A collaborative performance art workshop led by subRosa and Elena Marcevska, with an interdisciplinary group of scholars, artists & activists. Combining interdisciplinary art and theater skills, we created a tourist-like map to make visible the “hidden feminist histories” of Skopje, Macedonia. This included historic and present-day concerns experienced by women of different ages and ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Sponsored by the Faculty of Communication & Media Arts, New York University Skopje, Macedonia, June 10–19, 2008
This major, year-long subRosa project for The Interventionists,
mapped the intersections of women’s material and affective labor in cultures of production in North Adams, MA, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and investigated the similarities and differences of economic, cultural and every-day life effects of the outsourcing of labor and globalization on these towns and on their local female labor force. Large, aerial wall maps of North Adams and Ciudad Juárez featured oversized map pins denoting “points of view,” and flanked a “forensic floor” that concealed objects, texts, and clues beneath loose boards. Visitors were encouraged to discover connections between the aerial maps, the contents beneath the floor, and a third printed “road map” distributed in the space. Also displayed were five posters by contemporary Mexican artists, expressing concern and outrage about the continuing murder and disappearance of women in Ciudad Juárez.*
The “Clothing Tag Map,” a separate part of this project—displayed in the foyer of the Museum—allowed visitors to cut the tags off their clothing and pin them to a Dymaxion world map, according to the location where each garment was manufactured. Thus visitors actively explored, and demonstrated their own participation and complicity in globalized labor conditions.
- The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere, curated by Nato Thompson, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, May 2004–March 2005 (catalog, link).
- Thought Crimes: The Art of Subversion [clothing tag map only], curated by Diane Barber, Diverse Works, Houston, TX, April 1–May 28, 2005.
* Can You See Us Now has its own web site.
An audience-participatory performance and collective mapping of the global trafficking in human organs and tissues, International Markets of Flesh [IMF]
first took place on the altar of a 17th century converted convent church. Through participatory activities, demonstrations, & manipulation of life-size organ sculptures, the audience learned about the growing international demand for transplantable organs and tissues, and the political, social, and medical consequences these demands create. Participants wrote personal stories and rumors about organ harvesting and trade on a large Dymaxion World Map, and affixed organ stickers. The visual accumulation of facts, fiction, and testimony effectively demonstrated the dominant flows of the flesh-market worldwide—with demand coming from the North/West and supply coming from the South/East. Performers and audience also discussed changing ideas about the value of human life in the age of genetically engineered, globally distributed, and patented human body parts, filled in a form estimating the net worth of their body parts and labor, and received a Certificate of Flesh Worth.
- XI International Performance Art Festival: Out of Focus, ExTeresa Arte Actual, Mexico City, July 11, 2003.
- Arte Nuevo InteractivA’05, Patio Central del Centro Cultural Olimpio, Mérida,Yucatan, Mexico, June 25, 2005.
- A Studio of Their Own : The Legacy of the Fresno Feminist Experiment, 1970, Conley Art Gallery, CSU Fresno, CA, Aug. 26-Oct. 11, 2009.
*Read about IMF in the Frakcija Performing Arts Journal and download the Flesh Worth Form.
subRosa impersonated a “Biopower Team” of consultants and performed an intervention at the “
Art and Tech Fair”
of a large public university. Our team created a booth where participants could complete an online biopower profiler
that enabled them to compare how they allocated their labor power and leisure time—their total biopower
. A team consultant helped participants analyze their results and gave advice about empowering life changes (such as considering athletic scholarships as form of labor instead of or in addition to it being leisure time).
In collaboration with students, faculty, and community activists, subRosa also designed a consciousness-raising map revealing the intersections of biological/agricultural/digital technology cultures on the BGSU campus, in the town, and in the surrounding animal Phactory Pharming enterprises which the team had documented. The map raised critical issues personalized by the biopower questionnaire, and was distributed campus-wide via “mooing” mailbox-kiosks. The biopower team also conducted a graduate colloquium and video screening on the issues of biopower and technology on campus.
- 23rd Annual New Media & Art Festival, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, October, 2002
Additional images from the performance can be seen in The Interventionists: Users’ Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life.
A portion of the map is reproduced in Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism.
This project has its own web site.