Legal Tender

Legal Tender was a live assemblage of multi-media performance, video, and text material drawing across a yearlong collaborative devising practice, its marginalia, and postscript.

Created by Kyle Dacuyan, Andalyn Young, Kate Liebman, Michael Costagliola, Francesca Montanile Lyons, and Michael T. Williams, with Antigravity Performance Project. We thank our collaborators across this process: Chelsea Murphy, Kate McGee, Emily Oliveira, and FringeArts for developing and presenting the work in High Pressure Fire Service and the 2020 FringeArts Curated Festival.

Legal Tender was developed in part at Bethany Arts Community and through the Camp Fringe residency supported by Independence Foundation. an initial iteration of this work was presented at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest in June 2019. production at FringeArts supported in part by the Charlotte Cushman Foundation and Georgetown University’s Competitive Grant-in-Aid Research Program.

Below, please find a Digital Archive of our nearly 2 years devising as a collective from 2018, through a pandemic postponement, to 2020.



by Andalyn Young

  1. pleasure is a principle. pleasure is a guide.
  2. one dimension of pleasure is curiosity. another is: does my skin taste the air?
  3. these bodies and this moment. in the practice of presence, there’s not much else to consider.
  4. speech is a sensual act.
  5. if you can’t find the answer, try asking a new question?
  6. the work will never be more worthy of care than the people making it.
  7. let us not forget: the world is bigger than a project or city or ambition. who will be the next president? how many will contract covid-19? what do you remember when it’s over?
  8. and yet, the artwork matters. by which i mean: the artwork is matter.
  9. i didn’t coin that phrase. a brilliant friend did. one of the fundamental reasons to keep doing the work: exchanging ideas with brilliant friends.
  10. what’s your definition of success?
  11. if it doesn’t champion growth, re-evaluate your definition.
  12. you’ll never have enough time to do what you planned. you’ll always have enough time to do what you can.
  13. at the end of the day, it’s the end of a day. soon it will be a morning.


by Kyle Dacuyan

We endeavor to experience the language that waits underneath the obligations we feel for language to mean, to impress, to communicate, to assemble, to work. We support ourselves and one another in finding what barriers may exist for us around the liberation of our respective speech. We try to get ahead of the “endlessly rehearsing, self-canceling behavior” that inhibit the unexpected and uncontainable pleasures of voice. Poetry is what happens when no one is looking. Answer with whatever intuition you have for any question regarding incitements, do anything you want with the material you assemble, and don’t follow any rules you don’t want to.

Make a list of garbage you find in your house or on a walk

Take pictures of language as you explore a place you’ve never been before

Download your google search history

Dance for at least ten continuous minutes, lie down in corpse pose, if different places in your body were parts of a village what sorts of occupations would your various limbs, organs, and sensations have (my lungs are blacksmiths, my knees shepherd and tend to the cattle)

Research the etymology of the first word you think of or look at, histories of usages, crossings of language and civilization, bastardizations, obscure and discontinued meanings, associations, etymology can come from something like Oxford English Dictionary, it can also come from Your Own Personal Etymology of a given word (its history and presences across time in your life)

Perform an erasure : selectively cross out text in a news article, document, or other piece of writing which inspires or angers you

Note language that feels particular to your job, whatever that may be right now (“work the file” / “ripe for social”)

Describe what you imagine to be the journey for every element of food within a particular meal, from ingestion, to preparation, to shipment, to cultivation, and maybe to a context that stretches even earlier than this

Compose a history of lovers where everyone gets one sentence

Compose a history of lies you have told

Zoom your view of a google map to a point where you can see names of towns and cities, imagine and describe the buildings, work, environment, spirit, colors, and any other associative perfumes of any place with a name that interests you (Lost City, West Virginia; Nothing, Arizona; Santa, Idaho; Hell for Certain, Kentucky)

Using only nonliteral and automatically conceived terms, describe an unpleasant physical experience (headache, exhaustion, indigestion)

Identify as many manifestations as you can of grief, joy, agony, or curiosity around a particular element (rubber and where it comes from, its colonial history with Henry Ford in the Amazon, its applications in flip-flops, condoms, the tires of cars and tanks)

Write a continuous uninterrupted cartography of your body past the point where you feel must sto

Describe your day so far but you can only use prepositions, conjunctions, articles, and pronouns; you can use these as though they were nouns, verbs, adjectives, but you may not use actual nouns, verbs, or adjectives

Write a letter to someone who is dead

Our visual experience of memory tends to be closest to language, but if you choose another sense, try to compose the most exhaustive catalogue you can of memories that come to mind; what are you foremost specific memories in terms of touch, scent, taste, sound, and are there other senses beyond these perceivable five

Look in a dictionary for a word you may have seen before but didn’t really know the meaning of (pulchritude, propitious), attempt to translate into a dance or wordless song the meaning that is relayed to you, translate this back into any words that come automatically to mind

Make a list of questions, observations, critiques, and associations that come to mind when you look at pornograph

Keep an ongoing list of one word selected from every news / media article you read

Describe any series of images you scroll through on social media, but only in terms of textures