About the project

Halt: No Distraction is a performance art installation performed by Jordan Hope Kaltenbruner that serves to give visibility to the boxes, pods, bubbles, containers, minds and bodies we live within, during quarantine times and not. Paired with fractals and poetry, the installation gives space for connection and daydreaming, places a request for personal recalibration and offers intimacy. The performance happened on April 30, 2020, with respectful peace and praise to the lands of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.  



Imagine yourself being  

In your mother’s womb  

As an embryo.  

Stay in the position for a while.  

Ask yourself if you still wish to come out  

Into the world with all the knowledge  

You have of what happened to you  

And how you affected others.  

-Yoko Ono, Life Piece IV, Acorn  


I came to Earth a small seed 

I’ve changed lives many times 

and here we begin again 

“we begin our journey as The Child who longs to know The Self.”  


Change came this spring 

thank God it’s not November  

but I may be more familiar with my inner darkness 

because the sun is shining 

where does darkness sit in your body 

what’s its name? 


If everything is unravelling as it should 

why does it feel s  o  s  l  o  w 

I am frail today 

I am strong today 

I cried for no reason today 

I am laughing today  

the Earth spins holding spectrums of truth 

a mother misses the child 

and I miss my mother 


These times are a new breed 

I’ll send you the zoom link 

I’ll join that workout challenge 

was there any flour at the store 

I saw somebody near somebody else 

covid-19 is going to the dogs 

it’s killing a disproportionate amount of poor people 

this pandemic knows to discriminate 

I don’t remember normal 

it feels like I’m distracting myself 

it feels like a new life 

so why am I acting the same? 


Listen to the sound of your voice singing yourself from one place to the next. Hear how beautiful it is.  


The swans are flying overhead 

I imagine I can fly and honk  

to get myself a space in the V-shape 

right where I know I fit 

freedom floats under my wings 


Rarely, if ever, are we healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.  

-bell hooks, 1990 





…how it played on a loop reminded me that it’s not always continuous progress but often cyclical… 

Claire Siderman, watched on IG live 


…it illustrated so well these changing times and how it brings so many internal conflicts but also a sense of peace and memories… 

Annie-Frederique Pierre, watched live 



performance art 


Jordan is sitting in a box 

performing social distance 

painting her nails cherry 

and eating cereal  


An eerie recall of 

the ennui suspended 

in my bedroom mirror  


Moments amassed in  

the shape of a day, 



It’s BYOB as in 

bring your own boundaries  


Two metres muddled with 

sandy sunbeams 

on coils of wind 


I tell Jordan 

it’s my happiest day 

in weeks 


Gabrielle Plonka, Yukon 



I didn’t know what to expect. The box seemed too small, the evening too cold for us to sit there and ponder living in the time of COVID-19. And I thought pondering was the last thing I wanted to do when I was spending all day every day fighting anxiety.  


But then, she crawled into a glass box. Suddenly I was in tears. Suddenly the isolation and confinement that had been trapping us all were made visible. The collective experience I had been trying to avoid, it was in front of me.  


She painted her nails, she ate cereal, she got bored and made faces at the glass. We watched, we talked, we huddled under blankets. The sun set. Swans flew overhead.  


The best, I think, was just before she emerged. Only a few of us were left, but we were relaxed, laughing, comfortable in that park overlooking the river. It was time for it to end, but I think, if we’d had to, we could have stayed a long time. 

Emily Tredger 


…the slides flipped through different thoughts on our current reality […] the artist gave us a personal window into her pandemic life at home… 

Selina Heyligers-Hare, watched live


This project received financial support from the National Theatre School of Canada via the Art Apart program, an emergency fund for emerging artists who are affected by physical distancing due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

About the artist

Jordan is a performance artist, singer, mover and organizer. She studied performative storytelling at Quest University Canada in Skwxwú7mesh, Squamish. Her work is fuelled by a respect for humxns, a desire to reconstruct her whiteness and a feeling of praise towards the synchronicities / mysticisms of life. She likes the idea of freedom. If you want to get in touch with her, her Instagram is @johopekaltenbruner. She does not bite.