“UnStorming Sheridan” consists of two bicycle rides commemorating the lives and afterlives of the Haymarket Martyrs.
On November 12, the day after both Veteran’s Day and the 117th anniversary of the Haymarket executions, I traced a route by bicycle from the new Haymarket memorial to Fort Sheridan, broadcasting a mournful and distorted “Internationale” at 4 watts all the way there, my signal growing stronger the farther from ClearChannel’s downtown antennas I traveled. I wish there was some elegant conceptual reason why my homage to the labor martyrs missed them by a day, but there isn’t. On November 11, I had to be at work.
The following May Day, three group bicycle rides in Chicago commemorated the events that made May Day a holiday in most countries, though not in the one in which they took place. The longest, the 27-mile “Unstorming Sheridan” ride, connected the events of the Haymarket tragedy to the militarized repression of radical activism represented by Fort Sheridan, which was built in the year after Haymarket to permanently house Federal troops to ‘deal with’ any labor unrest. In 1894, the troops stormed Chicago to suppress the Pullman strike, following a route roughly similar to that which we reversed on bicycle.
See UnStorming Sheridan website in html. A more elaborately-designed Flash-based documentation website is no longer visible.
Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL – “Version 05,” May 1, 2005.
Ausgang, Chicago, IL – December 21, 2004-March 20, 2005 (online).
Kanouse, Sarah, “Unstorming Sheridan,” microradio commemorative performance and group event documented via web.