SPREAD ART TAKES OVER THE MAZE
REMOTE CONTROL TOMATO / THOMAS BELL & CHRISTINA DEROOS
A physical maze of wood and string, created by Trouble (Laura Paris and Sam Hillmer) and installed at Secret Project Robot, presented a unique opportunity for a five-hour cross-disciplinary performance collaboration. The performance began with a site-specific, two-person sound and visual installation (Remote Control Tomato/Thomas Bell, electronics, and Christina deRoos, real-time video mix with live camera feed from one laptop using Isadora to four projectors).
Three hours later additional artists began to join the performance one by one, with no advance instruction other than to integrate with and react to the surrounding environment. Most sound artists selected an area of the maze and set up their equipment—laptop, iPod, microphone, inflatable zebra—while David Tamura roamed the space with a saxophone. Performance artists Matthew Silver, dragging a plastic horse, and Hiroshi Shafer independently interacted with other artists and audience participants.
The work provided an opportunity for visual and sound artists accustomed to improvisational environments to incorporate performance artists into the landscape. For the performance artists it was an opportunity to integrate durational performance into an environment layered with video and sound ranging from abstract and ambient to driving and cathartic. Spread Art used the Maze to foster this collaboration because it presented more possibilities for interaction with audience participants and among artists than a traditional stage or performance setting.
The durational performance had as its sole objective spontaneous creativity and collaboration. As an experiment in mixing visual, sonic and performance artists it was a success. The artists involved, all of whom were familiar working in improvised settings within their medium, found themselves in an overall unfamiliar performance environment with an uncommon level of unpredictability from both other artists and audience participants.
Spread Art intends to continue inviting artists from various disciplines to collaborate in unique settings as a means to expand the typical expectation of group performance.