Siren Arts 2021: RIPPLE
July 22, 2021 - August 19, 2021

Transformer brings Siren Arts back to the beach for its 5th Annual Summer Artist Residency & Performance Art Series

Performance Art Events: 7pm Thursdays, on the 2nd Avenue Beach, Asbury Park, NJ

Artist Talks: 6pm Wednesdays at Salvation, rooftop at The Asbury Hotel

All Audiences Welcome; All Programming Presented Free of Charge

Transformer celebrates the 5th year of our Siren Arts program back on the beach in Asbury Park, NJ this summer, supporting 5 east coast based artists presenting innovative performance art works that address human & environmental interconnectedness. Each artists’ 3 day beach residency includes public artist talks 6pm Wednesdays at The Asbury Hotel’s Salvation rooftop space, and performances 7pm Thursdays on the 2nd Avenue Beach: 

July 20 - 22: JungWoong Kim & Germaine Ingram (Philadelphia, PA)
July 27 - 29: Armando Lopez-Bircann (Washington, DC)
August 3 - 5: Monica Jahan Bose (Washington, DC)
August 10 - 12: Jaime Sunwoo & Johnnie Cruise Mercer (Brooklyn, NY)
August 17 - 19: Eli Barak (Baltimore, MD)

Launched in 2017, Siren Arts is a summertime micro-residency program taking place in Asbury Park, NJ that supports emerging visual artists working within evolving performance art disciplines. Created and curated by Victoria Reis, Transformer’s Executive & Artistic Director, Siren Arts is an expansion of Transformer’s mission to connect and promote emerging visual artists, to advance them in their artistic careers, and to build & engage audiences with new & best contemporary arts practices:

Siren Arts seeks to both celebrate the ocean and bring awareness to the intersectional effects of climate change, including: immigration issues, land back, racial and social justice, ecological impact, and more. Each Siren Arts artist participates in a micro-residency in Asbury Park that culminates in Thursday evening public performance art events on the iconic Asbury Park beach. Following summer 2020’s online Siren Arts program, Transformer is thrilled to be back on the beach this summer, supporting urban based artists in reflective & creative time at the ocean.

All performances will take place at approximately 7pm on the 2nd Avenue Beach in Asbury Park, NJ. Performances will last approximately 30-40 minutes and are open to all audiences free of charge. Audiences are encouraged to gather on the 2nd Ave beach at 6:45pm, bringing beach towels or chairs for seating. In case of rain, alternative performance locations will be announced by 6pm the day of performance via the Siren Arts Instagram: @sirenartsap

Siren Arts: Ripple is generously supported by The Asbury Hotel, Siren Arts’ exclusive Hotel Sponsor. Special thanks to the City of Asbury Park for its continued support of this innovative programming.


JungWoong Kim & Germaine Ingram, Thunder/Ripple


Native Americans, forced long ago from their ancestral lands, are now being displaced again by the consequences of climate change – thawing permafrost, coastal erosion, storms and severe drought. A national American Indian leader says “we’re running out of time.” In June 2021, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres re-echoed a warning that “we are reaching the point of no return for the planet.” He said “we are ravaging the very ecosystems that underpin our societies, and in doing so, we risk depriving ourselves of food, water and resources we need to survive.” Thunder/Ripple embodies the intellectual and emotional reverberations of these warnings. Through improvised dance and vocalization, and engagement with manipulable structures created by sculptor Kris Rumman, JungWoong Kim, accompanied by Germaine Ingram, channels the emotional weight and sense of urgency bound up in the inevitable dominance of nature in the face of mankind’s greed, indifference and hubris. Employing ritual, movement, and song drawn from Kim’s immersion in the aesthetics of Korean Shamanism, and Ingram’s praxis steeped in Afro-diasporic literary and performance traditions, the piece speaks to the imminence of collective disaster if we fail to exercise collective will and human capacity for humility, preservation and restoration.

JungWoong Kim immigrated to the U.S. from South Korea a dozen years ago to pursue his practice of dance, choreography, and video editing. His work, which includes solo performance and intensive collaborations with artists from diverse disciplines, merges improvisational movement, improvised sound/voice/music, video, and spatial design. He engages with spaces that have their own stories – in nature, on city lots, plazas, and underpasses, in/atop industrial buildings. He and his family live in Philadelphia, PA.

Germaine Ingram is a Philadelphia PA-based percussive dancer, choreographer, song writer, vocal/dance improviser, oral historian and cultural strategist. She creates evening-length pieces that explore themes related to history, collective memory, and social justice, and designs arts/culture projects that explore and illuminate community cultural history.  She collaborates with artists from diverse traditions and disciplines, including jazz/experimental music composers, site-specific choreographers, dance and vocal improvisers, African Diasporic culture specialists, and visual/media artists.

Kris Rumman is a Palestinian-American artist who creates sculpture, performances, and installations. Captivated by architecture, power, and chance, her work is migratory, situationally responsive and inextricably linked to the geopolitics where she lives. Kris currently lives in NYC and is developing Body_Building, an interactive sculpture project that will debut in Fall 2021 at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Armando Lopez-Bircann, Arma.Dura: Coral Gardener


As Arma.Dura, the artist will reflect on the impacts of tourism and climate change on seashores. They’ll focus on current narratives around coral restoration and the ways we can contribute to these efforts. The performance will include wearables and artworks made of calcium carbonate, a chemical derived from seashells.

Armando Lopez-Bircann is a Latinx artist who designs wearable sculptures, digital media and performances. Their practice is framed by immigrant narratives, genderfluid expression and ecofeminist sensibilities. They are currently based in Washington, DC.

Monica Jahan Bose, Offering


In Offering, Bangladeshi-American artist Monica Jahan Bose draws on rituals using water, turmeric, salt, and saris to speak to climate change, rising waters, and salt incursion into agricultural soil. Offering is part of her ongoing climate justice art project Storytelling with Saris (started in 2012), which collaborates with women from her ancestral island village and people in the US. The sari, a precolonial garment that is passed down through generations and never discarded, represents continuity and renewal. Bose makes offerings to the wind, sand, and sea towards the goal of renewal and cleansing. With a circle of handwoven climate-themed saris, she creates a healing space, offering the opportunity to increase our connection with the Earth and inspire us to take steps to reduce our carbon footprint and cool down our planet. The public is invited to join the performance. 

Monica Jahan Bose is a Bangladeshi-American artist and climate activist whose work spans painting, printmaking, film, performance and public art. Her socially engaged work highlights the intersection of climate, racial, gender, and economic injustice through co-created workshops, art actions, and temporary public art installations and performances. She is the creator of STORYTELLING WITH SARIS (launched  in 2012), an ongoing art and advocacy project with her ancestral village of Katakhali, Bangladesh.

Jaime Sunwoo & Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Communication Waves


In Communication Waves, artists Jaime Sunwoo and Johnnie Cruise Mercer reflect on the ocean as a means of communication. By examining the history of messages in bottles, Jaime and Johnnie invite the audience to reflect on life, death, love, and loss.

Jaime Sunwoo is a Korean American multidisciplinary artist from Brooklyn, New York working in visual art, theater, film, and public art. Her works connect personal narratives to global histories through surreal storytelling. She studied art at Yale University, and was a fellow for Ping Chong + Company and The Laundromat Project. Her work has been seen at Park Avenue Armory, Abrons Art Center, BAX, JACK, The Tank, Flux Factory, and Art in Odd Places. She has received awards from Queens Council on the Arts, Asian Women Giving Circle, NYC Women's Fund, Brooklyn Arts Fund, and The Jim Henson Foundation for her project Specially Processed American Me, a performance on the significance of SPAM in the Asian American community.

Johnnie Cruise Mercer is a queer Black thinker, maker, performer, educator and social entrepreneur based in New York City. He is the founder of TheREDprojectNYC, a multidisciplinary arts ensemble dedicated to the study of movement philosophy, and its communal uses toward building new foundational possibilities. He's shared his work at 92Y Harkness Dance Center, Gibney: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, Dixon Place, Danspace Project Inc, The Fusebox Festival, Mana Contemporary, The NADA Conference, Abrons Arts Center, and The Clarice Performing Arts Center's The BlackLight Summit. Johnnie was a Creative Fellow at Ping Chong + Company and is currently an Artist in Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and New Dance Alliance.

Eli Barak, Coming to Terms with the Sea


Coming to Terms with the Sea is a spiritual journey that passes environmental consciousness from father to son. Through play, movement, sound, installation and live performance, Barak and his son will conduct a healing ritual. The piece is based on his performance series New Clothing, and is dedicated to themes of displacement and diaspora. Camouflaged, the Baraks will initiate a personal dialogue with the ocean. This performance is an offering, a cry but also the hope to heal the sea.

Eli Barak is a Baltimore based artist. He received his MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and BFA in Fine Arts and Art Education from Hamidrasha School of Art in Israel; studied graphic design at New York University. Barak identifies as a Jew of Arab descent, his work layers history, culture, and politics. Through performance and installation, Barak embodies objects to investigate both individual and cultural identity. His work explores the idea of the artist as an agent addressing the issue of cultural assimilation. Barak has had exhibitions and performances at YAA Museum in Florida, Lincoln Center, Nars Foundation, Haifa Museum, Petach Tikva Museum, The Performance Biennale in Israel, Fresh-Paint Art fair, Satellite Art Fair, Gallery 39, The Willows. He received an Excellence Award in Fine Arts from the AICF, a Merit Scholarship Award from SVA and a Fellowship Award from the Mildred’s Lane residency. His work is part of various collections both at home and abroad. He is currently preparing to participate in Public Digital Art Fund in Moscow, July 2021.

Image Credits: Fred Hatt, Armando Lopez-Bircann, Ben Droz, Jaime Sunwoo, Eli Barak