Circling the Center began as a private meditation on loss and grew into communal art making with deep and surprising connections between the neuroscience of emotions and the lost craft of ritualistic Victorian mourning braiding. It is the paradoxical story of making something beautiful out of grief-told via a visceral fusion of science, visual arts, music and 19th c. craft.
The project exists as installation, performance and film.

Neuroscience meets meditation in Circling the Center’s visceral liturgy of sound, film, and live performance. The 45 minute work weaves images of animated MRIs, electronic circuitry and mourning braiding with sounds of rats serenading each other in a lab, metronomes, and chanted braiding pattern instructions. A choir accompanies a cellist, a woman weaves shimmering red wire, and performers sing a vocal lament in this expansive fusion of science, art, and emotion.


February 1st, 2015  |  Studio Performance, Brooklyn, NY


September 20 - December 14, 2014  |  BRIC Biennial, Brooklyn, NY

If you were to peer into the mourner’s skull, 2014 
Circling the Center Series

Site specific Installation and consecutive Sunday Performances
Bric Downtown Biennial, BRIC House Gallery, NY 2014
Mixed Media, 2 Performers, video, text by Tom Sleigh, Variable dimensions

See the Full Performance


May 1st, 2013   |   Dixon Place Theater, New York, NY 


May 2011   |   Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY   


June 21–October 2, 2011   |   Frost Octagon Video Gallery, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX


January, 2010   |   Sharidan Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, PA 


November 2009   |   Pinnacle Gallery, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA


Directors: Mallory Catlett (Performance) and David Merten (Film) 

Composer/Sound Score: Roberto C. Lange aka Helado Negro

Composer: Julie DeLano 

Composer/Cellist: Noah Hoffeld

Performer/Producer: Capucine Gros  

Text: Tom Sleigh

Video: Christopher Keohane, William Zoe FitzGerald, Rudolf Costin, and Roberto C. Lange

Vocalists/Performers: Anthea WhiteCarrie Erving, Johanna CranitchKaren Waltuch, and Sofya Radelet

Archivists: Ryan DickieRudolf CostinWilliam Zoe FitzGerald

Neuroscientist: Joseph LeDoux

Special thanks to Agnes Gund, members of the LeDoux Lab NYU, and Matthew Mascotte (1969-2011)

Graphic design: Ramona Todoca