Collected from audience interviews conducted by Ariana Jacob


“A massive yellow wig: incredibly massive, four feet wide with a black-face cyclops mask and huge stuffed breasts and bum. My reaction was mostly just WHOA, but it also made me think about the implications of becoming very large.” from the Drag Ball

“The beautiful transitions of light in Linda Austin’s dance performance with David Eckard’s sculptures. It was so subtle yet so dramatic and elegant. There was this one moment with a transition from warm light to an overpowering fluorescent that was so quiet and powerful at the same time.”

“The very deliberate seating pattern of rows of seats in an inner, middle and outer circle, performers sitting in pairs talking with each other, that then degenerates – or erupts into this battle with yelling and screaming.  But everyone knows where they are going, it is still a pattern that started with the seating arrangement.”  from Miguel Gutierrez and The Powerful People

“The performance was complete pitch black. I think it was two violins, a viola and a cello. My mind went wild because it was so dark it just HAD to imagine stuff. It was weird. I was imagining myself in a forest walking. I couldn’t tell if my eyes were open or closed it was so, so dark. Actually, I don’t remember the music at all, it all became visual to me – the sound brought me to my visual senses.” from Third Angle


“During Lola Arias I was really aware of all the white people in the room laughing in places that I thought were not supposed to be funny at all. Things that had to do with race or different kinds of trauma that a lot of people don’t know how to deal with. So I was hyper aware that there was a lot of laughter that seemed like it was not because something was funny.”

“Taking a bath in sound.” from Wishful Thinking

“The contrast between the loud pop song playing at the beginning while there was nothing happening on stage vs the suspended stillness & quiet of the performers.” from Trajal Harrell

“The complexity of layered voice, clarinet and little glockenspiel melding into this cacophonous blur, but yet seeming so precise. Her style is very approachable and yet domineering.” from Like a Villain

“During Linda Austin’s performance there was this one musical gesture. It was contemporary classical: piano and violin. Throughout most of the dance I had been thinking about how much I hate abstraction: abstraction really pisses me off and the sculptures were these abstracted forms. One was house-like, one was bed like, one was phallic and stood in for the man. It was all kinda pissing me off but then I realized that the music was also a kind of abstracted melody. I really connect with and have a history with that kind of music, so tapping into the musical component allowed me to cerebrally apply a new kind of thinking to the sculptures and the dance.The shift happened mostly because of responding emotionally to the music. Is emotional response an abstraction?”



“The red-headed fellow stretched open the other fellow’s foreskin and screamed into it. I was in the front row. I usually sit there if I can, I like the immediacy of it. As the show went on I made a pact with myself consciously and unconsciously that I would catch them if they fell, if they came over the edge of the stage I was ready and willing to reach out and catch them. It felt like it might really happen. The show got very violent but still felt controlled and tender so that I never felt in danger. I just felt that they might go some place I had no idea where, but I was ready for whatever.” from Campo

“Performance Art is hard enough, but a parody of performance art? Uhg, I might as well go play video games.” from I Will Rip Your Arms Off

“It was uncomfortable. It was hard to predict when the crowd would applaud or not because they were challenging a lot of the standards of pacing and the expectations of when something is over. When you are breaking all those things you can’t expect a certain kind of audience response. They were deconstructing it and then it gets uncomfortable – like ooh, what is happening? Crickets.” from The Blow

“Champagne headache and a need for greasy food. It is not TBA’s fault, but it has been a while since I have felt the morning after TBA feeling.

“I went to the Keith Hennessy workshop last Sunday and we were supposed to shake for 10 minutes straight. You had to shake something, you couldn’t stop. I’ve been thinking about that everyday since, and shaking. It feels so good. It changes how my whole body feels: all my energy. I want to see what it does if I keep doing it.”


Ariana Jacob is an artist whose work focuses on conversation as shared subjective research. Her project Working/Not working: What do you do all day and how do you feel about what you do? is on view at the Littman Gallery as a part of the Emerging Tactics exhibition curated by Recess Gallery.