Artery 24: The throbbing heart of performance art


A lot will be going on this weekend at Artery 24, the Soap Factory’s 24-hour performance art extravaganza: certainly too much to try to cover in an article, much less attend, or even remember. The show is summed up well by one of the participating artists, Blake Bolan. “It’s incredible to be involved in one crazy day of art with so many other unique and fantastic artists,” says Bolan. “It’s scary and wonderful to be pushed to make something new that will exist in one hour of one day/night and then exist only in people’s memories.”

Bolan’s piece, Buckets, is about “carrying objects and sorting through memories, about getting stuck, about falling under the weight of your life.”

Artery 24 starts Friday, July 24 at 6 p.m. and runs through the following day until 6 p.m. This is the second year of the show, curated by Fiona MacNeill, Kristina Fong, and Tucker MacNeill. “The idea was originally inspired by a medieval Italian ritual that included artists of all types and practices gathering and performing for a 40-hour period,” says Fong. “It was this nonstop endurance and multidisciplinary nature that laid the groundwork for Artery 24.”

The focus of Artery 24 is on the relationships among performance, interactivity, and time. The Soap Factory is a unique space, and so artists were encouraged to keep the architecture in mind. Artists must also perform while the show Frontier Preachers remains on exhibit.

Jeremey Catterton will perform at 11 p.m. Catterton collaborated with To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie on his piece, Distractions, which mixes performance with a lecture on modern philosophy. He sees the show as a unique opportunity to perform a show that likely wouldn’t go on otherwise.

“For me, Artery 24 is a catalyst for creating unique projects that I’d never normally develop because of the financial risk and potential waste of valuable ‘resources,’” says Catterton. “Artery 24 allows me to make something and try it in front of an audience without the hype of a big opening night.”

Catterton is looking forward to seeing Dearling Physique, who will be performing Saturday at 3 p.m. “Our performance at Artery 24 will set experimentation in electronic sound design and live instrumentation to a surreal backdrop of fabric banners and LED lights—what we’ve begun calling a ‘glitch-forest’,” says Dearling Physique group member Dominique Davis.

Like all of the artists working in the circuitry of Artery 24, Davis finds the radical nature of the show its finest attribute. “We are in huge support of eclectic art projects that challenge the artist and audience,” he says. “The Soap Factory is also a fantastic gallery to hold such an event, so the pairing is undeniably exceptional.”

Crystal Erickson ( is a freelance writer and photographer, with preoccupations in hip-hop, art, and bicycle anarchy.

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