C+C Time Refractory
CASSIE MIRA + CHING-IN CHEN
Cassie Mira is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. Her work investigates the nature of time, trauma, and transitional processes. Her work samples from the natural world and in order to process grief and welcome joy.
As an adult living with memory processing issues that arose from a teenage car accident, Cassie works with her obscured memory to process grief and cope with loss. Her process involves readymade objects, found materials, and field recordings to create assemblages, installations, poetry, and performance art pieces.
She is collaborating with Ching-In Chen on Breathing in a Time of Disaster to create dynamic digital and performance work focused on the unit of breath.
Ching-In Chen is a genderqueer Chinese American hybrid writer, community organizer and teacher. They are author of The Heart's Traffic and recombinant (winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry) as well as the chapbooks how to make black paper sing and Kundiman for Kin :: Information Retrieval for Monsters (Finalist for the Leslie Scalapino Award). Chen is also co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets. They have received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole, Can Serrat and Imagining America and are a part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in Asian American communities in San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside, Boston, Milwaukee and Houston. They are currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell.
In 2008, they worked on Cornerstone Theater's attraction, a collaboration with the Traction Avenue neighborhood in the downtown LA Arts District with a cast of 70 including 54 community members through Cornerstone Theater's Institute Summer Residency. Through the Institute, they learned the method of using story circles, a method used in community-based theater to host challenging conversations within communities to enact social change.
In 2018, they co-organized Failure to Con/Form with Cassie Mira, JD Pluecker and Addie Tsai. Failure to Con/Form was a series of performances in Houston, Texas featuring trans, genderqueer, intersex and gender-non-conforming writers, performers and visual artists in response to shared stories & conversations with Houston-area trans & gender-non-conforming folx. This project was funded by The Idea Fund.
In 2019, they co-curated Breathing in a Time of Disaster story circles and a resulting installation and performance project with Cassie Mira in Houston, Texas. This creative project investigated the complex individual and community relationship between breath, health, belonging and disaster in response to ecological change after Hurricane Harvey and was funded by the Houston Arts Alliance's Support for Artists and Creative Individuals grant.
In 2021, they will be training Black, Indigenous and People of Color student story circle facilitators to lead online story circle sessions for Black, Indigenous and People of Color students at the University of Washington Bothell, with the goal to share experiences and build community and solidarity in investigating the complex individual and community relationships between breath, health, belonging and disaster in response to ecological change. This project taps into community-informed storytelling practices which lift up the kinds of knowledge, truths and lived experiences which are often overlooked and undertold. The goal of the project is to use creative, contemplative and speculative practices to highlight community wisdom and survival. In addition, this project will serve as a training ground for Master of Fine Arts and Masters of Cultural Studies graduate students interested in community-informed creative work. Transcripts of these conversations (from willing participants) will be shared back with the writers and artists who would reflect back these stories to the larger community by creating a choral performance and installation project, with a goal to create an interactive ritual for community participation This project is funded by the University of Washington Resilience Lab and Campus Sustainability Fund.