Unsuccessful Wrestling

Experimental Video (2014)
Concept & Design: Megan Young
Performance: Sid Branca & Megan Young
Cinematography: Chelsey Shilling

Interactive Installation (2016)
Project Details Below
Interactive Installation Support: Kix Nicole, Evan Prunty
Interactive Facilitation: Andrea Belser, Laura MacDonald

Media Mentions:
Returning the Joy to Voting, The Atlantic
Akron Works to Bring Joy to Voting, NPR Weekend Edition

Physical comedy meets sarcastic narcissism in a battle of futility re-mapping time into a layered vortex of destructive cycles, half-hearted attempts and apathy. This work is second in a series of semi-autobiographic “family videos”.


Center for Applied Theater & Active Culture
Ingenuity Cleveland
3rd Language, 2014 Sweat Fest, Chicago
Columbia College Chicago, InterArts Building
Columbia College Chicago, C33 Congress Display

Project Support:
Joy of Voting, Citizen University
Knight Foundation Grant
Prairie Center of the Arts, Artist Residency

Digital Video Formats:
4-Channel Installation (2:30 looping)
Experimental Short, Dance/Film (6 minutes)




The digital installation pairs two viewer/participants as opponents in virtual space. They engage one another in combat from the safety of their own wrestling mats. Meanwhile, live-action images of their combined grappling, bobbing, kicking, or evading are projected onto a movie sized screen. Performer/facilitators demonstrate Unsuccessful Wrestling techniques, coordinate participants, and become their cheering section.

The game-like environment mirrors the high stakes and equally high fatigue of the 2016 election year. The sometimes disorienting, sometimes aggrandising utilization of digital space draws from mounting concerns regarding the role of media and social media platforms in U.S. elections. The installation implicates viewer/participants in a seemingly unwinnable battle, while exposing the tense boundaries of our collective physical and digital identities.