Diego Arispe-Bazán

Ask awayMeInspireArchive

Playground was one of the pieces part of the cast of The Luna Troop collaborated on for the July 2012 show. It was wonderful to work with the other dancers, and we made an extremely playful, laid back, fun dance to mix up the more serious pieces (including the one I choreographed), on how while sitting at our office jobs what we really needed to do was run around and be merry/silly.

Three Statements on a Place is a dance piece I choreographed for The Luna Troop's summer show Places in Chicago, IL (July 19-22, 2012). Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s “I Like for You to Be Still" and thinking on the ways in which we become attached and unattached from objects of desire.

ACTIVE FORGETTING: Pieces of Disappointment, Redemption, and Tenderness (2012) was a workshop and show at Paratext Books co-created and curated by Ali Feser and myself. We invited community members in Bridgeport, Chicago and friends to participate in creating a small piece of their own, based around an object that held a significant emotional charge, as “storied” object. Participants would write a short prose piece during the workshop (or otherwise), either real or fictional, that explored this emotion, and then photographer James Toftness would help them stage a photo of their object. Thus, each piece had three components: object, story, and photo. Not all the pieces were documented, unfortunately.


I read this poem at EAR EATER #15, part of the EAR EATER series held at Paratext Books, during the bookstore’s last night.


What separates you and me and me from you
What separates us from them
is nothing.
Nothing separates us.
And that is a problem.

Because nothing is more solid. Nothing is unbreachable, unbypassable, unsurmountable. Nothing cannot be sidestepped. Everywhere, there is nothing. Thick and unbound, sliding into all mouths like syrup.

When daydreaming at work you imagine yourself furiously scribbling poetry in your notebook or on post-its. Or maybe you imagine yourself typing. Or on a sunny beach, Ray-Bans on, sun changing the color of the hair on your body and brine smelling strong, sour, and lovely. But you don’t imagine the nothing that surrounds you, in the dream. That comes on its own. It fills the spaces in the imagination. You don’t imagine the nothing, but it’s there. 

Read more

For the month of May, 2012, Ali Feser, Marian Frost, Kathryn Olson, and myself, transformed a small storefront into Paratext Books as part of VersionFest. In addition to books, Paratext featured magazines and other publications from local authors. We hosted workshops, readings (in particular, the EAR EATER series, where I read some of my work), preformances, art openings, screenings and story hours for kids, and always requested participation from the community. You can still check out the wordpress site and the facebook page.

Failure to Lunch: "Failure" and Contemporary Art

Blog post I wrote for my former job.

Inverted Tango was part of a short film I wrote, co-directed, and starred in about a couple and their behaviors as their romance wanes. Orginally mean to be performed live, it was choreographed in 3 weeks with the assistance of a tango instructor—neither of us had ever tangoed before. Song is “Zum” by the legendary Astor Piazzolla. (full details on vimeo page)

"The problem with conceptual art, he (Smithson) said, was that it made ideas into fetishes by isolating them from their material surroundings and thereby capitulating to and extending the traditional ideological function of art for the bourgeoisie: it further denied or obscured the role of the art object in the marketplace and hence further divorced art from life. The central premise of conceptual art, he argued in an unpublished text from 1972, was not art-for-art’s- sake but even worse: “production for production’s sake.” Where art-for-art’s-sake had still relied on a notion of “quality” (albeit a very mystified and abstract one) to justify itself in social terms, production-for-production’s-sake could dispense with the interests of the audience altogether and justify itself simply on the basis of the work it performed, on the basis of its own abstract productivity, “like a B. F. Skinner rat doing his ‘tough’ little tricks,” as Smithson quipped in another."


Not sure I’m 100% on board, but very compelling.

Blake Stimson in: Conceptual Art: Theory, Myth, and Practice. New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, ed. Michael Corris (via no-leaving-new-york)

(Source: no-leaving-newyork)

On Interpretive Media in Museums

A piece I wrote in July 2011 on including artist interviews in museums, and questions surrounding its effect on visitors’ experience of the galleries. Click the link above.

As part of a performance piece by artist Anna Elise Johnson, a group of performers (myself included) forcibly occupied the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business wearing masks of a portrait she painted of Milton Friedman. February 2011.

rehearsal for Put in My Place, part of the December 2011 preview of The Luna Troop’s yearly show in Chicago, IL. I’m in the shorts.

Poem from 2004



our ponytails slit in the wind
across the wood
our toe-shoes shattered leaves

these, like us, were bred
before Technicolor
they shuffle, shift, soutenu
and the landing is almost as safe
as being pupilless
because of it, our bow never decays.


I cotton you
but all we wanted 
was to dress like boys in the army
and writhe, our hands in our thighs
invisible inside the pea coats

Read more

La Última Cena

I helped stage manage the Cuestón de Fe performance event and assisted artist Lorena Peña on stage with her performance, La Última Cena on April 22, 2010 in Lima, Peru. I can be seen in pictures 1, 3, 6, 7, and 8 wearing a white shirt, holding a food tray and a napkin. Click the link above.

A video I helped develop movement for and starred in as the Robot. It was screened as part of a performance piece entitled Mi Perfil: Yo, Yo, Tú, Ellos y los Otros at the Fundación Telefónica in Lima, Peru in early 2007, in collaboration with techno-art-performance-pop collective Corvina. The abject chaos and anxious silliness is intentional, not accidentally low grade.