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Sculptures (In Progress)

Recent Project Updates


The CETACEAN project will culminate in a public performance built around an enormous marionette -a full-scale blue whale puppet suspended and “swimming” through the air of the University of Illinois Stock Pavilion. Using recycled plastic, the 100-foot-long creature will be built by local students—a haunting, crowd-sourced ghost whale. In addition to providing a cathartic communal moment, CETACEAN will serve as an educational platform for ideas about ecological systems, climate change, and resilience, while embodying collaborative processes, sustainability, and interdisciplinary storytelling


CETACEAN’s creative process will...

  • Create a cathartic communal performance.
  • Serve as an educational platform for ideas about ecological systems, climate change, and resilience
  • Embody collaborative processes, sustainability, and interdisciplinary storytelling.
  • Form community with established collaborators (Urbana Parks District, Allerton, UIUC’s Theater Department, School of Art + Design, others) and new partners (Champaign Unit 4 School District, rural Champaign County schools, students from UIUC’s School of Engineering, CU FabLab).
  • Produce a video documenting the performance, made available through local libraries.

CETACEAN will be the sixth event from The Unreliable Bestiary—a life-long venture presenting a performance for every letter of the alphabet, each letter representing an endangered animal. To date we have completed performances about five animals: MONKEY, ELEPHANT, WOLF, BEAR, and TIGER. The ambitious gesture of creating 26 individual pieces is presenting a sliver of our catastrophic loss of habitat and biodiversity. Our hope is that these unconventional events capture the imagination of audiences, allowing them to reframe the ordinary and reconnect to the extraordinary power of the natural world.

No description has been provided yet.

Project Team

  • Project Leader:

    David (Deke) Weaver

    Team Members:

    • Deke Weaver
    • Jenell Hardy


Project Location(s)

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