The wounded heart logo for Performance Space New York arose from Sarah Ortmeyer's visit with Milton Glaser at his studio in Manhattan. He opened up her black heart painting on paper with a scissor cut. Glaser invented the iconic I ♥ NY logotype in 1976 in the back of a taxi. It was drawn with crayon on scrap paper, the original drawing is held in the collection of MoMA. The new visual identity of Performance Space New York is based on Ortmeyer's black heart and dark rainbow palette and was developed and executed with designer Erin Knutson from 2017-2019.
In contrast to most of Ortmeyer's artworks, the black heart logo finds itself in different modes of circulation: committing to function for an institution, while slowly detaching from Ortmeyer as its creator – escaping the art world and operating beyond frames, white walls, and distinct definitions of authorship. It consented to be distributed wildly into the mainstream, in divergent variations and media.
Founded as Performance Space 122, in 1980, from an explosion of radical self-expression amidst the intensifying American culture wars, Performance Space New York is considered one of the birthplaces of contemporary performance as it is known today. The early acts that defined the organization’s unique role in New York cultural history asserted themselves as living, fleeting, and crucially affordable alternatives to mainstream art and culture of the 1980s and early 90s. Emboldened by the inclusive haven of a tight knit group of artists, performers engaged in radical experimentation and created hybrid works that existed somewhere between dance, theater, poetry, ritual, film, technology and music. Today, in a time marked by divisive and oppressive politics, Performance Space New York builds on its own traditions of integration, political involvement and vehement interdisciplinarity, most recently embodied by artists like Princess Nokia, Kathy Acker, Diamanda Galás, Underground Resistance, Donna Haraway, BRUJAS and Penny Arcade.