Rockitaerials Equilibrium EQP2 June 19, 2014 Immersive Gallery Williamsburg

My introduction to circus arts came through a trapeze coach named Irina Gold, a former Olympic gymnast from Moscow working with the Big Apple Circus.  Through this rigorous training I feel my performances are steeped in the rich history of Russian circus, although I always challenged the preconceived notions of its conventions. In 1996 I joined the Coney Island Sideshow working under Yale MFA graduate, Dick Zigun.  I performed a ground duo with my partner—an art student from Cooper Union. Performing frequently in NYC and Europe – we walked the line between circus and sideshow arts, which was considered revolutionary at that time.  While circus focuses on impressing the audience with risk and skill, sideshow is a display of the grotesque.

Rockit Aerials Equilibrium P2 Installation day at Garner Arts Center 2016

Always reinventing my performances, I follow work from many other disciplines. I admire Richard Serra’s rigging and steelwork, and Charles Ray with his explanation of “activity as sculpture”.  I am compelled by Giacometti’s theory of space as an illusion. These theories are intrinsically meaningful to me through my aerial experience – years of working from an inverted perspective –  and have helped me look beyond the aerial arts as entertainment.

What began with introducing original apparatus evolved into a complete departure from the linear nature of a “show”.  Not interested in choreography, I began curating aerial “moments” and installations of “living aerial sculpture” in galleries.  My armature is the plumb line.  This is demonstrated by my piece Equilibrium – “EQP2”.

EQP2 was imagined after being forced to have surgery to recover my hearing.  Learning to process sound again and overcome the vertigo that followed was frustrating.  I was inspired by the hanging models Antonio Gaudi used to calculate his own equilibrium of Catenarian arches and desired to create a parallel between our struggles toward equilibrium.  Visitors heard recordings of my tinnitus and Otoacoustic Emissions provided by the Graduate Center of Hearing Sciences at CUNY and music composed by Gamelatron mixed with hearing tests.  This 1000 lb sculpture was hung only with pully and ladder. The 15’diameter frame is pieced together with 156 bolts. The frame remains motionless with 450 feet of rope and 5 bodies underneath.

Minimal choreography repeats in a clockwise motion.  The result: a kaleidoscope of form bending the surrounding space.

Rockit Aerials Vertical Equilibrium at Immersive Gallery 2015 Equilibrium P2 Installation End of Day 1, Garner Art's Center

This is my favorite representation of Equilibrium P2, exhibited at Immersive Gallery Brooklyn:

It includes the prelude choreographed by Benoit Swan Pouffer.

The most recent exhibit of Equilibrium P2 was at Garner Art Center, May 2016 viewed by over 3000 people.  It was a collaboration with The Hybrid Movement Company, made possible by GS Gives.  Unfortunately I only received half the funding I needed, there was no rehearsal and no time to learn the choreography.  The images of Spanish Architecture by Marc Goodwin could not be seen clearly.  Although I did not achieve the effect I desired this time, the acclaimed film-maker Frank Vitale made a beautiful film of the experience that includes recordings of my tinnitus and OAEs:


Fundraising Video for Equilibrium P2:


Original Exhibition of Equilibrium P2 in 2014 with prelude and choreography by Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Music composed by Gamelatron, Costumes by Victoria Bartlett and styling by Edda Gudmundsdottir:


Original demo for Equilibrium P2 Shot at The Hybrid Movement Co 2013: