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Teaching and College Projects

S-P-O-R-T-S-P-L-A-Y: Go Coogs! (2023)

A Performative Series of Installations exploring the impact of sports on University of Houston’s campus


Created by mike durkin 

With participation from the students in the Collaboration Among the Arts IART Class, led by Professor Melissa Noble, and the Drama Workshop: Dramaturgy as Collaborative Practice, led by Dr. Elizabeth Cohen.  In partnership with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for Arts and Theatre and Dance Department


Performance April 28th, 2023 from 12-2pm


Sports bring people, communities, and cities together to cheer on their favorite teams.  Sports have the capacity to bring unlike-minded individuals together, bonding over: Go Coogs!  Sports can also cause separation to those very same people, communities, and cities.  Sport is inherently competitive: team vs. team, player vs. player. This versus mentality finds its way on and off the field.  On campuses rich with sports history- fanaticism runs deep. How can a sport impact a player, a fan, a neighborhood, a city?  S-P-O-R-T-S-P-L-A-Y is a campus-created performance project led by artist mike durkin that will resemble a tailgate.


Food And Culture, Department of Anthropology, University of Houston (2023)

A 2-week workshop exploring personal recipes

Led by mike durkin 

Part of Dr. Annelise Azua in the Food Studies class in the department of Anthropology

Mike led a 2 week workshop exploring foodways in Texas and specifically in Houston.  The conversations led to a series of presentations about origins of personal recipes and their relationship to foodways in Houston.

and you'll know its done when the oil stops bubbling,
University of Central Arkansas (2022)

A Community-Developed Cookbook and Storytelling Presentation

Created by Lead Artist mike durkin

In Partnership with the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Central Arkansas

6-week Teaching Residency


Public Presentation

Thursday, November 10th, 2022 from 6-8pm


Contributed recipes and installations from the Foundation Studios B students, Food and Culture class students in the Anthropology Department, as well as community members Krystal Booth, Kim Doughty-McCannon, Sharon Mason, Marvin Williams.  Mike spent 6 weeks working in the Foundations Studio Arts Classes, as well as the Food and Culture class in the Anthropology Department exploring and interpreting recipes.  The culminated to a community meal, table scape installation, and sharing session.

S-P-O-R-T-S-P-L-A-Y: Aggieland (2022)

A hybrid social practice performance project comprising athletics, story-telling, theatre, installation, dance, and community building.


Created by mike durkin

Workshop, November 2021

Residency and Performance, April 2022


Multidisciplinary artist, mike durkin creates original performance works that celebrate, challenge, and deconstruct societal concerns of the moment.  The performances blend multiple artistic mediums and are unique to the location created.  mike will be developing his new project: Sportsplay on campus at Texas A&M University.   


Sports bring various peoples, communities, and cities together to cheer on their favorite team. Sports can also separate those very same groups and the nation itself in championship games.   Sport is inherently combative: team vs. team, player vs. player. This versus mentality finds its way on and off the field. What do sports symbolize for our society?  What can the gestures, moves, routines, and plays unlock in daily life?  In a campus rich with sports history, fanaticism runs deep. But can a fanbase go too far, and where do we draw the line regarding celebration versus destruction? How can a sport impact a player, a fan, a neighborhood, a city?  mike, along with students, and departments will present a series of hybrid performance works focused on locating the intersection between community-building, dance, storytelling, and sports.  mike is looking for partnerships and cross-department collaborations. 


mike plans to facilitate workshops and scrimmages bringing together students and staff from different departments. We will be looking at art through an athletic lens and looking at athletics from an artistic lens.  We will be sharing ideas and vocabulary between the different departments.  The performances will be created with participants to explore our ability to find common ground through teamwork, competition, and spectatorship.   The scrimmages will be a blend of community dialogue, sport, improv, and performance creation.  This will culminate in a performative installation modeled after a tailgate.  We will be working to understand the history of Football at A&M, aspirations for athletes, understanding race dynamics in and around College Station, TX. 

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