This interactive installation amplifies collective action and individual agency. The work takes its name from the piles of rubble, wood, or caisson offering a first line of defense against shoreline erosion in Lake Michigan and other coastline areas. Those breakwater structures provide one potential model for social justice. What could we learn from their non-hierarchical modularity?

Breakwall takes shape through responsive/adaptive performances, interactive installations, and public workshops. It incorporates collective composition, custom software, audio production tools, and large-scale projection. The work considers the body as instrument and encourages experimentation with naturally resonant materials like paper, sand, and wood. The auditory and movement languages develop through experimentation, shared experience, and personal choice. Rhythmic and contrapuntal patterns drive the non-linear experience.


  • Ingenuity Cleveland (2017)
  • SiTE:LAB/ArtPrize (2015)
  • Dance in the Annex (2014)
  • Chicago Arts District (2014)
  • Columbia College Chicago (2014)
  • Figment Chicago (2014)


  • Leonardo Selvaggio, Black Valve Media, MLive Media Group, Motley Photography


  • Special thanks to collaborators Alex Borgen, Trina Hines, Gina Buwalda Johnson, Hannah Loss, Angela Luem, Mawusi Nenonene, Carolina Pava, Caitlin Rafferty, Julia Smith. Emily Thompson, Cassandra Vander Well, Sara Whale, and participants; Media installation support by Leonardo Selvaggio.