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A seventeen-day artlife performance at Westchester Medical Center's Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Valhalla, NY

December 18, 2019 - January 3, 2020

650 ml. of Lung Puss was a seventeen-day performance initiated by a dire circumstance that ultimately demonstrated a quantum aspect of artlife processes. Influenced by my friend and artlife colleague Linda Mary Montano, the performance inspired a deeper understanding of a performance process that summons elemental energies from a nonlocational power source. These energies exist in a state of quantum superposition and can be programmed using intention, determination, focus, and sacrifice, to transmute pain, suffering, and trauma into tolerance, endurance, resilience, self awareness, control, forgiveness, grace, and gratitude.


The performance began on December 18th when I carried my near lifeless and blue 94lb. daughter across a large, dark, silent, windy, and cold parking lot into the hospital's emergency room. The energies that fueled this difficult task were conjured from a deeply derived performative physical power cultivated by all mothers collectively throughout eternal time combined with the tension building from a deadlocked schism between my intuition and the medical authorities. In the past two days, we had been sent home from the emergency room and a pediatrician's office. Meanwhile, my daughter had developed sepsis from Scarlett Fever, Pneumonia, and a pleural effusion in her left lung.

650ml of Lung Puss_Nina Isabelle_INDEX_2

Our hospital performance engaged members of our close community, artlife collaborators and colleagues, friends and family, and the larger medical community of ambulance drivers, EMTs, emergency room attendants, nurses,doctors, phlebotomists, surgeons, lab and x-ray technicians, infectious disease specialists, sanitation specialists, medical administrators, and so on. Together, we collectively transformed into an unintentional ensemble performing actions together as our best selves in order to save a child's life. We embodied multiple and often simultaneous roles and embraced the fluctuating spaces between these modes. We performed as mothers, organizers, brothers, partners, distractors, whisperers of encouragement, visitors, tear swallowers, fear fighters, candle lighters, gift givers, keepers of tempers, story book readers, temperature takers, practitioners of patience, hand holders, phone callers, researchers, organizers, group texters, medicine givers, vomit bucket holders, comforters, food providers, errand runners, and healers. On the final day of our hospital performance, Linda texted "rest art!!!" to our group. We were finally able to go home, perform rest, and RESTART.

This performance demonstrated that art and life function as entangled dimensions through subtle quantum artlife processes. We learned that approaches effective in art and performance dimensions are also effective in dimensions of life and other realities, and that intentions and actions occurring within one dimension simultaneously reflect, impact, and are made evident in multiple ways throughout multiple dimensions. Engaging with life circumstances through performative art mechanisms allows us to translate the diverse array of creative skills derived from our disciplined artlife practices, (our responsive, intuitive, reflexive, mindful, and conceptual abilities,) into cognitive modes of awareness that inform the new life patterns necessary to thrive as artists in life. Through this post-conceptualizing processes, we gain the ability to sidestep linear chronologies and reframe the concepts of our engagements post-performatively as a way to articulate with the personal mechanisms of awareness and control necessary to make meanings and choices that fortify our collective artlives in new and beneficial ways.

List of Performers: Paul DeVincent, Ernest Goodmaw, Sylvia Hallibelle, Chris Hallman, Erik Hokanson, Eric Hurliman, Ulysses Hurliman, Bg Isabelle, Ed Isabelle, Kate Isabelle, Lou Isabelle, Louie Isabelle-DeVincent, Margie Isabelle, Nina Isabelle, Brian McCorkle, Jill McDermid, Paul McMahon, Linda Mary Montano, Ever Peacock, Mor Pipman, Valerie Sharp, Maureen Sharp, Luke Stence, Jennifer Zackin, and Havarah Zawaluk, many anonymous medical professionals, hospital workers, elementary school teachers, school nurses, community mothers and children.

N I N A  A. I S A B E L L E 

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