_Mers_Tomeka Reid feedback session

With Tomeka Reid, who responded to visualizations of ourHow do you work? conversation, at the Roger Brown Studio in New Buffalo, Michigan. Shown is a composite image of documentation.

Klement composite2_flat copy

With Katharina Klement, who responded to visualizations of our How do you work? conversation. Also participating, Lynn Book. Shown is a composite image of documentation.

Mallozzi composite copy

With Lou Mallozzi, who responded to visualizations of our How do you work? conversation. Shown is a composite image of documentation. More about this conversation is published with Chicago Artist Writers, here.

duignan_composite copy

With Jim Duignan, who responded to visualizations of our How do you work? conversation. Also participating, Katya Balueva. Composite image of documentation. Shown is a composite image of documentation.

Eric Leonardsen

With Eric Leonardson, who responded to visualizations of our How do you work? conversation. Shown is a composite image of documentation.

More about the ongoing series of conversations, visualizations and responses.

Goat Island_North

Inaugurating the newly renovated studio space with a conversation about attending and engagement, with Lin Hixson, Matthew Goulish, K.J. Holmes and Sarah Skaggs, 1/27/2016


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