BLACKBOARD/WHITEBOARD at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

an exploration of identity and social tension in America

performance art installation at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
by Robert Eric Shoemaker,

Artistic Director of Poetry Is & Editor of Beats: A Naropan Periodical

WEBSITE for Beats

  • Produced at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art on March 2nd, 2017 from 5-8 pm:
    1750 13th street,
  • Written and Performed by Robert Eric Shoemaker, in collaboration with Beats: A Naropan Periodical and Poetry Is Productions.
  • Free and open to the public.
  • For more information, please visit or contact Eric at

Boulder, CO, 2.18.17 – Poetry Is and Beats: A Naropan Periodical team up to produce Robert Eric Shoemaker’s solo performance/installation “Blackboard/Whiteboard” at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

The installation will take place from 5-8 pm on March 2nd. The first performance begins at 6pm, with a ten-minute talkback to occur immediately after the 40-minute show. A second performance will begin at 7pm, with a discussion facilitated by performance artist Gabrielle Civil immediately following. Drinks will be served at the bar throughout the performances.

The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art has opened its doors to the community. Artist Mathias Kessler dedicated space in his own exhibition for creative types to perform or present pieces that developed from Boulder’s cultural ecosystem. A different event occurs every Thursday.

Blackboard/Whiteboard is an installation as well as a 40-minutes performance piece. Please join me as I laugh, cry, and attempt to redefine what it means to be American today, and what community and solidarity can look like.

“I’m not really here
I’m only the shape
of the emptiness
that holds me
the inner space
of those dancing
only in music”

– Cecilia Vicuña

The emptiness that is defining. Angular. “I am the space where I am” – Bachelard— and that space defines me in ways I can’t begin to know. I am a whiteboard.

How do we write about race without talking about color? How do we talk about color without comparison? White in terms of white is not. Opposition becomes the only way to talk about color. Opposition as the space where we are, America today, defining ourselves— as in, “I am not that.”

I want to destroy the meaning of colors. I want to do it in performance. I want you to come up to this installation. And I hope you talk back.

This is the premise of “Blackboard/Whiteboard”: to reference Toni Morrison’s “unspeakable things spoken”, to reference Gabrielle Civil’s translation of the body “into words on the page that were written to be unheard”.

Let me break it down. I am creating a rebellion against structure as well as a celebration of difference in America. “Blackboard/Whiteboard” is an attempt to complicate, intensely, our relations to one another, but also to inspire us to be better.

About the ARTIST

Robert Eric Shoemaker (Writer & Performer) is a poet-playwright, theatre artist, and arts journalist. Eric is an MFA Candidate in Naropa University’s Creative Writing & Poetics program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Eric’s poetry and plays have been featured in “Mosaic”, “Tooth N’ Nail”, “Rollick”, “Literature Emitting Diodes”, “Chicago After Dark”, “Thought Notebook”, “Baseball Bard”, 2017’s “Verde Que Te Quiero Verde”, and his debut collection “30 Days Dry” from Thought Collection Publishing. Eric’s second book of poetry is forthcoming from In Extenso Press, with a third on the way through Partial Press, both expected in 2017.

Follow his work at


Poetry Is Productions brings poetry into all that we do, be it theatre, film, dance, publishing, or a new style of project.


medea conjures dragons” workshop and showcase at Boulder Writers Warehouse, March 25

“(Un)Bound Book Arts Workshop” April 23-May 7 at the Boulder Public Library

medea conjures dragons” production in Fall 2017


Beats: A Naropan Periodical – Writing from a Place of Urgency



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