Audio, video, generative and participatory installation
Experimental Comminglings is an experimental art installation where the audience can interact with it by altering and experimenting with the materials included in the artwork. This exhibition is an experimental space that commingles art and science, permitting the exchange of new ideas and explorations. This art installation works as a laboratory in which participants can add to and experiment with, becoming part of the evolution and transformation of the installation.
This installation activates new dialogues within art and the environment by using natural materials to create an immersive lab with experiments and informative information. We embrace and exchange creative engagements with the Montville and Belfast community to help supply and source these materials. Experimental Comminglings engages, relates and responds to environmental, social, and artistic changes, permitting educational outreach and community engagements. Project in collaboration with Siglinde Langholz.
2014 Immersive culinary incident
Invasive Species explores the concept of what it means to belong to the community and culture of Maine through storytelling, environment, and food. Many people from Maine have strong ideas about the differences between ‘natives’ and people ‘from away’ that are based around protecting local culture. For this performance, the audiences arrived to a setting reminiscent of being on a Maine river at night as the moon reflected off of the water. Seated in canoes, each facing each other with a table in between, the audience was encouraged to strike up a game of cribbage as they wait. The actress led the audience through stories of a life recently passed while generative imagery was projected based on her improvised reflections on the events of her life. Twisted versions of local comfort foods, including corn chowder, baked beans, haddock cakes, shepherds (China) pie, and whoopie pies, were served between stories and became integral to the overall storytelling effort.
2013 Immersive culinary incident In collaboration with the Core 5 Incident
Knick’d explored the relationship between consciousness and memory. Knick’d tells the story of a woman lost in her memories, no longer the commanding figure she had been for decades but still with her own strong ideas on the fraternal society she leads. Other members of that society we met did not take such a broad perspective on their world. The audience at this show were honored guests of a meeting of the Maine Careus Lochos, an organization with deep and secretive roots that has analogues in groups like the Freemasons and Odd Fellows.
As with its predecessors, Knick’d was a show built around the interplay of performance, food, environment, and media. In this case, though, different audience members were intended to have different experiences based on their location in the space. Two video screens played two different media streams throughout the evening, but the audience could only see one of these screens at any given time. The media being played were similar enough that they might be thought identical on casual inspection, but each screen told a different story. There was also greater interaction between the characters and audience during Knick’d than there had been in previous shows as the actors sat and ate with the audience in character throughout the evening.
2010-2011 Immersive culinary incident In collaboration with the Core 5 Incident
Set in the late 23rd century, The Gorsedd takes place in a world where most of the population has fallen victim to the Singularity Virus, a pathogen that degrades long-term memory in humans to the point where most people can remember no more than the last month of their lives. Like in An Evening with Professor Enki, the audience’s presence is folded into the story line: they are attending a meeting organized by some of the few humans unharmed by the virus to help them remember their lives and deal with situations that arise because of their conditions.
An Evening with Professor Enki
2010 Collaborative dinner theater
The premise of the An Evening with Professor Enki was to explore the relationship between memory and consciousness. It is a story of love, loss, and the collective insanity that gripped the world during the atomic era of the mid-20th century. Enki is structured as a hybrid play and vaudeville show with an overarching narrative and a series of embedded skits that reflect and comment upon the central story. It engages the audience by integrating the reason for their being there–seeing a show and having a nice dinner–into the story that unfolds throughout the night.
The audience entered a bubbling laboratory, rich with history before our time, as wandering scientists of questionable origin stop to observe the local inhabitants. Whether they wanted to or not, the audience became participants and were forced into playing along by the environment surrounding them; in turn this allowed the audience to become collaborators in creating the world in which they were immersed. It was intentionally unsettling, a combination laboratory, alchemical lab, and old-fashioned sanitarium. They were barraged by audio and video including dual projection screens and an eight-point sound system mixed with the goal of creating an atmosphere that bounced from comedy to the most serious topics of the nuclear age. The people they met there did not make them feel better either: There was an entire group of characters who were there strictly to enhance this feeling of discomfort. Throughout the evening, observers watched the audience as a group of silent record keepers who took note of everything they eat, drink, and say. The confounding atmosphere continued until the very end of the evening, when the show concluded by leaving the audience in darkness.