PARTICIPANTS & ADVISORS
Many participants in the project, especially those photographed, prefer to remain anonymous, and include artists as well as non-artists, humans of all genders and races, and their contributions are invaluable as their perspectives on the project become part of the project's prism.
- Mia Andersson (Designer, Fabricator) lives in Stockholm. She is collaborating with Quintan to design and fabricate apparatus for the project. She has worked on both Swedish and international productions with acclaimed directors such as Lars Von Trier, Jan Troell, Marius Holst, and Mikael Marcimain, including Melancholia and King of Devil’s Island. Following a major exhibition of her collaborative work in Melbourne in 2013, Mia is presently working on Marcimain’s Gentlemen & Gangster, the biggest film shooting in Sweden at the moment.
- Alexandra Shilling (Choreographer, Performer) is fully committed to the infinite investigation of movement and its potential to transcend stories and allow us to remember. Her original choreography and filmic landscapes have been presented in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Munich, at the American Dance Festival, on MTV's 9/11 Video Postcards among others, both as Artistic Director of alexx makes dances and ann and alexx make dances, bringing live, multi-media performance to unusual spaces. Alexx performed with Richard Rivera/PHYSUAL from 2002-2010 as well as many independent choreographers in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Currently, Alexx creates and performs with Victoria Marks, Laurel Tentindo and Sharna Fabiano as well as collaborating with Quintan Ana Wikswo through their company FIELDSHIFT | FURTHER. After eleven years in New York, Alexx re-located to Los Angeles in 2010 and received her MFA in Dance from UCLA's Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance.
- Arthur Kell (Composer, Bassist) lives in Brooklyn. For over twenty-five years, he has created, performed and recorded with a cross section of the most influential jazz musicians in New York City and around the world. He is also an environmental activist, a faculty member at Swarnbhoomie Academy of Music in Tamil Nadu, India, and has worked extensively in Kyrgyzstan, India, and Africa, where he traveled alone by local transportation from Senegal to the Indian Ocean, including 900 miles by camel through the Sahara desert in Niger and Chad. www.ArthurKell.com
- Matthew Contos (artist, activist)
- Sarah Clark (activist)
- Stacy Flood (writer, activist)
- Kristofor Giordino (artist)
- Eric Grush (Photography, Film & Video Production and Post-Production).
- Marc Lempert (Film & Video Production)
The Advisors of OUT HERE DEATH IS NO BIG DEAL provide ongoing resources, expertise, knowledge-sharing, and strategic support for the project. Drawn from diverse project-related specialities including physics, astronomy, ethnobotany, literature, animation, visual arts, human rights, gender studies, performance, shamanism, social justice, strategic planning, and more, the Advisors are engaged in nearly every aspect of the project's incubation and evolution.
- Jeanette Acosta's ancestors are indigenous. She serves Indigenous People with her participation in numerous committees and groups, including a growing emphasis on building collaboration amongst Native American Nations to protect sacred burial and ceremonial sites. Jeanette is a Certified Teacher and Designer for Permaculture, and specializes in maritime culture, herbalism, ethnobotany and biodynamic principles. In her work, she emphasizes humankind's symbiotic relationship between earth and sky. Moreover, she is a Spiritual Counselor, Couples' Counselor, Integrative Health Care provider, as well as a Certified Professional Level 1 & 2 Kundalini Yoga/Meditation Teacher/Teacher Trainer. Her experience dealing with international business people, world diplomats, heads of states, renowned artists/celebrities, and politicians gives her a unique perspective on various cultures and customs.
- Alessandra Castellanos writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction that draw upon her complex and tenacious ancestral heritage in Guatemala and Southern California, feral spirits, otherworldly legends, and the disconcerting realities of domestic workers in Hollywood celebrity homes. She received a BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from California State University, Northridge. Her work has appeared in Chaparral, Drunken Boat, Prick of the Spindle, as well as on the radio show Nuestra Palabra on 90.1 KPFT-FM. One of Alessandra's many passions is her exploration of the female self and the connection she carries with women. Brought up by a single mother, she finds beauty in the strength and independence of women around the world. Alessandra has spent time working for the nonprofit organization, El Rescate, piecing together evidence for VAWA (Violence Against Woman Act) cases and translating the declarations of immigrant women; survivors of sexual, verbal and physical abuse. She is no stranger to the atrocities enacted upon others and is committed to unearthing what is often buried in the soil.
- Sarah Clark is a queer Native survivor of multiple rapes. The chiefdom of her tribe, known for their expertise in poisons and skeleton dances, ran in her family since before written history, ending with her grandfather. Her great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother, Lydia Clark, was the last to speak her tribe's language. Sarah is a freelance editor and the former managing editor and web editor of Drunken Boat, and has worked with a number of literary publications, including Open City, The Paris Review, and Blackbird, and curated Drunken Boat's folio of global indigenous art and literature "First Peoples, Plural." Sarah is completing a graduate degree in modernist literature at Queen Mary, University of London, focusing on lesbian cyborgs and the post-cinematic female body. In her spare time, Sarah has strong opinions.
- Sarah Dohrmann has received a New York Foundation for the Arts Award in Nonfiction Literature, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, a Fulbright Fellowship of the Arts for Creative Writing in Morocco, and is a current Workspace writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. With photographer Tiana Markova-Gold, Sarah received the 2010 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Work from their photography/writing collaboration on female prostitution in Morocco has been featured in the British Journal of Photography, excerpted in TIME Magazine‘s LightBox, and is forthcoming in Harper’s Magazine. Sarah has written for Harper’s, Glamour, Poets & Writers Magazine, Teachers & Writers Magazine, Joyland, Lumina, Bad Idea (England), and The Iowa Review, among others. Sarah also serves as an advisory committee member representing Nonfiction Literature for the New York Foundation for the Arts.
- Bailey Grey began field organizing with Quintan on the Texas-Mexico border field in the late 1980s. She is a London-based human rights activist grounded in international human rights law who has worked on a wide range of human rights issues, including refugees, death penalty, women’s rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, children’s rights, disability, migrants’ rights, and racial discrimination with agencies including ActionAid International, Amnesty International, Amnesty International Ireland, the Global Campaign for Education, Human Rights Watch, and others.
- Jennifer Tame Holland (Fieldwork, Human Rights, Gender, Mythos & Culture)
- Colleen Keegan developed the Strategic Planning Program at Creative Capital where she currently serves as Co-Chair of the Endowment Committee. She is a partner in Keegan Fowler Companies, an equity investment and consulting firm specialized in providing strategic planning and business affairs services to companies in the communications and entertainment industries. Previously, Keegan was a principal in The Strategic Planning Partnership. Her client list includes American Express, Bandai, Citi Group, ESPN, FM Japan, Hanna-Barbera, Paramount Pictures, Sprint, Sony New Technologies and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Keegan served as the president of Pacific Arts Video Production and Washington Video Services prior to establishing Keegan Fowler Companies. She also worked as a producer for MTV Networks, WETA and Showtime. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors including the American Refugee Committee, the MS Foundation, Texas Film Commission, Emily’s List, the NOW Legal Defense Fund and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Advisory Council.
- Susan Martin began her career in the arts in the early 1970s in New York and Los Angeles, beginning at Sotheby’s and later founding G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, the first gallery in Los Angeles to specialize in twentieth-century master photographers. In 1976 she co-founded Some Serious Business, a nonprofit organization that produced the first-ever performances in Southern California of such artists as Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass and Ensemble, Nam June Paik, William Wegman, Lawrence Weiner, and Robert Wilson. Martin was the architect of Art Against AIDS, a national fund-raising effort—with Elizabeth Taylor as National Chair—that raised millions of dollars for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), produced Amnesty International benefits, and handled marketing and public relations for Holly Solomon Gallery, Robert Longo, Artforum, Meredith Monk, La MaMa E.T.C., and the Wooster Group. Martin was communications director for the citywide World Festival of Sacred Music—Los Angeles, instigated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama; editor of two catalogues for Chief Curator Paul Schimmel of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; marketing director for UCLA Performing Arts (UCLA Live!), the premier presenting organization for performing arts in Southern California. Martin has edited more than fifty books about contemporary art and social history, including two major catalogues for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as well as artists’ books, monographs, exhibition catalogues, and other art ephemera for Smart Art Press in Santa Monica. Her efforts have been covered in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Rolling Stone, and People. Art+Auction, Art in America, Artforum, ARTNews, Dwell, Metropolis, and The Art Newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Town and Country, Travel and Leisure, The Santa Fean, House and Garden; and electronic media, including ABC World News, CNN, National Public Radio, Playboy Radio, Flavorpill, Huffington Post, Media Bistro, and ARTINFO.
- Keivan Guadalupe Stassun is an astrophysicist at Vanderbilt University. Keivan was born in Los Angeles and relates strongly to his family’s heritage and origins in Mexico and their journey towards El Norte. His research on the birth of stars and planetary systems has appeared in Nature, been featured on NPR’s Earth & Sky, published in more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, and earned awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Research Corporation. He serves as the founding director of the Vanderbilt Initiative in Data-intensive Astrophysics (VIDA), and is the chair of the exoplanet team at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Keivan served as a member of the National Research Council’s 2010 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics, as a member of the congressionally mandated Astronomy & Astrophysics Advisory Committee, and for eight years served as chair of the American Astronomical Society’s Committee on the Status of Minorities. He currently serves as General Councilor of the American Physical Society. Keivan is Adjunct Professor of Physics at Fisk University, a Historically Black University, and serves as Co-Director of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program, helping Fisk become the top producer of Black U.S. recipients of the master’s degree in physics. Click here to visit Keivan’s website.
- Samantha Stiers is a poet and fiction writer whose work explores how trauma and extreme states can alter our perceptions in dark and fantastical ways. Her work has appeared in Conjunctions, DIAGRAM, Black Warrior Review, Puerto del Sol, and other magazines.
- Stacey Steers creates hand-animated films that have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, New Directors New Films in NYC and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., along with numerous other screenings worldwide, winning national and international awards. Her work has been installed at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Denver Art Museum, and the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Germany among others. Stacey is a recipient of major grants from Creative Capital and AFI/the American Film Institute. She has been an artist fellow at Harvard University, the MacDowell Colony, the Sacatar Foundation, Ucross Foundation, the Liguria Study Center and Yaddo. She lives and works in Boulder, Colorado. Click here to visit Stacey’s website.
- Arturo Vidich creates performance works that have been presented in New York City by The Chocolate Factory, New Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, New York Live Arts, The Invisible Dog Arts Center, Abrons Art Center, EXIT Art, Facade/Fasad, Reverse, NADA Art Fair, Independent Art Fair, Dorkbot NYC, Brucennial 2010: Miseducation, SITE Fest, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Movement Research, Catch Series, Dixon Place, Chashama, and AUNTS; and in Los Angeles at AT1 Projects. He has been an artist-in-residence at NYLA, MAD, Movement Research, The Chocolate Factory, and Chashama. Vidich is a Creative Capital 2013 Performing Arts grant recipient. In 2007, Vidich was awarded the International Artist Residency at the Red Stables, Dublin, Ireland. In the same year, he co-founded Culture Push, a non-profit arts organization that brings together diverse professionals to share knowledge and resources (culturepush.org). Through Culture Push, he initiated a collaborative open-source residency, called Genesis Project New York, for artists who work or want to work with or through the body. Vidich has collaborated on performances with Yvonne Meier, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Aki Sasamoto, Deborah Hay, Daria Faïn, Allison Farrow, Lower Lights Collective, Christopher Williams, and Nami Yamamoto. In 2010, Vidich received a “Bessie” (New York Dance and Performance Award) for his collaboration on Yvonne Meier’s Stolen. He has assisted visual artists Douglas Repetto and Jeffrey Schiff. His writing has been published twice in the Movement Research Performance Journal. Vidich has a degree in Dance from Wesleyan University, and has a graduate degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts. He also achieved a pilot’s license. In 2012, with his brother and cousin, Vidich co-founded Kin & Company, a family-run, Brooklyn-based design and fabrication studio specializing in custom steel and wood works. Click here to visit his website.
- Mona Washington is a playwright and social commentator. She is currently a member of the Harlem Arts Alliance Dramatic Writing Academy Workshops. Ms. Washington received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Her plays have been performed and read in New York, Philadelphia, Rome, and Paris. She has been a Brown Fellow at The Dora Maar House (Provence, France), and has received fellowships at The Ucross Foundation, The Jack Kerouac House, Ragdale, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, amongst many others. She currently writes a series of short plays on politics, civil rights, race, religion, and culture for The Huffington Post. Click here to read.