Meghan Moe Beitiks

Moisture Recycling (salty queer hydrologies) (2023)

Hydration (self-care) (2023), mirrored frame filled partly with desalinated seawater

Curated by William Cordova

On Display at Under the Bridge Art Space November 26 2023- January 7th 2024

Artist Meghan Moe Beitiks presents a series of small works reflecting on water as a physically, emotionally and ecologically ubiquitous entity.  Water as everything, gathered.  Water as absorbing and cleaning. An attempt to pull water as love from the air. 

Wetlands is two chairs with basshakers installed under the seats. Visitors encouraged to sit and let the vibrations pass through their bodies.

The speakers rumble with the resonance from 3 microphones which are picking up vibrations from 3 separate boot trays, all of which have a watery soundtrack playing through them. The boot trays have the raised pattern of a text of a recent Florida bill set within them. Included in the soundtrack is the voice of Bebe Deluxe, a Florida-based trans drag performer, who Beitiks asked to respond to the three phrases. Each boot tray has its own soundtrack, set to its own Beats per Minute: 79 for the number of anti-LGBTQ+ and hate crimes in Florida since 2019, 50 for the number of lives lost in the PULSE shooting (49 +1), 60 for the low resting heart rate of the average human.

Each accompanying diagram places the phrases from the Florida laws with other research and statements within hydrologic cycle illustrations from various scientific research papers.  Visitors are invited to stand in the boot trays as they read the explanatory diagrams. One diagram, based on hydrology and wetland function, gives a conceptual overview of the entire piece.

Boot trays, while rare in warmer climates, are commonly used in northern areas like Canada to catch the melting snow from boots once they are brought indoors. “Snowbirds” who spend winters in Florida, contributing the economy but not living in the state year-round, may be familiar with them.

Hydration (Self-care) (2023)
Hydration (self-care) (2023), a pile of salt packets, in the equivalent weight of the SIG sauer MCX, the weapon used in the PULSE shooting. Visitors are invited to take salt away with them: the pile is not replenished.

From the Baroness (This is Water) is a dehumidifier channeling water into natural sponges. Visitors are encouraged to take a bottle (engraved with an imperfect silhouette of Lake Okeechobee, Hitchiti for “water” + “big”), and squeeze some water into it with the funnels provided. The work rests on a tablecloth with a pattern based on several stages of Lake Okeechobee’s planned watershed restoration: the original watershed flow, and the current flow. A nod to Elsa Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven, the originator of the readymade, as professed by Duchamp in a letter to his sister (1917, Jean Crotti papers, 1913-1973, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).

Hydration (self-care).  Is a two-part piece. A reflective frame of desalinated seawater, etched with the word “HYDRATE,” paired with a pile of salt packets, in the equivalent weight of the SIG sauer MCX, the weapon used in the PULSE shooting, in a nod to the work of Félix González-Torres. Visitors are welcome to take salt away with them. The desalinated water will evaporate slowly over the course of the show: those who take a bottle From the Baroness may walk away with some of it via the dehumidifier.

Boundaries. Several varieties of the native Floridian Acanthocereus Tetragonus cactus in a tall planter with the word “NO” painted on it. In its smaller varieties, A. Tetragonus is known as the “fairy castle” cactus. It its larger varieties it is known as the “barbed-wire” or “dildo” cactus, most prominent on Florida’s “Dildo Key.” The cacti sit under a solar-powered halo light, and a grow light timed with the local sunrise.

Both Hydrate (self-care) and Boundaries are accompanied by a diagram based on a desalination process.

All Contested Phrases: An Aria (2022)

listener · All Contested Phrases: An Aria (Full Live Recording)

University of Florida faculty and community create conceptual aria from censored phrases

UPDATE: As of November 17th, 2022, federal judge has blocked the “Anti-Woke” Bill. Support the ACLU in continued efforts by buying aria merch on bonfire!

In response to efforts to impose censorship by the Provost at the University of Florida, a group of UF Faculty and community members have devised a creative performance using challenged language as the text for a contemporary aria. The aria, based in part on elements of compositions by the twentieth-century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, draws ironic parallels between the actions of a staunchly “anti-socialist” state government and Stalinist legacies of censorship. It was performed April 15th, 2022 at Dad’s Bar in Gainesville, Florida, local to the university, as well as streamed online. 

In anticipation of political initiatives of the state, the provost of the University of Florida asked university lawyers to review the College of the Arts’ Meta-Strategy. The Meta-Strategy was collaboratively written by college faculty to sharpen the college’s focus, planning, efforts, and funding over the next five years. It included the following phrases:

  • unsettle
  • deeply inequitable access to power
  • systemic change
  • correcting exclusionary and repressive systems
  • undo systemic oppression and marginalization
  • dismantle obstacles to AEI ingrained in our curriculum
  • truth, and reconciliation
  • negotiations of power and privilege as defined by organizational structures in the College of the Arts
  • power analysis
  • racial equity spheres to identify and document institutional practices that are barriers to a thriving pluralistic multicultural diversity
  • micro-aggression 
  • Examine and reposition Western, white, male privilege implicit in the foundations of the style, techniques, and methodologies of historical works and traditional performance and practice. Address cultural differences within the disciplines represented in COTA
  • eliminating discrimination and other forms of oppression
  • AEI criteria at the ULO level
  • provocative participation
  • power and privilege
  • negotiations of power and privilege
  • barriers to a thriving pluralistic multicultural diversity
  • prepare to or continue to engage race and racism curricularly

College faculty were asked by the provost to “reconsider” these terms. In this context, that consisted of a request to rewrite–academic censorship. In response, the faculty voted to convene a committee to review the document.

As a reaction to this pressure, a partially anonymous group of UF Faculty and community members gathered to turn the phrases “of concern” into their own melodic, conceptual performance, giving these words space to breathe on their own terms. 

The music, composed by Florida musician Stephen Germana, combines elements of Shostakovich and Mahler in looping, electronic rhythms. The phrases of concern are sung by Brooklyn-based vocalist Kayleigh Butcher. 

The performance includes projections and spoken word by Florida native artist Kenya (Robinson), production, and scholarly context by anonymous community members, and a movement-based response from dancer and UF faculty member Trent Williams. 

A live performance of the Aria took place on April 15th at 8pm at Dad’s Bar, a local Gainesville venue supportive of community events: it was also livestreamed on, Facebook and Instagram. 

For inquiries, contact: Meghan Moe Beitiks, mobeitiks (at)


About the Cast & Crew:

Composer Stephen Germana:

Soloist Kayleigh Butcher:

Dancer Trent Williams:

Spoken Word and Projection Design by Kenya (Robinson):

Producer Meghan Moe Beitiks:

The support team includes several anonymous members of the UF faculty and community, who have chosen not to reveal their names in order to avoid political backlash from within Florida and UF. 

More on recent legislation on education in Florida: 

Though many of these bills target K-12 schools, university administrators made a concerted effort to impose them on higher education, in part due to fears of backlash from the state. As of November 17th, 2022, a federal judge has blocked the “Anti-Woke” bill from higher education, but much harmful legislation remains in place: buy merch to support the ACLU and its efforts.

Shut Up (2022)

Shut Up is a meditation on light and confinement. Drawing upon previous work with reflections, breath, trauma, and self-awareness, I redirect light from the NARS Foundation Project Space window with mirrors and reflective surfaces. Patterns in the space, from mirrored pixels to rotating displays to sequined pillows, are based on pixelations of the surface of the sun. A meditation on time, celestial bodies, isolation and ecologies in the pandemic.

As a closing event for the exhibition, on March 22 at 5pm, I will read an excerpt from her book Performing Resilience for Systemic Pain, recently published with Routledge, in the space as the sun sets, and discuss it friend Stephanie Acosta and visitors.

Untitled (Desert Refractions) (2021)

Untitled (Desert Refractions)(2021) is a sculpture, installation and performance created in response to the reflective glass surfaces of many Las Vegas Resorts, the desert environment, the arc of the sun, and the poem Ozymandias. The work explores reflection, opulence, sunlight, legacy, and the impermanence of power. Devised with local performers, the piece included both pre-recorded and live-streamed light as the Las Vegas sun set in real-time.

Cast: Adriana Chavez, Amanda Guardardo, Karla Lagunas
Sound Structure: Stephen Germana
Sculpture: Meghan Moe Beitiks x Luis Varela-Rico
Rogers Art Loft: Lance Smith, Ryan Reid, Spencer Haley
Cameras: Shahab Zargari, Spencer Haley



I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said ‘Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

Untitled (Desert Refractions) sculpture, a collaboration with Luis Varela-Rico, permanently installed at Rogers Studio Gallery. Each of the gold panes of glass points towards a major resort with gold windows. Excerpts from the poem Ozymandias are sandblasted into the glass with industrial garnet and sand from the nearby Red Rock Canyon desert. Detailing with pyrite grit and fake gold spraypaint. The piece changes depending on the angle of the sun. Solar lights illuminate the sculpture at night.

Untitled (Desert Refractions) long-term installation of gold/silver window film at the Rogers Studio Gallery. The windows of the Studio Gallery take on the reflective quality of opulent local resort windows.

Concert Under the Stars with Frankie & Myrrh (2019)

Media Design for Concert under the Stars with Frankie & Myrrh  at the Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, in collaboration with the artists. Photos by Emily Hromi/GRPM.

Concert Under the Stars with Fiona Dickinson (2019)

Media Design for Concert under the Stars with Fiona Dickinson at the Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, in collaboration with the artists. Photos by Emily Hromi/GRPM.

Concert Under the Stars with Mertle (2018)

Media Design for Concert under the Stars with Mertle at the Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, in collaboration with the artists. Photos by Emily Hromi/GRPM. Pictured: Space Pong, for “All I Gotta Do.”

Concert Under the Stars with Jes Kramer (2018)

Media and Set Design for “Concert under the Stars” with Jes Kramer at the Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, in collaboration with the artist. Wide-angle photos by Emily Hromi/GRPM.

The Conviction of Pearl Dakota (2014)

IMG_4413Choreographer JN Soto created a dance piece, generated in part by his cast, based on movements observed at the City of Chicago traffic courts, and his own fictional writing. I created the lighting, set, and some sound design.

The piece performed in the Dance Studio at the Chicago Cultural Center. I built a series of flats, framing the studio mirrors with scrap fabric. Originally conceived as a kind of horizon line, this framing was meant to create visual depth in the piece, to reference the boxy framing of cubicles and the architecture of the space, and to give an alternative narrative to the action onstage. Lighting consisted of steely blues and no-color fronts. Sound included recordings from the traffic courts lobby, remixed into its own music and reversed.

With Anna Greenawalt, Joseph Hutto, Dani Martinez and April Noga.

The Conviction of Pearl Dakota from J. Soto on Vimeo.


Atom-r: The Operature (2014)

Atom-r 8I designed the lights for Atom-r’s US premeire of The Operature at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Chicago. I also assisted in production management and acted as Stage Manager. 

Atom-r is a provisional collective exploring forensics, anatomy, and 21st century embodiment through performance, language and emerging technologies. Participants include Mark Jeffery (choreography), Judd Morrissey (text and technology), Justin Deschamps, Sam Hertz, Christopher Knowlton, and Blake Russell (performers).

The Operature is a live performance and augmented reality (AR) poem engaging themes of anatomical science and spectacle. The work’s choreography and use of technology are influenced by research into a series of diverse anatomical histories including early-modern surgical theatres, Francis Glessner Lee’s miniature crime scene re-enactments known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, and The Stud File, an autobiographical record of the sexual exploits of Samuel Steward, a 20th century tattoo artist, gay pornographer, and friend of Gertrude Stein.

I created a parallel choreography to the piece with lighting, introducing two “operators” (Luis Meijer and Jake Vogds) that followed the action with antique floodlights. The instruments themselves spoke to a space between operating room and interrogation chamber, the operators simultaneously interrogators, voyeurs, and examiners. An attempt on my part to expand the world of the piece, comment on the source material, and make the lighting a fellow performer.

Another beautiful Zspace wedding (2011)

So, after the epic adventure designing my brother’s wedding at ZSpace, a San Francisco theater, I was enlisted to go at it again. The ceremony featured a split laser: the reception involved a tea ceremony and lavender cupcakes. The happy couple had specific color themes: beyond that, I was inspired to mix ZSpace’s amazing rep plot to create certain layered looks. It was especially fun making a gobo top wash for the tables, and a series of crazy chase sequences for the dance party. I also assisted the couple in some planning and staffing.

Photos by the amazing Michelle Damas.

Considering Sustainable Design @ PQ (2011)

Every four years theater artists of all kinds gather in the Czech Republic for the Prague Quadrennial. Countries set up pavilions to display the best of their professional and graduate-level stage design. The city is swarmed with performances, lectures, panels and demonstrations. When I first went in 2003, site-specific performance was highlighted as a fascinating trend in scenography. Since then, the Quadrennial has expanded from a stage-design conference to a dialogue on all things performance and space. Site-specific projects are more the rule, less the exception. I’m here until June 27th, nerding out with the folks from the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts. We’ll be participating in a Roundtable Discussion– Considering Sustainable Design— on June 21st. Check for further updates. Until then, I’m loving me some cobblestones.

p.s. : the Latvian pavilions are kicking butt, as usual.

American Layercake. (2011)

The design concept of this show was points of light. Like little star-drops, like the stuff your pupils eat when you’re on drugs. The show, created by the David Herrera Performance Company, was intended to follow the story of a family through struggle and time. It opened with a solo piece by Shae Colette, pictured here. I enlisted a few genius electrician friends to help me build many dangling sculpted LED practicals, which hung above the stage like stars caught in hairballs. If you look closely, you can also see the little lights we attached to dancers’ fingertips. This was so much fun. Media design by Olivia Ting. Assistant Directed by Jean Johnstone.


Mike + Emily: designing my brother’s wedding (2010)

Want an adventure sometime? Design an event for two people who are producing the most important event of their lives. That was my brother’s wedding to Emily Smith, now Beitiks. It involved gobos, wall stickers, walkie-talkies, a slow buffet line, the colors blue and white, rosemary, and a very hard-working wedding party.

These photos are long overdue: the wedding was last year, in 2010. This was in Z Space in San Francisco, using a lot of their plot and some trees from Friends of the Urban Forest. I’ve finally digested all my production-managing and lighting-designing well enough to edit the photos.

That’s me instructing the uncle of the bride in one pic, by the way. I was tempted to include a few pics of me hugging my new sister-in-law or marching around with a radio looking serious. I resisted.

And yes, Mike + Emily are now Happily Ever After.

Photos: Kim Komenich

Photos from SF Sketchfest 2011.

Photos from SFSketchfest are up on the online gallery! Check them out and drink in all of my mic-setting/light-focusing/production managing mania for all of December and January. And part of February.

David Herrera Performance Company makes a layercake. (2010)

DHPCo is an SF-based dance theater group. I’ve been their resident designer since 2005. This is a photo from last season’s show, “Origins.” This year the show is called “American Layercake,” and we’re working with LED props, some of which I am building. Ulp! Right now in rehearsal the dancers are running around with points of light on their fingertips. We go into tech next week. Show opens at Dance Mission Theatre on March 11th. Should be fun.

SF Sketchfest!

This is my third year as Technical Production Manager for SF Sketchfest. This beast of a festival usually involves 8-11 venues, 100 + performances, and a lot of stress-dissolving laughter. This year we’re coordinating a Viva Variety Reunion and bringing together some SNL Originals with Inside Joke. At least: the producers are bringing it together. I’m wrangling the mics, furniture, tech staff and funny hats. The first year I worked this gig I designed the lights for the first live all-member reunion of The State in 11 years. I nearly peed my pants. I’m hoping that at this point my bowel control has advanced considerably.

I’m in Yosemite (working. seriously).

This is my second year as Lighting Technician for the Bracebridge Dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. It’s a great gig, for a number of reasons: the scenery, the free food, the fact that the TD actually listens to my design suggestions (two new specials this year!). In between shifts in the scissor lift, I’m finishing up my COP16 coverage and preparing for SFSketchfest. I’ve also been watching the videos from Green Stage Scratch Night. It looks like it was a great production, with a lot of work done in very limited time. Unfortunately their camerawoman got caught in a subway strike and it had to be filmed on an iphone. Took me ten minutes for me to get the courage to watch it. Definitely a learning experience, made some necessary edits clear. In the meantime, I’m waving hello to the deer.

Funhouses (2003+)

In the early 2000s I got very excited about funhouses as interactive spaces of abstract form. While traveling around the country with veggie buses and hitchhiking, I would stop at state fairs and carnivals to take pictures, and geek out on Carnival History. At some point I also assisted an elementary school class in making their own roller coasters. This is essentially an archive of the photos, research and explorations of that time.

Ramayana (2001)

Set Design for Ramayana, University of California at Santa Cruz, dir. Kathy Foley