project image
Grace Rutter

first performed on August 12, 2018
Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago, IL
performed once in 2018


Michael Lee Bridges, Terra

Chicago, IL / Atlanta, GA


“Ar+An+Om→Or+fAE” was a site-specific, durational performance inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Arachne. The title was inspired by the infraorder classification of the orb-weaver spider. The performance was structured thematically around distance, convergence, creation, mental constraint, and, ultimately, reunion.

We started the performance separately, each taking a different floor of the gallery space. We searched for caches we had hidden pre-performance for the other to find. After we had each located our caches, we met on the basement floor of the gallery, set up in a dark corner near the stairs, and opened them to reveal each cache held strips of leather belt. We then began to attempt to construct a spider’s web from the leather belts, using needle and thread. This process took us multiple attempts to achieve, and once we were finished we outlined the web in red EL wire. Our web complete, we traveled with it to the second floor of the gallery and installed it there, kneeling on all fours in front of our creation and setting our cell phones on the floor in front of our faces. We then video-called each other, separated again but this time merely virtually, and gazed at each other. We breathed lightly into our phones so their proximity would emit an angelic hum throughout the space.

The performance ended when we got up from our kneeling position, embraced, laced fingers, and exited the gallery space together. The phones remained in their video call for audience members who wished to look into them.