A 10 day mélange of international performance art and events begins June 1


Regina Frank surrounded by a quilt that shows some global devastation

The First Annual Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival presented by Defibrillator (dfb) performance art gallery, 1136 N. Milwaukee Ave., begins June 1 and continues through June 10 at three primary performance venues. In addition to dfb, Happy Collaborationists is located at 1254 N. Noble St. and The Nightingale at 1084 N. Milwaukee Ave. The HUB, 1184 N. Milwaukee Ave. is being used as the Festival headquarters and location for artist talks. For a schedule of events, checkout their website.


Helmet Heiss (Italy/Austria) will be flying a banner behind an airplane

A mélange of performers and presenters, subjects, styles and performance types will be engaging and amazing people throughout Chicago. The Festival is broken into seven components:

  • RAPID PULSE performance series starting at Defibrillator  every day of the festival beginning at 7 p.m.
  • CIRCULATION arranged by Merideth Weber and Anna Trier, audience migration between venues will also become audience participatory social sculpture.
  • TRIAGE a performance series (micro-fest) curated by Happy Collaborationists and held at their location on Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 6 p.m.
  • ELECTRODES performance installations, usually durational in nature, in the windows at Defibrillator.
  • CBouger

    Christine Bouger (Brazil) will be smashing 300 beer bottles

    INTERVENTIONS performances in the public sphere. locations throughout Chicago.
  • VIDEO SERIES performances for video and performance documentation occurring between live work.
  • DISCOURSE panels or round table discussions at Defibrillator  and artist talks at the HUB.

Thursday evening, May 31, at Defibrillator, German artist and performer Regina Frank had just arrived from Lisbon, Portugal while the team of Church of Contemporary Art (CoCA) from Carbondale and Chicago were testing their electronic equipment. Joseph Ravens, performer, dfb owner and master of the Festival, was dashing off to put out some fires at another venue.


Kreider and Watters review their CoCA video

Frank, who has Portugal as her home base, has a multi-faceted career that blends performance with other forms of art including painting and weaving. The CoCA team (for this performance: Angela Watters, Cole Robertson, Wago Kreider and Jessica Allee) includes photographers, educators, and a lawyer.


Robertson irons the alter cloth in preparation for the CoCA service

The snatches of performances I saw were fascinating as are most Defibrillator productions and collaborator events. In a conversation between Frank and CoCA's Watters, they were amazed to find that the basis of their work for the Festival is similar. As CoCA's Kreider worked on the equipment, I had the fun of seeing and hearing about the "church service." As they perform and collect the offering, a dog is seen in a video "collecting" too. This hive of high energy activity was just a short period of time in but one space. Imagine the amount of pulsing sparks of electricity flying through the air through the rest of the Festival.


In a video, dog solicits donations

"While the festival begins at 2 p.m. on June 1 with an artist talk," explains Ravens, "there will be durational work in the windows of the dfb gallery after 2. We list Jean Marie Casbarian on the schedule for 4 p.m. just to highlight her work at that time. At 6 p.m., there is a series called Triage at Happy Collaborationists, but 7 p.m. is the big start at dfb.



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