Projects

Representative Creative Projects

Bowdoin College

Love and Information by Caryl Churchill – March 2-4, 2018

Images & details will eventually be posted here, but I didn’t manage it before I started at York, so it will be a while….

Intermedia Performance Studio
play/share beyond/in

In 2009-2010, I coordinated and supervised the collaborative project play/share beyond/in. This project (eventually implemented by graduate students from the Department of Media Study at UB) was a technology-driven scavenger hunt exploring the history and culture of Western New York though a series of interactive missions. Using SMS-enabled mobile phones the game brings players through the galleries and installations in the Beyond/In Western New York 2010 exhibition, as well as other sites of historical, ecological, or cultural interest. The game ran twice, once on July 31, 2010, and for two weeks from October 16 to October 30, 2010.
http://ips.buffalo.edu/?p=49

WoyUbu: Watch or Play?
WoyUbu: Watch or Play? was an original translation/adaptation/mash-up of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck and Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, presented as two connected, simultaneous performances on either side of a wall running through the middle of the space. Upon entering the performance space, audience members choose which side they will engage. On one side of the wall, the audience watched a version of Büchner’s Woyzeck, set against 3D projection animations. On the other side of the wall, the audience interacted with the Ubu characters and participated in the story, including shooting Nerf guns at robots and making mischief in front of a green screen. These antics of the Ubus were projected on the other side of the wall as Woyzeck’s addled hallucinations. For the Ubu audience, the story of Woyzeck was only visible through narrowly focused, low resolution surveillance cameras shown on small black and white televisions. The choice for the audience was thus: would you rather watch, seeing everything but not being able to participate; or would you choose to play and interact with the characters, but sacrifice seeing the full version of what you had created? The production thus laid bare the choices for digital manipulations from afar: those who participate and consume technology rarely see the full consequences for their actions, while the passive consumers of technology (the watchers) see more, but can do relatively little to affect what they see. http://ips.buffalo.edu/?p=219

Performances:

  • Buffalo, NY – March 9-31, 2009
  • Ingenuity Art + Technology Festival, Cleveland, OH (Featured Artist) – July 14-16, 2009

Related Publications :

  • J. Anstey, A.P. Seyed, S. Bay-Cheng, J. Bono, D. Pape, S. Shapiro. “Agent Takes the Stage,” International Journal of Art and Technology 2.4 (2009): 277-296.
  • D. Pape, S. Bay-Cheng, J. Anstey, D. Mauzy. “WoyUbu: Experiments with video-gaming in live theatreGames Entertainment Media Conference (GEM), 2015 IEEE (Oct. 14, 2015): 1-4.

365 Days/365 Plays
In 2004, Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks decided to write a play a day for a year. Starting on November 11 (the day Parks began her writing project) in 2006-2007, regional and university theaters produced the full year of Parks plays in their originally written order, occurring simultaneously across the country. The Intermedia Performance Studio (IPS) at the University at Buffalo, in conjunction with the Departments of Theatre Dance, Media Study, and English, presented the week of plays from April 23rd through April 29th as part of its ongoing mission to integrate digital technology, interactive fiction, virtual reality, and embodied performance. Within the IPS, Parks plays take on new dimensions through digital characters, audience interaction, and live dancers and actors. The IPS production of 365 Days/365 Plays occurred in two performance, April 26-27, 2007 in the Intermedia Performance Studio at the University at Buffalo. http://ips.buffalo.edu/?p=19 

Performances :

  • April 26-27, 2007

Reviews :

  • Buffalo News 20 April 2007, p.14
  • 365 National Newsletter (Yale University), April 2007

Torn Space Theater: 2010 – present

Production Dramaturgy

Since 2009, I have collaborated with the Torn Space Theatre as production dramaturge. Contributions include dramaturgical research, production advising, program notes, and coordination of related events (ex., Marvin Carlson’s visit and lecture in association with Emperor and Galilean, 2012). Past productions with the theater include:

Emperor and Galilean by Henrik Ibsen adapted by Neil Wechsler from translation by Brian Johnston (2012)

The Outlaw Show, collaboration by Torn Space Theater and The Real Dream Cabaret (2012)

Aunt Dan and Lemon by Wallace Shawn (2011)

Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen by Caryl Churchill (2010)

Recent Posts

An Open Letter to Students: “Don’t Wait”

Dear arts student:

You are essential.

I hope that wherever you are in the world and whatever discipline you practice or field you study, that you’ll continue your creative work this year. We need you.

Amid all the current uncertainty and planning, it is so tempting to wait for things “to go back to normal.” As the parent of someone who just finished his first year of university, I see the challenges of the zoom classroom and understand the appeal of taking a break until this current situation is all over. But it’s not clear yet what the next “normal” will look like or when it may come. Some things may resemble what we remember; others will be forever different. While this uncertainty can be a cause of anxiety, it also offers a rare opportunity, especially for the next generation of global artists.

Emerging artists, designers and scholars entering universities today have a rare opportunity to explore what the arts can do and to encounter questions of the past with fresh eyes. Those who participate in this exploration, will set the stage for the future of creative practices to come. Now is the time to take part in these changes and to determine what kind of future we all will have.

Beyond the university, creative fields and industries are rapidly changing in response to the current crisis. Arts education will change alongside, working together with community and professional partners to navigate these shifts. Students learning today have the chance to participate in these discussions from the beginning and to prepare in real time for whatever comes next. This is what real experiential education is all about. It’s not just about adapting to changes as they come, but also having a say in what comes next.

As the Dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University,  I’m committed to supporting students in this work over the next year and beyond: to helping learners across the arts and design navigate these changes, prepare for the future, and be a part of a sustainable future for the arts. It’s not just about making things different; it’s about making them better.

Around the world and in many different kinds of institutions, faculty and staff are working tirelessly to adapt and to prepare for this future. But we need your help.

If only a few people participate in defining the future of the arts, then the inevitable changes to come will benefit only those select few. In the wake of COVID-19, we have seen just how essential the arts are to our collective and individual well-being and also how unequally the effects of this disease are experienced. We cannot afford to lose a new generation of voices and a diversity of perspectives now. The changes underway are too big and too important to be left just to established artists, no matter how experienced or talented. To ensure a sustainable and inclusive future for the arts, we need many different perspectives, most especially those who are just beginning their arts education.

So whatever you do, don’t give up. And don’t sit this one out. You have the opportunity to drive the changes that will define the future of creative arts and industries. A former coach of mine had a favourite phrase that hung over her desk: “Good things come to those who wait. But only the things left by those who hustle.” Now is the time to hustle.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that anyone should risk either their own health and safety, or those of their loved ones and their communities. The first priority right now must continue to be our collective well-being. This priority is precisely why we need the broadest range of people engaging in the discussion of what comes next in arts and design. We need to continue to revise our practices with the most vulnerable in mind and to ensure maximum inclusion and participation for all.

We cannot afford to wait and we can’t just look back at what has been lost. If we’re going to get through this time together, we need to expand what’s possible. More than anything, we need to ensure that whatever changes may come our way, that they work for everyone.

That’s why I hope that you — young artists, thinkers, designers, scholars, and innovators —  will continue your creative and educational journeys this fall. Wherever you go, know that your voice, your perspectives are needed to help us all make sense of this time and to create a better version for tomorrow.

However those of us in the arts are working over the next year, it won’t be about equipment or technology or buildings. It will be about people and ideas and imagination. We will learn to communicate differently and to collaborate in new ways. These changes are too important and far-reaching to happen without the active involvement of emerging artists. To create an inclusive and sustainable future for the arts, industries, arts organizations and universities need you, the next generation, your ideas and talents, to define this future.

We need the next generation to define and improve the next normal. I can’t wait to get started.

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