2nd floor 2014 letter v2

Years ago, I trekked to Paris on that specific pilgrimage that is unofficially mandatory for all art history geeks. I saw everything I could see, checking off master paintings from an itinerary culled from various introductory Western Art History textbooks. To my surprise, my favorite paintings were the unfinished ones. There was this one Delacroix in particular that depicted lions tumbling around in the desert. Somehow, the quick zips of yellow and red that were so impossibly mouth- like, so suggestive of cat jaws athrust in a guttural roar, were more captivating than any of the finished works.

Fast forward to the present. This is 2nd Floor Rear’s third season. I thought it was about time impose a curatorial scheme. I had grand plans to re-imagine the entire history of alternative creative practices in Chicago. Things didn’t quite work out that way, but really, it’s for the best. We’ve put together a solid lineup of performances, exhibitions, and creative miscellany—each with its own unique conceptual thrust.

So rather than reviving the ghosts of Chicago’s artistic past in any thematic sense, 2nd Floor Rear 2014 inflects this history in practice. We are pleased to bring you a festival that is, like all DIY creative production, scrappy yet self-aware—equal parts humor, conceptual complexity, neighborliness, relevance, and play.

If I had to choose an overall curatorial concept for our third season, it might be what one of my favorite cultural theorists calls “the messiness of lived experience”(Sarah Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion). We have an exhibition about failed romances, performances that that come and go unannounced, homages to Chicago’s bohemian beginnings, and an exhibition about failed and emerging technologies, featuring Rob Hart, casualty of the Chicago Sun-Times’ mass firings. To this end, 2nd Floor Rear 2014 is less about Chicago then and now than it is about Chicago art practices here and now, inasmuch that the artistic tastes and interests of any given place and time are always an unfolding of the place’s entire creative history. Flux trumps permanence—this is the heart of DIY cultural production. To be scrappy, yet self-aware means embracing the ad hoc as a part of one’s practice; to infold improvisation and makeshift solutions as a means of navigating the complexities of lived experience.

To me, this suits a city like Chicago. Here we are, experiencing the most brutal winter in three years, and everyone soldiers on—calling dibs on shoveled-out parking spaces, throwing on just one more sweater, and braving single-digit temperatures to go look at art in some goofy, unknown location. And this is precisely what we are inviting you to do. Join us today and tomorrow for the coldest, boldest, and, in all likelihood, most unpredictable art hop around.

Happy festivaling,

Katie Waddell, Director

See full 2014 photo set

EVENTS // February 1, 2015

Perambulatory Parade with Environmental Encroachment



Wandering Performance

Join festival producers, artists, and participants as we kick off 2nd Floor Rear 2014 with a sidewalk parade, led by Environmental Encroachment, Chicago’s premier (and only) performance art marching band. We’ll gather at Logan Square Comfort Station from 11:15-11:45, and depart from the Illinois Centennial Monument (the obelisk at the center of Logan Square) at noon. Costumes, homemade floats, props, alter egos and joyful demeanors strongly encouraged.

Chicago performance art group Environmental Encroachment (EE) uses a marching band and antics to create unique entertainment for any event. EE events are to create playgrounds for the body and mind, for people to play, be childlike, curious, free, dance and be happy.





Gateway to Hobohemia: A Roving Séance

Society of  Smallness


Wandering Performance

The Society of Smallness will travel to different locations throughout the 2FR Festival leading séances to channel the Zeitgeist of early 20th century Chicago and its art scene. Through bureaucracy and outmoded technology, a team of clerks will facilitate connection between the audience and the spirit world.

Participating artists: Kevin Burrows (aka the Mayor of Bucktown), Will Clinger, Jeff Michalski, Annie Morse, Emmy Nightingale, Matt Stone, Georgina Valverde, and others.




Betsy Zacsek and Juneer Kibria


Guerrilla installation, Intervention, & General Mischief

Featuring:  Megan Kalmes, Lynn Basa, Aya Nakamura, Gwendolyn Zabicki, and Katie Waddell


Follow the mischief on twitter.




Open Studios

South Logan Arts Coalition



Open Studios

Visit the SLAC headquarters (our house) and enjoy homemade cookies and tea with us, Gwendolyn Zabicki and Jason Walker. We are located at 3020 W. Bloomingdale. The easiest way to get there is to go down the creepy sidewalk on the north side of Bloomingdale, near Whipple. We like to call it Crime Alley. Or you can find us by walking south, down the alley at Cortland, between Whipple and Humboldt Blvd.





Speed Humps

Jenelle Cheyne and Cassie Ahiers




Speed Humps is an improv group consisting of Jenelle Cheyne and Cassie Ahiers. These two ladies will be standing before you to do some make ’em ups and just play around with the art of improv. Both Jenelle and Cassie have trained at iO, Second City and The Annoyance theatre. They are very excited to be a part of this amazing festival.



P.OO.P art (G.I.G.O.) (2014)




Multimedia Installation and Performance

P.OO.P art / Garbage In, Garbage Out (2014) (creation, 30min, video installation & performance) by Kai-Duc Luong is a caustic jab at the ‘P.OO.P art’ industry. In a bathroom, a select audience joins the artist in performing a strange procession – coined Garbage In, Garbage Out (G.I.G.O.) borrowed from the computer language. The performance will be live-fed and projected in a living room where another set of audience will witness the procession.

This work will be showcased at the 2014 2nd Floor Rear Festival of Art on Saturday Feb 1st, from 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM (live performance with the participation of Brett Callaway), and from 2:15 PM to 4 PM in a video installation format.





Same River Twice 

Lindsey Barlag Thornton and Billy McGuinness

B and L 5



Same River Twice pays homage to the rich history of Fluxus Art and reimagines the work of various Fluxus artists through interpretations and performances of Fluxus scores, instructions, and events. In this curated performance, the scores themselves become scored – overlapping, conversing, contrasting, flowing into one another – inviting humor, participatory engagement, and a deepened awareness of the world around us.






These Roads Close in Winter

Theo Willis, Marcella Volini, Chelsea Paige Kelly


“My friends MarcellaVolini, Chelsea Kelly, and myself, Theo Willis, went on a road trip across the country from Baltimore, MD, up the West Coast and back to Chicago this summer. The trip was our first time visiting the West, and it had a profound effect on our relationships with each other and our artwork. The work in this exhibition was made in response to the experiences we all shared on our travels together.”



The Artist is Nature

Holly Warren, Rebekah Hall, Kevin Sparrow, and Jill Stone


Multimedia Exhibition

The Artist is Nature explores the forgotten symbiosis between human, urban, and nature. The exhibition features interactive installation, sculpture, sound, performance, and text.

Excavation by Holly Warren is an exploration of forgotten pasts re-conjured through visual and textual representations of the outdoors and nature. Avian Absences, a series of projections of visual poetry and photography by Kevin Sparrow, takes a natural view of urban spaces. The Sound of Responsibility by Jill M. Stone is an ambient sound piece that immerses the listener in the sounds of the natural world while provoking them to contemplate our responsibility to it. In Nature Graft, Rebekah Hall involves the manifestation of nature through extension of the body at an ethereal intersection of nature/human/body.




Sympathetic Resonance

Amelia Charter, Alyssa Moxley, and Mitsu Salmon


One-on-one performances and a home-gallery of paintings

Performance artist Amelia Charter leads one on one interactions with 2513 North Spaulding. The dynamic of this one on one performance welcomes audiences to experience the home as an abstract form, one that engages with our senses-and our sense of belonging. The performer guides each audience participant through a variety of cinematic viewing perspectives of the home while performing vignettes that activate the relationship of the architecture, mood, and sound of the rooms’ materials. The home will feature sound installations by sound artist, Alyssa Moxley, both stable and radio based, that react to the presence of live bodies. The inherent tones of the site serve as the structural basis for this movement and sound score. The performances vary in length, some are brief—just one minute, and others longer—a duration of up to 20 minutes. The entrance room of the house will be a waiting area featuring paintings by Mitsu Salmon.






Live in Zine

Michelle LaPlante

Zine Exhibition and Comicjams

The Chicago self-publishing and comics scene is huge with a giant range of contributors who produce a massive number of works. Live in Zine aims to collect these numerous, diverse comics and zines to form a fragmented look into what is being made today by Chicago-based independent artists, and to showcase this same community’s incredible dedication to this art form. This collection of comics and zines shows the incredible diversity of subject matter, but also exemplifies the range of styles and different approaches to working and creating. Live in Zine seeks to feature a wide selection of comics and zines that show creativity, innovation, and skill in story-telling and art and push the boundaries of what comics can be.



the flowers in the field are free

Joshua Kent


Interactive Installation and Performance

Drawing on his experiences with food systems and voluntary poverty, Joshua Kent’s new work, “The flowers of the field are free” invites viewers into an immersive performative environment. The piece, which is performed for three people at a time, explores the relationships between individuals and generosity through personal narrative and installation.




Partitions: New Work by Nora Nieves and Liz McCarthy

Comfort Station presents High Concept Laboratories


Exhibition at Logan Square Comfort Station

The perception of time and space is fluid, one moment bleeds into the next. In the physical world we create more clear boundaries with objects, barriers, and frames to more clearly define and navigate our experience. In ‘Partitions’ Nora Nieves and Liz McCarthy both document environments by making structures that tentatively define the way in which they experience particular spaces.

Liz McCarthy and Nora Nieves participated in The High Concept Labs Sponsored Projects Program during the Summer of 2013. For their exhibition in 2014, Comfort Station will host High Concept Labs’ artists Nora Nieves and Liz McCarthy from February 1-14th. To learn more about the artists and HCL visit highconceptlaboratories.org.






The Poetics of Transgression

Keijaun Thomas


Public Performance curated by Out of Site Chicago

OoS curates unexpected encounters of public performance throughout Chicago. EnChance is part of our extended program in different neighborhoods. For more information about the artists, times and locations please check the outofsitechicago.org website.




To Leave the Cube 

Juan Pablo Beltran Hilarion


Public Performance curated by Out of Site, Chicago

OoS curates unexpected encounters of public performance throughout Chicago. EnChance is part of our extended program in different neighborhoods. For more information about the artists, times and locations please check the outofsitechicago.org website.




Y’all Ready for GIFs?

y'all ready for .gifs documentation

Digital Media Installation at Threads Etc Consignment Furniture

Short and concise, the GIF is able to convey complex narratives, unique points of view, and expand creativities through the summarization of large ideas in mere seconds. This exhibition will present animated Gif works by talented artists from Europe and the US. Featuring works by Scorpion Dagger, Laurene Boglio, Mathew Lucas, and Skip Hursh among others.

Curated by Catalina Acosta-Carrizosa, Kyle Riley, and Brett Swinney


Haptic: Touching Text and Textile

And Then There Were None 06

Things you can touch, tactile artworks, live readings and performances at Adult Contemporary

Haptic: Touching Text and Textile is an exhibition that favors the tangible, tactile and visceral aspects of experiencing text and textile arts. Featuring readings and performances by Krissy Wilson, Amelia Charter, Rebecca Eliott and textile works by John Paul Morabito and Aram Han

Organized by Ross Jordan and Anne Yoder.









Sexy Can I: 8 Failed and Successful Romances

Third Object



Set to a soundtrack of love letters and breakup texts, Sexy Can I asks how a work of art is a romance.

With romances by Tegan Brace, Matt Brett, Jennifer Chan, Em Kettner, Kelly Lloyd, Jesse Malmed, Mary Ellen Mark, and Rose Sexton.



Watch This Clown

Chicago Traveling Theater Co


Wandering Theater Performance

We follow the story of Mr. Brown, the clown, and his dog, Jack, as he pursues his dream to join the circus. The story begins in Mr. Brown and Jack’s apartment. The audience literally follows them…rather parades with them, down the sidewalk attempting to realize his dream. As we are all parading down the sidewalk we meet Slick, a fast-tongued con-man who promises he can make Mr. Brown’s dreams come true. Mr. Brown falls for this charming character, while Jack does not. Mr. Brown follows Slick and his bag of tricks getting farther and farther away from his dream. Meanwhile, Jack leaves the two of them behind and leads the audience to an open mic. Jack performs at the curated open mic but is unfulfilled without his performance partner. In the meantime Mr. Brown has his rock-bottom. Slick has fooled him and now he is all alone. When he is ready to give-up, Jack manages to come back and find him. The two are reunited and go back to perform together at the open mic which is concluded by a grand dance party.

The Chicago Traveling Theatre Co. (CTTC) is all about transforming public space into performance space. We question the traditional ideas of what is a performance by including non- traditional performance elements such as, traveling locations within a performance, experimenting with the limitations of audience involvement, playing with alternative ways to present stories, and challenging the idea of where, how, and what theatre is, and who it is for. We believe theatre and the stories they unfold should be free and accessible for all.





Lion VS Gorilla and Rob Hart

Exhibition at Hairpin Arts Center

Analogue is a playful exploration of the ways that the digitization of photography has changed the medium and how we see, understand, produce, and consume photographic images.  In this installation, the photographs of the laid-off and award-winning Chicago Sun-Times photojournalist Rob Hart will be presented in conjunction with wall-mounted dot matrix printers, rigged to continuously print pools of curated Instagram photographs, using paper to mimic a live feed.  As part of this installation, there will be an “Ask A Photographer” desk staffed by Mr. Hart, where audience members can ask him anything about photography, his favorite recipes, old-school country music, baseball, etc.  Finally, there will be a photo booth, complete with a background of money raining from the sky and samples of Letherbee Distillery’s artisanal version of Malort.  Central to Analogue is an exploration of the tensions between digital and analog, access and art, and kitsch and craft, and the ongoing and complicated dialogues with photographic images that we have every day.

Lion VS Gorilla (LVG) is a Chicago-based curatorial collaboration established in 2011 between Jimmy Bulosan and Heather Phillips, with a mission of encouraging collaboration, fostering community, and challenging barriers between artists and viewers.  




Open Studio

Autotelic Studios


Open Studios

Autotelic Studios is a fiscally sponsored nonprofit artists studio in Avondale/Logan Square. Join us for an open studio event to meet the artists and view current projects, ranging from small-scale metal sculpture to works on paper. Ale Syndicate will be pouring Van de Velde, one of their craft Belgo pale ales. Outside, check out a window installation by Chicago artist Ali Noe, viewable throughout the month of February. Studio artists include Alice Feldt, Jessie Winslow, Emily Breyer, Michael Hall, Ali Noe, Nick Lacke, Yhelena Hall, James T. Green, and C’ne Rohlsen.


One Night Stand

Above Market Gallery

One Night Stand 7


For one intimate night, we are opening our home to strangers to expose our most intimate thoughts, desires, and fantasies.

Featured Artists:


Like us on facebook.com/abovemarketgallery



Don’t Miss This

Young Camelot

Bands and stuff

The time has come, King Arthur said,

to throw an awesome show
With Mirror Coat, Mtvghosts, and more!
Much more! Fo’ sho!
It will be fun, with dancing son! so,
now you’re in the know
Presented by 2nd Floor Rear:
YC’s “Don’t Miss This!” Show.


Lincoln’s Ghost – A local band and good friends of Young CamelotNatalie

Grace Alford –facebook.com/nataliegracealford / soundcloud.com/nataliegracealford/type-of-wound

Mtvghost –facebook.com/mtvghosts / mtvghosts.bandcamp.com/

Flesh Panthers fleshpanthers.bandcamp.com/

Mirror Coat –facebook.com/mirrorcoatmusic / mirrorcoatmusic.weebly.com/

The Bribes – facebook.com/THEBRIBES.



The Dil Pickle Club “Then/Now”

Pocket Guide to Hell


Public Forum and Bohemian Nightspot at Collaboraction

Elevate your mind to a lower level at a contemporary version of Chicago’s Dil Pickle Club. Back in the 1920s, the Dil Pickle is where you went to hear a University of Chicago professor lecture and then see Mae West perform a scene from Sex, while rubbing shoulders with Ben Hecht, Sherwood Anderson, and Carl Sandburg. This updated version has 5 wonderful speakers/performers–Eric Bartholomew, Nicki Yowell, Allen Helm, Nick Fraccaro, Ingrid Haftel, and Emma Saperstein–talking about what they’re nuts about, around the theme of “then/now. Everything from pandemic diseases to Chicago’s meatpacking industry! With music by Environmental Encroachment!





February 1-2, 2015

Slumber Party

Leah Ransohoff and Alessandra Gomez


Sleepover with Food and Performance

Curated by Alessandra Gomez and Leah Ransohoff, this show will present an evening of exceptional performance art work.

Black skies gradually reveal an orange-to-blue gradient as the morning approaches, divulging the kaleidoscopic nature of the event.

What was seen
what is remembered,
and what has been forgotten?

Expect to awake with an unsettling clarity.

Sleeping bags and pajamas encouraged. Come spend the night! Breakfast will be served in the morning.

Cathy Kim
Courtney Mackedanz
Diandra Miller, Adam Bruns, and Tim Adamczyk
Jake Vogds
Tyler Lumm
Kim Chayeb
Autumn Rojas
Jenny Kim
Wei Hsinyen
Zebadiah Arrington and Suhuu Go



Public Opinion 3

Public Opinion

Public Opinion

Printed Ephemera Takeaways, available at all brick-and-mortar festival locations

February’s concern is the disappearance of public opinion. This is a perfect time to address the issue, as there have been many recent protests, marches, and various large assemblies directed at law makers in cities across the world. These activities demand that the public opinion always be considered when leaders make decisions on the public’s behalf.



February 2, 2015


Sonic Meditations: “Teach Yourself to Fly” and “The Flaming Indian”

Becky Grajeda and Jessica Speer


Participatory Sound Performance

Composer, musician, and Deep Listener Pauline Oliveros composed her “Sonic Meditations” in a move away from traditional musical performance and composition. The Meditations are intended for a broad audience–not only for musicians or those with specialized skills or knowledge–as a way for all to interact with and tune into the environment and others through sonic energy. Grajeda and Speer will lead audience members through observation of breath and improvised vocalization and sound-making to engage in a “dialogue” with the space.



Biting Down

Elena and Erin


Public Performance curated by Out of Site, Chicago

OoS curates unexpected encounters of public performance throughout Chicago. EnChance is part of our extended program in different neighborhoods. For more information about the artists, times and locations please check the outofsitechicago.org website.





at TUSK as part of 2nd Floor Rear

SundayFeburary 2nd2014

11:301:30 AM-PM

Catering by the JT Baker Chemical Company



Ritual No. 7: Give and Take




Performer: Marrakesh

Costume design and Construction:  Grace Kubilius

Water is randomly transferred between six bowls by the spoonful.

Water only moves between two bowls at a time – emptying one to fill another.

Bowls are labeled 1 – 6 and placed on a rectangular table.

Bowl No. 1 should be placed at one end continuing counter clockwise in ascending order around the table.

Water transfer depends on the roll of a single die.

If a roll results in the same number as the water filled bowl then the candle must be lit if not lit, or blown out if lit.

If the candle is lit the performer GIVES, sitting at the bowl being emptied while transferring to the bowl to be filled (determined by the roll of the die).

When the candle is not lit the performer TAKES, sitting at the bowl to be filled (determined by the roll of the die) while transferring from the bowl being empty.

The performance begins when water is poured into the first bowl from an outside source.

The performance can continue for any length of a predetermined duration.

At the end of the predetermined duration the performer should lift the bowl filled with water to his or her mouth and drink it.

*ACCOMPANYING MUSIC: This ritual does not require music. If you wish to play music during the ritual it is best to play Erik Satie’s Gnossiennes No. 1-6 (loop the six etudes in random orders.) It should sound distant, as if it’s being played in a large space or in a far off room.

Presented by JVG/WAR



Inside the Artist’s Kitchen presents: Jerry Blossom

Inside the Artist’s Kitchen & Kiam Marcelo Junio


Performative cooking demonstration & artist interview at Paper Moon Bakery

Inside the Artist’s Kitchen presents a cooking demonstration to launch their new 2014 Digital Residency program. Their 2014 featured artist will be Kiam Marcelo Junio, who, through his performative persona Jerry Blossom, will be exploring aspects of Filipino identity through traditional cuisine. Attendees will enjoy food samples as well as an artist interview & discussion after the performance.





Napkin Poetry

Haley Martin and Tova Benjamin


Open Mic at Uncharted Books

Napkin Poetry is an open mic aiming to carve out a space for young-ish, hesitant or otherwise writers, interested in learning about new poets, sharing their poetry jottings and making general poetry trouble. We want to build up a community of people who love words and writers. We know sometimes people don’t feel comfortable reading on stage in front of strangers, so we encourage you to read covers of poems/prose you love until you feel confident enough to read your own work. If you already feel confident about your work, that’s awesome, you should read it! Share your prose, share the love letter you drunkenly wrote last night, share that amazing poem you read last week or share that wacky combination of poetry and prose you wrote and don’t know what to do with.

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