Open Rehearsal/Cocktail Reception Of The New Group Work, RAMPART

Please join us for an open rehearsal of our new group work, RAMPART. We will talk about the creation of this new work and show 25 minutes of open rehearsal followed by a cocktail reception.

January 8, 2011 at 8pm
THE WILD PROJECT
195 East 3rd Street (between Ave A and B)
New York, NY 10009

$25 – Benefit Tickets can be purchased two ways:
Make a donation to our fundraising drive on Facebook of $25 or more.
or
Buy directly on Big Art Group’s website

ABOUT THE NEW WORK:
RAMPART is an action media performance exploring the concepts of the aftermath, the post-traumatic, and the anti-hero. RAMPART takes place as a stand-in for present-day America, an America that exists somewhere between the myth of its past with the catastrophe of its future, struggling to coexist with its own image after the wreck of the millennium. Live video is used within the theatrical context to blur boundaries between characters and contexts, while the narrative structure mirrors the installation design with fragmentary scenes and an exploration of the disturbance of perception.

RAMPART moves beyond the film-theatre hybrid of the group’s earlier works and is a theatre of mediated information in which action, re-enactment and special effect create a new participatory spectacle with the “active-editor” audience.

For Big Art Group, the theatrical event is based not on illusion, but on a synthesis of simulation and impersonation, on the ritualized action of recreating significant moments. In this reality there’s a simulacra of characters being constructed in the forms and patterns of historical tropes, re-enactments or inhabitations of archetypal roles and milieus. The media system consumes and reinforces these archetypes, mutates them, cannibalizes them and reinvents them for continuous re-consumption, however we do not distinguish between ourselves and the media system: we are the mutual generators.

Big Art Group in TDR: The Drama Review Winter 2010 Issue

“Image Eaters”, a 36 page article by Jacob Gallagher-Ross about the work of Big Art Group, has been published in this quarters edition of TDR: The Drama Review.

Excerpt:

Theatre artists keen to investigate the theatrical possibilities of technological image-making must inevitably contend with the wearisome grumbling issuing from critics who see the invasion of screens, electronic sounds, and pop culture materials as heralding theatre’s surrender to predatory corporate interests and banal mass culture — relinquishing its supposedly sacral mission to present breathing bodies to a temporary community of other such bodies. But far from signaling the end of theatre’s vitality, Big Art Group’s innovations are renovating the art form for our media-baffled moment. Their theatrical methods are descended from Brecht: opening the apparatus of modern image-manufacturing to dissecting scrutiny, they take the discrepancies between live bodies onstage and their onscreen doppelgangers as a figure for media culture’s many forms of transubstantiation. Not content with staging simple binaries — live or recorded, image or material presence — Big Art Group graphs a spectrum: bodies that crave the hi-def perfection of the video image; images that long to be ratified by eliciting sensuous responses in the viewer. – Jacob Gallagher-Ross (TDR/The Drama Review Winter 2010, Vol. 54, No. 4 (T208): 54–80.)

TDR: The Drama Review is a quarterly journal focusing on performances in their social, economic, aesthetic, and political contexts. The journal covers dance, theatre, music, performance art, visual art, popular entertainment, media, sports, rituals, and performance in politics and everyday life. TDR is owned by New York University and is published in hard copy and online by the MIT Press.

SOS published in Yale Theater Journal

Big Art Group’s 11th group work, SOS, is on the cover and inside this month’s Yale Theater Journal with an introductory article on the production by Jacob Gallagher-Ross.

IMG_4298“Presented at New York’s the Kitchen in March 2009, as the aftermath of the credit cataclysm continued to convulse the nation, Big Art Group’s SOS stages the theatrical equivalent of the financial crisis, a conflagration of the society of spectacles. The housing bubble, the company suggests, was a symptom of a more dangerous, and ongoing, process of inflation. SOS depicts an unmoored culture in which signs can only be exchanged for other signs, every radical gesture is already a marketing strategy, and “realness” is a value that arrives prepackaged for sale. Big Art Group suggests that, in addition to its gapped balance sheets, today’s America also has a reality deficit, an addiction to ever-increasing levels of abstraction. SOS revs America’s culture of headlong consumption to fever pitch, suggesting that renewal is possible only through destruction”
Jacob Gallagher-Ross, Theater Journal

For more than thirty years Theater has been the most informative, serious, and imaginative American journal available to readers interested in contemporary theater. It has been the first publisher of pathbreaking plays from writers as diverse as Rinde Eckert, Richard Foreman, David Greenspan, W. David Hancock, Peter Handke, Sarah Kane, and Adrienne Kennedy. Theater has also featured lively polemics and essays by dramatists including Dario Fo, Heiner Müller, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Mac Wellman. Special issues have covered theater and ecology, new music-theater, South African theater, theater and social change, new Polish directing, and theater and the apocalypse.

IMG_4302

Editor:
Tom Sellar, Yale University

Associate Editors:
Miriam Felton-Dansky
Jacob Gallagher-Ross
You can purchase your copy in NYC from St. Marks Book Shop or online at dukepress.com

Big Art Group discussed in Chris Salter’s new book ENTANGLED: Technology And The Transformation Of Performance

ENTANGLED: Technology And The Transformation Of Performance explores technology’s influence on artistic performance practices in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Entangled, Chris Salter shows that technologies, from the mechanical to the computational—from a “ballet of objects and lights” staged by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1917 to contemporary technologically enabled “responsive environments”—have been entangled with performance across a wide range of disciplines. Salter examines the rich and extensive history of performance experimentation in theater, music, dance, the visual and media arts, architecture, and other fields; explores the political, social, and economic context for the adoption of technological practices in art; and shows that these practices have a set of common histories despite their disciplinary borders.

[amazonify]0262195887[/amazonify]

Think Big in The New Yorker

The inimitable Hilton Als writes up Big Art Group in The New Yorker

Big Art Group is the brass-band name of the experimental theatre party founded by Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson in 1999….The group’s new piece “Flesh Tone” (at Abrons Arts Center, April 15-18) will no doubt further italicize their credo: theatre not only shows our inner selves at work; it makes us better for having experienced it. Out loud. 

Read more–>

Tickets:

THE SLEEP (NYC Premiere)
Experimental Theater @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 7:00pm
Buy Tickets

FLESH TONE (Preview)
Playhouse @Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 8:30pm
Buy Tickets

10 Years of Big Art Video

With our upcoming 10th anniversary weekend TAKE OVER at Abrons Art Center (NYC) happening in less than a week, Big Art has releases a short video montage of our works with commentary by Under The Radar Festival’s Mark Russell and The Kitchen’s Matthew Lyons.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Information:


THE SLEEP (NYC Premiere)

Experimental Theater @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 7:00pm
Buy Tickets $15

FLESH TONE (Preview)
Playhouse @Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 8:30pm
Buy Tickets $15

4 Channel Video Installation
Underground @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 All Day
FREE

Big Art Group Interviewed by Justin Bond for Brooklyn Rail

Recently Big Art Group sat down with Justin Bond to talk about the 10 years of Big Art Group.

Caden Manson: I’m proud of the company, and how it’s grown and the talent of everyone that’s been in it, and how they all have grown in those ten years, too. Also where we’ve been and the audiences we’ve reached, because I think it’s a unique opportunity to be able to have played the places that we’ve played in Europe and in the United States on both coasts, because the audiences are different in each place.

Rehearsal Still from the upcoming preview of Flesh Tone

Rehearsal Still from the upcoming preview of Flesh Tone

Nelson: The idea of the weekend at Abrons Arts Center is that it’s past, present, and future. You can come see these video installations that represent past work, “SOS Animals” and “The Imitation.” And then there’s the present, which is “The Sleep,” which is the musical collaboration that we’ve been working on with Theo Kogan and Sean Pierce. And there’s the future in “Flesh Tone,” which is our new group work, which is still in development.

Rail: I was at your very first casting call, and have seen your process: cultivating actors, and training them and getting them into the mindset and the physical exertion that it takes for the complexity of the choreography of your pieces. The first one we did, which was “CLEARCUT, catastrophe!,” had a certain amount of choreography, but it really jumped from there to the next piece, which was “Shelf Life.” With the amount of choreography and the complexity of what you had your actors do, there was probably a huge learning curve for you. But now, bringing the new actors in, I would imagine that it’s exciting for them.

Read more at Brooklyn Rail

The Sleep Album Release

Big Art Group’s 10th Anniversary TAKE OVER at Abrons Art Center is 2 weeks away (April 15-18, 2010) and we are releasing The Sleep album online! Click below to listen to the newest track “Bronze”. Music is by Theo Kogan, Sean Pierce and Jemma Nelson.

06 Bronze

Buy the full album here.

Picture 21

Tickets on sale now for The Sleep and Flesh Tone – Part of the Big Art Group TAKE OVER at Abrons Art Center April 15-18, 2010.

THE SLEEP in the Experimental (NYC Premiere)
April 15-18, 2010 at 7:00pm
Click here for Tickets – $15

The Sleep mixes early cinema techniques, magic lantern, concept album and Big Art Group’s Real Time Film technique into a live see-though movie adapted from M. P. Shiel’s 1901 story, “The Purple Cloud,” in which a lone explorer races to the North Pole while a poison purple cloud covers the earth. His subsequent return to the remnants of civilization drives him into a crisis of being, in a classic “last man” adventure that eerily presages catastrophic climate change. Live music by Theo Kogan, Sean Pierce, and Jemma Nelson. Supported by the Greenwall Foundation.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

FLESH TONE in the Playhouse (Preview)
April 15-18, 2010 at 8:30pm
Click here for tickets – $15

Big Art Group’s new project Flesh Tone is told through hybrid, hallucinatory storytelling influenced by steely Hollywood thrillers and filtered though the company’s breathtaking mediated performance techniques, Real Time Film and Green Screen Performance. A character-driven critique of the American way of looking at the world, Flesh Tone turns the visual economy of the US into an acid bath of self-exposure. Confronting social issues of economic and environmental degradation, a war-scarred national psyche, and transformed bodies, Flesh Tone queries Image-America about a possible path to reconciliation with its own monstrous reflection This live performance spans cinema, visual art, and spectacle in an utterly unique, compelling event.

Flesh Tone returns to the conceptual and performative model of Real Time Film and Live Green Screen Performance technique the group pioneered in 2001 with its trilogy of works Shelf Life, Flicker, and House of No More. Flesh Tone delves deeper into the techniques and the questions these hybrid forms raise, moving beyond the Film-Theatrical hybrid of the group’s earlier works to create a theatre of mediated information in which action, re-enactment and special effect create a participatory spectacle with the “active editor” audience member. For Big Art Group, the theatrical event is based not on illusion, but on a synthesis of simulation and impersonation, on the ritualized action of recreating a readable, multi-layered Image Theatre.

10th Anniversary TAKE OVER in NYC

To celebrate 10 years of innovative work, Big Art Group takes over all three Abrons Art Center performance spaces with projects past, present, and future.

April 15-18, 2010
Abrons Art Center
Henry Street Settlement
466 Grand Street, NYC
t:212.598.0400 f:212.505.8329
www.abronsartscenter.org

__________________________________________________________________________________

THE SLEEP in the Experimental (NYC Premiere)
April 15-18, 2010 at 7:00pm
$15

the_sleep
The Sleep mixes early cinema techniques, magic lantern, concept album and Big Art Group’s Real Time Film technique into a live see-though movie adapted from M. P. Shiel’s 1901 story, “The Purple Cloud,” in which a lone explorer races to the North Pole while a poison purple cloud covers the earth. His subsequent return to the remnants of civilization drives him into a crisis of being, in a classic “last man” adventure that eerily presages catastrophic climate change. Live music by Theo Kogan, Sean Pierce, and Jemma Nelson. Supported by the Greenwall Foundation.

__________________________________________________________________________________

FLESH TONE in the Playhouse (Preview)
April 15-18, 2010 at 8:30pm
$15

Big Art Group’s new project Flesh Tone is told through hybrid, hallucinatory storytelling influenced by steely Hollywood thrillers and filtered though the company’s breathtaking mediated performance techniques, Real Time Film and Green Screen Performance. A character-driven critique of the American way of looking at the world, Flesh Tone turns the visual economy of the US into an acid bath of self-exposure. Confronting social issues of economic and environmental degradation, a war-scarred national psyche, and transformed bodies, Flesh Tone queries Image-America about a possible path to reconciliation with its own monstrous reflection This live performance spans cinema, visual art, and spectacle in an utterly unique, compelling event.

Flesh Tone returns to the conceptual and performative model of Real Time Film and Live Green Screen Performance technique the group pioneered in 2001 with its trilogy of works Shelf Life, Flicker, and House of No More. Flesh Tone delves deeper into the techniques and the questions these hybrid forms raise, moving beyond the Film-Theatrical hybrid of the group’s earlier works to create a theatre of mediated information in which action, re-enactment and special effect create a participatory spectacle with the “active editor” audience member. For Big Art Group, the theatrical event is based not on illusion, but on a synthesis of simulation and impersonation, on the ritualized action of recreating a readable, multi-layered Image Theatre.

__________________________________________________________________________________

2 FOUR CHANNEL VIDEO INSTALLATIONS in the Underground
April 15-18, 2010 all day
FREE

SOS/ANIMALS 2010
SOS/Animals
was filmed on location in the industrial district of Greenpoint Brooklyn with the Animals from Big Art Group’s 2009 group work SOS.

imitation
The Imitation
is based on the 2008 group work by the same name and features singers Theo Kogan and Justin Bond.

__________________________________________________________________________________

SPECIAL PACKAGES

OPENING NIGHT VIP TAKE OVER
Package covers admission to see both The Sleep (7:00pm) and Flesh Tone (8:30pm) on opening night, April 15. VIPs receive a Big Art Group gift bag, an invitation to the after-performance toast with the company, and free admission to the after party at the Delancey Bar, 168 Delancey Street.
$100

TAKE OVER PACKAGE (see both performances for one price)
Package discounts the admission to see both The Sleep (7:00pm) and Flesh Tone (8:30pm).
$25

NEW WORK: Flesh Tone — April 15-18, 2010 @ 8:30pm (NYC)

Flesh Tone is the new group piece from Caden Manson / Big Art Group

Big Art Group’s new project Flesh Tone is told through hybrid, hallucinatory storytelling influenced by steely Hollywood thrillers and filtered though the company’s breathtaking mediated performance techniques, Real Time Film and Green Screen Performance. A character-driven critique of the American way of looking at the world, Flesh Tone turns the visual economy of the US into an acid bath of self-exposure. Confronting social issues of economic and environmental degradation, a war-scarred national psyche, and transformed bodies, Flesh Tone queries Image-America about a possible path to reconciliation with its own transmogrified reflection. This live performance spans cinema, visual art, and spectacle in an utterly unique, compelling event.

Flesh Tone returns to the conceptual and performative model of Real Time Film and Live Green Screen Performance technique the group pioneered in 2001 with its trilogy of works Shelf Life, Flicker, and House of No More. Flesh Tone delves deeper into the techniques and the questions these hybrid forms raise, moving beyond the Film-Theatrical hybrid of the group’s earlier works to create a theatre of mediated information in which action, re-enactment and special effect create a participatory spectacle with the “active editor” audience member. For Big Art Group, the theatrical event is based not on illusion, but on a synthesis of simulation and impersonation, on the ritualized action of recreating a readable, multi-layered Image Theatre.

FLESH TONE
First Showings at Abron’s Art Center (NYC)
April 15-18, 2010 @ 8:30pm

Production Schedule:

Feb-Mar 2010 Rehearsals in NYC
April 15-18 First showing at Abron’s Arts Center in NYC’s Lower East Side
December 2010 Development stage 2
January 2011 APAP Performances