Julie Phelps intentionally translates herself across multiple public roles because she values hybridity as an offset for dogmatics and polemics, maintaining mutable specialization in her creative work. She consistently engages the economy (as structure, system, notion) and queer (as tactic, aesthetic, question) as a lens for perception, communication, and action. Phelps first began working onstage, in theater and speech when she was 14. Dance became the cornerstone of her practice in 2008 when she began studying with Sara Shelton Mann in San Francisco and fell in with a loose community of people making performances in and around Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory. Her stage work is often framed within improvised dance, state-based work, and improvised spoken word/storytelling.
She has been part of hundreds of devised/collaborative contemporary live art projects, either as performer or producer. Notably, Phelps is the artistic & executive director of CounterPulse, a transdisciplinary arthouse on Ramaytush Ohlone land known as San Francisco. She also co-instigated what became the collectively improvised failure dance Turbulence (a dance about the economy) with Keith Hennessy which toured the US and Europe 2012 to 2017. Currently, she am collaborating with Marc Kate on an improvised work at the intersection of experimental music and experimental dance (CounterPulse + McEvoy Foundation for the Arts at Djerassi, Sept 2021) and Ruairí Ó’Donnabháin on DICK, a project looking at the methodology of metaphor currently in residency at Open Futures and slated to premiere in Ireland 2021.