Dionysia 2015

For this year’s Dionysia, held at the Honors College, the Aletheia is seeking readers, performers and artists to showcase their work on the theme of conflict. Each year the Dionysia is based around an updated version of a Greek tragedy or comedy , which is performed by students. The festival also includes a range of artistic events, panel conversations, etc.

We would love to showcase your work dealing with conflict! Details listed below- or feel free to send us questions at thealetheiasubmissions@gmail.com



Feature: Wade Meadors

Wade Meadors is currently a student at the University of Houston’s College of Architecture. The Aletheia sat down with Wade to discuss his experiences as a student of architecture and past projects. Some of these include a joint project based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the LA River YMCA, and Architecture as Theater.


You can view Wade’s animation for Architecture of Theater here.


 Wade’s portfolio can be viewed at:


Interview and video conducted by Diamante Reyes

Call for submissions and editors!

The Aletheia Journal is currently seeking undergraduates from the University of Houston to submit work for our upcoming journal and to apply for editor positions!

Every semester we publish a print journal, along with online content, featuring undergraduates from the University of Houston working in a variety of media. We are currently accepting submissions through December 21. We accept all forms of art including poetry, fiction, theater, visual art, music, and more! Full submission guidelines here: https://thealetheiajournal.wordpress.com/submission-guidelines/

We are also seeking new editors. The journal maintains 3-5 associate editors at any given time, and the position is open to any University of Houston undergraduate. Editorial duties include reviewing submissions, designing print content, conducting interviews, and marketing the journal. Please send a cover letter (including graduation date) and resume to thealetheiasubmissions@gmail.com

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Efficacy in Practice: Performing Arts students at large in Houston

Four University of Houston students, Amber Baker, Anasheh Partiai, Sarah Rodriguez and Brandon Zech recently performed at Fringe Festival, the self-described “forum” of performance art. The Aletheia teamed up with two of these artists, Sarah Rodriguez and Brandon Zech, to talk about visual art, performance, experience, and the spaces in between. The resulting interview gives us a look at the University’s role in creating a multi-faceted art experience for all of Houstonians to enjoy.

The Aletheia: Your work together began in IART 3395, Efficacy in Practice. What about the class led to this collaboration?

Sarah: IART 3395 was a tiny class, four people total. So it was kind of impossible not to collaborate when we got the opportunity. Our intentions and hopes for the project were so similar we just decided to roll with it. 

Brandon: After the class ended, I believe all of us still had a desire to create. We mounted a successful exhibition together, and therefore believed we could do so again.

TA: As art history, philosophy and dance students, you’re a pretty diverse bunch. What unites you in your practice?

S: This is kind of a cheesy answer, but what really tied us together were ideas of accessibility. I think our works embody that idea very differently (Brandon’s piece, through vulnerability, Amber’s piece through education, and mine through queer spaces), but at their root, I really think accessibility is what’s important. 

B: Our practices are united in the fact that they do not stick within one discipline. I study art history, but I also make art. Further than that, some of my performances have a very dance-like fashion to them. No one in the group sticks within any boundaries. This is why everyone’s practice works so well together.

TA: How has your creation process worked as collaborators?

B: We are interesting in our collaboration in that we put on a show as a collective, but each member has a distinctive voice. The ideas and motivational forces behind the pieces are not necessarily directly related. We are not trying to put on a themed show. Rather, each artist addresses issues that they are concerned with, and in turn, there is a poignant theme of personal challenge running throughout the show.

TA: Is it most individual or collective?

S: We give each other advice and critiques, but I think we work pretty individually when it comes to final products. 

B: In the creation of single pieces, I would say it is mostly individual. However, the conceptualization of the pieces has involved a large amount of input from all members of the group.

TA: Neither one of you comes from a performance background originally. Why performance, now?

S: I like to think of performance as a way to create experiences, not necessarily through a stage and lighting. I use performance as a way of interacting with a space or idea that one normally wouldn’t seek out. Performance then becomes something I, as an artist, can experience along with the audience, so I gain something I normally wouldn’t from just putting up work on the wall. 

B: For this piece, as it has to do with everyday acts of vulnerability, performance was the best way to present it. It was a work that involved lots of doing. Also, it had a strong relation to the physical body – particularly, my physical body. In this sense, performance was the best way to communicate the message of the work.

TA: Talk a little about what has happened since Fall 2013 with your collaborative.

S: Well, we’ve actually gotten quite a bit from our collaborations. Last April, we had a show at DiverseWorks that was a more traditional collaboration. We developed the piece together and incorporated all of our styles, very successfully, I would say! So that was very cool. 

B: We have been through a few different stages of thinking about things. We presented a performance at the art space DiverseWorks that was in dialogue with our 2013 exhibition The Art of Everyday Politics, and then, for the Houston Fringe Festival, we reconceptualized our original exhibition. All in all, it has involved a large amount of meditative thinking on the original issues we chose to address.

TA: What did you bring to Fringe Festival?

B: As a performer, I brought a piece of performance art. It resembles dance, but upon closer inspection, it has many nuanced qualities that blur traditional media. As a collective, we are bringing a new look on the politics of everyday life and what makes up the world around us.

TA: How have your performances morphed?

S: I like working, and I think we all like working, with materials inspired by or borrowed from the everyday. So, for our show at Alabama Song, I created a reading space that lasted for twenty four hours. For Fringe, I decided to narrow the focus a little bit. The piece is only in the women’s bathroom, and uses queer and feminist texts in a way that attempts to remove the stigma of accessing these ideas by effectively removing the male gaze. 

Maybe that’s actually widening the lens after all. Haha. 

B: Since it has been a number of months since I originally performed my work, I have been able to look back on it and see the effect it had on my art making. I have taken this into account, and, for the Fringe Festival performance, I modified my original dance to include a segment of me talking about the project in an intimate fashion. Recorded days before the festival, it was the first time I deeply looked back at the project itself, and by recording it, the project became self aware.

Interview by Sara Balabanlilar

Feature: Nicole Nguyen

Nicole Nguyen is currently a student in the University of Houston’s College of Pharmacy. Her piece, ‘Peak’, is published in Volume 7 of The Aletheia.

Interview conducted by Adrienne Meyers, Associate Editor of The Aletheia.

The Aletheia: In ‘Peak’, you speak a lot about genetics and where the study of genes will take us in the future. Do these ideas come from topics you study in the pharmacy school, or do they spring from a more general sci-fi interest?

Nicole Nguyen: I have taken a class in genetics before, but what really made me excited to write this piece was that I could put my own spin on a popular concept. Society has always toyed with the idea of living forever, but what if it’s simply not possible? With all the medical advances, surely there would be a compromise. So, what is it about immortality that appeals to people? What I gathered is that it is not necessarily about the time, but increasing the opportunities to make memories and have experiences. Along those lines, I thought of experiences that are generalized to certain periods in a life span; awkward adolescence, declining with old age, and of course the “Peak” of adulthood. What if everyone could experience those times, and as with everything, what would be the downfalls? So in a general answer to the question, I believe that constitutes a general sci-fi interest I didn’t realize I had.

TA: What is the relationship like between your class work and your creative writing? Does the writing provide you with a chance to explore different perspectives, or does it work closely within your primary field of study?

NN: I would definitely say that my creative writing allows me to explore the line of “what if” thoughts that occasional come to mind, and while my study of pharmacy doesn’t directly relate, I notice it affects how I approach a subject. Since I’m pursuing healthcare, I like to view the situation from the point of view of the patient, or the person being affected. Considering the scenario from both sides I can address the positives and negatives of all angles and flesh out more details to make the piece more plausible.

 TA: Your writing is written in a very conversational voice. Are you writing as yourself or creating a character voice to write through?

NN: My intention was to narrate from the perspective of a typical person who is living out the aftermath of some intangible person’s design. While I didn’t rely on the factual knowledge from my classes, I did base what little scientific information I offered on how I believe patients see the aspects of healthcare they don’t understand. Similarly, here the voice belongs to a generalized character that lacks insight on how the chemical works. The narrator also speaks curtly, not giving the reader a chance to ask questions to reflect their lack of control on the situation as well.

TA:  How did you begin writing? Is it something you’ve always been interested in, or did your writing begin more recently?

NN: I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I have to be very inspired by an idea for something to actually be put down on paper. I don’t make time to write, rather if I happen to come across a concept I try and jot it down. Then when I feel like putting words together I try and decipher what my idea was and find the same inspiration. Usually the original focus of the piece is lost in side thoughts that branch out from my poking and prodding, but I like to write without restriction and see how the story molds in the end. All detours and deviations are welcome.