CHICAGO PARK YOURSELF - Citywide Parking Space Project  

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Actions/Performances - September 8 through September 16, 2006

Friday 9/8   Saturday 9/9     Tuesday 9/12     Wednesday 9/13     Friday 9/15     Saturday 9/16

Friday, September 8:

Mike Benedetto

Picket Fence

Performance: Mike Benedetto will roll a city garbage container (full of supplies and materials) to the site along with a few planks. From the container he’ll produce 4 posts that he will set in the spot marking off a space the size of a Toyota Camry. Onto the posts he’ll set the planks and then pickets, creating a fence around himself in the parking spot.

He will then produce a handsaw and saw through the pickets, the posts, and the planks until they stand in a heap of scrap wood in the parking spot. He’ll put the scraps into the container, sweep up the sawdust, and roll the container to the alley. This piece addresses issues of ownership and the isolation and yearning it can create. The physical challenge of the execution – the sweat and labor – are significant elements of the piece.

Location: The Back of the Yards neighborhood, on Ashland near 47th Street

Date and time: Friday, September 8, from 5 pm to 7 pm

Bio: Mike Benedetto (MFA U of C ’01, BFA SAIC ’96) is a native of Chicago. His work ranges in scope from autobiographical examination to social commentary. He has works on permanent collection at the Chicago Historical Society.

Chance of Showers (Elizabeth Czekner, Bridget Kies, and Liz Wuerffel)

Lunch Break

Performance: Three women, colleagues at a nondescript corporation, COS, will consume brown bagged lunches in the parking space as if on their thirty minute lunch break. During the two hours in the parking space, the audience sees the three women in various interactions. As colleagues, they depend upon each other. They model teamwork in order to achieve success. As a trio, they are subject to the pairing of two and the exclusion of one, and the triangle of power shifts constantly throughout the piece. As three women in wigs and matching costumes, they are apart from the reality of the audience, but as three businesswomen, using an exaggerated verbal and gestural vocabulary found every day in the office, they all too clearly reflect the office politics of gender and sexuality found in corporate America.

The parking space will serve as their lunchroom, their “fresh air” escape, their barrier from the audience, and an expanse of space which is filled through their eerie movements. Alternating individual movements with those as a collective, the three women will show the struggle between our own individual identities and the reality that even individuality is a collective effort.

Location: South Wacker Drive, near the Sears Tower (which has written on its website home page: “This address means business”).

Date and time: Friday, September 8, from 12 noon to 2 pm

Bio:Chance of Showers is a performance collective comprised of Elizabeth Czekner, Bridget Kies, and Liz Wuerffel. Initially drawing from the movie 9 to 5, the group examines office culture and sexual politics in the workplace while using iconic and at times archetypal images of women: brunette, redhead, and blonde. Chance of Showers has performed through video broadcast at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh and live in Chicago and Boston.

Elizabeth Czekner is a visual artist working in sculpture, drawing, and painting and most recently, video and performance. She received her BA in Education Ohio State University has a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago. Bridget Kies, a redhead, studied theater at Lake Forest College before making the change to performance and video. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago and is adjunct faculty at Valparaiso University. She is also the director of pretty blue sky, a nonprofit organization for interdisciplinary arts. Liz Wuerffel is a multi-media artist and performer who lives and works in Chicago and teaches digital photography at Valparaiso University. She recently received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago.

Phil Passen

Music for September Pigeons, Parkers, and Passersby

Performance: Phil Passen will play music on an interesting instrument (hammered dulcimer) with which most people are not familiar. Between tunes, he'll talk to anyone nearby about the instrument and the tunes. He’ll also invite them to take a closer look at the instrument and encourage them to try playing it.

Location: Walton Street between Dearborn and Clark, in front of the Newberry Library. If those spots are full, he'll be in the adjoining block of Clark or Dearborn.

Date and time: Friday, September 8, from 5 pm to 7 pm

Bio: An active participant in the antiwar, civil rights, civil liberties, women's liberation, and other radical social movements since the sixties, Phil Passen has never had much use for the strictures dictated by American capitalism, and is happy to be a part of this project. He has been playing the hammered dulcimer full time since he left his job in the graphic arts industry in 1996.

[PEOPLE] (Michelle Tupko, Aurora Tabar and Delia Popa)

Canon for a Parking Space

Performance: [PEOPLE], consisting of Michelle Tupko, Aurora Tabar and Delia Popa, will perform a chant based on the names of the major cities of Lebanon. These names have taken on a force and significance due to recent and ongoing violent events. Hearing the names repeated again and again becomes a work of anger, mourning and a refusal to ignore such sites.

Location: Harrison between State and Jackson

Date and time: Friday September 8, from 5 pm to 7 pm

Bio: Michelle Tupko is a Chicago sculptor and performance artist.

Mike Yong and Ben Shepard

Futurepod Museum

Performance: Mike Yong and Ben Shepard (ex-lab) will create a museum-pod for Hyde Park, to be installed in a parking space, with the goal of unsettling what Hyde Park has become and shows what contingencies have brought it about. The museum-pod will rent a parking space at 1610 E. 53rd St. (in front of a block of abandoned storefronts) to make inspired raids into the complicated history of the neighborhood and figure out what kinds of communal possibilities are available for residents to take charge of Hyde Park's material condition and spatial layout.

Location: 1610 E 53rd Street

Date and time: Friday, September 8, from 2 pm to 4 pm

Bio: Mike Yong and Ben Shepard are ex-lab. They love projects and constructive comments and cake as well.

Saturday, September 9:

Vesna Grbovic

I Love You

Performance: Vesna Grbovic will put down fresh green grass sized to the parking space, available for parking. With this project she is interested in fueling the internal struggle associated with a need-based, regretful violation of the gentle and vulnerable. Will anyone park on this grass?

Location: Several locations simultaneously:

220 E. Pearson St.,Chicago, IL 60611 (north/east corner of the MCA) 1835 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612 (Cook County Hospital) 4001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613 (Graceland Cemetery)

Date and time: Saturday, September 9, from 12 noon to 4 pm

Bio: While her primary background is in video and photography, Vesna Grbovic works in various media. She received a BFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MFA from the University of Chicago.

Jenny Roberts

What’s the Message?

Performance: Jenny Roberts will set up a table and chairs. On the table will be a pile of blank bumper stickers and some sharpies. She will make bumper stickers for passersby (including “HONK IF YOU LOVE TO HONK”). Passersby may also want to make bumper stickers themselves, which they can then take with them and put on their cars.

Location: Halsted near Armitage

Date and time: Saturday, September 9, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Bio: Jenny Roberts is a Chicago artist and writer. She received her MFA from the University of Chicago in 2003.

Scott Ian Ray


Performance: Scott Ian Ray will transform the metered area into a public space in which he can dance and share that experience with others. What is a meter? A parking meter, the international standard unit of length, approximately equivalent to 39.37 inches, or a specific rhythm determined by the number of beats and the time value assigned to each note in a measure. These definitions travel in one juxtaposed line of thought:

One space/one car/one person/one environment
One body/one i-pod/one song/one environment

His aim is to engage a shared experience and provide free information (in the way of MP3s) without producing any kind of noise pollution, creating a resistant effort that is nonthreatening. Scott will dance around the metered area, creating his own artificial dance floor while at the same time not creating any sound. An assistant will be present to answer questions about the happening and offer people the opportunity to join in. However, people must have an i-pod to join in, so that they can download Scott’s play list from the computer and tune into the songs he is dancing to before entering the space.

Location: The 3500 block of N. Halsted Street, near the Addison Red Line stop

Date and time: Saturday, September 9, between 5 pm and 7 pm?

Bio: Scott Ian Ray is a Chicago artist.

Javier Lara

Urban Tanning Salon or
Conversation with friends (if it rains and is cold)

Performance: Javier Lara will create an Urban Tanning Salon in the parking space. This work is intended to be a commentary on the lack of green areas and spaces to socialize, as well as to interfere with the monolithic and unimaginative uses of urban space. He will create the parking space area as a social space with chairs and a small coffee table. He will have coffee and tea and read the newspaper with a group of friends.

Location: The west side of Broadway (if available space opens in front of the tanning salon), between Aldine and Roscoe, where the need of green spaces is amazing.

Date and time: Saturday, September 9, 12 noon to 2 pm

Bio: Javier Lara’s personal history has both colored his life and been an important influence on his creativity. The fact that he was born in Colombia, raised in Venezuela/USA and given a Catholic upbringing led him to adopt the cross as a primary iconographic symbol early in life. Since then, the meaning of his life and art has woven around an understanding of the Crucifixions and its ramifications as well as around social, political and critical events for the survival of the human race. He received a BFA from Rhode Island College in 1992. In 2003 he received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tuesday, September 12:

Paul Lloyd Sargent, III

Columbus Drive Golf Club

Performance: Paul Lloyd Sargent, III (proprietor), will develop a small-scale golf course for the well-heeled urban golfer. The Columbus Dr. Golf Club will provide a parking space-sized putting green, clubs and balls, and [virgin] daiquiris and martinis for our guests. The CDGC is open to the public Greens fees of 25 cents per quarter hour apply, though drinks are free. Appropriate attire is required.

Location: Columbus Drive between Jackson and Randolph

Date and time: Tuesday, September 12, from 2 pm to 4 pm

Bio: Paul Lloyd Sargent, III is a Chicago artist.

Marija Topalovic

Reserved for Relaxation

Performance: Art is an inseparable part of humanity, always a participant and a witness of civilization. The fact that art appeared so long ago and disappeared permanently weaved in the consciousness and life of mankind of the moment brings this long ago painted piece of canvas to this parking spot.

Location: around 1580 N Milwaukee Ave., by the North/Milwaukee/Damen intersection

Date and time: Tuesday, September 12th, 9 am to 11 am

Bio: Marija Topalovic, born 1964 in Yugoslavia. 1983-88 Graduated in Painting from The Academy of Applied Arts and Design in Belgrade. 1990-2000 Lives and works in Paris. 1990-93 Guest student at the Beaux-Arts Academy in Paris, in 1993 becomes a member of La Maison des Artistes, France. The same year her piece becoms a part of French National Fund for Contemporary Arts Collection. Currently paints in Arilje, Serbia.

Wednesday, September 13:

Subtext Dance Company
(Artistic Director: Marysue Miller)

Subtext Dance Performance

Performance: Subtext Dance Company will use a parking space for live music and dance improvisations. Subtext Dance Company is a modern dance ensemble that nurtures and encourages artistic growth in a collaborative atmosphere. Subtext artists embrace the unconventional by crafting an environment that encourages the audience to take on a participatory role in each performance. Subtext investigates nontraditional venues to increase audience accessibility. Subtext Dance Company is dedicated to educating new audiences and becoming a benevolent force in the artistic community.

Location: North/Division/Milwaukee: a meter by the Blue Line EL station.

Date and time: Wednesday, September 13, at 3 pm


Friday, September 15:

Robin Morrissey

Pseudo Environmentalists

Performance: Robin Morrissey will create a small do-it-yourself park. She will bring to the parking space potted house plants, water for the plants, chairs, and reading materials.

Location: Southport between Grace and Addison, near the Music Box Theater

Date and time: Friday, September 15, 5 pm to 7 pm

Bio: Robin Morrissey was born in Chicago in 1974. She received her BA from UC Santa Cruz in 1996 and her MFA from University of Michigan in 1999. She lived in a tiny fishing village in Costa Rica from 2003-2005. Currently she’s an Adjunct in Chicago.

Saturday, September 16:

Beatriz Albuquerque vs. Anthony Cobb

We'll Do For You (WDFY)

Performance: This piece is framed with the idea of the role of man in quest of money. It rethinks man's identity as a worker, his wages paid and his work ethics. This piece create a direct dialogue with the public concerning the value of work, work ethics and the monetary value of work and also to raise questions about the social and political process involved with the work place.

Location: Dearborn and Monroe

Date and time: Saturday, September 16, at 3 pm

Bio: Beatriz Albuquerque was born in 1978, Portugal. She finished her BA in Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto in 2003 and her MFA in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. She joined the Independent Performance Group founded by Marina Abramovic in 2004. In 2005 she won the Distinction Prize from the Ambient Series in the PAC/edge Performance Festival in Chicago. (VS)

Anthony Cobb completed his BA in 2003 at The Evergreen State Collage in Olympia, WA with a focus on Theater/Music & Sound Composition/Puppery and Performance Art. He recently completed his MFA with a focus on Performance at The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago. He has performed at the MCA and the Pac/Edge performance festival in Chicago, at the Capitol Theater in Olympia, WA, On The Boards in Seattle, WA and many other venues across the country.

Jens Brasch


Performance: Jens will place sod in the parking space and recreate in the space.

Location: Peoria between Washington and Monroe

Date and time: Saturday, September 16, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Bio: Jens Brasch is an artist, teacher and community activist.

Mary and Anna Carvlin

Family Reunion

Performance: Mary Carvlin and her daughter Anna will stage a faux or mini family reunion. They will make T-shirts like people do: Carvlin Family Reunion, 2006. There will be some folding chairs and picnic supplies. They will drink non-alcoholic beer and may hold an egg toss or burlap sack races.

Location: Wells between 1600 north and 1400 north

Date and time: Saturday, September 16, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Bio: Anna Carvlin is a world traveler, an all-season cyclist, socially concious, and dedicated to making Chicago a better place to live. Mary Carvlin is an editor, writer, teacher, single mother of three — and a very cool lady.

JB Daniel


Performance: JB Daniel will repair and refurbish clocks for up to 2 hours (or until the clocks are fixed) whilst reciting metaphorical expressions of time as a commodity...

I don't have time for this... How do you spend your time?... I'm running out of time... Is that worth your while?... Do you have time?... I need more time... Thank you for your time... I'm wasting my time... I wish I had time... Free time...

Location: Peoria between Washington and Monroe

Date and time: Saturday, September 16, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Bio: JB Daniel is a full-time artist working from his Southside Chicago Pullman studio.

Nancy Juda

Gossip Trade

Performance: Nancy Juda often wishes that art could be as ubiquitous as gossip. Believing that gossip is a "glue" that holds communities together, she invites you to come and share some of yours. It could be juicy! She will provide a container, paper and pens and will put up a big sign: "GOSSIP HERE." She will ask you to write down a piece of private gossip (as opposed to public, celebrity gossip) and put it into the container. You will have the opportunity to exchange each piece of personal, significant gossip you contribute for one piece of anonymous, context-free, therefore meaningless, gossip.

Location: Peoria between Washington and Monroe

Date and time: Saturday September 16, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Bio: Nancy Juda is an artist and a community activist.

Jennifer Karmin

Revolutionary Optimism

Performance: Jennifer Karmin will perform a multi-voiced text based upon sympathy cards, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and confessions from Iraqi prisoners.

Location: 230 S. Clark, in front of the Bank of America building

Date and time: Saturday, September 16, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Bio: Jennifer Karmin is a poet, artist, and educator who has published, performed, exhibited, taught, and experimented with language throughout the U.S. and Japan. Her multidisciplinary projects intersect writing with sound and image. Currently at home in Chicago, she is a founding member of the public art group Anti Gravity Surprise, curator with the SpareRoom time-arts cooperative, and co-host of the Red Rover reading series. She works as a Poet-in-Residence for the Chicago Public Schools and teaches creative writing to immigrants at Truman College.

Burleigh Kronquist

People Cheerleader

Performance: Burleigh Kronquist will have a megaphone and a pompom. He will use the space as a cheerleader section, encouraging and praising passersby for their excellent pedestrianship and all-round human effort.

Location: Wells near North Avenue

Date and time: Saturday, September 16, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Bio: Burleigh Kronquist is the art name of Chicago-based artist and writer Robert Burleigh

The Space/Movement Project
(Contact person: Erin Carlisle Norton)

Curbside Affect

Performance: "Curbside Affect" is a dance event that succumbs to, as well as ignores, the city environment during its performance. Utilizing movement the company is currently developing in the bucolic setting of fertile grass and blossoming orchards on a farm outside the city limits, we are interested in seeing the ways in which environment plays a part in our performances of the movement. In other words, how does movement change because of the environment in which it is performed? We anticipate that changing the venue so drastically will greatly affect how movement choices are felt and perceived by us as performers, as well as the surrounding audience.

We plan to perform the work in cycles, the length of which will shift depending on the momentum and sense of the street environment. We will cycle between structured, set movement performed as a group, followed by more improvisational movement. We will continue to shift between these two movement styles. We will also cycle between blending into the cityscape, invoking feelings of city living and driving through sound, and using no sound so as to allow the performers to center themselves and focus on the movement as they are able to in the more bucolic, rural setting in which the movement was developed. The sound we will use to reflect the sound of the city will include moments where the dancers will speak different words or phrases simultaneously, trying to speak over one another while they dance. Additionally, at times, we will be doing our movement to a recording of loud, honking traffic to assist us in really feeling our city-like atmosphere.

This work will be performed by five women wearing pedestrian clothing in shades of red for uniformity.

Location: Milwaukee, Damen, and North Avenue intersection.

Date and time: Saturday September 16, from 5 pm to 7 pm

Bio: The Space/Movement Project is a collective of dance artists whose mission is to create new work that both contributes to and draws upon developments in contemporary dance forms. The collective empowers artists to create increasingly meaningful work and pursue individual artistic objectives by providing a forum for ongoing dialogue, and by sharing financial and creative resources. Often working collaboratively with dancers, musicians, videographers, actors, and set designers, to date the collective has produced concerts in Chicago at Hamlin Park Theater, Links Hall, and Roosevelt University since it's formation in 2005. This performance includes Erin Carlisle Norton, Larisa Eastman, Maggie Koller, and Stacy Thomas Wolfson.

Sallie Wolf

Drawing Lessons

Performance: Sallie Wolf will set up four chairs facing four different directions and provide drawing and watercolor materials for anyone who would like to draw or paint with her. She will ask for donations to feed the meter. She may set up a cardboard box in the middle with a sign that says "Drawing lessons, 5 cents", like Lucy in the Peanuts cartoons.

Location: Peoria between Washington and Monroe

Date and time: Saturday, September 16, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Bio: Sallie Wolf is a local artist, writer and activist based in Oak Park.