Volume 1: Aggregation

A series of play objects inspired by aggregate forms found in nature, such as tree rings, crystal formations, and graded landscapes. The sculptures and installation trigger complex stimuli for the viewer/participant, enabling a cross-dialog between architecture and the senses. The public is encouraged to endlessly modify the structures, allowing for multiple interpretations of the pieces, and an ongoing invitation for possible architecture – an opportunity for people to play, interact, find comfort, and participate in designing their own leisure environments.



Who Are We

A collaborative exploration of form, light and density. A latex curtain provides a diffused presence of the human body, which gets weighted and deformed as it balances on the edge of a water body. Performance by Alicia Marvan and Johannes Zits. Video and sculpture by Anne O’Callaghan. Presented whilst in residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island, Ontario, August 2012.


Crafting the Future


At the “Crafting the Future” workshop, part of DEAF (Dutch Electronic Arts Festival) in Rotterdam, I embarked on a creative journey with a group of design professionals from Italy, Brazil, the Netherlands and Germany. The two-day workshop introduced me to 3d printing (a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file), and posed the challenge: Can 3d printing be applied to fabrics and the fashion industry? We sure found the creative exercise stimulating and fruitful. With lots of patience, experimentation and collaborative thinking, we came up with a crystal-inspired neck piece and several samples for what could be developed into jewelry and other fashion accessories. Made possible by the Ultimaker community and the Swedish School of Textiles.



Edible sculptures incorporating history and nourishment through a visual-poetic synthesis of literature from the Spanish conquest in Mexico. Extracting symbology about gold and amaranth (two goods that suffered from colonization), the project draws physical and conceptual parallels between the two materials.

Amaranth, a little-known crop of the Americas, is grown either as a grain crop or as a leafy vegetable. Despite its obscurity, it offers important promise for feeding the world’s hungry. Amaranth was interwoven with legend and ritual in Mexico. On various days of the religious calendar, Aztec women ground the seed, mixed it with honey or with human blood, and shaped it into forms of snakes, birds, mountain, deer, and gods that were eaten either during ceremonies at the great temples or in little family gatherings. Apparently, this issue of amaranth in pagan rituals and human sacrifice shocked the Spanish conquistadors, and with the collapse of Indian cultures following the conquest, amaranth fell into disuse.

The sculptures are made using original wood molds from Mexico’s most important gold mine (Dos Estrellas, Tlalpujahua, Michoacán) during the beginning of the 20th century. The sculptures are prepared live, arranged into multiple spatial configurations, then offered as nourishment to the public, disappearing into their stomachs by the end of the exhibition. Inside the sculptures were excerpts from “The Mexican Dream” by J.-M. G. Le Clezio, an anthropologic text related to the Spanish conquest in Mexico that beautifully tells the symbology associated with gold.

Part of the duo exhibition “The Other Gold” with Jessica de Boer (Holland), presented by Stroom Den Haag (Holland) and the Rivas Mercado Foundation (Mexico) at Dos Estrellas Museum, Tlalpujahua, Michoacán, and ATEA Gallery, Mexico City.

Presented at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.


Analogous Structures

A site-specific performance amongst Ernesto Neto’s fragrant installation “Mother Body Emotional Densitites, for Alive Temple Time Baby Son”, made of lycra and spices. Concept and direction: Alicia Marván. Development and performance: Jane Blount, Ron Estes, Justin Morrison, Leslie Seiters and Jessica Radulovich. Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Duration: 30 minutes.



A site-specific performance amongst Richard Serra’s sculptures, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. In mathematics, a “zero-crossing” is a point where a graph crosses the horizontal axis (zero value). Inspired by the term and the site’s constant flux of people from USA and Mexico, two dancers slowly collide, representing the two cultures’ interaction at the border. Direction: Alicia Marván. Performance: Alicia Marván and Jessica Radulovich. Duration: 30 minutes.


A capsule collection of Fall/Winter garments constructed in layers and modular elements, to allow for versatility and multiple functionality. Inspired by the geology found in the Great Lakes, geometric designs stylize and warm the body, echoing the unique formations of the regional bedrock. All garments were handmade in Buffalo, New York using sustainable fabrics such as organic wool, repurposed leather and high-performance eco-blends.


A capsule collection of warm and comfortable garments designed to wrap the body during the cold months. Each piece is made with a single piece of fabric, which is folded like origami and sewn in strategic places to create volume and definition.

A Seed, Inside a Heart, Inside a Dress, Inside a Grave, Inside a Shelter, Inside Water

When does life begin? When does it end? Centered around grieving, this multi-layered work taps into Mexican death folklore, particularly the belief that Monarch butterflies embody the deceased. The site’s abundant milkweed plants (Monarch’s food) serve as the main graphic and thematic element. The fragility of life and the futility of the Monarch’s migration are echoed in the artwork: The shelter was constructed with water-soluble fabric. The performer’s movement triggered a motion-activated water sprinkler that caused the shelter to collapse, and the milkweed seeds in her torso to fall into the dress pockets. The dress is constructed with landscaping fabric, allowing the milkweed seeds to grow in certain areas with the pass of time. A continuation of the life cycle, a promise of life after death. Created during a 3-week long residency at The Tree Museum, in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. Presented with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.

In Someone’s Corner

The only empty corner of a borrowed apartment in Berlin. Two dancers, married to each other. Each one dances in the corner at different times. Directed by Alicia Marván. Performed by Andrew Wass and Kelly Dalrymple-Wass. Edited by Andrew Wass.

Negotiating the Divide

A movement study created in response to the thread & cement installations by Fae Young-Scherling, on display in Atwater Place as part of McBride’s site-based installation showcase About Space. Garments by Alicia Marván. Choreography by Heidi Diaz. Sculpture by Fae Young-Scherling. At Heidi McBride Gallery, Portland, OR. Duration: 20 minutes.


A multimedia performance rooted in romantic emotions, drawing paralells between vegetable and human flesh. While a video plays a heart-shaped beet that is cut, shredded and re-arranged in the shape of a heart, a performer prepares roasted beet and goat cheese salad for the audience. Concept, video and performance by Alicia Marván. La Nave, Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico. Duration: 30 minutes.