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BLOODTIDE with Eli Nixon & Jesus Cactus

Sunday, April 2 2023
7:00pm, doors at 6:30pm
$10-25 Sliding scale tickets
No one turned away for lack of funds.

“Cardboard transformationist” Eli Nixon shares their proposal for a new holiday in homage to horseshoe crabs and invites everybody to revel in primordial wonder. Eli performs their always evolving suitcase theater show, basks in the pleasures of naturedrag, and welcomes audience participation through singing ‘Crabaoke’ power ballads and (no skills required) drawing prompts.

With a special opening performance by Jesus Cactus (Pat Corrigan & Sam Seda).

Copies of Eli’s illustrated manual for celebrating the holiday, Bloodtide, will be on sale. The publication and some ephemera will be on view in the exhibition Evening Botanist, opening First Friday, April 7th.

Eli’s visit is in collaboration with local artist Greta Bank’s volcanic installation at Speedwell Projects. A naturedrag workshop will take place in the 534 Gallery Friday 3/31 from 4:30-6pm, and a conversation program will take place at Speedwell with Nixon and Greta Bank on Saturday, April 1st at 2pm.


Cardboard workshop how-to, karaoke songbook, nature drag theorization, 450-million-year-long love letter, field guide to a different future—Bloodtide proposes exactly what we need in a form we never imagined. Bloodtide is a new holiday to gather us around an homage dedicated to 450 million years of horseshoe crab fortitude.

 It’s a holiday drawn from the author’s own need for new cultural practices and extended as an offering for anybody to use with hopes of contributing to collective liberation. Bloodtide attempts queer futurity, without mythologies of settler innocence and with sustained recognition that time extends through our ancestors: recent ones and ancient. Bloodtide promotes horizontalist structure building practices through pageantry, crabaoke, naturedrag, cardboard sculpting, feasting and other hands-on, locally oriented, commemorative & survivalist practices. Bloodtide posits that homage and attention to horseshoe crabs might further all repair efforts and other insufficient necessities for our collective and individual healing/transformation.

About the Artist

Eli Nixon builds portals and gives guided tours to places that don’t yet exist, or exist but call for creative intervention. They are a settler-descended transqueer clown, a cardboard constructionist, and a maker of plays, puppets, parades, pageants, suitcase theaters, and low-tech public spectaculah. Eli collaborates with artists, activists, schools, mental health and recovery centers, libraries and the more-than-human world to expand imaginative capacity and build muscles for collective liberation. Eli performs naturedrag, draws cartoons, and concocts installations, flotillas and mobile sculptures on beaches, parking lots and stages. They are a Rhode Islander living on Narragansett land and a New Georges affiliated artist. Eli has MFAs in Writing for Performance (Brown, 2018) and in Interdisciplinary Art (Goddard, 2009). They organize with Showing Up for Racial Justice-RI and were part of artEquity’s 2019 national facilitator training. Eli’s current creative efforts include parenting a 12-year-old human, slowly learning trombone, and supporting local and planetary movements for abolition, reparations, and multispecies justice.​