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Hot Mess!

Next Event:

October 28 4:20pm & 8pm

@Elastic Arts Foundation


Featuring Esteemed Artists:

MEGA LAVERNE & SHIRLEY @shelbysweetheartdog

Hereaclitus @hereaclitus

Karyna Herrera @karyna_herrera_

Fabulous Freddie @fabulous_freddie_007

Aurora Tabar @auroratabar

Iván Espinosa with Joan Laage @skinespheres 

Like a mini-conference or fair, art making in real time, simultaneously in person and streaming online, Each Episode has two sets lasting approx 1 hour each: 4:20pm & 8pm. We have play areas set up for kids of all ages.


Each event features a unique group of artists
<intergenerational transcultural multidisciplinary>
A performance installation made up of art film poetry theater noise talkshow

<lowbrow glitch Queer Family dance score improvs>

This event will feature ASL Interpretation by Olivia Ginn at both shows, supported in part by 3Arts. Elastic Arts does have a set of approximately 20 stairs to climb. To request any accommodations, please contact Sara at

Interested to Participate in a Future Hot Mess?
Check the form online and we will get back to you!


Explore a playlist of previous Hot Mess! videos HERE, or visit the Elastic Arts website.

All Participating Artists thus far:  

Cristal Sabbagh, Zoë Darling, Mitsu Salmon, Sky Goodman, Natalia Nicholson, Luc Mosley, Adrian Wood,

Norman W. Long, Chloe Yu-Nong Lin, Kyle G. Price, Shoshana Green, Marcy Rae Henry, SheenRu Yong, Meenakshi M, Harlan Rosen, Momo-dono, Isaiah the Barbergod, Eryka Dellenbach, Fereshteh Toosi, Noa/h Fields,

Charles Joseph Smith, Carole McCurdy, Yumiko Yoshioka, Kikù Hibino, M_m <M, Aza Greenlee, Dubi Kaufman, Amanu, Jinlu Luo, Sara June/Max Lord, Christine Shallenberg, Peter Redgrave, Orlando Johnson, Ashley Shey, Matt Williams,

Emmett Wilson, Chrissy Martin, Lichen Bouboushian, Ralph Darden, Dalia Chin, Mz Mr, Mallory Yanhan Qiu,

Va-Bene Elikem K. Fiatsi, Riiin Peisert, Hiroko Tamano, Vanessa Skantze, Wannapa P-Eubanks, Michael Zerang,

Carolyn Carney, Muso, Juliann Wang, Anna Oxygen, D Jean-Baptiste.

Every community owes its existence and vitality to generations from around the world who contributed their hopes, dreams, and energy to making the history that led to this moment. Some were brought here against their will, some were drawn to leave their distant homes in hope of a better life, and some have lived on this land for more generations than can be counted. Truth and acknowledgment are critical to building mutual respect and connection across all barriers of heritage and difference. We begin this effort to acknowledge what has been buried by honoring the truth.

We are standing on the ancestral lands of the Myaamia  Očhéthi Šakówiŋ  Bodwéwadmi (Potawatomi) Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) Hoocąk (Ho-Chunk) Peoria and all First Nation People. We pay respects to their elders past and present. Please take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that bring us together here today. And please join us in uncovering such truths at any and all public events.

For each Episode, we invite a group of artists to bring themselves and their idea that is in progress or revisioning and ask them to make two 40-70 minute improvisational sets, all together. These shows are hybrid works including both remote and in person humans participating and viewing.


The  4:20pm set is our first draft, exposing in-process moments, us all showing up and listening in to one another. The 8pm set is our do-over, our next iteration, using experience gained from the first set, we rearrange, transition and revise. ENJOY LIFE ENJOY LIVE ART


Hot Mess! is a psychedelic collage of sounds, images, text, motion, bodies, and concepts. Each set lasts an hour, the sound and shape determined by each particular group of artists. Individual artists bring their particular idea to perform somehow simultaneously with others, in both physical and virtual space. This working together flexes our interpersonal skill building while adapting to new tools, technology and experiences. Neuropathways growing.

Hot Mess! focuses on the moments of co-creation and gives the artists and the audience a play-space to meet each other across time, genre, cultures, perspective, experience... it demonstrates the power of working together in the unknown, possibilities for Queering space, and the beauty in transformation while making art!

Artist Meenakshi M leans over small electronics concentrating, in a purple and orange light.

About Episode 10 Featured Esteemed Artists:


Fabulous Freddie: Freddie’s dance journey is a self-exploration and healing practice in claiming himself whole through embodying his masculine and feminine energies as a Black Gay artist. By choosing to express himself through both Breaking and Vogue Femme movement foundations, he has opened a new space for an important conversation to happen through his body.


Mabel Kwan & Andrew Tham as MEGA LAVERNE & SHIRLEY is a band birthed from the fictitious art scene known as big TEEN. big TEEN bands revel in aesthetics of distraction, multiplicity, and metatheatrics. MEGA LAVERNE & SHIRLEY embrace this artistic framework with monolithic performances that incorporate synthesizers, MIDI sampling, multilingual declamations, choreography informed by Chinese calligraphy, and LED light worship. That is, MEGA LAVERNE & SHIRLEY attempt to overwhelm the audience in the hopes of bringing them into a new kind of focus; a kind of transcendence through multiplicity and confusion. It's like witnessing a monumental event happen in two parallel universes simultaneously, or watching an episode of Laverne & Shirley in two languages.

Iván Espinosa is a Latino choreographer and interdisciplinary scholar that writes about and creates work engaged with mycology, climate change, interspecies performance, and Japanese Butoh.  Iván is currently a PhD student in Performance Studies at the University of Colorado. Iván has presented his ecology-themed artwork nationwide at venues such as La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York, Seattle International Butoh Festival and numerous academic conferences. Iván began his formative artistic training in Seattle with Pacific Northwest Butoh pioneer Joan Laage, who continues to serve as his foremost mentor and collaborator to this day. Since graduating from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Iván's artwork has been focused on studying the relationships between human bodies and mycelium fungi networks through the lenses of bioacoustics and site-specific performance.  His recent multimedia installations involving mushrooms and mycelium bioacoustics were highlighted in a special issue of the PERFORMANCE RESEARCH journal titled "On Dark Ecologies."

Aurora Tabar is a performing artist, occupational therapist, and multi-tasking mom. Her professional and creative practices examine the process of healing and the potential for transformation. Most recently Aurora had the pleasure of collaborating with members of WATCHTOWER (Rosé Hernandez, Ginger Krebs, Bryan Saner, and Sara Zalek) during a residency at Roman Susan Gallery. Aurora has presented solo and collaborative performances across Chicago including at Elastic Arts Foundation, Prop Theater, Links Hall, and High Concept Laboratories. As a special educator, Aurora is committed to inclusion and helping students build functional skills that they can carry into the future. She lives on the west side of Chicago with her partner, two adorable kiddos, and a cohort of cats.

Karyna Herrera: I was born in 1975 and come from Switzerland and Ecuador. I studied at the Lucerne School of Art and Design and obtained a Master‘s degree in Art in Public Space. My acting studies complement my professional career. I have already participated in several exhibitions and am active in various performance events. I worked as a curator and co-organiser of performance events at the ((ort)) Emmenbrucke studio until December 2018. Since 2021, I have been a member of the B74 Raum für Kunst and organize unconventional exhibitions as a curator together with the B74 team. „Make-Art-Happening“, 2020 is my own project as a curator and exhibition organizer. Art and culture are life companions for me. As an artist I enjoy working in the fields of performance, photography, video and art research. Space and time are used consciously in my work. The starting point of my artistic work is usually personal observation and reflection on social and political events. At the same time, I am preoccupied with the question of the transience and continuity of things, nature and humanity. In doing so, I carefully observe and examine my surroundings and their traces of change. In this way I find ideas and motifs for works of art.

Hereaclitus: In 87' they met and collaborated with Linda Montano. Inspiring 2 decades of ART/LIFE biodynamic art.

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