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Events & Classes

Radical Joy (No Joy I’ve Seen)

Curated By Egon Schiele

Opening Reception: Friday, May 26th // 6-10PM


Performances by Burning Orchid x Nunn, Carlos Salazar-Lermont, and Sara Zalek.

(May 26 - June 24) An exhibition of paintings, photography, and performance art exploring poisoned joy in expressing our traumas and the sweet sorrow of our consummation. As Capitalism has commodified identity, it corrupts its full expression, hiding the trauma and confusion from which it is actually built. As artists, we orchestrate the demolition of this veil by embracing the pain in our expression with a reckless joy. 
@holeboss_remix @fotodecristo @colectivomultipolar @memar__ @sweat.fm_real_dominic @csalazarlermont @01saratonin @shai_grl @efrenarcoiris @nunnband


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Featured Artists:

MzMr @humangalaxy

Mallory Yanhan Qiu @qiumallory

Va-Bene Elikem K. Fiatsi @crazinist_artist

Riin Peisert @riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin

Hiroko Tamano @tamanokoichi

4:20pm & 8pm 

$15 Elastic Arts, 3429 W. Diversey Ave. #208 Chicago, IL 60647

In person or stream it online:

No advance ticket sales. Debit/Cash accepted at the door.

Hot Mess! is a play space where we invite the chaos of the unfamiliar into our process, together. We focus on the moments of co-creation, discover new ways of working together, interacting with the audience, connecting both in person and online. Hot Mess! demonstrates the power of working together in the unknown, seeks possibilities for Queering space, and centers the joy and beauty in re-starting while making art. All ages are invited! 

Next class: May 28
last Sundays of the Month, 3-5pm
at Color Club, 4146 N Elston Ave, Chicago

Sliding scale $15-$20 per class

RSVP Let us know you're coming ------->


Co-facilitated by Elaine LeMieux and Sara Zalek, each two hour workshop focuses on vocal technique, physical presence, freeing our bodies and voices simply together. We begin by warming up with breathing exercises, gentle repetition of vowels, consonants, bubbling, and babbling, we gradually expand our vocal range.  Listening to one another, playfully passing sound and movement, we find our unique songs and create compositions together.

No previous experience necessary, all ages and abilities encouraged.


Art image by Elaine Lemieux

No upcoming events at the moment

Recent Past

International (19).jpg
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NW. Long and I will duo, and Lia Kohl and Zander Raymond will also. 

Friday May 12, 7pm (indoors!) Compound Yellow 

244 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60302

Freedom From and Freedom To at Family Day at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 

Saturday May 13, 11am-1pm

Body Resonance with Yumiko Yoshioka
May 4-7, 2023 (Thursday – Sunday)

Thurs & Friday 6-9pm;
Saturday 1-5pm;
Sunday 3-7pm.
at Color Club,  4146 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 

In person only. 

The body as a receptacle of time.
A dance of metamorphosis inevitably appears.

Saturday, December 10, 7pm
Freedom From and Freedom To

Curated by Cristal Sabbagh

Elastic Arts Foundation
3429 W. Diversey #208

The show begins at 7:00pm with openers, Douglas R. Ewart, Ben LaMar Gay and Coco Elysses, doing a trio,  immediately following will be 6 sets at 15 min each (with a brief intermission after the 3rd set). Audience members will be picking each set by selecting names from a bag.

More information

Freedom From and Freedom To Poster, including a drawing of figures dancing and playing instruments. It includes a list of all the participants and details about the event.

Tina LeFauve and I activated Spencer Hutchinson's artworks as part of TRACTATUS 2: Paintings, Combines, and Sculptures at the Intersection of Sound 

at the Opening Reception and Art Walk:

Friday Sept 9 and Friday Sept 16

ARC Gallery

1463 W. Chicago Ave.


Saturday, August 27

7:00 - 11:00pm

Freedom From and Freedom To is an exploration and celebration of artistic circumstance. Movement and sound improvisors from all around Chicago gather in front of a live audience, where they are grouped by chance to perform in the moment. FFFT fuses diverse artistic backgrounds and practices to create unique and fleeting worlds. 

Tina LaFauve and Sara Zalek reaching up holding a 6 foot tree saw and playing electronics.
Sara Zalek pushing a chair across the room barebooted, with a determined look and open mouth

Performance on Saturday, July 16 at 4 PM 

Roman Susan
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL

Watchtower is a collaborative performance ensemble comprised of Rosé Hernandez, Ginger Krebs, Bryan Saner, Aurora Tabar and I. United by our desire to realize a fully collaborative and democratic creative process, the group met regularly from 2011 through 2012. Our work culminated in the performance video, Watchtower 12-12-12, which was performed, filmed and presented within one week at New Capital Projects. After a ten year hiatus, the members of Watchtower reunite for a one-week residency at Roman Susan July 12-18.

A group of dancers making a diagonal with their arms, performing for a seated audience in Roman Susan gallery, Chicago.

Thursday July 7, 5 – 7 p.m

at Big Marsh Park

Norman W. Long and I led an internal body scan for the assembled group; a meditation in finding our presence in places that may not be familiar. Together, we breathed and walked new pathways at Big Marsh Park, with an intention toward immersion, participation, and collective celebration.

Illustration of a line of people walking in nature, with trees in the background and reeds in the foreground. A quote from Sara is written here, "I always love soundwalks. They're a very different way of experiencing an environment. All together - a silent group moving through space..."
Hot Mess!

Saturday, May 28

See the live streams on Twitch until June 11!

4:20pm show:

8pm show (even tho it says 420):


Featured artists:

Marcy Rae Henry (Chicago)
Shoshana Green (San Francisco)
Harlan Rosen (Chicago)
Meenakshi Marchione (Chicago)
SheenRu Yong (Hawaii)


Join us in person at Elastic Arts, 3429 W. Diversey #208 or online to watch these artists generate a hybrid singular work woven together from their individual creations and practices. Each SET will be its own performance, two iterations with the same material with time for processing in between.. We invite both a live audience and present a live stream, come to either the early or the late show, or boldly both. We will seriously play, in a together way.

These inventive hybrids of tech / media / film / music / theater / noise / talk show / jazz / low brow / cabaret / glitch / queer family / dance score / improvs are riveting and in the moment! We set the stage for never-before-seen combinations of sounds, images, text, motion, and concepts simultaneously. Expect to flex your VR and interpersonal skills while also adapting to new tools, technology and experiences.

Watch footage from past events on our video playlist

$15 - Tickets Available at the Door

In person audience size will depend on Covid conditions, please check the current policy on Elastic Arts website

Hot Mess! is a quarterly series produced by Sara Zalek in partnership with Elastic Arts. If you are an artist interested in participating, complete this survey to get a sense of your ideas and the program. This is a paid opportunity. 

Shoshana Green typing on her phone and below it a disco ball refracting the image.
Blank Box: New Dimensions in Sense-uality

Composition for multimedia ensemble

Sunday, May 22nd 
Elastic Arts 

8:00pm doors / 8:30pm show, $15

watch the stream recording

Sara Zalek - movement
Hyun Kim - movement
Sam Lewis - lighting/tech
Tselanie Townsend - video projections
Paul Giallorenzo - piano/electronics/composition/direction
Macie Stewart - violin
Hunter Diamond - reeds/percussion

Text reads, Homeroom presents BLANK BOX image of squares on a diagonal. New Dimensions in Sense-uality

Soundwalk at Northwestern University for Earth Day 2022 with Veronica Salinas.

Reviewed in the Daily Northwestern

Veronica Salinas and Sara Zalek with their arms up to the sky, demonstracting a centering exercise in front of the pond at Northwestern. University
A group of people walking down a path with grass on one side and water on the other, a line of trees in the distance and white puffy clouds in the sky.

Freedom From and Freedom To is an exploration and celebration of artistic circumstance. Movement and sound improvisors from all around Chicago gather in front of a live audience, where they are grouped by chance. Each group performs an improvised set. We fuse diverse artistic backgrounds and practices to create unique and fleeting worlds Curated by Cristal Sabbagh. More information

Saturday, April 2, 2022
Streaming LIVE from Elastic Arts - 7:30pm CST

Saturday, April 9, 2022
Museum of Contemporary Art - 11am
Kovler Atrium

Sara Zalek and

****March 16, 2022 Elastic Arts 

with @tina_lestove @pleiadesseries

Fun promo pic of two humans creating a sonic reduction utilizing movement and various metal bits including two antique trash can lids, light triggered oscillators, and a whole bunch of effects pedals.

HOT MESS! Hybrids in live and streaming environments

Quarterly Series in partnership with Elastic Arts


Saturday, March 5, 2022 @Elastic Arts

Yumiko Yoshioka @yumiko-yoshioka
Charles Joseph Smith @charlessmith702210
Carole McCurdy @carolemccurdy
Kikù Hibino @kiku.hibino
[️     ] pronounced "Hypothetical Star": M_m<M & nulltopia @mmmtvdotnet

Save the dates for May 28, August 13, November 12, 2022

<<<<<<<<< See Trailers & Archive of 2021 Hot Mess! Events >>>>>>>>>>

HOT MESS! is an opportunity to explore promiscuously inventive

hybrids of performing in physical and virtual space.

We flex our VR and interpersonal skills while also adapting to new tools,

technology and experiences. 


This series focuses on the moments of co-creation and gives the artists a play-space to discover new ways of working together and interacting with each other and the audience. The "double header" gives the artists space to find the power of working together in the unknown, possibilities for Queering space, and the beauty in re-starting while making art!

We are always seeking new relationships to open our perspective and learn from others. If you are interested to be involved, contact me and/or check this survey to get a sense of what it's all about.

(Image Description: An abstract image of a face wearing glasses, a lamp post, telephone wires, a record, and a crosshatch of indigo, blue, magenta, orange. It reads: HOT MESS! 


January 11-22, 2022

Roman Susan Gallery

WATCHTOWER 12-12-21 (with Edited Captions) will be on view directly from the street in front of Roman Susan each evening after sunset, while the space is closed to the public. During this period, the artists will be in residence at the storefront in many capacities. 

Created together in democratic collaboration among artists Rosé Hernandez, Ginger Krebs, Bryan Saner, Aurora Tabar, and Sara Zalek, with videography by Rustel Weiss.

Screen Shot 2022-01-09 at 2.14.51 PM.png

"WATCHTOWER is a temporary collaborative performance ensemble. We move and use the body in alternative ways in order to challenge its domestication. We inhabit socially abnormal behaviors, for example the body as animal, aging, multi-gendered, deformed and full of contradictions. The decision to be in relation to otherness is central to the work we make. We create a way of being that allows us to be ourselves in good faith with each other and this practice is healing. Our work is responsive rather than scripted. We prioritize taking time and attending to place."


Sunday, July 18, 2021. Norman W. Long and I led a soundwalk at Marian R. Byrnes park, 2200 E. 103rd St., 4-6pm. We set up listening stations with contact mics and hydrophones for participants to tune into this unlikely prairie zone. A little bit about the radical work of Marian Byrnes and how she worked to save Van Vlissingen prairie.


I'm not gonna lie, its a long way to come! You can take the bus from downtown, the J14103rd/Stony Island and get off about 45 minutes later at 103rd Street & Luella. Check out the full summer calendar of events with the Midwest Society for Ecology here

We played at the Comfort Station in Logan Square on August 8 and hoping to do another one really soon. Stay tuned to either of our Instagrams for those details. 


Columbia College Chicago Digital Residency

From On the Ground, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago’s blog, I wrote "Transitions"

I want to be someone else, other than who I am. Constantly and always. Forever transforming. When I dance, I am no one. I am all energy and sensation. I am a body of cells responding to other bodies of cells, to space, to sound, to subtle forces of physics.


Read the post here

It is related to a poem I wrote under another name, published in the gorgeous new zine called The Understory (Winter 2021)

Image on page 24, poem on pages 59-61

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Archive of Performance Premiered April 15, 2021 

Dance and Music performance with Cristal Sabbagh, Erin Peisert, Scott Rubin, Keisha Janae, & Ramah Malebranche, and myself.


OOPS! POW! SURPRISE! takes a deep look at Cristal Sabbagh’s interdisciplinary practice that includes traditional portraiture, ceramics, and performance. While movement is the spine of her practice and the core that all her other work emanates from, intentional spontaneity, reverence, and bliss are threads woven throughout.

ONLINE Performances

Freedom From and Freedom To

Archive of Performance
April 2-3, 2021
Cristal Sabbagh production in partnership Elastic Arts

(All the sets are archived on the Elastic Arts YouTube channel)

Secret Rivers:
Hosted Yumiko Yoshioka April 9-11on zoom

Friday, February 26, 2021

The Quarantine Concerts: OUT OF SITE in collaboration with Experimental Sound Studio PRESENTS FLOW


When making a live work, as a performance, as an artist who poets and sounds and makes movements and moments as rituals, as possibilities for existence, in this work I used sound and video images from the island of Oahu, Hawaii, mixed with live moments from my home, asking for input from my audience, to questions about secrets and holding and requesting space. The performance is a live poem, a song; with the artist as mixer, as presenter, as witness, as dancer, conspirator and space creator. 

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Virtual Soundwalk curated by Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology.  Marian R. Byrnes Park, previously known as Park No. 562 or Van Vlissingen Prairie, is located in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood. At approximately 135 acres, it is one of the largest natural areas in Chicago. The site includes marsh, wet prairie, prairie, savanna, and woodland and is a great place to observe wildlife including frogs, snakes, birds, and deer.


By 1982, the steel industry in Chicago was only a skeleton of what it once was, and thousands of people lost their jobs. This industry crash affected workers in diverse sectors that either relied on the steel plants for business or served the employees of the steel plants and their families. Aside from mills and processing plants, stores, restaurants and country clubs all went out of business, leaving vacant lots, industrial grounds and many open spaces that remain today.


The video provides a brief history of the park and neighborhood from Norman W. Long’s personal perspective as a local resident of Jeffery Manor. Norman and Sara guide us visually and sonically in a relaxation and sensation, listening to the sounds provided by this diverse ecology.

November 7

Artist Focus: Random Acts

Conversation with Carron Little with Out of Site, Chicago

Archive of conversation:

October 4

@Elastic Arts, Chicago

A series of duos with me and these fellow brilliant artists, musicians, available on bandcamp.

Espinoza/Long Duo

Steelworkers Drone


Archived Performances:

Norman & Sara:
Norman & Xris:
Xris & Sara:
Norman, Xris, & Sara:

X. Espinoza
Chicago based artist, multi-instrumentalist and resident at The Hunter Radcliff House, Espinoza explores art and music as technology for self-transformation and liberation, consciously obliterating distinctions between mediums. Member of David Boykin's Sonic Healing ministries, The Participatory Music Coalition, Angel Bat Dawid's Brothahood, . He has performed with Sura Dupart's Side Pocket Experience, MicroCosmic Sound Orchestra and Chicago Modern Orchestra Project.

Norman W. Long
An artist/composer. His practice involves walking, listening, collecting, improvising, performing and recording to create objects, environments and situations in which he and the audience are engaged in dialogues about memory space, value, silence and the invisible. Norman has performed with Angel Bat Dawid's Brothahood, Standing On The Corner, Sara Zalek, Chicago Phonography, Todd Carter, Carol Genetti, Eli Namay, Peter Maunu, Jim Baker, Damon Locks, Dan Bitney, Isaiah Spencer, Lia Kohl, and Andrew Clinkman.


August 21
Cruising Poem for Walt Whitman

August 28
Funeral Disco

Two events co-sponsored by Touchless Entry & Red Rover Series

Site-specific outdoor events designed with safety concerns in mind. 

at the Formal Garden in Humboldt Park

near the intersection of Sacramento & Division

Writeup on sixty inches from center