March 6, 2020

Rock Talk on Pyrite Pirate Radio


March 6, 2020
Doors at 7:30, event at 8:00pm

CCA Wattis Institute Bar
350 Kansas Street, San Francisco

FREE + OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Wheelchair accessible.

Heavy Breathing presents, Rock Talk on Pirate Radio by Peter Simensky, featuring a live set by Sara Mameni and Roshanak Khesti and audio recordings by Alison O'Daniel and others. Check back after March 6 to stream and/or download this track.

Rock Talk on Pirate Radio consists of a series of live performances and sound recordings positioning critical conversations and sonic experiments between rocks and humans. Rock Talk... includes the broadcast of live audio sets and recordings through shortwave AM transmission to uniquely designed pyrite (fool's gold) radio receivers placed within the Wattis Institute bar. Sara Mameni and Roshanak Kheshti will perform “Veil Manifesto,” engaging veils as historically vital material objects.

Through text, sound and image, the lecture/performance manifests the vital energy of the veil on stage, reminding us of the revolutionary potential of bodies in protest. A recording of Alison O'Daniel's Breathing Isn't Silent (2017) first aired on RAAR Radio Rotterdam and will also be broadcast. Through collaborations with composers and musicians as well as the experiences of deaf and hard of hearing friends regarding sound, O’Daniel’s work aims at building a visual, aural, and haptic vocabulary as a means of storytelling. A live recording of the evening will be available for continued listening here on Heavy Breathing's website. 


Peter Simensky is an interdisciplinary artist whose work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Museum 52, New York; Museum 500meter, Sapporo; The Swiss Institute, New York; and Project Row Houses, Houston. He is a  recipient of the NYFA Fellows Grant, Oregon Arts Commission / Hallie Ford Family Opportunity Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants, MacDowell Colony, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture to name a few. Currently he is producing work and research on the silver industry for the La Tallera, Proyecto Siqueiros in Mexico City / Cuernavaca, MX. Peter Simensky Chairs the Sculpture, Individualized, and Community Arts programs at California College of the Arts. @petersimensky

Sara Mameni is Faculty in the School of Critical Studies and Director of Aesthetics and Politics Program at California Institute of the Arts. Her specialization is contemporary art in SWANA region with a focus on queer of color theory. Her current research explores biopolitics, racial discourse in the Anthropocene, post-humanist aesthetics and the geo-ecological age of petroleum. She is currently working on her book manuscript titled, Crude Aesthetics. @es_v_em

Roshanak Kheshti is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and affiliate faculty in the Critical Gender Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of Modernity’s Ear: Listening to Race and Gender in World Music (NYU Press, 2015) and Wendy Carlos’s Switched on Bach, (Bloomsbury, 2019). She has published numerous musical recordings both as a former member of Bay Area-based experimental rock band The Ebb and Flow and independently as composer and performer for independent film. @rkhesti

Alison O’Daniel is a Los Angeles-based visual artist from Miami, Florida. Her work weaves narratives of aural sensitivity and experience between the mediums of film, object-making, and performance. Through her collaborations with deaf and hearing composers and artists, her work invites sensitivity to loss and abundance of sound and its impact on social situations. She has exhibited, screened, and performed at the Ford Theater with FLAX French Los Angeles Exchange (2018); Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (2017); Art in General, New York (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); The Drawing Center, New York (2016); Top-kino, Vienna (2016); Centre d’Art Contemporain Passerelle, Brest, France (2015); Aspen Art Museum (2016); LA Louver, Los Angeles (2013); and Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles (2013). She has completed artist residencies at Wexner Center for the Arts (2014), Fine Arts Work Center (2012–13), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2007), and others. @zamboni.duet

February 28, 2020

every particle of sand carries a piece of the mountain away

A child applies sandpaper to a boulder at the beach, helping erosion along. Source: screenshot from Bill Nye the Science Guy, Season 5 Episode 4: Erosion. 1998.

Heavy Breathing presents, every particle of sand carries a piece of the mountain away by P Sazani. Check back after Feb 28 to stream and/or download this track.

This workshop asks participants to consider their surfaces, and the ways these edges blur and soften; to feel the forces that wear away at these edges; and to dance and write through, and into, their encounters with the world. A three-part essay on erosion written as a science fiction movement and writing exercise, every particle follows Karen Barad in its exploration of matter’s “experimental nature — its propensity to test out every un/imaginable path, every im/possibility.” As matter reaches out, tests the air, so we reach back: in these exercises, we will slip between movement and language as we move toward  an understanding of ourselves and the world as assemblages, mutually constituted by and in our encounters.


image source: WikiHow: “How to Control Erosion”


P Sazani is a writer, artist, and teacher living and working in Los Angeles. She writes science fiction about religion, poetry about matter, and essays about performance. She is one half of the All-Wash-Away Sacred Harp Singers of Los Angeles (AWASH), an experimental publication collective interested in semiotic disaster. Through AWASH she edits DanceNotes, a chapbook series that publishes experiments in dance notation. Her writing has been performed in Los Angeles at REDCAT, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Women’s Center for Creative Work, the mortuary, and Beyond Baroque, and has been published by Wolfman Books, Vallum, and Riting. She is currently finishing a fellowship at CalArts.

The Nothing erodes the landscape of Fantasia. Image source: The Neverending Story, 1984

erosion porn. image source: Wikimedia Commons

February 17, 2020

Dysphoric Feelings/
Euphoric Bodies

Heavy Breathing presents, Dysphoric Feelings/Euphoric Bodies by Clay AD and Rusti.

In this experiential audio workshop Clay (They/Them) and Rusti (She/They), friends and somatic bodyworkers, use their own bodies and experiences as a form of collaborative research, attempting to understand this thing called Dysphoria. This inquiry began when Clay was unable to find resources on this topic and invited Rusti to explore dysphoria somatically together, both from the perspective of being trans and experiencing dysphoria themselves and working with trans and gender variant clients in their respective practices.

Starting from embodied research, they asked themselves questions such as, "How would you describe or give language to what happens in your body/mind when you experience gender dysphoria?”, and “Is it always useful and strategic to be embodied when you’re experiencing dysphoria?”

In exploring the ways that dysphoria is both a social phenomenon and an individualized felt sense that differs for different bodies, a tool kit of body practices emerged to begin to unravel the boundaries and fault lines of gender dysphoria’s tangled relationship between self and other. Clay and Rusti found themselves in a messy cosmos outside of patholozation, where the body’s knowledge innately holds physicality, politics, autonomy and ancestors.

Workshop Instructions:

This is for trans and gender variant people who would like to dive deeper into understanding and working with their dysphoria. We hope the workshop can act as a stable frame to explore these topics, but we recognize this is very intense work so please take care of yourself. You can always pause the workshop and come back, or stop it. Ideally it would be great to practice in small groups for discussion afterwards, but it can also be practiced alone. Find yourself in a quiet room, in comfortable clothes; there will be minimal movement, but during practices we will suggest you change position (sitting/standing/laying) occasionally.




Clay AD was born in Indianapolis Indiana and now lives in Berlin where they are a somatic bodyworker, artist and writer. In their interdisciplinary practice they honour and explore illness, ecology, science fiction, transformation and the politics of care under capitalism -- by themselves, collectively and with their clients. They are a certified practitioner of the Pantarei Approach and their somatic work is informed by their background in improvisational dance, and personal practice of breath-work, meditation and visualization. Their first novel, "Metabolize, If Able" is available through Arcadia Missa Press UK and was named a finalist in the 31st Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. They writing has been published by Pilot Press, Futures Journal, Hematopoiesis Press, and Monster House Press. They have led somatic and writing workshops at NGBK Berlin and Shedhalle Zurich, and read internationally including at the Institute for Contemporary Arts London. They received their BFA from Cooper Union in 2014.  
Clay's art and writing can be found on instagram at @pastacomplex and their somatic work @sentientsomatics

Rusti (she/they) is a somatic organizer and practitioner currently living in Philadelphia, PA. She holds a MA in Embodiment Studies from Goddard College and has been training with the Strozzi Institute and generative somatics since 2016. She has also been a practicing LMT since 2011. Rusti is driven by a deep belief in the capabilities that our bodies hold to help us navigate, heal from, and disrupt the social conditions we exist within and are shaped by. She is the author of "Social Bodies: The Shaping of Internal and External Worlds", as well as various articles and zines. She facilitates various somatic workshops in Philadelphia, using embodiment as a tool for social research and collective healing. IG: @thridspace.somatics

Sound Credit:

The sound editing was done by Kai Merke.

Kai Merke is a nonbinary trans artist and works in the fields between activism, stage art and sound production. They graduated from Inter-University Center Dance Berlin (HZT) at University of the Arts Berlin in 2018. They are currently founding a dance studio cooperative in Copenhagen (DK), and work as  a freelance choreographer, performer, sound producer and dramaturge. They co-founded Queer Producers, a weekly sound laboratory for queer sound artists based in Copenhagen, and work for FCNN (Feminist Collective with No Name) with Mariana Nobre Viera, Azahara Ubera, Emilie Empo Enlund, Xenia Taniko Dwertmann, Alejandro Karasik, Litó Walkey and Jules Fisher among many others. Kai is specialized in physical correlations between voice and movement through close a mentorship by voice anthropologist Ulrike Sowodniok since 2015. Kai's work on instagram: @kai.merke and

February 1, 2020

Trans Boxing: How to Explain Belief

San Francisco Art Institute 

Drill Meditations, Nola Hanson and Nicky S. Smith, On Air Fest, Brooklyn, NY, 2018

Heavy Breathing presents, How to Explain Belief: A Trans Boxing Workshop

Part 1: performance lecture (Open to All)
Part 2: boxing workshop (The boxing workshop is exclusively for trans and gender variant people)

How to Explain Belief is the title of a 2-part event led by artist and Trans Boxing founder, Nola Hanson. Through a performance-lecture and workshop, Nola will use boxing as a framework to explore ritual, community, performance, and embodiment. By activating the gallery space as the training location, Nola constructs a hybridized site that recontextualizes the physical activities that occur within it.

Workshop participants are encouraged to attend the performance-lecture. People who are not participating in the workshop are asked to leave the space. There will be no audience for the workshop, only primary participants and the facilitator (Nola Hanson) The boxing workshop is exclusively for trans and gender variant people. Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothing/footwear that is appropriate for exercise. Boxing workshop registration form here

Influential Texts / Recommended Reading:

  • John Dewey, Art as Experience, Chapter 1: The Live Creature
  • Pablo Helguera, Education for Socially Engaged Art, Chapter 2: Community
  • Gordon Hall, Extremely Precise Objects of Ambiguous Use
  • Allan Kaprow, Performing Life (1979) Right Living (1987)
  • Adrian Piper, Notes on Funk, I-II//1985/83

Trans Boxing Class, Overthrow Boxing Club, New York, NY. 2019. Photo by: Ada Jane McNulty


San Francisco Art Institute
Diego Rivera Gallery
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

2:00-3:00 Performance Lecture (Open to All)
3:00-4:00 Boxing Workshop (Exclusively for trans and gender variant people)

Wheelchair accessible. Ramp located at Chestnut Street entrance.


Nola Hanson (b. 1991, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is a trans artist whose practice centers the role of embodiment in contemporary social systems. Nola received their BFA in Painting and Art Criticism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2014. They started boxing at the New Bed Stuy Boxing Center, a community-run boxing gym in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn in 2015. In 2017 they founded Trans Boxing, an experimental boxing club that prioritizes participants of various identities who have limited access to boxing training.

Nola's practice includes independent work as well as collaborative socially engaged projects, and has been shown in New York, Chicago, Portland, and Milwaukee. Nola is currently an MFA candidate in the Art and Social Practice program at Portland State University.

January 20, 2020

Jean-Thomas Tremblay: Breath/Measure/Commons

Reuters/Getty Images

Heavy Breathing A/V presents Breath/Measure/Commons by Jean-Thomas Tremblay:

I am writing a book on aesthetic responses to a contemporary crisis in breathing. This social, political, and environmental crisis is typified by the increased pollution, weaponization, and monetization of air and breath, the consequences of which are unevenly distributed. Breath/Measure/Commons is an experiment that transposes the questions of exemplarity and generalizability I have been considering into the form of the meditation. Reading about other people’s breathing makes me aware of mine—but my breathing tells me very little about other people’s experiences. This is what I try to convey in a meditation that centers engagements with breathing within Black and Indigenous Studies: the limits of what breathing enables us to measure, or, put differently, how breathing registers the unevenness of the atmospheres we inhabit.

The track includes instructions for a creative exercise. Listen on your own or with others, indoor or outdoor. As long as there is an environment to be sensed.

Works Cited and Consulted:

  • Crawley, Ashon. Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility. New York: Fordham University Press, 2016.
  • Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. “About.” Black Feminist Breathing Chorus, 2014.
  • Parikka, Jussi. “The Sensed Smog: Smart Ubiquitous Cities and the Sensorial Body.” The Fibreculture Journal 29 (2017).
  • Reagon, Bernice Johnson. “Coalition Politics: Turning the Century.” In Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, edited by Barbara Smith, 356–368. New York: Kitchen Table Press, 1983.
  • Richmond, Scott. Cinema’s Bodily Illusions: Flying, Floating, and Hallucinating. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.
  • Sharpe, Christina. In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.
  • Simmons, Kristen. “Settler Atmospherics.” Cultural Anthropology, November 20, 2017.
  • Taylor, Dorceta E. Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility. New York: New York University Press, 2014.
  • Tremblay, Jean-Thomas. “Aesthetic Self-Medication: Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose’s Structures of Breathing.” Women & Performance 28, no. 3 (2018): 221–238.
  • Tremblay, Jean-Thomas. “Feminist Breathing.” differences 30, no. 3 (2019): 92–117.


Jean-Thomas Tremblay is an assistant professor of English at New Mexico State University. Their scholarship in the environmental and medical humanities, literary and cultural studies, and feminist, queer, and trans studies, has been published in differences, Women and Performance, Criticism, Post45, New Review of Film and Television Studies, and Critical Inquiry. Their public writing has appeared in such venues as the Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, The Rambling, Full Stop, Arcade, Make Magazine, and Chicago Review.

Jean-Thomas' monograph in progress, Breathing Aesthetics, argues that breathing has emerged, since the 1970s, as a medium that configures embodiment and experience as effects of biopolitical and necropolitical forces. Within a crisis in the reproduction of life marked by the air's pollution, weaponization, and monetization, articulations of individual and collective survival and persistence must grapple with the management and dispersal of the risks of breath. Breathing Aesthetics surveys minoritarian contexts where the aestheticization of breathing generates medium-specific and historically, culturally, and environmentally situated tactics and strategies for living under precarity. Jean-Thomas is also editing, with Drew Strombeck, the collection Avant-Gardes in Crisis: Art and Politics in the Long 1970s.

More information on past and upcoming projects is available at

︎ ︎ ︎

Heavy Breathing ︎ 2018

Critical thinking often feels heady, abstract, and divorced from the body. How do conversations change when we are moving our bodies and out of breath? What new modes of thinking become possible?