March 8 – 10: Pio at PAI VOL.I: Glee

The Performance Art Institute proudly presents “Glee” a multi-channel video installation by its current artist in residence – Piotr Bujak.

“Glee” is a minimalistic and site specific project that revolves around the dichotomy of bitterness and appeal in modern world of tabloided virtues. It is also a first installment of a brand new cycle “Sublime Pleasures”

Pio Bujak is an interdisciplinary artist from Poland, graduate of Jan Matejko’s Acadmy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland and San Francisco Art Institute. His most current exploration is based on a research in the intersection of violence, mass media and consumption, together with the mechanisms and theories of human perception. In his work he combines the idea of Fluxus’ DIY strategy, the minimalistic approach to new media, and accessibility of the visual impulse in the modern world.

March 14 – 17, 8PM: Building Score 101B, by Angrette M. McCloskey

A conceptual riff off of the San Francisco Building Code, Building Score 101B is a set of task-based instructions to be carried out through four evenings of live construction and performance. Six carpenters and two performers will come together each night to explore the temporal uncertainties and structural instabilities embedded in every act of construction. Equipped with their own dust masks and safety goggles the audience will be invited to witness the translation processes between what we think will happen and what actually does.


Angrette McCloskey (Director)

Angrette McCloskey is a New York based set designer and carpenter having recently relocated to the Bay Area. Angrette has worked in theater and film for the past 8 years. Her notable design credits include Swimming to Spalding directed by Richard Schechner and The Bacchae directed by Kevin Kulhke at the Warsaw International Theatre Festival, as well assistant credits on Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera, and English National Opera. As a scholar Angrette writes about the intersections of architecture and scenography, construction as performance, and the work of the “building-body” as an embodied approach to construction. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Stanford University’s Department of Theater & Performance Studies and holds a BFA in Scenic Design and MA in Performance Studies from New York University.


Jamie Lyons (Projection Designer)

Jamie Lyons is an educator, film maker, writer and stage director who received his A.B and PhD. from Stanford Univeristy.  He has worked at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Magic Theatre in San Francisco; The Public Theater, and Mabou Mines in New York.  For the stage he has directed the work of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Sam Shepard, Peter Weiss, and Heiner Müller.  Jamie’s most recent work was as video designer for the Collected Works’ production of Princess Ivona.


Derek Philips (Sound Artist)

Derek Phillips is a composer and sound artist based in San Francisco. Among his credits are original scores for dance-theater: Cockroach,Comedy Ballet, and TUTOR: enter the exclave, with Dark Porch Theatre Company; scores for dance: Heir by Brendan Behan, Slab by Chris DeVita/LINES Ballet; and live sound performance in collaboration: Home in Five Parts by Ryan Tecata/Stanford Drama, and 18 1/2 Minutes by Calderon and Donovan. His work has been played or performed at the DeYoung Museum, The Exit Theater, The Garage, Kunst-Stoff Arts, Stanford University, and The Performance Art Institute. He studied literature at UC San Diego, and is self-taught as a composer.


Ryan Tacata (Performer)

Ryan Tacata holds a BFA (2007) from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied briefly at the Experimental Performance Institute with an emphasis in queer activist performance. He is currently a PhD student in the Department of Drama at Stanford University. He has performed at Links Hall (Chicago), the Voice Factory (San Francisco), Duckie (London), The Living Theater (New York) and elsewhere across the US. Most recently, he as worked for/with artists: Ann Carlson, Marry Ellen Strom, Leslie Hill and Helen Paris (Curious), Robert Whitman, and Hugo Glendinning. His current research is at the intersections of performance and architecture and he is writing about the performing body in conceptual architecture from 1965 – 1985.


Raegan Truax (Performer)

Raegan Truax is a New York City based durational performance artist who recently relocated to the Bay Area to pursue a PhD at Stanford University in The Department of Theatre and Performance Studies. Truax’s choreographic scores and installations engage and investigate her concept of the “Misbehaving Body” as a body that acts against a normative figuring of progress and resilience. Her work has been presented at Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (ZKU) in Berlin, The Northern California Performance Platform, Stanford’s Department of Art and Architecture, and Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City. She is also collaborator to Carlos Motta’s international art project “We Who Feel Differently” with recent symposium at the New Museum in New York City. In Spring 2013, Truax will perform a 29-day performance titled Misbehaving Body #28 which culminates with a 28-hour performance in Stanford’s Pigott Theatre.

Please click here for tickets.

March 30: Corpo Insurrecto 3.0: The Robo-Proletariat


Saturday, March 30th, 8PM

NEW venue:  435 23RD STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107

Free parking!  Accessible on the MUNI Light Rail!

(Cross Streets: 23rd Street & Illinois, STORAGE facility on the waterfront)


A performance project by Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Roberto Sifuentes & Erica Mott. With La Pocha Nostra Associates: Brittany Chavez, Allison Wyper, Esther Baker Tarpaga, Rico Martin and Marcos Nájera
Producer: Marcos Nájera


What happens when you examine the intersection of the following performance personas: An aging deviant shaman, a Neo-Aztec priest making romantic religious tableaux with a goat, a flamenco drag king and an Oil Spill Madonna?

The newest work of La Pocha Nostra, considered by critics to be “the most influential Latino performance art troupe of the last 10 years.” La Pocha Nostra Live Art Laboratory presents the US Premiere of Corpo Insurrecto 3.0: The Robo-Proletariat. Corpo Insurrecto samples both new work and performance classics, addressing the current global culture of far right isolationism, xenophobia, the violence of organized crime and a broken economy and how these factors impact the human body.

As in most Pocha projects, audience members are invited to participate in this bizarre experiment. They will be invited to collaborate as we incarnate “the dreams and nightmares of our current times,” and to help the performers re-imagine new iconography by intervening the performance with their own bodies in dialogue with the performers. Through this, LPN will invoke a “wonderfully clumsy but efficient form of radical democratic practice.”

La Pocha Nostra is a trans-disciplinary arts organization that provides a support network and forum for artists of various disciplines, generations and ethnic backgrounds. La Pocha is devoted to erasing the borders between art and politics, art practice and theory, artist and spectator. La Pocha Nostra has intensely focused on the notion of collaboration across national borders, race, gender and generations as an act of radical citizen diplomacy and as a means to create “ephemeral communities” of rebel artists.

More info can be found online at:

Thursday, January 10 at 7:00 pm: The Body as The Design

PAI cordially invites you to “The Body as the Design”, a talk by Scott Summit inventor, designer and participating artist of “The Future Imagined: What’s next? The talk will be followed by “The Future is Design” a short presentation by Tim McNeil, professor of design and director of the Design Museum at the University of California, Davis, and a moderated discussion led by Jonathon Keats, experimental philosopher, journalist, art critic, and artist.

When we think of a prosthetic limb, the image that typically comes to mind involves titanium pipes, bolts, mechanical flanges, and a rubber, lifelike foot. The product, though a vital and intimate part of the wearer’s life, appears mechanical and utilitarian, devoid of individuality or personality. The forms appear disjointed and brutal in the context of the fluid forms of the human body. Why do we assume that this must be the definition for something intended to return normalcy to an individual’s life? 

This project set out to explore how design, technology, and a fundamentally new outlook may rethink the prosthetic limb. A combination of 3D scanning, parametric computer modeling, and 3D printing allows design and individuality to be infused into the product on a per-person basis. It invites design and style into an area previously defined only by mechanical necessity. It invites attention and engagement, attempting to celebrate the human it complements.

This panel discussion event is part of a series 2012 ZERO1 Biennial and “The Future Imagined” series of conversations that delve into an in-depth discussion about the intersection of art and technology, and the future of design.

This event is being promoted in collaboration with Codame (

Friday, January 11: “Tfisa, Or—-?”

“Tfisa, Or—-?”, a contemporary dance performance.
January 11th, 8pm
tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
To purchase tickets, click here.

“Tfisa, or—-?”, a contemporary dance performance, was developed at The Performance Art Institute and is directed, choreographed and performed by Yuriy Pestov, the artistic director of Cloud Dancing Enterprise.

It is based on cantorial and other Jewish music. Beautiful cantorial singing with raspy, ululating, sad and smiling voice creates high drama of existentiality with laughter through tears amid it.

A peculiar guttural, visceral and bodily quality reminds one of the humble position we humans occupy in our daily earthly life as the poor replicas of the Almighty. You can hear crying, laughing, and rasping of metal in this beautiful singing. Having in it this great drama and texture both lures a choreographer and suggests an abundance of movement material. In addition this material together with the addition of Jewish klezmer and other melodies, like nigguns, has a rich possibility for ornate and playful dancing. The merry klezmer dancing inserts roaring laughter into the high drama of the majority of the performance. Laughter through tears..

Says Pestov, “I was attracted to these pieces of cantorial music- mostly sung by Zawel Kwartin- by their performance quality, which is on par with the opera. Yet here the most important universal and existential values I have always been fascinated by come straight at you. These are basically prayers or conversing with God set on sublime melodies. A peculiar guttural, visceral and bodily quality reminds one of the humble position we humans occupy in our daily earthly life as the poor replicas of the Almighty. You can hear crying, laughing, and rasping of metal in this beautiful singing. Having in it this great drama and texture both lures a choreographer and suggests an abundance of movement material. In addition this material together with the addition of Jewish klezmer and other melodies, like nigguns, has a rich possibility for ornate and playful dancing. The merry klezmer dancing inserts roaring laughter into the high drama of the majority of the performance. Laughter through tears…”

Yuriy Pestov performed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, ODC Theater, CounterPulse, The Garage, Shotwell Studios, Union Square, UN Plaza in San Francisco, Julia Morgan Theater in Berkeley, Mountain View Dance Festival, Mountain View, California, sjDANCEco 4th Annual Dancin’ Downtown Festival, San Jose, California and other venues. He presented his own choreography and structured improvisation at the Garage, Project Artaud, UN Plaza, and other venues including Russia and Finland. His work was commissioned by Independent Arts and Media.

January 24th through February 9th: “Princess Ivona” by Witold Gombrowicz

Translated by Catherine Robbins and Krystyna Griffith-Jones
Directed by Michael Hunter

Shows run Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from January 24th through February 9th
all shows begin at 8:00pm
Tickets: $30 ($20 student rate)
For tickets email:

The Collected Works (, together with the Performance Art Institute, is proud to present the Bay Area professional premiere of Princess Ivona, the 1935 Absurdist comic masterpiece by the celebrated Polish playwright Witold Gombrowicz.

Princess Ivona (or Ivona, Princess of Burgundia) is the first, and most internationally performed, of the plays of Witold Gombrowicz, the influential Polish novelist, playwright, and diarist, whom
John Updike has called “one of the profoundest of the late moderns” and Milan Kundera “one of the great novelists of our century.” Widely performed and celebrated throughout Europe and on the East Coast, Gombrowicz’s timeless and wickedly funny allegory is finally being introduced to Bay Area audiences, by a brand-new company of gifted and experienced theatre makers, in the exciting new warehouse space of the Performance Art Institute.

Written in 1935, the play was published in 1938 but not performed until 1957, after which it was immediately banned by the Communist government in Poland. Professional productions of the play began to emerge in Europe in the 1960s, quickly establishing Gombrowicz’s status as a major Modernist playwright.

The play follows the bizarre intrigues of a self-confident Royal Court, whose members enjoy an unchallenged sense of privilege, luxury, and control – over both themselves and others. The presence of a strange, awkward, silent young woman who mysteriously wanders into their world soon throws the court into a tailspin – the King and Queen begin to unravel at the core of their being, and the rational functioning of the court’s administrators becomes increasingly lunatic. As the play spirals towards its astonishing ending, both the story and Gombrowicz’s inventive language become more outlandish and theatrical.

The Collected Works is a new, San Francisco-based producing company, comprised of theatre makers, performers, and scholars, who met and began working together when they were in doctoral programs in performance at Stanford and Berkeley. The group is committed to exploring new collaborative models, and to developing both experimental performance and strong, intelligent productions of classic texts. Princess Ivona is their inaugural production.

The core members of the company are Michael Hunter (director), Barry Kendall (producer and actor), Renu Cappelli (assistant director), Matthew Daube (actor), Florentina Mocanu (actor), and James Lyons (lighting designer). The cast features Tonyanna Borkovi, Ryan Tacata, Brian Smick, Atessa McAleenan-Morrell, Will Trichon, James Udom, Shaudy Danaye-Elmi and Jean Franco.

The production features a large and extremely talented team of designers, including sound designer Derek Phillips, architect Ariane Fehrenkamp, visual curator and furniture designer Brian Yarish, and textile artist Latifa Medjdoub.

In advance of the performance, Latifa Medjdoub has been fabricating a large soft textile sculpture at the Performance Art Institute, which will be used in the performance. The public has been invited to participate in the making of this abstract knitted-fiber piece built on a computerized loom and recalling living forms from the deep ocean.

The incredible local singer and string player Meredith Axelrod (The Get Happy String Band) will perform old American songs from the 20s and 30s as part of this innovative production of Gombrowicz’s classic play.

To celebrate the important debut of Princess Ivona in the Bay Area, leading Gombrowicz scholar Professor Allen Kuharski (Chair of Theater at Swarthmore College) and Lillian Vallee, translator of Gombrowicz’s influential DIARY (recently republished in a new edition by Yale University Press) will lead a talkback after the performance on January 25.

“Review your platitudes.” – Witold Gombrowicz

Dec 16-22: Latifa Medjdoub, The Fabric of our Daily Life

The Fabric of our Daily Life
Experiencing the making of a soft sculpture

Latifa Medjdoub is a contributing member of The Collected Works, a dynamic collaborative producing company originally formed at Stanford. In the past three months the group has focused on creating a new dimension in the theater field with their respective skills in performance and visual arts, based on a play by the Polish novelist Witold Gombrowicz called “Princess Ivona,” directed by Dr. Michael Hunter and assisted by Renu Capelli.
One of the key parts of the performance is the making of a larger soft sculpture at the Performance Art Institute in the SOMA district.The cast, together with the general public visiting “The Future Imagined: What’s Next?” exhibit, curated by Hanna Regev, is invited to participate in the making of the abstract knitted-fiber piece, built on a computerized loom.

The artist is inviting you to be part of the experience of fabricating this soft sculpture piece. Your participation is symbolic and does not request any artistic skills rather than you being part of its conception and eyewitness. Medjdoub will document the process by taking a portrait of each person involved. This material will be then projected during the performance and in other future venues.

From Sunday the 16th to Saturday the 22nd anytime from 10am to 3pm.
Thurday and Friday the 20th and 21st from 10am to 7pm.

Medjdoub has collaborated in a number of theater, opera, film, dance and performance art projects with leading artists Philippe Guillotel, Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle, Christian Lacroix, Gabriella Pescucci, Marina Draghici and directors Raul Ruiz, Yves Angelo, Marcel Marechal, Philippe Decoufle. Her work has been shown at the Museum of textile and fine arts, Roubaix France; Cheongju Art Center, Korea; De Cordova Museum, MA; Santa Fe Art institute, NM; National Building Museum, DC.

Thursday, Dec. 13: Women, Art, and Technology: An Uneasy Access?

A panel discussion organized by Hanna Regev and moderated by JD Beltran Thursday, December 13 at 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

“Women, Art, and Technology: An Uneasy Alliance?” is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, “Future Imagined: What Next?” part of the ZERO1 2012 Biennial. “The Future Imagined” highlights the interplay between artists, technologists and scientists as they converge to test the artistic limits of the possible in a technologically driven world. This complementary public forum brings together a diverse set of practitioners who are forging the creative edges of art, science, and technology. The focus will be on the triumphs and challenges of being a woman working in a technology-based art practice. The women on our panel will recount the contributions they make as innovators and entrepreneurs and will share their perspectives on how to prosper in a technological environment in which men predominate. The forum also seeks to find answers to underlying questions, such as: “Is the presence of successful women in the current digital boom causing a power shift?” “Are successful women breaking gender and cultural barriers and advancing an agenda that will benefit women as a whole?”

More information can be found at:

Nov 9, 2012 – Jan 15, 2013: The Future Imagined: What’s Next?

As part of the 2012 ZERO1 BIENNIAL, the performance Art Institute presents: The Future Imagined: What’s Next?, an exhibition curated by Hanna Regev.

Creativity, innovation, and evolution are the hallmarks of the Silicon Valley, a world leader in technological breakthroughs that often bring progress and societal benefits. Silicon Valley is hub of invention, innovation and discovery where great ideas become greater realities. The Future Imagined: What’s Next? is an exhibition that will offer glimpses of uncharted territories in our, “new brave world.” That is changing in fundamental ways as we navigate in unchartered territories. Inspired by innovations all around the globe, invited artists will engage emergent technologies, to create new visions and imaginative objects for the future challenging us to experience the enigma called Silicon Valley in new terms. The Future Imagined salutes the invention and vitality that defines Silicon Valley and how it interfaces with industries such as genetics, MRI, energy, robotics, augmented reality, information design, architecture and urban design. The exhibition highlights the interplay between artists, technologists and scientists as they converge to artistically test the limits of what is possible in a technologically driven world.

The Future Imagined will feature interactive models, electronic objects multimedia digital video, augmented reality, sound installations, emerging forms and new genres installations. These works will seek to facilitate a fresh discourse about contemporary art in the Digital Age: One that is deeply rooted in the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the Silicon Valley.

Artists contributing to the exhibition include:
Kirk Amyx, Michael Bartalos, Chris Bell, JD Beltran (in collaboration with Nigel Poor), Philip Alden Benn (in collaboration with Peter Belkin), Guillermo Bert, Antonio Cortez, Nicholas de Monchaux, Ala Ebtekar, Michal Gavish (in collaboration with Yigal Blum), Roey Shaviv, Ruth Stark and Etty Yaniv, Daniel Joshua Goldstein, Laura Greig, Farley Gwazda, Robin Hill (in collaboration with Janco Gravner), Theodora Varnay Jones (in collaboration with Penny Olson and Rosa Anna de Filippis), Pantea Karimi (in collaboration with Daniel Konhauser), Carrie Katz (in collaboration with Sesh Mudumbai), Indira Martina Morre, Penny Nii (in collaboration with Mohammed Alabababidi and Enrique Gavidia), Luke Ogrydziak (in collaboration with Zoe Prillinger), Renee Rhodes, Tim Rosoborough, Paolo Salvagione, DC Spensley (in collaboration with Peter Spangler), Scott Summit, Yumika Tanaka, Tiffany Trenda, Corinne Whitaker, and Kenneth Wilkes.

Click here for the Press Release

More information can be found at:

October 12,13 and 14, 2012 – Astrid Bas: Life or Theater?

PAI cordially invites you to an evening of dance-theater, history and music.

Gala Reception and Performance of
‘Life or Theater?’

October 12, 2012

Cocktail Buffet: 6pm
Performance: 7:30pm
Dessert & Coffee: 8:30pm
Fine cuisine by Michael Kirk

Admission: $50 (click here for tickets)
Seating is limited

Performances : Saturday Oct 13 at 7:30pm
Sunday Oct 14 at 4pm
Admission: $20 (click here for tickets)

Please RSVP at

The performance is an early treatment of French actress and director, Astrid Bas’s project inspired by the life and work of Charlotte Salomon.

Cast members include San Francisco dance artists:

Astrid Bas


Christina Marie Linskey

Isabella Roncaglio

Erik Wagner


Michael Nick

Film Projection Artist:
Anna Geyer


Sarah Cillaire


Aimee Duddridge-Picard

Please view our videos and contribute to our project:

Astrid Bas’ Website:
Contact: 001 917 951 9784

Sundays, Sept 16th to Oct 7th: Mauro FFortissimo & Robert Soper

The Performance Art Institute hosts “A Brief History of the Piano”, a tribute to Igor Stravinsky, John Coltrane, John Cage, and Sun Rah, by Mauro FFortissimo and Robert Soper.

Sundays at 4:00pm from September 16th through October 7th
$15 advanced tickets (click here)
$20 tickets will be available at the door

Mauro FFortissimo has literally “played” the insides of pianos for over 25 years. People who haven’t heard it before will frequently ask, “What is it?!?”, “How did you come across this instrument???”, and “Did you invent it…?” Actually, FFortissimo “plays” an upright piano from which the keyboard and “action” (the hammer mechanism) are removed: thus opened and liberated from its original construction. Hence, the musical aspirations behind FFortissimo’s efforts are revolutionary: since the keys are removed the audience is freed from the 12 tone scale of the western mind.

“Piano,” FFortissimo says, “is the most sophisticated instrument; similar in sound range to the African cora, the Persian dulcimer or Indian saranghi. As Plato put it, ‘When modes of music change, societies change along.’ ”

Mauro FFortissimo along with fellow musician Robert Soper will use their liberated pianos to enlighten and enchant audiences at PAI. They will be accompanied by guest musicians: Chus Alonso, Kash Killon, Gearry Basserman, Joe Suecz, Sandy Poindexter, Allison Lovejoy, Lisa Lamantia, Ralph Carney, India Cooke, Viviana Guzman, Tregar Otton, Ander Meyer, and Linda Bouchard.

September 21 and 22: Niki Ulehla and Echidna’s Choir Boys

Join us for Hansel and Hansel (and a Small Show), a puppetshow by Niki Ulehla and Echidna’s Choir Boys.

Hansel and Hansel is a marionette play, featuring an original score by Daniel Brown, performed live by a five piece chamber ensemble.

Puppetshow by Niki Ulehla and Echidna’s Choir Boys
Score by Daniel Brown
Conducted by Nathaniel Berman
September 21 and 22, 8:00pm
Advance tickets $15; tickets at the door $20/student$15
click here to buy tickets

Echidna’s Choir Boys make puppet shows in which the puppeteer is visible. Our focus as puppeteers is to work with gravity to allow the marionettes to come alive.

Their performances began in 2005 as part of Cows for Tuttle, an ensemble comprised of accordion, voice, oboe, saw, tuba, percussion, a tap dancer and marionettes. After this, they began developing puppet shows that told stories (vaguely familiar or invented), maintaining the emphasis on close collaboration with musicians, performers and composers.

Hansel and Hansel are twins created in 2000. Not identical, they are nevertheless a mirror of each other– a fantasy of doubling and boyhood. They were the second and third marionettes made by Niki Ulehla. Their physical construction leaves them with several challenges in movement but these define the boys in action. Originally imagined as characters to retell the popular opera by Engelbert Humperdinck, they now have their own story by Niki Ulehla and score by Daniel Brown.

In addition to Hansel and Hansel, the ensemble will also perform a Small Show, a new exploration into small scale puppets. This work developed as an evolving combination of Niki’s work as a jewelry maker and puppeteer.

Niki Ulehla is a San Francisco based artist and jewelry designer who has been making carved wooden marionettes for over ten years. She has performed in Europe and the US. She received a BA from Stanford University in Drawing and Painting, then studied marionette making in the Czech Republic. She has been regularly performing with her marionettes since 2005.

Daniel Brown is a composer and cellist living in Santa Cruz, CA. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from UC Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Science in Discrete Mathematics from Georgia Tech. His compositions have been performed in the US, Japan, Korea, India, and Latin America. In addition to composing, he has developed several computer programs that compose and perform music.

Conductor Nathaniel Berman maintains a wide range of activities as a performer and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. A faculty member at UC Santa Cruz, he is conductor of the UCSC Concert Choir, and has appeared as guest conductor of the Orchestra and Opera Theater. Mr. Berman is also Music Director of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony, and assistant conductor of Peninsula Symphony. Equally dedicated to new music and interdisciplinary collaboration, Mr. Berman has been a member and assistant conductor of the professional new-music chorus Volti, and is currently the conductor for the San Francisco-based new-music collective Wild Rumpus. In April of 2013, he will premiere music by UCSC faculty member Hi Kyung Kim at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Smithsonian in Washington, D. C. Mr. Berman received his Master’s degree in conducting from UC Santa Cruz, where he studied with Nicole Paiement. His first instrument was trumpet, and he grew up playing duets with his dad, a jazz pianist and singer.