Deke Weaver, performance artist

Deke Weaver | ART/BTS

Champaign-based performance artist Deke Weaver discusses his passion for live performance and his use of different textures in his multi-media works.


Performance footage courtesy of Deke Weaver.


Follow Deke and see more of his work here:

Website: http://dekeweaver.com/

Twitter: @dekeweaver

Unreliable Bestiary: http://www.unreliablebestiary.org/

>>> SO I CAME OUT OF UNDERGRAD WITH A PRETTY TRADITIONAL IDEA OF WHAT ART WAS.
AND THEN WHEN I WENT TO GRAD SCHOOL, IT WAS REALLY AN EYE OPENER.
I REALLY LIKED THIS IDEA OF ART IN TIME AND WHERE EVERYTHING THAT IS HAPPENING ON STAGE OR IN THE ROOM IS CHARGED AND HAS MEANING.
I JUST KIND OF ENDED UP LIKING THE IDEA OF MAKING ALL THESE DIFFERENT CONNECTIONS HAPPENING IN TIME.
SO WITH STORIES, WITH PERFORMANCE, WITH AN AUDIENCE, HAVING THAT HAPPEN ALL AT ONCE.
THE “UNRELIABLE BESTIARY” IS THIS PROJECT—LIFELONG PROJECT I AM DOING WHERE I AM DOING A PERFORMANCE FOR EVERY LETTER OF THE ALPHABET, EACH LETTER REPRESENTED BY ENDANGERED ANIMAL OR ENDANGERED HABITAT.
THE ANIMALS, SO MUCH OF HOW WE THINK ABOUT THEM IS FROM OUR MYTHOLOGY AND OUR STORIES AROUND THEM.
IT IS JUST THIS IDEA THAT OUR MYTHOLOGIES AND OUR ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THESE ANIMALS PHYSICALLY AFFECTS THE LAND AND HOW WE LIVE IN IT.
“ELEPHANT AND WOLF” HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE INVOLVED.
FINDING PEOPLE THAT YOU TRUST, FINDING PEOPLE YOU LIKE TO SPEND TIME WITH, IT GOES A LONG WAY.
IT IS JUST UNEXPECTED THINGS THAT DIFFERENT BRAINS BRING TO THE PIECE, AND THAT’S A GOOD THING.
A LOT OF THE PERFORMANCES I JUST LIKE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF TEXTURES THAT THE DIFFERENT MEDIA HAVE.
SO VIDEO HAS A SPECIFIC KIND OF TEXTURE.
ME TELLING A STORY HAS A SPECIFIC KIND OF TEXTURE.
A RECORDED VOICE HAS A DIFFERENT KIND OF TEXTURE, AND I LIKE BEING ABLE TO TAP INTO THOSE DIFFERENT THINGS TO KIND OF LAYER—LAYER ALL THESE DIFFERENT TEXTURES TO BUILD-UP A KIND OF ATMOSPHERE OR A MOMENT.
BEING UP THERE ON STAGE IN THAT LIKE BRIGHT LIGHT, HAVING THAT LIVE EXCHANGE, THAT PERFORMANCE—EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE AUDIENCE AND PERFORMER, THAT BACK AND FORTH THING, THERE IS SOMETHING IN THAT THAT IS JUST SACRED TO ME.
IT IS REALLY HOLY.
AND DEKE WEAVER.
I AM AN ARTIST.
I TEACH AT THE SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN.