TWELVE: a series of performative koans

During the months of September and October of 2017 I will be completing a residency project consisting of twelve performance events throughout Chicago. Harnessing personal experiences with schizophrenia these performances thematically represent mental illnesses and the human behind them, each commanding a new dialogue and offering a new way to experience notions of identity, suffering, healing, language, and stigma.

Making these performances accessible for everyone is important. These events are wheelchair accessible and will have audio description as well as captioning (CART) where necessary. Please refrain from wearing scented products. For other accommodation requests, please contact me at

Please be advised that some performances include flashing light and quick-moving animated images. Those will be noted individually below.

Based in Zen Buddhism, “koans” are paradoxical riddles that provoke inquiry and engage the power of intuition. By demonstrating the limits of logic, a koan leads to discovery, healing, and, it is said, enlightenment.

As part of a residency project in partnership with 3Arts and UIC, I have chosen the vehicle of koans, and borrow from Greek mythology and the story of Herakles, who must complete 12 labors as penitence.

In these works, I focus on the themes of penitence, forgiveness, language, and the roles they play in understanding and healing mental illness.

“Twelve Koans” will utilize performance art, in a variety of forms, at venues throughout Chicago this fall, including:


1. to madness and joy

Where: Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

This event is part of NON:op Open Opera Works’ FEED Salon: to play, to be happy, and to dream.

756 N Milwaukee Ave.

2. Edge/ Sharp Mined

Where: Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater

1700 N Halstead Ave.

When: September 19th, 8 p.m.

3. Seen

Please be advised that this performance includes flashing light and quick-moving animated images.

Where: The Poetry Foundation

61 W Superior St

When: September 26th, 7 p.m.

4. Crazy Train

This is a meditative walk that will take place on the route of Chicago’s “Crazy Train” which is no longer in use. This train took patients from Chicago to Dunning Asylum. This performance will take place on October 1st, beginning at 11 a.m.

The starting location will be Galewood Station on Metra’s Milwaukee District/West Line (the corner of N Narragansett and W McLean Ave) and the walk will finish at Read Dunning Memorial Park. The distance is approximately 3 miles.

Click here for a map of the route

5. Is: si ng

Where: Victory Gardens

2433 N Lincoln Ave.

When: October 19th 7:30-9:00 p.m.

Doors at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $10

 Tickets available here


6. What I Learned About Healing

Where: UIC’s Gallery 400

400 S Peoria St.

When: October 6th, 3 – 6 p.m.

7. Gyroscope

Where: Artists Studio

410 S Michigan Ave. Suite 420

When: October 8th, 1 p.m.

8. poems to be seen

Location varies, Photos will be taken around Chicago on October 27th.

9. Welcome Mat

This protest performance will take place throughout Chicago. More details will be available soon.

10. Lights

Where: TBA


11. Portfolio of Prints

During the two month residency a suite of prints will be created. The prints will be available to view at an open house event at my studio.

Where: 410 S Michigan Ave. Suite 420

When: November 4th, 7-9 p.m.

12. Chapbooks

Chapbooks will be made for each of the major performances and will be handed out on the day of the performance.



This residency is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts,  3Arts, and Bodies of Work. My generous thanks to them for making this monumental task happen.