Institute of Queer Ecology: Hysteria

October 12 – December 16, 2023

Thursday – Saturday, dusk – 11pm

Urban Video Project (UVP)
Everson Museum Plaza
401 Harrison Street

Related Events

Light Work’s Urban Video Project is pleased to present The Institute of Queer Ecology: Hysteria at our architectural projection venue on the Everson Museum facade.

The Institute of Queer Ecology will also host a special event, Strange Terrain, in Conversation with Jack Halberstam on November 2nd at 6:30 PM. Strange Terrain will take place at Hosmer Auditorium, located in the Everson Museum.

About the Work


Hysteria is an original video by IQECO. In this work, the institute uses image, movement, and sound to construct an ecofeminist retelling of the poorly understood “dancing plagues” that swept through Europe between the tenth and the seventeenth centuries. The afflicted dancers are subtly recast as pointedly subversive agents entangled in environmental contagion and contamination that drive these wild, manic uprisings.

Dancing plagues (also referred to as dancing mania, choreomania, and tarantism) were spontaneous social phenomena in which groups of people, at times in the thousands, danced erratically and without restraint. The mania affected people of all ages and genders, and they often danced until they collapsed from exhaustion or suffered injury and even death.

Shot in and around Syracuse as part of Light Work UVP’s Residential Media Art Commission program, Hysteria features many iconic Central New York locations, including the Syracuse Metro Water Treatment Plant on Onondaga Lake, Pratt’s Falls, and Stone Quarry Art Park.

About the Artists

Institute of Queer Ecology (IQECO) is an ever-evolving collaborative organism producing interdisciplinary art as a tool of critical optimism and queer futurity in the face of vanishing “nature.”

IQECO was co-founded in 2017 by Lee Pivnik and Nicolas Baird. To date, the Institute of Queer Ecology has worked with over 125 different artists to present interdisciplinary programming that oscillates between curating programs and directly producing artworks. IQECO projects are grounded in the theoretical framework of Queer Ecology. This theoretical framework is an interdisciplinary approach to dismantling heteronormative and institutional discourse surrounding sexuality and nature. Queer Ecology also forges a pathway to reimagine environmental interconnectivity, politics, and evolution through a queer lens. The collective works to overturn the destructive human-centric hierarchies by imagining an equitable, multi-species future.

The Institute of Queer Ecologies explores queer lives on both individual and collective levels. On an individual level, we understand change and transformation in intensely personal ways. On a collective level, the queer community is a space of eccentric economies and mutual support, of found families and utopian dreams, of care and connection and the net benefits species gift one another.

IQECO has presented projects with the Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY), the Institute of Contemporary Art (Miami, Florida), the Julia Stoschek Collection (Düsseldorf, Germany), the Medellín Museum of Modern Art (Medellín, Colombia), the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade (Serbia), the Biennale of Sydney (Australia), Prairie (Chicago, IL), Bas Fisher Invitational (Miami, FL) Gas Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), and Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), among others.

Hysteria personnel:

Daniel Ayat

Nicolas Baird

Maya Bjornson

Dasychira (Adrian Martens)

Nadia Hannan

Juan Heilbron

Aimee Lin

Juan Luis Matos

Lee Pivnik

Read more about IQECO here:


This exhibition was supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature and by the County of Onondaga through the Tier Three Program administered by CNY Arts.

Hysteria was co-commissioned by Light Work and the Kestner Gessellschaft (Hannover, Germany) and was shot in Syracuse in February 2023.