Currently Closed
Marvin Touré
the blood is the water.
View Exhibition
Catalina Schliebener Muñoz
Deep, Deep Woods
View Exhibition
Isla Hansen
How to Get to Make Believe
View Exhibition
Andrea Peña
States of Transmutation
View Exhibition
Asim Waqif
Assume the Risk
View Exhibition

After School

Teen Art Cooperative
Our Mission

The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Thursday, February 22nd 2024

ART & The Body: Andrea Peña

ART & The Body invites you to a behind-the-scenes event in Andrea Peña's installation, States of Transmutation.  

The body is core to Andrea’s work. The evening will begin with a dance performance activation of the space by dance duo slowdanger. Following the performance, there will be a conversation considering queer studies and the industrial between Andrea Peña, Dr. Madeline Gannon, and Dr. Harrison Apple

Tickets are $10. Members receive $5 off tickets.


About slowdanger

Taylor knight and anna thompson are co-founding artistic directors of slowdanger, a multidisciplinary performance entity utilizing movement, found material, integrative technology, electronic instrumentation, and vocalization to produce performance work since 2013. Based out of Pittsburgh, PA slowdanger synergizes mediums, utilizing process based practice to delve into circular life patterning including effort, transformation, and death. They have been featured in/by Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (2018), MoMA, The Kennedy Center, The Warhol Museum, Usine C, and more. They were 2022 awardees of the NPN Creation Fund and NEFA/National Dance Project to create their work, SUPERCELL which premiered in fall 2023 at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

About Dr. Madeline Gannon

Dr. Madeline Gannon is a multidisciplinary designer blending techniques in art, design, computer science, and robotics to forge new futures for human-robot relations. Also known as "The Robot Whisperer", Gannon specializes in convincing robots to do things they were never intended to do: from transforming giant industrial robots into living, breathing mechanical creatures, to taming hordes of autonomous machines to behave like a pack of animals.

About Dr. Harrison Apple

Harrison Apple is co-director of the Pittsburgh Queer History Project and Associate Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. They received their PhD from the University of Arizona Department of Gender and Women's Studies where they also worked with the School of Information and Computer Science. Their research focuses on community history and participatory archival practices drawing on interventions to the field of public history. Their most recent research and arts practice is the ongoing MS89 Community Archives Screening Series, a live and in-person only event series paying community members represented in the PQHP archives to guide viewers through their historic media and develop intergenerational relationships.


ART & is an opportunity for Mattress Factory artists and the public to connect and explore the themes and ideas behind the work. ART & is an invitation for everyone to get to know the artist and elements that inspired their art. It is a space where the artist can dive deep into a subject that is integral to their work and share that exploration with you.  

ART & features intimate evening programming centered around an exhibiting artist -- the ‘ART’-- paired with a theme or element connected to the artist’s process -- the ‘&.’ 

About the Artist

Peña, a hybrid Latinx artist born in Bogotá, Colombia and residing in the territory of Tiohtiá:ke, Montreal, is known for her dynamic blend of choreography and industrial design. Her work explores the interplay between the human body and the constructed environment. At the heart of Peña’s new exhibition is a deep investigation into the world of hybridity, challenging and redefining our understanding of movement, material, and design. 

About the Exhibition

Upon entering States of Transmutation, visitors will be greeted with curtains reminiscent of both butcher shops and laboratories, offering a surreal gateway into Peña's universe. The exhibit space reveals a cacophony of mutations - from the stark imagery of a steel table bent by a crane to the more delicate harmony of a self-rocking chair, every piece invokes profound contemplation on body, gender, and our human experience.

A central point of Peña's installation is an enigmatic "choreographic machine." Engineered with two slowly moving mechanical arms, this piece is not designed for perfection or flawless replication. Instead, it explores the concept of 'glitch' as an intentional error, questioning our perceptions of the body through its imperfections. Throughout the year long exhibition, visitors will witness a massive silicon piece manipulated by the machine, offering an abstract stand in for the human form and sparking dialogue between the human body and this mechanical presence. Occasionally the machine will be activated by live performers, becoming an interactive spectacle, moving bodies in real-time and highlighting the tension between human agency and technological constraints. The choreographic machine invites viewers to consider the delicate dance between human and technology, emphasizing Peña's exploration of rhythm, temporality, and the harmonious symphonies that emerge from their convergence.

Audio is integral to Peña's installation. In collaboration with composer Debbie Doe, visitors will experience sounds that sit at the intersection of body and machine – visceral, fleshy reverberations that echo through the space.

who IT’s For

All Ages

Date & Times

February 22nd, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Made Possible Thanks To

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