Thursday, April 3, 2014

The development of "Meltdown Fugue" - my piece for the Hatch Festival

So what the heck am I creating for the Hatch Festival?

I'm calling my piece "Meltdown Fugue" -- but I don't want to give too much away by describing it. Instead, I'll share some of my inspirations and fascinations....

In particular, I'm intrigued by the ways we make metaphors. Since 1979, according to, “meltdown” describes not only the literal melting down of a nuclear reactor core, but any incident of quick and castastrophic collapse. Financial systems, emotional stability, organizational structure… How do these behave like a molten reactor core? And after the meltdown, what is left?

I’m particularly fascinated by dictionary definitions, encyclopaedia entries, and scientific tracts. I invite you to create your own definition of “meltdown” here.

I've done some studio explorations with the other Hatchlings as well as some outside collaborators, including Julie Douglas, Maria Leigh, Soren Santos and Marlene Yarosh. We've taken imaginative forays into ice cream, hot summer days and volcanic lava, and a literal foray to Bernal Hill park.

[Soren, Emlyn, Marlene & Julie at a HATCH studio day.]

Finally, I've decided to get radically simple with the concept, exploring literal substances that melt, and the most common use of the "meltdown" metaphor, to refer to emotional collapse.

Please come see what results at the Hatch Festival, April 24, 26 & 27!

Monday, March 10, 2014

No There There

Photos from No There There, a fundraiser for the HATCH Festival of Devised Performance

I directed the fantastic Emma Jaster as a mysteriuos gypsy-like teacup-bearing woman in a short interactive 
piece. Not sure what it was called -- maybe "Home Words." After a weird ritual to wish on the teacups that were tied to her apron strings and scarves, Emma led the audience in reading bits of text found inside the teacups. The text was excerpted form writing I gathered online in response to prompts about "Home." Text by: Emlyn Guiney, Judy & Ron Longworth, me, Sam Ricci, Ross Travis, and Marlene Yarosh. Special thanks to Elizabeth Spreen, Hope Hutman, and Alicia Coombs. 

The fundraiser was a big success, but we still have a ways to go on our Indiegogo campaign, that will allow us to pay performers in the festival. Consider giving a little something!

Teacup lady with hairbrush
Teacup lady in the bushes
Giving out a teacup
Cover the teacup with your hand
Once all the teacups were held...
... each one got a little rub of the hand or tap with the hairbrush...
...then were instructed to focus on the teacup...
...and make a wish.
wish wish wish wish
Each audience's litany of the words from their teacups grew into a gentle caucophony of voices. The teacup lady listened, enjoyed, began humming, then quietly left the circle, her teacups clinking.

Below are more photos, these from Lili Weckler & Julie Katz's wonderfully awkward piece staged inside an empty apartment:
Sammy (Sarah) greets the audience at the door
Sammy (Julie) can't decide what to wear
Sammy (Julie) hopes her husband can entertain the guests while she chooses an outfit -- but Sammy (Lili) is too busy reading the paper.

I loved looking into the apartment from outside during Lili & Julie's performance

Monday, March 3, 2014

FluxWagon - O Best Beloved

Joan's model for FluxWagon - O Best Beloved's mobile & modular outdoor performance stage.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sticky Time photo round-up

Hey, remember back in 2011 when I created animations and interactive projections for Marilee Talkington's Sticky Time? I was working with Lloyd Vance -- who did the live-action video -- and sound designer Colin Trevor. Together we broke QLab a few times and explored the magic of Isadora. I got real friendly with the excellent folk that populate the Isadora user's forum.

We were using four projectors, often running distinct videos from one super intense Power Mac, and I created some four-camera 3D animation as well as a few 2D elements, did a lot of post-work in AfterEffects, and designed the "light painting" interactive element using Isadora.

Here are some shots, with accompanying links. Enjoy.

Rami Margon, Lawrence Radecker and Michele Leavy, with 3D piping. From Lily Janiak's article.
Rami, with more piping. From the Kickstarter page.
Michele painting with light (thanks, Isadora). From George Heymont's review.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Advice from Jeremy

This evening is Day 4 of a five-day training intensive with Double Edge Theatre, hosted by foolsFURY and held at SOMArts.

Jeremy's final notes are posted in the dressing room there. I am not sure which is my favorite; they're all so good. Maybe "turn left always."