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CoCA Lab: Ilvs Strauss

CoCA Lab: Artist in Residence Program

Featuring ilvs strauss. The Book of Teal.

ilvs strauss (pronounced Elvis) is an analytical chemist turned multi-disciplinary performance artist and theater tech living and making work in Seattle. Her art ranges from haiku poetry, to anamorphic outdoor sculptures, illustrated storytelling (aka Slide Shows), to Dance Narrative performance. As Technical Director / Lighting Designer she has worked for Pat Graney, KT Neihoff, Salt Horse, and Cherdonna, and is currently the TD at Velocity Dance Center. She also teaches workshops on writing, movement and performance. Her solo piece, Manifesto (now an evening length show), was listed in Dance Magazine's BEST of 2014 list. More information, pertinent and otherwise, can be found at

Artist Statement: 

This project, 'The Book of Teal' is about the color Teal. I'll be researching different aspects of the color and detailing what I find in Chapters, to be collected in a final Book. Studies and investigations will culminate in a live, solo dance- based performance. But instead of the lights supporting me as a performer, it will be me as performer supporting the lights.

I was watching a friend tech her show last year and the LD put in a very saturate blue green color, which he immediately took out once he saw my friend in the light. It was pretty awful in that context, but it got me thinking, what if I only had one color to work with and that color was teal?

Why teal? I think partially because it is such an unused color in theater/dance (the greens are in general, and if they are used, it's usually quite garish), partially because it was my favorite dye to color my hair when i was younger (it still is a favorite color of mine), partially because that is the main color of everything underwater once you get down to a certain depth (I scuba dive locally).

For this residency, I'm interested in what happens when you are immersed in a Teal environment. Does the color ever become 'normal' to the viewer? What happens when you take that color away and just have white light?
Building on that, I'm curious about color saturation as metaphor for endurance, of tolerating a situation for so long that it just becomes normal, even though it's grotesque. Oppressive or abusive relationships are examples that come to mind. My focus would be on women's roles in those relationships.

Other more scientific/literal elements of Teal I want to explore in the future:
- the psychological component of teal – what moods are associated with the color.
- creating a monochrome environment with objects that are teal, looking into the obsessive focus that is necessary when eliminating all but one color, asking if color harmony exists in monochrome.
- color context – what other colors look like next to teal.
- what other colors look like bathed in teal light.

Photo of ilvs strauss by Erin Pike

Next Event

On View through April 23

CoCA UN[contained] at Equinox Studios 

6555 fifth Ave S | Georgetown | 98108

About CoCA UN[contained]

CoCA UN[contained] is our space located in the Container Village at the heart of the growing Equinox Creative Industrial Complex and Studios. UN[contained] features the work of multi-disciplinary artists with special events to coincide with Georgetown Art Attack, the neighborhood’s popular monthly art walk. 

About CoCA Lab Artists in Residence Program

CoCA Lab provides individual artists or artist teams the opportunity to transform our space into a living art laboratory. Artists are invited by CoCA curators and have included international artist Dr. Phoebe Ching Ying Man (Hong Kong), Brooklyn-based installation artist Aaron Asis, performance artist Ezra Dickinson, installation artist Cait Willis, sound artist Nat Evans, installation artist Michelle de la Vega, multimedia installation artist Trina Cooper, composer Jovino Santos Neta, fiber and installation artist Wyly Astley, filmmaker Adam Sekuler, installation artist Celeste Cooning and many others since the program's inception in April 2014.

CoCA Lab is supported, in part, by an award from 4 Culture, Seattle Foundation, individual donors and CoCA members.


Earlier Event: April 9
Michelle de la Vega
Later Event: April 23
35 Live: CoCA Member's Show