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Portfolio Video 2002-06

A five-minute QuickTime movie of video and audio excerpts, as well as still documentation from the last few years.



Mixer: Olympiad


Participation Design, Direction & Performance, Eyebeam: Art & Technology, New York, NY
Eyebeam's quarterly event Mixer took on the theme of "Olympiad" and hosted a number of participatory games. I designed a strategy to encourage audience immersion and participation. After going through an immigration process, the audience "athletes" pledged allegiance to 1 of 5 nations, then were trained by a coach to take part in a opening ceremony I directed. I directed a press core who occupied an announcer's booth and interviewed audience members. I also MC'ed the 2 night event.

Photos: Christine A. Butler, courtesy of Eyebeam




Celebrating the Boston Tea Party (with Stephanie Pereira)

Social Performance, Soup Kitchen, Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Open Source Gallery invited artists to cook a one-pot-meal each night during the month of December. On December 16th, the anniversery of the Boston Tea Party, we drank tea and served up a vegan chower.

Silver Ticket Project: Help Wanted

Performance, Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
With unemployment numbers at 8.8% in New York City and topping 10% nationally, laid off workers are turning to their passions to find more meaningful work. Artist Erik Fabian wants to help, and luckily the Silver Ticket Project is hiring!

An Online Introduction to Midnight Gardening

Live Performance for Online Video, Low Lives, FiveMyles (Brooklyn, NY), Diaspora Vibe Gallery (Miami, FL), and labotanica (Houston)
Learn the skills of midnight gardening. Protect your valuables. Trust the trustworty.

An Introduction to Midnight Gardening

Performance, University Settlement, New York, NY
Midnight gardening is the act of hiding valuables under the cover of darkness. Traditionally, valuables might be buried in one's backyard at night to avoid the prying eyes of nosy neighbors.




Lentil Soup & Clove-Oranges (with Stephanie Pereira)

Social Performance, Soup Kitchen, Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Open Source Gallery invited artists to cook a one-pot-meal each night during the month of December. On December 21st, the Winter Solstice, we cooked a lentil soup and offered guests the project of making clove-oranges.
Silver Ticket Project: Sweeten the Deal

Performance/Installation, Orleans St. Gallery, Bridge Art Fair Miami, Miami, FL
Each day, twice-a-day, I performed ritualistic performance-responses to works by emerging artists in the Orleans Street Gallery at the Catalina hotel. These value-adding performances critically and playfully responded to selected works at the Orleans Street Gallery to redirect visitor attention that might have otherwise been misallocated due to the recent credit bubble. At 11am, I started each day at the fair with a walking piece that circled the entire block of the Catalina hotel (the location of the Bridge Art Fair Miami) and arrived in the Orleans Street Gallery (room #223). Later in the afternoon, I performed a second performance in a ritualistic space in the center of the Orleans Street Gallery room (#223) at the Catalina hotel.

Don't Panic

Performance, Bridge Art Fair Miami, Miami, FL
To relieve some of the anxiety art patrons may be facing during the current economic crisis, I offered a reminder of what credit feels like. Art fair visitors were invited, one-at-a-time, to hold a wad of 1000 one-dollar bills with me that had been borrowed from my credit card. I was not giving the money away...we took a moment to pause and consider the relationships that are created when markets and credit freeze.

NO RULES: Art Fair Edition

Game, Orleans St. Gallery, Bridge Art Fair Miami, Miami, FL
This version of the imagination game imagines the challenges or solutions a gallerist faces when attempting to travel across country to take part in the Miami Art Fairs.

NO RULES: Governors Island Edition

Performance/Installation/Game, Emergence, Governors Island NY
A simple imagination game of offense and defense. This game unveils a series of impending dooms that befall the City of New York, to which a series of bold counter attacks are carried out in the nick of time. It places the heroic Governors Island between beloved New York City and utter destruction. Participants were invited to have a seat on the porch of a historic house, to have a cup of lemonade and to play the game.

Silver Ticket Project: Eternal Truths & Hot Tips
(or: Can you trust a giraffe for art investment advice?)

Performance, Jeffrey Boone Gallery, Affordable Art Fair, New York, NY
I offered art investment advice to visitors at the opening of the Affordable Art Fair in NYC. I took questions and limited my responses to a set of all purpose investment sayings which I had printed on a deck of cards.


Asset-Backed Documentation (aka Stamps)

Conceptual Project, Zazzle.com
Commemorative stamps of many of the performances in this portfolio. Actual U.S. postage format to expand inquiry into value.


Silver Ticket Project             

Various media & locations.


A Theory of Inflation, Compendium (dir. Plasticene)   

Performance, Site Unseen, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL 2006

Fight or Flight       

Performance, Art Night, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL 2006

NO RULES: Kill The Bunny     

Performance, MusicGarage, Chicago, IL 2006

How many performance artists does it take to change a light bulb?

Conceptual action, "The Chicago Review of Economics", Green Lantern Gallery, Chicago, IL 2006
An exploration of value and the conductive capacity of silver. Hired labor screwed and unscrewed the light bulbs around the gallery space for three hours. A hired assistant documents and oversees the project in my absence while I was attending a conference in Boston.

Mr. Market goes to Church

Performance, "The 14th Annual Performance Art Celebration", South Union Arts, Chicago, IL 2006
A twenty-minute performance in a former church turned performance space. Mr. Market is the usher. Mr. Market is the choir. Mr. Market collects donations from the audience and escapes with them.


The Bee, Direction and the Driving Lesson

Performance/Installation, "Drive By", Links Hall, Chicago, IL 2005
A driving lesson and a buzzing lesson. Three passengers are invited to participate in the creation of the piece. One person is entrusted with teaching Erik Fabian to drive, one is asked to be a bee, and one is asked to be a co-pilot for a safe and attentive roadtrip through Chicago.

Spin Cycle

Performance/Installation, "Early Adopters", Three Arts Club, Chicago, IL 2005
The third and most intimate of a series of three oratories. Guests are invited to sit with me and are asked what they are looking for at this reception. I help them find their political, pro-art message and practice spinning conversations in support of the arts.

Best Man

Performance, "Rebuttal", Green Lantern Gallery, Chicago, IL 2005
The second of a series of three oratories. Performed in response to a series of paintings by Caroline Picard. Our work has been joined in a sacred union. Thank you for joining us on this very special day.

"I have a lion's head..."

Performance, "Musicircus", MCA, Chicago, IL 2005
The first of a series of three oratories. I have a lion's head on top of this one. Roar.

Series: Performed In Review

Performance Documentation/Video/Other, www.ErikAndTheAnimals.com, 2005
A series of performed responses/reviews to events and performances in performance-centric language.

Paralleled by written commentary posted on the www.ErikAndTheAnimals.com blog.


Wishing Gums & Swallows

Performance Installation, "Gutted", SEEP Collective, Chicago, IL 2004
"Gutted" was a one night show of performances in an artist space that was to be gutted as part of the gentrification of the Bucktown neighborhood in Chicago. In this piece I wonder what remains, like the old wives tale about gum lasting 10 years in a stomach.

The audience was offered a stick of chewing gum and then invited one by one into an installed stairwell. The stairwell is a wishing well and also a throat. They encounter the performance and are encouraged to make a wish while they spit their chewing gum into the beak of a baby swallow.

Some Part of Ten-Thousand Things (Studio)

Performance Installation, Group Show, Gallery 2, Chicago, IL 2004
The performance consists of a spoken meditation upon items collected in my studio over two years of graduate school. The audio was recorded and then played back in the space over the three-week installation. Visitors are encouraged to exchange items in the space for ones they bring, and make account of their exchange in a ledger outside the installation room.

The Shark & Carol Burnett

Performances Installation, MFA Thesis Show, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2004
What can we expect as we approach old age? Multiple performances and daily maintenance activity over a three-week period. On the opening night, a tableau of bathers in old man wigs lounge in the space, slowly applying sunscreen that whites them out. During another performance, I create a shark fin out of paper plates.

Love Me, Love Me Not

Performance, Unlucky in Love, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2004
I facilitated a Valentine's Day performance evening at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My performance was a short drama structured by chance techniques taking material from texts including "Romeo and Juliet", "The Heart Sutra" and heart healthy exercise material.

Fausto's Locker

Performance Installation, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL 2004
A former SAIC graduate student's abandoned locker of clothing, pictures, boy adventure novels, bats, etc. is incorporated into a performance installation.



Deka Fluk @ Goat Island Summer School

A collaborative performance developed during the Goat Island Summer School in Chicago 2003
Actions and creative responses structured in relation to another performance that preceded us. Performers are Erik Fabian, Chrissy Lanay, Judith Leemann, and Aleks Slota.


String Pointing Piece

Performance Installation, BigShowCity Performance Festival, Olympia, WA 2003
Performance Installation, Studio Projects, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2002-03

This piece was one of several versions of a difficult to document installation that would take place in a blacked out room. A piece of string is loosely hung from a ceiling beam to the floor and illuminated on both ends. The audience was invited to sit in chairs around the string and then would be lead through a guided meditation upon the string and the "sounds" of the string. The audience would then pass around a flashlight to illuminate their face as they talk about their experience, campfire story-time style.


Studio Projects

Performance and Installations, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2003

Projects and experiments during 2003 that took place at SAIC for small invited audiences and advisors. Many of them were difficult to document because of low lighting conditions and the site/time specificity of the actions and installations.


The Listening Corridor

Performance and Interactive Sculpture, Schuba's Tavern, Chicago, IL 2002
I participated in a talent show organized by Khaela Maricich during a rock show. I came on stage as an inventor of the "Listening Corridor" and invited an audience member up on stage to "get something off their chest".

Hands Loop

Video, Studio Project, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2002
A short video where one hand tries to seduce another hand across the field of a stomach.

Under the Bed

Performance, Midnight Sun Performance Space, Olympia,WA, 2000
In the spring of 2000, I directed, performed and co-created (with Molly Robertson) a one-and-a-half hour structured improvisation. Molly performed a cluster of characters that sought a sense of individual and group identity while I actively directed the environment and engaged the personas in dialogue. The project was created to explore multiplicity and intimacy in relationship to emotional pain.


©opyright 2004-2009 Erik Fabian. All Rights Reserved.

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