Monday, April 15, 2013

Introducing the Artist-Investigator Program

The Triangle Lab -- a joint program of Cal Shakes and Intersection for the Arts -- brings theaters, artists, and communities together to make change.  When we started thinking about how performance can play a role in making change, solving urban problems, and engaging broader participation from more different people, we knew we wanted to ask artists to tell us what they think the performances of the future might look like.

In fact, we wanted to empower artists to be investigators, to conceive experiments that would help us all  learn more about the role of our art form in a changing cultural environment.  Moreover, we wanted these experiments to be small-scale, easy to accomplish in one year with a small budget.  We wanted them to be experiments that we could learn from, replicate, and share - nimble projects that could work on the kind of innovation timeline we see in the technology sector, rather than on the slow-moving path of season planning.

Last fall, we put out a call for proposals and were stunned when we received 140 applications from artists from all disciplines, a staggering pool of fascinating ideas.  As we reviewed the proposals, we found interesting clusters of thought -- a large number of applicants designed experiments around bringing people together to eat, many proposals delved into very intimate performance  - in someone's home, for an audience of one, or  -- in one case -- taking people's pulses and turning them into music.  A number of proposals brought performance to troubled streets in different Bay Area cities, while others went far inside, looking at online sites for experiments.

Susie Lundy talks about her project "Sky Burial" an installation of 131 pairs of wings  at the location of each 2012 homicide site in Oakland

It was challenging to select just ten of these projects and we knew we wanted to  keep the other applicants in conversation, as we work to build a network of artists exploring the potential of new kinds of performance.

Two of the applicants share their work with each other at a convening

You can read about all ten selected projects on our Triangle Lab website, and watch this blog as well for updates as they develop.

The Artist-Investigators at our launch event

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