Deke Weaver

Professor of New Media

Deke Weaver is a writer-performer, director, experimental theater, graphic, and media artist. His interdisciplinary performances and videos have been presented throughout the U.S. and abroad in experimental theater, film/video, dance, solo performance, and broadcast venues such as the Sundance Film Festival, PBS, Channel 4/U.K., the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Berlin Video Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art/LA, the Moth, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and many others including livestock pavilions, wildlife refuges, backyard sheds, national parks, and living rooms. A Guggenheim Fellow and Creative Capital grantee, a resident artist at Yaddo, Isle Royale National Park, the Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Center, a three-time resident at Ucross, and a five-time fellow at the MacDowell Colony, he has been awarded commissions and grants from the city of San Francisco, the states of New York and Illinois, and other public and private foundations.

The texts for MONKEY and ELEPHANT, the first two performances from his life-long project, The Unreliable Bestiary—a performance for every letter of the alphabet, each letter represented by an endangered animal or habitat—are included in Animal Acts: Performing Species Today (edited by Holly Hughes and Una Chaudhuri, 2014, University of Michigan Press). His “Polar Bear God” performance was highlighted in Chaudhuri’s chapter in Readings in Performance and Ecology (edited by Theresa May and Wendy Arons, Palgrave MacMillan).

The Unreliable Bestiary’s core group of artists, designers, performers, and thinkers includes Jennifer Allen, Chris Peck, Valerie Oliveiro, Susan Becker, David Hays, Nicki Werner, Maria Lux, Jason Patterson, Jessica Cornish, Laura Chiaramonte, and Andy Warfel.  The project has received enthusiastic support from the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois, the Urbana Parks District, the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, the Center for Advanced Study, the Campus Research Board, Humanities Without Walls, and many many generous individuals. He is currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with appointments in the Department of Theatre and the School of Art + Design’s New Media Program.

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