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Utopic Monster Theory

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Utopic Monster Theory
February 15th 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm 
Rumble Arts Center
3413 W. North Avenue



J’Sun Howard and Jennifer Karmin
with guest artists Honey Pot Performance



Utopic Monster Theory is a polydesirous bricolage of text-movement exploring 21st century cultural work. The performance defines and attempts to understand why artists’ creative labor is undervalued. Source material and inspiration are derived from: Antony & the Johnsons, Joseph Beuys, the Black Panther Party, Bleach anime series, Family Guy TV show, the Internal Revenue Service, Andrew Joron, John Lennon, Bernadette Mayer, Herman Melville, Thomas More, Eric Satie, Mary Shelly, and Hannah Weiner.



J’Sun Howard is a dance artist/writer whose choreography has appeared in multiple venues including Links Hall, Northwestern University, Sonotheque, Lincoln Square Theatre, Insight Arts/Center for New Possibilities, Epiphany Church, and was commissioned for Chicago Academy School for the Arts students. He was selected to be a LinkUp Residency Artist at Links Hall and in 2010 was granted the Julius Margolin Scholarship “Youth In Labor Award” to protest at the School of Americas. J’Sun has performed for many Chicago choreographers, most extensively with Darrell Jones. His literary work can be seen in journals Chicago IRL, The Garland Court Review, and Storyglossia.

Jennifer Karmin’s multidisciplinary projects have been presented at festivals, artist-run spaces, and on city streets across the U.S., Japan, Kenya, and Europe. These collaborative pieces include 4000 Words 4000 Dead, Revolutionary Optimism, Walking Poem, and Unnatural Acts. She is the author of the text-sound epic Aaaaaaaaaaalice and her poetry was recently published in the anthology I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women. Jennifer teaches in the Creative Writing program at Columbia College and at Truman College, where she works with immigrants as a community educator. Since 2005, she has curated the Red Rover Series.

Honey Pot Performance is a woman-focused creative collaborative community comprising five core members: Meida McNeal, Felicia Holman, Abra Johnson, Boogie McClarin, and Aisha Jean-Baptiste. They draw upon a central notion found in performance studies, black feminist discourse and sociology: non-Western, everyday popular and/or folk forms of cultural performance are valuable sites of knowledge production and cultural capital for subjectivities that often exist outside of mainstream communities. The Price Point of Living illuminates stories of everyday citizens struggling to find a sense of direction, purpose, and value in the wake of an uncertain labor market. At its core, the work explores the abstract question “What is the value of living?”



Ira S. Murfin is a writer, theatre artist, and doctoral candidate in Northwestern University’s Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre & Drama. Performances have been presented at MCA Chicago, Links Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, and Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. Writing has appeared in elimae, Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, Review of Contemporary Fiction, and Requited, where he is now Performance Editor. Ira is a Pre-Amble Scholar at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and a founding member of the Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials. He is a former resident of the urban design laboratory Arcosanti, where he was editor for the writings of its founder, Paolo Soleri.


Insight Arts
Nights of Insight cultural series