Hotel Wars at Flux Factory

For the month of October, I am participating in Hotel Wars at Flux Factory. Hotel wars is a collaborative competition, where artist teams are given prompts to respond to the rapid hotel development in Long Island City and turn works around in a week.

Read More

Hotel Wars was conceived by Carina Kaufman and Jason Eppink at Flux in response to the hotel boom in Long Island City. In the past decade, dozens of hotels have sprung up alongside the Flux Factory building and more than twenty hotels are set to break ground. The hotel boom, the result of a 2008 rezoning that allowed for new developments in Dutch Kills’ mixed-use industrial areas, has quickly changed the neighborhood into a shifting environment of passing visitors. To playfully respond to these rapid changes and their implications, Flux Factory is posting three teams of highly collaborative artists, game designers, urban theorists, and performers at hotels within a one-block radius of Flux for a month-long Olympic-style competition.

hotel wars prompt 1

Here is how it works: Each week, teams receive a prompt that provokes questions about how hotels serve an existing neighborhood, the effects of tourism, and the communities the industry creates and/or displaces. We have seven days to engage with tourists, hotel employees, neighbors, and local business owners and craft our response using a variety of media. At the end of each week, works will be unveiled at a series of elaborate awards ceremonies, where Long Island City community stakeholders will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes.

team home2 suites before the #hotelwars parade @flux_factory

A photo posted by roopa v. (@rouxpz) on

I am on a team with Aliya Bonar and Will Owen, two incredible artists. We are half way through the competition and we posted a win in the first week and a second place the second week. We have two weeks to respond to the last prompt. We are one of three teams assigned to a hotel in the Long Island City area, and our hotel is Home 2 Suites, a Hilton brand hotel.

For the first week’s challenge, we were asked to create an oral history of the hotel site. We interviewed a hotel employee, a guest and the owner of the local bodega and from this material created a tourist style pamphlet to be distributed at the hotel in their “Things To Do” rack.


The second week, we were prompted to stage an event that brought togehter hotel guests with the local economy. we staged a bodega happy hour. The previous week, Miguel from the bodega commented that while the hotels brought jobs to the area, the guests, not being from New York, did not think to come into his business. We decided to take the bodega to the lobby and staged a happy hour to hand out free bodgea snacks and chat up the neighborhood with hotel guests.

We are gearing up for our final challenge, which is to create a proposal to greater integrate the hotel with the existing neighborhood. Our final work will be presented on November 1st at Flux at 4pm!

Panoply Lab Performance

On Sunday, I performed Before The Nation Went Bankrupt at Panoply Lab in Brooklyn. I performed for about a dozen people, the intimacy giving the performance more charge. I felt an animal in a cage, pacing around and looking audience members in the eyes as I read the material.

Read More
Earlier in the day there was a discussion moderated by Thomas Albrecht on the site specificity of performance art and how context changes meaning radically for live performance. I couldn’t agree more. My performance was followed by a presentation by Nicole Brydson on her Because Capitalism project.

I am currently developing a full length peice that centers on a single interview that Dimon gave on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. I will emerge in the new year with a new peice about Dimon. As he continues to make headlines, I feel like my Dimon well is far from dry.


See More Images
Photos taken by Robert Zott, Panoply Performance Lab, Brooklyn, NY October 18, 2015.







Performance as Jamie Dimon

A small clip of my performance as Jamie Dimon, Dixon Place August 19, 2015. This summer, I shot a about eight of the letters in a studio, performing for the camera(s). In the clip below, I am in front of an audience of about 100, earlier this summer. The next performance of the peice is at Panalopy Performance Laboratory (104 Meserole St, Brooklyn, NY) on October 19th at 4pm.

Before The Nation Went Bankrupt Performance

On Wednesday August 19th 2015,  I am performing Before The Nation Went Bankrupt at Dixon Place, a small theatre on the lower east side. It is a performance that tells the story of the financial crisis through the love letters of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Read More

Before The Nation Went Bankrupt

This performance draws from my experience – it reflects what it was like for me to move to New York City in September of 2011, just as Occupy was beginning. It is about the financial blood that flows through every street and just below the surface of so many interactions in this city.  I am a regional artist, meaning that I make work about where I live, and this is my New York piece. It is an opportunity to slow down and reflect on the deeply held mythologies of capitalism. It is an opportunity to consider how desire and money and privilege have become sharper and so must we. And It is an opportunity to laugh. Go ahead and laugh at Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase. It feels good.

I have been working on it for two years, writing and editing the text, making videos and getting the tone just right. I have performed it as a twenty-minute Powerpoint lecture while sitting in a chair, I have done an hour version wearing a suit standing at a lectern. Each time I do it, I think…I can make this better. I can sink the knife in deeper. On August 19th, I will be at my most theatrical. I will bound around on a stage, freed from technology. I am performing at a great little theatre built for something like this. I want to reach out a deliver this material directly to you.  I have made some new animations and videos – they will provide illustration and set the mood.

The Performance at Dixon Place

I am performing with two other artists that I have a lot of respect for: Angela Washko and Michelle Levy. Our night is called On Fixation: Of Men and Mythology. I know that you will love what they are going to do too. Here is a link to the event:

Here are the details:

Place: Dixon Place 161 Chrystie St., New York, NY 10002 : Google Map Directions

Time: 7:30pm SHARP! (I am the first of the three performers, please arrive early to get a seat)

How to get tickets: here is a link where you can buy tickets in advance:

The Artist Plays Basketball

A text of mine called ‘The Artist Plays Basketball’ has been published in the current issue of Drain: Journal of Art and Culture. It is about both of my practices: art and basketball.

Read More

Both practices converge when I perform. My artwork became my own when I let athleticism guide some of my thinking around what it means to be an artist. To get you in the mood, here is a video of me shooting free throws at 5:30am.

Here is the opening salvo about my realization that I had to develop an athletic intelligence:

Doing without Thinking
I was always the tallest kid in my class. Until I wasn’t. Growing up tall meant that I played basketball, but it wasn’t until I played up a level that I became a basketball player.

In my junior year of high school, I was thrown into the mix on a very good team in a competitive conference. The players were bigger, stronger and faster and I wasn’t able to use any of the physical advantages I had with players my own age. So I dedicated myself to improving my skills. A hundred free throws before breakfast, hundreds of jump shots before bed. But it wasn’t working.

At higher levels, the game is mental. This dawned on me as opposing players consistently found spots on the floor where they could take advantage of a fraction of a second or a late defensive rotation. The separation point from good to great is in your head; it requires the development of an athletic intelligence.