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DEFIBRILLATOR performance art gallery, (DFBRL8R, Ltd/ dfb) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization

dfb stats

  • dfb 2012 attendance . . . . 4,105dfb online audience: over 103 countries
  • monthly trafficdfb online audience over 103 countries

2,100 visits
1,500 unique visits
4,500 pageviews

dfb mission

committed to presenting a vast range of styles and forms of time-based art, DEFIBRILLATOR is dedicated to fostering local talent while invigorating CHICAGO by bringing to the city artists of exceptional calibre from around the world. contextualizing performance within visual art, we embrace those who look to the body, objects, space, and time for inspiration, research, and practice. providing opportunities for established and emerging artists alike, DEFIBRILLATOR provides a platform for underrepresented voices and time-based work that does not sit comfortably within pre-established genres or disciplines. dynamic programming, decidedly fearless and unique, aims to provoke thought and stimulate discourse surrounding performance art. our goal is to foster and contribute to a global dialog surrounding conceptual, ephemeral, or enigmatic forms of expression.

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dfb history

DEFIBRILLATOR was formed in 2010 to support artists working in performance art and enlighten the general public regarding this enigmatic form of expression. founder, JOSEPH RAVENS, shaped a unique environment tailored to the creation and presentation of time-based art. he rented a storefront to house the organization and began programming exhibitions and discourse designed to foster a community that is knowledgeable and appreciative of performance art. DEFIBRILLATOR actively contributes to a global dialog surrounding conceptual, ephemeral, or enigmatic forms of expression. we boldly confront the boundaries and expectations regarding performance and through positive experiences with this medium, cultivate a sustainable and supportive performance community.

the large storefront display windows are vibrant exhibition spaces. our neighborhood contains a diverse population who have little knowledge of performance or experimental art. window installations are a vital conduit between the gallery and the neighborhood – tweaking interest and imagination.


  • professional touring artists, student exhibitions, installations, trade show/touring, and fundraising events
  • discourse: workshops, discussions, blogs, and other forms of outreach
  • artist-in-residence
  • subsidized rental space for artists
  • student internships with partnering institutions of higher education

DEFIBRILLATOR aims to attract and retain high caliber artists and enthusiastic audiences. through an informal residency program, DEFIBRILLATOR invites visiting artists to make and show work – providing opportunities for the local community to interact with artists form other parts of the world. tn 2011, we hosted workshops and performances by butoh dancers DIEGO PINON (MEXICO) and KATSURA KAN (JAPAN). CANADIAN artist, MARTINE VIALE made a performance in the street and gave a workshop. ZORAN POPOVIC (SERBIA) gave an artist talk describing his life in EUROPE and NEW YORK in the 1970’s. BOSTON artist SANDRINE SCHAEFER gave an artist talk, had an exhibition at the gallery, and represented DEFIBRILLATOR at the MDW art fair. last year DEFIBRILLATOR organized the first annual RAPID PULSE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART FESTIVAL featuring artists from SINGAPORE, FINLAND, NORWAY, GUATEMALA, CANADA, FRANCE, GERMANY and the US. we are currently organizing the 2013 festival.

DEFIBRILLATOR has a strong interest in providing a platform for underrepresented voices. we have shown BUI CONG KHANH (VIETNAM), VICTOR ALEXANDER (CUBA), and exiled BURMESE ARTIST CHAW EI THIEN. we often show work by the LGBT community, most recently transgender artist SOFIA MORENO (MEXICO). we provide affordable rehearsal and event rentals for emerging artists and our internship program has mentored students from SAIC and COLUMBIA COLLEGE. because of the dynamic programming and unique nature of the gallery, RAVENS has been invited to lecture about DEFIBRILLATOR at SAIC, UW-WHITEWATER, MASSART and the SCHOOL of the MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON. he continues to represent CHICAGO and DEFIBRILLATOR at international festivals and exhibitions.