Negotiating the Unknowing Witness: Art Actions in Public Space and Site Sensitive Strategies Panel 


Performance art is a medium that has historically challenged the boundaries and potential of what art is, can be, and where it can happen. This panel addresses the practices of artists working with experiential media who use non-designated spaces as sites for their works.  What are strategies that artists use to negotiate the complexities of making work in spaces outside of the safety of a gallery or museum?  What is at stake and how might we manage risk while still protecting the artistic integrity of the work, especially if the content might be perceived as confrontational?  How does the intention of a work shift when integrated in an unfamiliar context? How might working site-sensitively challenge the work that we make in art designated contexts? Selected artists for this panel will offer 3 unique perspectives that confront, inspire, and challenge ideas around spectatorship and how to navigate corporeal and conceptual space on an international scale.  


MODERATOR: Sandrine Schaefer

PANELISTS:  Marilyn Arsem, Daniel S. DeLuca, and Boryana Rossa


Friday, December 5, 2014


Massachusetts College of Art and Design

621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115


This panel was organized in collaboration with Sandrine Schaefer's Fall 2014 Performance Art Fundamentals Course through the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  The panel was followed by performances by students enrolled this course.


Panelist Bios:

Marilyn Arsem,  Edge,  2013, photo by Daniel S. DeLuca

Marilyn Arsem, Edge, 2013, photo by Daniel S. DeLuca

MARILYN ARSEM (Boston) has been creating live events since 1975, ranging from solo performances to large-scale interactive works incorporating installation and performance. She has presented her work in 27 countries throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America. In the past fifteen years, Arsem has focused on creating works in response to specific sites, engaging with the immediate landscape and materiality of the location, its history, use or politics. Sites have included a former Cold War missile base in the United States, a 15th century Turkish bath in Macedonia, an aluminum factory in Argentina, and the site of the Spanish landing in the Philippines. Arsem’s work can be viewed at

Daniel S. DeLuca,  Ensue , 2012 photo by Mark Vann

Daniel S. DeLuca, Ensue, 2012 photo by Mark Vann

DANIEL S. DELUCA is a Boston based artist who is committed to the idea that an ‘artwork’ can be a process that encompasses many different phases and forms. As a result he identifies his work as project based and concept oriented. Daniel integrates live actions, context specificity, photography, and appropriated materials to explore structures and concepts related to globalizing culture, art, and language. He has shown nationally and internationally in the context of private and public spaces, galleries, and live art festivals. Daniel has developed artistic research projects that investigate large-scale re-occurring events around the world. The World Expo (2010) in Shanghai, the Spring Equinox Festival (2012) in Mexico, and the Maha Kumbh Mela in India (2013) are three events he has created projects around. In 2012 Daniel was awarded one of the final grants offered by the Berwick Research Institute to develop “The Roaming Kiosk for Semiotics Research and the Creation of New Language.” DeLuca’s work can be viewed at

Boryana Rossa  Deconstruction of Tap and Touch TV,  2014, photo by Sandrine Schaefer

Boryana Rossa Deconstruction of Tap and Touch TV, 2014, photo by Sandrine Schaefer

BORYANA ROSSA (Bulgaria) is an interdisciplinary artist and curator who works in the fields of electronic arts, film, video, performance and photography. Most of Rossa’s works have been shown internationally at venues such as Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Kunstwerke and Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; The 1st and 2nd Moscow Biennial For Contemporary Art; Museum of Contemporary Art (MUMOK) Vienna; Exit Art and Feldman gallery, NY. In 2004 together with the Russian artist and film maker Oleg Mavromatti, Rossa establishes UTRAFUTURO–an international group of artists engaged with issues of technology, science and their social implications. Rossa’s works are in numerous collections such as Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Bank-Group, Sofia City Art Gallery; performing art archive re.act.feminism etc. She is also a director of Sofia Queer Forum, Sofia, Bulgaria. She holds PhD in Electronic arts from Rensselaer, Troy, NY on gender performance in film after the Cold War.  Rossa’s work can be viewed at


Listen to our discussion here: