Performer & Storyteller

In the spirit of Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, I spent 30 days doing yoga and writing. This piece reflects on my practice and my life. Available for purchase in early 2018.

Nico Wildwood is an ongoing blog that brings together stories about motherhood, Yellowstone, and living life as a writer.

The Interior tells the story of performance artist Nico Wood Kos stepping off the path of academia and looking for a new trail in Yellowstone National Park. With an infant and a freshly minted Ph.D., Nico spent five months living in the Park's interior, working to carve out a space for her art. In the spirit of self-reliance, Nico operates her own lights and sound from her tiny DIY stage. This show debuted at Cynamon Shop Gallery & Performance Space in Chicago on January 8, 2016.

Written, directed, and performed by Nico Wood Kos.
Download The Interior electronic press kit.

This dissertation explores experimentation—across experimental music, experimental theatre, and experimental film, in addition to the term’s etymology, scientific usage, and colloquial deployment—in order to derive a deeper understanding of what we mean when we say an artwork is experimental, and how this term can help us understand current artistic praxes and products emerging from performance studies contexts.

Madeline, an amateur scientist, experiments with scent to produce altered states of consciousness. Athena, an organic grocery store clerk, experiences tantric awakening through her deep love of fruit. Meanwhile, a long time ago, a lifeboat drifts on the open ocean, and while we may remember who rode it, we might never be able to meet them. In Athena and the Apple, two performers, backed by overhead projector puppetry and a (somewhat) improvised live musical score, inquire into the nature of experience, the meanings of artistic experiments, and the kinky human tendency to test the limits of everything.

Written and directed by Nico Wood.
Assistant directed & designed by A.B.
All roles performed by Pearlshana Cummins & Ruby Roknic.
Inspired in part by Floating on the Ocean by Matthew Swanson of Idiots' Books

Ladies and Gentlemen: Come one, come all to witness the unbelievable Sideshow! Come see the illustrious feats of performance artist Nico Wood as she spins the stories of her family and their torrid history with the performing arts. Using bawdy burlesque, stunning hulla-hooping, death-defying magic tricks, and good old-fashioned storytelling, Nico weaves a world of both passion and mystery. Come learn what she knows, and imagine what she wonders. This show is not for the faint of heart.

Written and performed by Nico Wood.
Originally directed by Dr. Elyse Pineau.
Road direction by Olivia G. Perez-Langley.
Featuring a performance by Carlye Schweska and media work by Lindsay Greer.
Download the Sideshow electronic press kit.

Nico Wood makes a lot of charts. Using large pieces of paper or poster board, she maps out her goals, diagrams essays or performance projects, and arranges images of what she wants out of life. Desire Paths presents a collection of these large-scale, handwritten artifacts spanning six years of graduate study.

Vergette Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois

On the darkest corner of the biggest city (on a street that has no name), sits a gallery: Domina Peabody's Liminal Space. Here Alice, the artist, seeks shelter from a storm. Domina, the failed gallery's beguiling curator, quickly offers Alice a deal: trade her humanity in exchange for underground artistic stardom. "What does an artist need humanity for anyway? Art these days is so primal," Domina croons. Alice agrees, wakes up in a cage, and begins her career as a coveted art object. As this surreal, posthumanist tale takes shape, Alice befriends a Doormouse and a Cuckoo Clock. Together they discover (or forget) what it means to be human.

Written and directed by Nico Wood.
Featuring performances by Lindsay Greer, Andrea Baldwin, Kyle Cheesewright and Hunter Fine.

Director Gabriela Ponce asked Nico to create an immerse media installation to accompany her production of Sarah Kane’s Crave. Using multiple-projectors, live feed cameras built into the set, pre-recorded footage of the cast, and a NuVJ video mixer, she forged an accompaniment to Gabriela's postdramatic work.

Christian Moe Laboratory Theatre, Carbondale, Illinois

This film explores the concept that all matter in the universe–from human bodies, to stars, to celluloid film–is comprised of the same basic elements. It was created by contact printing onto 16mm high-contrast film stock and hand processing. It features original music by Ramah David Jihan Malebranche and was published by Technoculture: an online journal of technology in society.

Cybernetic Fruit is the story of a young cyborg named Red. In an effort to save her Granny from a mysterious interference with rational language, she must travel afar to locate the magical Telstar crystal. With help from her trusty sidekick Twenty Ounce, she must battle demons from without and within. Questioning gender, beauty, memory and above all, perfection, we conjured a world in which the magical combined with the mechanical.

Written through devising with the CF Collective.
Conceived and directed by Nico Wood and Shauna MacDonald.

This digital documentary explores the reign of President George W. Bush through the history of pubic hair removal. (16 minutes)

Music by Moth Dust

Flight of the Bald Circus captures performance artist Nico Wood shaving her head on 16mm B&W film. This piece explores the tension between beauty and rebellion. (6 minutes).

This 16mm color film is a poetic self-portrait of Nico Wood. (4 minutes)

Featuring performances by Samantha Baker Harris and Andrew Auble. Music by Moth Dust.