Situations is a short film that explores what it means to be human in an increasingly abstract world. The film draws on ideas from the French existentialists’ notion of universal human freedom, and places this freedom in a cold and empty contemporary postmodern world inspired by recent scholarship. Aesthetically, Situations builds on a visual style appropriated from an analysis of the similarities between Japanese and Scandinavian cinema – the film attempts to tell the story through long takes and wide shots, where the characters are observed in their situations rather than followed by narrative decisions.
Between Two Rocks is a stage performance inspired by the Norse folktale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. A cast of five performers animates scenic space with movement, words, and large piles of sheep fleece as they extract, flip, and spin an ever-expanding horizon. The encounter between traditional handcraft and live performance, written story and oral telling, human and animal merge in a visual, sensory experience that emphasizes the physical and imaginary edges of the proscenium stage space. The work draws ideas from postdramatic theatre and theories of landscape on stage. Between Two Rocks is at times a concert of objects, at others a fleecy dance, occasionally a display of traditional labour, yet ultimately a weaving of theatrical elements in a physical animation of space.
A brightness – a signal – a sign (the light explored and questioned everything) ((tlattic in xochitl in cuicatl)) is a project that begins with a process of walking throughout Vancouver, finding objects, walking with the objects, then constructing sculptures collaboratively with them. This is done while considering the possibility for quantum entanglement between the human and non-human, and forming a bond between the human body, the sites where the objects are found, and the found objects themselves. This labour is driven by the experience of being an immigrant living within a diaspora and is a performative means for creating a dynamic and reciprocal relationship with the Land of Vancouver.
'The cities, they tremble' traces the connections between place, identity and sound, through an examination of resonance and vibration in everyday life. When speaking of our sounding environments, the distinction between the body and its environment becomes blurred - our bodies literally resonate with our surroundings through the vibration of sound. Informed by a practice in active listening and improvisation, 'The cities, they tremble' is an attempt to reveal the hidden processes that surround and influence us, as well as the ways in which our individual notions of place and identity are shaped and mediated through these sounds.
Sugar’s Waste is an experimental, theatrical music performance, one hour in duration. The work features songs, experimental choral work, and atmospheric instrumental pieces. The scores are created by hand, using a combination of traditional, durational, graphic and indeterminate notation. The core ensemble is a string quintet that doubles as a vocal chorus; some pieces feature further additions, such as live digital processing, electric guitar, piano and hand-held tape recorders. Short poetry readings are scattered throughout. Sugar’s Waste is related to 20th and 21st Century non-narrative, post-operatic practices, as well as popular music formats such as conceptually-integrated recorded albums. The songs and scores were written concurrently with a series of poetic texts that address themes of partition, enclosure and resistance in the historical and imaginary ‘range’ of early post-contact North America. These themes inspired the staging, set and sound design of the work.
Object Dialogues is a composition for 13 performers that consists of a series of composed actions and events that explore the musicality of non-musical actions, the perception of space, the visualization/sonification of natural cycles such as heart beats or breathing, the objectification of instruments, and the instrumentalization of objects. Throughout the piece, the performers interact with a number of objects, ranging from the exotic to the banal, revealing the performative potential of the things that surround us. The performance venue is continuously shaped and re-shaped through shifting light, moving sound, mobile performers, and both vertical and horizontal spatialization. The intended result resembles a living space, changing and reacting to external factors imposed upon it. This examination of how light and sound interact with space, blurs the lines between theatre, performance art, and contemporary music; as compositional material is expanded to include actions beyond those traditionally considered to be "musical".
Real and virtual experience combine to produce personal narratives. Personal narratives move through spaces and bodies. Flatness, a devised spoken-word piece with electronic soundscape accompaniment, saw its performer/devisers, Matt Horrigan and Julia Siedlanowska, break accounts of their homes and selves into scattered anecdotes, creating a non-teleological storytelling structure which greeted its audience as a performance installation. A diary of moments, an exploration of generative media, and a farewell to fantasy videogamescapes, Flatness attempted to create a world of meaningful objects that refused co-operation with perspective, aiming instead to function as a voluntarily-explored, non-immersive, medium.
Each night, somewhere in this vast cosmos, Beta Pink’s Space Bar snaps into existence, formed by the telepathic world-making of an assemblage. The bar lasts only as long as the assemblage speaks it into being, closing each night as puzzlingly as it opened. For two nights in 2016, Pink’s Bar materialized in the dismal school halls of a university you’ve probably heard of. There, a spongy yet seductive encounter between humans, things, and others oscillated, pillows told melancholy stories of loves lost, and fans orchestrated an endless hair toss. XXXX TOPOGRAPHY (pronounced “sexy sexy sexy sexy topography”) is a work of Imaginary Theatre by The Party (interdisciplinary artists Kyla Gardiner and Layla Marcelle Mrozowski) that flirts with the radical otherness prowling somewhere between you and not you. The Party’s distinctive genre, Imaginary Theatre, inhabits a landscape slightly left of science fiction and parallel to magical realism, its surface a fanciful stratum of the possible and the improbable.
Over the last one hundred years, thousands of Czechs participated in an informal counterculture movement called tramping. Drawing inspiration from fantasies of the Wild West, Czech tramping adapts and appropriates the clothing, cultural practices and geographic signifiers of the American frontier. Although its participants have traditionally identified themselves as apolitical, recent Czech scholarship has examined how seemingly individual acts of ‘escapism’ can amalgamate into a politics of resistance. Klasika explored the utopian possibilities of Czech tramping alongside the work of Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge, with a special focus on their notion of the ‘real’ public sphere. The project spanned a year and a half and culminated in a live performance event blending musical theatre, popular song and creative non-fiction\documentary forms. Over thirty artists working in music, theatre, film and visual arts contributed work for both the live performance and a series of events and artworks inspired by project themes.