Sibling Rivers

A transnational performance project exploring social histories via our cities' rivers.


SIBLING RIVERS is a live intermedia performance installation that bridges three sites–Perth, Western Australia; Los Angeles, California; and Calgary, Alberta–through a dialogical exploration of the rivers that run through the heart of each city, carrying the social histories of each site. Experienced collectively, in dialogue within the defined space and time of the performance (1 hour), these embedded/embodied histories call forth transnational themes of colonialism, cultural erasure, and economic conflict.

For our world premiere performance at the 2014 Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival (M:ST 7), collaborators Allison Wyper (Los Angeles, USA); Sam Fox (Perth, Australia); Terrance Houle (Calgary, Canada) presented live, mediated, and recorded actions that critically bore witness to historical and contemporary points of contention while foregrounding the contingent subjectivities of the artists—each a resident with deep familial roots in their respective city. Motivated by the feminist ethos “the personal is political,” our collective actions claim the river space as public and also deeply intimate—as HOME to many, living and deceased. 

Our project draws upon the practice of citizen journalism to investigate and report on these specific local histories, undertaking primary research at sites and direct engagement and exchange with oppressed communities through consultation, interviews and artistic production. In an ongoing dialogical collaboration, we collectively witness, testify, and draw out the social memories of our sites through performance, text and video documentation.

Project History & Exhibitions

  • MAY 2013 / LA River Encounter
    (Los Angeles)

    A 3-hour durational performance under the Hyperion Bridge in Los Angeles, performed by Allison Wyper, Mariel Carranza, Rafa Esparza, Samuel White, Dino Dinco and Sara Schnadt

  • AUG 2013 / Prompter Dispatches
    A collective text inspired by the LA River Encounter published online by Sam Fox as part of Hydra Poesis' international theatre production, PROMPTER.

  • OCT 2013 / Hemispheric Institute GSI Convergence, University of Southern California
    (Los Angeles)

    "Reflexive Actions for Sibling Rivers" performed by Allison Wyper and Mariel Carranza live in Los Angeles, with Sam Fox via Skype from Perth, incorporating documentation from the LA River Encounter and Swan River in Perth.

  • OCT 2014 / M:ST 7 - Mountain Standard Time Festival
    (Calgary, Canada)

    World Premiere. Performance installation by Allison Wyper, Sam Fox, and Terrance Houle at Contemporary Calgary

Writing & Research


photos (above) courtesy of Monika Sobczak, Erika Barbosa, Marcela Fuentes, Paul Outlaw, and Marcos Najera