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Wheelhouse Studios Artist-in-Residence Discusses Racism through Performance Art

Posted: 02/08/16

Wheelhouse Studios student artist-in-residence Tiffany Ike presents The DROPS Project, an interactive performance art piece, at the Play Circle Theater in Memorial Union on February 11 at 7 p.m. Ike created The DROPS (Discrimination, Race, Oppression, Prejudice, Stereotyping) Project to engage students and the campus community in a dialogue around race relations and the power of words.

Ike created two "thought boxes" to give individuals the opportunity to speak their minds freely. Near each box was a poster with a controversial prompt that related to language used in race relations discussions. People were encouraged to react (anonymously) on a card and put it on display. One box was displayed outside Wheelhouse Studios and the other traveled to different locations around campus each week. The thought box responses have informed and inspired Ike's February 11 performance and subsequent panel discussion, co-presented with WUD Society & Politics Committee.

Tiffany Ike is a sophomore studying communications and psychology at UW-Madison. She is also a First Wave Scholar and triple-jumper on the Badgers' track & field team. The Houston, Texas native has been writing and performing spoken word poetry since she was a teenager. Her art allows her to explore how people think and communicate.

"I find it really interesting how people talk to each other so I based this project on slurs and different words that people use in different cultures," Ike said. "People have a lot of opinions on these words but no one really sits down and hashes it out."

"The goal is really to tell other people's stories so that they are not forgotten and they are seen as important to the discussion on racial issues."

The entire project will be captured later this semester in a zine created in collaboration with WUD Publications Committee. The zine will include art, writing and works from the community. It will be created publicly in Wheelhouse Studios.

Learn more about the performance and project.

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