ABOUT

AaronLI make performances and other projects using people, language, space and time. I often start with questions: how does technology affect the ways we remember? How do we perform power, and who gets to play which roles? Can the person who made you who you are, be the person who messed you up, be the person you forgive now?

Some of my work is co-authored with community members over long periods of time; some is developed through ongoing relationships with other artists; all of it honors collaboration as a driving force.

I write about misfits, overheard spaces and people, the ways we welcome each other or don’t. I reject the notion of branding myself to one style, approach, cause or story.

Individual and organizational partners include director/dramaturg Mallory Catlett, designer/performer Jim Findlay, filmmaker/composer Brent Green, photographer Paul Shambroom, urban planner Deland Chan, as well as Henry Street Settlement/Abrons Arts Center, Crossing The Line, and others.

My current projects include: Perfect City, a 20-year art and activism project created with New York City residents, urban planners and social justice workers; Empathy School/Love Story, a diptych of monologues about landscape, nostalgia, memory and class (NY Times and Time Out New York Critics’ Pick); Open House (a play about gentrification, performed in homes, and remixed for new cities and people – next up Oslo, Norway and Rabat, Morocco); and SQUARES, a performance drawn from 583 anonymous cast-off snapshot from a Midwestern photo lab in the 1970s.

From 2012-2014, I worked on the participatory performance City Council Meeting, created with Mallory Catlett and Jim Findlay,  in five US cities. I’ve had additional commissioned and presented by The Foundry Theatre, DiverseWorks, The Chocolate Factory, PS122 and other venues.

I am a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow. From 2014-16, I was a Princeton Arts Fellow, and the 2013-2016 ASU Gammage Residency Artist. I have performed with Elevator Repair Service in the work of many artists. I am a playwright-in-residence at Abrons Arts Center, and a Visiting Associate Professor and Belknap Humanities Fellow at Princeton, as well as a recent finalist for the Alpert Award and the Yale Drama Series.

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