Remembering Capitalism

I performed a new piece called “Remembering Capitalism” for the closing of Debt+ at Flux Factory.

Remembering Capitalism is a lecture performance given by Professor Nathaniel Sullivan, an historical economist. Sullivan is from the year 2116, and has travelled through time with an urgent message.

“Remembering Capitalism” describes capitalism in the year 2016, and projects what it might be 100 years in the future. Capitalism in 2016 is held together by a fragile matrix of mythologies (often absurd contradictions) that keep a powerful hold on the American identity. The world in 2116 is a much better place, but in that time there are still powerful forces marshaling to return the 0.001% to its former glory.

“Remembering Capitalism” was commissioned for Debt Positive, curated by Caitlin Foley and Misha Rabinovich. Debt Positive ran from June 6th to June 24th in 2016 at the Flux Factory in NYC. The video was shot and edited by Jason Eppink.

The closing performance capped off a month long exhibition where I showed a long form video called Before The Nation Went Bankrupt, which tells the story of the 2008 financial crisis through the love letters of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. The month was filled with great events: artist talks by Cassie Thornton and Thomas Gokey, and a junk bond workshop by artist Paolo Cirio. Debt+ was beautifully curated by Misha Rabinovich and Caitlin Foley, bringing to the foreground all the true effects of our debt soaked culture. The exhibition might best be summed up by a question that Misha asked at the closing: “If we are concerning ourselves chiefly with the repayment of measurable debt (student loans, mortgages etc.), then what attention are we not paying to the un-measurable debt (social and psychological debts we owe to our peers, friends, family and communities)?

Before The Nation Went Bankrupt: Letter to Daughter Julia Dimon

Episode 2: Saturday afternoon: JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon writes to his daughter Julia Dimon and reveals his feelings on his status as a steward of the American economy.

Before The Nation Went Bankrupt

On Friday September 12, 2008 the CEOs of America’s largest banks were summoned to the Federal Reserve in Lower Manhattan to prevent the unwinding of the economy. Little is known about what happened that weekend at the Fed. Until now. Before the Nation Went Bankrupt is a video that tells this history of one seminal weekend in the 2008 financial crisis through the letters of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Dimon writes to lovers, family members and to his colleagues as he tries to make sense of the unprecedented events. Not quite fiction and not quite satire, the letters are a cry in the dark from a world that brought us all to the brink of financial, physical and moral ruin.

This episode is a 5 minute excerpt from my video Before The Nation Went Bankrupt, the full 36 minute version is now on view at Flux Factory, in Queens, NY., part of Debt+ a show which maps the dimensions of our current relationships to debt.

Watch the full video: Before The Nation Went Bankrupt Project Page


I will be contributing two new pieces to a show called Debt+ being shown at Flux Factory in Queens, NY and runs from June 3-24, 2016.

I will be showing Before The Nation Went Bankrupt (2016) a 36-minute video which retells the story of the 2008 financial crisis through the lens of the love letters of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

On June 24th at 7pm, I will be performing Remembering Capitalism (2016) a live performance about the absurdities of late capitalism. Debt+ was curated by Misha Rabinovich and Caitlin Foley.  For a complete list of workshops and performances view the Debt+ website.

June 3, 6-10pm
Opening Reception
Cayla Mae Presents: Free* Sandwiches 6-9pm

June 24, 7pm
Closing Performances including Remembering Capitalism by Nathaniel Sullivan, Introducing the Demi by Tori Abernathy, and$1000 Mandala by Sarah Beck

Gallery Hours: June 4-24, Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm


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.

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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.

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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.


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