Post-Apocalyptic Variety Show, Camp CARPA @ Joshua Tree, CA


In the Spring of 2013 I asked three other artists to help put together a show of video, performance, cocktail tips, and joy. They contributed work and I served as the evening’s host. The host I play is a tattooed, sometimes sober version of Bob Hope for artists. CARPA allowed me to take an art gallery road show and reimagine it for a war torn, post zombie future, with real big problems and limited resources. Problems like how does one design a Karaoke machine that does not use electricity? (The answer is with salvage Ikea Kid’s furniture). American has faced many apocalypses like Katrina, AIDS, the economic downturn. America exports culture regardless of the crisis at hand. I wondered if this tradition would continue after the fall. I asked Theo Knox and Jordon Long separately to join me in imagining work for this future.

IMG_6892Long used a cement power counterweight spread on plywood to stand in for his own weight. He brought members of the conference to hold this weight as long as they could. They strained to keep the heavy powder up because underneath it Long and a group of volunteers had build a village of hollow plaster squares. Long coached his participants the craft of working through the physical strain. A skill he perfected in overcoming injuries sustained while working at a small zoo. People shared the weight for 8 hours before the last person bearing the cement, stood up and let the chain go. This crushed the plaster village and signaled the start of the show.

Theo Knox imagines connecting deeply with nature as a tool for healing. He brings the crowd through a nonlinear funnel of dream stories. He holds them and moves them around with him in this story. Blindfolded in the darkness Knox provided a post-apocalyptic Blockbuster for CARPA.

There were not just hit stories but also hit songs in our low-tech variety show. Members of the audience joined our cast to sing, “My Body’s Zombie for You.” A song written by Ryan Gosling that conveys the joy of loving someone so much that you actually want to eat them. – Steven Frost

It was amazing for my practice. I’ve been wanting to try a different type of performance for a while but haven’t felt comfortable in the places I’ve been showing. Carpa created an environment that allowed me to experiment and take my work into a space it hasn’t been before. My piece needed participants and Carpa was full of a diverse group of people to test out my work on. Because of this i’ll be continuing to explore what I began at Carpa and hopefully bring a whole new conversation to my work.  -Jordan Long

Under the premise a zombie apocalypse had finally happened, I wanted to know how we would entertain ourselves after we brought our own species to the edge of extinction? It occurred to me it would probably be doing what we have since our start:  tell stories and sing songs in front of an evening fire.  Essentially this act should be entertaining, maybe ridiculous, but also transmit some shard of knowledge, a history, information about the landscape, a belief system, or the human experience.

I decided to tell a story and sing a song about the place we were living during the Camp CARPA residency, the desert.  The story came from a dream I had a few weeks previous and the song was a prayer of salvation.

The structure and location of Camp CARPA provided the opportunity to explore my question with a captive audience. With our feet in the dirt of the Mojave beside a real campfire burning under the stars, these elements believable in our narrative, it was enough to tip the senses giving my mind permission to pretend I was in an imagined, desolate future.   -Theo Knox

A Night of Disquieting Joy @ Artisphere, Rosslyn, VA

A Night of Disquieting Joy is comprised of video, sculpture, and performance work by four artists who engage directly with queering the expectations of performance art. These performers bring a sense of humor to their work and acknowledge that sometimes contemporary art is too stern and deserves to smile a little. Moments of humor magnify the quiet and more reflective gestures that emerge during a performance. Steven Frost (Los Angeles, CA) will serve as curator and host for the event adapting his performance practice in a late variety show.  Kris Harzinski & Will Haughery (Philadelphia, PA) combine performance and video in a piece that explores personal limits and the culture of performance art. I the video My Ronald Reagan Collection,  Katie Hargrave (Minneapolis, MN) discusses the history of objects in relation to a pack of 30-year-old Newport lights. All the artist in the program leverage audience expectations to create tension, joy, and at times even disgust.

photo (3) vlcsnap-2013-06-19-22h53m03s76

Drinking from the Snake’s Mouth @ the Plaines Project, Chicago, IL 4.14-4.28

Drinking from the Snake’s Mouth


April 14-28, Opening Sunday, April 14, 4-8PM
The Plaines Project – 1822 S. Desplaines St, Chicago, IL 60616
Drinking from the Snake’s Mouth is an exhibition of new collaborative works by artist Steven Vainberg and myself. The culmination of a seven-month long dialogue initiated while residents of ACRE, this exhibition situates the viewer at the crossroads between the tender, the holy, the profane, the creative ego, aggression, “watersports,” and heavy metal through painting, sculpture, video, photography, and a Tumblr blog.

The publication of a small catalog will coincide with the exhibition. Catalog contents were developed from a collaborative Tumblr, D.f.t.S.M [Contains Explicit Content], and includes an essay by Dr. Andy Campbell (Senior Lecturer, Texas State University; Art Editor, The Destroyer Magazine).

Otherwise, @ Beige Memphis, Memphis TN, 3.22-5.1.13


beginning March 22 at Beige

Artists / choreographers / dancers / writers / and others from across the country were invited to submit scripts for performance by Memphis locals.  The scripts take a variety of forms – lists of instructions / screenplays / drawings / poems – and the performances will be just as diverse – public / private / elaborate / impromptu / impossible / obvious.

Any script can be performed by any person who wants to perform.  The results will be documented and compiled in an archive of Memphis’ first performance festival.  Scripts will premier at the opening reception, along with the first performances:

March 22 / 173 St Agnes Place / 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Artists include Jonathan Robert Payne / Sarah Jones and Christalena Hughmanick / Sayward Schoonmaker / Colby Keller / Justin Jorgensen / Daviel Shy / Matthew Morris / Katya Grokhovsky / Anthony Romero / Alan and Michael Fleming / Steve Frost / Tyler Murphy / Wolfie Rawk Mackensen /Jesse Harrod / Matthew Schlagbaum / R. E. H. Gordon / Sean Fader / Jillian Soto / Hannah Verrill / Trevor Martin / Lara Oppenheimer / Ariel Yelen / Oliverio Rodriguez / Marissa Perel / and more

Concrete Abstract @ Heiner Contemporary, Washington DC, 3.1-4.20

Concrete Abstract
Seth Adelsberger, Lisa Dillin, Jeremy Flick, Steven Frost, Sue Johnson, Becca Kallem, Patrick McDonough, Danielle Mysliwiec and Matthew Smith
March 1 – April 20, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 2013, 6-8pm

Heiner Contemporary is pleased to announce Concrete Abstract, a group exhibition curated by Matthew Smith that explores the confluence of abstraction with the everyday, featuring work by Seth Adelsberger, Lisa Dillin, Jeremy Flick, Steven Frost, Sue Johnson, Becca Kallem, Patrick McDonough, Danielle Mysliwiec, and Matthew Smith. The works in the show cultivate a non-representational visual language that emerges from familiar ready-made objects, whether these objects are found or alluded to compositionally. Their formal and functional properties provide the contextual framework for works that are ultimately understood visually via their entanglement with abstraction, even as they remain securely tethered to the real, concrete world.

Concrete Abstract will be on view at Heiner Contemporary March 1 – April 20, 2013. The gallery will host an opening reception on Friday, March 1, from 6-8pm. Heiner Contemporary is located at 1675 Wisconsin Avenue, NW. For more information email or visit

FLEETING @ Indi Go Gallery, Champaign, IL 2.1-2.11

Fleeting is an exhibition of 14 artists whose work addresses the theme of impermanence, opening February 1, 2013 from 7-9 PM at Indi Go Gallerylocated at 9 East University Avenue in Champaign, IL. Fleeting will be on display thru February 11 by appointment or during Indi Go’s open hours

In Fleeting, curated by Christina McClelland, 14 artists based throughout the United States and abroad explore the idea of impermanence through a diverse array of media, artistic practices, and methods of working. The works displayed take the form of site-specific installation, performance, painting, photography, video, sculpture, and participatory work. Particularly examining impermanence in the context of nature and biological phenomena, as well as through non-traditional and non-archival materials, Fleeting addresses the temporary and ephemeral nature of art and its subjects.

Liene Bosque
Firat Erdim
Steven Frost
Kate Hampel & James Pepper Kelly
Joel Parsons
Nicole Pietrantoni
Patrick Reed
Matthew Schlagbaum
Nicole Seisler
Olivia Valentine
Urbana Land Arts
Allison Wade
Erin Washington
Sarah Beth Woods

Don’t Quit @ The Cultural Center, Chicago, IL 11.29

Happy Collaborationists presents a new workout by Jake Myers

Cinematic screenings almost always require sedentary audiovisual consumption by the viewer. Instead of passively staying seated, Myers invites viewers to actively respond to the physical cues on screen.

Featuring video contributions by:

EverythingIsTerrible (Commodore Gilgamesh)
Ben Russell
Prince Rama
E Aaron Ross
Jesse Avina
Jake Myers
Lara Unnerstall
Alyssa Lee Wilmot & George Alley
Stephanie Burke & Jeriah Hildwine
Meredith & Anna
Steven Frost
Theodore Darst & Anja Jamrozik
James Green
Aaron Orsini & Adam Rux
Mark Sansone
Alfredo Salazar-Caro
Chris Smith
Kiam Marcelo Junio
Aaron Strauss
& Dechon Jones

This will take place from 5:30- 6:30 at Preston-Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center on Thursday November 29th, 2012.


Press: Queer Art’s Not Just About Gender – A Chicago Survery in Hyperallergic

"In a centrally located part of the gallery, younger emerging artist Steven Frost shows The Balcony (2012), an ornamented paddle attached to two other indiscernible leather objects that merge to form a balcony that surely wouldn’t hold more than an anorexic cat. Frost pulls the leather notion full circle, using paddles as fetish-objects-cum-ornamentation and thus decontextualizing them from leather culture, elevating them to a level of frivolous, dazzling, and utterly useless camp. It’s one of the pieces in this show that could have crossed over into Orendorff’s more object-and-craft-focused presentation."


Review: Newcity Art

"...the more morose, corporeal work (which I personally prefer) with the implied optimism of clean design, graphic sexuality (pun implied), and exuberant color in pieces such as Kate Hampel’s glittery wall-and floor-text piece “Wish List,” Jamie Steele’s untitled dripping pink spray-paint blasts into sundry corners, Steven Frost’s pair of polychromatic assemblages entitled “Balcony,” and Elijah Burgher’s “Enclosure” for undisclosed ritual action, a standing frame with four hanging vividly-painted canvas walls..."

The Great Refusal: Taking on New Queer Aesthetics, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL 9.14 – 11.10

The Great Refusal: Taking on New Queer Aesthetics
Sullivan Galleries
Through November 10
Reception: Friday, September 14, 4:30–7:00 p.m.

The Great Refusal: Taking on New Queer Aesthetics interrogates and explores the concept of queerness in this cultural moment. Through themes of Restraint and Indulgence, Progressive Rituals, Bad Values, and Misuse and Dislocation, this exhibition considers the term “queer ” as it intersects with race, class, sexuality, and gender. The show suggests conceptualizations of what Queer Aesthetics could be. Curated by SAIC faculty Oliverio Rodriguez along with current SAIC undergraduates and alumni, The Great Refusal showcases recognized artists as well as newly emerging practitioners. A series of performances, film screenings, and panel discussions will be held in conjunction with the show at the Sullivan Galleries, as well as at various cultural organizations throughout the city.

(image The Balcony, 2012 by Steven Frost)


Group Show: Octagon Gallery, Chicago, IL 5.24 – 6.29


Challenge 1: Traverse obscure digital landscapes in Theodore Darst’s psychedelic videogame. 
Challenge 2: Get a grip on Sarah and Joseph Belknap’s “Frack Mountain” Challenge 3: Push the limits of Steven Frost’s harness sculptures 
Challenge 4: Dance/Jiggle inside Claire Ashley’s inflatable Disco Balls
Challenge 5: Crawl through Jason Smith’s spandex tunnel to reach the finish line

Complete all five challenges in this obstacle course and win a glorious prize!

Featuring Sonic Sets by: DJ Jacques Jaumes && DJ Under Stalin

The Octagon Gallery 120 N Green St. Unit 3b Chicago, IL 60607 7:00 – 10:00p


Challenge 1: Traverse obscure digital landscapes in Theodore Darst’s psychedelic videogame. Challenge 2: Get a grip on Sarah and Joseph Belknap’s “Frack Mountain” Challenge 3: Push the limits of Steven Frost’s harness sculptures Challenge 4: Dance/Jiggle inside Claire Ashley’s inflatable Disco Balls Challenge 5: Crawl through Jason Smith’s spandex tunnel to reach the finish line

Complete all five challenges in this obstacle course and win a glorious prize!

Featuring Sonic Sets by: DJ Jacques Jaumes & DJ Under Stalin

The Octagon Gallery 120 N Green St. Unit 3b Chicago, IL 60607 7:00 – 10:00p

Robert Bills Contemporary, Chicago, IL 12.3 – 01.21

Robert Bills Contemporary is pleased to announce the opening of its group show Joint Disassembly

Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday December 3rd from 5-8 pm.

Joint Disassembly features the work of Steven Frost and David F. Hartwell. The works in this show explore the interesting and complex relationships between personal narratives, identifications, representations, allegiances, and how they relate to the broader public sphere and the creation of image culture in our society. Both artists draw attention to how the process of picking and choosing, assembling and disassembling is not merely the purview of art practice but an integral part of the way that individuals shape their lives. Playful and coy, the objects they produce demonstrate the extent to which individuals can control what is and is not revealed to others

To read more about the show please visit our website: or our Tumblr:

Robert Bills Contemporary was named one of the top ten hottest galleries at Next 2010 by The Chicago Tribune. The gallery is located in Chicago’s West Loop at 222 North Desplaines Street at Lake on the lower level.  For general inquiries please contact the Gallery Director, Hannah Klemm at, or call 312.234.9091.

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Group Show – Platform Gallery, Seattle, WA 12.1-12.17

One more kiss then we’re history

Cobi Moules, Kelli Connell, Molly Landreth, Steve Locke, Steven Frost

December 1 to 17, 2011

Opening, First Thursday, December 1, 6 to 8PM

This exhibition brings together the work of several artists who deal with gender identity, persona, and sexual orientation as conceptual frameworks for their art-making. Each of the artists approach the subject from different mediums, intensities, and points of view.

Steven Frost is fascinated by the spectacle and the often extreme masculinity exhibited in professional wrestling, particularly as played out in Mexican Lucha Libre culture. His fiber-based objects hint at the tension between masculinity and queerness through the use of everyday materials combined in visually surprising ways. In this exhibition, his painted, sewn, and transformed hand towels “address the perceived wrongness of my love of sweat, tears, and cum. They merge somewhere between: a cum rag crumbled under the bed; the athlete wiping himself during a bout; a towel used by Vegas-era Elvis then sold on eBay. This wrong-love translates into my assertion that fringe, sequins, gold, metal studs and floral motifs are not cheap or tasteless, but have a value given to them by their audience.” The titles of the works are drawn from various writings by Jean Genet. “Genet’s penchant for rough trade and lack of shame in expressing this “wrongness” moves through a lot of my work. In particular a quote from the Miracle of the Rose, ‘…beauty is the projection of ugliness and by developing certain monstrosities we obtain the purest ornaments.’”

Platform Gallery

114 Third Avenue South

Seattle, WA 98104


Hours: Wednesday to Friday 11AM to 5:30PM, Saturday, 11AM to 5:00PM

Member: Seattle Art Dealers Association

Solo Show – Pleasant Plains Workshop, D.C. 10.7-11.12

Human Mansprings 
A Solo Project by Steven Frost
October 7 – November 12, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 6-9pm

We are thrilled to have Steven Frost as our next gallery artist. Frost is a a formerly DC-based artist who lived on Georgia Avenue and worked at the Corcoran College of Art + Design during his time here. Frost left DC in 2009 to pursue his MFA in Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Steve is currently living and working in Chicago, and showing at a variety of galleries and alternative spaces across the country.

Pictures from the Opening
Washington Post Gallery Pick of the Week