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.

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

SOS (2008 – Touring)

SOS is an investigation into the nature of sacrifice within a supersaturated, hyper-acquisitive society. Set in a theatrical space that plays with the idea of representation, where the cables and cameras of surveillance appear as a forest of technology, the performance unwinds through overlapping abstract narratives. Animals (played by actors in plushy costumes and body mounted cameras) pushed from their native habitat turn on each other in a hopeless contest for survival. Televised Trans-Variant Revolutionaries from the Realness Liberation Front broadcasting in a skeletal studio implode under the pressure and failure of their own rhetoric. Social networking addicts enmeshed in a self-created universe seek escape from a tightening web of perception. As these scenarios vibrate against one another, the action transforms into a celebration of renewal though chaos.

Creation History:

Wiener Festwochen (Vienna, Austria)
Theatre Garrone (Toulouse, France)

Touring 2009
Temps d’Image Festival (Montreal, Canada)
The Kitchen (NYC, USA)
REDCAT (Los Angeles, USA)
Yurba Buena Arts Center (San Fransisco, USA)
Prospettiva 09 (Torino, Italy)


“The show is outrageous, brilliantly designed, and incredibly smart.”
– L Magazine

“Yes! Here is something with enough smarts, humor, speed, and daring for this moment: Big Art Group’s new hybrid production, SOS.”
– NY Theater

“Big Art Group mixes video and mystical rites for its mesmerizing spectacle SOS.”
– NY Time Out

“The final moment, was the single most visually compelling thing we have seen on stage, maybe ever, and likely worth the price of admission in and of itself. To that end, it also served as a reminder that Big Art Group remains one of the boldest crews around, and their work at the intersection of video and performance persists as uniquely important. “ – Artcat Zine

“It’s like standing in the big-screen-TV section of a Best Buy, but with the volume on every set cranked to “maximum.”
– New York Times


Wiener Festwochen, The Kitchen. Developed with the facilities and support of the Digital Performance Institute and The Abrons Arts Center’s Artist Workspace.

Big Art Group featured in the Village Voice article about the best progressive theater in NYC

Tom Sellar has penned an article about the state of the avant garde/experimental/progressive theater in the Village Voice that features Big Art Group and one of the best progressive performance companies.

Many of New York’s edgier ensembles have been drawing on non-dramatic source material (i.e., no plays) and creating work that mirrors other media forms—two impulses historically embraced by modernist avant-gardes, of course, but sometimes yielding original results today. Big Art Group, for instance, makes a touchstone out of synthesizing media elements. SOS, their 2009 show at the Kitchen, offered a spiraling series of hallucinations of consumer catastrophe—simultaneously humorous and apocalyptic. Scenes alternated between terrified animals fending for themselves in the Darwinian wilderness, and grotesque chats between urban creatures of consumption. The group used live projections, computer graphics, and a dense soundtrack to create an overstimulated (but deliberately oppressive) mediascape, which was somehow charmingly homemade.

SOS points to a category of experiment under way in alternative theater, which might be described as Internet dramaturgy: live performances structured around nonlinear associations, a continual or escalating series of non sequiturs, or constantly regenerated narrative frames. These dramatic forms echo our now-daily experiences of clicking through multiple sites and toggling between realities. Stage compositions increasingly reflect structures and patterns from the Web, a development ripe with potential.

… But in the next era—now under way—there’s an appetite and opportunity for enlarging the theatrical experience in New York. If anyone can seize the day, it may be Big Art Group, Nature Theater, and anyone else with the intellectual muscle to build up the vanguard.

Read the full article at