Festival VI Presents 

  To Stay Alive /| You Must be Live

Open Call 


The sixth Yellow Fish Festival,  To Stay Alive /| You Must be Live, uses the specific field of Durational Performance as a means to support methods of staying alive in our present times. 


Yellow Fish Durational Performance Art Festival welcomes artists of all mediums who use time as concept and material in actions and ideas to apply for Festival VI. This year we will additionally focus on artists exploring duration in experimental video and film.  


Selected artists will comprise a cohort, participating in a collective experience emphasizing and expanding upon Care methodologies in respect of the times and in response to our festival theme: To Stay Alive /| You Must be Live.  Artists will collaborate with curators, introduced below, to design a long-form engagement with the festival in consideration of their durational practice. 


Yellow Fish will work with each selected artist over the course of a year to initiate digital experiments, gather & process through a residency period, and present in site-specific live forms. The festival development and programming will coexist across three seasonal phases outlined below. *


YF 2018 Artists: Max Kraushaar, Donnell Williams, Branko Miliskovic Photo: Jessa Carter

Phase 1 // URL: FALL 

Artists will engage in digital experiments, exploring virtual technologies and analog subversions in tandem with their practice to communicate and share with audiences remotely. Such ideas could be (but not limited to) online studio visits, online performances, a blog, talks, radio stations, reading club, postcards or letters, etc. Artists will work with the curators on an individual basis to build a platform for this experiment alongside selected themes. Additionally, artists will participate in online programming with the cohort. 


The cohort is invited to participate in a residency period slated for January. The residency length will be determined by the participating artists. A minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 3 weeks is available. The residency will include housing, studio access, and will be located on a rural property. The residency period will act as a moment to gather as a group, reflect the progress of the festival thus far, generate ideas, begin production planning  for the spring phase, and participate in a process of individual project development, group critique, and artist driven workshops.

Phase 3 // IRL: SPRING

Participants will actualize their physical performances inside 153 COFFEY, a multidisciplinary, artist-led studio dedicated to exploring the dramatic potential of constructed space through performance, film and design. The studio is located on a cobblestone street in Red Hook, New York. The main floor is a 7000SF open plan with skylights and windows, 15’ ceilings, exposed brick walls, heavy timber columns and beams, plywood finished floor, and an additional full size storage cellar. The performance schedule, audiences, and technical parameters will be determined by considerations such as COVID-19, travel restrictions at that time, and other factors. We will be prepared to also produce more locally with each artist if that is a better option given circumstances and possible restrictions. 

* Phases will be subject to adaptation depending on the individual needs of the artists and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. 

YF 2017 Artists, Natasha Marin Photo: Tim Summers  YF 2018 Artists, Christine M Babic, Mariel Carranza Photo: Jessa Carter

Care Methodologies

Our vision as a curatorial team inside YF VI is to reinvision the traditional definition of Care by providing the impetus for action and growth; an aliveness of sorts.  To initiate the conversation, YF curators have constructed a list of action driven ideas that support our notions of Care and provide a framework for artists to expand and build upon while responding to the theme: To Stay Alive /| You Must be Live.  With these specific frameworks in mind, Care will remain a constant thread informing interactions and general engagement throughout the festival, informing  on-going discussion, programming, and project development throughout the year.

Generate sustainable protest  

Emphasize awareness of self & others 

Dismantle colonized instincts and legacies 

Transcend boundaries of discipline and medium

Awaken erotic understanding

Protect our environment

Strengthen empathetic interdependence

Invoke play with risk



YF is happy to introduce two guest curators, Eleanor Kipping (NYC) and Rana San (Seattle, US), who will collaborate alongside Babette Pendleton to work with selected artists to co-curate a long-term festival including  remote and in-person programming. As an artist driven festival, curators and staff will enter into a long-form durational engagement, infusing  the administrative sides of the festival with similar thematic explorations as the artists, and dedicating their time and actions to practicing and expanding upon Care Methodologies amongst one another.


New York-based socially engaged artist, educator, and arts administrator Eleanor Kipping’s interdisciplinary practice explores the experience of the Black Diasporic female body in the united of amerikkka through the examination and deconstruction of historical and contemporary narratives. She is interested in the public, private, and civic negotiations of race, gender, and class in addition to the effect and practice of violence, and surveillance on the body. This hybrid work exists as performance, video, and photography, poetry/spoken word, collaborative education, educational collaboration, installation, & writing but often draws on other methods such as social practice, and design. Eleanor is originally from Maine and has a BS in Video Production from the New England School of  Communications (2007), an MFA from the University of Maine (2018) and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2018. Eleanor currently lives in Brooklyn and works as the Audience Activist at HERE, an off-Broadway theatre venue and residency program in Lower Manhattan. eleanorkipping.com @elfelicia 

RANA SAN (Seattle, US) 

Rana San is an artist and arts administrator whose creative practice melds dreamwork, written word, body in motion, video poetry, and analog photography. She’s interested in the ways we relate to ourselves, each other, our surroundings, the unknown, and the new meanings that are made in spaces where artistic mediums meet. In community, Rana crafts collective experiences that elevate the work of artists and activists using film, media, and contemporary performing arts to incite connection. She has curated and produced cultural festivals, museum programs, and intimate creative salons in Seattle, Istanbul, and Barcelona and serves as the Artistic Director at Northwest Film Forum.


Babette DeLafayette Pendleton creates activated environments through her multidisciplinary work as an artist, curator-producer, and creative entrepreneur. Babette utilizes her background as a choreographer and performance artist to build immersive body, sculpture, and multimedia based installations and performances. Babette explores work which encompasses intentional, investigative collaboration and believes in the kind of artwork that involves experimentation and expansion of medium, complexity, social engagement, and a rethinking of traditional approaches to curation and presentation. Her professional practice currently brings awareness to the significance and study of time through a multitude of cultural practices and artistic mediums while facilitating community involvement in historical and contemporary thought surrounding durational performance art. Babette supports the work of dissent and disruption in socially regulated time and culture, and Live Works that resist traditional models of consumption.


She began her early training at Baltimore School for the Arts and received her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Curatorial Practice at MICA in Baltimore. Babette is the Director and Co-Curator of Yellow Fish. 

Fenja Frances (Minneapolis, Seattle, US)

Fenja Frances (they/them or she/her) is a semi-nomadic artist with an equally roving interest in performing, creating, producing, curating, and social disruption through radical empathy and action. Fenja's artistic work is unlimited by form-- playing with whatever necessary in order to invigorate sense memory, build/subvert expectation, and create conditions through which audiences can have a collective emotional experience. This sometimes looks like choreography, film, burlesque, comedy, durational performance, environmental installation, or costume. Fenja has curated and produced staged, site-specific, long-distance, and immersive performances of all kinds. They have been active in New York City, London (UK), Seattle, and their hometown of Minneapolis (MN). They began working professionally while attending high school at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists (MN), and received their BFA from Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle) in 2017. Fenja Frances acts as the Assistant Director of Yellow Fish.